We have seen in the previous lines that the world was passing through the darkest and worst period of its history in the 6th the century when Islam was about to dawn. Mankind was almost breath-ing its last. There was hardly any sign visible which could indicate that it had still some life. The condition of mankind across the globe was hopeless.
Humanity was at its lowest ebb. The ruling class was treating the ruled as their personal animals. Might is right – was the general rule. Big fish were eating small ones. Tigers and lions in human skin were eating goats and sheep in human skin. Virtue, modesty, piousness, selflessness, humility, generosity, patience, human values – in short humanity was the rarest commodity.
It was like a cold dead body having neither the heat of spiritual life nor the feelings of a live heart.
Mankind, which was created by Allah Ta’ala for the noblest cause, was replaced by something which could be described as a self growing unwanted forest in which one could find everywhere beasts and poisonous snakes living in human skin. Human beings were hardly seen anywhere and if there were any they had either migrated to lonely places in jungles and mountains or had isolated themselves in some remote comers.
Just recapitulating the condition of Arabia at that time, it was no different. Arabs were living a primitive life in barren deserts quite far off from universities, colleges and other educational institutions. Living mostly a nomadic life, rearing cattle, divided into small tribes, ignorant about the rest of the world, contented with little business, fighting for decades for trivial things, burying their daughters alive and having no value in the eyes of the then civilized nations like the Romans and Per-sians, were some of the distinguishing features of the Arabs of that time. So far as the state of their religion was concerned, they had totally forgotten the Divine Message of Kaaba
alone, there were 360 idols which these Arabs were worshipping. Oneness of Allah Ta’ala, which was the essential creed of all the prophets was forgotten and re- placed by idolatory. Even the Jews and Christians were involved in idolatory in one form or the other.
Suddenly, in this darkness the sun (Prophet Muhammad (SAW)) appeared with the everlasting light of the Quran Shareef which started heating up the cold dead body of mankind which very rapidly started imbibing the signs of life and stunned the historians, intellectuals and philosophers of all later ages as to how Prophet Muhammad (SAW) could succeed in a very short span of time to revive humanity with the help of the Quranic revelations and how he could not only change the bestial nature of people into human nature but could also change the entire map of the world.
The same primitive ignorant unciv-ilized and uneducated tribesmen of Arabia attained the highest spir-ituality, highest moral standards and highest forms of education not by going colleges and universities but by just understanding the Message of the Quran Shareef. The Quran Shareef was the only source of education for the companions of Prophet Muhammad (SAW). Once he (SAW) saw the Tawrah in the hands of Hadhrat Umar (RA) while showing his dislike for the same, he forbade Hadhrat Umar (RA) from reading the Tawrah.
Prophet Muhammad (SAW) saw to it very strictly that Muslims should concentrate only on the Quran Shareef as it is the only source which could take mankind out of darkness. He told his companions to write from him only the Quran Shareef, it was because he did not want to dilute the teachings of the Quran Shareef. Hadhrat Ibne Masood (RA) narrated that the Sahabah Al-Kiram used to learn ten verses of the Quran Shareef and would not learn the eleventh one until they had understood the previous ten and until they had not acted as per those verses. This was the secret of success of the Sahabah that they confined themselves to the Quran Shareef.
The Quran Shareef gave these spiritually and morally dead people life. Those birds who had nests over these lifeless peoples, as they were motionless, started feeling the shaking of their nests. Not only common people but the kings of the great Roman and Persian Empires also started shivering and as the message of the Quran Shareef spread more and more they could feel the cracks in their foundations. The empires which were seemingly invincible started scattering in the air like straw. It looks strange but if one ponders a little over it, there is nothing strange in it as you know that some changes inside the crust of earth will shake the entire world with all it superstructures, so why could the word of Allah Ta’ala, in the form of last Testament- Al-Qur’ an Shareef not produce such dramatic wonderful changes?
The Quran Shareef is all miracle. Its miracles are countless and unending as we shall see, Insha- Allah Ta’ala in the coming pages but one of the main miracles of the Quran Shareef is that it changed the minds of majority of people in a very short span of time. The worst enemies of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) could not help themselves but appreciate the Divine nature of the Quran Shareef.
Whosoever was listening to the Quran Shareef, his heart start beating fast and his soul would feel solace, he would feel like that stranger who heard a voice of his home in a far-off jungle and would be surprised wherefrom it was coming. In the same way souls which had remained thirsty all along, when they heard Message of Allah Ta’ala, they receive it like a homely voice, their conscience mind at once, sub-consciously, remembered the covenant.
That is why, if you look at history, you will see that whenever unprejudiced sincere people listened the Quran Shareef, their calm inner ocean of conscience was thrown into ecstasy, the Quran Shareef had a soothing effect over their souls, it gave their hearts amazing satisfac-tion and they at once submitted themselves whole heartedly to this Divine Message. The extent of their inner joy, contentment of their hearts and progress of their souls with Quranic Divine stimuli was so marvellous that they forgot everything else including their wealth, sons, wives and all other dear and near ones. Their souls got absorbed in spiritual ecstasy and attained such heights that they soon felt that this entire uni-verse was too small for their flight, their imaginations soared higher and higher till they crossed the limits of the skies.
The same man who was behaving worse than an animal, the Quran Shareef transformed him in such a revolutionary way that now angels started envying him as he was now flying higher than the angels as is evident from the life of the Sahabah-Al-Kiram. It was the same community which was a curse on the earth’s crust and a nuisance under the skies, with the help of Quranic guidance changed into the most distinguished community of mankind the world had ever seen. Even the non-Muslim unbiased orientalists admitted time and again that under the guidance of the Quran Shareef such a superb community came into being which was perfect in all the spheres of humanity and which still remains a source of inspiration and guidance for mankind.
A Hadith Shareef says:
“The Best era is my era”
Another Hadith Shareef says:
“My companions are like stars: if anyone follows anyone of them, will find guidance.”
Now you can see that the people who were the most neglected community of the world became the stars of guidance after they followed the Quran Shareef. To cite an example, I quote Tabari as quoted by R.A.Nicholson in “A literary history of
the Arabs: “One said: ”1 saw ‘Umar coming to the festival. He walked with bare feet, using both hands (for he was ambidextrous) to draw round him a red embroidered cloth. He towered above the people, as though he were on horseback.” A client of (the Caliph) ‘Uthman b.’Affan relates that he mounted behind his patron and they rode together to the enclosure for the beasts which were delivered in payment of the poor-tax. It was blowing exceedingly hot day and the simoom was blowing fiercely.
They saw a man clad only in a loin-cloth and a short cloak (rida), in which he had wrapped his head, driving the camels into the enclosure. ‘Uthman said to his companion, “Who is this, think you? When they came up to him, behold, it was ‘Umar b. al-Khattab. “By Allah, ’’said ‘Uthman, “this is the strong, the trusty.” – Umar used to go round the markets and recite the Quran and judge between disputants wherever he found them, – When Ka’bu ‘I-Ahbaar, a well-known Rabbin of Medi-na, asked how he could obtain access to the commander of the Faithful, he received this answer: “There is no door nor curtain to be passed; he performs the rites of prayer, then he takes his seat, and any one that wishes may speak to him.”
‘Umar said in one of his public orations: “By Him who sent Muhammad (SAW) with the truth, were a single camel to die of neglect on the bank of the Euphrates, I should fear lest Allah should call the family of al-Khataab (meaning himself) to ac-count therefore.” – “If I live,” he is reported to have said on another occasion, “please Allah, I will assuredly spend a whole year in travelling among my subjects, for I know they have wants which are cut short before they reach my ears: the governors do not bring the wants of the people before me, while the people them-selves do not attain to me.
