Greatest Reformer with a Mission

Reading suras Alaq (ira bismi), Muzammil and Mudathir in combination provides a picture about “Mission Islam” of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (swm).

 

First 5 verses of surah Alaq:

Read in the name of your Lord Who created. Created man from a clot of congealed blood. Read, and your Lord is Most Generous. Who taught knowledge by the pen, taught man what he did not know.

 

The most basic thought for man is that he was created by the Creator, Allah. Man must use his brains for understanding that man did not create himself. This great universe did not come about by an accident. Surely, Allah created mankind and his universe. The path of enlightenment for mankind rests in this simple understanding which Allah swt makes clear through the Holy Quran.

 

 

First 7 verses of surah Mudathir:

O you who lies wrapped up, arise and warn and proclaim the greatness of your Lord. And keep your garments pure, and avoid filth, and do not favor (others) expecting to get more, and be patient for the sake of your Lord.

 

The mission receives the go ahead. The commands for the mission are:

1) Arise and warn mankind about the new Divine order,

2) spread the word to establish the divine system on earth for all mankind, 

3) be pure of heart and soul and elevate your spiritual awareness without forgetting your material needs,

4) do not turn this mission into a trade or a profession expecting for some material reward from it from people, and

5) keep struggling in the path establishing Allah swt’s divine order with determination and will power. 

 

 

First 8 verses of sura Muzammil:

O you who sleeps covered up, keep standing in Prayer at night but a little half the night, or lessen it a little, or add to it a little and recite the Qur’an calmly in a measured tone. Indeed, We are about to send down on you a weighty Word. In fact. the rising by night is most effective for controlling the self and most suitable for reciting the Qur’an well, for in the day time you have many an occupations. Remember the name of your Lord and devote yourself to Him exclusively.

 

The mission is a difficut task which requires a good training and deep levels of thoughts and emotions. How can the carriers of Mission Islam get to that stage where they can selflessly bring the Divine Order on earth is given in this surah. Firstly, make a sacrifice for the mission and for Allah swt. To forgo sleep in the last part of the night is a most difficultthing to do. Sacrificing that time when man’s subsoncious level is in harmony demands a mental and emotional strength of steel. One who can do it regularly will have trained his body and mind to humility and submission before Allah swt.

 

Secondly, praying tahajud at this time brings he mind to a level where it is most powerful to programe according to some belief. The mind can be programmed to function based on what a person holds as his belief system. Tahajud can be that tool for training, programming and directing the mind to do particular things in line with the belief system.

 

Thirdly, at tahajud the Quran is to be read and studied in slow, rhythmic tone which helps to grasp the meaning and the principle spirit of the Divine message.

 

The definitions of the words Muzammil and Mudathir in combination provides a glimpse into the mission of the Prophet Muhammad (swm). His (swm) mission was to take the leadership of the entire mankind. Like the leader of a caravan seated on a fast moving horse. The caravan follows that fearless, spotless, noble, brave character who is going to lead them all to the Divine Order of Allah swt.

Effective controlling of the SELF

Allah swt revealed the first ayah, Iqra Bismi, “Read in the Name of Thy Lord”, which made the usage of man’s intellect compulsory for mankind. The message from Allah swt had always remained constant since the begining of creation. All the prophets, righteous callers to the truth, fighters in the causeof justice, spoke of only one thing, to believe that they were indeed created by One Creator and that they were all to be made accountable in God’s court. All the messengers were one in purpose. They did not (or could not have) brought a different thought to the idea of a Creator of the Universe. Their mission could not have been different either as they all strived to bring mankind into the path of goodness, to believe in the day of judgement, and to obey the universal permanent value system given by the Creator.

The Holy Quran came down to the Prophet Muhammad (swm) on the night of revelation in the month of Ramadhan. However, after the first revelation there was a gap where revelations ceased. This gap could have been a way to train the last prophet (swm) that it was up to Allah swt to reveal the Quran. After the gap (fitrah) revelations came to the last prophet (swm) on a regular basis. The Holy Quran was not sent down from the heavens in one fine download. It came in stages over a period of 23 years. This is because the last heavenly book of God was meant to be a practical book which would have solutions to lifes’ various viewpoints without being locked in time and space. This was not a book of stories. The Holy Quran was the final guidance for all of mankind.

