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.
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