REASONS FOR DECLINE OF MUSLIMS by Ghulam Ahmad Parwez
They should simply be recited repeatedly. This is called Thilavuth-e-Quran1, meaning the words should be recited repeatedly without understanding its meaning. (Whereas the meaning of Thilavuth in itself implies to follow someone or to devote). With this one change how successful religion has become! The code of Deen (Quran) remained before the Muslims and yet they were also separated away from the Quran. Religion has shown such deceptively alluring visions in the Savaab attained by the recitation of the Quran, that the people fell foul and remain to this very day.
Although, in this very Quran it is said of a group: They, with their tongue, say all that which is not in their hearts. The Ruses and Tricks of Religion: Repeating words without understanding is akin to a man who says those things with his tongue which have no meaning or sense in his heart. Likewise, by only repeating the words without understanding them does not serve the aim and object of the Quran. God has at every step (in the Quran) stressed and emphasised the need to think and contemplate.
It is therefore quite evident that if Quran is to be read without understanding its meaning then what else will be there in it to think and contemplate? The Quranic words have been safeguarded for the reason that their meaning be understood, so that life be led accordingly. When this belief is inculcated that it is not necessary to understand the Quran because mere repetition of the words of Quran is enough for savaab, then the question of acting upon it does not arise at all! Furthermore, it is to be noted that through various commentaries, all those Quranic terms, expressions, and phraseology that Deen has used to express or explain its order now begin to take up or wear new meanings so that all talk is related to the Hereafter and in the eyes of the people Deen became a thing worthy of hatred and aversion. Deeds, rewards and punishments; constructive and beautiful actions, evil deeds and losses; respect, dignity and honour, triumph and disgrace, all this put together was lifted and piled up for the Hereafter.
Next in line were those principles and fundamentals of Deen which it had suggested for the establishment of its order, Kulmah, Salaath, Sayyaam, Zakat and Haj. All these were the means for the establishment and solidarity of Deen. Religion turned them into rites and rituals i.e. these acts which were means towards achieving certain ends, their ritual performance became ends in themselves.
Those people in whose minds runs the thought as to what would be achieved by reciting the words of the Quran in this manner and by performing these rituals, it was stated for their satisfaction that Savaab1a would be achieved in the Hereafter!
The ambiguous way the word Savaab is used in religion it leaves no correct connotation in mind. Where something could not be explained, it would be just said that with it you would get Savaab. When you ask the user of this word if he could explain its meaning in his mother tongue since it is an Arabic word. You will find that he will not be able to proceed any further because the entire system of Savaab is based on vagueness. The meaning of the word Savaab is cloaked in ambiguity. From it, therefore, no concrete fact or clear and lucid result comes before us.
The entire structure of Deen is based and raised on the right conception of God. The Quran has given a right, exalted, free and absolute conception of God, which goes to illuminate each and every portion of man's life. But, in the times which have been so far referred to above its place was taken by one as conceived by man, a man-made God. Under this conception it is stated that God (Heaven-forbid) is a despotic ruler sitting in the skies and wanting us "worship'' Him, while Deen wanted us to establish a society in accordance with divine laws only. This is Allah's Ibadat", meaning, obedience to God's laws, living a life according to God's laws, at every step keeping in mind whether it is in accordance with His laws. By this, man would be performing Ibadat twenty-four hours of the day.
There is no doubt that Islam has a code of programme as Sayyaam (fast), Salaath, (Namaz, prayers) and Haj all of them fixed and defined for the establishment and solidarity of its order. The aim and objective of these congregations is that the individuals of this millath (Muslim brotherhood), keeping within the light of the laws of Allah, consider their collective problems and the felicity and Najaat (sense of fulfilment and realisation) of humankind, and the path through which these may be achieved. When man thinks and contemplates on the grandeur and greatness of these divine laws then his head by itself bows down to His majesty and exaltedness, in emotion of respect. The bowing and prostration in the performance of Salaath i.e. the Raku, and Sajood is the demonstration of this very respect in perceptual forms, and this is also a part of Ibadat of the laws of Allah. But if in these congregations, these basics do not remain, and simply the performance of some rites and its observance is taken to be its aim, then it is not Ibadat anymore, but will be merely "worship''.
I have used this word "worship'' in this very connotation. The people saw the tyranny of the monarchical system before them. The religious authority feared that this might stir in them the will to revolt. So they forestalled this possibility by creating this belief, instilling and inculcating in their hearts carefully, that everything happens in the world only by the will of Allah. No one does anything by his own volition or of his free will. How can these kings dare do anything according to their wishes, they just cannot. They just seem vainly to act inspired and haughty before us only. But after all what are they compared to the glory and majesty of Allah, for the simple reason that it is beyond them to do anything or act against His wishes. Therefore, everything that these kings do is all due to the will of Allah; hence it is all a matter of fate, the Thaqdeer. It is not becoming or graceful for the "God-knowing'' to watch the arrow. They should always have their eyes on the archer. This belief in fate has made the monarchical hold more solid; every wickedness and devilishness of theirs has now assumed the will of God against which no one dare speak.
One Fundamental Change: As has been previously explained, religion is an individual's affairs, where as Deen is a collective and an organisational system. In other words, in religion individuals, in their own personal and particular way perform the religious rites and rituals in set varied ways. But in Deen man's entire life is in obedience to a collective order. In modern phraseology it would be termed as "State''. That is, to act on Deen it is necessary to have an "independent state.''
In this state, only orders of Deen i.e. only the laws of Allah would be proclaimed. The Messenger was the first who set up such a state. According to the Quranic methodology, in such a state, with the exception of a few laws, all other issues are dealt within the given Quranic Principles and all by-laws or decisions are made within their boundaries. These principles are unchangeable and unalterable for all time, but the rules and regulations, and laws made in its light are changeable in accordance with the times and needs of the era. During the life of the Nabi (PBUH) this pattern of Deen remained in action. This continued for sometime even after his demise. This way was known as Al Minhaaj-e-Nabuvath (the way of the Nabi) wherein Ethauth (obedience) of Allah and Rasool (PBUH) was not done by each according to his way but by the central authority of the state i.e. Khilafath-e-Rashidah (The pious successors; those companions of the Nabi who became his immediate successors) which proclaimed laws and devised regulations all within the Quranic principles.
This was the process of Ethauth of God and Rasool (PBUH) During this entire period there was no other code or system of the state except the Quran. Nabi Muhammad gave the Quran in its complete, final and fully compiled form to the Ummah (the ideological brotherhood), and this was the very Quran which was commonly spread and publicised by the Khilafath-e-Rashidah during their times. The Nabi (PBUH) did not give any collection of Hadith or tradition to the Ummah. Not only this, in fact he stressed and urged that nothing should be put down in writing with the exception of the Quran. If anyone had written it he should erase it (Sahi Muslim).
