There are many verses of the Qur’an as well as the Bible that allude to the very real fact that at some point in mankind’s existence, this system of things as we know it will change, and this impending change will result in a restoration of the perfect order as Decreed by God at the beginning of creation when He said, “come into submission to God, be it willingly or unwillingly.” According to the Qur’an, the creation answered God’s Command, saying, ” We do come into submission willingly.” This illustrates for us, how the universal laws of God became manifest in the heavens, and also in the firmament from which mankind was subsequently fashioned, and how these laws serve, and protect creation, as well as fulfill a single, Divine intention, or Will. (Say: (Muhammad)”Is it that you deny Him who created the earth in two day! s? And do you join equals with Him? He is the Lord of all the worlds. He set on the earth, mountains standing firm and high above it. And He bestowed blessings on the earth, and measured therein all things to give them nourishment in due proportion, in four days, in accordance with the needs of those who seek sustenance. Moreover He comprehended in His design the sky, and it had been as smoke. He said to it and to the earth, ” Come you together willingly or unwillingly.” They said, “We do come in willing obedience” Holy Qur’an, Hamim Sajda, 9-11.
The abovementioned suggestion of a perfect order might be described as the re-establishment of a moral authority in the earth that is able to oversee the organization and care of societies, and which serves God by facilitating the very real goals and purpose of people who are in pursuit of not only worldly happiness, but also salvation, which is described in the scripture as the “supreme achievement” or ultimate happiness. Salvation has been described in many varying ways, yet the very general meaning of the term as stated in the Holy Scriptures, is understood as a condition wherein the human being, mind, body and soul, as a result of God’s Mercy, (Al-Rahman), is rendered safe on the Day of Judgment from the consequence of our acts of disobedience. What makes this salvation, or security (Bismillah), different from mankind’s security arrangements, is ! that real salvation is achieved as a result of God’s perfect compassion, (Al-Raheem) which is symbolized at times as Divine, or perfect law and order, and not man’s imperfect ideas which all emanate from imperfect desires, symbolized as lusts. ” Indeed there has come from God a light, and a clear book with which God guides him who seeks His pleasure unto the ways of safety, and brings them out from darkness into the light by His permission, and guides them unto the straight path,” Holy Qur’an, 5:15-16. Our desires might be symbolized as lusts, since they originate from imperfect hearts that are filled with longing for self gratification, self aggrandizement and many idols, whereas God’s love is perfect and original, without any need, or motive, or evil. It has no desire, no beginning and no end attached to it. By any and all accounts, God’s perfection is unequalled and unmatche! d, meaning that His Will is actually all that exists, (Al-Haqq), while everything else is merely an imperfect shadow of that perfection. Mankind in this state, which is not necessarily a complete or real state of separation from God, but is rather perhaps a separation more related to distant proximity from God that results from being human, and the residents of earth and not heaven, relegated to the seen, with little or no knowledge of the unseen, while possessing a limited and imperfect will that can only do harm, while God is the only entity that can do, or cause anything that is good, (Blessed is He who sent down the Criterion to His servant, that it may be an admonition to all creatures; He to whom belongs the Dominion of the heaven and the earth; no son hath He begotten, nor has He any partner in His Dominion. It is He who created all things, and ordered them in due proportions. Yet have they taken besides Hi! m gods that can create nothing, but are themselves created; that have no control of hurt or good to themselves, nor can they control death, nor life, nor resurrection) Holy Qur’an, 25: 1-3.
If we go back to the beginning of mankind’s creation as narrated in the Holy Qur’an, and continue through the teachings of Abraham, Noah, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad, we are able to see how the creation of our father Adam was a very significant milestone in the saga of human life. The creation of Adam, the first of the human species, and not angel or jinn, must have been an event in heaven. The Qur’an attests to this possibility when it says that the angels asked God, when they learned of Adam’s creation, whether God had created him for the earth and why God would place in the earth a creature with volition that is capable of violence, showing preference to him over angels who are perfect, without volition, and who Praise God, night and day. The Qur’an says in chapter 2, verse 30 the following:
“Behold thy Lord said to the angels, “I will create a vice-regent on earth.” They (the angels) said, ” Will thou place therein one who will make mischief therein and shed blood while we do celebrate thy praises and glorify thy Holy name? He (God) said: “I know what you know not.”
