Thursday, 29 January 2009
Do We Actually Believe Islam is Universal?
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
Prior to the last century, almost no work of Islam mentioned the word Islam in its title. Now, we have titles like Marriage in Islam, Truth in Islam, anything in Islam, Muslim such and such. Have Muslims reverted from believing that Islam is the Universal Truth? In the Old Testament, it should be noted that the Religion of God was presented as monolatric as opposed to monotheistic. The Chosen People have their Supreme God but tacitly acknowledging the gods of the surrounding tribes. Herein lies the true greatness of Musa (a.s.). He was the first to truly turn Judaism into a monotheistic faith.
13 Take heed diligently lest you forget the Lord, Who Brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall fear the Lord your God, and shall serve Him only, and you shall swear by His Name. 14 You shall not go after the strange gods of all the nations, that are round about you: 15 Because the Lord your God is a jealous God in the midst of you: lest at any time the Wrath of the Lord your God be Kindled against you, and Take you Away from the face of the earth.
In the Qur’an when Musa (a.s.) went before the Pharaoh, he talked about God, not “your God” and “my God”. He asked them to come back to the fold, not come to the fold. So monotheism is a natural state that is constantly forgotten. Where in the days of yore, we invented many gods, now we have made ourselves Gods. Humanism talks about the rational man. It ignores the fact the spiritual man pretends that the rational man is never the emotional man. When the self is so inherent, can there be recognition of the Truth?
Muslims now talk about the Islamic point of view, the Islamic Law, the Islamic Truth. We imply, unknowingly that there is another truth. Since Allah (s.w.t.) is al-Haq, then there is only One Truth, One Submission. Everything else is either a facade or an aspect. There is only justice, not Muslim and non-Muslim justice. The world has gone full circle and just as Musa (a.s.) came to bring it back, and Muhammad (s.a.w.) after that, so too do Muslims believe that ‘Isa (a.s.) will return as the Messiah to bring back Islam as it was meant to be. Islam came as a stranger, and it will come again as a stranger. It will come from a stranger we think we recognise but we will not.
What hypocrites we have become. We look down on the idolaters. But the idol worshipper forgets his petty god the moment he has left his presence. Perhaps even in worshipping the tree, he has recognised His Majesty in Creation which is a Reality beyond the blind. But many Muslims, they have made themselves god. They worship their worship. They worship their achievements and their knowledge and their piety and they have aggrandised the self. That idol, they carry with them always and they never cease to worship it.
We have made ourselves gods. It is therefore fortunate that Allah (s.w.t.) in His Infinite Mercy will Send someone to bring us back. We may have forgotten the Promise of Hudaybiyyah, but that promise will be kept by our Prophet (s.a.w.). That is one of the Gifts to the ummah.