Emergence of Two Great Civilizations

About 1200 years ago, there were two Philosophical Concepts about Destiny that the Muslims:

1) Qadariya: Human is bestowed with Free-Will or power to decide their own destiny (53:39)

2) Qida: Everything is pre- It is destined. Human do what God will and Everything is according to God’s Will. Men have no free-will (7: 188)

First Idea was about Rational thought or Greek Thought, Second was the ultimate reaction of Rationalism. Muslims who followed Qadriya called others who followed Qada as Kafir. It drama in dissention among Muslims. Later on, A great intellectual, Al-Ghazalli, tried to solve the issue. His writing about this issue was adopted by Qida Muslim. Another great intellectual, after Aristotle of Greek thought, was Ibn e Rushed who led the Qadriya Muslims. The Qadriya people stood on the shoulders of the Greeks, but made the error of their methods to the Qur’an and forcing their views on the fellow Muslims. For this error, their ideas were banished from Islam into the Latin West. The Muslims adopted Al Gazzali, while the West adopted Ibn Rushd and the two civilizations went in different directions. Later generation of Muslims misunderstood the Qida, confused with their doctrine with predestination and went to sleep. It is only in the last hundred years that Muslim thinkers such as Muhammad Iqbal of Lahore have made an attempt to reconcile the doctrines of the predestination and the free will of man. After a brief period of flirtation and experimentation, Greek thought was discarded and sent to the West.

Ibn Rushd’s Tahafuz al Tahafuz (circa 1190) was an almost wistful goodbye of a Muslim scholar who was leaving his Islamic homeland and migrating to the Latin West. On the other hand, Islam responded to the challenge from the East by internalizing and Islamizing many of its spiritual elements. Sufi thought flourished and after the destruction of the Mongols, took root and became the primary vehicle for Islam. The Islamic model was to be a Hafiz, a Rumi or a Shah Waliullah, rather than Al Kindi or Abu Ali Sina or Al Baruni or Ibn Rushd. Science and civilization thus had entirely different relationships in the West and in the Middle Ages. The West adopted Abu Ali Sina (Avicenna) and Ibn Rushd (Averoes) and their empirical / rational methods and made science (as we know it today) an integral part of their culture and civilization. The Muslims are increasingly turned their back on the empirical / rational approach and become introverted, caught up in self-contemplation and self-purification.

In this way two Great Civilizations evolved. One, the East, was based on the Mysticism and the traditionalists and other, the West, was based on Science and became rationalists.

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Ali Shahzad Khokhar Written by:

The writer is a medical student at King Edward Medical University, Lahore, Pakistan and a researcher. Email: alishazad999@gmail.com