Opinion, July 2003, www.aljazeerah.info
A sound relationship with the Creator
BY ABID ISHAQ
25 July 2003
ALL praise is due to Almighty Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, Sustainer of the Heavens and the Earths, Director of all that is created, who sent the messengers (peace and blessings of Almighty Allah be upon all of them) to rational beings, to guide them and explain the religious laws to them with clear proofs and undeniable arguments. I praise Him for all of His bounties and beseech Him to increase His Grace and Generosity.
It is the Ever-Living Allah who has designed the mortal human soul to recognise Him in word and deed or faith and actions. Every soul makes his or her own quest to God. Countless hearts strive to draw near to Him. For centuries a gulf of mutual antagonism, fear and suspicion prevented people from listening to voices of other religions and from having first hand contact with their literature.
In a world now shrunk by tremendous advancements in communication and transportation, we have the privilege - perhaps for the first time in history - of seeking authentic knowledge from the primary sources of other religions without any bias. So with this in mind, my purpose is to help make the foundation of the straight path more accessible in the journey of those who have already stepped out to discover Islam or those who are enjoying the fruits after having recognised their Lord.
God revealed the Holy Quran in Arabic to the last of His prophets, Muhammad (peace be upon him), as the final divine communication of His Guidance and laws for humanity. It contains the essential message of the 104 Books and Scriptures God revealed to the prophets who preceded Muhammad (peace be upon him). The Holy Quran, therefore, confirms the messages that Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus (peace be upon them) conveyed to their particular communities but dismisses the notion that the Quranic address is restricted to a particular people and period. Regarding this, Almighty Allah has revealed, "This Quran is a clear declaration for all people and a guidance and an admonition for the God-fearing" (Surah 3, Verse 138).
In essence, the Holy Quran presents Almighty God to humanity in order to guide it to a sound relationship with its Creator and with all of its creations. The Holy Quran teaches us that this guidance begins with the human being as an individual, then as a member of a family, a society, and the human fellowship, and finally as a creature among creatures, pondering with its intellect and perception at the creations surrounding him or her. Along with giving divine directions, the Holy Quran recurrently reminds the human being of its mortality, that is of life's sure end, of the inevitable return to Almighty God after death, and of divine judgment with its eternal consequences.
How does the Holy Quran accomplish all of this, you ask? Simply because every verse of the Holy Quran stems from the Lord of the Universe Himself! These convictions relate to the foremost matter of faith, namely, God's divine nature; for humanity must come to know Almighty God, believe in Him, and worship Him in accordance with what He has revealed about Himself.
Moreover, since Islam is not restricted to the Arabs of the seventh century, Allah has made the last prophet, Muhammad (peace be upon him), a role model for all those hearts and souls yearning for their Creator. Islam recognises the many ills (social, moral, spiritual etc) that creep upon humanity with the passage of time and has appointed for the 'God-conscious' an antidote; the exemplary character of the holy Prophet for humanity to dwell upon. Almighty Allah Himself testifies to the noble character of the holy Prophet by saying, "And verily, you (O Muhammad) are on an exalted standard of character." (Surah 68, Verse 4). Hence by adhering to the commands given by our Lord and following the distinguished character of the holy Prophet, mankind will certainly thrive morally, intellectually and spiritually.
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