The establishment of a moral authority, a human entity who would serve God as His custodian, or guardian of the earth is not a myth. Throughout the history of mankind this pattern of succession has been duplicated, proof of this is the fact that not a single person has ever campaigned for a public office based upon his or her propensity for violence, evil and destruction. Rather, the opposite is true. Even evil and destructive beasts, who appear to us as normal people of good character and morality, willfully act under the authority of Satan. The outer appearances hide the hearts, and so it is easy to deceive people who are dependant on observation of outer appearances, and the meanings of words, and tones of speech, yet nothing can deceive God, and this is perhaps what is meant in verses 33 and 34 of Chapter 2 that says: ” He (God) said, O Adam, tell them the natures (names).” When Adam h! ad told them, God said, “Did I not tell you that I know what you reveal, and what you conceal?” Behold We said to the angels “Bow down to Adam” and they bowed down, all except Ibliss (Satan), he (Satan) was haughty, and of those who reject faith.” God knew what the angels did not know, and why the vice-regent of God on earth would be a human entity fashioned from earth, and neither of pure light, nor smoke, nor fire. Chapter 15, verses 24-34 says:
To us are known those of you hasten forward, and those who lag behind. Assuredly it is thy Lord who will gather them together, for He is perfect in Wisdom and knowledge. We created man from clay, molded into shape, and the jinn race We had created before from the fire of a scorching wind. Behold thy Lord said to the angels; “I am about to create man from sounding clay, from mud molded into shape. When I have fashioned him and breathed into him of My own spirit, fall you down in obeisance to him.” So the angels prostrated themselves, all of them together. Not so Ibliss, he refused to be among those who prostrated themselves. God said: “Oh Ibliss, what is your reason for being not among those who prostrated themselves? Ibliss said, ” I am not one to prostrate myself before man, whom thou did create from clay, from mud molded into shape. God said; “then get thee out from her! e, for thou art rejected and accursed. ‘
God knew that Satan had become rebellious and wrongfully sought dominion over God’s creation, including the earth. Is it possible that Adam was created from earth to establish his right to the earth, over Satan’s desire for dominion over mankind and the earth? Is it possible that man has a right to conditional and limited sovereignty in the earth not as a creator, but as an earthly entity, higher in potential than any other of God’s creation in either heaven or earth? No other created entity has choice, and intellect, and the ability and authority to act in our own interest, which is to protect and guard the earth, and the entities that exist in earth, since we are earth. Who can argue against mankinds right to limited sovereignty in the earth, over all other creation, since man is from earth, and earth sustains him. Who can argue against God’s right to sovereignty over man, earth and all of creation, since He (God) is its sole Creator, and the only entity that is capable of governing heaven and earth? Who can argue against the reality that only righteous man has the right to succession as the vice regent or guardian in the earth? If we agree, then we might understand verse 40 in Chapter 22 of the Qur’an that says: ” Did not God check one set of people by means of another there would surely be pulled down monasteries, churches, synagogues and mosques, in which the name of God is commemorated in abundant measure. God will certainly aid those who aid His cause, for verily God is full of strength, exalted in might, and able to enforce His Will. They are those who, if we establish them in the land, establish regular prayer, and give regular charity, enjoin the right and forbid wrong. With God rests th! e end of all affairs.”
Imagine that before Adam’s creation, the only existing entities were magnificent and powerful entities made of fire, and others of light so bright that the human eye cannot bear their sight, and so quickly do they move that the eye cannot capture their movement. Adam, made of clay, was perhaps not much to behold in comparison to other heavenly entities, yet God loves mankind so much that He (God) called us “beautiful.” God revealed Himself to Adam by teaching Adam His Names, which explains God’s essence, His attributes, and His acts. These same names also explain the truth about Adam and his righteous progeny and their duty and true potential as entities within whose hearts reside something like a breath of God’s. “And God has produced you from the earth growing gradually, and in the end he will return you into the earth, and raise you forth. And God has made the earth for you, as a carpet spread! out, that you may go about therein, in spacious roads.” Sura Nuh, 17-20.
The Migration of the Righteous to the Sacred House and the final transformation
“Those who leave their homes in the cause of God and then die, on them will God bestow verily a goodly provision. Truly God is He who bestows the best provision.” Holy Qur’an 22:58
Those people, who say that jihad is literally explained as a violent war, or confrontation with the unbeliever or the non-believer in the prophethood of Muhammad (saw), possess an overly simplistic view of God’s words in the Qur’an. Most Muslim scholars will agree that God has made it a duty for the righteous to oppose wrongdoing, and evil. Most would perhaps also emphasize the fact that the vice regent’s first duty is to teach good, and demonstrate the proper example of a righteous life, which is the most powerful form of opposition to evil and wrongdoing, since truth stands out clear from falsehood, and requires no amount of physical, or any other type of compulsion to find its way into the hearts of those who sincerely seek the truth. It’s quite possible in fact that we, all of us, are the nonbelievers and unbelievers to whom the Qur’an refers, since all of us are sinners who waver daily betwee! n faith and hypocrisy and truth and falsehood and right and wrong, often doubting God’s power, His word and His rights, since if we really believed and feared God as we say, we could not commit even the most benign violation of His law for fear of His displeasure, let alone the major sins such as lying and adultery and fornication, etc. If God should Command for the wicked to all be destroyed, and remove His Mercy and Grace, we would all perhaps perish.
