Islam and Its Method:
Or Just Say Al-Kitab wal Hikmah
Confusing Religion with Reality
Many of us confuse reality with religion. That is why it is important for me to explain how Islam is not “religion” but reality.
Islam is Al-Haqq. Translation: Reality.
Islam is divine, from beginning to end. Religion is man-made.
Religion is presided over by priests and pundits. Islam has no priests or pundits. Only scholars who may choose to be students of Islam.
That is why Islam is reality, from God Almighty.
And that is also why I am not a “Religion” writer – just because I choose to write about Islam.
Nor am I a “Faith” scholar, as some people may think.
I am a student of Islam, Muslims and the World. And that is what I write and speak about.
And that means everything that there is, was or can be: now or forever; here, there and everywhere else.
For, that is Islam.
The System that Runs the Universe
Islam is the name given by God Almighty to the system that runs the world – every single aspect of it: from the most distant solar system and the farthest galaxy to the most intimate detail of a human being’s life such as answering the call of nature.
I should have said “worlds,” plural, as Allah says in the Qur’an, but for the time being let us just go with “world,” singular, like the rest of the world says.
Let the world catch up with the Qur’an, as it is attempting to do ever so slowly for the past 1400 years.
God then took that system, the system that runs his worlds, and gave it to humans based on which to run their lives on earth. That is how the divine system of Islam became the “religion” of Islam that Muslims say they practice.
Worlds, Plural, not World, Singular
If you ask me, that fact, that expression, alone should have shocked the entire world into total and instant submission to Islam, to Qur’an and to Rabbul Aalameen.
But you know how the world goes: Muslims won’t tell; non-Muslims won’t ask; and Shaitan – the Devil – has a field day at the expense of the children of Adam.
The world has no clue that there is such an expression as Rabbul Aalameen anywhere in the world, least of all in the very first sentence of a book called the Qur’an.
Qur’an Means “Reading”
The word Qur’an literally means “Reading.” Just imagine that!
And this book called the Qur’an or “Reading” was given to the world by a man who himself could neither read nor write. He was what the Qur’an itself calls an “Ummiy” – an unlettered man.
Now, imagine that one.
And, on top of that, that man was from Arabia, where the entire culture was one of illiteracy. They were a nation of Ummiys, as the Qur’an tells us.
Now, what do you think of that?
And this happened in the 7th Century. That is when the world had no schools or universities and no printing presses or bookshops of the kind we know today.
That was also the time when reading was inaccessible to most and banned on penalty of death in at least some instances.
It was in such a time and it was in such a place that this unlettered man Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, came from God and gave the world the book that God himself referred to as Qur’an – or the Reading.
Islam Is the Message of the Qur’an
Islam is the most miraculous message that the Qur’an brought into the world.
Islam ranges the gamut from people performing their daily worship to governments and societies building and running their most complex institutions.
Islam, thus, covers politics as well as economics; finance as well as commerce; military affairs as well as judicial matters; science as well as engineering and technology; logic as well as physics and metaphysics; and everything else in between.
And any and all things that fall outside the most inclusive expanse of Islam are non-Islam, pure and simple, no matter by what other lofty title one may choose to call them.
My column Payaam-e-Maghrib, therefore, does not deal with what people would call religious matters, it deals with Islam, which, once again means everything about everything.
For the same reason my Payaam (my message if you will) is not of the east or of the west, even though it is called Payaam-e-Maghrib. But that is mostly a take on Iqbal’s Payaam-e-Mashriq.
I called it that as much to offer a salute to Iqbal as to identify the folly of Iqbal’s choice of words.
A Muslim’s Payaam or Message Must Be Global
For, truly speaking, a Muslim’s Payaam – message that is – is not, and can never be, a prisoner of time or space.
It transcends both.
A Muslim’s message – everywhere and at all times – is Islam. And the blessed and eternal tree of Islam is neither of the West nor of the East.
It is Laa sharqiyyatin wa laa gharbiyyah, to borrow the words of the most inimitable Qur’an.
My message, therefore, is of Islam and of Qur’an: pure, simple and only.
Like that most amazing Muslim Iqbal, may Allah bless him, once put it, my words contain nothing but the Qur’an.
Iqbal’s words go something like this:
Gauharay daryaaya Qur’an sufta-am;
Fikray man gadroon maseer az faizay oost.
Elsewhere Iqbal’s language gets much tougher. He says:
Gar dilam aayeenayay bay jauharast;
War ba harfam juz ba Qur’an muzmarast;
I will stop with that, for, I dare go no further, as my Iman is nowhere near as robust as that of Iqbal’s.
For, Iqbal invokes upon himself the most terrible curse any human being can – if his words reflected anything other than the purest message of the Qur’an.
I invoke no such curse upon myself, but I hesitate not a moment in asserting that Qur’an is where I get my thinking and my guidance from.
Qur’an Is the Highest Empirical Authority
The fact is that I can see with the naked eye that there is nothing in this world that is beyond or outside the Qur’an.
And that is also the reason why I cite the Qur’an, almost exclusively, to support my arguments, rather than fill the pages of my writings with citations and references from all kinds of sources from all over the world.
Not that I disrespect or question or dispute those sources and their findings in every case. I don’t. But because I find the Qur’an to be the highest and most authentic knowledge there is.
And I am making that statement not as a matter of faith, but in a purely empirical sense.
That means knowledge of the Qur’an can be actually shown – using hard data as well as most rigorous theoretical analysis – to be superior in terms of its validity and reliability to anything else that can be found elsewhere.
Let me go a step further and say: Qur’an is the best reality we humans have in our hands.
In the words of the Qur’an: Wa innahu lalhaqqu minrabbika!
Direct Access to the Divine
That means those of us humans whose souls hunger for a vision of the divine in this life must feast their eyes on the Qur’an, and absorb its words and meaning into their bloodstream, bones and soul.
For, that is the closest they will ever come to a beatific vision short of death.
Where is the surprise, therefore, if knowledge of the Qur’an begins where all other knowledge ends?
So, the Qur’an guides, frames and illumines all knowledge in this world that human beings ever had or will ever have.
This, then, in capsule form is the Al-Kitab – the theoretical part if you will – of Islam. This has to do with our understanding of what Islam really is.
And it is fair to say that there is a serious understanding deficit when it comes to Islam, not only among non-Muslims but also among many Muslims.
Many of us simply do not have the knowledge and understanding about Islam that we need to either live a proper Islamic life ourselves or to change human life on earth to fit Islam’s divine requirements and guidance.
Therefore, what the Muslims need to do first and foremost is work to address that understanding deficit. And provide both Muslims and non-Muslims the most clear and complete knowledge and understanding of the Deen of Islam.
What we need to do thereafter is take up seriously the question of the method of how to put the concepts of Islam into practice, in our own individual and personal lives, as well as in our societies and throughout the world at the broader and what economists call more macro levels.
That method of practicing Islam in real life is called in the language of the Qur’an Al-Hikmah, which will be Part II of this writing, and which will happen when and how Allah makes it possible for it to happen.
© 2012 Syed Husain Pasha
Dr. Pasha is an educator and scholar of exceptional
talent, training and experience. He can be reached at DrSyedPasha [at]
AOL [dot] com or www.IslamicSolutions.com.
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