Continuing The Story of
Miracles In Islam - I
(Bringing Islam to the World One Concept at a Time!
Taking the Qur'an to Every Home and Heart that Needs It --
And which One Does Not?)
Not Just “Faith,” but Also Intelligence:
That Is What People Need
Let us continue with our story of the most amazing miracles that fill every aspect of the Deen of Islam.
As I have made it clear repeatedly, our definition of a “miracle” is an event of such extreme low probability as to make it almost impossible of occurrence in real life. That means, in all probability and likelihood, an event like that simply would not occur in our daily experience.
And here is one of them — right off the bat: not just faith, but also intelligence, says Islam. That is what human beings need if they have to find success in their life in this world.
And what a beautiful miracle that is in itself.
For, those are the two most important ingredients of successful human life on earth at all levels — from selling potatoes in a pushcart on a city street to doing rarefied science in a highly technologized laboratory.
According to Islam, that is the combination you would need if you are going to be successful in this world as well as in the next world: the combination of faith and intelligence; of understanding and analysis on the one hand and inner acceptance and peace on the other hand; of razor-sharp rationality as well as rock-solid belief.
That is the formula you would need if you really are going to be able to unravel the mysteries of God’s creation — and master and harness the forces of the universe to your own good as well as to the good of the world.
That is, if you are going to be able to let your knowledge guarantee you and everyone else a proper, decent, successful, happy and prosperous life right here on earth. And if, thereafter, you are going to let your discoveries and knowledge lead you to an acceptance of God Almighty as your maker and master and thereby also guarantee you a life of eternal peace, joy and bliss in heaven after your death.
And a Judicious Dose
of Common Sense
And what could be wrong with a judicious dose of common sense?
That means you need to be able to make use of your very special innate talents of thinking and reasoning, observation and analysis, to ask the right and truly meaningful questions about God and his creation and be able to identify the answers that will take you to him and that will also impact your life on earth.
So, you need a bit of intelligence and common sense to recognize God’s signs in his creation. That means “faith,” as most people understand it, will not do it all by itself. It needs a helping hand from common human intelligence, which is actually God’s very special gift to you — a spark of God’s divine fire in your soul.
That is why according to the Qur’an, intelligence is not an enemy of faith but often an important ally and companion of faith.
So, recognizing God’s everyday miracles in life — and in the Qur’an and in Islam and in the life of ordinary Muslims, such as they are even today — is not likely to be the lot of those whose intelligence level is not up to par. Or, as some people would say nowadays, who are challenged in the intelligence department.
That is right.
Even in the Life of the
Most Ordinary of Muslims
Even in the lives of ordinary Muslims. I meant every word of it when I said it. For, unbeknownst to themselves, that is who the Muslims are: walking, talking, living miracles of God Almighty — and his beautiful Deen of Islam — on earth.
And of his most amazing Al-Qur’an.
And of the glorious life and mission of his beloved prophet — may Allah shower him with blessings: Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam.
Is it Ghalib I am thinking of? That amazing miracle of God Almighty on earth! Matchless master of Urdu and Persian poetry!
A personification in his time and place — think Delhi in the throes of British colonial conquest and occupation, in his beautiful languages of Rikhta and Farsi — of that most magnificent Aayat of the Qur’an: wa 'allamahul bayaan, in which God Almighty reminds human beings how he bestowed upon them the power of expression.
Whatever his limitations, poor man, may Allah forgive him, Ghalib saw and understood what many people could not.
Hota hai shabo roz tamaashaa mayray aagay, he cried out. Paraphrase: I can see day and night the spectacle of miracles dance before my eyes.
What a man Ghalib! Part of what the Muslims gave the world, with all his limitations, even during some of the most decadent and painful period of their history.
As for the miracles that pack the everyday life of the most “ordinary” of Muslims, framed against that kaleidoscope of cosmic wonders, hear what another Urdu piece of poetry has to say. I don’t recall offhand who said it, but it is spectacular in its own right nonetheless: Daykhay tujhay key mayra tamaasha karay koyee!
Meaning, everything is so full of magic and spectacle, one does not know whether to gaze at the miracle of your beauty and perfection or behold the spectacle of my mortification in your love and adoration.
That is why I say, not only everything in Allah’s creation is a miracle; and everything about the Qur’an and the Deen of Islam is a miracle; and everything about the glorious life and teachings of the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, is a miracle; but so is the everyday life of even the most ordinary of Muslims.
Back to the Alliance of Faith
and Intelligence in Islam
Even many Muslims may not know this, but the Qur’an is quite clear and emphatic on this subject — on the subject of collaboration between faith and intelligence: “Only those with brains,” says the Qur’an, “should expect to learn and should be able to draw meaningful lessons.”