Even during the period of Khalifath-e-Rashidah there was no collection of Hadith, or traditions. During the times of Omer a very serious debate took place on the question that there should be some form of collection of the Hadith, and this debate continued for ten months, with a great deal of attention and contemplation. After which, Omer decided otherwise, explaining that when previous Ummahs included other collections with the book of God; they were destroyed and ruined.
When Khilafath turned into monarchy, the true picture of Deen became distorted, and dualism came into existence. Politics came under the command and charge of the government while "religious affairs'' were allowed to remain free. Since religious affairs were related to "God and Rasool'' the Ethauth of God and Rasool (PBUH) began on individual basis.
But then this question arose as to how to perform Ethauth of God and Rasool (PBUH) It was initially agreed then that the worldly affairs be managed in obedience to the king, and obedience of "God and Rasool'' could be done by obedience to the book of God. Then they were further entangled by the issue that God could be obeyed by obedience to the Book, but how was the Ethauth of Rasool (PBUH) be carried out?
It occurred in the minds of some individuals of compiling a history of the periods of Rasool (PBUH) and the followers. The source material and contents of this history were to be the narratives handed down by word of mouth and which were current and in vogue and attributed to the Rasool. For the purpose of the Ethath of Nabi, those narratives and sayings should be taken as commands of the Nabi and to act according to them should be considered as the Ethauth of Rasool (PBUH) This is how Hadith (traditions) were collected and compiled2.
Narratives, Sayings and Their Collections: These efforts were made after very many years of the passing away of the Rasool. Of these collections, the most authentic of them all is regarded to be the ones collected by Imam Bukhari. These were collected by him from 200 to 250 years later, after the demise of the Nabi (Imam Bukhari died in 256 H.) These collections were not compiled from some previous written records. They were collected by word of mouth.
Any record that is compiled in this way, to what extent could it be authentic? It is evident that with it began the ongoing concoction and creating anew the narratives and sayings. And this was easy. On the other hand, if anyone tries to change, add or subtract a single word from the Quran then a thousand voices all in unison will cry out in protest at such an outrage. This is so because the manuscript of the Quran (the protection of which Allah has taken on Himself) is found everywhere.
But of the talks or discourses about which there is no record to be found anywhere, then it would not be hard to make changes on it.
Concocting of Narratives And Sayings: Consequently, coining and concoction of the "sayings and narratives'' began. In what abundance and bulk they began to appear, may be ascertained from the following one single incident itself. Imam Bukhari wrote that he collected six hundred thousand Hadith of which he retained almost six thousand as worthy of acceptance, and rejected the remaining five hundred ninety four thousand. (From among the six thousand if, a second article check is carried out again, and omissions and subtractions are deducted, then the number cannot remain more than three thousand).
This is the story of just one major collection. The collections of other Hadith were similarly and in the same manner compiled. Therefore, "those sayings and narratives'' believed to be correct were eventually included in these collections. As for their authenticity neither Allah nor Rasool gave any authority. What actually happened was that the collectors of the "sayings and narratives'' accepted those which they, through their insight and judgement, thought to be correct, while the remaining ones were rejected.
If it were to be understood about the relevant "sayings and narratives'' that they were merely being attributed to acts and sayings'' of Rasool and that these could be both the correct and the incorrect; and if the standard of judgement for the correct and the incorrect ones be the Quran, "the narratives or sayings'' which go against the Quran could not be correct because any of Rasool's respectable word or auspicious and blessed act would never be against the Quran; then, too, it would have been good.
But their belief and attitude in the matter was established thus: The Faith and Belief Established about the Sayings and Narratives:
i) They are equivalent to the Quran.
ii) This is the Revelation form Allah similar to the one Angel Gabriel brought down as Quranic Ayaat.
iii) Its obedience is Rasool-Allah's obedience.
iv) It is Deen.
v) It supersedes and cancels any order of the Quran that is contrary to it.
Therefore, it must be understood that Hadith can cancel the Quran. No sooner does an order of the Quran go contrary to the Tradition, than it must be understood that the order of the Quran has been already cancelled by virtue of its contradiction.
It is now up to you to determine as to what alien things must have entered through this medium and in what sort of ways they must have transformed Deen into religion? All this could have happened knowingly or unknowingly, on the part of the enemy. In any case, knowingly or unknowingly the result of all this was that it became part of Deen and obedience to it became "obedience to the Rasool''. If you move a step further, then through these the exegesis of the Quran was formulated, thereby creating a situation wherein if someone says that in such and such case the Quran states thus, then the immediate retort was as to who understands the Quran more; you or Rasool. It is such an answer, against which no one dares move a lip. But the truth is that the exegesis, which is presented as being from Rasool is in fact merely attributed to the Rasool for which there is no authority or credentials. The practical result was that the entire Quran was subordinated to these sayings of Hadith. Now religion revolved round the axis of Hadith and Quran was left for the purposes of Savaab through recitation. This is the religion that is in force for the last thousand years.
"Fiqqah" or Jurisprudence: Some of our elders, exercising their judgement, solved some of their problems in the light of the needs of their times. These are called laws of Fiqqah. It is evident they were enforced as a temporary measure or at least for the period they were meant for. With the changes in circumstances meant changes in those laws. But after some time this belief was created that all these laws of Fiqqah are unalterable, for all times. In the future, no one would have the right to exercise judgement to do otherwise.
"Thasauvuf" or Mysticism: In traditions, and Fiqqah some or the other form of certification was needed, no matter how vague. But after this began a move, which needed no authority to issue orders. This was Kashf-o-Ilham, an inspiration, or manifestation of divinity. If an elder says that he has learnt of a certain matter by Kashf which meant that the said elder either has direct and mutual conversation with God or that he has "Laddunni Knowledge" i.e. Knowledge that is God-given or inspired, and did not require any visible credentials and is transmitted person to person to date. That is, on the one hand, Eemaan is the end or seal of Nabawwat but, on the other hand, claims of mutual conversation with God are also in vogue. Both in Kashf-o-Ilham "Knowledge of Ladduni'' it is envisaged that man not only has revelation but is also in "direct and mutual conversation with God''. They have Eemaan about the Rasool regarding the following order of Allah
Convey to all that what is being revealed to you. But together with this they also had Eemaan and belief that the Rasool did not openly convey "the essence of Deen to the world but instead in a very secretive way transmitted it person to person, so that no other comes to know about it. This was Thasauvuf or "Mysticism''. In it, religion was all the more successful in its aim. Just as the basic belief of Religion, the basic belief of "Mysticism'' is also that the worldly affairs are for the worldly; the religions decorate the Hereafter.
It has taken this belief to its zenith. It said Kashf and miracles, the direct and mutual dialogue with God and the Rasools "Knowledge of Laddunni" and its heritage belong only to those who shun and detest the world and relinquish all attachment. The one in whom a speck of the worldly thought remains cannot tread this path. This conduct or school of thought has made monarchy go wholly unreigned. On this basis I have termed "Mysticism'' as the zenith of religion. On reaching here, the conception of Deen does not remain even in its dimmest form. According to religion, aim of life is achieved through personal salvation, and from the "Mystic'' point of view, personal salvation (purification of soul) is achieved by the relinquishing of the world and its desires.
