Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Discourse 1: On the Origin of Mankind and Its Duty

In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

O human being, in search of his true nature! Your first and most important mission in this universe is to seek and learn where you came from, why you came, and where you are going to go. Just as you didn’t have a choice when you came to this world, you do not have a choice when you leave. Before you are ordered to leave this world, know yourself. Know yourself, so that you can also know your Creator and serve him as He deserves to be served. All of this is attained by passing through the gate of knowledge.

The first thing that God ordered His Beloved Messenger (p.b.u.h.) was “iqra (read)!” (96/1). However, reading alone is not enough. It’s important for one to understand what he reads and to take action based on what he understands. In surah ez-Zumer it’s said: “Are those equal, those who know and those who do not know?” (39/9).

One who knows himself understands that God has not given as high a status to any of His creation as He has to the human beings. God has said in surah al-Bakara: “I will create a caliph (representative) on earth.” (2/30). The human being is God’s caliph on earth. According to one of the hadith God said: “O human being! I created everything for you and created you for myself”.

First, let us know ourselves. Then let us know our Creator. Just like Prophet Abraham (p.b.u.h.) did. Abraham grew up in a cave. When he was about 9-10 years old he sneaked out of the cave one night and looked at the heavens and started to think. He watched the stars, the moon, the night, and waited and watched the sun and the day. All of them were changing by the hour. Nothing was standing still. He concluded that none of those could be God, for God must be the One who created all those things and the One who never changes. When his parents woke up, they were worried when they couldn’t find him in his bed and came to check on him. Abraham asked his mother: “Dear mother please tell me, who is your Lord?” His mother replied: “It’s your father Azar.” That was a time when women had no say in any way in any matter and the husbands were extremely dominant in family life. Then Abraham turned to his father and asked: “Dear father, who is YOUR Lord?” His father said: “It is King Nimrod.” At that time King Nimrod had declared himself God and Abraham’s father was serving him at the palace. Then Abraham asked his father: “Then who is King Nimrod’s Lord? Who created him?” Hearing this question his father slapped him on the face and shouted: “Shut up you! He created himself. He is the Lord.” Little Abraham replied: “But how can somebody who gets old, who gets hungry, who gets sick and sleeps and eventually dies be the Lord? He doesn’t even know about us right now.”

O human being, a 9-10 year old child who resided in a cave recognized his Lord after a few observations. If we cannot find our Lord with all the science and technology that we have today than shame on us and on the life that we are living. We are forever thankful to our Lord who created us as human beings.

Our beloved brothers and sisters, let us try to get to know our Lord a little bit more. Lets think a little bit about how we came from the spirit world to our mother’s womb, then to this world. And as we do this lets remember that we shall duly return to our Creator again once we complete our journey in this world.

“To Allah We belong, and to Him is our return.” (2/156)

In our next discourse, we will talk about some of our Lord’s names and try to get to know Him better. And we will think about the creation of the heavens and the earth together.

“When the scrolls are laid open; when the world on High (the sky) is unveiled; when the hell fire is kindled to fierce heat; and when the heaven is brought near; (then) shall each soul know what it has put forward.” (81/10-14)

O sons and daughters of Adam, lets prepare ourselves for that day before that day strikes. Lets not forget that the human being is the caliph.

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