THE RECOVERY OF SPIRITUAL VALUES
"Living Islam – East & West"
Everybody is at a loss
except those who understand the nature of man's capacity to fall
into loss and thus act correctly. Correct action means for the sake
of Allah, anything else is not correct action. Our mission is only
to know the reality of Allah. If we aim for that, we will achieve
everything else. If we merely try and explain aspects of Islam, we
will always be at a loss. If we aim for Allah, we will understand
everything, but if we only go for bits and pieces, we will always
have divided opinions. In every so-called Muslim country there are
factions and people at odds with one another because they are
Muslims by name, but not Muslims by heart and action, and this is
the situation everywhere in the world, not only in Muslim countries
but in Christian countries, in Hindu countries, in Buddhist
countries, and in countries where there is no religion. The reason
for this is simple: they are not living this life for Allah and for
the next life they do not remember death.
Allah in Arabic is the
Majestic Name. It has no attribute, rather it indicates the essence.
Attributes are all of the qualities we can witness: the Powerful,
the Giver, the Taker, the One before us, the One after us, the One
who gives life. All of these are attributes of Allah. Creation is
Allah's action. In order to find out the meaning of good and bad, we
must start with creation. We begin from the physical, and find that
it is relative and not acceptable, because it is ever-changing. For
example, the child begins to experiment with his immediate
environment because he wants to connect with everything around him,
he wants to assimilate all that he encounters. This search at the
existential level takes the form of searching for cause and effect
is complete understanding and unification with the reality of
existence. We are actually already unified with that reality, but we
do not know it because we see separation and boundaries. As a global
community, we have different habits, different languages and
different cultures, but in truth, we are all created from one self.
The Qur`an says,
We have created
you from one self.
Self (nafs) means
all of the different character manifestations and feelings each one
of us has. Self means the attributes, feelings and experience which
all of us share. We all know the meaning of peace and love and hate
and insecurity. We all know the meaning of fear and pain and hunger.
We all experience heat and cold. In fact, everything we experience
is based on opposites. You cannot have life without death. God
cannot be experienced without the knowledge of evil, nor friendship
without enemies. Adulthood cannot be experienced without the
experience of childhood. There is day and night, high and low, man
and woman. All of these we experience in our lives. This is the
meaning of one self.
Also, we have a faculty
in us, the faculty of reason. That faculty must be nourished as we
grow. We are all programmed to want to know more, and if we do not
continue to know more, we suffer. We all want to be in harmony in
this life, which is a preparation for the next life. Ultimately, we
will come to know that there is only One Reality behind all this.
This is the meaning of "There is no god but Allah". The statement is
easy, very easy. All religions, all men seeking enlightenment say
no god but Allah".
The statement is easy, very easy. All religions, all men seeking
"There is no god
Anybody who contemplates, meditates or sits quietly, after a while
sees one hand behind everything. What is difficult is
"Muhammad is the
Messenger of Allah".
The wisdom of seeing One we can obtain quickly. The problem is what
to do next. This is where differences occur. How are we going to
devise the best type of society in this world? All of the Prophets
have tried, in their respective times, to teach the people of their
society the most suitable way to live. Each Prophet embodied the
teachings of those before him and brought a system that was
particularly applicable to the needs of his time. Some prophets did
not prohibited the use of wine because it was one of the most
important foods that the people had. As they pressed the grapes for
juice it became wine in the hot weather. Certain factors made it
necessary to prohibit the intake of alcohol during the Prophet
Muhammad's time, one of which certainly must have been that
alcoholic intoxication had become a serious problem among the Arabs
and was due to remain a social problem in the future as we witness
in our own time. We raise this matter here because it is an example
of a prophetic law, and therefore a Divine Law, which differed from
what came before. It is a law which many people could not and cannot
follow, thus cutting them off from the Path of Reality. The Prophet
said: "I am
the city of knowledge,"
so access to knowledge is obtained emulating and imitating his way.
He further said:
"And 'Ali is its
gate (the gate to the city of knowledge). Whoever enters a city must
enter by it's gate."
Islam is the therapy
for all mankind. The Qur`an says the Prophet, may the peace and
blessings of Allah be upon him and his family, was
'A Mercy for all
the worlds' (21:107).
Every teaching that came before Islam is within Islam. We say that
every child is born a Muslim until his parents change him, because
the child is natural and in a state of submission.
If the Muslims who
truly understand the meaning of Islam can show the Qur`an and the
way of Muhammad to people all over the world in a digestible form,
then they will have provided a great service. Allah will love them
because they will be doing His work, which is to save man from his