Differences: An order or programme whose standard of authenticity is based on real and solid results has no room at all for differences. It is akin to chemical analysis. If, for example, scientists in twenty laboratories through-out the world analysed water all their results would be one and the same i.e. the resultant elements would be hydrogen H2 and Oxygen O, indicating that in this matter there would be no difference of any kind at all. Difference only arises if you dissociate yourself from the matter of fact world and merely get entangled in arguments of theoretical and abstract nature. Deen asserts concrete results as the standard of its judgement and these results, real and solid, will portray themselves right before you in this world. Hence, there was no room or possibility of any kind for differences in it at all.
One law, one order and its followers are but one organisation with one manner of thought and one way, consequently, one and only one result. Then from where could disunity, confusion, differences and mutual opposition come? But when Deen changed into religion then the entire talk was relevant to or aimed at the Hereafter, and since no one could see or peer into the Hereafter it was not possible to verify whether the claimants of the Hereafter are correct or incorrect. For example, if someone tells me to perform Namaz, in the manner he shows whereby my salvation is assured, then along comes someone else with yet another mode of performing it with my salvation assured. But since I have no means to ascertain the method with which I could attain salvation, then what could I expect from all the theoretical beliefs and their acts and rituals the results of which are shifted to the next world, the inevitable result is "differences''3.
Therefore, the Ummah after being reduced into religion got divided into 72 sects! What is so surprising about it? The Quran has termed as Shirk to be divided into sects. Hence, the religion could be questioned as to why it has sects? In reply, again the concoction of "Tradition'' would come in handy. A phrase was carved out meaning "in my Ummah differences will be a blessing", and then attributed to that venerable and respected person, the Rasool whose enunciated aim was to remove and delete difference from the world. When this "saying'' became Hadith then what doubt could there be that differences should become a blessing? While the Quran declares sects and such splinter groups as Shirk, this Hadith has precisely presented it as a blessing!
While all this was happening on behalf of religion, the worldly ones (the members of monarchy) were mutually engaged in fights. In exact contrast to Deen, power in monarchy lies in the hands of humans and once it comes in the hands of man then his only desire is that it remains only with him, but so would his opponents.
Consequently, in a monarchical form of government to break up into pieces is a natural phenomenon. By now, religion had created such a state of affairs that the majority of its followers became strictly converted into aversionists and detesters of anything and everything worldly.
With the end result, that they were blindly occupied in the "preparation for the Hereafter'' or were entangled in its snares. And by their abstract oratory dismembered their unity into pieces, dividing them into sects and groups. In the meantime, it seemed that the world had shrunk at the other end of the scale and rolled comfortably in the hands of a few individuals, a handful of families who ruled the world but not without the usual carnage.
Thus began the blood bath in trying to divide their mutual share. Hence during the period when there was no war and peace prevailed, the millath, was ensnared in religious debates and arguments.
When, during mutual monarchical battles the millath was drawn into it by the priests, they would declare the battles to be Jihad and soon the gullible followers were in the midst of the battlefields, where one Muslim would pierce his sword into the chest of another Muslim. But the ruthless religious priests had the balm or elixir for every moment. They would say that the Muslim slain is Shaheed (Martyr) and the slayer, another Muslim, an honoured heroic Muslim soldier, is Ghazi (the Victor) whereas the Quran beckons them saying: Anyone who deliberately and intentionally slays any Momin will go straight into Hell where he will abide forever, and on him will be Allah's wrath and His curse, for him will be ready a very severe punishment.
This was the proclamation of Allah but these champions of religion were making and dividing these killers into moths, the self-immolating lovers of paradise, for the simple reason that this is what the monarchy wanted of them. It was the plot and conspiracy to perpetuate both the religious status and the monarchy.
If anyone, with an open mind reads the foregoing he would unhesitatingly and without any doubt come to the conclusion that all this transpired without thought, wisdom or prudence! Then again, in him, without doubt, this question will arise as to how religion was able to make the people act so recklessly? Though they were not Muslims, after all, they were human beings. If not with Quranic insight and wisdom then at least with human thought and intellect or just the exercise of the mind itself, had they not fallen prey to these weak ruses of religion!
Religion was also aware of such dangers; therefore it had also beforehand thought-out and devised ways and means to safeguard it. There is no Reason in Religion: Deen in support of its claim to truthfulness always corroborates it by proof and manifestations of concrete and constructive results.
"Therefore, its invitation, based wholly upon total insight and prudence, was the enemy of religion". This was why religion had created this belief that in religious affairs wisdom and common-sense have no right of admission and therefore no interference. The one who turns towards wisdom and common-sense to trace its roots or causes, will be included in the group of Iblis, because, "The first one to have made use of rational speculation was Iblis''. As against this, Paradise is for Fools. Therefore all what is being said to you is to act upon it without thought or understanding. This is what religion told its early audiences.
Then to the generations that followed it advised that they should keep in mind the way of their forefathers and ancestors, and carefully follow their manner, behaviour, acts and deeds. You conform by closing your eyes and following their foot-steps. This is the path of Savaab and therefore Paradise.
Ancestor Worship: As has always been the case, every theoretical view and concept brought by religion, has been the messenger of ruin and destruction. This belief in ancestral conformity proved to be most effectively damaging and detrimental. Do consider, what is the distinctive feature between man and animal? Evidently it is wisdom. No, in a belief and way of life that is divorced from wisdom and common-sense man becomes worse than an animal. This is the reason why the Quran has called those who do not use wisdom and insight as The worst of the created and declared them worse than animals.
By blind conformity man's state and condition becomes such: They have hearts wherewith they understand not, and have eyes but they see not, they have ears but they hear not.
About them it has been declared they will go straight to Hell. Their way and conduct is such as the manner in which they saw their forefathers they heedlessly followed them with blind expectations, eyes shut and lips tight.
Where else can their abode be but in Hell. Consider this great fact that the Quran has shown the abode to be Hell for those who blindly follow their ancestors without using wisdom, common-sense and their perceptual senses. This is not the place to discuss Heaven and Hell4.
At this point, just consider that in the universe every element, matter etc. is in a state of evolutionary process, ever moving forward. Any element or matter, if for some reason stops moving forward it disintegrates. As in the outer universe, so in the human world as well the law of evolution is prevalent and in force. Only through the path of knowledge, education and learning does the evolution of humankind take place. Every new generation has before it the environmental obstacles and impediments which, if it overcomes, it continues to move forward. This is the name and purpose of creation. Life is just another name of this creative urge.
The purpose of creation is the dynamism of ideas: new, fresh, and modern. If people lose their freshness of thought, and if their capacities and powers, and potentialities of thought are held in abeyance or suspension then they become unfit and unworthy of creativity. Consequently, instead of being dynamic and organically alive, they turn into a heap of earth and stone. And New World of ideas and thought cannot be constructed with mere earth and stones.
