Sunday, 4 December 2011

Islam, a blessing

Islam is 100 % Scientific!
Humanity is grateful to NASA for the excellent Hubble Space Telescope photos it has passed on to us through  the Internet.
One of them is this image of "the most complex planetary nebulae ever seen,  the NGC 6543, nicknamed the Cat's Eye Nebula." 
Estimated to be 1,000 years old, the nebula is a visual "fossil record" of the dynamics of a dying star 3,000 light-years away
in the northern constellation Draco.
Taken on September 18, 1994, the image was presented by J.P. Harrington and K.J. Borkowski (University of Maryland and NASA), with the remark, "It  is a window on our own future. It tells us what is going to happen to a star like our sun in 5 or 6 billion years." 

With the advance of science and the Hubble’s outreach into outer space,  the amazing drama of creation is unfolding before our eyes. Because light cannot match the speed with which they happen, the images of cosmic events reach our advanced sensors only after thousands of light years of their actual happening.

As we rejoice our luck at  being awarded such visions of the past millennia, we realize an incontrovertible truth. They confirm the predictions in the Holy Qur'an that Our Glorious Creator revealed  through Angel Jibra'yeel, during the years 610 to 632 C.E., to Our Beloved Prophet Syedina Muhammed Sallallahu Alaihi va Sallam (May the Peace and Blessings of Allah be on him!)

In its 55th  chapter “Ar Rahman”, Allah addresses humanity: "When the skies are rent asunder (in the process of the universe being brought to a close by the Supreme Creator) and they appear to you like a red rose or as red hide, (ask yourselves as to how long and) how many of the miracles of your Lord will you (continue to) deny?" (verses 37-38)

Dr. Maurice Bucaille was the personal physician to the then King Faisal of Saudi Arabia. From his studies and research on the incomparable grandeur of the Holy Qur’an as a book of divine authorship, he dedicated his own scientific integrity and literary talent to the defence of Islam  against unjust misrepresentations levelled against it by others from the west. 

In his celebrated book “The Bible, Qur’an and Science”,  he has conveyed to us the results of his extensive research on the Big Bang Theory. And he has informed us that the eternal truth is conveyed best in the Holy Qur'an as to how the universe evolved "from a gaseous mass to the heavens and the earth" (vide verse 11 of the 41st chapter, Haameem as Sajdah). And again,  "the heavens and the earth were fused together, then We separated them and We made every living thing out of water." (Verse 30 of the 21st Chapter,  Al Ambiyaah).

                Dr. Bucaille affirms the Qur'ani statements are "free from any of the whimsical details  accompanying such beliefs (as existed before the advent of Islam).
“On the contrary, they are distinguished by the sober quality of the words in which they are expressed and their agreement with scientific data".

            Our Holy Book is not manmade. It is the Word of Allah. The Holy Qur’an imparts you the essential knowledge you need about all apsects of life. It endows on you the true wisdom received direct from Allah.  And,   at a more intimate level, the teachings of the Prophet Syedina Mohammed S.A.W.S. Sallallahu Alaihi va Sallam, recorded in authentic detail in the Hadith, provide us the much needed insight, intuition and inspiration for progress and positive achievement. The two holy books are our best source for:                  

 The True Vision of the future
 The Dynamic Perception of the present, and
 The Integrity and Dedication to lead and
be a Blessing to All People.

        When you study science and experiment with high technology in the light of the incomparable and true knowledge that is encased in every verse of the Holy Qur’an, you are on the right road to high achievement. Allahu Rabbul Izzath, the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe, the Original Scientist, is leading you and your efforts will certainly bring incomparable benefits to all humanity.

              And the Hadith is an invaluable bequest to every Muslim. It is the meticulous record of the life and achievements of the Greatest Human Being in World History, the Incomparable All-time Leader of Humanity, Syedina Mohammed S.A.W.S. S.A.W.S. We see in our mind’s eye, how he lived, endured unimaginable hardship and brought about, all by himself, the liberation of human thought from the myths and superstition of past centuries.
                By his teachings and by his own magnificence, he led the Muslim Ummaah to a righteous triumph over evil. All Arabia embraced Islam within two decades of his empowerment as the Ultmate Apostle of Allah. The glory of the awakening he had brought us is now embracing every human being in every region of the world.

