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Introduction

This thought-provoking thesis by Abul A'la Maudoodi although very brief, speaks volumes. This is an example of the writer's supreme command over his powers of expression. He has squeezed full fourteen centuries of a people's religious, social political, martial and cultural history into about half a score of pages, covering all the phases of its rise and grandeur, stagnation and degeneration, .and the struggle for freedom and survival, with a running commentary of the forces that have been acting and reacting, the currents and cross-currents, foreign impediments and internal set-backs, and the future hopes and promises, of a nation that is spread over nearly one half of the globe.

The pages that follow give a very penetrating analysis of events and trends, thoughts and behavior, successes and failures, of the Ummah. The assessment of the factors responsible for a peoples' achievements and their decadence requires a rare discerning power, highly balanced approach, and a very high order of intellectual honesty and courage. And Maudoodi has a pen par excellence to do justice to the subject.

This brief recital encompasses everything that was worth taking notice of, and traces down all the forces that have been responsible for our decline, and enumerates future possibilities of our rise and the necessary conditions that assure the ultimate success. Never before our past, present and future was studied and analyzed in such a scientific manner. Never before the malady was pin-pointed so strikingly. This illuminating appraisal of our situation sends a ray of hope for all those who wish and endeavor for the revival of Islam. It is a beacon that glitters the way ands opens vast vistas for the future.

Abul A'la delivered this lecture in Karachi on December 10, 1963 under the auspices of Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba before a gathering of intellectuals and students. The intellectual atmosphere on that memorable winter evening and Maududi's deep measured tones solving the riddles of history, thinning out the cobwebs of people's mind on this subject, and pointing out a clear road that leads to our avowed destination shall ever be cherished with fond remembrances. Everybody was engrossed in the theme. It stirred the souls of the audience, and such a rapt attention was seldom witnessed. When the speech was over it seemed it ended too early ! Everybody looked philosophical, pensive and in deep thoughts--detached and elevated, floating far above the clouds. It is difficult to forget those moments ! And in order to perpetuate the spiritual bliss experienced that evening we have endeavored to preserve the ideas of the: greatest Muslim thinker of our times in print.

We hope the message of the Islamic revolutionary wilt ever go on providing solace and warmth and stamina for the Millat, and will help steer forth its course in the light of the wisdom provided in these pages.

The future of the whole world of Islam will depend upon the attitude that the Muslims ultimately adopt towards Islam. If, unfortunately, the present hypocritical attitudes and anti-Islamic policies persist, I am afraid that the newly liberated Muslim nations will not be able to preserve their freedom for a long time, sooner or later, they must relapse into slavery and into a state even worse than their present condition.

MAUDOODI

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