Saturday, 3 December 2011

Islam in Ancient and Modern Times

Islam in Ancient and Modern Times

If Allah helps you, none can overcome you. 
If He forsakes you, who is there to help you? 
In Allah (Alone) should the Believers put their trust.
Excel all others in patience and perseverence.
Be steadfast. Support and sustain each other.
And observe your duty to Allah so you may triumph.
(The Holy Qur’an:  Surah  3rd : The Family of Imraan:  160 & 200)

And Allah will grant you yet another blessing that you love:
Allah’s help is coming to you and yours will be the triumph soonest!  Convey this good news to the Believers!
(Holy Qur’an: Surah 61st: as As Saff: 13)

Islam is a religion, a way of life and worship, that Allahu Sub’hanahu va tha Aalaa, the Supreme Lord of the Heavens and the Earth, has Himself perfected for all human beings.

The system that Allah has perfected for all humanity and commanded His Apostles to establish on earth, was Islam.  This glorious faith is now being reborn every day in the hearts and minds of men, women and children of all nations around the globe.  This too is by Allah’s Will, a miracle in modern times.

Allah informs us that the faith that Moses A.S. gave to his followers (who are referred to as Bani Israyeel in the Surah 17th: al Is’ra of the Holy Qur’an), as also the theme of the Pslams of David, are indeed Islami in their totality.  Jesus A.S. commanded his followers: “Allah is my Lord and your Lord.  So worship Him.  That is the straight road!”  (Holy Qur’an: Surah 3rd: Aal-e-Imraan: 51).

And to Muslims, as also to the rest of humanity who are, all of them, His Creation, Allah commands, in the same Surah in the earlier verse 19: INNAD DEENA INDALLAHIL ISLAM (The religion with Allah is indeed Islam)

In the Middle Eastern region alone, over 250 apostles appeared and taught Islam to the people.  Of them 25 of the most eminent, are listed below (May Allah Bless Them With Peace):
Aadam (Adam),  Idris,  Nooh (Noah),  Hood (Hud),  Saaleh,  Looth (Lot), Ibraheem (Abraham),  Ismayeel (Shmael),  Is’haaq (Isaac),  Ya'qoub (Jacob),  Yoosuf (Joseph),  Shuaib,  Haroon (Aaron),  Moosa (Moses), Dawood (David),  Sulaimaan (Solomon),  Aiyoub (Job),  Zulqifl (Ezekiel), Younus (Jonah),  Il’yaas (Elijah),  Al-Yasa'a (Elisah),  Zakariyah (Zechariah),  Yahiya (John),  Eisaa (Jesus) and Syedina Mohammed S.A.W.S. Sallallahu Alaihi va Sallam.

We have lived through 5,000 years of man’s evolution from paganism to perfection in practicing the True Faith. The above names remind us of the devoted Prophets who brought us the gift of Islam from Allah. Their memory is honored in the Holy Qur’an and cherished in the daily blessings Muslims evoke on them from Allah.

The pursuit of excellence in Faith has been the most absorbing adventure of all humanity over the ages. Yet it has not found its rightful place in our books of history.  Men, women and children all over the world turn to books of history for enlightenment, comfort and solace as they cope with the challenges and crises of every era.  All they find instead, are the legendary exploits and unceremonious exits of a long line of kings, conquerors and tyrants who count for next to nothing in their lives.

Those regimes perished under the weight of their own inequity and injustice. For plundering and ravishing His lands and for inflicting contempt and terror on the people He had created with His Own Hands, Allah, the Supreme Lord of the Heavens and the Earth, punished them – with oblivion.

The Omnipotence of Allah is beyond dispute. “Kun!" Fa Yakoon! Allah commanded and the universe was born.  The Holy Qur'an confirms this incontrovertible truth.

The irradiance that was Prophet Mohammed S.A.W.S.’s, was created by Allah long before the universe came into being, at His Command. The brilliance was among the first objects that Adam witnessed when he was brought into being by Allah. Allah chose to send us His Beloved Messenger Syedina Mohammed S.A.W.S. SallAllahuAlaihi wa Sallam as the last in the line of Prophets.

 Every one  of the Apostles of Allah who preceded him, foretold his advent to their followers, as the Promised Prophet, the Apostle of the Last and Final Era of Creation.

