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Islam: the Only Choice

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We are living in an age of crisis - economic crisis, political crisis, military crisis.  But, today,

the most crucial of all is man"s crisis of the intellect.  This is the result of modern man

having been deprived of a sound intellectual base on which to stand - on which to lay the

very foundation of his life.         

 

It was a very different matter for people living in ancient times, for the age of antiquity was,

by common consent, the age of superstition.  In those days it was both possible and

acceptable to live by superstition and supposition.  Today man wants to live by reason.  But

when man actually tries to do so, he soon discovers that there is no truly rational basis on

which he may live.         

 

There are two things, however, which are thought to provide such a basis for human living -

religion and science, that is to say, revealed knowledge and scientific knowledge.  But

modern man is already in the process of losing both of these foundations.  From time

immemorial, religion had formed man"s intellectual base, but in modern times, when certain

religions have been scrutinized in the full light of reason, they have been found to be lacking

in cogency.         

 

Take, for instance, the case of the Bible.  On the one hand, the Bible presents the concept of

monotheism, when it says: "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord". (Deutronomy,

6:4)         

 

On the other hand, the same Bible says: "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing

them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost" (Mathew, 28:19) - an

injunction which clearly implies the existence of what the Christians call the Trinity.         

 

Such inconsistencies surely make these beliefs untenable.  When God is One, He cannot be

Three.  And if he is Three, then He cannot be One.         

 

Similarly, at one place in the New Testament, Jesus Christ is Called the son of God(Mark

1:1) while at another place, he is called the son of David (Matthew 1:1).  The Bible abounds

in such contradictions.  As we see it, this problem of contradictions has occurred because of

human additions to the word of God.  For modern man, such additions have rendered the

Bible incomprehensible, and, in consequence, unacceptable.         

 

If, in the age of superstition, man could adhere to a religion based on irrational beliefs, it was

because, religion being sacred to him, he could not think rationally about it.  But the age of

today is the age of reason.  Today man analyzes everything in the light of reason.  That is

why he is no longer prepared to believe in an irrational religion.         

 

Let us now take this matter from the standpoint of science.  With the emergence of modern

science, man was led into thinking that this new discipline would be able to provide an

intellectual base upon which he could firmly plant himself.  Science had helped man to

discover the natural world - a world which was extremely meaningful in that it had perfect

order and planning.  Science, as opposed to the existing religions, was thus free from internal

contradictions.         

 

Yet, once again, man was balked of the perfect system of thought that he so desired.  And

this was because of a serious shortcoming in science itself.  That is, science could only

answer the question `what?"  It could not tell man anything about the `why" of things.  It was

as if science had given man a good machine in perfect working order, but had told him

nothing about its maker.         

 

Man seeks an explanation for everything, being an explanation-seeking animal.  So when

science introduces man to a universe which has design and planning without introducing him

to the designer and planner, man, instead of being satisfied, is baffled.  He is at his wits" end

to understand how design could come into existence in the absence of a designer.  How could

a plan exist without there being a planner?         

 

It is this shortcoming of the scientific world which leads all thinking people, right from

Albert Einstein to Stephen Hawking to feel strongly that "there are aspects in the universe

which are extremely difficult to understand."  This intellectual difficulty has been expressed

by Schrodinger in these words: "The most incomprehensible thing about nature is that it is

comprehensible."          

 

True, the universe, as discovered by science, is unmarred by anything of a contradictory

nature.  Yet scientists have not been able to build up a convincing body of scientific

knowledge without making reference to God.  This is because a universe which is free of

contradictions cannot be explained without God.  It is this state of impasse which I have

called modern man"s intellectual crisis.  The man of today finds himself beset on all sides by

it.  To rid himself of this problem, he looks to religion.  But most religions - due to human

interpolations do not face up to to the standards of reason.  Likewise, when he looks to

science, it fails to provide him with the mental satisfaction he so desires.         

 

The only solution to this crisis of the intellect is Islam - a pure and unadulterated religion,

which exists still in its original, revealed state, without human interpolation.  As such, it is

the only religion which is in any position to provide a complete system of  thought to modern

man.  Islam is in perfect consonance with his nature.  At the same time it holds out to him the

pure concept of monotheism, by which he may explain the universe.  The greatest service to

mankind today would be to introduce it to Islam.  It is the only system which can resolve the

intellectual crisis of mankind.           

 

At this point, I should like to mention two incidents which make it clear how Islam can lead

man out of his present intellectual dilemma and into the state described in the Quran in these

Words: " Surely in the remembrance of God, all hearts are comforted." (Quran, 13:28)          

 

The first of these incidents relates to Dr. Nishi Kant Chattopadhyaya, a highly educated

Hindu, who accepted Islam in 1904.  He has given an account of his mental journey in a

book entitled, Why Have I Accepted Islam.         

 

He writes that when he grew up, he felt discontented with his ancestral religion.  He then

began to study other religions.  But he found that none of them were historical, in the sense

that their scriptures and their religious personalities did not conform to the highest standards

of historical accuracy.  Finally, however, when he came to the study of Islam, he found that

both the religion and the personality of its Prophet could stand up to the most rigorous

historical investigation.  He thus came to accept Islam.  This, the most thrilling event in his

life, caused him to write: "Oh! what a relief to find, after all, a truly historical Prophet to

believe in!"  (Dr. N. K.Cajttopadhyaya, Why have I accepted Islam?)         

 

The second incident concerns a Frenchman, a Dr. Roger Graudy.  He, too, was an individual

who felt an urge to seek the truth.  To this end, he studied various philosophies and religions

until finally he came to the study of Islam.  This, he found, gave him complete satisfaction,

and he accepted the faith in 1982.  When asked why he had accepted Islam, he replied, "So

that I could give meaning to my life." (Al-Riadh, March12, 1986)         

 

Both these incidents are a pointer to the greatest of man"s needs today.  What man is most in

need of is what Dr. Bradley has called the `new religion", or, to be more precise, Islam. 

Bradley"s new religion, or as others have termed it, scientific religion, is, in fact, Islam

because there is no other religion, besides Islam that is preserved today in its original form. 

This is the greatest thing that Muslims of the present day can give to mankind.         

 

Here I should like to emphasize that giving the message of Islam to the world is not just a

matter of making a simple announcement.  This is something which requires a great deal of

patience.  Unfortunately, Muslims, having been hurt in various ways by the mad"u nations,

have reacted by developing a psychology of anger and complaint against them.  While such

a psychology persists, no d"awah work can ever be carried out.  If Muslims are to shoulder

the responsibilities of d"awah that are obligatory upon them, they shall certainly have to rise

above this tendency towards reaction.  They shall have to bear - unilaterally - any injury they

are subjected to by their mad"u nations.         

 

Only after making this sacrifice can they become the da"i of Islam in the world of  today.  It

is this truth which has been expressed in the Quran in the words of the Prophet: "We will

endure your persecution patiently." (Quran, 14:12))         

 

In conclusion, I would say that the Muslims, being in sole possession of the solution to the

intellectual crisis which besets man at the present time, should be aware of the opportunity

this gives them to become the intellectual leaders of the world.  However, such intellectual

leadership can be gained only through patience.  This is the reality which is thus expressed in

the Quran:  "And we appointed from among them leaders, giving guidance under our

command, when they persevered with patience. (Quran, 32:24)





Maulana Wahiduddin Khan 


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