All it took Allah to create this entire universe, the limits of which remain unknown to man, was the command, 'Kun', 'Be', and there it was. Within this infinite creation, there is not one atom that can do what it pleases, not one tiny particle that can break out of the sphere fixed for it and disobey its Creator. He has not given any one of them that capability to do so, not bestowed the gift of free-will power on any other among His creation. This power to do what they please is something even His angels do not possess either. They all remain in their own places, each doing what they are ascribed by their Lord. It was after everything He Wished for had been created that He wished for a creature on whom He would bestow His attributes along with own free-will and see what it would do with it.4 And so He made Adam. As He wished to breathe His spirit into this new creature, it was not made with the mere command of 'Be', rather with the Lord's own hands.5With the breathing from Allah's Spirit into Adam, 6 he rose in rank above all other creations, becoming the Ashraf-ul- Makhlukat, (the most honored in the creation) because along with the spirit, blown into him by Allah he came into possession of each and every one of Allah's qualities, attributes or 'sifats', including that of Allah's free will.
This was the attribute, which Allah had retained to Himself all this while, now, it came to dwell in Adam as well. This is His 'Amanat', Trust unto us, something no other creature in this vast universe is in possession of.7
In order to test Man to see how he would use his freewill, there was a need for an opposing force, and Eblis (Lucifer) came up to do the job. It would have otherwise been similar to scoring a goal in an empty field and therefore worthless. Eblis was given the permission to enter Adam's body and soul and provoke him to disobey his Creator, to do wrong.8 Eblis was among the angels when Allah asked their opinion about the creation of His Khalifa, representative or vice-gerent on earth. He and all other angels had asked the same thing, 'Will Thou place therein (earth) one who will do injustices, create turmoil and shed blood, while we, hymn Thy praise and sanctify Thee?'9 It is interesting to note that at this point, Allah had only asked their opinion about creating Adam, he had not been created yet. So how did the angels know in advance what these creatures, Adam's children would do on earth?10 The answer lies in the word Allah chose to describe Adam. Had He said that He wished to create a creature called Adam, the angels would have probably said 'As Thou Wish, Lord'-but in Allah's proclamation of sending His representative, His vice-gerent on earth, they understood clearly this new creation would not be just another new being; as Allah's representative, it would acquire all of Allah's attributes and qualities, including His free-will, albeit in a very small quantity; like a drop of water taken from the ocean- which has all the properties of the ocean present in it, only in an infinitesimally smaller quantity than the great ocean itself. With this free-will Adam would be able to decide for himself whether to abide by Allah's orders, be on Hedayah the Guidance or make new ways for himself to conduct their life on earth. In case he rejects Allah's directives, the inevitable outcome would be 'fasad', 'anarchy', injustice inequality and oppression in society and 'safakuddima'- violence, war, bloodshedthis the angels were able to predict even before Adam was created.
The consequent incidents in short would be that after Adam's creation and blowing from His Soul into him Allah ordered all His angels to prostrate before him,11 to which all the Malayeks obeyed save Eblis, claiming he would not do so since Adam was inferior to him. For this disobedience, Allah cursed and ousted Eblis from His presence. Eblis then challenged claiming he would show that this new creature of Allah's would not obey their Lord and thus cause chaos and anarchy, injustice, violence and blood-shed on earth. Allah accepted this challenge for the very reason of Adam's existence was to test what he did with his free-will. Next was the step to lay down some conditions for this new test, such as:
I. Eblis was given the permission and power to enter Adam's heart and mind, body and soul and provoke him to disobey the Creator,
II. Allah would send His Messengers to every people and nation reveal His right Guidance through them so that people may be directed on the right path or Hedayah, Serat-ul- Mustaqeem, 'the straight and simple path. 12
With these principles laid down, there now remained only two avenues open to Bani Adam (Children of Adam). One was to accept and implement what Allah revealed through His Messengers and lead their collective and individual lives accordingly; and the other was to disregard Allah's directions, His sovereignty and establish man-made rules and laws and implementation of these at social and collective levels. Tawheed (Guidance) and Serat-ul-Mustaqeem are thus symbiotic, each of separate entities themselves but riveted together to form Allah's sovereignty.
To make things even clearer to Bani Adam, to ensure that under no circumstances should they attempt to replace His sovereignty with their own, He declared only those who accept and implement His laws and directives in their individual and collective lives, were acceptable to Him, all their personal sins and transgressions will be forgiven and heaven will be awarded to them. Both the Qur'an and the Hadith are replete with such confirmations. There is one Hadith in which the Messenger of Allah stated to Abu Zarr, 'he who remains steadfast in Allah's sovereignty (Tawheed) will enter paradise even if he commits theft and adultery.13 Besides this, he has clearly stated a number of times that not even sins, which reach up to the sky can refrain a man who remains unmoved in Allah's sovereignty, in Tawheed from heaven. Numerous Hadith from among the 'Sahih' or correct ones namely Bokhari, Muslim etc. can be put forward to support this. In another tradition, the Messenger of Allah states that 'it is a contract between Allah and His servants that those who obey none except Him will not be punished'.14 In another Hadith he states, 'Hell has been made 'haram' (forbidden) for him who believes in his heart there is no 'Elah', (He who is to be obeyed) other than Allah and that Muhammad (s.a.s) is His Rasul (Messenger)'.15 In yet another Hadith, the Messenger of Allah confirms, 'Tawheed is the key to paradise'.16 It is important to note here that the Tawheed stressed upon in these Hadith is not the partial or eclectic one confined and applied to the personal life only as it is now; but an all encompassing Tawheed, reflected on every aspect of the believer's life- from personal, family, national, economic, judicial, educative to political aspects. That is the true form of Tawheed, of Allah's sovereignty.