This idea, of a Divinely decreed jihad in the cause of God might cause us to ask, “What is the cause of God?” There are possibly many answers, all right to varying degrees. The most popular and obvious response to that question might be, “to save mankind from the hellfire.” The next question might be, “How could a person leave their home, and die in the cause of God, if God is the only entity that can save mankind from the fire?” Within this question is possibly the meaning of this verse. Some scholars describe the house, or home of mankind as the heart. Indeed within our hearts are all of the things that we love, believe in and long for. It is the seat of our personalities, and the heart is also where our fears and apprehensions hide. It is the seat of our feelings, and it is also from whence man communicates with God in heartfelt sincerity. The intellect, w! hich is often confused with the heart, has been explained as a tool that has the capacity to receive and filter information, and then translate it into a logic that compels the heart to belief or disbelief, yet only the heart can compel us to action, and as Timothy explained in the Bible, faith without action is meaningless. This might explain the clichÃ© that says “Love is blind” meaning that it makes no judgments, or lacks intellect; it acts in most instances based upon emotion, or heart, alone. It might also explain why spiritual maturity, which is a desirable stage in life, is assumed to be a state where we have found peace, or balance, if not discipline and control, of both heart and reason, taming and tempering both with Taqwa, or deep reverence and love of God, as well as faith. It might also explain the metaphor that compares “cleaning up our house” or our act, with self-purification, or taskiyyah.
If the heart is the metaphorical home of mankind, then to leave this home in the cause of God can have various meanings. It can mean to change, as in to change places, or migrate for the pleasure of God, literally accepting the discomfort and hardship of moving from one place to another to avoid sin, or to be away from situations that cause sin by temptation, or where sin is advocated over righteousness. It can include making Hajj, and going to the Sacred House, or Kaba in Mecca for the pilgrimage, where a person involves themselves in rites and rituals that result in purity. It might also mean to migrate to God, (come willingly…) as in surrendering oneself completely to God, and to shed the love of self and mundane things, which could be symbolized as death, and serve One God, instead of the number one idol, which is self. It might also mean to be transforme! d from a soul destined to hellfire, to a soul placed upon the Sirat, or the path leading to salvation, which is a form of resurrection.
As we seek to understand this verse of Qur’an, we might also ask ourselves, ” if we should migrate from our homes, where would we go?” Would we go to a Sacred House? What would make it a Sacred House? Perhaps it would be Sacred only if it is a house that is governed by God’s law, or under God’s authority, and not Satan’s. Is such a house exclusively the Kaba in Mecca? Is it possible that to leave ones home, (heart) in the cause of God, might also imply the transformation of societies, such as in the story of prophet Jonah, who fled his home, and later preached to the people of Nineveh who became repentant, and whose society was changed by God from a place destined for destruction, to a place that enjoyed peace and prosperity. To accomplish such teaching, and transformation would require hard work, discipline, and teaching. It would require vice regents, men and women who have left their homes (old belie! fs, affections, and anything that prevents one from giving ones whole self to God) in God’s cause, died (transformed) and been rewarded with success. Jonah fled his physical home, was swallowed by a whale, cast out of the whale onto the shore in a state of helplessness, and sickness and near death. He repented for attempting to flee the Command of God, went to Nineveh, and was successful in conveying God’s message. When we imagine all of the possible meanings of leaving ones house, and all of the possible descriptions of a Sacred House, it becomes clear to us that the jihad is a movement that transpires in stages, from external to internal and from internal to external in a complete cycle to and from God in spiritual consciousness, and divine acts. Jihad is not a violent activity that is carried out to kill people because they either refuse to believe in Muhammad, or have never heard of Muhammad, or his teachings, or the Qur’an, Islam, or Christianity or Judaism, etc. When we e! mploy the logic that implies that we have a right to kill people because they do not believe in God, we have employed the logic that will be our own undoing, since we cannot appeal to God for the destruction of the wicked and salvation for those who believe, so long as we dwell among the wicked, are ourselves quite wicked, and are in fact a part of that community of atheists and pagans, since we do as they do, while calling ourselves righteous. When we call for their destruction, we have in fact appealed for our own destruction. When Noah called upon God to destroy the hybrid race of man and jinn that was oppressing mankind, and teaching magic and evil, and their followers, he called upon God as