Surely the (true) religion in the sight of Allah is Islam. (3: 20)
If Islam is the vehicle of life, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is the representation of true life, in that which he is the perfect example of how a human, and especially a true servant of Allah must be for Allah in this temporal world despite living among the mixed existence of man, sometimes good, sometimes evil.
Islam guides man towards perfecting himself for Allah, not the world and all that it contains. The world is temporary whereas the Creator of mankind exists for ever. Indeed, He has neither beginning nor end. He is there for all times, and His presence and appearance are beyond the conception of man. The Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) during his life on earth showed the correct way of life, by his own example. This is one of the fundamental duties of the seal of the prophets, that he provides such guidance which shall not only mark the people of his era, but humankind as a whole, and that till the Day of Judgement.
Allah says the Holy Qur'an:
“You are the best community that has been raised for mankind, enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong, and believing in Allah.” (3: 111)
Further in the Quran, in (14: 25-28), Allah says:
“Have you not considered how Allah presents an example, (making) a good word like a good tree, whose root is firmly fixed and its branches (high) in the sky? It produces its fruit all the time, by permission of its Lord. And Allah presents examples for the people that perhaps they will be reminded. And the example of a bad word is like a bad tree, uprooted from the surface of the earth, not having any stability. Allah keeps firm those who believe, with the firm word, in worldly life and in the Hereafter. And Allah sends astray the wrongdoers. And Allah does what He wills.”
Thus, Islam may also be likened to a beautiful garden which needs frequent tender loving care so that the plants therein may produce the sweetest of flowers and fruits. If man makes/transforms himself into a true plant of Islam, caring for his faith with care and seeing to his daily progress in spirituality for the cause and pleasure of Allah, the Almighty, then he gets to keep the garden evergreen.
But when that garden is abandoned by man, then Allah does not let this situation go on like this for long. As He promised in the Holy Quran, He shall always be the guardian of Islam and will not let its teachings be trampled upon. When such times become apparent, when man has let go of the thread of faith and Islam, Allah raises His elect to show mankind how to care for that garden, how to care for the trees therein so that they may grow up to produce beautiful flowers and fruits. The fruits of this labour become apparent only through the will of Allah when He sees that man is reforming himself, to better conform himself to Islam – submission to Allah wholeheartedly, and without hypocrisy.
If the garden of Islam is not tended by each and every person, especially the Muslim who has the task to make his life adapt to Islam at every step of the way, then it withers away and its charming and sweet smelling flowers fall off. It could also be likened to a building which though complete in every respect, has developed cracks through the passage of time. Yet its owner does not see to its maintenance and allows it to deteriorate further until it completely falls apart. Or it could be likened to a situation when each and every one in a household is afflicted with a deadly disease, yet it insists that there is absolutely no need for a doctor to administer medicine to those who have been so afflicted with the deadly disease.
Therefore, it is clear in past teachings, as well as in Quran and Sunnah that Allah shall raise his elects, such guides who shall come for the preservation of the true religion, the way of life of man, Islam. And this is a promise which shall be fulfilled by Allah until the Day of Judgement, so that the garden of Islam remains free from all kinds of pests.
According to the Holy Quran and the Hadith the appearance of the Messiah and Mahdi is necessary to consolidate Islam from all fronts. The glad tidings of the appearance of the Mahdi and the Promised Messiah (uhbp) had been transmitted from generation to generation. The Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) has said:
“What will be your condition when the son of Mary, will descend among you and he will be your Imam from among you”. (Bukhari)
From this tradition, it has been wrongly inferred that Jesus has been kept alive for more than 2000 years in the skies and that he will come again in the latter days for the reformation of mankind, including Muslims. Without going into the depth of the subject, I must draw the attention of those Muslim brethren who hold such opinions that nothing can be more derogatory to the honour of the Holy prophet of Islam (pbuh) than this belief.
Is it suggested that while the Holy prophet, the best of creation, the one individual who is the cause of the creation of the entire universe, has tasted of death like all other prophets, but Jesus, son of Mary, has been kept alive in the heavens for more than 2000 years?
We read in the Holy Quran:
“We granted not everlasting life to any human being before you. If then you should die, shall they live here for ever”. (21:35)
When we say it is believed that Jesus, son of Mary, has been kept alive in heaven for more than 2000 years in order to be brought back to the earth to reform the Muslims, is it also believed that the adherents of Islam and the Holy prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) will become so depraved that not one of them will be considered worthy of being raised for the reformation of the Muslims and that “a prophet for the Jews” will have to be kept alive for some 2000 years for this purpose?
I ask those Muslims who hold such opinions to consider the verse:
“And He will teach him the book and the Wisdom and the Torah and the Gospel. And will make him a messenger to the Children of Israel”. (3: 49-50)
Should he come again as a messenger for the whole of mankind, are those Muslims going to alter this verse from the Holy Quran and insert: “A messenger to the whole world?”
When one ponders over the Hadith which foretells the second coming of Jesus, one finds that the solution of this matter is contained in the very Hadith itself. The Holy Prophet of Islam (pbuh) was so perfect in his diction that nobody dares suggest other meanings to what he said. The literal translation of the Hadith is what will be your condition when Jesus, son of Mary, will appear from among you and will be your Imam from among you?
The phrase “from among you” occurring twice in the same Hadith clearly shows that the Mahdi is to appear from among the Muslims themselves and not from among another community of people. It also means that the Mahdi is to be from among the living on earth and would not be an earlier prophet descending from the sky.
When Jesus was asked about Elijah who, according to prophecy, was to descend from heaven before him, his answer was that Elijah had already come in the spirit of John the Baptist. (Matt. 17: 10-13; Mark 8: 11-13; Luke 1: 17)
This clearly shows that whenever a prophecy referring to the descent of any prophet means that somebody else will come in his spirit and power, and not the same person of flesh and blood will be resurrected from among the dead to accomplish the prophecy.
Thus, we see that still nowadays, Allah has not abandoned Islam and the Muslims. Like He sent the first Islamic Messiah to a world in ruins more than hundred years ago, he has honoured His promise still today when he sent for a second time the Messiah from among the followers of His first Messiah to hold that same torch and to march towards victory. That victory is none other than re-establishing the truthfulness of Islam, of rendering the garden of Islam beautiful again so that it may be a pleasure for the eye, heart and soul of man; Meaning that when man shall consume these spiritual fruits, the fruits of faith, then his life shall be changed to reflect his inner divine beauty and light.
The Holy Prophet himself called the Promised Mahdi to come “Isa” (Jesus) which makes it clear that the expected Mahdi was to be a prophet; not an actual law-bearing one, but a reflection of his own prophethood which is a final law-bearing one. And from his words, it is clearly apparent that not just one Mahdi is expected but many Mahdis and Messiahs who shall represent the hope of Islam whenever Islam finds itself in danger.
What are we if not followers of the best of mankind whom Allah (twa) has graced us with His special love and tenderness because of the immense love we hold for Allah and His Beloved Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh)? May Allah be pleased with each one of us in the Jamaat Ul Sahih Al Islam and may the victory of Allah shine upon us so that people from all corners of the world recognise the truthfulness which Allah has manifested in this era through the advent of this humble self and the Jamaat Ul Sahih Al Islam, Insha-Allah, Ameen.
- (Friday Sermon of 31 January 2014- Khalifatullah Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim Sahib (atba) of Mauritius)