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In the Name of God بسم الله
aaaz1618

Boris Johnson Said Islam Kept Muslim World Centuries Behind West

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4 minutes ago, aaaz1618 said:

He makes a point about there not being a printing press in the Ottoman Empire until the 19th century etc.

We've covered the broader issues before on these forums. but FWIW:

  1. Technological advancement does not have any relationship with ethics or morality or the underlying ideology. The Nazis came up with many innovations (but did terrible things); the Aztecs were way ahead of their time but indulged in child sacrifice etc.
  2. You could pick any period in history and make comparisons with the lack of development a particular group has in relation with others.
  3. There is however, one metric, where Muslim countries do very well indeed (As far as I know).

If you consider the larger genocides in world history none have taken place in Muslim countries. In no particular order we have:

  1. the Holocaust (and various European pogroms over the centuries)
  2. the Great Leap forward in China 
  3. the European invasion of South America
  4. Stalin's various activities
  5. British fundamentalist economic doctrines that failed to address famines in various parts of the world etc.
  6. The Qing dynasty's conquest of the Ming (China)
  7. the first world war
  8. the second world war

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The Ottoman Empire had nothing to do with Islam, they were Muslim in name only. If you look at their practices and their history you will find very little similarity with the Qur'an and teaching of Prophet Muhammad(p.b.u.h) and Ahl Al Bayt((عليه السلام)), which is what Islam is. Their lack of progress is because they abandoned Islam, it's reality and essence, and kept the name only. 

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On 7/20/2019 at 6:19 AM, aaaz1618 said:

https://www.mirror.co.United Kingdom/news/politics/boris-johnson-said-Islam-kept-18322838

He makes a point about there not being a printing press in the Ottoman Empire until the 19th century etc.

I don't agree Islam has anything to do with it, but I do believe people's interpretation of Islam has held the Muslim world back somewhat, in terms of philosophical discussions especially. I seem to remember hearing about how the decline of the Mu'tazilites added to this.

What are your thoughts?

Yes the conversation of Ilm Al-Kalam is very relevant to this. Ilm Al-Kalam basically advocates for use of rationality and logic alongside Qur'an & Sunnah. Historically, most Muslim scientists (like Ibn-Sina, etc.) were those who supported Ilm Al-Kalam, who usually go by the name Mu'tazilites, Asharis, or Maturidis. We are lucky in the school of the Ahlul Bayt (عليه السلام) because most of the topics of Ilm Al-Kalam are already discussed in books like Al-Kafi, so we have that incorporated into our tradition.

However, throughout most of the Arab world, Ilm Al-Kalam is being seen as deviant and bidah. The push by Salafis recently have increased the effect of this.

So I understand the perspective of boris johnson, because most of the Sunni world has historically rejected science and progression. The Mu'tazilites were at the forefront of the scientific push by Muslims, and the Sunnis eventually killed them off as well... 

Interestingly, the Mu'tazilites were also closest to the Shi'a in terms of Aqidah (though not 100% similar obviously). https://www.al-Islam.org/al-tawhid/vol3-no2/introduction-ilm-al-kalam/mutazilah

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On 7/20/2019 at 11:19 AM, aaaz1618 said:

https://www.mirror.co.United Kingdom/news/politics/boris-johnson-said-Islam-kept-18322838

He makes a point about there not being a printing press in the Ottoman Empire until the 19th century etc.

I don't agree Islam has anything to do with it, but I do believe people's interpretation of Islam has held the Muslim world back somewhat, in terms of philosophical discussions especially. I seem to remember hearing about how the decline of the Mu'tazilites added to this.

What are your thoughts?

It's a sweeping statement which I'm surprised by given his mixed ancestary. The mirror isn't actually the source of all knowledge either.. The Muslims started out well and there are so many scientific loan words in English with Arabic origin. The Muslims developed some of the first hospitals in Baghdad and learned to read and write very early on. They contributed to Mathemetics and were some of the first to use the scientific method. Their hygiene too and still is to this day impeccable if practised properly. Unfortunately it went downhill for different reasons which I am not knowledgable enough to tell you about.

But yes, the anti-intellectual schools of thought within Islam (not saying any names!) have not helped at all. This "black and white" understanding of Islam that we see nowadays is a sign of the intellectual decline. Given the deep divide between religion and science in the West Muslims have a big challenge to try harmonise the two. This could work really well because Muslims have always viewed Science of one of the many manifestations of Allah.

Edited by ali47

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On 7/20/2019 at 12:19 PM, aaaz1618 said:

I seem to remember hearing about how the decline of the Mu'tazilites added to this.

The Mutazilites studied all sciences, philosophies and religions and took all what was useful and compatible with Islam.

Mutazilites for example supported the use of ahaadith for fiqhi matters while they preferred to use ratio when it came to creed.

The Hanbali's were more literalist and scriptural and avoided the use of ratio at any cost.

 

Edited by Faruk

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