Islam, its meaning and message

Islam, its meaning and message
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One of the serious problems of the present age is that the old norms have failed to convince and hold our Muslim youth, and we are facing a new era of Ignorance, a fresh period of Jaahiliyyah, as the Arabs would call it. Whether this is because Western values have an intrinsic fault, or that some affliction has infected our communications media, the fact remains that we are facing a real crisis throughout the Western world.

This process is the opposite of the great 18th century CE movement, which was called the Enlightenment, when Western Europe and North America seemed to be shaking off their age-old prejudices.

For Muslims, it also forms a contrast to the startling period when the Prophet Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) (may Allah exalt his mention) led the arid Arab peninsula, out of political and social chaos, into the leadership of the known world. In fact, wherever Islam entered during its earliest phase, “the Dark Ages” in human history, as Western Europe knew the Middle Ages, simply ceased to exist.

The Islamic Era:

Prophet Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) established Islam, followed by the slow development of the Islamic State or commonwealth, during the decade from the year 622 CE until his death in 632 CE. By that time, instead of being a peninsula of mutually warring tribes, Arabia had become a commonwealth, which raised new standards for the world to adopt.  

[From: "Islam, its Meaning and Message" - By Khurshid Ahmad

 

This occurred within the first ten years after the Hijrah or Emigration of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) and his Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, from the trying circumstances in Makkah to the new capital of Yathrib or Al-Madeenah as this city came to be called, 200 miles to the north in an oasis on the ancient caravan route to Syria.

The life of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) thus lasted from the year of his birth 570 CE to 632 CE. He was called an-Nabi al-Ummi or the 'Unlettered Prophet' in the [Quran 7: 157- 158].

What does this term mean? It means simply that Prophet Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) did not receive a formal education, nevertheless he led his people to a better way of life. He was most cultured and articulate, since he had been trained in the purest Arabic speech by his nurse, with whose tribe he  lived as an infant in the desert.

Almost immediately after his death, Islam spread around the world, to take over the Sassanid empire of Persia, the southern tier of the Byzantine empire, and as far West as Spain and Morocco on the Atlantic. By the year 711 CE, only eighty years after the death of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) Muslims were on the borders of France in the far West, and entering India on the East.

Muslims were termed the 'middle nation' [Quran 2: 143], the community which was to follow the middle and moderate path in all matters, that aim of both Greek and Islamic society, and of any moderate one on earth.

Basic Purpose:

The Muslim's basic purpose in life is to worship God in His Oneness (Monotheism) and not through the trinity of the Christians, or the duality and idolatry of other religions. A Muslim works through the power of God's transcendence; in the words of King Arthur, as this Celtic leader was preparing to enter the next world, he admonished his Knights of the Round Table: "For what are men better than sheep or goats, that nourish a blind life within the brain, if, knowing God, they lift not hands in prayer both for themselves and those that call them friends?"  

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