Al-Wadoud: The All-Loving God

Al-Wadoud: The All-Loving God

By Dr. Muhammad Ratib An-Nabulsi

godAl-Wadoud: The All-Loving God

Allah’s divine name “Al-Wadoud” (The All-Loving), is an emphatic name derived from the Arabic word “Woudd”, which means “Houbb” (Love) as Allah says:

“And He (Allah) is the All-Forgiving, the All-Loving.” (Al-Buruj 85:14)

The Arabic word “Houbb” is, in turn, derived from “Habab Al-Asnan”, which means “whiteness, cleanliness and purity of teeth”. This means that those who love Allah, Most Gracious, are pure, chaste, sincere, and faithful. The word “Houbb” also indicates submission and obedience to the beloved. Hence, those who love Allah, Most Gracious, are dutiful and obedient to Him. They are modest, humble and submissive to the Lord, Exalted and All-High.

The word “Houbb” also means “instability”, which, in turn, means that those who love Allah are in constant instability as regards their relationship with their lord. True believers, who really love their Lord, undergo constantly changing feelings as regards their relationship with Him; while hypocrites, whose hearts are dead and, hence, emotionless, remain stable and unchangeable. Also, the word “Houbb” or “Habb” refers to a seed from which we get good fruits.

This means that those who love the Lord their love is like a seed that produces a shady tree that, in turn, yields good fruits. In fact, the word “Houbb” (love) embraces all of the foregoing meanings: purity, chastity, submission, humbleness, instability, growth and good …etc.

Love into Action

Undoubtedly, there is a delicate difference between both words. “Al-Houbb” means love as a noble feeling dwelling in the heart; while “Al-Woudd” means love substantiated by action. In other words, if you love someone, your inner feelings towards him are called “Houbb” (i.e. love that exists in your heart), but when you translate such love into action by smiling to him, for example, or doing him a favor, this is “Woudd” (i.e. love that you put into action).

If you offer him a present, it is “Woudd”. If you help him out of a problem, it is “Woudd”. If you visit him when he is ill, it is “Woudd”. If you offer him a present when he gets married, it is “Woudd”. In short, inner feelings of love are “Houbb”; while ostensible substantial acts of love are “Woudd”.

All those who have “Woudd” must necessarily have “Houbb”, but not vice versa. This means that someone might love another but does not show that in his behavior, but if someone shows love to another, this means that he loves him.

This means that the whole universe, that is, with its heavens, stars, planets, galaxies, the sun, the moon, rain, fishes, birds, animals, plants, flowers, is but a substantiation of Allah’s “Woudd” (Love) for mankind. Children, who fill the home with life and movement, are of Allah’s “Woudd”. The great many kinds of fruits are of Allah’s “Woudd”. Wives, whom Allah created especially for men’s psychological and physical comfort, are of Allah’s “Woudd”. Husbands, whom Allah created especially for women’s comfort, are out of Allah’s “Woudd”. Wool, which Allah created to protect us from cold is out of Allah’s “Woudd”. All things that Allah has subjected for mankind are out of Allah’s “Woudd”. The whole universe is subjugated for man as a kind of “Woudd” from God.

And when God loves someone He honors and mercies him/her. However, Allah’s love for true believers is confirmed in the Qur’an.

Allah’s divine love for man is manifested by His divine protection, help, victory, success, sending down mercy upon his heart, sending down peace and tranquility upon him, providing him with all the things he needs. This is Allah’s divine love for man. But man’s love for Allah is substantiated by inclination and attachment, because if Allah forsakes him, or deprives him of His divine light, he feels unbearable pain and sorrow.

Once man loves God he gets inclined to Him, seeks refuge in His divine shade, light, holy manifestations, peace and tranquility, and he feels that Allah is always protecting and helping him. But Allah’s divine love for man means protection, help, support…etc. And “Al-Woudd” is the practical substantiation of both kinds of love.

Allah Is All-Loving

1- The first point concerns Allah’s name “Al-Wadoud” (The All-Loving) is that He endears Himself to His slaves by bestowing His innumerable divine favors upon them. Therefore, logic and good reason show that the entire universe is nothing but a manifestation and substantiation of Allah’s Divine “Woudd” (i.e. Love) for mankind.

Thus Allah favors you with His never-ending favors and graces: good health, fresh water, delicious food and drink, fruits, fishes, birds…etc. When your heart and all other parts of your body work properly, this is one of Allah’s uncountable Divine Favors and Graces. Therefore, true believers should say what Allah’s Prophets taught us to say:

“Say: ‘Truly, my prayer, my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allah, Lord of all worlds.” (Al-An`am 6:162)

Before Allah created you and brought you into existence, you were nothing at all. But from the moment He brought you into existence, He bestowed on you a couple of Priceless Divine Favors:

“Have We not made for him (Man) a pair of eyes, a tongue and a pair of lips, and shown him the two Ways (of good and evil)?” (Al-Balad 90:2-4)

The first divine gift man that receives from his Lord upon his birth is a very complicated operation, namely the so-called “Suck reflex”, which enables him, from the moment of birth, to take his mother’s breast tightly with his small mouth and start sucking. Without such reflex, human life would be impossible! Your mother is one of Allah’s great divine signs and favors, for she is naturally pre-disposed to consecrate, and even sacrifice, all her existence for her baby. She devotes all herself, her nerves, her feelings and emotions, her powers, and her efforts, for the sake of her baby.

Air that we breathe and water that we drink are great Divine Favors. What would you say about the different kinds of fruits?! Even more, God has endowed you with an intelligent mind with which you think and take up a certain vocation or profession and do it properly.

2- When in the Qur’an Allah says: “And He (Allah) is the All-Forgiving, Al-Wadoud (the All-Loving)”, the word “Al-Wadoud” here means that Allah loves and honors His righteous slaves. It also means that His favors and blessings are but substantiations and manifestations of His Divine Love for them:

“On those who believe and work deeds of righteousness, will (Allah) Most Gracious bestow love.” (Maryam 19:96)

3- Allah is “Wadoud” (All-Loving) for His slaves in the sense that He creates love and casts it among His slaves.

Who casts love for children in the hearts of mothers? If you go to an infant-hospital, you see something really amazing: different mothers from all walks of life cry for their babies. In fact, all mothers, Muslim and non-Muslim, without any exception, cry for their babies if anything goes wrong with them. Undoubtedly Allah, most gracious, has cast such love for children in the hearts of mothers!

Therefore, Allah “Al-Wadoud” (the All-Loving), creates love and casts it among His slaves: fathers, mothers, husbands, mothers, siblings, and friends. They all enjoy love among them. To the same effect, Allah, Most Gracious, says:

“And among His Signs is that He has created for you wives from among yourselves that you may find repose in them; and He has put between you affection and mercy. Verily, in that are indeed Signs for a people who reflect.” (Ar-Rum 30:21)

Who creates such affection and mercy? It is Allah, Most Gracious!

