THE SIMILITUDE WITH WHICH ALLAH'S APOSTLE (MAY PEACE BE UPON HIM) HAS BEEN SENT WITH GUIDANCE AND KNOWLEDGE
Abu Musa reported Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) as saying: The similitude of that guidance and knowledge with which Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, has sent me is that of rain falling upon the earth. There is a good piece of land which receives the rainfall (eagerly) and as a result of it there is grown in it herbage and grass abundantly. Then there is a land hard and barren which retains water and the people derive benefit from it and they drink it and make the animals drink. Then there is another land which is barren. Neither water is retained in it, nor is the grass grown in it. And that is the similitude of the first one who develops the understanding of the religion of Allah and it becomes a source of benefit to him with which Allah sent me. (The second one is that) who acquires the knowledge of religion and imparts it to others. (Then the other type is) one who does not pay attention to (the revealed knowledge) and thus does not accept guidance of Allah with which I have been sent. (Muslim, Book 030, Number 5668)
by Khurram Murad
Part One: Prophet Muhammad (s.a.a.w.) Today
One in every five persons on this earth firmly believes that the Prophet Muhammad is the last Messenger of God. He was a Muslim and there are more than 1.3 billion such Muslims today.
Not only individuals but entire countries take pride in declaring their allegiance to him. There are 54 such Muslim states today, ranging from those as large as Indonesia and Bangladesh, with populations of 200 and 125 million respectively, to those as tiny as the Maldives or Brunei with populations of 230,000 and 260,000. Even in non-Muslim countries, large Muslim populations constitute significant minorities; as much as 120 million in India and 20 million in China. Indeed, within the last half century, Islam, the religion brought by the Prophet Muhammad, has become the second largest religion in most European countries, as also in America and Canada.
Black and white, red and yellow, followers of the Prophet Muhammad come from all human races. Whether in Asia or Europe, Africa or America, in every nook and cranny of this globe, you are sure to find Muslims. They live in the most advanced, sprawling megalopolis as well as in the most primitive nomadic tent, village, hamlet, and even in the bush.Read more...
Allah T'ala says in the Holy Quran:
وَلَقَدْ خَلَقْنَاكُمْ ثُمَّ صَوَّرْنَاكُمْ ثُمَّ قُلْنَا لِلْمَلآئِكَةِ اسْجُدُواْ لآدَمَ فَسَجَدُواْ إِلاَّ إِبْلِيسَ لَمْ يَكُن مِّنَ السَّاجِدِينَ
قَالَ مَا مَنَعَكَ أَلاَّ تَسْجُدَ إِذْ أَمَرْتُكَ قَالَ أَنَاْ خَيْرٌ مِّنْهُ خَلَقْتَنِي مِن نَّارٍ وَخَلَقْتَهُ مِن طِينٍ
قَالَ فَاهْبِطْ مِنْهَا فَمَا يَكُونُ لَكَ أَن تَتَكَبَّرَ فِيهَا فَاخْرُجْ إِنَّكَ مِنَ الصَّاغِرِينَ
"By the grace of Allah, you are gentle towards the people;
if you had been stern and harsh-hearted, they would have dispersed from round
about you" The noble Qur'an, A'al-Umran(3):159
Even with all of his concerns and obligations, Muhammad (s.a.a.w.)
never became unmindful of his people. He had a special place in his heart for
each one of them and he was known among them for his soft-spokenness, his
generosity, his tolerance, and his friendliness.
He would joke with his companions, sit and talk with them,
play with their children and sit them on his knee. He would respond to the call
of the free man or the slave, or the young girl or the poor. He would visit the
sick on the opposite end of the city and he would attend their funerals. He
would accept the people's apologies and their excuses, and he was the most
humble among them.
Abdullah ibn Al-Haritha narrated:
"I have never seen anyone who smiled more continuously than
the Messenger of Allah (s.a.a.w.)" (Narrated by Al-Tirmathi)
Usamah ibn Zayd narrated:
"The daughter of the Prophet (s.a.a.w.) sent (a messenger) to
the Prophet (s.a.a.w.) requesting him to come as her child was dying. However, the
Prophet (s.a.a.w.) returned the messenger and told him to convey his greeting to her
and say: "Whatever Allah takes is for Him and whatever He gives is for Him.
Everything with Him has a limited fixed term (in this world) and so she should
be patient and hope for Allah's reward." She again sent for him, swearing that
he should come. The Prophet (s.a.a.w.) stood up, and so did Sa'id ibn Ubadah, Mu'ath
ibn Jabal, Ubay ibn Ka'ab , Zayd ibn Thabit and some other men. [When he
arrived,] the child was brought to Allah's Apostle (s.a.a.w.), his chest heaving. On
that the eyes of the Prophet (s.a.a.w.) began shedding tears. Sa'd said, "O Allah's
Apostle! What is this?" He replied, "It is mercy which Allah has lodged in the
hearts of His slaves, and Allah is merciful only to those of His slaves who are
merciful (to others)." (Narrated by Al-Bukhari)
Ibne Malik narrated that
"the Prophet (s.a.a.w.) used to mix with us (the children) to
the extent that he would say to a younger brother of mine, 'O abu-Umayr! What
did the Nughayr (a kind of bird) do?' " (Narrated by
Abu Dawood narrated that the Messenger of Allah would say:
"Let none of you transmit to me [evil news] about my
companions, for I like to meet with you with a pure heart"
Ibn Masood narrated that Muhammad (s.a.a.w.) said to a group he sent to teach and advise:
"Be lenient and do not make [this religion] difficult.
