You are on page 1of 3

Islamic civilization effects on west

Since the emergence of Islam in 7th Century, the West has adopted a biased and hostile attitude
towards Islam and the Muslims on account of ethnic, religious, social and political prejudice and
malice. The West, mainly comprising Christians, initially termed Islam as heresy and hoped that
like the many heresies of the past, it could be combated, suppressed or allowed to die a natural
death. But Islam continued to flourish in all directions of the world. In order to halt the rapid
growth of Islam in different parts of the globe, including Europe, the West resorted to other
disgusting and negative means. By and large, Islam and its adherents continue to be the subject
of ridicule, scorn and hatred by numerous Westerners, and the West is going ahead with a
vicious campaign that is aimed at vilification of the Muslims, their prophet, their tenets, their
culture and depicting Muslims as fundamentalists, heretics, extremists and terrorists.

The establishment of Muslim rule in Spain in early 8th century brought, for the first time, the
Muslim civilisation and the West in direct and close contact. Europe responded both militarily
and theologically. Although further penetration of the Muslims in West was stopped by French at
Tours in 732 but the religious and social effects of this Muslim conquest were not easy to be
controlled. Western scholars learnt about Islam for the first time and they realized that Islam is
not a Christian heresy but a triumphant, rival World religion.

Another point of interaction and confrontation between Islam and West was and is Jerusalem; a
city that is considered sacred and holy by three important religions of the world i.e. Islam,
Christianity and Judaism. These religions took turns, as it were to occupy and control Jerusalem
by use of force and diplomacy. The Muslims got hold of this city during the reign of the 2nd
caliph of Muslims Hazrat Umar-e-Farooq (RA) in the 1st half of 7th century.

After the great triumph in the battle of Yermuk in 636, when the Muslim army advanced towards
Jerusalem and laid siege to it, the Byzantine commander slipped out of the city leaving its
control to Patriarch, sophronius, who offered to surrender the city on the condition that the
Caliph must take its keys from him in person. Accepting this condition, the Caliph travelled from
Madina to Jerusalem, accompanied by no escort but only his slave, with whom he exchanged
place on camel-back in turn. On the last lap of the journey, it was the slave's turn to sit on the
camel. Thus Hazrat Umar (RA), the most powerful ruler of the world at that time, approached
the gates of Jerusalem in such a manner that he was leading the camel by holding the reins, while
his slave was riding on it. The Patriarch delivered him the keys of Jerusalem.

The series of wars waged by Christian to get Jeruselum back from Muslims is historically known
as crusades. The first crusade was officially launched in 1095 when Pope Urban II issued his
“Decree of Holy war” (Deus lo volt, meaning “God wills it”). On account of religious zeal and
vengeance, the crusaders succeeded in capturing Jerusalem in 1096 after slaughtering all the
Muslim inhabitants and protectors of the city. After almost a century, the Muslims regained the
city under the dynamic and legendary leadership of Sultan Salah-ud-Din Ayubi. Though the
crusaders were finally expelled from Muslim territory in 1291, the series of major and minor
crusades continued till 1396 when the Ottoman Turks routed the army of crusaders at Nicopolis
on the Danube. The Ottomans' seizure of the once impregnable Constantinople (present Istanbul
in Turkey) in 1453 not only fortified the frontiers of Islamic Empire but also changed the balance
of power as well as the scope and nature of relations between Muslims and the West.

During the dark era of Christianity especially in 15th and 16th century too, the Muslim
civilisation left indelible effects on Western civilisation. Soon after passing through the dark era
and regaining political and economic stability in 17th century, the West again concentrated on
containing the surging influence of Islam and Muslims. This time the Christian writers, scholars
and theologians also came in the field more vociferously for countering Islam in order to boost
the political and military fronts of West. The Muslims have never felt threatened by Western
civilisation as the Muslims have always maintained their distinct identity in the west through the
ages. In furtherance of the golden principles of their religion, the Muslims hold all the prophets
in esteem and have never carried out devilish acts of desecrating the holy books and prophets of
other religions whereas on the contrary the Christians and Jews have always indulged in the
satanic acts of desecrating the copies of Holy Quran and using derogatory remarks in respect of
the Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (Peace Be upon him).

After the 1st World War, the west exploited and humiliated the Muslim countries through the
Mandate System and subsequent to 2nd World War through colonisation under the so called
pretext and interest of white Man's self-proclaimed and self acquired burden/responsibility to
civilise the backward peoples of the world. The West's pivotal roles in establishment and
consolidation of Israel in the heart of Arab land and its unethical and blind gigantic support for
her aggressive and anti-Muslim policies have also enhanced some Muslims' old fear of hostile
western world. Even presently, the west is directly meddling in the internal affairs of Muslim
states against all norms of morality and international law under the pretext of so-called “War
against terror”; which is seen by the Muslims with reasonable suspicion.

Such kind of hostile attitude of the West has led to create acrimony as well as certain
misunderstandings and misgivings between Muslims and the West which need to be curtailed for
the benefit of humanity and human civilisation. In this regard, both communities are required to
show prudence and to learn from past mistakes instead of repeating them. The present flames of
confrontation are not only detrimental and disastrous to the Muslims but may engulf the whole
humanity in the long run. Both Islam and Christianity are ground realities and it is inevitable for
both communities to honour the principles and norms of coexistence. While acknowledging that
we have some crucial and fundamental differences that would remain intact till the end of time,
we should recognise the positive values which each community cherishes and forge ahead to
work together for the betterment of God's creation. Together, both communities have an equal
task to disprove the bleak future scenario in their relations as depicted in some recent writings
from the West. An important example was Samuel Huntington's thesis, which suggested the
imminent “clash of civilisations” between the West on the one side, and the Islamic world (and
Confucian states) on the other. Such kinds of negative predictions have often been given by
different sick minded hostile western scholars at different times but it has always proved to be
counter productive and it is imperative for the West to realize that they cannot halt the growth of
Islam through conspiracies.

Islam provides due rights to religious minorities living in an Islamic state, and true Islamic states
have always catered for their needs. An important example is that of India. Although the Muslim
dynasties ruled Indo-Pakistan for centuries but they did not force their religion upon the local
people owing to which, India continued to have huge Hindu majority. The same is the case of
Muslim rule in Spain. The Holy Quran accepts the world as multi ethnic and multi-religious
because apparently the Almighty God in His wisdom wished the world to be populated not only
with different nations but with people of different religions, as the Allah Almighty says in verse
No.48 of Surah Maidah/ Chapter the Repast/Table spread, “And had Allah so willed, he would
surely have made you one single community; instead (He gave each of you a law and a way of
life) in order to test you by what he gave you. Vie then, with one another in good works. Unto
Allah is the return of all of you; and He will then make you understand the truth concerning the
matters on which you disagreed”. Similarly, in verse No. 13 of Surah Hujraat / Chapter the
Apartments the Allah Almighty says, “Human beings, We created you all from a male and
female, and made you into nations and tribes so that you may know one another. Verily the
noblest of you in the sight of Allah is the most God-fearing of you. Surely Allah is All Knowing,
All Aware”.

Therefore, the need of time is to promote coordination and coexistence of different civilisations
and to condemn/reject theories of confrontation such as that of clash of civilisations not only by
rhetoric but by practical & visible steps on the part of both communities. Only harmony and
tranquillity between the Muslims and the West could protect humanity from future disasters and
catastrophes.