Those people who traverse to cover the evolutionary process are the rightful owners of Jannah (Heaven) declares the Holy Quran, and to come to a stop at any stage it describes it as Jahunnum (For the word Jahunnum, Quran also uses the word "Jaheem" which means to put a stop to.)The experts on the law of evolution tell us that if any living, animate thing or being does not use an organ or limb then nature, gradually, regarding it to be something useless, stops its creation itself. In like manner, if a people just do away with the use of all of their faculties of thought and wisdom then, after some generations, these people lose their capacities and potentialities to think, reason and understand.
These are the destructive and far-reaching effects of blind conformity about which we have made reference to in the preceding pages. It is not that it affects only the present generation with ruination and destruction. Even the coming generations will be doomed. Among these people, "humans'' are not born. Only animals are born and animals they die. In view of this fatalistic conformity and destruction, Quran has with forceful severity and in equally forceful terms opposed it. It has explained that the message of every Messenger was against this blind conformity and for this very reason these Messengers were met with very strong opposition. They invited these conformists towards knowledge and understanding (meaning, Deen) while the people in a habitual manner described the life of their forefathers as attractive.
Allah's Messengers shook them to arouse them, even that was met with no less severe opposition. But their opposition was paradoxically proper and correct. Zoologists tell us that bats once, like other birds, had eyes that were open. But when they stopped using their eyes they became so structured that light became their enemy and they could not withstand sunlight, and the sun became their worst enemy. If they had their way, so to speak, they would not let the sun rise at all. The Messenger bestowed the light of Deen and the people, in the manner of bats, could not withstand this light and no wonder strongly opposed it. Every Messenger conveyed the same message and each was with equal manner opposed, says the Quran. When Noah invited his people towards the light of Deen they gave the same reply, We have not heard it from our ancestors. Therefore, we are not prepared to accept what you state.
This was the answer received by Saleh What! You are preventing us from the servitude whose servitude and devotion was continuously carried out by our forefathers and ancestors. This was the answer also given by the people of Shoeb (11/80). This again was the answer received by Moses: What! Have you come to us so that you deviate us from the path on which we saw our ancestors?
This is the answer received by Abraham: This was also the answer received by Muhammad (PBUH). And when it is said to them that follow and obey all that has been revealed by Allah, they say: "No, we will only follow and obey that which our ancestors had been continuously following and obeying".
Do consider, with what clarity, Quran has differentiated Deen from religion. Religion teaches ancestral conformity while Deen comes to put an end to this blind conformity so that man, in the light of revelation, may use it in his wisdom and intellect, which in fact is the honour and integrity, its respect and adoration for being the son of Adam. But the epoch and ages of blind conformity have made them blind like a bat and they shriek out when they face light. Quran says this is what kept on happening to the invitation extended by every Rasool. (14/10). It shows from historical evidence and precedents, as to how this blind ancestral following makes man lose his sense of judgement, so much so that intellect, which was his distinctive feature appears to him something pitch-dark: In this belief since the future appears dark, the past seems glorious. This is so because man's eyes, instead of being in the front, are turned backward. His face becomes inverted (i.e. his eyes are facing backwards.) This is the life of Jahannum.
On that day their faces will be turned inverted in Jahannum. (These are those walking with face backwards). About whom it is said in another place, What! Is the one walking with his face inverted (topsy-turvy) on the straight path or the one who is walking on a straight and balanced path.
Due to age-old blind conformity, it is said in Surah Yaseen that the iron-collars of ancient rites are yoked so badly on their necks that their necks seem to rise and stick up so that they can not even see the path in front of them.
Our laws have affixed such iron-collars and neck braces on their necks that they reach up to their chins creating a situation and condition whereby Their heads rise up and up, and they just cannot see at all the path before them. These are the very yokes and iron-collars that the Messenger came to release them from.
After a prolonged period of blind servitude a people's thought and potentialities etc. become so paralytic that they are simply unable to function. In the words of the Quran: Our laws of nature draw walls both in front of them and behind them. And (on their wisdom and intellect) draw curtains and their vision is seized.
In its stage of infancy, the mind did not possess the capability or the capacity that every generation might find ways for itself. There were but a very few who would move away from the common ways or paths (meaning the brains that would create new ways were rarely born.) Therefore, for every generation that came it was easy for them to follow the cautious mode of collecting "the discourses and narratives'' of their ancestors, and simply follow them blindly in word and deed. This is what is called ancestor worship. In any case, in those ages and epochs time moved at such a slow and lazy pace that new demands, requirements and necessities did not appear rapidly. The Quran introduced a new chapter in the history of humans. The treasures of wisdom and knowledge could now be accessible to all. Now man's mind had reached the age of maturity. Therefore, for men the correct way now to act upon is that they with their inductive knowledge carefully carve and shape their own path. To save humankind from the unnecessary possible failures encountered in its method of "trial and error'', the Quran has offered humankind Permanent Principles never to be altered by the passage of time. In the light of these principles, it says, every generation according to the demands and needs of its times should solve its problems.
Permanently fixed principles are given because the method of human wisdom is purely experimental, "the trial and error'' method. If faced with some new problem then the human reason, by way of experimentation, uses a particular mode or way towards solving it.
But then after heart-breaking and practical experiments he learns of his failures. Then, once again, he starts anew on some other experimentation and adopts some other route for his journey. Reason, in this way, makes man's search backbreaking, and only after crossing trenches of blood and experiencing the pungent and bitter fumes of failure, does it reach near its goal. Revelation has saved humankind from this toil and has given Permanent Principles for life, so that in its beam of light their goal is easily attained. In the words of the great poet and philosopher Dr. Allama Iqbal, the aim of revelation was the "Economising of Human Efforts''. Consequently, humankind now has the light of revelation, the eyes of the mind and the experience of the past generation (which is called the "aide-de-memoir'' or memorandum of history). Their experiences or history is very useful, which is why Quran has highlighted its importance. There is considerable difference in gaining experience and blindly walking on the old tracks. This was the order of Deen. But religion has once again, chained and yoked the coming generations in blind conformity of the elders and thus pushed the otherwise progressive humankind, back to the age of its infancy. And in this way man's history has regressed thousands of years.
Hatred and Hatred Alone: In this blind ancestor worship humans have regressed into a position where their faculties of wisdom and thought do not function at all. To carry the argument further, aversion to the world and enmity towards knowledge and wisdom result in hatred of every element in the universe. Consequently, in the eyes of the religious people every corner of the universe seems to be evil and evil alone. To them every thing of beauty becomes a thing of abhorrence and scorn. Every smiling face to them is a mirror of death, and every flower-strewn forehead, logs and blocks of wood for Hell. When spring comes and joyously swings, they moan and sigh. On a beautiful, smiling, moonlit night they sob and wrench their faces, their sad faces and lack-lustre eyes only go to show that they are of those whose height of desires happen to be that: "Even if ever a smile were to come to me, I would rather weep instead".
