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noneIlmi Ahmad, a professional motivator. Co-founder of PROQUEST. A Blogger fan.
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Sunday, August 05, 2012

Ramadhan Retreats: Where is Islam in Muslims?

Today, despite abundance of natural resources, the political turmoil in some Muslim countries has trapped them in cycle of agony. Tyranny goes on wildly leading to extreme poverty. Palestine, Syria, Somalia, and the latest minority Muslim in Rohingya are the cases of endless misery, to name a few.

Whilst in other (Muslim) nations, negligence on the basic right of Muslims such as intellectualism; health, safety and environment; family institution and economy, resulted a brain-drain phenomena which caused a disappointingly low contribution of sciences from the Muslim world.

Intellectualism in Muslim world as if freezing, in turn, rising intolerant social ambience across the Muslim regions, has had a devastating effect on Muslim thought and action leading to narrow interpretation of “deen” (Islam) in public discourses. Rationality was rejected just for the sake of defending status quo. Self-esteem appears no more in Muslim. Why?

Referring to the history of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and his companions, the key to success is to have a strong belief (faith) in Islam, indeed. In fact, it was mentioned so many times in Quran- the intellectual substance of human race. Such a firm principle has  transformed the society from the darkness of ignorance into the light of knowledge, producing many towering personalities across the Muslim expanses. This is evident since the revelation of Quran (which had occurred in Ramadhan) through to the golden age of Islam.

In the golden epoch of Islam, Muslim scholars came up with a remarkable rule of the empirical approach, introduced to the good scientific practices (i.e. observation, measurement, experiment, and conclusion) which emphasized wisdom (search for truth, not support of any favors ideas). The idea evolved through years and formed Muslims attitude in critical thinking. Muslims are free to debate base on tested evidences, hence inspired tolerance, and the advancement of knowledge throughout the dark ages of medieval Europe.

Now, the western appears as the superpower with overwhelmingly high contributions in science and technology. Why? Simply is because of their solid ‘faith’ in science. Even in politics they believe that only science can lead to a better democracy- “No Science, No evidence, No truth, No democracy”.

A question to ponder; what is the Muslim faith today? In this blessing month of Ramadhan, let us take the Quran, seek the answer and ask Allah for His guidance. “Guide us the straight path.  The path of those whom You have bestowed favor, not of those who have evoked [Your] anger or those who are astray” [1:6,7]

Nevertheless, Muslim countries do have efforts but world has right to expect more scientific contributions especially from the richer Muslim countries. The latest release by the US National Science Foundation's science and engineering indicators 2012 confirms the rapid expansion of science and technology in Asian regions (China, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore) with emerging Malaysia (the majority Muslim nation), Thailand and the non-Asian rising power, Brazil and Iran (another Muslim majority state).

The future can be bright but the Muslim intellectual tradition needs to be revived base on true faith in Quran and Sunnah by respecting the faith of others and standing up against the obscurantism, fanaticism, and xenophobia. Thus would promote the values of Islam in our societies (ie: justice, rationality, creativity, the search for truth). Islam encourages freedom: freedom to quest, to challenge, to think, and to envision the future through science. Only then when Islam returned to Muslim, will the glorious episode recur. 


Ismail Serageldin. "Science in Muslim Countries ". Science. Vol 321 (2008). 745 pp. 24 July. 2012

Munir Nayfeh. "The Muslim diaspora - from brain drain to brain gain?." Online posting. 3 Oct

Scientists rally on Parliament Hill to mourn 'death of evidence'". CBC News Ottawa 09 July 2012. 25 July 2012 ›.

Simon Margison."Asian Tigers roaring ahead in science and technology race". The Australian 01 Feb 2012. 25 July 2012

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