May we all live in peace and have a successful journey and show our Love.
As previously mentioned, every human lives under the Grace of Allah. It’s has nothing to do with whether we earn it or deserve it. Even the Apostle Luke said that Yeshura (pbuh) lived under the Grace of Allah. My lack of understanding is when did Allah—the beginning of all creation that has no beginning and has no end, the Omnipotent and the all powerful—when did He lose His power of Grace ... or when did he relinquish it?
Please enlighten me.
This brings me to the song “Amazing Grace.” This hymn is very popular with many Americans, regardless of denomination. It seemed to be a multi-purpose song, but its origins and the use of the word “wretch” are much to ponder over. Before I write about its distortion, in brief let’s mention the author John Newton.
John Newton was a slave trader. His interactions with his sailors left much to be desired. He had established a reputation as a crude, coarse, rude and profane person to his sailors and, in addition to the debauchery, was known then for his treatment of enslaved Africans. On one of his slave voyages the crew sailed into a North Atlantic storm for over a week. The ship’s canvas sails were ripped, and the wood on one side of the ship had been torn away and splintered. The sailors had little hope of survival, but on the eleventh day of the storm, they survived a near-death experience. This encounter with that violent storm prompted Newton to convert to Christianity.
But for over a decade after his come-to-Jesus moment, Newton continued the slave trade business.
Newton would finally give up the slave trade business and become an Anglican priest in England in 1773. He debuted the hymn “Amazing Grace” to his congregation called “Faith’s Review and Expectation.” This was based on the rhythm he heard from enslaved Africans. The words were from his own heartfelt expression of gratitude to God, and his eventual fight against the ills he had practiced. Newton, in fact, became a supporter and inspiration to William Wilberforce who led the fight to pass the British Slave Trade Act in 1807, which abolished the slave trade in that empire.
Now let’s carefully think over the words that we sing and the false association that we make claim to. The hymn opened with a powerful line: “Amazing grace! (how sweet the sound) That sav’d a wretch like me!”
But it was through Allah’s Mercy that John Newton and his crew survived the calamity. Allah’s Grace is what let him live long enough to repent and change his way. His writings were based on his own personal experiences: He claimed to be a wretch because he was a deplorable human being participating in human slave trading, he admitted being an evil and wicked person. John Newton was a wretched person—he finally realized it, acknowledged it, reformed his life and worked to stop the evil that he had partaken in.
As I will wrap up Amazing Grace next week, let us work together to empower each other and to enhance our community by being tolerant, respectful and patient with each other. May we live in the Peace and Love of the Creator, to continue our life’s journey being consistently guided through the Light.