Thursday, 24 January 2013

Gun Control?

For a Muslim take on this controversial topic, this article comes highly recommended.

One should also note what Imam ʿAbdur Raḥmān Ibn Khaldūn says in his Muqaddima[1]:

5. Bedouins are more disposed to courage than sedentary people.

The reason for this is that sedentary people have become used to laziness and ease. They are sunk in well-being and luxury. They have entrusted defense of their property and their lives to the governor and ruler who rules them, and to the militia which has the task of guarding them. They find full assurance of safety in the walls that surround them, and the fortifications that protect them. No noise disturbs them, and no hunting occupies them. They are carefree and trusting, and have ceased to carry weapons. Successive generations have grown up in this way of life. They have become like women and children, who depend upon the master of the house. Eventually, this has come to be a quality of character that replaces natural (disposition).
The Bedouins, on the other hand, live separate from the community. They are alone in the country and remote from militias. They have no walls and gates. Therefore, they provide their own defense and do not entrust it to, or rely upon others for it. They always carry weapons. They watch carefully all sides of the road. They take hurried naps only when they are together in company or when they are in the saddle. They pay attention to every faint barking and noise. They go alone into the desert, guided by their fortitude, putting their trust in themselves. Fortitude has become a character quality of theirs, and courage their nature. They use it whenever they are called upon or an alarm stirs them. When sedentary people mix with them in the desert or associate with them on a journey, they depend on them. They cannot do anything for themselves without them. This is an observed fact. (Their dependence extends) even to knowledge of the country, the (right) directions, watering places, and crossroads. The reason for this is the thing we have explained. At the base of it is the fact that man is a child of the customs and the things he has become used to. He is not the product of his natural disposition and temperament.The conditions to which he has become accustomed, until they have become for him a quality of character and matters of habit and custom, have re­placed his natural disposition. If one studies this in human beings, one will find much of it, and it will be found to be a correct (observation).

[1] Chapter 2, Section 5. The entire book, translated by Franz Rosenthal, can be read here: Points that should be considered have been underlined.