Imagine a World without Oil - Muslim Oil!
You do not need to be a great scholar. You do not need to be a great researcher. You do not need to be a great thinker. You do not need to be great anything. All you need to be able to do is to sit down. All by yourself. In a corner somewhere, if you wish. And imagine. Just imagine.
Imagine a 20th Century without oil - Muslim Oil.
Imagine World War I. Imagine World War II.
Imagine a world without ships: passenger ships, cruise liners, freighters, merchant vessels - and naval carriers, submarines and destroyers.
Imagine a world without the aviation industry. A world without commercial airlines - without Pan Am, without Lufthansa, without British Airways, without UPS and Federal Express and without all the other passenger and air freight carriers - and without all the air forces of the world and their fighters and bombers and transports and helicopters.
Imagine a world without the automotive and locomotive industries. A world without GM, Ford, Toyota, Mercedes-Benz and all the cars, trucks, trailers, buses and trains that populate roads or ply the tracks all over the world - and all the tanks and armored personnel carriers and military supply vehicles.
Imagine a world without the oil industry - a world without Exxon, Chevron, Mobil, BP, Total, Shell, Citgo and all the other oil giants and all that they mean in terms of meeting the world's oil needs, providing jobs and everything else.
Oil, Oil, Everywhere - Muslim Oil
Imagine all of these things without oil - Muslim Oil - and its countless byproducts and derivatives.
Imagine a medical industry without oil - Muslim Oil - and its byproducts.
And imagine the space industry.
And imagine just plain life without oil - Muslim Oil - and all the many, many byproducts it yields.
Imagine all the clothes and sneakers you wear; all the plastic you use; all the construction material; and all else that make human civilization possible.
Imagine a world without ID and Credit Cards or a world without CDs and computers.
Imagine everything else that is a direct product or derivative of oil - Muslim Oil.
And then ask yourself what life would have been without oil - Muslim Oil. What the 20th Century would have been and what the history and fate of the world would have been without oil - Muslim Oil?
Thinking Is Critical to Human Life
You don't need anyone to tell you all this, or to explain to you any of this in any great detail, backed up by reams upon reams of data.
All you need to be able to do is to sit all by yourself somewhere in a quiet place - and then think. That will tell you everything about the role of oil - Muslim Oil - in our world: yesterday; today; and tomorrow.
It will tell you everything you need to know about how oil - Muslim Oil - played a critical and determining role in forming, shaping and moving the modern world all through the 20th Century. And what role it is set to play going forward into the 21st Century.
Qur'an Wants Everyone to Think
That is why Qur'an puts a premium on thinking. Thinking in general as well as thinking on specific questions. Thinking alone, all by oneself, or thinking in the company of others.
A-falaa tatafakkaroon - admonishes the Qur'an - meaning: do you not think? The Qur'an uses this or a derivative of this root word Fikr close to 50 times! Imagine that!
A-falaa ta'aqiloon - asks the Qur'an - meaning: do you not understand? Once again, the Qur'an uses this very expression, or one related to it from the root word Aql, close to 20 times.
That is Qur'an, mind you, what most people in the world would call a "religious" text, not a manual or textbook of modern logic, philosophy or science.
Let us not forget that the Qur'an came down to earth - 1400 years ago - in the barren and backward land of Arabia, not in one of the ancient centers of civilization and culture like Rome, Greece, India, Persia or China.
Nor is the Qur'an a product of advanced and sophisticated research in premier educational and research institutions of America and Europe today.
Let us not forget also that the Qur'an came to us through the medium of an unlettered, unschooled child of Arabia's trackless desert, Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam. The Qur'an is not the product of the mind of any of the ancient or modern giants of learning, language, thought or scholarship like Socrates, Plato or Aristotle; or Bertrand Russell or Einstein; or Noam Chomsky or Stephen Hawking.
Qur'an vs. Great Books of Human Authorship
Not that it would have made the Qur'an any better - being the product of a great human scholar or thinker, or of several of them working together in committee. All that it would have done is to put a serious human limitation - a palpable upper limit - on the form, content and style of the Qur'an.
The Qur'an then would have been just another book - albeit a great one perhaps - like all the other great books that human beings compiled and crafted from time to time. Full of visible holes, errors, doubts and uncertainties, soaring to great heights of fame and recognition today and fading into oblivion or a faint and distant memory tomorrow.
It would not have been the divine book that the Qur'an is today - error-free and so visibly and definitively defying and transcending all constraints of time, space and cultural specificity.
