Category Archives: Conspiracies Against the Quran
“How do you disbelieve in Allah (when you see that) you were without life and He gave you life”?
BASIC PROPERTIES OF LIFE
The cells that exist today are composed of the same seven types of chemicals which constituted the first cells on the earth billions of years ago; i.e., water, minerals, Adenosine – phosphates, polysaccharides, fats, proteins and nucleic adds. The early cells drew inorganic as well as simple organic matter directly from sea water for their nourishment. This was a simple form of Nutrition. The raw materials thus used are called nutrients. The term food is used for complex organic nutrients.
As already noted, the decomposition reactions of organic materials such as fats and carbohydrates yielded energy which was captured by Adenosine-phosphates. These especially ATP served as a readily available source of energy for the chemical reactions within the cells. This process of trapping energy from one source, and transferring and packing it up in a different substance, we call Respiration. What is the significance of Respiration? The bonds between the Hydrogen, Oxygen and Carbon atoms of Carbohydrates and fats are low energy bonds, but for the complicated cellular reactions to take place very high energy source is required. This high energy source becomes available in ATP. Fuel molecules are smaller in number but high in energy contents. Thus ATP provides a readily available source of high energy within cells. We may call respiration a power generator which maintains life. Carbon dioxide is one of the products of respiration. As the respiring cells increased in number, the quantity of carbon dioxide consequently increased. Some of it dissolved in the sea water and the rest escaped into the atmosphere where it accumulated and formed a screen for high energy solar radiation, a portion of which could not reach the earth any longer.
With the availability of nutrients and ATP, a cell could duplicate nucleic acids. With increase in the number of nucleic acids more proteins could be manufactured. Proteins being enzymes could manufacture more fats and polysaccharides. Thus a cell could maintain itself by replacing the worn-out or damaged parts. This we call Self repair.
As the synthesized compounds got accumulated within cell, it became larger in size. Thus synthesis led to its Growth.
New types of compounds came into existence giving the cells new properties. This resulted in molecular Development.
As described before, nucleic acids became the ultimate controllers of cellular reactions. The cellular nucleic acids came to be known as Genes. Being gene-controlled cells became stable, so that the activities of cells such as nutrition, respiration, synthesis and growth could continue as before. That is why the cells still exist today and exhibit the same basic characteristics as the early cells.
The growth of a cell on account of synthesis and internal molecular reproduction could take place up to a certain limit, after which the cell became unstable. Thus the cell reproduced itself. By reproduction the cells not only became multiple but their generations continued in succession. Thus all cells that exist today are successors of the first cells on the earth. As the first cells increased in number, the nutrients in the sea water decreased. The cells had to compete for the supply of nutrients. Thus only those cells could continue their existence, which Adapted themselves to the new environments, i.e., either they could utilise the existing food more efficiently or more rapidly, or could find new methods of producing or procuring food.
Any change in the properties of cells could take place only if the genes had changed. This could occur by the occasional fusion of two cells. The fusion could be either partial or temporary, with resultant exchange of certain genes; or could be total and permanent, so that the genes of both cells became pooled together. With the change in genes the new cell properties became stable. This process of pooling or exchanging genes amongst two different cells came to be known as Sex. Genes could also change through Mutation which provided cells better chances of survival than sex. After mutation more cells and their offspring could get food in spite of competition.
The fusion of cells and gene change have always been at random. Any two cells may fuse by chance and any genes may get exchanged after fusion. This had two types of results. The new cells produced by pooling or exchange of genes had their competitive capacity increased or decreased according to the type of environments in which they were placed. The cells that adapted the new environments persisted in the succeeding generations. On the other hand, poorly adapted cells became extinct. Such changes, with the appearance of new types of cells with new characteristics, through successive generations, constituted Evolution.
Thus we may summarise that a living cell has got the following basic characteristics:-
(1) Nutrition (2) Respiration (3) Self repair or the maintenance of internal steady state (4) Synthesis resulting into growth and development (5) Reproduction and (6) Adaptation through sex and mutation. Collectively we may term these properties as life.
Nucleic acid probably lay freely suspended inside the first cells in the form of clumps as we can notice in the primitive cells today. It must have happened that after accidental rupture or after death of cells these clumps escaped into the sea water where they remained inactive. But if they happened to enter another cell, they again became active and began duplicating themselves by using the living apparatus of that cell. These clumps of gene forming nucleic acid may have been the ancestors of viruses because this is how the viruses behave today. For example in the case of smallpox virus, it becomes active when it enters the cells of human body, and it begins to duplicate and produce specific types of protein. As the new types of protein are not tolerated by the human cells, reaction occurs in the form of disease.
EARLY CELL TYPES
Two types of cells are important from the point of view of early evolution. As noted above, first cells had nucleic acids freely suspended in their interior. The nucleic acids together with certain proteins formed nucleoproteins. In some of the descendants of early cells loose clumps of nucleoproteins concentrated towards the centre, but lay scattered inside the cells in direct contact with the endoplasm. This type of cell came to be known as Monera. Bacteria and Blue-green Algae are the modern representative of Monera group.
Bacteria are literally found everywhere, floating with dust particles in the air, in salt and fresh waters, in the water of hot springs, frozen in ice, in the upper layers of soil and in the bodies of plants and animals. They are often called germs or microbes because they live on or within the human body as parasites and bring about disturbances chiefly chemical which we term disease. Besides these parasitic forms which are few in number, human life and life in general on the earth, as we shall see in later chapters, could not continue long without the services of bacteria. Their size varies from 1/1000 inch to 1/50,000 inch.
In another major type that descended the first cells, the gene containing nucleoproteins concentrated in the centre of each cell, forming a loose mass. A thin membrane formed round the mass, and the nucleoproteins no more remained in direct contact with the rest of the cell substance. This type of cells came to be known as Protista. The loose central mass of cell later evolved into compact nucleus. All the modern plants and animals have descended from protista.
NUTRITIONAL EVOLUTION ( )
There had been a tremendous expansion of living mass from the first cells on earth. It makes an interesting study from Quranic point of view how with the gradual disappearance of the free molecular food from the oceans, the nutrition of a vast number of organisms that branched out from the first cells, could be maintained. This happened in the following ways:-
(1) Parasitism. With the disappearance of free molecular food from the oceans certain organisms began to procure food from the bodies of living organisms. We noted above, how viruses entered living cells and became reactivated. Similarly a cell could invade another cell for obtaining food. This type of procuring food is called Parasitism. Even today viruses and bacteria get their food by Parasitism.
(2) Saprotrophism. Here the organisms began to live on dead bodies of other organisms. Many types of bacteria adopted this method of obtaining food. Decay in the dead bodies of organisms results from the invasion of nutrients-gathering saprotrophic bacteria.
The decay was unknown on the earth before saprotrophism, but these bacteria are so abundant today that anything exposed to air or water immediately begins to decay.
(3) Holotrophism. It is the process of eating whole living cell. In parasitism the smaller cell eats the substance of the larger cell, while in holotrophism the larger cell engulfs and eats the smaller cell.
It is evident from the above description that the above three methods of food gathering did not add anything to the total food stores on the earth. It was just one cell eating the other dead or alive. Thus unless some new food sources had become available, the life would have gradually ceased to exist on the earth. Such food sources did evolve and the cells themselves started manufacturing food within themselves. In early stages we noted that nutrients were produced by methane, ammonia and water, and energy was supplied by the sun and lightning in the clouds surrounding the earth. This method of food production became inadequate at a later stage, as with the disappearance of permanent clouds, lightning became rare; and with the formation of carbon dioxide screen in the earth’s atmosphere, high energy solar radiation became unavailable. Thus the evolution of some new methods of manufacturing organic compounds became necessary. Water was still abundantly available and in addition to methane and hydrogen cyanide, carbon dioxide was available directly within cells as a source of carbon, this being the product of respiration. With water and carbon dioxide, cells could produce organic compounds, provided a source of energy were available. ATP could supply such an energy but this itself was an organic compound and its production depended on an external source of energy. Thus cells could continue to exist only if they evolved methods of utilising external sources of energy. This happened in two different ways:-
Chemosynthesis. Early Monera and Protista, especially certain types of bacteria, started extracting energy from sulphur, iron and nitrogen compounds. They absorbed these compounds into their bodies and on account of certain reactions that took place bonds were broken, and bond energy became available for the synthesis of carbohydrates from carbon dioxide and water. This process is called chemosynthesis and is still availed by certain bacteria. But the process had its limits, as it depended on the availability of certain chemicals.
Photosynthesis. Another method in which materials and energy could be available in abundance came into existence. A huge source of energy was present in the light rays of the sun, only an energy-trapping substance was required within the cell. Such substance came to be evolved in the form of Chlorophyll. The process of manufacturing organic compounds, by means of chlorophyll and light rays, came to be known as photosynthesis and is still used by the plant cells all over the world. It saved the living organisms from premature extinction.
We note that out of the five food procuring methods that came into existence sooner or later, i.e., Parasitism, Saprotrophism, Holotrophism, Chemosynthesis and Photosynthesis, only the last two added to the total food supply on the earth. It appears that Monera adapted all methods of getting food except eating. Protista adapted photosynthesis as well as holotrophism (eating). Two different types of organisms evolved from the protista. One group became specialised in photosynthesis and all the plants on earth evolved from this group. The other group specialised in holotrophism (eating) and became animals.
The above description of nutritional evolution illustrates a beautiful link in the chain of Allah’s ‘RABUBIYYAT’ which is one of the attributes or basic characteristics of God and means the provision of sustenance to an object from its initial stage to the stage of final destination. The Holy Quran begins with the verse ( )
“Praise be to Allah, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the universe”.
FREE OXYGEN MOLECULES REAPPEAR ON THE EARTH
As sated earlier, with the formation of first compounds, free molecules of oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen and carbon disappeared from the earth. With the appearance of photo-synthesis free molecular oxygen reappeared and continued gathering in the atmosphere. The photosynthesis reaction is as follows:-
Carbon dioxide + water = Carbohydrates + oxygen.
This brought about a slow oxygen revolution on the earth. Oxygen has the property of reacting readily with other substances. Thus it reacted with methane to produce carbon dioxide and water:-
CH4 +202= C02 + 2H2o
It reacted with ammonia to produce water and nitrogen molecules:-
4NH3 +302= 2N2 + 6H2O
It reacted with Hydrogen cyanide to produce carbon dioxide, water and nitrogen molecules:-
4HCN +502= 2N2 + 2H20 + 4C02
Thus the ancient atmosphere containing methane, ammonia and hydrogen cyandie transformed into a modern one, containing water vapour, carbon dioxide, nitrogen molecules and oxygen molecules. At high altitudes, under the influence of high energy radiation from space, oxygen molecules reacted with one another to produce Ozone. As noted earlier, several miles above the surface of the earth, Ozone forms a screen against the high energy radiation and this is one of the guards ( ) that protect life on the earth. Modern animals and plants are not adapted to high energy radiation and are killed by exposure to it. But the Monera and Protista which evolved before the formation of Ozone layer were adapted to high energy radiation and are still radiation resistant.
Free oxygen also reacted with the solid crust of the earth and converted pure metals and minerals into oxides which form the ores and rocks of the modern land. Moreover with free oxygen available in abundance a much more efficient form of respiration came into existence. The earliest cells had anaerobic (without air) form of respiration known as fermentation. It consisted of decomposition of food molecules without oxygen, which liberated energy that could be used in the formation of ATP. Free oxygen, on the other hand, could provide more energy, per food unit consumed, than in fermentation. Thus with free oxygen available, aerobic (with air) form of respiration came into existence.
Fig. 22.–EFFECTS OF REAPPEARANCE OF FREE OXYGEN MOLECULES ON THE EARTH.
Fig. 23.–SUMMARY OF EARTH’S EARLY EVOLUTIONARY HISTORY.
(In relation to the appearance of life)
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One alarming effect of the entry into Islam of mysticism in particular, and of other conspiracies described above in general, was that the spirit of Jehad amongst the Muslims became suppressed, and that was the main objective before the conspirators: to achieve this they fought very hard for very long.
Belief and Action Go Together
The Muslim nation brought into existence by the Messenger, with its ideology based on the Quranic principles, comprised men of action. At every step, the Quran has linked belief with action. In fact ‘belief’ and ‘acts consistent with the revealed fundamental principles’ are the two facets of the same coin; one cannot go independent of the other. That is why the Quran has said:
“Do men think that they shall be left alone on saying, ‘we believe’ and that they will not be put to test?” Al-Ankaboot 29:2.
The entire creation of the universe is an integrated whole and is so designed as to accurately bring into effect the result of every singly action. Rather according to the Holy Quran the entire machinery of the universe is meant to produce accurate results of human actions. Thus it is said:
“It is He Who created the heavenly bodies and the Earth in Six Eras. He made water the basis of life, over which He kept His Control. (This lengthy process of evolution was carried out) so that He might provide you with the opportunity and see which one of you has made the balanced efforts and has thus proved himself capable of survival for the next stage.” Hood 11:7.
According to the Quran, human physical death is a gateway to a higher form of life. Thus it is said that God has created life and death in order to judge which one of you has developed such a stable and balanced personality that it is able to withstand the incidence of physical death:
“He who created death and life, (only) that He may try whose deeds are proportionate and balanced.” Al-Mulk 67:2.
even the ranks are assigned to individual human beings according to how far one’s deeds are consistent with the Divine laws:
“To all are (assigned) ranks according to deeds.” Al-Ahqaaf 46:19.
thus the real life of a believer is a life of perpetual action, a life of stress and struggle. The life of Muhammad, the last messenger of God, serves as a symbol. He had to face constantly the forces of evil many times stronger than his own. These forces were bent upon the destruction of the newly created Islamic social order. But the secret of his success, of which the Messenger was so confident, lay in his struggle. Thus he challenged the unbelievers by saying, “Do your utmost, nothing will deter me from following my programme and we shall see who wins in the end.”
A similar warning was given by Shuaib to his people, when he said:
“O my people! Do whatever you can. I shall act on my formula. Soon you will know who it is, on whom descends the penalty of ignominy and who is a liar.” Hood 11:93.
The above description is meant to clarify that it is only the action that produces a result and that belief without action bears no fruit.
Now let us see further what results, according to the Quran, are produced by balanced human deeds. Such deeds promote the development of human personality and the formation of a balanced society. A developed human personality is capable of passing on to the next evolutionary stage of life, which is the life of Heaven. On the contrary, an undeveloped personality is unfit to pass on to that next higher stage. This is a life of Jahannam (Hell). Jahannam is the place where progress comes to a halt. Jannah (Heaven) is a life of bliss, peace and plenty. Thus it is said:
“That is the Garden of bliss of which you are made heirs, for your (good) deeds (in life).” Al-Zukhruf 43:72.
“This is a reward for their (good) deeds.” Al-Ahkaf 46:14.
“An excellent reward for the toilers.” Al-Ankaboot 29:58.
Thus according to the Quran, the balanced deeds, are the causes of which the effect is the life of ‘Heaven.’
The belief amongst certain Muslims, inspired by the conspirators against the Quran, that the shall get ‘Heaven,’ the ‘garden of bliss’ simply by reciting the verses of the Quran or by using these verses for their magic effect is against the teachings of the holy book. To achieve ‘Heaven,’ or the life of bliss, peace and plenty is an uphill task which requires hard labour. Thus the Quran addresses the believers as follows:
“or do you think that you shall enter ‘the garden of bliss’ (in this world and in the hereafter) without such trials as came to those who passed away before you? They encountered suffering and adversity, and were so shaken in spirit that even the Messenger of God and those of his companions who were with him cried: “When (will come) the help of God? Ah! Verily, the help of God is (always) near.” Al-Baqarah 2:214.
Such were the trials and tribulations to which the nations were subjected, and without which none could obtain a life of full glory. Human life is a life of constant strife and struggle. To become pure metal an alloy is bound to pass through an oven. To achieve a higher level of organisation, all living forms have got to put in constant struggle. Thus to achieve an object one must act and act in the right direction to overcome hurdles. This is the immutable law of Survival and Extinction according to which individuals as well as nations live or die. Ease-loving people cannot achieve Heaven, because one has to prove by his actions that he is fit for it. The Quran says:
“Do you think that you can enter paradise without God distinguishing those among you who struggle and steadfastly persevere.” Ali-Imran 3:142.
To achieve Heaven the price paid by an individual is no less than his life and property. Thus there is a contract between the individuals and the social order based on divine laws:
“God has purchased of the believers their persons and their possessions; for theirs in return is Heaven.” Al-Tawbah 9:111.
The life and property of individuals, in a Quranic social order, is at the disposal of the state which in return is responsible for providing individuals with a life of peace and plenty. In other words one who strives for Heaven offers all that he possesses for the protection of the social order, even his life in the battlefield, if and when it is required.
Life of Jannah (Heaven) starts in this World
As described already, according to the Quran, the life hereafter is a direct continuation of the life in this world. Thus Heaven includes a life of peace and plenty both in this world as in the hereafter and is the natural consequence of constant strife in this world. Those who work for its achievement strive perpetually and steadfastly. Life being an ascending order, they achieve its heights step by step consistently and in perfect silence until they reach a stage where the means of subsistence are abundant in the society and there is peace all-round. They dwell in this life of beauty and proportion in their temporary abode of this world as well as in the permanent abode in the hereafter. Thus it is said:
“Those are the ones who will be rewarded with a life of heights, expanse and abundance because of their patient constancy. Therein they shall be met with salutations and peace. They shall dwell in this life of beauty and proportion in their temporary abode, as well as in their permanent abode.” Al-Furqan 25:75-76.
As in the case of individuals so in the case of nations, a life of glory is a life of constant strife and its natural consequence is the inheritance of power on the earth. Thus it is said:
“God has promised to those among you who believe in the truth of divine laws and act accordingly that He will surely grant them inheritance (of power) in the land as He granted it to those before them (this being an immutable law), that He will establish the authority of their social order, the one which He has chosen for them and that He will change (their state), after the fear in which they (lived), to one of peace and security.” Al-Noor 24:55.
But the establishment of authority on the earth is not the ultimate goal. Rather it provides a platform to perform further deeds that promote beauty and proportion in the society. Thus according to the Quran:
“Those who, if We give them the authority in the land, establish a social order based on the divine laws (salat and zakat) and provide nourishment (to individuals) enjoin what is lawful according to the divine laws and forbid what is unlawful.” Al-Hajj 22:41.
They keep themselves busy in these dynamic pursuits of life so that humanity may ascend its evolutionary stages in peace and harmony. This very change from the state of fear to that of peace and tranquillity is Heaven, a heavenly life on the earth in which those who perform righteous deeds live according to their aspirations.
The Quran says:
“They will say, ‘Praise be to God Who has truly fulfilled His promise to us and has given us (this) land in heritage so that we may live in Heaven according to our aspirations: how excellent is the reward for those who strive.” Al-Zumar 39:74.
The above quotations from the Quran amply bring into light the fact that the life of believers is the life of constant effort.
A Sinister Propaganda Against the Institution of Jehad By the Non-Muslims
The word Jehad as it occurs in the Quran needs elucidation. Jehad means to strive to one’s utmost capacity for the purpose of achieving a particular objective. The immediate objective before the Muslims as laid down by the Quran is the establishment of a social order based on the Quranic fundamental principles. All efforts, however small, to reach this goal, some under the heading, Jehad. Such efforts are bound to be resisted by self-interested people. If the resistance is so formidable that it becomes necessary to fight a battle against the opponents, the Quran has allowed us to do so. Such fighting in the cause of Deen, which is part of Jehad is called Qit’al.
The Messengers of God brought in their respective ages a Deen or social order based on the divine laws. As the message originated from a common source, the essence of Deen always remained the same throughout the ages, each successive message being the latest edition of the former ones; although the details of its application differed according to the needs of the time. Had the successive generation of mankind stuck to the divine message, there would have been no conflict between the followers of the different Messengers of God who followed in succession. But unfortunately the Deen or social order was transformed into religion which, although supposed to be a personal relationship between man and God, is in actual practice, often full of man-made ideas, whims and wishes, ambiguities and uncertainties.
