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 efforts of the modern sciences are devoted to searching for water in Mars and Jupiter. Is there water there? Can water remain there? The arrogant modern man goes to those planets aboard his space shuttles in an attempt to occupy them and establish a human society there. He asks if there is water there. If you are powerful, you modern man, then make water. Go to Mars and make water. Make an environment, create trees, plants, oxygen and make that planet viable for mankind. God—Exalted be He—is the One Who created all that, and you are a creature among His creatures, O bewildered man who does not wonder and feel amazed.
“And Have We not sent down from the clouds water in abundance, that We may produce therewith grains and herbs, and gardens of luxurious growth?”Those questions draw man’s attention to things he knows: heaven, earth, water, fauna and flora. God—Exalted be He—is Gracious and Merciful to His servants. He wants man to ponder over the Message of Islam from what he already knows. He invites him to inquire and to wonder. Then the Great News comes to Him from God—Glorified be He—His Maker: “Verily the Day of Decision is a day appointed.”The Day of Resurrection has a fixed time, the time that God’s Decree decided.“The Day when the Trumpet will be sounded” by one of the angels. These facts are absent in the modern western culture. The angels are creatures that the Torah and the gospels talked of. According to western literature, an angel is a creature that is unseen, that we cannot perceive with our senses, something symbolic and unreal, something that belongs to the world of imagery, poetry and subtleties.
“The Day when the Trumpet will be sounded, and you shall come forth in groups.” O men, O human beings, you will come forth from your former and later generations, from your different countries, from your aberration if you once were aberrant, and from your guidance if you once were rightly guided. “And the heaven shall be opened, and it will become as gates.” How does the heaven open? On the Day of Resurrection, “the earth shall be changed to a different earth, and so will be the heavens.” “And the mountains shall vanish and become as a mirage.” These firmly established mountains represent for the innately disposed man the utmost image of firmness, strength, solidity and immobility. Those mountains will disintegrate and become like a mirage.
Then comes the Great News: God—Exalted be He—states the destiny of some of those who will come forth in groups to Him on the Day of Judgment, “Truly Hell lies in wait” for those who deserve to dwell in it for eternity because they did not believe in God—Glorified be He, did not acquire the moral and spiritual virtues, did not behave justly on earth as individuals, societies, governments or states.
“Truly Hell lies in wait for the tyrants.” We come back again to the tyrants. Tyranny is made of different kinds and degrees. The most important kind and degree of tyranny that is of interest to us in this gathering—in fact, it should be a permanent concern—is the tyranny of my self, of my ego. If my ego becomes tyrannical, haughty and refuses to listen to the message of Islam (submission to God), the message of im?n (moral rectitude), the message of justice, the message of ihs?n (spiritual perfection), the message of peace for the world—and that is the Message of Islam—it will be reckoned among the tyrants whose final home will be Hell: “Truly Hell lies in wait for the tyrants.”
In the western culture, there are relics from the Torah and the gospels of accounts about the Hereafter, Paradise and Hell. However, there are no detailed accounts of such creatures similar to those contained in the Qur’ān because those scriptures were subject to human manipulation. “They (the tyrants) will dwell therein for ages. Nothing cool shall they taste therein, nor any drink, save a boiling fluid and a fluid dark, murky and intensely cold. A fitting recompense (for them).” Why? “For that they used not to fear any account (for their deeds).” They used not to love to meet God—Exalted be He. They used not to believe in the Hereafter.
Believing in the Hereafter and thinking about one’s post mortem destiny are the most important things over which should ponder the sensible people in civilized countries like the United States of America, or other countries in this age, and in every age. Unfortunately, the western man has firmly established himself in the conviction that after death, he will be dust. And if he is well off with millions of dollars in America, he will purchase from specialized corporations a place for him in a giant fridge. He will abide therein for centuries until modern science—he alleges, and that’s a silly allegation—discovers methods to bring the dead to life. Look at man’s tyranny, look at man’s aberration!
“For that they used not to fear any account (for their deeds), and they (impudently) treated our signs as false.” They used not to fear any account for their deeds, they used not to believe in the Hereafter because they did not listen, and they impudently treated God’s signs as false. They denied them a strong denial. “And everything We have preserved in a Book.” Everything is kept in a record with God—Glorified be He: my words, my deeds, my life with its minute details and single moments, my inner thoughts, my intentions. God—Exalted be He—knows all those things.
“And everything We have preserved in a Book.” Because the modern man is full of conceit about his inventions and no longer has the feeling of wonderment, he easily concedes the existence of a giant or a tiny computer that records the deeds, the identities, the places of residence, the movements, the incomes, and all the particulars of the residents of New York, for instance, and sends them in a split of a second worldwide. Yet he would not accept that there is divine power.
The power of a creature can never be compared to that of the Maker—Exalted be He. While the creature accepts that he can make a giant or a tiny computer and work wonders with it, he would not accept that there is a Maker Who has a computer—God forgive me for making such analogy—that can record and compute the deeds of all creatures, of former and later times, of all generations and species, of all ages and centuries. He would not accept that. God—Glorified be He—is the All-Mighty and has full knowledge of the Record. “And everything We have preserved in a Book. So taste (the fruits of your deeds).” It is said on the Day of Judgment to man who disbelieved in God in this world: “So taste (the fruits of your deeds).”
In this noble chapter, God—Exalted be He—mentioned the accounts about Hell and the Hereafter before talking of the destiny of the blessed believers who are the opposite of the tyrants. The opposite of the tyrants are the pious who fear God—Glorified be He, who do not treat their brothers and sisters in humanity arrogantly and unjustly, who do not wreak havoc on the land, the sea, and the sky.
“Verily for the righteous there will be the greatest of achievements (in the best of places)” in the Hereafter. “Gardens enclosed and vineyards.” In Paradise, there are gardens and vineyards. The naturally disposed man who lives in an agricultural and pastoral society understands perfectly the meaning of having gardens of palm trees and vineyards. The modern man would not wonder at such divine favors. Because he has plenty of money, he can purchase from the nearby supermarkets processed, canned grapes and bananas that have been brought to him from the four quarters of the globe. But at the same time in the West, the sensible of this age are concerned about the environment and the destiny of the environment. If the environment is damaged, there will no longer be gardens or vineyards.