The History of Islam and Muslims – Part 2

The History of Islam and Muslims - Part 2
Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri

5 schools of thought of Islam came into being in trying to define the correct way of worshipping in terms of the Hadith and Quran. These schools became institutionalized, highly theologized and structured 400 to 500 years after death of Prophet, but Islam was not like this at the time of the Prophet. Rulers were misbehaving and institutionalised Islam was an attempt to address this.

There existed Northern and Southern Arab tribes, and the Quran is in the language of the Northern tribes. At a time 7 versions of the Quran existed in terms of the different linguistic orientations and this was standardized into one version. The Quraysh were 1 tribe from North.

Rulers would side with one tribal system, and change alliances to another. We need to understand who was present and leading at the time.

Leaders at the time: Abassi, Al Mansoor, Haroun Rashid, the latter in France. His son Mahmood was interested in Hellenistic scholars, and he invested in exposure to astrology, medicine etc. and there was an upsurge in Greek & Persian hakeems.

What emerged was an imperialist system of leadership. But unless leadership is from the people, by the people, for the love of Allah, it will not work. This was when revivalist activity emerged in the form of Sufism at this time.

All activity took place in a mosque as this was a central point for people in a community – social, economic, political etc. Locals could identify strangers at Jumuah, and be welcomed.

Islam has become a ritual and culture whereby the original Muhammadi way had become diluted. Islam was caught in tribal Arabic system and is now being liberated.

Abyssinians moved to a new city north of Baghdad. Armies were imported from abroad and Caliphs were under the power of the military. Centralized governments from 950 broke down and the caliphate structure broke down even further.

Idris of Morocco, the great-grandson of Hassan (AS) escapes to Morocco and after his death, his slave is elected as leader, but Idris’ son later consolidates the Islamic movement and moves to Fez. At this time, Abasaids are established in Andalus. The peak of Andalus history is led by Marwan the third.

The treasures of Haroun Rashid when he dies is huge, but he did not adhere to the Qur'an in that he accumulated wealth.

Spain is a yardstick for elsewhere in the world. Anadalus did not have real integration and harmony in its history. Locals and those who embraced Islam were considered inferior. When a maharaja embraced islam, he stayed where he was. In Andalus, people were deposed. Muslims made things difficult. Great titles were created but these were out of place.

The Prophets death was in 632, and within 30 years (660/5) Islam was in North Africa. Then is spread to Tunis but it took a long time overcome the tribalism and alliances (sound is lost in the audio clip).

70 yrs gap before Islam grows in Andalus. Germanic and Islamic influence created Cordoba. Around 700 there were pseudo Christian leaders that were despotic and that oppressed the minorities.

Islam extended to France and Arabs would go into raids without sustained warfare. And the west claims that Islam was stopped here. As Sumail – grandson of the killer of Husain (AS) went to North Africa. He was a warrior and kingpin of Andalus. He started reconstruction and brought in fruit from the east.

Imam Malik was teaching in Medina and they brought back his teachings to Andalus, whereas in the east the Hanafi school was beginning to be established in Baghdad.

Imam Jafar was teaching in Medina at this time and there was a period where people were given more freedom with their beliefs. Imam Jafar and Abu Rahman spent 2 years together, and the Hanafi school of thought became institutionalised. The institutionalised or legalistic Sharia is overseen by Imam Shafi, whose students 2 generations later established their main base in Egypt.

Imam Malik is in North Africa. There was lots of brutality. During Abu Rahman the Second’s time, people from Northern Europe were going to Andalus for scholarships and this led to the first universities of the west. The cloister style buildings of Oxford and Cambridge and the robe came from there.

Christian north began to encroach on to the south and there were minority Christians living with the Muslims and vice versa. Abdu Rahman - the Third establishes himself as a caliph. He built a city that was ruined and they recreated the palace only recently.

(1 hr:04:18)