Why ground shudders when I prostrate?
Whenever I fall prostrate, the ground shudders and cries that my heart is over brimming with the mush and goo of ritualism and my prostration is prickly and painful. We are heedless to those protests that would otherwise send tremors down the spine. We have become so irresponsible that our conscience has frozen beyond the melting point on the spiritual scale and the pulsation is no more rhythmic with faith. It might have happened to the community when Abrahim (be blessed) told his father that he (Abrahim) realised that his father and his community had made idol gods and he (Abrahim) realised that his father and the community had lost their way.
Monotheism is the common denominator of all the biblical religions where the octogenarian Patriarch lays his innocent progeny at the altar of monotheism or the will of the singular God. Here the human whimsicality like love, lust, greed, pleasure and pain melt before the God’s will. God bestowed him with a son as a reward to his lifelong yearning but shortly after the child’s walking age, the gut wrenching command came asking for the son’s sacrifice. Both of them surrendered before the eternal will.
They were laying down the firm foundation of monoism the common denominator of the Abrahmic creed. That is what we call Islam in our terminology.
Islam means the complete surrender to Allah the one and the only who has no manifestations. This is the principle that governs the thought, deed and word, letter and spirit of an individual called Muslim. All the moral authority vests in Him and one must be cautious of the fact that we have surrendered our being and belief to His will. And a monotheist is always conscious of the ineffable presence, the omnipotent, omniscient supreme being and to Him belongs the country and to Him belongs the domain .One cannot hide one’s thoughts, words or deeds from that radiance.
It implies the careful handling of one’s overt and covert behaviour or one may ward off from the right path and fall into the darkest dungeon of moral chaos and go on a long line that terminates amidst what Milton calls the infernal hell. It’s flames sometimes rise to our world to kiss the cheeks of our soul. Centuries rolled by and the Mesopotamian prophet’s living message was lost in the shifting sand dunes of the desert and value system had been lost in the stampede of wealth, aversion, family feuds, chivalry and other rivalries.
Muhammad (SAW) the messenger of Allah came up with the same message as Abrahimic message of a practical faith. That has two components viz Haqooqullah and Haqooqul ebad. Haqooqullah are the God’s rights means to think, speak and act always in His remembrance as has already been discussed. This is the unique feature of Islam.
The basic catechism that he came with down the Faran Heights ‘The declaration I believe in the singular God Allah and His angels and His scriptures and His prophets and that only He can subject to pleasure and pain and that there is life after life’ is the definition of Muslim character
Muhammad (SAW) observed that the human values stumbled against the prevailing belief system of that society. They worshipped different deities but it was morally useless because this practice had no positive effect on human personality. What they called religion had shrunk to mare ritualism and a bunch of superstitions. The Kaaba was festooned with the icons and idols and portraits of different deities. Religion had lost its definition. Tribal animosity was the conspicuous feature of the society and no one came to rescue the humanity from moral chaos where love and sympathy and philanthropy had yielded to wealth and worldly well being.
Muhammad (SAW) had opened his eyes in an atmosphere where wealth and riches defined the state authority and politics and poverty was an eternal sin. Where there is deitism there is sectarianism and difference and he did not love it. According to him heads may or may not but hearts should level. God rewarded his supplication with the authority ‘thou art the messenger of God’ and ‘tell them that their superiority is proportional to the God fearingness’.
Religion does not stand on ritualism and it does not emphasise the observance of some rituals to satisfy the aesthetic taste among people and such an entertainment would drift them away from the eternal source of spiritual ecstasy. Muhammad (SAW) felt that the deities that were worshipped in the Kaaba or even carried along were not a source of moral sublimity but that of distraction and the loss of communion with God. The creator who caused day and night and one who dominated the time – the continuity of existence.
Muhammad (SAW) came with the message that Allah is singular and Allah is absolute and He does not beget nor was begotten and He has no similitude. God is the absolute reality and that is what Quran the book of God declares in chapter 112.
Haqooqul ebad or human rights are inter related with Haqooqullah or God’s rights and neither of them can be delivered in isolation. Suppose cheating a person boils down to cheating God because the prophet of God said ‘one who cheats does not belong to me’. And it is an abuse when a Muslim is said that he does not belong to Muhammad (SAW).
Muhammad (SAW) said, ‘The best among you is one who does good to people.’
Now ask yourself how much good you are doing?
‘Corruption leads to fire.’ How many Muslims believe in it religiously, I wonder. There is an ocean of thought and I cannot serve it in handfuls. But you have time enough for meditation.
That is why the ground cries when I prostrate kissing it’s bosom with my spiked forehead.
- The author is a lecturer in Education Department.