The opposite of this Tawheed is 'Sherk' meaning partnership, and 'kufr' meaning denial-regarding which Allah has informed us 'If We wish, We may forgive all of man's sins, transgressions, but Sherk and kufr will not be forgiven.' The outright denial of Allah's sovereignty and the subsequent establishment of man-made laws is 'kufr' while 'Sherk' is when Allah's directives are only partially adhered to, so that some of the rules and regulations are those of Allah's and some are made by man and tailored to their whims and desires. In this context the Almighty affirms- 'Do they think they can obey some of My commands and reject some?'17Therefore, even the denial of a single directive of Allah's from proper implementation in the collective or personal life is tantamount to committing 'Sherk'- and 'Sherk' and 'kufr' are the only two sins He has vowed never to forgive.18
Thus these Qur'anic injunctions and theirconfirmations in the Hadith leave no room for further speculation or doubt that those who accept Tawheed in its true form, i.e. in their personal, collective and social lives are the ones to embark on Serat-ul-Mustaqeem, establish Din-ul-Qaiyema. They will be caused to enter paradise even if their personal sins are too many to count.19 Whereas people who deviate ever so little from the complete implementation of Tawheed in their collective lives will not be acceptable in the eyes of Allah despite the fact of their staying up all night in prayer on fasting the whole month through. Complete and collective Tawheed is the precondition for 'Taqwa' and without it piety and good deeds of all kinds are fruitless.20
The two reasons the angels put forward against the creation of Man, Allah's Khalifa (vicegerent) was that he would create anarchy and shed blood on earth.21They did not say that man would not say his prayers, he would not fast, decline to pay Zakah, refrain from performing Hajj, indulge in adultery or gamble hisn wealth away or commit other crimes. The only two things they did mention are both collective issues and it does not take a genius to figure out that these very issues have been plaguing mankind from the beginning of time. Not even the League of Nations, formed after World War I or the United Nations after World War II have been ble to stop mankind from slithering into these black holes. The reason for this is quite simple…no matter how intelligent or smart Man thinks himself to be, he actually possesses very little knowledge about his own self and the world around him. He is yet to find out exactly how his mind and body coordinate to create his personality, let alone discover the mystery of this universe… therefore for him to devise a constitution that would enable him to live in peace and harmony and eradicate 'fasad' and 'safakuddima' from society is not only improbable, it is impossible. The only other alternative is to accept Allah's Tawheed, His sovereignty and implement the laws, rules, limitations and regulations, His Din, as revealed from Him through the series of Nabis and Rasuls, the Messengers.
Let us now consider the challenge Eblis (Lucifer) issued before his banishment from Allah's Presence. It was that he (Eblis) would wait to ambush Bani Adam from the Serat-ul-Mustaqeem; he would attack them from the left and right, centre and forward, so that they deviate from it.22 Not once did he say-he would refrain them from saying their prayers, from fasting or from paying Zakah nor from any other pious work, nor did he say that he would here them commit sins or crimes for that matter. Therefore it becomes clear that Eblis' real intention is not to keep Bani Adam from performing their religious duties, it is to stray them from the Serat-ul-Mustaqeem itself. This being the case, it becomes clear that the Serat-ul-Mustaqeem holds more importance than the personal observances of faith, as in saying prayers, fasting, hajj, Zakah and personal taqwa or piety. So what then is the Serat-ul-Mustaqeem? Why is it named as the straight and simple path? Because it is so. It is Tawheed, reflected on all facets of life, acceptance of the simple truth that we will accept no one else's word except His in any sphere of our lives. To further clarify this, the Messenger has stated, 'him whom Eblis is not able to deviate from the Serat-ul-Mustaqeem will enter paradise even if he commits theft and adultery'. It is noteworthy that he mentioned the two transgressions the punishment for which is the most severe in Islam. Having said this, the Messenger drew a straight line in the sand and said, 'This is Allah's way, Serat-ul-Mustaqeem'-he went on to draw several lines forking away from it and stated about Eblis' effort to persuade man into taking any of these. With this he recited from the Qur'an, 'Verily this is My Path, straight and simple. Embark on this and not on others, because these roads will take you away from Allah'.23 23
The two reasons or logic the Angels put forward against the creation of Adam and the gist of Eblis' challenge are the same, the end result of both circumstances are 'fasad' and 'safakuddima' injustice, turmoil, unrest, conflict etc. and blood-shed, wars, battles, murders. Eblis' challenge of deviating man did not entail refraining them from piety or good deeds because, as soon as man deviates from Allah's Tawheed, Serat-ul-Mustaqeem or His sovereignty, the inevitable result of it would be wrong doings and bloodshed. Therefore, there is no reason for Eblis to refrain man from personal piety because he is well aware that without Tawheed, His sovereignty, no amount of good deeds and Taqwa is acceptable to the great Lord. Allah had clearly stated that He would not hold any number of transgressions against him who has accepted His Tawheed, His Sovereignty.24 While on the other hand, He affirms- "Those who commit Sherk, (accept someone else's doctrine, order or directives in any sphere of life), shall not be forgiven and thrown into the fire'.25
Judging by these statements, the Lord Creator seems to be quite extremist, doesn't He? That does seem to be the case apparently.
However, it goes without saying that the laws, rules and regulations governing any people greatly influence and direct the behavior of the mass of people living under it. If the public and personal lifestyles do not complement each other, the inevitable result will be the eradication of the personal system due to the greater pressure of the public or collective one. Likewise, if there is a major clash of interests between these two, the personal way of life is bound to lose out. Therefore, there is need for a code of ethics, which is similarly reflected on both public and personal levels. Personal piety and goodness can be greatly effective on that person's life, but it has little influence on the behavior of the public or the mass. A firefly can illuminate itself with its own light but can not remove the darkness of the night.
