Islam Doctrines on Equality, Realism, Wisdom and Mysticism (3)

Islam Doctrines on Equality, Realism, Wisdom and Mysticism (3)

If we investigate in the same manner all of the creatures of the world one by one it will become perfectly obvious that for each of them there is a way peculiar to itself through which it reaches the limit of its own perfection, and that from the first day of its coming into being it is attracted towards its end. In its development it never goes astray nor does it change its direction, as if, for example, an almond shoot could develop into a horse or a horse could go to sleep one night and wake up the next morning an almond tree. Rather every creature is guided toward its final goal by means of creation itself, and in traversing this path of development, it never falls into error.

The path which has been laid out for each creature leading to its final goal is one which is in conformity with the means and potentialities with which it was provided by its own nature. These means allow it to attract what is of benefit and repel what is harmful and threatens its existence. Chickens eat grain, sheep and cattle feed upon forage, and wolves, leopards and hawks hunt for game, for each is equipped with particular digestive systems which are proper only for particular nutritive substances.

In the same way, birds defend themselves with their beaks, sheep and cattle with their horns, scorpions and bees with their stings, lions and leopards with their teeth and claws, and deer by flight, for the defensive equipment of each of them is just this. In summary, each of these creatures moves in its life towards a particular goal and end. It performs actions in which the equipment provided by its very existence guides it, and the nature of which this equipment determines.

This guidance and determination is the same general guidance and determination which the Quran has referred to and attributed to the Creator: "Our Lord is He who gave unto everything its nature, then guided it a right."(1) "Who createth, then disposeth; who measureth [i.e., determineth], then guideth.".(2) Obviously, man also, who is one of the species of creation, is not an exception to this general rule. His natural disposition and character show to him the path which he should take in life, and point out and distinguish the duties and responsibilities which he must fulfill. "From what thing does he create him (man)? From a drop of seed. He createth him and proportioneth him, then maketh the way easy for him."(3)

Meditation upon this and upon our previous discussion will show that the result of both of these discussions is the same, that is, that correct actions and deeds (those which are in conformity with man's true best interest)- which man must choose by means of his instinct of discerning between the real and the illusory-are the very same actions towards which the nature of man guides him, endowed as it is with its own peculiar equipment.

It is thus that the way towards which the Holy Quran invites man, which it has named "the Religion of the Truth", which it also refers to as the natural and primordial religion, and attributes it to creation itself. "So set they purpose (O Muhammad) for religion as a man by nature upright-the nature (framed) of Allah, in which He hath created man. There is no altering (the laws of) Allah's creation. That is the right religion."(4) "By a soul and Him who perfected it, and inspired it (with conscience of) what is wrong for it and (what is) right for it. He is indeed successful who causeth it to grow, and he is indeed a failure who stunteth it."(5)

From another point of view, since creation is the work of God and since every sort of beauty and appropriateness which is observable in it is the result of His Mercy, that which is appropriate to human nature inasmuch as it determines the actions which man must perform is called "the Will of God".

(This is of course the Will of God inasmuch as it ordains laws, guides men in his actions, and holds him responsible for these actions; it is not the same as the Will of God inasmuch as it creates-which can never be disobeyed or violated.) Likewise the duties and rules which result from that which is appropriate to man's nature are called the commands and prohibitions of God. "The Lord bringeth to pass what He willeth and chooseth. They (men) have never any choice.(6)

Since the religion of Islam consists of duties and commands from God, the Creator, and since the person who follows its doctrinal and practical injunctions has submitted himself to the Will of God, in the language of the Holy Quran this religion is called "Islam" ("submission" or "surrender"). "Lo! Religion with Allah (is) the Surrender.(7) "And whoso seeketh as religion other than the Surrender (to Allah) it will not be accepted from him."(8)

Continue in the next article: ( Islam Doctrines on Equality, Realism, Wisdom and Mysticism (4) )

NOTES:

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1. (The Quran: XX, 50)

2. (The Quran: LXXXVII, 2-3)

3. (The Quran: LXCX, 18-20)

4. (The Quran: XXX, 30)

5. (The Quran: XCI, 7-10)

6. (The Quran: XXVIII, 68)

7. (The Quran: III, 19)

8. (The Quran: III, 85)