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Book Review




Author:            Dr. Ibrahim B. Syed

Published by:   Qur'an House, The Islamic Circle, Rose Hill, Mauritius

Price:                Not Indicated




Dr. Ibrahim B. Syed, a noted Islamic scholar and scientist, is currently Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, in Louisville, Kentucky, USA.  His latest contribution to Islamic literature is a gripping 133 - page book, entitled: INTELLECTUAL ACHEIVEMENTS OF MUSLIMS.


The book is loaded with a vast supply of very valuable information, some of its unique, which deals with the historical achievements and failures of Muslims (not Islam) that had led to their rise and fall, respectively, down the centuries.


Professor Syed, a prolific researcher, reader and writer, quotes a vast list of scholars and writers who have dealt with the long history of Islam's spiritual, intellectual, socio-economic and political rise out of the desert-thanks to the Qur'an's motivation-to soar to great heights-cum-achievements global wide.


After ruling and educating the world for more than a millennium, during which time they triggered a renaissance of learning throughout Europe, Asia and elsewhere, Muslims began to atrophy until they lost their status as world teachers and rulers to end up as sects and factions plagued by division and self-destructive wars.


And the primary cause of this loss of scholarship acumen and ruling power was a new phenomenon in the Ummah-an obscurantist class of dogmatic teachers and leaders enveloped in myopic customs, doctrines and narrow traditional beliefs that favoured Taqleed, or blind following and acceptance of pedantic views that shunned and deprecated ijtihad or rational, independent thinking latched to scientific enquiry and learning.   They had taken over the reins of religious schools (madrasahs) as well as the day-to-day family and community affairs.


And this transpired while the scientifically educated Islamic scholars were occupied with the setting up of higher academic centers of learning to educate large droves of western students thirsty for knowledge, who were flocking to these Islamic places of study.


The genuine scholars and upholders of the Qur'anic paradigm of the Noble Prophet (SAS) were eventually were eventually marginalized by this new religious structure and their growing number of slavish students along with other non-questioning blind followers.  Thus it was only a matter of time before this growing blinkered Muslim society became a pathetic football for the new scientifically educated western world to kick around the way they liked.


In his book, Dr. Syed spells out graphically with some incredible surprises based on historical facts just how this tragic Muslim fall came to pass.  He highlights factual internal and external causes. He emphasizes that the abandoning and neglect of scientific learning was one of the major internal causes, amongst others, which has up until today shamed the Ummah worldwide.


But all is not lost, for the author does not leave it at that.  After explaining the causes, he then gives the solution, backed by other scholars, just how the Islamic renaissance can be rekindled once again-which few people fully know.  Readers will find the solution exhilarating, logical, sensible and practical. All it requires is for the scholars to ignite the Ummah to set about implementing these callings seriously.


INTELLECTUAL ACHIEVEMENTS OF MUSLIMS should be used as a study setwork in all madrasahs and Muslim schools.


Courtesy: AL-BALAAGH of South Africa, p.7, FEB/MAR 2003, Vol. 28, No.1

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