For, human books, no matter how brilliant, erudite or distinguished their authors, are still human creations. They are limited by all that limits human existence on earth. The Qur'an on the other hand is a divine book from beginning to end, fresh and relevant forever, and full of miracles and surprises at every turn.
One of the greatest miracles of the Qur'an is its limitless human accessibility on the one hand and, at the same time, its soaring beyond all human and worldly limitations on the other hand. From this point of view, it is both there and not there, at the same time.
As a human artifact, the Qur'an would not have been the book that it is, with every one of its Aayats or passages constituting a divine miracle in human hands and providing clear testimony to its superhuman and divine nature and origin.
And yet, in spite of being directly from God Almighty, or maybe precisely because of it, the Qur'an says: Think!
Stand all by yourself - the Qur'an suggests - or in the company of others. But "Think!"
Those with real intellectual depth, training and skills - as opposed to the pseudo-intellectuals among us - will be intrigued by what an amazing book the Qur'an is! And by this most powerful command that the Qur'an issues that is so fundamental and critical to the liberation and empowerment of humanity everywhere: Think!
And that too 1400 years ago!
Muslim Oil: Lifeblood of Modern Civilization
So, if you need to understand the nature of today's world, and the role of Muslim Oil in the shaping and making of that world, all you need to do is to sit, stand or lie down - all by yourself - and think.
And imagine. Imagine a world without oil - Muslim Oil.
Therefore, it is perhaps not an exaggeration to say that the story of the 20th Century is pretty much the story of oil - Muslim Oil. Bottom line: Muslim Oil is the lifeblood of modern civilization. You pull it out and civilization as we know it will come to a screeching halt.
Muslims and Non-Muslims Must Examine Their Role
So, what should Muslims do? Maybe they should think a little bit about any role they may have played in the use - or abuse - of their oil to build this world. Or to bring about it downfall and hasten its destruction.
And what should non-Muslims do? Maybe non-Muslims too should think a little bit about what role they may have played in the building or destruction of our world.
And, additionally, what non-Muslims may want to think about also is this: What would have happened to the world - their world - if they did not have oil - Muslim Oil - at their disposal throughout the last century.
And at the present time - and almost indefinitely going forward into the 21st Century.
Or, for that matter, even from earlier times, dating back to the 19th Century?
For example, what would our world have been like without all that Muslim Oil from the Arabian Peninsula; from Iraq and Iran; from the North African lands of Libya and Algeria; and from the Central Asian locations of Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan?
Or, for that matter, what would the world have looked like without all that Muslim Oil gushing out of the oil wells of Indonesia or Brunei or some other Muslim land somewhere else on this planet?
What most people don't know is that from the middle to the end of the 19th Century, the oil-bearing areas of Central Asia - Muslim Oil Wells from Baku and Azerbaijan region - were producing half of the world's oil supplies.
Imagine that: one half of the world's oil supplies in the latter half of the 19th Century coming from Muslim lands! You then draw your own conclusions about all the political and economic implications of that fact for the world - the non-Muslim world in particular.
Muslim Oil Producers around the World
But before we go any further, let me provide a bird's eye view of some Muslim Oil producers around the world:
Let us start, in alphabetical order, with Algeria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Brunei, Cameron, Chad and Cote d'Ivoire.
And then let us go to Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kuwait and Libya.
And then let us cross over to Malaysia, Mauritania, Nigeria, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria and Tunisia.
And let us then conclude with Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Arab Republic, Uzbekistan and Yemen.
What do you think?
What Does It All Mean?
Now, that is a very impressive list, is it not? Twenty-eight countries altogether: some small, some big; some in Asia, some in Africa. At the same time, don't forget the respective roles of some of the individual players in the scheme of things in terms of their total production.
For example, Saudi Arabia alone produces close to 10 million barrels of Muslim Oil a day. And it has been doing so for the longest time. Now, that is 30 million barrels every three days - or 300 million barrels every 10 days.
If you round that up for convenience of counting, you get the astronomical figure of one billion (1,000,000,000) barrels of Muslim Oil being pumped out per month by one Muslim land alone.
One month: one billion barrels of Muslim Oil. That is Saudi Arabia all by itself.
Supposing you sold that oil for one US$ dollar a barrel, which, by the way, is how much oil used to sell for, let us say between 1950 and 1970: it sold for about US$2 a barrel I guess. You get US$1,000,000,000 (one billion dollars). That is more or less how much, we are told, America spends on its military efforts in Afghanistan. Or was it Iraq?
