By September 12, 2018 Read More →

Chapter Duha – Part 2

93:3 “Your Lord has not forsaken you, nor has He become displeased,”

This verse is primarily speaking to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh); however, we have to read it as addressing to me, the reader personally.

When do I feel that my Lord has forsaken me?

Comment: when you are in a state of dissatisfaction with both the circumstances that you are in and yourself.

Because of my attitude, I am not happy with my actions and I am blaming myself.  I have done something wrong and I am displeased with myself.  Is there any problem in this statement?

Even if I am unhappy with I have done, still the creation of that event is not bad, although I am not happy with it, that is fine.  Maybe it is much better when you are unhappy with the wrong things that you did which is created already.  Because of my mistake, it is a better way of learning that I have done something wrong and the creation is good.  Practically, it is difficult, we are expected to be happy all the time under any circumstances (whatever is created).

We should not confuse two things: 

  1. The created things in the past.
  2. What will happen in the future has not been created yet.

As far as the Creator is concerned, there is no difference between past and future.  That is correct.  As far as I am concerned, whatever has been created is good for me.  Although, I might have done severe mistakes, still the creation of that event is good for me.

The creation of my feelings is good and the circumstances that are created are good as well because we are learning.  Usually, they say that you should be sorry if you do something wrong and ask for forgiveness.  We are not talking about what we are expected to do, rather we are talking about our attitude towards the creation of the thing itself.  Let’s say you have a gun and you were upset about something and you killed somebody.  Now, you are sorry because you did not get any pleasure out of it.

We need to have the consciousness that whatever is created is good for me.  It does not mean that my killing is good for me.  After I have chosen to kill someone with no reason, the creation of that event is good because I have experienced what I have done, and I am expected to take lesson from it and ask for forgiveness.  My choice of killing someone is bad for me but the “creation” of that created event is good.  As far as our freewill is concerned, everyone is free to do what they want.

This event was in the past and cannot be applied in the future.  Example: I will kill someone and then ask for forgiveness and so the creation of the event will be good for me.  Anything created in the past, the creation of that event is good.  For the future, I must take care of my freewill and try to use it in the right way.

Comment: How do we understand the story of Moses and Khidr in the Quran where the actions are justified for future events?

I am Moses, not Khidr who is an elevated being.  Khidr represents God’s plan and Khidr is not a human being.  God says this is my plan and human beings are supposed to do what Moses did because we follow Moses, not Khidr.  That story is misinterpreted because we elevate Khidr.  NO!  Rather, God is telling me: “You do not know what my plan is and you have to take care of your responsibility.”  My responsibility is to follow the human example and the Prophet is the best example.  When Moses opposed what Khidr did, Moses was right as a human being.  No one knows what the plan of God is.  Khidr represents the plan of God.  In the story, God is teaching me that you do not know the plan of God and you must take care of your responsibility.  Unfortunately, this story is used in the reverse side where Khidr is considered better than Moses, this is the literal meaning of the verse.  I must ask myself: Can I follow Khidr as a human being?  Is it possible to know the unknown aspect of existence?  Moses is the Prophet and the Quran orders me to follow the Prophet, rather than Khidr.  What God is telling me is: “you are responsible for what Moses represents here but be aware that there is another aspect that you do not know and that is My knowledge”.

Example: I may say that it is better to take the train today rather than driving.  I have to use the order of the universe and judge accordingly.  Which is better for me?  Cost is one element to take notice.  Time is another element and so is comfort.  I evaluate the case and I say it is better to take the train.  However, in my evaluation if I say that my status is elevated than the train riders and so I need a special car, that intention is wrong.  I have to use the order of the universe and make a decision accordingly by bearing in mind that I am following God’s order presented to me.  Do we know that the train you take will be destroyed and you will be damaged?  No.  So you are not responsible for it.   Khidr example says that someone knows it.  Who is that someone?  God.  God knows everything, and human beings know only what God allows them to know.

Ayatul kursi says “wala yuhituna bi shayin min ilmahi illa bimashaa’” (Qur’an, 2: 255) i.e. “no one can comprehend from His knowledge except He wills, He releases.  I am not responsible for God’s knowledge, rather I am responsible for what is released to me.  Example: 200 years ago, no one knew what the telephone was as it was not released.  PEOPLE THINK THAT WE ARE DISCOVERING, AND THIS VERSE SAYS THAT I AM REVEALING.  Khidr represents God’s knowledge.  Moses is responsible with what he has seen within the conditions of this world.  Quran never asks me to follow Khidr or gives me the burden to follow God’s knowledge, rather Quran asks me to understand that the Owner of this universe knows what He is doing.  Moses is responsible for what he has seen within the conditions of this universe.

