It is true that the time has come for the Ummah, which Allah (swt) has made the just Ummah amongst all the nations and the best Ummah ever brought for humankind, to take the leading position in the world through its great Deen. It is time for the leadership of the Ummah upon which He (swt) has obliged carrying the Islamic call to the world. It is time for the Ummah to liberate humanity, before it is buried by the miserable Western civilization in a deep grave, dug from Hellfire. Accordingly, reviving the thinking and raising the most critical issues are at the core of the intellectual conflict and the political struggle, with the weapon of enlightened thinking to raise the Word of Allah (swt) highest upon the earth. It is the weapon that obliterates the sirens of kufr, destroys the heads of Taghut and crushes misguidance, atheism and nihilism, as well as the absurdity of the murderous, burdensome Western civilization.
The subject becomes one of the most important obligations at a time when thinking about the life of people has been reduced to confining thinking to the reality imposed on us in the era of the ignoble Ruwaibida rulers, a time of oppressive authority, trapped in the cages of Sykes-Picot, the, the so-called nation states. It is the shallow, ridiculous and bewildered thinking, preoccupied with trivial, marginal and insignificant matters, to the point that the thinking and culture are reduced to the art of cooking, music, dance festivals and legalized hypnotic amusement under the name of sports. This is whilst the subject of raising critical issues, discussing them, dealing with them and exercising reason upon them are considered as disruptive and subversive, if not prohibited.
Indeed, thinking is the secret of the life of nations. The first human innovations would never have been generated without thinking and thus thinking is the basis of major pivotal transformations in human history. It is the medium for the generation of nations and civilizations. Accordingly, Christianity is a thought from which Christian Europe was formed, whilst Judaism is a thought that formed the Jews. Buddhism, Hinduism and Taoism are thoughts that formed the peoples of Asia, the Indian Subcontinent and China. Capitalism is a thought that formed the West. Communism is a thought that formed the Soviet Union and Eastern European nations of that era. Islam is a thought upon which the Islamic Ummah and the Islamic civilization emerged. Thus, thinking is the secret of life of nations and civilizations. It is the basis for revival, building states and societies, without which there would only be foraging in jungles. Thus, we will deal with one of the issues of thinking that is the most dangerous. It has the most significant impact and influence in the history and life of nations and people. It is regarding civilizations and the nature of existing conflict between them.
Expression of Terminologies: Civilization and Conflict
In the realm of thinking and the domain of thoughts, it is necessary to define the meaning of conventional terminologies such that the understanding becomes crystallized, whilst the reality is made known by the expression of the corresponding term. It must be cautiously noted that today’s popular terminologies in the field of thinking are mined with politics of dilution, ambiguity, generalization and misguidance, which makes them difficult to understand. In addition, the subjects of thinking dealing with the issues of mankind influence the viewpoint of the subject. It is inevitably biased as it is from amongst the culture.
Terminologies rely on the meanings of validity and invalidity, in terms of their intellectual roots and their relevance to the reality that they denote. This is the condition for the validity and invalidity of the subject. Thus, the first station of thinking is defining the meanings and terminologies. The terminologies that concern us now in our discussion are the concept of civilization and conflict. As for civilization, if we were satisfied with what first comes to our mind regarding the term civilization, namely denoting progress of the human society, then we would be wrong. It lacks accuracy, whilst intellectual work is like a scalpel in the hand of a surgeon, wherein his error can be fatal.
In fact, the linguistic meaning of the word would be inadequate. The word Hadarah (حضارة civilization) is linguistically pronounced as Hidarah (Kasrah vowel sound upon ح) and Hadarah (Fatha vowel sound upon ح). The word is derived from Hadr (الحضر) referring to the residents of urbanized centers. It means residence in urban areas. The antonym is Bedouin (البداوة) as defined by Ibn Madhoor in his dictionary Lisanul Arab (لسان العرب). Accordingly, the connotation of the word Hadara must depend on the conventional meaning.