If the Muslims met resistance in establishing their Deen by the Zoroastrians of Persia in the 7th century A.D., or by the heathens of Arabia, it was not a matter of surprise. But the conflict of Muslims on one hand and the people pf the book, Jews and Christians, on the other, could have been avoided if the latter had stuck to the divine message brought by Moses and Jesus Christ respectively. Unfortunately the crusades badly affected the relationship between Muslims and Christians and the after-effect still lingers on. The mind of the European Christians is still in the grip of convulsions, since the defeat. The Christians having forgotten the divine message brought by Jesus Christ, separated Church from State and since then they have always been a divided nation. The only occasions in history when the European Christians united together was during the crusades. Since that period they have always conspired as well as gone against the Muslim world both on the ideological as well as the political fronts. They have tried their best to eliminate the spirit of Jehad from amongst the Muslims, by all sorts of intrigues in the manner of the Zoroastrians of the 7th century. They always carried out a propaganda campaign against the Muslims distorting the true concept of Jehad and labelling Muslims as barbarous, killers, and usurpers. They depicted a horrible picture of Islam in the eyes of the world so as to create feelings of hatred towards it, although Islam is a Deen of peace and safety.
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Historians are often astonished to note how the Arabs could reach the height of their glory in such a short span of time, fourteen centuries earlier. But in fact there is nothing to be astonished about. Their glory was the natural consequence of acting in the guidance provided by the Quran. The most astonishing thing on the other hand is that which made the Muslim nation, after it reached the pinnacle of its glory by acting on the Quran and after it witnessed the results of such an action with its own eyes, decline in every sphere of life and ultimately fall into an abyss. How did it happen that the veils of darkness mentioned above could manage to fall in between the light of the Quran and the followers of the Quran? The story is most painful and hair-raising and is worth listening to with rapt attention. It runs as follows:
When the forces which opposed the rising tide of Islam in the 7th century A.D. noticed that the uneducated, unskilled, undisciplined and most backward people of the world living on dates for their subsistence, had become the dominant power of the world within a very short period, they became jealous of this. They simply could not bear the aliens treading on their territories and demolishing the structure of their ancient civilisations. The superior nations of that period were the Romans and the Persians who comprise the intelligentsia of that age. They were defeated and overrun by the Arabs who were far inferior to them in material resources. When Hermazan, the defeated Persian Governor was produced before Hazrat Omar !11 Caliph of Islam), the latter asked him why the Persians were now suffering defeat after defeat at the hands of Arabs while previously they could beat them back easily in any encounter. Hermazan replied that earlier the Persians had fought the Arabs alone but now they had to fight against the Arabs plus their God and it was not possible for them to defeat these two forces combined. How true his answer was when we look at the Quranic verse:
“Truly God is with the believers.” Al-Anfall 8:19.
The Persians were men of wisdom and insight, they truly realised that Arabs would remain invincible in the battlefield so long as they were close followers of the Quran and that the only way to overpower them was to disassociate them from the guidance of the Quran and thus get them separated from their God. This was an important turning point in the history of Islam, and thus cam in waves of conspiracies which entirely changed the very face of Islam in the years to follow. All the basic concepts of the Quran on which the ‘Deen’ or social order established by Muhammad (peace be upon him), came into existence, were replaced, one by one, by ideas, beliefs and superstitions which were the outcome of human thinking. Muslims in their era of glory and triumph conquered both Romans and Persians but whereas the Roman empire was partly conquered, the Persian empire was not entirely subjugated, but the edifice of its civilisation was completely razed to the ground. It was only natural that they felt it deeply.
A point worth considering in this respect is that in spite of the fact that the Persians and Romans were conquered by the Muslims, they were under no impulsion to embrace Islam. However a large number of Persians voluntarily became Muslims. For example when the Arabs conquered Quadsia, four thousand of the selected troops of Emperor Yazd Gard, known as ‘Jund Shah’ voluntarily embraced Islam after they became separated from the Persian army and they settled down in Kufa (Iraq) by permission of Saad bin Abi Waqas. Similarly Siah, a distinguished officer of the Persian army who was entrusted with the task of defending against the Arab invasion by Emperor Yazd Gard, instead of putting up a defence, became a Muslim along with his troops. They settled in Basr (Iraq). Such people who embraced Islam included not only the common men but also of intellectuals of high calibre. It is unjust to say that all such people came into the fold of Islam with a biased mind, not can the Persians of the following generations be made responsible for the acts of their non-Muslim ancestors: they are today as god Muslims as in any other part of the world. But, as seen from the descriptions that follows, a good number of these converts entered Islam only to spread their own beliefs to which they steadfastly stuck after they outwardly became Muslims. Arabs of that period were only simple-minded fighters and they were not able to follow the political intrigues of non-Arabs. But even such Persians who joined Islam in good faith were no better than the Arab tribesmen about whom the Holy Quran has said:
“The Arabs say, ‘We believe.’ Say ‘you do not believe.’ But rather you ought to say ‘We have submitted (to the Islamic power).’ For belief has not yet entered your heart.” Al-Hujarat 49:14.
What has been described above brings into focus a conspiracy with two different aspects. One of them being to promote the political weakening of the Muslims’ rule and the other to bring about a change in the basic ideology of Islam. The latter had such a tremendous effect on the Muslims’ belief and their way of thinking, that it entirely changed the Islam introduced by Muhammad, to the one prevalent today. The Islam introduced by the Messenger was based on the authority of the Quranic fundamental principles. On the other hand, the Islam born of conspiracies was based on the authority of un-Quranic ideas given in the man-made books of tradition and history. The orthodox Muslims today do not hold the traditions subject to the Quranic teachings, rather they give first place to traditions and consider only that version of the interpretation of the Quran to be true which is supported by traditions and the so-called history of Islam. And one must bear in mind that all such books whether of traditions or history were written by Persians. Among the Sunni Muslims, there are six collections of Ahadis which are considered to be authentic. Similarly the Shias have four such collections. But all such collections whether of Shias or Sunnis, were composed by Persians. Similarly the first book of the history of Islam was written by Imam Tabri who was also a Persian.
All such literature was produced nearly three hundred years after the death of Muhammad (pbuh). It was not based on any written record but on stories carried verbally through the centuries.
Taqiyya – as far as the reliability of the Ahadis collections of Shias concerned there is a particular aspect of it which is worth consideration. Taqiyya is one of the accepted basis of Shia belief. Let us see what Taqiyya is. The most reliable book of Shia tradition entitled Asul-el-Kafi describes it as follows: Tradition – Hazrat Abu Jafar said- “Have good outward relations with your opponents but oppose them inwardly.”
Tradition – Hazrat Abu Abdullah said, “The establishment of institution of ‘Immat’ does not mean merely to accept it and testify it, but also means that our affairs should be kept secret from those who do not belong to us. Our Ahadis should not be related to them. Convey our good wishes to our friends and say that we pray for the mercy of God for those who in the state of Taqiyya express their feelings of friendship to their opponents.” He said “O Suleman! You belong to a religion in which God glorifies those who keep secrecy and bring degradation to those who expose their ideas.” Hazrat Abu Abdullah further said – “O Moallah! Taqiyya is the religion of myself and of my ancestors. Without Taqiyya there is no religion.” (Reference: Urdu translation of Asul-el-Kafi by Sayed Zafar Hussain pages 240-247.)
Tradition – Imam Jafar Sadiq asked a ‘Shia’ “If I relate a certain tradition this year and when I come back next year, I relate something against it, then which one of the two (traditions) will you follow?” He replied, “the latter one.” The Imam said “God bless you.” It means that the first one was related on the basis of Taqiyya (Al-Shafi, Volume 1, page 73).
It can be easily inferred from the above that it is impossible to judge the authenticity of a Hadis in the Shia collections.
This is a true picture of the nature of the Hadis literature and yet nobody can dare challenge its sanctity as it forms the basis of Islam amongst the orthodox Muslims. In fact the authority in Islam is that of the Quran which is self-explanatory. Anything in the Hadis literature which is consistent with the Quran may be as reliable and anything which goes against the basic concepts of the Quran is surely untrue and unreliable. Muhammad was the last messenger of God. His companions were the true believers in God, in His Messenger and in His message which is contained within the Quran. Anything which goes against the Quranic teachings and which reflects upon the character of Muhammad and his companions is false and forged. Thus all that is inconsistent with the Quran, in Hadis literature and in Islamic history, is falsely attributed to the Messenger and his companions and is unreliable. The description that follows makes it abundantly clear that the conspiracy of the non-Arabs against the Arab Muslims of that age which aimed at taking the latter away from the Quran, was most cleverly accomplished.
Issue of Caliphate
The first mighty blow that shook the very foundation of Islam was the issue of Caliphate. Earlier it was merely a political issue but later on it assumed the form of a religious issue, which seriously affected the solidarity of the Community and divided it into two permanent sects, so much so that there is no remedy in sight which is capable of healing this wound. The true significance of Caliphate is evident in the following verse of the Quran:
“Muhammad is no more than a messenger of God. Many were the messengers who passed away before him. If he died or was slain will you then turn back on your heels? If anyone did turn back on his heels, not the least harm will he do to God. But God (on the other hand) will swiftly reward those who (serve Him) with gratitude.” Ali-Imran 3:144.
The above verse makes it clear that the organised way of life, introduced by Muhammad, was not limited to his person or to his lifetime. Rather it was meant to be carried further after his death. As the message of the Quran was complete and final and was meant to be followed by the future generations of mankind, the organisation set up by the last messenger of God was meant to maintained by successors. This succession other Messenger, for the purpose of perpetuation of the organisation meant for the enforcement of the Divine laws, or to guide and channelise human affairs within limits of the fundamentals of the Quran is known as Khil’afat or Caliphate: and those who succeed the Messenger are known as Khul’afa (successors). Caliphate was thus meant to put into practise God’s sovereignty in human affairs. It was not kingship where one particular person is sovereign, nor was it like the modern democracy of western type where people are supposed to be sovereign. A Khalifa or Caliph conducted human affairs by consultation but within limits of the Permanent Values provided by the Quran. According to the Quran, those who do not conduct their affairs within the prescribed limits are not believers, such people follow their own desires:
“Those who do not judge according to what God has revealed are unbelievers.” Al-Maaida 5:47.
again it is said:
“…So judge between them according to what God has revealed and follow not their vain desires, diverging from the finally established truth that has come to you…” Al-Maa’dia 5:48.
Thus the central organisations of Muslims is only an instrument for the enforcement of the divine laws. This applies equally to the period when the Messenger himself administered the affairs of the Islamic State, as well as to the successive periods that followed after his death. Thus the permanent factor in the functioning of an Islamic State is that its affairs are conducted within limitations of the divine laws which are immutable, although the personalities that control its affairs go on changing.
That is why the Quran said:
“…If he (the Messenger) dies, will you then turn back on your heel…” Ali-Imran 3:144.
consequently an Islamic State is not run according to the whims and wishes of its administrators.Against the background described above, let us see what our Hadith literature and history tell us about the events of transfer of State administration from the Holy Messenger to his line of successors. But prior to this it is important to focus our attention on the Quranic description of those who were the companions and the successors of the Messenger, and whose character he had moulded in a specific pattern. They were a united body of righteous people, so much so that they were a source of strength to him. They were men of such elevated stature that God has bracketed their strength with his own:
“…He it is Who has strengthened thee with His aid and with (the company) of believers.” Al-Anfaal 8:62.
Their behaviour and way of life was exemplary and worthy of being followed by others:
“And one who follows the path other than that chosen by the believers. We shall leave him in the path he has chosen and land him in hell – what an evil refuge.” Al-Nisa 4:115.
The Quran calls them (the companions of the Messenger) ‘True Believers’ because they persistently strove in the cause of God and made all sorts of sacrifices, so much so that they had to leave their hearths and homes and migrate more suited for the establishment of social order based on the Divine laws. Thus it is said:
“Those who believed and migrated, and strove for the cause of God, as well as those who gave (them) asylum and aid, are (all) believers in truth. For them is the protection (of God) and a provision most generous and honourable.” Al-Anfaal 8:74.
There can be no evidence greater than the evidence of the Quran, to show that the companions of the Messenger were men of firm belief in God and men of most exalted position, whose character was above reproach. In the Quran they are given the glad tidings of a life of peace and plenty.
“The vanguard (of Islam), the first of those who migrated and those who gave them aid and also those who follow them in good deeds. God is well pleased with them, as they are with Him: for them He has prepared gardens under which rivers flow, to dwell therein (for ever). That is supreme felicity.” Al-Taubah 9:100.
The Quran has further given the true picture of the beauty of character of the companions of Muhammad when it is said:
“Muhammad the messenger of God: and his companions are strong and firm (like a rock) against the unbelievers (but) mild and compassionate among themselves. You will see them bow and prostrate themselves before God seeking grace from God and His pleasure. This is the similitude in the Taur’at: and their similitude in the Gospel is like a seed which sends forth its blade, then makes it strong; it then becomes thick and it stands on its own (filling) the sowers with wonder and delight. As a result it fills the unbelievers with rage at them. God has promised protection and good reward to those who believe and perform deeds consistent with the divine laws.” Al-Fatth 48:29.
The Quran states further another aspect of the character of the companions of Muhammad:
“And He has put affection between their hearts. If you had spent all that is on the earth, you could not have produced that affection, but God has done it, as His power and Wisdom are boundless.” Al-Anfaal 8:63.
This description is a true picture of the deeds, character and behaviour with one another of the companions of Muhammad as it appears in the Quran. Now let us see what history tells us about this distinguished vanguard of Islam – Bukhari the book of Hadith literature, which is considered by orthodox Muslims to be the most true book after the Quran, and which describes the events of the death of Muhammad as follows:
Tradition – When Muhammad was on his death bed, Abbas bin Abdul Mattlab (his uncle) consulted Hazrat Ali (his son-in-law) saying that they should go and seek the opinion of the Messenger as to who should succeed him after his death; whether his successor should be from among his relatives or from amongst other people? Hazrat Ali: “Do you think there can be some aspirants for succession other than we people?” Abbas: “There must be.” On this Hazrat Ali expressed his apprehension as follows: “If the Messenger gave his verdict against us, then we shall never be in a position to hold the reign of power. Thus it is not advisable to consult the Messenger about it.”
One can well imagine from the above description that the companions of the Messenger, the illustrious sons of Islam and the lovers of the Quran are shown here to be ignorant of the fact that caliphate was not a personal concern of individuals and that it could not be transferred from one person to another according to their whims and wishes. They are shown here to be neglecting the Quranic principle of ‘consultation’ for such an important transfer of caliphate. They are depicted here as men full of greed and lust for power. Difference of opinion could arise amongst the companions of the Messenger, because they were after all human beings. But it is not acceptable that they could so far as to ignore the basic principles of the Quran.
The holy Messenger from his deathbed made no declaration regarding the succession or Khil’afat because the matter was to be decided by mutual consultation amongst his followers. If he had decided the issue himself, it would have been a tradition among the Muslims for all time to come. As the matter was of great National importance and the central authority of the Community was to be appointed without delay, it was important to settle the issue even before the dead body of the Holy Messenger was buried. As related in books of history the Ans’ars, on this occasion, called a meeting of their own, separately from the Muh’ajirs, for the purpose of nominating Sa’ad bin Abaida as the Caliph. In the meantime, the Muh’ajirs including Hazrat Abu Bakr and others arrived. What is alleged to have transpired in that meeting is as follows: Hab’ab bin Manzar (one of the Ans’ars) said in his speech, “O Ans’ars! Keep the leadership in your hands so that the people may remain obedient to you, so that nobody may dare to raise his voice against you or differ from your opinion. You are wealthy and respectable people. You are superior in number and experience, you are brave. People are looking towards you. So do not spoil your case by differing among yourselves. These people (the Muh’ajirs) are bound to accept what you say. The maximum concession we can give them is that there shall be one Ameer from amongst us (Ans’ars) and one from amongst them.” (Abu Bakr Siddiq by Muhammad Hussain Haikal, page 107) This passage from history depicts the character of the Ans’ars, now let us see how it describes the behaviour of the Muh’ajirs.
In reply to the above said speech, Hazrat Omar said, “Two swords cannot be placed in one sheath. By God, we shall never agree to your leadership because the Messenger was not amongst your people. But we shall have no objection if the leadership remains with the people to whom the Messenger belonged. If any section of the Arabs shall refuse leadership and caliphate to us, we shall bring forth our open and decisive arguments against them. Who can quarrel with us, in the matter of the succession of the Messenger, as we were so close to him in relation, as well as sacrifice? Only he could quarrel with us in this matter who is a follower of falsehood, full of sins and is prepared to fall into the pit of destruction.” (Abu Bakr Siddiq by Haikal page 108.)
In reply to the above Habab bin Manzar replied, “O Ans’ars! Have courage. Do not listen to what Omar and his companions say. If you show weakness at this stage, they shall usurp your share of power. If they go against you, turn them out of your country and get hold of the reigns of power. By God, you are the rightful successors. The glory of Islam came with your swords and you are the source of its present status. You gave refuge to Islam and are its back. If you wish, you can reverse its glory.” Hazrat Omar said in reply, “God will perish you Habab. Not we. God will perish you.” (Abu Bakr Siddiq by Haikal pages 108-109.)
This is what history tells us about those who, as stated earlier, are described by the Quran as follows:
“And He has put affection between their hearts. If you had spent all that is on the earth you could not have produced that affection but God has done it.” AL-Anfaal 8:63. And about whom it is also said, “They were strong and firm like a rock against the unbelievers, but mild and compassionate amongst each other.” Al-Fatth 48:29.
Again we find here that history has put the same argument in the mouth of Hzrat Omar, as was done in the case of Ali, when the Messenger was on his death bed. As a matter of fact it is not merely a historical description, it is rather a conspiracy against the Quranic teachings. It does not stop here, it goes still further, when through another forged Hadith, it tries to involve the Messenger himself in the issue.
Tradition – When the quarrel between the Muh’ajirs and the Ans’ars took a serious turn, Hazrat Abu Bakr (the first Caliph) rose up and said, “The claim of the Ans’ars is baseless. The Messenger had decided during his lifetime that the leadership shall remain with the Quraish.” This Hadith is certainly a forged one.
Just imagine if it could be possible that the Messenger had uttered these words, the same Messenger who spent his whole life in putting into practice the Quranic fundamental principle that there is no distinction between on man and the other, based on race and colour, that all human beings are equal and worthy of respect by birth and that the superiority of one man over the other is based only on his being nearer to the divine laws. This one hadith described above also states that there was a rough handling of each other, between the parties concerned, on this issue.
As we know, Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq was the first caliph who succeeded the Messenger. History describes the reaction of Hazrat Ali, on Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq becoming the caliph, as follows: Some people from among the Muh’ajirs and Ans’ars were not present when Abu Bakr Siddiq took ‘bai’at’ after he was elected as caliph. These people were inclined towards Hazrat Ali. Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq consulted Hazrat Omar and Abu Abaida bin Jarah, Mughira bin Shoeb about it. They advised Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq to take Hazrat Abbas (uncle of Messenger and of Hazrat Ali) into confidence and have his share in the Khil’afat. This was a plan to create a rift between Abbas and Ali (both relatives of the Messenger). This, they said, shall prove useful for you (Abu Bakr) against Ali. Accordingly Hzrat Abu Bakr met Abbas who rejected the offer on the ground that he could not accept an incomplete Khil’afat (Haikal page 119). Later on the followers of Hazrat Ali took ‘bai’at’ with Hazrat Abu Bakr, except Hazrat Ali himself who did not do so for 6-7 months. But he also agreed later, after the death of Hazrat Fatima.