4- Allah is All-Loving in the sense that He seeks love of His slaves, just as they seek His divine love. And He casts love into their heart for one another and for Him. In this sense, this name has three meanings: love from the Lord for His slaves, love from slaves to their Lord, and love among slaves for one another. That is why Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, says “The zenith of wisdom, after belief in Allah, is to seek people’s love.”

Therefore, the wisest, cleverest and best thing a believer can do, after having believed in Allah, is to seek people’s love and friendship, in order to help them know the truth. To this, Allah says:

“And by a Mercy from Allah you dealt with them gently. And had you been severe and harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from around you; so pass over (their faults), and ask (Allah’s) Forgiveness for them, and consult them in the affairs. Then, when you have taken a decision, put your trust in Allah. Certainly, Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him).” (Aal `Imran 3:159)

Here emerges a difference between “Al-Woudd” (Practical love) and “Ar-Rahmah” (mercy) as the latest is offered to a weak, helpless, miserable, ill, suffering person who is inferior to you, and, hence deserves your mercy; while “Al-Woudd” (love) is offered to others not because they are inferior to you or are in need of your help.

In other words, “Al-Woudd” is offered without request or imploration, but “Ar-Rahmah” is offered upon request, imploration or inferiority. When God created us, He was “Wadoud”, i.e. loving. We were nothing, but He created us, honored us, and bestowed His Innumerable divine favors and graces upon us: “O man! What has made you careless about your Lord, the Generous, Who created you and made you in due measures? In whatever shape He desires He constructs you.

“Be cursed (the disbelieving) man! How ungrateful he is! From what thing did He (Allah) create him? From a semen He created him and then set him in due proportion. Then He made the Path easy for him. Then He caused him to die and caused him to be put in a grave. Then, when He wills, He will resurrect him. Nay! But he (man) has not done what He (Allah) commanded him.” (`Abasa 80:17-23)

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This article is a summarized version of the article (Al-Wadoud) by the author, published at his web site www.nabulsi.com.

Dr. Muhammad Ratib An-Nabulsi is a Muslim Syrian preacher and writer. He has written a number of Islamic books, most remarkable of which are: “Encyclopedia of the Beautiful Names of Allah”, “Encyclopedia of Scientific Miracles of the Holy Qur’an and Prophetic Sunnah” , “Outlooks on Islam” and “Contemplations on Islam”. He delivers a number of lessons, orations, symposiums and chat programs broadcasted on the Syrian, Arab, and Islamic radios and Televisions.

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Existence of God: Between Faith & Atheism

Existence of God: Between Faith & Atheism

By Truth Seeker Staff

We should bear in mind that abundant as the proofs may be, they are only of avail to those who honestly and sincerely search for the truth.

We should bear in mind that abundant as the proofs may be, they are only of avail to those who honestly and sincerely search for the truth.

Existence of God: Between Faith & Atheism

Mankind, in general, has maintained a belief in the existence of the Creator of the universe since time immemorial.

The duty of the prophets of Allah was not so much to inform their people of Allah’s existence as to warn them against associating others with Him, and to teach them how to serve Him:

“Their messengers said, ‘Is there any doubt concerning Allah, the originator of the Heavens and the Earth?’” (Ibrahim 14:10)

The early Muslim scholars did not even have to address the issue of the Existence of God, for it was a blatantly obvious fact, which nobody questioned. It was only around the fourth century after the Prophet’s migration to Madinah, when people’s doctrine started being infiltrated with atheism and permeated by unbelief that the scholars had to address the issue.

The existence of Allah is established by various categories of proofs, which may be conveniently classified under four categories.

Scriptural

The major religions of the world have scriptures, which teach the existence of the Creator. In particular, the Qur’an, the only revealed book which has remained totally intact and preserved, establishes the existence of Allah by compelling rational arguments, while at the same time serving as an enduring miracle testifying to His reality. It decisively establishes His uniqueness and non-resemblance to creation, and emphasizes that worship is only for Him.

“Fitrah”

As already mentioned, the human being has an inherent and inborn recognition of his Creator. This is a consequence of a pledge which Allah took from the soul of every one of us before we came into this world:

“And [remember], when your Lord took from the children of Adam, their children behind them, and made them testify over their own selves, [saying to them], ‘Am I not your Lord?’ They said, ‘Yea.’” (Al-A`raf 7:172)

Every human being is born with this natural disposition, which is called in Arabic “Fitrah“. Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, has reported that the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said:

“Every child is born upon Fitrah, then it is his parents who make him Jewish, or Christian, or Magian (Zoroastrian), just as an animal delivers a perfect baby animal; do you find it mutilated?” (Al-Bukhari)

But, this “Fitrah” sometimes becomes latent, especially when the human being is in a corrupt and spiritually degenerate environment, which is devoid of reminder and exhortation towards the Lord. The “Fitrah” surfaces, however, in times of calamity and distress. How many avowed atheists find themselves raising their hands to the skies in supplication when in affliction? And how do the staunch unbelievers cry out for deliverance when they are faced with death?

“[Allah] it is who causes you to travel over land and sea; until, when you are in the ships, and they sail with [their passengers] with a fair breeze, and they are glad therein, a tempestuous wind reaches them, waves are coming at them from everywhere, and they think that they are overwhelmed therein; [then] they call to Allah, making their faith pure for Him [alone], ‘If You save us from this, we will surely be among the thankful!’” (Yunus 10:22)

Yet, this sincerity is often short-lived:

“Then, when He saves them, behold, they rebel upon the earth wrongfully.” (Yunus 10:23)

Mankind is all too apt, during the course of his daily life of comfort and enjoyment, to forget his Lord:

“And when some trauma touches man, he calls to his Lord, turning repentant to Him. Then, when He grants him a favor from Himself, he forgets that for which he called to Him before, and sets up partners to Allah.” (Az-Zumar 39:8)

It is to awaken and alert this “Fitrah” that God, in His mercy and wisdom, sent messengers to remind people of their true religion, and to direct them towards fulfilling their commission of serving their Lord. Allah has ordered His prophet to proclaim:

“Say: O mankind! If you are in [any] doubt regarding my religion, then [know that] I do not worship those whom you worship besides Allah, but I worship Allah Who will take your souls (at death): I am commanded to be (in the ranks) of the Believers.” (Yunus 10:104)

The specific mention of death here drives home the stark reality, which even the pagans must concede to when faced with the glaring, intuitive evidence, that Allah alone causes death. The rational individual, then, should prepare for this inevitability by responding to his Lord.

