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Monday, April 30, 2007

MOHAMMAD THE PROPHET (saws)

MOHAMMAD THE PROPHET (SAWS)

By Prof. K. S. Ramakrishna Rao,
former Head of the department of Philosophy,
Government college for Women,
University of Mysore, Mandya-571401 (Karnatika).

Re-printed from "Islam and Modern age",



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 Europe.

When I 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. The 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.

But 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.

In 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. My work 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 the 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. The 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.

But in 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. A party 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. The 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."

This 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.

The 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.

Miss. 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."

Mahatma 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 well founded."

Every 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.

In the 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.

The 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. The 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.

"O 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."

And 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".

It is 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."

The 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. It gave
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."

Islam 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 nature, speaks."

A 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 been mentioned.

The first is: Was the Prophet of Islam found to be of true metel
by his contemporaries ?

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. But the 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. On the 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 ?

Read 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.

Sumayya, 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 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." In the 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 ?

And 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.

The Encyclopedia Brittanica says that "Mohammad is the
most successful of all Prophets and religious personalities".

But the 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.

The 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.

And in 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.

If for 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. If 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.

He had 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."

In the person of the Prophet of Islam the world has seen this
rarest phenomenon walking on on the earth, walking in flesh
and blood.

And 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.

After 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.
His family would go hungry 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.

An 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 principle.

He was 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.

He 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. While 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. After 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.

It is 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. It 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 heart. 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".

This 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.

But it 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.

But 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.

As 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. Islam 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.'

In 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 recorded somehow. Some of 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. Beware, 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. All 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. This is 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.

The 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."

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