MAN – WHAT IS MAN?
By: Kassim Ahmad
5th February, 2016
What a piece of work is man! How noble in reason! How infinite in faculties! In form and moving, how exspress and admirable! In action, how like an angel! In apprehension, how like a god! The beauty of the world! The paragon of animals! And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me – no, nor woman neither.
Recently I promised my readers to write on Man. In the Bible, God said that He created man in His own image. In the Quran, man is His vicegerent on Earth (Arabic: khalifah). The meaning is essentially the same: ruler. Man is the ruler and the re-maker of the Universe. That has, of course been done. Man has created cities and civilizations, from ancient Babylon and Egypt, through ancient Greece, and Rome, through modern Arabian monotheism, and lastly through modern Europe and its extension in the United States of America.
In a beautiful allegory in the second chapter of the Quran, the angels protested against the creation of Man, saying that Man is a shedder of blood and spreader of corruption in the world. God simply said that He knew better. (See Quran, 2: 30)
The angels were partially right. Man did shed blood in the two World Wars. (God forbid that there will be a third!). After the Second World War, there was a period called “Cold War” when a strategic balance was struck between the American-led so-called Democratic block and the Soviet Communist-led Eastern block prevailed. In the meanwhile, Man’s knowledge advance, slowly at first, then by leaps and bounce, and we are now at the threshold of colonizing outer space. In two generations we shall indeed be living in outer space!
So it does seem that God’s optimism about Man has been amply demonstrated. If I am not mistaken, more miracles are coming. Anti-aging, for one. We shall soon be forever young!
There is no doubt that man cannot escape reaping the harvest of what he had sowed. He will be punished to the extent of his criminality, i.e. disobedience to his own Maker. Unless my reading of the Quran is at fault, this means man will punish his own wrong-doing. What incredible beauty!
KASSIM AHMAD is a Malaysian author. His website is www.kassimahmad.blogspot.com