Al-Huda           the Message Continues 1/38

       Foundation, NJ USA                                               Newsletter for September 2004 





Article 1 - Article 2 - Article 3 - Article 4 - Article 5 - Article 6  

Article 7 - Article 8 - Article 9 - Article 10 -Article 11 - Article 12


Downfall of the Muslim Ummah 
Compiled by: Ayesha Hassan

The history of this world is a story of rise and fall of civilizations. 
An intimate study would reveal that this rise and fall has definite causes: it 
is not spontaneous. Therefore, it is vital to learn what actually triggers it 
and whether it can be reversed. In the following discussion, an attempt has 
been made to pinpoint the reasons of the downfall, which in fact means the 
hurdles that need to be removed in order to take the Muslim Ummah back on the 
track of prosperity. 

Aslam: What are the causes which led to the downfall of the Muslims? How 
should Muslims salvage their lost glory and prestige? 
Admin: In a nutshell two causes have contributed to this downfall: 
Severing ties with the Qur’an and having no standing in the fields of science and 
technology. Regaining lost glory would depend on overcoming the above two 
Imran776: God has blessed men with innate and revealed guidance. If a 
person does not follow the innate guidance, he is unlikely to follow the revealed 
guidance. One of the main reasons for the downfall of Muslims is not paying 
heed to the innate guidance. 
Aslam: How did the link with the Qur’an get severed? 
Jhangeer Hanif: The link got severed because people started to approach 
the Qur’an with preconceived notions about the Qur’an. 
Aslam: Can we count Sufism as one of the causes of the downfall of the 
Jhangeer Hanif: Every movement that takes the Muslims away from the Holy 
Qur’an is responsible for their downfall. 
Tariq Hashmi: Sufism obscured the real picture of the true concept of 
Islam and hindered its effective propagation; hence it brought about a negative 
Aslam: Some scholars insist that the downfall of the Mutazilites was one 
of the causes of Muslim downfall. Do you agree? 
Jhangeer Hanif: I’d rather relate the downfall to the general attitude of 
the Muslims than relating it to some faction. 
Aslam: I believe that the ascendancy of the Asharites led to the blind 
following of certain schools of thought which is one of the causes of the 
Jhangeer Hanif: Blind following is one of the main causes of the downfall 
of the Muslims, I agree. Have you ever thought why blind following gained 
acceptance among the masses? 
Aslam: The reasons can be summarized as intellectual lethargy, political 
turmoil and the fall of the Mutazilites. 
Jhangeer Hanif: You are right. Slamming the doors shut to intellectual 
inquiry into the original sources of Islam has also been one of the main causes. 
Aslam: How can we clamber out of the pit of blind following (Taqlid)? 
Ayesha: We can achieve this by inculcating critical analytical skills 
within ourselves as well as our children. Unless we learn to question something 
and appraise its validity, we cannot hope to do away with blind following. The 
level of intellect can vary from person to person but a certain basic level of 
intellect has been given to everyone. This also incorporates the sense of 
judgment. That is why people who do not use their intellect have been admonished 
in our religion. 
Jhangeer Hanif: Clambering out of blind following does not seem to be an 
easy thing to do. Education seems to be the only cure at the moment. Educating 
the masses that ideas only matter and not personalities, a man remains a man 
even after acquiring a great deal of knowledge, difference of opinion should 
be respected, and finally ideas should be criticized and not those presenting 
‘Taqlid’ is actually a verbal noun which means ‘to gird your neck with a 
band’. This thus shows obedience to and following a particular person. As a 
term, it denotes following someone without asking ‘reason or argument’ for the 
religious verdict so forwarded. Initially, taqlid was not related to one 
particular school of thought. Common Muslims were only supposed to go to the 
scholars and, without asking them any reference or argument for religious verdict, 
take fatwa from them as regards their problems or issues. Later, Muslim 
scholarship thought that this might give rise to ‘following the low desires’ by 
taking fatwa from so many scholars and then accepting only that which is 
favorable to the seeker. In other words, the scholars thought that allowing the 
Muslims to take fatwa from many scholars would cause them to fall prey to satanic 
whispers since they would not be following Allah but Satan by accepting easy 
verdicts. Seeing this, the Muslim scholars took another drastic step. They issued 
the verdict that only one jurist should be followed throughout the lifespan. 
Since four schools of thought were presumed to be in complete form, the 
Muslim scholars propagated these, which eventually became prevalent among all the 
Muslims. In the beginning, there seems to have been no bigotry among the 
adherents of these four schools of thought. However, as it was based on ‘following 
without thinking’, false feelings of pride and prejudice ultimately found place 
in the hearts of the blind followers. This is why that the adherents of these 
schools think of others as inferior. I hope you understand that this is 
totally against the spirit of Islam—a religion that supports critical thinking.



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