Allahu Akbar! What else can I say? No, I did not cry when I saw that e-mail from this misguided young man from this pricy and prestigious university. I have been without tears for years and decades now. Yes, I still cry, almost all the time, but no tears come out. Just an endless flow of pain at what Muslims and the world are putting Islam through. My eyes are tearless now.
I was not angry or upset or numb when I was shown that text message. I was just plain indifferent, well almost indifferent, to the extent it is possible for someone like me to be indifferent to news and evidence like this.
So what? A little voice seemed to be whispering inside me. How long has this been going on with the Muslims? In one form or another? In one place or another? And on one front or another? And who is doing what about it? Muslims move on.
Muslims are episodic thinkers at best and reactionary for the most part. Their brains work like a kaleidoscope changing colors and focus almost in tune with newspaper, radio and television news and reports.
When the media report something Muslims jump, demand action and make noise. And when the media move on to some other juicier event, Muslims forget whatever it was that had them interested or agitated only a little while ago and go back to their dominant ways: inaction; indifference to reality; useless and at times destructive gossip; indolence; self-indulgence; stupor of cluelessness; and morbid myopia and self-centeredness.
Rolling the Tasbeeh
Evidence of the disaster that is overtaken American Muslim youth, while their super-good Muslim elders wrangle over the number of virtues or rewards they will get for this or that act, and while Muslim leadership has consistently slipped, over the past 30 years, into the hands of those who can’t write or speak or lead or whose primary qualifications center on their race – White or Black for example – and place of birth, not to say outward appearance and clothes. For how many decades now has American Muslim leadership become a matter of personal power-grab, just like anyone else?
While American Muslim youth burns, and turns away from Islam in increasing numbers, American super-Muslim adults roll their Tasbeeh in a trance-like state and continue to hold their conventions and conferences. They can’t fiddle like Nero did when Rome burned because being good Muslims I suppose they feel fiddling is a non-Muslim thing. So, instead, they finger-roll the Subhah, if not in actual practice, at least mentally, and go about their ways.
Jum’ah Khutbahs (speeches) that used to be thoughtful, analytical, educational, challenging and absolutely gripping and inspirational throughout America and Canada during the 1970s gave way, starting with the early 1980s, to ramblings by an increasingly professionalized and salaried class of so-called imams and prayer-leaders who stood on the Mimbar and endlessly enumerated the virtues of this or that act of piety.
Gone were the days when Khutbahs (Jum’ah speeches) used to be delivered systematically and consistently by some of the best-educated and thoughtful young Muslims around who had discovered Islam through personal search. Those were the days when Muslims in America prayed in droves in the basement of churches. God bless the people who offered their premises to us in our hour of need.
Those were also the days when there weren’t too many worldly perks of wealth and power for Muslim congregants to fight over.
So, I did not cry upon seeing that text message by that renegade young Muslim. But as I said earlier, I cry every day over the condition of Muslims, young and old, on the one hand and on the state of Islam on the other hand. I cry over the condition to which Muslims have reduced Islam, this divine way that came from God to rescue humanity from its miserable existence on earth.
Crying for Humanity
And I also cry at what we human beings – Muslim and non-Muslim alike – have done to God’s world and to his creation (Khalqullah): all that poverty; all that disease; all that hunger; and all that ignorance. And as if these things were not enough, there is all that fighting; all that cruelty; and all that blood and burning and barbarity everywhere.
And again as if these issues were not blood-curdling enough in and of themselves, there are all those lies, deceptions, half-truths and outright fabrications at the level of interpersonal interaction; at the level of business, finance and commerce; at the level of the mass media such as radio, newspaper and television; and at the level of the governments and their institutions.
Yes, my tearless eyes never stop crying for humanity and for my world. Innal insaana lafee khusr, I keep repeating to myself as the Qur’an puts it. “What a terrible, terrible shape human life is in!”
Everyone Wants Proof
So, once again, everyone nowadays wants proof that Islam is really a divinely inspired system and not something Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, quickly made up in a cave.
Yes, that is what Muslims want too.
They want someone – preferably a White American convert, no matter what his qualifications and background and no matter what his views and beliefs – constantly telling them how great Islam is. Not seeing, believing and preaching that truth themselves, but someone, preferably a White voice sporting an American accent like I said before, telling and reassuring them that it is so.
It is that constant reassurance that Muslims want.
Iqbal had, a long time ago, pointed to this perversity in our thinking and way of life. He said: Yeh farangi ki taraqqi hai Musalman ki nahin! Paraphrase: If it is validation from the West that sustains our faith in ourselves and our way of life, then it is an achievement for the West, not for us.
It is also a bit of latter-day Muslim convergence perhaps with Rudyard Kipling’s Ganga Din character. Muslims had their Frontier Gandhi during the 1940s, so why not their own latter-day Ganga Din complex during the 1980s and 1990s?
You can’t quite call it the spirit of the nationalist-Islamic revolt of 1857 against Britain’s colonial occupation and enslavement of India and its people. But it certainly looks like a pervasive hankering for the comfort of continued tutelage and overlordship by White colonial masters, Sahibs and their progeny, even if it is in the name of Islam.
Bengal and Daccan gave Indian – now Indo-Pak-Bangla – Muslims their Mir Ja’fars and Mir Sadiqs. These were British stooges and Indian traitors with Muslim names and backgrounds who betrayed their own people and helped England conquer and subdue Muslim India. But Muslims of Indo-Pak India maybe did not have too many real and authentic Muslim Ganga Dins. Maybe now is the time to make up for all that lost opportunity. So, on any given day, a convert Sahib Muslim is better than a native generational Muslim, irrespective of the intrinsic merits or demerits of either.