The word ‘civilization’ emerged as a conventional terminology in the second half of the Eighteenth Century CE. The first to coin the word with its intellectual concept was Victor de Riqueti, marquis de Mirabeau, who wrote in 1756 CE, published in 1757 CE, in his French work, “L’ami des hommes: ou, Traité de la population,” (“The Friend of Men: Or the Treatise on the Population”), in which he says, “La religion est sans contredit le premier et le plus utile frein de ‘humanita: c’est le pre mier ressort de la civilization” (“Religion is without doubt humanity’s first and most useful constraint; it is the mainspring of civilization”). Then the terminological concept began to take on a broader structural trend amongst the Western thinkers, until the Western intellectual trend revolved around two orbits in terms of definition. The two philosophical factions are:
First faction: The German school of thought believes that civilization is the intellectual phenomena resulting from culture, such as customs, traditions, beliefs, values and systems. Thus, civilization has a close relationship with the viewpoint of life. The people ascribing to this thought are, for example, Walther Rathenau, Paul Thomas Mann and Hermann Alexander Graf von Keyserling. They do not see science and technology as part of civilization.
Civilization is represented by literature, arts, religions and ethics. So they consider that civilization is an expression of what the people carry and that civilization is what we are and not what we do. In the translated words of Paul Thomas Mann, “Technology and comfort – having those, people speak of culture but do not have it” and “Speech is civilization itself.”
The second faction: The English school of thought did not differentiate between civilization (Hadara) and materialization (Madaniyya). Civilization is considered to be the intellectual and materialistic result of society. Thus, civilization, according to them, includes arts, culture, science and urbanism. The view is that it results in the spiritual and intellectual progression of both individuals and masses.
The consensus amongst the Western thinkers is that civilization is an extension and an enlargement of culture, effected by the viewpoint and values of the people.
Civilization includes the values, standards, ways of thinking and ways of living that are prevalent in a nation of people. Civilization in its inclusive concept is everything that distinguishes a nation from other nations, in terms of customs, traditions, ways and styles of living, religion, values, morals, literature and arts. Civilization is the collection of concepts about life that characterizes the life of a nation, shaping their lifestyle, values, convictions, beliefs, customs and systems. Its real nature is particular and exclusive. That is why we have Greek Civilization, Egyptian Civilization, Ancient and Babylonian Civilization, Persian Civilization, Islamic Civilization and Western Civilization.
Civilization is a lifestyle, a specific style of life and concepts that determine standards, convictions and judgments. It is according to civilization that norms and customs are formed and life systems and legislation are determined to all extents. Civilizations have distinctions and differences and so they inevitably compete and conflict with each other.
In reality, the relationship between civilizations is a competitive relationship based on conflict. Competition and conflict intensify whenever there is a civilization with a global nature, as the field of conflict becomes the whole world. The characterization of being of a global nature is related to the nature of the civilization’s concepts about life, as it is for all humans, in their capacity of being humans. The global nature is not the product of a particular environment or a specific historical circumstance, but it is intrinsic to the civilization.
Leading the world and shaping it in a civilizational manner is the goal of every civilization that claims to have a global vision. Conflict is the essence of the relationship between civilizations. The differences in beliefs, standards and perceptions about life are the subject of conflict. The claim of mutual co-existence is naive because mutual co-existence would only occur within a single intellectual system i.e. within a single civilization. Thus co-existence implies integration within a single civilization. There is no way for that except by obliterating and abolishing the competing civilization.
David Rothkop, who served as a senior official in the U.S. Department of Commerce during the first term of the Clinton administration, wrote in his essay, “In Praise of Cultural Imperialism? Effects of Globalization on Culture,” published in “Foreign Policy” on June 22, 1997, that, “Nonetheless, even a casual examination of the history of conflict explains well why Samuel Huntington, in his The Clash of Civilizations, expects conflict along cultural fault lines, which is precisely where conflict so often erupts. Even worse is that cultural differences are often sanctified by their links to the mystical roots of culture, be they spiritual or historical.
