|أحمد محمد لبن Ahmad.M.Lbn|
مؤسس ومدير المنتدى
عدد المساهمات : 45898
العمر : 71
|موضوع: PART FOUR الخميس 07 يوليو 2022, 5:00 am|| |
Manifestation of Prophethood in the Present Day and Age God decreed that the final prophet, Muhammad should establish the dominance of true religion over all other religions.1 This special task entrusted to the Prophet of Islam has also been entrusted to his followers. The dominance of religion that Muhammad brought about was the culmination of a grand divine scheme, with the groundwork having been laid over the previous 2,500 years.
All the Prophet had to do was bring it to completion. So it has been with the Prophet’s ummah —his community. Over the last 1000 years the ground has been prepared for the re-establishment of the dominance of true religion. If the followers of Muhammad make wise and conscientious use of the opportunities available to them, the mantle of God’s succour will indeed fall on them, in the same way as it fell upon the Prophet. That is the promise of God.
The article, “Man and His Gods,” in the Encyclopaedia Britannica, tells of the Islamic revolution brought about There have been two main eras in the preaching of true religion, the first prior to the mission of the Final Prophet, and the second afterwards. Before the coming of Muhammad the onus of preserving the divine scriptures had been put upon the followers of prophets. In the words of the Quran, they had been “required to guard the Book of God.”3 With the Quran, however, God has Himself made it plain that “it was We who revealed the Quran, and We will certainly preserve it.”4
It was God’s will that, with the mission of the Prophet of Islam, polytheism should be vanquished and monotheism reign supreme in the world. 5 Only He can bring about circumstances conducive to such a transformation in human thought. So it was that, over the 2,500 years preceding the coming of Muhammad, the groundwork for the Islamic revolution had been laid. It was for the Prophet Muhammad to work on this foundation and bring about the domination of monotheism over polytheism.
The Islamic revolution of the Prophet’s time forever vanquished polytheism. Through the work of the Prophet and his companions the possibility vanished of polytheism ever-again ruling the world. Yet, in the present age, monotheistic thought has once again forfeited its dominance. In the world today atheistic thought holds pride of place, and monotheism has in practice been relegated to a position of secondary importance. God indeed had full knowledge of the fact that atheism was going to rear its head in the world.
Accordingly, He sent Manifestation of Prophethood in the down His succour, preparing conditions in the world, which would counter atheism, and re-establish the dominance of monotheistic thought. This process has been continuing for the last one thousand years. Now it has reached its climax.
Though atheism still holds sway in the world, the conditions are perfect for a reassertion of the supremacy of monotheistic thought.
Nearly 4000 years ago, the Prophet Abraham preached the word of God in Ur, the capital of ancient Iraq. He impressed on people that God was the sole controller of loss and gain. He has no partner. From Him should one seek help, and He alone is worthy of being worshipped. This message of monotheism proved too much for the reigning king, Nimrod, to bear. So violent was his reaction to Abraham’s preaching, that he ordered God’s prophet to be burnt at the stake, a fate from which he was saved by divine intervention. Though there is still idolatry in the world today, no modern ruler would react so violently to the message of Abraham were it to be preached in his land.
The reason for this is the change that has occurred in the philosophy of government. In Nimrod’s time polytheism was a political creed; now it only has the status of a limited religious creed. Government in the ancient world was generally based on a polytheistic foundation. Nimrod, like other monarchs of his day, was a figurehead of this system. He was meant to be an incarnation of the sun god, endowed with a supernatural right to rule over others. No modern ruler would base his rule on such a claim.
Now it is popular support, not supernatural strength, which entitles a person to govern. That is why the pure message of tawhid (monotheism) would present no challenge to any ruler nowadays. For Nimrod and his contemporaries, on the other hand, it amounted to a cutting off of the very source of their power.
At the very outset of their missions, ancient prophets used to come up against the active resistance of the custodians of power. The preaching of the prophets was anathema to them for it directly contradicted the divine powers they claimed for themselves. The denial of these meant an end to their right to rule. The only way that anyone could be elevated to kingship in those days was by making himself out to be an offspring or incarnation of God. Any individual who introduced the teachings of monotheism to such a society, appeared to be attacking the pillars of this polytheistic power structure.
The establishment rose to resist the threat. With Islam, the world was shown that no human being is endowed with supernatural powers: God alone is the source of all strength. Islam proclaimed to the world the equality of human beings. It taught that no one has any inherent superiority over others.
Political institutions were then separated from the realm of religious creeds. A ruler’s power base would in future come from below, from among the grassroots of popular opinion.