The message of the Holy Quran is simultaneously simple and profound. The language used in the book has a unique style and rhythm to it. The classical language of the book has remained the most standard for the most eloquent form of Arabic. Allah swt trained the Holy Prophet swm in the practical methodology of training himself (swm) on the Quranic way. The Holy Prophet (swm) in turn used his knowledge to train his companions (ra) as well. The Quranic training was obviously taken from the Holy Quran itself.

The first revelation after the fitrah was a command for the holy prophet (swm) to arise and warn mankind about God, the Day of Judgement, and the consequences of not submitting to the truth. Surah al Muzammil TMQ of first 5 ayas are amongst the most authoritative commands where the prophet (swm) is commanded to place all his energies and efforts in the way of the Holy Quran, for its supremacy and for its finality.

[1-14] O you who sleeps covered up, keep standing in Prayer at night but a little half the night, or lessen it a little, or add to it a little and recite the Qur’an calmly in a measured tone. Indeed, We are about to send down on you a weighty Word.In fact. the rising by night is most effective for controlling the self7 and most suitable for reciting the Qur’an well, for in the day time you have many an occupations.
 
 
The command is quite clear, wake up at night and recite the holy Quran while saying tahajud prayer, asking the Creator Allah swt for His Nusrah, Rahmah, Maghfirah, Hikmah and for strength to bear the responsibility that comes with attaining knowledge. The practical form of improving the “self” to take on progressively higher duties in life and in society is outlined in the surah. The Quran is to be read in a slow, rhythmic, measured tone, not hurriedly trying to finish up a surah to complete the routine number of ‘rukus’ in tahajud. The idea is to make the brain reach a higher level of concentration so that an individual can elevate his ‘self’ to a position of altitude. The ‘self’ which learns to scale heights will see the world differently than the one which looks downward only. Tahajud salah is such a powerful tool which can lift man up from his current position and into a lofty position where his spiritual self comes in contact with his material self.
 
The meanings of the words and ayas will open doors previously not imagined by the mind. The message of an aya can remain secretly locked up in a page until some thought comes and opens it like a dam bursting out with reserved water. The Holy Prophet (swm) knew how to interact withthe Lord of the Worlds. He (swm) made the Quran his life and guided his character as the Character of the Quran. Allah swt commanded to wake up and pray at night and recite the Quran slowly. This would “effective” as told by the CReator for controlling the “self”. The winning formula was right here with him. And so it remains for all generations to come.
 
The practical training method of the Holy Prophet (swm) lives with us today because the Holy Quran is with us. We know the first methods because it is mentioned in the Holy Quran. We must know that the Quran is not limited to any nation, time or space. The Quran learners today are faced with the exact same situation. They are to make the message of the Holy Quran their motive and purpose in life by following the example of the Holy Prophet (swm), wake up at night and study the Quran with deep concentration.

Three steps to change your world

There is a difference between two worshippers engaged in the same ritual but with two very different dimensions. One fellow believes his worship will elevate his position, lift him to a higher ranking to an extent that he would feel that it is he who gives to the Creator. For his ‘giving’ to the Creator a worshipper might believe that his reward for being a ‘practicing’ worshipper is fully secured. Another kind of worshipper should know that God is not in any need from His creations. Human beings and everything else in the universe depend on God, Allah, for their very existence and in every moment of their lives. God is Allah, He is Al-Hayy (Ever living), Al Qayyum (Self existing), Al Ghani (the Rich), Al Mughni (the Enricher), AsSamad (the Satisfier of all needs), Al Qadir (the all Powerful).

The first commandment for the Holy Prophet Muhammad (swm) after Iqra Bismi Rabbikalladhi (Read in the name of thy Lord) was Qum Fa-Andhir (Arise and Warn). We can connect these two commandments to see the position of our job priorities. The Quran begins with the word IQRA, which has a wider meaning including such concepts as reading, reciting, learning, studying, knowing, discovering, glancing, unraveling. The Quran starts from this point which can be understood as an intelligent base, one which requires the use of man’s faculties of reasoning and understanding. The Quran ushers the process of using the intellect just as a car key starts an engine. Allah swt further informs us that it is He swt who teaches man through the Pen, Allama bil Qalam, and here is a message for all of humanity which the Holy Quran begins with. Allah swt tells His beloved Prophet (swm) and the rest of mankind starting in suarh Alaq the use of the rational mind, human intelligence, to read and to write as the starting point for knowing the Quran. Allah swt makes these concepts the basis of what is going to follow in the future revelations.

