Thursday, 16 September 2010

The Criterion - Part 3

The year is 570 C.E.

Among the arabs of Makkah it was known as the Year of the Elephant. For a good reason. A king of Abyssinia, rode into Arabia with the intention of demolishing the Kabaa. And he brought along the world’s earliest weapons of mass destruction.... Elephants.

The Makkans were stumped. They’d never even heard of bloody elephants, much less seen one.

But the Kabaa isnt the Arabs’ property. Its called the BaitAllah. The House (of worship) of Allah.

So Allah would protect his property. He sent a counter attack to stamp out the Abyssinian army.

Birds.

Little swallow kinda birds decended from the heavens (Ababeel in arabic). Flocks and flocks of birds. And these birds launched the first aerial military offensive in the history of the world. To be precise, the first carpet bombing technique.

These li’l things carried li’l rocks which were thrown at the army. Literally millions of rocks rained down on the conquering Army. Killing everything !!!

The arabs just stood there, stared at the destruction of the massive army.

Then they looked at each other, shrugged, and went back to eating dates and reciting poetry.

In this year, in the house of the Chief of Makkah, Abdul Mutallib, a boy was born. The Boy was the Grandson of Abdul Mutallib. The son of his youngest son, Abdullah.

Abdullah had passed away a couple of months before the birth of the boy. Aminah, the widow of Abdullah gave birth to a boy. And on that night, it is said that light shone from her womb, illuminating castles far off. A sign that this was no ordinary boy. He would be the change agent of the entire Arabian peninsula. He would bring the arabs out of barbarism, and make them a force to reckon with on an international scale. He would take these lazy lumps of traders and turn them into scholars, educated rulers, judges, philosophers, warriors, scientists, legendary polymaths and make them the first generations of a ummah (nation) which would be known as “Khairal Ummati Uqrijat Lin’naas”... or The Best of Nations evolved for the benefit of Mankind.

Ladies and Gentlemen.. Muhammad Ibn Abdullah (PBUH) had touched down on planet Earth.

SubhanAllah.

Fast-forwarding the narrative, Muhammad PBUH’s mom Aminah died when he was 8.

After a few years his grandfather passed away. The orphan was taken into the house of Abu Talib. Where he grew up a normal boy.

As he grew, his beautiful nature became the talk of Makkah.

In his youth, he was known as Al-Ameen. The trustworthy. He never passed anybody without a smile. He helped anyone and everyone. He was thoroughly honest in anything he did. All in all, one of the most perfect characters in Makkah.

There are many tales of his growing up but will take up quite a lot of time.

So to get to the point, when Muhammad PBUH was in his 20s, he did a trade run for an affluent businesswoman of Makkah. Her name was Khadijah Bint Khuwailid(r.a.). She was a widow, running her own businesses. So he did the trade on her behalf, and her hand maiden, who saw him during the entire trade caravan, was majorly impressed with his honesty and his mannerisms of dealing with people. She returned to Makkah and unloaded the entire report to Khadijah (r.a.) , who fell in love with this man. The proposals ran out, and Muhammad PBUH,aged 25 years old, married Khadija (r.a.), which was to be one of the best wedding couples ever.

Polygamy was a common thing in Makkah those days. But Muhammad PBUH never took another wife. Many years later after Khadijah (r.a.) died, he re-married. But until his death, he never loved any lady as much as he loved Khadijah (r.a.).

What’s that thing about your first love being eternal?? Right??

So well, rewind a bit from her death.

When Muhammad PBUH was 40, he had an event. He was a sort of a recluse. A very kind and loving person, but every once in a while, he would make some food and go into the mountains to meditate. There were small caves in these mountains and he would stay there, sometimes for 3-4 nights in a row, praying in his own manner, thinking, pondering and in general, meditating.

One night, I cannot tell you which night, it was one of the last 5 Odd nights of this month (Ramadan). So it could’ve been the 21st night, 23rd,25th, 27th or like tonight is....the 29th, he was sitting in the cave of Hira on Jebel Al Nur (the Mountain of Light) and he was approached by someone.

It was Gabriel (Jibraeel). The Archangel. The biggest of all angels, the Mr. President of Angels in fact.

And Jibraeel said, “IQRA” (Read)

Muhammad PBUH said, “I cannot read”. True this was, as he was illiterate. He couldnt read or write.

The Angel once again said, “IQRA”. Muhammad PBUH replied the same.

The Angel grabbed him and hugged him tight and squeezed the living daylights out of him. So much so that Muhammad PBUH felt he was gonna die. Just then the angel released him and repeated his command.

