As long as Islam retained its pristine form, i.e., a system of life based on divine values, the system functioned in the manner mentioned above. There was rule of human thought within the framework of divine values. Afterwards when the Muslims lost the thread of reality, Islam was degraded to a religion. The substance of Deen gave way to token beliefs and lifeless rituals. The ummah was shackled by tradition. At this juncture two things happened:
* Intellectual activities came to an end. Human thought among Muslims froze at the level of the time period when Islam was changed into a religion.
* With this change, ijtihad became undesirable. The shariat which was enacted to fulfill the needs of that particular time was declared permanent and immutable. This religious code of law is also known as fiqh . This change of direction as a whole took place during the period of the Abbassid monarchy. The imprint of this dictatorship on the laws of the land was inevitable.
Today the Muslim nations, when it comes to progress in the material world as well as in the world of values, stand exactly at the same spot as they did during the Abbassid period and this status quo is the result of self imposed intellectual paralysis. There is no curiosity, no motivation, no thought and reflection, no research, and no pondering. Laws and principles, customs and traditions, and the tenets of the Abbassid period have become the standard of judgment between things Islamic and non Islamic. Anything different or modern is labeled non Islamic. Living within the framework of God given laws, principles and guidelines is not the Islamic way of life anymore. On the contrary, blindly following the customs and traditions and man made laws of the Abbassid monarchial period is thought to be the "Real Islam"