Sacred Messengers: True Stories of the Power of the Natural World

Except for a very few who had followed his guidance, others continued to worship the idols of stone with different names as attested in the following verse:. Prophet Noah re-doubled his efforts but all to no avail. He would then cry out to his Lord:. I have called to my people by night and by day, but my call only increases their flight from the True Path.

And every time I have called to them, that You may forgive them, they have thrust their fingers into their ears, covered themselves up with their garments, grown obstinate and given themselves up to arrogance. So, I have called to them aloud: To Prophet Noah, God commanded:. Then when comes Our command, and the fountains of the earth gush forth, take on board pairs of every species, male and female, and your people except those of them against whom the Word has already been issued: The scene on the stormy sea is quite dramatic, with the fluttering sail, the ark breaking out of the picture frame, and the swollen bodies.

The animals that are to populate the earth are rendered both humorously and fairly realistically. The David Collection, Denmark. As commanded, Prophet Noah now set upon the task of building the Ark with the help of the small group of believers. The sight of Prophet Noah and his men constructing the Ark seemed to amuse the chiefs and unbelievers. They did not realise the seriousness of the situation but only laughed and jeered. Prophet Noah would now answer back to their mocking comments in a very bold and straight-forward manner:.

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But soon will you know who it is on whom will descend a penalty which will cover them with shame and upon whom will fall a lasting penalty. When the Ark was completed, Prophet Noah took with him his family and the believers, and a pair of every creature that was found on the land around him.

The flood waters began to rise. They offered their prayers and prostration to Almighty God as thanksgiving for the Mercy He had bestowed upon them. All was lost to them. The heavy downpour of rain, the strong winds, the deafening thunder and the blinding lightning created confusion in their minds and fear in their hearts. They ran helter-skelter in search for safety. They climbed the roof-tops and the trees but nothing could save them now as the waters rose higher and higher.

And the waves came between them and the son was among the drowned ones. Finally, when all the unbelievers were drowned in the flood, God commanded:.

The Ark rested on Mount Judi. It reminds us of the great powers of God. October 4, Date last updated: There will be no prophet after him and he is therefore called Khatam al-nabiyyin — the Seal of the Prophets. Each Quranic chapter contains a number of verses. There also exists a slight difference in the numbering of verses. Kufah readers count them , Basrah , Syria , Mecca , Medina Every Muslim is thus obliged to maintain the sanctity of the earth.

He cannot degrade or defile it. Fourth, Allah calls the Qur'an His ayah or sign. Significantly, Allah also calls these objects of nature His ayahs or signs. So Allah has two Books for man to receive guidance from: Think of how many times Allah draws our attention to these natural signs in the Qur'an. Just as we are grateful to Allah for His gift of the Qur'an, so must we be grateful for the other gift.

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The Qur'an will remain a partially closed Book without them. These ayahs in nature have basically four functions for man. The Book of Nature is a mighty testimony of Allah's power and glory.

Sacred myths from Santería centered on nature and the natural world With a compelling power akin to the I Ching, this work is well overdue. a true sense of the marvel and mystery within the patakí, the sacred stories of Afro-Cuban Santería We give thanks to the orisha themselves for choosing him as their messenger. Maril Crabtree's most popular book is Sacred Feathers: The Power of One Feather to Sacred Messengers: True Stories of the Power of the Natural World by.

These ayahs are an ever-present reminder to our straying minds. The whole of nature is provided for man's contemplation. To contemplate the smooth functioning of nature and its beauty, harmony, and organization is an essential component of the worship of Allah. Nature is a repeated invitation to thikrullah, or to engage in remembrance of Allah. All forms of worship thus are called thikrullah.

What sensible person would dishonour a personal invitation? We must do all we can to protect and preserve this other Book of Allah also. Fifth, a Muslim has a responsibility which no other creation has. He is Allah's khalifah or custodian on this earth. He has been given the task of taking care of Allah's creation. A caretaker cannot abuse what is in his charge. Can a Muslim refuse to accept this duty and still remain Muslim? A human being is nothing if he is not willing to accept this role as Allah's khalifah. Sixth, Allah commands us to emulate His Messenger Muhammad saws whom Allah calls the best example for mankind and rahmatal-lil-a'lameen, meaning Mercy for all the creatures Quran The life of Muhammad saws is replete with examples of his love, care and concern for all of Allah's creation and how he never tired of warning his noble companions in this regard.

How can a Muslim who wants to follow him then not be merciful to Allah's creations, animate or inanimate? Additionally, let us consider how Allah again and again promises in the Qur'an that He will reward the blessed in the Hereafter with Jannah, or a garden that will be their eternal abode.

Jannah is described as a place of unimaginable natural beauty with trees and streams. This tells of Allah's great fondness for the beauties of nature. If our Lord likes nature so much, how can we, His servants, not like it, let alone allow any harm to be done to it? At this point it can be legitimately asked: Yes, he does, no doubt. And he has its Owner's permission to do so, as the Qur'an says that Allah has created everything for our use. But that is only if we are willing to fulfill our function as His vicegerent on earth. The permission is not unconditional and, as Gai Eaton puts it, the ownership is not transferred.

And then there is this question: Only that little which keeps us physically fit and enables us to discharge our duties as custodian of all these.