“IQRA”

Muhammad PBUH tried resisting it. The Angel did the bear-huggy-squeezy thingie again.

And then finally the angel said

“Iqra bismi Rabbik allazee qalaq. Qalaqal insaana min Alaq. Iqra wa rabbukal Akram. Allazee allama bil qalam. Allamal insaana ma’lam ya’lam”

“Read, in the name of thy lord. Who created man from a clot. Read and your lord is most generous. Who has taught (by the) pen. Who has taught man what he knows not”

This is the first revelation of what will become a guideline for mankind. A book so perfect in its revelation that even the arabs were mystified by its literary awesomeness. A book which is the Word of Allah, as given to his noble messenger and prophet, whose coming was foretold in probably every culture preceding his birth. This was the first revelation of the Holy Quran.

Armed with this, Muhammad PBUH would change the face of Arabia. This would in turn change the face of the world.

This is the last and final word of Allah. The essential guide to living. As was the nature of the arabs, when they loved or adored something, they gave it many names. Allah has 99 other names which are his excellent attributes. They had hundreds of names for camels, swords, dates etc. And so did they name the Quran.

One of the names of the Quran, as it comes within it too, is Al-Furqan.

This means, the Criterion.

It is the criterion of judgement between what is right and what is wrong.

The Quran is not just a play of rhyming words and narratives of yore. It holds the guidelines for a society within it. It holds the guidelines for human beings to be more than just animals. It holds the guidelines for not only muslims of arabia. But for the entire humanity which came after it.

Until Jesus PBUH, all messengers and prophets were sent to a particular nation or tribe. Muhammad PBUH was sent as a messenger and prophet to ALL of mankind. Massive responsibility that.

That night, in the cave of Hira, was the revelation for all mankind. The Decree for all mankind. It is known as Layl atul Qadr. The night of Power, The night of Decree.

Tonight might very well be that night. But we will never know for sure right now. The Prophet PBUH asked us to be awake and in the mode of worship in the last 10 nights (specifically the last 5 odd nights), seeking the night of decree, as praying in this night would be equal to praying the same prayer for a 1000 nights. Do the math. Its a mother load of blessing concentrated into one night. May Allah accept the prayers of all of us who seek it, and guide us, and bless us with this night.

From that night, it took 23years for the Quran to be revealed, bit by bit, verse by verse, into its complete form.

I wish I could tell you what the Quran is. But its an ocean with unfathomable depth. You will have to read it yourself to find out.

What I can tell you is this.

This book, brought by this excellent man, changed the face of Arabia forever. It brought them knowledge, wealth, power, sophistication, and led to the dawn of the golden age of islam. Which many scientists till date regard as the best part of the middle ages.

This book contains information of science which wasnt even known until recent to be accurate. That is standing proof that this book was not written by any human mind. No sir. The Quran contains descriptions of geography, astronomy, biology, the animal kingdom, the plant kingdom, our atmosphere and most awesomely, the human body. One of the most signature aspects of the Quran’s definition of science is the sheer accuracy with which it describes Embryology. The growth of Human beings from clots into full functional crying, cooing and pooing bits of cuteness.

The book contains the rules of behaving and running a society. I can go on and on about why and how it is so awesome. But you will never get its awesomeness until you read it for urself. This book is like swimming. I can give you lectures and demonstrations forever on how to paddle, stay afloat or the different strokes involved....but you will never get anywhere near understanding me unless you step into the water for yourself.

Misconceptions in the world think that this is a book of hate. Its a book teaching how to systematically murder and conquer. Its a book on how to beat and subjugate your women. Balderdash !! This book is a book of truth, justice and love. It is a book which teaches you how to bring social order and discipline in a world of chaos (and trust me our world is in absolute chaos right now). Its a book which liberates women and gives them rights much before anyone else did. Its a matter of perception how you look at it. You will ask me, There is no smoke without fire dude, so if the people say all that about the Quran, there is gotta be something there that talks similar stuff right?

And i’ll say, of course there is. But you will never hear it from what the world talks about it in the media and the papers. You will learn if you open the pages and read. And dont stop at reading. Question the book. The book is a challenge for everyone on the planet to take up.

This is my invitation to all of you to give this book a read. It will challenge you, it will make you think, it will surprise you, it will astound you, it will make you question, it will make you seek answers, it will make you wonder and it will not stop at that. It will change your life...... FOR THE BETTER !!!! There are not many things I can promise you in this world, but the thing about this book changing your life for the better.....Thats a Sureshot promise.

Just read it with your heart in the right place ;)

All Questions welcome

If not, then Thanks for reading May Allah bless you.

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