By requiring deep thinking and research into the signs spread throughout the Nature, the Quran emphasizes that material forces of Nature are for material needs for all human life on earth. The Quran says that, along with conquering the forces of nature, proper guidance is also required for the long human journey on Earth. And this guidance comes from divine revelation. The last of these divine revelations came through Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and is securely preserved in the Quran, the final and the last divine Book. Allah has made His Book an expression of حَمْدُ (‘Hamd) as well: الْحَمْدُ لِلَّـهِ الَّذِي أَنزَلَ عَلَىٰ عَبْدِهِ الْكِتَابَ وَلَمْ يَجْعَل لَّهُ عِوَجًا (18:1) – All praise is due to God, who has bestowed this divine writ from on high upon His servant, and has not allowed any deviousness to obscure its meaning [Asad]. The guidance that has been revealed to the Prophet (PBUH) is a code of life that takes humanity on a straight path without any pitfalls. So, two things are required for حَمْدُ (‘Hamd):
1) to conquer the forces of Nature and
2) to use the Nature’s powers thus obtained for the benefit of all humankind according to the values given in Allah’s guidance, which is now exclusively preserved in the Quran.
This way people would be able to do the real حَمْدُ (‘Hamd) of Allah; and they would be called حامدون (‘Haamidun).
The person, who for the first time, did Allah’s حَمْدُ (‘Hamd) like this was Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Allah has called him احمد (Ahmad) (61:1) i.e., one who does Allah’s حَمْدُ (‘Hamd) very profusely. He was also called محمّد (Muhammad) (48:29) and was given the high position of مَقَامًا مَّحْمُودًا ( 17:79) because of his supreme accomplishments in improving the human condition by practically implementing a system of life based on the revealed guidance; by practically establishing a system for the benefit of human society based on Allah’s universal code of life. And what was the original result of this new system? Well, a nation that was engaged in tyranny and oppression of human beings was rooted out. The entire world at the time rose in universal praise at the establishment of this universal avant-garde system at the hands of the Prophet (PBUH). When the whole world was shrouded in darkness, this extraordinary achievement came as bright sunshine of freedom for the oppressed humanity, resulting in universal appreciation and praise: فَقُطِعَ دَابِرُ الْقَوْمِ الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا ۚ وَالْحَمْدُ لِلَّـهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ (6:45) – and [in the end,] the last remnant of those folk who had been bent on evildoing was wiped out. For all praise is due to God, the Sustainer of all the worlds. It is obvious that this kind of universal improvement in human condition by breaking the chain of human subjugation and tyranny requires power to root out the forces of evil that perpetuate such inhuman conditions. Therefore, the Quran has mentioned that both sources – of حَمْدُ (‘Hamd) and of power – flow from Allah. It says: لَهُ الْمُلْكُ وَلَهُ الْحَمْدُ (64:1) – His is all dominion, and to Him all praise is due [Asad]. Beauty as well as power is at the root of the Universe and its functioning. The system of the Universe will collapse if there was no power along with its beauty.
On the other hand if the power does not have the appreciative aspect of beauty then it turns into tyranny and oppression. In the words of Iqbal: If the دین (Deen) – the universal code of life – is removed from politics then the only thing that remains is Genghisism.
That is why Allah says: لَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا رُسُلَنَا بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ وَأَنزَلْنَا مَعَهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْمِيزَانَ لِيَقُومَ النَّاسُ بِالْقِسْطِ ۖ وَأَنزَلْنَا الْحَدِيدَ فِيهِ بَأْسٌ شَدِيدٌ وَمَنَافِعُ لِلنَّاسِ وَلِيَعْلَمَ اللَّـهُ مَن يَنصُرُهُ وَرُسُلَهُ بِالْغَيْبِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ قَوِيٌّ عَزِيزٌ (57:25) – Indeed, [even aforetime] did We send forth Our apostles with all evidence of [this] truth; and through them We bestowed revelation from on high, and [thus gave you] a balance [wherewith to weigh right and wrong], so that men might behave with equity; and We bestowed [upon you] from on high [the ability to make use of] iron, in which there is awesome power as well as [a source of] benefits for man: and [all this was given to you] so that God might mark out those who would stand up for him and His Apostle, even though He [Himself] is beyond the reach of human perception. Verily, God is powerful, almighty!
With synergistic balance between physical power derived from Nature and constitution power derived from the Quran, the system of life will remain firmly established and keep beautifully advancing towards greater and greater heights. In the words of Iqbal again: If the Quran does not have its watchful eye on the power then it becomes unrestrained and oppressive; and, if the Quran does not have the power to enforce its laws then it becomes mere sermon. Therefore, by enforcing both these attributes in society, مُؤْمِنِينَ (Momineen) become حامدون (‘Haamidun).
From this we can see what it means when we say الْحَمْدُ لِلَّـهِ (Al-Hamdulillah). But one thing is absolutely clear: it is not something that can be done just by reciting the words الْحَمْدُ لِلَّـهِ (Al-Hamdulillah). This means to establish a system of life in which the forces of nature are conquered; and the consequent benefits thus obtained are spent according to the divine revelation for universal nourishment and development of all humankind by removing the obstructionist forces from its way.
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