Seedbed of Light (continuation page 60)
“This world’s Owner and Ruler has promised repeatedly to create something of infinite importance for His creatures and servants”.
Since everything in creation serves the purpose of its existence, “servants” refers particularly to conscious human beings. The culture understands the word “servant” as the one who serves you or is your slave. As far as our relationship with the owner of the universe is concerned, we are not serving anyone here; on the contrary we are being served. We don’t work for the Owner of the universe but we use Its properties. Any human being who acknowledges that everything is served to him by the Owner of the universe is a “servant” (Arabic ‘abd).
When we follow the order, we just obey what is already in creation. “Obeying the order” is also a misunderstood understanding. We are not serving anything or anyone when we obey the order. We are just following the order. Since “’abd” has no English translation, it is more or less translated as servant or worshipper.
Comment: What is “infinite importance”?
The repetition of feelings is all within us and around us. If you fear something, wouldn’t you like to be saved from this fear eternally? The main fear for human being is going into non-existence. Wouldn’t you want to be saved from going into annihilation? This is an eternal desire. Since it is a constant repetition of feeling within me and outside me, then it’s a promise that must be fulfilled. Example: I do not want the flower to wither away. That is why people use extra fertilizers to prolong the life of flowers.
We do not want an end to the existence of any quality in our being here. If you were to live in this world with no end, then that will be boring. Example: eating the same thing again and again makes you get bored of it. After eating something for a long time, you get fed up of it. If something is perpetually repeated, then it becomes boring. The eternal existence will only be pleasurable if it is not boring repetition. By its definition, the eternal life will be eternal happiness. That means ever changing but never ending happy experience of life.
Even if your life was prolonged to a 100 years, you think that you will get fed up of life because we may think of our life in terms of its extinction. In reality, no one wants to die or lose their loved ones. Example: People who are on life support, their loved ones would keep asking doctors for a cure.
The concept of resurrection after death is human and we all want it. That is, we all want eternal happiness with no end i.e. not eternal repetition or boredom. That is why the desire is infinite. What is going to be given is infinite as well in order to fulfill this desire of eternal happiness, not boring repetition.
Comment: Is it in human nature to get bored?
It is a human nature not to want to get bored. If you repeat the same thing in this world, it gets boring which means that you do not want it. Since you do not want repetition which makes you feel bored, that feeling is to make you realize your infinite desire which is: “I do not want an infinite life where I will get bored. Thus, infinite life should not be boring or repetitive.”
Example: if you fear something here, it means that this fear must be cured here, not that you will keep having that fear in the hereafter. If I feel bored in this world, that means that I prefer to have a type of existence where there is no fear and boredom. That is what Paradise is, whatever your appetite desires or you wish to have, you will be given. (Qur’an 41: 31) Our nature also witnesses this: “I want a kind of existence where I have eternal happiness and no fear of anything.” Any of your desires, example not to want old age where everything becomes tasteless is a sign that you are going to be given a life which has no boredom, fear or worries. The Creator is giving us the news saying that you do not want it. Let’s say you are ill, who can prevent you from harm other than the Creator? In other words, who is going to come help you other than the Creator? Do we not try to get the cure for illness from the world that is provided for us? If there was no cure prepared within the order of the universe, who can give us health? We just need to discover what is already existing, i.e. prepared for us within the order of the universe.
Everything created is a message. Something we want is a message. Something we do not want is a message as well. Everything that we want to be saved from is also a message. Human beings do not want to be sick. That is a message that only the One that gives this sense is going to give Eternal health. In other words, only the Creator can secure this.
“Breaking a promise would contradict His Power’s dignity and glory and His Lordship’s mercy, for such an act comes from ignorance, inability, or impotence, all of which cannot exist in One with absolute Knowledge and Power. Building the other world through many revolutions and with all of its Gardens is as easy for Him as creating spring with all of its gardens and transformations. His Promise has been agreed upon and affirmed by all Prophets and the consensus of all purified, exacting scholars”
Question: What does “revolution” refer to?