But let us say oil sells for $100 and not for $1. That way, one month - or let us say one year - of Muslim Oil from Saudi Arabia alone can finance all the wars that America has fought or will ever fight throughout its history.
Or, alternatively, that oil can feed, clothe and heal the world for the next 100 years.
Iraq, we are told, may hit that gargantuan target production in a not-too-distant future.
Even though Iran used to produce as much as six or seven million barrels of oil a day during the regime of the deposed Shah, the fiercely nationalistic and conservative present Iranian government may not go much beyond what it is pumping right now.
Show Muslims a Little Respect
So, what should we do now, given all the facts that I have cited above? Here is what I would say may lead to a better outcome for all and create a more peaceful and stable world.
Maybe the non-Muslim citizens of the world should show their Muslim counterparts a little respect. They should, maybe, genuflect a little; touch their cap a little; or just plain nod a little in the direction of Muslims for having given, and continuing to give, them and the world oil - Muslim Oil - so generously and in such abundant quantities.
Not only that, there needs to be some kind of a recognition of the fact that Muslim Oil came to the non-Muslim world at almost throw-away prices for the longest time - from the middle of the 19th Century to latter part of the 20th Century.
Or, maybe, all that the non-Muslims need to do is flash Muslims a nice, warm smile and say to the Muslims a fairly clear and audible "Thank You Muslims!" for their oil - Muslim Oil.
Thank you, Muslims, for decades upon decades upon decades and for countless billions upon billions upon billions of barrels of your oil - Muslim Oil!
What a beautiful place this world would be if non-Muslims would do that to Muslims.
World Accountability for Oil and Oil Wealth
But there is something more serious involved here beyond the question of what Muslims do or how non-Muslims treat Muslims. And that is the fate of the world itself. Call it human destiny if you will.
What both Muslims and non-Muslims have to do is to take serious stalk of the situation and ask themselves: What have we done and what are we continuing to do to our world - and where is all this going to end?
What will happen to us - both Muslims and non-Muslims - and what will happen to our world if things continue the way they are?
That means human beings - both Muslims and non-Muslims - need to take full responsibility for the gift of oil - Muslim Oil - that God Almighty bestowed upon them. And the incalculable wealth generated by that oil - by Muslim Oil - up- and downstream.
They need to be accountable for it: how they produced it; how they marketed it; how they used it; and how they spent the wealth that this Muslim Oil poured in their coffers and in their laps by barrels upon billions of barrels.
Maybe This Is What We All Need to Do
And maybe - just maybe - both Muslims and non-Muslims, instead of hating and hurting each other using one pretext or another, should sit down, either together or by themselves and thank God Almighty for the blessing of oil - Muslim Oil.
That alone should hammer some sense, shame, honesty and humility in our heads - and in our hearts and attitudes, and in our treatment of each other and of God's world.
They should - both Muslims and non-Muslims should - then ask themselves how they could have used oil - Muslim Oil - and the incalculable wealth generated by that oil, to better worship God in heaven and to better serve and uplift humanity right here on earth.
And what they need to do from now on to make this world a better place for all - for Muslims as well as for non-Muslims - using Muslim Oil in better, more responsible and more God-fearing ways than we have done in the past.
For, in the ultimate analysis as they say, the oil, Muslim Oil, as well as oil from non-Muslim lands, belongs to God Almighty - and we shall answer to God for every drop of it.
Let us not forget that both Muslims and non-Muslims will - maybe right here in this world and most decidedly in the next world after their death - be asked by God Almighty: What they both - Muslims as well as non-Muslims that is - did with the oil that God gave them and with the enormous and boundless wealth that oil produced and placed at their disposal.
Looking at the way things are today, for both Muslims and non-Muslims, who is to say that day of reckoning is not already upon us?
And who is to give us the assurance that the divine finger is not nudging and prodding us ever so lovingly, but ever so firmly and unmistakably, every single day of our life, to take stock of ourselves and do a course correction of our values, priorities, behavior and policies, while there may still be time left on the divine chronometer of Kun Fa-yakoon, either to our own death and annihilation or to the end of the world and the destruction of our common civilization?
Dr. Syed Husain Pasha is an educator, scholar, mentor, organizer and community leader of exceptional talent, training and experience. His background combines authentic traditional Islamic education and training with a Ph.D. from one of the premier research universities in the West. His lectures, seminars, camps, community clean-up and other programs and activities provide extraordinary training, education and motivation in Islam and in life in general. He can be reached at DrSyedPasha [at] AOL [dot] com or www.IslamicSolutions.com
Copyright 2010 Syed Husain Pasha
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