A changed world
PROF G R MALIK
It is now around fifteen hundred years since the Prophet (SAW) delivered his first public address on mount Safa. Prior to that address he had been loved and respected by his people in a way that remains unmatched in history. There was complete unanimity among the people of Makkah on regarding him as the most truthful (al-Sadiq) and the most trustworthy (al-Amin) of men. Standing on the top of the mount, the Prophet told his audience – the nobility of Makkah – that as he stood on top of the mount he was able to look also at the other side of the mountain which was shrouded from their view. If he informed them that an army was advancing on them, would they believe in it. The audience said in one voice that since he had never lied, there was no reason for them to disbelieve him. “Then listen”, said the Prophet, “I affirm that none is deserving of worship and obedience save the one true God, the Creator of the universe and that I am His messenger. Besides I warn you that you will die as you go to sleep and shall rise again as you wake up from sleep.” The reaction represented by one of his own uncles and an outstanding figure among the Makkan nobility, Abu Lahab, was unexpectedly harsh and terrible. “Perdition befall you” (nauooz-u bi-Allah), he told the Prophet, “was it for this that you gathered us here!”
Why did Abu Lahab react so terribly to an apparently simple avowal of faith in the Creator and in the life Hereafter? Obviously because he fully grasped the implications of the Prophetic declaration. It meant that the individual and collective life will have to be thoroughly reoriented. Personal desires and ambitions will have to be made subservient to the will of Allah and accountability before Him after death. This would mean the total reversal of the way of life to which the Makkan establishment clung and the displacement of a whole civilization characterised by unbridled this-worldliness. The establishment used its full might to suppress the spiritually-oriented nascent movement. All weapons of temptation, intimidation, banishment and murder were used for the purpose. But the ultimate triumph belonged to the new movement and the perdition that Abu Lahab had invoked on the Prophet actually befell him and his own mission.
Today as we stand at a distance of about fifteen hundred years, there seems to be no radical alteration in the situation. The only difference is that due to unprecedented advances in science and technology the world has shrunk into one single place and due to political manoeuvring and media management one single force is able to control the whole world. Otherwise the same Bulahbi world-view reigns supreme. As Iqbal perceptively observed:
Dar ‘ajam ghardeedam-o hum dar ‘Arab
Mustafa nayab-u arzaan Bulahab
I wandered through ‘Ajam as well as ‘Arab:
Mustafa is rare while Bulahab is ubiquitous.
This civilization is on the one hand armed with all humanly attainable might and, on the other hand, it is extremely sensitive like Abu Lahab to any development that seems even to pose the slightest threat to it. It comes down heavily over such developments and nips them in the bud. In the process it throws to the winds even its democratic credentials. Even if people vote overwhelmingly for something that questions the smug superiority of this civilization, it not only does not accept the verdict but undoes it ruthlessly. Nor does it care about values and standards when it comes to dealing with an unacceptable development. What is absolutely lawful for the guardians of the dominant civilization is unabashedly declared to be unlawful for those who hold a different point of view from theirs.
Lastupdate on : Thu, 11 Mar 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 11 Mar 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 12 Mar 2010 00:00:00 IST
- MORE FROM FRIDAY FOCUS
‘Iqbal’s works have ever-lasting influence’
GK NEWS NETWORK
Srinagar, Mar 11: Academics and experts on Wednesday asserted that Allama Iqbal(RA)’s works have “ever-lasting influence and impact”. Addressing a day-long seminar at Kashmir University, noted scholar More
‘GOVT TO CREATE WILDLIFE CONSERVATION FUND’
GK NEWS NETWORK
Jammu, Mar11: The Minister for Forest, Environment and Ecology, Mian Altaf Ahmed today said 12 lakh saplings would be planted during this year and a comprehensive strategy was being adopted for environment More
DEFENDS STRIKES, OPPOSES STONE-PELTING, CALLS FOR PEACEFUL PROTESTS AFTER FRIDAY PRAYERS
Srinagar, Mar 11: Back from New Delhi after his stay for almost three-months, Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Wednesday justified strike calls and blamed the state for forcing More
- GK Business
Srinagar, Mar 11: Any idea about how much the government loses every day employees go on strike? Well, if the estimates by statistical legerdemains are anything to go by, state exchequer faces a whopping More