Why & When a Reformer
Some people think that since the Muslims have got the perfect book -
the Holy Quran - to guide them no reformer is needed by them; they can
get guidance from the Holy Quran by themselves.
The idea is very erroneous and the facts of history do not lend support
- In the first place, we observe that despite the fact that they have
the Holy Quran with them they are detoriorating day by day. Discussions
among them resulting in vast differences of opinion even about the interpretation
of the Holy Quran are on the increase. No doubt they are conscious of
the fact that they are going down, they do not find enough of strength
to rise up and stand on their feet. This is exactly what we find in
the history of previous religions; whenever their followers have deteriorated
they have not risen by themselves.
- In the second place, the practice of God repudiates this idea, whenever
darkness has enveloped the spiritual realm, God has been raising a Reformer
for the guidance of the people. Look at the followers of Moses; they
had a perfect book (according to the need of their time) which contained
guidance for them. But whenever darkness enveloped them, they were given
another guide in the form of a Reformer who reformed the followers of
Moses. So much so that the Holy Quran says: We sent Messengers when
he had passed away.
- In the third place what is actually meant by the perfection of a teaching
is that God has mentioned all the ways of spiritual achievement in that
specific book and all the needs (religious and spiritual) have been
laid down with the ways they can be fulfilled. But if the human mind
distorts it with its self-suiting interpretations, the book would lose
its meaning for them and they would not be reformed by it unless the
truth is unveiled by removing the curtain of selfstyled interpretations.
The perfect teaching is no doubt like a sharpcutting sword which cuts
the sin asunder but there must be somebody who knows how to wield it.
- In the fourth place, however perfect and effective a teaching might
be, unless an example of its implementation is shown to the people they
cannot benefit from it. It is through the people of various spiritual
ranks that God gives the people models for them to look at and follow
them to their personal advantage.
- In the fifth place the Belief in God is such a tree that unless it
is watered with the fresh signs, it dries up. It loses the certainty
in the existence of God and comes down to the level of mere philosophical
conclusion that "He ought to exist".
This situation is full of doubts and poisonous winds blow here to
the detriment of the tree; the tree dries up. But the faith that is
obtained through the Prophets and the saintly people, is a living
faith and it is a living reality which, as it, shows God to the people
and creates a relationship between God and His servants and thus grants
a new life.
That shows very clearly that even when a perfect teaching is there,
such people are needed who are the manifestation of the various attributes
of God and through whom a river of the fresh signs of God begin to
flow. Moreover the Reformers who are raised by God and are vouchsafed
the living word of God have a special kind of attraction for those
who are good natured. In fact it is this very attraction that wakes
up the sleeping people.
- In the sixth place it can be said with the least fear of refutation
that unless reformation is real and complete it cannot do any good,
rather it proves harmful. But so far as the reformation in the spiritual
realm is concerned it is not possible by any person other than the one
who is sent by God and receives the knowledge from Him. This person
gets the living word of God and he lives through it. The worldly ulema
can try to reform the people with the worldly knowledge which might
be authentic in a few aspects and unauthentic in many others. The differences
of the Muslim world of today have their origin in the worldly knowledge
of the ulema. There differences cannot be removed unless a Hakam and
Adl gives his decisions about them.
- In the seventh place, the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah
be upon him, has told his Umma that the Reformers would be raised among
them. This is positive proof of the fact that although the Shariat is
perfect, the Reformers are needed.
- In the eighth place the Reformers have already been appearing among
Muslims and that is a practical proof that the Reformers are needed,
though the Shariat of Islam is quite perfect.