Mohammad, Radiant Sun of Guidance (12)
Welcome to the 12th weekly episode of the series Mohammad, Radiant Sun of Guidance. Prophet of Islam, Mohammad (Blessings of God upon him and his progeny) concurrently emphasized maintenance of faith in God and acquirement of knowledge. Today, we study this topic of importance further.
In the previous week, we compared the cultural and social conditions of Muslims prior and after the divine appointment of the Prophet of Islam to prophet hood. Based on Quranic evidences and the tradition of the Prophet of Islam, we realized that a major development and revolution took place among the Islamic Ummah in the light of sacred religion of Islam. This major revolution led to revival of existence; which is one of the important and fateful goals of the movements of prophets, especially the Prophet of Islam. However, what does revival of existence mean? In order to clarify this topic of importance, let’s focus on the following introduction.
From the standpoint of the divine religion of Islam, any individual and community maintains two types of existence, which are the material and physical existence, and spiritual existence.
Material existence is a commonalty of humans and animals. In this type of existence; moving, eating, breathing, fulfilling instincts, and physical growth are evident. Those, who do not believe in God and the Day of Resurrection, summarize everything in material life. They believe that throughout life they should benefit from material joys; to the most. They only think of the material life; eat, drink, sleep, and enjoy themselves. In contrast to this standpoint, there is a principled outlook which doesn’t consider the world limited to material life, and opines that man, in addition to material life, should maintain a spiritual and humane life, which revolves round faith in God Almighty. In this spiritual life, ethical principles are complied with; human rights and freedom of thought and ideology are honored; injustices are confronted; and the good and evil deeds of mankind are assessed based on divine justice, while man is rewarded for his good deeds, and punished for his misdeeds. The divine prophets started their movements based on such an existence, which is filled with faith in God, spirituality, human dignity, and all human values.
The 97th ayah of Surat al-Nahl notes: “Whoever acts righteously, whether male or female, should he be faithful, -We shall revive him with a good life…”
The Prophet of Islam made every effort for the growth and development of Islamic Ummah and managed to grant a new life to the community of people of the Age of Ignorance; thanks to divine blessings and his unique perseverance.
One of the main steps taken by the Prophet of Islam to this end was liberation of people from the yoke of ignorance. According to historians, there were only a handful of literate individuals throughout Prophet Mohammad’s era, and many depravities in the era of Prophet Mohammad were rooted in ignorance. One of the unique accomplishments of the Prophet of Islam was foundation of the Islamic civilization in a land, whose people and residents were illiterate.
The important point is that the prophet hood of Prophet Mohammad started with his invitation to acquire knowledge.
In the 1st to 5th ayahs of Surat al-Alaq, God instructs the Prophet: “Read in the Name of your Lord who created; created man from a clinging mass. Read and your Lord is the most generous, who taught by the pen, taught man what he did not know.”
Holy Quran which has drawn the outlines of the Prophet of Islam continuously refers to knowledge, wisdom, prudence, and contemplation about all the phenomena of the universe, especially the creation of mankind, while revealing the mysteries of human body and soul.
Prophet of Islam, who was inspired by Holy Quran, invited people to acquire knowledge.
In order to show that acquirement of knowledge is not restricted to a particular region and/or phase in time, he called on people to acquire knowledge from birth till death.
Meanwhile, the divine religion of Islam refers to a knowledge which would be coupled with faith in God; a knowledge which shapes commitment and responsibility, and serves the human community. In the 11th ayah of Surat al-Mujadilah, God notes: “Allah will raise those of you who have faith and those of you who have been given knowledge in rank, and Allah is well aware of what you do.”
One of the other responsibilities of the Prophet of Islam was purification and liberation of souls from polytheism, disbelief, discord, and immoralities; because if human soul is not adorned with ethical and human virtues, acquirement of knowledge would not lead to a positive outcome, and would not be to the benefit of the human community, and would in fact deal heavy blows against human community.
A prime example of this fact can be observed in the so-called contemporary civilized and advanced world. Although the scientific thoughts of a number of scientists are beneficial for human community; production of atomic, biological, chemical, and hydrogen bombs; bombers; advanced warships; and hundreds of other dangerous weapons, has robbed the human community of their peace of mind and has turned into a nightmare for billions of people who are fearful of a possible break out of World War III. Those, who produce these weapons only think of their own interests and serve the Global Arrogance and Zionism. Hence, if acquirement of knowledge would not be coupled with faith in God, and if thinkers would not believe in human values; the scientific achievements would plague the human community. Thus, God, in depicting the goals and mission of prophets; grants further importance to purification of soul, in comparison to education. Acquirement of knowledge and faith in God are like two wings which promote and elevate mankind.
Undoubtedly, if acquisition of knowledge and faith in God are included in the educational systems of the world, a bright and promising future would await the international community.