Individually as well as collectively, they were and would forever remain the touchstone of human excellence no matter how it is measured.
God’s Kingdom on Earth
The result was that they constructed with their own hands, right here on earth, God’s Kingdom in this world.
The society, the government, the culture and the way of life Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, and his noble companions created in the city-state of Madinah in the Seventh Century lasted, in near-pristine purity, for nearly 50 years after the death of Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam.
And it is the closest thing that this world has ever come to an example of human perfection on earth. It was as perfect a reflection of God’s Kingdom on earth as it is possible for human beings to have while still on this side of their graves.
It was a repeat in a number of ways, thousands of years later, of the divine kingdoms of David and Solomon, just as it was also a fulfillment in real life of how pious and God-fearing Hindus hope and pine for the mythical ideal of Ram Rajya.
This was a society in which right was might, no questions asked. In this society, the meek were mighty if truth and justice were with them and the mighty were meek if truth and justice were against them.
This was a government of laws based on the consent and full participation of the citizenry that enforced the rights of every citizen without fear or favor. At the same time, it was a culture in which truth, honesty and integrity were the reigning currency and in which service, neighborliness, charity and compassion carried the day.
Over and above all, these were times in which human beings loved and feared God more than they loved or feared anyone or anything else; in which everyone in society was everyone else’s keeper and brother and sister; in which the divine message of the Qur’an was the supreme law of the land, untrammeled by the whims, desires or personal interests of the rich, the powerful and the well-connected.
This was an unparalleled period in history in which human beings were all treated as equals regardless of race, class, wealth, social connections or gender; in which the age-old shackles and chains that enslaved women and relegated them to second-class if not subhuman status were finally removed; in which heaven smiled and showered its blessings and bounties upon earth; and in which peace and prosperity, safety and security ruled the realm.
That is the society, the culture and the times the Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, and his most noble companions built right here on earth, and that is the social and political order – and the government and the administration – they put in place1400 years ago, during the Seventh Christian Century, using the Qur’an as their law and the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, as their teacher, mentor, friend, leader and guide.
Scientists, Physicians and Hazrat Ali
Ali was not only an unusually talented judge, jurist, scholar, warrior, ruler and statesman, he was also a gifted poet and literary figure. His whole family was poetically gifted. In fact, the entire Abdul Muttalib clan was, with the exception of Ali’s cousin and Abul Muttalib’s grandson Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam.
That, however, was part of the divine arrangement for Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, to prepare and equip him to convey God’s message to the world accurately and faithfully, without exaggeration or flourish, which poets are often prone to.
Listen to the Qur’an tell the story: Wa maa ‘allamnaahush shi’ra wa maa yambaghee lah.
Paraphrase: “We did not teach him poetry and it is not right for him to be a poet.”
But the poetic DNA flowed pretty generously in the veins of Patriarch Abdul Muttalib’s children, whether it was Ali or Fatima or Abu Talib or others. The sole exception being Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, who was later to become the most eloquent man coming out of Adam’s genes, such that when he spoke poets and orators bowed their heads and stood still in awe and admiration.
But if you ask me, not just mortal men and women but poetry itself blushed and language and oratory genuflected respectfully when they were asked to stand next to the simple prose that was to come out his mouth later in life, when God Almighty made him his messenger.
How beautiful the words of the Hadith are that flowed from his mouth, with each word flashing out like a nugget made out of the purest of moonbeams, sunshine, stardust, lightening and all the light in the universe rolled into one. Those with open eyes and a sound and pure heart can see it as clear as daylight even today.
So, it is to Harat Ali, the fourth Khalifah or ruler elected by Muslims to succeed Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, that the following little poem is traced back:
Za-‘amal munajjimu wat-tabeebu kilaahumaa
An laa ma’ada fa-qultu dhaaka ilaikumaa,
In sah-ha qaulukumaa, fa-lastu bi-khaasirin;
Au sah-ha qaulee, fal-wabaalu ‘alaikumaa.
The scientist and the physician both claim that there will be no resurrection, I say to them, you are welcome to your views. For, if you are right, I should not have a problem. But if it turns out that what I am saying is right, then you will be in serious trouble.
Let me restate the same thought in some kind of blank verse of my own.
“For sure we know,” Claim the scientist and the doctor,
“That death will be the end of all life.”
“And there shall be no rising from the dead,” they say,
“Once our bodies and bones turn into dust.”
I say to them: “Welcome you are to your views, Gentlemen!
But to this you must give serious thought.
I shall face no jeopardy if what you say turns out right,
But if what I say turns out to be true, then imagine your plight!”
I have personally not come across a stronger or more persuasive argument on this score.
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