Our Motto : 'In-Allah-ha-Ma'anaa' ("Be not grieved, for surely Allah is with us." - The Holy Quran 9:40). We find spiritual strength, courage and comfort, in the times of trials and  hardships, from this Divine Quranic revelation that descended upon the pure heart of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him), so as to console and compose him during one of the most perilous moments of his life. <Please click the 'Our Motto' link on our homepage for more details>

The Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement for the Propagation of Islam (A.A.I.I.L. - Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha'at-e-Islam Lahore)

Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian (the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement; the Mujaddid (Reformer) of the 14th Century Hijrah; and, the Promised Messiah and Mahdi) <Please read his biography in the 'Biography' section>

Please click here to SUBSCRIBE to this site!

Please click here to SEARCH this site!



What's New



Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)

Other Religions

My 1st Muslim Site for Children

Accusations Answered

Becoming a Muslim


Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian

Joining Our Movement

What Others Say About Us

Our Foreign Missions & Contact Info

Accusations Answered

News & Info

Other Ahmadiyya Sites


Qadiani Beliefs Refuted





Articles & Magazines


True Stories



Dreams, Visions & Prophecies


Questions & Answers





Dutch [Netherlands]

Dutch [Suriname]



India [Hindi/Urdu]









* MISC.:

Muslim Names

Muslim Prayer Times


Screen Savers


FREE E-mail Accounts:

* Click to:

[1] 'Subscribe' to this site!

[2] 'Recommend' this page to a friend!

[3] 'Search' this site!

[4] 'Send a Greeting Card'

* FREE CDs *


Books Section > The Living Thoughts of the Prophet Muhammad by Maulana Muhammad Ali > Chapter 4: The Dignity of Manhood

Chapter 4:
The Dignity of Manhood:

Another unique contribution made by the prophet to human civilisation was the idea of human dignity. This, too, was a natural sequel to the idea of the oneness of God, on which he laid so much stress. Man was the noblest of God's creation, according to the Prophet, and it was degrading for him to worship things or to bow before things which he really excelled:

What! Shall I seek for you an object of worship other than Allah, while He has made you excel all created things? (7:40)

That was to be the essential principle in man's relations with the rest of creation; he had been made to excel all things. He excelled even the angels, as the angels are required to make obeisance to man:

And when We said to the angels, Make obeisance to Adam, they did obeisance. (2:34)

Man, therefore, degraded himself to the utmost if he carved out idols with his own hands and then worshipped them as if they were Divine, or as if they controlled good or evil for him:

What! Do you serve what you hew out? And Allah has created you and what you make. (37:95, 96)

Why dost thou worship that which neither hears, nor sees, nor does it avail thee in the least. (19:42)

The Prophet would not brook idolatry in any form. The association of anything with God made a man fall from the high position which nature had given him:

Therefore avoid the uncleanness of idols and avoid false utterance -- Being upright for Allah, not associating aught with Him; and whoever associates others with Allah, it is as though he had fallen from on high, then the birds snatch him away or the wind carries him off to a far distant place. (22:30, 31)

He did not even allow great men to be taken as lords:

They have taken their doctors of law and their monks for lords besides Allah, and also the Messiah, son of Mary, and they were commanded that they should serve one God only; there is no God but He. (9:31)

It was also a degradation of human nature that man should worship the sun or the moon or the stars or the elements of nature, because all these things were created for the service of man, and he was required to yoke them into service and control them:

Allah is He Who made subservient to you the sea that the ships may run therein by His command and that you may seek of His grace. (45:12)

And the changing of the winds and the clouds made subservient between the heaven and the earth. (2:164)

He has made subservient to you the sun and the moon; each pursues its course till an appointed time. (31:29)

And He has made subservient to you the night and the day and the sun and the moon, and the stars are made subservient by His command. (16:12)

And He has made subservient to you whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth, all, from Himself. (45:13)

According to the Prophet, man's position in nature was that of a conqueror; he had been created to control all the forces of nature and to rule in the earth, not to bow before them:

And when Thy Lord said to the angels, I am going to place in the earth one who shall rule in it. (2:30)

He had been given vast capabilities for attaining the knowledge of things:

And He gave Adam knowledge of all things. (2:31)

The Arabs were an illiterate people; reading and writing was so rare among them that it may be said not to have existed at all:

And say to those who have been given the Book and the illiterate people: Do you submit yourselves (to God)? (3:19)

He it is who raised among the illiterates a Messenger from among themselves. (62:2)

The followers of the Book, the Jews and the Christians, also gave the same name to the Arabs:

This is because they say: There is not upon us any reproach in the matter of the illiterate people. (3:74)

The Prophet himself did not know reading and writing and is called an Unlearned Prophet:

And thou didst not recite before it any book, nor didst thou transcribe one with thy right hand. (29:48)

Those who follow the Messenger-Prophet, the unlearned one, whom they find written with them in the Torah and the Gospel, who enjoins them good and forbids them evil, and makes lawful to them the good things and makes unlawful to them impure things, and removes from them their burden and the shackles which were upon them. (7:157)

Believe in Allah and His Messenger, the unlearned Prophet, who believes in Allah and His words, and follow him so that you may walk in the right way. (7:158)

Yet what was the very first message of this Unlearned Prophet who appeared among an illiterate people:

Read in the name of thy Lord Who creates. (96:1)

Read and thy Lord is most Bounteous, Who taught by the pen taught man what he knew not. (96:3-5)

Read and write, was thus his first message, and to these two means for gaining knowledge of things was added the quality of observation with which man was endowed:

And how many a sign in the heavens and the earth which they pass by, yet they turn aside from it. (12:105)

In the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of the night and the day, there are surely signs for men of understanding: Those who remember Allah standing and sitting and lying on their sides, and reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth: Our Lord! Thou has not created this in vain. (3:190, 191)

The knowledge of things thus gained was perfectly reliable because one law prevailed throughout the vast universe whose extent could not be imagined by man:

Thou seest no incongruity in the creation of the Beneficent God; then look again, canst thou see any disorder? Then turn back the eye again and again, thy look shall come back to thee confused while it is fatigued. (67:3, 4)

Everything created by God, we are further told, was made according to a measure so that it could not go beyond a certain limit, and the progress made by everything was along a certain line by following which it attained the perfection destined for it:

Glorify the name of thy Lord, the Most High, Who creates things, then makes them complete; And Who makes things according to a measure, then guides them to their goal. (87:1-3)

From the slave of nature's forces which man generally was at that stage of human civilisation, the Prophet thus raised him to the dignity of the master and the ruler, and it was due to this realisation of man's position in the universe that the Muslims in their very early history took vigorous strides towards the expansion of knowledge and the advancement of the sciences. Reading and writing was within a few years spread throughout the whole of Arabia and other countries which came under the influence of Islam, and the Muslim State so encouraged the pursuit of study and scientific research that centres of learning and universities sprang up throughout the empire of Islam.

Along with this contribution to human thought in the physical sphere, a change was brought about in the spiritual outlook of man. The first change effected in this direction was that in the natural state man was pure; and every child whether born of Muslim or non-Muslim parents was sinless:

Surely we have created man in the best make. (95:4)

So set thy face upright for religion in the right state -- the nature made by Allah in which He has made men; there is no altering of Allah's creation; that is the right religion but most people do not know. (30:30)

Explaining this verse of the Holy Quran, the Prophet is reported to have said:

Every child that is born conforms to the true religion (lit., human nature); it is his parents who make him a Jew or a Christian or a Magian.(Bukhari, 23:80)

Every child was thus recognised by birth to be a Muslim; the purity of human nature was not affected by his being born of non-Muslim parents. Hence it was further recognised that all children who died before attaining the age of discretion, whether they were children of Muslims or polytheists, went to heaven. On a certain occasion, the Prophet related a vision in which he had seen Abraham in paradise with children all around him, and he added that these children were all the children that had died in the state of nature, i.e., before they attained the age of discretion. Some of his Companions, the Hadith goes on to say, thereupon asked him:

The children of those who set up gods with God (mushrikin) as well, O messenger of Allah?

And he replied:

Yes, the children of those who set up gods with God (mushrikin) as well. (Bukhari, 91:48)

The doctrine of the sinlessness of man by birth was an aid to leading a sinless life. If a man did good and avoided evil he was true to his nature, while if he went against good and did evil he was false to his nature. It further strengthened him to overcome sin, because he knew that nature had fitted him for this task. But there was yet a further step to raise him spiritually to a very high level.

