300 Million Zeros and a few Ones
Illustration from a Kalila wa Dimna Manuscript, 1200–1220 CE
By Syrischer Maler um 1210 [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
For as long as Humans roamed this earth, the Middle East has always been part of History. Long before the contemporary “civilized” world even existed, inhabitants of this waste land created civilization.
You can turn your blind eye to this truth, but it’s a fact. A fact that only us Arabs have forgotten.
Between the 8th & 13th centuries, Arabs were more focused on education, philosophy and science than any nation around the globe. While America wasn’t even drawn on maps [and its inhabitants were still sacrificing humans and eating their hearts], and Europe was more into chivalry, poetry, polygamy and witch hunting, Arabs [in addition to what the rest of the world was doing] were researching, translating and pushing the boundaries of science; the advancements in medicine, math and education are the building blocs of the world we know today.
But that was just part of the past.
Abu Nasr Al Farabi, Ebn Sina, Ebn Battuta, Al Khawarizmi [a.k.a Alghorithmi], and many others are just names of great scientists of the Golden Age (read more here). Their work and writings occupy our libraries and bookshelves, only for their historical value.
So how did we get here? How did we flip from pioneers to end consumers?
In a research article published on the New Atlantis , under the title: “Why the Arab World turned away from Science“, Hillel Ofec links the decline in Arab scientific research and advancement to the rise of the “Ash’arites”.
In its place arose the anti-rationalist Ash’ari school whose increasing dominance is linked to the decline of Arabic science. With the rise of the Ash’arites, the ethos in the Islamic world was increasingly opposed to original scholarship and any scientific inquiry that did not directly aid in religious regulation of private and public life. While the Mu’tazilites had contended that the Koran was created and so God’s purpose for man must be interpreted through reason, the Ash’arites believed the Koran to be coeval with God — and therefore unchallengeable. At the heart of Ash’ari metaphysics is the idea of occasionalism, a doctrine that denies natural causality. Put simply, it suggests natural necessity cannot exist because God’s will is completely free. Ash’arites believed that God is the only cause, so that the world is a series of discrete physical events each willed by God.
It makes perfect sense when you see the effect of Religions in everything [side effect]. God & his representatives on earth have so much power on this side of the planet [promised land?].
300 Million Arabs hardly contribute to anything else than death tolls, crime statistics, terrorism and sectarian genocides. We forgot that we’re people with potential and lots of riches.
Why do you think, that after all this time, we’re still fighting useless wars against each others? [perhaps the world is afraid of what we can do in peace]
Why instead of investing in our youth, we’re allowing a few “money worshipers” to manipulate their minds with fairytales of Heaven, 72 virgins and eternal life?
بإسم الله الرحمان الرحيم
[translation: in the name of God all merciful]
Where’s “mercy” in what’s happening in the Arab world? Muslims killing each others [and the rest along the way], in the name of God. The same God they all worship. So who do you think God is supporting in this battle?
300 Million Zeros. And the few Ones, either left, or died trying, in vain.
The only bright light, in all this darkness, [little bit of hope] is the UAE; Dubai and its ruler Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and the other emirates’ rulers, have managed to combine the traditional and modern, making the UAE the most evolved Arab country. And the fact that the Emirates Institute for Advanced Science and Technology is planning the build of the first Arab made satellite is just proof of the potential this nation has (read more here).