Revolution means change in creation i.e. not a static world. In other words, a dynamic world which is changing with speed and no difficulty. Existence is important but change in existence is endlessly important. This guarantees that the One who gives existence is able to perform endless varieties of creation and is an “alive” agent. What we see is what is created and it is being continuously changed and so the Source of this change has no limit.
We are developing a language which makes sense for any human being. What is the cause of the change? Are things changing themselves? What makes believe in God difficult is when we use our already pre-assumed conclusions throughout our reasoning. The conclusions that we know is what we need to confirm within ourselves after the reasoning.
When we confirm something, we have to speak from our side. When we listen to the teacher, we have to think about it and then apply it to see if it is confirmable by ourselves as well. Every word in my language must be based on my methodology of belief, why did I come to a certain conclusion?
We have to take the word of God as a guide for us to show the destiny of our reasoning, but it does not mean that we have to imitate it. Example: if someone comes in and claims that he is a cop and so we have to let him search our bags, will you trust him? No, you will check his credentials and then confirm. Regardless, you will respect this person, before investigating you should not discard him as a false cop, but definitely we need to make sure that what he claims to be is really true by examining the evidences for his/her credentials. Similarly, you have to respect the word of God and you have to confirm it after examining it. “If what you claim is true, I have to confirm it with evidence.” By definition, it says that you have to read me as word of God and then confirm it, if you can. Both people are equal, deniers before reflecting on what it really says, and imitators of the word of God without being convinced about its truthfulness by investigating through the acts of God, which is the creation.
It is easier to convince the unbelievers. Book says I am the word of God, if you use your humanity you can believe in it but look for evidence if it is the word of God or not. It is harder for the imitators to be convinced who already claim that the book is the word of God, and they believe in it no matter what. Then, they have more excuse: “Am I going to question God? Do I know better than God?” Of course, these questions sound reasonable, but we need to make sure that the text is the Word of God. This is the task we need to carry first.
How did you come to this conclusion that this is God’s word?
There must be a God, it is impossible to explain the existence of the universe otherwise, there must be a Creator, so religion, which claims the belief in God in its foundation, must be right, and whatever the religious tradition they find themselves in, they claim that it is our right religion.
Blindly following believers’ and non-believers’ attitudes are wrong. People usually do not investigate. We are lazy of questioning and using human intellect as far as religion is concerned. Although we use our intellect and are successful in professions.
Comment: In this text, don’t they also speak from the Creator’s perspective?
Under the witnessing of the universe, we must come to a logical conclusion that this universe must have an Absolute Creator. Second part of the text mentions that this Creator must appoint teachers to help human beings uncover what is already in them. Teachers employed by the Creator of the universe help me develop what is already in me.
Quran and the employed teachers (Prophets) do not teach anything extra to our human potentialities. Can a teacher come to teach you something that is not confirmable within you? That is why it must be in our potentiality. In schools, they teach us what is within our potentialities to make them develop into abilities so that after reflecting on what is taught we can confirm it. Understanding Prophethood is important. Learning and knowing this subject is within me, the capacity to learn is within me. Many scholars equated the message coming from creation to the message coming from the speech. That is, God’s word is accompanied with His action.
I go to the creation with my own ability to investigate the creation and see signs of its Creator and then conclude if we are satisfied that the One who caused this creation must be the Creator. Scriptures are word of God is a simple way of saying. Instead, scriptures are verbal speech of the One who creates this universe. We feel the need to go back to the act of God, which is the universe, see the evidence in the universe and then confirm the speech.
If you want to ground your belief on firm evidence, you have to go from creation and read Quran in order to check that this text can be the speech of the Creator of this universe: whether or not this is the speech of the Creator of the universe that I have seen. Have you seen God speaking to Moses? Why do you say that Torah is the word of God? Moses went to Mount Sinai to get message from God. We would not know the speech because it is not observable but we can confirm its truthfulness if we find enough evidence within the message Moses brought to us. Eye witnessing Moses would mean nothing because the situation would not change for me to believe as I do not see what is going on in Prophet Moses’ mind. Example: I give you these glasses, you see them. Revelation is not like this i.e. no one sees it. Not because we are far away from Prophet Moses’ time and place.
