The Prophet of Humanity
19 September, 2012
By Sultan Bashiruddin Mahmood
Off and on, some mischievous non-Muslims, particularly from the West keep testing barometer of Muslim tolerance by their blasphemous speeches, writings, cartoons & films about the greatest Benefactor of Humanity, the last of the Messenger of Allah, the most revered & beloved man who ever stepped on this earth, (may peace be upon him).
Lately, since 9/11, rate of occurrence of such horrible acts is on increase. Which gives the impression that they might be part of Muslim bashing & not act, of some derailed persons, engineered to play with the emotions of the Muslim masses to immune them, so much, God forbids, that one day if they physically attack the City of the Prophet (SAWW) Muslim reaction remains limited to cursing and burning their own national properties, at the most some foreign embassies. However a vast majority of none-Muslims are good human beings who also don't like the blasphemous actions of their fellow citizens. Responsibility falls on us to educate such people and win their support on the principle of respecting all the Prophets of God, of any religion.
At the same time Muslim governments should be reminded to show their resentments & take strict diplomatic measures to ensure that the Western governments legislate against the mischievous elements to face punishment for hurting the feelings of hundreds of millions people by their such derogatory actions. Moreover OIC (Oh, I See) should be jolted not sit either also. Wish that His Excellency King Fahad & Mr. Z.A. Bhutto had been alive today to come up with their visionary policy to curb this menace forever. Minimum could be to educate the world about the blessings of Islam for civilization, the religion revealed on Prophet Muhammad (SAWW), the greatest benefactor of the humanity. The following article is presented in this very spirit.
The emergence of Islam was the greatest leap forward for mankind, a great setback to ignorance, a Big Bang of enlightenment, a practical realization of the ideals of the earlier prophets of Allah, and a great revolutionary reform movement, the fruits of which have benefited every soul. It was a miracle, brought about by one man strengthened with the Revelation from Allah. Arabs, who were previously of no consequence in the world, by following his teachings became the founders of a unique civilization unparalleled in human history, a civilization which fulfilled the spiritual as well as the physical needs of mankind, based upon the belief in "One God - One Humanity" and Accountability in the life Hereafter. In less than twenty years after the departure of the Prophet of Allah (PBUH) from his earthly abode, the new order founded by him had already enlightened most of the known world. All beneficial aspects of modern Science and Technology also rest upon the Muslim contributions from 7th century to 13th century AD.
His influence in the world can be gauged by the fact that not even a micro-second passes on earth when somebody, somewhere on the globe does not reaffirm his faith in him by pronouncing, "There is no God but Allah and Mohammad is the Messenger of Allah", a Call which keeps the atmosphere vibrating all the time.
According to Michael H. Hart, "No one on Earth has influenced mankind more than Mohammad (PBUH). He was the only man in history to be supremely successful on both the religious and secular levels" (2). Had he not been there, our world would have been very much different, and without his teachings life will not be worth living. The principles of freedom, human dignity and equality, love and brotherhood; respect for each other, quest for knowledge, science and technology; rule of law and justice, human rights and welfare of the people, concern for the cleanliness and upkeep of the
environment, and all other great ideas which we cherish so much, were originated and practically demonstrated by Mohammad (PBUH), fourteen hundred years ago.
He acted upon what he preached. His greatest gift to-mankind is his personal example, a perfect demonstration of the human ideals, free of any type of contradictions, each detail of which is contained in books of Ahadith as if he himself is living before our own eyes (23-29).
He showed mankind the reality of God in its true perspective and its own lofty place in the annals of time and space. Before him, man was enslaved by home-made gods all around. In every land and country people worshipped, out of fear, all types of odd things. In the Indian sub-continent alone, man used to worship more than one thousand types of gods. The earth, seas, mountains, trees, beasts, priests, kings and warriors, even private parts of men and women were articles of worship for them. People sacrificed their innocent children on the altars of those man-made gods (1, 2, 10).
Things were equally bad in other lands. Europeans lived in dark ages. They had no history, no civilization, but a host of gods invented by their fertile brains. They regarded the evil and the good as the acts of the evil and good gods respectively. They invented a mythology of wars between gods in the heavens. As quoted by the British historian Thomas Carlyle, Europeans believed that in one such war a god called Yamer killed his rival god. Consequently, the vault of sky was formed out of his skull and stars were the droplets of his blood (5).
