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Tanzimat destroyed the Ottoman Empire

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  • Tanzimat destroyed the Ottoman Empire

    You know what? I'm sick and tired of Muslims being unable to grasp the real reasons the khilafah was destroyed. The narrative of "the Islamic Golden Age happened" then all of a sudden the Muslims economically and technologically declined for no apparent reason is rubbish. Worse is what westerners do - pinning the blame on the likes of Al Ghazali (rahimullah). All of this misses out the developments the Ottoman empire made, in the economic, technological and spiritual fields. But there's something deeper to this narrative. It really shows the state of Muslims that they have not been able to address the true cause of the decline of the Ottoman empire and what its implications are. Instead they cry about the golden age and ignore Ottoman history. Well I am going to discuss this history and why I think, strongly, the Ottoman empire was destroyed by increasing materialism which manifested in the confusion over the decline, the Tanzimat reforms and then the overthrow of Abdul Hamid II.
    Amir ul-Muminin Sayyiduna Ali KarramAllahu Wajhah said,
    "Mahma tasawwarta bi-balik, fallahu bi-khilaf dhalik,"
    Whatever comes into your mind, Allah is other than that,

    Al-Aqeedah Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal (Riwayah Abu Bakr al-Khallal),
    1/116

  • #2
    Point 1: No we didn't suddenly regress after the Golden Ages
    Westerners frame this from a scientific standpoint so (even though a society should be measured by spiritual and material value) I will address this from a science point of view.

    Al Ghazali (rahimullah) came along in the fifth century hijri (eleventh century gregorian) and famously wrote "The Incoherence of the Philosophers" which was a key attack on Muslim philosophers who had deviated by adopting ridiculous views like pre-eternal existence of the creation etc. Al Ghazali famously refuted them and brought into question the entire Aristotelian system of understanding. Westerners, who think of Muslim thinkers as little but "translators" of the Greek legacy, think this led to a decline in the sciences in the Islamic world. This couldn't be less true - Al Ghazali was instrumental in developing criticism of Greek philosophy and how this needed to be seperated from actual rationalism. Al Ghazali promoted mathematics, logic etc. but said people should study the natural sciences (which were simply based of Greek philosophy back then, not empiricism).

    Did we see a momentary decline in scientific output? Yes we did - this was due to the mongol invasions. In the sacking of Baghdad, the Bayt al-Hikmah, the house of wisdom was destroyed (meaning countless works were lost).

    Proof that Al Ghazali didn't fuel a sudden rise in ignorance? Ali Qushji was a scholar of the Ottoman era who came far later that Al Ghazali. Influenced by Al Ghazali's criticism of Aristotelianism, he applied this to seperate the rubbish that composed the Greek ideas of astronomy. A hundred years before Copernicus he stated that it was plausible that the Earth to orbit the Sun, rather than the popular Greek model that the Sun orbited the Earth. And Ali Qushji unlike Copernicus wasn't excommunicated or anything - he was funded by the Sultan! (He was also a Hanafi scholar of fiqh, showing that our great thinkers were those that combined knowledge of the Sharia with knowledge of Allah's creation.)


    Amir ul-Muminin Sayyiduna Ali KarramAllahu Wajhah said,
    "Mahma tasawwarta bi-balik, fallahu bi-khilaf dhalik,"
    Whatever comes into your mind, Allah is other than that,

    Al-Aqeedah Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal (Riwayah Abu Bakr al-Khallal),
    1/116

    Comment


    • #3
      Point 2: A slow decline after the conquest of Constantinople
      In 857 H (1453), Sultan Mehmed conquered Constantinople. Go study this man and you will learn he had a great respect for the Ulama and learning. The Ottoman sultans at that time claimed their position of Caliph and it was well merited as they did rule by full sharia law (for most of the Ottoman empire at the time this was Hanafi law, which later became codified).

