Title: The Clash of Civilisations: An Islamic View
Authors: Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips
Reviewed by: Safwan
In a time when Muslims in the West live in an environment of turmoil and difficulty facing new changes daily, they encounter a cultural dilemma, a clash of the Islamic and Western civilizations. Therefore it is of the utmost importance to know the foundations of these cultures, the differences between them as well as understanding Islam correctly taken from its pure sources.
The Western culture has its roots in Greco-Roman civilization, until that its effects can be seen until today. The naming of the days from Sunday to Saturday are all based on their deities, namely Sun, Moon, Tyr, Woden, Thor, Frigg, and Saturn. Even the holy day of Sunday and Christmas can be traced to the Roman pagan’s belief system.
The great transition the West experience to modern science occurred in the battle over Copernicus’s theory, championed by Galileo, whose struggle survived at the expense of his life. The Aristotelians who conspired against him soon lost the war, consequently paving more way for mechanistic explanation which we call science. Later the rise of Voltaire, David Hume, Charles Lyell, Darwin and many others gave a big blow to Christianity- from which it is yet to recover today.
Bilal Philips then expounded on Islamic culture and the roots from where it was derived, making clear between what is original and what characterizes a product of adoption or innovation. Muslims went through several evolutionary phases throughout history marked by the existence of schools of thoughts, a period of blind following, reformation, modernism, and movements. The Islamic creed is however very much protected; its teaching is still preserved and its foundations unadulterated- but the main problem is when they are not practiced.
In the later chapters, the author wrote on each and every pillar of Islam and iman and its consequentially generated character and virtue. Muslims are called to appreciate these pillars to secure not only a new world order but also the much-hoped salvation.