Sir Abdullah Archibald Hamilton Bart, formerly Sir Charles Edward Archibald Watkins Hamilton, embraced Islam on 20th December 1923. A well-known English statesman, fifth baronet of the first (1770) and third baronet of the second creation (1819) Sir Abdullah was born on 10th December 1876. He was a Lieutenant in the Royal Defence Corp. and was also the President of the Selsy Conservative Association.
About Islam he said:
“Since arriving at an age of discretion, the beauty and the simple purity of Islam have always appealed to me. I could never, though born and brought up as a Christian, believe in the dogmatic aspect of the Church, and have always placed reason and commonsense above blind faith.
As the time progressed, I wished to be at peace with my Creator, and I found that both the Church of Rome and the Church of England were of no real use to me.
In becoming a Muslim I have merely obeyed the dictates of my conscience, and have since felt a better and a truer man.
There is no religion that is so maligned by the ignorant and the biased as is Islam; yet if people only knew, it is the religion of strong for the weak, the rich for the poor. Humanity is divided into three classes. First, those on whom God has, out of His bounty, bestowed possessions and wealth; secondly, those who have to work to earn their living; and lastly, the great army of the unemployed, or those who have fallen by the wayside through no fault of their own.”
Mankind progresses through thought. The most important factor affecting our actions in life is the thoughts we believe in and carry. Without thought man drifts aimlessly from situation to situation, waiting for things to happen, rather than initiating action and progressing.
Man needs to take a comprehensive view of what we are, and how we should fit into the scheme of life in its entirety. Man not only is interested in finding a solution to these basic questions, but needs to take a view in order to have a reference point for all problems he faces. In short man needs an ideology or complete way of life to believe in and to regulate his affairs.
There are answers available to these most fundamental of questions of who we are, why we are here and how do we relate to life not only now but life before us and life in the future. The challenge facing us is to exercise our minds to their full capability in finding the correct solution, a solution that can be tested against reality, and ration, and will be comprehensive for all circumstances.
Only in the adoption of a comprehensive thought and ideology will mankind both individually and collectively have peace of mind and a solid foundation upon which he is freed up to truly progress. Society needs a way of life to which all problems can be referred and solutions readily given. It is not acceptable to let life pass, without contemplating and deciding the basis upon which life itself is built and organised.
The Thinking Person
As our thoughts greatly dominate or decide our actions we should be aware of how the process of thought works. Through our five senses of Sight, Touch, Hearing, Smell and Taste man is able to receive information. The mind once it has received the reality or information can then distinguish it, provided it has previous information about it to link with what it has received. So four elements are required for thought:
- The reality (word, information, etc)
- The sensing or feeling transmitted to the mind
- A distinguishing mind
- Previous information about the reality to link with the other three.
So a person may come across a plant which he recognises as a plant from his previous information about what plants look like. Through sight, touch and smell he will perceive the reality of the plant, but without previous information about the type of plant he cannot decide if it is poisonous or edible. We should always keep these elements in mind when thinking, as without correct previous information we cannot make correct informed decisions. Just receiving information is not enough, people receiving information become educated not thinkers, the process of linking to previous information and distinguishing it is the process of thought. The search for comprehensive and truthful previous information to relate to todays reality is critical to man’s success.
The Importance of Enlightened Thought
Just as the need for thought is important, the way one undertakes thought has an affect upon the quality of our problem solving and behaviour. Mankind has certain instincts and organic needs, and is constantly striving to satisfy these needs. Man will die if the organic need for food and water is not satisfied, and non satisfaction of the instincts of survival or procreation leads to misery.
Animals too have instincts and organic needs, but what differentiates man from the animal is the ability to think, man progresses and satisfies his needs after thought. Society implements rules, so we see that the survival instinct should not be satisfied by stealing from others, or that the sexual desire cannot be satisfied in any way we wish.
The way man approaches thought differs, thought can be relatively superficial, deep, or enlightened. The superficial thinker tends to judge based upon a brief look and makes decisions without understanding. Deep thought, on the other hand, examines the reality in great detail; once it is understood it is then judged. Through enlightened thought man not only understands the reality, but also all that relates to it, and only then does he judge it. So the person that buys the first colourful table that appeals to his sense of fashion is thinking superficially, whereas the man that studies the type of wood, veneer and construction of the table thinks deeply. It is only the man that takes into account these factors and his use of the table, the size of room it will fit, and his budget that uses enlightened thought.
