Understanding Islam – Abul Al\’a Maududi
One may ponder over this matter and wonder how, in the dark ages 1400 years back in a benighted region of the earth like Arabia, an unlettered Arab trader and herdsman came to possess such light, such knowledge, such power, such capabilities, and such finely developed moral virtues? One may say that there is nothing peculiar about his Message. It is the product of his own mind. If it is so, then he should have proclaimed himself as God. And if he had made such an assertion at that time, the peoples of the earth who did not hesitate in calling Krishna and Buddha as gods and Jesus as the Son of God, just out of their own fancy, and who could without compunction worship even the forces of nation like fire, water and air would have readily acknowledged such a wonderful person as the Lord God Himself.
But lo! His assertion is just to the contrary. For he proclaimed that: I am a human being like yourselves. I have not brought anything to you of my own accord. It has all revealed to me by God. Whatever I possess belongs to Him. This message the like of which the whole humanity is not able to produce, of my own mind. Every word of it has been sent down by Him and all glory to Him Whose Message it is. All the wonderful achievements, which stand to my credit in your eyes, all the laws which I have given, all the principles which I have enunciated and taught-none of them is from me. I find myself thoroughly incompetent for producing such things out of my sheer personal ability and capabilities. I look to Divine Guidance in all matters. Whatever He wills I do, what He directs I proclaim. Hearken! What a wonderful and inspiring example of honesty, truth, and honor it is! A liar and a hypocrite generally try to ascribe to himself all the credit for the deeds of others also, even when the falsehood of his statement can be easily proved. But this great man does not appropriate the credit of any of these achievements to his own person even when none could contradict him, as there was no method of finding out the source of his inspiration.
What more proof of perfect honesty of purpose, uprightness of character, and sublimity of soul can there be! Who else can be a more truthful person than he who received such unique gifts and embellishments through a secret channel and still he outrightly points out the source of all his enlightenment and inspiration? All these factors lead to the irresistible conclusion that such a man was the true Messenger of God. Such was our Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). He was a prodigy of extraordinary merits, a paragon of virtue and goodness, a symbol of truth and veracity, a great apostle of God, His Messenger to the entire world. His life and thought, his truth and straightforwardness, his piety and goodness, his character and morals, his ideology and achievements-all stand as unimpeachable proofs of his prophethood. Any human being who Studies his life and teachings without bias will testify that verily he was the true prophet of God and the Qur’an-the Book he gave to mankind-the Book of God. No unbiased and serious seeker after truth can escape this conclusion. Furthermore, this must also be clearly understood that now, through Muhammad (peace be upon him) alone can we know the straight path of Islam.
The Qur’an and the only reliable sources that are available to mankind to learn God’s Will in its totality. Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the Messenger of God for the whole of mankind and the long chain of prophets has come to an end with him. He was the last of the prophets and all the instructions which it was God’s will to impart to mankind through direct revelation were sent by Him through Muhammad (peace be upon him) and are enshrined in the Qur’an and the Sunnah. Now, whoever be a seeker of truth and anxious to become an honest Muslim, a sincere follower of the way of God, it is incumbent upon him to have faith in God’s last prophet, accepted his teachings and follow the way he has he pointed out to man. This is the real road to success and salvation.