The Two Periods of the Rise and Decline of the Muslim Ummah ............
"In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful".
The Two Periods of the Rise and Decline of the Muslim Ummah
The Twentieth century of the Christian era, according to our analysis, presents a decisive turning point in the history of the Muslim Ummah (community). At the end of the first quarter of the century the state of the Muslim world had taken a definite turn, and there were some signs of resuscitation in the moribund body of the Muslim Ummah.
If we look at it closely, the middle half of this century presents an astounding picture. On one hand, the process of decline and deterioration reached its lowest ebb in the events of 1967 and 1971. On the other hand, there was also a widespread movement towards revival and the beginning of a process of renewal. It commenced during the years 1920-1925. For the past fifty years these concurrent trends of degeneration and revival continued side by side almost in the manner depicted in the Qur'an.
"He has let free the two bodies of flowing water, meeth~gtogether. Between them is a barrier whch they do not transgress". (Al-Qur'an 55 : 19-20)
In order to elaborate this general view, we will first present a chronological sketch of the rise and decline of the Muslim Ummah. In fact, an understanding of our present situation demands that the past glory and grandeur of the Muslim Ummah should be realised by young Muslims. They should know that there was a time when the armies of the Arabs starting from Gibraltar had reached north-east into the heart of France. At another time the Turkish armies, after trampling all of Eastern Europe, were knocking at the gates of Vienna. Perhaps in this way we can recreate in the hearts of our young men a desire to revive the past majesty and glory of the Muslim civilisation. It should also become clear from this that the decline of this superb culture was due to the justice of Almighty Allah (SWT), which is above all human considerations, as His laws are abiding and immutable. The way He dealt with the previous community of faith in His revelation i.e., the Jews - was repeated in His dealings with us. Our history and their history are to a remarkable extent analogous. Two periods of severe chastisement were borne by the Jews, and we have also passed through two periods of chastisement. Although, because of the vastness of the Ummah of Muhammad (SAW) our periods of deterioration and degradation were much longer than those of the Jews. During the period of Jewish control, Jerusalem was devastated twice, and during the period of our control the sanctity of al-Aqsa Mosque was also violated twice. After this we will have d brief survey of the present general current of revival in order to widen the intellectual horizon of the reader so that he may look at the various efforts of lslamic revival in the right perspective. In addition to that, it would also clarify what kind of humble service we are trying to perform in the midst of this
pervasive process of revival and the sector in which we are trying to work, so that according to the Qur'anic verse:
"He who perished might perish having a clear 1 proof, and 1 e who survived might survive having a cledr proof'. (Al-Qur'an 8 : 42) He who wishes to co-operate with us should have sufficient ground to do so with full potentialities of his heart and soul and without reservations; and he who wants to criticise us, should fulfil this obligation after complete understanding of our standpoint. In this connection with the historical sketch of the rise and fall of the Muslim Ummah, it should be understood that the Ummah of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) has two components. The first consists of those among the descendants of Ismail (AS) -- referred to in the Qur'an as 'ummiyeen' i.e., the unlettered people -- who had not received a previous revelation from Allah (SWT). These Arabs constitute the nucleus of the Ummah....