Desire of God or ‘God’ of Desire
The Almighty never gave dominance to a civilization or a nation on the basis of the validity of its beliefs or the truth of its founding principles, but on the basis of its ability to enthuse the missionary zeal and sacrificing spirit in its adherents; to study, learn, explore, discover and utilize the resources of nature for the general good of mankind, writes DR. KHAILD MUQUEEM.
Some may submit themselves to their own desires; yet some others intensely crave for material pleasures or fame and recognition, so much so that their struggle of day and night revolves around this very theme; for some, domination of their community—even if it be at the cost of other communities—preoccupies their mental and physical faculties; yet for many others the progress and glory of their nation (not always in a benign way), is the primary aim of life; some other people want their race to rule over all other races of the world; and those who believe in God—in true sense—look for ways to please Him.
In other words: if a concept, an entity, an ideology, an emotional or a tangible and material thing, infiltrates the mental and body faculties of a person, so much so that he orients his life and its activities—consciously or sub-consciously—for the realization of those things and for the triumph of his inner desire and belief, he is, in fact, worshipping that ‘deity’ (god, Ilah or Ma’bood). Even though he may not be carrying out ostentatious ceremonies to that effect, he is in reality worshipping it. Ironically, he may be carrying out ceremonies of worship for one ‘deity’, but in reality worshiping some other ‘deity’.
For some desire of lust is their ‘deity’ (god), as we see in this verse of Qur’an:
“Do you see the one who takes for his god his own desire (or impulse)? Could you be a guardian of affairs for him?” – (25: 43)
Similarly, for others their race or their culture or their nation or their community or their ideology is the ‘deity.’
And ‘paradise’ of Man is a place, time or opportunity (real or imaginary) when his desires, dreams and aspirations seem to get fulfilled.
Prophet Muhammad (on whom be peace) said: “This world is a prison for a believer and paradise for a non-believer.” – (Sahih Muslim, No. 5368)
For a person whose aim of life revolves around the vanities of this ephemeral world and who intensely craves for the material pleasures, recognition and fame; this world is, in fact, a paradise for him. A committed and faithful servant of his ‘deity’ will sacrifice his time, his energies, his resources, his talents and sometimes even his life to fulfill his dream and to win his ‘paradise.’
If a person sees in a path or in a field of activity the prospect of winning his ‘god’ of the desire (in case of a Non-Muslim) or “Desire of The God” (in case of a true Muslim), his inner energies and talents will be unleashed and he actively dedicates his life for the attainment of goals and in the hope of winning His ‘paradise.’
This is the hidden energy, the driving force or the motivational energy. When this energy is activated, tapped or unleashed; it becomes easier for a person to sacrifice his time, his energies, and his talents and to work devotedly and religiously in his selected field of activity.
As far as true Muslims are concerned, their Deity is the real Deity, Allah, and their Paradise is the real Paradise, the Jannah, an eternal abode of peaceful bliss, promised for those who earn the Pleasure of Almighty Allah. A true Muslim sacrifices his time, his energies, his resources, his talents and if required his life to win the Pleasure of Allah and earn a place in His Paradise. In fact, the intensity of love, reverence and dedication true Muslims have towards their Deity, Allah, is (much to the envy of Non-Muslims) many, many times more than the Non-Muslims have towards their various false ‘deities’.
In other words; winning ‘paradise of the dreams,’ by submitting to ‘god’ of desires or winning the Real Paradise by submitting ones desires to the Will of the Almighty God, is the higher objective of every individual, community or a nation.
Dominant and Non-Dominant Civilizations
By keen analysis and study of the rise and fall of nations and civilizations, we can derive following conclusions:
Usually, Almighty Allah (swt) never gave dominance to a civilization or a nation on the basis of the validity of its beliefs or the truth of its founding principles, but on the basis of its ability to enthuse the missionary zeal and sacrificing spirit in its adherents; to study, learn, explore, discover and utilize the resources of nature for the general good of mankind. We may call these as ‘Pro-Civilization activities.’ If, in the long run, the ability to tap its hidden energies is compromised and/ or its activities are causing more harm than good to the mankind, Allah (swt) will replace it with another civilization having the above mentioned qualities.
