A Simple Explanation
And there is a simple explanation for this phenomenon: That which is from us humans tends to atrophy, wither away, obsolesce and die, whereas that which is from God stays forever. That means man-made things as we call them — human inventions, if you will — become prey to the ravages of time and space. As they must.
They get trampled upon and brushed aside by the winds of change that sweep human societies, since they are flimsy and transient by their very nature.
But that which comes down from God Almighty, and is taught and illustrated by his Rasul, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, goes on forever. Those things are robust and permanent. And they live on.
That is the miracle of the teachings of Islam, better and more powerful than which no miracle can be imagined or found. Islamic teachings last and last and last, while everything else morphs, atrophies and dissolves in the mist of time and the dust of human civilization on the march.
Not only does the Qur’an exist in original form in our age, but it also is read in the original and practiced to this day. What bigger miracle do you want?
Here, take some of these simple but powerful examples. We (Islam) invented Ghusl (bathing as a requirement), it continues.
We (Islam) proposed Wudu (washing up as a requirement), it finds new validation every day.
We (Islam) proposed marriage, and that today is the norm.
We (Islam) suggested divorce, the world swears by it today.
We (Islam) mandated reading, today that is the key that unlocks the doors of success in this world.
The story is endless. Shouldn’t someone somewhere say: Thank You Muslims, and Thank You Islam, for all the wonderful things you have given us!
Muslim Ummah in Compliance
And what a wonderful proof all this is of the truth and validity of the Qur’an and of the mission and message of Sayyidina Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam. These simple expressions of “Subhanahu wa Ta’ala” as Muslims practice them, so quietly and so unobtrusively, throughout the world — and throughout their history — often unbeknownst even to themselves.
It is Allah’s mercy — Ar-Rahman Ar-Raheem that he is — that he makes these things happen that way and makes them clear and visible to those who have eyes to see.
This puts the Muslim Ummat in compliance. Did you even realize that?
That is why in the midst of all the gloom and all the bad news that so many people seem to direct at Muslims, much of it rightly and deservedly, I am so tempted to change the tune and cry out: “Rejoice Ummat of Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam! You are in compliance! You shall not fail. You shall not disappear from the face of this earth. You are in compliance. You have not failed. Not on this count.”
I want to say to the Muslims: In spite of all the things you have done wrong historically — and they are legion — and in spite of all the things you continue to do wrong — and they are countless — you are still in compliance with the basic commandments of Allah, in his own book, revealed and taught through his own beloved Rasul, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam.
These are commandments and teachings that you have practiced without break or letup, throughout history, generation after generation, for the past 1400 years. Allahu Akbar!
You are a living nation. And you shall live on forever.
What a Place to Be!
What a place to be!
That is the place your God — the Rahmaan, the Raheem — has chosen to keep you all throughout your history through the barakat and blessing of his beloved Rasul, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, mercy to the worlds — Rahmatul Lil ‘Aalameen.
Therefore, don’t underestimate the glory and power of this divine expression “Subhanahu wa Ta’aala.”
Allah used it in the Qur’an. Allah’s Rasul, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, used it in his daily speech and taught it to his companions.
The companions then used it in their daily speech and taught it to those who came after them — the Tabi’een, who then used it in their daily speech and taught it to the generations upon generations that came after them.
And so on down the ages, till it came down to us — you and me in our own generation and time period and in whatever part of the world we are located — through continuous and unbroken practice.
Unbroken, continuous and universal mass practice — that is what I said it was and that precisely is what it is. There is nothing like it in the world. Go look for something like this if you want and go find it if you can. Or just take it from me, there isn’t and you cannot and will not.
So, this is what a proof is made of. And this is what a miracle is.
And this time it is not just something about the Qur’an. It is not something that is just in the Qur’an. It is something that the Muslims are and do, non-stop, round the clock. So, this time, it is the Muslims themselves that are the miracle. Such as they are: poor, ignorant, ill-informed, naïve, divided.
How little do Muslims realize that they themselves are among God Almighty’s biggest and most clear and powerful miracles and proofs on the face of this earth of his. If for no other reason then just for practicing this timeless chant of “Subhanahu wa Ta’ala” nonstop through the ages.
Would someone please tell the Muslims that? Tell them that they are OK the way they are, such as they are, if for no other reason than just for chorusing throughout the world the immemorial celestial chant of “Subhanahu wa Ta’aala” every time they say Allah.
Tell them that as an Ummat or people they are a living miracle and proof of God on earth.
That is part of the story of the little miracle of “Subhanahu wa Ta’ala.” I thought I would share it with you.