We read in the Holy Qur’an: "He (Allah) has ordained for you (Mohammed S.A.W.S) the religion that He enjoined on Noah.  And (It is the Faith) We inspire in you. And (it is also the Faith) that we enjoined on Abraham A.S., Moses A.S. and Jesus A.S., telling (them), 'Establish  (and) remain steadfast in religion and be not divided therein.

“To those who worship other objects than Allah, the religion to which you call them (appears) dreadful. Allah chooses for Himself those whom He pleases and (He) guides to Himself those who turn to Him." (Holy Qur'an: Surah 42nd: Ash Shoora: 13)

Prophet Abraham A.S. had foretold the advent of Syedina Mohammed S.A.W.S. S.A.W.S. 2,500 years earlier.  While he was building the Holy Ka’abah as the House of Allah, he prayed to the Creator: “Our Lord, I have settled some of my offspring in an uncultivable valley near Your Sacred House, so they may establish proper prayer (untoYou".  (Surah 14th: al Ibrahim: 37)

And again "Our Lord, send forth to them a Messenger from among themselves (the Children of Ismayeel) who shall recite to them Your revelations and instruct them in the Book and in wisdom and liberate them from sin.  Indeed, You, only You, are the Mighty, the Wise". (Surah 2nd: Al Baqarah: 129)

Each nation on earth, in every continent, was endowed a Prophet ordained by Allah Himself and the most important among them were also honored with a Holy Book by revelation from the Glorious Creator. 

It is our good fortune that while the divine word was not fully preserved by others, we Muslims have treasured the Holy Qur'an in its pristine purity for over 1,400 years now. It was easy for us.

For Allah Himself has guaranteed the authenticity and inviolability of His Last Book. He has vowed to safeguard this unique honor of the Holy Qur’an till the end of the world: "We have, without doubt, sent down the Message (the Holy Qur'an) and We will certainly guard it from corruption".  (Surah 15th: Al Hij'r: 9)

Allah is One Supreme Being.  His is the Radiance, the Glory, the Joy that illumines the world and lends grandeur to our lives. Allah created us. The face of every human being born was moulded by Him, with His own hands, from a clod of mud.  And Allah breathed His Own Spirit into us as the soul. He wished us happiness and designed family life for us.

But Allah Himself is above all such needs. We are informed incontrovertibly in the Holy Qur’an that it is against Allah’s Majesty to have a wife and beget one or more children. And there has never been, and there never will be, any need for Allah to come down to earth, in human or in any other form, to teach religion to the people.

To reform humanity directly He sent down Prophets to every nation and helped them at every stage of their mission. And He commanded thousands of angels to protect them and facilitate their triumph. The elements like fire, water and thunder were also despatched to the apostles’ aid: “The thunder proclaims His praise and so do the angels (they are) in awe of Him (Allah).  He commands the thunder to strike and smite those who earn His Wrath when they dispute His Command. And He is Mighty in His Wrath”.  (Surah 13th: ar Raadd: 13)

A common scenario in most mythologies is the emergnce of a monster or an evil spirited maniac who gains ascendancy over one or more countries. Blinded by the power that has accrued to him, he proclaims himself a god of supreme power.  He proves a scourge to all humanity.  The people are put to infinite hardship and suffering.  The m ythical god of the time has no choice but to appear on earth and there is one or more wars in which thousands of innocents die and finally the demonic villain is put to death and the mythical god returns to his abode. 

A god of any size does not have to bemean himself in this way before a human being who is supposed to be his own creation.  The Islami scenario is althogether different, dynamic and dramatic. Allah does not have to appear on earth Himself in any form to wreak vengeance on the enemy claiming to be His equal.  Allah wills the adversary to be exterminated and the scourge is instantly effaced from earth.

The Holy Qur’an, in Surah 105th:  Al Feel, cites an example. The prehistoric king Abraha of the Yemen of those times, mounted a massive assault on the Holy Kaabah to claim superiority over  other reigning monarchs. The invading force rode elephants and traversed long distances and was wthin a few miles of the Holy Kaabaa, when a swarm of Ababeel, tiny birds, flew in, each with a pebble in its beak. 

