By M Rajaque Rahman
17 January 2015
The tragic Charlie Hebdo massacre has brought Prophet Muhammad into the spotlight, yet again for wrong reasons. Prophet Muhammad remains one of the most influential, and at the same time, the most maligned figures in history. His influence is powerful and pervasive even after 1,400 years. But, he is also seen as a figure who inspires violence and motivation for many Charlie Hebdo-like acts of terror. The religion he founded is often identified with terrorism, barbarism, oppression and fanaticism.
Prophets are messengers who reveal the Truth. They are revered teachers who taught their people the very nature of reality, the purpose of existence, and how to connect with God. Prophet Muhammad was no exception. However, the present generation has missed that essence and is clinging onto rituals, symbols and outer orthodoxy.
If the essence of Muhammad's teaching repeated in the Quran and by the Prophet of Islam himself were understood, there would have been no division as Muslims and non-Muslims. If they understand the essence of omnipotent God for which the Prophet fought, his famous call upon his followers to wage war against non-believers would have had a different connotation kill the `infidel'.
The Prophet himself said, “I was Prophet when Adam was between soul and body. “ Also, it's in the Quran that the first thing ever created is the Noor (Light) of Muhammad. The Prophet is also recorded to have said, “I am the first Prophet to be created. “ If that's so, then who or what is this Muhammad s who existed thousands of astronomical years before the creation of the universe?
Is it permissible to limit ourselves to the person whom the world saw for a brief period amid primitive Arab tribesmen when we talk of Muhammad?
Is it Islamic to exclude any being from Ummat (community) of Muhammad when we talk about those being the only ones on the right path? The Quran has already passed the judgment that all human beings who have appeared on earth from the beginning and those who are currently present and those who will come until the Day of Judgment, will be counted as part of that Divine Light.
Seen from this perspective, the true concept of Muhammad has two aspects. One is the outward manifestation as a human being and another is the inward principle (tatva).Meta-physically speaking, this light which was created before anything else is what one refers to as Consciousness.
That a realisation of that Consciousness alone is the only differentiation in the eyes of the Divine is captured in a popular Islamic legend. When Iblees refused to prostrate to that eternal light, he became Satan, the accursed. And those who prostrated became angels.
Even the gross manifestation that the world saw was a microcosm in the form of a human being, sent to manifest the macrocosm. To do justice to him, one needs to realise that he preached about one omnipotent God who ruled the entire universe to pagans in a backward area, far from the centres of trade, art and learning. The apparent crudeness of some of his injunctions could find their roots to the demands of the hostile settings.
These teachings confirm beyond doubt that all created beings and objects have come from the same single source. This realisation of the vastness of the concept of Muhammad is the only way to save the world from the wrongs being perpetrated in the name of Islam. It is a bigger insult to the Prophet to kill in his name than even a blasphemous cartoon!
Source: Times of India, New Delhi