Shi‘a Muslims - who was prophet Muhammad - 1

who was prophet Muhammad - 1

پنجشنبه 2 بهمن 1393 10:58 ق.ظ

Author : A.A.Nasr
shia Muslims


In the desert of Arabia was Muhummed born, according to Muslim historians, on April 20, 571. The name means, "Highly Praised". He is to me the greatest mind among all the sons of Arabia. He means so much more than all the poets and kings that preceded and succeeded him in that impenetrable desert of red sand.

When he appeared, Arabia was a desert - a nothing. Out of nothing of the desert a new world was fashioned by the mighty spirit of Muhummed - a new life, a new culture, a new civilization, a new kingdom which extended from Morocco to Indies and influenced the thought and life of three continents - Asia, Africa and Europe.

When I thought of writing on Muhummed the prophet, I was a bit hesitant because it was to write about a religion one does not profess (The author is a Hindu) and it is a delicate matter to do so, for there are many persons professing various religions and belonging to diverse schools of thought and denominations even in same religion. Though it is sometimes claimed that a religion is entirely personal yet it cannot be gainsaid that it has a tendency to envelop the whole universe seen as well unseen. It somehow permeates sometime or other, our hearts, our souls, and our minds their conscious parts, subconscious parts, unconscious or whatever part they contain or are supposed to contain. The problem assumes overwhelming importance when there is a deep conviction that our past, present and future all hang by the soft, delicate, tender-silked cord. If we further happen to be highly sensitive, the center of gravity is very likely to be always in a state of extreme tension. Looked at from this point of view, the less said about other's religion the better. Let our religions be deeply hidden and embedded in the recesses of our innermost hearts fortified by unbroken seals of our lips.

But there is another aspect of this problem. Man lives in society. Our lives are bound with the lives of so many, willingly or unwillingly, directly or indirectly. We eat the food grown in the same soil, drink the water, from the same spring, and breathe the air of the same atmosphere. Even while staunchly holding our own views, it would be helpful, if for no other purpose, at least to promote proper adjustment to our surroundings, if we also know to some extent, how the mind our neighbor moves and what the main springs of his actions. From this angle of vision, it is highly desirable that one should try to know all religions of the world, in the proper sprit, to promote mutual understanding and better appreciation of our neighborhood, immediate and remote.

Further, our thoughts are not scattered, as they appear to be on the surface. They have got themselves crystallized around a few nuclei in the form of great world religions and living faiths that guide and motivate the lives of millions that inhabit this earth of ours. It is our duty, in one sense if we have the ideal of ever becoming a citizens of the world before us, to make a little attempt to know the great religions and system of philosophy that have ruled mankind.

In spite of these preliminary remarks, the ground in the field of religion, where there is often a conflict between intellect and emotion, is so slippery that one is constantly reminded of fools that rush in where angels fear to tread. It is also so complex from another point of view. The subject of my writing is about the tenets of a religion, which is historic, and its prophet, who is also a historic personality. Even a hostile critic like Sir William Muir speaking about the holy Qur'an says that. "There is probably in the world no other book which has remained twelve (Now fourteen) centuries with so pure text." I may also add, Prophet Muhummed is also a historic personality, every event of whose life has been most carefully recorded and even the minutest details preserved intact for the posterity. His life and works are not wrapped in mystery. One need not hunt for the accurate information and embark on arduous expeditions to sift the chaff and husk from the grain of truth

My work is further lightened because those days are fast disappearing when Islam was highly misrepresented by some of its critics for reasons political and otherwise. Prof. Bevan writes in Cambridge Medieval History, "Those account of Muhummed and Islam which were published in Europe before the beginning of 19th century are now to be regarded as literary curiosities." My problem is to write this monograph is easier because we are now generally not fed on this kind of history and much time need not be spent on pointing out our misrepresentation of Islam.

The theory of Islam and Sword for instance is not heard now frequently in any quarter worth the name. Principle of Islam that there is no compulsion in religion is well known. Gibbon, a historian of worldwide fame, says, "A pernicious tenet has been imputed to the Muhummedans, the duty of extirpating all the religions by sword." This charge of ignorance and bigotry, says the eminent historian, is refuted by Qur'an, by the history of Musalman conquerors and by their public and legal toleration of Christian worship. The greatest success of Muhummed's life was affected by sheer moral force, without a stroke of sword.

