23. A nation that has been defeated and come under
the rule of another nation will quickly perish.
The 136 reason for this may possibly lie in the apathy that comes over people when they lose control of their own affairs and, through enslavement, become the instrument of others and dependent upon them. Hope diminishes and weakens. Now, propagation and an increase in civilization (population) take place only as the result of strong hope and of the energy that hope creates in the animal powers (of man). When hope and the things it stimulates are gone through apathy, and when group feeling has disappeared under the impact of defeat, civilization decreases and business and other activities stop. With their strength dwindling under the impact of defeat, people become unable to defend themselves. They become the victims of anyone who tries to dominate them, and a prey to anyone who has the appetite. It makes no difference whether they have already reached the limit of their royal authority or not.
Here, we possibly learn another secret, namely, that man is a natural leader by virtue of the fact that he has been made a representative (of God on earth). When a leader is deprived of his leadership and prevented from exercising all his powers, he becomes apathetic, even down to such matters as food and drink. This is in the human character. A similar observation may be made with regard to beasts of prey. They do not cohabit when they are in human captivity. The group that has lost control of its own affairs thus continues to weaken and to disintegrate until it perishes. Duration be longs to God alone.
This may be illustrated by the Persian nation. In the past, the Persians filled the world with their great numbers. When their military force was annihilated in the days of the Arabs, they were still very numerous. It is said that Sa'd (b. Abi Waqqas) counted (the population) beyond Ctesiphon. It numbered 137,000 (individuals), with 37,000 heads of families. But when the Persians came under the rule of the Arabs and were made subject to (oppression by) force, they lasted only a short while and were wiped out as if they had never been. One should not think that this was the result of some (specific) persecution or aggression perpetrated against them. The rule of Islam is known for its justice. Such (disintegration as befell the Persians) is in human nature. It happens when people lose control of their own affairs and become the instrument of someone else.
Therefore, the Negro nations are, as a rule, submissive to slavery, because (Negroes) have little (that is essentially) human and have attributes that are quite similar to those of dumb animals, as we have stated.137
Or,138 there are those who by accepting slavery hope to obtain high rank or to get money or power. This was the case with the Turks in the East, and with the Galician infidels and European Christians in Spain. Such people are customarily claimed by the dynasty for itself. Thus, they are not ashamed to be slaves, because they hope to be chosen for high position by the dynasty. And God knows better.