A Hadith of Muhammad

Okay, time to blog about something about which I know nothing …

I just came across this little quote from a Hadith (oral tradition of Muhammad, written down a couple of centuries after he died).  I found it very poignant and thoughtful:

The time is near in which nothing will remain of Islam but its name, and of the Kuran but its mere appearance, and the mosques of Muslims will be destitute of all knowledge and worship; and the learned will be the worst people under the heavens; and contention and strife will issue from them, and it will return upon themselves.

Yes, it is very negative, but more than that, what I really notice is its sadness – mourning over something high that has been brought low, like the ship-kings of Numenor anticipating the Akallabeth, or Clive of India foreseeing the fall of the Raj.

(Not that these are/were necessarily GOOD things, of course, but no one is good except God …).

It must be a very curious feeling to have founded or formed something great and magnificent, only to be struck by thoughts of its inevitable decline.  Some things do last a long time, but if they are only THINGS, then they will ultimately decompose.  Even religion decomposes in the end, thank God.  But some things grow – compose, rather than decompose – and potentially last forever.  A marriage, a friendship, a story.  That sort of thing.  The Real Narnia, not just the Shadowlands.


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