      After this though we have the period of history no-one talks about. Well let's talk about it. A few years after the siege, in 926 H (1520) Suleiman the "Magnificent" came to the throne. Westerners call him magnificent. Want to know why? He is also known as Suleiman the lawgiver: He promulgated the Kanun laws. Now these laws may not seem inherently unislamic - they are restricted to the domain of the ruler's siyasa, however the content of these reforms are kind of questionable. In it for example is the method of succession: The Sultan's sons were to kill or imprison each other. I'll let you think about how acceptable that is (what's worse is the Mughal's had a similar thing). This lead to weakening leadership - in Suleiman's own rule he failed to conquer Vienna (preventing Muslim conquest into Europe).

      Ok so maybe through poor management the Muslim empire declined? Well it did sort of decline but really that decline is relative to the West skyrocketing in material wealth during this period, mainly off the exploitation of natives they conquered in the new world. Remember: When the Muslims conquered Constantinople, those Greeks were still there and able to demonize the Muslim rulers and invent lies against them. When Westerners conquered the New World, were the Aztec's able to complain afterwards? No they were eradicated by disease and silenced by colonial distortion of their culture.

      Really the Ottoman decline in this period is more in respect to the Westerners skyrocketing in wealth. Still bad years of leadership did affect the Ottoman empire. There was literally a period where the Sultan's mother was essentially in power, which reminds me of a Hadith of the Prophet alayhis salam...

      So how did we go from a slow decline to a nose dive? Well...
      Amir ul-Muminin Sayyiduna Ali KarramAllahu Wajhah said,
      "Mahma tasawwarta bi-balik, fallahu bi-khilaf dhalik,"
      Whatever comes into your mind, Allah is other than that,

      Al-Aqeedah Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal (Riwayah Abu Bakr al-Khallal),
      1/116

      Comment


      • #4
        Point 3: Materialism, "Oh look at the West!" and the Tanzimat
        It got to a point where Ottoman intellectuals (not necessarily the traditional Ulama) were questioning why this decline was taking place. Of course one should note that at this point the decline was mainly materialistic - I.e. the Ottoman's were concerned with a decline in wealth... What does that tell you about their mindset?

        So these Ottoman intellectuals started looking through the books to find the cause of the decline. They came upon a book not well received by the other Scholars of its time: The Muqaddimah by Ibn Khaldun. This book fascinates me as it reveals much that is wrong with the Islamic mindset. To this day you will get Muslims who praise the book and Ibn Khaldun as being a genius. For Westerners it is more important - it lays the foundation for western Sociology. At its time though great scholars like Ibn Hajar (rahimullah) criticised the book - and by the way this is a book which exhibits mild racism and glorification of "Asabiyya" (Tribalism which the Prophet Sallahu Alayhi Wa Salam condemned). Ibn Khaldun's whole thesis in the book, unsupported by Quran or Hadith, is that societies decline due to being less tribalistic (cohesive) and becoming more settled. So what did the Ottoman scholars think? "We need to be more tribalistic" This is the root of the development of "Ottomanism". Another thing Ibn Khaldun does is that he praises and glorifies the Greeks, and criticises the Muslims for being critical of the Greeks. This and the material success of the West caused these intellectuals to turn to examine the west.

        Of course what they found were peoples much more materially developed and much more nationalistic (the Asabiyya of Ibn Khaldun). The Ottomans started to compare themselves to the the west and the Ottoman upper class started to buy western luxury goods. An obsession developed. Then between the late 18th and 19th century something unthinkable happened.

        The Ottomans abandoned the Sharia.

        Go and take a look at Ottoman decline before the Tanzimat. Its talked about a lot but... Is it practically there? When did the Ottoman empire start losing land? When did the empire which had never taken a foreign loan go bankrupt? When did they start having problems with the Armenians and the Greeks? All in the Tanzimat period.

