Heartfelt condolences to all our readers on the advent of a very tragic day. It is the day on which the Almighty’s Last and Greatest Messenger, who had been sent to purify and deliver mankind from manifest error, departed from the mortal world at the age of 63 after molding many human beings into monotheists during his 23-year mission.
It is in fact, a day of double grief, since on the 39th anniversary of the tragic 28th of the month of Safar, the Prophet’s elder grandson Imam Hasan al-Mujtaba (AS) attained martyrdom on being fatally poisoned by the charlatan Mua’wiya.
The path of Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) was not paved with roses. It was strewn with thorns, at times poisonous and fatal, as is evident by his sufferings at the hands of the pagan Arabs, especially of Mecca, who refused to listen to his words of wisdom, mocked at him, derided him as insane, pelted him with stones, clamped a socio-economic boycott upon him, and plotted to murder him. When, by the Grace of God, he safely migrated from his hometown Mecca to Yathreb (Medina), where the people welcomed him and helped him establish the first instance of the ideal state of social justice; these hardcore pagans imposed war after war upon him, but with no success. Then these pagan Arabs ganged up with the equally treacherous Israelites to try to extinguish his mission through armed battles and conspiracies, but were soundly defeated. Finally in 8 AH, on the total failure of all their murderous plots, following the surrender of Mecca to him, two years before his passing away, they resorted to hypocrisy by paying lip service to Islam and claiming to be Muslims in order to save their skins, although at heart, most of them had no faith in his mission.
Nonetheless, as the Prophet of peace, he overlooked their faults and strove to guide them towards monotheism and the best of morals, being certain that the universal mission of Islam will stand the test of time and one day in the future, as God has promised, Islam will prevail peacefully over all creeds. Let us focus on a wonderful debate that Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) had with the atheists to show them the rationality of Islam.
The Prophet, when confronted by a group of atheists, who mocked at God and divine messengers, asked them: "Now, tell me what reasons you have behind your claims that the objects [or whatever is] in this Universe, have no beginning and they have been there forever and will exist forever.”
The atheists replied: ‘We are simply stating what we observe. We have not seen "hudooth” or contingency, coming into existence in objects [or whatever exists] of the universe, so we say that this Universe has been there forever and when we did not observe destruction and annihilation, we postulated that whatever exists in this Universe is not transient [or will never annihilate].’
The Prophet asked them: "Did you find this Universe "qadeem” or eternally pre-existent, without a beginning, or did you find it eternal? If you say so, then explain whether you yourself are in the same physical and intellectual state as you are now and that you will remain like this forever. If you will answer positively, then undoubtedly, you will deny your own observation and reject the observation of the observers [in other words, you yourself were not in the same physical and intellectual state].”
The atheists replied: ‘No, we do not find this Universe pre-existent or everlasting.’
The Prophet then said: "Then how come you said that the objects in this Universe are eternally pre-existent and eternal? And when you did not observe in the Universe "hudooth” [or contingency, coming into being] or for that matter "inqadha” (which means perishing or being transient), you called it pre-existent and eternal; while it was better for you, when you did not find eternal pre-existence and eternity in this Universe, to claim that this Universe is "haadeth” [that is, came into existence] and has "inqadha” (that is, perishable).
The Prophet continuing his debate with the atheists asked them: "Alright, have you seen how the day and night come one after another?”
The atheists said: ‘Yes.’ The Prophet said: "Do you think of the night and the day to be eternal?”
The atheists said: ‘Yes.’ The Prophet said: "In your opinion, can the night and the day coexist?”
The atheists said: ‘No.’ The Prophet continued: "Doesn’t one of them separate from the other and come forward and the other one follow it?”
The atheists said: ‘Yes, this is how it works.’
The Prophet said: "So, through your affirmation, you have said that the night and the day that have passed display "hudooth” [that is, coming into existence], while you have not observed it directly. Now, tell me you say that the Universe is eternally pre-existent and not "haadeth” [or created]. Do you know what are the things that you will have to admit to and reject, based on your proposition?”
The atheists said: ‘Yes.’
The Prophet said: "You have definitely observed that in this Universe, one thing is dependent over another because existence of anything in this Universe is impossible without its contact [or connection] with another thing. You may have seen how some parts of a building are dependent over others or else, the building would be unstable and not be able to stand as a unit [will fall] and this is true for everything [in this Universe]. The same is true for all other objects. So, when these objects, while being eternally pre-existent, require other objects for their strength and completeness, so now tell me, what would have been their situation and characteristics had they been "haadeth” [having a beginning]?”
The Prophet’s divinely-designated vicegerent, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS), who was present at this lively debates has narrated that after hearing this question from the Prophet, all the atheists were baffled and understood that it is impossible to acquire a new characteristic for a "haadeth” object [that is, something with a beginning] which is different from the characteristics of the objects which we call "qadeem” (eternally pre-existent).
The atheists stopped their discussion and said: ‘We wish to think over our matters for some time. Soon many of them were convinced of the truth of Islam and became Muslims.
This was Prophet Muhammad (SAWA), who came to enlighten mankind, and did not leave the world without showing clear ways of guidance, including whom God has chosen to be his vicegerent and successors or Imams after him.
Alas in 50 AH, those who styled themselves as Muslims, not only poisoned to death his elder grandson, Imam Hasan Mujtaba (AS), but riddled the coffin and the corpse with arrows.