There are several other Ahadis which describe the conflict between Abu Bakr and Ali, but one from Bukhari is worth mentioning. Tradition – “Hazrat Fatima (daughter of the Messenger and wife of Ali) remained alive for 6 months after the death of the Messenger. When she died Hazrat Ali quietly buried her during the night and did not inform Abu Bakr Siddiq about her death. As long as Hazrat Fatima lived, Hazrat Ali was greatly respected, but after her death Ali felt a change in the behaviour of the people around him. Then he resolved to accept the ‘bai’at’ of Abu Bakr. Thus Hazrat Ali sent a message to Abu Bakr asking Abu Bakr to come and see him personally but not accompanied by Omar. Hazrat Omar, on the other hand, foresaw danger and did not wish Abu Bakr to go alone. However, Abu Bakr was bent upon meeting Ali and thus went to see him without company. In the above mentioned meeting Ali said, “We realise your personal superiority and all that God has bestowed on you. We are not jealous of the greatness which God has given you. But we do feel that being the near relative of the Messenger, we are rightful successors to Khil’afat and that our right has been usurped by tyranny and oppression.” After the mid-day prayers Abu Bakr first addressed the audience and explained the reason for the late acceptance of Abu Bakr’s Khilafat by Ali. Then Ali addressed the gathering and explained his point of view.” This Hadith, if accepted to be true, is a slur on the character of the companions of the Messenger. As a matter of fact such Ahadis are forged ones. These are the outcomes of a conspiracy that was hatched at a time when Khil’afat had changed into Kingship. Imam Bukhari died in 256 A.H. and Imam Tabri died in 311 A.H. during the Abbasid reign.
The reason for our belief in such like Ahadis being forged ones, is that the character of the companions of the Messenger that is depicted therein is against the Quranic version which described them as “True Believers.” How is it possible that the people who were so highly praised by God Himself descended to such a low level after the death of the Messenger? Surely the revealed message of God is reliable and not man-made history. The companions of the Messenger were given training by the Messenger himself and they had a deep insight into the teachings of the Quran. They were a highly disciplined people. They had no self interest in the caliphate. They were not Kings. They only considered themselves to be an instrument for the enforcement of divine laws. They never went after any personal gain. Rather they sacrificed their material possessions for the sake of their faith. They lived the life of an ordinary man in the street. Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq, after he became Caliph, continued to earn his livelihood by selling cloth. There was a suggestion about giving him a maintenance allowance, so that he may be able to devote maximum time to State affairs. He was asked by his cabinet as to what remuneration he would accept as the Head of State. His reply was that he would accept the minimum wage given to a labourer in the state. When asked to accept more, he replied, “I shall try to raise the standard of living of the labourers, so that I may be in a position to get more.” This was the standard of justice and equality of man that the companions of the Messenger believed in and acted upon.
As regards the standards of discipline they maintained, it is sufficient to quote the following 0 During his lifetime, the Messenger had raised a contingent of the army to fight against the Romans and Os’ama son of Zaid bin H’arith (Zaid was a slave who was set free by the Messenger) was appointed its commander. It was after the death of the Messenger when Abu Bakr Siddiq took up the first caliph, that the army contingent was mobilised. The Caliph desired to keep back Omar for consultations. As a Caliph, Abu Bakr Siddiq was the supreme authority of the State and he could have easily ordered Omar to stay behind. But as Os’ama was the commander of the force the Caliph did not interfere. Rather he requested Os’ama to leave Omar behind for his help, if he could so. Os’ama accepted it with pleasure.
Under the circumstances that prevailed at the time with the highest degree of discipline maintained by the companions of the Messenger, with their thoughts and actions having been moulded in the pattern provided to them by the Messenger himself and with their firm belief and deep insight into the Quranic teachings, there is no reason to disbelieve that Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq took over the reigns of caliphate in an atmosphere of peace, tranquillity and mutual understanding: and that all sorts of cock and bull stories about the quarrelsome behaviour of the companions of the Messenger are nothing but a conspiracy against the believers and the Quran itself.
Hazrat Omar succeeded Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq as the second caliph. Abu Bakr Siddiq had the issue of succession after him decided during his lifetime, just before his death. In modern times the question of succession is not a difficult problem in the presence of ready-made constitutions. But in the past ages when there was no such constitutions it was advisable to have the question of succession decided in the presence of an existing head of state.
The Quran has commanded to settle the state affairs by mutual consultations and has given this fundamental principle, but has not prescribed the machinery for putting it into practice. It is left to the discretion of the succeeding Muslim generations to devise ways and means for consultation so as to make it compatible with the changing circumstances and needs of the times. This way of life prescribed by the Quran is a beautiful combination of permanence and change, its fundamental principles being permanent, and the means to put them into practice being changeable with the change of time and circumstances. The Holy Messenger did not touch on the issue of succession during his lifetime. There was a reason for this, because in view of the respect and highest esteem in which he was held by his companions, even his slightest inclination towards anybody would have amounted to the nomination of his successor, and thus the process of nomination would have taken the form of tradition amongst the succeeding generations of Muslims. Abu Bakr Siddiq, on the other hand, gathered men of wisdom available in Medina and with their consent and consultation decided on Hazrat Omar to be his successor.
Inheritance of Caliphate by Descent
How the above said events described in history and in Ahadis are connected with the conspiracy hatched by the Persian intelligentsia shall be explained in the following pages. But let us note at this juncture that the conspiracy did not stop here. It took still deeper roots. The inheritance of caliphate in the line of descent of the Messenger was made an important issue, in order to create a rift among Muslims. Thus Ibn Jurair Tabri described in his history , the event of Hazrat Osman succeeding Hazrat Omar as caliph, in the following words –
When Hazrat Osman was elected as caliph, Hazrat Ali turned his face to the other side and went away. But when Abdur Rahman bin ‘Auf objected to it he came back and took ‘bai’at’ at the hand of Osm’an, but uttered at the same time, “It was fraud, it is a big fraud.” (Tabri Vol.IV.)
Hazrat Ali Said again, “After the death of the Messenger, all the three Caliphs usurped his right of succession to caliphate which was his due, by inheritance.” (Re: Nehjul Balagha – a book which is supposed to be a collection of Hazrat Ali’s addresses.)
The question of succession of caliphate by inheritance was made further complicated in these books. It is said that Banu Abbas claimed their own right of succession based on inheritance; on the plea that on the death of the Messenger, Abbas was alive and that he being the uncle of the Messenger, had a prior right than Hazrat Ali who was only his son-in-law and a cousin (Ali being the son of Abu Talib, the second uncle of the Messenger). Thus the issue was a political one or rather a dispute between two claimants belonging to the same family. But it was give a religious turn which was more dangerous. Let us see hoe it happened. There was a belief among the Persians that kings were super-men and that they possessed divine attributes, that they were the shadow of God on the earth, that they were infallible, that to rule was their inherent right which passes on automatically from one generation to another. Abdulla Ibn Saba was a Jew from Yemen which in those days was an occupied territory of Persians who lived there in large numbers and influenced the ideas of the local population. Abdulla Ibn Saba apparently became Muslim at Medina. In due course he became acquainted with the secrets of the state. Later on, he shifted to Kufa where he organised a centre for conspiring against Islam. Another story runs that he remained in Madyan (Persia) for some time, then he left for Egypt from where he started spreading his net of conspiracies. He gave publicity to a belief, similar to the one already prevalent among the Christians, that “Jesus Christ shall return to the earth once again.” Abdulla Ibn Saba began to spread the idea that Muhammad shall also come back again on the earth. This idea could not gain ground amongst the Muslims but instead the belief of “return to Shia Divines” took root among the Shias.
Wasi – History tells us that Abdulla also spread yet another belief, that every messenger of God appoints a Wasi or Khalifa. It means that he leaves a will that after his death so and so shall succeed him. Accordingly, he said that Hazrat Ali was the “‘Wasi’ of Muhammad,” thus he (Ali) ought to have succeeded him as Caliph. This gave rise to beliefs among the Muslims similar to those of the Persians about their Kings. Now the term Im’amat came to be used instead of the term ‘Khilafat’ and the idea began to gain popularity that Im’amat is not a thing which could be left for the people to decide; that is a basic pillar of Islam; that it does not benefit a messenger of God to leave the succession for the people to decide, that he must appoint an Im’am before his death, because it has been commanded by God. Accordingly, they said Muhammad left his will for Ali to be his successor. Hence Hazrat Ali is called “Wasi al Rasool” by the Sias (the one for who the Messenger left his will). The innovation does not stop here and goes on to say that every Im’am also leaves a will for the appointment of his successor and that his will left under the divine command. Accordingly an Im’am is appointed by God Himself and is therefore infallible. Anybody who acts against him is an usurper. Thus Im’amat is the right of Hazrat Ali and his line of descent. Sunni Muslims, however, do not accept this belief of the appointment of an Im’am by God himself. But this being among the Shias, they consider Sunnis to be outside the pale of Islam. The natural consequence of this belief was the bifurcation of the Community into two permanent sects. Haikal in his book entitled “Omar Farroq-e-Azam (Urdu translation page 419), has quoted a passage from Historians History of the World,” published by the Publishers of Encyclopaedia Britannica, which runs as follows:- “The Persians believed their kings as the sons of God and sacred personalities by birth. Thus when the Persians rebelled against the governments of Medina and Damascus, they gathered around Ali the cousin of Muhammad who they said was his legal successor, but was kept away from Khil’afat, and gave him the dignity and sacredness which their ancestors used to give to their Kings. Moreover like their ancestors, who used to call (a Persian King) the ‘sacred sons of heaven’ and ‘Sacred King,’ and in their books used to write of him ‘a leader and a guide,’ they gave Ali the title of Im’am, which in spite of being a simple term is very meaningful.” The matter does not stop here. In order to maintain a rift in the Muslim community, the Persians gathered round Im’am Hasan and Im’am Hussain, the sons of Hazrat Ali and in turn around their descendants. There is also a story about the marriage of the daughter of the last ruler of Akass ban Sasan, with the Im’am Hussain which runs as follows –
“When Arabs conquered Persia, three daughters of Yazd Gard, the Emperor of Persia, were captured by them. Hazrat Omar, who was the Caliph at the time, ordered their open sale. But Hazrat Ali advised a better treatment for them, on account of their high descent and suggested that he fix their price and hand them over to respectable people. Thus Hazrat Ali took charge of them and handed over one of the three to Hazrat Im’am Hussain, one to Muhammad bin Abu Bakr and one to Abdulla bin Omar. The girl who came to the lot of Im’am Hussain came to be known as Shehr Bano.”
The story appears to have been forged in order to win favour with the Shias and is untrue on account of the following reasons:
- About the prisoners of war there is a clear injunction in the Quran that they should be released either on payment of a ransom or as an act of generosity. The Quran closed the doors of slavery for good when it was said: “When you have thoroughly subdued them (the prisoners of war) bind a bond firmly (on them) either generosity or ransom.” Muhammad 47:4
Thus all such Ahadis relating to the prisoners of war having been made slaves are untrue, in the face of the above Quranic injunction. If such a thing could actually happen, most of the Arab population would have been slaves by now. In fact Hazrat Omar, the caliph, always insisted on the release of the prisoners of war.
- During the above conquest when Hazrat Sa’ad entered Madyan, the city had already been vacated and Emperor Yzad Gard had already fled along with his family. So the question of the captivity of Yazd Gard’s daughters during the Madyan campaign and thereafter does not arise. The only occasion when the family of Yazd Gard could have been captured was at the time of his assassination, but this took place in the year 30A.H. during the caliphate of Hazrat Osm’am.
- Hazrat Imam Hussain was born in the year 5A.H. and Madyan was conquered in the year 16 A.H. when the Imam was only eleven years old. It is unimaginable that he could be married to a slave girl at that tender age.
- Yazd Gard ascended his throne in 13A.H at the age of 18 years, at about the same time Hazrat Omar took over the caliphate. Madyan was conquered in 16A.H. when Yazd Gard was at the most 21 years of age. It is not possible that at the age of 21 he had three daughters of marriageable age.
Thus the story is obviously a forged one. There is yet another story which runs as follows – When Shehr Bano was handed over to Hazrat Im’am Hussain, the caliph Hazrat Omar said to him, “O Abu Abdullah, your son shall be born to her who shall be a most respectable person on the face of the earth, because he shall be the best Arab, on account of being a H’ashmi, and the best of non-Arabs, on account of being a Persian.” The story clearly smells as one of Persian origin. Many such stories were invented to prove the superiority of the Persians over the Arabs. Some of them are in connection with the personality of Salman Farsi, who was a Persian who embraced Islam. His age-span has been described by certain people as ranging between 250 to 600 years.
It is said he lived as early as the companions of Jesus Christ and continued to live until the lifetime of Muhammad. A Jew travelling towards Medina captured him. After the Messenger migrated to medina, Salman embraced Islam and he was freed from slavery. Stories spread by Persians about Salman make interesting reading: There is a verse in the Quran that the message of Muhammad is not confined to the people of his age, it is meant equally for all the future generations of mankind not in personal contact with him:
“(Muhammad is a messenger of God for the people of his age) as well as for others who have not already joined them”). Al-Jumu’ah 62:3.
The story goes that when the companions of the Messenger asked him who this verse applied to, the Messenger pointed towards Salman Farsi who was sitting down beside him and said “the people of his nation.” There is another verse in the holy Quran:
“If you turn you back, HE will substitute in your stead another people and they would not be like you.” Muhammad 47:38.
The verse refers to the rise and fall of nations. It is a generalised statement that whichever nation bases its social order on the divine fundamentals it is sure to survive, and the one that turns away from this path is replaced by a better one. It is stated in Jami’a Tirmazi that people asked the Messenger ‘which nation shall follow us, if we turn back?’ The Messenger patted the back of Salman Farsi and said ‘His nation, his nation.’ Such stories were invented by the Persians to impress upon the Arabs their national superiority and to pave the way for the smooth running of their intellectual onslaught.
There is yet another conspiracy hatched by the Persians, with the object of creating disruption in the Islamic state of that age. It is a story of the transfer of power from Bani Omayya to Bani Abbas bringing ultimately the end of the Islamic state with the fall of Baghdad. During the caliphate of Hazrat Ali the Islamic state became divided into two parts. One part was governed by Ameer Mu’awya, with its capital at Damascus (Syria). Im’am Hasan son of Hazrat Ali succeeded his father after his death but he resigned in favour of Ameer Mu’away who thus became the sole ruler of the Islamic state. Caliphate thus transferred to Bani Umayya. Part played by Persians to overthrow Bani Omayya – It may be pointed out that Bani Umayya and Bani Abbas had a common line of descent.
When Bani Omayya took over caliphate, Bani Abbas became jealous of them. The Persians exploited the situation and used Bani Abbas as an effective instrument to overthrow the reign of Bani Omayya. Abu Muslim Khur’asani (a Persian) was the man who vehemently supported the propaganda in favour of Bani Abbas. To win over the people, Bu Muslim used the same old tactics that caliphate is the right of Ahle bai’at (family of Muhammad).
Actually the progeny of Hazrat Fatima (the wife of Ali and daughter of Muhammad) are known as Ahle bai’at or family of the Messenger (whose male issue did not survive). Bani Abbas on the other hand were the only descendents of Hazrat Abbas, one of the uncles of Muhammad. Being inspired by the propaganda of Abu Muslim, the Abbasids took over the plea that an uncle had a better right of inheritance to Muhammad that Ahle bai’at. They argued that Abbas was the uncle of Muhammad and Ali was his cousin (son of the other uncle named Abu Talib who died earlier than Muhammad) and that an uncle had a better right of succession than a cousin. However the name of Bani Abbas held no attraction for the people who considered the progeny of Hazrat Ali and Hazrat Fatima as the real Ahle bai’at. Abu Muslim was a genius and a highly skilled person in the art of intrigue. He was born in Isfahan (Persia) and bred in Kufa (Iraq). Ibrahim son of Muhammad Abbas, having realised his intellectual capacity, put him in charge of the propaganda machinery. Abu Muslim made Khurasan his centre and without giving publicity to any one person, successfully carried out the campaign against Bani Omayya. Incidentally, in those days the idea of Im’am Mehsi (the idea of return of an Im’am from hiding), was in vogue. Anu Muslim gave publicity to the fact that Im’am Mehdi would soon be coming from the Khurasan side and that his army would be clad in black uniforms and its flag would also be black. When the propaganda reached its pitch, he himself came out of Khurasan with a black army and black flag, attacked Bani Omayya and defeated them. The Abbasids, after they took the reigns of power, became apprehensive of Abu Muslim’s intellect, intriguing qualities and influence, and killed him.
In the meantime Ahle bai’it themselves had several conflicts with Bani Omayya, such as the tragedy of Karbala in 61A/H., the rising of Zaid son of Im’am Zainal-Abedeen against Bani Omayya in 122A.H, and the rising of Yahya son of Zaid in 126A.H. But these were all unsuccessful attempts. After the Abbasids took over caliphate, Ahle bai’it became highly sensitive to the fact that the Abbasids used their name for the purpose of gaining power. Thus a period of conflict and bloodshed followed between the parties, each claiming a right of succession to the Messenger, on the basis of relationship. Abu Muslim Khurasani, who came out with the idea of the revival of the Persian Empire from the back door, could not succeed, as he was assassinated, but he left intrigues and divisions amongst the Muslims, as well as sowing the seeds of un-Quranic ideas about the succession of caliphate.
Bramaka – This was followed by yet ANOTHER CONSPIRACY. A seditious Persian family won the friendship of the Abbasid caliphs, and took over key posts in the administration of the state, but with ulterior motives. This family was known as Bramaka. The word Bramaka means the High Priest of the biggest fire worship temple of Persia. The Bramakas failed in their mission which was meant to revive the Persian Empire, but on the other hand they achieved tremendous success in their sinister plan of changing the very face of Islam. On account of their influence in the Abbasid caliphate, the Islamic, as well as the Arabic, way of life assumed an entirely disfigured countenance, for all time to come. Jamasap, the ancestor of the Bramaka family, had held high positions in the Persian Empire, such as the Chief Justice and the Prime Minister etc. He was related to Zardasht, the prophet of Persia. Khalid Bramaka was the person who, to begin with held high position in the Abbasid Caliphate. How he could manage to do so is a matter not related to our discussion. He gained influence during the reign of the first Abbasid Caliph, Muhammad bin Ali, known as Saffah. Khalid Bramaka held a highly influential post, as well as having deep friendly relations with the family of the Caliph. He was later appointed governor of Faras. Yahya son of Khalid was even more clever than Khalid and had a great mental acumen. Caliph Mansoor made him the governor of Azar Baijan. But Khalid sought for his son a rather more important and effective post, from his own point of view and that was the post of tutor to Haroon Rashid, the heir of Caliph Mansoor. This post provided Bramaka with a much greater influence in the state and the post became more or less hereditary in the family. Fazal and J’afar, the sons of Yahya, were even more intelligent than their father and grandfather. During the caliphate of Haroon Rashid, the affairs of the state were more or less entirely in the hands of Yahya who ran the administration with the help of his sons Fazal and J’afar. The result was that in actual practice the state was run by the Bramaka family, in the name of the caliph. They used this golden opportunity to gave a Persian colour to the Islamic state and accomplished this task cleverly and successfully. Yahya founded an institution known as Baitul-Hikmat (the home of wisdom). He had a substantial part of Persian literature interpreted into Arabic and arranged functions and seminars of high academic standard. In the theological controversies which took place at these functions, the Persians, Jews and Christians formed one party and Muslim religious leaders the other party, and the subjects of discussion were the Islamic beliefs and ideals. The Arabs were simple minded men of action who never came into contact with the philosophical controversies in which the Persians were for a long time well-versed. The Jews and Christians also had sound knowledge of Persian philosophy. Thus it was difficult for Arabs to compete with them. As a result of these debates, doubts began to arise in the minds of common men regarding the Islamic beliefs and ideals, as the non-Arab ideals appeared to be more sound. Moreover the finance of the state were under the control of Bramaka who distributed handsome rewards to Jewish and Christian debaters.