Beauty of Nature: In their religion, literature, music, art, science, elegant and pleasant adornment, and their means and resources are all Haraam (Forbidden). Whereas Deen, itself bathed in the beauty of Nature, teaches and educates as how to add and increase this beauty in the universe. In the universe, it explains, every element and matter is in a correct proportion and that each and every element or matter is in its appropriate position. That, when every thing remains as it is apportioned then the end result would be beauty of the universe. Even if constructive element is removed from its rightful place then that good element becomes evil. Beauty is the name of proportion, balance and symmetry, which means that every element or matter should be in its symmetrical or apportioned position. In the words of Pascal, "If the nose of Cleopatra were a bit flat then the map of history would be something else''. Deen explains that for the motorcar or vehicle of life, mobile oil is indispensable along with petrol. Evil emerges when mobile oil is filled up in the petrol tank. The motor-car then cannot move any further.
Consequently according to Deen it is the means to create, while remaining within the limits laid down by Allah (Hudoodullah) the lustre and brightness of the heart and vision, and to develop man's latent capabilities. But man-made religion knits its brows and frowns at every beautiful sketch or map of Nature and declares it Haraam.
Limits Laid down by Allah or "Hudoodullah'': A perusal of the Quran indicates that only a few things are declared Haraam. The list of things that one is to stay away from is very small. For the remaining affairs, simply Boundary Lines are drawn. And human thought and intellect is left independent, free to soar, within these boundaries, so that it finds a solution itself to its problems. It limits as little as possible the freedom and liberty of human thought. The aim of the Quran is to raise man's potentialities as much as possible.
He who has raised the potentials of human self, his will be a rewarding harvest. In contrast, religion from birth till death (in fact, after death too) on each and every step keeps issuing endless orders. When raising the right foot, do this, when raising your left, recite this, when drinking water, do it in this manner, so on and so forth.
"Haraam" (Forbidden) and "Halaal'' (Permissible): As has been already said, Deen has declared very few things Haraam. There are, if you care to look up, endless lists and piles of books in religion declaring nearly every thing, so it seems, Haraam. In the Quran, after declaring a handful of things as Haraam it goes on to state: And be mindful, never state any lies that comes up on your tongue unhesitatingly, that this thing is Halaal and that Haraam.... in this way (to distinguish Halaal and Haraam) is mischief-making and scandal-mongering on Allah, because He has already declared Haraam, all those things that He wanted to.
It is no simple matter for men to declare something Haraam. It tantamount to squeeze the freedom of humankind for all times, which is why this authority is not given to anyone in Deen: Ask them of Allah's elegance and beauty that He has created for His believers and the good and wholesome food and drinks, as to who has declared it Haraam?
Thereby, Allah says who is there besides Him who could declare a thing Haraam? The religious monopolists say, as a challenge, that it is they who could declare a thing Haraam! It is their permanent assertion of Allah to compare His list with their list and see for Himself as to whose list of Haraam is lengthy? He will then know as to who has the greater authority to declare things Haraam! This is the direct result of when Deen is turned into religion and those powers, which are limited to the domain of Allah only, are changed or transferred into human hands.
The ruling class encircles the people into its obedience while the priests take them into their circle of subjugation and obedience, i.e. laws and rules are trumped up that this is Haraam and that is Halal or do this and don't do that..... all being despotic subjugation by religion which are under no circumstances less than the royal commands. But the grip of the religious priests is more severe and stronger in their influence, for the reason, that royal commands and its effects are momentary. Monarchy and governments come and go but the power and might and influence of religion is an ongoing continuity. The throne and crown does not have the satisfaction that is found in the royalty and majesty of the priestly opinions and verdicts i.e. the Fatwas.
God has bestowed on man free will. The order of Deen creates expansiveness and varied dimensions in the free will, resulting in humankind's rise and total evolution. Whereas religion with its despotic laws steam-rolls the human free will, leading humans to a hopelessly inhuman life. When you are forced to lead an uncivil and inhuman life then result will be that:
(1) Either Human Self will be mutilated or you leave or drop off the eminence of Free Will and lead a life similar to that of animals and vegetables. (In religion, the majority leads such a life that is why they lead this life of blind ancestral conformity.)
(2) Or you will rebel due to these tyrannical restrictions and oppose it so vehemently as not to respect even the limits of Deen. (No wonder, these people usually become atheists).
(3) Or live a life of a Hypocrite.
Hypocrisy, "Munafiqat": The last category requires some detail. Because religion restricts what is otherwise permissible, and obstructs the path and makes life unbearable. Man therefore desires to remove or just break out of these restrictions. But the sanctity of religion does not allow him to do it publicly.
Therefore, he is left with the choice of fraudulently threshing out ways and means by way of excuses. To them music is Haraam but to listen to the Harp without the association of other musical instruments, is not harmful. Should this be not found to his satisfaction, then he will listen to the aforesaid music in Kawali where the choral band plays light music while the chorister lays stress on the words, which now becomes allowable and lawful.
Anything that falls to their taste not only becomes lawful but even Ibadat. Art is something to be severely detested. Photography is Haraam, forbidden, but the photographing of the upper half, the bust, is allowed5. The conception of beauty, its miraculous wonder is enough to send him straight to Hell. But it is again legal and lawful for him to talk of God as a "truly beloved sweetheart''.
And enjoy poetry that has seductive, rousing, deceptive phraseology in the expressions is enough to drive him into rapture while the revealing and detailed particulars of this imaginary beloved lead him into final ecstasy. Thus, he enjoys the luxury of mental debauchery. Psychologists regard this sort of enjoyment as hypocritical repression that causes sex-perversion and its demonstration is nauseating and disgusting in its depths. No wonder, those who claim of not even raising an eye at other women, enter into unlimited number of marriages, one after the other, in rapid succession; not to mention the relationship these sex-perverts have with the concubines, with the temerity to declare such indulgences to be exactly in accord and compatible to Shariath-e-Haqqah, "true Islamic Jurisprudence''. Have a look at the religious books and you will be surprised to see the number dealing with the problems relating to the science of sex.
The details are given with such vulgarity and obscenity that even the eyes of shame itself will bow down in shame. The aim of Deen was simply to check, habituate and evolve which was inseparable from the order and code of Islam and human society and so necessary for its development. The resultant behaviour in the society is not due to unnatural pressures but rather the fixation of river banks and coast-lines from the flooding and rampaging waters. While religion, with its tyrannical and unnatural cramming of the face of the river with unnatural mounds, resulting in the waters piercing the underground as if in hiding, when no sooner soft land is found than it shows or pops up its head. This is so because it is in its nature to rise; it was the demand of the waters, which is not to be suppressed.
The destruction and devastation referred to in previous pages were all that religion had wrought on the external world. And stated above is the wickedness it has created in the hearts and minds, in the inner world where it has settled down. These evils in turn mutilated the character itself completely. If a people, for a period of time, begin to lead such a life or become accustomed to it, then in them courage, valour, exhilaration and the happy, cheerful-face is seized and in its place lowliness, meanness, petty mindedness, narrow mindedness, sin and a life of seclusion is created.
