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December 24th, 2016

An un-Trumped view of the world, its contemporary problems and their solutions

Written by Ikram

An ‘un-Trumped’ View of the World, its Contemporary Problems and their Solutions

A Discussion In Light of the Quran

Today is 25th of December which is also the day celebrated by about half of the world population as Christmas. We, the Muslims, wish them a Merry Christmas. We stand in solidarity with Christians in the message of peace which Jesus Christ symbolizes, Quran emphasizes, Prophet Muhammad epitomizes and Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad simplifies. We stand with Christians and pray to the same God that Jesus Christ cried out to on the cross while suffering in pain, as the world today, as a whole, is traumatized and suffering, in the similar spiritual and physical pain, at the hands of tyrants and ignorant. It is to this solidarity and common ground that Quran refers to and states – Say, `Do you dispute with us with regard to Allâh, while He is our Lord and your Lord (as well). We shall be judged by our deeds, and you by your deeds, and to Him alone are we sincerely devoted (2:139 – Al-Baqarah – The Cow: Nooruddin). Additionally, we believe in the same God that Moses spoke to on Mount Sinai, Buddha got enlightenment from and Krishna sang to. Islam has the unique distinction to accept and validate other religions and Quran repeatedly emphasizes it – Surely, those who (profess to) believe (in Islam), and those who follow the Jewish faith, the Christians and the Sabians, whosoever (of these truly) believes in Allâh and the Last Day and acts righteously shall have their reward with their Lord, and shall have nothing to fear, nor shall they grieve (2:62. Al-Baqarah – The Cow: Nooruddin ).

The world is changing before our eyes. Local issues are becoming global and the global changes range across technological progress, material growth, economic disparities, ideological developments and political realignments. In turn, these issues are mutually intertwined into a Gordonian knot, which seems to be tightening with every effort to untangle it. Hope is giving way to despair, and despair is finding hope in drum beats of war and resurrection of the monster of bigotry, racism, misogyny and class divide, at least in the United States, if not globally.

Before it were the Crusades, and then came the Colonial wars. Recently it was the Cold War and that gave way to Clash of Civilizations under President Bush, which is now deteriorating into Religious War. We see the glaring example of religious conflict brewing in the response of president-elect Trump to the terror-attack of a truck overrunning a Christmas market in Berlin and murder of Russian Ambassador in Turkey, when team Trump termed the terror incidents as conflict of Muslims against Christians.1

No single science, be it physical, economic, social or psychological science, or any combination thereof can solve this myriad of chaos that the world is facing for the simple reason that the experts in each field are practitioners of their own fields only and they too are experimenting with hypotheses. The trader on Wall Street has not the slightest ideas of the struggles of the farmer facing the global warming, the physicist in a lab does not know about the challenges the social services are facing in single parent homes, and a psychologist might be confounded with the issue he or she is facing as to whether it is presence of mental illness or lack of mental health.

Despite the advancement in various fields of knowledge, why are the problems and uncertainties increasing and not decreasing? Answer is simple in the words of the Quran – And He raised the heaven high and set up the (law of) harmony and balance. (He explains this to you) that you should not violate the (law of) harmony and balance. Hold balance with justice (giving everyone his due avoiding extremes). Do not disturb the (law of) harmony in the least. And He has set the earth for (the common good of) all (His) creatures (55:7-10, Al-Rahman – The Most Gracious: Nooruddin). Simply put, we as individuals and nations have disturbed the laws of harmony and balance in our selfish desires, hedonistic tendencies and national interests while turning blind eye to a balanced accommodation of others, in which the term ‘me’ supersedes ‘we’ and ‘we’ over ‘them.’ The balance of wealth has been disturbed in which according to Oxfam, only 85 individuals have the same wealth as the combined assets of 3.5 billion people of the earth.2 Balance of justice and equity in Middle East and Kashmir has been disturbed for over 60 years and those lands have yet to breathe peace. Balance of compensation for labor is 60 fold more in the West over the underdeveloped world,3 while the calories burnt in human muscles are the same for the same job. Now the North Pole has started to melt in the winter rather than summer.4 These are only a few examples of a disturbed balance at the hands of humankind, yet some of us are still deniers of these facts.

Despite history repeating itself in history and in the present, why do we keep repeating the same mistakes? The reason is probably embedded in our DNA or imprinted in the simple pin-head sized reward center of our brains which compels us to keep pecking the rewards till we are consumed by the reward itself. Quran simplifies this dilemma for us in Surah Al-Takathur which I quote in toto with embedded explanatory comments – (Oh People! your) vying with one another to excel in multiplying worldly possessions diverts you (from God and true values of life). Until (on your death) you embrace the graves. Nay, (you should never hanker after worldly gains, power and position,) you shall come to know in time (that you have been chasing at a shadow). Nay, again (We repeat, never should you misuse your life of probation,) you shall come to know (the consequences of it) in time. No, never! if you only knew the consequences thereof with sure and certain knowledge . You will certainly see the very hell-fire (in this present life by seeing the sad fate of the wicked). Again, you shall most certainly see it (in the Hereafter) with the eye of certainty. And then on that day (of Reckoning) you shall be called to account for the favours (bestowed upon you) (102.1-8. Al-Takathur – The Vying With One Another: Nooruddin).

