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PROPHETHOOD: Islam began from Prophet Adam (A. S.) and reached its final stage with the final Prophet Muhammad (SAL). It is a well confirmed truth that there did not emerge any Prophet in this world after Prophet Muhammad (SAL).
If anyone claims to be such a Prophet, he is a rejector of Islamic faith. Therefore, none can declare himself as another Prophet since Islam has been declared a completed system of religion under the last Prophet Muhammad (SAL).
Let us refer to the following Quranic verse that testifies to the finality of Prophethood.
âMuhammad (SAL) is not the father of any of your men, but he is the messenger of Allah and the Last (end) of the Prophets. And Allah is Ever All-Aware of everything.â (Quran 33:40) According to this Quranic statement, Muhammad (Sal) was the last of all the Prophets sent to the world by Almighty Allah. Therefore, Allahâs declaration of final Prophethood cannot be challenged by anyone else.
Prophet Muhammad (Sal) himself has been a true witness to this concept of final Prophethood.
Narrated Abu Hurairah (Roli) Allahâs messenger (Sal) said: My similitude in comparison with the other Prophets before is that of a man who has built a house nicely and beautifully except for a place of one brick in a corner.
The people go round about it and wonder at its beauty but say. âWould that this brick be put in its place! So I am that brick and I am the last (end) of the Prophetsâ (Sahib Al-Bukkari Vol. 4, Hadith No. 735).
In another, Hadith, Prophet Muhammad (Sal) has said as follows: âProphets used to guide the Bani Israelisâ. If any one of the Prophets passed away, another Prophet would be placed to take up that responsibility. But, there is no Prophet after me. There will emerge only caliphs.â (Al-Bukhari)
In the Hadith books of Muslim, Thirmidhi and Ibnu Maja, the following statements are found: âI have been sent as a Prophet to entire universe. The full stop has been placed to the arrival of Prophets after me.â
Another Hadith says as follows: âThe series of messengerhood (Risalath) and Prophethood (Nubuwwath) ended. There is no Rasool (Messenger) and no Prophet (Nabi) after me.â
Therefore, in conclusion, we should accept the truth that Prophet Muhammad (Sal) was the last Prophet and that we should not be misguided by misintepreters of Islamic faith. May Allah guide us along the straight path.
Two seats of wisdom
WISDOM: The world has always held in high esteem sages of all hues whose thought and life revolutionised the history of humankind and changed its civilisation for the better.
Two such very significant historical personages are Jesus Christ, who came from a Jewish background and Gautama Buddha who appeared in the north of India. However, they are both Asians and from them we have inherited a unique treasure of spiritual wisdom that has lasted for centuries and has profoundly affected not only Asian cultures but also those of the West.
The time-span between them was 600 years. It shows that wisdom is conditioned neither by time, nor by place nor by its cultural background.
Wisdom embraces profound insights into the mystery and destiny of human life and the knowledge and experience we all need to discover and realise it. Wisdom is a spiritual endowment that transcends all barriers.
Coupled with love or agape, it can transform humanityâs entire countenance. In this respect, Jesus of Nazareth and the Buddha of Lumbini with their life and message will grace history as two of the greatest luminaries who emerged from the horizons of contemplative Asia: two pedagogues of immense significance.
Both Christ and the Buddha confronted the precariousness of the human condition. Buddhism sees is as a state of multiple suffering whereas Christianity has always seen manâs unfortunate situation of alienation as one caused by the reality and the tragedy of sin.
The Buddha struggled for six long years looking for answers from the wise teachers available to him, but to no avail, which made him decide to sit under a Bo-tree and be determined to sit there until he was able to achieve liberation through a series of mental efforts that probed into the root of suffering and finally, discovered the path to emancipation from it.
It was a moon-lit night in the serenity of the woods with the stillness made more profound by the shade of the tree of illumination. He attained Buddhahood and was finally led to share his experience with his fellow ascetics and others out of compassion for many.
Christ committed himself to a solitary life where following his baptism in the river Jordan he gave himself to prayer, solitude and contemplation. We are told that he was seen often in prayer in the open fields and forests and mountains where the crowds sought him relentlessly.
