If Islam is the truth, why are Muslim countries so backward and in turmoil?


This question presumes that there are Muslim nations in existence today. The truth is that our terminologies must be clear and consistent. There is no Muslim nation today, as a Muslim nation is one which operates according to the Shari’ah of God (the body of law which governs Muslims), Saudi Arabia does not fall under this classifications due to two easy to recall reasons, ribaa (interest) based monetary system and its rule by Kingship. There are however, Muslim majority countries.

Therefore there is a great distinction between being Islamic nations and Muslim majority nations. Given that we now have this understanding, the question begs itself, why are so many Muslim nations today lacking strong economies, full of war and lacking basic human rights.

The simple answer would be a historical one. If we were to take a cursory look of the list of the nations today that are currently Muslim majority but involved in conflict, poverty or some other social ill, we’ll soon realise that within the last century – they were all either colonized or involved in some lang drawn out conflict or the other and none of them have ever been under true Islamic rule. Afghanistan for example, has never had the opportunity to develop itself, for any nation to develop itself economically, infrastructurally and sociologically it requires long periods of political, economic and civil stability.

cc-2014-saudiarabia-construction

Saudi Arabia’s Infrastructural Development

So if we look at any Muslim majority country and weigh them against political, economic and civil stability, a significant majority of them would fail this cursory examination. The only few exemptions would be Saudi Arabia, and they fulfill all three criteria. If we look at UAE, they also fulfill the same criteria. However nations such as Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia cannot. Therefore, there is no relation between Islam and these nation’s misgivings, rather the problem is clearly rooted in historical ills associated with the lack of political, economic and civil stability. Most of these nations were also colonialised, their resources shipped back to the metroples of their day, their infrastructure underdeveloped and masses of their societies left impoverished and without any great foundations from which to develop their nations (look at my home region – the Caribbean as an ample example of this).

In conclusion, it isn’t a great mystery, lack of political, economic and civil stability will cause any nation to crumble, these are the pillars for which any nation needs in order for development and advancement to initiate. The great Western superpowers fulfill these three given criteria, and are successful because of it. Centuries of independence and development, versus budding nations with less than 75 years of independence, is an unfair comparison and a biased one at that.

and God knows best.

11 comments

  • Can you give an example of a time in history when Islam ruled well and we could see what a true Islamic nation looked like?

  • Under Muhammad salallaahu ‘alayhi wa salam, or the 5 Khulafa may Allaah ta ‘aala be pleased with them all, who succeeded him.

    There’s a hadeeth you should be familiar with on the khilafa and it’s evolution throughout history as revealed to the Prophet salallaahu ‘alayhi wa salam which explains it’s downfall, problems and success once more.

  • Hey Ijaz
    Give us some scripture from the koran not some sayings compiled hundreds of years after the prophet.

  • Hi Ijaz
    And maybe to add to that some historical facts.

  • why did you not allow my comment? i was saying its sad but true about the article. not what you replied to sameul green. do you not agree with it being a sad thing?

  • I’ve been busy last few days, it’s approved now.

  • I don’t think “blame colonialism” is sufficient, because that only begs the question “why did the Muslims get conquered in the first place?”

    I would argue that the Middle East is an inherently poor location to try to establish a powerful civilization. Most obviously it is arid in climate, which makes agriculture dependent on irrigation systems (that were very vulnerable to barbarian invaders like the Mongols).

    The tide really turned against the Muslim civilization though in about the 16th century CE, due to the European Age of Discovery. This hurt the Muslim world relative to Christian Europe in four ways:

    1) Christopher Columbus gave Christendom access to two new continents with their vast resources.
    2) The establishment of the Manila-Acapulco galleon service (which completed Columbus’s original goal of reaching East Asia by sailing west) also bypassed the Silk Road, which deprived the Muslim world of vital trade revenue.
    3) Vasco da Gama allowed Portuguese naval power into the Indian Ocean, devastating the Muslim trading system in the Indian Ocean.
    4) The discovery of the potato in South America enabled Northern European nations to support much larger populations than before, to the detriment not just of the Muslims but also of the Southern European Christian powers (such as Spain and Venice).

  • Most Critics of Religion of Islam judge Religious history by ignoring Secular History, it is western nations that built there nations on slavery and stealing third world country natural resources.
    Now that you built your nation you think it makes religion backward?

    You argument is only sound if you can actually provide evidence from the Quran that suggests Muslims not to seek scientific knowledge or educational knowledge. Then you have every ground to criticize or link Muslim lands to religion as the blame. Secondly majority of those Muslim countries have been colonized and at war and in the last especially 100 years Islamic Shariah has been wiped off the map meaning you can not blame economics on Islam rather democracy and interest that has failed there economics and that is why majority of Muslim countries are 3rd world. Never the less it is not as if Turkey and UAE are not developed Muslim countries in fact Muslim president Tayip Erdogan is doing very well when it comes to Money and advancement, yet America is still under a 14 trillion dollar dept. Furthermore proving that Muslim countries are backward due to education or poor infrastructure doesn’t mean Islam or religion is False just because People who don’t wish to build a country does not mean the Teaching of Islam or any religion tells them not to unless you can provide that evidence. And besides Its actually a good thing in my view Muslims do not have all the Power military and economically because most of the Muslim countries do not follow Islamic Quran Shariah Authority which proves that God will not support them and instead give power to the Disbelievers until the Muslims wake up….so to me its only a great sign for us to take heed. Finally our purpose in this life is not to become the richest nation on the earth or the most powerful or most earthly educated for worldly affairs. Rather our objective is to yes work hard in life but ultimate goal is to full fill the test for the hereafter. Everything on this planet including your mighty power will perish on Armageddon day so its pointless to only focus on this earth while we as Muslims believe is only a place of Punishment for Adam and Eve.
    In saying all that saying Religion has led us backwards is a oxymoron, as in our Modern world our Universities are packed with Religious students and Professors…
    Now you can ignore all that I have stated but one thing you can not ignore is the fact that over 65% of Australia population are religious people who identify themselves as Christians, Muslims, sikhs, hindus and Jews…who have worked hard specifically Christians who have built this country. So much for your utter-nonsense that religion makes a country or influences a country to go backwards in advancements. End of story

  • I wasn’t arguing that Islam was the cause of the Muslim world’s backwardness at all — in fact I would argue that it is to Islam’s credit that the Muslim civilization managed to achieve so much prior to 1500 CE, in spite of starting from such a materially unpromising position. The Middle East would be just as backward in the absence of Islam, if not more so.

    By the way, would anyone here see any merit in the argument that the material backwardness of the current Muslim world has engendered a fatalistic culture there (which Westerners often regard the phrase “insha’allah” as being an example of)?

  • George Carty, In Shaa Allah means ‘if Allah wills’. This is more like the term ‘God willing’. For example, God willing, I’ll ace in my exams.

  • This: Qur’aan is an explicit elucidation for the people at large. And it is guidance: regulatory information for aright conduct and counseling: results of affairs- disclosure of factual outcome of acts: good and bad eventuality, reward and punishment – penal code, for those who endeavor to remain cautious and avoid conduct inspired and governed by emotion in reverence and fear of Allah the Exalted. [3:138]

    And you people should not loose heart and slacken; and nor should feel grief:
    ****Provided you people were true believers: you will gain and retain elevated and honoured stature.**** [3:139]

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