Islam is not a “religion”
The Meaning of Man
This World and the Hereafter
Islam, the Message
Development and Underdevelopment
Justice and Spirituality
Defamatory Campaigns against Islam
Modern man no longer wonders!
The “what” and the “why”
O Bewildered Man!
The western mentality, the American Anglo-Saxon in particular, expects in this meeting to hear of events. I am thus expected to give accurate facts, precise information about certain events. The superficial among people content themselves with news: Event A took place on Day C, and Country B invaded Country D, etc. People are thus drifted away and dragged on their heads with daily events taking place here and there.
In our gathering, we will talk in depth; we will talk to man as an individual, as a human being before we may talk to him of the events of this worldly life. We will talk to him of the Great News as it came in the Holy Qur’ān. What is this Great News? God—Exalted be He—says in Chapter 78: “What are they asking (each other)?” “About the Great News, about which they are in disagreement. Verily, they will come to know. Verily, again, they will come to know.”
What is this Great News? The Qur’ān does not bring it straightforward, but directs man’s mind to ponder over himself and over the world around him. “Have We not made the earth as a wide expanse?” This earth, O man, God made it for you so that you may live on it; He made on it sustenance for you; He made on it paths to take and places to rest in. “And the mountains as pegs? And (have We not) created you in pairs?” God—Glorified be He—created man in pairs, a man and a woman. “And made your sleep for rest?” This is one of the great signs of God’s miraculous creation of man. He made him sleep. “Sleep” is among man’s important needs. If man does not sleep a reasonable number of hours, he becomes totally insane, deranged, unbalanced. I imagine a mind that is idiot, superficial, and really underdeveloped in the balance of morality and spirituality going to take part in a trivial, silly and childish record-breaking contest like Guinness. People will thus compete among one another to see who will stay sleepless for a long time. One will stay sleepless for one week; another will surpass him by three days, etc. These are trivial, futile enterprises.
God—Exalted be He—addresses the sensible men. As for the harebrained, they have no brains with which they can earnestly receive the Message of the Qur’ān, the Great News in the Qur’ān. “Have We not made the earth as a wide expanse?” The rationalist, inventing and self-important mind would say: “The earth is not a wide expanse. The earth is round-shaped.” Then you may argue, O brother and sister, that Muslims talked of the earth’s roundness nine centuries ago long before Galileo and those who came after Galileo. They surpassed the modern nonsense that says, “the evidence that the Qur’ān is a compilation of false accounts is that it alleges that the earth is a wide expanse.” The very miracle is that you can see—you, the modern man who knows of the earth’s roundness according to the scientific facts supplied to you by astronomers, geographers and topographers—that the earth is a wide expanse. Then how has this round-shaped entity become a wide expanse? How does it move so rapidly? Perhaps you don’t feel that! That’s among the miraculous signs of God—Exalted be He.
Astronomers, geographers, topographers and geologists do not ask such questions. I, the simple and naturally disposed human being, certify that the earth is a wide expanse. The Qur’ān addresses me with a language that I can understand in any time or place. Before the earth was discovered to be round-shaped, man attested that it was a wide expanse, a place for rest, a place supplied with means of subsistence. In our current times, the fact that I know from the modern sciences that the earth is round-shaped should enjoin me to wonder even more and more at such a miracle.
Unfortunately, the modern man—busied with learning different languages, various cultures, and immersed in studying world folklores, world shapes, world images—has been hit in one of his most precious assets: the ability to wonder and feel amazed. He cannot wonder; there is nothing to wonder at in this world. As he knows everything, he does not need to wonder at anything.
The first thing he actually should wonder at is his miraculous origin. Unfortunately, he easily swallows the nonsense Darwinism presents to him as “facts” about his origin: he was an ape. Before being an ape, he was so-and-so for certain phases of his evolution. After the ape, he evolved until he began to talk.
My innateness rejects such nonsense, refutes such judgment. In America, there is a group of Christian clergy who stand against Darwinism. Unfortunately, they fight it with incomplete weapons, they combat it with arguments drawn from the Torah and the gospels—scriptures that have been subject to human interference and manipulation. I do not want to talk here of the Torah and the gospels, for this is again not our subject matter.
Modern man no longer wonders; he has been robbed of such feeling. Modern man does not even ask about his first right to know his Maker, the purpose of his creation and his ultimate destiny after death. Such are decisive, momentous questions. That is the Great News that every sensible man should receive. Unfortunately, no one would receive the Great News in the Holy Qur’ān and the sunna of the Prophet (God bless him and grant him peace) even though the Holy Qur’ān has not been distorted as were the former scriptures. The Prophet (God bless him and grant him peace) transmitted to us its teachings accurately and faithfully. Modern man does not wonder at that.
In the noble verses of Chapter 78, God—Glorified be He—asks: “In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. What are they asking (each other)?” A question. “About the Great News, about which they are in disagreement.”The question could be put differently: “Are they asking about the Great News—the News about the Hereafter, the meaning of man, the purpose of his creation and his destiny after death—or are they asking about other things? “Verily, they will come to know. Verily, again, they will come to know.” Then a series of questions follows: “Have We not made the earth as a wide expanse, and the mountains as pegs?” We will leave to volcano experts and geologists to explain to us the function of mountains, their origin—is it volcanic, non volcanic, or is it the result of the earth’s folding across distant geological times? That is not our subject matter. “And have We not created you in pairs?” The sequence of questions still follows: “And made your sleep for rest, and made the night as a covering, and made the day as a means of subsistence?”