May 7, 2013, 9:35 AM
It is religion and religion alone that can restore to the world of humanity peace and tranquility. It instills in man love for goodness and courage to stand up to the forces of evil and tyranny as a necessary condition of obtaining God’s pleasure and to make His will predominant on this earth awaiting with patience His reward in the Hereafter. Doesn’t mankind really need peace, tranquility, comfort, in a word, religion?
What will become of man but for faith and belief in an eternal life in the Hereafter? in this context man’s life upon earth assumes new dimensions opening far higher horizons of progress before him in the absence of which he is inevitably oppressed by a torturous sense of nothingness, as it means a virtual cutting short of man’s total life-span, making him a mere playing in the hands of his whim and caprices which teach him nothing but it derive the maximum possible amount of pleasure during its short sojourn upon earth. Mutual rivalries, savage battles and conflicts over the possession of material gains follow, as now there is no Higher Power to lay check on men’s desires. So, blinded by his greed and lust, each one of them wants to gain whatever he can lay his hands on in the shortest possible time.
Thus man is degraded to lower planes of feeling and thought. His imagination sinks low and so do his ideals and the means to achieve them. They are all marked with abjectness. Mankind is doomed to a perpetual life of hideous internecine wars that scarcely permit it to soar to higher and nobler end in life. In such a world there is no room for love or sympathy as men and wholly obsessed with their carnal pleasures. They are led by their blind passions. How can they in such a context have lofty aspirations or even appreciate genuine human feelings?
Men in such a world no doubt gain some material profits. But of what use are these when fellow men are constantly wrangling over them, each ready to cut his brother’s throat should he find it opportune for this own material welfare. Materialism spoils life so much that even man’s material achievements are rendered useless and senseless. Men are enslaved by greed, lust and avarice. Blind appetites alone govern them. They have no control whatsoever over these vices. Nor can they ever hope to extricate themselves from their trammels.
Similarly, the nations too, due to similar causes, get entangled in devastating wars which spoil all harmony in life. And science with all its dreadful weapons is employed for the extermination of the human race and its obliteration rather than make it serve man and contribute towards his well-being.
Viewed in this context religion means broadening the mental horizon of mankind, for life is not confined to this world alone but continues even beyond it-up to eternity. This brightens hope in man’s heart and encourages him to fight steadfastly against evil and oppression. Religion teaches love, sympathy and universal brotherhood and is thus the only way to peace, prosperity and progress which is in it a sufficient reason for its retention. It equips man in the best possible way for the hard struggle of life.
Furthermore, it is faith and faith alone that can inspire man to rise above his self and suffer for noble and lofty ideals. Once it is taken away from him he is left with nothing else to look up or pin his hopes to outside his own self. He changes into a brute immediately. Many a man feel fighting in the noble cause of truth spending the whole of their lives in the struggle yet achieving nothing in the materialistic sense of the word. What inspired these noble souls to engage in a battle that brought them no material rewards? That caused them rather lose whatever little they happened to possess? Undoubtedly, it was one of the many miracles of the Faith, for so far as selfish motives viz, avarice, greed, lust etc. are concerned, these can never make man achieve anything really good, noble or of a permanent value. This is why the material triumphs won by selfish avarice are so short-lived and temporary as the incentive for immediate gain cannot equip man with character, nor can it give him the courage to stand fast suffering patiently and for long for a truly noble and lofty cause.
There are in fact some so-called “reformers” who seek inspiration from hatred rather than love. This is the headspring of their inspiration, which they say gives them the courage to bear hardships of their cause with patience. The hatred they cherish may be personal in character to it may spring among a class of people and be directed against mankind in general or the generation they may have happened to be born in. Such rancor-inspired people may realize some of their ends by way of “reformation”. Their rancor coupled with their fiery and innate cruel natures may as well sustain them and boost their “morale” to willingly suffer privation for the sake of the cause they stand for, but a doctrine based on malevolence rather than love never lead humanity to anything good. They may remove certain evils and put an end to the existing state of injustice but offer on sound remedy for these ailments of mankind. Based on hatred and malevolence, such a philosophy of life is bound sooner or later to degenerate and create far more evil and injustice than that it has originally professed and sought to cure.
On the other hand, a creed that does not aim at the immediate gains of this world, nor derivers inspiration from malevolence but fosters in men noble passions of love, fraternity and a will to lay down their lives serving their fellowmen, can alone guarantee to humanity a reward permanent and worth striving for, and pave the way to its future progress and prosperity. The essence of such a creed is faith in God and love for Him with a consequent virtuous mode of living that helps man get nearer unto his, Creator. But both of these remain lifeless so long as one does not believe in the Hereafter as well. Belief in the Hereafter gives man a sense of security banishing from his heart fear of extinction with his physical death and promising him an eternal life. This, in other words, means that his efforts shall not be wasted away but shall be crowned with their fullest reward in the life to come, if not in the life herein.
All this is, however, what follows as a natural corollary to a simple belief in God and the Hereafter as such. But so far as Islam is concerned it does not stop short there, but goes a long way ahead: it has a quits different and fat more fascinating story to tell.
Those who may imagine that Islam has become outmoded and is no longer needed, do not know as to what it stands for, do they in any wise seem to understand its real mission inhuman life. As taught to them in the history books prescribed by the agent of imperialism in early life they think that Islam was revealed merely to put an end to idolatry and guide man to the worship of God alone, that the Arabs were torn into antagonistic tribes, so Islam came and united them and made them a strong and unified nation, that they were addicted to drinking and gambling and led depraved lives, so Islam came and checked them from these depravities as it did abolish so many other evil custom prevalent among them such as burying alive their daughters and wasting away their strength in acts of revenge, and that Islam called upon Muslims to disseminate its message which they did, this turn leading to the battles that ultimately determined the boundaries of the Islamic world as we know it today. This was then according to these people the sole purpose of Islam in human life! “Being a historical mission it has long since been fulfilled: there is no idol-worship in the Islamic world; the once antagonistic tribes have been more or less subject to a process of absorption losing their identity in the larger nationalities or communities. As far as gambling and drinking are concerned let us bear in mind that human civilization has advanced to such an extent now that it is useless to declare such pastimes unlawful as we see that despite all religious taboos they still persist. It is no use insisting on their abolition. Thus they conclude that Islam has served its purpose in the world; it has had its day but is now quite out of place and is, therefore, no longer needed. We must, therefore, turn towards the modern doctrines of life as in these alone lies our salvation”.
Thus parroting the ideas of their western teachers these people betray their own ignorance. They know nothing about Islam or its real mission in human life. Lest us, therefore, before proceeding further, see what Islam is and what in fact it stands for.
Islam, in a word, means liberation from all sorts of slavery such as may inhibit the progress of humanity or may not allow it to follow the path of virtue and goodness. It means man’s freedom from dictators who enslave him by force or fear, make him do what is wrong and deprive him of his dignity, honor, property or even life. Islam liberates him from such tyranny by telling him that all authority vests in God and God alone; He alone is the Real Sovereign. All men are His born subjects and as such, H alone controls their destinies, none of them having the power to benefit aught or even avert any distress from him own self contrary to or independent of His Divine Will.
All men shall be presented before Him on the Day of Judgment to account for their performance in this life. Thus Islam brings to man freedom from fear or oppression inflicted on him by men like himself who are in reality as helpless as he, and who are not less subject to the Dominant Will of God Almighty then he himself is….