|Sufism and the Perennial Conflict of Good and Evil|
|What the Prophet Brought|
|Umm ul-Ahadith, The Hadith of Jibril|
|The Relationship between Shari‘ah and Haqiqat|
What the Prophet Brought
Allah sent Islam for all time:
إِنَّ الدِّينَ عِندَ اللّهِ الإِسْلاَمُ وَمَا
The Religion before Allah is Islam.
هُوَ الَّذِي أَرْسَلَ رَسُولَهُ بِالْهُدَى وَدِينِ الْحَقِّ لِيُظْهِرَهُ عَلَى الدِّينِ كُلِّهِ وَلَوْ كَرِهَ الْمُشْرِكُونَ
It is He Who hath sent His Messenger with guidance and the Religion of Truth, to proclaim it over all religion, even though the Pagans may detest (it).
Islam consists of two aspects: belief and practice. Its purpose is to take each individual Muslim on a personal journey towards Allah, while at the same time creating a community in which people live together and work together as servants of Allah, striving to establish an ideal society, living under His guidance and seeking ongoing improvement and steadfast observance of Allah’s religion.
Living the religion of Islam depends on practices and actions. In the process of that journey, we face ongoing struggles between our instincts, egoistic desires and carnal lusts on the one hand, and the divine principles and good manners that the religion calls us to on the other. This struggle is continuous and like a war, in that victory or defeat are taking place at every moment. Evil may overcome the good for a time, and then good may overcome evil. Ultimately, one side overwhelms the other. The hope is that good will prevail. When the power of good surpasses that of evil, the individual soul begins to ascend through levels of knowledge that enables its possessor to prevent the ego’s selfish mastery. This enables the seeker to fully comply with and fulfill Allah’s Orders with alacrity. This is experienced on the seeker’s journey as manifestations of virtue emerging on the horizon of the self.
The struggle, however, is long. We are torn by truth and falsehood, greed and generosity, happiness and regret – pulled towards Heaven, then goaded towards Hellfire. The only way to avoid that bad ending is to override our selfishness, our egoistic desires and our carnal lusts. Such a victory can only come through faith, Īmān. Allah sent the Prophet Muhammad ÿ so that we might acquire this important trait, and thus advance on our spiritual journey towards Him.
هُوَ الَّذِي بَعَثَ فِي الْأُمِّيِّينَ رَسُولًا مِّنْهُمْ يَتْلُو عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتِهِ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتَابَ
وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَإِن كَانُوا مِن قَبْلُ لَفِي ضَلَالٍ مُّبِينٍ
It is He Who has sent amongst the Unlettered an apostle from among themselves, to recite unto them His revelations, to purify them, and to instruct them in the Book and Wisdom, although they had been, before, in manifest error.
Here Allah makes clear that Sayyidina Muhammad’s mission is first to teach revelation, then to purify us, then to teach us the Holy Qur’ān and wisdom. Note that tazkīyyat an-nafs, purification of the self, precedes learning the Holy Qur’ān and wisdom.