IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, MOST GRACIOUS, MOST MERCIFUL.
ALLAH DID CONFER A GREAT FAVOUR ON THE BELIEVERS WHEN HE SENT AMONGST THEM A MESSENGER FROM AMONG THEMSELVES REHEARSING UNTO THEM THE SIGNS OF ALLAH,
SANCTIFYING AND INSTRUCTING IN SCRIPTURE AND WISDOM,WHILE BEFORE THAT,THEY HAD BEEN IN MANIFEST ERROR"(Holy Quran-Al-Imraan-3:164) "WE SENT THEE NOT ,BUT AS A MERCY TO ALL MANKIND"(Quran-21:107)
It was on the morning of the 12th of Rabiul-Awwal 570CE that a troubled world was blessed with the birth of a great Prophet-The Prophet of Islam, The Holy Prophet Muhummed(S.A.W.)( Peace be upon him.)
He came at a time when the entire world had relapsed into a state of spiritual decay and moral turpitude. The Arab world was deeply engrossed in fetishism and idolatory. Drinking, gambling, looting, prostitution were some of the vices that formed an integral part of Arabian social life. Female infanticide, murder and superstition were rife while injustice, cruelty and oppression were practised without restraint.
Manhood was corrupt and women derbased. There was a prevalent state of ignorance and the Arabs who possessed no sense of values or morality had relegated themselves to the despicable level of bestiality.
It was at this crucial stage in the history of the world and amidst such a depraved nation that the Holy Prophet of Islam was born. He was raised by the Almighty Allah to rescue humanity from the path of iniquity and sin. When he placed his sacred feet on the red sands of Arabia he found to his dismay a humanity that had sunk to the lowest ebb of degradation.
Man who was destined to be Allah’s vicegerent on earth and who is known as "Ashraful Makhluqaat"-"Best of Creation", had plunged himself into an abysmal pit of savagery and ignorance.
The whole of Arabia had become a hot- bed of turbulence and internecine quarrels resulting in the creation of hundreds of factions amongst the Arabs who were continually engaged in bloody feuds.
This period in Islamic history is depicted as the "Age of Jahiliya". The Holy Quran gives a graphic description of this period:
"MISCHIEF HAD APPEARED ON LAND AND SEA BECAUSE OF THE (MEED)THAT THE HANDS OF MEN HAVE EARNED….",(30:41)…"AND YE WERE ON THE BRINK OF THE PIT OF FIRE…..".(3:103
When the mantle of Prophethood fell on his blessed shoulders the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) proclaimed to an erring humanity the message of Islam so as to reclaim them from the doldrums of ignorance to the path of rectitude. From the very outset of his divine mission he showed his complete averseness to the highly immoral and idolatrous practices of his people. History records that with one stroke of the pen he not only revolutionised the entire thinking of the Arab nation but succeeded in eradicating all the evils that had crept into their social life. He freed the minds of the Arabs from the shackles of idolatry and superstition and in their place substituted the light of Imaan(Faith).
He once again planted the seed of TAUHEED(Monotheism)"La-illaha-illallah"-"There is none worthy of worship besides Allah". This seed of monotheism grew into a gigantic tree, blossomed and bore fruit in the very life-time of the Holy Prophet(S.A.W.)
In only a matter of 23 years the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) transformed this same evil society from barbarism, paganism, immorality, into the torch bearers of science and knowledge, wisdom, mercy, justice and compassion, and liberated women from the shackles of oppression, injustice, shamelessness and gave them dignity, human rights and raised them to a lofty position. He succeeded in removing all the immoral and abominable practices and customs of that time.
No wonder Lamartine,a French philosopher, wrote: "If greatness of purpose, smallness of means and astounding results are the three criteria of human genius, who could dare to compare any great man in modern history with Muhummed? Philosopher, Orator,Apostle, Legislator, Warrior, Conqueror of ideas, Restorer of rational belief of a cult without images, the Founder of twenty terrestrial empires and of one spiritual empire-that is Muhummed. As regards all standards by which human greatness may be measured we may well ask: Is there any man greater than he?
WHAT WEAPONS DID HE USE?
He used the weapons of Islam, the Holy Quran,unity, honesty, truthfulness, compassion, mercy, kindness, prayer, perseverance,patience and jihad to destroy and overthrow the cruel, evil, unjust, and oppressive establishment.
WHAT IS THE POSITION TODAY?
"If we look at the sources and foundations of modern ways of living, it becomes clear that the whole world is steeped in jahiliya, and all the marvelous material comforts and high level inventions do not diminish this ignorance. It is now not in that simple and primitive form of the ancient jahiliya, but takes the form of claiming that the right to create values, to legislate rules of collective behaviour and to choose any way of life rests with men, without regard to what Allah has prescribed".
Today not only are females buried alive, but also males, only now it is called Abortions; women are once again treated as mere chattels and sex objects and humiliated into prostitution, porno- graphy, beauty contests, lesbianism, strip-shows and other degrading acts under the guise of freedom and liberation. Alcoholism, gambling, prostitution, homosexuality, injustice, cruelty, materialism, barbarism, wars, conflicts, occupation of people’s lands, violation of human rights, genocide, greed, exploitation, corruption, superstition, worshiping of drug-addicted film stars, pop-singers and sports heroes are the order of the day.
O’ Muslims! It is not enough for us to celebrate the birthday of the Holy Prophet(S.A.W) by offering lip-service only. But the best manner in which to do it is to put into practical expression the teachings which he brought for us.
Let us make Islam the PULSATING FORCE that it was in the glorious past by implementing its golden principles into our practical lives.
Today Islam is needed once again to save drowning mankind from the whirlpools of immorality. What is needed today is PRACTICAL ISLAM. It is high time that we examine ourselves with sincerity and follow in the footsteps of our Holy Prophet(S.A.W.)It is only in emulating his noble life that we will attain success in this world and the Hereafter.He should be made our pattern in every walk of life.
Almighty Allah says in the Holy Quran:
"YE HAVE INDEED IN THE MESSENGER OF ALLAH A BEAUTIFUL PATTERN OF CONDUCT,FOR ANYONE WHOSE HOPE IS IN ALLAH AND THE LAST DAY".(33:21)
May Almighty Allah give us true love for His beloved Prophet and the wonderful religion which he brought for us and guide us that we may tread the noble path as chalked out by him-Ameen. ALLAH AND HIS ANGELS SEND BLESSINGS ON THE PROPHET: O YE THAT BELIEVE! SEND YE BLESSINGS ON HIM,AND SALUTE HIM WITH ALL RESPECT.(Quran:33:56) By Abdullah Osman Editor Al-Islam South Africa