The obvious question then arises, as to where is the solution to it all? Again, Quran makes that claim of providing a solution when it states – O people! there has come to you an exhortation (to do away with your weaknesses) from your Lord and a cure for whatever (disease) is in your hearts, and (a Book full of) excellent guidance and a mercy, (and full of blessings) to the believers (in the ultimate form of the Qur'ân). Say, `All this (revelation of the Qur'ân) is through the grace of Allâh and His mercy. In this, therefore, let them rejoice, (because) this (Qur'ân) is better than all that they hoard.' (10:57-58. Yunus – Jonah: Nooruddin).

This last verse that I quoted from Surah Yunus, I requote – Say, `All this (revelation of the Qur'ân) is through the grace of Allâh and His mercy. In this, therefore, let them rejoice, (because) this (Qur'ân) is better than all that they hoard.' This one verse throws open challenge to all the theorists in history and those amongst us. They can bring forth whatever solution they may. If the fundamentals of their theories are congruent to Quran, then their works can act as exegesis of Quran, else their destiny will be in the dustbins of history. Human mind is quite apt at creating and forwarding isms, 234 isms so far5, and still counting, and no solution yet in sight. Not one ism has been able to withstand the test of times, by that I mean various theological isms and others such as colonialism, communism, and socialism, Nazism, Fascism, Zionism and Atheism etc. Capitalism in its current form is only surviving a little longer. For example, if the founders of Communism had paid heed to three simple verses in Quran – And that a human being will have (to his account) what he strives for. And that his strivings shall necessarily be seen (and evaluated), Then will he be recompensed fully and fairly (53:39-41. Al-Najam – Parts of the Quran: Nooruddin), they could have realized that they could not set up a system in which individual were to be recompensed without striving on their part and those who did strive were neither adequately recompensed nor their efforts necessarily were seen by others. Theirs was a system that was bound to fail as it was against human nature that is identified in Quran. Similarly, Capitalism in its current form is bound to fail too as it is defying another law laid out in Quran – (It has been) so (ordained) that the (wealth) should not circulate (only) among your rich people (59.7. Al-Hashr – The Banishment: Nooruddin). Oxfam report points to this impending failure as “the wealth of the one percent richest people in the world amounts to $110 trillion. That’s 65 times the total wealth of the bottom half of the world’s population.”

Quran in its solution simplifies the needs of each person and that simplicity naturally then flows into the societal fabric. Message of Quran touches each individual and cuts at the root and eliminates from the minds any vestige of racism, gender discrimination, class divide, economic disparity, injustice and inequity. It supplements these fundamentals by a policy framework in which it puts education first. It mandates – Read in the name of your Lord Who creates, creates man from a clot (of blood), read and your Lord is most Generous, Who taught by the pen, taught man what he did not know (96:1-5. Al-Alaq – The Clot: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz). If we re-read one of these verses – read and your Lord is most Generous, we see a fundamental law in this declaration. The more one reads, the more generosity of God pours on that person and the society. No wonder, the West took a lead by reading more. East is gradually catching up, not by wearing jeans or eating hamburgers and French fries, but by reading, which is obvious in the explosion of number of universities in China, Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, and India etc. We might one day discover and harness antigravity, a theoretical impossibility, but we will never be able to disprove the fundamental law in Quran i.e. read and your Lord is most Generous. This law will prevail on the earth or any other future planet we inhabit. Little did the votaries in the United States pay attention to Bernie Sanders in 2016 primaries, whose pivotal mandate was to make college education free for all its citizens. Those left behind in United States would have caught up with the rest in one generation, but they chose sound bites over fundamental moral laws and voted for trumpets and trumpeters making noise as if the life was merely a big ball game. In time, all such games end, the coliseum in Rome is only a testament to that – We have destroyed so many townships because (the people thereof) were given to wicked ways so that they have fallen down on their roofs, and how many a well is completely deserted: (similarly) many a strongly built lofty castles (met the same doom because We destroyed their occupants). Why do they not travel in the land so that they should have hearts that help them to understand and ears which can help them hear? As a matter of fact (when going astray) it is not the (physical) eyes that are blind but blind are the hearts which lie in the bosoms (22:26-27. Al-Hajj – The Pilgrimage: Nooruddin).