Islam is merely a hearkening by man to his nature, an acceptance of that which is naturally good and intuitively right:

“So, set your face toward the religion in uprightness. That is the “Fitrah” of Allah, upon which He has created mankind. Let there be no changing of Allah’s creation.” (Ar-Rum 30:30)

There are others who stubbornly resist this truth and reject God’s message when it is presented before them, although they are well aware of its veracity. This was the attitude of Pharaoh and his supporters, and its consequences are severe, in this world and the Hereafter:

“They rejected [Our signs], although their own souls were convinced of their truth, out of iniquity and arrogance. See, then, what was the sequel for those who cause corruption!” (An-Naml 27:14)

Yet, even hardened deniers who stand in the way of truth and resist it may grab hold of it at the last moment, before it is too late, for on account of the surfacing of the “Fitrah“, a disbeliever who is faced with death on the battlefield may suddenly embrace Islam. The Muslim who fights in Jihad will similarly be exposed to death frequently, thus enhancing and sharpening his awareness of Allah.

Rational

Health and Islamic PhilosophyIt is intuitively obvious, and confirmed by science, that the universe had a beginning. Every action requires a doer, and thus the existence of creation necessarily indicates the existence of the Creator. Allah appeals to the human mind and rationality:

“Were they created from nothing, or are they [themselves] the creators?” (At-Tur 52:35)

Quite obviously, we have been created, and brought into existence after being non-existent, and it is also plain that we do not create ourselves.

A few years ago, the sands in the “Rub’ al-Khali” desert (the Empty Quarter), of the Arabian Peninsula, were blown away by a windstorm to reveal the ruins of a city that had been covered by the sands. Scientists began to examine the contents of the city to try to determine the period in which it had been built. Nobody among the archaeologists or others even suggested that this city could have appeared as a result of the natural actions of the wind, rain, heat and cold, and not by the actions of man. If anyone had suggested such a thing, people would have regarded him as crazy and would have taken pity on him. So how about if someone had said that this city was formed by the air from nothing in the far distant past, then it settled on the earth?

Having recognized the necessity of the existence of a Creator, one then realizes that there can only be one Creator:

“If there were in [the heavens and the earth] gods other than Allah, [the heavens and earth] would surely have been disordered.” (Al-Anbiya 21:22)

“Allah has not taken a son, nor is there any god with Him, for in that case, each god would assuredly have championed that which he created, and some of them would surely have overcome others. Glorified be Allah above that which they allege!” (Al-Mu’minun 23:91)

Further, this one and only Creator cannot possibly resemble creation:

“Is, then, He Who creates, like he who does not create? Do you not reflect?” (An-Nahl 16:17)

Perceptual

We witness and experience the answering of prayers, and this in itself indicates the existence of Allah:

“When you sought help of your Lord, and He answered you.” (Al-Anfal 8:9)

Al-Bukhari and Muslim, may Allah have mercy upon them, have both narrated the Prophet’s saying in which a Bedouin asked the Prophet, peace be upon him, to pray for rain, since crops were perishing and people were starving. The prophet prayed to Allah for rain, and almost immediately clouds began to gather and it began raining heavily. Also in this category of evidence are the miracles which people witness at the hands of the prophets, including the splitting of the moon by Muhammad, peace be upon him, and the enduring miracle of the Qur’an.

Finally, we should bear in mind that abundant as the proofs may be, they are only of avail to those who honestly and sincerely search for the truth. As for those obdurate ones who simply refuse to believe, they will not cease their idle disputation:

“And they say: ‘Our hearts are in a covering from that to which you call us, and in our ears is a deafness, and between us and you is a veil, so act, we [also] are acting.” (Fussilat 41:5)

“Those against whom the decree of your Lord has been verified, will not believe, although every sign should come to them, until they see the painful punishment.” (Yunus 10:96-97)

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Courtesy Islamweb.net web site – http://www.islamweb.net with slight editorial modifications.

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Wondering About the Details of Creation

Wondering About the Details of Creation

By Shahul Hameed

Nothing can happen out of the sphere of God's control. Therefore, a country can attain development only by following what we may consider "the naturally necessary course" leading to that development, which is in reality, determined by God.

Nothing can happen out of the sphere of God’s control. Therefore, a country can attain development only by following what we may consider “the naturally necessary course” leading to that development, which is in reality, determined by God.

Wondering About the Details of Creation

Islam teaches that God is the Almighty Creator, the Sovereign Ruler, and the unquestioned Owner of everything in the universe. And it is out of His will that He chooses to create things or beings; and only He knows the why of His creation.

Indeed, we have no way of knowing God’s will, except for what He Himself has allowed us to know through His revelations, and through His prophets. To acknowledge this fact is the first step towards the conscious and willful worship of God.

The worship of God is to accept Him as our Creator, Sustainer, and Sovereign Law-Giver, and to submit to Him all our activities in all walks of life. God has commanded the believers in the Qur’an, which Muslims believe is the word of God, to declare:

“Truly, my prayer and my service of sacrifice, my life and my death, are (all) for Allah, the Cherisher of the Worlds.” (Al-An`am 6:162)

The foregoing sums up the conscious and deliberate act of submission to God, which only intelligent and free beings can undertake. But there is another sense in which the word, “Islam” is used in the Qur’an: willing or unwilling act of submission to God’s laws, as every living or non-living thing or being obeys God’s laws, usually called the laws of nature.

This sort of willing or unwilling submission is, also, Islam or in another sense, the worship of God. The Qur’an states what means:

“Do they seek for other than the religion of Allah while all creatures in the heavens and on earth have, willing or unwilling, bowed to His will (accepted Islam), and to Him shall they all be brought back.” (Al-An`am 6:83)

From this point of view, all beings do necessarily worship God. Making use of our analytical skill and power of reasoning, we can, to some extent, get an idea of God’s creative power, as well as figure out the rationale behind His choices in the light of His revelation.

By this means we may get some knowledge about the reason for the creation of things or beings in the universe too — such as the microbes or a single grain of sand in the desert, or a drop of water in the sea.

In the Qur’an, God Almighty states that everything on earth has been created for the benefit of mankind:

“He it is Who created for you all that is in the earth.” (Al-Baqarah 2:29)

This verse implies that the best of God’s creation is humankind, for whom all other beings were created. Thus all creatures — whether they are as tiny as microbes or as mighty as whales — were created for mankind.

In the divine scheme of creation, all things — whether big or small — have their place. Nothing happens without the knowledge of Allah the Almighty; and nothing happens without a good reason; and all things and beings are interconnected in mysterious ways.

