By June 13, 2018 Read More →

Chapter Fajr – Part 7

Recap:  Everything in creation is an orphan and we should honor it because in this type of creation, an orphan does not have any protector.  We can treat anything as we want.  Example: we can kill animals as we want, we can cut trees as we want, we can insult them as well by saying you are random beings.  We are free to do that, but the Quran says that we must do “ikram” (honor) on that.  In other words, when God gives us something, we say that God honors me.  That seems normal.  However, when it comes to the treatment of other creatures from our end, we must honor them.  “God is the Lord of everything” means that as far as my relationship with creatures within the order of this established universe is concerned, I can do or say anything I want with them but they belong not to themselves or me but to the Source of their existence.  Quran reminds us to honor the orphans i.e. give them their rights as they deserved to be because they are creatures/missives/gifts from the Owner of the universe.

Example: An important person sends you a letter and invites you to come and acknowledge her authority, but you tear the letter.  What have you done?  Not only have you insulted the letter (creature) but also the authority (Owner of that letter) who has sent you that letter.  You rejected the person’s authority.  While dealing with creatures if we just treat them as not having any importance at all, it means that we just tear them off i.e. we do not read the message sent through them.

  • Honoring the creatures is in fact honoring the One who sent this creature to me as a message giving the news about its Creator, introducing its Creator to me.
  • We must have a universal meaning of “orphan”, otherwise we will say that I have not mistreated any orphan because I have not encountered an orphan (someone without mother and father). Hence this verse does not apply to me.  Honoring means protecting their rights and utilizing them for the purpose they are created for you.  When the letter is sent to you, you must read it and respond to the One who sent it to you by honoring It.  When we honor the creature, we honor the Creator.

I cannot treat the Speech of the Creator with a very limited meaning.

89:18 “and you do not urge one another to feed the needy,”

Taam” is to feed anything that needs nourishment.  Who are the needy ones (miskeen) and how are we going to feed them/give them what they need/support them?

  • Everything in creation.

What do needy human beings need?

Conscious interactions.  That is, human beings need whatever human quality requires to be satisfied.  As far as human beings are concerned, we should not reduce neediness to the animal side of human beings.  Yes, animals are also needy.  We must take care of them.  As far as human beings are concerned, we must feed our needs.  What is the most important human need?  What do I need the most?

Comment: Eternity/security of my existence.

How am I going to feed the need for Eternity of one’s existence?  Quran urges us to feed the need of people.  How are we going to do that?

Whatever convinces you that your existence will be Eternal/Absolute and you are sure that your existence is not going to disappear one day.  The security of my existence is my most important human need.  Then comes my life as a conscious being.  Eternity of my life as a conscious being is the second important need.  How can I make sure that my existence is going to be secured and my life is going to be secured eternally?  What is the way of securing one’s existence eternally?

Comment: Conscious of your existence.

Comment: Knowing that the One who gave this desire to me will satisfy it.

How am I going to satisfy the desire for eternity?

The Source of Existence of this desire needs to be acknowledged.  Hence, my existence is dependent.  Are people aware that their existence is dependent?  Are people aware that they are needy?  They are needy, but they do not know that.  How are we going to make us be aware that our needs/hunger can only be satisfied by connecting our existence to the Source i.e. acknowledging that the Source is Eternal.  Do you know any organization or person who is trying to feed the need of human beings, so they acknowledge that they are being created and their existence is dependent on the One who creates them, and this Creator must be Necessarily Absolute One, otherwise It cannot be a Creator.  Example: Nothing in this universe seems to be the Source of Existence of another thing.

  • What can give existence to things?

The main mission of the Prophets is to make the people realize that they are given existence by someone not of the nature of this universe.  That is why the Quran keeps saying not to commit “shirk” (ascribing Divine qualities to things).   We should urge one another to feed our fundamental human needs by acknowledging our needs and connecting our existence to the Eternal Creator.

This civilization has established values on the body side of human being.  Example: Nursing homes provide caring for only the body side of human beings.  You do not have to be a believer to take care of your body, neither you need the Quran to help you with that.  An Atheist may do a better job than people who follow religious rituals.  Example: Feed the needy during Ramadan increases your reward tenfold.  My human need does not need to be rewarded from my actions.  I need security as far as my existence is concerned.  There are no institutions doing that.  We are more prone to understanding the Speech of God in terms of our values which are materialist values.  Quran speaks to humanity, but we understand it at the level of material value.  It is a dramatic situation worldwide!  We need to wake up!

The Quran says that you are neglecting feeding the needy and you should be feeding.  What do messengers preach?  Do they establish orphanage?  Do they organize soup kitchens?

