Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD
The Holy Quran and the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad, may peace be on him, gave the world vision of Universal Brotherhood & Sisterhood and universal compassion towards the whole of the human family.
The chapter of the Holy Quran, which has one of the most well known verses regarding Universal Brotherhood & Sisterhood, starts with addressing the Muslims, by saying ‘O ye who believe.’ But, when it came to describing our common humanity and brotherhood the address changed to ‘O mankind.’
O mankind, We have created you from a male and a female; and We have made you into tribes and sub-tribes that you may recognize one another. Indeed, the most honorable among you, in the sight of Allah, is he who is the most righteous among you. Surely, Allah is All-knowing, All-Aware. (Al Quran 49:14)
The Prophet implemented these Quranic ideals at the time of his last pilgrimage in 630 CE. As the Prophet delivered his farewell speech in the eighth year after migration to Medina, to an unprecedented large gathering, of more than 100,000 people, standing on the back of his camel Qaswa, he raised his hands and joined the fingers of the one hand with the fingers of the other and then said, “Even as the fingers of the two hands are equal, so are human beings equal to one another. No one has any right, any superiority to claim over another. You are as brothers. Neither an Arab has any superiority over a non-Arab, nor a white man over his black brother.” His address is enshrined in the Muslim history with greater glory than the famous Gettysburg address by President Abraham Lincoln.
I have argued that Islam was the pioneer of the vision of Universal Brotherhood & Sisterhood, in an article: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Islam!
The Messiah, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani, the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and the lead follower of the Prophet Muhammad, came in India more than 120 years ago. One of the goals of his ministry was to unite all religions and mankind by emphasizing religious freedom for everyone and the fact that the founders of all religions, Confucius, Buddha, Tao, Krishna, Ram, Moses and Jesus were prophets of God. He initiated renaissance of Islam in keeping with the prophecies of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace be on him.
By insisting on vicarious atonement, which means Jesus dying on the cross for the sins of others, a metaphor completely missing in other religions, Christianity is fundamentally at odds with all other religious traditions, be it Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism or Zoroastrianism. Islam on the other hand has a unifying paradigm, which suggests that Abraham, Isaac, David, Solomon, John the Baptist, Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, Ram, Confucius, Dao and Zoroaster, were prophets of God and were all inspired by love of one True God and mankind.
However, here is a ray of hope for the Christians. The Holy Bible tells us:
One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, ‘Of all the commandments, which is the most important?’
‘The most important one,’ answered Jesus, ‘is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.’ (Mark 12:28-31)
In our global village it is time to re-interpret Jesus’ teaching in universal colors, a Transcendent God of Monotheism, as understood by Jews, Muslims, Unitarian Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, Zoroastrians and some Buddhists and not a Triune mystery, hard for even those who are indoctrinated in this to conceptualize or explain! The ‘neighbor’ now means every member of our human family, living any where in our planet earth.
There are Quranic prophecies to believe that Universal Brotherhood & Sisterhood will be achieved soon in decades to come. Additionally, when we look at the world with our secular lenses, the ease of communication between man and man in our internet world, gives me further hope. George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, an influential German philosopher of the 19th century, observed: “Once the world of ideas has been transformed, reality cannot hold out for long.”
Is it time for you to now make the Muslim Times your Homepage?
Categories: Ahmadiyyat: True Islam