Globalisation from islamic perspective
THE rationale for a united humanity is predicated on the common origin shared by all men and natural tendency for the appreciation of the differing nationalities and colours, as manifestation of divine will. The intransigence of humankind occasioned by the negative manipulation of his endowed power of discrimination, which often gravitates him towards evil, is an imperative for a natural mechanism of control through which it (humanity) is saved from its own transgression.
Therefore, the human race at every threshold of its developmental history is blessed with personalities and community of men saddled with the natural task of enforcement of law and order for its preservation along the path destined for it by its creator. It is on this basis that the Qur’an justified the emergence of the message of Islam preached and propagated by the prophet as part of the process of divine interventional plan to rescue humanity from the chaos and darkness pervading the world then, and even now. It was this constant need for a balanced nation comprising personalities imbued with monotheistic faith rather than ethnocentric passion or nationalistic fervor that informed the evolution of religion, which attained perfection with the message of Islam.
The ascendancy of certain government and state for the enforcement of law and order, as well as the disproportionate allocation of resources to them in term of might and riches, in order to exercise control, influence and check over others would thus be viewed as divine arrangement. The natural justice behind this arrangement is the non-stationary nature of such power of control since the beginning of humanity. The world has sipped from the fountains of the Greeks, Romans, Persians, British, French, Spaniards and even Arabs at different stages of human development and the present overlords, the United States is a beneficiary of the collective misgovernance and decadence of these past civilizations including the Muslims.
Opportunity to be at the driving seat of human civilization is a special grace which providence continually thrust upon different people for as long as they manifest characters befitting such enormous responsibilities. God bestow his grace freely, but He never withdraws it arbitrarily. Before He change their state and circumstances, an actual state of rebellion, pride, decadence and contumacy has arisen in their own souls, which immediately occasioned its transfer to other peoples more worthy of such special grace. The Qur’an confirms this: “Because God will never change the grace which He hath bestowed on a people until they change what is in their (own) souls and verily God is He who hearth and Knoweth (all things).” Quran 8 verse 53.
Therefore for establishment of law and order on land, enthronement of good governance and preservation of the human race along the path of righteousness and godliness, the rationality of a nation individually or nations collectively assuming over others is provided for by the imagined and real consequences of the absence of such powers. The Qur’an further points out this succinctly: “… Did not God check one set of people by means of another, there would surely have been pulled down monasteries, churches, synagogues, in which the name of God is commemorated in abundant measure, God will certainly aid those who aid His (cause); for verily God is full of strength. Exalted in might (Able to enforce will).” Quran 22 verse 40.
It is for this reason that whenever Islam makes an inroad into a new land or nation, it does not only bequeath to it a religion (i.e. sets of beliefs, ritual and spiritual observance) but also a culture, language, philosophy and a new way of life. The sum total of this way of life is termed Islamic civilization aimed at unifying the human race regardless of colour, racial and national affiliations. The unique advantage Islam and Muslims have over other mundane civilization and ideologies was the possession of the Divine Book (Qur’an) and the sacred law (Shariah).
Islam more than any other religion, embraces life in all its aspects. It does not stand as a barrier between man and his legitimate desire to live. It does not regards man’s earthly existence as a gloomy gale of sorrow or a punishment for some original inherited sin. At the same time, it does not look upon this life as a fleeting opportunity for material satisfaction or a place of sensuous delight – a perfect balance between the mundane and spiritual sides of life.
The rise of the Muslim power and coming age of Islamic civilization during the first century of the Hijrah were events of unequalled significance in man’s moral and social developments. Scholars, physicians and astronomer’s etc. all excelled in all the fields of knowledge of their time, besides studying and practicing their own religion of Islam. As a result, the Muslim were able to develop and extract wealth from their lands and through their world trade, able to strengthen their defenses, protect their people and give them the Islamic way of life.
The Ummayyads, the Abbasids, the Fatimids and the Ottomans all in their strides pushed forward and popularized Islamic civilization amongst other people of the world at such critical threshold in human history. At the time the Europeans of the middle age were still superstitious and backward, the enlightened Muslim had already built a great Muslim civilization, respected and powerful, more than able to compete with the rest of the world and able to protect the Ummah from foreign aggression. The Europeans had to kneel at the feet of the Muslim scholars in order to access their own scholastic heritage. The Muslims were led by great leaders like Abdur-Rahaman 111, Al-Mansur, Salahud-din-Al Ayyubi and others who took to the battlefields at the head of their forces to protect Muslim land and Ummah.
TO BE CONTINUED
•Adebayo Bello is of the Department of Religions and Peace Studies, LASU and the Secretary of the National Mission Board of NASFAT.