⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯ CULTURE ⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯
Our history is marked by great men and women who have helped shine Islam, the example of their commitment to Allah soubhanou wa Ta'ala can help us in our daily lives. The Muslim must look at his past in order to act effectively in the present. We will observe this through three characteristic examples of our history.
⎯ Saladin ⎯
Wisdom Incarnated as a Man
Saladin (1138 - 1193), of his real name, Salaheddine Yusuf al-Ayyoubi is generally known to Muslims for his exploits during the Crusades in the 12th century, and more precisely about the conquest of Jerusalem. But if Saladin was a charismatic leader in his day, it was also because he was imbued with many Islamic values
We know, for example, that Saladin particularly liked the reading of the hadiths, he did not hesitate to bring together learned schouyoukh) to discuss and learn more. In addition, he also appreciated their recitation before fighting on the battlefield.Very attached to the Quran, it is reported that he took care to read and meditate regularly, especially during the night. Saladin was also convinced that the excesses of material goods in life harmed the Muslim. From then on, he forced himself to live modestly, while his status as a sultan allowed him to obtain all the property of this dounia.This commitment accompanied him to his deathbed where Saladin demanded that the Holy Book be recited to him to accompany his departure to the Akhira (Beyond).
⎯ Soliman the Magnificent ⎯
The Ottoman splendor in the service of Allah
Soliman the Magnificent (1494 - 1566) was sultan of the Ottoman Empire at its peak in the early sixteenth century.His work resulted in the conquest of territories in Eastern Europe (Belgrade, seat of Vienna), the embellishment of the capital Istanbul (thanks to the famous architect Sinan whose historians attribute more than 300 achievements), or the promotion Sciences.Soliman reigned on three continents: Europe, Asia and Africa. This man is recognized by his contemporaries as being particularly ascetic, he is very attached to morality and proper manners. In addition, Soliman is particularly good at politics. At the age of 15, he was appointed provincial governor and received a high-level education. Polyglot, he mastered Turkish, Arabic and Persian.As a sign of his commitment to Allah SoubhanaHou wa Ta'ala, he commissioned his architect the famous Süleymaniye Mosque (1550), which houses a Koranic school, a hospice and a place of welcome for travelers.
⎯ The Emir Abdelkader ⎯
Resisting for Allah
Abdelkader (1808 - 1883) is famous for his resistance to the French colonizer in Algeria between 1830 and 1847. If the Emir succeeds in resisting the heads of Muslim tribes in the face of the greatest military power of the time, it is because he is animated by a faith in Allah unshakeable that accompanies him in his victories and defeats .His appointed secretary Mohamed Ben Ruila, offers us a description of the man: "Abdelkader does not like the world. He moves away from it as much as he can. It feeds very soberly, always simply clothed. He only likes to pray to God and to fast in order to absolve himself of all sin. He fears God, he is polite to everyone, he is noble and does not want to make him appear. He is very honest and never wants to take anything from him in the public treasury. He renders justice to the humblest of Muslims, his justice is both sweet and rigorous. " .
Allah asks us about our past
"And We sent not before you [as messengers] except men to whom We revealed from among the people of cities. So have they not traveled through the earth and observed how was the end of those before them? And the home of the Hereafter is best for those who fear Allah ; then will you not reason? [...] There was certainly in their stories a lesson for those of understanding. Never was the Qur'an a narration invented, but a confirmation of what was before it and a detailed explanation of all things and guidance and mercy for a people who believe. "
[Qur'an, 12: 109 and 12: 111]
Looking at our history is therefore necessary to understand the consequences of our success or our mistakes. The Muslim must be aware of his past to be effective in the present and thus put his commitment into perspective. History makes it possible to conceive Islam in its diachronic dimension. The life of the believer enters into the history of the Ummah and the great men who have contributed to it.
Bibliography (in alphabetical order) :
Ahmed Bouyerdene, Eric Geoffroy, Abd elKader, L’harmonie des contraires, Seuil, Paris, 2008
Anne Marie Eddé, Saladin, Flammarion, Paris, 2008.
Tariq Ramadan, L’Islam et les musulmans : grandeurs et décadences dans le quotidien de nos vies, Paris, Albouraq, 2011
Thérèse Bittar, Soliman le Magnifique, Gallimard, Paris, 1994.