Prayer was seen as a powerful weapon against temptation and a way of intimacy with God, whom He called and experienced as his loving Father. He would teach his disciples to pray to Him as well.
In fact, like the Mara that disturbed the Buddha, Jesus too in the wilderness was severely tempted to abuse his supra-normal powers (iddi), embrace illusions, give himself to presumption and even bargain with the evil one. He had to clearly reject these inclinations and thus defeat them.
The cross was his tree of victory as he laid on it in perfect obedience to his mission and full of compassion for those who rejected him. He was being wounded for the sins of others.
The roots of suffering as discovered by the Buddha, were greed coupled with the two other evil roots, namely hatred and ignorance. Ignorance was seen as the easiest perceivable by a wise man, the most radical of the three due to which a personâs mind is darkened: veiled from perceiving reality as it is.
Nothing is permanent in this world, everything is momentary and transient. Attaching oneself to them causes sorrow and binds a person to a sorrowful existence. This basic existential truth has to be well understood and accepted without question. The fact tested by daily experience that all is just and mere phenomena, is the law of things and life.
The noumenon, the real, which is the permanent state of happiness and contentment, is Nibbana, the state without sorrow and change. In this state all greed is absent and hence no sorrow is possible. The mind and the heart have to be brought into discipline in order to put oneself on the right path of purification.
In many places of the Tripitaka, the Suttas keep repeating the four noble truths of Buddhism and insisting on the necessity of following the discipline of the eight-fold path of liberation are truly numerous.
Perception of the noble truths is the core of the right vision of things and the eight-fold path is the middle-way of conduct valid for the three doors of moral activity which are body, speech and mind.
Hence there is a three-tier spiritual path to tame the mind and body. They target the evil roots that lead to suffering keeping an individual locked in the never-ending wheel of evil and rebirth.
If at all Buddhism is a way of life, these are the essential principles to be adhered to in a practical way.
The theoretical understanding of phenomenal existence with its analysis of Dukka (suffering), Anicca (impermanence) and Anatta (soul-lessness) is not meant to be some abstract philosophical analysis of reality, but is to serve as a help leading to the practical wisdom that provides guidance for daily living, even for the ordinary lay person, let alone the Monk who takes on this commitment as a life-long task.
The Buddha became an icon of wisdom, because He followed the path of wisdom, realising the Four Noble Truths in His own personal and intimate experience and thus achieving the State of Enlightenment, which we is called Buddhahood.
What He saw, understood and experienced. He declared in a body of teaching which later became encoded in the Buddhist scriptures called the Canon, the Three-Fold baskets or Pitakas: Sutta, Vinaya and the Abhidhamma.
To be continued
Hoisting of Nanthy flag
The head of âTharumai Aatheenamâ in India highly commends Sinnadurai Dhanabalaa for his service:
FLAG: Long before the Greeks and Romans the Hindus were told to govern their lives by the norms of Dharma which comprehends all the excellences which made for an ideal humanity.
Furthermore, every religion, every nation and every political party is identified by its own flag. They hoist their respective flags during all their important occasions and celebrations. In that way the whole world come to know the different celebrations and festivals. But, there is no such flag common to Hindus hoisted during festivals or ceremonies anywhere in the world.
Realising this divine service the Colombo Saiva Munnetta Sangam took all possible steps to hoist the Nanthy flag (Nanthy kodi) in every religious organisation, particularly in Hindu temples and Hindu houses.
In fact, the hoisting of the Nanthy flag was the vision and brainchild of late S. T. Sinnadurai, the founder of Leela Press and social and religious worker.
Though the idea of hoisting the Nanthy flag originated from late Sinnadurai, it has now been taken forward by his son S. Dhanabalaa. Indeed, Dhanabalaaâs divine service has been immensely appreciated and duly recognised by all communities and denominations not only in Sri Lanka but throughout the whole world where Saivites live.
Recently Dhanabalaa and his brother Dr. Somasekeram from London had the honour and privilege of meeting Tharumai Aatheenam 26th Kuru Maha Sannithanam Ceer Valar Ceer Sanmuga Thesega Gnanasampantha Paramasariya Swamigal and Thavathiru Kunrukkudy Pannambala Adikalar of Sivagankai district in South India and distributed several Nanthy flags.