Some of the Pro-Civilization activities can be enumerated as below:
(1) Activities of gaining and mastering all the streams of knowledge, skills and imparting of education,
(2) Scientific research and application,
(3) Gaining intellectual wisdom, intellectual independence and jurisprudence,
(4) Activities of Economic Enterprise,
(5) Organized social service including organized health care service.
(6) Political and security related activities.
Now the only difference between a ‘Dominant Civilization’ and a ‘Non-Dominant Civilization’ can be said as:
For a ‘Dominant Civilization,’ participating in ‘Pro-civilization activities’ with a missionary zeal is the only way to win the paradise of their dreams. A ‘Non-Dominant Civilization’ only dreams of a paradise without participating (or participates with a lack of zeal) in ‘Pro-civilization activities.’
Non-Muslim civilization can gain dominance in this world, if its adherents see participation in ‘Pro-Civilization Activities’ as the only way to win the ‘paradise of their dreams’ by pleasing the ‘god’ of their desires. Similarly, a Muslim civilization can gain dominance in this world, if its adherents see participation in ‘Pro-Civilization Activities’ as a way to win the Pleasure of Almighty Allah (swt) and hence His Paradise.
The Greatest Tragedy
The greatest tragedy which has struck the Mankind is, the Civilization having the Divine guidance, honored with the esteemed title of ‘the Best of Nations,’ nominated as the Vicegerent of Almighty Allah on this earth — has become the ‘Non-Dominant Civilization.’
The worshippers of a True God and inheritors of a Real Jannah are being dominated and ruled by the worshippers of false deities and desirers of a false paradise. This has thrown the world into an abyss and the mankind is being led into a destructive path.
What is the way out?
“The only way out for the Mankind is to take away the leadership and captainship of the ship of humanity, from the criminals and murderers of humanity — who have decided to rock this ship — and transfer it into the Trustworthy, dutiful, God-fearing and experienced hands, designed for the very purpose of steering this ship. A meaningful revolution can take place only when the guiding force of this world and the leadership of humanity… is effectively transferred from the camp of Jahiliyyah — led by the biggest criminals — into the hands of this Ummah, whose leader is the greatest Benefactor of humanity, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and who have with them clear and unambiguous principles and divine guidance, for the re-structuring and renaissance of the world civilization. On the strength of their beliefs, they can steer this world from the abyss of darkness, in as much the same way as they did thirteen and half centuries ago.” – Maulana Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi. (Insani Duniya par Musalmanaon ke Urooj wa Zawaal ka Athar; 14 ed.; p. 329)
But the responsibility of steering of the human civilization will not be handed over to us by our wishful thinking and grand dreaming alone. It requires us to shun the habit of fence sitting and take a plunge into the fiercely competitive field of ‘Pro-Civilization Activities,’ and out do and outshine all other claimants of civilizational dominance. It requires Muslims to enter into this field with utmost devotion, dedication and a spirit of sacrifice, as a means of gaining the Pleasure of Allah (swt). Otherwise:
“Unless you do this, there will be unrest and injustice, on earth and great mischief.” (Qur’an, Surah Anfal: 73)
Monasteries of Learning
As a preliminary step to achieve these civilizational goals, it is of utmost importance to set our priorities right as far as educational goals are concerned. It is the most important pillar of the ‘Pro-Civilization Activities.’ The purpose is to excel and master in all the streams of knowledge, acquire skills and expertise, and impart quality education to the progeny and to do scientific research and application, so as to dominate the civilizational landscape, by sacrificing one’s best of abilities, energies and resources, for the general good of mankind. This should be done as a religious duty to earn the Pleasure of Almighty Allah (swt). These goals can be best achieved by establishing spiritually oriented Khaneqahs (monasteries) of modern learning with a spirit of Fanaa fil Allah (dying for Allah) and Baqaa bil Allah (living for Allah), where educational excellence and scientific research is linked to the Paradise and to ones salvation, rather than as a means of lucrative career.
In the same manner, all other ‘Pro-civilization activities’ should be taken care of in addition to the moral, spiritual and religious upbringing of the adherents of Islamic Civilization.
May Allah (swt) help us to understand our place in His scheme of things and bestow upon us energy to stand up to the challenge.