Voices Crying in the Wilderness
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
As the Prophet (s.a.w.) said, Islam came as a stranger and it will come again as a stranger. So be with those who are strange for they are the friends of God. This is especially important in this age, where those who claim to speak for the religion and wear the trappings of the pious desecrate it, and people give more credence to titles than their conscience, even though the Prophet (s.a.w.) told us, “Istafti qalbak”, “Consult your heart”, the seat of fithrah.
It is not mere letter of the law that matters, but the Divine Intent. The foundation of shari’ah can be best summed up in the words of Jesus (a.s.) in the Gospel:
17 “Do not think that I have come to set aside the law and the prophets; I have not come to set them aside, but to bring them to perfection. 18 Believe me, Heaven and Earth must disappear sooner than one jot, one flourish should disappear from the law; it must all be accomplished. 19 Whoever, then, sets aside one of these commandments, though it were the least, and teaches men to do the like, will be of least account in the kingdom of Heaven; but the man who keeps them and teaches others to keep them will be accounted in the kingdom of heaven as the greatest.”
17 Μὴ νομίσητε ὅτι ἦλθον καταλῦσαι τὸν νόμον ἢ τοὺς προφήτας: οὐκ ἦλθον καταλῦσαι ἀλλὰ πληρῶσαι. 18 ἀμὴν γὰρ λέγω ὑμῖν, ἕως ἂν παρέλθῃ ὁ οὐρανὸς καὶ ἡ γῆ, ἰῶτα ἓν ἢ μία κεραία οὐ μὴ παρέλθῃ ἀπὸ τοῦ νόμου ἕως ἂν πάντα γένηται. 19 ὃς ἐὰν οὖν λύσῃ μίαν τῶν ἐντολῶν τούτων τῶν ἐλαχίστων καὶ διδάξῃ οὕτως τοὺς ἀνθρώπους, ἐλάχιστος κληθήσεται ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τῶν οὐρανῶν: ὃς δ' ἂν ποιήσῃ καὶ διδάξῃ, οὗτος μέγας κληθήσεται ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τῶν οὐρανῶν.
17 Nolite putare quoniam veni solvere legem aut prophetas: non veni solvere, sed adimplere. 18 Amen quippe dico vobis, donec transeat cælum et terra, jota unum aut unus apex non præteribit a lege, donec omnia fiant. 19 Qui ergo solverit unum de mandatis istis minimis, et docuerit sic homines, minimus vocabitur in regno cælorum: qui autem fecerit et docuerit, hic magnus vocabitur in regno cælorum.
There is a Divine Wisdom in why Jesus (a.s.) was Sent before Muhammad (s.a.w.). The Children of Israel, as shown in the Parable of the Good Samaritan, had made the shari’ah their god to the extent that they availed themselves to it, and ignored the Divine Intent. They had shorn the religion of its spirituality, of love and compassion. A prophet was Sent to correct that imbalance. And upon that, the Final Prophet (s.a.w.) was Sent to give us the means to keep that balance, between shari’ah and thariqa’. And yet, that circle continues, and people now focus on the minutae of worship and ignore the One worshipped. They use the law to bludgeon the masses with the fallacy of a “Vengeful God”, the idol of their hearts, and cause the masses to disbelieve that ours is a religion of love, of ar-Rahman, to the extent that when someone come to remind them, he is strange, a kafir.
That is why, Allah (s.w.t.) Planned it that Jesus (a.s.) will come again, and he will remind the people, that he was, indeed, Sent to fulfill the law of the prophets. And just like his heralds were voices crying in the wilderness before, they will be so again. And they will be strangers to the ways of the religious, but friends to the pious.