Sunday, August 25, 2019

Pact of God and the Fate of Nations

God's Covenant with the children of Israel

In many places in the Qur’an and in the Torah made is mention of the wickedness and lack of faith of the Jews to emphasize how they have dishonoured their covenant.

It is mentioned in the Old Testament, in the chapter of Isaiah: The earth is infected by the corruption of those who dwell in it, because they have violated the laws, they have changed the ordinances and they broke the covenant that was to last forever. (Isaiah 24: 5).

It is said in the Holy Quran: “Those who were unfaithful among the children of Israel were cursed by the mouth of David and Jesus son of Mary, because they were rebellious, transgressors.” (Al-Maida 5: 79).

After Moses (as), there were many prophets among the Israelites. The Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said, “Every time a prophet died another prophet became his successor.” (Bukhari).

When the Israelites exceeded all limits in their transgressions, God wrested from them the temporal kingship after David, and the apostolate after Jesus. The time had come to remove and transfer prophethood from the Jewish people, for although of Abraham’s descent, they had become wicked.

Jesus told his disciples that another people would benefit from the prophethood: “Therefore I say to you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you, and given to a people that will bring forth the fruits. He who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed.” (Matthew 21: 43-44).

The Holy Qur’an also alludes to this in the following verse: “It will be the sign of the approaching hour. Do not doubt it; follow me because it is the right path.” (Az-Zukhruf, 43: 62)

The Holy Prophet of Islam, Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) said, “O Jews! Jesus, son of Mary, was the sign of that time/hour of which you were told. Since you did not accept the Messiah who was to give you back the favours of kingship and prophethood, then you will be destroyed. These two favours will now be granted to others. Be not in doubt of this hour. Follow me now, because it’s the right path. By following me [as Muslims] you could be granted again with these two favours that had been given to the posterity of Abraham.”

So God abandoned the sons of Israel to turn to the sons of Ishmael. It was this Ishmael who lived with his mother in the wilderness of Paran (Genesis 21:21). It should be noted that Abraham had to go through three tests. He agreed to let himself be thrown into the fire by the idolaters; he abandoned in the wildness of the desert his wife Agar (Hajra) and his son Ishmael; the greatest trial from which he came out victorious was that he prepared, by God’s command, to offer his son as a sacrifice. Thousands of congratulations for Abraham and his son Ishmael for being so steadfast in the Lord’s way and submitting entirely to His will! It was then that this order from the Heavenly Throne came: “I will indeed bless you and make your offspring as numerous as the stars of the sky and the sand on the seashore. Your offspring will possess the city gates of their enemies. Through your descendant all the nations of the earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.” (Genesis 22: 17-18).

After that Abraham and Ishmael built the Ka’aba that would one day become the birthplace of the Holy Prophet of Islam by which all nations would be blessed, and the religious centre of all the earth. The fruit of Abraham’s prayers was the promised son, Ishmael, for whose descendants Abraham had prayed after the erection of the Ka’aba.

In a word, the time had come for the Rahmatul-lil-Aalameen to come and bless all the nations, whose advent would be a manifestation of God, and who, accompanied by ten thousand saints, and carrying in his right hand the fiery law, would rid the Ka’aba and the whole world of idolatry.

And this is the prediction that Moses, the man of God, did to the children of Israel before his death. He said, ‘The Lord came from Sinai on Mount Paran, and ten thousand saints with him. In his right hand went the fiery law.’” (Deuteronomy 33: 1-2).

O my Muslim brothers and sisters! Remember, we are the promised children of Abraham. There are great promises of God to us. God made us the best of all communities (Khair-e-Ummat). He gave us until the end of days the perfecting of temporal favours in the form of kingship and also the perfecting of spiritual favours in the form of prophethood, for we are of the seed of Abraham. He said, “The religion of your father Abraham. He named you Muslims.” (Al-Haj 22: 79).

