Continuing the Story of Miracles in Islam II

Mar 20, 2007

And that he put together – all by himself – a most detailed manual of how human beings should live on earth, both as individuals and as societies, for the next 10,000 years, such that practically every one of his ideas gets more validation and confirmation with the passage of time and with the mushrooming and evolving of human needs and requirements.

And that he not only invented these most amazing ideas – many of them more obviously in tune with the realities and challenges of the Twenty-First Century than those of the Seventh – but he also, within an incredibly short span of a decade, constructed a complete society in which to implement his ideas.

A society that then went on to change the culture of many other societies of the world within an equally incredible period of a few more decades.

If you believe that all this was nothing but merely the genius of a human being called Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, you have every right to do that.

But if you really believe that it was the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, who did all these amazing things, then what are you doing running away from him, and at times hating, attacking and fighting him? Shouldn’t you be the first to line up behind a superhuman being like him?

You Have the Right of Rejection

That is right. You have the right of rejection, given to you by God Almighty himself. Islam came to give you that right. The right to say no. And of course the right to say yes, if you wanted to.

Before Islam that right belonged only to the kings, the nobles and the religious leaders. Ordinary people had no right to say yes or to say no. They were merely chattel or property, owned by other people. They had no rights or dignities of any kind to speak of.

They lived where and how they were told to live. They ate what they were given to eat. They believed what they were told to believe. They had no right to say yes or no to anything on their own.

Islam came to set them free and give them that right.

Therefore, it is entirely up to you how you want to take the clear-cut miracles of Islam. Whether you want to believe them to be coming from God or you want to believe them to be coming from Muhammad – Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam. But that is not even the real issue.

The real issue is – and that is all that matters in this context – everything about Islam is from the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam. But everything about Christianity is not from Jesus, Alaihis Salaam. In fact, very little or nothing is. The case with regard to Judaism or Hinduism or Buddhism in not very different either.

So, based on all this, it is quite fair to say that Islam is entirely divine – God-given – whereas much, if not all, of what people call religion is mostly of human invention. Nothing is more self-evident.

Now do you see what some of the issues are in calling the Deen of Allah a religion?

What on Earth Is That?

When all is said and done, Islam is a rational system of inquiry, thought, belief and behavior.

That means Islam is not a hotchpotch of speculation, superstition, hearsay – or, frankly, religious mumbo-jumbo. That means in a very real sense Islam is about logic, evidence and straight thinking. And it is about data, facts, theory and the most plausible explanation of observed facts and phenomena that you can come up with.

In a word, and in a very strict sense, Islam is about science.

When science is error-free – Laa Raiba Feeh – and it is accompanied by Taqwa and fear of Allah, it is Islam. It is Haqq – reality or truth.

And when Islam is understood well and done right – it is science. It is Ilm. And the two merge together most beautifully and seamlessly in the Qur’an.

Innamaa yakhshallaha min 'ibaadihil 'ulamaa!

Paraphrase: Only they fear Allah who know.

Wa maa ya’qiluhaa illal-'aalimoon!

Paraphrase: Only those with knowledge can understand it.

War-raasikhoona fil-llmi yaqooloona aamanna bihi!

Paraphrase: Those who really know say “We believe it.”

So, do you see in these Aayats the most amazing interplay of belief and knowledge in Islam – and in the language of the Qur’an? It is just that we Muslims have been so far away from it for so long that we have started to fear and suspect science.

Otherwise, science is our own homegrown baby. We nursed it and helped it to come of age. And we need to return to it and re-embrace it all over again, if we want to make progress in this world. For, Allah’s world is built, and it runs, on the foundations of scientific principles.

Like we used to do once upon a time. When the rest of the world pretty much slept – and snored. And woke up from time to time to burn at the stake people who gave any indication of going after independent knowledge, including the reading of such texts as the Bible.

That is why even Imaan bil-ghaib to me is nothing less than self-evident. It is a perfectly rational thing to have. And only some very, very foolish people will claim that they do not believe in anything beyond what their eyes can see or their instruments can reach or read.

For, human lives are shaped and run on a day-to-day basis by a million things that most people don’t or can’t see.

Iqbal calls the Deen of Islam Ikhtilaat-e-dhikr-o-fikr – a perfect combination of thought and reasoning on the one hand and of remembrance and recitation of Allah’s names and attributes on the other hand.

But who reads Iqbal nowadays?

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