Berita Kampus:

    The Causes of Fragmentation

    The Islamic world began to disintegrate during the early years of the twentieth century. Until then, Muslims of different sectarian persuasions, race, and languages lived together in harmony and safety under the rule of Islam, and they were strong. One of the most destructive movements of the nineteenth century, radical nationalism, had a powerful impact on the Islamic world, for some Muslims fell under the influence of the Western ideologies imposed upon them. With the weakening and then collapse of the Ottoman Empire, the vast majority of Muslim lands were colonized by Europe and the Soviet Union. Before the colonialists withdrew decades later, they drew up artificial borders and thereby created many new countries. When combined with the radical nationalism disseminated among Muslims, the region turned into a quagmire. Ethnic differences became sources of conflict, and the different Muslim ethnic groups, who had lived in the same land until recently, suddenly found themselves living on different sides of these artificial borders. Soon, these artificial nations began disputing with each other over borders and other matters, and feelings of hostility arose. Some of these disputes even escalated into full-scale brutal wars, as in the Iran-Iraq war. A 100-year long period of instability had begun.

    One's love of nation, people, and independence is a properand honorable feeling. However, nationalism becomes intolerable when love turns into fanaticism. If someone feels hostile toward other nations without due cause, he will, in the interest of his own country, disregard the rights of other nations or people. As a result, one country will seek to acquire or plunder another country's land, and thereby become intolerable. Likewise, if people turn their love for their own nation into racism, claiming to be genetically superior, they will have developed an insupportable idea. It is also an error to turn nationalism into a racist ideology, for this damages the Islamic principle that "all Muslims brotherhood and sisters," or to let animosity do away with it for good.

    The twentieth century was one of oppression, violence, war, and conflict. Millions of innocent people lost their lives. God points out this wrong attitude, known as "fanatical rage," and reveals that it is an aspect of ignorance. In the Islamic context, ignorance means people and societies that are far removed from the true religion, as the Qur'an makes clear:

    Those who do not believe filled their hearts with fanatical rage—the fanatical rage of the Time of Ignorance—and God sent down serenity to His Messenger and to the believers, and bound them to the expression of heedfulness, which they had most right to and were most entitled to. God has knowledge of all things. (Qur'an, 48:26)

    The verse speaks of fanatical rage on the one hand and, on the other, that God gave believers serenity. The frame of mind of people who become angry and aggressive out of love for their own nation is against Islamic morality. The nationalism that developed in nineteenth-century materialist Europe was aggressive and radical. Unfortunately, this was the type of nationalism exported to the Islamic world and to many other lands, where it has caused nothing but conflict and political instability. It is against Islamic morality to distinguish between people All race-based theories, such as those adopted by Hitler, are great misconceptions. No race is inherently better or superior to another. according to race or to allow ethnic differences to engender strife.

    Our Lord says in one verse:

    O Mankind! We created you from a male and female, and made you into peoples and tribes so that you might come to know each other. The noblest among you in God's sight is the one of you who best performs his duty. God is All-Knowing, All-Aware. (Qur'an, 49:13)

    God also reveals that racial and national differences are among His signs. These differences are not to be sources of conflict and hostility, but rather of richness and diversity:

    Among His Signs is the creation of the heavens and Earth, and the variety of your languages and colors. There are certainly Signs in that for every being. (Qur'an, 30:22)

    History is full of examples of Islam's ability to resolve ethnic differences. Our Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace) warned his Companions to avoid tribal or racial separatism; dividing people according to race, sex, language, or clan; and distinguishing between people according to financial means.

    In his Farewell Sermon, he proclaimed: "O people! Verily your Lord is one and your father is one. All of you belong to one ancestry of Adam, and Adam was created out of clay. There is no superiority for an Arab over a non-Arab and for a non-Arab over an Arab, nor for the white over the black nor for the black over the white, except in [terms of] piety. Verily, the noblest among you is he who is the most pious."

    The continuing conquests under our Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace) and the four rightly guided caliphs greatly expanded the borders of the Islamic world, and many different nations united under the flag of Islam. The Middle East, until then full of tribal wars and unrelenting blood feuds, found peace, and the inter-Arab tribal wars ceased both at home and abroad. Ongoing warfare between Christian sects was resolved peacefully, and tribes that had been mortal enemies learned to respect each other's rights and lived under the Islamic flag.

    Muslims of today must acquire the same outlook. In their mutual relations, faith and good character are important, not race, ethnic origin, language, financial means, status, or office. Love between sincere believers develops through their fear and awareness of and true love for God, and good deeds and a good character. If people dedicate themselves to the path of God, follow it in all their actions and behavior, and do good in the hope of acquiring God's good pleasure and mercy, other believers will love and respect them. As a result, their skin color, race, or financial status will be irrelevant and have no bearing on the love others feel for them. The same criteria must be true for relations between Muslim nations, which must be based on the Qur'anic insight that Muslims are one another's helpers and guardians.

    One of the foremost reasons for the Islamic world's current ragmentation is its lack of this consciousness, the disregard for Islamic morality, and the effect of irreligious ideologies and movements. Some intellectuals were misled by various European philosophies and ideologies, which were full of errors, and believed that introducing them into the Islamic world would aid its progress. The damage caused by this historic mistake are still visible today. Instead of the justice, devotion, compassion, tolerance, open-mindedness, and progressive thinking brought by the Qur'an's values, the attempted imposition of false philosophies and ideologies have replaced the order and solidarity of the Islamic world with chaos and disunity. In some countries, models opposing the Qur'an's values were developed in order to end the chaos. However, this only brought about despotic regimes that oppressed the people.

    It is important to learn from these past mistakes when choosing a new strategy and to be aware of misleading manipulations and suggestions. History clearly shows that the Islamic world can rise again only if it returns to its own central tenets and values, the most important of which is Muslim unity and solidarity.

    Quoted from Harun Yahya's Book entitled A Call To An Islamic Union

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