Consequently, a threat to one’s culture becomes a threat to one’s God or one’s ancestors and, therefore, to one’s core identity.” British-American orientalist, Bernard Lewis, wrote in his article, “The Roots of Muslim Rage,” published in The Atlantic in September 1990 that “At times this hatred goes beyond hostility to specific interests or actions or policies or even countries and becomes a rejection of Western civilization as such, not only what it does but what it is, and the principles and values that it practices and professes. These are indeed seen as innately evil, and those who promote or accept them as the ‘enemies of God.’” Lewis also elaborated on what he called, A Clash of Civilizations.
The competition and conflict, by their nature, are intellectual. This is because civilization, in its essence, is an intellectual construct determining the concepts of life, defining its people with its features. This intellectual conflict is the highest manifestation of human thinking. It is the search for the facts that begin with the explanation for existence, in terms of origin, purpose and destiny. It extends to the systems of life that are considered as practical solutions to the problems that emerge in the life of people. These are to be translated into the ruling system, economic system, social system, education policy, judiciary and foreign relations. So, the real traitors against the people today are the ones who seek to obliterate this conflict between civilizations. This is because obliterating the conflict means paralyzing the intellectual activity to search, scrutinize and crystallize the intellectual roots of civilizations. It is thereby that the mind can refute the falsehood of the man-made civilizations, whilst arriving at the most truthful of those civilizations to lead the mankind, adopting it, acting upon it and seeking to spread it. Instead, these traitors are actually trying to confine humans to the styles and the method of Western civilization. True is what our Lord Almighty said:
(وَلَوۡلَا دَفۡعُ ٱللَّهِ ٱلنَّاسَ بَعۡضَهُم بِبَعۡضٖ لَّهُدِّمَتۡ صَوَٰمِعُ وَبِيَعٞ وَصَلَوَٰتٞ وَمَسَٰجِدُ يُذۡكَرُ فِيهَا ٱسۡمُ ٱللَّهِ كَثِيرٗاۗ وَلَيَنصُرَنَّ ٱللَّهُ مَن يَنصُرُهُۥٓۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَقَوِيٌّ عَزِيزٌ)
“Had Allah not repelled ˹the aggression of˺ some people by means of others, destruction would have surely claimed monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques in which Allah’s Name is often mentioned. Allah will certainly help those who stand up for Him. Allah is truly All-Powerful, Almighty.” [TMQ Surah Al-Hajj 22:40].
Accordingly, the subject of civilizations, their elements and their conflict, is not only for luxury of intellect, academic research and debates amongst intellectuals. Instead, the subject includes the concepts related to our life as humans. It begins with the explanation for existence in terms of origin, goal and destiny which are aqeedah, the highest type of concept and the basis of all thoughts. It is followed by the standards of good and evil (Khair and Sharr), prettiness and ugliness (Hasan and Qabeeh) that control our values, virtues and systems. The core and essence of our life as humans is civilization. It concerns our life and determines the finest details of it, even if we are not concerned about them.
What concerns us today are the two civilizations that globally conflict with one another by the nature of their global message, particularly the Islamic Civilization. Allah (swt) said,
(ومَآ أَرۡسَلۡنَٰكَ إِلَّا كَآفَّةٗ لِّلنَّاسِ بَشِيرٗا وَنَذِيرٗا وَلَٰكِنَّ أَكۡثَرَ ٱلنَّاسِ لَا يَعۡلَمُونَ)
“We have sent you ˹O Prophet˺ only as a deliverer of good news and a warner to all of humanity, but most people do not know.” [TMQ Surah Sheba 34:28],
(تَبَارَكَ ٱلَّذِي نَزَّلَ ٱلۡفُرۡقَانَ عَلَىٰ عَبۡدِهِۦ لِيَكُونَ لِلۡعَٰلَمِينَ نَذِيرًا)
“Blessed is He who sent down the Criterion upon His Servant that he may be to the worlds a warner.” [TMQ Surah Al-Furqan 25:1]
(إِنۡ هُوَ إِلَّا ذِكۡرٞ لِّلۡعَٰلَمِينَ) “It is not except a reminder to the worlds.” [TMQ 81:27]
(وَلَتَعۡلَمُنَّ نَبَأَهُۥ بَعۡدَ حِينِۢ) “And you will certainly know its truth before long.” [TMQ Surah Saad 38:88].