Laying claim to celestial powers would no longer qualify a person to rule over others. Similar was the case of the antique ‘supernatural’ doctors. If anyone intended to succeed as a physician in ancient times, he might well pretend that he had subdued occult forces, and Manifestation of Prophethood in the received knowledge about the mysteries of medicine from a supernatural source.
Imagine that someone were to say, in such a society, that medicine was learnt, not from communion with supernatural sources, but in medical colleges. The first people to oppose such a theory would be those who made a living out of “supernatural medicine.” Doctors in the modern age show a very different reaction. Far from opposing the call to learn medicine in universities, they encourage it, and follow the same practice themselves.
The 7th century A.D. marked the beginning of a period of historical change, made possible by the Islamic revolution of the Prophet Muhammad. Now, that process of change is reaching its culmination. Preachers of true religion can call upon a mass of supporting evidence from within the range of human knowledge itself. Legal and social modifications have enabled the free and open preaching of religion. No Nimrod or Pharaoh can rise to stamp out the call of truth now. Massive inroads have been made into the world of nature, and our knowledge of the way it functions has increased considerably.
This knowledge provides solid intellectual support for the teachings of true religion. The ground on which people who violently opposed the call to truth used to stand has vanished from beneath their feet. An enormous intellectual revolution, known as the scientific revolution, has taken place in modern times. The changes it has brought about in people’s outlook are completely supportive to the call of truth.
If present opportunities are utilized properly, the domination of monotheistic thought can be established by appealing, through written and spoken efforts, to people’s good sense. There is no need to resort to force of arms, as one had to in ancient times.
The scientific revolution of modern times is in fact a by-product of the Islamic revolution of the Prophet’s time. Through the revolution brought about by the Prophet, God brought certain factors into play. A process of historic change, finally culminating in the scientific revolution of modern times, was initiated. While establishing the dominance of monotheistic thought over polytheism at the onset of the Islamic era, God also created factors, which would in later times enable monotheism to triumph once more, this time over atheistic and agnostic thought.
Before the coming of Islam, polytheistic thought had reigned supreme the world over. What polytheism really comes down to is worship of forms. The polytheistic urge in people used to make them turn in worship to any particularly striking or spectacular worldly phenomenon, whether it was the sun in the sky, or the king on earth. For this reason scientific research could not be conducted during the polytheistic era.
As the historian Arnold Toynbee has pointed out, natural phenomena were considered objects of worship, so they could not possibly become objects of investigation. With Islam and the advance of monotheism, the awe in which worldly phenomena had been held collapsed. People realized that all things besides God were objects of His creation.
There was no cause to consider worldly phenomena as sacred: their natures Manifestation of Prophethood in the could be analysed and investigated. The liberation of the human intellect, which Islam brought about, started at the very beginning of the Islamic era, in the time of the Prophet.
On the occasion of a lunar eclipse, the Prophet Muhammad pointed out that lunar and solar eclipses were signs of God. They were not signs of the birth or death of any human being, as had been thought during the age of superstition that preceded Islam. In this way the Prophet refuted both human and material greatness, asserting the greatness of God alone.
In so doing, he initiated a trend in human thought, which eventually reached Europe and resulted in the scientific revolution of modern times.
One significant advantage of the Islamic revolution was that it put an end to the age of superstition. Superstition is the basing of one’s beliefs on vague notions and speculations, rather than upon solid facts, as, for example, had been the case in pre-Islamic Arabia, when people thought that solar and lunar eclipses were a sign of the death of some great person. Superstition was the greatest obstacle to accepting Islam. A person whose mind is ruled by superstitious notions cannot objectively compare Islam with other creeds. Rather than judge matters on the basis of real, tangible evidence, he accepts certain set ideas, and rejects anything that is not in accord with them. Take, for instance, the historical aspect of religion. Anyone who objectively considers the historical credentials of Islam as compared with other religions will find that the authenticity of Islam cannot be doubted from an historical point of view; other religions, however, are shrouded in mystery and legend.
But historical credibility was not considered an important factor during the age of superstition, while in our modern age the utmost importance is attached to it. Higher criticism has now been given the status of a separate branch of learning. Its findings reveal conclusively that the only religion with impeccable historical credentials is Islam. Other religions are based more in myth than in real history.
The scientific mind sought to understand the universe in the light of experiments and observations. As a result of scientific research, mysteries of the universe which confirm Islamic teachings on a high intellectual level were unravelled.
