Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Beginning 'in the name of Allah' is a miracle

"I will set him on high
because he has known my name." (Psalms 91:14)
"In that day shall there be one Lord
and his name one." (Zechariah 14:9)
A branch of human knowledge is called ethnology, which is concerned with the study of racial groups in their origin, distribution and culture. It does not only cover the details of various branches and tribal groups of these races, but also their relationship to one another and their individual characteristics. The whole of mankind is compared to a tree whose branches have spread all over the earth. The Holy Quran has referred to this basic truth fourteen hundred years ago when it declared:
"Mankind is a single nation." (2:213)
At another place it said:
"Say: O people of the Book, come to an equitable word between us and you, that we shall serve none but Allah and that we shall not associate any with him." (3:63)
An "equitable word", towards which the Quran has called all the nations of the world, is something which is agreed upon by all. The Quran has itself indicated what that equitable word is. It is belief in God and obedience to Him. There can be nothing greater than this just and equitable statement to create goodwill and unity among nations -- that our God and your God is one. This is a great prophecy mentioned in the revealed scriptures of the world in a different form. In other words, the Prophet who knew the truth about the name of God and revealed it to the world was going to appear at a certain stage in history.
The oneness of humanity is a truth on which the Holy Quran lays the greatest stress (1:1). They are sometimes told that they have been "created of a single soul", again that they are all descended from the same parents (11:13); still again, that they are, as it were, dwellers in one home, having the same earth as resting-place and the same heaven as a canopy (2:22). It thus lays down the principle of the oneness of humanity in the clearest words. All people are but a single nation (10:19). More than that, it emphasises that all the prophets of the world are a single community (21:92).
The basic principle of all religions taught by the prophets has been one and the same in all ages and all countries, that Allah is the Lord of all. He alone must be worshipped. Therefore all prophets are here declared to be one community: they all led people to virtue through service of God. But, as the next verse shows, their followers broke off this unity:
"Surely this your community is a single community, and I am your Lord, so serve Me. And they cut off their affair among them; to Us will all return." (21:92-93)
Those who have studied the religious scriptures of the world and their commentaries know that out of hundreds of names of God there is one truly great and excellent Divine name in search of which Hindus, Jews, Christians and Magians have kept themselves constantly busy. There is no language in the world which does not contain a word denoting the name of God. I have discussed 155 names of God in my book Muhammad in World Scriptures. As God is one, His true name should also be one. The languages of the world are different but the Creator and Lord of all of us is one. It was the Last Prophet who told mankind the real name of this Great Being. He not only told His real name but also offered rational arguments in support of his claim and in practice he showed complete reliance on Him and thus achieved all that a human being could possibly achieve in his life. This was a practical demonstration of the truthfulness of the Prophet's mission. Those who opposed him in the name of other than God were completely humiliated in spite of their superiority in number and armaments. Even after the lapse of fourteen centuries the verdict recorded about him in history is that he was "the most successful of all the prophets and religious personalities" (Encyclopedia Britannica, 10th ed.). He was helpless and became the master of his country. But that was not his real success. His real success lay in the fact that there were thousands of his opponents who became his friends and accepted the religion he advocated. This was not something sudden and unexpected; the prophets of yore had foretold his success. The prophet David sang:
"Because he has set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him. I will set him on high because he has known my name." (Psalms 91:14)