Alaa yalamu man khalaq i.e.  Don’t you think that the One who creates knows what It is creating? (Qur”an, 67: 13.) I would say God knows but I can know only as much as released to me.  I am responsible for what is released to me.  We should not admire Khidr, rather Moses.  Moses says that you cannot kill an innocent person.  We are responsible for that we cannot kill an innocent person.  As far as the future is concerned, it is not clearly stated.  Prophet is the perfect man of the time and so I have to follow the perfect man.  I am not going to follow Khidr, angels or God’s knowledge which is beyond my capacity.  So, I cannot be responsible for it.

For the future, we never think of the matter from creation point of view.  We only concentrate on our responsibility for our freewill.  What am I going to do?  What is the best thing for me?  Use your human feelings and NEVER FORGET that we are the worshipper of God.  WE ARE HERE ON EARTH TO ACKNOWELDGE WHO MY LORD IS.  I am not going to contest with my Lord and challenge Him or oppose Him.  I will say that whatever you have created, I am responsible to follow the order in creation.  I have to judge according to my understanding and perception of the order of the universe and say this is what I am offered by my Creator (as much as I know), so I have to decide according to the evaluation of the order that I can perceive because in the order, there are many things that I cannot perceive.  Don’t you think that 200 years ago, the order of telecommunication existed within the order of the universe?  Yes, but at that time we did not make effort to discover it so it was not revealed.  Do you know that God will reveal to human beings what is already in the order 500 years later?  No.  What I am responsible for is the time that I am created with.  Since I am created within this order, accordingly I must decide what I should do.  I must be aware that it is not me who is going to create.  I will just make my decision, use my freewill and make the attempt.  The result is created by the Creator.  We should not meddle with what God will create for me.  I have to say that I will just make my choice and decide what to do within the conditions of the order of the universe.  It is up to the Owner of the universe to create the result.

We do not know what will happen later, but we must make the attempt.  Rather than driving, you decided to take the subway and it gets stuck for a few hours underground.  Are you going to blame yourself for not taking the car?  No.  At that time when you made the decision, it was the right decision as far as you know.  You will be rewarded for the right decision, although you wasted a few hours underground, that is not your business.  We will, and we chose but God creates. That is God consciousness.

How about in the past?  God has already created.  I must take care of my responsibility: “On which ground did I used my will power?”  Why I decided to do this yesterday, I am responsible for it.  What is created because of my choice is not my responsibility.  Let’s say there was a storm yesterday, it was not my choice.  My Lord has not left me alone, He created everything knowing that I will be in this condition.  Since I am aware that it is created by my Lord, I have to say that He knows better.  I have to learn from what is created and I have to say that this is what God has chosen for me.  What is created for me must be a good thing.  Don’t say that if I did not choose this one, then it would not be created.  No!  That is past.  Take the lesson but never criticize the creation.  If you made the decision by using the freewill on a wrong reason, then you must repent for your wrong reason but never criticize God because whatever He creates is good for me.

Comment: Can I still call the event external to me as good?

The creation of hurricane is good.  It does not mean that I should ask God to create a hurricane in the future.  What is my responsibility for the future?  We do not mess up with creation side of anything.  As far as my feelings tell me (my feelings are created by God), I dislike hurricane.  I dislike the property to be damaged.  That feeling is your Creator’s choice telling you that you should not like that one.  What you do is obey the order in creation and say Please Allah do not give me hurricane.

Let’s say I asked God not to create hurricane for me and yesterday hurricane was created.  The hurricane was created not because he was displeased with you.  If someone gets ill, we are quick to blame the person saying that you did something wrong and God gave you this disaster.  Is it the case?  We do not know.  Whatever God creates is good.

Comment: If the hurricane happened yesterday, how can I conclude that the creation of hurricane is good?

Whatever happens in the universe is a means of training and education for you.  When the hurricane is created, you say that I cannot really control anything.  I am in need of a refuge from the danger of the hurricane.  I cannot protect myself and so I am weak and needy and seek refuge with the Creator.  Just imagine if there were no things that we dislike, how would we understand that we are weak and needy, and we must seek refuge with God?

“O Lord! Harm has afflicted me, and you are the most merciful of the Merciful” (Qur’an,

21: 83.)  You create everything out of Mercy and I accept whatever you create but as far as I am concerned, I do not want it.  Why don’t I want it?  Because you gave me the sense not to like it.  That is, I am given the sense not to like it.  I must use my sense, we have to use what is in the order of creation and what is included in the order of creation, my feelings as well.  It is difficult to practice this.  We criticize creation and say the weather is horrible.