Asides from Islam, the other civilization that seeks to globalise its concept of life is the Western civilization or the capitalist civilization. This is in relation to the capitalist ideology from which that civilization emerged. There is talk of globalization, which is its attempt to change private into public and local into global, as inevitable consequence. It is the civilization born in an environment and historical circumstances that resulted from the problems of the Europeans, in particular with church, clergy, tsars and kings. That is why its primary intellectual root is expressed as the “Separation of the Church from authority.”
The common Western definition is of the “Separation of religious institutions (Church) from the Political institutions (those of state).” The concept evolved to become the separation of religion from state and life. Its ramifications are for global application. In the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the preamble consisting of 30 articles based on Western conceptions. It was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in December 1948.. Prior to that, even the originating countries did not consider them as general international laws. After that, the Declaration became one of the tools of Western foreign policy to extend influence and domination, becoming globalized.
These are the two civilizations, Islam and Capitalism, that are in conflict with each other today. Thus, it is necessary to know the reality of both civilizations. Only then it is possible to know the nature of conflict existing today between Islam and the people of the West and its capitalism.
The capitalist Western civilization has its own ideological basis and intellectual root from which its concepts of life emerged. It is the separation of religion from life and rejects the influence of religion in life. The thought of separation of religion from the state emerged from that. It is natural for those who separate religion from life to deny its presence in life. It is the basis upon which the Western life and their life systems are established. Its connotation is of separating religion from life, secularism, in Western political, social and philosophical discourse. George Jacob Holyoake (13 April 1817 – 22 January 1906) was an English secularist, co-operator, and newspaper editor. He first coined the terms “secularism” in 1851 and wrote the book, “English Secularism: A Confession of Belief.”
Separation of religion from life is the comprehensive fundamental vision from which systems, knowledge and values are derived. It is the doctrine of Western thought and the basis of its civilization. Its definition is the separation of religion from life. In Oxford English Dictionary (OED) it is stated, “the doctrine that morality should be based solely on regard to the well-being of mankind in the present life, to the exclusion of all considerations drawn from belief in God or in a future state.” Secularization is converted societally through the following aspects:
1- The decline and retreat of religion, its beliefs, rituals and symbols, whilst religious institutions lose their status and influence.
2- Separation of society and religion.
3- Focusing on the materialistic life at present, instead of looking for the spiritual future.
4- Non-religious organizations carrying out religious functions.
5- Disappearance of the idea of sacredness, with a materialist explanation for man and nature.
6- Materialistic secular society replacing the society connected with piety, i.e. looking at all the phenomena purely from a material perspective.
In summary, the philosophy of separating religion from life is purely a materialistic philosophy.
As for the standard upon which visions, values and perceptions are placed, it is purely for material benefit. It sees life purely from a materialistic, utilitarian perspective devoid of any spiritual value that connects you to God, morality or humanity. Based on the materialistic view, any intellectual values outside the framework of the material are meaningless. The supreme law stems from the laws of matter, that is, the laws of physics, physical bodies and chemistry of the material elements that explains the societal behavior of humans. So the material gain of human life becomes nothing but equations, numbers and data, whilst the material benefit arises from the profits, loss and pleasure, satisfying desires and indulging in consumption. It is regarded as the only way for material survival and the path to happiness. Accordingly, the materialistic interpretation of happiness is to give man the greatest share of bodily pleasures and to provide their causes for him, which are production and consumption of pleasure, as part of hedonism. This was how the Western civilization came upon a final analysis purely in materialistic, utilitarian terms, giving rise to a civilization that is devoid of all spirituality, morality and humanity.
