SHAFAQNA (International Shia News Agency) – The Last Message the Last Prophet
From the first, Islam has said that it is the last message, and Muslims have accepted this fact with wisdom and with love, and have realised that Islam is the last manifestation of revelation prophethood and the culmination of the former pure religions Also, all Muslims, on the basis of ayahs in the Qur’an and hadith believe that the prophet of Islam (S.A.) is the last messenger of Allah who was the recipient of human leadership. The great Qur’an has explained the universality of the pure religion of Islam in many ayahs and has shown that Muhammad (S.A.) is the last emissary sent be God: ” Muhammad is not the father of any of one of your men, but the messenger of Allah and the seal of the Prophets; and Allah has knowledge of everything” (XXXIII:40) It has been said in a hadith from the Prophet to `Ali: “In all respects your relation to me is like that of Harun to musa ( i.e. if Harun was muse’s brother, I also take you as a brother according to the rules of brotherhood; if he was musa’s successor, you also will be my successor). Except that musa was not the last prophet, and I am the last.” (It is an authentic hadith accepted by both the shi`a and the sunnis, see al-ghadir, vol`3. p.196-202). He also said: “I am the last brick in the building of prophethood. with my coming the prophets have come to an end.” Imam `Ali (A.S.) said in Nahg al-Balaghah, the great book of learning and knowledge: “with the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (S.A.), revelation come to an end. “(sermon 133) The eighth leader, the true Imam, Hazrat Rida(A.S.) said : “The pure religion of Muhammad (S.A.)will not be abrogated till the Day of Resurrection, and also no Prophet will follow him.” (Bihar al-anwar, vol.II,p.34) What we have just recounted is only a sample of tens of hadiths which clearly and succinctly explain the conclusive status of the Prophet (S.A.) and the Perpetuity of his pure religion; they leave no room for doubt.
The universality of Islam
one of the greatest causes of Islam’s ever-Iastingness is its `all-inclusiveness’. Islam is a comprehensive project based on the human disposition, and it embraces all aspects of life: individual, social, material, spiritual, doctrinal, emotional, economic, legal and so forth and it explains the basis of each in the most acceptable way, most realistically , for all peoples and all levels of people, in every time and place. Thus European Islamicists, each with his deep view and research, have all acknowledged the omni-sidedness of Islamic laws and its universality. Now let us investigate some aspects of this universality.
The God of Islam and the Qur’an
The God of Islam is the Preserver of all worldly things. He is not the god of a tribe, for` some special group only. At prayer we say: `al-hamduli’llahi rabbi’l- alamin’ praise be to Allah, the lord of the worlds.’ Every moment, in every place, whenever he wants, He brings into existence ; there is no limitation on His Essence. He has authority over all existent things. “Blessed be He in Whose hand is the kingdom. He is powerful over everything” (lxvll:1)
He is aware of the manifest and the concealed, the past and the future, and everything, even what is in our hearts. “He knows whatever is in the heavens and the earth, and He knows you conceal and what you declare, and Allah knows what is in the breasts” (LXIV:4) Being with Him is possible in every place: there is no need to travel or to pass by a doorman. He is nearer to us than anything. “We are nearer to him (man) than his jugular vein” (L:16)
He is a reality without parallel, beyond all human attributes and likenesses; He is not like the gods of other altered religions who have become man-like or like something created. Therefore He has no place, for He created place. He is not contained in time, for He is the creator of time. He is not associated, nor has He any beginning or ending. therefore, He has no like or similitude. “Like him there is naught; He is the All-hearing, the All-seeing.” (XLII:11)
His Essence is beyond sleep, tiredness, remorse and so forth “slumber seizes him not, neither sleep.” (II:255)
“Say: He is Allah, one.” (CXII:I)
He is one without equal: He has no son or nother or father, neither partner or associate. This is the reality in surah tawhid, which Muslims recite many times each day in prayer so as to be far from the possibility of associating something with Him (shirk). The god of Islam is a god with all the attributes assigned to by the pure, sweet tongue of the Qur’an, with an understanding wider, more magnificent, greater than can be conceived by created intelligences. free from want, without partner, prevailing, close, supreme, compassionate, most compassionate, available to all so that anyone at any time may communicate with Him, bring his needs before Him, ask whatever he wishes of Him, that He may make available what is of benefit and what is expedient, as He Himself said: ” And verily, Allah is to you all-gentle, All-compassionate.” (LVII:9)
