By Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
(Translated from Urdu by New Age Islam Edit Desk)
It happened for the first time in the history of the unity of God that from the intellectual phase the matter of tauheed ushered in the phase of revolution through the Prophet of Islam (PBUH). Makkah was conquered in the 8th year of hijrah (migration to Medina) and Kaabah was purified of idols. Soon, tauheed dominated the entire Arab. And within a very short period of time it so happened that nature worship either was abolished or was relegated to the corner after being ineffective.
The main aspect of this revolution was religious and was established in the world by the followers of Islam. Its second aspect was what can be called its secular aspect. This second aspect was mostly propagated in the Europe. The Europeans made it the subject of their research specifically and developed it to the highest degree. This second aspect was prominently promoted among the Europeans after the crusades in the 14th century and reached the stage of a complete civilization by the end of the 20th century.
What is called the western civilization is in reality the secular edition of the revolution based on tauheed of Islam. The direct consequences of the job of removing nature from the position of god by Islam was that the process of research and inquiry into nature was started. This process had already been started by the Muslims of Baghdad and Qurtuba but the total task was accomplished by the Europeans after the crusades. That is the reason, historians attribute the modern material revolution to the West.
The revolution that occurred in the first half of the 7th century was again the starting point of a new revolution. The culmination of this second revolution was the scientific revolution of the modern age. The modern scientific revolution was apparently a secular revolution but in reality it was synonymous with Islamic revolution.
The Quran was revealed in first quarter of the 7th century. It is repeatedly stresses on ponderance over the things on the earth and the sky and says that ‘you will get signs of God in them’. But at the time of the revelation of the Quran these signs had not appeared totally rather they were hidden in nature. On this ground, the Muslims did not have the framework for the Quranic thought. God wanted man to be equipped with the required framework.
The biggest obstacle in this matter was the system of kingdom in the ancient times. Therefore, God intervened in the history through the companions of the Prophet (PBUH). By nature it was not merely a matter of political change rather it was the initial stage of the revolution to be unfolded later. The two big empires --- the Byzantine empire and the Sassanic empire ---- were broken down though the companions of the Prophet (PBUH) so that the scientific research could be done n an open atmosphere.(Al Anbiya: 18) This is the revolution that has been stated in the form of a prediction by an ancient prophet in the Bible.
He looked and startled the nations. And the everlasting mountains were scattered (Habakkuk: 3:6)
Here everlasting mountains mean the political mountains that had been scattered in the world since ancient times. The famous French historian Henry Prane (death 1935) has written about the collapse of the absolute imperialism through Islam in the following words:
Islam changed the face of the globe. The traditional order of history was overthrown (Henri Pirenne, History of Western Europe, p. 46)
Two aspects of western civilization
The job of unfolding the mysteries of nature by the westerners also had two aspects. In a sense, it was the manifestation of the signs of God hidden in nature. The second aspect was that the unlimited material powers came in the grasp of man. For example, it became possible for the westerners to turn water into steam, give iron the shape of a moving engine, invent the airplane that flies on petrol, bring to existence the modern means of mass communication etc.
The direct result of the mastery of the Westerners of the natural sciences was that they attained a position of `material dominance over the world. Two references to this dominance are being quoted here from the Quran and hadith. A verse (No.21) in the Quran points to this development:
“And Gog and Magog will be let loose and they will come down from every height.” This verse of the Quran clearly points to the modern phenomenon called mass communication. The west created swift means in the nature through their discoveries. An extraordinary swiftness was brought about in communication, transportation, man’s journey etc unimagined hitherto by man.