Proclaim! (or read!) in the name of thy Lord and Cherisher, Who created- Created man, out of a (mere) clot of congealed blood: Proclaim! And thy Lord is Most Bountiful,- He Who taught (the use of) the pen,- Taught man that which he knew not. ( TMQ 96: 1-5)

Later on, Allah swt began the second phase of revelation once the importance of intelligence and rational thinking was seated in the prophets’ (swm) heart. In Al Mudathir, Allah swt gives the second command to Prophet Muhammad swm. Allah swt tells the prophet to Arise and Warn mankind, Qum fa Andhir. The Prophet Muhammad (swm) is by now tasked with three things, learn the Quran (Iqra), Arise (Qum) and Warn mankind (fa Andhir), these are the steps which would change the world forever. Humanity takes heed from this ground breaking revelation. The path of enlightenment and salvation is enshrined in these holy commands. These are the verses which lead to man’s realisation of a higher purpose in life. This life is not the end and we must know that there will be another life where all the wrongs will be judged and there must be some system of a just reward and punishment.

O thou wrapped up (in the mantle)! Arise and deliver thy warning! (TMQ 74: 1-2)

Allah swt has left a warning for the people who will engage in the work of studying and propagating the message of the Quran. Do not fool yourselves thinking that this is a favor to God and that He swt is in need of you or your work. Allah swt is free of all needs. The work of the Quran is something that must think about from a globalist viewpoint for all of mankind. The student and daee of the Holy Quran will do the Quranic dawah only for the sake of doing what is right for that will result in rescuing mankind from a sever chastisement, in this duniya and in the akhira. Furthermore, I understand from this verse that Allah swt tells the Quran learner not to make business out of it. The message of the Quran is for all mankind to save them through the enlightened process of ‘reading’ and ‘writing’. Such are the processes that should remain outside the commercial realm of ‘making money’ from intellectual concepts. This message is from Allah, the Creator, Al Khaaliq, and therefore none can claim monopoly over it, and as such there cant be a trading mentality of profitting from it. The religious clergy can draw from this warning from Allah Rabbil Alamin:

Nor expect, in giving, any increase (for thyself)! TMQ 74:6

Learning the Holy Quran, slowly

There are literally millions of muslims who learn to read the Holy Quran but they cant understand their reading. If understanding the Quran is a miracle then miracles are to be found in abundance in the Holy Quran, infact the entire Book is  a miracle. From a simple attempt to understand an ayah in surah al-Qiyamah one can stumble into a mountain of thought provoking ayahs in other surahs. In al-Qiyamah Allah swt told His Prophet Muhammad swm not to make haste with the Quran, not to quicken the recitation after hearing from Jibreel (as). Allah swt taught His Prophet (swm) to listen intently to the Holy Quran, so that he (swm) will understand its meanings, which is the true purpose of the Book. Allah swt also reveals that He (swt) will explain what is in the Quran, and that He (swt) will make it easy for the Quran learners to remember the ayas. But all this is linked to the first condition of listening intently, paying extra ordinary attention to it and being mindful of its every sentence.

 TMQ 75: 16 to 19:

 
75:16
 
Move not thy tongue concerning the (Qur’an) to make haste therewith.

 
75:17
 
It is for Us to collect it and to promulgate it:

75:18

 
But when We have promulgated it, follow thou its recital (as promulgated):

 
75:19
 
Nay more, it is for Us to explain it (and make it clear):

The Holy Quran being the Word of Allah swt for all mankind places a demand upon those who believe in it. The demand is to think about, reflect on it and to remember its guidance. There are two concepts of immense importance for understanding the meaning of the Quran. One is Yatadabbar (ponder, mediate, reflect) and yatadhakkar (admonition, advice, teaching, instruction, warning). It is through pondering (tadabbur) that a reader can attain the blessed remembrance (tadhakkar) of the Holy Quran.

 
(This is) a Book (the Quran) which We have sent down to you, full of blessings that they may ponder over its Verses, and that men of understanding may remember. 38:29.

Allah swt has made the Quran easy for mankind to learn and remember. But we must remember that the Holy Quran is the one in Arabic. For only the Arabic Quran is the original book and others are Translated Meanings of the Quran (TMQ) as it is impossible to make a literal translation of God’s Words.

