Human Beings chose a very difficult path. Deceived by their own greatness, humanity decided to take by force what God would have given them out of His grace. Relying on cause and effect they attempted to snatch from God that which God would have given to them directly. As the field of human intellect and consciousness spread and matured, humanity turned its back more and more on the simple and the pure. They adopted greed and the temptations of the reptilian Self as their guide and chose to ignore the injunctions of God, like a child whose newly acquired and uncontrollable ability to reason leads him to think in a grandiose, pretentious manner.
Being impulsive has always been Man's characteristic. Impulse is a quality which can never be free from error and irrationality. This is why when God offered the guardianship of the intellect and consciousness, He also gave an assessment of Mankind that they could be ‘ignorant’ and ‘oppressive’. They would not grant the rights of others, and had burdened themselves with a responsibility they did not have the resolve to carry. When it came to demanding their rights, nobody was under any doubt or confusion. But how many people supported the cause of knowledge and awareness? In fact, most of the human race became steeped in ignorance: real knowledge of the Creator and the cosmos was lost.
As the ‘instruments’ of human consciousness evolved, humanity's awareness shifted from external gods towards arrogance, conceit and desire for distinction. The human being who once trembled with fear because of the shadows cast by the setting sun, the clashing of thunder and lightning, the rustling of leaves, the howling winds in the open plains, now claimed wisdom, sovereignty and mastery over Nature. The ghosts who used to haunt him changed their shape and form: fear and loneliness were replaced by pride and self-importance. In the past Man lived in the fear of not one, but countless gods: now he claimed to be God himself! Becoming the embodiment of narcissism, humanity refused to accept the existence of any other being greater than itself. Mankind was prepared to fight for its claim to Godhood.
This path was very difficult. The false dream of subjugating the Universe had taken hold of the human mind like an evil spirit. The notion of his own Godhood pushed him to attribute to himself everything which pointed towards an absolute reality. Intellectual pride trampled over his already limited and deficient intelligence. Instead of putting right untold mistakes of the past, this ‘ignorant oppressor’ put into jeopardy humanity’s entire future, by spreading doubt. Is it possible to find a way of acceptance and acknowledgement of human responsibility between the two opposing extremes of ignorance and realisation, a path which would encourage the human race to undertake an objective analysis of reality? This would be a path which would compel it to perceive the terrifying dangers lying ahead. Humanity has lost its grip on the reins of time and reality. Moderation has been swallowed up by fanaticism. The human race is not galloping towards God, but riding on an unsaddled, unbridled horse of lighting speed who is charging towards a dark, horrifying and frightening hell.
Miracles of all kinds have occurred throughout history. On the surface, the miracles of prophets and saints seem to be bewildering, supernatural acts. In reality, they are the application of as yet undiscovered laws. Without relying on apparent cause and effect, with the support of God, the ‘breaker of habits’ of human reason, all those events occurred which would have taken billions and billions of dollars or roubles of technological investment to achieve. In fact, these miracles broaden the horizons of human thought by expanding the realms of possibility. Of course, the cooling of the fire for Abraham is a miracle, but it is also the application of a law.
It would come as no surprise if after three thousand years of effort and research science should be able to discover the principles governing the essential properties of all things. It appears that the mysterious clouds which provided shade in the desert for the tribe of Moses, the bursting forth of twelve fountains from the staff of Moses, the curing of the blind, the leper, the ‘madman’, and bringing the dead to life by Jesus all occurred without any known principle of cause and effect. A prophet is not sent to himself. In everything he does he points to the realm of the possible. Has not the person who transported the throne of Sheba thousands of miles within a blink of an eye directed us to the possibility of fusion and diffusion? Did not the control of the winds and the flying throne of Solomon indicate the possibility of air travel? Did the inspired understanding of Khidr not hint at the possibility that events can be governed by alternative non-physical causes? Were not extraordinary creatures, such as Genies (Jinns) and Devils, manipulated to build mighty palaces? All this is merely within the realm of possibility and control here on Earth. Did not the beautiful event of the Mi’raaj (night journey) expand the limits and boundaries of the cosmos? What is more, the splitting of the moon by a signal of the Prophet’s finger informed the residents of the Earth of the possibility of their control of space and their sovereignty over the Earth and Skies. Miracles are not just to shock and bewilder people, nor are they purely psychological commentaries on the psychopathic and psychotic tendencies of religious believers.