Religious Order of Manners and Morality: But religion in order to disguise these sins, blemishes an infirmity into good qualities, and calls it "The order of Manners and Morality.'' It declares, weakness, helplessness and supplication the signs of "God's Bondsmen''. Low and mean-spiritedness, petty mindedness and lack of courage is named as "Perseverance and Trust'' in God. And it never lets starvation be made known; in fact they veil it with utmost deceit and fraud. The opium of illiteracy is shown as the Will of God, and antidote as good as any. Whereas Deen came to declare that the behaviour and acts of all those powerful and instigating rebels who have pounced on the resources of food and provisions, as if they belonged to their father and forefathers and sat on them coiled-up like snakes, befit that their wrists be twisted and Divine provisions be provided to the people of God. In contrast, "Religious Order of Morality'' calls such naked and brazen exploitation as "Blessings of God" and thus offers open licence to looting, high-handedness and disharmonies. Since the circle of influence is restricted to the poor only, therefore it is with ease religion is able to make them comply with their order of Manners and Morality. As for those in affluence, "high social strata'', the wresting power, authority and administration, religion feels it sufficient to give them religious sermons.
Sermons are delivered to the effect that tyranny is evil, the indigents should not be harassed, and they should be given their rightful due. A beggar should not be turned out. The needy should not be treated badly or reproved. Religion considers it sufficient that it keeps on advising thus. This it has described as "encouraging the good and preventing the evil". If from the wealthy and the powerful class, a beggar's piece is thrown to the poor, religion begins immediately to eulogise and write poems in their glory. The "Ruling and the upper class'' has after all usurped and pillaged everything which actually belonged to those poor, the needy and the indigents.
With whose self-connotations and meanings and totally fraudulently fabricated interpretations, has religion made the poor, for their entire lifetime, offer "dues" to the "high social strata''? As if that isn't sufficient the poor were sermonised to offer themselves freely as slaves to these usurpers and plunderers.
This then is the highly acclaimed picture placed by religion before the world of its order of manners and morality. Quran challenges the entire world to offer an equivalent to any one of the items of its order of Deen or make a law akin to it. The world cannot because its economic system cannot harmonise with Heavenly espoused Permanent Values. The system of Deen is unprecedented and unequalled. The value system that religion espouses is common among all religions. Therefore, no religion can claim supremacy over another religion. To say so is false. Hence, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad in full support of Gandhism stressed that universal truths will be found in every religion.
By these "universal truths'' is meant these very "Religious Order of Manners and Morality'' i.e. don't commit adultery, don't tell lies, don't steal, don't harass the poor, etc. Indeed these truths are altogether found in all religions. In fact, no religion has this singularity. Even the "atheists'' are believers in these "universal truths''. No one in the world would say that it is good to tell lies or to steal. Therefore, if Islam also offers the same order of Morality and Manners then what does it mean when it claims that no man could offer an item equal or similar to its teachings! From this, it is evident that it places its teachings above this common order of Manners and Morality. It is unique, and its equivalent or parallel is just not possible because it is distinctively featured. Common order of Manners and Morality comes in it simply by way of introduction and preamble.
Deen gives the order of life, a system while religions offer nothing more than the basic principles of morals, manners and some rites and rituals. A section of religious followers (whom the followers of Mysticism describe as followers of Islamic Jurisprudence), have to safeguard their sects pitched against each other or are in quarrel with other religions, for in this confrontation alone have they found a latent secret for survival.
Therefore, it ignores the order of manners and morality and turns towards acquiring gains and reformation for its customs and ways of life. It thus continually remained in polemical arguments and debates with other religions. As for the other section the Mystics, they gave less importance to the rites and rituals and emphasised co-operation with other religions on the basis of their order of Morals and Manners ending in a compromise. Hereafter, these compromises slowly and steadily adopted such a commonality that Ram and Raheem became two sides of the same coin. Since the world of Mysticism is the creation of emotions, the poets fan it further. A wide field for poets and poetry is opened up and the poets go to great lengths offering those "arguments or reasons'' - which are in fact no more than similes. In this way Poetry, for a lazy and inactive people, is an excuse of fully satisfying the world of make belief. Slowly and gradually it seeps into their veins while they, in their monasteries, chambers and cells, sit complacently in a corner journeying through in their thoughts alone the various stages of life.
"In abstractions totally lost. Nor asleep nor awake nor vigilant nor oblivious of his interest." When a matter of extreme importance concerning life crops up before him then a verse of a poet, apt and apposite, is read out to him, after which that important matter of life is deemed to have been solved.
Religion keeps the simple folk entangled in polemics and leaves the field open to the rulers so that they can suck from humanity their last drop of blood.
"Kufr" After "Eemaan" (To become a non Muslim after converting to Islam): When the Quranic Deen changed and degraded into religion and monarchy, then the "living and breathing examples'' of its Practical Order of Life, its natural results began to become extinct and non-existent. Their extinction, Quran had shown in clear and lucid words, were results directly dependent on Laws and not with a people or their style or elegance. Hence, when these people who had faith and belief in the originality of this code of life denied it in practice, then its paths of achievement and success were shut or closed on them.
Consider how and with what eloquence the Quran has said: "Well, how can the laws of God open up on these people the paths of success, elevation and evolution who after Eemaan on His laws and their splendid results, Hereafter deny them (in practice). Whereas in actual fact they have seen with their own eyes that by acting in practice on these laws and code of life how the Rasool (PBUH) with his endeavours and efforts had created such constructive results. And in this way, before them glowed clearly all the reasons and proofs of this code of life.
Allah's laws never open up its paths on those people, the paths of elevation and evolution, who do not let the truths or facts remain in their place, as they should be. This is called Zulm6As a natural result of their behaviour, it so happens that these people are deprived of all those beautiful consequences which the law of God turns into concrete proofs and results by the universal laws working in conjunction with the organisational order of humankind.
Don't just glance over the aforesaid Ayat. It explains a very great principle. It explains the consequences of Kufr after Eemaan. Eemaan has declared human life to be an indivisible entity, a unity. Its denial has created a division in this order of unity and split into two different groups, i.e. this world and the Hereafter. In this way, religion and monarchy came into being, with the result that these people were deprived of all the concrete results of the code of Deen. Authority and religion are after all Deen's two different pieces but it is a strange occurrence that after separation nothing remains of Deen in anyone of them.
Again, consider the example of water, which has the natural and distinctive quality in that it puts out the fire. But if its two constituents, Hydrogen and Oxygen, are separated let alone putting out fire, Hydrogen itself is combustible, while Oxygen helps to act as an aid for burning all the more. Nothing could burn without Oxygen. That is to say that in the constituents of water any one single constituent no longer has the property of water remaining in it. Instead, opposite characteristics or conditions emerge. Likewise, with the division into two separate portions not only nothing remains of Deen but religion and authority, the two become opposites of Deen. Deen came to create unity while religion and authority dismembered the nation and brethren-in-Faith. And this was the natural result of running or shirking away from the Divine Laws. This is called Azaab (punishment).
