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MUHAMMAD: THE GLORY OF THE AGES [SLAlVI IN EUROPE AND AMERICA 1\1USLIl\1S AND COMMUNISM HUlVIANITY REBOR N ISLAl\1 TRE NDS IN CHR1STIANITY OUR FUTURE EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMME ETHICS OF THE QUR 'AN MEANING OF PRAYER I SLAMIC lVIORAL AND METAPHYSICAL PHILOSOPH Y
When we analyse the concept of Religion we find that this concept is constituted of three factors, namely, God , Universe and Man, All the different discussions that are involved in religious thought hinge on these three factors. Consequently, we shall have to approach the problem of the study of the above-mentioned religions in the perspective of these factors and their connected problems, in which the most important and comprehensive is the problem of the "s cheme of salvation", Taking the last point first: So far as the concept of Salvation is concerned, the religions under dis cussion fall under two head: (1) Religions of Salvation ; (2) Religions of Fulfilment. 1
As regards Religions of Fulfilment, there is only one, and that is Islam.
The concept of salvation originates essentially in the belief that this world is evil, that the sojourn
The foundation of the concept of fulfilment, on the other hand, is the belief that the world is essentially good. According to [slam, which is the religion of fulfilment, God is Absolutely Good, and because He is Absolutely Good all His actions must of necessity be good. Consequently, all His creation is good , which means that the world is good, the human personality is good and the social relations are good. This being so, all human beings are born sinless, and here Islam stands in contradistinction with Christianity which says that human beings arc born in sin. Islam also differs wit.h other religions in its ideal of saintliness. Thus, while, for instance , Hinduism, Buddhism and Christianity teach ascetic ism and renunciation of the world as the way to acquire Holiness, Islam is emphatic in the assertion that human life should be lived to the fullest, of course within the legitimate bounds of healthy existence. According to Islam, God has endowed the human beings with certain faculties and powers and the purpose of this endowment is that the human beings should employ and develop those faculties and powers in the earthly life. These faculties and powers cannot, however, be brought into play except in social environment. Hence , social life and social relations are essentially good . It is through social morality and subjugation of the natural forces by means of physical science and personal spiritual
The Religions of Salvation are again divided into two categories: (u) tho se whose' concept of salvation is linear,
namely: they teach the advance of human life in the linear style wherein human life passes through the gateway of death to continue beyond the grave and to attain heaven or hell :
(b) those whose concept of salvation is cyclic, namely: 'they teach continuous transmigra tion of souls in cycle upon cycle. Christianity, Judaism and Zoroastrianism belong to ' category (a). Hinduism and Buddhism belong to category (h). Behind these differences in points of view concern ing salvation and fulfilment are the philosophies of life which are grounded in definite notions con cerning the nature of man , the nature of the universe and. the nature of God .
We may now take up the religions that have been selected for study and discuss their teachings under the three heads that we mentioned in the beginning, viz., God , Universe and MOan. Christianity
Let us take up Christianity first. Christian scholars class Christianity as a mono theistic religion. But, it must be admitted that if Christianity is monotheistic in any sense of the word, its monotheism must be regarded as of a peculiar or, at least, special type. For, actually it preaches the conception of the Triune God. The members of the Christian Godhead are three: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost (or, from another point of view, Goddess the Mother). These three members of the Trinity are said to be one and yet three. The Christian formula of Godhead is: Three in One and One in Three. But the statement of the formula presents, to say the least, an enigma to human understanding. The three members of the Godhead are three persons. If they had been three attributes of the same God, Christian "monotheism" would have been under standable. But, neither God the Father, nor God the Son, nor God the Holy Ghost is au attribute. Rather,
The Christian notion of Godhead is 110t only deeply mystifying but also flagrantly blasphemous. The belief in Jesus as "the only begotten Son of God" makes the Christian concept of God anthro pomorphic, on the one hand, and hurls the greatest conceivable blasphemy on God, on the other. There are some more points of blasphemy also in the Christian faith in God inasmuch as the Old Testa ment forms a vital part of the Christian Bible. To those blasphemies we shall refer when we discuss Judaism. The view of Christianity with regard to the world is that it is evil. This fact emerges in the Christian notion which say that human life 011 earth is essentially evil. Christianity regards the human soul as noble and holy and the human body as evil and the playground of Satan. Consequently, the ideal of saintliness or godly life is that which is represented in . the life of the biblical Jesus, viz. the ideal of asceticism and renunciation of physical pleasure and social relations. This ideal has been pursued from the very beginning in the form of the institution of monks and nuns. [11 connection with Iife-after-death, Christianity teaches a crude form. of the doctrine of heaven and hell. It upholds salvation is a linear style as orrosed to the cyclic order of Reincarnation .
