The Great Man´s Lot

(There is but one God, Muhammad is the Messenger of God.)

Editorial published in “Quest After God” by Muhammad Yakub Khan

یا   حسرۃ علے  العباد ۔ ما    یاتیھم

من رسول الا کانوا بہ یستھزون ۔القرآن

Woe unto mankind! Never did an Apostle come to them but they ridiculed him.

                                                                                                                            ˗ Al-Quran.


It is a bare truism that the above verse of the Holy Qur´an embodies. Such happens to be the way of the world. Whenever a great soul appears amongst a people, be he a Prophet, a Reformer, a Seer or a Saint, up they rise in revolt against him. To begin with, they ridicule him. That failing in thwarting him in his great resolve, they ostracize him. Then comes persecution of all imaginable kinds. Strange psychology this, but not hard to understand. They cling to their received notions and would on no account part with them. The Great Soul comes with a wider outlook on life and out of sympathy wants to emancipate his fellow men from the slough of the low and the mean. But all weaning is by its very nature an unpleasant process. They refuse to be weaned off from their conventional modes of thought and life. Anyone who should dare attempt such a thing is considered a dangerous person. They declare a wholesale crusade against him.

Such happens to be the way of a fallen humanity. When alive, they send their Great Men to the gallows, when dead, they raise memorials to them. The history of every nation, secular as well as religious, abounds in such tomfoolery. Socrates, whose name commands universal respect in the world of thought today, was, in his day, considered one such dangerous person. In the Greece of pagan days, he had the vision of soul to see through the futility of the prevalent superstitions and had the courage of conviction to proclaim it from the housetops. God is one, he preached, and it was enough of an ultimatum for the forces of conventionalism to be up against him. Charged with corrupting the youth, he had to pay for it with his life. The self-same Socrates who was made to take a cup of poison by his own compatriots for a fault none other than preaching the Unity of God, is today honoured not only in the land of his martyrdom but all the world over. Take another such great martyr to popular wrath, Jesus. Today he is given a seat on the right hand of God Himself but we all know what treatment he got at the hands of his own people in his day. Scoffed at, ridiculed, made to wear the crown of thorns and ultimately sent to the Cross! Such has been the common lot of all Great Men. Nor could the Holy Prophet Muhammad and his companions escape that fate. By their own kith and kin were they subjected to the worst of persecutions. He came as Rahmatul Lil Alamin, mercy to the whole of mankind. But what was the reception he got in his own day? They ridiculed him, called him all sorts of names. While prostrating before God, they placed the entrails of a camel on his neck. They threw rubbish at him; they pelted him and were not content with anything short of taking his life and did everything they could to take it. Coming down to the history of Islam, we find the same story repeat itself over and over again. Hardly has there been one Muslim saint or scholar but has been meted out the same treatment by the Muslims themselves. Take the case of first four caliphs, the Khulafa-i-Rashedin. With all their love of Islam, there are hundreds of thousands of Muslims who consider it an act of piety to throw mud on someone or other of them. Imam Abu Hanifa, the well-known founder of the Hanafia School, was in his day condemned as a Kafir, put in prison and ultimately poisoned. Imam Shafa`i was called “worse than the devil,” was sent as a prisoner from Yeman to Baghdad and on the way, he was abused by the people all along. Imam Malik was made to stand on a camel´s back, was taken around on show and given seventy stripes – and all this just for difference of opinion on a religious point! Imam Hambal was kept in prison for twenty-eight long months. Every evening they would bring him out, flog him in public and spit at is face. Imam Bukhari was banished from his birthplace and was not allowed to lay his head anywhere, till, tired of life, he prayed to God to call him back to Himself. Bayazid Bustami was seven times expelled from his hearth and home. Sheikh Shibli was actually condemned to death. Sheikh Abdul Qadir of Baghdad, Sheikh Mohy-ud-Din Ibn al-Arabi, Maulana Jalal-ud-Din, renowned author of Masnawi, Imam Ghazali, the great Muslim philosopher, every one of them was decorated with this ungrateful insignia of Kufr. Mujadid Alf-Sani had for two years rotted in Gawaliar Jail. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad would not have been the Great Soul of the day had he escaped this common fate of his class. It was only something of a piece with the same mentality that held this Great Son of Islam to public obloquy and gave him all sorts of uncharitable epithets. His only reply to all these uncharitable fatwas of kufr that were issued against him was:

بعد  از خدا بعشق محمد مخمرم

گر کفر ایں بود بخدا سخت کافرم

After God, with the love of Muhammad I am intoxicated. If this be Kufr, by God I am the greatest of infidels.”

                                                                                                                                                     Muhammad Yakub Khan