               With the opening up of the Internet, man’s knowledge of the universe has risen high above the inhibitions of the past. In the New Century’s quest for a breakthrough in science and technology, we find the world launched on a determined drive for Truth and Real Science. No one has any use for arbitrary doctrines and dubious theories that will not stand the test of scientific scrutiny.

 Science is sacrosanct. As we reach far into outer space, the human mind is finally drawn to the perception that Allah is the Source and also the Ultimate Objective of all Knowledge.

Beyond the limits that conventional sciences could not cross, we find today vast unexplored regions in an ever expanding universe. They pose a challenge to human ingenuity.  And the truth is self evident: real progress towards understanding and interpreting this realm of mystery will be possible only in the light of the Holy Qur’an.
 Attuned as they are to the Holy Qur’an,  the Word of Allah, Who created and continues to create the Universe, Muslim scientists of our time have the talent and spiritual vision for  the task. The integrity of ongoing research worldwide has brought us a gracious recognition from the west:

 It was indeed from Muslim scientists, engineers and philosophers that Europe imbibed the theory and expertise of modern science.
 Muslim resources inspired and financed the industrial revolution that raised western civilization to its present stature.
 This raises hope that future advancements in science will, in all probability, be led by the scientific talent burgeoning in the Muslim world today
Even to Muslims, these revelations are an eye opener.  John William Draper tells us how this happened. In The Intellectual Development of Europe, he says:

 “I have to deplore the systematic manner in which the literature of Europe has contrived to put out of sight our scientific obligation to the Mohammedans. 

“Surely they cannot be much longer hidden. Injustice founded on religious rancor and national conceit cannot be perpetuated forever.  The Arab has left his intellectual impress on Europe as, before long, Christendom will have to confess; he has indelibly written it on the heavens, as anyone may see who reads the names of the stars on a common celestial globe”.

Bishop Alvaro of Cordova wrote in the 9th century,  “All the young Christians (from Germany, France and England who flocked to the Moorish seats of learning) distinguished themselves by their talent, know the language and literature of the Arabs, read and study passionately the Arab books, gather at great expense great libraries of these and everywhere proclaim with loud voice how admirable is that literature. 

“It was from a Muslim seat of learning in Spain that the scholar Gerbert of Aurillec learnt astronomy and mathematics and this great knowledge (which William of Malmesbury said, was ‘stolen from the Saracen”)  elevated him to be Pope Sylvester II.”

A confirmation of this historic flow of scientific, philophical and spiritual knowledge from Arabic to Hebrew and Latin is the list of hundreds of books so translated and cited in the article on “Translations” by Joseph Jacobs Isaac Broydé in the Jewish Enyclopedia:

“Arabic Into Hebrew: After the early victories of the Mohammedans and the consequent spread of Arabic civilization, the Jews of the Eastern countries became familiar with and adopted to a large extent the Arabic language; so much so that rabbis and scholars, if they desired to be understood by the masses, were compelled to write their works in that language. After the center of Jewish learning shifted from the Orient to Spain and southern France, some of these works, especially those dealing with the Halakah and Hebrew grammar, were translated from Arabic into Hebrew.
“The oldest Hebrew translations from Arabic date from the eleventh century. In 1078 Isaac ben Reuben Albargeloni rendered into  Hebrew Hai Gaon's treatise on purchase (Venice, 1602), also Ibn Janau's lexicon "Kitab al-Usul" ("Sefer ha-Shorashim"). About the same time, perhaps a little earlier, some Karaite writings were translated into Hebrew by Moses ben Tobia. At the beginning of the twelfth century Moses ben Samuel ha-Kohen ibn Gikatilla translated the two principal works of Dayyuj, the treatises on "Verbs Containing Weak Letters" and "Verbs Containing Double Letters" (This was edited years later with an English  translation by John W. Nutt, London and Berlin, 1870).

