Educating so wild a nation; imbuing them with sentiments of civilization; rescuing them from the depths of darkness, nascence and superstitions; all these inconceivably tremendous tasks were accomplished by the Arabs owing only and only to the Islamic religion.
In 1338 [1920 C.E.], I was in the waiting room of a doctor’s office where I had gone for a medical examination, when I saw two magazines printed in London, namely ‘Orient Review’ and ‘African Times’. As I was skimming through them I read a statement that said, “There is only one God,” which impressed me deeply. Christianity dictated three gods, which we were compelled to believe although we could never explain it to our own minds. From that time on, that statement, “There is only one God,” never left my mind. This holy and sublime belief, which Muslims bear in their hearts, is an invaluable treasure.
Now I grew more and more deeply interested in Islam. By and by, I decided to become a Muslim. After embracing Islam I assumed the name Salahuddin. I believed in the truth that Islam is the truest religion. For Islam is based on the fact that Allah does not have a partner and that Allah, alone, has the authority to forgive sins. How compatible this law is with the laws of nature! In a field, on a farm, in a village, in a city, in a school, in a government, in a state and, in short, everywhere, there is one single ruler. Dualism has always brought about separatism.
The second proof that showed me the fact that Islam is the truest religion was that the Arabs, who had been leading a completely barbarous life before Islam, had developed into the world’s most civilised and the most powerful state in a very short time and carried the most ideal concepts of love of mankind from the Arabian deserts all the way up to Spain, and all this was owing to Islam.
The Muslim Arabs had found Arabia as a wilderness. And they cultivated it into a rose-garden. John W. Draper (1226 [1811 C.E.]-1299 [1882 C.E.]), an honest historian, in his book ‘The Intellectual Development of Europe’, enlarges on the extremely great and important part that Islam played in the development of contemporary civilisation, and adds, “Christian historians, on account of the grudge they have been nursing against Islam, try to cloak this truth and cannot seem to get themselves to acknowledge how indebted Europeans are to Muslims.”
The following passage is (the paraphrase of) an excerpt from Draper’s writings on how Muslims found Spain:
“Europeans of that time were completely barbarians. Christianity had proved short of delivering them from barbarism. They would still be looked on as wild people. They lived in filth. Their heads were full with superstitions. They did not even have the ability to think properly. They lived in roughly-made huts. A rush mat laid on the floor or hanging on the wall was the sign of great wealth. Their food consisted of vegetables like wild beans and carrots, some oats and, sometimes, even barks. In the name of garments, they wore untanned animal hides because they lasted longer, and therefore they stank awfully.”
“Cleanliness was the very first thing that Muslims taught them. Muslims washed five times daily, which caused these people to wash at least once a day. Later on, they took the stinking, tattered, lice-infested animal hides off their backs, dumped them, and gave them their own garments, which had been made from textures woven with coloured threads. They taught them how to cook, and how to eat. They built houses, mansions and palaces in Spain. They established schools and hospitals. They instituted universities, which in the course of time became sources of light illuminating the entire world. They improved horticulture everywhere. The country was soon awash with rose and flower gardens. Gaping in astonishment and admiration, the uncivilized Europeans watched all these developments, and gradually began to keep pace with the new civilisation.”
Educating so wild a nation; imbibing them with sentiments of civilisation; rescuing them from the depths of darkness, nascence and superstitions; all these inconceivably tremendous tasks were accomplished by the Arabs owing only and only to the Islamic religion. For the Islamic religion is the most genuine religion. Allah helped them for their success.
The Islamic religion, commanded by Allah and taught and publicised by the Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh)., and the Qur’an al-karim, which is the Word of Allah, changed the course of the world’s history and freed it from the fetters of darkness. Had it not been for the Islamic religion, humanity would not have attained the present heights of civilization, nor would knowledge and science be in such advanced levels today. Muhammad (Pbuh) states, “Even if knowledge is in China, (go and) acquire it.” This is the Islamic religion which I accepted willingly.