        In the Tanzimat period, the Ottoman empire reformed. They did several things which utterly destroyed them.
        1. Over time they implemented western laws. They essentially adopted the french legal code. This means that technically (astaghfirullah) they would legalise homosexuality. Western punishments had to be administered - ask yourself how much disruption did this caused to the Qadis?
        2. They overhauled the tax system, introducing western-style income taxes. The Muslims did not implement Income taxes until the Tanzimat period - taxes were on property and goods. Think about how this effected the financial situation of the common people.
        3. They crushed the Awqaf system, centralizing it and bringing it under their control. The Awqaf system is a broad system of charitable endowments unique to Islam. It allowed us to have healthcare without paying for it (directly or through tax), it allowed pilgrims to have free lodging.
        4. They started to take out foreign loans (terrible idea - a war on Allah and his messenger and it led to their bankruptcy).
        5. They ignored or imprisoned the Ulama.
        What do I mean by the last one? During the Tanzimat period there was an Ottoman sultan who imprisoned his Sheikh-ul-Islam after he refused to give a fatwa allowing the massacre of Greeks as payment for some of them rebelling. This is what these Sultans of this period thought of the scholars.

        Western ideas proliferated and the old system of Jizya was abolished (awful idea) and replaced with this idea that all the millets (the religious communities) were equal. As these communities got access to this "freedom", western ideas of nationalism proliferated leading rebellion and discontent.

        In this period the Ottoman upper class were now addicted to importing western goods and they taught their children French. What does this tell you of their mindset?

        Of course in this period the Ottomans lost a lot of territory both in the Balkans and in the Muslim heartlands. The Ottoman elite became addicted to western ideas and democracy was advocated. They established a parliament.
        Amir ul-Muminin Sayyiduna Ali KarramAllahu Wajhah said,
        "Mahma tasawwarta bi-balik, fallahu bi-khilaf dhalik,"
        Whatever comes into your mind, Allah is other than that,

        Al-Aqeedah Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal (Riwayah Abu Bakr al-Khallal),
        1/116

        Comment


        • #5
          Point 4: The Overthrow of a good ruler
          After all this, Allah shows his mercy. He gave us Abdul Hamid II.

          Sultan Abdul Hamid came into power initially saying he would enact further reforms (at this point the Ottoman elite wanted a constitutional figurehead monarchy like the west). But after a few years in power he had a change of heart. He went back to reasserting the rightful primacy of the Sultan in state affairs. His opponents called this authoritarianism.

          He did the following:
          1. He chucked away the disastrous Tanzimat and brought back Sharia law (quote this to any Modernist who claims the Ottomans legalised sodomy).
          2. He held the empire together as it was falling apart. Look at the territory lost during the Tanzimat period then look at his reign.
          3. He cleverly worked out ways to keep the Westerners out of Muslim affairs - when he built the Hijaz railway he did so with the Germans, enemies of the British. He limited Western access to resources (e.g. Oil).
          4. He refused to hand over Jerusalem to a Zionist, famously saying, "'I would never agree with you even if you offer not 150 million British gold but all the gold in the entire world." and also saying, "as long as I am alive, I will not have our body divided, only our corpse they can divide"
          5. He promoted Islamic unity and pan-Islamic cooperation against the colonial forces.
          6. He promoted wise scholars into important positions - for example his Sheikh-ul-Islam, Mehmet Cemaleddin (who later opposed the empire entering the first world war) and employing the great Mutakallim Mustafa Sabri (rahimullah) in his library.
          There is a story of a man coming up to him and telling him he had seen the Prophet alayhis salam in a dream, who had told him to ask the Sultan for money. The man mentioned that the Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Salam said that he had forgotten to recite salam upon him the last night. The Sultan would not stop giving the man money and the grand vizier became worried he would give him everything. The Sultan said that he would have given him his empire if he had asked.

          What happened to this man? The Ottoman elite grew uncomfortable of him and branded him a tyrant. They even went as far as inventing a story that he tore out pages from Sahih al Bukhari that relate to tyranny (funny the man enforcing the Ahkam is now the man despoiling Sahih Al Bukhari).