Tell them that God's law has the overall power to bring upon you Azaab (punishment) from the external world or from the inner world (from under your feet if you oppose or go against the law of God). Or you are divided into groups jumbled up in confusion (and in this way your unity ends) and become victims of each other's forceful strength. See, how we bring the truths and facts before you repeatedly, so that you may think and contemplate.
The clerical class has created such a distance between the results and the acts and deeds, that they have postponed everything on the Hereafter, thereby left with no share whatsoever of this world. The members of the government directed all its attention on the immediate gains (the world), hence their present became good and fruitful but their future could not become bright. Which is why after sometime they lost even their government and state. Now, consider how the Quran has shown and with what clarity the difference between the seekers of the present and the seekers of the future and the consequences: O those claimants of Eemaan! What has happened to you?
When it is said that you raise your step on the way7of Allah, then they become heavy and hold on to the earth. Have you become unwary of the future and have fallen for the immediate gains? If this is the case then (you have made a blind spot of the fact that) the nearby gains have no status or rank against the future. If you insist on remaining this way then what will be its consequences?
If you do not take a step for a bright future then remember God will greatly and severely punish you for it that is, in your place bring another people. You with this deviation could not harm God's Law in any way but you yourself would be ruined. Remember that Allah has for everything, fixed measures on which he has absolute control.
Consequently, in this way their large and expansive countries gradually came to an end and were rolled and wrapped up into small kingdoms and feudal systems with their existence on the mercy and bounty of the Western world. As long as these states meet with the political expediency of the Westerners they will exist; when they no longer are needed, an end will be put to them. The unity of the millath has since long vanished and there is no existence in any form or any semblance of unity in these states. Not even the sort of unity as is found in a non-Muslim country. Hence the position is that one state is pitted against the other, in the manner that one particular sect is fighting the other religious sect. The result of this schism and disunity had such a drastic and tell-tale effect that their society, their scholarly resources and their way and view of life, one and all became foreboder of dejection, melancholy and heralders of death.
Culture, mysticism, jurisprudence and scholasticism, all are alien idols. And this was so because In legends and myths was truth amiss, The Ummah was lost but in traditions and legends.
Contemplation and Deliberation: Quran has at every step invited the Muslims to think and contemplate. They were asked to ponder and think on the earth and the skies, Human Self, and on horizons of this Present and the Future: In this way Allah shows His signs openly and clearly so that you think and contemplate on present and the Future.
He has in very clear terms shown that if you wish to safeguard yourself from suffering then the method to do so was to observe and contemplate on the earth and the skies. From this you will study the laws of God, which are in action in the entire universe.
And when you come to learn which law is actually and actively in force in this amazing and fantastic series and in what balance, proportion and symmetry moving through its evolutionary stages, onwards, then only you will understand how inevitable it is for you to make this all embracing law prove effective for your collective life. This is what it connotes to mean Zikr of Allah.
This is a fact that in the creation of this universe and the earth and in the rotations of the night and day there are for the gentlemen of understanding, knowledge and discernment (the proven signs of the divine law and its unshakeable firmness and strength) signs for them.
Such is the state of these gentlemen of learning that standing, sitting or lying they place before themselves the laws of God, and think and contemplate on the creation of the earth and the Heavens and by this manner of deep and careful thought and contemplation, see for themselves right before them, clearly and manifestly that Allah's law of growth and development was not created so that its destructive side overpower or overcome the constructive sides and in this way make this world a veritable Hell. God's programme of constructive development is far removed from these disastrous consequences.
He has also made this fact clear that those people who work their way through contemplation, may be few in numbers, but they are always in power and strength over the majority who takes no heed to the importance of thought and contemplation: If from among you only hundred persons become such (who act only through thought, wisdom and common sense) they will surely overpower a thousand Kafirs because the group of Kafirs are such who do not use their wisdom and thought.
This then is the secret of the success of the people8. As long as this Quranic Knowledge remained in focus before the Muslims, they continued to observe and contemplate on nature and its elements and to control and harness the forces of the universe, accepting this to be their duty of life. But when religion's blind ancestral worship made their faculties of thought and reason paralytic then to use the faculties of thought and reason became Haraam on them!
Who is an "Aalim"? Quran had used the word Aalim in the sense of the modern usage of the word "Scientist''. See how this fact becomes evident in Surah Faatir: Do you not observe that it is the law of Allah that brings down the water from the clouds, and this water (and its mixture with this soil) creates various kinds of fruits? And the red, white and various layers of colours in the mountains, and some (akin to the stone of Moses) having blackness in them.
From the world of vegetables, minerals and inorganic matter one moves on to observe and contemplate on the world of men and animals and note the variety of species. In this manner is this universe ever so expansive. Therefore those people, after observations, thought and contemplation, procure and convey correct information about it, they are the ones who have the true and correct sense and feelings of the greatness, magnificence and grandeur of the laws of God, and fear and tremble in opposing it.
Do consider, the word Ulema was used expressly and only on those who are engaged in the observation and contemplation of the various parts and portions of the universe. This is called Science. Hence, in modern phraseology its translation would be a Scientist, who after his observation and research uses the results for the prosperity of humanity in accordance with the revelation and laws of God. But when Deen relegated into religion the word Ulema was demoted to that of a mere Librarian. You will be astonished with my usage of the word "Librarian'' for the religious Ulema! Do you know who is the greatest Alim amongst you?
He, who can show what Bukhari has said pertaining to a certain issue or problem. What has Fatah-Al-Bari written in his exegesis.
What has Allama Aalusi ordained on this matter? What has Allama Shami copied from Sheikh Ib-Nay Hemam. He who can give the greatest quotes and references is regarded to be the greatest Mufti-e-Deen, the Muslim Jurist and the "Expounder of the irrevocable code of Muslim Law.'' If this is not the work of a librarian then what is? Since this religious world is divorced from wisdom the most correct answer would be the one that does not have even a shadow of reason. I hope one single instance will suffice to show you as to what extent they are occupied with the usage of thought and contemplation. This will also serve to impress on you as to what these treasures of storehouses of books contain! A friend was on his journey to Mecca and I asked him to find out by meeting as many Ulema and as varied as they were from the countries they came from.
On my friend's return he told me that he met more or less all the Ulema from Mecca and Medina and those of various countries. The issue greatly talked about was whether in Arafat and Muzudulfa the curtailment of the obligatory Salaath is allowed or not? Whether or not prayers can be said in cemeteries? Then the most of all debated questions was about the usage of loudspeakers in prayers. Two Imams of Harm, Sheikh Abdul Zaahir and Sheikh Abdul Maheeman Abu al Samah, and Sheikh Abdul Razak, Head of Madrassah, School of Darl-ul-Hadees Makkah and Sheikh Abdur-Razak-Al-a Fefe-Al-zehri, each and every one of these great Ulema were discussing the same issues of importance aforesaid.
