This work, Crisis in the Muslim Mind, is an abridgement and translation of an
original Arabic text of high literary style. The subject matter, which is not
always easy to follow, is aimed toward the Initiation of serious discussion
among Muslim intellectuals regarding the roots of the malaise of contemporary
Muslim society. Such a work is undoubtedly difficult for anyone other than the
author himself to translate. Unfortunately, I had neither the time nor the
opportunity to undertake It myself However, as I have full confidence in the
abilities of Yusuf Talal DeLorenzo and those who edited and reviewed the work, I
am confident that the message of the original has been conveyed.
The translation comes out at a time when the Muslim Ummah finds itself in the
wake of the collapse of the former Soviet Union and the bipolar world order.
Throughout the world, the adversaries of Islam continue their aggression against
Muslims, in places like Bosnia, Kashmir, Kurdistan, southern Sudan, Somalia, the
Philippines, Burma, Palestine, Afghanistan, Algeria, and in many other places.
Such dreadful conditions serve only to magnify the Ummah's crisis. While Muslims
may react to these situations in the short term, we must never lose sight of the
fact that the malaise lies in our own weakness and incompetence. Perhaps the
most striking difference between the early Muslim generations and those that
have followed is that the early Muslims were raised to be strong, both
physically and psychologically. The dynamics of the Prophets instructions (to strut and show their strength) to those performing tawaf before the
conquest of Makkah were not lost on the early Muslims.
This book deals briefly with issues of methodology, the relationship between
the Qur'an and the Sunnah, the time and space dimension In the Sunnah, and the
rift between the political and the religious-Intellectual leadership of the
Ummah. It Is the contention of this work that while the political leadership
used force to keep the masses in order, the intellectual leadership used
emotional and psychological means to keep them in check. The net result of such
pressure was the creation of Inhibitions within the Muslim mind, which caused
the mentality of the Ummah and its character to develop In such a way that it
lacked initiative and the ability to innovate and think for itself.
At the present time, the Ummah clearly needs to address these problems and to
deal with them openly and honestly. As a precondition, it is essential that the
Ummah as a whole overcome Its reservations and superstitions in regard to
understanding and reinterpreting both the Qur'an and the Sunnah. In the final
analysis, however, it is the education and upbringing of new generations of
Muslims that must be our first concern.
The responsibility for instituting the needed change lies squarely on the
shoulders of Muslim Intellectuals. These are the ones who must break the
psychological chains that have bound the Ummah for the past several centuries.
They are the ones who must diagnose the malady for what It really is and then
prescribe the right cure. Only then will Muslims be able to actualize the true
Islamic way of life represented by tawhid, khilafah, and brotherhood. Finally,
once Muslims have regained their dynamism1 courage, and morality they will not
only improve their own lot, but contribute positively to world civilization as
'AbdulHamid A. AbuSulayman 1414AH/ 1993AC
Herndon, Virginia USA