The Impact Of The Crusades
The Crusades according to some historians, ended by the end of the 13th century. Whereas, other historians stated that the war continues until today. When Alfonso de Albuquerque from Portugal annexed Malacca in the 16th century, he said:
“We are now able to cut off Islam from the West by destroying Andalusia and from the East by destroying the Islamic government in Malacca. Due to this, we guarantee that Islam would not be able to move again because we are pinning it from the West and the East.”
The Crusades brought sufferings to both parties. However, Europe obtained the positive side by bringing back various scientific knowledge and new culture to their countries. Meanwhile, for the Islamic ummah there was no positive side that could be learned from the arrivals of the Crusader forces besides sufferings and the knowledge that the Franks (the Crusader forces) were a very barbaric people.
A Western writer wrote:
“The Crusade was a piece of history that is too crazy in the epic of humanity. The Christians tried to invade the Muslims in a wave of expeditions for nearly three hundred years until eventually, thanks to the perseverance of the Islamic ummah, they faced defeats, resulting in exhaustion and despair. The whole of Europe was constantly short of men, energy and funds, as well as experiencing social bankruptcy, if not total destruction.
Millions of people were killed in the battlefields, whereas the danger of hunger, diseases and all kinds of catastrophes imaginable raged as shames on the faces of the Crusader forces. The world of the Christian West at that time was obviously stimulated towards blind religious fanaticism by Peter The Hermit and his followers for the purpose of liberating the holy land of Palestine from the hands of the Muslims.”
Whereas, according to Gustav Lebon, "There was no good thing on the Crusaders that could be learned by the Muslims. They were depraved morally. They crushed both friends and foes, as well as butchering them both without mercy. It is not surprising considering that generally the Crusader forces were made up of unemployed men, criminals and rabbles. There was nothing that could be hoped from the Crusader forces except the killings of the innocents, lootings and violations of honors."
Meanwhile, Michael Hart in his book the 100 Figures, said:
“Nevertheless, it is worth mentioning that the Crusade brought Europe and Byzantium closer to the Islamic culture which at that time was more advanced compared to the European culture. This contact had paved the way towards the period of “Renaissance” which in its turn was kindling the development of the European culture.”
Ghazwul Fikri or Ideological Battle is one of the methods founded by the West to destroy the Islamic ummah. This idea was created post-the Crusades where the battles that took place for three centuries never yielded any victory in the hands of Europe, the West instead suffered unequivocal defeats.
Post-the Crusader War, Western scholars and thinkers analyzed the factors that had caused the victories of the Muslims. The result was, the closeness of the Islamic ummah to Al-Qur’an became a huge strength for the Muslims that their resistance against the invaders never lessened. Based on this, the orientalists (Western specialists on Eastern world/Islam) formulated an idea, that the most effective way to destroy and invade the Islamic ummah was by distancing the ummah from Al-Qur’an and Islam itself.
King of France, Louis IX launched the Crusade VII (1248 – 1254 AD) by attacking Egypt. He was captured and then freed in return of a very huge ransom. After he was freed, in the year 1270 AD, he returned to revive the Crusade VIII by attacking Tunisia, but they were defeated when they were just landing in Tunisia, again they failed to capture a Muslim country.
When Louis IX was imprisoned during the Crusade VII, he managed to devise the means of how to destroy the Islamic ummah which he immediately announced to the European society,
“You can’t possibly defeat the Muslims in the battle arena, you must first defeat them in the arena of ideology. Then, it would be easy for you to dominate them. And, they are a people who are careful against cultural sedatives from you.”
The words of Louis above became the guidelines for the political, military and religious figures in Europe even to these days. In fact, even Napoleon Bonaparte pretended to become a Muslim in order to destroy Islam from within when he invaded Egypt in the 19th century. By weakening the strength of their iman, surely the Muslim’s voice of Jihad could never be kindled again in order to expel the invaders. Exactly like what an orientalist, Shatilin, had said:
“A glass and an artist could destroy the ummah of Muhammad more than a thousand cannons, therefore sink the ummah of Muhammad into the love of materials and lusts.”
The ideological assaults started to be thrusted into the minds of the Muslims after the fall of Constantinople. The teachings of Secularism, Communism, Nationalism and the Theory of Evolution were crudely consumed by the Islamic ummah who were already far from the Qur’anic teachings. These are the targets of the Ghazwul Fikri, besides setting up Muslim puppets who could be controlled by the kafirs.
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the founder of the misguided stream, the Ahmadiyah, one of the victims of the ideological battle who became the British puppet said:
“Almost the whole of my life had been spent to support and help the British government by preventing jihad and compelling the people to bow and be loyal to them. I have written a lot of books and publications which, if they are to be collected, could fill 50 shelves. All these books and publications have been spread to various Arab countries such as Egypt and Sham.”
This is the Ideological battle which is not in any way less severe than the battle in the battlefield. The enemies of Allah invaded the minds of the Islamic ummah with various methods. The invasions are in the form of:
Tashkik, i.e. instilling doubts and the trivialization of Islamic knowledge.
Tashwih, i.e. removing the pride (izzah) of the Islamic ummah for their Dien, such as the projection of negative image that Islam is brutal, terrorism, radical, uncivilized, etc. Included in this manner is the distortion of history and facts.
Tadzwib, i.e. the mixing-up of the haq (truth) and bathil (falsehood), by inventing shubhats or grey areas, until the Islamic ummah becomes confused in choosing.
Taghrib, i.e. the westernization of the Islamic world by encouraging the Islamic ummah to accept the teachings and culture of the West such as secularism, nationalism, capitalism, hedonism, etc.
It is here where the words of Allah SWT have its significance:
“ …And they will continue to fight you until they turn your back from your religion (towards disbelief) if they are able.” (Qur’an 2:217)
It is for this reason that it is incumbent on all the Muslims to reflect and do some Muhâsabah (self-criticism). By taking into account all the aforementioned expositions, let's ask ourselves, where do we stand in this case? Are we winning or are we defeated in this Ghazwul Fikri? Are we in the same camp as the kuffar or are we in the opposing camp where the arrows of the crusaders are heading?
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