Revelation cannot be mixed up from a person’s personal interpretation. If it’s from God, no one can ever witness it. We have to check whether it can be the word of the Creator of the universe.
If new generation is growing within a religious community, they keep imitating the culture or they do not dare to deny straight away, but they do not care about religion anymore if they are not satisfied with the content of the revelation. Imitation and denial end up with the same consequences: Leave the belief behind, so they are equal in practical terms. An idea cannot be true because of the culture. Traditional religious people look at their parents and admire them when they are very young. When they grow and become adults, either deny it because of the lack of confidence or become indifferent towards religion, or, at best, keep imitating religion as a part of their culture and tradition.
Can you equate parents, who follow religion as a part of their culture, with non-believers?
Parents were nice to you and sacrificed their life and you do not see any sign that they were deniers. How can God punish them as they are nice and innocent people? No one wants their parents go to Hell. God will not punish parents because they do not deserve anything. God will treat them with Paradise. Their position, their capacity and life conditions deserves to be treated in this way. As far as my position is concerned, it is not like my parents i.e. my responsibility is different. Everyone will be treated according to their own life conditions and capacity. Your parents are not equipped with the understanding capacity that you have. No one has presented the case to them like you are presented now. Take care of your responsibility!
Which one is in a better position as far as the purpose of their existence is concerned?
- Person A: I am drinking wine but I know that the Creator of wine does not want me to drink wine but I cannot stop it because I am accustomed to it.
- Person B: I am drinking water without acknowledging its Owner.
- The One that is in acknowledgment is in a better shape than the heedless.
- We should only speak about any matter from belief perspective.
“Halal” or “Haram”?
Water is “haram” (forbidden) for those people who deny it’s Owner. In the hereafter, people who deny the Owner of the water will be deprived of water because it will become “haram” (forbidden) for them. That is why there is no water in Hell as Hell is described in this way. Quran gives this example in every occasion: Are you drinking water as God’s gift or just drank it as a natural thing?
Look at universe first and see the Quran afterwards. You must have evidence to support the Quranic claims. Start from there. What is the point in ever new presentation of the universe?
Question: What does the author mean by “gardens”?
Think of the gardens you experience here, who takes care of the plants out of earth/dirt? What cause can create any simple plant from soil to a fruit? Science says that we are going to discover how life comes into existence? This does not mean that you have found the Source of existence of this system or order. Understanding how things are working does not mean that you have found the source of existence of this system at every stage of existence? Example: I will explore and investigate how the computer works. I understand everything how it is working. Can I logically confirm it that since I understood how everything is working, the laptop does not have an Engineer? The more you discover how something works, the more you admire the Engineer/Creator. You cannot discard the Engineer. It is simple!
- How can you deny the Engineer of this universe if you know everything how it works?
Comment: I may not like something which is created. How can I experience Paradise then?
Some people are allergic to peaches. It does not mean that they do not like peaches. Shouldn’t they want to have the appetite for peaches and enjoy? “If I had the enjoyment from the peaches like the others, it would be better.” Paradise is described according to your nature that you would like to be cured from or whatever your appetite desires. What do you really want to be? You want to be a lover of peach. But if you do not like it because of certain conditions, what happens? What do you prefer? You desire to like it. Paradise is a place where all your desires must be satisfied. We can only think about the case from our experiences. If we have not experienced something, we cannot talk about it. That must be the reason why the Scriptures describe Paradise by giving examples from our experience of this world.
Tags: Afterlife, Al-Mathnawi Al-Nuri, Halal, Haram, Hereafter, Human Reality, Permanence, Resurrection Series, Transience