A Short History of the Revivalist Movement in Islam”

Book Review

By: Kharul (2004)

This book entitles “A Short History of the Revivalist Movement in Islam“, which is consisting of 125 pages. The author of this book is Abul A’al Maududi and translated by Al-Ahs’ari. The publisher is The Other Press Petaling Jaya, Fist Edition 1999M.

Basically, this book contents of four chapters. The first chapter is about conflict between Islam and un-Islam. Second chapter is about the nature of Islamic revival, whereas chapter there is about some great mujaddids of Islamand their achievements. And the last chapter is about the achievements of Shah waliullah of Delhi.

In this review, the writer is going to assess chapter one only which is about the conflict between Islam and Islam, which is consisting 23 pages. Furthermore, there are ten sub topics in this chapter.

The author mentioned that any system of life in this universe must be originated from certain metaphysical or theological concept. This metaphysical or theological concept was emerging from the basic question that all mankind asked it. Such as: What is man? What is his position in this world? Etc, whereby effect to the emergence of various metaphysics or theological concepts.

1. ATHEISM

Principally this doctrine is based on disbelieve in God and in the life of hereafter. The existence of universe is by accident, therefore, no wisdom, no purpose and no object behind this creation. According this concept, people need not bother their selves about the question: who created them? Or why were be created?

This theory will lead to the rising of purely materialistic system of morality. Hence, trouble will arise when people with such a mental attitude. And in the end, it favors the rise of nationalism, imperialism, colonial opportunism and the greed to grab the weaker nations.

2. POLYTHEISM

This doctrine is based on polytheism. It refers to the system that the universe is neither accidental nor godless, but has many masters and not one. This view doesn’t have the support of any scientific proof, but it simply the creation of man’s own imagination.

3. ASCENTICISM

According to the metaphysical theory based on asceticism, this world and the human body are the means or torture for man. The human soul is imprisoned in this elemental cage. Pleasures and desires and other bodily needs of man are actually the shackles and fetters of the prison house. Therefore, the more a man is involved in their gratification, the more he will become polluted and deserve to be tortured.

This theory has influenced social life in different ways. It has produced a system of philosophy of its own, such as vedantaism, Manichaeism, yoga, budidhism, etc.

4. ISLAM

According to this theological concept, universe doesn’t exist by accident or without any purpose behind its creation. Allah SWT is the real Master, The Sole Ruler and Creator of Everything in this cosmos. All mankind are His subject and He alone possesses all the powers to control the affairs of this vast universe.

This doctrine of Islam which has been presented through time by the prophets from the earliest time, explain all events and manifestations fully well. It gives a satisfactory interpretation of all the worldly phenomena. It’s system of philosophy mainly contradictive with the un-Godly systems..

MISSION OF THE PROPHET

The prophets were sent to establish such a social system in the world. The ultimate aim of all the prophets’ missions in the world has been to establish the kingdom of Allah SWT in the earth and to enforce the system of life received from Him.

NATURE OF PROPHET’S MISSION

There are three natures of prophet’s mission as follows:

  1. To transform the intellectual and mental outlook of humanity according to Islamic attitude and worldview.
  2. To regiment all such people who have accepted Islamic ideals and molded their lives after the Islamic pattern with a view to struggling for power and seizing it by the use of all available means and equipment.
  3. To establish Islamic rule and organize the various aspects of social life on Islamic bases.

THE RIGHTLY GUIDED CALIPHATE

After the die of Holy Prophet SAW, his mission was carried on successfully by the two leaders of Islam, Abu Bakr AsSidiq and Umar Faruq in all its various aspect. Then the leadership was transferred to Uthman.

ONSLAUGHT OF IGNORANCE

There are two factors weakened the caliphate. First, the fast expanding Islamic state brought in new problems every day thus adding to the pressure of work and responsibilities of the caliph. And second, the caliph Utsman did not possess the qualities of leadership to overcome such of complex problems faced by Islamic state.

By weakened Islamic state in that time, ‘ignorance’ began eating into the body of the community life like cancer. Only Islam could check such an evil influence, unfortunately, Islamic state had been thrown out of power. Ignorance was working its influence in the guise of Islam.

NEED FOR MUJADDID

To purge Islam of the above evils, and to present it once again in its original pure form, was the heavy task for which the ‘mujaddids’ were needed.

A TRADITION AND ITS EXPLANATION

“Allah will raise, at the head of each century, such people for this ummah as will revive it religion for it”.

This tradition refers to some one particular person only, but may be a numbers of person or groups in the same century.

OBJECTIONS

  1. The linguistic objection, there is wrong in typing such as in page 2 mentioned “to achieve the same and”, while, the correct is “to achieve the same end”.
  2. The book is not thick; hence, its explanation about the concept of various metaphysics was very general. Whereby, person cannot refer to this book if want to know the detail concept of each metaphysic.
  3. In the sub topic “the rightly guided caliph” the author didn’t mention the last caliph Ali r.a. and this give doubt to the reader, is caliph Ali was not among the rightly guided caliphate?
  4. The author didn’t mention the ‘rawi’ of tradition. Such as the hadist in page 22.

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