Muhammad(S.A.W.A.), The Prophet
Prof. K. S. Ramakrishna Rao,
Head of the department of
University of Mysore, India
In the desert of Arabia was Mohammad born, according to Muslim historians,
on April 20, 571. The name means "highly praised." He is to me the greatest
mind among all the sons of Arabia. He means so much more than all the poets
and kings that preceded him in that impenetrable desert of red sand.
When he appeared Arabia was a desert-- a nothing. Out of nothing a new world
was fashioned by the mighty spirit of Mohammad -- a new life, a new culture,
a new civilization, a new kingdom which extended from Morocco to Indies and
influenced the thought and life of three continents -- Asia, Africa and
thought of writing on Mohammad the prophet, I was a bit hesitant because it
was to write about a religion I do not profess and it is a delicate matter
to do so for there are many persons professing various religions and
belonging to diverse school of thought and denominations even in same
religion. Though it is sometimes, claimed that religion is entirely personal
yet it can not be gainsaid that it has a tendency to envelop the whole
universe seen as well unseen. It somehow permeates something or other our
hearts, our souls, our minds their conscious as well as subconcious and
unconscious levels too.
problem assumes overwhelming importance when there is a deep conviction that
our past, present and future all hang by the soft delicate, tender silked
cord. If we further happen to be highly sensitive, the center of gravity is
very likely to be always in a state of extreme tension. Looked at from this
point of view, the less said about other religion the better. Let our
religions be deeply hidden and embedded in the resistance of our innermost
hearts fortified by unbroken seals on our lips.
there is another aspect of this problem. Man lives in society. Our lives are
bound with the lives of others willingly or unwillingly, directly or
indirectly. We eat the food grown in the same soil, drink water, from the
same the same spring and breathe the same air. Even while staunchly holding
our own views, it would be helpful, if we try to adjust ourselves to our
surroundings, if we also know to some extent, how the mind our neighbor
moves and what the main springs of his actions are. From this angle of
vision it is highly desirable that one should try to know all religions of
the world, in the proper sprit, to promote mutual understanding and better
appreciation of our neighborhood, immediate and remote.
Further, our thoughts are not scattered as appear to be on the surface. They
have got themselves crystallized around a few nuclei in the form of great
world religions and living faiths that guide and motivate the lives of
millions that inhabit this earth of ours. It is our duty, in one sense if we
have the ideal of ever becoming a citizen of the world before us, to make a
little attempt to know the great religions and system of philosophy that
have ruled mankind.
spite of these preliminary remarks, the ground in these field of religion,
where there is often a conflict between intellect and emotion is so slippery
that one is constantly reminded of 'fools that rush in where angels fear to
tread.' It is also not so complex from another point of view. The subject of
my writing is about the tenets of a religion which is historic and its
prophet who is also a historic personality. Even a hostile critic like Sir
William Muir speaking about the holy Quran says that. "There is probably in
the world no other book which has remained twelve centuries with so pure
text." I may also add Prophet Mohammad is also a historic personality, every
event of whose life has been most carefully recorded and even the minutest
details preserved intact for the posterity. His life and works are not
wrapped in mystery.
today is further lightened because those days are fast disappearing when
Islam was highly misrepresented by some of its critics for reasons political
and otherwise. Prof. Bevan writes in Cambridge Medieval History, "Those
account of Mohammad and Islam which were published in Europe before the
beginning of 19th century are now to be regarded as literary curiosities."
My problem is to write this monograph is easier because we are now generally
not fed on this kind of history and much time need be spent on pointing out
our misrepresentation of Islam.
theory of Islam and Sword for instance is not heard now frequently in any
quarter worth the name. The principle of Islam that there is no compulsion
in religion is well known. Gibbon, a historian of world repute says, " A
pernicious tenet has been imputed to Mohammadans, the duty of extirpating
all the religions by sword". This charge based on ignorance and bigotry,
says the eminent historian, is refuted by Quran, by history of Musalman
conquerors and by their public and legal toleration of Christian worship.
