I had the pleasure of holding a lovely meeting in southern Kahramanmaras province yesterday. Led by Anatolia Union of Scholars (ALIMBIR) President Omer Faruk, and hosted by Ulfet Foundation President Abdullah Taylan, we scrutinized the fundamental problems of the world, our region, and our country. Parliament member Mahir Unal, and our Deputy Celalettin Guvenc, followed carefully and patiently until the end of the meeting, which brought together for the first time all the scholars in Türkiye’s east and west regions. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also joined the meeting via telephone. I will share more about this important meeting and the decisions made later.
Additionally, we held a School of Civilization Envisioning (MTO) meeting yesterday in Kahramanmaras. It was a very heartful and pleasant meeting with a strong sense of brotherhood. Our MTO representative Asim Demirdogen and his team are carrying out amazing and pioneering activities. We will reap the fruits of these efforts within the next few months. Demirdogen has surprise projects that will serve as an example for other cities across the country as well. Kahramanmaras will make both an intellectual and cultural breakthrough with MTO.
DILEMMA OF ‘REGRERESSION-PROGRESSION’ DISCOURSE
Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi has a book titled, “Islam and World: The Rise and Decline of Muslims and its Effect on Mankind.” It is a great book but is problematic in many respects. There is no need to even mention that the title is flawed, that it indirectly reproduces and legitimizes the Westcentric view.
The regression/progression discourse indicates a state of mind that accepts in advance the West’s superiority. Progression is financial progress, but spiritual collapse and destruction.
A world gifted to humanity by a civilization in a world without humanity, humanity without a world, is really nothing other than a non-existent country in which meaning, the soul, and truth have evaporated.
Life has lost meaning, and both meaning and the spirit have left the world.
Of course, we can claim that Muslims lost their financial power, experienced an intellectual crisis, and eventually moved away from the historical scene.
The intellectual crisis is in reference to the second great civilization crisis we have been experiencing for the last two centuries. Surely, it would be incomplete to consider the civilization crisis as an intellectual crisis alone. It is both an epistemological breaking point (in other words, the collapse of the Muslim mindset), and ontological extinction (the evaporation of the ground to live like a Muslim, and the Muslim time) process.
The regression-progression discourse does not make it possible to understand, make sense of, and overcome this crisis. On the contrary, it makes it all the more difficult.
There is no doubt that this civilization crisis is a crisis that has internal and external dimensions as a result of Western modernity’s imperialist attacks, and Islamic civilization’s stagnation, its failure to properly comprehend and produce a response to the events around the world.
Western imperialists’ actual and mental attacks created a destructive impact that would shake Muslims’ confidence in themselves. Furthermore, Western imperialism’s physical and mental siege and colonization of Islamic civilization expedited the process that would see Muslims lose their self-esteem, and back away from the historical scene.
The Islamic world physically moved away from the historical scene, it was not defeated, it is resisting. In fact, the Islamic world is the only one resisting capitalism and Protestantism. Such resistance always bears the possibility of turning into resurrection and being.
OTTOMAN EMPIRE WAS STOPPED, WHICH STOPPED HISTORY, TURNING WORLD INTO LIVING HELL
The question is, “What did the world lose when Muslims moved away from the historical scene?”
The first answer, without hesitation, is that this caused the world to lose its balance, and the world was turned into a living hell through two great world wars.
The Ottoman Empire was the world’s sole element of balance in the state equilibrium even during its last century before it collapsed. It was the guarantee of peace. Ottoman Sultan Abdulhamid II had warned that the empire would collapse and the world would lose its balance if the Ottomans joined a world war.
Imperialists continued to pressure the Ottoman Empire, the guarantee of peace on earth. They launched inside and outside attacks that would lead to the empire’s fall.
The attack on the empire led to the Ottomans’ collapse, but it also drove the world to the verge of a catastrophe that was hard to recover from.
The sole civilization experience that would allow different faiths, cultures, and civilizations to exist as they are, the Ottoman Empire moved away from the historical scene.
World history stopped with the Ottoman Empire’s collapse. Humanity hit the shore and saw what hell on earth is like.
If humanity is to preserve its humanity, its dignity, and the chance to exist in a humane manner, this will be possible if Muslims are placed in a central position in making history once again.
The West tried to fix others before it did anything about its own raw, immature, vain, and arrogant character.
Ever since the Greeks and Romans, the West constantly referred to worlds, and civilizations other than itself as barbaric.
Seeing societies other than its own as barbaric, giving no opportunity for civilizations other than its own is nothing but barbarism!
Yet, Islam advises that one’s first duty is to get their act together before one can have the right to bring order to the world. Islam’s requirement from humanity is never to bring order to the world, but to bring order to themselves, to get their own act together, discipline themselves. To submit to the truth, and as a result, achieve the right to represent.
The Muslim human type is the only type of Muslim that makes an effort to better themselves, that considers protecting others’ dignity as the honor of being Muslim.
In brief, when Muslims moved away from the historical scene, the world lost itself, its spirit, and its balance.
The only hope that humanity will come back to its senses, see the light, and recognize justice and compassions depends on Muslims, on Islam making a permanent, long-term breakthrough, and reaching a position in which it can determine the course of history again, allowing it to shape the age.