          They eventually impeached him by writing a fatwa and having the Sheikh-ul-Islam sign it (even though he wasn't sure about). The Sheikh-ul-Islam was a man they recently appointed but even he knew it was wrong. Another scholar continued to refuse it until he was convinced it would be in the Sultan's best interests. This was the fatwa:

          "If an imam of the Muslims tampers with and burns the sacred books.
          If he appropriates public money.
          If after killing imprisoning and exiling his subjects unjustly, he swears to amend his ways and then perjures himself.
          If he causes civil war and bloodshed among his own people.
          If it is shown that his country will gain peace by his removal and if it be considered by those who have power that this imam should abdicate or be deposed.
          Is it lawful that one of these alternatives be adopted." The answer given (willingly or not) was "It is permissible"

          So ended the authority of the Sultan Abdul Hamid II. He spent his last days in prison where he would converse to his Sheikh through secret letters. This is one of things he said in his last years:

          "I quit being caliph because of the oppression and threats by the Young Turks. This group insisted that I approve the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine. I rejected this proposition. They finally offered 150 million British gold pieces. I rejected this as well and I told them: 'I would never agree with you even if you offer not 150 million British gold but all the gold in the entire world. I served the Muslim community for more than 30 years. I did not let my forefathers down. Following my final response, they agreed on my dethronement and sent me to Thessaloniki. I pray to Allah, I did not accept to establish a new state on Palestinian lands on the Ottoman State and the Islamic community."

          The westerners and turkish secularists called him, "the Red Sultan" and "Abdul Hamid the damned". After him the Sultan was a mere puppet. The Ottoman elites took the empire into the first world war. The Muslims initially stood their ground but the arabs betrayed the turks with British help. The Ottoman empire soon dissolved and the Khilafah was disbanded.
          Last edited by Muhammad Hasan; 09-12-19, 03:30 PM.
          Amir ul-Muminin Sayyiduna Ali KarramAllahu Wajhah said,
          "Mahma tasawwarta bi-balik, fallahu bi-khilaf dhalik,"
          Whatever comes into your mind, Allah is other than that,

          Al-Aqeedah Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal (Riwayah Abu Bakr al-Khallal),
          1/116

          Comment


          • #6
            Summary
            Love of the world and love of the west destroyed the Muslims. To this day people glorify western culture, even Scholars have started doing this. When they look back at Islamic history they salivate at the materialistic peak of our civilization. What they don't realise is that this same mindset destroyed this Ummah.

            Reflect on this: At the end of the Ottoman Empire, the Ottoman Ulama were worried about burning oil, worried it would pollute the air. All sects today deride the Ottoman Ulama as backwards and stupid. I can imagine now a Muslim "intellectual" at the time scoffing at their suggestion and how it would keep the Muslim world from catching up to the West. Now in the 21st century we're talking about a climate crisis... Allah made us Khalifah on Earth to test us looking after the Earth not for us to seek its riches...

            Materialism destroyed the Muslims and it still affects us today.
            Amir ul-Muminin Sayyiduna Ali KarramAllahu Wajhah said,
            "Mahma tasawwarta bi-balik, fallahu bi-khilaf dhalik,"
            Whatever comes into your mind, Allah is other than that,

            Al-Aqeedah Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal (Riwayah Abu Bakr al-Khallal),
            1/116

            Comment


            • #7
              Excellent thread akhee.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Muhammad Hasan View Post
                In the Tanzimat period, the Ottoman empire reformed. They did several things which utterly destroyed them.Over time they implemented western laws. They essentially adopted the french legal code. This means that technically (astaghfirullah) they would legalise homosexuality. Western punishments had to be administered - ask yourself how much disruption did this caused to the Qadis?

                Comment


                • #9
                  https://islamansiklopedisi.org.tr/tanzimat

                  The above source is in Turkish, but it does shed some light on the subject.

                  As for how and/or why the religious establishment would allow it, the answer is simple: They didn't. This plays into an interesting narrative from the west that the religious "establishment" controlled the Ottoman government. They didn't. They frequently spoke out against the government, even when they were being paid by them - look up the famous hanafi scholar Ibn Abidin (rahimullah).

