THE SOURCE OF ISLAMIC CIVILIZATION IN ARTS AND SCIENCES

INTRODUCTION

Knowledge is the bedrock of human civilization progress and development. Contemporary Muslims all over the world need not to fold their arms but re-awake from their slumber in order to regain their intellectual capabilities as the custodians of knowledge, progress and civilization.

Islam as a dynamic religion did not leave any stone unturned. Islam has indeed covered all aspect of human, plant and animals life. Both science and modernization derived their origin from Islam.

Therefore, Islamic civilization came from the Quran and Sunnah of prophet Muhammad (SAW) therefore any civilization that does not conform to the injunction of Allah is not a civilization. A civilization must have its tools in the Quran and the Sunnah before it can be accepted as an Islamic civilization.

Islamic civilization can be defined as advancements of mankind and achievements recorded by the Muslims as a result of strict following of the commands of Allah and his prophet (SAW). Religion of Islam is the basis of Islamic civilization because Islam is the complete way of life.

A Muslim finds all requirements of his life from the Al-Quran and Sunnah of the prophet Muhammad (SAW). Therefore a lot has been said about Islamic civilization what is it? Islamic civilization could be defined as an advanced level of social and cultural development which makes Muslim community (the Ummah) distinct from other communities and which makes life comfortable for Muslims and those who live amongst them.

The extremely rapid and unprecedented wide spread of Islam within its first 100 years brought with it a civilization, the type of which was never witnessed and on which todays so called western civilization was build. The era of Islamic civilization spanned a period of about 1000 years from Islamic 1st to its 10th century I.e. from about 700 to 1700 C.E during this period Engineers, scholars and Traders of Islamic world contributed enormously to the Arts, Agriculture, Economics, Industry, Literature and Science etc. both by preserving and building upon earlier traditions and by adding many inventions and innovations of their own. By the year 900 C.E, Muslims had established an Islamic empire, the largest that the world had ever seen. About that period, and Islamic civilization was inaugurated by the ascension of the Abbasid caliphate name after the prophets uncle, Al-Abbas and the transfer of the capital to Baghdad in Iran from Damascus in Syria that was under the Umayyad(name after Mu’aweyyah who succeeded the caliph Ali Ibn Abu Talib).

The Abbasid were influence by the Quran and Hadith injunction that stress the value of knowledge during this period. And Islamic civilization became the unrivalled intellectual Centrefor science, philosophy, medicine and education, as Abbasside championed the course of knowledge and established the equivalent of today’s universities called Baitul Hikmah (house of wisdom) in Baghdad where both Muslim and non-Muslim scholars gathered and translated all the worlds knowledge into the Arabic language. Many classical works that would otherwise have been translated into Turkish, Persian, Hebrew and Latin. During this period the Muslim world was a huge reservoir of cultures that collected analyzed and significantly improved on the knowledge gained from the ancient Roman, Chinese, and India, Persian, Egyptian North African and the rest.

By this time the Islamic civilization has reach its peak and it is this time we reach to the Golden Age of Islamic civilization.

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ISLAMIC AND WESTERN CIVILIZATION

DIFFERENCE ISLAMIC CIVILIZATION WESTERN CIVILIZATION
1.    Source Ø Al-Quran

Ø Sunnah

Both of it for truth, moral value and law.

Ø Bible until 17th century

Ø Philosophy

Human intelligence decides truths and laws.

2.    Belief Ø Tawhid Allah as the one creator Ø Secularism, everyone has its private choice. It means everyone is free to embrace whatever they want but without claiming it as absolute truth.
3.    Responsible person Ø Present of Khalifah. Man is govern the authority on the earth as a deputy of Allah. Ø It is depending on the individual itself.
  Ø Morality and ethics cannot be separated from Islam. Ø Morality is the proper education and personal choice and not a matter of what religion says.
  Ø All believers leaves as brothers (Ummah). Ø All humans are one community.
  Ø Man is free to practice and apply the law that decreed by Allah (sharia). Ø No one has the right to claim leadership and superiority based on religion, but all is based on the secular laws.