 
Verily, We have sent it down as an Arabic Quran in order that you may understand. TMQ 12:2
 

The Quran reader can take encouragement from the ayah of Allah swt that the Quran is indeed made easy for understanding, so that the reader of Quran can pay heed to it, internalize its meanings, submit to its commands and live by the code of human values enshrined in the Word of God.

44:58
Verily, We have made this (Qur’an) easy, in thy tongue, in order that they may give heed. (44:58)
 
 
The men of understanding are the Ulool al-bab, the ones who use their intellect and their wisdom for understanding their world. Repeatedly Allah swt tells us to use our brains, our intellect, for it is human nature that without the use of faculty our understanding of situations will remain incomplete. The benefit of using our rational mind is said to be “khairan kathiran” (overflowing benefit) in sura Baqara: 
 
He granteth wisdom to whom He pleaseth; and he to whom wisdom is granted receiveth indeed a benefit overflowing; but none will grasp the Message but men of understanding. 2:269.
 

 We are also warned by Allah swt that the worst of all creatures is that who uses not his intellect, his brains which is given to him by God. Such a man will refuse to understand the meaning and message of the Quran because he will close his faculties to reason. His views are shaped by either the lure of the temporal world or the dogma of his religion.

Yusuf Ali
For the worst of beasts in the sight of Allah are the deaf and the dumb,- those who understand not. TMQ 8:22.
 
Denying the use of our natural intellect (our rational mind) ultimately leads to the worst of all results. Man, by refusing to use his brains, becomes a pawn for others whose real intention is to use him for realizing some ulterior motives. In the past kings wanted slaves for their kingdom, much like factory owners want low cost labors. So long as the slave labors keep mum factory owners will be happy to count profits. In this way the slaves end up worshipping the factory owner thinking he is the provider of their livelihood. Much like the ancient king who was thought to be reincarnation of god by some. This failure of mankind is the worst of all failures. Man submitting to another man is the worst sin in God’s world of freedom and justice.
 
And they will say: “Had we but listened or used our intelligence, we would not have been among the dwellers of the blazing Fire!”. TMQ 67:10

There cant be many reasons for not reading the Quran with an intention to understand its meanings and to think deeply about the ayas of the Creator. Some mumin may not understand Arabic but that’s not an excuse because the Holy Quran is now available in just about every language out there. The internet has also made the availability of translated meanings and tafseer fast and easy. The only reason which can stop us from pondering over the Quran is our heart. If we tell (program) our heart to approach the Quran for receiving guidance and instruction from Allah Rabbil Alamin inshallah we shall find a magnificent universe of the Holy Quran. To “unlock the heart” is to clear the heart from all confusions and clouds that come in the way between the heart and the Quranic message.

Do they not then think deeply in the Quran, or are their hearts locked up (from understanding it)? TMQ 47:24.

Those who encourage not others to learn the meaning of the Quran are doing a great damage. On the day of Judgement man will be questioned and he will blame shaitan for leading him to the wrong path. The Messenger (swm) will then answer that his people, i.e muslims, took this Quran for foolish nonsense. Muslims did not ponder over it, did not think about its message and so they could not get any blessing or wisdom from it. They made the Holy Quran “mahjoor” by not understanding its meanings, guidance and commandments.
 
The sahaba kiraam understood the Holy Quran like no other generation since. They would take a few ayas from the beloved Holy Prophet (sm) and then practically live those ayas in their lives. Their memorization of those ayas was hand in hand with their observance and obedience to the same. Their hearts were inclined completely to the Quran and they made the establsihment of the Quranic character in their lives the most important role. Allah swt granted them victory after they had grasped the Quran in their hearts.

Peace and blessings be upon the Holy Prophet Muhammad (swm) and his beloved family and his noble companions.

“He did lead me astray from the Message (of Allah) after it had come to me! Ah! the Evil One is but a traitor to man!”

Then the Messenger will say: “O my Lord! Truly my people took this Qur’an for just foolish nonsense.”  TMQ 25:29-30.

You are a good person, but is it enough to save you?

I know you are not an unjust person. You don’t have many bad habits either. I know I have some bad habits but I don’t consider myself to be a criminal with a history of disorderly behavior. While I am so glad to know that I am not that bad of a person still I am feeling a bit uneasy about something.

Its like this, say, I was working for a company engaged in drug trafficking. I could be a simple accountant or a receptionist doing my job honestly without any association with the criminal business operation. One day my office comes under raid by law enforcers. Security guards open fire and in the encounter I get shot with fatal injuries to my head. My life ends in humiliation and disgrace after my name is linked with the cartel. Now, am I really safe from my surroundings although individually I am an honest and upright person? No, I don’t think so.