Before we discuss the details of how the Quranic Islam turned into and un’Quranic one, let us first see the extent of Bramaka’s influence in the Abbasid state. Yahya had a number of sons and daughters, amongst who Fazal and J’afar were well learned. Their closeness to the family of the caliph can be judged from the fact that Fasal and Haroon Rashid were both breast fed by the mother of the latter. Thus when Haroon Rashid took over the reigns of power, he appointed Fazal to posts of the highest responsibility. But the Bramak, as we have learnt, had their own plans. Just as Khalid had his son Yahya appointed as tutor to Haroon Rashid, Yahya arranged to keep his son Fazal inside the palace. J’afar on the other hand was put in charge of state affairs. Thus the main arteries of the state both inside and outside the palace were under the control of these two brothers: and the age old experience of their father Yahya was a guiding force behind them. But, as often happens, they became power-crazy after gaining full control of the state machinery and became less careful in the execution of their nefarious designs. Caliph Haroon Rashid got an inkling of their wickedness, which gradually became more and more manifest. Wherever the caliph went on tour inside the country, he could clearly notice that the Bramaka were the actual rulers and that his own influence was waning. This startled him and he had J’afar assassinated, and imprisoned Yahya and Fazal, giving them terrible punishments. All their properties were confiscated.
The Effects of Persian Influence on the Abbasid Caliphate and Its Ultimate End
The Bramaka were thus finished before they could achieve their ultimate goal of the revival of the Persian empire. But, on the other hand, they achieved full benefit from their position and influence in giving the Arab state a Persian colour, and in metamorphosing the Quranic Islam brought by Muhammad into an alien Islam, the edifice of which was raised on man-made foundations. Thus the Islam which followed later was an Ajmi or non-Arab Islam which continues to this day. As stated earlier, Abu Muslim was the first Muslim was the first link in this chain of conspirators. He enrolled Persians in the Arab army and thus made even the defence force of the Abbasids non-Arabs. Khalid also joined the Arab army through Abu Muslim and, after taking a firm foothold, gradually ascended to high positions in the civil administration. Fazal Bramaka, during the period of his ministership, enrolled exclusively Persian soldiers in the province of Khurasan and they were no less than half a million in number. Moreover all the key posts in the civil administration were allotted to Bramaka. The finance of the state was entirely under their control, so much so that Caliph Haroon Rashid had to get their sanction to spend even petty sums. When Im’am Muhammad bin Ali Abbas died, Abu Muslim, in order to commemorate his death, changed the colour of the army uniforms to black and even the Abbasid state were enclosed in black covers. Not only that, but even the colour of the people’s dress was changed to black. Thus Abu Muslim was the person who changed the outward appearance of the Abbasids, but Bramaka changed their thinking, customs and their way of living. During the period of ministership of Khalid, the Persian Nauroz festival came to be observed in the Abbasid state for the first time, and from then one became a permanent feature: and J’afar Bramaka in turn made popular the observance of Jashane Mehar Jan, another Persian festival. The Nauroz festival is still observed in present day Muslim Iran and the observance of the festival of Shab-e-Barat in the present-day Muslim world, with all its firework festivities, is also a relic of the old Persian traditions.
Some people think that the Bramaka were shias, but actually they were neither shias nor sunnis. Their beliefs, ideals and practices were entirely saturated with Zoroastrianism.
Abu Muslim Khurasni and Bramaka were left no more, but the seed they had sown on the soil of Islam continued to flourish, as a result of which the central authority of the Abbasid state became weaker and the provinces became stronger, day by day. For instance, Dyalam (a part of Persia) was conquered by Arabs during the caliphate of Hazrat Omar. The inhabitants of this place stuck to their old religion bit later converted to Islam. Bawaya Dalmi was a politically active person. He, along with his sons, first established his own kingdom in different provinces of Persia, then gradually added to it certain parts of Iraq and ultimately invaded and entered Baghdad in 334A.H. By that time the Abbasid Caliphate had steeply declined to such an extent that Caliph Muktafi welcomed the invaders and recognised their rule. The caliphs from then on were only religious chiefs whose name was recited in the prayer congregations. Caliph Muktafi was assassinated only forty days later.
Bani Bawaya were shias. Their reign lasted till 447A.H. when Slojka replaced them. For the next 60 years, the name of the Abbasid caliphs still continued to be recited in Jum’aa prayers. Ultimately Halaku Khan, son of Changez Khan, took the reigns of power. Abu al Qami was the minister of the then caliph of Baghdad. He was Ghali Shia (it shall be described later what the significance of being a Ghali Shia is). On the other hand Nasiruddin Toosi, a minister of Halaku Khan, was also a Ghali Shia. These two were in league with Halaku Khan and their intrigues resulted in the assassination of Caliph Mustasam which brought to an end the Abbasid Caliphate in 656A.H.
The Persians thus ultimately took revenge for their defeat at the hands of the Arabs in the battle of Q’adsia. These are not mere conjectures. Persians themselves accepted this view. Hussaon Kazimzada is a famous present-day historian pf Iran. In his book entitled “Tajalliyat-e-Ruh-e-Iran dar Ardwar-e-Tareekhi” he relates as follows: “When Sa’ad bin abi Wqas, as a representative of the second Caliph (Hazrat Omar) conquered Iran, the Iranians since then had nurtured feelings of jealousy and revenge within themselves, which were expressed off and on in different forms, until they completely surfaced with the foundation of the Shia sect. The well informed people know very well and agree that in the foundation and appearance of Shiaism, in addition to the ideological differences, there is also a political element. Iranians could neither forget nor forgive that a handful of barefoot desert people of Arabia conquered their ancient kingdom, looted its treasures and killed so many innocent people.”
The same historian writes further: “Ours sane ancestors had neither any love for Bani Fatima (the descendants of the daughter of Muhammad) nor any enmity against Bani Omayya. Their only goal was to overthrow the Arab rule somehow or other, and thereby revive their ancient kingdom and glory. Because the Hashamite caliphate came to an end after the death of Hazrat Ali and the caliphate of Bani Omayya, a pure Arabian power took its place and became recognised as the central authority of Islam, the non_arabs thus became completely dominated by the Arabs. Then the only course left for them was to come to the aid of the Hashamites and instigate them to rise against the ruling power. This is what our ancestors did.”
Thus in the words of Kazimzada, when the Persians brought about the end of Bani Omayya’s caliphate with the aid of the Hasamites, and Abbasids who were Hashamites took their place, they (Persians) sent for Halakoo Khan to put an end to the Arab rule.
Revenge Against Islam
But the above mentioned revenge was against the Arab Muslims. We now come to the revenge which Persians took against Islam, which had eclipsed their ancient religion of Zoroastrianism.
Before we begin this description, let us recall some of the basic concepts of Islam given to us by the Messenger, and which are contained in the Quran:
- Man gains knowledge through his eyes and ears, known as perceptual knowledge. Every human being can get it by his own efforts, by means of reading, hearing, observation and experience.
- But there was another source of knowledge which was transmitted directly from God Almighty to certain selected individuals who served as the carriers of divine message to the common man. This source of knowledge as described earlier, is known as revelation (wahi).
- The messengers of God who carried the divine message from time to time were known as Nabees or the recipients of the message, as well as Messengers or deliverers of the message: Nubuwwat and Risalat thus being two faces of the same coin. This source of knowledge ended with Muhammad (pbuh) the last Messenger of God, and thereafter perceptual knowledge remained the only source of human information, for all time to come: which means the doors of direct transmission of knowledge from God to man became closed forever.
- The Divine message brought by Muhammad (pbuh), which is a complete code of life for all future generations of mankind, now lies safely inside the Quran. This code of life is final, complete, explicit, immutable and absolutely safe from external interference. It can be understood by the use of intellect and foresight and the expanding perceptual knowledge of he world all round. It was handed over to humanity by Muhammad (pbuh) and, as God took its safety upon Himself, there has not been the slightest change in it since it was revealed.
- The way of life prescribed by the Quran is a social order which can be established in a free Muslim state.
- The best suited person from amongst the believers is appointed the head of state by mutual consultations.
- The Head of an Islamic state is an instrument to enforce the divine laws and injunctions contained in the Quran and is not allowed to use his personal authority. The state administration is carried out in consultation with the Community.
Such a state was first established for them by Muhammad (pbuh) and the pattern that was presented by him continued to be followed for some time after his death. After that period the Muslim statehood assumed a different shape on account of the non-Arab intervention initiated by the Persians.
Let us recall that the first difference amongst the Muslim Community took place on the issue of caliphate. As described earlier, the difference was in the choice of Hazrat Ali as Caliph. The Persian intriguers introduced the idea that the Caliph is not chosen by mutual consultations among the believers but is appointed by God Himself, and such a person they called Im’am instead of Caliph (the word Im’am as stated earlier, also came to be used later, by Sunnis, for learned men). The first Im’am they said was Hazrat Ali and the Immamat shall continue from then onwards by succession in his line of descent. Earlier we discussed this belief in connection with the political situation of that age. Now we shall describe the way it affected the social order established by Muhammad (pbuh).
The Shia Subsects and Their Beliefs
The Shias became subdivided into subsects as follows:
- Kais’ania subsect – They believe Muhammad bin Hanfia to be the second Im’am after Hazrat Ali. He was the son of Hazrat Ali from his wife Hanfia – a wife other than Hazrat Fatima to who Im’am Hussain and Im’am Hasan were born. At the death of this Im’am his followers spread the belief that he was the promised Mehdi who did not die but ‘had gone into hiding only to return later, after a certain period, in order to establish his rule.’ We find here that the same belief of ‘Return’ which was initiated by the Persian Abdulla Ibm Saba has been put into practice. The same belief was carried further in respect of certain other persons as well. Kais’ania also believed that an Im’am is also a representative of the messenger of God and that the personality of the Im’am is everlasting like God Himself. The centre of Kais’ania subsect was Khurasan, the place from where the intrigues spread against Bani Omayya.
- Zaidia subsect – They agree with the general body of Shias as far as the succession of Imamat from Hazrat Ali to Im’am Zainal Abedeen is concerned. But after that instead of Im’am Baqr they believe Zaid as Im’am.
- Im’amia and Ism’allia subsects – Those who accepted Im’am Baqr as Im’am also accepted his son Im’am J’afar Sadiq as Im’am but at the lower rung of the ladder there again appeared two subsects. One subsect accepts Ismail as Im’am and the other accepts Musa Kazim as Im’am. The former sub division is known as Ism’ailia and the latter are known as Im’amia. The Im’amia thus accept all the 12 Im’ams from Hazrat Ali downwards to Hazrat Muhammad. They form the major part of the Shia sect. Their belief about the twelfth Im’am (im’am Muhammad) is that he is alive and is hidden in a cave in Iraq: he shall appear before and near the Day of Judgement and shall rule the entire world. He is also known as Im’am Mehdi. In fact all Shias believe, in principle, as stated earlier, in the reappearance of a hidden Im’am.
- Ghali subsect – A part of this subsect known as Khuram Dinia believed the Im’ams to be Gods, the messengers of God and angels.
They did not believe in the day of resurrection. Abdul Khitab, the pioneer of another part of this subsect known as Khitabia believed Ima’, J’afar Sadiq as God and himself as the messenger of God. All Shia subsects believe in ‘Taqiyya.’ Khitabia also believed that there has always been two messengers of God at a time, one being vocal and the other non-vocal. In spite of all these beliefs they still called themselves Muslims. Intrigues and conspiracies against the government of any particular age was their aim in life. The Ghali subsect has now become extinct.
Let us recall that Abu al’Qami,the Minister of the last Caliph of Baghdad and Nasirud-din Toosi, the Minister of Halaku Khan were Ghali Shias.
- Ism’ailia subsect – This subsect is so particular about keeping their beliefs and teachings secret that it is rather difficult to say anything definite about them. But some time ago a member of this subsect who was a research scholar, plucked up courage and published a book containing extracts from their secret books and documents. He was Zaid Ali Khan, Professor of Arabic and Vice Principle of Nizam College Hyderaba Deccan (India).
The title of this book is “The true nature of our Ism’ailia religion and its organisation.” The following passage is from page 611 edition 1954 of this book. “The originator of this invitation is Himoonul Qadah, a Persian, or his son Abdullah. The objective before them was to start a religious movement which could stand against the Abbasid Caliphate. For this purpose Im’am Abdulla formed an organisation in which they enrolled such people who were inclined towards the belief of ‘M’otazila’ and the views of their philosophers. For the success of this movement they had to seek the help of ‘Ahle bai’at’ so as to attract the Shias who loved them.”
Dr Zahid Ali describes further the teachings of his subjects as follows: “The primary basis of their education is that Muhammad instituted a manifest code of life and Hazrat Ali started to explain its hidden meaning. After Hazrat Ali six Im’ams completed this secret education and the seventh Im’am Muhammad bin Ism’ail suspended the manifest Shari’at (code of laws) of Muhammad. All the past and future Im’ams in his line of succession are ‘Khulafai Quaim’ i.e. they exist forever. They are in hiding and at any time one of the could reappear and convert the whole of humanity to Ism’ailis.” Zahid Ali Khan further states “Secrecy is an outstanding feature of Ism’aili teachings. We never disclosed our real beliefs to anybody except the prominent members of our own sect, on account of political expediencies and requirements of the state, because the majority of our people were Sunnis (here he talks of the F’atimid rule in Egypt). That is why our teachings to the common man were different to those of our selected members. Even the newcomers into our sect were not told the secrets which were made known to our mature members.” (Preface – B)
Dr Zahid Ali describes the Ism’aili beliefs further as follows: “ An Im’am has the right to life the Shari’at laws, as well as to reintroduce them at any time. Regarding the Quran, they believe that just as the Jews and Christians left their original books Torah and Bible respectively and complied other books of their own thinking and speculation, the same thing happened with the Quran in the hands of the Muslims. The Messenger composed the book of God and in the presence of his companions handed it over to his Wasi (Hazrat Ali). These people (the companions) did not take care of it and composed another version of the Quran in their own way. The third Caliph burnt the later compilation and prepared a version of his own. After that Hajjaj came in and in turn burnt the version compiled by the third Caliph and made alterationd of his own.” (Preface)
Dr Zahid Ali has quoted certain differences by comparing the present-day Quran with the one compiled by Hazrat Ali. For example, we find in Sura al-Maa’idah verse 5:67. “Yaa’ayyu-har-Rasulu ballig maa ‘unzilla ‘ilayka mir-Rabika…” Hazrat Ali’s version is as follows: “Yaa’ayu-har-Rasulu ballig muaa ‘unzilla ‘ilayka mir-Rabika fi Ali…”
About the Quran compiled by Hazrat Ali, they say that it is kept in safe custody of their Im’ams and shall be opened in due course by a hibernating Ima’m after he reappears. Regarding the interpretation of the Holy Quran they believe that the correct interpretation does not lie in its manifest words because these words have a hidden meaning which is known only to Im’ams. On this account they say that a nabee is “Messenger N’atiq” or a vocal messenger of God whose orders are manifest, and a Wasi is “ Messenger S’amit” whose orders are secret. The hidden meaning of some words is said to be as follows: “There is no sovereign except God” means “There is no Im’am except the Im’am of the time.” (page 408) “Ablution” means “Hazrat Ali” as the words Wudhu and Ali both contain three letters in Arabic.
Similarly they say: Salat means Muhammad as each word contains four Arabic letters. Thus “There is no prayer without ablution” means to accept Muhammad as the messenger of God is meaningless without accepting Ali as Wasi (page 424). Thus according to them all the words in the Quran have hidden meanings. It is also interesting to note that such interpretations, as they say, are ever changing.
Im’am – The central theme in shia thinking is their belief in the institution of Im’amat. Its basis is as follows: Abdul Matlab, the grandfather of Hazrat Muhammad was the descendent of Hazrat Ibrahim. Nabawat, the receipt of the divine message, Risalat, the delivery of the divine message, the representation of the messenger by another messenger of God and Imamat (leadership), all the four missions were entrusted in his (Abdul Matlab’s) person. He gave separate missions to his sons Abdulla (Father of Muhammad) and Abu Talib (father Ali): Nubuwat and Ris’alat to the former and Wis’ayat and Ima’mat to the latter. But all the four missions had accumulated in Abu Talib who in turn gave Nubuwat and Ris’alat to Muhammad and Wis’ayat and Im’amat to Hazrat Ali. But after the death of Abu Talib all the four missions were transferred to Hazrat Ali (pages 63-64). Thus Hazrat Ali was the real Im’am and Muhammad was only sent to certify his Im’amat. The last message that Muhammad gave was about the Im’amat of Hazrat Ali. Muhammad appeared only to eradicate the hidden Shirk (shirk means to make equals to God). There is no Shirk in this world. All believe in God. Shirk is only the unbelief in the Wis’ayat of Hazrat Ali (page 363). “If you see an Im’am drinking wine, committing adultery or other shameful acts, do not think that he is a disbeliever and do not express it with your tongue and have no doubts about his truthfulness, because Im’ams are under the protection of God.” (page 363).
“Our Im’ams are free from sins and are far superior in rank to the messenger of God: the difference between the two being that of a master and a slave. Im’ams are free from sin while the messengers of God are not, not even Moses, not even Muhammad.” (page 366) God forbid.
In India Ism’aili subsects comprise ‘Khojas and Bauhras.’ Their beliefs are given in their book entitled Mashab and B’aini T’aleem (Religion and Hidden Teachings) by Mirza Muhammad Saeed Dehlvi, are as follows: “In ancient times when Hazrat Ali was Vishnu, Muhammad took the form of ‘Ved Vayas.’ Some Khojas believe that Ali was God and Muhammad was his messenger. Nasari (a sub-division of Ism’ailis) believe their Im’ams down to the present Agha Khan as Awtars of Hazrat Ali, and thus like Hazrat Ali are believed to be Gods. These people, like Hindus, also believe in the transmigration of souls. They believe in the Quran as the last authenticated Ved: but they do not consider the present Quran to be its true version (page 339-342). Their Shari’at (religious code of law) varies according to what country they live in. They follow the Shari’at as is followed by the majority population of that country.
Herewith we quote the views of this subsect regarding Im’amat from the book entitled al-Osul-ak-Kaft, by Suqatul-Islam Muhammad bin Yaqub bin Ishal al Kalini al-Razi (died 329 A.H.). This is the most reliable and authenticated book of Hadith amongst them and serves as a pillar of their religion.
As stated already, the direct transfer of knowledge from God to a certain person is called Wahi or revelation, and that the message of Wahi received by Muhammad today lies safely in the pages of the Quran and that God has taken Himself the safety of this message. This is exactly what the Quran teaches us. Khatme Nubuwwat or the close of the divine message through the messengers of God signifies that in Deen or the way of life prescribed by God, the authority is only that of the Quran, the last book of God, and after the Quran was revealed, nobody had the right to claim that such and such a thing is from God almighty, unless it was consistent with the Quranic teachings. Direct receipt of knowledge from God is the peculiarity of the Nabee, who is a recipient of revelation. But we find in the book al-Osul al-Kafi that the shias have attributed this unique qualification to the Im’am as well: although they have not used the word Im’am in this respect, they have used the word Muhaddath instead. We find one Hadith in this book which runs as follows: “Zahara relates that he asked Im’am Muhammad Baqar, to explain the difference between the words Nabee (a recipient of divine message) and Rasool, a deliverer of the divine message, as they occur in the Quranic verse (19:54). The Im’am replied that Nabee is the one who hears the voice of the angel and can hear his voice; and Rasool is the one who hears the voice of the angel and can see him both in a dream, as while as while awake. Zahara next asked, what would be the position of an Im’am in this respect; Im’am Muhammad Baqar replied, “An Im’am hears the voice but does not see the angel.” After that he recited verse 22:52 of the Quran as follows: “Wa ma ‘arsalana min qablika mir-rasuulinawaa la naiyyin (wal muhaddas) illaa…” (al-Kafi, Volume 1, page 203)
The first surprise is the extra words ‘wal Muhaddas’ here, which is not present in the Quran. But according to the Shias, this is how the Ahele-e-bai’at (the family of the Holy Messenger) read it. This is not a singular instance, we find so many other Quranic verses quoted in al-Kafi which contain extra words. But here the main point of our discussion is the word Muhaddas. As stated already, a Muhaddas according to them is one to whom an angel delivers the divine message, he can hear the voice of an angel but cannot see him. Another Hadith says, “Muhaddas is one who talks with the angel, hears his voice, but does not see him either in a dream or while awake.” According to yet another Hadith Hazrat Ali said, “Amongst my descendants eleven Im’ams are Muhaddaseen.” (al-Kafi, Volume 1, page 281)
One may conclude from what has been said above that as far as the transmission of knowledge from God to man is concerned there remains no difference between a Messenger and a Muhaddas. There are scores of Ahadis in Shafi Volume 1, in which the rank of an Im’am is shown to be equal or even superior to that due to a Messenger or even to God Himself.