In fact, the Head of the Tharumai Aatheenam and Sri La Sri Kunrukkudy Pannambala Adikalar have highly commended the tremendous divine service Sinnadurai Dhanabalaa is rendering in the sphere of religion and particularly to Saivites by way of spreading the Nanthy flags.
Further, as head of Tharumai Aatheenam Sri La Sri Sanmuga Theseega Gnana Sambantha Paramasariya Swamigal is piloting the affairs of the Aatheenam to the greatest satisfaction of the devotees ever since he was appointed as head of this particular Aatheenam in 1971.
With the view to spread Saiva Siddhanta philosophy to the whole world he had established International Saiva Siddharta Research Centre in 1984. Furthermore, the administrator of 27 temples which are under this Aatheenam, the publication of books and periodicals and the administration of universities and schools are done in a proper manner.
Besides, he has donated fantastically and fabulously to Sigapatti Tuberculosis Hospital and Cancer Research Centre at Adaiyaru in Madras.
Undoubtedly, the Nanthy flag encapsulates the essence of Hindu Savia thought. It portrays reality, moral and ethical norms. Realising, the immense divine service Dhanabalaa is doing for the revival of Nanthy flag, the head of Tharumai Aatheenam not only blessed Dhanabalaa and his brother Dr. Somasekeram but also gave them necessary support, encouragement and strength to take this forward to the whole world.
Ten Commandments: Unifying laws for Judaism, Christianity and Islam
Continued from May 2
The Third Commandment
âYou shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.â (Bible, Exodus 20, 7)
Muslims revere God often by proclaiming, âGod is Greatâ, âPraise be to Godâ, âGod willingâ, etc. The Holy Qurâan emphasised the importance to constantly remember God, âGlorify the name of your Lord in the morning and eveningâ (Al-Qurâan 76:25).
âRemember the name of your Lord and devote yourself to Him exclusivelyâ (Al-Qurâan 73:8). However, it warns, âDo not use Godâs name in your oaths as an excuse to prevent you from dealing justlyâ (Al-Qurâan 2:224).
The Fourth Commandment
âRemember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labour and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God.â (Bible, Exodus 20, 8-11)
The Sabbath day for the Jews is Saturday, for the Christians itâs Sunday, and for Muslims itâs Friday. Technically speaking, Friday is a day for congregational prayer and it is not considered a holy day similar to what Jews and Christians celebrates.
Nevertheless, Friday is an important day in a week in a Muslimâs calendar. It is my opinion that all days of the year are sacred - to live a life without breaching the trust God has placed upon you everyday and do good. No day is a good day to commit wrongdoings.
The Fifth Commandment
âHonor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.â (Bible, Exodus 20, 12)
Our duty towards our parents is universally accepted as sacrosanct and disobedience is considered a major sin. To ignore and abandon them in their old age is sacrilegious.
The importance of kindness and praying for mercy is stressed in the Qurâan, âYou shall be kind to your parents. If one or both of them live to their old age in your lifetime, you shall not say to them any word of contempt nor repel them, and you shall address them in kind words.
You shall lower to them the wing of humility and pray: âO Lord! Bestow on them Your blessings just as they cherished me when I was a little child.â (Al-Qurâan 17:23-24). Amen!
The Sixth Commandment
âYou shall not murder.â (Bible, Exodus 20, 13)
Murder is a crime in every country in the world. This secular law had its root in this divine law, âAnd do not take any human beingâs life that God has willed to be sacred - other than in (the pursuit of) justiceâ (Al-Qurâan 17:33).
Even in the pursuit of justice, Islam allows kith and kin of victims have the final word.
The judicial system does not determine the punishment. They can let the perpetrator of the crime go free as a matter of compassion and/or accept monetary settlement where their economic situation demands. e.g. the widow and children of a victim left destitute. This form of redress based on individual choice to select the mode of punishment is unique to Islam, and is an expanded interpretation of the Ten Commandments.
The Seventh Commandment
âYou shall not commit adultery.â (Bible, Exodus 20, 14)
Like in Judaism and Christianity, committing adultery is a major sin in Islam. In Islam, living together before marriage is forbidden, a practice accepted as norm by mostly liberal nations.