Safe Haven

Safe Haven

Safe Haven

Yousef and Michael took the train back to London and after it started moving, Michael said to Yousef:

Michael: You have mentioned more than once in our discussions “the purpose of the creation of man” and I consider it important, but feel that you haven't given it its due right. I remember you mentioned once that this purpose was to worship God...This issue has preoccupied me, as well as many other people I know. Often one passes through periods and is in situations in which he wonders: Why do I exist in this world? Why am I inflicted with this misery? Why is there this constant struggle between human beings, even between human beings and the universe? Aren't these important questions?

Yousef: Yes, of course, they are important and I think that this goes back to the moral and cultural composition of the western man. Inevitability of struggle is a basic component upon which the materialistic western culture is established. This concept is derived from both the Greek and Roman ancient civilizations, upon the ruins of which were built today's western culture. One basic concept in these two civilizations is the inevitability of the struggle: struggle between the gods, struggle between man and God, struggle between man and nature, struggle between the forces of evil and the forces of good, in addition to the spiritual emptiness caused by materialism that has characterized contemporary western civilization ..

Michael: You speak as if you have the alternative magic formula you can provide for humanity.

Yousef: The issue for the Muslim with true faith isn't that confusing or muddling, actually. A Muslim, any Muslim, knows through his Islam from where he came and to where his fate will lead him. He knows the reality of this world in which he lives, the aim of this life and its value, and the function of humanity in it.

Michael: My question still stands, in fact I added to it many other questions. What are the answers these questions according to Islam?

Yousef: A Muslim feels that he is in harmony with the universe and its components, and that these things share, with a righteous worshipper, his submission to and glorification of God Almighty, either voluntarily and explicitly, as is the case of the human world, or in a natural manner that is unknown to us for the world of nature. It is repeatedly stated in the Qur'an that "The universe glorifies and praises God" and the word “yosabeh”, which means to glorify or praise, is mentioned more than thirty times in the Qur’an, as well as other words that also mean to glorify or praise. Thus, the conscious Muslim is aware that he is a member of a universal choir singing the praise and glorification of God. He is in harmony with the universe and its elements, and not in dissonance and struggle with them.

He also feels the companionship of nature and considers it as a friend and not an enemy. The Qur'an confirms that everything in the universe is subjugated to man, to mankind. This is explicitly confirmed in this same wording more than twenty times in the Qur'an, and is repeated several times in other wordings.

Michael: And what is the aim of that? What are the consequences of that?

Yousef: If we consider what a human being needs for his heart to be reassured and tranquil, and for himself to be happy and live his life (in a good way)... we find that it falls into five words: surrender, submission, obedience, loyalty, and trust. This is achieved practically when the human being puts himself under the umbrella of loving servitude to God, which covers the entire universe, and we note that these five words are the meaning of Islam.

Michael: (Frowning) I wish that you'd make yourself clearer.

Yousef: One of the most important fruits of such a perception of the relationship of humans with the universe is what is reflected on those who believe with regards to having a sense of inner peace with oneself and one's surroundings, and one living by one clear-cut principle in his life, which facilitates one to translate his one set of feelings to one particular pattern in his behavior. Thus, there is a state of balance in one's life, a balance that takes into account all dimensions of humanity; spiritual, mental and physical.

The Muslim who knows that God told us that He created everything on earth: [He it is Who created for you all that is on earth.] and He said, [And has subjected to you all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth; it is all as a favor and kindness from Him.], knows that God wouldn't create everything for us and subject it to us and then make us not have any relationship or link with it! Therefore, there must be some clarification of the relationship between humans and what God has created for them. If that is the case, then God Almighty must reveal to humans knowledge that governs that relationship between man and all these things, because He, the Almighty, said [Surely, His is the creation and the command,] and He said [Does man think that he will be left neglected?] that is, can act in this world without any controls or commands and prohibitions. If the case is that there must be some clarification of this relationship, then a Muslim must learn and look into his religion in order to see what he can use to achieve universal justice and legitimacy on earth.