A Perspective on Miracles
I am saying “little” because I want to put it in some kind of perspective in comparison to some other what you may think are “larger” miracles that you may have in mind. But to me, I have not the slightest doubt that this “little” miracle is bigger than the entire universe combined.
Nor do I have any doubt in my mind that every one of God Almighty’s miracles is as large and powerful as any other miracle that may exist or might ever have existed in this world.
And do you know what all this makes the Ummah of Sayyidina Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, in every time and place, right down to our own time, in our respective habitats? A standing, walking, talking, breathing, living miracle of the beloved Rasul of Allah, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam: a perpetual and conclusive proof in all ages and times of the prophethood of Rasulullah, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam
In saying this I am reversing the whole argument that Muslims are in violation of the Qur’an and Sunnah and in part that is why they are subject to Allah’s punishment of Dhillat and Maskanat – humiliation in this world. Here, I am not backing away from that position.
But at the same time, I am also making quite the opposite argument based on a different set of facts about Muslim life and reality. I am saying that, even though Muslims have brought upon themselves the wrath of God for not doing what they should be doing, they are nevertheless doing some small things right. And they are doing that almost instinctively – without even realizing what they are doing.
And I am arguing that it is because of these small acts of compliance that Muslims are still around and about in this world. And because of that the world of Allah gets fed, clothed and has its thirst quenched. Muslims, through their countless acts of compliance, keep the world of Allah going. Otherwise, this world would have disappeared a billion times over if Muslims weren’t around, doing what they do.
So, I am making these two opposite arguments both in the same breath. One argument says that Muslims are responsible for what is wrong with the world. The other argument suggests that Muslims are the saviors of the world. And both arguments are valid, because they approach the issue from two opposite ends using two different sets of data and facts. One says Muslims are right while the other says Muslims are at fault.
I have documented all this at different times at varying levels of detail, but here is a quick synopsis of some of what I have said elsewhere.
(A) First question: What is wrong with the Muslims? Answer: Many things!
Here are some examples of what is wrong with Muslims:
- Educationally speaking, Allah commands Muslims to read and to be a reading and education people. All you need to do is to analyze the literacy and education data in Muslim societies.
- Economically and financially speaking, Allah made Zakaat the number two priority in the Qur’an after Salaah or Namaz. Muslims substituted Rozah or Siyaam for Zakaat both in their speech and in their practice as the number two priority in their lives.
- Socially and culturally speaking, Allah commands Muslims to invite others to Islam and Muslims turned their back on that responsibility.
- Politically speaking, Islam asked Muslims to live under a participatory democratic-republican representative political system, but Muslims replaced that in many instances with various forms of dictatorship and tyranny including hereditary monarchy, fiefdom and feudal overlordship.
- The list goes on. Readers can add their own items to the list.
(B) Next question: What is right with the Muslims? Answer: The list is endless.
Here are some examples of some of the big and small things Muslims may be doing right:
- Muslims pray five times a day – just as they were told to do.
- Muslims fast during Ramadan – just as they were told to do.
- Muslims perform Hajj – just as they were told to do.
- Muslims make Wudu and call Adhan – just as they were told to do.
- Muslims say things like Assalamu Alaikum, Subhanallah and Alhamdulillah – just as they were told to do.
- Muslims still say “Subhanahu wa Ta’ala” when they mention Allah’s name – at least many of them do, at least quite frequently.
- Muslims bathe and bury their dead – just as they were told to do.
- Muslim males still undergo circumcision – just as they were told to do.
These two lists produce two different data sets that point in two opposite directions. That is why I say that Muslims are at the same time doing things both right and wrong. This divergence of Muslim life in two opposite directions explains why the world is both such a mess and yet such a nice place in so many ways, all at the same time.
For, as Muslims are so shall the world be.
That is why I say that we Muslims — such as we are — are a standing proof and a living miracle of the mission and message of Rasulullah, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam. In every age and place!
Saying exactly the same words that he brought from Allah, and saying them, after 1400 long years, exactly the same way he said them and taught them to his followers — whom in a miraculous display of human equality and personal humility he called his companions: Ashaab. What he taught his Ashaab or Companions 1400 years ago we say and do exactly the same thing today.
If this is not a miracle, and if this is not a proof of his prophethood, I don’t know what kind of a miracle or a proof you are looking for. I once gave a Jum’ah Khutbah, around 1980 I think, in Madison, Wisconsin, USA, in which I said if Islam came and tapped us on the shoulder we would not recognize it. I am almost tempted to say the same thing again today.