We Should Read Our History
We as Muslims, let us confess, have neglected reading our history although reading it will unveil a lot of bright aspects of Islam. Many of the orientalists (people specialized in the history of the east and Islam) were fascinated by the glorious history of Islam. Most of them admit that Muslims had a unique history which they should be proud of.
Reading our history will reveal that Islam spread by the commendable conduct and good manners of Muslims and not by the sword as some critics of Islam claim. The countries that have the largest numbers of Muslims like India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Nigeria and Pakistan are situated far from the Arabian Peninsula where most of the wars between Muslims and their enemies took place.
Reading our history will reveal that the utopia, the ideal city dreamt of by thinkers like Plato and Sir Thomas Moore, did exist in Al-Madina, where all people were treated equally regardless of their color, race, language or social position and where everybody knew his duty and performed it and equally knew his right and got it.
Reading our history will show that Muslim scientists like Ibn Sina, Al-Farabi, Jabir Bin Al-Hayyan, …etc. led the world from the dark and middle ages into the modern world with their discoveries and inventions. In addition to this, when Muslims were in Andalusia (they stayed there for 800 years) they at that time reached the peak of human civilization and knowledge.
The history books narrate stories about many kings in Europe sending their sons to be taught at the hands of Muslim scholars and scientists. At the same time, Europe was still living in ignorance and people were still arguing whether the woman was a human being or an animal. In contrast to this, Islam from the very beginning gave women their rights and due position in the society. Reading our history will tell us that Islam encouraged all forms of democracy and the Prophet (peace be upon him) taught his companions to adopt the principle of Shoura (consultation) in all their affairs. Not only that, the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to act on the point of view of the majority, although in many cases he (peace be upon him) had a different point of view.
Reading our history will tell us that Islam established the first comprehensive social system based on social solidarity through Zakah and Sadaqat (charity), which to a great extent kept social peace and order in society. At the end, I suggest that we should read our history because we as Muslims had a great history and that should guide us to a better future.