a man who had left his home, and submitted to the law of God, and who was obedient to God, not as a frustrated and weak hearted man who feared his enemies and sought the destruction of evil for his own relief. Noah called upon God and said: ” Oh my Lord, leave not of the wicked a single! one on earth. For if thou leave any of them, they will but mislead (deceive) Thy devotees, and they will breed nothing but evil ones. O my Lord, forgive me and my parents, and all who enter my house in faith, and all believing men, and believing women, and to the wrong doers grant thou no increase except in perdition.” Sura Nuh, 27-28. The Qur’an describes this race of evil entities and teaches us that they, and those who worship and follow them among men, seek the destruction of Adam and Adam’s progeny because of envy’ ” Hast thou not turned thy vision to those who were given a portion of the Book? They believe in sorcery and evil, and say to the unbelievers that they are better guided in the right way than the believers. They are those whom God has cursed, and those whom God has cursed, thou will find, have no one to help them. Have they a share in the dominion or power? Behold, they give nothing to their fellow men. Or ! do they envy mankind for what God has given them of His bounty? But we had already given the people of Abraham the Book and Wisdom, and conferred upon them a great Kingdom. Some of them believed, and some averted their faces from him, and enough is hell for a burning fire” Holy Qur’an 4:51-56
Only the righteous vice regent of God, absent the prophets, can call for a Holy Jihad against the wicked, and this vice-regent will not be hidden when the call is made. The righteous will recognize him, and when he calls they will understand his call, and respond, “We come willingly,” and the law will manifest because of them, and through them, and spread throughout the earth permeating the darkness as a reward to them. Until that time the believing people must be as Noah, and Jonah, and other prophets, including Muhammad (saws) who left their homes in the cause of God, (to save mankind from ruin and hellfire). We must build Arks, which could be a metaphor for a type of sacred place where the righteous take refuse from a world where they are persecuted because they worship One God, and speak out against evil and injustice without ambiguity or fear. Such a house is a way of being, a heart condition, a he! art that is under only God’s authority, and so is secure from God’s wrath, and also from the evil of their enemies.
The prophets were men who literally traveled far from home, while God has only asked us to travel from our hearts and give up our prejudices, and hatreds, and beliefs and traditions that fall outside the truth of monotheism, and accept the new personality brought about through worship and submission to One God and follow the word of God, for the pleasure of God only. This is perhaps what Jesus meant when he said, “take up your cross, (Purification and its trials, as well as the hard task of the soldier in God’s cause) and follow.” It is perhaps also demonstrated by Moses, who left his home seeking the Wiseman Khidr, and who asked when he found him, “might I follow you and learn some of what God has revealed to thee?” Jihad, or struggle in the cause of God is not a war for power, or wealth, or revenge, or honor, the jihad is a never ending movement of righteousness through hearts and minds that manifest in the earth, ultimately reestablishing a perfect order, or God’s kingdom on earth, as it is in heaven, since its aim is to reestablish a moral and righteous authority over God’s earth.
Only false teachers will call their people to murder, and chaos, death and destruction, and cause them to be hated and their religion to be hated, and the prophets cursed and despised because they act wrongly in the name of what is right. They act as animals, killing without just cause, and spreading hatred and malice among mankind. God says in the Qur’an, that these people are the party of Satan, and they are the enemies of mankind, who like their leader, Satan, who disguised himself, and gave false council to Adam, they disguise themselves as righteous men, and call the people to sin and to hellfire. The Qur’an says that we cannot recognize them accept by the tone of their speech, because they say false things, even though they claim to speak in the name of God. They call us to sin, even while we desire salvation, yet they cannot prevail over the righteous since God has promised that His forces will s! ucceed in guiding mankind through the jihad, or movement back to God, and away from hell, and that we will be transformed, and changed from a dead people bound for hell and destruction, to a people heaven bound. It is a promise from God, and God is true to His promise.
It is God who has created the heavens and the earth, and all in six days and is firmly established on the throne of authority. You have none, besides Him to protect or to intercede for you, will you not then receive admonition? He rules all affairs from the heavens and earth, in the end will all affairs go up to Him, on a Day the space whereof will be as a thousand years in your reckoning. Such is He, (God) the Knower of all things hidden and open, the Exalted in power, the Merciful, He who made everything He has created most Good. Holy Qur’an Sura Sajda, verses 4-7.