Things had gone worse in the East also. In Kaaba, that symbol of monotheism, the holiest place on earth, built by Ibrahim about 2500 BC for the worship of one God, there were 360 idols, one for each day, made of wood, stone, earth and human
skeletons (9). This was the state of the world when the Benefactor arrived. He pronounced with full force:
يا ايها الناس قولو لا اله الا الله تفلحوا
"O! Mankind, pronounce, there is no God…… but Allah, You will find salvation"
This pronouncement kindled new light for mankind. In it they saw for them the freedom from all fears and false deities. It was the crossing over the barrier of ignorance between Man and the true God of Universe. He taught that Allah is not the product of Time and Space but Creator of them who is everywhere. Flowers smile with Him, birds sing due to Him, stars twinkle with His Light, heavens expand, earth shrinks, oceans have ebbs & tides, and day and night alter due to His Design. From the vast heavens to the invisible particles of matter, each one invites Man to Him. He is the Absolute Reality, above the bounds of relativity. Concept of the first or the last, near or far off has no bearings on Him; He is the Innermost and the Outermost, the First and the Last knower of everything. He is above Time and Space, beyond our comprehension, because there is nothing like Him. He is the Absolute Superset, the Primordial Cause. Everything is from Him and ultimately goes back to Him. He is from none.
He taught that man is Vicegerent of Allah on earth. He is the design basis of the Universe; not its product, but the very reason for its creation. Everything in it is made for him, and He is made to serve His Creator.
He told mankind, "There is no need of any intercessors, mediators or priests between Man and his Creator. "He is with you all the time, nearer than your jugular vein.
He taught, "There is no original sin. Each one of you is born innocent. Children will not have to account for the sins of their fathers. Man is responsible for himself alone. Bow down before your Lord and ask for forgiveness. He is the Most Forgiving; that is the true religion".
He taught, "The whole earth is your place of worship; its every inch is your mosque. It is sacred everywhere. Do not let it be spoiled".
He emphasized, "Humanity is like the family of Allah. So love each other like the members of a family".
Over the centuries, such teachings of the prophet of Islam (PBUH) have had a tremendously good effect upon the human civilization. It has helped the Christian priests to modify their inherently contradictory doctrine of one in three and three in one; the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Emergence of the Protestants and their eventual separation from the Catholics is also said to be due to the influence of Islam on Christianity in Europe.
The Hindus, though still worship idols, have also started acknowledging The One God as the Creator of the Universe. Many of the reformative movements in India were also the result of the impact of Islam on Hinduism; for example the Sikh religion. Thus, the Benefactor of the Worlds (رحمة اللعالمين) showed the world the way to the universal religion for mankind, "One God and One Humanity". Insha Allah, day is not very far off when whole of the world will believe in his teachings. We are all members of His family.
He asked the oppressed to defend them. He told people, "Help the oppressed and the oppressor". "How can we help the oppressor"? Asked his companions. "Stop him from cruelty. This is the way to help him", he replied.
He taught mankind; "An Arab is no superior to a non-Arab and a non-Arab is not better than an Arab; The only standard of superiority of man over man is his "Piety" in the Sight of Allah".
He announced that all human beings are born free. He said, "Your slaves are your less privileged brethren", so serve them with the food you eat yourself, give them the clothing as you wear yourself, make them sit where you like to sit…. treat them gently, with kindness", and if you set them free, it will be the highest act of worship.
He gave protection to every man's honour, property and life by pronouncing: "Your life, property, and your honour is more important than the Holy Kaaba…..".
He promoted social harmony by advising his followers: "Your religion is Islam which means peace…… so whenever you meet each other, say, "peace on you".
He came to the rescue of women and gave them the property rights, protected their honour and raised their status in society. He said, "Remember, Paradise lies at the feet of your mother…..". "Fear Allah about the rights of women….". As per the Divine Revelation, the Holy Prophet (PBUH) gave them their due share in inheritance from their parents and husbands; gave them the right to decide their marriage partners and made for them laws to annul the marriage if they were not happy.
Today world speaks of human rights and human dignity. Women and children days are celebrated. They speak against slavery and talk of equal rights. All this is very good. However if we reflect for a while on the history of mankind, these noble sentiments were for the first time preached and practiced by the society which the Prophet of Allah (PBUH) established in Madinah in the year 610 A.D. and from there
onward this great legacy has slowly spread over the globe. Nevertheless, humanity still lags far behind the ideals he displayed in that island of highest civilization of Madinah. Mankind still needs to learn a lot from that embodiment of truth and honesty, love and compassion even for the enemies. May peace and blessing of Allah be upon him?
