Friday, February 19, 2010

Man to Develop as One Nation by Allama Mashriqi

This appeared as a forwarded to Book on Islamic Jurisprudence published in early 1954.

The law of the Quran, in the capacity of Divine Message to Mankind, is perfectly universal and applicable to all Mankind. It is no racial, geographical or religious bounds as it applies to the whole of Human nations rise to power and through what delinquency in their efforts they fall and are wiped out of the face the Earth—this, as a matter of fact, is the essence of the part of the whole teaching of the Quran. “Abraham was neither a Jew nor a Christian, rather he was a down—right accepter of commands: (hanifan musliman 3:7)” show that the Quran does not accept the of Prophet having come down of Earth for the purpose instituting “religion” or sect, nor die they come to divide Man. “Human beings are one people” and “for this very purpose God created them”: (wali zalika khalaqa hum: 11:10) show that the intention a nature is to make Man develop as One Nation, in fact develop in exactly the same way as millions of other spices of lower beings have evolved into higher being. “God made the Prophet appear (on earth) as Givers of the Good News (of becoming stable and powerful)”: (Musbashshrina: 2:26) and Deliverers of Bad News (of destruction and national fall) (wa Munzirina: 2:26)”, but “human beings, through revolt among themselves cut themselves up to pieces even after this (superb) knowledge came to them (through Prophet) (3:2)”. This Quran is radically against Man being split up into sections on religious, racial, and geographical or any other basis. “Those who differentiate between the various Prophet and say that we believe in some and disbelieve in other are TRUE INFIDELS: (4:21)”, is the final verdict of the Quran with respect to the attitude of Man towards his fellow—beings. At other places the Quran declares: “We sent our Prophet to every nation, every colony and every people: (13:1) etc.”, and the expression “true infidels” is not used elsewhere in the whole of the Quran. “We created you out of one father and one mother and made you ‘group’ and families in order that you may recognize each other; only they are the most honored (with Us), amongst you who are most mindful (of the God) (49:2)”. This is the position of Man according to the Quran is called “a warning to all the world”: (Zikrun-lil-Alimin: 12:12) and the Prophet is styled” a blessing to the entire world”, (Rahmatum-lil-Alamin: 21:7).

Under these premises of the Quran it is absurd to think that the Quran or the Prophet of Islam created a sect of “Mohammedans” like what Jews or Christians are in this world. The Quran was to be a code of law for the whole world in order to guide it to its ultimate destiny, and that destiny was to develop the whole human race as one nation to higher evolution. That is why the Quran said: “I swear by the Moon as it gradually gets complete that you human beings are bound to rise from one plane (of creation) to another: (84:1)”: (tabaqan un tabaqan). At another place it said: “ What has happened to you human beings that you do expect (further) aggrandisation and honor in respect to God, while He has already created you from one pattern of creation to another: (71:1)”. These utterances, which are unequivocal and not liable to different interpretation, finally decide that the aim of this last Message of God is to direct Mankind to Higher Evolution as One Human Species,

Quran claimed that God sent the last of all Prophets “With Huda” i.e. Direction and Din-il- Haq i.e. the Right program in order that He may make him (i.e. the Prophet) overcome all other programs: (61:1) etc”. The earlier knower of the Quran took up this ‘program’ and ‘direction’ and enveloped a greater part of the then known world in a few decades. Whole nation were “converted” to Islam and its march onward in the first few centuries reads like a fiction. This was because the true spirit of the Direction was no sectarian prejudice to retard the march of that universal direction. Whole nations could not have been brought to the fold of Islam otherwise. Man is too shrewd to accept coercion, and what is why a greater part of the Human race agreed to join the common flow. The Quran proclaimed: “There is no coercion in the Right Program, (because) verily the Right has come out clear from the Wrong: (2:34)”. Thus the absolute manifestation of Truth paved the way for total domination of that Right Program, at any rate as long as the Mussulamans understood it.

This was the original meaning of the tafaqquh-fid-din, i.e. the understanding of the Right Program, in the Quran. And this understanding meant that the entire purpose of the Quran and of the Message of God to Man be kept in view. That was why God prohibited that people should “split up Quran into portion: (15:16) and promised dire punishment for them. At another place the Quran said: “Are you going to believe in one portion of the Book and disbelieve another, so whosoever does it is damned to eternal to disgrace in this in this world: (2:10)”. Thus the word Fiqah, (taken from the expression tafaqquh-fid-din), which is called the Islamic Jurisprudence, had an original meaning quite distinct from what is now attached to it. A faqih is now understood to be person who understands the intricacies of the personal law of the Mussulmans.