In matters of Deen, the Quran is the authority amongst the Muslims. In this respect Im’am Muhammad Baqar said, “Nobody can claim to have the manifest as well as the hidden knowledge of the Quran except the Ausia (the plural of the word Wasi which has been explained earlier).” Thus according to them the Im’ams are superior in knowledge to Messengers in that they also possess hidden knowledge. They say that the knowledge began to be received by the Messengers and reached its climax in the Im’ams (Shafi, Volume 1, page 291).
According to the Quran, the descent of Wahi is not dependant on the will of a Nabee, it is rather God who chooses to send it at an appropriate time. A Nabee never knew beforehand that he was going to receive Wahi until it actually descended upon him (al Quran 28:86). On the contrary it is said in Shafi, Volume 1, page 295 that Im’am J’afar Sadiq said, “An Im’am is bestowed knowledge as and when he wills.”
About all that lies hidden beyond human conception, the Quran says that its knowledge is only with God and that God transmits its knowledge to His messengers through revelation only as much as is required. On the other hand it is given in Shafi, Volume 1, page 295 that Im’am J’afar Sadiq said, “An Im’am who does not know that calamity is in store for him and what its future consequences shall be, cannot guide humanity.”
The central belief in Christianity is that Jesus Christ gave his life in order to save the sinful, i.e. his blood became a compensation for other people’s sins. It is contrary to the Quranic teachings that every man is responsible for his own actions and that even an insignificant human action leaves its imprint on the human personality which flourishes or disintegrates according to whether the action is good or bad respectively. The Law of Requital is the basic theme of the Quranic message. But it is given in Shafi, Volume 1, page 297 that Im’am Musa Kazim said, “God became furious on our sins on account of their abandoning the Taqiyya and thus gave me an option to accept one of the two alternatives, my own execution or the execution of my followers. I gave my life in order to save them.
Further it is given in Shafi, Volume 1, page 462 that Im’am J’afar Sadiq said, “God is not ashamed of sending his wrath on those who do not love Im’am J’afar and do not pray under his Wilayat, however good their actions may be; but is ashamed of sending his wrath on those who pray with the love of Im’am Mansoosmin God, however bad their actions may be.” Thus according to them good or bad actions make no difference as long as the love of Im’am is there.
Abu Hamza relates that he heard Im’am Muhammad Baqar saying, “Ali is the gate which God has opened. One who entered this gate is a believer and one who came out of it is a non-believer: and one who neither entered nor got out of it belongs to a category about whom God has said that it is up to Him whether to bestow salvation on such a person or not.” One can well imagine how fantastic those beliefs are.
Shia Belief About Hazrat Ali
According to another tradition Im’am Raza said, “The Wisayat of Hazrat Ali has been mentioned in all respective scriptures of the messengers of God. God never sent a messenger on the earth who did not accept the Nubuwwat of Muhammad and the Wisayat of Hazrat Ali.”
Muarif-e-Islam, a shia Monthly Journal in Lahore, states in its issue of September 1971 as follows: “Had there been no Ali, Muhammad could not have been born and had there been no Muhammad, the creation of the universe could not have taken place. Thus without Ali nothing could have come into existence.”
Shia Kalima reads as follows: “There is no deity but God, Muhammad is His messenger and Ali is his wali.” (Muarif-e-Islam page 141)
Let us recall that we started the present discussion from the belief in what is known as Muhaddas and we have followed its implications. It is apparent that when the criterion of salvation became dependent on the obedience of Mansoos Im’ams the importance of the Quran as well as of Kahtme Nubuwwat (finality of Prophethood) went to the background. Not only that, even such beliefs came into vogue which gave rise to suspicions about such basic concepts of Islam as the safety of the Quranic text, and its being a code of life for humanity for all time to come. Shias claim that the words of certain verses of the Quran have been changed from the original. There is a chapter in al-Kafi entitled “Kitabul Hujjat” which quotes so many verses of the Quran which are different in text from the one that lies safe with the rest of the Muslim world. With such beliefs and practices, the Quran is reduced to the level of modified ancient scripture belonging to other messengers of God: although God took upon Himself the safety of the Quran:
“We have without doubt, sent down the message and we will guard it.” Al-Hijr 15:9.
As regards those verses which according to them remain unchanged, their belief is that these verses have hidden meanings which are known only to the Im’ams. Not only that, they even believe in the presence of other records of Wahi besides the Quran and after the Quran was revealed. A tradition in Al-Kafi, chapter Kitabul Hujjat, chapter 39 runs as follows – Im’am Abu J’afar, in reply to a question by Abu Baseer said: “Abu Muhammad! We have got Jamia and people do not know what Jamia is.” Abu Baseer said: “Sir! Tell us what Jamia is.” The Im’am replied, “It is a book which measures seventy hand lengths. It was dictated by the holy Messenger and was written by Hazrat Ali. It describes all that is lawful and all that is unlawful, and all that a man could possibly be in need of, so that it describes even small abrasions…” Then he raised his hand and said, “Abu Muhammad! May I do a certain thing?” Abu Muhammad said “Sir! I am yours, do whatever you like.” The Im’am rubbed his two fingers and said “This is also described in Jamia.” Then he kept quiet for a moment and again said, “We have also got Jafr. Do you know what Jafr is? It is a vessel which contains all the knowledge possessed by Ambiya (the messengers of God) and Ausia of all ages, it also contains knowledge possessed by the learned men of Bani Israel.” Abu Muhammad said, “That is real knowledge.” The Im’am said, “That is not all.” He kept quiet for a moment and again said, “We also possess the (Scripture of Fatima) and people do not know what it is.” Abu Muhammad asked, “Sir! What is that?” The Im’am said “That scripture is three times the volume of the Quran.” He kept quiet for a moment and said again, “Not only that, we possess the knowledge of all that happens or shall happen in the world till the day of judgement.” Abu Muhammad said, “That is real knowledge.” The Im’am said, “There is something more than that. We possess the knowledge of all accidents that take place day and night and anything that happens in the world successively and shall continue to happen till the day of judgement.” He explained further. “When the Messenger died, Hazrat Fatima (his daughter) was extremely overwhelmed with emotion. God sent an angel to console her, and the angel talked to her. Hazrat Fatima then related this event to Hazrat Ali (her husband) who instructed her to inform him when the angel came back again, and when she might hear his voice. Hazrat Fatima acted accordingly and when the angel returned, Hazrat Ali noted down what the angel said, and this is how the (scripture of Fatima) came into existence.” (Al-Shafi, Volume 1, page 270-272.)
The relationship of the above described Shia beliefs with the Persians:
- A question arises that the beliefs and ideas described above are of the Im’ams who were all Arabs; then how do Persians come into the picture?
- The second question is that the above described beliefs are those of the Shias and not of the Sunnis who form the major portion of the Muslim population: then is it true to say that the basic concepts of the Quran also became non-existent from amongst the sunnis? If so, how did it happen?
These are very pertinent questions indeed. The true position is that it is correct to say that such beliefs are attributed to Shia Im’ams but we possess no authenticated record to prove that these beliefs were actually initiated and compiled in the form of books by the Ima’ms themselves. These beliefs have come down through successive generations by means of Ahadis literature. Suqatul Islam Kalini is considered to be the most prominent and reliable composer of Hadith literature amongst the Shias. He was born in Rey, now known as Tehran, in the year 250A.H. and died in 329A.H. The eleventh Shia Im’am Hasan Askari died in 260A.H. and four to five years after the 12th Im’am went into hiding as the Shias believe, inside a cave in Samra in Baghdad. Thus it is apparent that Kalini did not take such Ahadis directly from any Im’am, rather he noted them down as related by other people. The other three books of Ahadis with the Shias were written even later. As regards ‘Kafi,’ it is claimed that out of 16199 Ahadis, about 5000 are true ones (Al-Shafi, Volume 1, page 6). But whether these are really true can be judged from the fact that they are contrary to the basic teachings of the Quran.
Now let us discuss the second question i.e. how far and in what way the Persian conspiracy affected the Sunni beliefs.
It may be recalled that the pivotal point in the Persian conspiracy was to bring an end somehow or other the importance and the superiority of the Quran. To achieve this objective, the first idea that was publicised was that the Quranic text was not compiled by Muhammad himself, as he left it in a scattered form. And regarding the compilation of the Quran, strange fairy tales were spread, of which the details feature in a separate chapter of this book. The objective before the conspirators was to battle the worth of the Quran and they did it by introducing the idea that the words of the Quran had been changing off and on, and that the present text of the Quran is not the real one.
Not only that, the conspiracy was pushed further and it was said that some of the verses existing now within the Quran had been repealed, meaning thereby that although they are present in the Quran, they no more form a part of its injunctions. Two separate views were spread about this. First, that certain Quranic verses repealed the others. Second, that certain Ahadis have repealed the Quranic verses. As regards the first view you will find no such indication inside the Quran itself and it all depended on the whims and wishes of Muslim priests to cancel whichever verse they liked. This evil practice prevailed to such a degree that about five hundred verses of the Quran were declared abrogated, and this figure varied in different times, so much so that Shia Waliullah reduced the figure to five only. But it is of no consequence of the figure is five or five hundred, the very idea is vicious: it gives the impression that (God forgive) God Almighty Himself was uncertain when He revealed these verses for the first time.
Now what about the rest of the verses which according to them have escaped abrogation. What are the means at our disposal to understand their true meaning. This is a significant point where the Persian conspiracy is automatically exposed. As noted earlier, according to the Mohaddas belief, it was said that revelation is of two kinds; one which was revealed to Muhammad and the other which was revealed to Im’ams. This belief was spread amongst the Shias. But amongst the Sunnis a different idea propagated and it was said that although revelation is of two kinds, Wahi Jali and Wahi Khafi, both of them were revealed to Muhammad. The former Wahi Jali , they said, lies inside the Quran and the latter Wahi Khafi is contained inside the books of Ahadis. It was also said that Wahi Khafi is exactly like the one contained inside the Quran, or rather it is in addition to the Quran. Thus a tradition by Miqdad bin Mehdi Karb is related as follows: The Messenger of God said, “I am given the book and something in addition to it which is like it.” This, it is said, is the Ahadis literature.
It is said that this particular belief was introduced by Im’am Shafi. The said Im’am was born in Asqalam in 150A.H. During the reign of Caliph Haroon Rashid he lived in Yemen which was the central place of the Shias. It is also said that he himself was a Shia and was summoned to appear before the Caliph on account of this belief. Anyhow, whosoever may be the originator, this belief became widespread. Those who had an insight into the teachings of the Quran, and who knew that it was the final and complete code for humanity for all times to come protested against this novelty and pleaded for the Quran to be the only authority in matters of Deen. But, as is the usual practice with the Orthodox, they labelled such right thinking people as Motzalla, and started a campaign of vicious propaganda against them. So violent and successful was their propaganda that, even today, if anyone talks reason and it is difficult to argue with him, it is sufficient to label him Motzalla, in order to defeat him. The result was that this belief of (some thing in addition to the Quran and like the Quran) became a permanent and basic feature of Islam. Not even that, they went even farther and claimed that Ahadis are less dependant on the Quran, it is the Quean which id dependant on the Ahadis (Page 223). Yahya Ibn Kaseer goes still farther and says that Ahadis are superior to the Quran. It is also said that a Hadith can be used to repeal a Quran injunction.
Origin of this Conspiracy
Now let us see how and when this conspiracy against the Quran started. There was no collection of Ahadis during the Caliphate of the four Caliphs. Such collections were rather strongly resisted at the time. Even during the Caliphate of Bain Umaya no such thing existed. These collections made their first appearance during the Abbasid Caliphate. As noted earlier, six such collections are considered to be authentic by the Sunnis, and it is noteworthy that, like Shia collections of Ahadis, all the six were composed by the Persians.
|Composer||Resident of||Died in||Ahadis Collected||Ahadis selected for composition|
|Imam Muhammad ismail Bokhari||Bokhara||260 A.H.||600,00||2,762|
|Imam Muslim bin Hajjaj||Neshapur||261 A.H.||300,000||4,348|
|Imam Abu Isa Muhammad Tirmrmazi||Tirmaz||279 A. H.||300,000||3,115|
|Im’am Abu Daood||Sistan||275A.H.||500,000||4,800|
|Abu Abdulla Ibn Maja||Qazveen||273 A.H.||400,00||4,000|
|Imam Abdul Rahman Nisai||A village in Khurasan province||303 A.H.||200,000||4,321|
Just imagine these Ahadis are said to be the utterances of the Messenger, but none of those who collected them was an Arab; they were all Persians. There was no written record of what was collected. The collection was made 250 years after the death of the Messenger, depending on what was verbally related by the people all around. According to Im’am Bokhari’s own statement, he collected 600,000 Ahadis, and based on his personal judgement he selected only 2,762 out of six hundred thousand, as true ones, and rejected the rest as unreliable. These 2,762 are now give the status of the Quran, even more than that, they are said to be in a position to repeal the Quranic injunctions. The nature and worth of such Ahadis can be judged from those I have quoted at appropriate places in this book, but it shall be worthwhile to mention some of them here, in order to enable readers to form their own judgements:
Tradition – The Messenger said, “(Belief in God) cannot enter the heart of a person unless he does not love Hazrat Abbas and his descendants.”
Another tradition regarding the companions of the Messenger, the same companions who in the words of the Quran were true believers, runs as follows: According to ‘Ibn Abbas, the Messenger said in one of his sermons, “Beware! Certain people from amongst my Community shall be brought forth on the day of Judgement and angels shall drive them towards hell. I shall say at the time, “My Lord, these are my Companions.” A voice from God shall proclaim, “You are not aware of what they did after your death.” On that occasion I shall say (like Christ), “You are the witnesses on them.” Again the voice of God shall be heard saying, “O Muhammad! These people turned Murta (converts from Islam to other faiths) soon after you left them.” (Bokhari, Kitabul Tafsir.)
Here you find a malicious campaign to lower the companions of the Messenger in the eyes of believers, because they are so highly praised by the Quran. Let us recall that these books belong to the Sunnis rather than Shias and are considered to be authentic and reliable to such an extent that anybody who rejects such Ahadis is considered to be outside the pale of Islam.
After a foundation was provided by this Hadith literature, it no longer remained difficult to build the ‘magnificent’ structure of a new Islam on it. The ‘sacred’ task was accomplished by an eminent learned personality from amongst the Sunnis known as Muhammad Jurair Ibn Tabri.
About Tabri, Allama Tamanna imadi remarked, “He was born and bred in Ami, a town in Tabristan. He was educated at his place of birth and for 44 years continued his pursuit of knowledge. He was Shia but by Taqiyya he expressed himself as Sunni. The name of his grandfather was Rustam who, after he became Muslim, came to be known as Yazid. In such books which Tabri wrote exclusively for Shias he wrote his name as Muhammad bin Jurair bin Rustam and in the books which he wrote for Muslims other than Shias he gave his name as Muhammad bin Jurair bin Yazid.” But Shias do not accept him as one of them.
The first and foremost task performed by Tabri was to write down the commentary of the Quran in 30 volumes. He quoted Ahadis to explain the verses. By doing so it was meant to create the impression that all that was said in his books was not by Tabri but came down from the Messenger himself. It was an effective step because from then onwards only those commentaries came to be considered correct and reliable which followed Tabri. It is obvious that if it is claimed that so and so is an explanation of a Quranic verse is by the Messenger himself, no Muslim can dare to raise an objection to it. Thus the door for any further thinking and research on the Quran became closed for good. Anybody who differs from Tabri is said to differ from the Messenger and is therefore considered to be outside the pale of Islam. The conspiracy is evident. The Quranic concepts became bound and dependant on the concepts given in the books of Ahadis which were composed by Persians, and thus a new Islam took birth.
The task of bringing back the real Islam of the day of Muhammad and his companions could be accomplished by writing down the history of that period. Btu Tabri was shrewd enough to take precautions. Thus besides commentary of the Quran, he also composed a history of Islam in 13 volumes. Amongst Sunnis this is considered to be the most authenticated book. All subsequent books on the history of Islam became based on the material provided by Tabri. In this book Tabri has related events that took place during the lifetime of the holy Messenger and his companions, in order to support his commentary on the Quran. On the other hand, in support of the events described in his history book, he quoted the Ahadis given in his commentary. This is how these two interdependent books assumed the representative character of that of Islam which was present during the time of Muhammad and his companions and this very Islam came to be followed in the subsequent period of Islamic history.
Islam Changed from ‘Deen’ or a Social Order to Religion
The vicious concept of gaining knowledge direct from God, by people other than the messengers of God, and sources of Wahi other than the Quran after the last message of God was revealed to Muhammad not only resulted in changing the basic concepts of Islam by means of forged Ahadis, but even worse than that, it transformed the Deen into religion. The difference between Deen and Religion shall be described later, in a separate chapter, under the heading of Mysticism. However, let us mention at this juncture that Deen, or the way of life prescribed by the divine guidance, can only be established in a free state run by the believers and such guidance is contained only in the Quran, in the form of fundamental principles, permanent values and injunctions. If there is no free state, no Deen can be established. In religion, which is supposed to be a personal relationship between God and man, and which a medley of dogmatic creeds, no results can be produced in the practical field. In the observance of such creeds, a man remains under the impression that he is subservient to God while in fact he is not. According to the Quran, inheritance of power on earth is the prerequisite of Deen.
Thus it is said:
“God has promised to those amongst you who believe and work deeds that promote the development of their potentialities and the formation of a balanced society, that He will, of surety, grant them in the land inheritance of power, as He granted it to those before them and He will change their state after the fear in which they lived, to one of security and peace: they will be subservient to My law alone and not associate any other law with it. If any do disbelieve after this, they break my prescribed pattern.” Al-Noor – 24:55.
But as noticed earlier, inheritance of power on earth is not the prerequisite of Im’amat. As a matter of fact, no Im’am except Hazrat Ali, if you call him Im’am at all, has ever held power. In order to wriggle out of this difficulty the Shias maintain that the inheritance of power, as mentioned in the above said verse of the Quran, does not refer to worldly power. Rather it refers to spiritual power. In support of this they quote Ahadis from al-Kafi, which even goes so far as to say that the reigns of power on the earth are means of destruction. Thus according to tradition Im’am Raza said, “In matters of Deen among Muslims the ambition for a state is as dangerous and harmful as the presence of two predator wolves in a herd of goats which has been separated from its herdsman.” Al-Shafi, Volume 1, pages 284-285.