“From the first half of the twelfth century there are a translation, or rather a  paraphrase, of Saadia's" Emunot we-De'ot," and a translation of his commentary on the "Sefer Yesirah," both by Moses ben Joseph of Lucena. Toward the middle of the same century Ibn Ezra translated Dayyuj's grammatical works, two works on the astrology of Mashallah ("She'elot" and "Kadrut"), and a treatise on geomancy ("Sefer ha-Goralot"). About the same time Judah ben Isaac ibn Ghayyat translated a casuistical dissertation on a part of Shebu'ot.

  ‘All these translations are said by Judah ibn Tibbon, in the introduction to the "Sobot ha-Lebabot," to be defective in character, their imperfections being due either to a less than thorough knowledge of Arabic or Hebrew on the part of the translators, or to the fact that the latter give their own opinions instead of those of the authors.
We are indeed grateful that the world remembers and honors the Muslim pioneers whose findings and contributions evolved into the modern scientific temperament and high technology of our times.

 An instance of this awakening is the Ibn Sina Memorial Lecture delivered in Amman, Jordan, in  July 1997,  Dr. John Noble of Boston University. In this landmark address, Dr Noble pays a glowing homage to the two glorious men of science to whom the world is truly indebted for all the advances made in the art and science of healing:  Abu Ali al-Husain ibn Abdullah ibn Sina (980-1037 CE) father of modern medicine and his contemporary Abul Qasim al Zahrawi, father of modern surgery.

Dr. Noble praises Ibn Sina for  preserving so well the knowledge of  Greco-Roman and other antiquity that would otherwise have been lost to humanity. He had studied and closely analysed the books and manuscripts rescued and translated into Arabic by his peers two to three generations earlier. He organized this knowledge into an orderly rational framework that facilitated scholarship.

“Ibn Sina addressed medical education and communication boldly. Through 15 years, he wrote the Al Qanun (The Canon), a treatise on medicine, which comprehensively described all known medical science.  It was the Index Medicus of its time, the standard text for medical education  through Europe and the world  of Islam for more than 600 years.

“The great Muslim surgeon of Andalusia, Abul Qasim al Zahrawi, a contemporary of Ibn Sina, described extensive clinical experience in The Treatise on Surgery and Instruments which may be used as an example or clinical class studies from this time.  No previous author had put forward anything like this. 

“The Canon  of ibn Sina was translated into Latin repeatedly and into Hebrew and English. The impact of this text was still evident to Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch when they consulted on the cholera epidemic of 1883 in Alexandria, Egypt. At the dawn of book binding and printing (paper making was a Muslim bequest to Europe) ibn Sina was remarkably successful in advancing education through the creation of the first great text of medicine. It guided and influenced medical education and practice for more than 600 years”.

Dr. Noble praises Dr. Murad Hoffman’s  analysis of  the success of the Islamic Renaissance. “That Islam is the religion of tolerance par excellence, often seems incomprehensible to Western observers. 
“And yet it is true. The Qur'an constantly holds up to its believers that the differences between men, not only in terms of color, wealth, race and languages, are natural. The Qur’an even describes ideological and religious pluralism as God-given:
‘And if God had so willed, surely He could have made one single community, but (He willed otherwise) to try you in what He gave you. Therefore, strive, as in a race with each other, in doing good deeds.’” (Surah 5th:  Al Maayidah: 48)
It is our own fault that Muslim achievements in science and technology have remained obscured so long from common knowledge. The translations from Arabi texts were preserved and circulated all through Europe with Latinized names given to their Muslim authors by the translators. A few examples may be cited, the Muslim names followed by the Latinized ones in brackets: 

