5.1. What does it mean to start or begin something?
Today we live in dynamic times. Things change faster and faster so that we often cannot keep abreast with the speed with which things change. One of the things that drives change is that constantly new things are invented and produced. In the early 1800s steam engines were started, revolutionizing industry and society. In the late 1800s automobiles were started, leading to a revolution in private and military transport. In the early 1900s airplanes were started, bringing the whole world into the reach of tourists and soldiers. We could go on and on and highlight how Radio, TV, computers, mobile phones, smartphones, the Internet, rockets, atomic bombs, etc. were started. There was a time, when no steam engines, when no cars, when no telephones, when no rockets were around. When these things were started, they changed the world we live in.
Now let us come back to our question as to who started Islam: Abraham or the Arabs. We have looked in some details at what constitutes Islam, at who Abraham was and where he lived, and at who the Arabs were and how they have influenced world history. But there is one key element in this question from South India, which we have not yet addressed: the element of starting something. We are so used to the so-called "progress" in our world today that we rarely question the notion of "starting" something. And this seems to have been the case with the lady professors in South India. They have taken it for granted that there was a time, when there was no Islam and that Islam therefore was started and that we only have to find out and determine, who it was that started Islam. But was there a time, when Islam was not around? Did Islam really have a beginning according to present-day Islam? In this final direction of inquiry, we want to come to these foundational and dangerous questions about Islam.