The most important need of the day is to help the Muslim acquire confidence in him and in his past so that he is able to face the future with hope, courage and high resolve. His faith in the religion he professes, but whose genius he does not always understand, has to be revived and vitalized. His bonds with Islam are mainly those of heritage. He is a Muslim because he is born to Islam. He has rarely made any serious attempt to acquire a real understanding of his religion.
The teaching of Islam is essentially a teaching for leadership and world welfare. One of its most important characteristics is that it teaches its followers how to acquire self confidence without any taint of conceit and egotism; breathes into him the fervour of faith and conviction, free of all self-deception, and, by waning him from all dependence on others, instils in him complete trust in God with a faith that never falters of grows weak. This faith requires the Muslim to shoulder the responsibility of humanity at large and enjoins on him the trusteeship of entire human race.
The book under review succeeds in stimulating an awareness of this responsibility in its readers and bringing home to them its validity. The book in its style and treatment does not, however pander to mere sentiments or excite passions of dogmatism. The enlightened and unprejudiced mind of the author is clearly revealed by the scrupulous care and deep concern for truth with which historical events and their sequences are recorded and environmental effects and ramification analysed.
What was the condition of the world before the advent of Islam and the state of affair in the East and the West, the North and South? What was the intellectual temper of man from China to India, From Persia to Rome? What was the colour and texture of contemporary society? In what state were those religions of the world that are based on Heavenly sanction like Judaism and Christianity, and those that preach idol and fire-worship like Hinduism and Magianism? These questions with which the book actually starts are dealt with in concise but comprehensive manner.
After describing this age of ignorance, in its salient feature, the author has outlined the part played by Islam in the reconstruction of humanity. He has shown how, when it had the opportunity, Islam liberated the soul of man from superstitions and banalities, emancipated him from the evils of slavery and degradation, and lifted him out of the slough of filth an disease.
All this was done, when Islam had a controlling hand in the affairs of the world and had an opportunity of fashioning life according to its sown special genius.
Then came a period in which Islam lost its leadership due mainly to failure of the Muslims to sustain and discharge efficiently the great responsibility of the trusteeship of mankind which Islam enjoined upon the and which was associate with them all along at each turning of life. The author describes succinctly the reasons for the material and spiritual decay of the Muslims and points out the harm the Muslims sustained by deviating from the principles of their faith and turning away from the responsibilities it entitled.
Another outstanding feature of the book is that the author displays in it a deep and correct understanding of the spirit of Islam and of its principles and essential in their wider aspect and implications.
Islam And The World