Story of Devotion and Solution to the Leadership Problem – SECTION TWO – I
Society changes in positive and negative ways. Mankind comes from an origin that is pure and clean in anthropological and ontological terms. Man’s ontological source is his pure nature that every human is born with. The anthropological origins of man are directly related to the pure nature of Adam, the fi rst messenger. It is essential to keep the generations of humans from becoming spoiled.
Man is spoiled from the moment he moves further away from these two sources, and becomes bett er the closer he comes to them. The unchanging goal of all the divine messages and messengers has been to invite man to return to these pure origins.
God loved, protected, and created man as the vicegerent (caliph) of the earth. God equipped man with the tools needed to return to the correct path, regardless of time and location. The internal tools for this purpose are reasoning, conscience, spirit, perception, and understanding. The external tools are the revelations and the people who convey its meanings.
The conveyors of the revelation and inviters to the original nature have existed from the fi rst man up until now. They will likewise continue to exist until the last man. Among these messengers, there have been two types: one is rasool, whose duty is to revive man’s awareness and obligations within the laws of the creator.
The other is nabi, whose duty is to purify the belief system from the sickness all around it. These two groups of messengers received the support of God’s revelation directly or through some other means, in addition to making use of the resources that were available to them at that time.
The divine revelation to the messengers ended with the last prophet, Muhammad; however, the end of this institution does not mean the end of God’s att ribute of communication and the end of divine message. The Quran, which is God’s universal message sent though the last prophet, will maintain its validity and liveliness wherever and whenever humans exist, because its content includes all the core values of mankind in essence. With the existence of the Quran, mankind would not need a new prophet or a messenger who receives a new message.
God’s message refl ects his att ributes and names like kalam (speech), iradah (will), qudrat (power), Al-Hadiy (the Guide), Ar-Rahman (the All-Compassionate), Ar-Rahim (the All-Merciful), Al-Qahhar (the Subduer), Al-Mu’izz (the Bestower of Honors) and Al-Muzill (the Humiliator). Besides in the verses of Quran, the message also continues to appear in the universe in matt er, events, and especially in mankind. “And on Earth there are signs of God’s existence, visible to all who are endowed with inner certainty, just as there are signs thereof within your own selves: can you not, then, see?” (Chapter 50, verse 20-21)
Yes, God has kept sending down his messages for the eyes to see and the hearts to believe. The responsibility to understand and teach about the signs falls on those who carry on their shoulders the infi nite heritage of the revelation. God will support those who are competent to comprehend the message via other methods as well, such as the divine dream. This interaction is also mentioned as a part of divine message by the last prophet.(9) [9 As narrated in Sahih Al-Bukhari, Ibn Hanbal, and Abu Dawud.]
“The messenger of God said: ‘Prophethood fi nishes with me, however glad tidings will remain.’ They asked, ‘What are glad tidings?’ He said, ‘Divine dreams.’ ” Mankind does not need any new messengers or prophets who receive revelation after Muhammad; however, mankind does need guiding leaders who comprehend the verses of God’s book and can teach its signs in material, metaphysical, and spiritual concepts. These leaders carry out the duty of propagating the endless legacy of revelation and show people the paths to its guidance. This is a social necessity and a religious obligationthat fulfi lls the need for a governing mechanism that manages order among individuals. “… to every people there is a guide …” (Chapter 13, verse 7)
The last prophet also mentioned in one narration that in every period of time, there will come leaders reviving the divine message back to its origin after time and traditions change and disturb it. This is valid not only at the leadership level, but also on the group of people who work for benefi cial change: “… and that there might grow out of you a community [of people] who invite unto all that is good, and enjoin the doing of what is right and forbid the doing of what is wrong: and it is they, they who shall att ain to a happy state!” (Chapter 3, verse 104)
Would God not be involved in the selection, training, and success of the aforementioned good workers, distinguished messengers, sincere revivers, knowledgeable restorers and guiding leaders? Of course He would! God is the selector, the trainer, and the helper.
When considering what the nation of believers has suff ered through at the hands of corrupt governments and incompetent leaders, the selection of great leaders clearly presents the best hope for a society to succeed. At this point, it is benefi cial to remember this verse one more time:
“Behold, God raised Adam, and Noah, and the House of Abraham, and the House of Imran above all mankind.” (Chapter 3, verse 33)
In this verse, which is the fi rst occurrence in the process of devotion, God’s selection is mentioned. There are four names mentioned here as the recipients of the selection: Adam and Noah, who are individuals, whereas ‘Ali-Imran and ‘Ali-Ibrahim are family names. The verse ends by stating that these selections have been chosen from those amongst their own kind.
It is here that we need to seek an answer to two important questions: What is the reason and wisdom in this divine selection?
And what is the scope of this selection?