Twelve hundred thousand people witnessed the miracles of Moses, hordes and hordes of people took advantage of the hand of Jesus, five thousand companions witnessed the flowing fountain from the Prophet’s finger. If seeing is believing then these miracles contained complete, convincing observable and intellectual proofs of reality. But history shows that belief did not always follow the act of witnessing a miracle. The question this raises is what was the purpose of miracles? Was it simply to amaze and confound people? This doesn’t seem likely since human beings are easily overawed and dazzled by the inexplicable wonders of Nature. In fact, we see that people are perplexed and shocked by a startling noise, by ghosts and imaginary phantoms, by the tap of a hand, or even by the jingling of trinkets. Is there any need for yet more major miraculous events just to shock and astound?
Was Man not informed that if you follow God and remain steadfast to the teachings of the prophets, you would not have to endure hardship? Instead of preoccupying yourself with billion dollar building projects, just fulfil the obligation of gratitude with sincerity and conviction. If you do this you will find that like Uqbah-bin-Naafi the jungles of Qairawaan will submit themselves to you; that like Sa’d-bin-abi-Waqaas the hurricanes of Madaain will create a pathway for you; that like Moses and Alaa al-Hadrami the river Nile and the lakes of Hadramaut submit to you. The Absolute Power of God will accompany you. In the midst of pitch darkness and howling sandstorms candles will be lit for you, as they were for the inhabitants of Madinah. Angels will rush from the heavens to listen to the recitation of Usaid-bin-Hudair. The promises of Bara-bin-Malik will always be fulfilled. The mighty gates of Khaiber will become like a twig in the hands of Ali al-Murtada. From a distance of a thousand miles the voice of Umar will reach Naeem-bin-Saariya. The effects of deadly poison will not work on Khalid-bin-Waleed even if he puts the poisoned chalice to his lips. The insight of Ibn Abbas will remain till the day of judgement. The prayer of Bukhari will be accepted as soon as it is uttered. Attacking armies will be diverted from Damascus by the supplication of Muhammad-bin-Muhammad al-Jazary. Mankind and Jinn will be subjugated to Abdul Qadir. The benefits of Hiz-ul-Bahr will reach al-Shaadhali. The veils of the Earth will be lifted to allow Ali-bin-Uthman al-Hujweri to witness the Ka’ba.
Science has already achieved some of these possibilities which have been hinted at in these miracles. However, meaningless toil and fanciful dreams of power have put into doubt the outcomes of human effort. Construction has become the tool of destruction. The struggle for survival of the fittest is dragging us towards total annihilation. Short-term gain is leading to unimaginable loss. Without God, the ‘ignorant oppressor' has cast the cloak of suspicion and fear of danger over His universe. These days it is impossible to find anyone who is not in self-denial, restless and anxious; we have forgotten our true identity as human beings. Yet those who worked miracles in the past were at peace and did not lack insight. The harmony that can be seen in the inner and outer aspects of these personalises is like an unattainable dream of today.
God had wanted to give humanity, on this Earth for a short while, a life of ease and comfort: hospitality to travellers is a well-known principle! The caravan of life which had stopped for a few moments in the resting place of the Earth had been told that you will find comfort and benefit in this place. In the words of the Quran:
And for you there is an abode in the earth and an (enjoyable) provision for a time (2:36)
However, humanity did not put their trust in the promise of God. They traded hardship for ease. Survival was brought to the brink of annihilation. They exerted all their energy in diverting people from the reverence of God. They succeeded only in opening the eye of worldly cause and effect of the Unique and Compassionate God. But the eye of true knowledge and realisation was blinded. By their own hands they handed over their future not to God but Dajjal (Anti-Christ). Man had chosen a very difficult path indeed!
An English Edition of Muqaddama-tul-Quran (pp.129-133)
An English Edition of Muqaddama-tul-Quran by Prof.Ahmad Rafique Akhtar