Bring glad tidings and do not repel"
AbuMalik al-Ash'ari said:
"The Messenger of Allah (s.a.a.w.) said: 'Cleanliness is half
of faith, and [saying] 'Praise be to God' fills the scale, and [saying] 'Glory
be to God' and 'Praise be to God' fill up what is between the heavens and the
earth, and prayer is a light, and charity is proof [of one's faith], and
patience is a brightness, and the Qur'an is a proof for or against you. All men
go out early in the morning and sell themselves, some setting themselves free
and others destroying themselves.' " (Narrated by
As for death, it is the end of one life and the beginning of another. Consequently, it is feared only by those who deny the other life or fear it on account of their ill conduct in this life. Such men never wish for death because they know what awaits them. Those who wish for death sincerely and fearlessly are the true believers, the truly convinced, and the doers of good deeds in the world.
God-may He be adored-says
"He who created death as well as life that you may prove who of you is the better in deed is the Almighty and the Merciful." [Qur'an, 6:2]
Further, addressing His Prophet, He said-may He be praised-. "No human has ever been granted everlasting life. If you will certainly die, will they not? Every man shall taste of death, and the evil and good which befall you are a trial for you. To earth will be your return." [Qur'an, 21:34-35] Further, He says: "Those unto whom the Torah has been revealed but who have not observed its commandments are like a donkey carrying a load of books. Wretched are the people who deny the revelations of God. God does not guide the unjust in their injustice. Say, `0 Jews, if, as you pretend, you are the friends of God and His elect of all mankind, wish for death that you may prove your sincerity.' But they never wish for death, for rejoining their Lord; and that is because they know that their arms have wrought evil and injustice. God knows the unjust." [Qur'an, 62:5-7] God also says, "It is He who terminates your life by night, Who knows every violation you have committed by day, Who will resurrect you after a prescribed term, return you to Himself, and confront you with all the deeds that you have wrought on earth." [Qur'an, 6:60]
These verses are extremely emphatic in their rejection of the Orientalists' claim that Islamic determinism implies immobolization and unconcern for work and acquisition. God created life and death that men may prove who among them is the better worker of deeds. The theater of human achievement is this life; reward and punishment come after death. If men do not work, if they do not strike out into the earth and seek therein God's bounty, if they do not earn and hence do not give in charity of that which God has provided for them, nor perform any good to others, however little their means may be, they have disobeyed God. It is no excuse for them that they have nothing to give, for their duty is to go out and earn. Failure to perform one duty constitutes no justification of their failure to perform another. On the contrary, those who earn and give are the more righteous in God's sight and the more deserving of rewards in the other world. Through good and evil works God gives us the chance to prove ourselves. Upon us devolves the duty of rationally distinguishing between them. Not an atom's weight of good nor an atom's weight of evil done in this world will be lost on the Day of Judgment. If nothing befalls us except what has been predetermined by God, we should concern ourselves all the more to discern the good that we may realize it in the world. It makes no difference whatever whether God chooses to terminate our lives at the prime of youth, vitality, wisdom, and glory, or at old age when we become senile and lapse into childish ignorance. The measure of a life is certainly not the number of years one lives, but the good works which one does that nothing can obliterate. Those who die in the cause of God are alive with their Lord, and they are alive among us inasmuch as we continue to remember them. Many are the men who have written their names indelibly on history because they dedicated themselves to the good. Among us, surely, they are still alive, even though they may have died hundreds of years ago.
"And when their term arrives, men shall meet their death at its prescribed hour, neither before nor after." [Qur'an, 7:13] This, indeed, is the truth. It alone accords with the pattern of the universe. Man has an hour which he cannot outlive, just as the sun and the moon have their terms and their eclipse always occurs according to law, without fail. It is more likely that man's awareness that his life will terminate will incite him to hasten the performance of good deeds and to exert all possible effort. Moreover, the fact that man does not know when his hour will strike will stir his anxiety enough to prepare for that eventuality. Everyday we witness new evidence that man's hour is determined and, when it strikes, inevitable. Some people die suddenly without apparent reason; others fall sick and fight for their lives for decades until they reach a decrepit old age. A number of medical men today claim that the agent which brings about man's death is innate to him and that the period this agent requires to achieve its objective would not be impossible to calculate if the agent itself could be isolated and identified-a problem of no little difficulty-though not impossible. God, who is omniscient, knows the hour of every man by reason of the immutable and eternal pattern he has imbedded in the cosmos as a whole.