centuries. The text s on which Judaism is based are many. All of them combined together in one corpus are called " Torah" or the "Old Testament". When we analyse the teachings of Judaism, the first thing that str ikes us is the presence of conflicting views. Thus, in connection with the conception of God we find the most primitive and even blasphemous notions, on the one hand, and the idea of pure monotheism, on the other. For instance, in the very beginning of the book we find the remark that God created the world in six days and rested on the seventh day-the day of the Sabbath. Now, thi s idea of rest. casts a slur on the personality of God, because rest is alway s induced by fatigue and fatigue is caused by the consumption of limited energy . Hence, to say that God needed rest after six days of labour means that God's energy had been consumed and He was thus suffering from fatigue. In other words, God's Power 1S limited, namely, God suffers from lack of Power. But he who suffers from lack of power cannot be .called God because God must be infinite in His Being as well as in all His Attributes. ,I Another instance of blasphemy against God is to be found in the continuation of the same story of Creation where it has been said that when Eve and Adam had committed the first sin, God repented. 6
feels sorry if he is unable to perform an act which it is necessary for him to perform . Sorrow comes becau se of lack of power. Proceedin g further in the story of Creation, we lind that God refused to forgive Adam. Now Adam was the first human being and his sin was the first sill-and that too of quite a simple type. It was not a crime like the crime of murder. The only injur y that Adam had done was to himsel f alone. It is a principle followed in the law courts of the world that they take the first offence lightly and very often try to forgive the culprit or at least to mitigate the punishment. But, according (0 the Old Testament, God refused to forgive the first simple offence of the first simple human being. The only logical conclusion that we can derive from it is that He can never forgive anyone. Here the Old Testa ment teaches the absence of the will-to-forgive in ' . t·J the personality of God. The above discussion shows that, although Judaism preaches monotheism, which is its merit its conception of God is extremely defective, nay: even blasphemous. For, a God Who suffers .from finitude in his power and knowledge and who lacks the power of mercy is actually no God at all. He is 0111y a magnified hum~n being. And this brings u s, to the anthropomorphic character of the Jewish ' conception of God. The Jewish monotheism is of
plains of India and subjugated its people. They foisted their beliefs on the conquered races and at the same time absorbed the beliefs and social habits of their subjects . Thus a hotchpotch was created in which mutuall y conflicting beliefs and mutually fighting gods and goddesses were accommodated. fndeed, when we study and investigate the beliefs and practices of Hinduism, we find that Hinduism stands not for one religion but a number of religiou s systems, among which the only common doctrines appear to he tho se of Karma and transmigration of so uls.
The Jewish outlook on human life is more realistic and practical than that of Christianity. The Jewish moral code has many elements of value , although it has been marred by racialism." Judaism emphasizes the supremacy of man in creation and the importance of earthly existence . Its conception of salvation is the next world is based on the notion of law with rewards and punishments in the form of heaven and hell.