The Equality of all in Islam
Superiority of race or segregation is not only eliminated and void in the eyes of Islam, but the equality of man is an absolute reality from the point of view of Islam, and it says that all men are equal, all are from one father and one mother and are members of one family, and from the aspect of nobility, origin and connections they are equal partners. no one is better than anyone else, except in purity and devoutness. “O mankind, we have created you male and female, and appointed you races and tribes that you may know one another. surely the noblest among you in the sight of Allah is the most godfearing of you; Allah is All-knowing All-aware.” (XLiX:13)
Islam and freedom of Thought
Islam is a firm supporter of logic, rational argument and freedom of thought. Imposition of ideas or beliefs, or the stifling of voices does not exist in Islam. “No compulsion is there in religion. rectitude has become clear from error”. (II:256) In Islam, investigation of the foundations of beliefs is a duty for every individual, and it is an obligation for everyone not to accept anything without proof, and if some commands and precepts are obligatory and must be accepted without why and wherefore, it is because they are from the source of revelation which cannot be in error, and because they have been stated through the Prophet and the pure Imams. Islam censures those who blindly follow the beliefs of their fathers and ancestors, and commends self-investigation and deep examination. It rejects feeble-mindedness and vain speculation, and urges only to the persual of knowledge and certainty. “and pursue not that thou hast no knowledge of; the hearing, the sight, the heart-all of these shall be questioned of”. (XVII:36) Islam grants its opponents the right to set forth their queries in reasonable discussion and to enumerate their proofs and listen to the answers. “Say: `Produce your proof, if you speak truly.” (II:111)
This was the reason that many Jews, Christians and those from other groups who took a stand against Islam, came to the Prophet or the pure Imams, and sat down and discussed their religious ideas.
Islam and the Invitation to Thought and Education
Islam lends great value to thinking. It asks the learned and wise to think and think again about creation, time, night and day, the sky, the earth, animal life, man and the universe and what is in it. “surely in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of night and day, and the ship that runs in the sea with profit to men, and the water Allah sends down from the sky therewith reviving the earth after it is dead, and His scattering abroad in it all manner of crawling thing, and the turning about of the winds and the clouds compelled between heaven and earth, surely there are signs for a people having understanding”. (II;164) Also it asks them to research into the lives of those who come before, their thoughts and the causes of their decline and fall, so that they may keep far from the precipices of their destruction. “Divers institutions have passed away before you; journey in the land and behold how was the end of those that cried lies. This is and exposition of mankind, and a guidance and an admonition for the god fearing.” (III;136-7) In short, Islam desires that man should think deeply and freely and travel across the far horizons of thought and knowledge and take everything that is best for the improvement of his being. For this reason Islam values scientific advances and discoveries which are for the help of humanity, and this is why scientists and scholars rose up in the centuries following the advent of Islam, to decorate the high road of human civilisation with the jewel of their scientific endeavours, so much so that their great names will shine forever at the summit of scientific history. They include Jabir ibn Hayyan, Razi, Ibn Sina ( Avicenna) and Khwajah Nasir ad-Din tusi, who were celebrated in all the sciences of their times: the intellectual sciences, natural science, astronomy, chemistry, etc. The books of Ibn Sina were even being taught in European universities up to the end of the last century. Jurji Zaydan, the famous Christian Lebanese writer, says on page 598 of his history of Islamic civilisaton: “As soon as Islamic civilisation found its feet, and the now sciences spread among the Muslims, Muslim scholars appeared whose thinking was more important that the founders of some of the branches of the sciences. in fact these sciences took on a fresh colour with the new researches of Islamic scientists, and progressed due to Islamic civilisation.”