Sejarah Yang Ditulis Oleh Para Pemenang

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Dalam bab introduction dari buku “1001 Inventions”, ada sebuah pernyataan menarik.

“Before taking this challenge, however, i looked up various books and journal papers and consulted numerous friends. Book after book, journal after journal, all pointed to this incredible gap. Take, for instance, this typical popular book at the time: The People Who Made Technology From Earliest Times to Present Day by Anthony Feldman and Peter Ford, published by Aldus Books Ltd in London 1979. The Authors explain that the book gives, in chronological order, humanity’s scientific and technological progress from invention of movable type to the discovery of penicilin. The names of the great inventors, to whom they devote short chapters, follow in chronological order like this: Empedocles (c.490-430 BCE), Democritus (460-370 BCE), Hippocrates (460-377 BCE), Aristotle (383-322 BCE), Archimedes (287-212 BCE), Johannes Gutenberg (1400-1468 CE) followed by others like Da Vinci, etc.”

Mari kita cermati ulang. Adakah keanehan dalam pernyataan tersebut?

Tentu saja ada. Entah kenapa, kita disuguhkan sebuah lompatan tahun yang luar biasa. Setelah Archimedes, tiba-tiba kita sampai di masa Johannes Gutenberg. Padahal, keduanya memiliki selisih lebih dari 1600 tahun!

Mari kita sebut saja dengan istilah populer: inilah abad yang hilang. Void Century.

Inilah masa yang sering kita kenal sebagai “The Dark Ages”. Sebuah era kelam yang tabu dibahas. Bahkan, penggunaan istilah “The Dark Ages” lebih populer dengan sebutan “The Middle Ages”, seolah ingin mengaburkan atas apa yang terjadi di masa itu.

Itulah masa ketika, khususnya Eropa, mengalami abad kegelapan. Tidak hanya keterpurukan di bidang sains dan teknologi, namun juga moral.

Luar biasanya, di saat yang sama, Islam sedang mengalami perkembangan yang luar biasa dan menjadi adidaya yang mampu memberi rahmat bagi dunia.

Di beberapa paragraf setelahnya, penulis melanjutkan,

“Later that same year, on the 27 October 1993, I attended an inspiring lecture by HRH Prince Charles at the Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford, entitled Islam and the West. Addressing a galaxy of eminent scholars in one of the strongholds of Orientalism, his speech was received like fire in dry woods. The eye-opening extract below extract below reinforced my findings:

If there is much misunderstanding in the West about the nature of Islam, there is also much ignorance about the debt our own culture and civilization owe to the Islamic world. It is a failure, which stems, I think, from the straight-jacket of history, which we have inherited. The medieval Islamic world, from central Asia to the shores of the Atlantic, was a world where scholars and men of learning flourished. But because we have tended to see Islam as the enemy of the West, as an alien culture, society, and system of belief, we have tended to ignore or erase its great relevance to our own history.”

Tentu saja, umat Islam tidaklah boleh menjadi umat yang sekedar mengglorifikasi sejarah dan terjebak dalam masa lalu.

Umat harus memahami, faktor-faktor apa saja yang membuat mereka berjaya, dan mengapa dengan agama yang sama namun di masa yang berbeda, mereka mengalami keterpurukan.

Sumber:

Al Hassani ST. 2012. 1001 Inventions: The Enduring Legacy of Muslim Civilization. National Geographic Books.

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