Human research has revealed, for instance, that throughout the entire universe, one law of nature applies. Both celestial and terrestrial circumstances are determined by the same set of everlasting rules. This shows that the Lord of the Universe is one. If there were many gods, then there would also be many laws at work in nature.
Another obstacle to acceptance of monotheism had been ancient philosophy. In pre-Islamic times the minds of educated people were conditioned to think in philosophical terms. Philosophers have always sought to discover ultimate reality, but five hundred years of splendid history have not brought them any nearer their goal. The main reason has been the failure of philosophers to understand human limitations. Their efforts to reach a comprehension of ultimate reality were doomed because human, with their limited intellectual capacity, cannot on their own fathom a reality, which is infinite and unlimited in nature. For this, prophetic wisdom is required, but human’s attachment to
Manifestation of Prophethood in the philosophical thinking had prevented them from responding positively to the message taught by prophets.
For centuries theologians, influenced by the predominant philosophical pattern of thought, sought to define and specify the basic tenets on which the whole concept of monotheism lies. What they failed to realize was that these are all unseen realities. Our present intellects are simply not geared to fully comprehend such realities. From a religious point of view, the greatest achievement of modern science has been to remove the mistaken notion that truth is something that can be seen with one’s eyes. Our range of understanding has been conclusively exposed as limited. Under the influence of science, philosophy has been forced to take second place, leaving science to guide our intellectual course. In the process monotheism’s path has been cleared. It has become clear—at least indirectly—that there is only one way left for us to discover reality: we must heed the call of the prophets.
People may still have a tendency to desire to see something before they believe it, but the philosophical frame of mind that they represent is on the defensive in today’s scientific age. The demand to actually see invisible realities, like God, revelation and the world of eternity—the basics of monotheistic religion—has become academically untenable.
For the first time in known history, the inherent limitations in the scope of human knowledge have been conclusively established. Scientific research into the mysteries of the universe has showed us one truth with staggering clarity: that it lies beyond the powers of our limited intellect to fully encompass the world of realities.
عدل سابقا من قبل أحمد محمد لبن Ahmad.M.Lbn في الخميس 07 يوليو 2022, 5:04 am عدل 1 مرات
|أحمد محمد لبن Ahmad.M.Lbn|
مؤسس ومدير المنتدى
عدد المساهمات : 45898
العمر : 71
|موضوع: رد: PART FOUR الخميس 07 يوليو 2022, 5:03 am|| |
This discovery is highly important from an Islamic point of view, for it highlights the need for prophethood. On the one hand we have scientists desperately anxious to gain an understanding of ultimate reality. On the other we have them, owing to built-in limitations, incapable of doing so. There is a vacuum in our spiritual make-up which only divine guidance, or prophethood, can fill. In acknowledging our intellectual limitations, science points, on a purely academic level, to the need for revelation. There is nothing else that can make up for what humanity lacks.
In ancient times, people were not generally allowed freedom of expression. The basic reason for this was the veneration in which monarchs and leading personalities were held. People who for some reason reached an elevated position in society used to be considered sacred and blessed.
Their opinions were respected far above those of others. The inordinate awe in which they were held gave them the ability to force others to comply with their wishes. The monotheistic revolution of Islam laid waste this myth of human greatness, putting all human beings on a level at par with each other.
A new philosophical trend emerged, one that was finally to develop into democracy in western countries. One of the main principles of democracy is that all people are equal. It gives all people the right to express, in words or in writing, what is in their consciences. Under the democratic system it became possible, for the first time in history, to preach divine religion without fear of suppression or reprisal.
Manifestation of Prophethood in the Science has brought out into the open countless material blessings, which for centuries had remained concealed from our sight. As far as Islamic preaching is concerned, the most important of these has been the development of modern methods of communication. The mass media, quick, efficient means of transport, the computer and video revolutions—all these things can be used to the advantage of Islam, enabling its teachings to be imparted to people on a universal scale.
These opportunities are highly conducive to furtherance of the Islamic cause. At the beginning of the Islamic era God had created—after a period lasting 2,500 years—conditions which would assist the establishment of Islamic dominance. So it is now. A process has been continuing over the last 1000 years, out of which conditions conducive to the re¬establishment of Islamic dominance have emerged.
There is no lack of opportunities, but they have to be utilized properly if they are to reap positive results. A dynamic community is needed for this task, one which is able to make the most of the opportunities available, as the Prophet and his Companions did with the opportunities available to them.
If a community of this nature emerges, it will not take long for Islamic dominance over atheistic and irreligious thought to be re-established, just as it was made to dominate over polytheism at the beginning of the Islamic era.