At a cue from their leader, the tiny birds dropped those pebbles all at once on the elephants, their riders and the infantry too. Within secornds, the tiny pebbles struck with the force of deadly missiles and the elephants and men were plastered to earth “as animal waste”.  Likewise, did Allah’s  Wrath descend on and destroy those who rebelled against Him:
 The fire that descended from the skies and devoured the rebellious and depraved nation that had defied and humiliated  Prophet Lot:
 The flood that drowned the transgressors who had refused Prophet Noah’s invitation to enter the true Faith of Islam and  find safety and.    security in his ark;
 The parting and then closing in, of the waters of the Red Sea in Egypt, that drowned the mighty Pharaoh and his legions when they came in hot pursuit of Prophet Moses A.S. and his followers (who had crossed over earlier to safety on the other bank)

The Holy Qur’an informs us: “And truly the apostles (of Allah) who were sent before you (Mohammed S.A.W.S.) were mocked at (and ridiculed); yet for long did I bear with those who defied (Me and My messengers).  At last, I seized them and the most dreadful indeed was the punishment (We inflicted on them)”  (Surah 13th: ar Raad: 32)

Examples such as these abound in history. In almost every land we find that ancient monuments remain but the civilizations that cradled them and the Holy Books revealed to them by Allah, have vanished from earth. Archaelogical excavations and the relics in most museums confirm that over thousands of years, the people turned their backs upon reformers and prophets and continued their exultation and worship of objects other than Allah.

The earlier apostles who had been accredited to their own communities for better coordination and cohesion, could not win them over completely to the Cause of Truth and Righteousness. No one cared to preserve their teachings and the Holy Books revealed to them from Allah.

“When they (the ancients) neglected (the beliefs and righteous duties) they had been commanded to, We (tried them and) opened wide for them the gates to all things delectable.  When their exultation and rejoicing (at this unprecedented prosperity) reached the high pitch, We seized them of a sudden and they were dumbfounded and in utter despair.  Thus were the roots of the people cut off when they turned unjust and arrogant.  Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds”. (Surah 6th: al An’aam: 44 & 45)

Allah’s Powers are so vast and absolute that whatever He wills is realized at once. We know from history that no transgressor nor enemy has outlived his foolish challenge to Allah. No successor will fare any better. Allah has set the right moments to eliminate evildoers and none of them escapes Allah’s wrath.
Allah wills and the task is done. The Holy Qur'an affirms this ongoing miracle of "Kun!" Fa Yakoon!  “When (Allah) the Creator of the heavnes and the earth, decrees a thing, He just commands it: 'Be! and it is (done instantaneously) !” (Surah 2nd: Al Baqarah: 117 and Surah 40th: Mo’min: 68). This is further confirmed in the verse:  “Our Command is but one as the twinkling of an eye”.(Surah 54th: Al Qamar: 50)

The truth is that no one enters the True Faith until Allah endows on the person the motivation to do so. Allah selects the right people and they are at once enlightened and inspired with the zeal to realize the Truth.

They hasten to the path shown to humanity by the apostles of Allah over the last five thousand years and embrace Islam. They embrace a glorious legacy, a tradition both luminous and uplifting, that had been handed down to us by 124,000 and more Prophets of Allah over a span of 3,500 years.

The chain started with Abraham A.S. (who designated us ‘Muslims’), continued among others, through Moses A.S. and Jesus A.S. (May Allah bless them with peace!) and concluded in 571 C.E. In this historic year was born, in Makkah, in the land now known as Saudi Arabia, the Prophet of the Final Era Syedina Mohammed S.A.W.S. S.A.W.S  Historians cite the date, according to their research, as April 20, 571 C.E.

Forty years later, the Holy Qur’an was revealed by Allah to Prophet Mohammed S.A.W.S. as the most complete and comprehensive guide to all humanity. And the life record of Allah’s Chosen Messenger, Syedina Mohammed S.A.W.S. Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, titled the Hadith., complements it.  

With these two holy books, human beings everywhere have been given the most invaluable opportunity to lead a serene and magnificent life, all by themselves. They can be happy and at peace with their own selves and with other nations too; and they will also be secure in the love and approval of Allah.

Syedina Mohammed S.A.W.S.’s misson was thus concluded in triumph and the line ended by Allah.  After him, only saints and reformers, inspired and helped by Allah, will guide humanity through Islam.