Secondly, in order for mankind to live in harmony and in peace amongst themselves, a faultless and immaculate code of life is imperative. Since man is possessed of limited knowledge, it is not possible for him to devise one. It is for this that Allah states, "Accept my sovereignty, I am your Creator, therefore accept My doctrines so that you may live in peace, (Islam).26 If you decide to exercise your free will and come up with laws and rules to govern yourselves with, you will bring about fasad and safakuddima in your lives and Eblis will have won his challenge thrown to Me.27 I am the Mightiest and if I will I can make the whole of mankind accept Me in one Moment.28 But I will not do so, I want to see, how you use your free will. 29 Indeed, if man is to disregard the sovereignty of the All-mighty in the collective social level of society, all the personal piety and good deeds, all Ebadat, Taqwa are fruitless, as the Qur'an says, "And we shall turn unto the work they did and make it scattered motes.30
Between Adam and the Last Messenger, thousands, maybe hundreds of thousand of Messengers have brought the Guidance from Allah to their peoples.31 Though the details of these messages have differed in accordance to the time and location of their revelations, the basic message, that of Tawheed, Allah's Sovereignty has remained unchanged. No Messenger has claimed to beckon their people to anything else than that. All have called upon to their people to accept His Tawheed, the Eternal Faith, His Sovereignty so that they may establish His law on the land and refrain from implementing their own, the inevitable result of which would be fasad and safakuddima. With the acceptance of Tawheed the constitution would be based on His message and thus His Din, His Way of Life would be implemented on society as a whole.
This Truth (Tawheed) has remained the cornerstone of each and every Nabi or Rasul's (Messenger) preaching. However, in absence of the Messengers their people have given in to Eblis' provocation, lures and have tampered with the Message. A clergy class has emerged from within them who devoted all their time and effort in hair splitting details of the faith and the teaching of it to the general people. They rendered the straight and simple Serat-ul-Mustaqeem so complicated as to be out of the reach of the common man's intelligence. The more detailed they have become, the further they have strayed from the Truth. By adding new issues to the original message and subtracting those that were contrary to their own interests, they brought about a system that finally bore little resemblance to the original one. The tough directives, the undertaking of which would entail personal loss and sacrifice were reduced to issues of low priority whereas rules easy to follow were taken high up on the list of priority. When things reached a point where the adherence to that Din brought more harm than good, Allah in His Mercy would send another Messenger to rectify and restore balance in that situation. At this point, it is imperative to make note of one issue that is related to the emergence of the Dajjal. One thing has remained unchanged in this whole chain of events regarding the sending of Messengers and the guidance, the distortions of these messages after the departure of the Messengers and the subsequent arrival of new ones. Never in time has man officially and formally attempted to disavow Allah's Sovereignty as the source of their Din, their Way of Life. They have distorted this Din to suit their interests, concocted issues into it so that they are able to oppress other people- yet this distorted version was still proclaimed to be God's Word. Tyrant rulers, oppressors and dictators who made their subjects' lives miserable, too, ruled in the name of God. Looking back in time, although we find a few instances where man declared himself as the sovereign, interestingly, these too had to be passed off in the name of God, e.g. pharaoh of Egypt, who claimed his lineage from the son of the god, Raa, therefore a divine power himself; or Namrud (Nimrod) who also took a claim sovereignty for himself. Indeed, the people who resisted and rejected these tyrants are to receive very high rewards and positions for themselves from their Lord; but not similar to those who resist the mighty Dajjal itself. The sphere of domination and location of these claimants of sovereignty were limited to the particular region they controlled as was the duration of their tyranny, but the Dajjal's area of dominance is the whole world like the Messenger of Allah prophesied- 'there will not be an inch of land or water that would be free of the Dajjal's control.32 Never in time did man strive to formally replace Allah's Sovereignty with that of his own, except a few instances where the denial of Allah's Sovereignty was limited in a country or an empire like Pharaoh in Egypt and never engulfed the entire world like the present day Judeo-Christian materialist civilization i.e. the Dajjal. For example, we can take that of Isa's (a.s.) (Jesus) era.It was when the Rabbis, Sadducees and Pharisees had distorted the Law of Moses (a.s.), that Allah sent Isa (a.s.) (Jesus) to breathe new life into that religion. The Jewish clergy, devoted to the study of the Torah and its doctrines, had lost sight of the inner self of the faith, the spiritual aspect. They made modifications to the basic message with their intense clinical analysis, but maintained it to be their Divine Guidance. They did not promulgate new theories on law and punishment, economy or education nor deem the Toraic laws to be obsolete.
The history of this subcontinent also bears similar testimony of this fact. The book of Nooh (a.s.) (Noah) or Monu had been distorted by the clergy to suit their ends, but was still known to be 'Monu Shanghita' or the 'Book of Monu'. The Khatriya kings ruled based on those laws and their interpretations provided by the learned Brahmins. The law of the land remained God Almighty's, only distorted in some places. If any king attempted to change any rule of the Book or did not rule in accordance with it, he would be upstaged and killed. Even the people, whom the Last Messenger called to Allah, believed Him to be the Creator and Maintainer of this Universe. Allah Himself bears witness to this. He asks our Messenger, "If you ask them (Arabs) who is the Creator of this earth and this sky? They will undoubtedly answer the Almighty, Hakeem.33 He asks again, "If you ask them- who created the earth and the sky and fixed the sun and the moon to their respective positions, they will answer, of course Allah. Ask them after the earth has died who brings it back to life by causing rain? Of course, they will reply, Allah.34 He goes on to say, "Ask them, O Muhammad, who is the Creator of this universe and earth? Allah, they will reply.35The Moshreqs and Kafers of Arabia tried to foil the Messenger's bid to impress Tawheed on them by claiming they were believers in Allah; if they worshipped Laat, Hobal or Ozza, it was to gain their interception on the worshippers' behalf,36they accepted Kaaba as the House of God and named their sons Abdallah, slave of Allah. So what new Tawheed was he, Muhammad (s.a.s), trying to make them understand?- They asked him.