As for the Islamic civilization, it is based in contradiction to the fundamentals of capitalist Western civilization. Its view about life is contrary to that of Western civilization and its concept of happiness is other than that of Western civilization’s concept. Its intellectual seed and root is the spiritual connection to Allah (swt). Allah (swt) said,
(بَدِيعُ ٱلسَّمَٰوَٰتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضِۖ وَإِذَا قَضَىٰٓ أَمۡرٗا فَإِنَّمَا يَقُولُ لَهُۥ كُن فَيَكُونُ)
“The Originator of the heavens and the earth. When He decrees a matter, He only says to it, “Be,” and it is.” [TMQ Surah Al-Baqarah 2:117]
(إِنَّا كُلَّ شَيۡءٍ خَلَقۡنَٰهُ بِقَدَرٖ)
“Indeed, all things We created with predestination.” [TMQ Surah Al-Qamar 54:49]
(أَمۡ خُلِقُواْ مِنۡ غَيۡرِ شَيۡءٍ أَمۡ هُمُ ٱلۡخَٰلِقُونَ ٣٥ أَمۡ خَلَقُواْ ٱلسَّمَٰوَٰتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضَۚ بَل لَّا يُوقِنُونَ)
“Or were they created by nothing, or were they the creators [of themselves]? (35) Or did they create the heavens and the earth? Rather, they are not certain.” [TMQ Surah at-Tur 52:35,36]. And Allah (swt) sealed his eloquence, guidance and instruction to His creations by sending the Final Prophet, Muhammed (saw), with His Shariah, a guidance to His creations. Allah (swt) said,
(وَإِن كُنتُمۡ فِي رَيۡبٖ مِّمَّا نَزَّلۡنَا عَلَىٰ عَبۡدِنَا فَأۡتُواْ بِسُورَةٖ مِّن مِّثۡلِهِۦ وَٱدۡعُواْ شُهَدَآءَكُم مِّن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ إِن كُنتُمۡ صَٰدِقِينَ)
“And if you are in doubt about what We have sent down upon Our Servant [Muhammad], then produce a Surah the like thereof and call upon your witnesses other than Allah, if you should be truthful.” [TMQ Surah Al-Baqarah 2:23].
Accordingly, the Islamic civilization is based on the fundamental Iman, the conclusive and decisive affirmation, with sound argument and evidence, that all in existence, from amongst the Universe, man and life, are creations created by the Creator from nothing. Managing the affairs of His creations is with the magnificent system that organizes the creations according to it.
Accordingly, the Islamic Aqeedah is the basis for building the Islamic civilization. It is the intellectual basis (القاعدة الفكرية) from which Shariah legal rulings emerge. It is the intellectual basis that defines the viewpoint of life, the way of life and the specific angle for judging ideas, facts and events i.e. the Islamic civilization is based on Islamic Aqeedah. The aqeedah is the fundamental intellectual root and principle from which all the concepts of life emerge. It is based on the connection with Allah (swt) and does not abandon its belief. Thus, the connection with Allah is its spirit (rooh). Accordingly, the Islamic civilization would not exist without the connection with Allah (swt). That is its intellectual root and basis.
The depiction of life and the scale of actions in the Islamic civilization stems from the Islamic Aqeedah. It obliges the Muslim to carry his actions according to the commands and prohibitions of Allah (swt). Comprehending the relationship with Allah while performing his actions based on Halal and Haram is the philosophy of life. It is the way of life and the scale of actions i.e. halal and haram are the scale of actions and absolutely not the benefit. Allah (swt) says:
(فَلَا وَرَبِّكَ لَا يُؤۡمِنُونَ حَتَّىٰ يُحَكِّمُوكَ فِيمَا شَجَرَ بَيۡنَهُمۡ ثُمَّ لَا يَجِدُواْ فِيٓ أَنفُسِهِمۡ حَرَجٗا مِّمَّا قَضَيۡتَ وَيُسَلِّمُواْ تَسۡلِيمٗا)
“But no, by your Lord, they will not [truly] believe until they make you, [O Muhammad], judge concerning that over which they dispute among themselves and then find within themselves no discomfort from what you have judged and submit in [full, willing] submission.” [TMQ Surah an-Nisa’a 4:65].
