The New World

This world of ours, they say, is very old. Yet, time and again, it has woken up from death like slumber and staged a wonderful recovery. The last time it was restored to life and rendered active and flourishing again was when a grandson was born in the family of Abdul Mutalib in Makkah. Though born an orphan, the child was to take care of all mankind and give it a new lease of life. A life spent in sleep is no life. Time used up in killing one self cannot be called existence. The real age of the world, hence, is not more than fourteen hundred years.

The cart of humanity was moving along the downward track in the 6th Century of the Christian era. It was growing darker and darker, and the slope was becoming deeper. The cart was gathering momentum. It was rolling down with greater force. The whole family of Adam (alaihis salaam)   was seated in the cart. There were, in it, the fruits of thousands of years of human endeavour, of ancient civilisations and intellectual development. The occupants were either fast asleep or quarrelling among themselves for a better place. No one gave a thought to the danger that lay ahead.

Physically, the human races strong and vigorous, but its heart was weary, mind fatigued and conscience dead. The pulse was sinking, and the eyes were about to petrify. It had lost the wealth of faith long ago. Not one man of belief and conviction was to be found in whole communities. Superstition was rampant in the world. Man had disgrace himself. He had bowed low before his own slaves and servants, and was ready to kneel to everyone save one God. He had developed a fondness for the forbidden and the unlawful.

The ruling classes, drunk with power, indulged in reckless oppression. Their dogs lolled in luxury while the human beings starved. The mounting standard of living had turned life in to a nightmare. Whoever did not conform to it was looked down upon as uncivilised. The common people lived in grinding poverty. Taxes and other duties had multiplied manifold. Wars had become a regular feature. People, everywhere were entangled in their internal problems. They had neither the time nor inclination for the higher values and ideals of life. The world had become hollow from within.

The correction and reform of the world had gone beyond the power of man. It was not the question of a country’s freedom or a nation’s progress. The whole of mankind was hovering between life and death. There was not one sore to be healed; the entire body of mankind was a big, festering boil.

No one seemed fitted for the task. Neither the philosophers, nor the writers, nor the statesmen. They, all were the victims of the same malady. How could the sick heal the sick? How could those who were bereft of faith impart it to others? A huge lock had been placed on the destiny of man, and the key was missing.

The excessively gloomy state of affairs, certainly, was not pleasing to the Lord. Ultimately, He raised up an Apostle among the simple, unaffected, freedom loving Arabs. No one, indeed, besides a divine Apostle could rescue mankind from the clutches of death and restore it back to life. His name is Muhammad bin Abdullah. Boundless salutations to him, and endless benedictions.

Whose name did I utter, oh God!

That my speech came up and kissed my tongue?

All the ingredients of life were intact. They had only become disorganised. The wheel of life had not stopped. It was moving, but in the wrong direction. The real fault was that the tendon of life had become loose. But what was that tendon? Correct knowledge and awareness of the Creator, the resolve to obey Him, to believe in His Apostles and to follow their teachings, and faith in the Hereafter.

The Holy Prophet (sallallahu alai wasallam) set right the axle of life, but at the gravest peril to himself and his family. He sacrificed everything for the sake of it; he spurned the crown, rejected the offers of worldly power and wealth, abandoned the beloved hometown for good, and spent his whole life in suffering and privation. He tied stones to his stomach (to suppress hunger), never ate to satisfaction throughout his life, and made his family a sharer and partner in adversity and tribulation. He was always in the forefront on occasions of trial and danger, and kept strictly away from every manner of gain and gratification. Yet he did not depart from the world until he had put it on the right path and turned the tide of history.

Within a space of 23 years, the world was transformed. The conscience of man was aroused, the inclination towards well doing was created and the power of discernment between right and wrong was developed. The path of the worship of God and obedience to Him was opened, and man began to feel ashamed of prostrating himself before fellowmen and his own salves. Inequality came to end, and racial pride disappeared; rights were restored to women, and comfort was brought to the weak and the indigent.

In sum, the face of the world was changed in no time. Where a God-fearing man was not to be found in a whole country, hundreds and thousands of persons were produced who lived in the constant presence of the Almighty. They did justice even to the enemy and cared nothing for their own children when it came to fairness and impartiality. They were ready to depose against themselves and willingly bore hardships for the sake of others and espoused the cause of the weak against the strong. They were ascetics by night and horsemen by day, and wielded the upper hand over everything, power, wealth and desire. They knew only one Lord and one Master, the Almighty, the Supreme Being, the King of Kings. They animated and inspired the world and instilled it with faith, civilisation, morality and God-remembrance.

A new dawn was heralded. A new era was ushered in. As man changed, the world, too, changed with him. The earth and the sky changed. The marvellous revolution was brought about by the teachings and endeavour of one man, the Holy Prophet (sallallahu alai wasallam). The family of Adam (alaihis salaam) is not indebted to anyone more then him. He is the greatest benefactor of humanity. The clock of civilisation would be put back by thousands of years if what the Holy Prophet (sallallahu alai wasallam) gave to the world was taken away.

Why should the day of the birth of the sacred Prophet (sallallahu alai wasallam) not be blessed when the most blessed man the world has seen was born on it?


From Pathway to Medina by S. Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi R.A

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