Therefore, it would be correct to say that Allah's sovereignty was never at stake during this long period of time, whatever discrepancies man brought to the Faith were limited to the Message and its books, the idea of replacing it with anything else did not occur to man. Yet, this was the declared objective of Eblis, that he would cause man to disregard Allah's all encompassing Tawheed, sovereignty. Now let us study how he made Man go about achieving this unholy aim.
Moses (a.s.) was among the few known Messengers of Allah who brought with him a complete code of life. It included all aspects of both public and private lives of his people. However, with his departure the degeneration that plagued peoples before him, found root among his people as well. A clergy class soon rose from within them, which busied themselves with bringing out new and newer still 'fatwas' or ordinances, and burdened the common man with these. It reached a point where the observance of minute details of the Shariah (Moses' law) gained dominance over the spirit of the faith itself. As punishment for straying from the truth, the Chosen people were cursed and turned into slaves of the pagan Romans, quite similar to how the so-called Muslim population of this world were overridden and ruled for centuries by Christian forces. In this scenario, Allah sent the Messenger Isa (a.s.) (Jesus) into the Bani Israel and gave them a chance to redeem themselves in His Eyes. This new Messenger brought no new law or 'Shariah' with him since Moses' Torah was still applicable to them. He had been sent solely for the purpose of guiding the Bani Israelis back to the essence of their true faith. The issues Isa (a.s.) stressed heavily on were:
I. That he had not been sent to disavow the Law of Moses, but to confirm it.37 He made it clear with this statement that he would not interfere with the Book or its laws, he would only restore balance between the spiritual and practical application of the Din, since that had become lost with excessive importance been placed on meticulous details of the law irrelevant to the spirit of the faith itself.
II. That he had been sent only for the wayward sheep of the Bani Israel.38
With this, the new Messenger set the boundary of his responsibility, about the people to be reached through his teaching. He put further emphasis on this issue while dispatching his twelve chief disciples for preaching purposes. He stressed upon them not to preach to people of other faiths, not to enter their cities, not to go to the Samarians. They were instructed specifically to restrict their preaching to the errant people of Bani Israel.39
The severest opponents of any new Messenger without exception have been the stalwarts of the previously existing but perverted faith, the clergy, who consider themselves as the torchbearers of that way of life (Din) and its guardians. Because-
Firstly, they have clung to the distorted version of the old faith pretty similarly to a sinking man's grasping at straw. Whenever a new Messenger has raised his voice against the distortions brought to the faith, they in turn, have branded him an infidel and taken it upon themselves as a sacred duty to rid the world of his presence.
Secondly, their pride in their knowledge of the scripture has been a major contributing factor to their opposition. Lifetimes devoted to the study, and hair splitting research of their holy Scriptures, combined with the high position they enjoyed in society, generated enormous egos that took many a great bashing when an apparently illiterate man, as has been the case of most Messengers, rose up to them and declared them at fault!
Thirdly, it were the same class of people who had made 'Halal' for themselves what Allah has deemed 'Haram'- e.g. the selling of His Ayats, His words for a meager pay- as they have been wont to do; A new Messenger would surely and strongly speak against this. To accept that they were in the wrong would also be out of the question for these clergy class; because to accept fault would herald the end of their illegal trade. The Qur'an says: Lo! Those who hide aught of the Scripture which Allah hath revealed, and purchase a small fain therewith, they eat into their bellies nothing else than fire.40 Again the Qur'an says, "Follow those who ask of you no fee, and who are properly guided.41
Fourthly, they were also quick to realize that a new Messenger spelt doom for their parasitic existence and the great influence they exerted over the general population. All these worldly concerns have remained great deterrents for the apparent 'men of God' from accepting His Messengers for what they were. The case of Isa (a.s.) was no exception to this rule for soon after he started preaching, the Jewish clergy, the Rabbis, Sadducees and Pharisees put up massive resistance against him and also inducted the aid of the Roman governor who ruled over them. The Romans were reluctant at first to be drawn into a matter they considered to be the internal conflict of the Jews, but the clergy's insistence that Isa (a.s.) posed a serious threat to the stability of the Roman rule on Palestine, as Isa (a.s.) Jesus claimed to be the king of Jews, they informed the Romans, finally swayed the authority to become involved. However, as they prepared to nail Isa (a.s.) into the cross, Allah caused him to be bodily transported into heaven and Isa's (a.s.) betrayer, who sold out his master for thirty coins, was made to look identical to him so that the Rabbis and Romans thought they had crucified Isa (a.s.), when it was actually Judas Iscariot who died on the cross.
During the three years Isa (a.s.) preached among the Bani Israel, between 72 and 120 brought faith in his teaching and became his disciples. However, in his absence they were severely persecuted both by Jews and Romans alike and the handful of them who remained in Palestine had little choice but to surrender to and abide by the Rabbis, Sadducees and the Pharisees, though in their hearts they adhered to their master's teaching. Most of Isa's (a.s.) disciples were forced to hiding or exile to distant places. It was sometime after this that a Jew named Paul who was one of the fiercest persecutors of Jesus and his followers brought faith in Isa's (a.s.) teaching; however on closer examination of his consequent actions, it seems his chief aim was to deviate Isa's (a.s.) followers from the right path than to embark on it himself.