Hinduism Hinduism is the most undefinable religion in the world. Indeed, it is more of a social order than a religion in the strict sense of the word. A person who believes in one God can be a Hindu; a person who believes in three gods can also be a Hindu; a person who believes in millions of gods, he too can be a Hindu ; and so also a person who believes in no god. C/' " Yahweh moulds man like a potter ; he plants the garden or Eden and walk s through 1~ In th e cool of the evening like a rich M eso potamian. Adam hears hIS fo otsteps. He comes down from heaven to sec the building of the T~wer of Babel, He e~ ts and drinks with Abraham. and the latter washes his feel. He struggles With Jacobs and a llow him self to be overcom.e" D ' Alviella : Origin and Growth of the Conception of God, p. 216. ~ It has been marred by obscenties and vulgarities a ttri buled to the Prophets of God in the Scripture itself. . 1
Hinduism, like Judaism, is the religion of a particular race. A Hindu is born and not made . For, unlike Islam and Christianity, Hinduism does not believe in the conversion of the non-Hindus to Hinduism. And it is not only racialism which is the characteristic of Hind uism but also the caste system. Namely, not only is a Hindu tied to a certain race but also to a particular caste. Every Hindu is born either a Brahmin or a Khattriya or a Vaishya or a Sudra. No amount of moral greatness or acts of chivalry or any other distinction can enable a person to change his caste or to rise from the lower to the higher caste in his life. Hinduism ha s the peculiarity, among all the religion s of the world , of excommunicating the 9
the law that every member of the Brahmin caste is so holy and every member of the Sudra caste is so unholy and despicable that if any Sudra comes so near to a Brahmin that the voice or the Sudra can reach the ear of the Brahmin , the Sudra is to be punished for defiling the holiness of the Brahmin by pouring molten lead into the ears of the Sudra. This being the case, the question or inter-marriages and other social rel ations is ruled out completely. And when thi s is the treatment which Hinduism metes out to its own members , its attitude towards the members of other religions and races can be well imagined. Indeed , for a Hindu all non-Hindus are untouchables. They are, in his opinion, not only spiritually inferior but also socially condemned and contemptible. This means that Hinduism has ab solutely no notion of common humanity and no idea of fundamental and universal human rights.
As regards the theory of the Transmigration of Souls and its foundation, the theory of Karma, they appear to be irrational and unacceptable when weighed in the balance of human reason. The Hindu view of salvation 'is cyclic, viz., there are cycles upon cycles of rebirth through which every human being must pass times without number in order to attain sa lvation . According to Hinduism, if a person commits more vices than virtues in hi s life, he is born again in this world in a lower caste or even in a lower category of existence. This, according to 10
This theory, however, does not stand the test of reason. In the first instance, to realise that a person is suffer ing or benefiting on any particular occasion in this life because of action performed in a previous life on this earth, it is neces sary that every human being should have a complete picture of his supposed previous life at all moments and on all occasions. Otherwise, the purpose of his re-birth would be defeated. But no such picture exists in the mind of any human being. Secondly, if we pic k up an immature seed from a tree and wish to get a tree from that seed in spite of its immaturity, we never paste or pin that seed back on the tree. Rather , we try to get the best of the seed by providing better manure and better conditions. Similar is the case or the human personality. When a human being leaves this world without achieving that purity and maturity which is necessary for salvation, nature should not and would not paste and pin him again on the tree of earthly life, but should provide for him conditions whereby his impurity and , immaturity may be remedied and he may be able to proceed on the path of evolution. Thirdly, evolution is an established law of the' human personality as well as of the universe. But evolution is always linear and never cyclic. Hence, on this score also the theory of salvation through transmigration of so uls is un- , acceptable. 11
certain principles and institutions of Hinduism, although in its basic characteristics it was and is virtually all offshoot of Hinduism. It was a revolt inasmuch as it broke off the fetters of the caste system which forms the corner-stone of the Hindu socia l order. It was a revolt also in the sense that it substituted a virtually impersonal concept of God or a concept of non-existence of God-in contra distinction to the anthropomorphic and pluralistic Hindu concept of Godhead . It was an offshoot of Hinduism inasmuch as it retained the Hindu doctrines of Karma and Awa Galvan (reincarnation and trans migration of souls). Now, these two doctrines form actually the foundation and the ba sic distinguishing characteristics of the Hindu philosophy of religion. Consequently, there are scholars who are inclined to regard Buddhism as only one of the numerous sect s of Hinduism. The starting point of the Buddhist movement is well known to the students of Indian history. We are told that Gotama was a member of a princely house of the Hindus, that he was deeply stirred by the sufferings of humanity, that he left his hearth and home in search of solution for the human sufferings, that he remained absorbed in contempla tion and meditation for years, and that he attained Buddhahood, namely, Enlightenment, under a tree at Buddh-Gaya-a place in the province of Bihar, India. .