That all things and beings are interconnected has been recently established by the new science of ecology. Today we know that the life of the plants and animals on earth is closely linked to the life of man. Rachel Carson (1907-1964), an environmentalist who embraced nature in all its manifestations, has shown through her researches that the survival of mankind depends on the balance of nature. She wrote:

For each of us, as for the robin in Michigan, or the salmon in the Miramichi, this is a problem of ecology, of interrelationships, of interdependence. We poison the caddis flies in the stream and the salmon runs dwindle and die…

We spray our elms and following springs are silent of robin song, not because we sprayed the robins directly but because the poison travelled, step by step, through the now familiar elmleaf–earthworm-robin cycle. These are matters of record, observable, part of the visible world around us. They reflect the web of life-or death-that scientists know as ecology. (189)

According to Carson, life on earth is possible only through an interaction between living things and their environment. Carson’s war on the irresponsible use of chemical pesticides was inspired by her insight that all species, including humans, are interconnected with one another, and killing one species may endanger others.

The foregoing means that even a single grain of sand in the desert, or a drop of water in the sea, has a role to play in the scheme of the Almighty. And Allah does not need to expend a lot of time and energy to create a microbe or a dinosaur either. When He intends to create something, He commands: “Be”, and it simply is. This means that when God’s command comes, things in nature start working as God wills, until the command is fulfilled.

Moreover, it is well stated in Islam that God is the One:

“Who creates [everything], and thereupon forms it in accordance with what it is meant to be and who determines the nature [of all that exists], and thereupon guides it [towards its fulfillment].” (Al-A`la 87:2-3)

This means that the nature, origin, growth, decay, and end of a thing or being is determined by God. It is God who decrees its “destiny”, as it were. Nothing can happen out of the sphere of God’s control. Therefore, a country can attain development only by following what we may consider “the naturally necessary course” leading to that development, which is in reality, determined by God.

The Qur’an does not say that the material or physical development of a country is determined by the religion of its citizens. But the Qur’an does say that the final destination of a person or a people is determined by religion. And the Qur’an also teaches that righteousness and prayer certainly lead to good results here and now, as well as in the hereafter.

It is true that the extension of the average life span of men and women depends on the general advance in the field of medicine and hygiene; and it is equally true that the extension of the average life span of men and women happens within the will and plan of God the Almighty.

There is no contradiction here, because it is God’s will that the average life span of men and women should increase; as it is God’s will again that this should be the result of the general improvement of the health conditions. In other words, both the extension of the life span of people and the general improvement in the health conditions happen as God wills. This means that “being religious and praying more,” also, serves.

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This article is based on a Q & A on Onislam.net’s Ask About Islam service. It was taken and editorially modified to suit our design and purpose on this website.

Professor Shahul Hameed is a consultant to the Reading Islam Website. He also held the position of the President of the Kerala Islamic Mission, Calicut, India. He is the author of three books on Islam published in the Malayalam language. His books are on comparative religion, the status of women, and science and human values.

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Names & Attributes of God in Surah Ya-Sin

Names & Attributes of God in Surah Ya-Sin

By Raya Shokatfard

attributes of godNames & Attributes of God in Surah Ya-Sin

Ya-Sin, the thirty-sixth chapter of the Qur’an, is very popular among Muslims due to the many special merits associated with reading it, according to various statements attributed to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

It is incumbent upon every Muslim to know and understand God’s names and attributes. It is only through better understanding Him that we gain closeness to Him, and move from worshiping an abstract God to one we are trying to come to know.

As for non-Muslims, this step will certainly bring a better understanding of the God Muslims worship. One will easily find many of these attributes are also alluded to Him in the Old and New Testament of the Bible. He is one God for all and His attributes do not change based on various religions.

The aim of this article is to highlight various names and attributes of God mentioned in some of the verses of this chapter and elaborate on them for a better understanding toward knowing our Creator.

Each attribute is at the end of each verse which in essence explains the verse itself.

The chapter begins with:

“In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.” (Ya-Sin 36: 1)

God is the most merciful, therefore, it is proper to start everything with His great name and attribute Ar-Rahim. Likewise Ar-Rahman is another great attribute of God, both of which are derived from Rahman.

Ar-Rahman is one which God encompasses with it all His creation, whereas Ar-Rahim is only for the believers.

One would be at awe about His mercy and compassion for His creation. God has instructed us to start all chapters of Qur’an with His name, except chapter 9 (At-Tawbah). This reminds us that while we read the chapters of the Qur’an, we should remember His compassion and mercy.

“By the Qur’an, full of Wisdom.” (Ya-Sin 36:2)

God swears by the Glorious Qur’an which is full of laws, evidences and proofs. According to Ibn Kathir, Al-Hakeem (full of Wisdom) means Al-Muhkam (perfect) which cannot be damaged by falsehood in any shape or form.

God swears by the Qur’an which is perfect in order to emphasize its incredible importance.

“It is a revelation sent down by the Almighty, the most Merciful.” (Ya-Sin 36:3)

For those who may doubt about God’s power and might, this verse serves as a reminder, especially to the disbelievers about who is behind sending down the mighty revelation to the last Prophet of God.

Yet, to His believing servants, He reminds them how merciful He is to them, while he is most powerful against His enemies.

This verse should be a strong reminder to both believing and disbelieving creatures of God.

He shows in the Qur’an and through His mercy that He guides, protects and nurtures His creatures.

It is important to note that God only guides to the straight path for which He has sent down many verses like the ones below:

“… if I am on the right path, it is but by the virtue of what my Sustainer reveals unto me.” (Saba’ 34: 50)

“…and verily, you are indeed guiding (mankind) to the straight path. The path of Allah to Whom belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on the earth. Verily, to Allah all matters return.” (Ash-Shura 42:52-53)

“You (O Prophet!) can only warn him who follows the Reminder (i.e. Qur’an) and fears the Most Beneficent (Allah), unseen. Then bear the glad tidings of Forgiveness to such a one, and a generous reward (i.e. Jannah).” (Ya-Sin 36: 11)

Here, Karim (generous) refers to another attribute of God which He uses here as means to show a reward – a generous reward for those take heed to the warning and fear God when no one sees them, except God. He does righteous deeds because he knows God is watching him.

In another similar verse, God says:

“Verily, those who fear their Lord unseen, theirs will be forgiveness and a great reward.” (Al-Mulk 67: 12)

Only a believer is looking forward to receive a generous reward for doing good acts while not being seen. The wicked does not see, or care about any reward, as he is heedless of his Creator in the first place. His aim is only satisfaction of his desires of this world.

In as much as warnings that are given to the disbelievers for heedlessness of their evil deeds, the believers are given glad tidings of great reward and in each verse of the Qur’an the promise of reward is preceded by the acts that would deserve such rewards.

So, Prophet Muhammad is given order to warn the believers while promising him great reward:

“ (It will be said to them): “Peace be on you”, a Word from the Lord, Most Merciful.” (Ya-Sin 36: 58)

Rahim” again, is a reminder to such believers about the Most Merciful.

Can one imagine receiving ‘Salam’ or greeting from His Lord personally?

Would there be a higher honor than this?

