A Historical, Practical, Perfect Model for Humanity
Sayyid Sulaiman Nadwi
Translated by Mohiuddin Ahmad
Prophets – The Perfect Models for Humanity
This is a magical world brimming with wonders, diverse and remarkable. One finds here myriads of beings and creatures with distinct characteristics. If one were to cast a glance over different objects, one would find that sensibility and consciousness go on increasing gradually from inorganic matter to human beings. The smallest particle of the universal kingdom known as ether or atom has no sense perception and consciousness but a faint trace of life appears in the minerals. In the vegetable kingdom sensitiveness of an involuntary nature is discernible in the form of germination and growth while a still higher type of sensibility accompanied by a limited consciousness can be seen in the animal life. Then, in man, the sense perception reaches its perfection with the appearance of volition and consciousness. The inorganic matter is, accordingly, free from every kind of responsibility; vegetables respond to the law of life and death; animals are liable to a bit higher responsiveness; while man has to shoulder the responsibility of everything done by him. In the case of man, too, this responsibility varies according to his sensibility, consciousness and will: the children, the adults, the foolish, the learned, the wise, all are accountable for their actions in proportion to the lack or abundance of these powers.
Now, let us examine this question from another angle. Nature takes upon herself the responsibility to sustain creatures to the extent they lack sensibility, consciousness and volition; she goes on shifting her responsibility to each in proportion to these potentialities developed by it. Who rears the diamonds and rubies in the bosom of mountains and who feeds the fish in the oceans? Who brings up the wild animals? Who provides nourishment to the fowls in the air and who attends to their ailments and illness? Why do the animals of the same species living in mountains and jungles, under different climatic conditions, develop different characteristics? Why are the dogs of Europe different in appearance from those in Africa? Why does nature provide them with different types of paws and furs and skins according to different physical and climatic conditions?
These differences indicate the ways in which nature helps every being in such manner as it lacks will and consciousness and withdraws its care to the extent each develops the capabilities to maintain itself. Man has to earn his own living. He has to cultivate and grow foodstuff for meeting his needs. He has also not been provided with the coat of short and fine soft hair as some of the animals do have for protecting themselves against the rigors of climate. Likewise, he has himself to cure his illness and heal his wounds. On the other hand, nature undertakes the responsibility of protecting other creations, to the extent they lack will and perception, against their enemies. She arms them with different coats of mail: to some are given claws and canine teeth, horn to others; some are taught to fly, or to swim, or to run; while others fend off their enemies by biting or stinging. But, look at the man. The poor fellow has neither the tusks of the elephant, nor the claws of the lion, nor even the horns or pointed teeth or stings and poison glands. He has been
created weak and defenseless but the great weapons of sense perception, consciousness and volition at his command more than make up for his deficiencies and enable him to subdue powerful elephants and ferocious lions. He can catch poisonous snakes, birds flying in the air and fishes living in high waters. He can contrive a variety of arms and armaments for his defense.
To whichever philosophy or religion you may subscribe, you would nonetheless agree that man is held responsible for his actions by virtue of possessing the...