According to the Prophet not only no impurity attached to man in the natural state, i.e., by birth, but he, in a certain sense, also partook of the Divine nature, for it was the Divine Spirit that was breathed into man, into every human child:

Who made good everything that He created, and He began the creation of man from dust; Then He made his progeny of an extract, of water held in light estimation; Then He made him complete and breathed into him of His spirit.(32:7-9)

When thy Lord said to the angels, I am going to create a mortal from dust; so when I have made him complete and breathed into him of My spirit, fall down making obeisance to him. (38:71, 72)

Evidently, the Divine Spirit spoken of here is something distinct from the animal soul which animates the whole animal kingdom, including man. It shows a mystic relation of the spirit of man with the Divine Spirit, and refers to the higher life of man. This was also the reason that God revealed Himself to the perfect Man in His full resplendence, and Divine revelation thus granted to man awakened him to a higher life and made him overcome his animal passions and low desires. The destiny of man, according to the Prophet, was therefore higher than mere conquest of nature; it was to seek union with the Divine Spirit:

O soul that art at rest! Return to thy Lord, well-pleased with Him, well-pleasing Him, So enter among My servants, And enter into My Garden. (89:27-30)

The goal of life was liqa-Allah, or the meeting of God, in the language of the Holy Quran:

O man! Thou must strive to attain to thy Lord a hard striving until thou meet Him. (84:6)

They are losers indeed who reject the meeting of Allah. (6:31)

They will perish indeed who call the meeting of Allah to be a lie. (10:45)

He regulates the affair, making clear the signs that you may be certain of meeting your Lord. (31:2)

And surely most of the people are deniers of the meeting of their Lord. (30:80)

The sublime thought that this worldly life was not the end and aim, nor conquest of nature the great goal of life, but that there were higher values of life, and that the present life was but a means to realise those values, the goal being a re-union with the Divine Spirit, this formed the basis of a life after death. The two lives, life on this earth and life beyond, are really one:

Whoever is blind in this life, shall also be blind in the Hereafter. (17:72)

And He shall cause them to enter the garden which he has made known to them (here). (47:6)

It is God's pleasure that a man is told to seek in this life, and God's pleasure is the greatest of the blessings of the next life:

Allah has promised to the believing men and the believing women gardens in which rivers flow, to abide in them, and goodly dwellings in gardens of perpetual abode; and greatest of all is Allah's goodly pleasure -- that is the grand achievement. (9:72)

And as the believers do here below, they shall there glorify and praise God:

Their cry in it shall be, Glory to Thee, O Allah! And their greeting in it shall be, Peace; and the last of their cry shall be, Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. (10:10)

This last cry of the life hereafter is also the first cry of the Muslim in this life when he prays to God, at various times:

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. (1:1)

The realisation of the spiritual, however, is limited here owing to the earthly environment, while the next life opens out unlimited fields of advancement to higher and higher stages:

But those who fulfil their duty to their Lord shall have high places built for them, above them higher places still. (29:30)

O you who believe! Turn to Allah a sincere turning; maybe your Lord will remove from you your evil and cause you to enter gardens in which rivers flow, on the day on which Allah will not abase the Prophet and those who believe with him; their light shall run on before them and on their right hands; they shall say, Our Lord! Make perfect for us our light and grant us protection, for Thou hast power over all things. (66:8)

Paradise was thus, according to the Prophet, the starting point for an advancement to higher and higher spiritual stages; hence the high places to which the faithful shall be raised know no end, as there are still higher places above them, and hence the ardent desire for more and more light in that life.

Even those who wasted their opportunity in this life by engrossment in lower desires would ultimately be saved, hell being only a remedial stage in the higher life of man. It is called a maula, or friend, of the sinners in one place (57:15) and their umm, or mother, in another (101:9).

All men, both believers and unbelievers, were created for mercy (11:119), and the purpose of God must ultimately be fulfilled. They shall have a hard life in hell because they avoided here the "hard striving" which was needed to enable them to "meet their Lord" (84:6). All men will ultimately be made fit for the service of the Lord, because He had "not created the jinn and the men except that they should serve Me" (51:56). And the Prophet is reported to have said:

Surely a day will come over hell when there shall not be a single human being in it. (Fath al-Bayan fi Maqasid al-Qur'an)

Surely a day will come over hell when it will be like a field of corn that has dried up after flourishing for a while. (Kanz al-'Ummal)


Books Section > The Living Thoughts of the Prophet Muhammad by Maulana Muhammad Ali > Chapter 4: The Dignity of Manhood


'E-mail' this page to a friend!

E-mail Us!
This website is designed, developed and maintained by the members of:
Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement for the Propagation of Islam
Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha'at-e-Islam, Lahore -- A.A.I.I.L.)
and is being managed in the Netherlands.

The responsibility of the content of this website lies with the respective authors
You may print-out and spread this literature for the propagation of Islam provided our website [aaiil.org] is acknowledged

Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha'at-e-Islam Lahore (Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement for the Propagation of Islam)

Thank you for visiting us at aaiil.org or ahmadiyya.ws or muslim.sh or islam.lt !