This is when one must contemplate on this attribute of God, Ar-Rahim who gives glad tidings of His presence with the believers.

Narrated Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri: Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said:

“Allah will say to the people of Paradise, “O the people of Paradise,

They will say, ‘Labbaik, O our Lord, and Sa`daik!’

Allah will say, ‘Are you pleased?

They will say, “Why should we not be pleased since You have given us what You have not given to anyone of Your creation?’

Allah will say, ‘I will give you something better than that.’

They will reply, ‘O our Lord! And what is better than that?’

Allah will say, “I will bestow My good pleasure and contentment upon you so that I will never be angry with you after this forever.” (Al-Bukhari)

“Say: (O Prophet!): “He Who created it (the bones) for the first time will give life to it. And He (Allah) is the All-Knower of every creation.” (Ya-Sin 36: 79)

Al-Alim (the All-Knower), surely is manifested in this verse, pointing to the one who created human from just a drop and certainly after death, He knows how to revive him and bring him into account.

Not only that, God knows all the intricate properties of each of His creation. So, He is indeed All-Knower of each and every creation He has ever created.

“Is not He Who created the heavens and the earth, able to create the like thereof? Yes, indeed! He is the All-Knowing Supreme Creator.” (Ya-Sin 36: 81)

As in the previous verse, again we refer to the unimaginable, ever encompassing knowledge of God.

He has informed us that the creation of the heavens and the earth is much greater than the creation of humans and he can recreate the like of it as He wills. He is the All-Knowing, Supreme Creator.

If one were to contemplate about the vast creation of heavens and the earth, he cannot but be awed at the incredible knowledge of the Creator for what He has created, known or unknown to us.

“The creation of the heavens and the earth is indeed greater than the creation of mankind. Yet most men understand not.” (Ghafir 40: 57)

————-

Taken with slight editorial modifications from onislam.net.

Raya Shokatfard holds an MA in Journalism/Mass Communications and an M.A.D. in TV journalism. BA in Communication and BA in Islamic Studies in progress. She has been Islamic propagator in the U.S and Egypt for many years and academic lecturer, writer, international presenter, consultant, foreign correspondent, and former Editor in Chief for Reading Islam website. She can be reached at: raya4peace@gmail.com

 

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Muslim vs. Atheist: Jihad on Ignorance

Muslim vs. Atheist: Jihad on Ignorance

By Truth Seeker Staff

Muslim vs. Atheist: Jihad on Ignorance

This video introduces one aspect of Jihad (i.e. striving in the Cause of Allah in Islam), namely Jihad against ignorance. To quote the presenter:

This is my Jihad against ignorance. It’s really sad to see such a vocal minority who have nothing better to do with their time than to attack Islam and Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). It would be nice if they actually read the Qur’an or the Prophet’s Biography, with an actual Islamic scholar, before jumping in front of a camera and forcing us to prove how ignorant they are.

But since there is no winning with the ignorant as they have no desire to know the truth – this response is more so an educational and informative insight into many of Islam’s misconceptions for the vast majority of people – who are actually open to learn.

We don’t say “peace be upon him” as a desperate attempt to beautify him – for our words can never beautify him the way he deserves – rather, our words become beautiful when we mention his name.

Watch the video with us…

 

 

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False Eyes

False Eyes

By A. O.

False Eyes

Such a convincing pattern can be the result only of sublime Creation, not of coincidences.

False Eyes

There are some wonderful and unimaginably interesting defence methods in the animal world. One of these is false eyes.

With such false eyes, various butterflies, caterpillars and fish species convince their enemies that they are “dangerous”.

The butterflies open their wings as soon as they sense danger and display a pair of eyes on each of their wings which appear quite threatening to their enemies.

Let us take our time and think: can these extremely convincing eyes be the result of a coincidence? How does the butterfly know that a pair of scary eyes appear when it opens its wings and that the sight of them would frighten its enemy? Has the butterfly happened to see the pattern on its wings and decided that this pattern was frightening and that it could use it in a moment of danger?

Such a convincing pattern can be the result only of sublime Creation, not of coincidences. Moreover, it is by no means possible to think that the butterfly is aware of the patterns on its wings and discovered this as a defence tactic by itself. It is obvious that Allah, Who created the butterfly, bestowed on its body such a pattern and inspired in the animal the instinct to use it in moments of danger.

A Note by the Editor:

Allah the Almighty says in the Ever-Glorious Qur’an what means,

“He [Allah] hath created the heavens without supports that ye can see and hath cast into the earth firm hills so that it quake not with you, and He hath dispersed therein all kinds of beasts. And We send down water from the sky and We cause (plants) of every goodly kind to grow therein. This is the Creation of Allah. Now show me that which those (ye worship) beside Him have created. Nay, but the wrongdoers are in error manifest!” (Luqman 31: 10-11)

And,

“We shall show them Our portents on the horizons and within themselves until it will be manifest unto them that it is the Truth. Doth not thy Lord suffice since He is Witness over all things? How! Are they still in doubt about the meeting with their Lord? Lo! Is not He surrounding all things?” (Fussilat 41: 53-54)

———

A. O. is a Turkish writer and author.

 

 

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No God, No Value

No God, No Value

By Hamza Andreas Tzortzis

No God, No Value What gives us more value, atheism or Islamic theism?

We all strongly feel and believe that human life has ultimate value. However, can we intellectually justify this non-negotiable feeling and belief we have? Islamic theism has the intellectual tools to justify the truth of our ultimate value. Conversely, atheism seems to face tremendous philosophical problems. In short, under atheism, we cannot rationally justify the very thing that defines our humanity. What follows is a brief philosophical account of why our sense of ultimate value makes sense under God, and why it does not under atheism. The conclusion is simple: no God, no value; know God, know value.

Like atheism, philosophical naturalism, denies the Divine and the supernatural. Therefore, it is not surprising that most atheists adopt philosophical naturalism as a worldview. Philosophical naturalism is the view that all phenomena within the universe can be explained via physical processes. These physical processes are blind and non-rational. Philosophical naturalists reject all supernatural claims and some argue that if there is anything ‘outside’ the universe it does not interfere with it. Atheists, according to Professor Richard Dawkins, are philosophical naturalists. For Dawkins an atheist “believes there is nothing beyond the natural, physical world”.[1] However, some atheist academics are not naturalists. Although these atheists deny the Divine, they affirm the existence of non-physical phenomena. For the theist, this type of atheism is—generally speaking—easier to intellectually engage with because they do not dismiss non-physical phenomena. In this respect, there is some common ground with theism. It is important to note that most atheists that assert evidence against God’s existence—or argue that there is an absence of strong evidence for the Divine—adopt philosophical naturalism, implicitly or explicitly.

What is the difference between a human and a snowman? This is a serious question. According to many atheists who adopt a naturalistic worldview, everything that exists is essentially a rearrangement of matter, or at least based on blind, non-conscious physical processes and causes.

