Love and Fear of Allah
By: Allamah Sayyid Sa'eed Akhtar Rizvi
“Soon will We show them our signs in the (furthest) regions and in their own souls……..” (Qur’an,41:53).
There is one tested method of knowing Allah; and that is “through His creation” – the Worlds and the Man. Let us begin with our self.
We do not know the nature of soul. Still we have to admit that there is something which is the source of “life” In the same way, though we cannot ‘know’ the Creator, we have to admit that there is a God who has created the universe.
We know that the soul is the ruler of our body. If any limb of ours refuses to obey the commands of the soul, it is not a reflection on the strength of the soul. It is considered the defect of the limb itself. Likewise, the God is the master and ruler of the universe; and if anybody refuses to obey the commandments of Allah, the authority of Allah can never be doubted. It will be a sign that the disobedient person is sick spiritually.
We know that soul is connected with our body; but we do not know where it is. The life is everywhere in our body; but if a limb of a man is amputated, we cannot say that so much portion of the soul also has been cut off. Thus, we see, the life everywhere and still we cannot say that it is here or is there. In the same manner, we know that Allah is everywhere; but we cannot say. “He is here” or “He is there”. We cannot point towards Him; we cannot correlate Him with any place.
Whenever we want to do any work, our limbs simply obey the unspoken command of the soul, without any need to tell them in so many words. In the same way whenever God wants anything to happen it just happens, without any need on the part of God to say “Be this” of “Be that” Therefore, we understand that the words used in scriptures that “God says and the thing happens” is just a way of expressing the idea that as soon as Allah wishes something, it happens immediately.
We do not see the soul; still we believe in it. Man believes in such creation which are beyond his senses. Strangely enough, there are some people who do not believe in the Creator, just because He is beyond their senses!
God has shown His signs in our self. Perhaps these points were in the mind of Amir-ul-mumeneen Ali when he said: “Whoever knew his soul, knew his Lord”.
Sinlessness of Prophets
“And We sent not an apostle but to be obeyed according to the will of God”. (Qur’an, 4:64)
God sent so many prophets and apostles to lead their people on right path. Some of them were sent to a small group; others to large communities or countries. In the end the Prophet of Islam was sent to the whole mankind.
The prophets were to be obeyed; their examples were to be followed. It required a very high degree of respect and prestige in the eyes of the would be followers. But could a prophet command a genuine respect if his own character was not without blemish? How could his community believe that his claim of prophethood was based on truth? After all, a man who had committed sins in past, could again commit another sin – that of false pretension. So, to carry on the work of God, the prophets must have been sinless, and free from mistakes.
This capability to refrain from sins is called ‘Ismat’ in Islam. And the Muslims accept that all the prophets were sinless.
Of course, some stories are told about some of the prophets which are not edifying, to say the least. But we know how the passage of time starts legends about historical personalities; and how human mind works out the details; and how every generation wants to justify its own morality (perverted or otherwise) by pretending that it is what was done by more wise men (in this case, the prophets). As a result of this mental exercise, the followers succeed in creating a not-very-lovely picture of their prophets – just to satisfy their own troubled conscience.
For example, this week a certain ‘man of religion’ (who lives in a country which has just now legalized a perverted sexual act) did suggest that his prophet also might have indulged in that kind of perversion. He did not mind tarnishing the name of his prophet if this could ease the burden of shame and guilt from his conscience!
So, be careful when you are told stories of sins of other prophets. Human nature does not change. People, even the followers, nave been attributing nasty behaviors to the prophets of God since a very very long time.
One of the unique achievements of Islam is the fact that Muslims never upgraded the Holy Prophet of Islam to godhood. It speaks eloquently of the humility and selflessness of Muhammad (s.a.w.), who easily could have been acknowledged (had he only wished so) as a deity in those days when people were used to worship human beings; and especially so when people were so much impressed by his matchless character and unparalleled conduct that a mere hint would have been enough to make him a god.
He did not want the people to take him as other than a man. He never gave any room in any of his utterances which would in the least mislead the people to raise him to godhood.
We know how easily a ‘son of man’ can be construed to be a god if he is metaphorically spoken of as a ‘son of God’. Muhammad avoided all such metaphorical references about himself. He always proclaimed all power, knowledge and glory for the true God. He always presented himself as a servant of Allah who did nothing but the will of his Lord. The frankness with which he always presented himself to the world entitled him to the title ‘The Plain Preacher’. As he has been addressed by Allah in the Holy Qur’an. He presented the truth in its pristine purity and originality without any misleading ambiguity.