To the Arabs who would fight for forty years on the slight provocation that a camel belonging to the guest of one tribe had strayed into the grazing land belonging to other tribe and both sides had fought till they lost 70,000 lives in all, threatening the extinction of both the tribes, to such furious Arabs, the Prophet of Islam taught self-control and discipline to the extent of praying even on the battlefield.

When, after repeated efforts of conciliation had utterly failed, circumstances arose that dragged him into the battlefield purely in self-defense, the prophet of Islam changed the whole strategy of the battlefield. The total number of casualties in all the wars that took place during his lifetime, when the whole Arabian Peninsula came under his banner, does not exceed a few hundreds in all. He taught the Arab barbarians to pray, to pray not individually, but in congregation to God Almighty even amidst the dust and storm of warfare. Whenever the time for prayer came - and it comes five times every day - the congregational prayer had not to be abandoned or even postponed. A party had to be engaged in bowing their heads before God while another was engaged with the enemy. After finishing the prayers, the two parties had to exchange their positions.

In an aged of barbarism, the Battlefield itself was humanized and strict instructions were issued not to embezzle, not to cheat, not to break trust, not to mutilate, not to kill a minor child or a woman or an old man, not to hew down date palm nor burn it, not to cut down a fruit tree, not to molest monks and persons engaged in worship. His own treatment of his bitterest enemies was the noblest example for his followers. At the conquest of Mecca, he stood at the zenith of his power. The city which had tortured him and his followers, which had driven him and his people into exile and which had unrelentingly persecuted and boycotted him even when he had taken refuge in a place more than 200 miles away, that city now lay at his feet. By the laws of war he could have justly avenged all the cruelties inflicted on him and his people. But what treatment did he meet out to them? Muhummed's heart overflowed with the milk of love and kindness as he declared, "This day, there is no reproof against you and you are all free."

This was one of the chief objects why he permitted war in self-defense - to unite human beings. And when this object was achieved, even his worst enemies were pardoned. Even those who had killed his beloved uncle, Humza, mutilated his dead body, had ripped it open and chewed a piece of his liver.

The principles of universal brotherhood and doctrine of the equality of mankind, which he proclaimed, represent very great contribution of Muhummed to the social uplift of humanity. All great religions have also preached the same doctrine, but the prophet of Islam had put this theory into actual practice and its value will be fully recognized, perhaps sometime hence, when international consciousness being awakened, racial prejudices would disappear and a stronger concept of the brotherhood of humanity comes into existence.

Sarojini Naidu, speaking about this aspect of Islam, says, "It was the first religion that preached and practiced democracy; for, in the mosque, when the AZAAN (the Muslim call to prayer) is sounded and the worshipers are gathered together the democracy of Islam is embodied five times a day when the peasant and the king kneel side by side and proclaim, 'God alone is great'." The great poetess of India continues, "I have been struck over again by this indivisible unity of Islam that makes a man instinctively a brother. When you meet an Egyptian, an Algerian, an Indian and a Turk in London what matters is that Egypt is the motherland of one and India is the motherland of another."

Mahatma Gandhi, in his inimitable style, says "Someone has said that Europeans in South Africa dread the advent Islam - Islam, that civilized Spain; Islam that took the torch of light to Morocco and preached to the world the Gospel of Brotherhood. The Europeans of South Africa dread the advent of Islam, as they claim equality with the white races. They may well dread it, if brotherhood is a sin, if it is equality of the colored races that they dread, then their dread is well founded

To be continue "

To Read th 2nd part click on this sentence


Comments : () 

Edit date: پنجشنبه 2 بهمن 1393 11:22 ق.ظ

سه شنبه 11 اردیبهشت 1397 12:59 ب.ظ
I do accept as true with all the ideas you've
offered on your post. They're very convincing and will definitely work.
Still, the posts are too short for starters. May just you please prolong them
a little from next time? Thank you for the post.
دوشنبه 14 فروردین 1396 08:45 ق.ظ
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