Yet another tradition runs as follows: Hazrat Abu Abdulla said, “One who yearned for a state or for ruling a territory met destruction.” The natural consequence of the spread of this belief was that worldly rule and spiritual power became two separate entities and worldly rule came to be considered as a hateful thing. This is how the duality of State and Religion took birth among the Muslims. As a consequence of the concept of Im’amat, it originated among the Shias and gradually made inroads into the Sunni sect. Moreover the concept of ‘Ancestral Im’amat’ also influenced the institution of Caliphate. The Caliphate which had already changed into kingship, also separated from each other; the State which became the concern of Kings, and religious affairs which became the concern of priests. Consequently the Personal Laws and Public Laws became two different entities. This not only gave birth to two sects of rules within one territory, but also entirely changed the concept of law making as prescribed in the Quran and which formed the foundation stone of Deen. The Quranic concept of law making was that the Ullmat by mutual consultation made laws consistent with the needs of the time but remaining thereby within the four walls of the fundamentals provided by the Quran. Thus, whereas the Quranic fundamental principles remained immutable and unchanged, the laws framed within their boundary line changed with the changing times. This beautiful blending of Permanence and Change formed the principle of law making of an Islamic State. But the Muslim kings put an end to the consultation machinery and the Muslim priests made the change of laws with the changing times a prohibited act.
According to Im’am Shafi , the laws and injunctions are all given in the books of Ahadis and these laws are unchangeable and therefore there is no need for any further law making. This is the viewpoint of Ahle Haddis. Ahle Fiqa protested against it in the beginning. Their viewpoint was that new laws could be framed in the light of the Quran and Ahadis by consensus of opinion, but later on, they also adopted the same attitude that the door of further thinking is closed and that there shall be no further change in the decisions already made on the basis of Fiqa. According to Ahle Hadis if there is a conflict between a Quranic verse and a Hadith, the injunction of Hadith shall be considered supreme because Hadith is in a position to repeal a Quranic injunction. A similar view came to be adopted by ‘Ahle Fiqa.’ Thus according to Abdul Hasan Abaidullah al-Karkhi, any verse of the Quran which goes against the decisions of predecessors is either silent and inoperative or abrogated. Similarly they said “…any Hadith which goes against the decisions of predecessors is inoperative or abrogated.” It means to say that if any injunction of the Quran conflicts with a Fiqa decision, we should try to bring the two into harmony with each other. But if this is not possible, then the decision of Fiqa shall abrogate the Quranic injunction. As ‘Ahle Hadis’ do not accept the abrogation of any Hadith, so they differ with Ahle Fiqa in this respect, but as far as the abrogation of Quranic verses is concerned, they are both on equal footing.
Thus the Muslim community is today divided into sects with conflicting views such as Shias and Sunnis, the Sunnis are subdivided into Ahle Hadis and Ahlq Fiqa. Ahle Fiqa are again divided into Hanafis, Shafis, Humblies and M’alikis. With all of them the matters of Deen is either Ahadis or the decisions of Fiqa Im’ams. The Quran, on the other hand, is left for only mere recitation (without understanding), or for easing the death of a dying person or for using its verses as magic words against the occurrence of calamities and adverse happenings.
Forces of destruction that worked against the pattern provided by Muhammad for the development of humanity.
The Quran describes Muhammad as ‘a mercy for all the worlds’ meaning thereby that he provided a pattern for the development of human potentialities and for the nourishment of the human Self, as well as the human society. In the words of the Quran, the object of sending the last Messenger of God on the earth was:
“…He releases them (the humanity) from their burdens and from the yokes that are upon them…” Al-A’raaf 7:157.
Let us see what the burdens are, which humanity has always been groaning under the weight of, and what the yokes and shackles are with which humanity has been chained since it came into existence. These burdens and shackles are the forces of tyranny and exploitation which have been explicitly described by the Quran in the story of Moses (Ghaafir 40:24). These forces appear in various forms but come under three main headings:
- The tyranny of kingship, or dictatorship or one man rule. Pharaoh has been described by the Quran as the representative of this group.
- The tyranny of priesthood. H’am’an has been described as its representative.
- The tyranny of capitalism. Q’aroon has been described as representing this category.
In the entire history of mankind humanity has been heard shrieking under the weight of kingship, priesthood and capitalism.
The Deen or social order prescribed by the Quran and put into practice by Muhammad was the real counter-force which could defend humanity against the forces of tyranny and exploitation and which could provide the pattern by means of which human potentialities were free to develop and which could pave the way for the smooth future evolution of man. When we cast a glance at the social order established by Muhammad and his companions on the basis of Quranic Fundamentals, we find that one man rule could not stay in this pattern because the head of the state and his working machinery were simply an agency to enforce the divine laws in human affairs; there was a rule of law in the perfect sense and the people enjoyed freedom undreamt of in human history. There was no priesthood and the people lived in a world free from superstitions in which their mental faculties were free to develop. There was no capitalist exploitation, a head of state and a common man had exactly the same living standards, and the wealth circulated among the people like blood circulating in a living body, each component part of the body getting its due share of nourishment.
The Quran put a seal on Kingship by saying that no human being, not even a messenger of God, has the right to establish a personal rule over his fellow beings. Thus it is said:
“It is not for any human being, unto whom God has given the scripture and wisdom and the office of a messenger of God, to say to people: Be subservient to me instead of God.” Ali-Imran 3:79.
The Quran put an end to Priesthood by saying that there are no intermediaries between man and God: obedience is that of the divine laws which shall be enforced by means of a social order which anybody may join willingly and none shall be forced to join. The Quran not only put an end to priesthood but also declared that there shall be no messenger of God after Muhammad, because:
“The law of thy Sustainer is completed in truth and justice. There shall be no change in the laws of God.” Al-An’aam 6:115.
From now onwards man shall solve his own problems in the manner of the practical demonstration given by Muhammad and his companions: man has been provided with the signposts of the highway of life and he is now mature enough to find hid own way by use of his intellect.
The Quran put an end to Capitalism. A vivid picture of the Quranic economics is as follows: All must get sustenance proportionate to their needs. It is said:
“He made in the earth mountains standing high above it and bestowed ‘self-perpetuation’ on it and measured therein all things to give them nourishment in due proportion, in four eras, in proportion to (the needs of) all those who seek (sustenance).” Fussilat 41:10.
All resources on earth are for the collective benefit of mankind. Thus it is said:
“It is He Who has created all that is on earth, for your collective benefit.” Al-Baqarah 2:29.
Strive hard to earn your living
“…So disperse through the land and strive hard to seek the bounty of God.” Al-Jumu’ah 62:10.
Only eat of what is lawful. The Quran has explicitly explained what is lawful and what is unlawful. The Quran disallowed an economy based on interest. It prohibited and condemned Usury (all types of profiteering) in the strongest terms and differentiated between trade and usury. The Quran only allowed a return in lieu of one’s labour. In trade one puts in both capital and labour while in usury only capital is spent. Thus interest on capital is disallowed while genuine profit in trade is permitted.
“God has permitted trade and forbidden usury.” Al-Baqarah 2:275.
Piling up of wealth is prohibited.
“(There is destruction for) one who piles up wealth and then goes on counting it, thinking that his wealth would last for ever. By no means. He will surely be thrown into which breaks to pieces. And what will explain to thee that which breaks to pieces? (It is) the fire of (God’s law of Requital), kindled to a blaze which will engulf the hearts.” Al-Humazah 104:2-7.
After fulfilling your needs, the surplus wealth that you possess is to be returned to society to meet the requirements of others who are in need of it.
“They ask thee how much they are to spend (for the benefit of others), say, what is surplus (to your needs).” Al-Baqarah 2:219.
This return of surplus wealth to society is not under duress: one parts with it willingly because spending on others promotes nourishment and stability of one’s own personality.
“And the likeness of those who spend their substance seeking to please God and to stabilise their own personality is as a garden high and fertile: heavy rain only makes it yield a double increase of harvest and if it receives not heavy rain, light moisture suffices. Whatever you do is within sight of God’s law of Requital.” Al-Baqarah 2:265.
So far as we have dealt with the conspiracy which brought back Pharaohs and H’a,’ams into the leadership of Islamic society. The story of the entry of Q’aroons into Islam dates back much earlier. But since the introduction of Hadith literature, the task was made easy. After paying 2.5% of your wealth annually by way of Zak’at, you get the licence to pile up any amount of wealth and by all possible means: fair, unfair, or even vicious. Such exploitation in the economic field now prevails in all walks of Muslim society, more so amongst the priestly class who exploit people under the garb of their sacredness. Their strategy is to make people believe in the unlimited spiritual powers which they pretend to possess, so much so that their followers give them the status of God. The Quran says:
“They take their priests and anchorites to be their Lords, in derogation of God.” Al-Taubah 9:31.
The Quran says further:
“Oh you who believe! There are indeed many among the priests and anchorites who in falsehood devour the substance of others and hinder (them) from the way of God. And there are those who amass gold and silver, and spend it not in the way of God: announce unto them the most grievous penalty – on the day when heat will be produced out of this (wealth) in the fire of Hell and with it will be branded their foreheads, their flanks and their backs (and it will be said unto them) “This is the treasure you amassed for yourself: taste now what of what you have amassed.” Al-Taubah 9:34-35.
This proclamation by the Quran strikes at the very root of concentration of wealth amongst a few individuals. But just take note of a tradition in this respect.
According to Abu Daood, Ibn Abbas said, “When the (above said) verse was revealed it had a profound effect on the minds of Muslims, they took it with a heavy heart. Hazrat Omar told them that he would remove their worry and get a solution to this problem. So he went to the Messenger and requested, “O Messenger! This verse has produced an embarrassing effect on your companions.” The Messenger replied, “God has enjoined upon you Zak’at, so that it can purify the rest of your wealth: and has enjoined upon you the law of inheritance, so that people who survive after the death of their predecessor, get wealth.” (Abu Daood-Ref-Mishkwat Chapter Sak’at.)
The Effects of The Conspiracies on our Beliefs
The worst thing that happened was that the conspiracies described above had a tremendous effect on Muslim beliefs. The edifice of the life of an individual, as well as that of a nation, is built on its beliefs and ideology. According to the Quran,
“Because God will never change the grace which He has bestowed on a people until they change what is within themselves.” Al-Anfaal 8:53.
This psychological change in a man depends on his beliefs and his ideals. Arabs were able to conquer the super nations of the world of that age, after the Quran bought about an ideological change in them. The non-Arabs counter-acted by changing the mental equipment of Muslims to such an extent that only faint traces of Quranic concepts are left in the Muslim world today.
Fate – As described earlier, one of the basic concepts presented by the Quran was that this is a world of cause and effect: that every individual is responsible for his own acts of which he must bear the consequences; that a good deed (a deed consistent with the Permanent Values given by the Quran) results in the development of the Personality or Self of an individual, and a bead deed (inconsistent with the Permanent Values) causes the disintegration of the Self; that a person cannot shift his responsibility to another person; that life is a continuous process and that a developed Personality survives the physical death. In brief, an individual as well as a nation makes its own fate. This belief in the law of requital and the life hereafter invigorated the Arabs and made them a fearless people so that they could dominate nations far superior to them in material resources and manpower. The Persian and Byzantine Christians believed man to be passive and bound by fate. It was not possible for them to stand against a nation who believed in making its own fate. Thus the first target of the Persian intelligentsia’s onslaught was the Muslim belief in the law of Requital. Reliance on fate was the outstanding belief of Zoroastrians. They believed that all that happens in the world is bound by fate. Persians started spreading this belief amongst the Muslims. History tells us that the first person who initiated the spread of this belief was M’abad bin Khlaid Jahni. He took it from Abu Yunis who belonged to the Oswara. As noted earlier the Oswara were a group of intelligentsia in the service of the Persian Emperor, who spread all over Kufa and Basra, after they embraced Islam. Briefly speaking, the belief they introduced was that man is bound by the chains of his fate and is helpless in all his actions.
The question arises as to how this belief, which was against the basic concept of Islam, could be accepted by Muslims? But one can well realise that with the introduction of Hadith literature, the answer to this question remains difficult no more. A few Ahadis from ‘Mishkwat-chapter Taqdir’ are presented herewith.
Tradition 1. According to Abdulla bin Omar the Messenger said, “God prepared in written form the fate of His creation, fifty thousand years before the heavens and earth were created, when His Throne was still on water.” How ridiculous! Does it mean to say that water was present fifty thousand years before the creation of the universe or does it mean to say that water is not a created object? This forged Hadith is a reflection of the poor understanding of the Quranic words.
Tradition 2. According to Hazrat Ibn Omar, the Messenger said, “All that happens on the earth depends on fate, even stupidity and wisdom.”
Tradition 3. According to Hazrat Ali, the Messenger said, “There is none amongst you whose abode is not written (in the book of fate)” i.e. whether the abode is hell or heaven (Ref. Bokhari-Muslim).
Tradition 4. According to Abu Huraira, the Messenger said, “A person shall have to commit adultery, to the extent that is written in his fate.” (Ref. Bokhari-Muslim)
Tradition 5. According to another Hadith the Messenger also said, “God created Adam, rubbed his back with His right hand and got his progeny out and said, “I have created them for heaven, they will act like heavenly people”: again rubbed His hand a second time and brought out some more of his progeny and again said, “I have created them for hell, they shall act like people of hell.” On hearing such things from the Messenger, somebody asked, “O Messenger – God! Then what is the value of our deeds?” God replied, “Anybody who is created for heaven, He makes him do good deeds and makes him enter heaven on account of his good deeds. Similarly anybody who is created for hell, he is made to do bad deeds and thus he enters hell on account of his bad deeds.” (Ref: Malik, Tirmazi, Abu Daood)
Tradition 6. According to Abdulla bin Omar, the Messenger once came out with two books in his hands and turning towards us said, “You know what these books are?” We said, “O Messenger: We do not know.” Pointing towards his right hand he said, “This book is from God. It contains the names of all those who shall go to heaven, now there can be no addition to, nor subtraction from it.” Then he pointed towards his left hand and said, “This book is also from God and it contains the names of all those who shall go to hell and there can be no addition to, nor subtraction from this list as well.” (Ref: Tirmazi.)
Tradition 7. According to Abu Darda, the Messenger said, “God relieved Himself of five things about every individual person, i.e. he noted down the following five things in the books of fate –
- 1) The life span of a person
- 2) His good and bad deeds
- 3) His place of residence
- 4) His coming back, and
- 5) His means of sustenance
It is apparent that anybody who has a little knowledge of the Quranic teachings will feel doubtful about such Ahadis and will try to satisfy himself about their authenticity. But those who forged them devised a remedy for this particular issue in anticipation by concocting another set of Ahadis. As for example, Abu Huraira said, “We were discussing the issue of Taqdir (fate) when the Messenger appeared. When he heard what we were talking about, his face became red with anger and he said passionately, “Have I ordered you about it? Have I been sent to you for this purpose? The earlier nations argued about this issue and were destroyed. Therefore you must promise on oath to undertake that you will never discuss this issue again.” (Ref: Tirmazi.)
This idea of Taqdir (fate) was given great publicity, especially by Bramaka. It was a belief amongst the Zoroastrians that all the coming events of a particular year along with the fates of individuals are decided on the eve of Naurox. Bramaka made the night before Nauroz put on an Islamic garb and named it Shab-e-Barat which became a permanent Muslim festival.
The fireworks on the eve of Shab-e-Barat remind us of Zoroastrian practice. Shias believe in ‘Shab-e-Barat’ as being Shabe-Moqaddrat i.e. the night of decisions of fates. Following is a quotation from Kafi ‘-Im’am Abu Jafar said, “God first created Shabe Qadr and during this night he created the first Nabee and first Wasi: then he willed that such nights will come every year when the details of all future events of the coming year shall be decided. Anybody who denies it, denies the knowledge of God because during this night Nabees, Messengers and Muhaddaseen convey to the people what they receive (from God). This night Gabriel brings these commandments.” (Al-Shafi, Volume 1, page 284-285.)
When one embraces Islam, he affirms his belief by the proclamation the he believes in God, His angels, His Messengers, the divine scriptures (given to mankind in different ages through His messengers) and in the life hereafter. But the conspirators added a sixth element i.e. the fate of good or bad. Thus belief in fate came to be the sixth basic condition for becoming a Muslim and the authority for it is Ahadis as usual.
According to one Hadith, said to be related by Ali, the Messenger said, “Nobody can become a Muslim unless he believes in four things:
- (a) To be witness to the fact that there is no other object of worship except God, that I am His messenger and that God has sent me with truth.
- (b) To believe that death is sure to come.
- (c) To believe in life after death.
- (d) To believe in Taqdir.
This is how Taqdir became part and parcel of Muslim belief, a belief that any profit or loss, health or disease, wealth or poverty, grace or degradation, good deeds or bad deeds, rise or fall of nations, victory or defeat, power or slavery, in short everything, was decided and written in the book of fate, before the creation of the universe: and that human efforts can make no change in it. This is how the Muslim nation was turned into a heap of dust, a tremendous achievement of the conspirators.
Tasawwaf or Mysticism
This is not all, there is another arrow in the bag of the conspirators, far more poisonous than those mentioned above and which (God forbid) may prove to be the last nail in the coffin of the Islam brought by Muhammad. As mentioned earlier, according to the Quran, humanity received divine guidance through the messengers of God in different ages and Muhammad was His last Messenger who brought a message complete and final for all time to come. But, as stated already, the concept of Mohaddas was introduced by the conspirators, in order to negate the Quranic concept of the finality of Nubuwwat. But those people applied this concept to the Shia Im’ams only and thus it remained confined within their own sect. On the other hand, as stated earlier, the idea of two types of revelation was introduced amongst the Sunnis which produced exactly the same results, because beliefs and injunctions, with their origin from outside the Quran, acquired the same status as the Quranic injunctions. But this remained ascribed to the personality of the Messenger and was thus confined to Hadith literature only. From now onwards, in order to make the fortress of conspiracy impregnable, the concept of direct communication of any man with God, after the finality of Nubuwwat was introduced. This end was achieved by the introduction of mysticism in Islam. (The subject of Mysticism is dealt with as a separate subject in this book.) It is apparent that this particular concept, and the fact that any man who tries to do it can come into contact with God, is contrary to the Shia belief because according to them only the Im’am can contact God. But it is a strange incidence that all the Sufi (Muslim mystics) lines of descent came down from Hazrat Ali through the Siua Im’ams (except Naqshbandis) and by consensus of opinion, Hazrat Ali is considered by them to be the Kings of Walis (saints). The Sufis claim that their beliefs and ideas are consistent with the Quran. They say that the Quranic words have hidden meanings which are known only to themselves. About this hidden knowledge they say that it is not be disclosed to the common man. In support of this view the following Hadith had to be concocted – Abu Huraira said, “I received two vessels of knowledge from God’s messenger, one of manifest knowledge which I have spread, but I do not disclose the other one (i.e. the hidden one) even if my life artery is cut.” (Ref: Bukhari-Babul Islam, also Mishkwat Babul-Ilm). This Hadith is present in Sahih Bukhari which is considered by the Sunnis as a ‘true book.’ What a pity that neither Im’am Bukhari nor those who committed such a false allegation to the Messenger so that he delivered a secret sect of knowledge to a selected few, could imagine how far it reflects on the personality of the Messenger, in the face of the following Quranic verses:
“O Messenger: Proclaim this message that has been sent to you from your Lord (so that every individual may be benefited). If you did not, you would not have fulfilled and proclaimed its mission.” Al-Maa’idah 5:67.
“Those who conceal the clear message and the guidance We have sent down after we have explained it in the book, explicitly for humanity, on them shall be God’s curse and the curse of those entitled to curse.” Al-Baqarah 2:159.
Was the Messenger of God (God forbid) not aware of this forceful warning present in the Quran? The Hadith described above presents a most heinous allegation against the person of the Messenger. When this concept of direct communication with God by any person who tries to do it, took root amongst the Muslims, it was followed by the appearance of certain self-proclaimed messengers of God. One of them Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani, also ascended his throne of Nubuwwat by means of this ladder. He said, “I have not said anything to the people except that which I have written in my books, that I am a Muhaddas and that God talks to me as He talks to other Muhaddaseen (Hanamtul Bushra, page 96).” As described earlier, the Shais added the word Muhaddas in the beginning of the verse Al-Hajj 22:52 of the Quran and it read as follows:
“Wa maa ‘arsalnaa minqablika mir-rasuulinwwa laa nabiyyin (wal muhaddas) illaa…” Al-Hajj 22:52.
