For the 2nd WCIT, “The Rise and Fall of Civilization” was selected as the main theme simply because it holds a great deal of importance behind it. The term civilization has been define and understood in a number of ways in a situation when there is no widely accepted standard definition. Sometimes it is used synonymously with a term culture and frequently referred to society as a whole.

Let us look into the works of Ibn Khaldun for example, one of the greatest philosophers in the Muslim world. From his book ‘Muqaddimah’, he wrote about the rise and fall of dynasties and the information of sedentary civilization. He takes an empirical and religious approach to history and sociology, and focuses mostly on the Islamic world. He also noted that Islamic civilization is based on the value of education, which both the Qur’an and the prophet stressed. Ibn Kahldun documented Islamic history and culture as it can be traced through the written records: Pre-Islam, early Islam, Umayyad, the first and second Abbasid, the Hispano-Arabic, the Persian and the modern periods. The various influences of these different periods can be readily perceived, as can trace of the Greek, the Indian, and the Pre-Islamic Persian cultures. Throughout the first four centuries of Islam, one does not witness the synthesis or homogenization of different cultures but rather their transmittal through, and at the times their absorption into, the Islamic framework of values. Islam has been a conduit for western civilization of cultural forms which might otherwise have died out.

The Islamic world remains today a vast land stretching from Atlantic to the Pacific, with an important presence in the west, animated by the teachings of Islam and seeking to assert its own identity. Despite the presence of nationalism and various secular ideologies in their midst, Muslims wish to live in the modern world but without simply imitating blindly the ways of the west. The Islamic world wishes to live at peace with the west as well as the east but at the same time not to be dominated by any because of its history and great civilizations. It wishes to devote its resources and energies to building a better lift for its people on the basis of the teachings of Islam and not to squander its resources in either internal or external conflicts. It seed finally to create better understanding with the west and to better understanding each other so that they can serve their own people more glorious civilization.

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