Hunting for History

Allah Ta’ala uses the method of relating the incidents of the people of the past, the good they had done and the bad, in the Qur’aan, the Book of Guidance.
This method of using history has to be a most effective method because it is used by Allah. It, therefore, stands to reason that we can also benefit from learning history.
One of the benefits of learning history, especially Muslim history, is that whatever wrongs the people of the past had done, we can avoid the same pitfalls. We can reflect on the disasters that befell them on perpetrating evil and stay away from these ways.
The second benefit is that whatever good the Muslims of the past had done, we have a blueprint in front of us to allow us to follow in their footsteps. We can see the benefits they reaped when they did good and aim for the same benefits.
A third benefit is that the greatness Muslims achieved in the past gives us a sense of hope and confidence. For they were ordinary human beings, with similar everyday needs and challenges that we have, and yet they managed to achieve wonders. We can also hope to achieve these things if we do as they did for Allah is the same God who was present then and He is the same, unchanged, all-powerful God today.
The Qur’aan mentions: You will never find a change in Allah’s method. If the people in the past did good and were rewarded, we can also look forward to similar rewards.
Learning Islamic history gives us a sense of pride in what our predecessors did. It gives us encouragement and cultivates gratitude for the sacrifices that they made, especially in bringing Islam to us, sometimes in the face of extreme odds.
A nation without a history is like a ship adrift at see. The waves toy with it, taking it wherever they will. Similarly, once Muslims are cut off from their history: the sublime lifestyle of the Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam, the noble conduct of the Sahaaba, and the perfect way of life that is Islam, we are easy prey for the waves of evil and immorality, for the waves of unIslamic lifestyles that will engulf us and take us off the path leading to Allah’s Pleasure.

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