Revisiting History: On Tauhid, the Ethical Component of the Islamic World View and the Mirror of the Prophet(SAW)

Revisiting History: On Tauhid, the Ethical Component of the Islamic World View and the Mirror of the Prophet(SAW)
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By Mudasir Al-Majdey

The basic and foundational postulate of the entire Islamic worldview (al-Din) is al-Tauhid which means acceptance of God as the only reality, existence, master and ruler without any partner in thought or practice, in His Essence, Attributes, Powers and Rights. The basic doctrine of Tauhid is the touch stone of one’s faith and actions. It is this concept which draws a line of demarcation between Hizbullah (the party of God) or Momineen (the faithful ones) and the Hizul-ul Shayatin (the party of Satan),Polytheists (Mushrikin), Infidels (Kafirin), Hypocrites (Munafiqin) and wrongdoers (fasiqin).
This primary principle is the basic cause of enmity and war between the good and evil forces from the day of Adams creation. Usually, Tauhid has been taken or treated as a metaphysical concept by theologians, jurists, scholastics and philosophers. But, if it is studied in its real spirit, it is an ethical principal which governs the entire metaphysical, social, political and cultural structure of Islam.
The early thinkers of Islam like Jabarites (pre-determinists), Qadarites (the upholders of the freedom of will) and Mutazilites perhaps could not see the intensity and diversity of the meaning and application of this concept, idea and practice.. It was Abu Hamid Muhammad al-Ghazali, the great philosopher and theologian, who presented al-Tauhid as the primary and foundational ethical principal of Islam and Islamic world view. It means that the existence or the concept of God is an ethical reality and the prime requisition for the existence of all beings.
If God has no ethical existence, He would been no way justified as the cherisher, merciful, beneficent, kind, tolerant, loving, caring, patient, thankful and benevolent. Otherwise His existence will emerge as a ruthless ruler of the universe, or a Creator who has no concern with his creations. The entire universe would become simply a game or a toy in the hands of God and this universe would emerge a meaningless and purposeless creation. For it is God’s care and love which generates the concept and process of worship. How can a ruthless creator or ruler be worshipped, for worship means awe; it means desire, prayer, a voice to be heard and answered. Prayer or worship can only be thought of a God who cares for us and His creatures.
The basic theme of worship is to have an ‘I-Thou’ relationship between God and man, and it is God himself who wants it. “And your Lord hath said: Pray unto Me and I will hear your prayer” (XL-60).The second necessary requisition and target of worship is love, obedience and fear of al-mighty. This was the concept thoroughly discussed and propagated by Hasan al-Basari and Rabia al-Basari, but was given a model philosophico-Epistemological foundation by al-Ghazali. These concepts are not something foreign to Islam, but are rooted in the very teachings of al-Quran. Fear is the very great psychological conditioning which is rooted in love and answerability. One who loves someone fears Him the most, and one who loves someone cares for him highly. Similarly one who loves God fears him and cares for him. Anyone who loves Him loves his prophets, for it is the condition which is put by Allah Himself. If one is not imbued in the colour of the Prophet (SAW), he cannot be coloured in the colours of God. God is ultimate, absolute infinite reality who can be realized only through the mirror of the Prophet (SAW). Denial or refusal of the Prophet (SAW) simply means denial of God and His guidance.
This denial is the position of Satan. Mere metaphysical positions or doctrines cannot govern the world view or the life with action. It is rather the ethical foundation of the metaphysics which generates the world view or governs all the systems in human order. It is the reason that the prophets were sent with the message for the guidance of man. For, a prophet is the perfect ethical model who is to be followed in every position and at every stage of life.
The metaphysics of Islam is thus based on the ethical structure of Islam given by ‘Allah’, the absolute cherisher, sustainer, master, governor, sovereign of the universe and who is omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, kind, loving, beneficent, cherisher, merciful and just. He is always active in fashioning and refashioning of the universe and loves those who love Him through the participation in the process of creation and recreation of the universe. Creation and recreation is meaningful with reference to man. No other creature has any role or meaning in it, because they are simply ‘beings’, neither having a responsible nor answerable existences and are without knowledge and freedom.
The Absolute model in humanity or the perfect creative agent is the Prophet (SAW). He will be the witness of all humans including all prophets on the Day of Judgment. The free, creative, responsible and answerable existence of man necessitates an event of justice, reward and punishment, or eternal life and eternal damnation. This is the third moral ground and principle of Quranic world view named as the life here after (Maad, Aakhirat). The ethical position of Islamic worldview explains that God is not a ruthless tyrant, running this world without any purpose. The entire universe, as the Quran holds, is a purposeful creation of God, who creates and recreates it at every moment afresh and is involved in its every action. He has sent his messengers to teach humanity the right way and prepare it for the day of judgment to answer as the viceregent of God on earth.
This process is an open struggle between divine forces and devilish rebellion. The actual actor is man in the form of an obedient trustee or in the form a rebellion. This struggle is between the forces of light and darkness, between the forces of knowledge and ignorance, between the forces of peace and justice and the forces of exploitation, injustice and tyranny. The forces of peace stand for the morality and generate a moral world, and the forces of immorality, such as crime, ignorance, pride, nourish a system of injustice and exploitation. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) is the embodiment of peace, love, human development and the model of character, and Satan represents all those forces that stand against him. The struggle will continue till doom’s day.

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