Imam W. D. Muhammad
We continue this introduction to the Islamic column, "Capitalistic Communism," with a description of religion. We have already identified religion as a path, and the term path implies travel, which suggests extension, openness, expansion, growth and fulfillment. In the scriptures, the human life span is said to be a journey between birth and death. This life span between birth and death is kind of illusionary, and for this reason, the life, as we first see it, is often called an illusion. In the description of life as an illusion, life is defined as having meaning and reality only in the sense of transformation or continuous growth. Along the path from birth to death, the mind never settles down anywhere in the physical creation. Prophet Muhammad (may peace be upon him) said that in this world you are a traveler who should live your life as though you are going to live forever and as though you are going to die after one day. This saying of the Universal Messenger, Prophet Muhammad (may peace be upon him) tells us to live for now, for the future, for here and for the hereafter.
Religion gravitates towards Allah Who is the embodiment of all truths, Who has had no origin and Who is therefore perfect and eternal. The path of religion (the path to Allah) is the path that envisions no death, and religion is the path of eternal fulfillment.
Future articles for this column, "Capitalistic Communism," Insha-Allah, (if it pleases Allah) will be developed from the following subject headings: 1. "Seeing And Naming Creation," 2. "Seeing And Naming Self," and 3. "The Evolution And The Birth Of Religion."
Many primitive forms of religion were in existence before our standard religion was revealed. But origin is not perfection, origin is truth before it unfolds. So all of the developments of life are indeed growth processes. There is a physical or biological growth process, a moral growth process, a mental or intellectual growth process and a spiritual growth process. Religion is a path of growth processes, and moreso, religion is an evolutionary change of wombs, passing the human life germ from underdevelopment to more development with the object being the forming of light for the human mind. As the cosmic elements form cosmic wombs to evolve a sun to light the physical world, similarly, was the birth of the "sun" (the light of truth) of the mind,
which demonstrates to us that the religious world evolves out of darkness.
Religion grew up through the living matter of human evolution out of moral concern, symbolized in the term "water," and with moral development symbolized in the scriptural term "rain." Primitive religion outdates our standard religion and it also outdates economic development.
In the path of growth towards fulfillment, there is first a development of conscience, then there is the development of faith, which is followed by the development of government. For example, first the baby cries, secondly the baby trusts its mother and eats, and then we see the activities on the part of the parents to provide an orderly environment and to go out and get the needs to build up a strong foundation and protection for the home life.
Next there is the building up of the concern for the human need and the human welfare. At first, this concern is almost like a distinctive response to the crying needs of the individual, but in time, it builds up to be a well thought out plan to fulfill or to supply needs and to protect the human welfare until the need develops into a concern for the welfare and the building up the total society.