You will know then what the answer should be. Nothing could be simpler.
You don’t need experts telling you what part of human life and activity Islam covers and what part it leaves out. All you need to remind yourself is that you came from God and Islam came from God for you. As a result, you, your life and Islam are tailor-made for each other.
They all fit like a glove.
That is why it is self-evident that Islam is life and the best life has to be that which is lived based on this divine law of nature that God specially designed for you and that he calls Islam.
So, What Is Life If Not Communication?
As for communication, what better instrument has anyone been given by nature and her God, as Thomas Jefferson would put it, for getting the most out of life and its blessings?
The human brain, the major hub of electronic circuitry in human body, is all about communication. The entire central nervous system is. It is about receiving, processing and sending out messages.
So is the autonomous nervous system, except that it has been put on automatic signaling all through to take care of routine messaging vital to the functioning of everyday human life.
So are all the peripheral sense organs like the eye that are connected to this most amazing central processing unit (CPU) of the human brain that packs the power and sophistication of a thousand supercomputers in no more than a fistful of gray matter consisting of neurons or brain cells.
So, human life is all about communication, folks! And it is communication at all levels of human existence, from the most simple to the most complex and from the most personal to the most public.
Thus, human life is communication in the life of an individual. And it is communication in a social setting, whether it is among strangers, neighbors, family members, business partners or political or some other interest groups.
It is also communication at larger societal and cultural levels.
Sometime this communication is through speech and sometime it is through gestures. And sometimes people communicate through what Shakespeare called silence. And how pregnant with meaning deafening with noise can some of those silences be!
Sometimes humans pour out volumes of words to say nothing. At other times they use a mere look, a touch or a gesture to say volumes.
What about animals? Do they communicate? And how!
Allahu Akbar, do they ever!
Ever seen songbirds sing; wolves howl; lions roar; dogs bark and talk; and swans trumpet and call out to one another? Have you witnessed squirrels or monkeys or deer issue warning calls to each other in the presence of a threat from a common predator?
What is life about if not communication – at every conceivable level?
And where voice and visuals are not considered adequate or will not carry their message directly, humans resort to a million devices and an infinite range of gadgetry and instrumentation to communicate. Sometimes, it is the drums and sometimes it is the smoke, whether to communicate across vast expanses of forests or to signal the election of a new pope.
Sometimes it is the telephone or the radio and sometimes it is the television or the world of the movies and filmdom. And sometimes it is some combination of audio and video woven into a fabric of endless and tantalizing variation.
And who can forget print – books, newspapers, letters, magazines and everything else?
And now it is the computer in all its new formations, extensions, modifications and reinventions that has become the mother of a million communication technologies so new, and morphing so fast, that the sheer pace of change leaves us dizzy.
So, verbal or nonverbal, print or electronic, audio or video, direct or indirect, personal or mediated, or a combination thereof, to talk about life is to talk about communication.
Communication Is a Gift from God
So, what would life be without communication? Ask yourself that?
What would life be without the babble of the babies; without all the sweet nothings a loving husband and wife may whisper into each other’s ears; without all the noise from the media; without the air filled with the song of a million birds; without powerful words from orators; without magical imagery from poets; and without profound ideas from philosophers, thinkers and scientists?
And what will this world be without the Qur’an – that most wonderful directly and impeccably divine communication of all from the maker and master of the worlds to all the worlds that he made? Qur’an, the most ultimate in all communication in heaven or on earth!
And where will this world be without the Hadith – that most perfect model of excellence and profundity in human communication on earth in any language or culture?
That is why communication is such a special gift from God Almighty, closely associated with the gift of life itself.
Yes, life is a great gift from the great giver of all gifts. But what is life without communication: without the ability to see, hear, touch, feel, smell or speak and express in a billion different ways as perhaps only humans can do?
That is why I would rather let the Qur’an tell the story of life in conjunction with the story of human ability to communicate and express.
Listen to the Qur’an: Arrahmaan. ‘Allamal Qur’an. Khalaqal insaan. ‘Allamahul bayaan.
And now see my paraphrase of those Aayats: “The most loving and merciful one. He taught the Reading – the Qur’an. He gave life to humans. He then taught them to express themselves.”
Challenge before Humanity: Muslim and Non-Muslim
As recipients of the special gift of life from God, the challenge before humanity, for Muslims as well as non-Muslims, is to live life in the best possible way, which can only be done by living life under the benevolent shadow of the Qur’an and the Hadith – one, direct communication from God to all humans and to all the worlds and the other communication of God’s messenger, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, to all humans and worlds for all times and in all places and cultures.
|Next:||Islam and Muslims in Beautiful Caribbean|
|Previous:||“Mutual Aggression”: Human Nature and the Need for Divine Guidance|