The great success of Mohammad's life had been effected by sheer moral force,
without a stroke of sword.
pure self-defence, after repeated efforts of conciliation had utterly
failed, circumstances dragged him into the battlefield. But the prophet of
Islam changed the whole strategy of the battlefield. The total number of
casualties in all the wars that took place during his lifetime when the
whole Arabian Peninsula came under his banner, does not exceed a few
hundreds in all. But even on the battlefield he taught the Arab barbarians
to pray, to pray not individually, but in congregation to God the Almighty.
During the dust and storm of warfare whenever the time for prayer came, and
it comes five times a every day, the congregation prayer had not to be
postponed even on the battlefield.
had to be engaged in bowing their heads before God while other was engaged
with the enemy. After finishing the prayers, the two parties had to exchange
their positions. To the Arabs, who would fight for forty years on the slight
provocation that a camel belonging to the guest of one tribe had strayed
into the grazing land belonging to other tribe and both sides had fought
till they lost 70,000 lives in all; threatening the extinction of both the
tribes to such furious Arabs, the Prophet of Islam taught self-control and
discipline to the extent of praying even on the battlefield. In an aged of
barbarism, the Battlefield itself was humanized and strict instructions were
issued not to cheat, not to break trust, not to mutilate, not to kill a
child or woman or an old man, not to hew down date palm nor burn it, not to
cut a fruit tree, not to molest any person engaged in worship. His own
treatment with his bitterest enemies is the noblest example for his
followers. At the conquest of Mecca, he stood at the zenith of his power.
city which had refused to listen to his mission, which had tortured him and
his followers, which had driven him and his people into exile and which had
unrelentingly persecuted and boycotted him even when he had taken refuge in
a place more than 200 miles away, that city now lay at his feet. By the laws
of war he could have justly avenged all the cruelties inflicted on him and
his people. But what treatment did he accord to them?
Mohammad's heart flowed with affection and he declared "This day, there is
no REPROOF against you and you are all free." This day he proclaimed. "I
trample under my feet all distinctions between man and man, all hatred
between man and man."
was one of the chief objects why he permitted war in self defense, that is
to unite human beings. And when once this object was achieved, even his
worst enemies were pardoned. Even those who killed his beloved uncle,
Hamazah, mangled his body, ripped it open, even chewed a piece of his liver.
principles of universal brotherhood and doctrine of the equality of mankind
which he proclaimed represents one very great contribution of Mohammad to
the social uplift of humanity. All great religions have preached the same
doctrine but the prophet of Islam had put this theory into actual practice
and its value will be fully recognized, perhaps centuries hence, when
international consciousness being awakened, racial prejudices may disappear
and greater brotherhood of humanity come into existence.
Sarojini Naidu speaking about this aspect of Islam says, "It was the first
religion that preached and practiced democracy; for in the mosque, when the
minaret is sounded and the worshipers are gathered together, the democracy
of Islam is embodied five times a day when the peasant and the king kneel
side by side and proclaim, "God alone is great." The great poetess of India
continues " I have been struck over and over again by this indivisible unity
of Islam that makes a man instinctively a brother. When you meet an
Egyptian, an Algerian and Indian and a Turk in London, it matters not that
Egypt is the motherland of one and India is the motherland of another."
Gandhi, in his inimitable style, says "Some one has said that Europeans in
South Africa dread the advent Islam-Islam that civilized Spain, Islam that
took the torch light to Morocco and preached to the world the Gospel of
brotherhood. The Europeans of South Africa dread the Advent of Islam. They
may claim equality with the white races. They may well dread it, if
brotherhood is a sin. If it is equality of colored races then their dread is
year, during the Haj, the world witnesses the wonderful spectacle of this
international Exhibition of Islam in leveling all distinctions of race,
color and rank. Not only the Europeans, the African, the Arabian, the
Persian, the Indians, the Chinese all meet together in Medina as members of
one divine family, but they are clad in one dress every person in two simple
pieces of white seamless cloth, one piece round the loin the other piece
over the shoulders, bare head without pomp or ceremony, repeating "Here am I
O God; at thy command; thou art one and alone; Here am I." Thus There
remains nothing to differentiate the high from the low and every pilgrim
carries home the impression of the international significance of Islam.
