December 1996: Page 1, 2, 3, 4

Submitters Perspective

Page 2


Continued from page 1

efforts initiated by Jamaluddin al-Afghani and Muhammad Abduh, the Muslim world, a world as disunited as any other, has not progressed much. They have not been able to fight off the ideological influence and domination of the world power-blocs. They are not united in their Muslim purpose. Their economies are dependent and backward. Their sciences and technologies are non-existent. Militarily, they are weak and dependent on the big powers.

However, there has been much talk, since the early seventies, of implementing the Shari`a or medieval Muslim law and the setting up of an Islamic state. This is the slogan of the traditionalists who have taken over the reform movement of Muhammad Abduh. The examples of mullah rule in Iran since the great popular anti-Shah revolution and the Islamization programs in some countries do not give support to the traditionalist alternative.

The main weakness of the Muslims is their disunity. This disunity takes the form in their inability to cooperate for the good of Muslims in individual countries and the whole Muslim world. It also surfaces in the form of conflicts and wars between Muslims, as typified by the Iran-Iraq war and the civil wars in Lebanon.

What is the cause of this disunity? The Muslims claim that they worship one God and follow His one religion. They also declare their religious brotherhood. How then are they so disunited? This is the mystery that we have to unravel. This is

the reason for our re-evaluation of the hadith. Our hypothesis is that the hadith—in principle, a false teaching attributed to Prophet Muhammad—is a major factor causing disunity and backwardness among Muslims. Our study is to prove this hypothesis.

Where Have We Gone Wrong?

The time is ripe for Muslims and for mankind as a whole to undertake a fundamental study of this great human crisis. At some point, somewhere, we have gone wrong. Where have we gone wrong? It will be recalled that modern secular Europe emerged in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries in rebellion against the Catholic Church in particular and against religion in general to embrace secular humanism of the liberal or Marxist variety. For the last one to three hundred years it experimented with these social philosophies and systems and the experiments have proved a failure. Today the two philosophies and systems are seeking a synthesis. Can the synthesis be achieved? Can it answer mankind’s present quest for a new spiritual philosophy?

As for the Muslims, the new and young Muslim society and state set up by Muhammad and his compatriots in seventh century Arabia developed and expanded so rapidly that within a century it had become an empire to comprise also Persia and Byzantium, and within two to three hundred years it had created a great world civilization. But, as quickly as it had arisen, so quickly had it declined and fallen. Today, the Muslim polity, science and civilization, great though they were in their time, are glories and things of the past. There seems to be no bridge linking their great predecessors of the early centuries and present-day Muslims.


The great question mark hanging over the Muslims and the entire mankind today is: Why? The short answer to the question, which is the thesis of this book, is that mankind, including the Muslims, have deserted the true teachings of God. The true teachings of God in the era of Muhammad are contained in His final scripture to mankind, the Quran. The People of the Scripture, i.e. believers before Muhammad, especially the Jews and the Christians, rejected Muhammad because they had idolized their own prophets and religious leaders and refused to acknowledge Mohammad’s divine message. Modern secular rebellious Europe not only turned against their religious priesthood, in which action it was right, but also against religion altogether, in which action it was wrong. This is the cause of the present Western impasse.

As regards the Muslims, Muhammad brought them the Quran, described by God Himself as an invincible book, but no sooner did Muhammad die and leave them, they contrived to make Muhammad bring two books and, after bitter quarrels, they legislated, two hundred and fifty years later, that Muslims must uphold not only the Quran but also the hadith. However, in truth, since then, they followed the hadith rather than the Quran. This explains God’s warning in the Quran [25:30-31.] So it came about that while secular Europe embraced either liberalism or Marxism, the Muslim world embraced the hadith, with the philosophies of secular humanism infecting the elite of Muslim societies, thus justifying the Quranic warning.

Kassim Ahmad