Islam stems from this basis to provide a comprehensive approach to life and to organize the Muslim’s relationship with God concerning acts of worship and spirituality, just as it regulates his life in his dealings, such as his marriage and divorce, as well as the legislation of selling and buying... Islam also organizes habits of eating and drinking, sleeping, clothing, entering and leaving his house. Islam even directs the Muslim in his personal cleanliness and also regulates his relationship with society and country, and his relationship to other societies, to include all the different basic areas of life in legislation, economy, politics, culture and the society, forming a complete system covering and organizing all aspects of life.

Islam also deals with the feelings of the Muslim, for it legislates for him his laws and sets up the scales of justice and fairness for him. This religion commands the Muslim to populate the earth and enrich it with life and civilization, and permanently search to discover the vast horizons of the universe and the depth of the souls. All that stems from the framework of the relationship with God Almighty and of submitting to worshipping Him. When these everyday customary behaviors are linked to God's path; they turn into acts of worship dedicated to Him.

Michael: Wow! That was quite a mouthful, which raises my fears of drifting towards extremism and strictness, or let me frankly say: religion controlling life.

Yousef: We must know that everything has a system according to which its elements are organized. Each element has its location and its use. And by linking all these elements together into a unified whole, the benefit of this system is produced and activated, and its overall objective is achieved. This is what God calls the balance in the verse: [And the heaven He has raised high, and He has set up the balance. (7) In order that you may not transgress (due) balance. (8) And observe the weight with equity and do not make the balance deficient. (9)]. The balance is justice, and that balance which is just exists in everything. And as this universe is founded on the balance and measure, and on these two the overall system and its minute details are also built, this religion revealed by the Creator of this very universe is also based on the balance and justice.

Balancing matters and preventing the transgression of rights over each other is a general feature of Islam, which is reflected in man being just and moderate with himself and in his dealing with others.

When one is moderate and reasonable in his conception of himself and how he regards himself, this will usually affect the opinion he has about others. The meaning of this moderation and reasonableness is clear in what God describes the righteous as saying in their supplication [Our Lord! Give us in this world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good, and save us from the torment of the fire!]. And also the same meaning is mentioned in the holy verses: [And seek by means of what Allah has given you the future abode, and do not neglect your portion of this world, and do good (to others) as Allah has done good to you, and do not seek to make mischief in the land, surely Allah does not love the mischief-makers], [And those, who, when they spend, are neither extravagant nor niggardly, but hold a medium (way) between the extremes], [And let not your hand be tied (like a miser) to your neck, nor stretch it forth to its utmost reach (like a spendthrift), so that you become blameworthy and in severe poverty.]

Michael: What also really worries me is that man is sucking the blood of his fellow man. Human morality has deteriorated so much that it has led to the powers which were given by God to man being made use of in matters which bring devastation and destruction to humans, rather than being used to bring their happiness, security and well-being. How does Islam perceive this problem?

Yousef: This is a kind of punishment prepared by man himself for himself in this world. There's no reason for that, except that man vainly tries to operate a device though he has no knowledge about the parts he in maneuvering. The secrets of this human device are unknown except to He who made it, only He knows its nature, and only He knows how to operate this device in a truly compatible and harmonious way. Now if man stops himself from committing his follies and allows himself to be committed to following the law laid down by He who made this device, man may be able to fix what he has spoiled so far, otherwise, there is no cure for what he is now suffering of calamities, perils, miseries, loss, woe and destruction.

Michael: You mean to say that there is no survival except by following the path of Islam, otherwise humanity will live in misery?

Yousef: This is self-evident, at both the individual and collective level, in the world and in the Hereafter; there is nothing that can put an end to the unruliness and ferocity of man in this world except his sense of that liability and responsibility he has on his shoulders. If a person thinks that he can do what he wants in this world and that no one will ask him about what he does and there is no force above him that will punish him for what he does, then there will never be an end to his unruliness and ferocity. As this is true with respect to individuals, it is also true in relation to the entire nation, or all the inhabitants of the earth. It is a test for us all, the test to see if we recognize that we should worship and be submissive to our Creator and King.

You and I, and all those who God has given life on this earth, are facing this test. We all are being tested in our minds and how we act, and in our sense of duty and loyalty. Each one of us therefore has to decide: Is this loyalty to this real King really true, or is it false?

As for me, I have decided to follow the road of obedience and loyalty, and won't obey those who don't obey God. This is the safe haven.

Michael: The train has reached its terminus...Let's go.