opinion of Prof. Hurgronje "the league of nations founded by prophet of
Islam put the principle of international unity of human brotherhood on such
Universal foundations as to show candle to other nations." In the words of
same Professor "the fact is that no nation of the world can show a parallel
to what Islam has done the realization of the idea of the League of Nations.
prophet of Islam brought the reign of democracy in its best form. The Caliph
Umar, the Caliph Ali and the son inlaw of the prophet, the caliph Mansur,
Abbas, the son of Caliph Mamun and many other caliphs and kings had to
appear before the judge as ordinary men in Islamic courts. Even today we all
know how the black Negroes were treated by the civilized white races.
Consider the state of BILAL, a Negro Slave, in the days of the prophet of
Islam nearly 14 centuries ago.
office of calling Muslims to prayer was considered to be of status in the
early days of Islam and it was offered to this Negro slave. After the
conquest of Mecca, the Prophet ordered him to call for prayer and the Negro
slave, with his black color and his thick lips, stood over the roof of the
holy mosque at Mecca called the Ka'ba the most historic and the holiest
mosque in the Islamic world, when some proud Arabs painfully cried loud,
"Oh, this black Negro Slave, woe be to him. He stands on the roof of holy
Ka'ba to call for prayer." At that moment, the prophet announced to the
world, this verse of the holy QURAN for the first time.
mankind, surely we have created you, families and tribes, so you may know
one another. Surely, the most honorable of you with God is MOST RIGHTEOUS
AMONG you. Surely, God is Knowing, Aware."
these words of the holy Quran created such a mighty transformation that the
Caliph of Islam, the purest of Arabs by birth, offered their daughter in
marriage to this Negro Slave, and whenever, the second Caliph of Islam,
known to history as Umar the great, the commander of faithful, saw this
Negro slave, he immediately stood in reverence and welcomed him by "Here
come our master; Here come our lord." What a tremendous change was brought
by Quran in the Arabs, the proudest people at that time on the earth. This
is the reason why Goethe, the greatest of German poets, speaking about the
Holy Quran declared that, "This book will go on exercising through all ages
a most potent influence." This is also the reason why George Bernard Shaw
says, "If any religion has a chance or ruling over England, say, Europe,
within the next 100 years, it is Islam".
this same democratic spirit of Islam that emancipated women from the bondage
of man. Sir Charles Edward Archibald Hamilton says "Islam teaches the
inherent sinlesseness of man. It teaches that man and woman and woman have
come from the same essence, posses the same soul and have been equipped with
equal capabilities for intellectual, spiritual and moral attainments."
Arabs had a very strong tradition that one who can smite with the spear and
can wield the sword would inherit. But Islam came as the defender of the
weaker sex and entitled women to share the inheritance of their parents.
women,centuries ago right of owning property, yet it was only 12 centuries
later , in 1881, that England, supposed to be the cradle of democracy
adopted this institution of Islam and the act was called "the married woman
act", But centuries earlier, the Prophet of Islam had proclaimed that "Woman
are twin halves of men. The rights of women are sacred. See that women
maintained rights granted to them."
is not directly concerned with political and economic systems, but
indirectly and in so far as political and economic affairs influence man's
conduct, it does lay down some very important principles to govern economic
life. According to Prof. Massignon, it maintains the balance between
exaggerated opposites and has always in view the building of character which
is the basis of civilization. This is secured by its law of inheritance, by
an organized system of of charity known as Zakat, and by regarding as
illegal all anti-social practices in the economic field like monopoly,
usury, securing of predetermined unearned income and increments, cornering
markets, creating monoplies, creating an artificial scarcity of any
commodity in order to force the prices to rise. Gambling is illegal.