For over one hundred years, these possibilities have been awaiting a community of this nature, but unfortunately no such community has emerged.
True, countless Muslim groups and movements have sprung up over this period, but it has to be said that these groups have come into existence as a result of reactions to events. Political conditions have played a particularly important role in giving birth to them. What is needed, on the other hand, is a group of people intensely aware of the opportunities that God has created over the last one thousand years, a group that will fit in with God’s scheme and exploit the complete range of possibilities that God has prepared for the resurgence of Islam that he desires. One of the incidents that occurred during the Battle of Badr is related in biographies of the Prophet as follows.
The infidel force vastly outnumbered the Muslims. When their powerful army bore down on the Prophet and his companions, the Prophet—overwhelmed by the intensity of his own emotions—cast himself at the feet of his Lord.
“Lord,” he cried, “if you destroy this group, you will never be worshipped again on earth.” This was no exaggeration on the Prophet’s part. The fact was that those 313 souls who took the field at Badr were no ordinary group of people. Outwardly weak and ill-equipped, they represented the culmination of 2,500 years of history. A group like them is required today.
The only ones who can make up such a group are people who are intensely aware of the divine scheme which has been developing over the last one thousand years, and have set their hearts on playing their role in it; who are so strong and unwavering in their commitment to the task in hand that they will go to any lengths, and make any sacrifice, in order to see it through to completion. Such is the true “party of God.” Manifestation of Prophethood in the And it is the party of God that shall triumph.6
In his book, History of the Arabs, Professor Philip K. Hitti has written that “after the death of the Prophet, sterile Arabia seems to have been converted as if by magic into a nursery of heroes the like of whom both in number and quality is hard to find anywhere.”7
For Islam to reign supreme in the world, people’s entire way of thinking has to change. Islamic thought has to gain ascendancy over every other system of thought. This was the task that God chose the Prophet and his companions to perform, and its immensity should not be under-estimated.
If the Prophet’s successors were also capable of continuing to perform this task, it was precisely because they had been reared in this “nursery of heroes”, for it was only after surmounting numerous and hazardous obstacles that they succeeded in establishing the dominance of Islamic over polytheistic thought. Today Islam has lost its former dominance—this time to atheistic thought. For its ascendancy to be re-established, another “nursery of heroes” shall have to emerge.
If the Prophet and his immediate successors were obliged to undergo such a rigorous phase of initiation, his latter-day successors should show no reluctance to do likewise.
Just as the followers of the Prophet in his day suffered all kinds of privations and courted every danger to bring Islam into a position of supremacy in the world, so, in fact, have Muslims of the present day engaged in titanic struggles for its restoration. They have sacrificed their lives and properties, expended time and energy on preparing literature and lectures in support of Islam; they have travelled great distances in furtherance of the Islamic cause.
As far as the quantum of effort is concerned, the struggle of present-day Muslims in the path of Islam has far surpassed that of the Prophet’s contemporaries and his immediate successors. But as far as results are concerned, the story is very different. While the efforts of the Prophet and his companions changed the whole course of human history, the efforts of present-day Muslims have served only to aggravate their own plight.
This paradox stems from the differing psychologies that lay behind the struggle of the first Muslims on the one hand, and that of modern Muslims on the other. While the former were moved by a sense of discovery, the latter have been moved by a sense of loss. For example, when the Quraysh sent two men to try to secure the return of those Muslims who had felt forced to emigrate to Abyssinia, the Negus (the King) called the Muslims to his court and questioned them about their religion. Ja’far’s response provides a vivid picture of the feelings, which moved the companions. He said: “O king, we were a people steeped in ignorance, worshipping idols, eating unsacrificed carrion, committing abominations, and the strong would devour the weak. Thus we were, until God sent us a Messenger from out of our midst, one whose lineage we knew, and his veracity, his trustworthiness and his integrity.
He called us unto God, that we should testify to his Oneness and worship Him, and renounce the stones and idols, that we and our fathers had worshipped; and he commanded us to speak truly, to fulfill our promises, to respect the ties Manifestation of Prophethood in the of kinship and the rights of our neighbours, and to refrain from crimes and from bloodshed.
So we worship God alone, setting naught beside Him, counting as forbidden what He has forbidden and as licit what He has allowed. For these reasons have our people turned against us, and have persecuted us to make us forsake our religion and revert from the worship of God to the worship of idols. That is why we have come to your country, having chosen you above all others; and we have been happy in your protection, and it is our hope, O king, that here, with you, we shall not suffer wrong.”
