The Pinnacle (PBUH) of Humanity

Milky Way Galaxy in Pinnacle Desert (photo: iStock by Getty Images).

When Earth starts sizzling with heat; when Sun’s heat makes the entire sky a simmering inferno; when flora and fauna become completely emaciated; when flowers lose their colors; when tree branches become devoid of sap; when crops turn into parched fields; when evergreen trees seem like black smoke on the distant horizon; when shiny rivers become drylands of misfortune; when humans start gasping for air; when the Cosmos struggles and wheezes due to intense heat;

When birds find no shelter anywhere in forest due to scorching flames; when the panoramic view goes into deep retreat; when humans become despaired of life with all its accompanying inclinations; when there doesn’t exist any trace of hope in any segment of life on Earth and there doesn’t appear any trace of life-activity in any corner of the Earth – then in this state of extreme despair and hopelessness, the Grace of the Almighty Allah acts as a sheen in the eyes of humans. 

And then the Earth becomes alive with life again. The pulse of the Cosmos starts beating and its veins become vibrant again. The interrupted and suffocating breath of the environment turns into life invigorating spring swinging with ecstasy and happiness! 

وَهُوَ الَّذِي يُنَزِّلُ الْغَيْثَ مِن بَعْدِ مَا قَنَطُوا وَيَنشُرُ رَحْمَتَهُ 

(42:28) – And it is He who sends down rain after [men] have lost all hope, and unfolds His grace. [Asad]

وَهُوَ الَّذِي يُرْسِلُ الرِّيَاحَ بُشْرًا بَيْنَ يَدَيْ رَحْمَتِهِ ۖ حَتَّىٰ إِذَا أَقَلَّتْ سَحَابًا ثِقَالًا سُقْنَاهُ لِبَلَدٍ مَّيِّتٍ فَأَنزَلْنَا بِهِ الْمَاءَ فَأَخْرَجْنَا بِهِ مِن كُلِّ الثَّمَرَاتِ ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ نُخْرِجُ الْمَوْتَىٰ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ 

(7:57) – And He it is who sends forth the winds as a glad tiding of His coming grace-so that, when they have brought heavy clouds, We may drive them towards dead land and cause thereby water to descend; and by this means do We cause all manner of fruit to come forth. Even thus shall We cause the dead to come forth: [and this] you ought to keep in mind. [Asad]

فَانظُرْ إِلَىٰ آثَارِ رَحْمَتِ اللَّـهِ كَيْفَ يُحْيِي الْأَرْضَ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهَا ۚ إِنَّ ذَٰلِكَ لَمُحْيِي الْمَوْتَىٰ ۖ وَهُوَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ 

(30:50) – Behold, then, [O man,] these signs of God’s grace - how He gives life to the earth after it had been lifeless! Verily, this Selfsame [God] is indeed the One that can bring the dead back to life: for He has the power to will anything! [Asad]

This is the system of Nature. This is the law of Allah, which is eternal and unchangeable. This is the way of Allah and He does not change His ways (30:30; 33:62) because changes occur in space and time and His existence is beyond the limits and influence of space and time. 

These metaphors and similes relating to the material world let us see how these same eternal laws apply to the human world as well. In fact, these material metaphors and similes are provided for the purpose so that humans would be able to understand deep abstract concepts and truths through perceptual examples. By projecting these examples from the external universe to their internal human-universe, human beings will be able to derive evidence of the inner-workings of their own human “self.” 

What was the condition of the human world prevailing 1,400 years ago? Well, history is a clear witness to the fact that the drought prevailing in the human world at that time was worse than the metaphorical scenario presented above in the physical world. At that time, the sign of any life had disappeared from every branch of the tree of humanity’s life; flowers of culture and civilization had withered away from the man-made heatwaves of horror and barbarity; life-giving fountains of good deeds had dried up; there was no trace or sign of any evidence of humanity anywhere on earth; and though there were boundaries and limits in the religious and moral fields but their harvest had been completely plundered and ravaged.

In this dreadful, horrific and hopeless situation, helpless human beings were searching desperately for any sign of humanity but couldn’t find it anywhere on this entire expanse of God’s earth. So, their eyes turned towards the heavens and they started calling on the only One who listens to every caller:  مَتَىٰ نَصْرُ اللَّـهِ  – When will God's succor come? (2:224)

These are the times when according to the eternal laws of Nature mentioned above – these dreadful and hopeless situations get changed into peaceful and hopeful ones. Therefore, the compassionate and heavenly life-giving cloud of The Graceful Sustainer carrying in its lap unlimited lively hopes and magnificence, came dashing down cheerfully to the mountains of Faran (فاران) and rained down joyfully on the sacred valleys of the City of Trust (Mecca) in the sacred month of Rabiul-Awwal (الاول ربیع) – turning the devastated human lands into lush fields of life; bringing the season of spring to the emaciated flowers of human morality and civilization; creating elegance and beauty in the worn-out social and cultural facets of life; transforming dry fountains of good deeds into moving streams of new life; and turning heat waves of human egotism and transgression into life-giving morning breeze of justice and mercy. 

And the world started reverberating with melodies of joy. Humans got new life and life acquired new meaning and goal. Heaven bowed down and congratulated Earth on the arrival of its most sacred soul (PBUH) that would guide the ultimate destiny of humankind and would be its last messenger.

He will be the one who would restore the lost human dignity and magnificence to their full honorific position. He will be the one who would stand at the pinnacle of knowledge where intellect and passion, wisdom and thought, and here and the hereafter would be joined like bow. And he will be the one who would stand at the apex of the light of wisdom, reason, and intellect; where the valleys of the Seen and the Unseen shrink so that these could come under the full purview of his sight.  

So, upon his (PBUH) arrival, heaven presented its euphoric congratulations to the fortunate and blessed Earth. Nature welcomed with both hands the opening of the lock of consciousness of the “expelled Adam from Heaven” offering him high compliments, great rectitude, and bountiful appreciation – whose arrival was a message of death to the Caesars and Kisras of the world. The thrones of transgressors and oppressors of humanity were overturned by his arrival. The fire of the fire-temples of Iran was extinguished because from now on the world of human ideas will be lit with the Creator’s real guiding light instead of man-made superficial firelight. 

Thus, upon his arrival, all the idols of the idol-temples of the world got shattered – now that the day for the completion of the way of Ibrahim (PBUH) had arrived. Devils rushed to hide inside mountains because the day had come to depose all dictators and tyrants. The darkness of falsehood was replaced by the light of Truth by the arrival of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH):

 يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ إِنَّا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ شَاهِدًا وَمُبَشِّرًا وَنَذِيرًا ; وَدَاعِيًا إِلَى اللَّـهِ بِإِذْنِهِ وَسِرَاجًا مُّنِيرًا 

(33:45-46) – [And as for thee,] O Prophet - behold, We have sent thee as a witness [to the truth], and as a herald of glad tidings and a warner, and as one who summons [all men] to God by His leave, and as a light-giving beacon. [Asad]

O Messenger! As far as you are concerned We have sent you to establish the Divine System which will also supervise the performance of all nations. You will be the bearer of glad tidings to the people who follow this System; and warn them about the destructive results of disobeying it. The Messenger invites humankind to the Divine System according to the Almighty's code, thereby providing brilliant light, like a shining sun, in the dark recesses of human life. The purpose is to free human beings from all kinds of oppression and tyranny:

 وَيَضَعُ عَنْهُمْ إِصْرَهُمْ وَالْأَغْلَالَ الَّتِي كَانَتْ عَلَيْهِمْ 

(7:157) –And he will lift from them their burdens and the shackles that were upon them aforetime. [Asad] 

And history is witness and provides evidence that the Prophet (PBUH) did free humanity from the shackles which tyrant rulers, wily spiritual schemers, and self-seeking religious leaders had placed upon it. What were these shackles? These were: the religious shackles of ancestral worship; repressive shackles of kings and dictators; intellect-slaying shackles of superstitions; and humanity-killing shackles of racial, geographical, ethnic, nationalistic, and unnatural status-based human divisions. All these shackles were broken one by one by the arrival of the greatest human being (PBUH) the world had ever seen. 

His (PBUH) arrival allowed humans to walk on Earth with freedom and dignity and with their heads held high once again. Thus the human caravan found the straight path to reach the true destination. Intellect found the right passion, and emotion acquired intellect’s wisdom. Piety found grandeur of Sovereignty and Kingship found Magnanimity of Umar (R). This was then the personality (PBUH) whose arrival was a blessing for the entire humanity:

فَانظُرْ إِلَىٰ آثَارِ رَحْمَتِ اللَّـهِ كَيْفَ يُحْيِي الْأَرْضَ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهَا ۚ إِنَّ ذَٰلِكَ لَمُحْيِي الْمَوْتَىٰ ۖ وَهُوَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ 

(30:50) –  Behold, then, [O man,] these signs of God’s grace - how He gives life to the earth after it had been lifeless! Verily, this Selfsame [God] is indeed the One that can bring the dead back to life: for He has the power to will anything! [Asad]

In the journey of life human intellect teaches that material life is itself the goal of life by hiding the higher purpose of life from view. But eternal guidance, along with the comforts of material life, opens up in front of man the higher purpose of humanity and human dignity. 

