The Religion Of Islam vol.1


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  • The Religion Of Islam vol.1


  • The Frailties of Human Nature

    The Koran also dwells on the weaknesses, to which the flesh is heir, and constantly reminds man of his inconstancy, injustice and ingratitude. “Man is created weak.” “Surely man is unjust and ungrateful”. “Man is hasty.” “Man is covetous”, “Verily, man is created extremely impatient” “Verily, man is ungrateful unto his Lord.” It must, however, not be inferred from verses like these, that man stands condemned before his Creator, as deserving only death and perdition. These verses rather breathe a noble sympathy for the weakness of man and the infirmities of the flesh. They contain in them promises of God’s grace and forgiveness. In reminding man of the infirmities of his nature, God desires that he should realise his weakness and powerlessness, bow down his head before the Lord, turn to Him for strength and assistance, and pray constantly, that He may guide him into the right, straight path. Indeed, the Moslem is enjoined to throw himself in this attitude towards his Maker, and to offer such prayers repeatedly through the day and night. He is taught to say: “Praise be to God, Lord of the worlds; the Compassionate, the Merciful, King of the day of Reckoning. Thee only do we worship, and to Thee do we cry for help. Guide Thou us in the right path, the path of those unto whom Thou hast been gracious; - and not of those with whom Thou art angry, and neither of those, who go astray.” [1]

     

    As will be seen, this human prayer is full of sympathy towards the weakness of man. In it the Lord teaches His servant, to beg of Him spiritual blessings. In it He indirectly asks them not sink in despair and indirectly promises, to guide them into the path of holiness and to give them strength, to bear the yoke of His law. What an uplifting hope is breathed into our hearts, when He tells us, that He was gracious in the past, unto those who sought Him, and even so to-day He is ready to be gracious unto us, if we only turn to Him and look up to His Grace, as our true Saviour.

    But, as Shakespeare said: “The course of true love never did run smooth”. With equal truth it may be said of divine love, that it course never runs smooth. Trials and tribulations are bound to come. Many a trail the seeker after God has to undergo, before he can expect to receive the grace of God. “Think ye,” says the Lord, to enter Paradise, when no such things have come upon you, as no those who flourished before you? Ills and troubles tried them; and so tossed were they by trials, that the Apostle and they, who shared his faith, said ‘When will the help of God come? Is not the help of God nigh?” [2] Even the Patriarch Abraham, was tried by God, when He commanded him to leave his home and country, and to offer his beloved son as a sacrifice.

     

    No doubt, it is rather a difficult task, to secure the blessing of God, and to perform the divine laws. But, let not man stagger under the difficulty of the task that lies before him. Let him take courage, and with a firm trust in God and a cheerful heart, undertake the performance; and above all fear the Lord; for it is God’s promise, that    “He will make His command easy to him who feareth Him “The God of Islam, it should always be remembered, is not a niggardly, exacting God, but “He is gracious unto His servants.” Elsewhere, we read a surpassingly comforting verse, which comes as a message of hope to each and all of us. “God desireth, to be gracious unto you… God desireth to make your burden light: for man hath been created weak.” [3] Again we read; “God wisheth you ease and never wisheth you discomfort.” A world of mercy and forgiveness is surely concealed behind, and breathed out by these verses. God is offering His grace; we have only to throw ourselves in the right attitude of Faith, and give ourselves up to God and His Hand will lead us to His blessings. We have but to confess out weakness and ask from our Lord power, strength, and His spirit will descend upon us.

     

    There is another remarkable passage in the Holy Koran which presents to us a just, but at the same time a merciful God, and then gives a most beautiful prayer, so com-forting to the helpless man who, toiling up the spiritual heights sits down totally unnerved, looking up to God for strength and support, “God will not burden any soul beyond its power,” so run the words of God, “It shall enjoy the good which it hath acquired and shall bear the evil, for the acquirement of which it laboured. Our Lord punish us not if we forget, or fall into sin; Our Lord lay not on us a burden, like that which Thou hast laid on those who have been before us; neither make us, O Lord, to bear what we have not the strength to bear; but blot out our sins, and forgive us, and have pity on us. Thou art our Patron; help us, therefore, against those who do not believe.” [4]

     

    ([1]) This is the prayer, with which the Holy Book of Islam opens.

    ([2]) Koran, II : 210.

    ([3]) Koran; IV: 28.

    ([4]) Koran: Last verses of chap. II.

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