He is also the founder of the present civilization in terms of its quest for knowledge and zest for science and technology. The first commandment he received from the Creator of the Universes was, "Read"! His miracle was the Book "Al-Quran", which also means something to be read again and again. Thus, he set the era of "Pen and Book", declaring that to study nature was also an act of worship of God.
Numerous verses of the Holy Quran invite man to think and reflect upon the vast expanse of Allah's creations in order to know something about His Grand Design. Thus, probing the depths of nature he made the highest act of worship in Islam. In the holy Quran, the Creator of the worlds asks those who do not use their brains: "Think you not…?" "Are you like cattles who pass by the Signs of Allah ...?" "Are those who know, and those who know not, equal?" This was repeatedly and clearly stated in the Holy Quran that criteria of distinction of Man over other Creatures of Allah is his superior knowledge of things. As a result, Muslims became hungry for knowledge. The Prophet of Allah advised them to seek knowledge even if they have to go to China …… a far off land in those days from Arabia. Their prayers were, "O! Allah show me the things, as they are…….""O! Allah increase me in knowledge". And Mohammad (PBUH) prayed the same for himself.
Thus, he infused in his followers the spirit of learning, love of knowledge, zest for research; making learning of sciences obligatory on them.
In pursuance of these noble teachings, his followers, keen for knowledge, set themselves building new horizons of thought upon the ancient sciences of Greeks, Persians, Hindus and Chinese. Books were valued as treasures and the Muslim nobles tried to surpass each other in having bigger and bigger libraries. Muslim scientists also contributed a lot to the existing knowledge by doing high quality fundamental work in Physics, Mathematics, Algebra, Chemistry, Medicine, Astronomy, Agriculture, Oceanology, Biology, Botany, History, Geography, Sociology, Philosophy, and Psychology etc. Thus, they laid foundations for the present culture of science and technology (6, 8, 14, 40). However, in its approach and sense of direction it differed a lot from the Western modern science of today. It had a purpose before it, i.e. to know their Creator and serve His creations. It was not commercially or military oriented.
In short, The Prophet of Allah (PBUH) indeed set the noblest example for mankind in every sphere of life. His deed and saying matched together. His total life is like an open book before us. He would never ask his followers to do what he did not practice himself.
He started his life as an orphan and served as a shepherd in childhood and later as a trader in his adolescence. As an employee and as a self-employed businessman he set such examples of honesty that people called him with the title of "Al-Ameen" (الامین), the most trustworthy one. His truthfulness was also proverbial. People of Makkah gave him the name "As-Sadiq" (الصادق), the Most Truthful one i.e.
As a citizen, people respected his judgment and brought their disputes to him for settlement. As a religious man, he set the lofty example of piety. He worshiped Allah so much that Makkans used to say, "Mohammad is in love with his God".
He married at the age of 25 years to a much senior lady; had children, and lived an exemplary satisfying family life for 25 years till her death.
After he was adorned with the mantle of prophethood by Allah, in the discharge of his duty he began to preach the revealed Message to his people. Since it was against their vested interests he became target of wrath of the chiefs of tribes for speaking against their idol worship and their oppression of the poor slaves and women. He faced all kinds of brutalities with great patience, steadfastness, self-sacrifice, courage, endurance, and passive resistance against his adversaries. His commitment of faith in one God, lofty moral standards, love for humanity, passion for peace, concern for the oppressed; and his wisdom, dedication, and hard work are unparalleled.
Indeed, he is the Mercy for God's all creatures, the true embodiment of Islam, which means religion of peace through submission to their Creator. He lives in the heart of billions of people; and he is winning more and more followers every day. Insha Allah in the next few centuries, as Bernard Shaw predicted, "It will be the religion on which the whole of humanity will unite" (17). Mohammad (PBUH) made no difference between himself and the earlier Prophets (PBUH). All the one hundred and twenty four thousand earlier prophets, including "Noah" (نوح), "Ibrahim" (ابرھیم), "Moses" (موسی) and "Jesus" (عیسی), preached Islam, finally completed on Mohammad, the last of the prophets of Allah on earth (PBUH). On this Allah Subhana-Hu says in the Holy Quran:
"(O Mankind!) to each of you we have given a Law and a Way and pattern of life,
Had Allah willed He could have
made you one community, but
That He wished to try and test you by that which
He gave you, (Freedom of choice and authority)
So try to excel each other in good deeds,
To Him you will return in the end
And then, He will inform you of that
wherein ye differed (about Islam)"5 (48).
The writer is former Director-General (Nuclear Power), PAEC