In the beginning Mirza Ghulan Ahmad also enlisted the support of this very verse with the additional words ‘Muhaddas’; but later on he proclaimed himself a full fledged Nabee.
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“Ascribe no partners unto God. To ascribe partners (unto Him)
is indeed the highest wrong-doing.”
The divine laws given to mankind through the messengers of God were meant to create a direct relationship between God and man without any intermediaries. Thus when we are reading the Quran, we are personally in contact with God and receiving his prescribed guidance. But the forces of exploitation have always intervened between God and man. Such forces in the words of the Quran are called “other gods.” Any laws-making authority whose laws are contrary to or exceed the limits prescribed by the revealed fundamental principles, is described by the Quran as “other god.”
“Or have they chosen gods on earth who can cause the living objects to arise from the dead? If there were in the heavens and the earth other gods besides the God, there would have been disorder and confusion in both. But glory to God, the Lord of the throne of authority. He is high above what they attribute to Him.” Al-Anbyaa 21:22-23.
Such other gods always intervened between man and God, and their whims and wishes acted as curtains between man and the light of divine message. The rays of light make it possible for us to distinguish features and the exact location of objects around us. That is why the Quran is termed Light:
“Surely the light has come to you from God in the form of a perspicacious book.” Al-Maa’idah 5:15.
The intermediaries between God an man always turned the divine message into an adulterated and unreal one. They mystified human vision and stupefied human intellect. With the appearance of the Quran, all these veils of darkness disappeared and the curtains which stood before man and God, through the ages, were raised one by one. But again with the passage of time, the followers of The Prophet turning to the footsteps of earlier nations, forsook the Divine message and the curtains once more fell and isolated man from God in human affairs. It is of utmost importance to explain the true nature of these attractive, ornamental and yet deceitful curtains which have kept the Divine message hidden from the eyes of mankind, through the ages, and which ultimately caused the Muslims to follow the footsteps of earlier nations and forget the final and complete code of life, given to them, through the last messenger of God.
Intermediaries between man and God
Worship of the Messengers of God – Next to God, the most venerated and most exalted personality, in the eyes of the believer, is that of the messenger of God. In this respect the Quran has exposed a human weakness which has been repeatedly displayed in human history. That is, the followers of a particular messenger of God raising the status of that messenger to God Himself; considering him to be super-human and making him the object of worship. The Quran has emphasised the Oneness of God, and has also laid equal emphasis on the messengers of God being human beings. The status of God and His messengers respectively is made abundantly clear when it is said:
“And we made them (the messengers) leaders, guiding (men) by Our command and We sent them inspiration to lead a righteous life, to establish Salat prayers and observe charity; and they constantly served Us (and Us only).” Al-Anbyaa 21:73.
Like other human beings, the messengers themselves were dependent on God:
“Moses said:O my Lord! Truly I am in (desperate) need of any good things that Thou dost send me.” Al-Qasas 28:24.
The messengers had no power over any good or harm to their own selves.
“Say: ‘I have no power over any profit or loss to myself except as according to the will of God.” Al-A’raaf 7:188.
The Messengers were the first to believe in what was revealed to them and they were bound to act on the Divine guidance as much as the other believers, even though they entirely and whole-heartedly submitted to the will of God so that there was not the slightest possibility of their disobedience to the Divine command, yet if such a thing could be possible they were placed at par with other human beings as far as the law of requital and their personal responsibility was concerned. Rather the punishment for them would have been greater, as their responsibility was greater. The Quran has clarified this point:-
“ And had We not given thee strength, thou wouldst nearly have inclined to them a little. In that case, We should have made thee taste an equal portion (of punishment) in this life and an equal portion after death: and moreover thou wouldst have found none to help thee against Us.” Bani-Israel 17:74-75.
The Quran repeatedly lays stress on the point that in spit of their superiority in respect of their being the recipients of Divine guidance and in spite of their knowledge of reality being at a super level, they were all human beings otherwise. They were the teachers of mankind and were also entrusted with the task of establishing a social order in accordance with the code of life provided to them by means of revelation, in their respective ages. As a matter of fact, a teacher of mankind must be amongst them so that he may be able to mingle with them and share in their joys and sorrows, and also be acquainted with their problems. It is mentioned in the Quran:
“And they (the non-believers) say: What sort of messenger of God is this who eats food and walks through the streets (as we do)?” Al-Furqan 25:7.
There came the reply:
“And the messengers of God who were sent before thee were all (men) who ate food and walked through the streets.” Al-Furqan 25:20.
Thus in spite of their most exalted status amongst mankind they were human beings after all. They themselves bowed down before God and never made others to bow down before themselves:
“It is not (possible) that a man, to who is given the Book and the Wisdom and messengership of God should afterwards have said to the people: Idolize me instead of God.” Ali Imran 3:79.
Against this background provided by the Quran as described above, let us take note of the behaviour of some of the Muslims towards the messenger, Muhammad.
They have called him the sustainer of the universe. They even said “The one who lives in the heavens as God, descended in Madina as Mustafa.”
Such are the excesses often committed by some Muslims who it is said, do it only on account of their intense love for the Messenger. But it is not a fact that the nations in the past also started “Prophet worship” out of their intense affection for their respective Messengers. The Quran has clarified and distinguished the status of God and the status of a Messenger. Accordingly God is God and Messenger is Messenger: Messenger is not God.
The very life of Muhammad (pbuh) is clear evidence of the fact that in spite of his highly revered position amongst his fellow beings, he always maintained an image of equality between himself and his companions. He consulted them on every matter of importance. He gave them freedom of expression and feelings of independence to such a high degree that it is still undreamt of in the modern age of so-called democracy. After consultation with his companions, he accepted many of their views which differed from his own but were based on reason. His companions could even dare to ask him if a particular view expressed by him was based on Divine Guidance or on his own deliberations. Such was the congenial atmosphere of freedom and independence created by the Messenger for the nourishment of human personality amongst his followers: and the loss of this put the Muslim nation into degradation.
According to the Holy Quran there is yet another group of persons who have been and are given an equal status with God and have been the object of worship by people of different ages. Such persons are the religious leaders. The Quran says:
“They (the Jews and the Christians) take their priests and their monks to be their lords, in degradation of God.” Al-Tauba 9:31.
In this respect why then do we call it leader worship when the Jews and Christians do not bow down before their religious leaders. This is because even if something is not forbidden by the Divine laws, but it was declared forbidden by their leaders, they aided by this; similarly things their religious leaders declared permissible were also accepted. Therefore the words in the above verse means the acceptance of the priests’ decisions, and considering them to be final and beyond reproach, instead of obeying the laws of God. The Quran says:
“Say (True) guidance is indeed the guidance of God.” Al-Baqarah 2:120.
Henceforth the Jews and the Christians made this mistake because they did not consult the authority of their respective Divine books for a particular issue, and thus considered all that the priests said to be the will of God. As a matter of fact they were not exactly in a position to ask for the authority of their Divine books because, with the passage of time, these books no longer remained in their original and unadulterated form. The divine laws were thus thrown to the background and were gradually replaced by those which were the outcome of the thinking of priests and monks. But the case is different with Muslims. They have with them a manifest, detailed and easily understandable book of God in the form of the Holy Quran which remains and shall remaining its pure and unadulterated form for all time to come, for God took its safe custody upon Himself.
The Quran the Divine Message
The Muslims are required to use their own intellect, learn the Quran by themselves and take direct guidance from it. But unfortunately very few people take efforts in this direction. They do not use the Quran as a source of law and guidance, they rather use it for purposes of taking oaths or use it as an Amulet. For guidance in the matters of “Deen,” (Way of Life) they often approach the Priest. The Priest when consulted for any particular issue pertaining to “Deen” quotes the authority of some Imam or some so-called learned man and seldom quotes the authority of the Quran; thus taking the Imam as his lord in degradation of God. His reason for doing so is that the Imams could supposedly understand the Quran better than other people. This behaviour on the part of the Priest has a historical background. When Muslims held the reigns of power for the first time, they took guidance from the Quranic fundamentals but they needed by-laws within the four walls of these fundamental principles for purposes of running the state.
Those conversant with the teachings of the Quran gathered together and made the by-laws according to the needs of the time. Such laws were forwarded to the Judiciary for application. As the laws were initiated by the state, any addition or alteration to them was the function of the state. This is how the “Fiqa laws” originated. It is apparent that these by-laws were changeable with the changing needs of time. These were not immutable like the fundamentals of the Quran, within the four walls of which they were framed. Neither did the originators of these laws know the future requirements of all times to come, nor were they in a position of final authority, for all future law making. But unfortunately the Muslims generations that followed adopted the view that no further application of mind was required either for receiving fresh guidance from the Quran or for the introduction of fresh by-laws consistent with the changing needs of time. They though the originators of the Islamic laws were the only competent persons who could think over it. Thus the Quran gradually came to be considered only a book of highest reverence but not a book which could be used a source of law. This wrong and objectionable attitude advanced further. It did not remain restricted to matters concerning our daily life, it also blocked the way of any further research on the Quran which is a vast treasure of knowledge in so many ways. For example, it deals with the history of the past nations providing thereby guidance and moral lessons of the highest importance. It also deals with the phenomena of nature in support of the truth of its fundamentals, the subject being one of a most revealing nature introducing fresh horizons of knowledge. The result of this disuse of intellect was that a vast majority of Muslims became,
“…like animals, rather worse than that…” Al-Araaf 7:179.
Such people, the Quran states,
“have minds wherewith they understand not, eyes wherewith they see not and ears wherewith they hear not.” Al-Araaf 7:179.
these people are the one heedless of any warning.
Now let us consider this issue dispassionately. Does not such disuse of one’s intellect and judgement amount to worship of those who preceded us? Is it not taking others as lords in derogation of God? It is only the Creator of the universe Who has created and evolved things according to plan and Who possesses the knowledge of His future plans. Considering the predecessors to be immutable, amounts to giving them an equal status with God. Truly it is priest worship.
The Lord of the universe has blocked the way of this exploitation of one set of people by another, through a forceful declaration that the Quran is explicit and self-explanatory. It needs no outside help for the clarification of its message; it needs only the intellect and the judgement of the reader. Thus it is said:
“This (the Quran) is a code of life whose laws are based on Permanent Values, further explained in detail – from One Who is Wise and Well-acquainted (with all things).” Hood 11:1.
As mentioned earlier, the Divine message sent to humanity, through Hid successive messengers by God, has been the same in essence, though it was in accordance with the needs of the time and the standard of mental equipment of men in their respective ages. The final code of life was brought by Muhammad. As the message was to be conveyed to all the future generations of mankind, God took upon himself the safety, as well as the clarification, of the message.
God impressed upon the believers to follow the universal truth and the way of life prescribed by Him and not to follow the priest-craft who indulge in the malpractice of mixing up their whims and wishes with the Divine message.
“And We gave them (Israelites) a clear code of life. It was only after the knowledge had come to the that they fell into schisms through mutual envy. Verily the Lord will judge between them on the Day of Judgement in the respect of that in which they differed. Then We put thee (O Muhammad) on the right way of life, so you follow that (way) and follow not the desires of those who know not.” Al Jaathiyah 45:17-18.
Now the way of life prescribed by God lies in the contents of the Quran:
“These are the clear torch lights of knowledge and guidance and a pattern (of life) for those who believe (in the truth of this message).” Al Jaathiyah 45:20.
thus the Quran lays great stress on the deep application of the mind, research and understanding the Divine message and prohibits blind faith. The Quran has called itself “Basaair” which means “clear arguments” “manifest realities” or “bright knowledge.”
“Now have come to you from your Lord clear arguments (baasair). If any will use his vision, it will be for (the good of) his own personality. If any will shut his eyes to them, it will be his own (harm). I am not here to watch over you.” Al-Anaam 6:104.
One who closes his eyes cannot be benefited by the light whether he sits in the sun or in the dark room. On of the most advanced traits peculiar to man is his capability of accumulating knowledge through successive generations. The accumulation of knowledge is a progressive phenomenon. But any nation who considers that the door to the advancement of knowledge has been closed at a certain stage of history, is doomed to failure. Thus the Muslim nation which came into existence to show a searchlight of highest magnitude to humanity as a whole, now began to receive light from every glow-worm that came in its way. The Muslims adopted the easiest way of receiving, what was ready-made, from our ancestors, rather than a life of toil and sweat, to create a novelty. The fate of the ease-loving nations is always sealed.
“Just in the same way, whenever We sent a warner before thee to any people, the wealthy and ease-loving among them said: We found our fore-fathers following a particular way of life and we follow in their footsteps.” Al-Zukruf 43:23.
We are living in a world of cause and effect, where the law of requital prevails. We can not only acquit ourselves by performing such deeds that are lawful according to the Divine guidance, and not by absolving ourselves from the responsibility by saying that we followed so and so a leader.
The Holy Quran displays an interesting picture of such religious leaders and their followers by describing that on the Day of Judgement the leaders shall disown their followers:
“Then those who are followed disown those who follow (them): They would see the penalty and all relations between them would be cut off.” Al-Baqarah 2:166.
Both groups, the leaders and the led, shall quarrel with one another, each holding the other responsible for their misfortunes:
“…Couldst thou but see when the wrong-doers will be made to stand before their Lord throwing back the word (of blame) on one another. Those who had been despised will say to the arrogant ones ‘had it not been for you, we should certainly have been believers.’ The arrogant ones will say to those who had been despised, ‘Was it We Who kept you back from guidance after it reached you? Nay, rather it was you who transgressed. Those who had been despised will say to the arrogant ones, ‘Nay, it was a plot (of yours) by day and night: Behold! You (constantly) ordered us to be ungrateful to God and to attribute equals to Him.” Saba 34:31-33.
At another place it is said:
“And they (the misled) would say ‘our Lord.’ We obeyed our chiefs and our great ones, and they misled us from the (right) path. Our Lord! Give them double penalty and curse them with a very great curse.” Al-Ahzaab 33:67-68.
Both the groups (the followers and the followed) shall be living in a state of hell. Just as unity, harmony and peace are symbols of bliss, so are disputes and disorder symbols if hell. It by no means follows that this state of hell shall come only after death. Human deeds are perpetually being rewarded. Heaven and Hell begin on this earth.
Thus in this state of hell, those who followed shall be asked,
“Did there not come to you the messengers of God with clear signs?” They will say “yes”…then call as much as you want; the disbelievers’ calls are in vein.” Ghaffir 40:50.
the disbelievers do not pay attention to what is given to them by the messengers of God. They only worship their leaders.
Ancestral worship is not a description meant to indicate all the treasures of knowledge that came down to us from our ancestors are useless. The point that is emphasised is that we should not be the blind followers of what we received from them. Rather we should keep our eyes open and use our intellect and judgement in light of the Quranic fundamentals. Now let us see what is the starting point of “ancestral worship.”
Generation B assumes that although we are liable to make mistakes, the generation A that preceded us could not do so, they were infallible. Similarly generation C, in turn assumes that generations A and B that preceded them were infallible. This process of assuming ourselves to be fallible and our predecessors to be infallible continues in succession. As a matter of fact people of all generations are fallible, their decisions may be right or they may be wrong. The religious leaders in the past were the wiser people of their respective ages, they pondered over matters pertaining to life and made valuable contributions to them. But they were not infallible and they never considered themselves to be so. But their followers belonging to the successive generations went so far as to consider the teachings of the Quran which are not compatible with the sayings of their religious leaders, to be unacceptable.
Sect Worship (Madhab)
Contrary to the teachings of the Quran which prohibits any division of Muslims into sects (Madhab), they have been subject to division and disintegration for the last few centuries. As a matter of fact this is a natural consequence of predecessor worship. Difference of opinion does occur among human beings and did occur even amongst the companions of the Messenger but they did not allow themselves to be divided into sects. But since the start of ancestral worship, the followers of particular Imams took their respective Imams to be infallible and assumed that the truth lay they said in matters of life. In other words all the others, besides them (the Imams), said was mere falsehood. This divided the Muslims among themselves and every sect became content with what the Imams gave them. From then onwards each sect struggled hard to prove that they themselves were right and others were wrong. They became devoid of tolerance and also of self-effort to find out what was right and what was wrong. Thus they were not prepared to hear a word against their own particular belief, not because they had good reason to do so but because anything going against the belief of their ancestors was impossible for them to tolerate. The differences between the sects are not necessarily on basic issues, even the differences on petty things have separated them from each other. The curious aspect of this situation lies in the fact that the laws of Fiqa are now the vestigial remnants of the Muslim rules from the past. No Islamic state, i.e. state based on Islamic principles, exists today but the differences based on the Fiqa laws continue to exist. A lot of energy is being wasted to keep up differences. On the other hand, not the least effort is being made to revive the Islamic state.
If you ask any Muslim “what are the constituents of ‘Deen’?” the almost invariable answer shall be that the Deen comprises the Quran, God’s message to mankind and the Hadith, the traditions attributed to the prophet Muhammad. We have become so much used to this idea that we never make the slightest effort to find out if it is exactly right. Even to cast a searching glance over it is considered sinful. However there is one thing with which we all agree, that “Deen” must be based on certainty not on speculation.
“But most of them follow nothing but conjecture: conjecture is no substitute for truth. Verily God is well aware of all that they do.” Yunus 10:36.
Now it is for us to find out if any of the two constituents which are supposed to compromise “Deen” is not based on conjecture! And whether each one of these two constituents has been given to Muslims by God and his Messenger. As regards the Quran it has been repeatedly said:
“That which We have revealed to thee of the Book is the truth.” Faatir 35:31. this Book begins with the following words: “This is the Book, in its guidance sure, without doubt.” Al-Baqarah 2:2.
Thus it is the book without any conjecture, sure and certain. On the other hand, God took upon Himself the collection and compilation of this book:
“It is for Us to collect and promulgate it.” Al-Qiyaamah 75:17.
Not only that, even the explanation of it:
“Nay more, it for Us to explain it (and make it clear).” Al-Qiyaamah 75:19.
not even that, it is emphatically proclaimed that no change in the Quran is possible for all time to come.
“It is We and We alone Who have sent down this message and We will assuredly guard it *from corruption).” Al-Hijr 15:9.
The purity of the text of the Quran through the last fourteen centuries is a foretaste of the eternal care with which this Divine Message is guarded through all ages. To give a practical shape to the protection the Messenger is addressed as follows:
“O Messenger! Proclaim the (message) which has been sent to you from our Lord…” Al-Maa’idh 5:67.
In obeyance of this order, the Messenger dictated every word of the Quran to his companions and thousands of people learnt it by heart and reproduced it.
Thus the Messenger satisfied himself before he died that the complete Message was delivered to humanity in its perfectly original form. God conformed this by revealing the following verse:
“The code of divine laws is perfected in truth and in justice. None can change his laws, for He is the One Who is All-Hearing and All-Knowing.” Al-Anaam 6:115.
The Quran has thus come down to us from God, perfectly safe, through the last 14 centuries and shall continue to do so for all times to come.
We see that God has not taken upon himself the safety of any other book besides the Quran. God never ordained to collect Ahadis (plural of Hadith) and never promised to protect them.
Ahadis are supposed to be a collection of the sayings and the deeds of the Messenger, but had the Messenger himself taken any step to make them a part of the “Deen.” Did he try to preserve them as he did in the case of the Quran. He never asked the people to note down all that he said, he never asked them to learn the sayings by heart.
He never tried to fully satisfy himself whether they remembered all that he said correctly. In fact he never made any arrangement for the safe preservation of his own sayings for the future. Only this much can be gathered from the books of tradition that, besides the Quran, certain miscellaneous things had been reduced to writing in the presence of the Messenger, and after his death the following articles were found in written form, -(1) A register containing the names of his 1500 companions. (2) the copies of certain letters which he wrote to certain Kings. (3) Some written orders and agreements.