Contribution to schools, to places of worship, hospitals, digging of wells,
opening of orphanages are highest acts of virtue. Orphanages have sprung for
the first time, it is said, under the teaching of the prophet of Islam. The
world owes its orphanages to this prophet who was himself born an orphan.
"Good all this" says Carlyle about Mohammad. "The natural voice of
humanity,of pity and equity, dwelling in the heart of this wild son of
historian once said a great man should be judged by three tests: Was he
found to be of true metel by his contemporaries ? Was he great enough to
raise above the standards of his age ? Did he leave anything as permanent
legacy to the world at large ? This list may be further extended but all
these three tests of greatness are eminently satisfied to the highest degree
in case of prophet Mohammad. some illustrations of the last two have already
first is: Was the Prophet of Islam found to be of true metel by his
Historical records show that all the contemporaries of Mohammad both friends
foes, acknowledged the sterling qualities, the spotless honesty, the noble
virtues, the absolute sincerity and every trustworthiness of the apostle of
Islam in all walks of life and in every sphere of human activity. Even the
Jews and those who did not believe in his message, adopted him as the
arbiter in their personal disputes by virtue of his perfect impartiality.
Even those who did not believe in his message were forced to say "O
Mohammad, we do not call you a liar, but we deny him who has given you a
book and inspired you with a message." They thought he was one possessed.
They tried violence to cure him.
best of them saw that a new light had dawned on him and they hastened him to
seek the enlightenment. It is a notable feature in the history of prophet of
Islam that his nearest relation, his beloved cousin and his bosom friends,
who know him most intimately, were not thoroughly imbued with the truth of
his mission and were convinced of the genuineness of his divine inspiration.
If these men and women, noble, intelligent, educated and intimately
acquainted with his private life had perceived the slightest signs of
deception, fraud, earthliness, or lack of faith in him, Mohammad's moral
hope of regeneration , spiritual awakening , and social reform would all
have been foredoomed to a failure and whole edifice would have crumbled to
pieces in a moment.
contrary, we find that devotion of his followers was such that he was
voluntarily acknowledged as dictator of their lives. They braved for him
persecutions and danger; they trusted, obeyed and honored him even in the
most excruciating torture and severest mental agony caused by
excommunication even unto death. Would this have been so, had they noticed
the slightest backsliding in their master ?
the history of the early converts to Islam, and every heart would melt at
the sight of the brutal treatment of innocent Muslim men and women.
an innocent women, is cruelly torn into pieces with spears, An example is
made of " Yassir whose legs are tied to two camels and the beast were are
driven in opposite directions", Khabbab bin Arth is made lie down on the bed
of burning coal with the brutal legs of their merciless tyrant on his breast
so that he may not move and this makes even the fat beneath his skin melt."
"Khabban bin Adi is put to death in a cruel manner by mutilation and cutting
off his flesh piece-meal."
midst of his tortures, being asked weather he did not wish Mohammad in his
place while he was in his house with his family, the sufferer cried out that
he was gladly prepared to sacrifice himself his family and children and why
was it that these sons and daughters of Islam not only surrendered to their
prophet their allegiance but also made a gift of their hearts and souls to
their master ? Is not the intense faith and conviction on part of immediate
followers of Mohammad, the noblest testimony to his sincerity and to his
utter self-absorption in his appointed task ?
these men were not of low station or inferior mental caliber. Around him in
quite early days, gathered what was best and noblest in Mecca, its flower
and cream, men of position, rank, wealth and culture, and from his own kith
and kin, those who knew all about his life. All the first four Caliphs, with
their towering personalities, were converts of this period.
Encyclopedia Brittanica says that "Mohammad is the most successful of all
Prophets and religious personalities".
success was not the result of mere accident. It was not a hit of fortune. It
was a recognition of fact that he was found to be true metal by his
contemporaries. It was the result of his admirable and all compelling
personality of Mohammad! it is most difficult to get into the truth of it.