GENERAL CHARACTERRISTICS OF ISLAMIC CIVILIZATION

Islam was destined to be a world religion and to create a civilization which stretched from one end of the globe to the other. Already during the early Muslim caliphates first the Arabs then Persian and later the Turks set about to create classical Islam civilization and soon thereafter Muslim kingdoms were established in the Malay Indonesian world while Chinese Muslims flourished throughout china.

Islam is a religion for all people from whatever race or background they might be. That’s why Islamic civilization is based on a unity which stands completely against any racial or ethnic discrimination.

The four rightly guided caliphs contributed in one way or the other to the religion of Islam upon death of the prophet, Abu-Bakr became the first caliph and first male to embrace Islam. That is Islam brought civilization in the sense that in any community or society or organization there must be a leader to rule and he rule for two years while Umar who was the second caliph for a decade and during whose rule Islam spread extensively East and West conquering the Persian empire Syria and Egypt. It was Umar who marched on foot at the end of Muslim army into Jerusalem and ordered the protection of Christian sites, Umar also established the first public treasury administration.

He established many of the basic practices of Islamic government and he was succeeded by Uthman Ibn Affan who ruled for some years during his time the Islamic expansion continued, he was known for the noble Quran copied and sent to the to the four corner of the Islamic world, he was in turn succeeded by Ali Ibn Abi-Talib who was known to this day for his eloquent sermons and letters and also for his bravery. With his death the ruled of the rightly guided caliph who hold a special place of respect in the heart of the Muslims came to an end.

The Umayyad caliph established in 661 was to last for about a century. During this time Damascus became the capital of and Islamic world which stretched from western borders of china to southern France. Not only did the Islamic congress continue during this period through north Africa to Spain and France, in the west and to Sind, central Asia and Tranoxiana in East but the basic social and legal institutions of the newly founded Islamic world.

THE ABBASIDS PERIOD

The Abbasids who succeeded the Umayyad’s shifted the capital to Baghdad which soon developed into an incomparable center of learning and culture as well as the administrative and political heart of a vast world. The ruled for over 500 years but gradually their power warned and they remained only symbolic rulers best owing to their legitimacy upon various sultans and princes who wielded actual military power.

The Abbasid caliphate was finally abolished when Huallaga, the Mongol ruler captured Damascus one of the Umayyad princes escape and made the long journey from there to Spain to found Umayyad rule there. Thus beginning of the golden age of Islam in Spain. Cordoba was established as the capital and soon became Europe’s greatest city not only in population but from the point of view of its cultural and intellectual life.

Islam was destined to become a world religion and to create a civilization which stretched from one end of the globe to another, Allah says in his glorious Quran (Q 11:43), “thus we have appointed you a middle nation that you may be witness upon”

In the 13th century both Africans and India became great centers of Islamic civilization and soon thereafter Muslims kingdoms were established in the Malay-Indonesian world while Chinese Muslims flourished throughout China. Islam is a religion for all people from whatever background they might be, that’s why Islamic civilization is based on a unity which stands completely against any racial or ethnic groups as the Arabs, Persian, Africans, India etc. embraced Islam and contributed to the building of Islamic civilization and incorporating their science of learning and culture into its own world view.

As long as they did not oppose the principles of Islam, each ethnic and racial group which embraced Islam made its own contribution to the one Islamic civilization to which everyone belonged. The religion of Islam was itself responsible not only for the creation of a world. Civilization in which people of many different ethnic backgrounds participated, but it played a central role in developing intellectual and cultural life on a scale not seen before about eight or nine hundred years. Arabic remained the major intellectual and cultural and scientific language of the world

It is an indisputable fact that any recognized civilization must consist of four main element which are Economical resources, Political systems, Moral traditions and Science and Art. The development and progress of a civilization requires many factors such as Religion, Language and Education. The collapse of civilization stems from factors which are opposite of those which lead to its rise and development; the most important of these destructive factors include moral and intellectual decadence, lawlessness and breakdown of social systems spread of oppression and poverty.

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS OF ISLAMIC CIVILIZATION

  1. It is based on a foundation of absolute oneness in belief. It was the first civilization that proclaimed the message of One God Who has no partner or associate in His rule and dominion; He is the Only One Who is worshipped and He is the Only One Who is sought.

