Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Decline of Muslim Spirituality- II

The task of real spirituality is to restore the sublime faith in Allah the Almighty and to reflect the Divine attributes through the moulding of purified individuals. Islam perfected and preserved in itself the purpose of all religions which preceded it by recognizing the divine revelations of the past. Further, it channelized the continuity of Divine revelations through itself for all times to come. Leading the world on spiritual purification was the heavy responsibility cast on the shoulders of the Muslim Ummah by the Creator of the Universe. Contemporary Muslim leaders have failed to recognize the extraordinary magnitude of the task, nor could they preserve the solid faith of the early Muslims.

In his Friday Sermon of April 06, 2012 Khalifatullah Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim Sahib (atba) of Mauritius continued his discourse on the ways in which true faith has deserted the present day Muslims. Drawing upon the prescient prophecies of the Holy Prophet (sa), he sketches the causes of spiritual decline. The preservation of the true faith and real spirituality is a Divine Promise engraved upon the Holy Qur’an by Allah the Almighty Himself. At a time when the sectarian divisions have proliferated among Muslims and the spirit of Islam has gone away from the life of Muslims, the raising of a Khalifa by Allah- Khalifatullah- is in tune with the enduring Divine practice.

Read the Extracts from the Sermon:

“By time, indeed, mankind is in loss, Except for those who have believed and done righteous deeds and advised each other to truth and advised each other to patience.” (103: 1-4)

Like I explained in my sermon last Friday, history has proved that the first Muslims reached the highest degrees of honour and glory whereas Muslims today have taken the opposite route. It is clear according to these verses that the first Muslims reached such a dignified status in life because their faith was solid and they had excellent character.

In contrast, today the situation of the Muslims has become deplorable because there is lots of weakness in our faith and character. It is the opposite of what was found in the first Muslims. Therefore it would not be untrue to say that nowadays, we have just preserved our names as Muslims! In the same context, the truthful Messenger of Allah the Almighty, Hazrat Muhammad (sa) foretold: “There shall be a time soon when Islam shall exist in name only, and the Quran shall exist only in writing.”

This is applied clearly to the Muslims of today. In such a situation, it is necessary to consider these points quickly:

(1)   Because true Islam, as approved by Allah and His Messenger (sa) and that which shall bring spiritual and material success is not found anywhere; then through which means shall we find this true Islam again?

(2)   Which is the real cause of the disappearance of this true Islam and along with it, for which reason the Spirit of Islam has flown away from the life of Muslims?

The Purpose of Islam versus the Deviant Practices of Muslims

When we study the Quran, we shall see clearly that the capability to preserve true faith and Islam on the same high level and then in the next go reach the position of honour and glory, this only depends on the exceptional work which Allah the Almighty has given solely to Muslims. It is for this reason that the Muslims have obtained that high position in the Quran, that is, the Khair-ul-Ummah (the best of nations).

According to the religion of Islam, the true reason behind the creation of the universe is to establish and prove the sacred character, the unicity and existence of Allah, the Noble and Almighty, and to show His infinite power and qualities through man, when the latter shall be guided with the light of true knowledge (the Holy Spirit). It is impossible for man to develop and serve this knowledge without first purifying himself from all impurity and immorality. It is only after this purification that man shall be able to perfect himself with good qualities, develop an excellent character and the needed capability to do good deeds. It is for this reason that Allah the Almighty has sent thousands of messengers and prophets to purify man and to develop in him the capability to do good deeds.

The greatest (prophet, like the most beautiful of medallions) who came in that chain (of prophets) is none other than Sayyed-ul-Amibiyya wal Mursaleen” (the chief of all prophets) Muhammad (sa) whereby he is that most important medallion of that chain. In a chain there is only one medallion or locket, but there are many links intertwined. The more there are links, the more they are attached with the medallion. It is through Hazrat Muhammad (sa) that Allah has perfected religion and Allah gave it the name of Islam and it is through Hazrat Muhammad (sa) that Allah has sent down His divine message upon His Messenger for the duration of 23 years and has enabled these revelations to be compiled into one sacred book called the Holy Quran. And it is Allah the Almighty who said that it is Him the Guardian of the Holy Quran, for He shall preserve it till the Day of Judgement, and in this Quran there are 700 commandments.