So far, we have touched upon secular aspects of Quran in furtherance of a good society. But, Quran does not stop at that. It takes into account the human development. As the body grows from conception to birth and onward, it reaches its physical zenith after which is begins its decline. On the other hand, the mind and soul continue to mature; eventually crossing the threshold where the human “spirit” transgresses physical needs and aspires for moral gratification. For its nurturance, as Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad states, the human spirit then seeks morality, chastity, honesty, humility, politeness, forgiveness, goodness, courage, veracity, patience, sympathy and, in due course, the existence of God.

Quran even simplifies the natural yearning of humans for God by a simple statement – there is no god but Allah (47:19. Muhammad – Muhammad: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz). There is an ocean hidden in this simple statement. Hindsight is 20/20. At least the history tells us that all the chaos, wars, mayhems, cruelties, pogroms, genocides, burning of witches, slavery, economic bondage etc. were essentially, one and all, sacrifices on mass scales on the altars of false deities and idols of polytheism, hate, greed, selfish nature, prejudice, arrogance, ignorance, intolerance, bigotry, cronyism, haughtiness, racism, gender divide, class divide, dogmas, soulless ritualism, soulless homilies and so on. In simple terms this simple statement of – there is no god but Allah unfetters one’s mind in that one is not to take others as God and neither his own low desires as God. This stops false worship in its tracks. It is with this negative human experience in history and present, Quran states the obvious: Have you considered (over the plight of) one who has taken his own low desires for his deity? Can you then be a guardian over such a one? (Al-Furqan – The Standard of True and False: Nooruddin).

While simplifying religion, Quran sets the standards of mutual exegesis of Islam and human nature, else it terms any other interpretations violating this relationship as falsehood – So pay your whole-hearted attention to (the cause of) faith as one devoted (to pure faith), turning away from all that is false. (And follow) the Faith of Allâh (-Islam) to suit the requirements of which He has made the nature of mankind. There can be no change in the nature (of creation) which Allâh has made. That is the right and most perfect Faith, yet most people do not know (it) (30:30. Al-Rum – The Byzantines: Nooruddin). Quran thus throws the gauntlet at the skeptics. Approach nature and you will find Quran in it and vice versa too there will no incongruence of Quran with laws of nature, because both are one and same.

Quran makes its own case in that it is the only and comprehensive purse-string of a doctrine of peace. It does so by addressing all moral, social and economic issues facing each individual and collectively the society, be it an underdeveloped nation or the superpower of our times. They all have a lot to gain by paying attention to Quran for what Quran is and not what the Islam haters, and even the ignorant from within the ranks of Muslims, falsely make of it. Quran is cognizant of the false allegation against it when it states – And (some) among them are illiterate, who do not know the Scripture except cramming it up, and are doing nothing but making conjectures (2:78. Al-Baqarah – The Cow: Nooruddin). In another place it similarly states – There are some among them who twist their tongues while reciting their Scripture that you may think that (what they recite) is a part of the Scripture, whilst it is no part of the Scripture and they say, `This is from Allâh,' whereas it is not from Allâh. They tell a lie in the name of Allâh deliberately (3:78. Al-Imran – The House of Amran: Nooruddin).

For those, on either side of the divide, who want to make the current conflict into a conflict of Christianity versus Islam must bear in mind that they may pick a fight against Muslims, but they will never be able to deny Quran its merits. Quran not only brings peace between different religions but brings dignity to other faiths for when it clarifies the concept of God. Besides, validating the previous scriptures, Quran distinctly declares God Himself as the source of the Book; it is God as the “Lord of the Mankind” and not of a particular race, region or religion; Quran vivifies God by bringing to light His Attributes; removes the human-ness of god and instills the godliness of humans; God for the benefit of man and not the ritualistic vice versa; God as the first observer of His own laws; a God of action and not of slumber; a Hearing, Seeing and Speaking God.

Quran expounds its message with proofs based upon logic, reason, history, physical phenomenon, science and sociology, when it discusses monotheism, human nature, equality and fraternity of man, the sinless soul, and the physical and moral states of man. On the same principles it describes the purpose of the man and the universe he lives in. It declares nature as being subservient to man. It outlines virtues and sins, paths of salvation, emphasis on action rather than homilies, the state of life after death, and the concept of hell and heaven. Quran launders the previous prophets from all of the historical smears and offers this as a doable example of Quran. It brings morality, spirituality, physicality and science into a mutually complementary logic. Quran declares the divine guarding of its own everlasting purity, free from adulteration and contradiction and with an open challenge to any to bring even a chapter matching that of Quran. It identifies the divine origin of all monotheistic faiths and the completion of religion with Islam.

In summary according to Quran – Allâh invites (us all) to the abode of peace and He guides him who wishes to be guided to the exact right path leading to the goal (10:25. Yunus – Jonah: Nooruddin). This abode of peace, if taken in its true spirit, could find its way into both the Trump Tower and the White House and the houses of all its votaries.

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