By Nastik Durrani, New Age Islam
(Translated from Arabic by Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, New Age Islam)
It seems that the emergence of the third millennium was a great opportunity to embarrass Muslims before the world. This period has produced around a thousand publications including books, encyclopaedias and research studies about the most important achievements, inventions, innovations, personages and events accomplished by the human beings during the last millennium. But in this list, we find nothing worthwhile or influential from the Arab or Islamic world, as if they did not live on the surface of the earth during that period, or they had just returned from a collective mission to a sister planet..!!
I stumbled upon an Arabic book translated from Russian that contains the lists of top ten books, ten events and ten personalities in the last millennium. The top ten books are: “The Divine Comedy” by Dante, “Summa Theologica” by Thomas Aquinas, “Critique of Pure Reason” by Immanuel Kant, “Thus Spoke Zarathustra” by Friedrich Nietzsche, “The Interpretation of Dream” by Sigmund Freud, “Kabbala Denudata” by Christian Knorr von Rosenroth, “Das Kapital” by Karl Marx, “Malleus Maleficarum” by Henricus Institor and “The Brothers Karamazov” by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. The newspaper apologised for not including the books “Risala al-Ghufran” by Abul Alaa al-Muarri and “Alf Laila Wa Laila” in the list, despite their significance, because they were written before the second millennium!! ..
As for the ten most important events in the last millennium, they are, as the Russian newspaper states, the discovery of America, the surrender of Germany, the fall of Constantinople, the fall of the Bastille, the Bolshevik Revolution, the splitting of the church in 1045, the peace agreement of Fastvalya, the independence war of Vienna, the Mongol invasion of Baghdad, the demolition of the Temple Altampel and the burning of Jacques Mollet. And the ten most important figures are Genghis Khan, Martin Luther King, Pope Gregory VII, Lenin, Joan of Arc, Oliver Cromwell, Napoleon Bonaparte, Prince Vladimir, Emperor Peter I and Imam Ayatollah Khomeini.
Obviously, the lists comprise all these books, events and important figures from the Western view of point because of their direct impact on the course of events in Europe, but these lists do not mean to Muslims equally important. During the last millennium, there have been many influential and totally different figures, events and ideas among them. If any of the research centres scattered across the Middle East had put forward the lists of top ten books, ten events and ten personalities from the last millennium, there would have been a substantial source for the Muslims to augment their knowledge in a way suitable to them, and the world libraries would not have been filled with the detailed rating Goals serving the Western interests. But, unfortunately, many of the Eastern intellectuals and writers enchanted by the Western civilization were devoted to enrich the libraries with translations in various Oriental languages revolving around the Western view of world events. Even some Muslim writers’ works suggest out sometimes that the Islamic conquests of Europe were barbaric attacks...
Ever since God opened up opportunities for Muslims to learn, they are reading their history written by the Orientalists with their eyes. And when they advanced a bit, they became totally dependent on elicited news and extracted statistics from western research centres and news agencies. Since no one can deny the West’s keen interest in asserting its superiority in every way possible in order to ensure its sovereignty and control, we may consider it the secret behind the lack of neutrality in the sources of information to some extent.
Just as all roads lead to Rome, every discussion in the current scenario leads us to talk about the clash of civilizations between the advancing West and the backward East. Although we strongly reject this interrelation, but we wonder what has kept Muslims cut off from the world around and deprived them of human achievements, leading them to waste their energy and wealth and curb their aspirations, besides engaging them in a series of conflicts? How many brains and abilities were hampered or oppressed or marginalised by the Western colonialism and the subsequent compulsive rule or the religious elements?
During the last millennium, the West stabilised itself, even though with looted wealth and immigrant minds, but the Middle East remained plagued with battles, massacres, wars, invasive campaigns, colonialism and is suffering the consequent losses such as poverty, ignorance, debt constraints and extremely exhausting conflicts to this day. While the West will continue to produce books and encyclopaedias boasting of its victories and accomplishments, Muslims are bound to keep copying and translating from the West, without differentiating between cheap and precious. Thus, the West will draw a clear contrast between those entering the third millennium by flying on rocket to the moon and those who are entering by playing on Banjo.