The connection with Allah (swt) is inseparable from the actions of Muslim. There is no room of separation at all i.e. separating Islam from the life of the Muslim. This would lead to the Wrath of Allah (swt) and hostility to Allah (swt) and His Messenger (saw). This is because the goal is to make the connection with Allah (swt) when proceeding in actions based on Halal and Haram i.e. abiding to the commands and prohibitions of Allah (swt), which is seeking the pleasure of Allah and not absolutely the benefit. Based on that, happiness in the Islamic civilization is attaining the pleasure of Allah and realizing His permanent blessing, the paradise which is as wide as heavens and earth. That is the desire of every Muslim and is the utmost wish. Happiness in Islam stems from Iman whose base is Yaqeen (firm belief) which is absolutely necessary for permanent tranquility. Allah (swt) says:
(فَمَنِ ٱتَّبَعَ هُدَايَ فَلَا يَضِلُّ وَلَا يَشۡقَىٰ، أَلَا بِذِكۡرِ ٱللَّهِ تَطۡمَئِنُّ ٱلۡقُلُوبُ)
“Those who have believed and whose hearts are assured by the remembrance of Allah. Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah hearts are assured.” [TMQ Surah Ar-Ra’ad 13:28].
In summary, the Islamic civilization is based on the spiritual basis. It is absolutely contrary to the materialistic basis of the Western civilization. Accordingly, the conflict is inevitable and it is known by the West who acts accordingly.
The Inevitable Civilizational Conflict:
The inevitability of conflict is dictated by the vitality and dynamism of any civilization of global nature, for its self-entity expresses its own unique concept of human life. The great Islam establishes these facts. Amongst its highest obligations is to change the face of earth. Its civilization drove the people out from misguidance of worshipping the creations to the guidance of worshipping the Lord of all creations. It drove people out from the oppression of religions and manufactured ideologies into the just of Islam and its mercy. The conflict is the Sunnah of Allah (swt) in His creations; to raise the truth and destroy falsehood such that the Word of Allah (swt) becomes the highest. Allah (swt) says,
(وَلَوۡلَا دَفۡعُ ٱللَّهِ ٱلنَّاسَ بَعۡضَهُم بِبَعۡضٖ لَّفَسَدَتِ ٱلۡأَرۡضُ)
“And if it were not for Allah checking [some] people by means of others, the earth would have been corrupted,” [TMQ Surah al-Baqarah 2:251]. And Allah (swt) says,
(وَلَوۡلَا دَفۡعُ ٱللَّهِ ٱلنَّاسَ بَعۡضَهُم بِبَعۡضٖ لَّهُدِّمَتۡ صَوَٰمِعُ وَبِيَعٞ وَصَلَوَٰتٞ وَمَسَٰجِدُ يُذۡكَرُ فِيهَا ٱسۡمُ ٱللَّهِ كَثِيرٗاۗ وَلَيَنصُرَنَّ ٱللَّهُ مَن يَنصُرُهُۥٓۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَقَوِيٌّ عَزِيزٌ)
“Had Allah not repelled ˹the aggression of˺ some people by means of others, destruction would have surely claimed monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques in which Allah’s Name is often mentioned. Allah will certainly help those who stand up for Him. Allah is truly All-Powerful, Almighty.” [TMQ Surah al-Hajj 22:40]. And Allah (swt) says,
(كُنتُمۡ خَيۡرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخۡرِجَتۡ لِلنَّاسِ تَأۡمُرُونَ بِٱلۡمَعۡرُوفِ وَتَنۡهَوۡنَ عَنِ ٱلۡمُنكَرِ)
“You are the best Ummah produced [as an example] for mankind. You enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong.” [TMQ Surah Aali Imran 3:110].
And Allah (swt) says,(فَلَا تُطِعِ ٱلۡكَٰفِرِينَ وَجَٰهِدۡهُم بِهِۦ جِهَادٗا كَبِيرٗ) “So do not obey the disbelievers, and strive against them a great striving.” [TMQ al-Furqan 25:52]. Ibn Abbas (ra) said strive against them means strive against them with the Noble Quran.
The conflict is inevitable, which is known by the West. In his book “La Méditerranée et le Monde Méditerranéen à l’Epoque de Philippe II” (“The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Philip II,”) the French historian Fernand Braudel referred to civilizations and their conflict. The second volume of this substantial work moves from civilizations and social structures to 16th century Mediterranean politics, diplomacy and warfare, as Braudel analyzes the two great empires of the age, Catholic Spain and Moslem Turkey. Braudel demonstrates that the confrontation between Latin Christendom and Ottoman Islam, which culminated in the battle of Lepanto in 1571, was the decisive political and cultural reality of the era, the one conditioning all others, including the more peripheral conflict of Reformation and Counter‐Reformation.