Only a glimpse of it I can catch. What a dramatic succession of picturesque
scenes. There is Mohammad, the prophet, There is Mohammad the General;
Mohammad the King; Mohammad the Warrior; Mohammad the businessman; Mohammad
the preacher; Mohammad the philosopher; Mohammad the statesman Mohammad the
Orator; Mohammad the reformer; Mohammad the refuge of orphans; Mohammad the
Protector of Slaves; Mohammad the emancipator of women; Mohammad the
Law-giver; Mohammad the Judge; Mohammad the Saint.
all these magnificent roles, in all these departments of human activities,
he is like, a hero.
Orphanhood is extreme of helplessness and his life upon this earth began
with it; Kingship is the height of the material power and it ended with it.
From an orphan boy to a persecuted refugee and then to an overlord,
spiritual as well as temporal, of a whole nation and Arbiter of its
destinies, with all its trials and temptations, with all its vicissitudes
and changes, its lights and shades, its up and downs, its terror and
splendor, he has stood the fire of the world and came out unscathed to serve
as a model in every face of life. his Achievements are not limited to one
aspect of life, but cover the whole field of human conditions.
instance, greatness consist in the purification of a nation, steeped in
barbarism and immersed in absolute moral darkness, that dynamic personality
who has transformed, refined and uplifted an entire nation, sunk low as the
Arabs were, and made them the torch-bearer of civilization and learning, has
every claim to greatness. If greatness lies in unifying the discordant
elements of society by ties of brotherhood and charity, the prophet of the
desert has got every title to this distinction.
greatness consists in reforming those wrapt in degrading and blind
superstition and pernicious practices of every kind, the prophet of Islam
has wiped out superstitions and irrational fear from the hearts of millions.
If it lies in displaying high morals, Mohammmad has been admitted by friend
and foe as Al Amin, or the faithful. If a conqueror is a great man, here is
a person who rose from helpless orphan and an humble creature to be the
ruler of Arabia, the equal to Chosroes and Caesers, one who founded great
empire that has survived all these 14 centuries. If the devotion that a
leader commands is the criterion of greatness, the prophet's name even today
exerts a magic charm over millions of souls, spread all over the world.
not studied philosophy in the school of Athens of Rome, Persia, India, or
China. Yet, He could proclaim the highest truths of eternal value to
mankind. Illiterate himself, he could yet speak with an eloquence and fervor
which moved men to tears, to tears of ectacy. Born an orphan blessed with no
worldly goods, he was loved by all. He had studied at no military academy;
yet he could organize his forces against tremendous odds and gained
victories through the moral forces which he marshalled. Gifted men with
genius for preaching are rare.
Descartes included the perfect preacher among the rarest kind in the world.
Hitler in his Mein Kamp has expressed a similar view. He says "A great
theorist is seldom a great leader. An Agitator is more likely to posses
these qualities. He will always be a great leader. For leadership means
ability to move masses of men. The talents to produce ideas has nothing in
common with capacity for leadership." "But", he says, "The Union of
theorists, organizer and leader in one man, is the rarest phenomenon on this
earth; Therein consists greatness."
person of the Prophet of Islam the world has seen this rarest phenomenon
walking on on the earth, walking in flesh and blood.
more wonderful still is what the raverend Bosworth Smith remarks, "Head of
the state as well as the Church, he was Caeser and Pope in one; but, he was
pope without the pope's claims, and Caeser without the legions of Caeser,
without an standing army, without a bodyguard, without a palace, without a
fixed revenue. If ever any man had the right to say that he ruled by a right
divine It was Mohammad, for he had all the power without instruments and
without its support. He cared not for dressing of power. The simplicity of
his private life was in keeping with his public life.
the fall of Mecca, more than one million square miles of land lay at his
feet, Lord of Arabia, he mended his own shoes and coarse woolen garments,
milked the goats, swept the hearth, kindled the fire and attended the other
menial offices of the family. The entire town of Medina where he lived grew
wealthy in the later days of his life. Everywhere there was gold and silver
in plenty and yet in those days of prosperity many weeks would elapse
without a fire being kindled in the hearth of the king of Arabia, His food
being dates and water.
family would go hugry many nights successively because they could not get
anything to eat in the evening. He slept on no soften bed but on a palm mat,
after a long busy day to spend most of his night in prayer, often bursting
with tears before his creator to grant him strength to discharge his duties.
