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Written by Syed Abul Ala Maududi   
Monday, 23 November 2009 00:48
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ISLAM, A HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE
The Prophet Muhammad
Madinah
The companion
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Islam began when man's career on earth began---more precisely at the time of man's creation and his descent. Allah created Adam and Eve and enjoined them to worship Him and live a life of obedience to the Divine Will.

Allah is the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe and of human beings. Man must turn to Him for sustenance and guidance. The very word Islam means obedience to God. In this respect, Islam is man's natural religion---the only natural course is for man to look towards Him for guidance.

 

The day Adam and Eve were sent down to live on earth, Allah told them that they were His servants and He was their Master and Creator. He told them and mankind that the best course was for them to follow His guidance, to obey His orders and to refrain from what He had forbidden. God said to them that He would be pleased if they obeyed Him and in turn He would reward them. If, however, they did not heed His commands, He would be displeased and would punish them. This was the simple beginning of Islam.

 

Adam and Eve invited their children to follow the Islamic way of life. They and their children and their later generations followed the teachings of Islam as propounded by Prophet Adam (peace be upon him) for quite a long period of time. It was only later on that certain people began disobeying Allah. Some of them began worshipping other gods of their own making, some of them regarded themselves as gods, while a few others even declared their freedom to do as they pleased--defying God's orders. This is how kufr (disbelief) came into being. Its essence lies in refusal to worship God--pursuing the path of defiance to the Creator.

When kufr (disbelief) began to increase and multiply it affected the life of society in a number of ways. Exploitation, oppression, viciousness and immorality emerged in different forms. Life became intolerable. Allah then appointed some righteous people to preach the Message of Truth among the wrongdoers, invite them to the Right Path and convert them to God-fearing people--worshipping and obeying God Alone. In short, they were asked to perform a mission--to make people righteous and true Muslims. These noble people entrusted with this great mission were called Prophets or Messengers of Allah. Allah sent these Prophets to different nations and countries. All of them were honest, truthful, and people of noble character. All of them preached the same religion--Islam. To mention a few names--Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus. All of them were the Prophets of God and thousands of them were, over the centuries, sent into the world to guide mankind.

In the history of the last few thousand years, one can see the recurrent arrival of Prophets whenever kufr(disbelief) increased and assumed menacing proportions. The prophets tried to stop the tide of disbelief and invited people towards Islam. Some people adopted the Islamic way of life, but others rejected it. The people who followed the Prophets became Muslims and, after learning higher ethical and moral disciplines from them, began to preach and spread nobility and goodness. Having forgotten the teachings of Islam, later generations of Muslims themselves gradually sank into disbelief. Whenever such a situation arose, God sent a Prophet or Messenger to revive Islam. This continual arrival of Messengers of God continued for thousands of years. In the course of those long years, Islam was revived by those Prophets, who restated the Message forgotten by their people. At long last God sent the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) who revived Islam in such an outstanding fashion that it still exists today and will continue to exist (God willing), till eternity.



Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 December 2009 23:13