By Rashid Samnakay, New Age Islam
20 June 2012
Since its creation Mankind has at least physically, if not intellectually been kept shackled to the earth by its gravitational pull until only recently. Thanks to Astrophysical Sciences mankind now soars through the heavens, orbits the Earth in the International Space Station and walks on the moon and takes ‘a giant step for mankind’ and is aiming for Mars. Men and women thus observe with their own eyes that the earth is anything but ‘flat’ and therefore mankind can conclude that the earth has no ‘Centre’ on its surface.
In addition to religious focuses there are other types too. For example, politically many may believe that Washington DC is the Earth’s Centre today as was London or Brussels, Beijing, Rome, Baghdad, Istanbul and myriads of other capitals; both in the East and the West, were in the years gone by. However, there is one bond that still remains for humans to break free from on this planet Earth. And that is the Religious bondage of focuses on the face of the earth dating from ancient to present times. Recent ones still in use are such centres as Lhasa, Vatican, Ajodhya, Qum, Jerusalem, Mecca and more. Most of them purely spiritual and religious in nature, but physically the centre of the Earth!
The last mentioned city is considered, by a large portion of humanity to be the seminal place of Islam and a birth place of the Final propagator of it, the Messenger Mohammad. His followers believe that Mecca not only is the religious Centre – Quibla, focus of the planet Earth but God’s Capital on earth. This raises a few pertinent questions to ponder upon, based on the History as we know it; of the early Muslims community’s struggle to establish a successful and Earthly State and ask:-
If the city of Mecca is the city of peace and security, “balad-ul-ameen” 95-3 as given in Quran, then why did not God’s messenger get the peace and security there in the struggle to establish God’s own commands? Why did he have to flee from there?
• Muhammad, the Messenger of God fled under Gods protection, the trading and idol-worshipping-Temple City of Mecca, for refuge in a distant city of Medina. (www.newageislam.com/The Most significant Event 16th May2012) He then never looked back except to subdue the hostile enemy city of his birth, in the last but one year of his life. But he RETURNED to his temporal earthly State Capital city of Medina after the expedition was over, why?
His deputies, the four ‘righteous Khulafa’ too, after about three decades of having established Medina as a Capital of their expanding empire, never went back to Mecca either, to the city which was also their birth place, why?
When the fourth Khalifa, Ali eventually moved out from Medina, he established himself in Kufa- Iraq and not in Mecca, why?
None ever since, established Mecca as a Capital of their Muslim empires, not even the Ottomans Turks who ruled it and large part of Muslim-world for centuries, even though they were called Khulafa by the Muslim world, why?
Strangely nor have the present custodians – khadimul Haramain of Mecca and Medina established their Kingdom’s capital in either of the two holy cities; the seminal places of Islam why?
Was it because Mecca was always a ‘Temple’ city, and Quran “forbids compulsion in ad-Deen- 2-256, and gave freedom of choice to practice one’s religion 39-15 and forbids reviling of other peoples’ deities/religion as in 6-108”, and therefore could not have been destroyed?
The ‘traditional’ belief is also questionable that the Messenger had destroyed the idols ‘with his own hands’ (as is said did Ibrahim the Haneef in the past!). That would be clear contradiction of Quran’s teaching. It is therefore arguable if Mecca had ever lost its “temple-city” status!
To the second dot point; a scholar of repute did suggest that ‘may be because Muhammad felt obliged to the Ansars – the Helpers--of Medina for their help and protection given to him, therefore he stayed there to win their hearts. The answer is logical, but then was it obligatory – Rasool’s Sunnah, on the others too to do the same? If yes, then why did the fourth one leave the city? Then there are the rest of the questions begging answers.
It seems that Religious and Temporal focuses on this Earth are not one and the same entities! The later may shift geographically from place to place and time to time on the Earth’s surface, but the former, once established has its eternal place in the psyche of mankind, thus creating the “Them and Us” syndrome with various focuses for Humanity lending truth to 10-19 of Quran!
Would it not be better for humanity therefore, to apply the truism for the centre of the universe that it lies in the centre of it, engulfing mankind with its immensity and infinity, to ponder upon with complete ease, standing, sitting or even lying down 3-191?
A regular contributor to New Age Islam, Rashid Samnakay is an Indian-origin Engineer (Retd.) based in Australia for over forty years.