As the reports go, his voice would get choked with weeping and it would
appear as if a cooking pot was on fire and boiling had commenced. On the
very day of his death his only assets were few coins a part of which went to
satisfy a debt and rest was given to a needy person who came to his house
for charity. The clothes in which he breathed his last had many patches. The
house from where light had spread to the world was in darkness because there
was no oil in the lamp.
Circumstances changed, but the prophet of God did not. In victory or in
defeat, in power or in adversity, in affluence or in indigence, he is the
same man, disclosed the same character. Like all the ways and laws of God,
Prophets of God are unchangeable.
honest man, as the saying goes, is the noblest work of God, Mohammad was
more than honest. He was human to the marrow of his bones. Human sympathy,
human love was the music of his soul. To serve man, to elevate man, to
purify man, to educate man, in a word to humanize man-this was the object of
his mission, the be-all and end all of his life. In thought, in word, in
action he had the good of humanity as his sole inspiration, his sole guiding
most unostentatious and selfless to the core. What were the titles he
assumed? Only true servant of God and His Messenger. Servant first, and then
a messenger. A Messenger and prophet like many other prophets in every part
of the world, some known to you, many not known you. If one does not believe
in any of these truths one ceases to be a Muslim. It is an article of faith.
"Looking at the circumstances of the time and unbounded reverence of his
followers" says a western writer "the most miraculous thing about Mohammad
is, that he never claimed the power of working miracles".
Miracles were performed but not to propagate his faith and were attributed
entirely to God and his inscrutable ways. He would plainly say that he was a
man like others. He had no treasures of earth or heaven. Nor did he claim to
know the secrets of that lie in womb of future. All this was in an age when
miracles were supposed to be ordinary occurrences, at the back and call of
the commonest saint, when the whole atmosphere was surcharged with
supernaturalism in Arabia and outside Arabia.
turned the attention of his followers towards the study of nature and its
laws, to understand them and appreciate the Glory of God. The Quran says
"God did not create the heavens and the earth and all that is between them
in play. He did not create them all but with the truth. But most men do not
know". The world is not illusion, nor without purpose. It has been created
with the truth. The number of verses inviting close observation of nature
are several times more than those that relate to prayer, fasting, pilgrimage
etc. all put together. The Muslim under its influence began to observe
nature closely and this give birth to the scientific spirit of the
observation and experiment which was unknown to the Greeks.
the Muslim Botanist IBn Baitar wrote on Botany after collecting plants from
all parts of the world, described by Myer in his Gesch. der Botanikaa-s, a
monument of industry, while Al Byruni traveled for forty years to collect
mineralogical specimens, and Muslim Astronomers made some observations
extending even over twelve years. Aristotle wrote on Physics without
performing a single experiment, wrote on natural history, carelessly stating
without taking the trouble to ascertain the most verifiable fact that men
have more teeth than animal. Galen, the greatest authority on classical
anatomy informed that the lower jaw consists of two bones, a statement which
is accepted unchallenged for centuries till Abdul Lateef takes the trouble
to examine a human skeleton.
enumerating several such instance's, Robert Priffault concludes in his well
known book "The making of humanity", "The debt of our science to the Arabs
does not consist in starting discovers or revolutionary theories. Science
owes a great more to Arabs culture; it owes is existence". The same writer
says " The Greeks systematized, generalized and theorized but patient ways
of investigation, the accumulation of positive knowledge, the minute methods
of science, detailed and prolonged observation, experimental inquiry, were
altogether alien to Greek temperament. What we call science arose in Europe
as result of new methods of investigation, of the method of experiment,
observation, measurement, of the development of Mathematica in form unknown
to the Greeks. That spirit and these methods, concludes the same author,
were introduced into the European world by Arabs.
the same practical character of the teaching of Prophet Mohammad that gave
birth to the scientific spirit, that has also sanctified the daily labors
and the so called mundane affairs. The Quran says that God has created man
to worship him but the word worship has a connotation of its own. Gods
worship is not confined to prayer alone, but every act that is done with the
purpose of winning approval of God and is for the benefit of the humanity
comes under its purview. Islam sanctifies life and all its pursuits provided
they are performed with honesty, justice and pure intents.
obliterates the age-long distinction between the sacred and profane. The
Quran says if you eat clean things and thank God for it, it is an act of
worship. It is saying of the prophet of Islam that Morsel of food that one
places in the mouth of his wife is an act of virtue to be rewarded by God.
Another tradition of the Prophet says "He who is satisfying the desire of
his heart will be rewarded by God provided the methods adopted are
permissible. A person was listening to him exclaimed 'O Prophet of God, he
is answering the calls of passions, is only satisfying the craving of his
Forthwith came the reply, "Had he adopted an awful method for the
satisfaction of his urge, he would have been punished; then why should he
not be rewarded for following the right course".
new conception of religion that it should also devote itself to the
betterment of this life rather than concern itself exclusively with super
mundane affairs, has led to a new orientation of moral values. Its abiding
influence on the common relations of mankind in the affairs of every day
life, its deep power over the masses, its regulation of their conception of
rights and duty, its suitability and adaptability to the ignorant savage and
the wise philosopher are characteristic features of the teaching of the
Prophet of Islam.
should be most carefully born in mind this stress on good actions is not the
sacrifice correctness of faith. While there are various school of thought,
one praising faith at the expense of deeds, another exhausting various acts
to the detriment of correct belief, Islam is based on correct faith and
righteous actions. Means are important as the end and ends are as important
as the means. It is an organic Unity. Together they live and thrive.
Separate them and both decay and die. In Islam faith can not be divorced
from the action. Right knowledge should be transferred into right action to
produce the right results. How often the words came in Quran-- Those who
believe and do good thing, they alone shall enter paradise. Again and again,
not less than fifty times these words are repeated as if too much stress can
not be laid on them. Contemplation is encouraged but mere contemplation is
not the goal. Those who believe and do nothing can not exist in Islam.
These who believe and do wrong are inconceivable. Divine law is the law of
effort and not of ideals. It chalks out for the men the path of eternal
progress from knowledge to action and from action to satisfaction.
what is the correct faith from which right action spontaneously proceeds
resulting in complete satisfaction. Here the central doctrine of Islam is
the Unity of God. There is no God but God is the pivot from which hangs the
whole teaching and practice of Islam. He is unique not only as regards his
divine being but also as regards his divine attributes.
regards the attributes of God, Islam adopts here as in other things too, the
law of golden mean. It avoids on the one hand, the view of God which divests
the divine being of every attribute and rejects, on the other, the view
which likens him to things material. The Quran says, On the one hand, there
is nothing which is like him, on the other , it affirms that he is Seeing,
Hearing, Knowing. He is the King who is without a stain of fault or
deficiency, the mighty ship of His power floats upon the ocean of justice
and equity. He is the Beneficent, the Merciful. He is the Guardian over all.
does not stop with this positive statement. It adds further which is its
most special characteristic, the negative aspects of problem. There is also
no one else who is guardian over everything. He is the meander of every
breakage, and no one else is the meander of any breakage. He is the restorer
of every loss and no one else is the restorer of any loss what-so-over.
There is no God but one God, above any need, the maker of bodies, creater of
souls, the Lord of the day of judgment, and in short, in the words of Quran,
to him belong all excellent qualities.
