Friday, March 24, 2006

Bernama.comMalaysian National News AgencyMuslims Almost Totally Dependent On Others, Says Mahathir
March 23, 2006 12:55 PM
By Umi Hani Sharani

KUALA LUMPUR, March 23 (Bernama) -- Muslims do not seem to have faith in their ability or qualifications, as they are almost totally dependent upon others for almost all their needs in life, says former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.Currently, the chairman of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) 1440H Vision Commission, Mahathir said that even in the extraction of the wealth and resources that Allah has blessed the Muslims with, they were still dependent on others."We hire other people to do everything for us," he said in his address prior to the launch of the report containing details of the vision, here Thursday."The whole Muslim Ummah of 1.5 billion is one huge consumer society, procuring all our needs from outside our community, including our defense and security requirements."We produce practically nothing on our own, we can do almost nothing for ourselves, we cannot even manage our wealth," he added.Mahathir said the Islamic world today was full of paradoxes and contradictions. In spite of a number of Muslim nations being extremely wealthy, there is not a single one of them that can be classified as developed by any criteria."Certainly there is no Muslim world power as there was for much of the past 1,300 years....lagging behind in modern knowledge, financial and technological skills and in many instances, effective governments," he lamented.In addition to poverty, ignorance and instability have become such common features in the Muslim world that the detractors assume that these are the natural consequences of following the teachings of Islam, Mahathir said.He said that it is a historical fact that Muslims were at one time the most advanced people in all fields of human endeavours.At the time when the European Christians were wallowing in the Dark Ages and the Jews were wondering rootless all over the world, the Muslims were the biggest traders, the producers of goods, the strategists, navigators and defenders of their faith, he said.Christians and Jews lived freely under the success of the Muslims, while many people embraced the religion so that much of the world became Muslim, he said.Muslims were respected and no one dared to to desecrate the Quran or insult the prophet and his teachings, he said.However, the great Islamic civilization went into decline when the learned Muslims interpreted knowledge acquisition as enjoined by the Quran, to mean acquiring only the knowledge of the religion, rejecting other knowledge as un-Islamic.Followng this, the Muslims gave up the study of science, mathematics, medicine and other so-called worldly disciplines.Instead, they spent much time debating on Islamic teachings and interpretations, on Islamic jurisprudence and Islamic practices, which led to a break-up of the Ummah and the founding of the numerous sects, cults and schools, Mahathir said.Such have been the differences between them that they often kill and war against each other."To this day, they are blowing up each other's mosques to the delight of their detractors," Mahathir added.While the Muslims rejected their worldly knowledge, the Europeans gained from the early studies and researches of the Muslim scholars, achieved their Renaissance and went on to develop their countries and gain wealth, knowledge and military power, he said."We cannot be proud of the decline of the (Muslim) civilization and the sad state of the Muslims today. Nor can we believe that this is what Islam would lead us to when we follow its teachings," said Mahathir.He said Islam promises "hassanah" or good life in this world and in the next for those who accept the faith and the teachings and practice them.If Muslims do not enjoy hassanah in the world of today, it cannot be because of Islamic teachings, he pointed out."It must be because we are not practicing the injunctions of our religion or that we have misinterpreted them. The fault lies with us and it is incumbent upon us to identify what that we do is wrong and to correct them," he advised.


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