7th Century man,21st Century Role Model: How?

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“I have always held the religion of Muhammad (pbuh) with high esteem because of its vitality.It’s the only religion that can simulate its existence in changing phases and can appeal to every age.I have studied him (Muhammad PBUH) – the wonderful man and in my opinion far from being an anti-Christ, he must be called the Savior of Humanity.” – George Bernard Shaw

Above are the wise words of George Bernard Shaw- the esteemed Nobel Peace Prize winning stalwart critical thinker, philosopher and the co-founder of London School of Economics in the UK.

Much hyped today is the ‘muslim beard’ and its implications on the modern world.From the corrugated slums of Bangladesh to the glitziness of the ‘Big Apple’ New York to fast-flowing cities like Kuala Lumpur, I’m more than ever sure that you’ve come across a bearded guy and more often than not I assure you he’s not a suicide bomber nor a ‘Moslem terrorist’, just another guy from the neighborhood, striving in this world just like you and me are. But you ask and he’ll tell you the reason for his adherence to such a ideology like Islam which encompasses his daily life matters too. He’ll humbly tell you he keeps sporting that beard of his or using the piece of stick called Meswak to brush his teeth because a man far away in the deserts of Arabia from 1400 years ago used to do the same thing. He’ll tell you it’s a Sunnah and he would trade nothing to let that go.

The question is Islam a convenient way of life in the 21st century is a heated topic up for debate in many neo-athiest or agnostic or even ‘modern’ muslim circles. But I for one, am  a strong proponent that YES IT IS a well-defined way of life for the 21st century.  In my short piece here, I would discuss in brief some unwavering points to substantiate my humble claim inshallah.

Firstly to understand why Muhammad saw’s message is so successful, we have to go back and take a look at the conditions through which it appeared and from that the transformations he caused in the world.  Muhammad saw was born into an Arabia which was considered as a backwater area by the Romans and Persians or rather, unworthy of governance. Despite having great influences around the world,these two humungous civilizations never enforced a claim on Arabia, because to be blunt,it wasn’t worth it. Makkah was a sleepy desert town with ‘mad’ arab bedouins inhabiting it along with their beasty, barbaric at times and ultra-weird customs. In short, arabia had no resources, could yield nothing and was outdated or rather a land behind it’s time.

As you would expect from all big change-makers of the world, Muhammad saw himself didn’t have a much gifted childhood or anything similar to a Harvard-grade education. Rather he had one that’s very torn apart. Born as a child with a dead father, he had a very tumultous family history. His mother Aminah died when he was just 6 years old. His old aged grandfather Abdul Muttalib took to nourish the young boy and only after a few years he died too. The young boy Muhammad saw then went on to live with an uncle of his who couldn’t provide for him.

This same person caused a world-wide change by bringing in transformations to civilizations, societies, communities, religions and entire nations. Many scholars argue that if there was no Islam and no muslim Golden period with flourishing Islamic societies, then there would be no European Renaissance and the world would have been very different from what it is today.  Considering the above mentioned facts, I for one and the other 1.6 billion muslims out there believe, if this man’s ideals could change a generation that was mired in so much ignorance, then in this 21st century too, his message would be a formidable one inshallah.

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By Waheedur Rahman

Follow my blog at www.nabeel6000.livejournal.com

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