Friday, March 4, 2011

Man of Character

University of Granada, Spain.
The world is held up by four pillars: The Wisdom of the Learned, the Justice of the Great, the Prayers of the Righteous and the Valour of the Brave.
(Dunia ini dibangunkan di atas empat tiang utama: Kebijaksanaan para Ilmuan, Keadilan para Pemimpin, Doa para Solihin dan Keberanian para Pahlawan)
Those inspiring words are the inscription at the entrance of University of Granada in Spain, a university which foundation was laid by Muslim.

Wisdom, Justice, Faith and Bravery were the foundation of the Muslim society that ruled Spain for almost 800 years. Tariq ibn Ziyad came to Spain to liberate her from the cruelty of the Visighotic rule and consequently Spain bloomed into a beautiful golden era that eventually lead to the  Renaissance in Europe. The history of the world was profoundly influenced by the Muslim Spain whose society placed education at the highest priority in developing the nation.
When the last Muslim ruler was finally driven out of Granada (the last city to fall) in 1492, he looked back his shoulder and wept. His mother's bitter words are remembered until today: "It is well that you should weep like a woman for a city you would not defend as a man!" It was indeed painful to read this history.

Thomb of Sultan Muhammad Al-Fateh
At that time, in Turkey, the great ruler of the Ottoman empire, Sultan Muhammad Al-Fateh had passed away. Sultan Muhammad was a living example of a person with the four qualities in one person, a wise learned man, a just ruler, a righteous servant and a brave warrior. It was reported that during his reign the pious Sultan had tried to help Spain but it was not meant to be. Eleven years after he died, Muslim Spain fell to the Christians.

In contrast to the fall of Muslim Spain, the history of the conquest of Constantinople in 1453 was legendary. Sultan Muhammad definitely deserve the title of the great commander as described in the hadith. The commander who lead a great army  of 250,000 people.

Learning was a substantial part of Sultan Muhammad's upbringing. Besides his ability to memorize the Qur'an before the age of 8, he was also multilingual. Sheikh Aq Shams al-Din, one of the scholars who supervised his upbringing and education succeeded in inculcating the spirit of jihaad to the young Muhammad that he grew up to be very devoted to jihaad, highly ambitious, widely cultured, and had a deep knowledge of the skills of war and combat.
So deep was the influence that the teacher had on him that after the conquest of Constantinople, Sultan Muhammad said that it was not him who conquered the city, but his teacher, Sheikh Aq Shams al-din.

After almost 700 years ruling a vast empire that covered three continents, Asia, Africa and Europe, in 1922, the Ottoman caliphate was dissolved.

Reading the history of Muslim Spain and the Ottoman caliphate is both inspiring and heartbreaking. Both nations suffered the humiliation of falling from grace when they began to lead a materialistic way of life devoid of spiritual strength.
Any nation can grow and progress into glory for as long as the nation is blessed with great leadership and is founded by strong principle with education as the main priority in producing the human capital. Wisdom, justice, faith and bravery are the essential foundation of a great leadership. Besides, the leaders must be a firm believer in Allah and not be blinded by the glitter of power and wealth of this temporary world.

They are not just a man of power, but a man of character.

Note: This entry is written after the writer attended 'Seminar Baldatun Tayyibah', organized by Persatuan Ulama' Selangor, recently. The writer wish to apologize for any error or inaccurate details that may occur here. Please feel free to give any comments. 


minayal shah said...

it's reallly sad and the glorious reign of muslims was shattered in spain

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