                  Yes the government could appoint the ulama as judges or sheikh-ul-islam, but this has always happened and doesn't stop the "government" appointed ulama from learning from/adopting the opinions of the non-government ulama.

                  The goverment and ruling elite however, as previously mentioned, eventually could care less about what the scholars said. As for Sharia legalism, this can be slowly eroded through pushing change under the guise of Siyasa. The scholars could (and were) imprisoned when they spoke out against the government. Later, after the repeal of the tanzimat reforms and Abdul-Hamid II's U-turn, during the final era of the Ottomans (when the Caliph was a puppet), the scholars (such as Mehmet Cemaleddin rahimullah) would even go as far as advising the government not to enter the first world war. Did they listen to them?

                  Really, one can argue that the weakening of the Ottoman Ulama's position to say no was during the "reforms" of Suleiman I, which gave precedence to enacting laws going against Islam under the guise of Kanun/Siyasa.

                  Yet another dimension is that many Ulama may have become afraid of the government.

                  The last thing I'll leave you with is a line from the edict itself. Translated into English:

                  "After that, those from among the ulama or the grandees of the Empire, or any other person whatsoever who shall infringe these institutions, shall undergo, without respect of rank, position, and influence, the punishment corresponding to his crime, after the latter has been fully established. A penal code shall be compiled for that purposeThe law of the Near and Middle East readings, cases, and materials, Albany: State University of New York Press
                  Amir ul-Muminin Sayyiduna Ali KarramAllahu Wajhah said,
                  "Mahma tasawwarta bi-balik, fallahu bi-khilaf dhalik,"
                  Whatever comes into your mind, Allah is other than that,

                  Al-Aqeedah Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal (Riwayah Abu Bakr al-Khallal),
                  1/116

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Salamun 'alaykum,

                    very interesting thread. Materialism did indeed play an important role in the decline of the Ottoman Empire.

                    Even the opposition to the Ottoman state was very much materialist: On the secularist side you had the nationalist movements who were materialists by definition and at the [pseudo-]religious side you had the [bloodthirsty] Najdi movement who had a materialist view of God himself and could not imagine how He is not bound to time and place.

                    The actual scholars were trying to bring the Ottoman state back to the correct way while still preserving it, but the western materialist influence got stronger and stronger until the empire completely collapsed.

                    But have the Muslims learned from this? No, rather materialism is stronger than ever before among us Muslims (including to so called "religious" ones).

                    There is another thing here: The power of the West started to grow more and more with the colonization of the rest of the world. The colonization included occupying other countries, suppressing other nations, taking from their wealth, turning them into slaves, wiping out their culture and also mass-killing them. The best example for this are the so called "United States of America", which were built upon wiping out the original population and exchanging them with Europeans.
                    And the hegemony of the West continues to be build upon the blood and wealth of other nations even after the era of colonization has ended. That‘s why we as Muslims should never ever take such oppressors and enemies of Allah ta‘ala as role models!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Abu Sulayman View Post
                      Salamun 'alaykum,

                      very interesting thread. Materialism did indeed play an important role in the decline of the Ottoman Empire.

                      Even the opposition to the Ottoman state was very much materialist: On the secularist side you had the nationalist movements who were materialists by definition and at the [pseudo-]religious side you had the [bloodthirsty] Najdi movement who had a materialist view of God himself and could not imagine how He is not bound to time and place.

                      The actual scholars were trying to bring the Ottoman state back to the correct way while still preserving it, but the western materialist influence got stronger and stronger until the empire completely collapsed.

                      But have the Muslims learned from this? No, rather materialism is stronger than ever before among us Muslims (including to so called "religious" ones).

