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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
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.