Saturday, February 27, 2016

Faith, Freedom and Public Order

"ISLAMIC STATE" spreads Terror

In the context of the besiegement by the ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) of some Muslim states by proclaiming a caliphate which has not been mandated neither by Allah, nor the truly pious people, both the Islamic and non-Islamic worlds now see themselves facing a real danger. 

After Al-Qaeda and other terrorist cells, the ISIS is doing havoc in Iraq and Syria and is trying by force and terror to make people succumb to their command. According to them, the first objective of the Ummah must be the seizure of secular power so as to be able to reign in supremacy. And so, without referring themselves specifically to the Holy Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh), these people spread terror in both Muslim and non-Muslim camps. 

The world is facing a real crisis. That is why in this century, the Caliph of Allah, the Reviver of Faith of this century has been raised by Allah to thwart the purpose of any other false caliphate which is just like a flame blazing and burning further the fragile state of Islam.

We are in a state of emergency. 

Muslims must refer themselves first of all to the Holy Quran and the Sunnah of our beloved prophet (pbuh). What these so-called Muslims and defenders of the Ummah are doing has nothing to do with the practice of the Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh). The latter (pbuh) had established the Quran first; long before he even gained political power. The teachings (of the Quran) were observed/ put into practice even if the political powers of the time opposed them. The Holy Prophet (pbuh) remains verily our only source of light. His ascension to political supremacy was primarily free of all injustice and coercion.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Pursuit of Pleasure: At What Cost ?


Man’s future, our future rests in our Creator, in our pure relationship (between Him and us) which existed long before our existence on this ephemeral earth. So why is there this distance, now that we exist on this earth? Certainly the pursuit of pleasure associated with uncontrolled freedom has made the society as it is today. We profess to be free, but free from what? (Sadly) We have liberated ourselves from the bonds that bind us to our Creator! It is what we now observe worldwide on the concept of freedom; to be free of anything related to the nobility of the soul, to be free of the magnanimity of the heart that creates in man his sense of responsibility and limiting his unbridled pursuit of pleasure. It’s that kind of freedom that the Muslim world and the world in general now continue to pursue – a mad pursuit of this pleasure – anywhere he can find it and forgetting limits that must not be exceeded.

Man is born with capabilities, resources and a limited imagination; and thus should his pursuit of pleasure be limited, for if unchecked, shall lead him to a dead end. Numerous side effects then stand in his way and society becomes increasingly nervous and turbulent. The Muslim world is unfortunately not spared today.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Finding God: Five Steps for the Seeker

Make God Almighty your Ultimate Goal:

People who are rather short-sighted and lack discernment define different reasons for their lives and are limited to worldly objectives and ambitions. But the purpose decided for man by God Almighty is according to His own holy words:

“And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.” (51: 57)

The real aim of God is to make the man understand the main purpose of his existence on earth, that is to say, to be completely devoted to Him. It is obvious that man cannot set a goal to his own life because he neither comes into this world on his own nor does he leave this world on his own, according to his will. He is a creature and the One who has created him and invested in him better faculties which are superior to animals has also identified a goal for his life. We understand it or not, the fact remain that the purpose of the creation of man is undoubtedly worship and understanding of God and a complete devotion to Him. Elsewhere in the Holy Quran, God Almighty has said:

“Surely the true religion in the sight of Allah is Islam... (3: 20)

“So direct your face toward the religion, inclining to truth (as one devoted to God). It is the nature made by Allah, the nature according to which He has created men. There can be no change in Allah’s creation. This is the true religion. But most people do not know.” (30: 31).

The religion that gives us a real appreciation of God and prescribes His true worship is Islam. Islam is inherent in human nature and man was created in accord with ISLAM - submission to the One God - and such is the eternal and true faith. This is to say that God wanted man to be fully devoted to His worship, that he loves and obeys Him with all his faculties. So He (Allah) has blessed man with all appropriate faculties to achieve ISLAM (to submit to Him, that being the real target for the creation of mankind).

Despite the fact that man is taken up by the various projects of his life, he can find true happiness only in God Almighty (Allah). After having accumulated enormous wealth, after having held high office, after having become a great trader, and ruled over a vast kingdom, and after having been recognized as a great philosopher, at the end he leaves all these commitments with great regret. His heart constantly reproaches himself for his total concern for worldly affairs and his conscience never accepts his illicit activities full of trickery and artifice.

An intelligent person can better understand that problem. We cannot assign a higher purpose to something beyond its/ his capacity, beyond which it/ he can no longer function. For example, the highest work of a bull is the ploughing of fields or irrigation or transportation. Its faculties are not adapted to anything else. Thus the aim of the life of a bull comes down to these three functions. It has no ability to do anything else. 

But by examining the faculties of man and trying to find their limits, we find him in search of God the Exalted. He wishes to become so devote to God that he devotes everything he owns/possesses to God. He shares with other animals his natural survival instinct. However, in the field of manufacturing certain animals surpass him. Indeed the bees extract the essence of different varieties of flowers to produce a honey so excellent that it surpasses the understanding of man up till now. It is therefore obvious that the summits of human faculties are to meet God the Exalted. So the real purpose of his life is that the window of his heart should open to God.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Islam on Slavery and Prisoners of War

Prophets and other messengers of God come to liberate humans from their chains. Divine teachings, in their pristine essence, are designed to emancipate them from their slavish bondages.

Compared to all other religions of the past, Islam provides far more evolved teachings that are mindful of the predicament of slaves. Its teachings are designed to abolish and root out this abominable practice through radical transformation of the social order, even as it provides teachings for fair treatment of all, including in times of war to the Prisoners of War. Islam permits defensive war against the enemies of the State when it is faced with aggression by other nations and peoples. In the course of such inter-State conflicts, Muslims can capture and retain prisoners of War till the end of hostilities and thereafter, release them as a grace or for ransom.

In the history of the world, rise and fall of nations is a reality. Likewise, profound teachings get blurred in the distance of time. People forget the true traditions and invent new customs of religions, and thereby alter and reshape original teachings. Hence, though Prophets in the past never took slaves, their followers have abused that legacy of freedom and fairness.  Hence, slavery had been perpetrated also by the so called men of religion. Despite Islam’s clearest exposition on the dignity and equality and equal rights of all human beings, like Jews and Christians and the Hindus among them in society, even Muslims cannot fully absolve themselves from the stigma of practicing slavery. 

In a religious and international context, where the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) practices slavery against its enemies in the name of Islam, and also many other world nations permitting working/labour/social/political conditions amounting to modern forms slavery that infringes upon elementary considerations of humanity, the Khalifatullah Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim Saheb (atba) of Mauritius warns the world community on the need for returning to the just teachings of Islam that seek to abolish slavery and ensure fair treatment of all, including even to prisoners of war in times of hostilities.  

Reproduced below are extracts from the Friday Sermon of 05 February 2016 ~(25 Rabi’ul Aakhir 1437 Hijri):