If this is true, then does it really matter?

If I were to pick up a hammer and smash a snowman and then I did the same to myself, according to naturalism there would be no real difference. The lumps of snow and the pieces of my skull would just be rearrangements of the same stuff: cold, lifeless matter.

The typical response to this argument includes the following statements: “we have feelings”, “we are alive”, “we feel pain”, “we have an identity” and “we’re human!” According to naturalism, these responses are still just rearrangements of matter, or to be more precise, just neuro-chemical happenings in one’s brain. In reality, everything we feel, say or do can be reduced to the basic constituents of matter, or at least some type of physical process. Therefore, this sentimentalism is unjustified if one is an atheist, because everything, including feelings, emotions or even the sense of value, is just based on matter and cold physical processes and causes.

Coming back to our original question: what is the difference between a human being and a snowman? The answer according to the atheist perspective is that there is no real difference. Any difference is just an illusion—there is no ultimate value. If everything is based on matter and prior physical causes and processes, then nothing has real value. Unless, of course, one argues that what matters is matter itself. Even if that were true, how could we appreciate the difference between one arrangement of matter and another? Could one argue that the more complex something is, the more value it has? However, why would that be of any value? Remember, nothing has been purposefully designed or created, according to atheism. It is all based on cold, random and non-conscious physical processes and causes.

The good news is that the atheists who adopt this perspective do not follow through with the rational implications of their beliefs. If they did, it would be depressing. The reason that they attribute ultimate value to our existence is because their innate dispositions, which have been created by God, have an affinity to recognize God and the truth of our existence.

From an Islamic point of view, God has placed an innate disposition within us to acknowledge our worth, and to recognize fundamental moral and ethical truths. This disposition is called the fitrah in Islamic thought. Another reason we can claim ultimate value is because God created us with a profound purpose, and preferred us to most of His creation. We have value because the One who created us has given us value.

Now, indeed, We have conferred dignity on the children of Adam… and favoured them far above most of Our creation.” (Al-Isra’ 17:70)

Our Lord! You have not created all this without purpose.” (Aal `Imran 3:191)

Islam values the good and those who accept the truth. It contrasts those who obey God and thereby do good, and those who are defiantly disobedient, and thereby do evil:

Then is one who was a believer like one who was defiantly disobedient? They are not equal.” (As-Sajdah 32:18)

Since naturalism rejects the hereafter and any form of Divine justice, it rewards the criminal and the peacemaker with the same end: death. We all meet the same fate. So what ultimate value does the life of Hitler or the life of Martin Luther King Jr. really have? If their ends are the same, then what real value does atheism give us? Not much at all.

However, in Islam, the ultimate end of those who worship God and are compassionate, honest, just, kind and forgiving is contrasted with the end of those who persist with their evil. The abode of the good is eternal bliss and the abode of the evil is Divine alienation. This alienation is a consequence of consciously denying God’s mercy and guidance, which inevitably results in spiritual anguish and torment. Clearly, Islam gives us ultimate value. However, under atheism, value cannot be rationally justified except as an illusion in our heads.

Despite the force of this argument, some atheists still object. One of their objections involves the following question: Why does God give us ultimate value? The answer is simple. God created and transcends the universe, and He has unlimited knowledge and wisdom. His names include The All-Knowing and The All-Wise. Therefore, what He values is universal and objective. Another way of looking at it is by understanding that God is the maximally perfect Being, which means He is free from any deficiency and flaw. Therefore, it follows that what He values will be objective and ultimate, because this objectivity is a feature of His perfection.

Another objection argues that even if we were to accept that God gives us ultimate value, it will still be subjective, as it will be subject to His perspective. This contention is premised on a misunderstanding of what subjectivity means. It applies to an individual’s limited mind and/or feelings. However, God’s perspective is based on an unlimited knowledge and wisdom. He knows everything; we do not. The classical scholar Ibn Kathir states that God has the totality of wisdom and knowledge; we have its particulars. In other words: God has the picture, we just have a pixel.

Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Professor of Islamic studies at George Washington University, provides an apt summary of the concept of human rights and dignity—which ultimately refer to value—in the absence of God:

“Before speaking of human responsibilities or rights, one must answer the basic religious and philosophical question, ‘What does it mean to be human?’ In today’s world everyone speaks of human rights and the sacred character of human life, and many secularists even claim that they are true champions of human rights as against those who accept various religious worldviews. But strangely enough, often those same champions of humanity believe that human beings are nothing more than evolved apes, who in turn evolved from lower life forms and ultimately from various compounds of molecules. If the human being is nothing but the result of ‘blind forces’ acting upon the original cosmic soup of molecules, then is not the very statement of the sacredness of human life intellectually meaningless and nothing but a hollow sentimental expression? Is not human dignity nothing more than a conveniently contrived notion without basis in reality? And if we are nothing but highly organized inanimate particles, what is the basis for claims to ‘human rights’? These basic questions know no geographic boundaries and are asked by thinking people everywhere.”[2]

 

FOOTNOTES:

[1] Dawkins, R. (2006). The God Delusion. London: Bantam Press, p. 14.

[2] Nasr, S. H. (2004). The Heart of Islam: Enduring Values for Humanity. New York: HarperSanFrancisco, p. 275.

 

——–

Taken and adapted from the author’s book “The Divine Reality: God, Islam & The Mirage of Atheism“.

 

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God’s Infinite Greatness and Power

God’s Infinite Greatness and Power

By A. O.

God

God also possesses the power to create many other things beyond our limited imagination

God’s Infinite Greatness and Power

God created the order of the universe in superb detail to allow man to grasp His greatness. A verse referring to this order reads, “…so that you might know that God has power over all things and that God encompasses all things in His knowledge.” (At-Talaq: 12). Faced with the sublimity of the details of this order, man becomes in awe, recognizing that God’s wisdom, knowledge and might is infinite.

So expansive is God’s knowledge that what for us is “infinite” is in His sight already ended. Every event that has taken place since the creation of time, until deep into eternity, was predetermined and ended in God’s sight. This is related in the Qur’an as follows:

“We have created all things in due measure. Our command is only one word, like the blinking of an eye. We destroyed those of your kind in the past. But is there any rememberer there? Everything they did is in the Books. Everything is recorded, big or small.” (Al-Qamar: 49-53)

Man must seek to appreciate the extent of God’s knowledge, and reflect to comprehend His greatness.