In 1947, British historian Arnold J. Toynbee gave a lecture regarding the clash of civilizations, whose ideas were included in his book, Civilization on Trial (Oxford University Press 1948). The clash of civilizations is a thesis that people’s cultural and religious identities will be the primary source of conflict in the post–Cold War world. The American political scientist Samuel P. Huntington argued that future wars would be fought not between countries, but between cultures. It was proposed in a 1992 lecture at the American Enterprise Institute, which was then developed in a 1993 Foreign Affairs article titled “The Clash of Civilizations?” Huntington later expanded his thesis in a 1996 book, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order.
Huntington spent more than half a century at Harvard University, where he was the director of Harvard’s Center for International Affairs and the Albert J. Weatherhead III University Professor. During the presidency of Jimmy Carter, Huntington was the White House Coordinator of Security Planning for the National Security Council.
Toynbee asserted that the great and most important event of the 20th century, which historians would often consider in the later centuries, is the collision of Western civilization with all other existing societies in the world. He also asserted that the first step is to unify the world according to the Western civilizational model. He opined that the arts, industry, economy or politics will not stand in its way, but religion is the greatest obstacle. He determined that religion is the primary belief and basic reference for the rise of civilizations. Similarly, his successor Samuel Huntington stated that the differences between civilizations are basic differences that are summarized in terms of history, language and culture, and the most important of them is religion. He added that religion is the central force in the modern world and that perhaps it is the central force that moves people and mobilizes them. Thus, he concluded that cultural differences are not subject to exchange or compromise.
Clashes between civilizations will occur. The current conflict dictated and obliged upon the West is by the vitality of the great Islam. The seed of Islam’s mighty Aqeedah refuses to die. Instead it generated a band of conscious, loyal, pious and pure people who restored the Islamic thinking to its vitality and splendor. They shed light upon its ideological reality, its civilizational conception and its method of implementing it within the domain of human life. They correctly clarified all that was necessary to resume the Islamic life and carry Islam as an intellectual leadership, a civilizational alternative for humanity. They strive and they pray for the correct radical solution to the problem of humanity.
With deep perception of the great Islamic thought and method and with deep understanding of the status quo, this band of people defined its objective, drew out its method of achieving it and the nature of its mission. Then the group engaged in intellectual and political struggle to achieve its goal. So, it confronted Western thinking, in both of its forms, capitalism and communism.
It exposed its reality, demolished its foundations and demonstrated its invalidity and the corruption of its systems. It further exposed the policies of the West, its colonialism and brutality. As soon as the signs of reviving on the basis of Islam appeared within the Islamic Ummah, the West lost its mind. It was stunned at how a civilization can be restored, after its impact was erased with the destruction of its Khilafah (Caliphate) entity. The West sees the great might of Islam crushing its thinking, even though the West is the one who controls the politics, economics, education, media, rulers, military and the details of life in the Islamic world. What deepened the madness and misery of the West is the intellectual impasse the West has reached. The material for civilizational conflict is thinking. However, the intellectual crisis of the West rendered it naked, stripped of the weapon of thinking that is necessary to fight the civilizational conflict. With its intellectual inability and crisis, it was unable to effectively engage in the civilizational conflict with the great Islam. It instead responded to the conflict over the greatest problems of human life by becoming a killing machine that moves instinctively for its survival alone.
The French Institute of International Relations (Institut français des relations internationales) devoted one of its main themes in its annual report issued in 1987 to a research entitled “Islam: A New Force in International Relations.” The report analyzed the result of the witnessed return of Islam to the Islamic world and its repercussions on international relations. The report stated that the superpowers were theoretically incapable of facing an increasing trend against them, developed against the influence of the West. The report referred to the phenomena of radical Islam.
(To be continued)
Manaji Muhammad, Morocco
Al-Waie Magazine Issue 397
Safar 1441 AH – October 2019 CE