We must educate ourselves in this sense.  The most important problem is to not making the right distinction between past and future.  We confuse our responsibility towards past and future because we do not think about it.

Comment: How do I deal with my emotions when a calamity befalls?  I am stuck with it.

You must think about its creation.  For its future, you will say Please God do not create hurricane tomorrow.  The creation of yesterday’s hurricane is good because it is an opportunity for myself to understand who I am and who is controlling and holding the universe i.e. the Lord of the universe.  I am not holding anything.  Your feelings are created by God.  When something is created, its creation is good as it is an opportunity to understand what my reality is in this world.

Comment: We pray to God for not creating hurricane.  In istikhara (literally means asking for something good), we do not ask for something specific, rather we ask for something good.

Istikhara means asking for khair (good) which is better for me.  As far as I am created with the sense of disliking hurricane, please do not create hurricane tomorrow, create beautiful weather for me because you made me love the beautiful weather.  It is my right to ask God to create the best for me for the future.  For the past, whatever is created is best.

  • Creation of hurricane is best. For the future, I will use my feelings as created by Lord and my Lord has not forsaken me.  I must take notice of it.

Comment:  If we can consider the creation of something good as independent to its relation to me, that is impossible because I cannot evaluate the existence of anything without tying it to me, my thoughts and my feelings.

Your feelings of disliking the hurricane is to be used to understand that I am made to dislike hurricane.  “Thank you for creating hurricane because I learned that I dislike hurricane.  Please do not create a hurricane tomorrow”.

When we make the distinction between our freewill (which is created to our capacity) and the creation of the universe which is related to God’s Absolute knowledge, be aware that my feelings develop according to my previous experiences and those experiences are created within the conditions of the order of the universe as far as I know.  In the example of Moses, I cannot know what the Creator knows.  I am only responsible to look at the order and see which one is best for my feelings and ask God what I want and do not want.  Example: Please give me beautiful weather tomorrow.  Please God give me a nice house.  Because you like it and so you ask for it.  However, be careful, in your liking, there may be ego and sense of pride that is interfered.  Please God give me e.g. a keyboard which works perfectly.

Comment:  Sometimes, I am stuck in the pain of the calamity.

Learn it and tomorrow ask God not to give me this one again.  What is created for you is a given opportunity for you to learn what your feelings are.  It takes some time to train, even the teachings of the Quran took 23 years to be completed.  That is normal.  Which direction are we going towards?  Does not matter if we get to the end or not.  Whatever is created in the past, take lesson and use it for the future.

Let’s say that yesterday I made a mistake, say that I should never repeat the same mistake tomorrow.  We are learning.  No one is perfect.  It means that we always have some deficiencies.

You have done something wrong and He is not become displeased with you, how do you understand this?

Comment:  Move on and have a positive approach with what you have done the wrong way and do not carry that burden.

It is a very relaxing and releasing verse.  As long as you acknowledge that you are being taken care of by the Creator, although we make mistakes, we should never lose our hope from God’s Mercy.  He is not displeased.  How about when the Quran says that He does not like so and so attitude (it is a teaching), it means do not do it.  Example: God does not like people who tell lies or belies the Prophets.  Traditional scholarship says that God is not displeased with the Messenger of God.  If that was the case, what should I do with it?  Why am I still reading it?  Methodologically, referring to the past and contradicting the nature of the purpose of the Quran.  God says that I was pleased with Muhammad, good for him.  Why do I keep reciting it again now?  It must be related to me.  I must always have a positive hopeful attitude towards my Lord.  But I did a horrible thing yesterday, was God displeased with me?  If I acknowledge that it was a horrible thing (my mistake) and God does not like what I have done, it means that I was not supposed to do it, what am I expected to do now?  Ask for forgivingness.  Inalllaha yu- hibbu al-tawwabeen“God loves those people who repent” (Qur’an, 2:222.)  If I am aware of the mistake, then I repent.  However, we cannot say that I will do something wrong tomorrow and then I will repent for it, and God will forgive me.  For the future, it does not work.

Whatever was created yesterday, know that your Lord does not like what you have chosen but by creating it, it is teaching you that if you choose this way you will be doing something wrong and so get ready not to choose this way tomorrow.  Creation is beautiful, and God is pleased with me when I repent.  If I do not repent, then I do not take notice of God anyways.  Here, I cannot say that God is displeased with me because I did not take notice of God.