The Messenger Isa (a.s.) had not been sent to establish any new faith neither did he ever attempt to do so. His primary objective was to renew faith in Musa's (a.s.) (Moses) prophet-hood while restoring order and balance that was lost to Judaism and rescue it from the clutches of the clergy. Similar was the Buddha's (a.s.) mission, who was sent to rescue the prevalent Vedic religion (Sanatan Dharma) from the clutches of the clergy, the priests.
One of the first things Paul tried to impress on Isa's (a.s.) followers was to convince them not to limit their preaching to the Bani Israel (Children of Israel), but to call other people, namely non Jews to this new faith as well. None of the devout followers of Isa (a.s.) were present at Jerusalem during this time all having fled from Palestine in fear to their lives and Paul traveled to Antioch where some of them were hiding to propose this change. At first they were greatly alarmed over this idea which was in direct contrast to what their Master had taught. Among those who strongly opposed this was Barnabas who tried in vain to refrain the other disciples from consenting to it. Here it must be remembered that Barnabas learned directly from Isa (a.s.) from long, close association with him, while Paul was fierce opponent who never met Isa (a.s) (Jesus). However, Paul's persuasion prevailed and at length they all agreed to call others to their faith as well. Perhaps they realized that they too were doomed to failure where even their Master, a Messenger of God had been unsuccessful and that with their demise, their Master's teaching would be wiped off the face of the earth. The only means to stop that from happening they argued was to preach among non-Jews and convert them to this new religion.
It is important to note here that the Judaic faith is one limited to the twelve tribes of Israel; it has no application on people outside it, therefore, its deviations or reformations have no practical implication to people not belonging to the Bani Israelis. Accordingly, the Messenger Isa (a.s.) had been sent with the limited responsibility of bringing the Bani Israelis back to the folds of Judaism as revealed to the Messenger Musa (a.s.) (Moses). Isa (a.s.) (Jesus) was a devout confirmer of the former Messenger, namely Musa (a.s.) (Moses), as were all of his disciples. Their dissension was only with the Rabbis, Sadducees, the clergy over the concept of the faith. That Paul was among the severest of Isa's (a.s.) opponents during and after his lifetime is not of consequence since there are ample examples of bitter enemies turning into staunch, genuine supporters: Omar (ra) bin Khattab, Khalid (ra) bin Waleed and Ikrama (ra) bin Abu Jahl are excellent examples of this. What is thought provoking is the fact that Paul never received any direct guidance from the Master, he was not a disciple, yet emerged as a greater champion of the faith surpassing those who had been in constant company of the Master and received first hand knowledge and guidance from him. Also, the changes Paul brought about to the faith were not only diverted from the basic teachings they were in some principal points, completely opposite to what Isa (a.s.) had preached. Still, Paul and his group traveled preaching the revised faith and were successful in converting a considerable number of people. By modifying Isa's (a.s.) teaching, adding to it and subtracting from it at his will, Paul brought about a
new faith that bore no resemblance neither to the religion of Musa (a.s.) (Moses), or the teachings of Isa (a.s.) that were intended to restore balance in Musa's (a.s.) faith. In Paul's hands a new religion called Christianity was born. Many reputed Christian scholars opine that the faith we now refer to as Christianity should rather be known as Paulinity since it is based more on Paul's ideas and reforms than the Messenger Isa's (a.s.). The foundation for this faith was laid not in Isa's (a.s.) homeland, not in Palestine, since none of his followers were present there, but away in Antioch.42The irony of all this is that never in his life had Isa (a.s.) heard of a religion called Christianity!
Before and during this time, i.e., when Paul and his supporters busied themselves with the preaching of Christianity, the majority of Europeans were worshippers of numerous gods and goddesses: the monotheist religion of Musa (a.s.) was practiced on the other side of the Mediterranean but they were never called to accept it on the account of it being a tribal religion, the same principles that were followed by Isa (a.s.) while he preached the reforms of the Judaic faith.
The new faith which Paul and his followers called the pagan Europeans to though far from Judaism or Isa's (a.s.) teachings, was however superior to their existing religions, as a result of which there was en masse conversion of Europeans to this new faith. With almost the whole of Europe accepting Christianity, another major fundamental issue loomed large over their lives. In what order would this huge group of people, who called themselves Christians, lead their collective national lives?
Musa (a.s.) had brought a complete code of life for his people, with the Shariah (Law of Moses) governing the social, political, economic aspects and counter balanced by the spiritual side of the faith involving soul enhancement thereby striking a harmonious balance between the external and internal facets of human existence. It was when the clergy, priests, Rubbis etc. tilted the scales of this harmony with their engrossment and obsession with the meticulous application of the Shariah only that Isa (a.s.) was sent. He reconfirmed the law of Musa (a.s.), but stressed that he had been sent to reestablish the soul of thefaith in its rightful position. Therefore, the teachings of Isa (a.s.) did not contain any new national Shariah, it promulgated the personal spirituality of man only. As a result of which, what the religion Paul and his supporters converted Europeans to, was an incomplete, imbalanced version of the original faithand this they tried to establish at a national level. As I have mentioned earlier, man had never tried to replace Allah's sovereignty with his own, never thought of implementing his own laws and regulations rejecting the Creator's and he did not try to do that at this point either. With the conversion to Christianity, the whole of Europe tried to lead their life the Christian way with the directives coming from the Papal office in Rome.