There were also discussions on beards and whether to eat on tables. The reason being that when "worldly affairs'' are handed over to the worldly ones, then what else is there for the religious faithful to discuss or talk about? Among these Ulema there is a group which calls itself the "non-conformists''. This may create doubt in the minds of the unknowing that probably these people may believe in using wisdom and thought. But this misapprehension is due to not being fully acquainted. "Conformist and non-conformist'' are but sectarian terminology. Both have nothing to do with wisdom or thought. Religious conformists are those who conform to the Fiqqah while the non-conformists conform to the "Narratives'' the sayings or the Ahadith, the traditions.
Both groups in support of their "conformity'' give the reason that they follow the disciples, the great Companions (of Nabi Muhammad (PBUH)) or the religious leaders of the Fiqqah. When saying this they do not consider that neither the Companions nor the leaders of the Fiqqah were conforming to any one. They sought solutions to the issues of their day themselves, and the best way to follow them would be to seek solutions to issues of their own times themselves within the limits laid down by Allah.
Just consider, a people who had discarded and not used their faculties of thought and reason for a hundred years, how could you expect that the potentialities of thought and understanding could have survived? As to how deeply but invisibly and imperceptibly the conduct of our forefathers have penetrated their subconscious, could be ascertained from different examples. A Muslim child would leap towards meat while a child of the Jain Sect would feel nauseated at the sight of it. Its behaviour is not the outcome of a well thought out plan but is merely a subconscious act. Then again consider a Muslim reaction. Of the things that Quran has forbidden, one is Anything that which is attributed to another but Allah.
Well, among us it is customary to make offering to saints and the spirituals. In so being imputed to other than Allah is the reason for its sanctity and its superiority is therefore proven obviously. And also in our homes because it is a common ritual it is therefore eaten by the young as well as the old. It, therefore, does not have any effect on our health and behaviour. On the contrary, since a rat has never been part of our diet, a mere sight of it or any reference to it while eating makes one sick, so much so, that one will not drink the alcohol in the glass wherein a rat may have fallen. To him, it becomes Haraam. All this happens subconsciously because in this context your mind refuses to consider that your reaction ought to have been rational.
From these examples, just consider that when a people blindly continue following the steps of its fathers, forefathers, elders and ancestors then, its reactions towards events and incidents would not be based on or resultant of their thought and consideration or wisdom; rather their reactions would wholly be motivated by the subconscious. A total non-intellectualism and subconsciousness has taken over their faculties of senses and perceptions. Once they actually regard a thing subconsciously as commendable, and commendable it will remain in their eyes and vice versa. Nor do they have any sound argument for its commendability nor do they have any reason or argument to disprove it otherwise.
It is because of the demands of these very polemics and debates that they are forced to look for the rationale behind the veracity of their ways. But these polemics are always a competition of personal abilities of the rival sects. Each group comes forward with the Eemaan that his way is the right one, and the other has gone astray and deviated from the right path. Having said this what follows is a personal confrontation and no more. The one with a glib tongue wins this verbal match. These days propaganda has taken the place of polemics. Whichever group has greater resources for propaganda, overcomes the other. The Quranic Truths, intellect and wisdom were not their concern then nor are they at present.
This is the state and condition for a thousand years of the religious minded Muslims, and it still continues to be so. In such state of mind can there be any hope of "Fresh New Thought'', on which is based the life of the people? Centuries of conformity and blind imitation have darkened the Muslim mind, likened to a cell in a mosque and monastic caves. No ray of intellectual light can penetrate through it.
When a people's mind is developed in such darkness, then there is no way as to how they could see the paths of soaring high and evolving . His state is: As in the depths of the darkness of the ocean, waves upon waves of darkness come rising up. In the sky, dark clouds keep gathering and mounting up making it black and overcast. Darkness upon darkness keeps rising up and up. Such darkness that not even your hand is visible when stretched out. (Let alone positioning others because you cannot reckon your very own.) How could it be visible? It could have been visible but only with the light of Deen but if light is not taken from the Divine Deen then where else would it be available? Religion is darkness in itself, therefore only darkness will be available from darkness. How can light be availed of it?
The conception in the effects or efficacy in words goes back to the ancient age of magic, and is nothing but its remembrance. Charm, Amulets, Knotted Springs and the acts and behaviour of Quranic Aayat are all but branches of that original age of magic.
For the Quranic connotations of Savaab please see my compilation, Sulsabeel under Savaab. For the moment, let it suffice that Quran has said for the party of Momineen "Allah also bestows on them Savaab in this world or Dunya" (3-147) Therefore, Savaab is not something, which has no relation or connection with this world. Or, it is not something imperceptible so much so that man would not know whether he has achieved Savaab or not. Savaab is the perceptible achievement enjoyed in this world, after acting on the Quranic programme, and will also be awarded in the next world. As long as Savaab is related to this world its meaning and fixed result should come before us, here and now.
The details about the collection and compilation of Hadith will be found in my book Muqam-e-Hadith, "the position of Hadith" issued by Tolu-e-Islam Trust.
There is no doubt about it that the Quran, too, has, apart from laws, stated Truths and Facts by way of similes. But its authenticity is the Quran itself. When the authority is one, then in thought and contemplation there could be some differences of opinion. But there can never be differences in the acts and deeds of the Ummah.
Please see my book Salsabeel (urdu) wherein topics such as "Salvation" and "Evolution" have been included.
On the issue of taking photographs, a well known religious personality in India (now dead) once said, after a detailed discussion, that photography of the bust was permissible! They described this as "half-tone", although "half-tone" has a very different connotation. Of course, these days they have no inhibitions about being photographed, and they indulge in it fully and openly.
According to Raghib, 'Zulm' means a condition in which an element or an object is not in its appropriate place, a place where it has been specified to be. If the parts and portions of order are not in their appropriate and respective place, then its correct balance and symmetry is disturbed. This is defined or called Fasaad or Sua, which is the opposite of beauty and rectification. Quran has in Surah Namal interpreted Zulm as Sua and placed against the word beauty. (See 27/11)
Fe Sabil Lillah: (In the way of Allah) For its Quranic exegesis you will have to wait a while. For the moment, suffice it to say that the Quran uses this term generally when it connotes it with collective and organisational code or order whose foundations are based on Permanent Values (Revelation) and the order and code has been established for the welfare and prosperity of humankind.
Quran has also clarified this fact that if knowledge attained from nature or the universe is not harmonised with Permanent Values (Revelation) then it will result in destruction and devastation. In Surah Momin it says of people bygone who were owners of might, power, wealth and affluence, ``When to them came our apostles with clear proofs and reasons, the people (turned away their faces) saying that all what our knowledge has given us we are contented with'' The result was that ``Destruction and devastation pounced upon them which they kept putting off in a disdainful, scornful and contemptible laughter (40/83). Hence, it is the order of Deen to harness and control the forces of nature and use them only in accordance with the Permanent Values (Revelation).