God had kept the promise made to the seed of Abraham of the branch of Israel, so long as it did not become wicked, the system of kingship and apostolate was reserved to it. But when it became wicked, God resorted to the posterity of Ishmael, that is to say, the Muslims. So, if Muslims does not become wicked, it is necessary for prophets to come amidst them [prophets who, of course, will not bring any other law that will thwart the perfect law - the Holy Quran]. This is why the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) announced the arrival of a prophet after him who would be “Imamakum Minkum” (Your leader from among yourselves). But how is it that the Ulemas ignore this? Why do they claim that prophethood in Islam is abolished and thereby place Muslims in the same rank as the Jews, who, having incurred the wrath of God, have been deprived of the privilege of prophethood?

On the contrary, since the advent of Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh), the Muslims have been the group of the rewarded (Munam Alaihim) and cannot be equated with those who are cursed (Maghzubi Alaihim) and who have gone astray (Zwaalleen). Not being under divine punishment like the Jews, Muslims must continue to see prophets rise from among themselves. To maintain this blessing, God teaches a prayer found in Surah Al-Fatiha, the first chapter of the Holy Qur’an. Read it carefully, and you will see that mention is made of the same subject as discussed earlier. God mentions two groups that lost the divine blessing, that is, the Jews and the Christians. It teaches Muslims not to become among the Maghzubi Alaihim (cursed ones) and Zwaalleen (those who have gone astray), but to follow the path that is the duty of the children of Abraham, that is to say, the path that must attract the divine blessing. Allah has made this invocation clear in the Holy Quran:

Keep us (or guide us) on the right path, the path of those whom you have showered with your favours, not of those who have incurred your wrath, nor of those who have gone astray.” (Al-Fatiha 1: 6-7).

If God had interrupted prophethood, why did He teach prayers to obtain it? The promise was made to Abraham, and through him, to the Israelites, but when they became wicked, the children of Ishmael were appointed in their stead. It has never been written that the promise made by God to Abraham was revoked, nor that the race (descendants) of Abraham had become entirely evil. God can only resume His promise in the only circumstances where the children of Abraham would have been wicked or when He himself declares that the promise was no longer valid.

The prayer taught in Surah Al-Fatiha is of a prophetic character. Just like the one that the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) also taught us and which is contained in the following Darood Shariff - in this case the Darood Ibrahim:

O Allah! Send Your favours on Muhammad (pbuh) and on his family like You have sent Your favours on Abraham and his family; surely You are worthy of glory and praise.

O Allah! Send Your blessings on Muhammad (pbuh) and his family like You have sent Your blessings on Abraham and his family; surely You are worthy of glory and praise.” (Bukhari).

What favours and blessings did Abraham and his family fulfill? Was it not royalty from the temporal point of view, and prophethood from the spiritual point of view? These are the same favours and blessings that the Ummah Muhammadiyya learned to ask in the Daroods. 

It is strange that on the one hand the Mullahs “stop” (close the door of) prophethood and on the other hand they pray to ask for the same thing [they forbid]. In truth, they are deceiving people. These Mullahs are sorrowful that it is this humble servant who has been chosen as Khalifatullah and prophet and not themselves. But that was not in the hands of this humble servant [to change what Allah had decreed]. God gives the kingdom to whom He pleases. He is the prophet of whom He wills. “God knows better where He has to place His mission.” (Al-Anam 6: 125)

We must bear in mind that Muslims make continual efforts to have the kingdom of the earth and when they do not have it they despair, whereas the kingdom of the earth is only temporal. If we do not get it, it does not matter. It does not matter at all. But if we do not get the spiritual blessing, the whole future is in danger because misguidance leads to perdition, to hell.

So, if a prophet comes to ward off misguidance and put the world back on the right path, it is the true purpose of life, and thus man succeeds in this world and in the next.

May God keep us all on the right path, in the group of the Munam Alaihim (of those who have been rewarded). Ameen!

----Extracts from the Friday Sermon of 23 August 2019 ~21 Dhul-Hijjah 1440 AH delivered by Hadhrat Muhyi-ud-Din Al Khalifatullah Munir Ahmad Azim Saheb (atba) of Mauritius.