Therefore the question which must be asked is how shall Allah preserve this sacred book, His 700 commandments and the religion which He perfected? Shall Allah let Islam remain only in name (and/or writing)?

Let us analyse history with the coming of the Holy Prophet (sa). It is truly a spiritual revolution which had taken place, for it is through the Holy Prophet (sa) that man has reached the highest degree of the development of his mind and body till he purified himself completely. It is then that man received this good news in Chapter 5 Verse 4: “This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favour upon you”.

The highest goal in the creation of man has at last been realised; good and evil have manifestly been separated. A complete mode of life has been revealed. In that complete mode of life itself Allah the Almighty has made the believers understand that for as long as you (the believers) obey “Me” (Allah) and My messenger, you shall receive great favours, and you shall be among those who have received the grace of Allah, that is, the prophets, righteous, truthful and martyrs. And Allah says: Wa hasura ulaaa-ika Rafiqaa– And excellent are those as companions! And Allah continues to say: Zaalikal Fazlu minallaah – That is the bounty from Allah, and Wa kafaa billaahi Aliimaa – and sufficient is Allah as Knower.

Today, what do we see?

It is man himself who has shut the door of this favour (prophethood). They have wronged their own souls. But Allah the Almighty shall preserve His Religion and His Sacred Book. He shall continue to send His favour and this is a (solid) promise. Unfortunately, the Muslims have turned their backs to this great favour (prophethood) and they say that Allah the Almighty talked in the past but that now He has ceased to talk. They say that all this ended with the Holy Prophet (sa), God Forbid! And they say that the Holy Prophet (sa) is the last prophet, that shall never be another prophet after him. But then what do they make out of the verse which I have just put before you? This is the word of Allah, whereby He shall give man the divine favour of prophets etc. Allah the Almighty gives you this bounty and favour which come from Him, and what do you do? You close this door! Look now at the state of Muslims today. Allah the Almighty has said in Chapter 7 Verse 57: “And cause not corruption (or disorder) upon the earth after its reformation.”

Nowadays Allah the Almighty is pouring down His grace and bounty upon the best of nations, when He sends His chosen servant to encourage goodness and to forbid evil without in the least extracting or adding anything to what teachings are found in the Holy Quran. He says also that he comes from Allah and that it is Allah Himself who has sent him to unite you all, like for the first Muslims who reached an elevated position of honour and glory. They (the Muslims) are surprised with such a declaration and they begin to create disorder on the earth, despite the commandment that Allah the Almighty has placed, that not to create chaos on earth after that Allah has caused its reform. It is then that Allah the Almighty says: “Then do you wonder that there has come to you a reminder from your Rab through a man from among you, that he may warn you?” (7: 70)

There are lots more verses in the Holy Quran where Allah has said: “O Children of Adam, anytime a guide comes to you from Me, there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve.” And Allah the Almighty says in the Holy Quran, in another verse: Inni Jaa-ilun Fil Arzi Khalifa– Indeed I shall place on earth My Caliph.

It is not for man to elect his caliph, for it this was the case, then each person or group would have elected his or their caliph and follows his or their own precepts or teachings, like we are seeing nowadays. People today have discarded the Quran and Sunnah and are following such precepts decided by a man-elected caliph, and they have given him great importance. If a group does not agree with a leader, then they look for another one and therefore a successive chain of sects are formed in Islam. There is no difference with an idolater. He on one hand does not believe at all in a unique God, the Creator of the Universe, of all things, and his very own Creator (that is, the Creator of man). But when he turns his back to this Unique God before whom he has to account one day, he therefore turns to a hundred false gods which are powerless, and cannot even create an insect’s leg.