However, they soon ran into trouble with their misguided efforts in living as Christians. It is apparent that a unified code of ethics including the socioeconomic, laws, penal code and regulations are an imperative prerequisite for governing any collective body of people. Yet this was completely absent in this new faith as a result of which the European kings' and Pope's efforts were in vain. The idea of creating a whole new constitution to live their lives by, setting aside all of God's directives, His rules and regulations, laws and limits, were still unthinkable while at the same time they were in dire need of a system that would enable them to remain Christians and also address their national and collective lives. A long struggle ensued between the lives of this world and the next and gradually it turned into a major conflict, culminating into a point where only two options remained open to the kings and elders of society. One was to outright reject Christianity and its way of life and the second to relegate the application of the faith to the personal lives of its people from where it would have no say or influence on the national, political and economic activities of the general mass. As it was not possible to make the entire population of Europe denounce Christianity and thus turn atheists, the second option was taken up for implementation resulting in the complete separation of the church and state in England in 1537, during the reign of Henry VIII. With this decree religion which had hitherto been the final criterion of judging between right and wrong, between lawful and unlawful, was banished to the relatively narrow scope of a person's private life and the Lord Creator ceased to have any say in how the collective national lives of the entire Europe was led.
Thus was born the Dajjal prophesied thirteen centuries back by the last Messenger of Allah and the Anti-Christ prophesied in the Bible two thousand years back.
Following the official separation of the church and state, Christian Europe started turning increasingly materialistic with rapid growth in all sectors of technology, industry and commerce. It is ironic that a tough-core materialistic civilization sprung up from within a group whose basic ideology is one of spiritual enhancement, of rising above worldly attractions and of turning the other cheek!
However this is what exactly happened with the reason being the same as discussed earlier. Any system or doctrine, which is accepted and implemented on a collective level naturally, emerges as a dominant factor with its guidelines defining a group, and in that case, the person or individual automatically becomes the secondary or weaker entity. While it is nice to think that people would retain their personal goodness of character and religious beliefs even if they are not religiously bound to, and if Christianity was rejected from their national life; but that did not happen either, for the simple reason that the collective behavior exerts more pressure and influence thus modulating a group than the behavior of an individual. It is not possible for the individual to retain his personal characteristics in face of greater group pressure and operate as a separate entity. It is especially so if the rules and regulations, laws and orders that are used to govern them are man-made, thus necessarily faulty.
With this revised outlook of life, the materialistic Christian Europe gradually became more and more engrossed in the research of technological and scientific advancements and grew more powerful with each new development- to reach the point where they are now in control of all major activities all over the world. Born 472 years ago the Dajjal now is adult and in control of the entire world.
The Dajjal or the Judeo-Christian Materialistic Civilization has been given precedence, importance over all other things that have happened in this world, from the beginning to the end of time. It is so because it involves the very reason of man's creation - which was to determine if he accepted Allah's sovereignty and accordingly implement it or took matters into his own hands, rejecting the Covenant with Himself and His Ordinance. From time immemorial man has strayed from the Straight Path, deviated from the truth, whence a new Messenger has been sent to rectify the situation and guide them back to the Serat-ul-Mustaqeem. Never has the Lord's Ordinance been rejected outright and replaced with man-made ones in such scale. However, with the rejection of the reformist Messenger Isa's (a.s) message by the Jews and the subsequent trial to implement the deviated and incomplete religion called Christianity into the general population's lives, man committed the ultimate sin. The God-ordained way of life was expelled for eclectic application only to man's personal life and Dajjal was brought into being.
For the first time in history, Allah's sovereignty was formally and officially rejected in totality; for the first time Eblis was successful in deviating Man, Bani Adam collectively, from Tawheed, Serat-ul- Mustaqeem, the same Serat-ul-Mustaqeem he had vowed to lay ambush to.43 This was the ultimate test for Allah's Khalifa, Man, and he failed. This was Eblis' first victory and because of that, it is the most important event from the beginning to the end of time.
The Messenger of Allah stated, "There has been no Messenger from the time of Nooh, (a.s.) (Noah) who has not warned his followers about Dajjal. I, too am warning you of it". -Abu Obaydah (ra) bin Zarrah-Tirmizi, Abu Daud.
The Messenger of Allah has singled out the appearance of Dajjal on the earth as being the single most important occurrence in the history of the world. In this Hadith, however, in informing about other Messengers' warnings to their followers about it, he has stated the time starting from the prophet-hood of Nooh (a.s.), implying Messengers prior to Nooh (a.s.) did not warn about it. From this statement we can gather that there was no need for them to have done so, because if there was any reason, then they certainly would have done so. The logical explanation to this must be that the Dajjal was destined to appear after Nooh's (a.s.) prophet-hood, not before.
The history of mankind can be divided into two broad parts. Phase one started with Adam (a.s.) to right before Nooh (a.s.) and the second phase from Nooh (a.s.) to the end of the world. Nooh (a.s.) is referred to as the Adam-e-Sani or the second Adam since mankind started afresh from his time; after the deluge and complete destruction of mankind except Nooh (a.s.) and his companions therefore a second part or phase in the history of mankind started with him. We find no reference to any Messenger sent before Nooh (a.s.) in the Qur'an, except Adam (a.s.) but that is not to imply that none were sent before him since Allah has informed us of sending Messengers to every people, every locality44 and He also said, "Indeed We have sent Messengers before you (O Mohammad); of some of them We have related to you their story and of some We have not related.45 Hadith informs us about one thousand and twenty four thousand, from one source and two hundred and twenty four from another, all before Nooh (a.s.).
