Perfect Man


"And We have made every man's action to cling to his neck, and We shall bring forth to him on the day of Resurrection a book which he will find wide open . . . " - (17:13.)

How does a true and perfect Law, revealed by God, practically operate upon the heart of man is the fourth question which will be briefly considered. It may be recalled that this has been partly discussed while dealing with the first question.

Perfect man

A perfect Divine Law enables a man to rise from the lowest depths of ignorance to the highest pinnacles of light and knowledge; it turns the savage into a man, the man into a highly moral being and, last of all, transforms his morality into spirituality and godliness.

The injunctions of the Law have, moreover, the effect of regulating a man's relations with his fellow-beings and of increasing his sympathy for them. By its aid, he begins gradually to see and know their rights and, in his dealings with them, he applies his attributes of justice, goodness and sympathy on the proper occasion. He freely gives to each, according to his desert, a share of his knowledge, substance, comforts, and other blessings which the Merciful has granted him. Like the sun, he sheds his luster over all and, like the moon, transmits to others the light which he borrows from the great and original source of light. He brightens like the day and shows the ways of truth and virtue and again, like the night, he draws the veil over the faults and misdeeds of others, and affords rest to the tired and weary. Like the heavens, he takes every distressed one under his shelter and revives the lifeless earth with salubrious rain and, like the earth, he submits himself in all humility and lowliness to be trampled under the feet of others as a trial for them and furnishes them with many kinds of spiritual fruits.

The effect of walking in Obedience to the ordinances of a perfect Law, therefore, is that a man is able to perform his duty towards God and man in a fitting and creditable manner. He is totally resigned to the Divine will and completely engaged in the service of humanity. Such is the transformation which obedience to the Law brings about in man in this life.

In the next life, the spiritual union with the Creator will find a clearer manifestation in being afforded the sight of the Almighty and the services of His creatures - which one has done simply out of His love and to which faith and the desire of good deeds are the only incentives - will be symbolized into the trees and the rivers of paradise. The following verses of the Holy Book may be quoted in this connection:

"By the sun and his brightness!(1) And the moon when she borrows light from him! And the day when it exposes it to view ! And the night when it draws a Veil over it ! And the heaven and its make! And the earth and its extension! And the soul and its perfection! - So He reveals to it its way of evil and its way of good; (2) he is indeed successful who causes it to grow, and he indeed fails who buries it. Thamud rejected (the truth) in their inordinacy, when the basest of them broke forth with mischief- Allah's messenger said to them: (Leave alone) Allah's she-camel, and (give) her (to) drink. But they called him a liar and slaughtered her. So their Lord destroyed them for their sin and leveled them (with the ground); and He fears not its consequence "(3) - (91 : 1-15.)

(1.) This is to show that the spiritual light of Prophet Muhammad will brighten as time passes on - Publisher.

(2) The verse is a fitting sequel to the statement made in the previous verse as regards the perfection of soul, as it points out the way to perfection: through Divine inspiration.

(3.) The promise of being saved from death is an allusion to the eternal life which will he granted to the perfect one hereafter. This shows that a virtuous course of life in obedience to the commandments of the Law leads to eternal life hereafter for which the sight of God will serve as a sustenance. Then we are told that: "He is undone and must despair of his life, who has corrupted his soul (and departs from this world having led an impure life and without having attained the excellences for which the Lord had granted him the respective faculties)", and warns by way of illustration: "The fate of that wretched will be the same as that of Thamud who slaughtered the camel which was called the 'Camel of God' and did not allow her to drink from their fountain."

The wretched who does not purify his soul really wounds the camel of God and deprives her of the water of his fountain. This alludes to the fact that the spirit of man is the camel of God, which he rides upon, that is, the heart of man is the throne of the manifestation of the Creator's glories, and the water which is the source of the life of that camel is the love and knowledge of the Almighty. As to the consequences of Thamud's rejection, we are told that "when they wounded the camel and hindered her from drinking, they were destroyed and God cared neither for their youngs nor for their widows." Such is the fate of every person who hurts the camel of his spirit, does not care for its perfection, and withholds it from the water of life!