Like this, Allah the Almighty sends His messenger, His vicegerent, but they turn their backs to the messenger or caliph of Allah, only to elect one man of their own choosing to make him become their chief, and each group takes great pleasure in their own elected leader, and now the Muslims are divided and subdivided into several sects, school of thoughts, and innovations. These multitudes of leaders in Islam bring about the existence of more sects and create disorder and hatred in the hearts of Muslim brothers of one same faith (Islam). These chiefs are not divinely elected ones and as such they do not receive any divine revelation and it is them the ones who create disorder on earth and they do commerce with the verses of the Quran. They do not have the fear of Allah in their heart, and when you look at them, you are amazed by them, by the way they read, talk but these are only on their lips and for show.

It is these people who have brought the religion of Islam to its degradation, and they are the ones who are the greatest troublemakers. Whenever these so-called leaders are told not to create chaos on earth, they are the ones who shall reply that “on the contrary, we want to establish peace!” Allah Himself responds to that statement of the so-called leaders, saying: Alaa innahum humul Mufsidunna wa laakil laa yash-uruun– Unquestionably, it is they who are the corrupters, but they perceive (it) not. (2: 13) Allah Himself denies their words and establishes the truth in that which it is these people themselves who creates unrest and disorder everywhere but they realise it not. This is so because they are not people whom Allah the Almighty has chosen as His representatives on earth. And when Allah did not elect them, then definitely the Holy Spirit shall not be sent to them. Therefore they become the worst creatures on earth, like our Holy Prophet (sa) had foretold. He said that when (Muslims) shall become the worst creatures on earth, they shall create lots of chaos on earth and they shall bar people from taking the right path.

See now how Islam, the perfect religion has become (compared to its past glorious days). Shall Allah let this situation like this? Ponder over this! I recall a Hadith where Hazrat Muhammad (sa) has told his disciples: “By the One in Whose hand is my soul, you must enjoin what is good and forbid what is evil, and you must stay the hand of the wrongdoer and give him a stern warning to adhere to the truth, otherwise Allah will surely turn the hearts of some of you against others, and curse you as He has cursed them (the past people – the Children of Israel).”

O you who believe! Do not obey those who disbelieve; they will turn you back on your heels, and you will (then) become losers.” (3: 150)

Allah says not to listen to them for it is Allah who is your Protector and there is none worthy of giving help except Allah. These kinds of leaders have invented all sorts of innovations in that pure religion (Islam), and Allah the Almighty has never sent any authorisation for the implementation of these innovations, for these are closely associated with association of false deities with Allah and therefore Muslims are following these false precepts blindly. But verily Muslims know very well that all these innovations are neither mentioned in the Holy Quran nor practiced by our beloved prophet (sa). Who are they (the so-called leaders) to make implement these innovations? That which is mentioned in the Holy Quran, they will not believe and shall not put emphasis on it and to educate (rightly) the Muslims about how important these teachings of the Quran are! They prefer giving importance to such things which shall profit them materially, and you (the Muslims), you are readily believing them whereas those imbeciles are the ones who are closing the door of prophethood and that of divine revelations. This is so because (if they do not close these doors) then their business shall not work and people are therefore not honour them or give them any importance.

But it is a fact that Allah the Almighty has bestowed great favours when He gave you the rightly-guided caliphs (after the demise of the Holy Prophet (sa) and at the head of each century He sent reformers, and Allah the Almighty sent His Messiah (of the last era) and his promised son, the promised reformer and there were also the deputies of the Promised Messiah (as). But when the people started giving more importance to the deputies of the Promised Messiah (as) more than Him, more than His words, therefore Allah saw the need in this era to raise this humble servant of Allah (this humble self).

When Allah elect His messenger, it is to recite His verses, His revelation, to purify you, like Allah says:

“Certainly did Allah confer (great) favour upon the believers when He sent among them a Messenger from themselves, reciting to them His revelations and purifying them and teaching them the Book and wisdom, although they had been before in manifest error.” (3: 165)