 Ibn Sina , father of Modern Medicine (Avicenna),
 Abu Al Qasim Al Zahravi, the father of Modern Surgery, (Albucasis),
 Jabir ibn Haiyan , father of Chemistry (Geber),
 Al Khwarizmi, genius in Mathematics, Astronomy, Algorithm, Algebra, Calculus, Geography (Algorizm), 
 Ibn Zuhr, Surgery, Medcine (Avenzoar),
 Ibn Ishaq al Kindi,  Physics, Optics, Metallurgy   (Alkindus) 
 Abbas ibn Firnas, Mechanics of Flight, Planetarium, Artificial Crystals, 
 Al Battani, Trigonometry (Albategnius)
 Al Farghani,  (Civil Engineering)
 Al razi , medicine, Ophthalmology, Smallpox, Chemistry (Rhazes)
 Al Farabi, Sociology, Logic, Political Science, Music (Al Pharabius)
 Ibn al Haitham , Physics, Optics (Alhazen)
 Abu Raihan al-Biruni Astronomy (Determined Earth’s circumference)
 Al Zarqali, Astronomy, invented Astrolabe (Arzachel)
 Al Idrisi, Geography, World Map and the first Globe (Dreses)
 Ibn Rushd, Philosopy, Law, Medicine, Astronomy (Averroes)

Four centuries of dismay endured by Muslim intellectuals are  now assuaged.  Fair minded historians – John Davenport, Stanley Lane Poole, M.P. E. Berthelot, Holmyard, Max Meyerhof,  George Sarton and John William Draper and those quoted above – have awakened the conscience of humanity to the debt of gratitude civilization owes to Islam.

 As the world of science and space research is poised for a an upward leap undreamt of before, the opportunity has opened before Muslim scientists.  They are called upon to contribute significantly once again to humanitarian advancement in the way Al Razi, Ibn Sina (Avicenna) and Zah’rawi and other Muslims led the world in scientific discovery and technological inventions in the past.

 Their teachings were an endowment to the awakening world of science. And their celebrated books ran into hundreds of editions during 1498-1866 C.E. and established the supremacy of Islami learning in Europe, Upper Africa and the Middle East, from the fifteenth to the nineteenth centuries

 Max Kahn says in his History of Medicine:  “The tolerance of Arabs was the saving grace of civilization.  They relit the lamp of learning which had been extinguished in Europe and the light of Hippocrates, Aristotle and Galen illuminated their mosques and cloisters”.

 And the Universal History of the World by Hearnshaw records, “Chriistian students repaired to Islamic schools to learn the wisdom of the ancients and to gain the secrets of those arts and crafts which made Muslim Spain famous throughout the world. 

 And Lane Poole wrote “Latin translations from Arabic treatises held their places in the schools of Europe down to the sixteenth and even well into the seventeenth century.”

 One of the greatest of Israeli statesmen, Abba Eban, wrote in his Autobiography (1977:  Random House) that there have been only two periods when Jewish culture truly flourished. The first and greatest, was during the 400 years of the Islamic Renaissance; and the second was after migration of many Jewish people to America

 The South Africa, the anthropoligist, Dr. Jeffrey, has declared that America was discovered five centuries ahead of Columbus by Arab explorers. Evidence of this is still coming in, such as Arab coins in the Caribbeans and Arab maps of the region made at the time.

 Closer to our times, we are informed: The reinvention of the Hebrew language would not have been possible, if the Holy Qur’an and its study were not an essential discipline for European scholars of the eleventh century CE. The perfection of the Arabi grammar and lexicon enshrined in the Holy Book of Islam, inspired the researchers to relearn and imbibe the richness of the ancient Hebrew texts.

                Every feat of positive human achievement so highly valued in our time, owes its inception, development and sophistication to Muslms. The more we research the past the more will we appreciate Muslim contribution to the conquest of disease, the establishment of good government and the wellbeing of mankind.
                We may list here a few of the many great inventions that  Muslims bequeathed to the world:

 the Telescope by Abul Hasan,
 the Pendulum, by Ibn Yunus (his treatise  was translated into Persian by Omar Khayyam in 1079 CE), 
 the Watch by  Kutbi during the reign of the Abbasid Khalifah Haroon al Rasheed. He had sent one of these to Charlemagne, of France, as a gift; and this became an instant wonder all through Europe
 Even the invention of gun and gunpowder is credited by historic research (of Dr. Leabon and Scott) to Mir Fatehullah Khan. 
 The Arabs used guns to defend Al Bah’sur in 1340 CE to break the siege laid by Franzdol.
 Arab Muslims brought to Europe the large scale of production of a wide variety of products that ushered in the modern age: soap, textiles, instrumentation and paper.
 With their Christian counterparts in Germany inventing the printing press, Muslims provided the paper and pager technology to advance the dissemination of knowledge.