It is interesting to note that 30 or so Messengers Allah himself has mentioned in the Qur'an, all belong to the time span after the Messenger Nooh (a.s.). All the other one hundred and twenty four thousand, or according to some two hundred and twenty four thousand Messengers lived and worked before Nooh (a.s.) (Noah).
In the Hindu scripture,46 the history of mankind has been divided into four parts; each part known as an Age. The first part is known as the Age of Truth (Sattya), the second as the Age of Treta, the third and fourth as the Ages of Dapar and Koli respectively. At the end of Koli Yug or Age, Doomsday is to strike bringing an end to mankind and this world. According to that scripture, if there were ever a conflict between truth and falsehood in the Age of Sattya (Truth), truth would triumph every time. In the Age of Treta, the same conflict would result in truth emerging as the victor fifty times out of hundred and in Dapar Age itcame down to twenty five times out of hundred; i.e., falsehood would prevail seventy five times out of hundred z the limits, since in our era, the Age of Koli, 120 years is among the highest number of years any person is expected to live.
Based on these divisions, let us try to gauge to which Age group the Messenger Nooh (a.s.) (Noah) belonged. We find from the Qur'an that Nooh (a.s.) remained among his nation for 950 years.47 Allah has used the word 'nakesh' to describe his stay among his people, however, it is not clear from this statement if Nooh (a.s.) preached futilely among his nation for 950 years, or if he lived a total of the 950 years. However, the former might have been the case, since he could not have attained prophet-hood till he was mature of age, supposing that took somewhere between four to five hundred years, after which he preached to his people for another 950 years. Therefore, it would be correct to assume that he was 1400 or 1500 years old at the time of the Great Deluge and he remained among his people for sometime after the Flood as well, so Nooh (a.s.) lived for roughly two thousand years. On the other hand, if we take that he was 950 years old when the Flood struck, and the time he spent among his handful disciples following it to be 300, 400 or even 500 years, we reach about 1500 years. The highest life expectancy among the people of the Dapar Age was two thousand years, so I conclude Nooh (a.s.) to have lived during that era.
Now let us try to understand why the warning of Dajjal's coming commenced from the time of Nooh (a.s.) and not earlier. I can think of no better reason than the fact that a falsehood of Dajjal's magnitude could neither emerge nor sustain during the periods of absolute truth as were prevalent in the Ages of Sattya (Truth) and Treta., when truth would prevail 100 and 75 times respectively over falsehood, therefore there was no potentiality of it taking place during those times. Dajjal is known to us as the attractive impostor, a liar, a deceiver-described as such in the Hadith and the Bible as Anti-Christ. The possibility of Dajjal's birth rose in the era of Dapar, Nooh's time, when truth succumbed to falsehood 75 times out of hundred. Although Dajjal was destined to emerge a lot later in time, in the Koli Yug, the Later Age, the potentiality rose substantially in its favor and hence the commencement of the warnings.
In all probability, and this is what the Messenger of Allah sought to explain using different allegories, that of Dajjal being kept prisoner in a faraway island might refer to the low potentiality of it emerging during the first two phases of mankind's existence. Despite the fact of Dajjal being the most important event in the history of the world, warnings about it started only from the time of Nooh (a.s.). This goes to stress that a liar or deceiver of Dajjal's enormity could not express itself or bring the whole world within its grasp during the eras of Truth and Treta.
At this point, there's one thing worth mentioning. There is a section of people who stress great importance on the issue of Abu Sayyad (ra); so much so that an entire chapter in the Meshkat has been devoted to the depiction of his life and different opinions about him.
It so happened that a baby quite unusual or different, was born into a Jewish family in Madina. There are reports of the Messenger of Allah having gone to see him, but there is no basis for speculating that baby as being the Dajjal, for the Messenger of Allah neither said anything to that effect nor let it be known that he thought this baby to be the personification of the Dajjal. The Messenger of Allah was the one to inform the world of the coming of the Dajjal during the time of Isa's (a.s.) (Jesus) return to earth and the Mahdi's Emamate and that it would be destroyed by Isa (a.s.) himself. How then could this Kafer appear within the holy presence of the Messenger of Allah himself, that too, in the city of Madina itself? Besides that, the Messenger of Allah had already predicted the inability of the Dajjal to enter either Makkah or Madina,48 whereas Ebne Sayyed was born in Madina itself and performed Hajj in Makkah. The misnomer of Dajjal, Ebne Sayyed had converted to Islam, whereas theon Dajjal is to die a Kafer.49 He himself refuted people's talk of him being the Dajjal pointing to the fact that he had children; in accordance to the Hadith of the Messenger of Allah, the Dajjal will have no children. Ebne Sayyed died a natural death and the Dajjalis destined to be destroyed by Isa (a.s.).
Apostates and cruel rulers have also, in cases been termed as Dajjal's or deceivers and liars by the Messenger of Allah, but they are far removed from the actual and the particular Dajjal whom he and other Messengers have warned about.
Abu Sayyad (ra) has been mistakenly suspected out as the Dajjal of the later times and a whole chapter in the Meshkat has been devoted in trying to prove him as the one. However, since I have been correctly able to ascertain Dajjal's identity through the blessings of Allah and His Messenger, I do not attach anyimportance to the details regarding Abu Sayyad (ra).
That most people have been unable to grasp the allegorical references to the Dajjal is further proved by their insistence in trying to establish Abu Sayyad as the self-same Masih al Kazzab.
The Messenger himself sought refuge with Allah from the 'fitna' (turmoil, unrest, malaise of Dajjal). -Aisha (ra) -Bokhari.
