The Image of Islamic Civilization,
"A Compendium of Interpretations of the
Civilisation of Islam during the last Islamic Century"
- (1300 - 1400AH / 1882 - 1980CE).
*[-A5] Paperback - 144 pages,
by Dr M.A.J Beg.
This book is based on the thesis that every civilization is a distinct one. Islamic civilization revolves around the concept of the Unity of God. Hence its art represents the abstract concept of unity and rejects representational art; instead it emphasizes the beauty of abstract forms, such as calligraphy, geometrical patterns and vegetal ornaments. Islamic polity attributes the concept of sovereignty to God and assigns mankind the role of God's representative (Khalifah) on earth. In economics, Islam rejects usury (riba) as principles designed to exploit the poor.
In the domain of intellect there is no contradiction between Islam and science. Moreover, Islam elevates the pursuit of science and knowledge of all kinds as an act of divine worship (ibadah). This explains why in its heyday, Islamic civilization, championed the cause of science and religious education, law and literature as worthy endeavours. It even cultivated new and challenging branches of foreign language, such as philosophy, physics, chemistry, mathematics, trigonometry, algebra, botany and medicine and made significant contributions to these branches of human sciences.
Dr M.A.J. Beg ; Born in Gachahar, Dinajpur, in British India in 1944 and brought up and educated in East Pakistan, Dr Muhammad Beg obtained his Bachelors and Masters degrees in Islamic history from Rajshahi University before he proceeded to Christ’s College, Cambridge University, where he obtained a doctorate in Middle Eastern history in 1971. With the assistance of the late Dr Martin Lings (Abu Bakr Siraj al-Din), the famed author of The Life of Muhammad, he was able to obtain temporary work at the British Museum in London and in 1972 he became a British citizen. Then he moved to Malaysia where he taught Islamic history at the National University of Malaysia for more than a decade. Thereafter, he moved to the University of Brunei Darussalam as an Associate Professor of Islamic history and civilization, and lectured there for four years.