Grounded in Reality
Laa Ilaaha Illallaah! (37:35)
Muhammad Rasoolullaah! (48:29)
Did you know both of these statements are direct quotes from the Qur’an? I wonder how many Muslims know that. And how many non-Muslims, if any.
And if they are indeed from the Qur’an, I mean these two statements, as they absolutely and positively are – just look up the two references above – and you believe in them, as Muslims do, then you are connected to the best reality that there is.
In other words, you are grounded in reality.
Qur’an Is the Best Reality
For, that is what the Qur’an really is: the best reality there is, in heaven as well as on earth.
And if you are connected to the Qur’an, either by belief, or by common human curiosity, observation, discovery and respect, then it is only fair to say that you are grounded in reality.
Being grounded in reality! People don’t understand this, but that is what connecting with the Qur’an is all about.
Grounded in reality! I guess what this expression means – assuming I got it right in the first place – is to have your feet planted firmly on the ground. In a figurative sense, of course.
That is, having a clear and strong sense of what is real or not real in most matters pertaining to life on earth.
However, what we call “Sense of Reality” could be different to different people. Here, in any case is what triggered this thought in my mind: Reading Laa Ilaaha Illallaah! (37:35) Muhammad Rasoolullaah! (48:29)
And reciting what many Muslims call Kalimah Tayybah; and chanting it; and thinking about it.
“Kalimah Tayyibah” Is Reality
That is right!
Reading these two propositions, Laa Ilaaha Illallaah! (37:35), Muhammad Rasoolullaah! (48:29)
– can I call them that? – together, and separately, I realized how grounded in reality they both are.
“Ultimate Reality” is what comes to mind, when you say them or think about them or chant them.
After careful thought, I have come to the conclusion that there is no reality stronger or firmer than the Qur’an, which is God’s own direct speech, God’s reflection on earth – in our hands – as it were.
We don’t see God, of course. That goes without saying. Nor can we physically touch him. For, he is beyond the power of our senses to reach or access.
Just as God says in the Qur’an, what I paraphrase here:
Vision cannot reach or comprehend him.
But he, on the other hand, is able to access all eyes, sights and vision everywhere.
The words of the Qur’an are:
Laa Tudrikuhul Absaar, Wa Huwa Yudrikul Absaar!
Frankly, that is what makes him God. Otherwise, we would be God, not he.
So, the clearest and most unshakable reality is God in Heaven – and Qur’an right here on earth.
And the Qur’an, right here on this earth, is what we are able to see, touch and hold with our own mortal instruments of living on earth.
Qur’an Connects the World to God
This is as real as anything that can ever get in this world.
It is a perfect nexus of the created with the creator; the mortal with the immortal; and of that which is so sublimely real and divine – the Qur’an – with that which is so manifestly ephemeral and transient like a human being.
Qur’an, thus, is a perfect bridge that connects the world to God. It is not for nothing that the Qur’an refers to the Qur’an as Hablullaah (3:103) or the rope that binds the world to God.
And I do believe that most sane, normal, civilized, sober people everywhere – if not all of them – would like to be grounded in reality, especially this kind of reality. And they would like to get their view of the world from that reality, from that real source, the Qur’an: clear, firm, unambiguous, unshakable – divine.
And, also, I do hope I am right in this. For, there is a thought in my mind that says what a huge leap of faith this is. And that thought quietly whispers to me and says: Everyone has a clear sense of reality in this world?
Come on! Are you dreaming? Wake up!
The Reality of Laa Ilaaha Illallaah! (37:35),
Muhammad Rasoolullaah! (48:29)
But I am going to be stubborn – and defy that kind of suggestion from my own mind if I must.
Because what has struck me so clearly, and with such strong impact – with the enormity of a thunderbolt if you will – is so intriguing that I just cannot pass it up without commenting on it. I am trying not to use stronger expressions like “mind-blowing” or “jaw-dropping” or “profound” or “studpendous.”
