Saturday, September 5, 2009

Muhammad al Ghazali : Al Saff, Surah 61[ The Rank ]

Friends ,

Reading the Quran this morning and counterchecking it's meaning and tafsir with Muhammad al Ghazali's treatment of Surah al Saff, yet again gave me pleasure, for indeed there are more similarities and shared virtues between us Muslims and our Christian brothers, than differences. Why they are still 'continuing in their crusading and aggresive mode' against Islam and Muslims all across the globe escaped me! Of course they say they dont but to yet again pararaphrase Colonel Muamar Gaddafi, "all of us are not donkeys!".Let us ponder how Al Ghazali look at surah Al Saff, a short surah of 14 ayats:....................

"Great missions require strong support and sincerity and cannot be upheld and defended with mere lip service. Cowards and feeble minded people have no leadership role to play. Falsehood is usually supported by audacious self-serving individuals[ we have been seeing too many of this locally here comment ], and can only be defeated by strong self-sacrifying believers who give all they have for the sake of upholding the truth and establishing the divine world order on this earth.

The Qur'an tells us: "Had he willed, God could have punished them , butHe ordained that He might test you by means of one another"[Muhammad:4]

Empty threats and false claims acheive nothing. hencethe reproach: "Believers, why do you profess what you never do? It is most odious in God's sight that you should say what you do not do"[2-3]. A believer devotes his whole life to the service of God. He blends with the world around him and acts in total harmony with his environment to sing the praises of God Almighty. Skeptics, on the other hand, are dissenters who represent an abberation, an anomaly, in God's vision of the world.

The surah opens with the assertion: "All that is in the heavens and on earth glorifies God. He is the Almighty, the Wise'[1]. It then goes on to condemn those whose actions contradict their words, denouncing those communities that rejected God's guidance and showed hostility towards His messengers.

At the forefront of such communities were the early Israelites who antagonized Moses and caused him no end of hardship. They lost their nerves when it came to facing their enemies and soon squandered the scriptures that were revealed to them. The surah elaborates:

And remember Moses who said to his people, "My people, why do you seek to harm me when you know well that I am a messenger from God to you?" And when they went astray, God let their hearts go astray.[5]

They were castigated for their betrayal of Moses and their refusal to face their enemies.

The surah then goes on to state that Jesus had come with a message from God that was specific to a predetermined time and place. he was sent to lead the Israelites back to God's path, remind them of the Torah they had abandoned, treat their psychological and social ills, and pave the way for a universal message that would address the whole of humanity with the divine world order. It says:

And remember Jesus the son of Mary, who said to the Israelites, "I am a messenger from God to you to confirm the Torah that was revealed before me and to bring you news of a messenger who will come after me whose name shall be Ahmad....."[6]

The books of the New Testament, written several years after Jesus, make curious reference to the same effect. Matthews 24 reads:

And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because wickedness is multiplied, most men's love will grow old. But he who endured to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, as a testimony to all nations; and then the end will come.

John 14 reports that Jesus had said: " If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will pray to the Father, and he will give you another Counsellor to be wth you forever..."

Who would preach the word of God throughout the world until the end? Who would this "Counsellor" be whose message would endure for ever? Does this description fit any personality in history other than that of Muhammad?

I follow Muhammad because the Book he brought agrees with my instinct and with my conscience. I came to know God through my rational powers, having reflected on my own being and the world around me. The Qur'an is not in need of verification or authenticity from any other scriptures or prophecies. It contains the proof for its geniousness; it is totally self evident.

The surah goes on:
And who is more wicked than a man who invents falsehood about God even as he is being invited to Islam? God does not guide the wrong doers. They seek to extinguish the light of God [by blowing at it] with their mouths, but God will complete His light however much the disbelievers may dislike it.[7-8]

The human mind is the greatest gift God has given to man. Any belief or faith that is not founded on a rational and intelligent basis is worthless. Nevertheless, many people would rather close their minds and suspend their rational faculties altogether.

The surah closes with two important concept that reinforce what it had already emphasized at the beginning. The first is that life is based on faith and hard work: "Believe in God and His messenger and strive for the cause of God with your wealth and your souls"[11]. The second is that believers must be ready at all times to uphold and defend the word of God. Just as Muslims respond immediately to the call for prayer, they must be prepared to serve the cause of God at all times using everything in their power.

The surah tells us that when he needed the support of followers, Jesus evoked their faith in God. It says:

Believers, be supporters of God's cause, just as Jesus the son of Mary said to the disciples, " Who will support me for the cause of God?". The disciples replied. " We will support the cause of God."[14]

Like Muhammad's Companions, the disciples of Jesus provided him with the strength he needed to propagate his message and fulfill his mission. Today, Islam is in greater need for Muslims to understand and appreciate the true meaning of the words: "Be supporters of God's cause"[14].

The current 'holier than thou' precept and hypocritical as well as self-deceptive 'War on Terror' by the now 'secular Christians' West who themselves have lost the' right direction' that was originally shown by our prophet, Jesus, has to end. Like that Paulian's concept of Trinity, this thing about 'War on Terror' when repeated over and over more than a 'zillion' times, will be accepted as Gospel truth, even though in reality, it is just an exercise in mass deception. A New World Order has to be pursued collectively on more solid foundation of Justice,Fairness and Truth.Out of these we have Forgiveness and Peace.

Dr Nik Howk
PS: That concludes my 'campaign' to get you guys 'friendly' with one of the great ulama' of our time, who has since gone on to join his 'Lover' into the 'Realm of the Unseen': Shaykh Muhammad al Ghazali[ circa Sept 1917-March 1996, former Chairman of Academic Council, of the International Institute of Islamic Thought, Cairo. Author of "A Thematic Commentary On The Qur'an].

1 comment:

Al Sunna said...

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