The ancient world had divided life into two compartments, religious and the secular ; and the result was that a wedge had been driven between those who selected one of these as the pursuit of their life. Oftentimes, the two groups were at loggerheads with one another, for, the ‘world’ and ‘religion’ were to them incompatible spheres of human life. Every man had to choose one of the two since nobody could be expected to travel in two boats simultaneously. The prevalent view was that the path of salvation Jay not through the rough and tumble of life, but away from the social, economic and political problems of worldly pursuits. No concept of religion which bars the gates to material progress and acquisition of power, riches and fame could be of interest to intelligent, capable and ambitious persons with the result that a great segment of humanity had delivered itself from the rigorous discipline of asceticism which bad come to be associated with religion. By withdrawing themselves from the virtuous energies, these men had prevented the great importance of morals from appearing perceptibly in public affairs. The State had revolted against the Church and made itself free from all obligations to it. This hideous schizophrenia not only divested what was called worldly, from the gifts of spiritual beatitude, but also gave birth to the modern faithlessness and agnosticism of Europe which is now threatening to inundate the entire world, if only, because of its political and cultural supremacy. The present wave of crass materialism, loss of faith and moral debasement is but a direct consequence of the division between the spirit and matter invented by the old pagan civilizations.
We list below, in brief, the precious gifts of Islam which have played a key role in the advancement of human values and culture. A new and bright world, quite different from the decaying and disintegrating humanity at the time of its advent, came into being as a result of these Islamic contributions:
1. The clear and unambiguous creed of the Oneness of God.
2. The concept of human equality and brotherhood.
3. The concept of human dignity and man being the masterpiece of God’s creation.
4. Acknowledgement of the proper status of women and the restoration of their legitimate rights.