Allah Almighty Says what means: {It is You we worship and You we ask for help.} [Quran 1: 5]

He is the One Who honors and humiliates, Who gives and withholds, and there is nothing in the heavens or on earth that is not subject to His dominion and held in His grasp.

This sublime understanding of the concept of oneness has a great effect in raising the level of mankind and of liberating the masses from the oppression of kings, nobles, powerful men and the clergy; in reforming the relationship between rulers and subjects; in guiding people to Allah Alone, Who is the Creator of the universe and the Lord of the worlds. This belief also had a great effect on Islamic civilization which is virtually unique among all civilizations before or since in that it is free from all forms of idolatry and of idolatrous literature and philosophy in its beliefs, rule, art, poetry and literature. This is the reason why Islamic civilization refrained from translating the Iliad and the best of idolatrous Greek literature. It is also the reason why Islamic civilization fell short in some of the arts of sculpture and image-making, despite its prominence in the arts of inscription, engraving and architectural adornment. Islam, which declared war on idolatry and its manifestations, did not permit any expressions or relics of idolatry from ancient times to exist in its civilization, such as statues of great men, righteous men, Prophets or conquerors. Statues are one of the most prominent features of ancient and modern civilizations, because none of them took belief in oneness to the extent that Islamic civilization did.

This belief in oneness has an impact on all the foundations and systems produced by our civilization. So there is unity in its message, unity in its legislation, unity in its general aims, unity in humanity in general, unity in the way of life and pattern of thinking. Researchers studying the Islamic arts have noticed a unity of style and taste in different kinds of art, so that a piece of Andalusian ivory, a piece of Egyptian textile, a piece of Syrian pottery and a piece of Iranian metalwork, despite the differences in their forms and ornamentation, all have the same style and character.

  1. The second of the characteristics of our civilization is that it is human in its inclinations and objectives, universal in its ambition and message.

The Quran declared the oneness of mankind despite the differences in their races, places of origin and abodes. Allah Says (what means): {O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.} [Quran 49: 13]

When the Quran declared this universal oneness of mankind with regard to truth, goodness and dignity, it made its civilization the factor that brought together all the brilliant minds of all nations and peoples over whom the banner of Islam flew. Hence, whilst every civilization may be able to boast of its brilliant sons of one nationality, only Islamic civilization can boast of the brilliant minds from all nations and peoples who built it. For Abu Haneefah, Maalik, Ash-Shaafi`i, Ahmad, Al-Khaleel, Sibawayh, Al-Kindi, Al-Ghazaali, Al-Faraabi, Ibn Rushd and their like were all of different origins but they were among the brilliant minds through whom Islamic civilization gave to humanity the marvelous intellectual products of sound human thought.

  1. The third of the characteristics of our civilization is the way in which it gave prominence to moral principles in all its systems and fields of activity, and never abandoned these principles or used them as means of benefitting a state, a group or an individual. In ruling, in science, in legislation, in war, in peace, in economy, in the family; it paid attention to these moral principles in legislation and in implementation of laws. In this field it reached a high level that has never been attained by any civilization before or since. The Islamic civilization left behind a legacy in that field which deserves to be admired for it alone, among all civilizations, guaranteed the happiness of man in the purest sense, not contaminated with any misery.

EXAMPLES OF ISLAMIC CIVILIZATION FROM QURAN AND HADITH

As Allah (SAW) has layer emphasis in the glorious Quran that “we have neglected nothing in the book (Al-Quran)” Quran 6 vs 38. The prophet Muhammad (SAW) has come to this entire world to perfect the character and the entire humanity of the whole world. As we stated above that Islamic civilization is solely base on the principles of Quran and Hadith. Therefore this are the examples of Islamic civilization.

UNITY OF BROTHERHOOD AND COMMANDMENT OF WHAT IS GOOD AND FORBIDDEN WHAT IS BAD.

