Friday, May 22, 2009

Mankind were one community

From: The Saudi Gazette

By Humza Mullick and Faraz Omar

THE Almighty Creator is Just, Forgiving, Merciful and Gracious. His religion gives peace and security. If this is really the case, then why are there so many wars, killings, rapes, injustice, earthquakes, and calamities? If there was a true God Who is All-Powerful, then why do these things happen? Many people who do not know God ask such questions frequently.Allah says in the Qur’an: “Whatever of good reaches you, is from Allah, but whatever of evil befalls you, is from yourself.” (Qur’an, 4:79)

Human beings don’t realize that their actions are primarily responsible for whatever wrong that’s happening. God created everything in perfect order and in His perfect Wisdom, He set laws that are not only good for us, but will also guarantee harmony and peace. But human beings neglect obedience to God and resort to actions that produce the evil consequences we see around us.It should also be known that the life in this world is a test, and accountability for our actions comes in the next life.

Allah said that He “created death and life, that He may test you which of you is best in deed.” (Qur’an, 67:2) Further, some of the things that happen in life are out of our control like a beloved’s death or a calamity or disease. All such good and bad things that happen in life are predestined by the decree of Allah. Though somethings on the face of it may appear to be evil, they may actually not be so. Allah in His perfect Wisdom choses for us what is ultimately good for us. Losing a job may have shattered many hopes for Abdullah – apparently a bad situation –, but it could lead him to a better job or it may have protected him from a greater calamity.

Ultimately, whatever happens in life is either a lesson to teach us something important or ward off some evil or bring us some good.The purpose of life has to be understood well. Allah says in the Qur’an: “And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me (alone).” (Qur’an, 51:56)

Every creation of God does exactly what it has been created for. The sun, the moon, and the planets for example are in perfect obedience to the purpose for which they were created. Only human beings and jinn have the choice to choose between obedience and rejection, which is why this world is a test for them. Obedience to God will be recognized and rewarded, and so will disobedience be punished. It should not be thought that all those who commit and spread evil in the world are being allowed to go scot-free in this world.

The accountability is real and God’s justice is inescapable.On one hand, human beings who disbelieve in God attribute evil to Him (which is quite contradicting), while on the other hand they never appreciate all the good of this world. Think about the food we eat, the perfect system we have been blessed with, health and prosperity, wisdom and intelligence, all these point to uncountable favors of God upon us. Further, He provides us and listens to all of us in times of despair, regardless of whether the seeker believes in Him or not. He provides to even those who blaspheme Him or who worship false deities. Let us also not forget the goodness among people: sincerity, charity and love.

It is fair to say that a viewpoint that only sees one side is only partially true. Partial truths are not truth at all. Do we believe that the evil in this world outweighs the good? A simple answer to the following will suffice. Are there more healthy people than sick? Are there more unjust killings than births? Are there more natural disasters than natural beauty? We can honestly say that evil does not rule more than good in this world.Islam came to relieve people of troubles and lead us from darkness to light. It came to guide human beings, as God didn’t leave us wandering without guidance.

Islam is a religion for the whole of humanity because we were not divided into different religions or faiths. We came into this world as one nation from one father and mother. It is only from our differences and deviation that we have divided ourselves into different sects and religions. Allah says in the Qur’an: “Mankind were one community...” (Qur’an, 2:213)

The core of Islam throughout the history of mankind has been plain and simple, whose truth can be professed by any human being. It is the belief that there is only One Creator of everything and He alone deserves to be worshipped and obeyed. Anything – or anyone – else does not own anything in His Kingdom nor has any power comparable that anyone should even consider showing veneration to it.

Islam literally means to submit (to the will of God) and the one who does so is called a Muslim. Obedience to God was the natural disposition since man set foot on earth. When mankind differed, deviated and started worshipping false deities who could do nothing for them, God sent prophets with His message to guide people back to the straight path. Reading the previous verse completely gives us this message: “Mankind were one community and Allah sent Prophets with glad tidings and warnings, and with them He sent the Scripture in truth to judge between people in matters wherein they differed. And only those to whom (the Scripture) was given differed concerning it after clear proofs had come unto them through hatred, one to another. Then Allah by His Leave guided those who believed to the truth of that wherein they differed. And Allah guides whom He wills to a Straight Path.” (Qur’an, 2:213)

The prophets were given sufficient proofs that would make it absolutely clear to people that their message was true and divine. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the last of all prophets and messengers and the Qur’an is the final revelation from God. This is indicative of how close human beings are to their final destination – the Day of Accounts. Because the message was one, Muslims believe in all prophets and messengers from Adam to Jesus (yes Jesus was a messenger just like Moses and Abraham were).

The proofs that the Qur’an is really from God are too many to count. However, it is up to the readers to find out, learn, and contemplate on this divine message that is directed at everyone of us. Allah said in the Qur’an: “Do they not then consider the Qur’an carefully? Had it been from other than Allah, they would surely have found therein much contradictions.” (Qur’an, 4:82) – SG

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