Sunday, December 12, 2010

Signs of Allah : Reader's Digest

Where will you a get a sign of Lord Most High in a magazine born and issued from the heartland of materialism, that is, the United States of America? Can we really find such things in a periodical whose perception of Islam is anything but positive and where Muslims aren't the heroes that shine? Can you trust the editors who routinely fail to recognize whether a Swedish joke will fall flat in the Persian Gulf or a hilarious Japanese incident will be a damp squib in India, to discern Signs of Allah Most High?

Answer :  Read the matter that describes the origin of the Reader's Digest. The founder is recovering from wounds and :
Reading dozens of magazines, he was impressed by the fact that certain articles had far more enduring appeal than others and that the impact of most articles could be improved by vigorously condensing them, focusing on essentials. He wanted to condense the best of previously published material of enduring appeal into a pocket-sized, non-fiction magazine that would inform, enlighten and entertain. 
That is the philosophy of RD. Now who gives enduring appeal to anything? Only Lord Most High. To recognize Signs of Lord Most High you need a believer-not the editors of a well established magazine. All the courage, perseverance or ingenuity that goes into making a story worthy of RD is a sign of Creator-as is everything else that exists. Hazrat Shaikh (DB) says that we should read newspapers to get admonition for these are full of admonitions. In the present case we should keep in mind the injunction that God created man in best of the molds and whenever a human being shines then it is a revelation of that-a Sign of Lord Most High.

A doubt may come to mind at this juncture. Seeing the fact that by choice the stories under consideration are, as a rule, brimming with, in general, above average levels of praiseworthy traits, even if we try to measure them by standards of Islam, then it should follow that the readers of such stories should be making a beeline for Islam. Both at the time of their original publication as well as after condensation. This obviously is not happening. In other words a Sign of Allah should inspire towards Allah Most High. Why is it not happening?

Guidance becomes common after the group that is calling people to Lord has worked for some time with appreciable amount of sacrifices. "When comes the Help of Allah and the victory and the people are entering the religion of Allah in hoards then...."

What happens in other times? In those times too people enter the religion of Allah but not in hoards. And only they enter who so desire. Guidance is given to those who aspire for it. It is a mighty blessing of Lord Most High. Don't we know the examples of those who read the Holy Qur'an in Arabic but did not reach Allah? Can RD be a better guarantee?

The other thing that can not not be ignored in the context is our duty. You need a believer to spot a Sign of Allah and you need a believer to communicate it to those who have not recognized it yet. That is the way of Allah. That is the method of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). And after cessation of prophet hood that responsibility rests on our weak shoulders. This world is a place where things happen by use of proper means.  The need is to spot a Sign of Allah ourselves and then to communicate it to those who read these stories because they appeal to them.

And why do these stories appeal to people? Because Verily in the Remembrance of Lord is the solace of hearts. These remind them, the people, their Lord. Even if they are not explicitly aware of them. To fill this gap between feeling of God and its proper realization is our Personal Duty (farz-e-ain). Communication of religion preferable to Lord Most High to those who are ignorant of it is a Personal Duty. It comes under the head that those who are present should take it to those who are absent. The Prophetic (PBUH) injunction is rather clear in this matter. The Qur'anic injunction that there should be group among you who calls the people to Lord is for the internal calling of the believers to acts of obedience. That is a Social Duty (farz-e-Kafaya).