The same thing happened with the word Al-llm of the Quran. The Quran originally styled “the Book of God” sent down to the Prophet as Al-llm (3:2), i.e., the knowledge. All book sent down through various Prophet were the same appellation (Al-Kitab) without distinction. In fact the “Book of Nature” was called “the patent i.e. the obvious Book” (al-Kitab-ul-mubin) and the Quran only “an extract” of it in the Arabic language so that you may become wise: (43:1)”. This definition of knowledge only meant that the Book of Nature, the Book brought down from God by the Prophet and the Quran were all the same things and it was adduced that Man split him himself up into various sects and divisions even after the coming down to him. The Quran even goes further and pronounces that “everything that is skies, also whatever there exists between the two has been created as a matter of fact: (46:1) etc.”, and the word Fact or Truth (All-Haqq) does not occurs anywhere in the Quran except with reference to the things created by God Himself or His Prophet or to Death). With the same emphasis the “Ulama” or the knower of Quran are the only those people who study deeply Nature made by God and “it is they alone who fear God”: (Innama yakhsh Allahu min ibadi hil Ulama: 35:4). A Tradition of the Prophet also says that the “Ulama of Ummat (Nation) are like unto the Prophet of Beni Israel”. Thus the Ulama of Quran are only those people who have profound knowledge of the Book brought down by all the Prophets for Man or of the larger Book of Nature which is only Truth existing, and the idea is that by studying this Book the whole world of Human beings becomes united into one homogenous whole irrespective of creed, color, geography or race, for the purpose of higher evolution of Man still higher forms of creation. The Quran also uses the word Ahl-uz-zikr (16:6) i.e. men of knowledge, for these distinguished people.

It is clear, therefore, that the Quran (or as a matter of fact any Book of the Prophet), should have been interpreted in the light of the “Book of Nature” before us and this was only done by the early knowers of the Quran in the first centuries of the Prophet’s Era with the result that God’s Direction and Right Program began to dominate over a large portion of the Earth and Man entered a brotherhood which had no prejudices of caste, creed, color, race or geography, for the good while. This was the “age of the Ulama” according to the Quran or rather “the age of the Prophet of Beni Israel”. Subsequently the Mussulman forgot altogether the Divine Program and the limits of Islam began to squeeze. All expansion and conquest stopped as if by a magic wand, and he began to look, at the Quran from the sectarian or rather “Mohammedans” point of view, as if Islam was a sect of humanity initiated by the Prophet Muhammad, just as Christian believe that Christianity was a sect initiated by Christ or Jews a group of men formed by Mosses.

According to the ridiculous illogical and wrong notion of Knowledge, the group of men who after this fall of Islam began to interpret Quran from this sectarian point of view began to styled themselves Ulama and Ahl-uz-zikr and these Ulama further cut up the Mussulmans even into various sects according to their own school or method of thought. Thus the whole spirit of Islam vanished to nothingness. Now every Mullah of the Mosque, who does not know what is beyond his nose, claims to interpret the Quran and styles himself alim. The “age of millions of Ulama “ has disappearance of this atmosphere the thread of the Knowledge of the Quran has been last.

The same thing happened with regard to the word “Hadith” of the Quran. This word only meant “conversation” or “story” in the Quran and had absolutely no technical significance. The Quran said: “Allah has sent down (to you) the excellent conversation: (ahsan-al-hadith: 32:2)”. At another place it said: “Then after this story which other story: (fabi ayye hadith: 7:23) you would believe”, (meaning the story of the path of Man related by God to him). When these things were being revealed in the Quran there was a trace of the written “tradition of the Prophet”. The tradition of the Prophet (now styled Ahadith plural of Hadith) were written down late in the third century of the Prophet’s Era, and during his lifetime the Prophet most strictly warned that “Nothing should be written down from me except Quran because, (authenticated by the Sahih of Al-Bokhari, which is universally accepted to be the most genuine document of the Tradition of the Prophet) the Mussulmans began to edit all possible utterance of the Prophet (reliable and unreliable, chaff and grain) and, utter defiance to the irony of the Quran with regard to the word “Hadith” began to call it the “Hadith of Rusal (Prophet)”. There was a terrific going astray of the followers of the Prophet after this general adoption of “Hadith as Book of direction, although the Great Omar the second Caliph, pronounced on the death-bed of the Prophet: Hasbona Kitab Allah i.e. to us the Book of God is sufficient, meaning that even if the Prophet expired we have quite sufficient material with us to go on with. These words were uttered in the presence of the Prophet and it is remarkable that he did not contradict them even though he wanted to dictate something to Omar at that time.