is an illusion ; it is a trap. Therefore, it should be avoided. All sufferings come through the cultivation of desires for possessing the things of the world . But because this world is a trap the wise man (Buddhist) should cut off all his relations with the world, including social relations born of marriage. He should live the life of a mendicant, namely, of a roaming beggar who should have no home, no worldly duties and no worldly aspirations. It is said about Gotama Buddha himself that when he left his home in search of truth he had his wife whom he left behind, and when after years of wanderings he returned to his native place he did not return to his wife. Another doctrine of Buddhism is that of Ahimsa, namely, total abstention from punishing anyone and killing anyone. The Buddhists are famous as protagonists of this doctrine, although because the doctrine is unnatural and non-human no Buddhist community has been able to practise it in its logical implications. Rather, Buddhism had to continuously modify its teachings in order to meet the natural exigencies of social life and the rational demands of human nature. Thus Buddhists have been marrying and thereby perpetuating social relations and they have been engaging themselves in trade and industry and politics and even war. And still they have remained Buddhists! 13
, ,. r
the minority group of the Buddhists after the famou s Council of Patna. The followers of this sect seem to be the most orthodox and more loyal to the spir it and teaching s of Buddha. They believe in asceticism and other-worldliness. The 'M ahayana group has named itself so becuase it formed the majority group at the Council of Patna 'a nd it has remained so up to this day . It penetrated to the north and east of India and it adopted an outlook which accommodates the worldy duties of mankind. The ideal human beings , according to this sect also , are the ascetics, but it permits social relations as a natural and necessary evil. Its comparative popu larity over the Hinayan sect is in the main due to the concession it gives to worldly relations. But even this sect. is averse to the military profession and it regards the act of taking up weapons as totally opposed to Buddhism. But war is a vital fact of human life and a necessary part of the activity of all nations, and even the Buddhists, however much they might detest it, are bound to face it. Conse quently, as time progressed and the practical diffi culties in following the Buddhist philosophy of life became more and more apparent, .modifications in Buddhist teachings went further and further. Thus when Buddhism entered Japan and it gained followers among the militarist Japanese, a new version of Buddhist philosophy emerged ill the form of Zen Buddhism which permits and promotes fully the 14
Both Buddhist theology and moral philo soph y appear to be based on wrong foundations from the point of view of human reason. Buddhist theology gives us an impersonal blind force ill place of God , on the one hand, and naked anthropomorphism and all the evils of animistic idolatry, on the other . Thus Buddhism is a two-edged sword which murders the concept: of God right through. In the domain of moral philosophy, the doctrine of the total nega tion of all Desire is a hopeless doctrine, because it: turns human beings into stones. It is only stones who may be conceived to have no desires . As regards human beings , desire is the first and foremost condition of their activity and the most vital founda tion of their progress. The only thing that can be wrong about desire is to have an evil desire or to have desire in a wrong measure. Therefore, a true moral philosophy would never negate all desire but only wrong desires and desires in wrong measure, as Islam teaches ; while the negation of all desire would mean the negation of good desires also, which standpoint cannot be accepted by any rational human being. As regards the doctrines of Karma and Awa Gawan, while the doctrine of Karma seems too rational in its normal implications, viz., that -the effect is conditioned by the cause, the doctrine of transmigration of souls has absolutely 110 foundation 15
Islam was born in the br oad daylight of human history. Indeed , it is the o nly religion which is full y historical and who se scr ipture exists tod ay with ou t the minutest change. It is also the only religion about who se founder 's life we possess a co m plete and mos t detailed inform a ti on .
The authenticity and purity of the lex! of the Holy Qur'an stan ds in sha rp contrast with the veracity o f the Christian Go spels, for instance. T he Gospel s were no t d ictated by Jesus Ch r ist (peace be on him), while the Holy Qur'an was dictated word for wo rd by th e Hol y Prophet Mohammad (peace be on him) . The firs t authorised ver sion of the Go spels was no t in existence before 32 I A.C. , whil e the authorised versio n of the H oly Qur'an was ready in the lifetime of the Holy Prophet. Then , there is only one version of the Holy Qur'an while there a re four versions of the Go spel s, viz., according to Mark, according to M a tthew, accord in g to Luke a nd according to John . Again, the se four ver sions have been con tinuously su bjected to revision.
