In the month of Ramadan, fourteen centuries ago, there were five verses revealed to the Prophet Muhamad (peace be upon him) through the archangel Gabriel which marked the beginning of a new chapter for the human history. The first word conveyed to him was “Read!”, and among other few first words were, “Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous, Who taught by the pen!”
The first surah is named, “the Embryo.” The symbolism couldn’t be more powerful. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was being instructed from the very beginning that his mission was about to teach to people a great revelation and a global religion. Apart from the matters related to the hereafter and salvation, the mission of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was to bring up a new nation who would found a new civilization.
Islam started in Mecca as an embryo. It was the revelation, knowledge, the learning through the pen and the extraordinary patience and prophetic persistence of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) which transformed the pagan Arabs from the illiterate people to great missionaries, worriers, and emissaries of the Message.
Within two decades, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his companions – completely transformed – rose to power. A new state was formed and a new civilization was founded, that is, the civilization of Islam – the civilization of “Read!” and learning by the pen.
Within a short period of time, Islam became a world religion and the Islamic civilization became an undisputed global power. Islam changed the world forever. It taught humanity knowledge, good manners, the love for scientific research, and the appreciation of beauty and asceticism alike.
Nevertheless, a century ago, Muslims lost their power. For the first time, they lost their caliphate. For the first time, they were defeated completely by the British Empire and its European vassal states. Officially, Muslims are under occupation, so they are not allowed to have independent military and political power. Their affairs are controlled by the British Rule.
Quite often, I wonder if there is some wisdom behind this defeat. In my view, there is a great wisdom. Had Muslims been to power all the time, one might have thought that Islam is merely a political ideology, like the British Secularism, which can exist as long as its adherents have power. Once power is gone, Islam would perish.
After a hundred years of occupation and defeat, Islam did not die. This shows that this religion is not related to power. Muslims follow Islam not because they serve a caliphate or a dynasty. The wisdom behind the loss of power is to show the world that Islam is followed by over billion Muslims only because it is the truth, which will not die, even if they don’t have political and military power, as it is the case today. Muslims are ready to endure the western political persecution because Islam is the truth.