“Ahadith” because they were strayed utterance of the Prophet separated from the context and the atmosphere of the conversation, and did not even sometime mention the status of the man to whom the conversation of the Prophet was addressed, created a tremendous confusion in the original teaching of the Quran, and Islam became even ten times more sectarian in its teaching aspect. The expounder of Hadith split up again into various sections and the Mussulmans deteriorated still further. Now that expounder of Hadith styled themselves Muhaddithin and Law they have evolved out of this holy but man-given literature is called “Sunni”, and they have allied it with Quran as a complimentary literature without which no Quranic exposition can be complete. It is interesting to mote here that the word “Sunnah” also was never used in the Quran in this technical sense; its original meaning being only the “Law” or “Practice” of God which is immutable: Wa lun tajida li sunnat illah tabdila: 48:3)”.

After this tentative exposition of the purpose of Islam as ordained originally by the Creator of the universe, the origin as well as the position of “Faqihs” and “Ulamas” and “Muhaddithin” in Islam become quite clear. Leaving the last two alone, Faqihs are those Judges in accordance with the dictates of the Quran and the Hadith and according to their discretion. They come to be known as “holy” men and their decisions became perpetuated as holy because in the imagination of the people as well as themselves they administrated the “Law of God”. Fiqah or Islamic Jurisprudence thus, (after divesting it of the sanctity attached to it) becomes merely the law Reports of the various Judges who sat on the Tribunal administering the personal law of a section of the Human beings called Muslims, very much like what the “Laws Reports” of the modern Judges of the British or the Pakistani Courts are mow-a-day. The decisions of these old and competent Judges should be held in esteem in much the same way as the decisions of Judges of the various High Courts are still respected and quoted and even followed. But just as there is no compulsion on the part of a modern Judge to hold an earlier decision sacred and immutable, there ought to be logically a free room for extension, evolution, mutation and even wholesale contradiction of previous decisions, in order to make Islamic law even more perfect and better fitted for an advancing nation. This view of Ijtihad in Fiqah is now more and more generally held, and people who view Fiqah in the light of ordinary administrative law based on a general fundamental Divine Book for the whole of Mankind, are gradually drifting away from this sanctity of the Fiqah, as it has been commonly understood hither-to.

With the almost awful generality of the Quran, of being the Message of God to the whole Human race, of being an ‘extract’ of the Book of Nature itself, of being given to all Prophets alike, of being something ‘contained’ in all the Books sent to the Prophets before, of being the last Word of God to Man, of being the latest and last edition of God’s Law, and so forth, it is clear that Fiqah, Tafsir and Hadith which have been “added” now to the Quran as its necessary compliments by the Faqihs, the Ulamas and the Mohaddithin can only be considered as “man-made” adjuncts and that Quran divests itself of all responsibility with regard to them. To a student of Islam who wishes to go inwards to the originals of that Quran, which was pronounced by the Great Omar as “quite sufficient” for all purposes, these later structures obviously do not matter, as they were absent at the time Islam was in full glory and the Quran in its full action. Their potential value deteriorates also from the fact that no new upheaval in Islam took place after their appearance and sectarianism became so much intensified in it that Islam eventually lost even its pristine power of proselytisation.

But now that Islam (the last word in fact of God to Man) has also deteriorated like Judaism, Christianity and other religions of the world to the level of becoming a “religion” of a section of the Human race and there seems to be no immediate possibility of the revival of the original message of the Quran, it has become impossible to under-rate the value of these “super-structure”. Of these Fiqah, on the excellence of which depends the moral strength, solidarity and even the material prosperity of a society, stands out as the most important from the practical point of view. It is on the proper and most effective administration of Law that a society is molded into what it should be. Most of the Western nations of to day have become what they are through proper and effective administration and propagation of the e moral code they possess. Much of what they possess at present in the matter of building a healthy society is the first word o the Quran written large on almost every page of it, and there are volumes of law in countless social matters which they have yet to imitate from the Quran. Proper Fiqah, culled from the pages of the Quran and put into actual practice by the force of the belief of those who run Islamic society politically, is therefore the only remedy of the deteriorated Islam and unless this is done under the auspices of those geniuses who have read the Quran in its original sprit and know as well the practical administration of law in human society all the world over, Islamic Fiqah cannot produce miraculous results.

