Would you recognize the Prophet -p- ? 15 May 2006Posted by MOZAFFAR in History, MOZAFFAR, Spirituality.
So, you are a Muslim.
Suppose it is the year 610. You are in the cosmopolitan city of Mecca (Makkah).
A man — with a reputation for his strong character — begins telling people that he has been appointed by God Himself to call people to Him. This man calls on people to believe in God, and to believe in him as the prophet of God.
Suppose you have no problems believing in God, or in only One God. But, would you also accept this man’s claims about himself?
Muhammad’s -peace and blessings be upon him- most vicious opponent Amr b. Hisham (nicknamed Abu Jahl) had no problems believing in God. Further, when Muhammad -p- used to recite the Qur’an in his home at night, Abu Jahl used to listen.
But, Abu Jahl suspected that Muhammad -p- had the ulterior motive of leading his own tribe to power. Abu Jahl held this suspicion despite Muhammad’s -p- reputation for honesty. And, it didn’t help that Abu Jahl himself had aspirations for leadership.
But, you see that Muhammad -p- really has nothing to gain if you join him. Further, if you do join him, his opponents may get angry; your own conversion might even make things difficult for him and those around him. So, you have nothing to gain. He, however, promises you an eternal salvation. Later, he increases his promise to ‘success’ in an afterlife and in this worldly life. But, he also promises you a life of struggle.
So, ask yourself. If this man approached you, would you find yourself accepting him right away? Would you need to see what others have decided? Would you consult some authority figures or scholars or clergy? Would you look at the people who have already chosen to follow him? Would you perhaps look at the people who have rejected him? What would you look at about them? Their character? Their arguments?
So, suppose you investigate him. He shares with you the few passages of this revelation that he claims to have received. Maybe about 40 lines of ‘poetry.’ But, you do not have much interest in poetry; you are more of the active outdoor type. Perhaps you are like his own uncle Hamza -may God be pleased with him- .
Perhaps you’d sense the power of his faith? Or, perhaps, aside from all of your investigative techniques, you would just recognize the truth when you see it.
That is the true intellectual, isn’t it? S/he is in a lifelong quest for the truth. When s/he sees it, s/he accepts it. Then, s/he continues to refine and further embrace this relationship with the truth, and also calls others to it.
I do believe that if you are a Muslim (by choice) today, you would have recognized him -p- back then. But, ask yourself this question. If you were an Arab, or a slave, or a traveller in the early 600s in Mecca, would you believe? Think deeply about it.
May Allah bless you.