We can see from Ja’far’s words how much Islam meant to him, and to those on whose behalf he was speaking. Islam was for them a life of enlightenment as opposed to a life of ignorance; it was a discovery of One God, and abandonment of idols. They had abandoned an unruly life for a life of divine guidance, revealed to them through the Prophet Muhammad.
They now sought eternity, not the world. Gone was the permissiveness of yesteryear; what they had discovered now was the joy of an upright moral bearing—the path of justice as opposed to oppression, of kindness as opposed to cruelty.
A sense of discovery imbues one with unquenchable spirit, putting vitality into one’s thoughts and an irresistable dynamism into one’s actions. A sense of loss on the contrary dooms all one’s efforts to failure. One plagued by such a feeling becomes incapable of constructive thought or action. The first Muslims were moved by a sense of discovery. That is why they produced an incomparable example of dynamic action.
Modern Muslim movements have sprung from a feeling of loss, and for this reason have given rise to an unprecedented saga of misconceived policies and ill-fated initiatives. This sense of having lost out in life is a sentiment, which is unequivocally voiced by their leaders: We have lost all our forefathers’ legacy. Heaven has thrown us down from the high Pleiades to the earth.
Practically all Muslim movements of modern times have arisen out of this feeling of loss and persecution. They may differ from one another in the way they put their point across: some use the language of nationalistic politics, while others confine themselves to religious terminology. But, in essence, they are all the same, being derived from a feeling of having lost their past glory.
When the Greek mathematician Archimedes (287-212 B.C.) discovered the law of specific gravity, his ebullience knew no bounds. He quite literally forgot himself in the joy of his discovery. In more recent times, the Shah of Iran had lost just his throne, but this purely material loss deprived him of even the will to live. Such is the nature of both discovery and loss. All one sees is the object that one has discovered, or lost.
There is no doubting the fact that a feeling of discovery engenders positiveness of character, while negativity is all that can come from a feeling of loss. The elevated and noble manner in which the first Muslims conducted their affairs was a result of their sense of discovery. They were high-minded enough to bow low before truth, magnanimous enough to Manifestation of Prophethood in the acknowledge the worth of other People of their word, they did exactly what they said they would.
They were forgiving to others, in the hope that God in turn would be forgiving to them. So constant was their vision of truth that they would not waver from it; nor would they allow their own feelings to cloud their vision of it. Their decisions were based on sound reason. They did things—not to retaliate for the way they had been treated—but because they were the right things to do.
This is how a positive character works. The functioning of a negative character is totally different. Negativity is to follow impulse rather than truth. The hesitant and suspicious nature that it fosters prevents one from taking meaningful initiatives, or cooperating with others. A lack of realism dominates one’s
attitudes, both towards oneself and to others. Unable to see things in terms of truth, one sees them through one’s own tainted vision. One’s own ability is inflated in one’s view, while that of others is minimized. One’s defeats turn into victories in the fairy-tale world of one’s own imagination, while in reality even one’s successes turn into failures. It is here that present-day Muslims differ from the founding fathers of their religion.
The Prophet of Islam brought an unprecedented revolution to the world, one that was initiated by a profound feeling of spiritual discovery, and accomplished by a unique display of positive virtues.
Should anyone wish to achieve the same revolution from the negativity that comes from a sense of loss, he should have to find another God—for it is not God’s will that this should happen. He should also have to find another prophet—for that was not the way of the Prophet.
1. Quran, 61:9.
2. The Encyclopaedia Britannica (I984), Article on “Man and his God,” p. 389.
3. Quran, 5:44.
5. Quran, 8:39.
6. Quran, 58:22.
7. Philip K. Hitti, History of Arabs (1979), p. 142
In making the Prophet Muhammad the greatest figure, and consequently one of the most resplendent landmarks in human history, God has bestowed his greatest favour on mankind. Whoever seeks guidance cannot fail to see him, for he stands out like a tower, a mountain on the horizon, radiating light like a beacon, beckoning all to the true path. It is inevitable that the seekers of truth will be drawn up to the magnificent pinnacle on which he stands. Maulana Wahiduddin Khan (1925-2021) was an Islamic scholar, spiritual leader and peace activist.
Having founded Centre for Peace and Spirituality International, he was internationally recognized for his contributions to world peace. He authored over 200 books dealing with Islam’s spiritual wisdom, the Prophet’s non-violent approach, religion’s relation with modernity and other contemporary issues. His English translation of the Quran is popular because its language is simple, contemporary and easily understandable.