By SHAMIM A. SIDDIQI
AT the end of sixth century AD, humanity had lost all the guidance that came from its Creator and Sustainer as how to live, act and behave on earth. There were no human rights anywhere in the world. Under the domination of both the superpowers of the time, the Roman and the Persian Empires, only the ruling class was enjoying rights and privileges. The common man had no rights worth and was treated as serfdom. Women were treated in Christianity as â€œuntouchables.â€ Under the fold of Hinduism, a woman had no right to live after the death of her husband. Wives were to die with their husbands, due to age-old prevalent custom of â€œsati.â€ Europe was grappling under its Dark Ages, and America was not known at all to the civilized world of the time. Humanity was, thus, passing through dark pages of its history; its fate was lying in obscurity and apparently had no hopes in its â€œdestiny.â€
The Christian priests, saints, and hermits of the time were all in waiting for the coming of a Messenger from a land in the desert covered with date trees as prophesies in the Bible foretold. Only the City of Madinah, in the heart of Arabian Peninsula, fulfilled that criterion. The Christians had established numerous monasteries at the northern arch of Arabian Peninsula. The monastery of Ba'hirah Rahib was one of them. Professor Taha Yaseen of Egypt has given a vivid description of these monasteries in his book of Seerah of Rasulullah (S) [Biography of Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him)] and has shown how eagerly the Judeo-Christian world was waiting for the new Messenger of Allah. The detailed account given by the Prophetâ€™s beloved companion Salman Farsi, of his reaching Madinah in search of the Messenger as directed by Christian priests, confirms the quest and long waiting of the Christian world.
Unfortunately, at the end of 20th and the beginning of the 21st century, humanity is experiencing as a whole more or less the similar situation as that of 6th century, but in a different perspective. In 6th century, the causes of concern and waiting were genuine as all the previous guidance from God were either lost or mutilated through human innovations and manipulations, along with the life patterns of the previous Messengers, except with some scanty account that could not lead and deliver to human society a system and a model of their life-pattern to live with. In the context of the present world, both the Guidance from the Creator and Sustainer is available intact in its original form along with the life-pattern of the Messenger, the guide, the model as how to live, act and behave in the world in its minutest details. It is just the self-denial attitude of Judeo-Christian-Pagan world that is blind to its existence in its totality. It is due to age-old prejudices, historical animosity, and ignorance of an unprecedented nature; it is being ignored one way or the other.
Their blindness is by their free choice and not by accident or any natural mishap. It can be termed as â€œday-light blindness.â€ They are in desperate need of a system for getting justice, peace, security, and an ideal model to lead a balanced and an organized life in their personal, family, and society at individual, national, and international levels. They are making blind, rough shots here and there, grappling in darkness, but having no semblance of light either in their vision, approach, programming, or projections. They are seeing everything from the ken of mortal eyes and not as their urgent need for Divine Guidance and the life-pattern that the Messenger sets in its minutest details for human beings to follow. That is why man has failed in all its programming, projections, and man-made systems, whether feudalism, monarchy, capitalism, socialism, communism and secular democracy, or military dictatorship. All have multiplied human problems and provided only some band-aid treatment or some namesake, temporary respite. Problems are gradually heaping and pilling up in Himalayan size.
In sequence, humanity has lost all its hopes. The forthcoming era of globalization, world trade, and forming of different group markets on the pattern of EUC are bound to fail as their objective is to exploit the human needs and meager resources of under-developed and developing countries around the world to add a few degrees to the standard of living of the developed countries at the cost of increasing the poverty level in the poor countries higher and higher. By denying the existing Divine Guidance and the role of the Messenger of time, humanity cannot survive anymore. It has no choice but to turn its face to follow the life-pattern of Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) with all hopes and expectations. Let us see what hopes the life of the Messenger of the time, Prophet Muhammad has in store for the suffering humanity that all the secularisms could not deliver at all.
THE FIRST STEP TOWARDS BUIILDING THE FATE OF HUMANITY: After his appointment as the Messenger of Allah, in the cave of Hera in 572 AD, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) concentrated on individuals, the epic center of all troubles and corruptions on earth. He rightly concluded that if individuals are corrected, reformed, and their character is rebuilt on the basis of fear of Allah and accountability in Akhirah (Hereafter), society as a whole can be reconstituted afresh on balanced moral grounds. As such:
* He cemented the relations of each individual with his/her Creator and Sustainer;
* Every individual is a trustee of what Allah has given him and not master or owner;
* Everyone is accountable to Allah for all his/her actions and deeds, one earth in Akhirah;
* He presented his life as ideal for all individuals to follow in every walk of life till eternity.
Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) made every effort in remodeling their respective individual characters on these principles and made them the most trustworthy people of the time. This was his team of workers that he first built, and they were the instruments in changing the society altogether on the concept of Tawhid (Oneness of God), Amanah (Trust), Akhirah (Hereafter), and his Prophethood. He purified individualâ€™s character and motivated them to carry out the mission of Islam to the four corners of the world. His Kalimah (Slogan): La Ilaha Ilallah, Muhammadun Rasulullah (There is no god worthy of worship except Allah and Muhammed is His Messenger) was, in fact, the most revolutionary political slogan and a motivating force that kept his followers always active, motivated and involved in the service of mankind: to be good to others, in removing the evil from the society and establishing the Maâ€™roof (all that is good) all around. This benevolent character that he created amongst his followers was by serving himself as its model in every walk of life. He, thus, transformed the Arab society of Jahiliyah [ignorance] into a benevolent and Allah-conscious society all around in his life-time within a limited period of 23 years. This is his prescribed, well-practiced and trusted model for mankind to follow till eternity. If humanity wants today to remove corruption, favoritism, nepotism, and discrimination in all its forms and shape from its ranks and files, this is the only way now left for mankind to accept and follow, the only hope to get justice, peace, and a balanced harmonious growth in the world.
Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) Most Inspiring Character of History
- He was very kind and merciful and full of concern for believers in Allah [Quran 9: 128];
- He was at the highest order of morality [Quran 68: 4];
- His (S) morals were the embodiment of the Qurâ€™an [Hadith]
- He confirmed, â€œI have been appointed to perfect the moralityâ€ [Hadith (Sayings of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him)]
- He was the Messenger for entire mankind [Quran 7: 158]
- Arabs acknowledged him unanimously and used to call him Al-Sadiq & Al-Ameen [the Truthful and the Trustworthy]
- He never speaks out of his own desire and that [what he conveys to you] is but [a Divine] inspiration with which he is being inspiredâ€ [Quran 53: 3-4]
- He said, â€œAna Afsahul Arabâ€ [I am the most eloquent person amongst the Arabs]
- An extraordinary advocate and promoter of â€œIlmâ€ [knowledge] in the society: â€œTalabul Ilme farizatun ala kulley Muslimâ€ [Acquiring knowledge is obligatory on every Muslim [and Muslimah] (Hadith â€“Ibne Maâ€™ja)
- He was the most ideal and perfect Daâ€™ee Ilallah (Call to Allah) for all time to come.
- He declared the first Charter of Human Rights in 631 AD from the Mount of Arafat when he performed his first and the last Hajj.
- He was the most ardent advocate of human rights, wage-earners rights, very benevolent to slaves, caretaker of the wayfarers and the oppressed, the orphans, and the rights of women.
- He established the concept of equality amongst human beings, eradicated all kinds of discrimination on account of color, race, wealth, language, and geographical boundaries. He made Bilal bin Ribah, a African from Eretria, the Moazzin (caller for prayer) of his Mosque and his personal exchequer.
He was an affectionate father, a dutiful and loveable husband, an ideal neighbor, a trustworthy and honest trader, an efficient administrator, a foresighted statesman, and a brilliant general. In short, he was the most accomplished human being. Whosoever came in contact with him adored him, including his adversaries. He is the most perfect ideal in every walk of life for any individual and society to follow as model, the only hope of mankind to deliver Khair [good] to all who resolve to follow him and his teachings.
Building a Model Human Society
Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) first built his team of workers on the lines stated above. We call them Sahabah (Companions) out of reverence. He built it through person to person contacts who in turn became the kingpins of the Islamic society that he established in Arabian Peninsula based on the principles of equality, justice, and complete social security for the poor, needy, destitute, underfed, unemployed, incapacitated, and wayfarers â€“the have-nots-- through a well-established social-welfare system of Islam that advocates, â€œCollect from your affluent and return it back to your poor and needyâ€ (Hadith).
He (S) built a society in which justice was free, education was obligatory and free for all. It was free of corruption and favoritism. Rate of crime was extremely low to the extent that often jails were found empty. Situation of law and order was so perfect that an old lady could travel from Sanaâ€™a to Hazarmaut (a distance of about 1,000 miles) with gold in her hands, and she had no fear except that of Allah. Adi bin Hatim confirmed it by his own observation.
The forgoing proves beyond any shadow of doubt the life pattern that Prophet Mohammad (S) demonstrated to the world and the system of life that he delivered to mankind are now the only hope of mankind to get justice, peace, and security on earth. The more its adoption is delayed, the more it is drifting away from its cherished goal to attain perfection in transforming the abode of man into the cradle of peace and free of exploitation; where both the affluent and the poor will feel contented in their respective field, and where the opportunity of progress will be available to all and sundry without any prejudice as a right of all human beings. Humanity can attain this goal only when it would accept the leadership of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as the only hope of its survival.