Islam And Sufism > Cardinal Principles Of Islam
Hazrat Khawaja Muinuddin mission was dedicated to the sacred cause of peace and salvation of mankind from the moment he set his holy feet on the soil of India in 1191 AD. His life work is therefore of very absorbing interest to the suffering humanity particularly at a time when the world is once more torn by mutual hatred and survives precariously at the mercy of Atom and Hydrogen bombs. Indeed the teachings of this great saint have been a perpetual source of solace and inspiration to the past 750 years. His grand success was based upon the magnificent lessons of Islam coupled with the inspirations he used to get from the divine powers which in the terminology of Sufism, are the basic teachings of the Holy Quran as elaborated in Hadith and Fiqah having their root in the religion of Islam.
Islam And Sufism > Cardinal Principles Of Islam > What Is Islam
A comparative study of Islam will reveal that it is the most practical and latest religion in the world that suits all human requirements. It completes the final “Divine Message of God” for the good conduct of man on earth – a message which He delivered in parts, through His various other Prophets before Prophet Mohammed, as revealed and confirmed in the Holy Quran.
Islam’s most distinguishing features, as a world religion:
Its highly realistic attitude towards the day-to-day life of man.
It enjoins upon its followers to observe moderation in all things relating to man’s conduct and behaviour. Islam does not tolerate revelry and yet it does not shun all joy, best and adventure. It adopts a middle course between the extremities and discards Puritanism and moral anarchy but it allows freedom and satisfaction to all natural human desires and instincts, including even the instinct of war PROVIDED certain limitations are strictly observed.
Islam recognises that social conditions have a great influence in shaping human character and therefore it tries to set right the social, political and economic systems of mankind in accordance with its moral and spiritual values. Islam does not recognise that mere improvements in social, political and economic conditions as preached by Communism and other Western type of ‘ism’ will make people virtuous and prosperous in their conduct of life. It advocates and insists upon individual reform and self-discipline through unswerving belief in God, His line of Prophets, their respective scriptures the angles His last Prophet Mohammed and the resurrection after death on the Day-of-Judgment.
Islam lays final responsibility on the individual for all his actions. In Islam you cannot plead that because you were born in an evil environment, therefore you could not shake off its evil influence to lead a pious virtuous and ordered life, and that society was responsible for your sins of omission and commission. There is no appeal against Islamic law which is the law of God, and one must necessarily discipline himself according to it if one desire well-being in life and salvation after death.
Islam does not want people to be tolerant to evil and injustice for fear of incurring the displeasure or wrath of those who happen to be in strength and power. Those who tolerate this are in the eyes of Islam no better those evildoers.
For the selfish and greedy there is no place of honour in Islam. The moral and religious attitude of Islam must follow its adherents in all walks of life. A Muslim cannot be a Muslim in the mosque and a socialist nationalist or communist on a political platform outside. At every step of his life he is a Muslim always guided by the Laws of Allah – embodied in the Holy Quran and expounded by the Holy Prophet Mohammed.
Among all the religions of the world, Islam stands alone, teaching humanity that political power must be subordinated to ethical values that religion should not be allowed to serve the ends of a state which is not informed and actuated by moral values, ideals and decencies.
Islam is the only religion that made international brotherhood a reality. It recognises no racial and political barriers. It stands alone for its complete freedom from the domination of priestly class and the burden of cumbersome ceremonials and rituals
Islam And Sufism > Cardinal Principles Of Islam >Conception Of God
The whole structure of Islam is based upon the conception that all other tenets principles and injunctions of Islam flow. Once this paramount conception is admitted, then many important and relevant questions as to the relationship of man with God arise. For instance what is the law of God’s pleasure for the conduct of man, a rational animal on earth? How He desires to shape man’s conduct and destiny in his life? Without a clear answer to these questions it is meaningless to merely affirm God’s existence. The east does not believe in God like the West whose conception is that “God is nothing more than a mere creator” and having created the universe, He has retired to the seventh heaven and left man to do as he pleases. If such a conception were admitted, then it would be very difficult to distinguish between good and evil justice and injustice because if moral standards and ethical values have no relation with God who created us then they are no more than mere ideas based on expediency and shaped only by our social necessities. We hear the name of God repeated by Western statesmen and warlords in times of distress and wars. According to their conception, God seems to serve equally the national and imperial interests of both the belligerent sides. Such a role can never be the role of God. His position has been reversed. How can man be the master whose causes God is called upon to serve? This belief amounts to open disbelief in God. If we truly believe in God then we must take Him not merely as the Creator of the world but also as its “guide and sustainer” And it is we therefore who must serve the cause of God for we are his servants and He is our Master. It is we who ought to seek His will and shape our conduct and destiny in life in accordance with His will explained through the code of religion which has been propounded by his holy messengers and Prophets from time to time ever since the creation of the world. All our loyalty to other worldly causes is misplaced and misdirected. We have to associate ourselves finally and irrevocably with His will and pleasure and not with our own or any other’s..
Islam And Sufism > Cardinal Principles Of Islam > Sovereignty Belongs To God
But how can we know God’s cause and discover His will with our ‘limited’ intelligence except through His own ‘Self-revelation’? Not all the wisdom of the world can give us any knowledge of the Almighty God’s attributes and of how He wills us to shape our lives? According to Islam. God has revealed His will through his many chosen prophets from time to time ever since He created the world, and has given the people express commands to do some things and abstain from others. Through his revelations in the holy Quran, He has shown us how our individual and collective lives should be shaped to win His pleasure and acquire our own peace and salvation. He has not left our guidance to the whims of any worldly leaders or the so-called “sovereign people” to be determined by the counting of heads because in Islam, sovereignty belongs to the Almighty God and God alone. No people can usurp his sovereignty and if they do, they are rebels against God. Therefore the life of man in Islam is an act of devoted worship of God and complete surrender to His will. The simple rituals of offering prayers, etc. are merely outward worship and if they are not supplemented by a concentrated effort at living in accordance with the Divine will and commands the life of man becomes a meaningless and fruitless affair. Hence Islam’s social and political aspects are not excluded from the sovereign authority of God, as the Western civilisation would like our modern society and its conduct to be.
To those who would worship ‘anything’ possessing the attributes of power and force, Islam says ” Do not bow down before the rivers, the mountains, the sun and the moon, for none of these and other forces of nature has the least power to do you injury or benefit you without the will of God. All obedience is subject to the final and absolute loyalty to God and His commands as revealed in the Holy Quran through the holy prophet of Islam. Obedience to other authorities can be rendered only in so far as their commands do not go against or contradict the Divine commands. The doctrine of the oneness of God has therefore the greatest significance in Islam. A Muslim cannot by mere vote of the majority change even an iota of the legal and moral precepts of the Holy Quran or the “Law of God ” which says-obey God, obey the prophet and obey those who are in authority from amongst yourselves, but if there is difference of opinion either amongst yourselves or with those who are in authority over you, turn to God and the prophet for decision. Thus God and the prophet are the final arbiters in all matters of dispute whether social, political or economic. This, in a nutshell, was the “Message of Islam” and peace which Hazrat Khawaja Muinuddin Chishti was deputed, by a Divine decree to preach to the people of Hindustan 750 year ago. His life and work are an outstanding inspiration and an amazing miracle for those who have a keen eye to see through them objectively and dispassionately.