Regarding the position of man in relation to the Universe, the Quran says
"God has made subservient to you whatever is on the earth or in universe.
You are destined to rule over the Universe." But in relation to God, the
Quran says 'O man God has bestowed on you excellent faculties andhas created
life and death to put you to test in order to see whose actions are good and
who has deviated from the right path.'
spite of free will which he enjoys, to some extent, every man is born under
certain circumstances and continues to live under certain circumstances
beyond his control. With regard to this God says, according to Islam, it is
my will to create any man under condition that seem best to me. Cosmic plans
finite mortals can not fully comprehend. But I will certainly test you in
prosperity as well in adversity, in health as well as in sickness, in
heights as well as in depths. My ways of testing differ from man to man,
from hour to hour. In adversity do not despair and do resort to unlawful
means. It is but a passing phase. In prosperity do not forget God.
God-gifts are given only as trusts. You are always on trial, every moment on
test. In this sphere of life there is not to reason why, there is but to do
and die. If you live live in accordance with God; and if you die, die in the
path of God. You may call it fatalism. but this type of fatalism is a
condition of vigorous increasing effort, keeping you ever on the alert. Do
not consider this temporal life on earth as the end of human existence.
There is a life after death and it is eternal. Life after death is only a
connection link, a door that opens up hidden reality of life. Every action
in life however insignificant, produces a lasting effect. It is correctly
the ways of God are known to you, but many of his ways are hidden from you.
What is hidden in you and from you in this world will be unrolled and laid
open before you in the next. the virtuous will enjoy the blessing of God
which the eye has not seen, nor has the ear heard, nor has it entered into
the hearts of men to conceive of they will march onward reaching higher and
higher stages of evolution. Those who have wasted opportunity in this life
shall under the inevitable law, which makes every man taste of what he has
done, be subjugated to a course of treatment of the spiritual disease's
which they have brought about with their own hands.
it is terrible ordeal. Bodily pain is torture, you can bear somehow.
Spiritual pain is hell, you will find it almost unbearable. Fight in this
life itself the tendencies of the spirit prone to evil, tempting to lead you
into iniquities ways. Reach the next stage when the self-accusing sprit in
your conscience is awakened and the soul is anxious to attain moral
excellence and revolt against disobedience. This will lead you to the final
stage of the soul at rest, contented with God, finding its happiness and
delight in him alone. The soul no more stumbles. The stage of struggle
passes away. Truth is victorious and falsehood lays down its arms.
complexes will then be resolved. Your house will not be divided against
itself. Your personality will get integrated round the central core of
submission to the will of God and complete surrender to his divine purpose.
All hidden energies will then be released. The soul then will have peace.
God will then address you 'O Thou soul that art at rest, and restest fully
contented with thy Lord return to thy Lord. He pleased with thee and thou
pleased with him; So enter among my servants and enter into my paradise.
the final goal for man; to become, on the, one hand, the master of the
universe and on the other, to see that his soul finds rest in his Lord, that
not only his Lord will be pleased with him but that he is also pleased with
his Lord. Contentment, complete contentment, satisfaction, complete
satisfaction, peace, complete peace. The love of God is his food at this
stage and he drinks deep at the fountain of life. Sorrow and defeat do not
overwhelm him and success does not find him in vain and exulting.
western nations are only trying to become the master of the Universe. But
their souls have not found peace and rest.
Thomas Carlyle, struck by this philosophy of life writes "and then also
Islam-that we must submit to God; that our whole strength lies in resigned
submission to Him, whatsoever he does to us, the thing he sends to us, even
if death and worse than death, shall be good, shall be best; we resign
ourselves to God." The same author continues "If this be Islam, says Goethe,
do we not all live in Islam? Carlyle himself answers this question of Goethe
and says "Yes, all of us that have any moral life, we all live so. This is
yet the highest wisdom that heaven has revealed to our earth."