By Husain Zakariyya Yawale
“And whoever desire a religion other than Islam, it shall not be accepted from him, and in the hereafter he shall be one the losers”[al-Imran; 85]
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. All Praise is due to Allah! We praise Him and we seek help from Him. We ask forgiveness from Him. We repent to Him; and we seek refuge in Him from our evils and bad deeds. Anyone who is guided by Allah is indeed guided; and anyone who has been left astray, will find no one to guide him. I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship but Allah, the Only One without any partner; and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and final messenger to mankind. May the peace and blessing of Allah be upon His last and final Apostle, his Household, his companions and all his followers till the end of time.
The creation of man by Allah is a perfect conception incomparable with any known creatures physically around us or just our individual and collective imaginations, completely. There is no any other creature like man in both his physiques, compositions and perceptions. Everything about his components stands tall amongst his inventions and imaginary originations. He cannot replicate his animation in the same mould. He is incompetent and inept to fake his natural dispositions despite his technological and scientific advancement!
Similarly, Allah in His infinite wisdom created man with purposeful limitations and shortcomings. His life has span, his fate has destination, his power has limit, and his intellect and cleverish are not without bound. His entire existence is dependent on his environment; he cannot live independent of other living and non-living creatures. He is by virtue of his nature an exploiter and a parasite. Many a times, he adapts the reserves of weaker creatures his own possessions. Though he is not a perfect animal yet he is an embodiment of perfection with inherent self-interest and shrewdness in dealing with others, with beneficial limitations.
Thus, a creature of these inbuilt countenance and characteristics cannot in any way be said to be without blames and culpabilities. His doings are full of faults, defects, flaws and errors. He has succumbed to be erroneous being; to err is human, he believes.
Spiritually man is wrong in his judgment without guidance from Allah. His fears and apprehensions transcend his uprightness and rectitude. He thus, in afflictions and tribulations runs to creatures lower than him for protection and fortification. He adores the sun, reveres the moon, admires the stars and worships the thunders! He fears the beasts, dreads the ophidians and the demons terrify him. He is by nature a religious being.
Man in fact, without divine guidance will not trust his conscience and ethics. He forecasts and predicts his future based on his shallow perceptions and observations. He is very weak in his quest to discover his Lord; the One that creates.
In addition to his apparent feebleness and incompetence, he could not discover the real purpose of his creation and existence. Thus, man without divine guidance is but a brute, much lower than the wild beasts. Allah says:
“Many are the Jinns and men we have made for Hell: They have hearts wherewith they understand not, eyes wherewith they see not, and ears wherewith they hear not. They are like cattle, – nay more misguided: for they are heedless (of warning).”[A’araf: 179]
Therefore, no matter the level of man’s knowledge and intellectual ability, and his perceptual experience and encompassing in listening, if he could not distinguish between false and truth or discern right from wrong, he is not higher than his hunting dog!
However, his ability to suppress the lower animalistic tendencies inherent in him cannot come to bear without the divine guidance, notwithstanding its level of corruptness. The acculturation of men came about to repel enemies and to protect each other from unexpected attacks. Otherwise he could live unaccompanied, was he overwhelmed by his innate impulse of egocentrism, selfishness, domination and possessiveness.
“And collect (wealth) and hide it (from use)! Truly man was created very impatient;-. Fretful when evil touches him; And niggardly when good reaches him.”[al-Ma’arij: 18-21]
These verses clearly expose the inner core of man’s sensation without guidance. In adversity, he complains into despair, in prosperity he becomes arrogant into forgetting completely the rights of other people, pretermitting his shortcomings! Though Allah created him in the best mould, He offered him only limited but adequate independence to reach the highest destiny set for him. However, if he fails to by abusing the opportunities bestowed on him, he then becomes weaker in his nature, hasty in his decision and ultimately very impatient in his characters all his life.
“We have indeed created man in the best of moulds. Then do we abase Him (to be) the lowest of the low.”[at-Tin: 4-5]
Indeed, there is no fault in all the creations of Allah. He created man in the purest nature, and in order to preserve that pattern, man must obey the set of laws to become the vicegerent of Allah. But, if he fails to preserve the set of laws, he slides to the lowest of ebb.
In suras 70 and 95, the procedures leading to the apex level of obedience and preservation of the highest destiny are clearly stated in the following words:
“Not so those devoted to Prayer; Those who remain steadfast to their prayer; And those In whose wealth is a recognized right. For the (needy) who asks and Him who is prevented (for some reason from asking); And those who hold to the truth of the Day of judgment; And those who fear the displeasure of their Lord, For their Lord’s displeasure is the opposite of peace and Tranquility; And those who guard their chastity, Except with their wives and the (captives) whom their right hands possess,- for (then) They are not to be blamed, But those who trespass beyond This are transgressors; And those who respect their Trusts and covenants; And those who stand firm In their testimonies; And those who guard (the sacredness) of their worship; Such will be the honoured ones In the Gardens (of Bliss).”[al-Ma’arij: 22-35]
The second part is condensed in just one golden verse; thus:
“Except such As believe and do righteous deeds: for they shall have a reward unfailing.”[at-Tin: 6]
Once man is able to pass these tests and abide by the set of laws to the later, he can become higher than the angels in his struggles to take his rightful place; Allah’s representative on earth! Allah says:
“Behold, Thy Lord said to the angels: “I will create a vicegerent on earth.” They said: “Wilt Thou place therein one who will make mischief therein and shed blood?- whilst we do celebrate Thy praises and glorify Thy holy (name)?” He said: “I know what ye know not.”[al-Baqarah: 30]
“O David! we did indeed make Thee a vicegerent on earth: so judge Thou between men In truth (and justice): nor follow Thou the lusts (of Thy heart), for They will mislead Thee from the path of Allah, for those who wander astray from the path of Allah, is a penalty grievous, for that They forget the Day of account.’[as-Sad; 26]
Subsequently, man ends in one the three destinies depending how well or wrong he marches towards his destiny. Allah says:
“Thus, then, if He be of those nearest to Allah, (there is for him) rest and Satisfaction, and a Garden of Delights. And if He be of the companions of the right hand, (for Him is the salutation), “Peace be unto thee”, from the companions of the right hand. And if He be of those who treat (Truth) as falsehood, who go wrong, For Him is entertainment with boiling water. And burning In Hell-fire. Verily! This is the very truth and certainly. So celebrate with praises the name of Thy Lord, the supreme.’[al-Waqi’ah: 88-96]
Accordingly, if man choses to humiliate himself by yielding to the pressures of unrefined impulses and instincts, he becomes aggrieved and agitated, and ultimately ends up in the abyss of the Hell-fire. But, if he rows daringly through the waves and tides aiming at the highest destiny, he becomes that best mould of Allah, with a degree above the angels!