And after that, people are free to do what they must. They must follow their own conscience and their own active consciousness and reason.
That, in any case, is how God made them. And that is how he wants them to act.
He made them free and he wants them to follow the path of reason – let us rather call it reasonableness – to the finish.
So, what is this reality check I am inviting everyone to?
Reality Check # 1
That reality check is for everyone to pick up a copy of the Qur’an, open it at chapter (Surah) 37, and read Aayat 36.
“Aayat” or “Aayah” is simply the name the Qur’an gives to its own passages. The word means a miracle, a marker, a proof and a sign. Each passage of the Qur’an is, thus, a “proof” or a miraculous sign that this Qur’an can only be from God.
And that it could in no way have originated in a human source.
So, I want everyone to open Surah 37 in the Qur’an and read Aayat 35. That is the reality check I am inviting everyone everywhere to undertake.
And what does that Aayah has to offer? It offers this most miraculous passage: Laa Ilaaha Illallaah!
Meaning: No God but God!
And not just that. The aayat says it in words that will shake any normal, decent human being to the core. It says:
“So, know that there is no God but God.”
F’alam Annahu Laa Ilaaha Illallaah!
So, that is the first reality check. And this must be quickly followed by Reality Check #2.
Reality Check # 2
And here is that second reality check: 48:29. Go to Surah 48 of the Qur’an and check out Aayat 29. You will be amazed at what you find. And there really is no other reality check like it.
That is what that Aayat reads – Aayat 48:29. It means: “Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.”
Now, combine these two immortal truths, perfectly divine and absolutely real – I called them propositions earlier, and they are – and what do you have?
Laa Ilaaha Illallaah, Muhammad Rasoolullaah!
No God but God, Muhammad is the messenger of God.
The first and the second propositions combined together to constitute a perfectly integrated Kalimah Tayyibah.
This is what many people will recognize as the “Muslim Creed.”
More than a Creed!
But it is more than that. It is a Qur’an-based divine reality, a fact that may come as a surprise to many Muslims.
And of course to most if not all non-Muslims.
But it is divine – this amazing equation of Laa Ilaaha Illallaah (37:35), Muhammad Rasoolullaah (48:29).
Both parts of it.
And it is directly from the Qur’an. And it is not something that the Muslims met in a Conclave and concocted on their own.
Nor is it something that Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, initiated or taught on his own.
On the contrary, each one of the two parts of this Divine Creed was taken directly out of the pages of the Qur’an and given to the whole universe – All the Worlds, as the Qur’an puts it.
Then these two propositions are accepted and embraced by those who would consider Islam their home, either by birth in a Muslim household, or through conversion to Islam from some other faith tradition such as Christianity, Judaism or Hinduism or something else.
That Is What Makes You a Muslim
So, believing truly and sincerely in the truth of this divine propositional calculus in your own heart and mind makes you a Muslim. And it writes you down in God’s Big Secure Register as a Muslim – as one of his slaves who has returned to him and submitted and surrendered to him.
Whereas uttering these two propositions – Laa Ilaaha Illallaah, Muhammad Rasoolullah! – with your tongue, that is, speaking them out aloud for others to hear as it were, after accepting them in your heart, seals that fact in public – the fact of your being or becoming a Muslim.
It marks you out as Muslim – for all to see.
And then the whole universe – and not just your fellow-humans – are witness to this.
So, this I submit is the Great Big Reality Check that everyone everywhere must make. And do so most urgently and seriously.
For, I am not sure, what people call the Marketplace of Ideas – or creeds if you will – offers a choice quite like this.
In other words, this is the only one that is out there, so directly, firmly and clearly grounded in the reality of God’s own book on earth: the Qur’an.
And it has nothing to do with hearsay or make-believe, or with any seeming or suggested human mediation or source of any kind such as a priest or a scholar or a spiritual leader or a committee or an organization.