The Lives of Man – A Sufi Master Explains the Human States: Before Life, In the World, And After Death Imam Abdallah Ibn Alawi Al-Haddad Translated from The Arabic by Mostafa Al-Badawi
Muslims today may differ over many things, but most share a general consciousness that ‘an end is near’.
There is something in the air, a tense feeling of imminence, of history gathering pace for some remarkable event. This conviction is confirmed by the general unawareness of the non-Muslim collectivities, distracted by the myth of’ progress’, to what is taking place.
Only the Muslims, it seems, have remembered that acceleration is more usually a sign of downward than of upward motion and that if anything is certain about it, it is that it cannot be perpetually maintained.
Hence we see that the community of Muhammad, may blessings and peace be upon him, stands almost alone in retaining an interest in traditional, God-given, data about the end of time.
The Quran, as the final message given to man before the Judgement, contains very specific directions on how the last believers are to acquit themselves, and what they must expect.
It is true that whole sections of the Muslim nation, engrossed by the playthings and false gods of the age, think rarely of their future existence.
But most Muslims still respond vividly to Friday sermons that speak of the Last Trumpet, of the Judgement, the delights of the Garden, and the torments of the Fire.
In every bookshop in the Islamic world, tracts on the subject continue to outsell almost any other kind of literature, serving the Muslim desire to know the road which leads to that world which is without end.
Modern man, by contrast, trapped by anthropology which excludes all transcendence, dehumanized by a pseudo psychology which identifies the source of otherworldly yearning in his lowest, rather than his most exalted faculties, has been programmed to dismiss the traditional belief in an immortal soul s mythic, or even bizarre.
One does not have to be a believer to know that the consequences of this new
dogma have been appalling. If there is no Judgement, and hence no authentic ground of justice in the world, then morality, as secular philosophers have appreciated, is a myth.
Right and wrong can at best be defined by consensus, and institutionalized by majority vote. If life is not sacred, a million unborn children can be slain in a year, and no moral law has been infringed.
Further, if man’s nature is not rooted in the metaphysical, if his destiny does not lie in some higher place, then his existence is desolate and meaningless and can be articulated only through values and art forms which are broken evocations of ugliness and chaos.
No culture since Adam has lived in deeper ignorance of what man truly is: asymmetrical, noble form enshrining a soul, an organ capable of such translucence that it can, when the senses and passions which distract it are stilled, form a window onto that Reality of which this world offers no more than a distorted reflection.
For those human beings who have been granted this state of awakening, the real world which they survey is truer than anything they had known here- below.
All of us will see the real world, the akhira, at death, But only the Prophets fully know of it before they die, and hence can warn their contemporaries.
The revelations which God gives them, and which they give to mankind, are thus the only sources of meaning and understanding which will ever be available.
To hold to them is to cling to a rope let down from God, while to let go is to fall ineluctably into chaos Muslims are aware that today’s dominant culture (and we should recall that its dominance lies exclusively on the political and economic planè), is built on a single belletristic lace the considered rejection of Christianity.
This apostasy was the logical result of Europe’s discovery that the Bible was a historical product, a distorted text in which the words of the Prophets could no longer be heard with confidence.
Cut off from any reliable access to the transcendent, Europe’s outlook could henceforth seek descriptions of the world only viii