Thus the Messenger did not leave anything behind him except the Quran. There is even a tradition in “Bukhari” considered to be the most authentic book of Ahadis, which runs as follows: Ibn Abbas was asked: What did the Messenger leave (for his community)? He said “He did not leave anything except the Quran.” (Bukhari, Volume III Kitab Fazailul-Quran.)
After the death of the Messenger, his companions did their best to preserve and promulgate the Quran but what did they do about the Ahadis? Did they try to preserve and promulgate them?
In ‘Tazkiratul Haffaz’ it is said about Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq (the first Caliph): “After the death of the Messenger, he once collected the people and told them, ‘you relate the sayings of the Messenger and you differ amongst yourselves about it. Those people who come after you shall differ more. So do not tell any hadiths of the Messenger. If anybody asks you about the sayings of the Messenger, tell him that the Book of God is present between you and me. All that is said to be lawful in it should be considered and all that is said to be unlawful in it should be considered to be unlawful.”
Hazrat Omar (II Caliph) was even more strict about it. A tradition runs as follows – Abu Huraira was asked – “Did you relate Ahadis during the time of Hazrat Omar?” He said “Omar would have beaten me with his stick, if I had done so.” Once the issue of bringing the Ahadis of the Messenger into writing was brought before Hazrat Omar who thought over it for one month and said, “There was a mention of bringing the Ahadis into writing. But when I thought over it, there came into my mind the state of a nation who wrote a book themselves and became so much absorbed in it that they forsook the Book of God. By God, I shall not mix up the Book of God with anything else.”
Even till the end of the first four Caliphates there is no trace of any Ahadis being collected by the Caliphs themselves or being collected under their supervision. In 100A.H. some Ahadis were collected during the Khilafat of Omer Bin Abdul Aziz. After this, Imam Ibn Shahab Zahri (died 124A.H.) prepared a small collection of Ahadis, under orders of the then Caliph, about which he himself said that he did not like. But these two collections did not last long, although the latter collections have quoted from them. The first such collection of Ahadis which is available at present is by Imam M’alik (died 179A.H.). different copies of this collection of Ahadis increased in number and volumes. Most well-known collections are “Sahih Bukhari” and “Muslim.” Imam Bukhari died in 256A.H. He collected 600,000 Ahadis out of which he selected 2,630 for entry into his book and rejected the rest on account of their unreliability.
The True Position of Ahadis
The contents of Deen must be absolutely certain and free from fancies. The Quran is the only book which is certainly true because God took its safety upon Himself. The Messenger put the words of the Quran into writing and handed it over safely to the Community after he completely satisfied himself about its authenticity. He not only gave it in the form of a book, but he made thousands of people learn it by heart and satisfied himself that they remembered it correctly. Thus through the last fourteen centuries it has come down to us not only in the form of a book but also through the memory of millions of people who existed in the past, exist now, and shall always continue to exist.
Besides the Quran, the Messenger did not dictate anything; nor did he ask the people to memorise anything in addition to it. On the other hand, there is evidence to the fact that he opposed and resented this practice.
When certain people thought of writing down the history of the period of the Messenger and his companions they also thought of collecting such things that were considered to be the sayings of the Messenger. They collected them in the form of books. These very collections are now known as Books of Ahadis. The Ahadis literature which is being considered as authentic as the Quran was collected about 250 years after the death of the Messenger. Even the earliest such book was compiled 150 years after him. The source of this literature was the stories that were current among the people of that period. These stories were not transferred in words, from one generation to the other, but in content.
Those who collected and compiled them decided on their own as to whom amongst those who originally related these words were reliable so that decisions about reliability took place hundreds of years after their deaths. These collections of Ahadis even contain material which goes against the teachings of the Quran, so much so that it even reflects badly upon God and His Messenger.
Such is the literature which is considered to be as much a part of Deen as the Holy Quran. It is even said that the Quran is dependent on Ahadis and if there is a conflict on a certain point between the two, the Hadith shall be considered more reliable than the Quran.
It is apparent that the Hadith literature is based more on fancy and thus cannot be considered as the basis of Deen. We can benefit by this literature only as far as it is consistent with the Quran. As the Messenger did not leave behind any written record of anything other than the Quran, it is not easy to check whether a certain saying attributed to him was actually said by him. Those who tried to investigate the issue only went to the extent of finding out whether those few people who are described to have originally related the Ahadis were really reliable and truthful. This was the only procedure adopted to sort out the correct from the incorrect or forged Ahadis. On the other hand there is no source available from which one could ascertain that the Ahadis which have been attributed to certain persons, were actually related by them.
We have described above the different aspects of worship of man by man. But there the worshippers had to produce some reason or authority, good or bad, for doing so. Now we come to another aspect of worship of man by man where not even that is required. This is the blind obedience to Saints (mystics), a bad form of human slavery. Here every order of the Saint, like an order of God, must be obeyed.
The command of the Saint is rather superior to the command of God, because here, if the orders of the Saint are contrary to the orders of God, obedience shall be to that of the former rather than the latter. The authority for obedience to the Saint is the secret knowledge which he possesses: it needs no external evidence for its support. A Saint, they say, gets hid knowledge direct from God and the Messenger, however such knowledge is contained neither within the Quran nor in the Ahadis. As soon as a person accepts his attachment to a certain Saint, the doors of reason and intellect are closed on him. In the words of the Quran,
“Such people have minds wherewith they understand not, eyes wherewith they see not and ears wherewith they hear not. They are like animals – nay more confused; for they are heedless.” Al-Araaf 7:179.
The word of the Saint is the word of God, because his followers cannot say anything against it, rather they are not permitted to think of anything against it, because a Saint is well aware of what is inside anybody’s mind.
So a follower is always under the dread of Saint’s frown because he believes that the Saint has full control over his gain or loss and can change his fate. Although in the words of the Quran:
“Verily these whom you call upon besides God, are human beings like unto you.” Al-A’raaf 7:194.
Worship of the Dead
Enslavement to a Saint does not end with his death but continues to dominate the minds of his followers after he dies; indeed his grip becomes even more powerful. This is on account of the belief that after death the Saint merges into God and himself becomes God; thus he remains always well informed of what his followers do. According to them the dead Saint can hear their prayers and can solve their problems and remove their difficulties; in times of distress he personally comes to help them.
This is the status of a Saint among his followers. But let us see what the Holy Quran says about them.
“If you invoke the, they will not listen to your call and if they listen, they cannot answer your prayer. On the Day of Judgement they will reject your idol worship…” Faatir 35:14. at yet another place it said: “Those whom they invoke besides God create nothing and are themselves created.” Al-Nahl 16:20-21.
Worship of the Past
There is one thing common to all the various types of worship enumerated above and that is worship of the past. The Quran offered a “Deen” which had the capacity of bringing about a bright present and a bright future to mankind; but the religion invented by man gave the idea of a dark present and bright past. Based on this idea all that has passed away appears bright. Worship of past traditions, worship of ancestors, worship of the dead etc. are all offshoots of the same basic belief.
I do not mean to say that all that has happened in the past is useless. After all, the evolutionary process in this world is based on the past. All that is positive, true and beneficial must survive, it cannot be ignored. But evolution never halts at a certain point, so as to make the present dark and past bright which means putting a stop to all future development.
There is yet another category of mental slavery which is worth mentioning. This is with regard to political leaders who appeared on the scene in modern times, after the advent of western democracy. These leaders are not necessarily politicians. Many of them have no political or even academic background. They are rather “oratorical prostitutes” who stir human sentiments not by display of body contours but by display of rosy words. Oratory is a precious human virtue but it becomes a sinful act when used for selfish ends. In a country like Pakistan politics is an easily accessible vocation. But every vocation needs some sort of training.
Businessman, mason, carpenter, blacksmith or even a barber needs training before he starts his career. Politicians are however an exception. A shrewd politician manoeuvres to hold a firm grip on the mental outlook of the products of his oratory. Following are the pre-requisites of his success. He is capable of constantly arousing the passions of his followers, without allowing them to use their own intellect. He can create a strong impression among them that his thinking is mature and far superior to anybody else’s. he can act as a diplomat rather than a man of principle. He is well versed in the art of agitation and law-breaking. He knows how to bring about abasement to his opponents, no matter how many lies he has to invent. He can feign strong resistance without accepting even the truth offered by his opponents. He is capable of depicting the darkest picture of the present regime and the brightest picture of the future which he assures will be brought about.
He is content to kindle the light of impossible hopes in the minds of his followers and in order to keep his trick going, he never states anything definite, but presents his programmes in the guise of attractive reforms. At every step he can assure his followers that they are on the threshold of success. He can keep his followers fully confident that it is only their party which is on the right path, all others are vague and unsound. He can keep them constantly on the move, never giving them respite to pause and think.
These leaders often try to keep their followers away from the divine fundamental laws because they themselves assume the role of final authority in making decisions and their goal is to assert their own authority. Some of them succeed in creating such awe amongst their followers that they are always spellbound and consider all that is said by their leader is immutable, giving them the status of “other god.” One who leads is often a man of superior intellect, no doubt, but in spite of all that he is only a man, he is not God, he is not infallible. But the hold of political leaders on the imagination of their followers, though firm, is often not so lasting as that of religious leaders. It all depends on how many simpletons are left in a particular society to follow them.
According to the Quran subservience to anything except God is to ascribe partnership unto God. This is known as Shirk. “There is no sovereign except God.” The Quran says:
“In the subservience of his Sustainer let no one admit any one as partner.” Al-Kahf 18:110.
again it is said:
“Ascribe no partners unto God. To ascribe partners (unto Him) is indeed the highest wrong doing.” Luqmaan 31:13.
The Quran explains itself. So let us see what is meant by ascribing partners unto God. All that is present in the universe is inferior to man in rank (Al-Jaathiya 45:13), but within themselves all human beings are equal by birth and worthy of respect (Bani-Israel 17:70). For a man to bow down before any object of God’s creation is his own abasement. It makes no difference to God whether man bows down before Him or before something else; but surely it brings about the degradation of one who bows down before an object inferior to himself. This is what according to the Quran is Shirk, or “ascribing partners unto God.” To define Shirk briefly:
- (1) To believe that anybody else possesses the powers, which God has kept specifically for Himself, is Shirk.
- (2) To believe in the subservience of anybody or any force, other than God and to bow down before such persons or force is Shirk.
- (3) Obedience to laws contrary to the laws laid down in the Quran for the guidance of humanity is Shirk.
- (4) The natural consequence of obedience to one God is unity of a community i.e., the co-ordinated functioning of the social organisation of believers. Thus division of Community into sects is Shirk, because the final authority in the affairs of each sect is a particular human being and not God.
(5) One God, one final code of life laid down by Him and given for the guidance of mankind through His last Messenger, one harmonious Community obedient to these laws and a co-ordinated functioning of this Community means Unity. Anything contrary to it is Shirk.
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“Say: The guidance of Allah, that is indeed the (true) guidance.” (2:120)
“Allah is the light of the heavens and the earth”. (24:35)
Allah commands the affairs of the universe by providing guidance to living as well as non-living objects. From the minutest subatomic particles to the largest stars in the universe are all under His control. This control is exercised by means of a set of laws. These laws are initiated in what is known as in the Quranic terminology. Allah is
(Al-Quran: 6:14), which means that He initiated the creation of the heavens and earth when nothing existed in the universe. The Quran says: “He is the originator of the heavens and the earth. When He decrees a plan, He says to it BE and it is.” (2:117)
Again it is said:
“His law of creation is such that when He intends a thing, His decree is BE and it is.” (36:82)
Thus the Divine intentions and decisions are in fact an integral part of God’s process of creation. The Holy Quran has used two different words for creation. They rather indicate two different stages of creation. One is (Amr) and the other is (Khalq).
Khalq means to create a new object from the existing constituents. This is where an object appears in its manifest form. But prior to this, is a stage where an object is still in the process of ‘becoming’. This planning stage is described by the Holy Quran as ‘Alam-e-Amr. What is the nature of this planning and how it is carried out is beyond human comprehension. This is also described by the Holy Quran as ‘Mashiyyat’ of Allah which no-body can question:
“Allah acts according to His will.” (14:27)
Here ‘will’ does not mean whims and wishes. It means a set of laws.
“He cannot be questioned for His acts.” (21:23)
For example why fire has got the burning property, nobody can question. Why an unsupported object of certain density falls to the ground nobody can question.
Thus the initiation of divine laws was absolute and unquestionable. Now the execution of these laws is carried out within specified patterns. This is known as…(Taqdir)
(33:38), “The divine laws are bound by certain measures.” (65:3)
Allah has made a specific pattern for everything that exists. A mango seed shall always grow into a mango tree and never otherwise. This is its Taqdir. Thus after the initial planning, the execution of these laws has been channelised.
The process of emanation of these laws is termed by the Holy Quran as (Wahi). Literally Wahi means a sharp pointer, a guidance or a guidance by command. This guidance has been given to all animate and inanimate objects in the universe. The Quran says: “He assigned to each heaven (or celestial body its duty and command.” (41:12)
About earth it is said :
“For that Allah will have given her (the earth) (inspiration)” (99:5)
The above-said verses indicate that every individual component of the heavens and the earth is commanded to perform a specific role by means of the physical laws assigned to them. For instance, atoms and subatomic particles have specific structures and specific functions which enable them to make compounds. Thus the ionic or nuclear bonds are being made and unmade in every nook and corner of the universe. The energy is released at one place and supplied at the other. Energy in one form is being converted into another. One form of matter is being replaced by another. Precious treasures are being shaped inside the oceans and in the depths of the earth. The solar radiation reaches the earth and promotes photosynthesis in the vegetable kingdom. Innumerable other phenomena occur day and night. So many species of animals and plants are being differentiated. This entire performance occurs in specific patterns by command of the Lord.
The living objects, other than man are also commanded to perform their specific functions within specified patterns. A sheep always eats grass and never meat: a lion always eats meat and never grass; a duck floats on water and a hen walks on the ground from the very first day of their respective births. Similarly a worker bee, a queen bee and a drone all perform their specific roles within specific patterns. These phenomena in the animal kingdom are also not self acquired. These occur by command of the Rabb and again the word Wahi is used for it by the Holy Quran:
“And thy Lord placed in the bee His , guidance.” (16:68)
Thus all objects in the universe receive guidance by command of their Lord by means of specific laws assigned to them in their respective spheres. These laws are objective i.e., they are not self made or self acquired; rather they are enforced from outside.
Man is also a part and parcel of the universe and is thus subject to divine laws. But the case of man is unique in this respect. He is commanded by two different sets of laws. His body is controlled by the physical laws, as in the case of all other animals, while his ‘personality’ is controlled by laws which are not given directly to individual human beings but are delivered to humanity as a whole, through certain persons selected specifically for this purpose. The question arises: Why this novelty in the case of man? For this we shall have to consider first the features which distinguish man from other creatures.
The evolution took a different turn with the appearance of man on the earth. Since the creation of the earth 5000 million years ago, it was only a chemical evolution: atoms evolving into simple inorganic compounds and simple inorganic compounds giving birth to complex organic compounds. This was followed by the organic compounds, water and minerals, reacting with one another and making possible the origin of life on the earth. This change-over which occurred 2000 million years ago, superadded biological to chemical evolution. This continued till man appeared on the scene. At this stage, human evolution became superadded to biological and chemical. The holy Quran calls man a distinguished creation, stating, at the same time the points of distinction from other creatures as follows:
(1) Man possesses ‘Ruh’ or ‘divine energy’.
The evolutionary stages in the creation of man are described as follows:
“It is He Who has made all that is created in due proportion. And He initiated the creation of man from the inorganic matter of the earth and made his progeny from an extract of the nature of a despicable fluid. Then He fashioned him in due proportion and breathed into him His ‘Ruh’ and gave you1 the faculties of Hearing, Sight and Mind. But very few of you make use of these faculties.” (32:7-9)
(2) The second distinguishing feature of man which makes him superior to all other animals is his power of speech or the expression of thoughts by auditory and visual means for their conveyance to others and the comprehension of the ideas of others by means of their written or spoken words:
“He created man. He taught him speech.” (55:3-4)
What is this Ruh or Divine energy, and how it works actually, is not within the domain of perceptual knowledge:
“And they ask thee (O Muhammad) concerning Ruh. Say: The Ruh comes from the command of thy Sustainer. Of its knowledge, it is very little that is communicated to you.” (17-85)
However the Ruh or Divine energy manifests itself in various ways. In human individuals it appears in a specific form which is called Nafs by the Quran. All human actions dependent on freedom of choice and will, cast their image on Nafs or Human Personality. The Nafs presents itself in an undeveloped form and has got immense potentialities. It has the capacity to develop on the blueprints of divine attributes. Its potentialities become actualized by such human actions as are in conformity with the divine laws, given to mankind through the messengers of God. He who gradually develops the Nafs draws closer to God, i.e. ” he realizes and manifests divine attributes within himself. The more the human Self is developed, the more is it capable of survival and capable of passing on to its higher stage of evolution, after physical death of human body. On the other hand one whose actions are in the opposite direction causes disintegration of Nafs, i.e., he recedes from the real and draws closer to the unreal.
The Holy Quran says:
“By the Nafs and its perfection. He endowed it with possibilities of both integration and disintegration. Truly he succeeds who nourishes it and he fails who stunteth it.” (91:7-10)
The human ‘Nafs’ is progressive and to undergo evolution is in its nature. The making and breaking up processes of Nafs or human personality are affected mainly by those actions which are performed willfully and after making a choice. It is ‘Ruh’ or divine energy which confers on man the capacity to choose between right and wrong and thus provides man the unique distinction to act freely as he chooses. The freedom of choice and will, thus become the directive force in human evolution, which in fact is the evolution of human personality.
We may thus conclude that man is composed of two different things, his physical body and his personality. The making and breaking up processes of human body are controlled by the physical laws and that of the human Self is controlled by the laws that are given to mankind through the messengers of God.
Let us revert to the question: why these laws are given to mankind though messengers of God and why not to individual human beings? That is so because human evolution is the evolution of human ‘Self. The development of human ‘Self takes place through the development, in it, of divine attributes. This in turn can take place only through social living. The more you act for the benefit of humanity, within the pattern prescribed by the divine laws, the more you acquire the attributes of God. Thus the development of human ‘Self, being not an individual but an organizational affair. required a central control for guidance. in order to produce a coordinated functioning of the society. This role was taken up by the messengers of God. Hence a different way of providing divine guidance at the human level.
The messengers of God appeared on the earth in different ages. Every time a messenger of God came, he bought the same universal truth explained in the manner understandable by the people of his age. But after a lapse of time, the human self interests made his followers deviate from the path shown by him until another messenger came with basically the same message. This process continued until man was mature enough to receive a complete code of life applicable for all times to come. This final code of life was brought by Muhammad (peace be upon him) 1400 years ago and now it lies safely inside the Quran.
IMMUTABILITY OF DIVINE LAWS
The Divine laws given to mankind as well as to the physical world are immutable:
“Nobody can change the laws of Allah” (6:34)
“Allah’s process of creation never changes.” (30:30)
”You do not find a change in the working of our (Divine) laws.” (17:77)
“So you can never find a change find the working of the Divine laws.” (35:43)
Even a messenger of God cannot change the laws of God.
“(O Messenger of God!) you are not given the authority to change the laws of God.” (3:127)
- It may be pointed out here that in the above said verse, the preliminary stages or the stages of pre-human creation are described in the form of a third person But the stage at which the mind is developed through Hearing and Sight and the Ruh appeared in man, granting him the faculty of Freedom of choice and Will, the Quran addresses man in the form of second person (). This indicates that man reached his present state of existence, gradually and progressively step by step, every step being in an ascending order.
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