By Harun Yahya
11 April 2016
The brilliant light of Islam started blazing from the Arabian Peninsula only a century after Hijrah to enlighten the four corners of the earth.
The first communicators began to convey the noble message to millions of people, from the borders of Spain to the gates of Anatolia, from the coasts of East Africa to the lands of Iran. Arab sailors, sharing the same enthusiasm, set off across the Indian Ocean: first to India, and then Pakistan. After a few centuries, Asian lands in the Far East had become acquainted with the religion.
Today, if we have Muslim brothers living in different cultures and languages in the ends of the world, it is because of the enthusiasm and excitement of these Muslims, who lived 1,200 years ago.
And it is our task to remember the zeal of those believers.
Today, the bond in Islam has enabled Malaysian, Indonesian and Bruneian brothers to profoundly attach themselves to believers in the Middle East, including the Turkish people.
Muslims in many regions of the world are in need of such bond. As leading countries of the Islamic world, Turkey and Malaysia should lead the way in the formation of this brotherhood and solidarity.
With a Muslim population of nearly 20 million, Malaysia is a country that has a say among Muslims in Southeast Asia. For centuries, Malaysians had built an Islamic civilisation similar to those in the lands of Anatolia.
Malaysian Muslims lead a life based on the message of peace and love in Islam, far removed from radicalism. Women receive the value they deserve; Malaysian sisters have an active role in all aspects of life.
The enlightened and civilised aspect of Islam is, thus, being shown to the world. Both Malaysia and Turkey are exemplary models for Muslims. One of the most important tasks of these countries is to properly explain this model to the world.
The Turkish nation is ready to strive hard scientifically and intellectually for this cause, alongside its Malaysian brothers and sisters.
In 2014, while attending a ceremony at International Islamic University, where he was conferred an honorary PhD, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, then the prime minister said the following: “Turkey is like your own country. Turkey always stands by your side when it comes to scientific, technical research or other studies.
“Turkey keeps open house. In collaboration with you, we believe that we will have many joint achievements in the future. As being the children of the same civilisation, we will restore our former glory and build a bright future together through solidarity and cooperation. We will not be desperate. We will praise God and be thankful to God when we achieve this bright future.”
The science and technology referred to by Erdogan are the common interest of both countries. Many Turkish academicians had served at Malaysian universities in the 1990s. After returning to their home country, they were appointed to undertake significant assignments.
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu is among these academicians. He served in Malaysia for nine years and is a friend of Malaysia in Turkey.
In the same period, Malaysian universities provided education for many Turkish students. Hundreds of Balkan Muslims had studied in Malaysia during the Bosnian War.
The history of Islam is filled with the achievements of great scientists, each an expert in his own field.
However, the Islamic world has, unfortunately, lagged behind the West in terms of science and technology. Malaysia and Turkey should become the pioneers for scientific development that would be brought about by freedom that is the essence of Islam.
The mission of ancient Islamic academics in Baghdad, Isfahan, Cairo and Granada, which were science centres during the Islamic golden age, should be continued by Kuala Lumpur, Istanbul, Putrajaya and Ankara in the 21st Century.
The Turkish government has announced its development objectives for 2023, which marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of Turkey. The Malaysian government has also set 2020 as the target of its development vision.
Both visions involve economic development as well as social and cultural progress with intention of reaching the level of Western civilisation in all fields, from education to healthcare, urbanisation, and science and technology.
Striving hard is not good enough to achieve these objectives. Indeed, what is required is solidarity. The ever-growing friendship between Malaysia and Turkey will be the most important instrument to achieve them.
Turkey serves as a bridge between the Middle East and Europe, in other words, the Islamic and Western civilisations. It has the West on one side and the East on the other.
Turkey has a voice in determining the policies of supranational institutions whereas Malaysia, with its central location in Southeast Asia, has a profound impact on the region’s politics.
Both countries aspire to become prominent actors in the international arena. For that reason, they are natural allies in regard to politics.
In recent years, they have started cooperating with international organisations, such as the G20, the United Nations Security Council and Asean. The cooperation among them should be enhanced and strengthened with each passing day.
Turkey is a reliable ally of Malaysia and vice versa in organisations influenced by the Western world.
Southeast Asia is home to 240 million Muslims. For centuries, these people have been regarded as brothers by the Turkish nation and Turkey has been a “second home” for them in every period of history.
Visiting Turkey under the Harman Internship Programme, Malaysian student Muhammed Irfan expressed his affection towards his host country as follows:
“After many years of dreaming about this day, I have visited Turkey for the first time. God predestinated me to be in Turkey and to look into the history of Ottoman Empire in this very place. Turkish Prime Minister Davutoglu and the former faculty members of my university are striving for Turkey to be better off. They want Turkey to become one of the most powerful states in the world and stand by Muslims.”
We pray to God for the reconciliation of Muslim nations and for the brotherhood of Islam to bring peace to the world.
Harun Yahya has authored more than 300 books, translated into 73 languages, on politics, religion and science