“We are pleased with God as a Lord. And with Islam as a way of life. And with Muhammad as a Prophet.”
— Sahih Muslim, a beautiful statement of `Umar, approved by the Prophet
This needs to be acknowledged. Drilled into our hearts and minds. Become the foundation of our worldview. The cleansing light of this statement of ‘Umar needs to burn through all the cultural disappointments, alterations, the depressing social media posts, the insecurity, the desire to fit in, belong, and assimilate. The desire to feel comfortable. The disappointment with our cultures, our upbringings, our childhood experiences. The disappointment with our masjid boards.
We carry a message that was sent from the highest realms of existence, carried by the Chief Archangel of God, to the most perfect of human beings, passing through galaxy cluster upon galaxy cluster. Billions of years ago, the trajectories of comets and meteors were precisely calculated and set in motion in order to be in the exact place and exact time to pelt any spirit that might try to eavesdrop on the heavenly revelation as it descended, lest pieces of it end up whispered to some fortune-teller, who would claim that he too was receiving revelation.
Your spiritual and doctrinal ancestors raised a civilization which had a unique achievement unmatched in human history—the parallel development of the natural and the sacred sciences in societies that saw them as complementary. Discovering the world’s physical reality inspired by Revelation’s metaphysical reality.
The Egyptians built the Pyramids before you. The followers of other traditions went to the Moon before you. But only you have a Prophet who stood before the Lote-Tree, bordering the realm of physical existence on The Night Journey, brought back five prayers, and told you: “The salah1 is the mi`raj2 of the Believer.” Revel in this. Be proud. Then prostrate.