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It takes generations for civilizations to rise and recede. History reveals that every civilization has confronted rise as well as decline. Over the past few decades there has been a vigorous debate over the issue of factors responsible for the development or fall of a civilization. On one side some philosophers and scientists like J. Brownowski, Carl Sagan, and Bernard Lewis have completely attributed advancement of a civilization to intellectual learning based on empirical evidence and rationality, while on the other hand scholars like SH Nasr and Ali Allawi have urged the importance of religious science and spiritual beliefs. There has been insurgence of orthodoxy at some time while there have also been revolts against orthodoxy and fundamentalism, like the rise of Mutazillites in the 8th century.

In my view, religious orthodoxy and adherence to Islamic principles, tradition and norms and scientific underdevelopment were the causes of the decline of Muslims. On one hand where West was making scientific progress and technological development and made rationality prior to everything in inquisition and learning, and was rushing forward in the field of science and technology, the Muslims suspected philosophy and equated secular knowledge with heresy as they were against the notion of rationality and for them God possessed the utmost authority and was regulating the entire universe. There was no room for questioning the popular beliefs of religion. So this fatalistic attitude against rational inquiry and lack of curiosity for learning secular knowledge made it harder for any intellectual advance to occur in the Muslim society.
              In my paper I will critically analyze the downfall of the Muslims and present my arguments based on historical evidences to show how the Muslim civilization, which was once on the peak of success, stumbled and started declining because of its reluctance to acquire modern knowledge which in my view is contingent upon every civilization to acquire for economic prosperity as well as political power. I will first discuss the Western history, their dark ages and then their up rise and advancement in the field of technology after the Renaissance and will present my arguments to show how both of these civilizations encountered and responded to the clash between empirical enquiry and popular beliefs of the religion.

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