Allah says “and hold fast, all of you together, to the rope of Allah (Al-Quran) and be not divided among yourself and remember Allah’s favors on you, for you were not enemies of one another, so that by His grace, you became brethren (in Islamic faith), and you are on the brink of a pit of fire, and he save you from it. Thus Allah makes His Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations etc.) clear to you, that you may be guided. Quran 3 vs 103. Let their arise out of you a group of people inviting to all that is good (Islam), enjoining Al-Ma’ruf (Islamic monotheism) and forbidden what is Al-Munkar (polytheism and disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden). And it is day who are the successful. Quran 3 vs 104. The prophet (SAW) has reported to have said “from Abu Musa AL-Ashar that the prophet said he ever among you sees Al-Munkar (the forbidden) let him correct it with his hand and if it is not possible let him correct with his mouth and if it is not easy let him correct it with his mind, and that is the weakest believing”. (Al-Bukhari).

RECOGNITION OF OTHER PEOPLE

Islam recognizes every human being irrespective of any tribe, culture, and race, ethnic and religious background he or she comes from. Allah says “mankind were but one community (i.e. on one religion- Islamic monotheism), then they differed (later) and had it be for a word that went forth before of their lord, it would have been settled between them regarding what they differed”. Quran 10 vs 19. Similarly Allah also elaborated the same point in another chapter. He says “Truly, this, your Uma (sharia or religion) is one religion, and I am your lord, therefore worship me (alone). Quran 21 vs 92. Quran 49 vs 13. Oh mankind we have created you from a male and a female and made you into nations and tribes, that you may now one another….

RESPECT FOR LEADERS

Allah gives priority for leadership and a due respect therefore He commands respect for them, He says “Oh you who believe! Do not put yourself forward before Allah and his messenger (SAW) and fear Allah. Verily! Allah is all hearing, all knowing. Oh you who believe! Raise not your voices above the voice of the prophet (SAW), nor speak aloud to one another, less your deeds may be rendered fruitless while you perceive not. Verily !Those who lowered their voices in the presence of the messenger (SAW), the are the once whose heart has tested for piety for them is forgiveness and a great reward. Quran 49 vs 1-3

TEACHINGS OF CRISE (WAR) MANAGEMENT

As we know that Islam promulgate and encourages peace and harmony in every community. Hence Allah teach us the essence of verifying any kind of rumors, allegations or gossip before taking any concerning it. Thus Allah says “Oh you who believe! If a rebellious evil person comes to you with a news verify it, lest you harm people in ignorance, and afterwords you become regretful to what you have done. Quran 49 vs 6. The prophet (SAW) says in his Hadith “the lifestyle of an hypocrite is three, when he speaks he lies, when he promise he fail, and when a trust (Al-Amanah) is been placed before him he betrays”

KINDNESS OF THE LEADER TO THE FOLLOWERS

The Islamic civilization covers every aspect of human’s life, be it social, economic or political. Therefore, the prophet (SAW) has led an exemplary life worthy of emulation. Allah says verily, there has com unto you a messenger (Muhammad SAW) from among yourselves (i.e. whom you know well). Its grieves him that receive any injury or difficulty. He (Muhammad SAW) is anxious over you (to be rightly guided, to repent to Allah, and beg him to pardon and forgive your sin, in order that you may enter paradise and be save from hell fire), for the believers (he SAW) full of piety, kind and merciful.

CONCLUSION

Islamic civilization finds all its life from Quran and Sunnah.

Nor we leave out anything from the book (q 6 v38). Al – Quran was sent by Allah as explanation by for everything q6 V38. The prophet SAW said I was sent to complete sublime conduct of mankind (Hadith). To be guided in our day today activities we have to hold fast to the Quran and Hadith as Q33 vs 21 quotes “indeed the messenger of Allah (SAW) you have a good example to follow for him who hopes in (the meeting with) Allah and the last Day and remembers Allah’s most.”

REFERENCE

Abdulrahman I Doi (1999) Islamic History

  1. Aisha lemu (2005) Islamic Studies

Ishaq O. Oloyede, Ja’afar .M. Kaura, kareem Murtala K, Lateef O. Abbas. (2007) Exam Focus

Ahmuda Abdalati (2007) Islamic Focus

Saheehe Bukhari and Muslim

http://www.Islamweb.net

http://www.forpeoplewhothink.org

http://www,historyguide.org

Q3:Vs 103 – 104

Q49: vs 10

Q10: Vs 19

Q21: vs 92

Q49:1-3