III ' III II
As regards the hist oricity of th e per sonalities Jesus and Mohammad (God bless both of them) : the only period of the life of Jesu s abou t which we know anything cover s hardly t\VO years, and there too we get only brief references to hi s miracles and hi s str uggle and no detailed information about his
on him) is en tirely d ifferen t. F rom his birth to h is la st day o n the ea rth, we pos sess a recor d of his life and activity, o f his perso nal ity a nd character, of h is teaching s and his struggle which is so deta iled that even the m inutest events of his private life a re to be found there. Indeed , the comprehens iveness of informa tion a bo ut the Holv Prophet's life is so a sto und ing in its dimensions"that it fo rms a unique pheno menon of h uman history. Thi s historicity of Is la m . its script ure and it s Teacher is t he first basic characteristic 'o f Islam as a religion- -a character istic which is denied to all religions, inclu d ing Judai sm . H ind u ism a nd Bu ddhi sm. The seco nd charac teri stic or Isla m is that, a mo ng all the Teachers of Rei igio n, it is only the personality of the H o ly Prophet "Moha mmad (peace be upon him) which is not. o nly histo r ical but al so all-dimen sional. There is not a single departme nt ofc onstr ue tive an d po sitive hu man ac tivity a nd there is not a single role in the sphere ofthe gr ea tness of mankind and nob ility of h uma n cha ra cter which d oes no t find exp ressio n in the 1ire o r t he Ho ly Prop het. As a relig io n, Islam stand s fai th, name ly, belief in:
seven articles of
( I) E xistence a nd U nity of G od. (2) Angels, who are person alities made of Light
different communities of mankind all over the globe in different ages, beginning with the Divine Guidance received by Adam and endi ng with the Holy Qur'an. (4) The Messengers of God from among the
human beings who were raised by God in all the communities of the world since the time of Adam, the first Messenger of God, till the time of Mohammad. the last and final Messenger of God (peace be upon them all) . (5) The Resurrection, nemely, raising up of the deed and reviving them with their total personalities at the break-up of the present physical order. (6) The Last Day when the order of the world will break up to give place to a new order and all human. beings will be called upon to render account of their deeds and God Almighty will give His Judgment and will give reward or punishment by sending people into heaven or hell.
I Ii I
(7) Prerneasurement of good and. evil, which means that the world is a reign of law, that everything and every action is grounded in a definite measure given to it by God and 18
built on five pillars. They are:
(1) Affirmation and Declaration that there is absolutely no deity except the Only One God, Allah, who is transcendent, ha s no 'only begotten son' and does not incarnate Himself in any person or thing, and that 'Mohammad (peace be upon him) is the Messenger of God-and, as such , the last and the final . (2) Performance of the Obligatory Institutional Prayers prescribed by Islam for the day and the night.
(3) Observance of Fasting during th e month of Ramadan: (4) Payment of the Social Insurance Tax (Zakat) . by all those who possess the means ; (5) Performance of the 'Pilgrimage (Hqjj) by all 'Musli ms of means , The seven Articles and the five Pillars give to Islam its character as a religion. Islam is not, how ever, merely a religion but also a self-co ntained Culture and a self-sustained Civil isation. The Cultures of Islam has been conceived on the principles of Knowledge and Piety, and the str uggle of a Muslim 's 19
and Liberty. T he underlyin g idea of the ISlamic society is the esta blishmen t of socia l, politica l and sp iritua l democra cy. The g uidi ng princi ple of the Isla mic economic system is wh at has been laid down in t he H oly Q ur'an in the following ver se : "Let not. wealt h circulate only among the wealthy peo ple of the co mmunity". Here it may be noted that Islam is eq ually op posed to Capital ism and Comm unism and it steer s a middle co urse of balanced So cia lis m between the two . As a p olitical system, I slam sta nds for the s upremac y of the law, which means t hat Islam does not regar d anyone, not even the head of the sta te, as ab ove the law. As a world-o rder. Islam stands for h uman bro therho od and condemn s all ideas of s uperio rity and inferiority based on cas te, cla ss, tri be and race. Indeed, it was Is lam that gave to the world, fo r the fi rst time in hu man history , t he Charte r of Fundam ental Human Rights. . .
