f Islam is the truth, why are Muslim countries so backward and in turmoil?
by Ijaz Ahmad

This question presumes that there are Muslim nations in existence today. The truth is that our terminologies must be clear and consistent. There is no Muslim nation today, as a Muslim nation is one which operates according to the Shari’ah of God (the body of law which governs Muslims), Saudi Arabia does not fall under this classifications due to two easy to recall reasons, ribaa (interest) based monetary system and its rule by Kingship. There are however, Muslim majority countries.

Therefore there is a great distinction between being Islamic nations and Muslim majority nations. Given that we now have this understanding, the question begs itself, why are so many Muslim nations today lacking strong economies, full of war and lacking basic human rights.

The simple answer would be a historical one. If we were to take a cursory look of the list of the nations today that are currently Muslim majority but involved in conflict, poverty or some other social ill, we’ll soon realise that within the last century – they were all either colonized or involved in some lang drawn out conflict or the other and none of them have ever been under true Islamic rule. Afghanistan for example, has never had the opportunity to develop itself, for any nation to develop itself economically, infrastructurally and sociologically it requires long periods of political, economic and civil stability.

Saudi Arabia’s Infrastructural Development

So if we look at any Muslim majority country and weigh them against political, economic and civil stability, a significant majority of them would fail this cursory examination. The only few exemptions would be Saudi Arabia, and they fulfill all three criteria. If we look at UAE, they also fulfill the same criteria. However nations such as Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia cannot. Therefore, there is no relation between Islam and these nation’s misgivings, rather the problem is clearly rooted in historical ills associated with the lack of political, economic and civil stability. Most of these nations were also colonialised, their resources shipped back to the metroples of their day, their infrastructure underdeveloped and masses of their societies left impoverished and without any great foundations from which to develop their nations (look at my home region – the Caribbean as an ample example of this).

In conclusion, it isn’t a great mystery, lack of political, economic and civil stability will cause any nation to crumble, these are the pillars for which any nation needs in order for development and advancement to initiate. The great Western superpowers fulfill these three given criteria, and are successful because of it. Centuries of independence and development, versus budding nations with less than 75 years of independence, is an unfair comparison and a biased one at that.

and God knows best.