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Change in Muslim History 23 June 2008

Posted by MOZAFFAR in Misc.

The interesting thing about Muslim history is that the great changes did not take place at the hands of social activists. Change in Muslim history did not take place at the hands of savants. Consistently, great change has come from the works of powerbrokers and from scholars.

We can understand change forged by powerbrokers. These are the kings, sultans, warriors, and revolutionaries who — by force — compel change. That model of change is as old as civilization.

But, we find repeatedly, that change in Muslim history seems to get traced back to scholars. The architects of change, be they named al-Ghazali, Ibn Taymiyya, Shah Waliyullah, Ahmad Sirhindi, or Malik, Abu Hanifa, al-Shafi’i, Ibn Hanbal or al-Bukhari, Muslim, etc.., are consistently scholars. Even the great Salah al-Din (Saladin) was highly educated.

By way of this consistency, we can extrapolate many points about the nature of Islam and the Muslim peoples. For starters, if history is any reference, then social change will not come from these organizations of glorified boy scouts.

More to come, if Allah wills.



1. Baraka - 26 June 2008


Fascinating perspective.

As someone who works for “social change non-profits” I have come to the point of wondering what change we are really effecting.

While I still believe it is important to try and engage with the world positively, I agree that lack of knowledge (beginning with self-knowledge) is a real inhibitor in the development of individuals and nations

Thanks and I look forward to more.


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