                      There is another thing here: The power of the West started to grow more and more with the colonization of the rest of the world. The colonization included occupying other countries, suppressing other nations, taking from their wealth, turning them into slaves, wiping out their culture and also mass-killing them. The best example for this are the so called "United States of America", which were built upon wiping out the original population and exchanging them with Europeans.
                      And the hegemony of the West continues to be build upon the blood and wealth of other nations even after the era of colonization has ended. That‘s why we as Muslims should never ever take such oppressors and enemies of Allah ta‘ala as role models!
                      This is incorrect. The opposition from the Najdiyyah revolved around issues pertaining to Tawhid and Shirk ("Grave worship"), not Asma Wa Sifat. They didn't revolt against the Ottomons simply because they were Maturidi/Ashari in Aqeedah.

                      It's important to be precise and accurate when speaking about these issues.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by AmantuBillahi View Post

                        This is incorrect. The opposition from the Najdiyyah revolved around issues pertaining to Tawhid and Shirk ("Grave worship"), not Asma Wa Sifat. They didn't revolt against the Ottomons simply because they were Maturidi/Ashari in Aqeedah.
                        It‘s correct that there primary issue was that of what they called as "grave worship" (especially the issue of seeking intercession with our beloved Prophet, sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam, because this was allowed by the scholars unlike many other things were everyone agreed that it was disallowed or at or at least disliked), but their opposition included the issue of the Asma` and Sifat. Refer to the writings of the original Najdis (including Ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab himself).
                        Their opposition was not just against Ash'aris/Maturidis in the issue of the divine attributes, but also the Hanbalis/Atharis to the degree that they hijacked and corrupted the Hanbali 'Aqida and replaced it with their materialist view of God. Go read the major Hanbali sources of 'Aqida (other than those of Shaykh Ibn Taymiyya, because he disagrees with them upon some major issues as admitted by himself) and you‘ll get what I‘m saying. The classical Hanabila had disagreements with the Ash'aris on several issues (the most famous ones being the issue of allegorical interpretations and the issue of the wording of the Qur`an al-karim), but they were also people of Tanzih and had not a materialist view of God.
                        If you understand Arabic I advise you to listen to the lectures of the Shaykh Muhammad al-Azhari al-Hanbali regarding this issue.

                        By the way:
                        My point was that even the so called "religious" opposition to the Ottoman state was materialist minded to the degree that even their view of God was a materialist one. Add to that: They fighted whatever spirituality they could find in our religion until the issue has reached such a degree that the groups that practice real Tasawwuf in our day and age have become a minority.
                        Religiousity in our times has become dry and superficial thanks to them.
                        May Allah ta‘ala protect us and guide us all.
                        Last edited by Abu Sulayman; 26-12-19, 07:11 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Abu Sulayman View Post

                          It‘s correct that there primary issue was that of what they called as "grave worship" (especially the issue of seeking intercession with our beloved Prophet, sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam, because this was allowed by the scholars unlike many other things were everyone agreed that it was disallowed or at or at least disliked), but their opposition included the issue of the Asma` and Sifat. Refer to the writings of the original Najdis (including Ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab himself).
                          Their opposition was not just against Ash'aris/Maturidis in the issue of the divine attributes, but also the Hanbalis/Atharis to the degree that they hijacked and corrupted the Hanbali 'Aqida and replaced it with their materialist view of God. Go read the major Hanbali sources of 'Aqida (other than those of Shaykh Ibn Taymiyya, because he disagrees with them upon some major issues as admitted by himself) and you‘ll get what I‘m saying. The classical Hanabila had disagreements with the Ash'aris on several issues (the most famous ones being the issue of allegorical interpretations and the issue of the wording of the Qur`an al-karim), but they were also people of Tanzih and had not a materialist view of God.
                          If you understand Arabic I advise you to listen to the lectures of the Shaykh Muhammad al-Azhari al-Hanbali regarding this issue.

