by Ahmed Rehab (From The Friday Message, September 20th 1996)
The comprehensiveness of Islam, the notion that Islam is a coherency of ordained laws applicable to every aspect of our human life, compatible with our instinct and complementing to our being, is a theme of no little familiarity amongst many of today's Muslims. The congeniality of the Islamic lifestyle with the pure nature of all creation, including that of man, is the strongest monument to its veracity. The Holy Koran readily documents in a coherent manner all the decrees of Islam as to how we should behave on earth. On the other hand, many of those decrees can be readily deduced through mere contemplation.
If the human being, ignorant of the Islamic law, were to sincerely employ his mind in deep ponder over the reason for his existence and the justification for the presence of God, aided only by his interaction with the various elements around him from the elements of nature to the discoveries of his own researches in such fields as psychology, physics and astronomy, he would doubtlessly
deduce Islam, one law at a time.
Islam can be regarded as the reason of God, the ultimate reason. When the human being learns to accept this reasoning over his own , he is then docking his soul home into the warmth of its source, into the pleasure of God; man then has made his mind harmonious with Allah's will, man then, is said to have 'reverted to Islam'. Every individual, Muslim or not, must in this manner consciously revert back to Islam at one point in his adult life so as to become a Muslim in the truest sense and definition of the word. Yet this process of reversion cannot be enforced upon the mind, but can only be bred into the soul through contemplation.
This approach to understanding Islam is not revolutionary nor new in any way, but actually parallels the teachings of the Koran. Those various elements of life (referred to above) about which we ponder and through which we conclude the laws of Islam are continuously spoken of in the holy Koran: the Arabic word "ayat" is used to refer to them (translated as " guiding evidences"). Also, those who contemplate are repeatedly mentioned in the Koran, held in high esteem, and used by Allah in setting the standards for what truth-seekers should be: the Arabic phrase used is "ulu al albab" translated as "people of understanding" or "contemplators".
Therefore, God himself has always encouraged us to deduce his presence and his way (Islam) -rather than just accept them- through the careful and thoughtful consideration of the various manifestations of his power in his many creations, ranging from docile doves to ferocious volcanoes. Had Allah desired, he would have made us all Muslim, be it against
our desire, yet he chose to bestow upon us the freedom of choice and with it a mind capable of contemplating his existence so that the process of accepting Islam starts with free thought, understanding, and rationalization and is then topped with belief. For although 'belief', the deep trust that something is 100% true, is the essence of faith, it can only exist through understanding. Otherwise one's faith may appear to be strong though in reality frail; vulnerable to evil persuasions, luring temptations, and deceitful efforts of the ill-hearted to shake one's faith through often seemingly convincing argumentation. Yet those whose belief is based on full understanding are immune to such adversities as they not only accept the Islamic decrees but understand the logic behind them to the point where they would still implore such laws had they not been in existence.
Harmonizing one's mind with Allah's will through contemplation is then the basis to a strong understanding of life and a sincere
belief in Islam as it is the process through which we consciously revert to Islam, as opposed to being born into it spontaneously. Thus we fulfill the purpose of our creation, as our mission to serve Allah on earth is then deeply engraved in our being.
The consequence of our reconciliation with our true nature and with our true Sustainer is our onset onto the straight path where Allah's guidance is abundant, showered upon us in reward. Our eyes then will become capable of seeing what was previously blocked out by the darkness of our personal independence of Allah where we had sought to take matters into our own hands, despairing in times of failure and rejoicing in times of success; worrying about our fate, not in our hands, and about matters beyond our authority.
Part of being Muslim is to accept all things happening to us whether we perceive them as positive or negative, for the truth of the matter is that only God knows our destiny and only he foresees our fate. It is for Allah to plan and to execute, and for man to accept in willing submission. This is the Islamic creed which unifies us with nature and from which the term "Islam" is derived. And in this devotion to, and worship of, Allah is our true freedom; for as we submit to Allah
in humbleness, we proudly proclaim independence from all other factors that may have otherwise enslaved us including, money, position, other people and even ourselves.
A certain consequence of this creed is that such concepts as 'worry', 'fear', and 'anger' are completely erased from our dictionary of emotions. Why 'worry' about that which we cannot control? Would worrying change the situation or is it an emotion in vain? Why 'fear' the unknown, which although unknown to us is known to God? And why be 'angry' at times of hardship or in an event of a mishap? Is not our destiny chosen for us by the All-knowing God. To God is the utmost wisdom and farsightedness and to man is utmost folly and shortsightedness, but if man reconciles his being with the former, he is then saved from such an inadequacy of his own soul.
Ponder hard, for in every detail of life is "guiding evidence" to the presence of Allah and to the Justification of Islam. Islam is the law of nature as it is the natural law. Let us approach Islam with the intent of understanding its comprehensiveness and universality rather than stripping it down to its mere bureaucratic form and then wondering why it is sometimes so hard to follow. The first step to understanding this comprehensiveness is a reversion to our true nature, to harmonize with God. The first step to this reversion, in turn, is to learn to love and appreciate God, and the way to accomplish that is through contemplation...and for that purpose, the world around us is full of ayat, "guiding evidences".....
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