Anything beyond that is theft and transgression. Moreover, for whatever little we take out of sheer necessity from the natural world, we must do so in utter humility and with an awareness of our own poverty and helplessness, with respect for it and courtesy toward it and in total gratefulness to our common Lord who created it and mercifully allowed us take from it. The luxuries of modern civilization have no place here.

There is no room for greed and wastefulness in Islam. Allah and His Messenger Muhammad saws have repeatedly warned the Muslim against these damning vices. Even if one is performing wudu washing for ritual purification in a stream, use of excessive water is forbidden. We have to remember that Allah has placed the bounties of nature at our disposal in order to test us and we will have to give our account to Him for all we do with them.

Do we receive His gifts with grace, humility and gratitude? Do we accept our role of stewardship? Do we stay within the limits set by Allah? Or do we spoil and squander? All these are extremely serious questions that each of us will have to answer on a very difficult Day. We will have no chance to run away. We must not forget that each of us will have to face Allah on that Day individually and separately. We will have no helper there.

No one will bear anyone else's burden. All Allah's creations, big or small, will be present on that Terrible Day of Reckoning to speak in favor or against us, a most sobering prospect. In Islam everything is a matter of relationship - man's relationship with Allah, with His Messenger, with himself, his fellow human beings and the natural world around him. His success with Allah depends on his forming and maintaining proper relationships with each. Thus a Muslim cannot remain inattentive to the natural world or indifferent to what happens to it.

We Muslims are, by definition, environmentalists: But the Muslim's concern for the natural world is no mere pragmatic necessity; it is an essential spiritual demand placed on every Muslim. He is not allowed to look at the natural world as a storehouse of resources to be exploited and at best to manage carefully. Nor is he allowed to look at the earth's beauties as merely nice picnic spots or tourist attractions. He is required to see it as a phenomenon handed down to him by his Lord as part of a divine scheme of things with special significance for the purification of his soul and his salvation.

Man's relation with his natural surroundings reflects his relationship with Allah and is a vital aspect of his worship.

The Natural World and the Muslims

A Muslim, then, is not just an environmentalist, but an environmentalist of a very noble kind. At this point it must be admitted that Muslims have miserably failed in their duties. From what Allah and His Messenger Muhammad saws have taught us about the earth and the objects in it, it is the Muslims who should have been the very first to feel horrified and outraged by what has been happening to the planet and who should have been in the forefront in the fight against environmental degradation.

Unfortunately this has not been true. In this respect Muslims have not lived up to the call of their religion. However, the call to discharge his obligations as a Muslim remains.

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We evade our duties and responsibilities at the risk of incurring our Master's displeasure. There are many things to do both individually and collectively. Collective efforts take place only as a result of individual decisions. There are many things we can do at a personal level, which can improve environmental conditions considerably, but there are also bigger things to be taken care of for which only collective efforts will work.

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Muslims should eagerly join hands with others, especially people of other faiths, who are actively engaged in this urgent and huge struggle. There is however one bitter truth all of us have to accept. If we sincerely want any meaningful improvement in our environment, we must give up many of our modern amenities and comforts, not just wasteful habits and luxuries.

We will have to dismantle many of the things we have built. We should not fool ourselves by believing that some miracle technology will emerge that will enable us to continue in our greedy, irresponsible habits while negating their adverse impact on the environment. That is a monstrous delusion beyond all proportion. It is technology, don't forget, that assisted man in bringing the planet to its present misery. We talk of the fury of nature, but far, far fiercer has been the fury of technology-aided man. Technology can beat the earth flat, dry up the oceans, empty the bowels of the earth, turn man to dust and wipe out all living things, but it cannot restore the already lost harmony.

We would do well to realize that a devastated earth is not a dead earth, but a deadly one. With the increasing violence done to it, it is turning deadlier and deadlier. Man does not have the power to kill it. Only its real Master has this power. The long oppressed and suffering earth will survive and unleash its fury on man.

Greedy, arrogant, foolish man will be more than paid back in his own coin. Yet if we are willing to curb our insatiable, ravenous appetite and be satisfied with much less than now, we may be able to halt the alarming deterioration of the earth's ecology. Technology or no technology, the planet cannot support the modern self-indulgent and profligate way of life.

We cannot have our cake and eat it too. There is no alternative to our finding a simpler and modest way of life. The only real question, therefore, should now be: For Muslims, there is nothing new in this call. It is as old as Islam itself. It is a call to follow the shining example of the Prophet Muhammad saws and his noble Companions ra - to live the way they did.

The call is valid for all times and under all circumstances. Surely, the best way to live is to live like them. In the heart of the Muslim, can there be any doubt about this? Mohiuddin is a retired university professor of English literature living in Bangladesh. He can be reached at this address: Related posts from similar topics: Did you know this about Muharram?

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Save sacred Apache lands from exploitation arizona. In October, Nizhoni Pike, a member of the San Carlos Apache Tribe, held a coming-of-age ceremony in an area that will be affected by the land swap and the Resolution Copper mine. Oak Flat is holy and sacred not only because of spiritual and cultural traditions, but because it nourishes the Nnee with foods and herbal medicines that are only found there.

Certain places contain spiritual and cultural sustenance where healing and nourishment is provided for our whole being. This is true for all peoples worldwide. Our bodies are made perfect for the environment we come from, and our Apache homelands have sustained and nourished our people for generations. Resolution Copper Company will destroy this.