   Muslim contribution to economic advancement in the west continued even after the decline of Arab power in Europe. Muslim wealth and industrial expertise flowed to England, this time from  the East. Once the Muslims fell from grace and lost India  to the British East India Company and lost Indonesia to the Dutch East India Company, they were dispossessed of every vestige of power and pomp. The colossal wealth seized from them was shipped to the conquerors’ lands. This made possible the Industrial Revolution that transformed Britain and the rest of Europe to modernity.

 We learn from Brooks Adams in The Law of Civilzation and Decay, “Very soon after Plasey the Bengal plunder began to arrive in London and the effect appears to have been instantaneous, for all the authorities agree that the Industrial Revolution, the event that has divided the 19th century from all antecedent time, began with the year 1760.  Plassey was fought in 1757 and probably nothing has ever equaled the rapidity of the change which followed.   

“Before the influx of the Indian treasure and the expansion of credit which followed, no force sufficient for this purpose existed. The factory system was the child of ‘Industrial Revolution’ and until capital had accumulated in masses, capable of giving solidity to large bodies of labor, manufactures were carried on by scattered individuals. 
“Possibly since the world began, no investment has ever yielded the profit reaped from the Indian plunder, because, for nearly fifty years, Great Britain stood without a competitor.”

This is confirmed by Sir William Digby in ‘Prosperous India: A Revelation’:  “England’s industrial supremacy owes its origin to the vast hoards of Bengal (looted from Nawab Sirajud Daw’la and the Muslim aristocracy of Bengal) and the Karnatik (the booty seized from Tippu Sultan, the Martyr of Mysore) being made available for her use. 

“Before Plassey was fought and won and before the stream of treasure began to flow to England, the industries of our country were at a very low ebb”.

An eminent social scientist of our time, Professor Heinz Naussaumer of Austria stressed that Islam has brought immense blessings to humanity and its civilization illuminated Europe for more than a millennium, at a time when the Church led Europe to an era of darkness. He pointed out it was the Christian West that had invaded the Islamic East in the first millennium and in the beginning of the second millenium, as represented by the Crusades. It was the same case again toward the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th as represented by Western colonialism.

The media, he said, must bring home to readers the positive role  Islamic civilizations had played in advancing European renaissance. “To link Islam with terrorism is unreasonable. The violence that prevails in some Muslim countries has nothing to do with Islam. Rather it is the effect of economic, social, and political problemd inherited from Western colonialism itself. In conclusion he said that Muslim states were the traditional markets for Western goods and the rise of living standards there will ensure market survivaland  job opportunities in the West.

Professor Thomas Fleiner, Director of the Institute of Federalism, University of Freiburg, Switzerland, has said that his institute was actively focused on developing understanding among countries having multi-ethnic populations and committed to international peace. While accepting that he is no authority on some international issues like terrorism and the Arab-Israel conflict, he denounced the atrocities being committed by the Zionist on the Palestinians in the occupied territories. He said: “I do not believe in dividing the world into good and bad, neither do I follow the ‘axis of evil’ concepts and I do not believe in fighting terrorism by military force,” he noted. “It was shameful that the international community was acting one sidedly in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, which has historical perspectives dating back to the time when European nations were unable to cooperate with the Jews”, he said. “Jews were better off under Islamic rule in the early 10th, 11th and 12th centuries,” he added. (Islamic Voice:  November 2002)