Billions of people have appeared on earth since time immemorial. Therefore, God created billions of pairs of eyes, billions of different fingerprints, billions of different eye tissues, billions of different types of humans… If He so willed, He could also create billions more. As stated in the Qur’an,

“…He adds to creation in any way He wills. God has power over all things.” (Fatir: 1)

God also possesses the power to create many other things beyond our limited imagination. The entire extent of the treasures God has bestowed in this world for His servants is all within His sight. He sends down to us only that which He wills, all within a measure predetermined:

“There is nothing that does not have its stores with Us and We only send it down in a known measure.” (Al-Hijr: 21)

This matter, manifested everywhere in God’s superb creation, holds true for both that which we know as well as that which we do not. To this, God draws attention in the verse, “…and He creates other things you do not know.” (Al-Nahl: 8), He creates many other things of which we are entirely unaware.

God has created many worlds and beings which we cannot see. To better understand the possibility of the existence of other worlds, we should consider the following: a picture is two dimensional—width and length. The world in which we live, however, is 3 dimensional—width, length and depth—(time can be considered as the 4th dimension). The rest is beyond our comprehension. However, in the sight of God, there are other dimensions. Angels, for instance, are beings that live in another dimension.

According to the Qur’an, angels can see and hear us from the dimension and space in which they exist. Furthermore, the two angels, seated on our either shoulder, each, and at every moment, is recording every word we speak and every deed we do. Yet, we do not see them. Jinn are also beings of another dimension, as we are informed by the Qur’an. They, like us human beings, are also tested, all through their lives, and will ultimately be brought before judgement by God. However, they are possessed of completely different attributes than humans; their existence is dependent upon an entirely different system of cause and effect.

These are all facts that deserve careful consideration in order to attain a better grasp of God’s splendid creation. It is within God’s power to create innumerable new worlds, beings and situations. Furthermore, each is He able to create with a limitless degree of differentiation. Indeed, in a nature unknown to us, God will create Paradise and Hell. While systems left to their own in this world tend to age, become corrupted, and eventually expire, in Paradise, unaffected by the passage of time, nothing will deteriorate; “rivers of milk whose taste will never change” is an example to elucidate this feature of Paradise.

The human body too will not degenerate; nor will anything ever age. According to the Qur’an, everyone in Paradise will be of like age, will live together for all eternity, in the best condition, and without growing older or losing their beauty. God also informs us in the Qur’an that in it will be bursting springs for us from which to drink. Hell, on the other hand, will be utterly different; in it, God will create unimaginable torment. No one will be able to conceive the pain of such torment until he experiences it.

On everything in this world, God has placed a limit. Everything has a finite existence. This being the case, in order to comprehend “eternity,” and God’s infinite might, we need to exercise our minds and compare these ideas with something that is familiar. We can only come to know to the extent that God permits us. God, however, is infinite in knowledge. Let us consider the following example, God has created 7 basic colors. It is impossible for us to visualize another color. (The case is similar to describing the color red to someone who is blind by birth; no description would be adequate.) However, God is able to create more than these basic colors. Although, unless He so wills, we will never be able to have a grasp that which is beyond what He has willed for us to know.

All that we have just mentioned belongs to that knowledge that God has allotted us in this world. But, one point deserves particular attention; because God’s power and might is infinite, anything can happen, and at any time, by His will. God’s Messenger, the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) also referred to the eternal power of God when he said, “The seven heavens and the seven earths are no more in God’s Hand than a mustard seed in the hand of one of you.” God explains the infiniteness of His knowledge in the Qur’an as follows:

“If all the trees on earth were pens and all the sea, with seven more seas besides, was ink God’s words still would not run dry. God is Almighty, All-Wise.” (Luqman: 27)

In brief, no matter how hard we strive to do so, we cannot possibly come to grasp the extent of God’s knowledge, because it is unlimited. We can comprehend it only as far as God permits us to do so:

“God, there is no god but Him, the Living, the Self-Sustaining. He is not subject to drowsiness or sleep. Everything in the heavens and the earth belongs to Him. Who can intercede with Him except by His permission? He knows what is before them and what is behind them but they cannot grasp any of His knowledge save what He wills. His Footstool encompasses the heavens and the earth and their preservation does not tire Him. He is the Most High, the Magnificent.” (Al-Baqarah: 255)

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A. O. is a Turkish writer and author.

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There Is No God but Him (Allah)

There Is No God but Him (Allah)

By A. O.

god

The entire universe and everything in it was created by God. Before the creation of the universe, nothing existed, in the material sense.

There is no God but Him (Allah)

The essence of Islam is to know of the existence of God, and to understand that there is no god but Him. To practice Islam is to allow this truth to manifest itself in every aspect of one’s life. According to the Qur’an:

“Your God is One God. There is no god but Him, the All-Merciful, the Most Merciful.” (Al-Baqarah: 163)

Most people think that matter, the underlying substance of the universe, has an absolute existence, and regard God as but an abstract idea. (God is truly beyond what they ascribe to Him) The truth is, however, only God truly exists, and the rest is merely His creation.

The entire universe and everything in it was created by God. Before the creation of the universe, nothing existed, in the material sense. It was all non-existence. At the moment when the universe was created, the Al-Awwal (The First) and Al-Akhir (The Last) God, Who is unbounded by time and space, created time, matter and space. The Qur’an relates this matter as follows:

“The Originator of the heavens and earth. When He decides on something, He just says to it, ‘Be!’ and it is.” (Al-Baqarah: 117)

Contrary to the perceived wisdom, God did not create matter and then leave it on its own. Everything happening, even at this very instant, is ordained by God. Every raindrop, each child that opens its eyes to the world, the process of photosynthesis in plants, all the bodily functions of living things, the courses of stars in far remote galaxies, each seed sprouting forth, or any other event that we might think of, or fail to think of, are all ordained by God. It is God Who creates all things. Every event occurs within His command:

“It is God Who created the seven heavens and of the earth the same number, the Command descending down through all of them, so that you might know that God has power over all things and that God encompasses all things in His knowledge.” (Al-Talaq: 12)

“He Who originates creation and then regenerates it and provides for you from out of heaven and earth. Is there another god besides God? Say: ‘Bring your proof if you are being truthful.’” (Al-Naml: 64)

Were the universe left to its own will, it would become disordered, scattered and corrupted. However, the perfect equilibrium in all things, from the cells of a living organism, to the stars in deep outer space, all reveal the existence of something that is controlling them at every moment, with the same perfection as their original creation. In any corner of the universe, one will always come to recognize a flawless plan:

“He Who created the seven heavens in layers. You will not find any flaw in the creation of the All-Merciful. Look again—do you see any gaps? Then look again and again. Your sight will return to you dazzled and exhausted!” (Al-Mulk: 3-4)

Denying that God is the Creator, and attributing divinity to that which He created, despite the abundance of proof to the contrary, is as nonsensical as claiming that a skyscraper was not built by construction workers, but came into being by the free will of bricks, or the placement of one on top of the other by pure coincidence.