To give a concrete instance; Islamic Fiqah is perhaps the only institution in the world which divides Fundamental Rights into two sections, viz., the right of God: (Haquq ullah) and the right of people: (Haquq-ul-ibad). The thing most noticeable in the Quran emphasis as having led nation to ultimate destruction, and concerning which the Quran emphatically says that their punishment is eternal perdition and Hell. Another thing most marvelous in the Quran is that it has a graded tone of command or of prohibition with respect to almost every imaginable human deed ranging from bounded duty (Farz), approval (Mustahab), dim approval, stern prohibition (Haram) prohibition, prohibition with punishment, prohibition with manifest punishment, disapproval, etc. etc. up to the wrath of God, the ultimate reward of power and prosperity on Earth, the Heavenly reward of Al –Jannat or of the burning fire and eternal perdition, or even of total destruction of the whole Nation on this Earth. Out of all these various ways of clarifying the importance of deeds pertaining to the mandatory portion of the Quran our jurist have taken only those human deeds where the punishment or reward was technical and have left out mainly those where the reward or punishment was more or less spiritual or simply unassigned. They have also failed to native the most important fact of the legislative portion of the Quran that contravention of the “right of God” bring about a lesser punishment and sometimes even connivance or merely more formal way or more spiritual way of dealing with it than a disregard of the “right of society”. It is in this respect that Islamic Fiqah is sadly deficient and it requires the more supreme effort of the modern Islamic Jurist to evolve a most intelligent system of law for the reconstruction of the depraved Muslim society of modern times.

Again the most outstanding defect of the present Islamic Fiqah is that it is stagnant and has been given a tint that makes it look like a sanctified institution. This has the desideratum of making it look un-modern or even medieval as compared with Quran, which makes or even the most high critic of it abounded at the most elaborate exactness and modernity of it. It is time that Pakistan, being an altogether new and even the largest Islamic State should take the lead in revising, rather reforming, Islamic Fiqah from the original principles of Islamic Law. Men who have deeply studied Quran from the scientific and universal aspect of it should come forward and make it an ideal system of law, as Quranic Law ought necessarily to be.

It is time also that Islamic administrator of Law should take up those commandments of the Quran within the purview of law which the Quran enjoin as the basic duty of the whole Millat to take up and which tend to construct the whole society of Islam on solid foundations. In this respect the Quranic dictum that “there should be a people among you who invite (people) to do good and order you to do the outstanding good (al-maruf) (remaining perfectly) and prohibit from doing into various evil (al-munkar) (of becoming dispersed in various sections): Wal takun minkum ummatan yadauna ilal khaire wa yamurun bil maruf wa yanhauna anil munkar: 3:11) must become the portion of our progressive law, for the very reason that amar bil maruf and nahiy munkar have been a part and parcel of Islamic spiritualism from the most remote beginning of Islam, at any rate individually, if not collectively. The words “order” and “prohibit” in this section of the Quranic mandate are enough to convince that the Providence meant that Human beings (being always prone to the evil of disruption and most averse to mutual love and union) can be made to stand firm and united against all decomposing forces by the force of authority alone and that mere persuasive and voluntary effort in this respect cannot bring about the intended result. The well-known Quranic dictum: w’atasimu bihablillahe jamiaan wa la tafarraqu (3:11) (i.e., hold on to the rope of God collectively and without exception, and do not get dispersed), or the dictum: Innala zina farraqu dina hum wa saru shiya an lasta minhum fi sahi (6:20) (i.e., those people who split their program (Din) up and became divided into several sections thou (O’Prophet) are not to include thyself in them in any respect”) are some examples of the way in which the Quran enjoin on its followers to keep to the commandments of God under all circumstances, and unless mandates of a general nature like these, which ate the very essence of the programs of all “live” nations of the Earth, are put into actual practice by the moral force of law and judicious legislation, no law of human can organize a healthy society. It is thus the duty of progressive Islamic Fiqah to extend its domain of moulding the moral and action of Muslims in such a way that the whole spirit of the law contained in the Quran is maintained. Any Fiqah without this inherent spirit is a skeleton of decayed Islam not possessing the motive power of that life-giving urge which warms up human souls, and must be discarded as worthless and even un-godly.

ALLAMA MASHRIQI.

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