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The Universal Mission of the Prophet of Islam: A Faith for both East and West

Islam emerged like a limpid fountain and increased in depth and expanse as time
went by. It finally became a great river passing through various human
societies, irrigating fields in which seeds of humanity were to be planted,
satisfying the thirst of human beings for salvation and justice. It is going on
and will surely continue to do so as long as there are human beings on earth
because human nature is thirsty for this heavenly faith and would perish if it
were denied it. Islam is truly the only power that is able to wipe out all wrong
manners, all corruption, and all corrosive attitudes in all places and at all
times and to lead human beings onto the path God has determined for them.

Islam emerged like a limpid fountain and increased in depth and expanse as time
went by. It finally became a great river passing through various human
societies, irrigating fields in which seeds of humanity were to be planted,
satisfying the thirst of human beings for salvation and justice. It is going on
and will surely continue to do so as long as there are human beings on earth
because human nature is thirsty for this heavenly faith and would perish if it
were denied it. Islam is truly the only power that is able to wipe out all wrong
manners, all corruption, and all corrosive attitudes in all places and at all
times and to lead human beings onto the path God has determined for them.

Obviously, Islam does not please those who oppress, the colonialists, the
arrogant, and their like. So they have always tried hard to hinder it, but in
spite of so many wicked policies and plots of the world-exploiters and despite
the serious attempts of the enemies of Islam to misrepresent this holy faith,
Islam has prevailed.

Islam contains the secret of victory as well as of prosperity. The fact that
Islam is a divine faith, not a man-made one, is testimony to the rightful claim
that all the laws, rules, instructions, and precepts necessary for human
happiness and salvation are to be sought in it.

Is it not the case that God has created human beings as well as all other
beings? Is it not the case that the Creator knows all about His creatures? Is it
not true that the same gracious God who has created so many wonderful natural
resources to meet human material needs has also endowed human beings with divine
resources to satisfy their spiritual wants?

Thus being presented by God, it is totally compatible with human nature and
consistent with all human wants and needs: material, spiritual, and emotional.
Most important of all, it provides all the necessary means for human evolution
towards salvation so that when man leaves this world for the eternal one, he
will be deserving of Paradise there and not hell, just as God wants man to be.
It goes without saying that all laws and precepts in the holy faith of Islam
have been made on the basis of human nature, which is the same in all human
societies and at all times. So those who say, `East is east and west is west’
and `An eastern Prophet cannot be a good leader for western people’, are
absolutely wrong. For human beings, whether of the east or the west, have their
nature, their natural character­istics, and their wants in common. There is no
difference between people in this respect, no matter how different their race,
colour, traditions, geographical conditions, and the like may be. And just as
eastern people need an innate faith – a faith compatible with their nature and
capable of satisfying their various human needs – western people are in need of
such a divine faith, exactly to the same extent. A simple comparison can serve
to clarify the matter. Human beings all over the world and at all times need
food, water, and oxygen to survive, and there is no human being found without a
need of them for his survival. Just so, all of them need spiritual nourishment
for their souls, their emotional health, their spiritual survival, and, most
significant of all, their finding salvation.

There are, of course, many proofs to this righteous claim that Islam ensures
human happiness and salvation in all parts of the world, and at all times. Those
who oppose this divine faith and try to misrepresent it are in fact the greatest
enemies of human beings.

Makkah: The Starting Place for the Prophet’s Propagation of Islam

It is crystal clear that when the Holy Prophet of Islam illuminated the dark
atmosphere of Makkah with the call of monotheism, he did not mean to lead just
the people of the Hijaz or the Arabs, but his divine mission was to communicate
God’s message to the whole world and to start this momentous task from Arabia.

One proof of this true belief is that at the beginning of his mission, he said
to his Qwn relatives, `Truly, I am God’s Messenger to you, in particular, and to
all people, in general…’. [1]

There are also some verses in the Qur’an that confirm this claim. Consider the
following three verses: `Say, O people, "Surely I am God’s Messenger to you
all"’ (7:158). `And We have not sent you but as a mercy to the worlds’ (21:107).
`And this Qur’an has been revealed to me that with it I may warn you and
whomsoever it reaches’ (6:19).

Such verses reveal the fact that the divine mission of the Prophet was not
revised to become universal after his migration to Medina and the prevalence of
Islam. From the very beginning, his holy mission was meant for all people, for
all parts of the world, and for all times.

In answer to the question asked of Imam Sadiq, `Why is the Qur’an always new and
fascinating no matter how many times it is read or taught?’, he said, `God has
not sent the Qur’an for a special time or for a particular group. The Qur’an is
for all and forever, so till doomsday it will be new and enchanting at all times
and to all groups of people’." [2]

Another Testimony to Islam’s Universality

In 6 A.H., the Holy Prophet of Islam dispatched several representatives to
rulers and kings of different parts of the world, each with a letter in which he
invited them to become Muslims and submit to God’s faith. All these letters had
the same purport, that is, the invitation to monotheism and Islamic fraternity.

