Tuesday, October 19, 2004

A Traveller on the Journey of Return.
The story of creation is well known among Muslims. Referenced in various places of the Qur'an, the story establishes that the mistake of the first man/woman resulted in their expulsion from the Garden; their subsequent remorse and repentance was accepted by a Forgiving Lord, but they were destined to spend time on earth for a specified period of time.

Since then, our journey as human beings on earth has been a journey of return to our first abode, our primordial home.

The anology of a journey to describe the passage of time in this earthly life is indeed an apt one. There is a point of departure and a point of return. There is also a Shariah (way) and a Manhaj (a method); and God Almighty in His Mercy, has not left us to wander aimlessly on the way - He has provided us with a Book to map for us the best and most meritorious way to reach our destination, and has provided a lucid explanation of the challanges, temptations and pitfalls that we should avoid on the way. In addition, He has made available for us provisions for the journey - spiritual food that would nourish us and help us light the way for ourselves and others.

In addition to the Revealed Book , there is also the Open Book - the book of nature and signs that is around us, giving us empirical evidence of His creative genius and mercy. Every majestic mountain or valley, every flower that adorns the path, the clouds that form strange shapes and then burst into rainfall, the stars at night - these are all pages of the Open Book. Other pages are not so apparent, but require a more indepth search to find them; and once found they are replete with evidences that lead to the reality of a Divine Power Who is the source of everything. Advancements in bio-technology, astronomy, space exploration and arcaheology have opened up thousands of these pages for our perusal. When we look at them, a sense of wonder envelops us, as we reflect on the Divine verses: "We shall show them Our portents on the horizons and within themselves until it will be manifest unto them that it is the Truth. Doth not thy Lord suffice, since He is Witness over all things?" (41-53)


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