                          By the way:
                          My point was that even the so called "religious" opposition to the Ottoman state was materialist minded to the degree that even their view of God was a materialist one. Add to that: They fighted whatever spirituality they could find in our religion until the issue has reached such a degree that the groups that practice real Tasawwuf in our day and age have become a minority.
                          Religiousity in our times has become dry and superficial thanks to them.
                          May Allah ta‘ala protect us and guide us all.
                          Oh ok. I see how you tried inserting the use of "materialistic" there (although it's irrelevant in reality).
                          Last edited by AmantuBillahi; 26-12-19, 07:41 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Abu Sulayman

                            I remember you telling us that you were a layman in Kalam/Aqeedah, but I'm curious to hear your view on this:

                            Do you accept that the Ash'ari Madhhab went through several different stages? Were the early Asha'irah (Imam Ashari/Bayhaqi/Baqillani, etc) identical to the later Asharis (Juwayni/Ghazzali/Razi)?

                            I already have my mind made up on this issue. But you're very adamant on "exposing" the discrepancies between the Hanabila. Do you also recognize the differences within your own Madhhab?

                            "Even within the Ashari strand you have different understandings. al-Bayhaqi is one; Ibn Fawraq is another; al-Juwayni is another. And al-Juwayni strand because of his student al-Ghazzali became the more prominent one. But when Juwayni was alive these were all variant strands within Asharism" - Yasir Qadhi [14:30]



                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Muhammad Hasan View Post
                              You know what? I'm sick and tired of Muslims being unable to grasp the real reasons the khilafah was destroyed. The narrative of "the Islamic Golden Age happened" then all of a sudden the Muslims economically and technologically declined for no apparent reason is rubbish. Worse is what westerners do - pinning the blame on the likes of Al Ghazali (rahimullah). All of this misses out the developments the Ottoman empire made, in the economic, technological and spiritual fields. But there's something deeper to this narrative. It really shows the state of Muslims that they have not been able to address the true cause of the decline of the Ottoman empire and what its implications are. Instead they cry about the golden age and ignore Ottoman history. Well I am going to discuss this history and why I think, strongly, the Ottoman empire was destroyed by increasing materialism which manifested in the confusion over the decline, the Tanzimat reforms and then the overthrow of Abdul Hamid II.
                              Overall all a good thread. I personally think Muslim Caliphate (Khilafah) was over after first 30 years of Prophet's (peace be upon him) death, everything afterwards is pretty much dynasties/Kingship which has nothing to do with Islam. This in fact was prophesized by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
                              The hadeeth narrated by Safeenah (radiallaahu anhu), that the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said:
                              خلافة النبوة ثلاثون سنة ثم يؤتي الله الملك من يشاء
                              The Prophetic khilaafah will last for thirty years. Then Allaah will give the dominion to whomever He wills. [Abu Dawud and al-Haakim. Saheeh al-Jaami' as-Sagheer (no. 3257) declared Saheeh by Imaam al-Albaani (rahimahullaah)]
                              And in the Sunan of Abu Dawud, there occurs after this hadeeth, what is said by Sa'eed bin Jamhaan, who narrated from Safeenah:
                              قال سفينة: امسك، خلافة أبي بكر رضي الله عنه سنتين، وعمر رضي الله عنه عشراً، وعثمان رضي الله عنه اثنتي عشر، وعلي ستّاً
                              Safeenah said (to me): Hold on (meaning, listen), the khilaafah of Abu Bakr (radiallaahu anhu) was two years, and [that of] Umar (radiallaahu anhu) was ten years, and [that of] Uthmaan (radiallaahu anhu) twelve years, and [that of] Alee (radiallaahu anhu) six years. [
                              Abu Dawud, Kitaab us-Sunnah, Chapter on the Khulafaa, (no. 4647)]
                              Also reported by Safeenah, the saying of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam):
                              لخلافة بعدي في أمتي ثلاثون سنة ثم ملك بعد ذلك
                              The khilaafah after me in my Ummah will last for thirty years. Then there will be kingship after that. [ Musnad Imaam Ahmad, at-Tirmidhi, Musnad Abi Ya'laa, and Ibn Hibbaan. Saheeh al-Jaami' as-Sagheer (no. 3341) declared Saheeh by Imaam al-Albaani (rahimahullaah).]

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