Saturday, November 2, 2013

Was True Islam lost in between and only revived recently?

Was True Islam lost in between and only revived recently?
One of the main characteristics of Islam that differentiate it from other religions is that it has always continuously maintained its original teachings unchanged and in their original shape right from the time of the Last Prophet (SAWS) till the present time.

Its Scripture, the Holy Quran, is safe and has been studied and understood correctly in every age. The followers of this religion have thus been protected against falling prey to any conspiracy or waywardness unlike several other religious communities, particularly the Christians, who deviated from the teachings of its founders in the earliest phase of their history.
It is one of the miracles of the Qur‘an that Allah Ta’ala declares in Surah al-Hijr about the ultimate guidance for mankind:
“Indeed, it was We who sent down the Remembrance, and of a surety We will preserve it”. [15:9]
This verse speaks of a great divine favor. Besides protection of its text not only verbally and literally against all accretions and mutilations it also promises the preservation of its correct understanding for guidance of those who would follow it.

This was actually necessary because, Islam is the last and final religion from God for the entire universe till the Last day. If even for a single generation, the true understanding and concepts of the last Divine religion preserved in the Quran and Prophetic teachings were lost, it would necessitate sending a new Prophet to clarify the true message again - as used to happen with the Bani-Israil. And this is impossible since the prophet Muhammed (SAWS) is the last prophet according to the Quran itself.
It would virtually be meaningless to keep the text of a scripture pure and unadulterated if it were to become unintelligible and its teachings impracticable, thus depriving all mankind from any extant source of true guidance.
 How significant are the words, “and of a surety We will preserve it”, which can be understood from the explicit promise made by God in this regard in a few more verses which read:
“And when We recite it (the Quran): follow the recitation;
Then upon us (rests) the explanation thereof”. (75:18&19).
A religion cannot be relied upon if it has remained correctly understood and practiced only during short periods separated by the darkness of long stretches of time. 
Nor the Quranic allegory likening Islam to a tree ‘yielding fruits at all moments by the will of God'  can be deemed as correct if this had been the state of affairs. 
(“Giving its fruit at all times, by the Leave of its Lord and Allah sets forth parables for mankind in order that they may remember”. -Quran, 14:25)
Consider also these following hadiths:
‘My ummah shall never unite upon misguidance.’ [Al-Tirmidhi, no.2255]
‘There shall never cease to be a group of my ummah unmistakably upon the truth.’ [Al-Tirmidhi, no.2230; Muslim, no.1920]
‘This knowledge will be carried by the trustworthy ones of every generation.’ [Bayhaqi, Sunan, 10:209]
What these proof-texts collectively tell us is that God has promised that correct knowledge and understanding of Islam shall always be kept intact …and be transmitted from one generation of scholars to the next, in an unbroken chain.
Also, see another Sahih Hadith:
The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said ‘”From every succeeding generation its upright folk shall carry this knowledge in turn. They shall repeal from it the distortions of the extremists (tahrif al-ghalin), the (mis)interpretations of the ignorant (ta’wil al-jahilin), and the pretenses of the liars (intihal al-mubtilin).” (Hadith narrated by many of the sahaba in many hadith books; Imam Ahmad and Ibn Abd al-Barr graded it as ‘Sahih’).
This Hadith clearly shows that, in every succeeding generation of the Muslims, there will be an upright scholarly group who will always exist and win and be prominent, and never be extinct.
The followers of this religion are not merely the recipients of this Divine Message, but are also charged with the responsibility of studying, understanding and acting upon it, exemplifying its teachings in their lives and morals and disseminating its message to the four corners of the world. And this responsibility cannot be fulfilled if the followers themselves do not correctly understand the message of the Scripture.
To believe that the truths of Islam existed amongst the early generations (‘salaf’; the pious predecessors), but then “sahih” or “authentic” Islam was lost or neglected for the next thousand years or so; until recently when it was rediscovered, is nothing but a dangerous myth which flies in the face of all the above cited clear evidences from Quran and Sahih Hadiths.
While it is true that individual scholars can and do err; and while it is true that individual scholars can and do espouse aberrant (shadhdh) opinions that are excluded from the umbrella of legitimate scholarly differences; it is utterly preposterous to believe that many truths and sunnahs were unknown, lost or neglected by the entire scholarly community for many centuries (even a millenium), only to be revived or rediscovered by certain scholars in our time!
This is tantamount to saying that the entire Ummat is deprived of fulfilling the Inheritance of Prophethood for 1400 years.
If this tale regarding the deprivation of the Ummat for a long period of its history is accepted as true, then this Ummat does not remain “the best of nations” as stipulated in the Qur`an and Hadith but becomes “the worst of nations”. It even creates doubts on even the divine nature of Islam.
Such a belief could only be held by one whose heart is plagued either with ignorance (jahalah), innovation (bid‘ah), hypocrisy (nifaq), deviation (zandaqah) or disbelief (kufr). And we seek refuge in God from such things.
[It is a Historical truth that whoever wishes to build the foundation for a new ideology or sect must firstly collide with the predecessors and try to cut off the Ummah from their intellectual and religious heritage by labeling it as “unreliable”, “unauthentic”, “Biddah”, “narrow understanding of deen”, etc.]

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