THOSE WHO DISBELIEVE and bar people from the path of God, He lays waste their works. But those who believe, and do righteous deeds, and believe in all that has been sent down upon Muhammad—for it is, indeed, the truth from their Lord—He absolves them of their misdeeds and sets aright their intellect [and perception]. That is because those who disbelieve have followed falsehood, while those who believe have followed the truth from their Lord. So it is that Allah puts forth for all people the [true] semblance [of their way]. [Sûrat Muhammad, 47:1-3]
Well, there it is.
These words not only answer the fretful alarm of people everywhere about how to save a dying, rebelling world from the escalating insanity of, well, Al-Insân, humankind.
They give us also the universal metaphor for man’s much sought after path to peace. Inner peace. Peace on earth. Peace with creation. Peace in life and in death.
But most of all, they tell us how to come to peace with the God we are certain to meet when He grows us back to bodily existence, down to our fingertips, and sows again in us our long-departed souls. For then the only questions will be Peace or Nevermore.
But there is no “semblance” of peace about anything these days. The world is a bad mess with none messier than Muslims. It’s all killing, killing, killing. Kill off the plants. Kill off the animals. Kill off the sky, soil, and water. Kill off the brother, the neighbor, the other, and the babies before they even get here.
All is night.
And the only one Allah has sent as a light to guide humanity to peace is Muhammad ﷺ, son of ʿAbdullâh.
O Prophet! Indeed, We have sent you as a witness [to all the world]; and as a bearer of glad tidings [of everlasting delight in Paradise to those who believe]; and as a forewarner [to humanity of God’s nearing Judgment]; and as a caller to God, by His permission; and as a luminous beacon [to all the nations]. [Sûrat Al-A ḥzâb, 33: 45-46]
There is no one else, to the end of the earth, to whom Allah has given the radiance to light man’s path from darkness back to daylight.
[God] is the One who sends down upon His servant [Muhammad] clear verses [of guidance] to bring all of you out from [the veils of] darkness into the light. For, indeed, God is all-kind and mercy-giving to you. [Sûrat Al-Ḥadîd, 57:9]
But we Muslims are neither kind nor merciful among ourselves or to humanity. We are the ones who are supposed to seize hold of the Prophet’s stirrup, the hem of his holy mantle, and follow him—each one taking by the hand his brother in a human chain that leads from darkness to light, from earth to Heaven, from the desert of this life of death to the Garden of the Ever-after of deathless life.
We must reattach ourselves to the Prophet ﷺ, as individuals and as a community. We do this by studying the Book he risked all, spent all, and renounced all to bring us, whole and unspoiled. And we study him—this Quran-man in motion—his every step, word, and demonstration—all with a mind to internalize his meaning and reenact his intent in every like circumstance and with all due love of emulation.
So let us all be reminded of our purpose and path in the world: To follow Muhammad ﷺ back to Allah, to put the denouement back in the witness, the living testimony, in deed, that is your mission statement, O Muslim, for this world.
And Muhammad is His Messenger.