Much of our modern activities relating to economic well-being, social development, abundant food supply, health, societal happiness, national security, and meaningful living depend upon harnessing the fruits of science and problem solving technology through good economic and educational setting and material prosperity and welfare with industry and commerce to eradicate poverty, disease, and insecurity in the Muslim World today.
Starting in 609 CE in Makkah, Islamic Civilisation rapidly spread throughout much of the Mediterranean and the Middle East and further east. The Muslim Empire in South Asia was established in 1175 CE which led to the eventful rule by the Mughals until 1857 CE.
Muslim Empire survived in Andalusia (Spain) until 15th century and the Ottoman Empire ruled over Bosnia and Belgrade and had sway over Romanian principalities near Danube. The Muslim Khilafah on the European and Central Asian parts and north Africa survived until 1923 CE and as a result, Aragon, Cordova, Baghdad, Cairo, Damascus, Granada, Delhi, Agra, Basra, and many other cities continued to be at the zenith of cultural and commercial glory for many centuries with early development of modern roads and bridges and elegant buildings.
Since its inception, Muslim State dealt with many challenges including the Mongol sacking of Baghdad, European Crusades and the period beyond to modern times but Muslims were generally resilient and united and overcame these setbacks with strong science and technological capabilities built on good economic strength.
Around 1660 CE, two of the greatest monuments of modern history were erected: St. Paul’s Cathedral in (European) London and the Taj Mahal in (Muslim) Agra. Between them, the two symbolize, the comparable level of architectural technology, craftsmanship and sophistication up to that point of history.
Today, despite Muslims controlling nearly 50% of critical global resources, Muslims who ruled for over 1000 years across three continents, have a world GDP share of about 2% for a population of around 22%. Almost 50% of the Muslims live below poverty line.
What the Muslim World desperately needs is inspirational leadership, unity and reawakening. Hewlett-Packard CEO, Carly Fiorina summarized bench mark Muslim science and technology culture in the following words:
… a civilization that was able to create a continental super-state that stretched from ocean to ocean and from northern climes to tropics and deserts. Driven by invention its commerce extended from Latin America to China. Its mathematicians created algebra and algorithms that would enable the building of computers and the creation of encryption and technology industry. Its physicians found cures, its astronomers paved the way for space travel and exploration. … The technology industry would not exist without the contributions of Arab mathematicians. ….
Muslim Countries need to regain their sense of self-respect through science, technology and economics which they enjoyed for nearly 1300 years.
Sir Syed Ahmad Khan was a revolutionary leader who pushed for Muslims to re- enrgise in modern science and technology at the later part of 19th century and established a first modern institution for this purpose, the renowned Aligarh Muslim University in India where the author also had honour to be educated.