I am now worried about what is happening to me as a member of a larger social group as opposed to an individual only. I know I am not breaking the law as an individual but I am no longer sure if I am safe from the cartel of criminals. I turn to my inner self in search for answers to these questions. My heart wants to admit that seeing a society from a hill top provides better road map to identify the true path to the destination. To check lifes’ road map one has to step out of the materialistic thinking and open the inner eyes visualizing the self from a lofty position on a mountain.

There, in the depths of hearts’ universal space rests a warning written in the ink of eternity. It’s a line from the Holy Quran, the Word of God, that says:

 

TMQ (10:13) by Yusuf Ali:

Generations before you We destroyed when they did wrong: their messengers came to them with clear-signs, but they would not believe! thus do We requite those who sin!

 

My fears are locked up in those lines. Allah swt destroyed “generations” for their injustices, wrong doings and crimes. Sins of individuals feed into the social fabric of the whole system. In the past, generations destroyed themselves by their criminal conducts and that’s why they deserved to be punished for what they earned. Nations kept on accruing enough evil until destruction was justified against them as a consequence. There were good and bad men in those societies as well. But the work of a good man was mixed with evil as sugar melts in water becoming colorless. Generations that earned destruction as rewards spared none when the calamity struck. Maybe individually one will be judged separately in afterlife but in this world all were partners in a horrible end.

Does this not mean that none of us are safe until we have accounted ourselves (our generation) for our actions? Yes it does to me. It is irrelevant (and quite frankly ridiculous) to segregate ourselves into pockets of ethnicities, nationalities or tribal groups. Its comical to see some groups of religious men assume the keys to salvation, heavens and angels. Ritualistic groups assume to have drawn an imaginary immunity robe over themselves through chants and blind following. One group says turn the other cheek to wrong doers, sinners and evil mongers. Another group tells me to submit to the laws of cruel dictators, tyrants and usurpers. Another group sanctifies laws protecting the interest of greedy usurious war mongering profiteers.

National boundaries separated by barbed wires are as silly (to me) as putting up walls in the living room. Barbed wires guarantee state discrimination for sharing natural resources. That’s another form of wrong doing on the people. Is it not most unjust that while one nation swims in food wastage another dies from poverty? These natural resources were meant for mankind not for particular races or nationalities. Their restricting access to what God created and made available to all is a crime against humanity as well as a crime against God.

Sure, as individuals we are not wrong doers, but we know there is a lot of wrong happening around us. We know it because we see it and since we are aware, it turns into our responsibility to hold ourselves accountable for it. But how we can we account ourselves when we are not the ones doing the wrong. There are powerful people and institutions who are the champions of greed, power and materialism. How can we hold them accountable when they have authority over us?

To take those powerful corrupt usurpers we would need a more powerful force. This alternate powerful force has to dwarf them and humble them. I am not talking about the power of a loaded gun or a mass political platform. I am talking about the power of Belief!

Whenever an individual attains belief he will set his life according to it. The person who believes that Allah swt is the Most High, Most Powerful, Most Just, he will not fear anyone regardless of worldly material strengths. He will not be able to obey the unjust ways of wrong doers at all. A believer will revolt. He has to revolt against those who commit crimes against humanity.

The wrong doers are sinners, deniers of the Day of Judgment, they are disbelievers in God, His Books and His Prophets. Their disbelief has lead them to commit crimes to promote and enjoy their philosophy of “material advancement” at any cost.

Disbelievers reject the creed of life after death and therefore their moral principles are subjected to their selfish pursuit of happiness in this life only. To obey the wrong doer is to worship them in the same way.

It is impossible for a believer not to rise up against tyrants and oppressors who commit wrongs. He must warn others about corruption, criminality, injustice, mischief, greed and all other evils whether those are committed on him or on someone else.

What do I see in my own society, wherever I turn my face I see corruption, dishonesty, disregard for law, neglect for unprivileged poor, and the list keeps getting fatter every day. What is bothering me more now is that our society no longer has appetite to rise up against these evils. Due to a general lack of spiritual awakening we are blind to the Creator’s laws of requital, where generations like ours were destroyed in the past because of their wrong deeds and so will it be for any generation now or in the future which commits evils.