Man will satisfy his needs and instincts through use of any of the three types of thought, but it is use of enlightened thought that takes into account the reality, previous information and all that relate to them that holds the future success for us. The view that any man holds all answers and can decide all for himself is shallow in that it does not recognise man’s limitations, or does not take into account all in man’s environment or links with the past and future. Similarly to look deeply and categorise man merely as flesh and bone and observe how the environment or nature has changed does not address the beginning of man, and his relationship to the rest of life. Only enlightened thought can provide a comprehensive answer and we should spare nothing in looking for the answers we need.
The Bridge from Thought to Action
When we become convinced of the correctness of a thought, that thought or idea becomes a concept which we carry, and as such it affects our behaviour. If we carry a concept of dislike about a person, that will affect our behaviour towards that person. If we feel responsible towards our husband/wife or family that will motivate us to support them. Concepts are important in that they can be changed to change degenerative behaviour.
Man should constantly challenge the concepts that he carries. Any error in accepting the truth of an idea which is wrong has a serious implication not only for the individual, but also for society, especially if the false ideas are carried widely.
Man cannot progress at all unless he carries a comprehensive concept which explains fully our situation. Such a concept must explain the relationship between man, life and the universe, and all that was before this and all that is after it. Without previous knowledge covering this most important question and enlightened thought we are in no position to deal with the questions and challenges we constantly face in life. The man that does not know who he is, where he is from and where he is going is in a sorry state.
Mankinds Greatest Question
Where did I come from, and where am I going? is the question on every child’s lips at some stage. What is the relationship between man, life and the universe? What is the link between life and what was before life, and what is after life? These are all the most natural of questions which man wants an answer to, and indeed needs an answer to, to form a basis for all actions. Without an answer, we are simply running with a limited view of life, i.e. what is here and now with no regard to the past and future. Such a view of life is comparable to applying for a job without asking the interviewer what the history of the company is, who they will be working for, why the previous person left, what the job is, how the job is likely to develop, what the prospects for promotion are and so on. To simply ask for the job without any reference to the past and the future and how they are related is superficial and naive.
Should a person be drugged and wake up in a darkened room, he will naturally ask:
who put me here ?
why am I here ?
and what will happen next ? (or what is outside the room ?).
Questions of what happens after death evoke in many an uneasy feeling, a feeling that many shy away from if they do not have a convincing answer. If we look upon existence before our birth as unknown, one might say is doesn’t concern us, but we all return to a situation of seeming uncertainty after death.
The truth of the matter is that we want and need answers, and we want answers with absolute clarity and certainty.
Solving the Great Question
A comprehensive answer to the question of man, life and the universe and their interrelationships through enlightened thought will provide the solution to all problems. This greater problem will act as a base or point of reference to any matter or problem relating to man and life . This is so because all problems are either partial problems related to the main problem or an outcome of the main problem. Armed with an answer to this most basic question mankind individually and collectively is in a position to progress, freed up from the constant worry of finding a correct reference point for any problem.
We are looking for the basis or creed of the ideology (way of life) for our lives. The basis or comprehensive answer must agree with reality and be categorically proven as correct, otherwise any answer stemming from the basis could be false.
Before solving the question we should set some ground rules.
- Firstly; any answer should be comprehensive. We must have the answer to the whole question of man, life and the universe. Without this any related questions or problems stemming from life, may be left unanswered.
- Any answer must agree with the reality and be a verifiable fact, to meet this criteria the answer must agree with man’s nature and satisfy our mind or intellect.
- To answer a question rationally requires that we limit ourselves to what we can perceive and sense. We cannot rationally assess something which is hypothetical or beyond our capacity to perceive it. With these criteria in mind, we can proceed to challenge ourselves in this most important of questions. A challenge which can solve this issue with 100% certainty, or else we remain in the dark, and with the constant inefficiency and worry that doubt brings.
Excerpt from the book “Faith & Progress” by Jamal Harwood