Too much attention to ancient artifacts

During the Egyptian revolution of January 25th, 2011, thugs invaded the Ancient Egyptian museum in Cairo and stole a number of artifacts. The mummy chamber was not invaded.

Are we giving too much attention to monuments and ancient artifacts? Don’t they belong to pagan times? As a matter of fact, I heard some Muslims call for the destruction of all ancient statues, like Taliban did with Buddha statues in Afghanistan.

God draws our attention to ancient artifacts as a sign of how He punishes people who disbelieve in Him and fight His Messengers. He addresses Pharaoh as the man was drowning and says to him,

“So, today We rescue you with your body [only], so that you will be for those after you a sign.” (10:92)

God frequently asks people this question in the Quran, “Did they not travel the land and see what was the end of those before them? They were stronger than them…” (30:9)

Losing, neglecting or destroying ancient artifacts is losing, neglecting and destroying signs of God that He intended for us to keep and learn from.

Consider the long Islamic history in Egypt during which no Muslim ruler of Egypt has ever even contemplated destroying the Pyramids, the Sphinx or any ancient statue. Not Umar ibn Al-Khattaab (RA) who sent a mission to Egypt to call its people to Islam, nor Amr ibn Al-Aas (RA) who lead that mission, nor the hundreds of righteous Muslim leaders who ruled Egypt for some 1000 years!

How come? Did they not see that the Sphinx was an idol that should be smashed? Ironically, the only one who tried to blow up the Sphinx was a non-Muslim: Napoleon Bonaparte. He succeeded in severing the Sphinx’s beard only

And this not unique to Egypt. Muslim rulers of Afghanistan never thought of destroying the Buddhist statues, but Taliban did. That’s what happens when unqualified people take charge.

OK, but we need to find a balance and not wish to possess those treasures.

I’m sure the British Museum will love you for suggesting that! Ancient monuments are the property of the countries they are in. It was no coincidence that God left those particular monuments where they are.

“And they (the remnants of Sodom and Gomorrah) are not far from the wrongdoers.” (11:83)

“And you pass by them (the site of Sodom and Gomorrah) by morning. And by night; do you not use your minds?” (37:137-138)

It is one of my great lifetime wishes to travel to Egypt and see all its ancient sites and museums they are so fascinating especially the mummies. I hope they remain safe. May God protect Egypt and its people

May you get your wish, and amen to your supplication. When you visit the museum of antiquities, go see the mummy of Pharaoh. You are going to feel the verses of the Quran that spoke about him. You will no doubt reflect on what happens to disbelievers, tyrants and conceited people! Here lies before you a man who claimed to be a god, and fought God’s Messenger, Moses, peace be upon him. He ended up in a box shown to all, his name is not even known for sure and his followers are no more, while Moses ended up honored by the followers of all three Abrahamic religions.

I don’t agree with those who call for the destruction of ancient statues. Instead, we should be learning from them, and appreciating them as beautiful art, regardless of their original purpose. As a good friend of mine said, you can appreciate something without worshiping it.

Nice way to put it. I lived in Egypt many years and not once did I ever see or hear of anybody prostrating to the Sphinx!

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