Rafed English

Onslaught of Christian Europe on Islam

This aspect of the question provided a pretext to the Christians of Europe to assert that the main cause of the decadence of the Muslims is their belief in fate and destiny and that Islam is a predestinarian system which totally deprives man of his liberty and volition.

While in Europe, Sayyid Jamal al-Din al-Afghani (1839 97), took notice of this criticism and replied to it in his articles. In the introduction of an article he said that if the spirit of a people was not pure and congenial, even the pure tenet of its faith were bound to be perverted. In their new form they only would add to its misery and error. They would be converted into a force which would lead it to further wicked deeds.

He further said: The true doctrine of fate and destiny has been greatly misunderstood by the uninformed. The Europeans are mistaken when they say that a nation believing in this doctrine losses its boldness, courage and other good qualities, and that all the undesirable qualities of the present day Muslims are the outcome of this very belief. Today the Muslims are poor. They are politically and militarily weaker than the European nations. Corruption, malice, dissension, disunity, ignorance, lack of insight and satisfaction with a subsistence level of living are rampant among them. They are not concerned with their progress and are not keen to pushing back their enemy. The ruthless armies of the enemy are attacking them from all sides, but they are not perturbed. They submit to every humiliation. They have fallen into slumber and left the treasures of wealth and independence to their enemies and the aliens.

He continued to say: The Europeans ascribe to the Muslims all the evils we have enumerated. According to them all these are the products of a belief in fate and destiny. They say if the Muslims will continue to stick to this belief for some time more, they will be doomed.

He added: The Europeans do not differentiate between a belief in fate and destiny and a belief in predestination according to which man has no liberty of action.

Adapted from the book: "Man and Destiny" by: "Shahid Mutahhari"

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