Age of Rumi 4 Life and works Rumi. There was a sharp cleavage between religious thought and sharp activity. Comfort and convenience were the rules. The love of controversy had got better of the love for truth.
Islam had been split up into factions and the wood had been lost for the trees.
The Muslim society in the thirteenth century represented, therefore, a decadent social order incapable of mimic growth and divested of capacity for effective resistance.
It is difficult for any society, under such circumstances, to survive a serious external danger. it was all the more difficult for Islamic society which was also threatened from within and had lost its inherent strength and capacity for healthy growth.
And yet the Islamic commonwealth was confronted in this era with two of its most dangerous foes.
One was the Crusader from the West; the other was the Mongol from the East.
The Crusader was a familiar character known to the world of Islam for nearly two centuries, for the Crusades started in 1096.
It is one of the unfortunate facts of history that the first great, the clash between Europe and Islam came with the very beginning of European civilization.
The clash which started in the eleventh century continued till the end of the thirteenth.
The proclaimed aim of these wars was to wrest the Holy Lands from the hands of ‘the Muslims.
This slogan had a tremendous psychological appeal for the mass of the Christians whose frenzy was roused to a pitch wholly unparalleled either before or since the Crusades. Age of Rumi 4 Life and works Rumi.
Little did the common man understand that the recovery of Palestine and the Holy Lands was but a pretext on the part of the Pope their own and the powerful regional kings of Europe to achieve personal ambitions. Little did he realize that he was being used as a mere pawn in the hands of religious and political intriguers whose own feelings were quickened only by political ambitions and economic a movement which was based on such foundations and which lacked the cohesion and unity of purpose, so necessary for success could not be expected to achieve any object, for it, had no well-defined object In view.
It was a mere expression of the new confidence, which had grown in Europe with the dawn of civilization.
The different parties engaged in the Crusades sought to achieve different ends.
The appearance of unity on the surface was deceptive indeed. In the thirteenth century, which was full of the Crusades, we find ample evidence of their inner contradictions.
While the ostensible aim of these wars was the recovery of Palestine, they were waged, as has been well said, ‘everywhere except in Palestine’.
In the period under discussion we clearly see the Crusaders completely uncertain of their goal. Quite oblivious of their real objective, they wandered uncertainly from Constantinople to Egypt and even to Tunis.
They only succeeded in capturing the Christian city of Constantinople. And yet, Constantinople was the city which had originally invoked the Crusades. By the thirteenth century the French feudalism, which was the mainstay of the Crusades, was diverted to Greece.
Palestine seems to have been left severely alone, for the centre of gravity shifted in this century to the debris of the Eastern Empire.
The simple fact that emerges from the history of the Crusades is that Christian Europe was determined to wipe out Islam from the face of the earth.
It exterminated the Muslim element in Spain after the most ferocious and merciless persecution the world had ever known. When Islam came to Spain with Tariq in the eighth century, the aristocracy was absorbed in luxury,’ the serfs were ill-treated and reduced to the status of the slave, the rich and opulent clergy seemed supremely indifferent to their lot. Age of Rumi 4 Life and works Rumi.