Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim!
In the Name of Allah, The Most Merciful, The Most Merciful!
DR. PASHA’S ISLAMIC SOLUTIONS
21 Dhul Hijjah 1426/22 January 2006
From the United States of America
I hope you are having a good day.
This I suppose is our E-Letter # 10. And I hope there is in it a thing or two that you may find useful, should that be the will of Allah, the Almighty.
We will keep these E-Letters coming your way as long and as frequently as Allah enables us to do it.
And in them we will, Inshallah, continue to raise issues that we believe need to be raised.
All kinds of issues.
Some, in the form of quiet insights with regard to something in the Qur’an or the Hadith. Some, unabashed whoops of joy and wonder about any of the sky full of miracles about Islam, Muslims, the Qur’an, the Hadith and the wonderful creation of Allah -- Subhaanahu wa Ta’aalaa.
Some, arguments -- arguments that appear to us to be fairly reasonable and persuasive -- about why one thing or another about Islam makes better sense than some other things out there in what some people call the marketplace of ideas.
Some, practical suggestions and proposals for a wish list of projects that, in our view, the Muslims and the world of Allah need.
And some, little more than wistful comments and reflections on who knows what.
I hope you will be along for the ride. Allah bless you if you are. And Allah bless you if you are not.
The Wondrous Deeds of the Unlettered Man, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam!
In the last letter, I think, we made reference to the wondrous deeds of the Unlettered Man -- the Ummiy -- Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam.
From the unlettered culture of Makkah and Arabia.
The Unlettered Man, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, who was born and raised among an unlettered people -- Ummiyyeen.
It was such a man -- it was a man with these qualifications and background, it was indeed him -- that Almighty Allah handpicked to be a teacher and educator.
Not for just one or two individuals -- like Socrates taught Plato and Plato taught Aristotle and Aristotle in turn taught Alexander, if I got all that stuff right.
Not for just this people or that, or for just this particular time period or that -- like a fair amount of what Moses and Jesus, Allah bless them, taught their respective peoples, in their own respective times, in their own respective societies, communities and territories.
And like so many scientific theories, findings and beliefs throughout history -- time-sensitive things that needed to be changed and modified as times changed and new facts, data, information, models and explanations became available.
Even though many of the divine truths and teachings that Moses and Jesus, Allah bless them, brought with them from God were part of God Almighty’s eternal and timeless plan for humanity. Such as, for example, the proclamation in the Bible -- both the Old and the New Testaments: The Lord, your God, is one. And you shall take no God besides him!
The same eternal truth that God Almighty puts in the Qur’an this way:
Laa Ilaaha Illallaah!
There is no God but Allah!
But the wonder of wonders was not that Allah made all these wonderful things happen, even though they are all most amazing wonders in their own right.
But the greatest wonder of all is the fact that he chose this Unlettered Man, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, as a teacher, educator, guide, mentor, exemplar and role-model for everyone, everywhere and for all times to come.
The history of the world ever since his appearance on earth has been a story of the world playing catch-up to his teachings.
Allah’s Amazing Ways
It is amazing the way Allah does things: bringing the dead out of the living and the living out of the dead!
And then he picks an Unlettered Man, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, to be humanity’s teacher and exemplar.
Allah then gives this Unlettered Man, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, a “book” -- “The” Book: Al-Kitaab.
Or “Writing” or “Letter.”
The Arabic expression Kitaab could stand for any or all of these things.
In fact That Book, he calls it -- Dhaalikal Kitaab -- whatever that means.
He then gives that book a most amazing and improbable name. He calls it “The Reading” -- Al-Qur’an -- or something to be read.
Maybe it means something -- a book -- that everyone must and shall read -- the most read and recited thing in the world. And that indeed has been the story of the Qur’an for the past 1400 years: being the most read and recited book on earth.
The Pen -- Al-Qalam: Allah’s Great Weapon Against Human Bondage and Tyranny And Allah’s Key to Human Salvation for All Times to Come!
And in that book Allah says that he created human beings and taught them the power of speech and expression: Khalaqal Insaan. ‘Allamahul Bayaan.
Also in that book Allah says that he made The Pen -- Al-Qalam -- the instrument of teaching and education. Using the pen to teach human beings all that they did not know: Alladhee ‘Allama Bil-Qalam. ‘Allamal Insaana Maa Lam Ya’lam.
Knowledge as Uncertainty Reduction
By the way, did you know that this is probably as good a definition of knowledge as it may get?
Those of you who know these things more than me -- and that means practically everyone out there -- check this out: Is there such a thing in your great big books and references -- in your “literature” as you would call that body of knowledge -- as Uncertainty Reduction?
Minimizing entropy and enhancing redundancy in one way or another, along one scale or another with regard to one object or area of investigation or another?
Chipping away at the boundaries of the Unknown as it were? Is that what knowing is all about?
If it is, then it comes pretty close to the Qur’anic formula of Allamal Insaana Maa Lam Ya’lam: Allah taught human beings what they did not know.
And to do all this -- to be a beacon of education and light to the whole world -- Allah chooses an Unlettered Man, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, from a culture and among a people who were themselves unlettered.