Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Islam, In the Name of God, Most Merciful

"...Can any intelligent person accept that the vast scheme of being... should be based on aimlessness and purposelessness?" The Seal of the Prophet and His Message by Sayyid Mujtaba Musavi Lari

About the author, Lari is the son of the Persian Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Asghar Lari, grandson of Ayatollah Hajj Sayyid Abd-ul-Husayan Lari. Writing in another of the books, The Seal of the Prophets and His Message*, from a collected set, the younger Lari, Sayyid Ali takes up the subject of the prophets and shares with his reader an insight into them, and their meaning within the Islamic faith; for that matter, he gives an indication of the meaning of 'prophet' within all of the monotheistic world. Writing in a beautiful and provocative way, Lari challenges his reader to consider a deeper, fuller meaning of man's relationship to god and prophet.

"In the world where our existence unfolds, we have never heard
of or seen an organization, or administration that is left to its own devices without a [proper] supervisor responsible for it." As human society is highly social and structured, Lari writes that there must be an intelligent, creative being who has given each creature, in his own kind, a proper and fitting degree of perfection. How then, he muses, can a person, such as a prophet, who may play such a central role in the life of natural man, man of the original face if you will, be overlooked as a credible and viable source in the evolution of a human being? Lari writes, "...Can any intelligent person accept that the vast scheme of being... should be based on aimlessness and purposelessness? So just as the orderliness of life springs from the Creator, the same may be said of the whole scheme of being, including the existence of the human being."

"The question," Lari suggests is directed at thoughts of "punishment
and reward here." He writes, "A God who holds back nothing in order for every creature to attain its perfection cannot possibly be indifferent to the human being's attaining the degree of perfection suitable to him. He [God] guides the human being to material perfection... to his true perfection... ." The Quran [Koran] states, "We will give help to both groups, those who worship the world and those who seek the hereafter, so that none should remain deprived of the favor and generosity of their Lord." (17:18)

It may be deduced from various writing in the Quran that the mission
of the Prophets is clear and mandated from heaven, so that they may purify and conclude differences among human beings. "It is He who sent a great Messenger among the unlettered Arabs, one from among them, who might recite to them the verses of God's revelation, purify them from the filth of ignorance and evil characteristics, teach them the Law contained in His book..." (62:2) Thus writes Lari, "the Prophets came in order to convey to human beings Divine knowledge, free from all forms of illusion and error. They came to proclaim to the human beings a series of truths which a person would never have attained unaided, such as matters lying beyond the natural realm, like death, the intermediate realm and the resurrection."

One of the very most fundamental tasks of the Prophets
is then to bring the excesses of that which causes the human being trouble and torment in his [natural] rebellious spirit, under control and reduce them to order, so as to pacify its rebellious tendencies... in the 'school of the prophets,' pleasures are not negated." Their essential value remains intact. For Prophets are the source of virtue and the emerging of human ethics, nurturing and curing the spirit of man in such a way that through realization, each man attains a greater and deeper knowledge of truth and ethical values. In imitation of the Prophets a may may then engage in the struggle against the dark forces, those which hinder his development as a creature in truth and holiness. Divine guidance is essential to all human development in matters of spirit and morality.

*This volume is published in several languages from the original edition, Khatam-i anbiya va payamash, first published in Farsi. The English translation used here is by Hamid Algar copyright 2000, The Islamic Education Center, Potomac, MD.

No comments: