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Celebrating The Prophetic Birthday: Islam as the Base of Human Civilization (i) PDF Print E-mail
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Friday, 24 November 2017 05:43

By Yusuf M. Abullahi Kano
In the name of Allah who states "He it is Who has raised among the unlettered people a Messenger from among themselves who recites unto them His signs, and purifies them, and teaches them the Book and Wisdom, although they had been, before, in manifest misguidance" Q62:3

Peace and blessings of Allah be upon His noble servant, our master Muhammad and his purified progeny.
Congratulations to the Muslim Ummah on the advent of Rabi'ul-awwal, -the month in which the Ultimate Messenger was born. In the eventful month, conferences, rallies and processions are held world over in memory of the Prophet and his heavenly teachings. The Islamic Movement in particular regards the period as a golden opportunity in which most importantly the issue of Unity is stressed in line with teaching of Imam Ruhullah Khomeini who established the unity week from 12th to 17th for the Ummah to solve its predicament and regain its lost glory. Generally speaking, the period is used in reawakening.
Imperatively, it is important to acknowledge the recent development particularly in Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations with the regard to the prophet's birthday. I refer to what was read in various links on the newly issued fatwa (verdict) on the acceptance of the event and declaration of the actual day -12th Rabi'ul-awwal, which will coincide with the 30th November, 2017 as public holiday. On whatever capacity the Arab world will celebrate Maulud this year after their self-contradiction through the centuries, this exposes them further and in turn makes the Ummah stronger and more united toward its right position. In my last piece, I wrote on the testimonies of Western philosophers on the prophet, the greatest figure in human history. We are highly encouraged with such historic remark, in addition to contemporary views of people in support of justice and fairness irrespective of geographical tribal and religious inclinations.
I will use this opportunity to encourage Muslim groups and organisations to make the best use of the period to achieve socio-economic ends for the advancement of the Ummah as done in some countries. Educational and empowerment programmes are also very relevant, and can make significant impact to rehabilitate our internally displaced victims across the artificially troubled countries. I decided to share with our esteemed readers a paper I sent to such international conference in the Islamic republic of Iran where human civilization and Islamic schools of thought were among the selected topics for contributors. Although what I present is edited version of the paper, the initial topic was the role of Islamic religion as effective reality and enlightening in human civilization. Taking the topic, I divided the paper into three parts. First part dealt with the religion covering origin, types and interrelationships from general to Islamic perspectives. The second part dealt with the trend of human civilization, and thirdly the status of Islam from moral and academic excellence, a general conclusion and summery.
ABSTRACT
Religion is part of human nature immemorially. It is a belief in the existence of a supernatural being that made the whole existence possible. Popularly referred as God, He is believed to be omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscience, creator and controller of all affairs. He gave man the spiritual nature that exists after the death of his body. Although there are differences, religions are interrelated. Civilization on the other hand is growth through time of knowledge and skills that encourages or allow men to attain to higher behavior. It is also viewed as the learned behavior of man that belongs to unusually changeable and complex societies. In the paper that simply dwelt in three parts, it has reviewed the role of civilization in human history with apparent acceptance that Islam was the background for human civilization. In addition to that, that the paper has relatively observed terrorist activities and tendencies deliberately created to blackmail Islam and Muslims in parripasau with competent solutions as this conference and the traditional unity week to address the problems. To achieve the goal, all hands must be on deck, hence kudos to the organisers of the timely conferences.
INTRODUCTION
As a belief in the existence of a creator and disposer of all affairs, religion is as old as the man himself. Religious study varies with the goal having a very wide scope per history, theology, polity and ethical structures. Several scholars and philosophers proffered defination. Sir Frazer (1854-1941), identified religion as the second of three stages pattern of a cultural development, magic and science. Peter Berger (1929) argued that religion provides ultimate meaning for social world, but is itself a product of social dynamic. On the other hand Karl Max (1818-1883) held that religion especially in its promise of a future reward for present suffering acts as opium of the people. However, from the Islamic perspective, religion is simply defined as unconditional surrender to the will of God who rewards for obedience and punishes for disobedience accordingly.
RELIGIOUS ORIGIN
In the light and teachings of revealed religions, man is taught about his origin beginning with the father of mankind prophet Adam from whom his wife Eve was created who later reproduced offspring and continued generations after generations. Man is naturally very inquisitive in nature, thus it is very scientific to ask about the creation even if one is not told of it. Many scientists have however tried but could not reach the right conclusion, for one reason or the other. It was very clear that what acted as the great barrier to scientists was the act of self-appointed ignorants in the name of religion who misinterpreted scientific discoveries to transgression and punished the scientists severely to the extent of their declaration that God was never interested in science and for that they were not interested in His religion. However this has not been so with Islam as the first revelation was a command to read; Read in the name your lord who created. Qur'an 96: 1
There are lots of consensuses where scientific discoveries corroborate with the teachings/expositions of the noble Qur’an in human anatomy/physiology, astronomy, geography, physics and chemistry to mention but few.
CLASSIFICATION OF RELIGION
1. THE TRADITIONAL RELIGION
This category is perpetually institutionalized on the norm and culture of a given people. We have several categories that apparently dwindle. Examples among other categories include:

A. PRIMITIVE BELIEF
This comprises of belief in animal, plant, rock, river or weapon linked to spirit and ghosts which are worshipped in one way or the other. Alot of such religions no longer exist. However, such believers in such religions could be traced in countries like China, Greek and some parts of Africa.

B. BUDDISM
Named after its founder Gautama Siddhartha of India. Based on its teachings the religion has 5 precepts;
I. No killing
II. No stealing
III. No lying
IV. No adultery, and
V. No alcoholism
It originated in India and diffused to Burma, China and Japan.
C. HINDUISM
Hinduism is the most predominant religion in India. The religion insists on one supreme God for whom the many gods are parts. There are outlined unique principles in Hinduism especially in relation to dietary laws and customs.

C. TAOISM
This is also a native religion of China. Its little book - the Tao Te king” was written by Lao Tse in the 6th century. Taoism called its followers to find and follow the national life said to be good and the religion was pluralistic in terms of doctrines and tenets.

D. ZOROASTRANISM
Zoroastrianism was founded by Tharastra or Zoroaster of Iran probably born in the 7th century. It elevates Ahura Mazda (wise lord) as the great one god in addition to some polytheistic similarities. it stresses importance of all religion and unity of humanity.

E. CONFUCIANISM
This religion was based on the ideas of its founder Sage Confucius in China in the 6th century. Its more concern was on man’s right conduct towards his fellows.

F. OTHERS
There are other religions that fall in this category most of which obtained in China, Japan, Korea and some parts of Africa. Shinto is a good example.

To be continued.