Start of the Universal Mission

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SHAFAQNA-“And we have not sent you but to all mankind as a bearer of good news and as a warner, but most people do not know.” (Holy Qur’an 34:28)

Like a shaft of light, divine revelation pierced the darkness of jahiliyya in the year 609 CE. As Archangel Gabriel brought the first few verses of the Holy Qur’an on the 27th of Rajab at Cave Hera on the outskirts of Mecca to the 40-year old son of Abdullah, it was clear that faith had at last dawned on a world steeped in ignorance.

“In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

“Read in the Name of your Lord Who created. He created man from a clot. Recite (O’ Our Prophet) and your Lord is most Honorable. (He) Who taught (to write) with the pen. Taught man what he knew not.” (Holy Qur’an 96:1-5)

Mab`ath as the day is known and which means resurgence, was the birth of enlightenment. Unlike the nationalistic creeds that had hitherto confounded the destiny of man, it marked the start of the universal mission, not confined to any geographical area or the superfluous national boundaries of political entities, but meant for mankind as a whole. What had been prophesied in different eras and geographical areas by a chain of divine messengers, had finally arrived.

It could be called the formal appointment to Prophethood of the impeccable scion of Abraham (AS), who like his great forebear had never stained his forehead before any idol. The Amin (trustworthy) and the Sadiq (honest) was asked to officially announce his mission as the Last Messenger of Allah.

The polytheist Arabs invited to the feast of Dhul-`Ashira found it beyond their comprehension when he invited them to Tawhid with the testimony: “There is no god but Allah”. They were stupefied. The reaction of the ancient idolaters to divine truth was as ridiculous as that of the modern man so miserably engrossed in the worship of the idols of ethnic prejudice, nationalism and democracy, borrowed from the Western pantheon. Ignorance in whatever form or in whatever age, robs minds of positive thinking. The timeless majesty of God’s unchangeable law is outside the ken of retarded brains reared on superfluous ideas.

But, for the Appointee of God there was no cause for despair, even if the vote of the Meccan gathering was not in his favor. He was heir to the trust given at the dawn of creation to Adam. A trust which Divine Will had given to the First Man –an intelligible being of the highest order of creation–despite the dissent of the devil when commanded to prostrate before Adam and acknowledge his superiority.

Thus the Almighty’s Last Messenger did not need the consent of the Meccans or anybody else to elect or select him as leader. God-given merit is something which is not left to the whims or fantasies of fallible minds. It is absolute authority which the rest of humanity is required to acknowledge for their own prosperity in the transient life of the world and for salvation in the Hereafter.

As the ruffians of Mecca whose freedom of expression and thought had turned the Holy Ka`ba into a pantheon of every wildly imagined deity laughed at the testimony that there is no god but Allah, a solitary voice from the assembly froze them where they stood. Monotheism shattered polytheist concepts as Abraham (AS) had done with the idols of Babylon. To the surprise of the gathering the testimony of Tawhid was seconded by a ten-year old lad with the words: “I bear witness Muhammed is the Messenger of Allah.”

The effect might have been that of an electric shock to the die-hard democrats of Mecca, who led a life of uninhibited freedom which did not recognize the limits set by Allah. They certainly sensed danger to their liberal ways, which gave them freedom to flout public morals, freedom to slander, freedom to circumambulate the Ka`ba without a thread of clothing upon their bodies, freedom to drink intoxicants, freedom to eat carrion, freedom to exact usury, freedom to gamble, freedom to exploit the women and weaker sections of society, freedom to kill and freedom to bury their daughters alive.

Before they could mock at Nubuwwa (Prophethood) for fear that the regulations of the Unseen God will harness their unrestrained ways, up stood before them the bastion of Wilaya. As Ahmad ibn Hanbal has recorded in his Musnad, Prophet Muhammed addressing the boy who testified to his divine mission, said to the horror of the polytheists: “O Ali, you are my legatee and my vicegerent.”

It was the birth of the Islamic way of life. Islam means the supreme manifestation of all that is positive and excellent in human nature. It consequently spelled the end of the erratic, unnatural and imposed systems, whether you call them despotism, oligarchy, democracy, polity, secularism, liberalism or whatever you like.

I need not mention the persecutions that followed. I need not relate how the community of monotheists grew. I need not record the plots of the polytheists to chose a representative from each Meccan clan, including the Prophet’s own the Bani Hashim, in an attempt to slay the bearer of divine tidings in a democratic manner. I need not dwell on the migration to Medina and the establishment of the first ever Islamic state.

I also need not delve into the unfortunate events that happened after Prophet Muhammed’s (SAWA) departure from the mortal world, which led to the villainous vote of Saqifa Bani Sa`ida in violation of the principle of Wilaya, and the pathetic state of affairs when democracy turns into anarchy and subsequently into tyranny in its most brutal form when Divine Laws are ignored and replaced by the fanciful ideas of fallible minds.

It is not necessary to go into details in view of the obvious truth of Islam which today fourteen centuries later, continues to enlighten more and more people every passing day. It is firm proof of how the Word of God triumphs over the obstacles thrown into its way by the deviated. It also confirms the divine tidings of how the mission of the Last of the Divine Messengers would knit Arabs, Persians, Israelites, Turks, Indians, Chinese, Africans, Europeans, Southeast Asians and people from all other ethnic groups into a monolithic body called the Muslim Umma.

Thus, whatever identity we have, we owe it to the Holy Qur’an, which remains our prime constitution, and which continues to guide us through the ups and downs of life. The letter and spirit of the Holy Book was given practical shape by Prophet Muhammed (SAWA) in order to serve as the barometer between truth and falsehood. No doubt, God calls His Prophet as the “Best Exemplar” for the human race (Holy Qur’an 33:21).

And the Best Exemplar, left a lasting legacy called the Thaqalayn (two weighty things) when he departed. Those in doubt should read the Qur’an more diligently and analyze the life of the Prophet’s Ahl-ul-Bayt.  Then only would human rights and divine obligations be properly understood by the modern man, who in his quest for “animal freedom” has unfortunately fallen prey to the “democratic ignorance” of the days of Jahiliyya.

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