Since the Holy Prophet’s mission was divine, in obedience to God’s command,
consistent with human nature, and meant to lead people to God’s path, it highly
impressed such just, truth­seeking people as Najashi, Muquqs, and others, so
they submitted to Islam. [3]

Research made on the collection of the Prophet’s letters indicates that he sent
62 letters to kings, chiefs of tribes and clans, and heads of convents. The
texts of 29 of these letters are available. [4]

Now we will take a glance at parts of the letters of the Holy Prophet of Islam.

A Letter to Khusrow, the King of Iran

In the Name of God the Merciful, the Compassionate From Muhammad, God’s
Messenger, to Khusrow, the King of Persia. Greetings to the followers of the
right path, to those obedient to God and His Prophet, to those who bear witness
to God’s Oneness, who worship the One God, and who bear witness to the prophecy
of God’s servant, Muhammad.

Truly I call upon you to obey God’s command and convert to Islam. I am God’s
Messenger to all the people so that living hearts will be awakened and
illuminated and so that infidels will have no excuses. Submit to Islam so you
will be safe and immune, and if you disobey me and turn down my invitation, you
will be blamed for the sins of the magi.’ [5]

A Letter to Harqal, the King of Rome

In the Name of God the Merciful, the Compassionate …I call upon you to submit
to Islam. If you become a Muslim, you will share the Muslims’ gains and their
losses, and if you do not want to become a Muslim yourself, then let your people
freely convert to Islam or pay the poll tax, paid in lieu of conversion to
Islam, and do not restrict them in choosing their faith." [6]

The letters of the Holy Prophet of Islam were not exclusively written to kings.
Rather, he sent letters to various nations and to the followers of other faiths
so all would be informed of the rising of the sun of Islam.

A Letter to the Ruler of Yamamah

In the Name of God the Merciful, the Compassionate This is a letter from God’s
Messenger, Muhammad to Hawzah. Greetings to the one who follows the path of
salvation and the instructions of the divine. guides.

You, the ruler of Yamamah, note that my faith will advance to the farthest place
where man can go, so submit to Islam to be immune." [7]

A Letter to the Jews

In the Name of God the Merciful, the Compassionate This is a letter from
Muhammad, God’s Messenger, Musa ibn `Imran’s brother and co-missionary. God has
assigned to Muhammad the same mission He had assigned to Moses. I swear to you
by God and by the sacred commands descended upon Moses on Mount Sinai that: Have
you found in your Holy Book predictions of my prophetic mission to the Jewish
community as well as to all other peoples? If you have found this, then fear God
and convert to Islam, and if you have not found such a divine prediction, then
you will be excused.’" [8]

A Letter to the Bishop of Najran

In the Name of God the Merciful, the Compassionate This is a letter from God’s
prophet Muhammad to Bishop Najran: Truly I call on you to worship the real
adored God instead of worshipping God’s creatures. [9]

Our Duty is to convey the Message of Islam

The speedy advance and promulgation of Islam were due to the sincere,
indefatigable endeavours of our Holy Prophet more than anything else.

In the propagation of Islam, the Holy Prophet utilized two powerful, effective
forces: one, proficient speakers who had realized the truth and righteousness of
Islam and who deeply loved and admired the Holy Prophet of Islam, and, two, the
amazingly impressive letters, which revealed the vivifying precepts of Islam and
which, in reality, were crystal clear reflections of Islam. He sent his
messengers to different parts of the world although there were many hardships in
their way and the needed means and facilities were scarce or unavailable.

Now the holy soul of our Prophet is worried about Muslim societies, and no doubt
he watches them to see how they attempt to promote Islam, to communicate the
precepts of Islam to people all over the world, and also to see if they make use
of modern technologies and media to propagate the holy teachings of Islam.

So it is incumbent upon us to mobilize all our forces and powers to promote the
cause of Islam and to spare no effort or self sacrifice in the propagation of
this holy faith, so our eastern and western brothers and sisters in Islam may be
led to this vivifying fountain of truth. It will be a great achievement for us
to have the honour of such an invaluable service to Islam and to humanity in
general. Just as our Holy Prophet said to ‘Ali, ‘I swear by God that if God
leads a person towards salvation through you, it will be more valuable and
beneficial to you than the value of all the beings in the whole world upon which
the sun casts its rays’." [10]

Notes:

[1]. Kamil, Vol. 2, p.61.

[2]. Safinat ul-Bihar, Vol. 2, p.413.

[3]. Kamil, Vol. 2, p.210; Makatib ul-Rasul, Vol. 1, pp.30-31.

[4]. Makatib ul-Rasul, Vol. 1, pp.35-41, 60-182.

[5]. Ibid., p.90; Sirihi Halabiyih, Vol. 3, p.277.

[6]. Muhammad wa zamamdaran, p.162.

[7]. Sirihi Halabiyih, Vol. 3, p.285.

[8]. Makatib ul-Rasul, Vol. I, p.172.

[9]. Al-bidayah wal Nahayah, Vol. 5, p.53.

[10]. Bihar ul-Anwar, Vol. 21, p.361. 

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