The celebrated “History of the Arabs” by Philip K. Hitti, is a scholarly work based on intensive research and a boon to posterily. It informs us:  “Moslem Spain wrote one of the brightest chapters in the intellectual history of medieval Europe. Between the middle of the 8th and the beginning of the 13th centuries the Arab speaking peoples were the main bearers of the torch of culture and civilization throughout the world. Moreover, they were the medium through which ancient science and philosophy were recovered, supplemented and transmitted in such a way as to make possibe the renaissance of western Europe. In all this Arabic (Muslim) Spain had a large share”.
An emphatic confirmation of this is conveyed in “The Making of Humanity” by Robert Briffault:  “It was under the influence of Arabian and Moorish revival of culture and not in the 15th century that the real renaissance took place.  (Muslim) Spain, and not Italy, was the cradle of the rebirth of Europe. After sinking lower and lower in barbarism, it had reached the darkest depths of ignorance and degradation when the cities of the (Muslim) Saracenic world, Baghdad, Cairo, Cordova, Toledo, were growing centres of civilization and intellectual activity.  It was there that the new life arose which was to grow into a new phase of human evolution.  From the time when the influence of their culture made itself felt, began the stirring of a new life”.

           Since the 15th century as their love affair evolved, European zeal blended with Islami learning to realize humanity’s most cherished objectives. Allahu Rabbul Izzath informs us in the Holy Qur’an of the honor He has conferred on the human being and it is from this fount of divine recognition that all our rights evolve here and in the hereafter.

           From the outspoken declarations cited above of Bishop Alvaro of Cardova in the 9th century and later of John William Draper, we may be assured that with all the scientific and philosphic knowledge from treatises translated from Arabi by European scholars of the time, the Holy Qur’an also found its way to the New World as the colonization of America took place. Surprising as it may be, we find the most eloquent Truths from the Holy Qur’an echoed in the world’s best preamble to Constitutional Law: the U.S. Declaration of Independence: “All men are created free and equal!”

           The more time we devote to research the past, the more will we appreciate the difference Muslim contributions have made to the conquest of disease, the establishment of good government and the wellbeing of mankind everywhere.
 Power and glory accrued to the Muslim pioneers of the time, as theirs was a passion, intensity and zeal for high achievement never before witnessed in history. Their dedication to scientific progress was boosted and also balanced by their devotion to Allah and His Prophet S.A.W.S.

 The dynamism of Islam is the motivation it imparts to every individual to strive for both husne ibadah and husne akh’laaq. These twin ideals represent, respectively, excellence in prayer to the Glorious Creator and excellence in one’s own character and behavior towards people.  They blend and merge into one another and raise the Muslim personality to its unique grandeur.  Those blessed with it are indeed the crown jewels of humanity. . 

 The Holy Qur’an reminds us: “You have indeed in the Messenger of Allah, an excellent example (role model) for every human being who hopes in Allah and the Final Day and who remembers Allah much)“. This verse from Surath al Ah’zaab: 21, confirms that Syedina Mohammed S.A.W.S. S.A.W.S. was and remains till date the true masterpiece among all the creations of Allah.  He was indeed an embodiment of Grace and Compassion

 We will rank still higher in world esteem when we remain truly loyal to his teachings and practice moderation in everything .

 At the same time we must project dynamic vision and make a determined bid for high achievement with the utmost faith in Allahu Rabbul Izzath as Our Support and Our Guide.

 In the glorious tradition of Our Leader S.A.W.S., we must rise above every kind of fear, sense of inferiority and any other other complex that can hinder our progress. We must guard ourselves and our families from every kind of corruption.

 Our Leader S.A.W.S. reminded us that the best service we can render to Islam is to defend it from every type of disinformation. He forecast the need for, and counselled us to be adept in, the art of communication. These are the prized tools the modern world is perfecting. With them we can win over powerful allies

 There is no human heart that shuts out the radiance of reasonableness. We will win friends through a gracious presentation of our case. The world of tomorrow will therefore look to Muslim scientists to bring in the new directions for future projects.
 These new scientists will be drawing inspiration from, and building their research and inventions in accord with, Allah’s Commands in the Holy Qu’ran.  And the Hadith will inspire them and sustain their advancement.

 If these men and women of real genius are supported with funds and facilitites of the standard needed, they will contribute decisively to scientific and technological advancement in the very near future.