Back to Proof
Therefore, let us take up that theme one more time if you will: the theme of miracles in Islam and the theme of the proof of prophethood in Islam. Because what else is Islam if not one huge miracle — from beginning to end? And what is it if not one huge proof – or a constellation of a million proofs and miracles – in and of itself of its own divine origin and nature?
For, everything about Islam cries out that it could have come only from God and that Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, is really and truly what he says he is: God’s messenger to the world.
Thus Islam is a collection of a million miracles of all kinds in every aspect and detail of it. And so is the Qur’an. And so are the life and teachings of Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, that we collectively refer to as Hadith.
Some of them — these miracles — are known and understood by some people. But most, remain unknown, unrecognized and unappreciated by much of the world. But these miracles will continue to unfold as Allah’s world changes, evolves and moves toward the end he has decreed for it.
As someone once said, and as my mother, Allah bless her, always used to read: Aankh Waalaa Teyri Qudrat Kaa Tamaasha DeyKhey! Paraphrase: if only you had the eyes to behold the spectacle of God’s wonders.
May Allah, Rabbul Izzat, open our eyes and hearts to the wonders of his Deen. For, it is, as the Qur’an says, the heart that truly beholds and comprehends these wonders, not the eyes, even though the miracles of Islam and the miracles of the life of Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, as well as the Qur’an, are plain enough for anyone to see with naked eyes.
Miracles of Allah’s Beautiful Names
For anyone seriously looking for miracles and proofs, 99 of them should be sufficient, wouldn’t you say? But apparently that is not how these things work. Apparently, it is all fun and games for a whole lot of us, albeit some very good, clean and, should I say, holy or sacred fun.
But to me this is serious business. So I am going to put all of us to work.
So, here is what I want us to do. With every argument I make and with every proof or piece of evidence I point out, let us clearly say yes or no. Let us not just keep on reading and moving on without making a personal determination and commitment with regard to each one of the proofs I present.
And then I want us to count, tabulate and document these points and these miracles and proofs. And then go out and ask ourselves who else has got them or who can match or surpass them. That is the work I want you to do: every one of you who is reading these words.
Is that fair? Yes or no? Ask and answer that question.
That means no more business as usual for us. So, ladies and gentlemen, get up on your toes and do some homework, some hard work if you can.
Let us then begin by talking, one more time, about the miracles of Allah’s most beautiful names. For, to me, no matter where I look in Islam, what I find is a cornucopia of splendors, wonders and miracles. And proofs that this whole thing could only have come from God Almighty. And there is no way any human agency – either an individual or a committee – could have invented any of this.
Al-Asmaa’ Al-Husnaa — Allah’s most beautiful names — is how the Qur’an refers to God’s beautiful names.
What a beautiful, miraculous expression, in and of itself: Al-Asmaa’ Al-Husnaa — the most beautiful names! Yes or no? And this expression has come to be associated — almost exclusively — with the names of Almighty Allah. Is this not a most amazing and wonderful miracle in and of itself?
Yes or no? What do you think?
The Qur’an gives these names to us. And it does so through the mouth of Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam. Those who do not believe Qur’an is God’s word have to then accept that it is the word of Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam.
If God is not the one performing these wonders and miracles then Muhammad is: Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam. No reasonable person denies or disputes that.
Either way it is a strong argument – it is proof in a probabilistic sense – of their very special and most likely – and evidently and absolutely if you ask me – divine nature and origin.
And thereafter we can marvel at the individual miracles that those individual names contain — each one of them separately — if they could be separated at all. All ninety-nine of them by some official counts, including some Hadith of Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam.
And more by some counts. But beyond all count in reality and truth.
For, to God, and to God alone, belong all beautiful names. For, how could it be otherwise? How could any or all of those glorious names belong to anyone else? For, then that person would be God, wouldn’t he? That is how reasonable and rational, and if you ask me perfectly scientific, systematic and logical, Islam is.
How could anything of any kind, including perfection, belong to anyone else, when he is the one — the only one — who made and owns everything? And when no one else made or can make anything, and therefore can really lay claim to nothing? When he alone is perfect and no one else is?
This is not a matter of so-called faith or belief I am talking about. But a simple and directly observable reality about the world in which we live.
Nothing at all — not a thing, big or small, not one iota – belongs to or is made by anyone else. Not a grain of sand; not a blade of grass; not a drop of water. Not, as the Qur’an taught us to realize 1400 years ago, even an atom’s worth or something even smaller and tinier than an atom!
Just consider that. The Qur’anic miracle of the atom.
And then ponder over the miracle of there being an atomic theory in the Qur’an? An atom — Dharrah — or a part thereof! That is right. That is what the Qur’an talks about: an atom or something tinier and smaller than an atom. Atom split into particles and each particle taken and spoken about in the Qur’an in its own right.
Fourteen hundred years ago. That is when it happened on this earth. That is when the Qur’an reached our hands in this world. If this is not a miracle then what is it?
Tell me if it is or it is not a miracle. Yes or no.
Qur’an’s Atomic Theory
Does anyone even realize what is being said here? And this was hundreds of years before the world realized there were atoms in this world. Or that an individual atom itself could be split and divided into its many component parts — protons, neutrons, and whatever else it is that an atom is supposed to be made up of.
Talk about miracles — in the Qur’an! And in Islam! Propounding an atomic theory before a millennium and a half before the world came around to thinking about it?
And all those living and ongoing miracles in the everyday life of Muslims themselves — such as the Muslims are — if only I had the time to explain each one of them separately.