I hold this Hadith as extremely important document regarding the terror of the Dajjal's appearance for no other reason than the person who seeks refuge from its malaise. It is no other than the bravest, among whole of the mankind, who feared none except his Creator, the greatest among the Messengers of all times, the leader of all other nabis of Allah, the only person to be promised the Makaam-e-Mahmuda, the glory of all
mankind, Muhammad (s.a.s), the last Messenger of Allah to mankind. When such a man seeks protection from something, I do not feel there is room for any justification or any further emphasis put on its gravity. It is ironic but true that our, ulema our clergy have not paid even one percent of the importance shown to Dajjal as by the Messenger. They remain totally engrossed with the length of their beards, trousers, cuts of their moustaches and so on- to the extent of almost completely ironing the turmoil, Fetna of the Dajjal, which has made man renounce Allah's sovereignty, His Tawheed and beguiled the whole of mankind into accepting it as their lord, their 'rub'. The only reason for this is the distortion in the Muslims' perception of their faith, their "Aqidah" of Din-ul- Islam, is so far, so different from the true thing that they have lost complete sight of the reasons of Islam's existence, its objectives its goal. The natural consequence of which has been the topsy-turvy of priorities so evident in Muslims today. The true form of Tawheed, the struggle, the fight to implement it have lost out to matters of negligible significance as beards, caps, pajamas, trousers etc. their case of jumbled up and reversed priority can be likened to that of gentleman who breathed a sigh of relief to see that the robber's bullet that killed his neighbor hit him in the forehead rather than the eye! That he lost his life nevertheless seemed to be of lesser importance than the saving of his eye. However, the instances of mixedup, reversed priorities are not the main topic here;50 it is the gravity of the situation created by the Dajjal.1 That the Messenger of Allah himself sought refuge against it leaves no doubt in its being a matter of the gravest import.
4 The Qur'an- Sura Dahar-2, 3.
5 The Qur'an- Sura Saad-75.
6 The Qur'an- Sura Hijr-29, Sura Sajda- 9, Sura Saad-72.
7 The Qur'an- Sura Ahzab-72.
8 The Qur'an- Sura Nesa-119.
9 The Qur'an- Sura Baqara-30.
10 The Qur'an- Sura Baqarah-30.
11 The Qur'an- Sura Baqara-34, Sura Araf-11.
12 The Qur'an- Sura Yunus -48, Sura Nahl 36, Sura R'aad-7.
13 Hadith, form Abu Dar (Ra)- Bokhari, Muslim, Meshkat.
14 Hadith, from Mu'az (ra), Bokhari, Muslim.
15 Hadith, from Obaydah bin Sawamet (ra) and Anas (ra), Bokhari, Muslim.
16 Hadith, from Muaz (ra) bin Jabl, Ahmed.
17 The Qur'an- Sura Baqara-85.
18 The Qur'an- Sura Nissa-48, 116, Sura Muhammad-34.
19 Hadith, form Abu Dar (Ra)- Tirmizee, Tibrani, Bayhaqee.
20 The Qur'an- Sura An'am-89, Sura Zumar-65 and Hadith.
21 The Qur'an- Sura Baqarah-30.
22 The Qur'an- Sura Araf-16, 17.
23 The Qur'an- Sura An'am- 53, Hadith, Ahmed, Nesai, Meshkat from Abdullah bin Masud (ra).
24 Hadith, from Abu Zarr (Ra)- Bokhari, Muslim.
25 The Qur'an- Sura Zumar-64-66.
26 The Qur'an- Sura Nur-55.
27 The Qur'an- Sura Nesa-119, Saad-82, Mu'minun-71, Muhammad-22.
28 The Qur'an- Sura An'am-35, Sura Yunus 99.
29 The Qur'an- Sura Mulk-2, Dahar-2, 3.
30 The Qur'an- Sura Forkan-23.
31 The Qur'an- Sura Yunus-47, Sura Nahl 36, Sura Raa'd-7.
32 Hadith, from Masnad-e- Ahmed, Haqeem and Dar-un-Nushur.
33 The Qur'an- Sura Zukhruf-9.
34 The Qur'an- Sura Ankabut-60, 61.
35 The Qur'an- Sura Lokman-25.
36 The Qur'an- Sura Yunus-18.
37 The Qur'an- Sura Mayeda-46, Sura Emran-50, New Testament, Mathew 5: 17-19.
38 Bible, New Testament, Matthew, 15:24.
39 Bible, New Testament, 10:6.
40 The Qur'an- Sura Bakarah, Ayat-174.
41 The Qur'an- Sura Yaa-Sin, Ayat-21.
42 New Testament, Act-11:26.
43 The Qur'an- Sura Araf-16,17.
44 The Qur'an- Sura Yunus-47, Sura Nahl-36, Sura Ra'd-7.
45 The Qur'an- Sura Mo'men-78.
46 In reality, there exists no religion by the name of 'Hindu'; there is no mention of this term in the Baed of Veda, Uponishad, Geeta or Puran. In all probability, it is a derivation of the word 'Indus' or 'Sindhu' and can be traced back to the Asia Minor of Turkey in particular. The actual name of the religion practiced in this subcontinent is 'Sanatan' meaning 'Ever-lasting, Eternal' identical to the Qur'an's name of the Din-ul-Qaiyemah, ever-lasting, true -religion e.g. Tawheed. (Sura Room, Ayat 43, Sura Baiyenat, Ayat 5, Sura Yusuf, Ayat 40).
47 The Qur'an- Sura Ankabut-14.
48 Hadith, Bokhari and Muslim.
49 Hadith, Muslim from Abu Sayeed Khudri (Ra).
50 To know more about this, you can read my book "E Islam Islam-e Noy".