The perfect order in the universe, and the supreme design of living things, reveals to us that they must have all been created by a single Creator. If there were other gods, that is, others capable of similarly ordaining their will, disorder and confusion would prevail. That there is no god but Him, and that no other being in the universe has any similar power, is related in a verse of the Qur’an as follows:

“God has no son and there is no other god accompanying Him, for then each god would have gone off with what he created and one of them would have been exalted above the other. Glory be to God above what they describe.” (Al-Mu’minun: 91)

In the supplication below, the Prophet Muhammad (saas) stressed that there is no deity but God and a believer has to turn to Him in all matters:

“None has the right to be worshipped but God, the Majestic, the Most Forbearing. None has the right to be worshipped but God, the Lord of the Tremendous Throne. None has the right to be worshipped but God, the Lord of the Heavens and the Lord of the Honorable Throne.” (Al-Bukhari)

As stressed above, there is no other god beside Him. He has no son. He is above such human attributes. We clearly understand from the verse below that those religions claiming that God has a “son” are misguided. The Oneness of God is further emphasized in the Qur’an as follows:

“Say: ‘He is God, Absolute Oneness, God, the Everlasting Sustainer of all. He has not given birth and was not born. And no one is comparable to Him.’” (Al-Ikhlas: 1-4)

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A. O. is a Turkish writer and author.

 

 

 

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Why Cannot We See Allah?

By Spahic Omer

Why Cannot We See Allah?Why Cannot We See Allah?

One may ask why we cannot see Allah, although we can communicate with Him so closely.

In a nutshell, we cannot see Allah because, first, there is nothing like Him (Al-Shura, 42:11). Our eyes and other senses and faculties are relative things and thus, can only see other relative things belonging to the corresponding existential realms. They cannot see, hear or recognize beyond the orb of our everyday existential things and objects.

Second, nobody says that humans will not see Allah. Both the Holy Qur’an and the Prophet’s Sunnah are explicit that believers will see Him in Paradise (jannah). The vision will be as clear and certain as seeing “the moon on the night when it is full” and “the sun on a cloudless day” (Sahih al-Bukhari).

What is more, seeing Allah will be the best reward in Paradise; whereas not seeing Him will be the worst and most painful chastisement for the inhabitants of Hell. Seeing Allah is the greatest blessing and joy, so it is withheld for the place of ultimate blessing and joy, namely Paradise, and it is reserved exclusively for believers. This, in addition, serves to believers as a strong motive to continue doing good in this world and never get bored or give up.

It goes without saying that not seeing Allah is only a temporary decree for Allah’s true servants, who are closest to Him in this world. Seeing Allah in Paradise could also imply the pinnacle, or culmination, of their incessant drawing closer to Him.

Third, we cannot see Allah now and here because we are trapped in time and space, while He is beyond them. Time and space are Allah’s creation. He is not fettered by them; we are. Consequently, man cannot think except along the lines of time, space and matter.

Once the hindrances posed by the time and space factors of this world are eliminated in the Hereafter — or modulated, together with man himself and his various faculties, so as to make them suitable and fitting for the conditions of the Hereafter – seeing Allah will appear utterly viable and sensible, especially for those who will be Paradise-bound.

Even in this world, man can see instantly and directly very little and very few things. Man is myopic or short-sighted, so to speak. He cannot see more because of a myriad of time and space components and influences standing between him and things, incapacitating him from seeing more. To see more, man must overcome, or eliminate, those components and influences. The problem, therefore, is not with things and objects, but with man and his limited abilities.

For example, a person sitting in a windowless room can only see the room’s interior. To see outside, he must leave the room; that is to say, he must overcome the room as a hindrance to seeing outside.

Moreover, to see a friend in a nearby town, 50 km away, a person must travel that much; that is, he must overcome the hindrance of the necessary distance and time that separate him from seeing the friend. The same principle applies to seeing everything else that lies outside the perimeters of the windowless room.

Similarly, for a person to see his friend who passed away two years ago, he will have to travel back in time two years or more; that is, he will have to deal with the insurmountable time hurdle or barrier, in order to see his friend. Also, for a person to see his future grandchildren, he will have to travel into the future as much as necessary; which means, he will again have to contend with the unassailable time difficulty.

At any rate, to see and experience things, man must free himself from the physical milieus and situations wherein he, as substantially a physical being himself, is confined or imprisoned.

The whole issue is about man and his weaknesses, exacerbated by the spatial and temporal parameters and constraints within which he operates. Yet, there are many other things right inside man, or everywhere around him, which man cannot see, but which undeniably exist. Some of those things are radio waves as a type of electronic wave used to transmit data for satellites, computer networks and radio, atoms as the smallest building blocks of matter, air or oxygen, ultraviolet light, gravity, the mind, the soul, emotions, quantum particles, the actual size of the universe, etc.

Anyway, it makes sense to wish, yet ask, to see existing things and objects. But a code of ethics, as well as a dose of pragmatism and common sense, are needed. Man must realize that, just like in everything else, there are certain physical, rational, ethical, and spiritual rules, regulations and procedures that preside over the prospect of seeing things.

For man — insignificant, weak, and vulnerable as he is — to insist on seeing Almighty Allah, Who is the only truly Transcendent Being, the Exalted, Sublime, Ever-Living and Self-Sustaining, while he is imprisoned and stuck in the yokes of matter, is at once an ignorant, arrogant, and preposterous pretense.

When Allah spoke to Prophet Musa (Moses) on Mount Sinai, Musa at one point said: “O my Lord! Show (Yourself) to me that I may look upon You” (Al-A`raf, 7:143).

Musa asked to see Allah because, as a prophet, he knew that seeing Allah is not impossible, nor that wishing, or even humbly asking, to see Him in extraordinary situations such as the one in which Musa had found himself, is blasphemous.

When Allah replied that Musa neither will nor could, see Him, He meant that in the context of this world only – as is the view of all mainstream exegetes (mufassir).

And when Allah said to Musa after that: “Behold this mountain: if it remains firm in its place, then — only then — will you see Me”, Allah wanted to bring home to Musa his existing human weaknesses, as well as the impediments and hurdles of time and space, which will need to be overcome, or liquidated, if he was to see Almighty Allah. Allah wanted to communicate to Musa that he was not ready to see Him, nor had the time come for such an event to take place.

At last: “When his Lord manifested His glory on the mount, He made it as dust and Musa fell down in a swoon. When he recovered his senses, he said: ‘Glory be to You! To You, I turn in repentance and I am the first to believe’” (Al-A`raf, 7:143).

When Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was asked if he had seen Allah on the night of Mi’raj (ascension into heaven), he replied: “(He is veiled by) Light, how could I see Him?” (Sahih Muslim).

Finally, Allah declares: “No vision can grasp Him, but His grasp is over all vision. He is above all comprehension yet is acquainted with all things” (Al-An`am, 6:103).

——-

Taken with slight editorial modifications from islamicity.org

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