IiI ii: I
I II I! : II I Ii
';hip \Hll l ' th e s t.u u p of versatility , with Th eology, Philo sophy .uul C'olllpllraliw Religion forming his central intere st. His autho rship contributed more than a dozen books, all imbued with sincerity of purpose, depth of insight , logical acumen and wide knowled ge. Hi s journalistic talent enriched the cause of lslmn for more than forty years inside the Pak-Bharat subconti Ill' II I a ~ well as outside. His missionary endea vours served far 1I111W human populations in Asia, Africa , Europe and Americ a. A pupil vI' Professor S.Z. Hasan, Dr. Phil, (Eri.) D. Phil. (UXOII.) ill
Philosophy, of His Eminence Saiyyid Sulairnan Ashraf
in Theology anti of His Eminence Muhamm ad Abdul Alccm Siddiqui Al-Qudcri in Spiritual Discipline and Missionary Work, he acquired his early education at different institutions, com
meucing with the memorisation of the Holy
settling (Ind ia) for higher education-both Western and Islamic. There he won the highest laurels in the B.A., B.Th. and M.A. (Philo sophy) examinations, wrote his Ph . D. thesis on Moral Philo sophy under Prof. S. Z. Hasan, and was hailed officially as " a new refulgent star on the firmament of Islamic Learning", " a scholar of exceptional talent and ability", "head and shoulders above Mu slim othcrs' t-e-indeed, as "the best product of the Aligarh University " in view of his man y-sided genius.
down finally at the famou s Aligarh Muslim Uni versity
As an Islamic theologian, he possessed the rare distinction
or combining higher education in Modern Thought with Islamic
theological scholarship. As a scholar of Phil osophy , he represen
leu western as well as eastern disciplines.
As a missionary, his love for humanity carried him to distant lands . Besides mis cellaneous tours, he travelled in 1949-50, 1957, 1960-61. 1964 and 1969, five times round the world on Islamic missionary errand . Pr inted at. Trade and Indu stry Publications Ltd ., 14 West Whar f Road , Karachi (Paklsran). \
Primed at Trade and Industry Publications Ltd. 14, West Wharf Road, Karachi-2
THE FORGOTTEN PATH OF KNOWLEDGE-M. A. A. Siddiqui SHAVIAN AND A THEOLOGIAN-An Illuminating Dis cussion of Islam between G.B. Shaw and M. A. A. Siddiqui THE QUR'ANIC FOUNDATIONS AND STRUCTURE OI<' MUSLIM SOCIETY-Dr. F. R. Ansari ISLAM VERSUS MARXISM-Dr. F. R . An sari WHAT IS ISLAM-Dr. F. R. An sari ISLAM AND CHRISTIANITY IN THE MODERN WORLD Dr. F. R. An sari THROUGH SCIENCE AND PHILOSOPHY TO RELIGION- Dr. F. R. Ansari . FOUNDATIONS OF FAITU-D r. F. R. Ansari PHILOSOPHY OF WORSHIP IN ISLAM-Dr. F. R. An sari ISLAM AND WESTERN CIVILISATION--Dr. F. R. An sari BEYOND DEATH-Dr. F. R. Ansa ri WHICH RELIGION-Dr. F. R. A nsar i WHAT IS CHRISTIANITY--Yusu(' Saleem Ch ishtl THE MYTH OF THE CR UCIFI ED SAVI O U R- W . J. Sheard WHO FOUNDE[) CH RISTl ANlTY: JESUS OR JEWRY - W. J. Sheard ISLAM AND BUDDHISM [~ TI-IE MOOER N W()I~LJ) - ·Imran N . Ho sein SCIENCE AND GOD ·· ·S. Sha mim Ahmad SCIENTIFIC REGIO N OR REVERENT SCIENCE-Maria
Levinskayu GOD'S EXISTENCE ANO CO NTEMP O RARY SCIENCE- Jawaid Quarnar ISLAM AND CONTEMPORARY SCIENCE-S o S. N . Na qvi INTEGRATION OF SCmNCE AND REUGION- -Col. D r. M . H. Shah