So I will journey to Syria and remain there two months, then to Mesopotamia and remain there two months, then to Egypt and remain there two months, then to Bah-rayn and remain there two months, then to Kufa and remain there two months, then to Basra and remain there two months; and by Allah, it will be a year well spent!” One night he came to the house of ‘Abdu T-Rahman’s wife. “Do not enter, “she said, “until I go back and sit in my place;” so he waited. Then she bade him come in, and on his asking, “Have you anything in the house?” She fetched him some food. Meanwhile ‘Abdu T-Rahman was standing by, engaged in prayer. “Be quick, man!” cried Umar. ‘Abdu T-Rahman immediately pronounced the final Salaam, and turning to the Caliph said :
“O Commander of the Faithful, what has brought you here at this hour?” Umar replied: “ I was afraid that the thieves of Madina might fall upon them. Let us go and keep watch.” So he set off with ‘Abdu T-Rahman, and when they reached the market-place they seated themselves on some high ground and began to converse. Presently they described, far away, the light of a lamp. “Have not I forbidden lamps after bedtime?” Exclaimed the Caliph. They went to the spot and found a company drinking wine.
“Begone,” said ‘Umar to ‘Abdu T-Rahman; “I know him.” Next morning he sent for the culprit and said, addressing him by name, “Last night you were drinking wine with your friends.” “O Comman-der of the Faithful, how did you ascertain that?” “I saw it with my own eyes.” “Has not Allah Ta’ala forbidden you to play the spy?” ‘Umar made no answer and pardoned his offense. – When ‘Umar as-cended the pulpit for the purpose of warning the people that they must not do something, he gathered his family and said to them:
“I have forbidden the people to do so-and-so. Now the people look at you as birds look at flesh, and I swear by Allah Ta’ala that if I find any one of you doing this thing, I will double the penalty against him”. Whenever he appointed a governor he used to draw up in writing a certificate of investiture, which he caused to be witnessed by some of the Emigrants or Helpers. It contained the following instructions: That he must not ride on horseback, nor eat white bread, nor wear fine clothes, nor set up a door between himself and those who had ought to ask of him. It was ‘Umar’s custom to go forth with his governors, on their appointment, to bid them farewell.
“I have not appointed you,” he would say, “over the people of Muhammad (SAW) that you may drag them by their hair and scourge their skins, but in order that you may lead them in prayer and judge between them with right and divide (the public money) amongst them with equi-ty. I have not made you lords of their skin and hair. Do not flog the Arabs lest you humiliate them, and do not keep them long on foreign service lest you tempt them to sedition, and do not neglect them lest you render them desperate.
Confine yourself to the Koran, write few Traditions of Muhammad (SAW) and I am your ally.” He used to permit retaliation against his governors. On receiving a complaint about any one of them he confronted him with the accuser, and punished him if his guilt were proved. Hadhrat Umar (RA) was a shepherd before Islam, how he became a great statesman, an unparalleled administrator and a just ruler of the highest order! Once a non-Muslim king asked his envoy to tell him some features of their chief i.e., Hadhrat Umar. Now, here you can imagine what depth of knowledge these Bedouin people had gained in the company of Rasulullah (SAW) with the help of Quranic guidance, the answer of this simple looking emissary of Hadhrat Umar (RA) stunned that king, he replied,
“He does not deceive and he does not get deceived”
The king got astonished at the answer of this Bedouin who had described the whole life of Hadhrat Umar (RA) in just a small sentence like this. The king said, “he does not deceive anyone – is a sign of his great statesmanship and ‘He does not get de-ceived’ – is a sign of his being a mature politician.”
General outline of Quranic Dawah and speech of Hadhrat Jaffar (RA):
Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was bom in Arabia, naturally his first addressees were Arabs. It were these people who first got enlightenment of the Quran Shareef which converted these caretakers of cattle into the caretakers and guides of humanity. These people gained the title of “Khair-Ummaf ’ (The best Ummah) under the guidance of the best and the last Prophet (SAW).
Now we have to see what was the immediate effect of the Quranic Message in these rebellious unciv- ilized Bedouin people, who were devoid of all moral and social feelings, so that we can understand easily that the teachings and principles of this Quran Shareef which produced a revolutionary change in man and made him a being of the highest spiritual order are suffi-cient proof to prove the Truthfulness of this Message.