Comment: Taking responsibility for what is within your capacity and not being affected by what is not under your control.

God never forsakes me, it means as long as I am with Him, as long as I acknowledge, and I am aware that I have used my freewill rightly or wrongly, then I have to ask for forgiveness and decide not to use it tomorrow.  Then another favor of God comes to me, God loves those people who repent.  Now God is with me.  Human beings want a Lord.  Do you want an Owner who is angry with you and never forgives you?

Do you love a boss who treats you as if you did not do anything wrong yesterday?  Yes.  This is what the Prophet promises, those people who ask for forgiveness and repent are like as if they have not done anything wrong, no sinning.  These are human feelings given to us by our Creator letting us know that is how He is.  As long as you repent is what is important.  Just acknowledge God and ask for forgiveness.

Only the people who deny the Creator lose hope from God’s Mercy. If you believe, then you should not lose hope from God’s Mercy.  Try your best to sincerely repent and do not do it tomorrow.  God is not angry right now.  “Be optimistic about my Mercy and do not despair of my Mercy”.

Example: You have an angry father and you did a mistake yesterday and was angry with you and is not a forgiving father, and you know that the following day he is still going to be angry with you.  Would you like to face your father or try to avoid it?  I try to avoid it.  If I have a feeling that God is still angry with me, although I repented and apologized, and I do not want to face and be with God, then that is a way of denying Lordship in our lives.  This is much more dangerous than doing something wrong, sinning.

How about not being in good terms with your Creator?  Not to be in His Presence.  Never despair of My Mercy, I am always pleased with you, as long as you acknowledge and ask for repentance.

Worst thing is to say that God will never forgive me as I have done big mistakes.  This is the attitude of the unbeliever in the description of the Quran.  Quran is full of verses saying that He is the most Merciful of the Merciful.

Arhamurrahimeen or bimillah al-rahman al-raheem.  We keep repeating it everyday and, in our attitude, we are not bringing this belief into our practical life.

Comment: Can we further elaborate what it means to be an unbeliever?  You are an unbeliever when you think that you do not deserve to be forgiven even after you fully acknowledge that whatever you have done is wrong.  That is lying to yourself.  Example: I slammed the door unintentionally and it hit someone because I did not pay attention.  Whatever happened, happened because of my negligence.  Only if you deny then you are an unbeliever.

Denying the Mercy of God is the point here which makes one an unbeliever; it is a temporary attitude.  If you do not love someone, then you cannot be Merciful to Him.  We must understand this.

Universe is created by God is just the beginning of belief in God.  It is not what the Quran means by belief.  Belief goes further i.e. who is this God?  The most frequently referred attribute of God is “Merciful” (Raheem), Ghafur (Forgiving) and Waduud (Loving).

If in my attitude I say that God is not being Merciful to me, it means that I am describing God against His attributes and qualities.  Just like saying to someone who is a good engineer that you are not a good engineer, it means that I am denying your quality.

Comment: You can only deny something after you understand it.

It is right, but we are studying a temporary case. Through the “past” experience, you understand it.  If you did something wrong and you think it was not forgiven despite your asking for forgiveness, this is our discussion about.

Comment: After understanding that there is Mercy in what is creation and therefore you are claiming that what you did was not wrong.

We are expected to understand that there is Mercy in whatever is created, not whatever we did wrong.

My responsibility for the future is my asking Him to create it for me i.e. I acknowledge His Lordship and Dominion over me and the universe.  Freewill just means asking and making duaa (prayer) to God.  Take care of your freewill, make duaa for the future, take lesson from the past and never despair of God’s Mercy and never try to escape from your angry father because He is a Merciful father.  As soon as you say I am sorry, father says that is alright.  Not avoiding the Creator is the kind of attitude we are expected to have from our Lord.

Unfortunately, it is a common thing to say I am a horrible man under disguise of modesty.

Comment: Isn’t the guilt I am carrying my punishment?

Yes, but this sense of guilt should not be transferred to the future. If you keep the negative feeling which happened in the past, then you are choosing Hell for you and preferring the punishment.  You should forgive yourself for your past as long as you ask for forgiveness.  Never mention the negative thing happened in the past.  Always remember that it was wrong, and I am not going to do it.  Talk about the future.  Example: you hurt someone yesterday.  Say, I am not going to hurt anyone tomorrow.  If you are sorry, decide not to do it tomorrow.  Do not brew or dwell on it, then you start blaming yourself and forget about God being Merciful and you will always avoid being with angry father.

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