The essence of this guidance was one; its reality was one. But as human awareness and human life progressed along the complexities of collective social and cultural lines, suitable necessary changes were made in the details about the teaching and knowledge of that universal essence and reality – so that, along with progress and evolution in the material world, there could be commensurate progress and evolution: in the world of human dignity; in the sphere of human inner-self; and in the realm of human character attributes. 

And the time had come for the sand grains of the desert of Hijaz to shine. The lucky city of trust has awakened, now that the last Messenger (PBUH) had come about whom Noah (PBUH) had pointed out on the mount of fig; about whom Jesus (PBUH) had consoled his supporters on the mount of olive; about whose arrival the Israelites were foretold in the valley of mount Sinai; for whose arrival Ibrahim (PBUH) and Ismail (PBUH) had prayed during the construction of Allah’s House; and for whose arrival the time had turned its sides millions and millions of times.

Well, yes, that highest personality (PBUH) came; and he came with such grandeur that heavens and the earth announced his arrival with the highest acclaim and magnificence; and the angels paid their tribute with songs of praise and admiration. The infinitely tall branches of the tree of Sidrat al-Muntahā (المنتہ سدرتہ ) swayed blissfully in joy to welcome his arrival; the Angels of the seventh heaven lit Candles in celebration of his arrival; and every shining atom of the Universe started jumping with joy. The entire environment started echoing with the prayers of peace and tranquility. 

And, the final messenger (PBUH) came for the entire humankind:

 وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلَّا كَافَّةً لِّلنَّاسِ بَشِيرًا وَنَذِيرًا 

(34:28) – NOW [as for thee, O Muhammad,] We have not sent thee otherwise than to mankind at large, to be a herald of glad tidings and a warner; but most people do not understand [this]. [Asad]

  وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلَّا رَحْمَةً لِّلْعَالَمِينَ 

(21:107) – And [thus, O Prophet,] We have sent thee as [an evidence of Our] grace towards all the worlds. [Asad]

This was not an unfamiliar message and its teaching was not new. Wherever there was truth it was a page from the Book that the world received through Prophet Muhammad (PBUH); wherever there was any light it was from the ray of light that descended on his heart from the Heaven; wherever there was any awareness of the divine message it was from that bouquet of the message that was placed in the niche of Kaaba by his hands. What is the message of Muhammad (PBUH)? It is binding together the pages of the same divine Book which the ravages of time had scattered them all around. And what is Muhammad’s (PBUH) position? – It is the culmination of the cumulative effect of the sparkling personalities that came before him, but whose followers had covered the truth of their messages under layers upon layers of misplaced reverence and devotion. 

Previously, the chain of messengers – peace be on all of them – had dealt with local issues with their own individual disposition but this final messenger (PBUH) presented the synthesis of all the previous ones. Previously they were separate sparks, but now they were all combined into one holistic form of surreal power and beauty. Previously they were scattered words but, now, together they were turned into a powerful, unique, and unparalleled shining message – that was recoiling to come out from inside the soul of the Universe for millennia. They were individual pearls but now they formed a beautiful crown; they were petals before and now they formed lovely flowers; they were particles before but now they became solid rock; they were individual drops before, and now they became ocean; they were stars before, and now they constituted galaxy; they were individuals before but now they became a community; they were points before, and now they formed a straight line; before it was the beginning, and now this was the end.

Whatever the Almighty Allah had to say to His servants, He said it the last and final time. Whatever laws that were necessary for the advancement of human dignity and character were given in their final form by the last Messenger (PBUH). After this there was no need for any other guidance or any other mentor to guide the human ship to its final destination. Now, the only way to get to humanity’s balanced and straight path of life is the path on which the footprints of the Prophet (PBUH) are still shining – and will always shine – with glitter and high intensity. 

إِنَّ اللَّـهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ ۚ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا صَلُّوا عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا

Verily, Allah and His heavenly forces bless the Prophet: hence, O you who have attained to faith, bless him and give yourselves up to his guidance in utter self-surrender! (33:56)     


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