What did the Prophets do?  They invited people to tawheed i.e. acknowledge that there is One Creator.  All Prophets gave the same message.

As a poor guy, no one bothers you if you do not have father and mother in this materialist civilization.  Quraysh people were famous for being generous and protective.  Arabs respected Quraysh because they were kind to every other tribe and had no conflicts with any other tribe.  None of the tribes who were fighting with other tribes had a fight with Quraysh because Quraysh was taking care of their needs when they came to Kaba.  They had a chamber taking care of the problem of the society.  Quran says:

Do you reckon the giving of water to pilgrims and the maintenance of the Holy Mosque as the same as one who believes in God and the Last Day and struggles in the way of God? Not equal are they in God’s sight; and God guides not the unjust people.” (Qur’an, 9: 19)

No.  What saves you is to acknowledge the Source of your Existence otherwise you can be proud of being a very generous host.  You are not thankful to the Creator who gave you this opportunity.  In Quraysh it was not a tradition to kill baby girl or mistreat women, there were a few persons in other tribes doing this practice, it was not common practice in Arabian peninsula, otherwise there should be no women in their societies to give birth to girls.  History dramatize case in terms of material framework.  If we are careful, message of Quran has nothing to do with material conditions of Meccan society.  Be careful, not every story told is true!

I can be sympathetic to someone about something which is most important for me.  Example: If I see that I am hungry and have no shelter, then it is the most important thing for me.  Then I start seeing other people as needing food and shelter because my worldview is based on this.

What do people need in this society?  Acknowledge the Absolute Creator and make sure that their existence belongs to It and that It is going to take care of their human needs eternally.  “Whatever happens to me, I am secure because my Creator takes care of me.”  This is what the Quran encourages.

If you are depressed, you feel no meaning to your life and you feel empty with no purpose.  What you need is human satisfaction, not satisfaction of the hunger which is easy to obtain, people give out food easily and low maintenance food does not cost an arm and a leg.  However, how are you going to fill in the vacuum in your being/existence, how are you going to feed it?  If you see yourself as needing this certainty (secure in my existence), then you start seeing people as needing certainty as well.  Your definition of “need” radically change and you start reading the Quran for its own purpose.  “My Creator does not speak to me to arrange material life”.  Some professional people can help you to do that.  However, belief side is completely neglected just because we do not feel the need.  We think that we are believers and we believe in God.

12:108 “Say, this is my way, I invite to God with insight, I and those who follow me.  And exalted is God; and I am not of those who associate others with Him.”

Call people to the truth with an intellectual understanding (insight).  You cannot introduce reality by saying, “Allah created the universe.”  Where is insight?  A scholar says along these lines: If I see (bassar), then I see creatures pointing to their Creator (baseerah.)  But if my human intellectual side (full perception) does not see the messages in the creatures, then it is a horrible thing for human beings.  It means we are reducing ourselves to animals.

  • Human beings need to become aware of the message engrained in the existence of things.
  • We must call people to see the full perception of things, that is the only way to feed the need of human beings, satisfaction of one’s heart/humanity.

“Yateem” or orphan is the one who has no protector.  If I think that I am a stranger in this land just as a newly arrived immigrant, then I am yateem because I have no protection/security and I do not know anyone here.  Body needs food, income, shelter…  If I define myself as such, then my understanding of orphan (yateem) will mean that I need food and shelter…

We cannot read Divine Speech with dictionary meaning which is secular.  Dictionary meaning of the words are taken from the human experience at a societal level.  How people see “yateem”, they describe it accordingly?  The secular meaning applied to the Quranic message becomes dangerous because then Quran becomes a secular message.  What usually ends up happening is that the Quran becomes a secular message.

Comment: Is everyone supposed to become a preacher?

Start from yourself and save yourself first.  Quran says: O believers, save yourself from the fire and then your close relatives. (Qur’an, 66: 6.)  That is, be certain in your conviction i.e. belief.  If you do not have money, can you help others?  No.  In the same way, if you do not realize what is the purpose in your existence, can you help others?  You must save yourself firstQuran says: “O believer, first save yourself from the naar (burning fire) of uncertainty in your life, not feeling secure in your existence i.e. unbelief”.  Your human side will be in fire/burning because you do not know why you are living here and what is the purpose in your existence?  You struggle for what, to make more money, what are you going to do with it?  At the end your animal side will die.  Why do you concentrate on feeding your animal side only?  That is just by default i.e. you do it, but your main purpose will be to save your humanity from feeling the burning of fire i.e. meaninglessness and purposelessness.  “I do not know what I am doing and for what purpose?”  Among believers as the Quran says (ya ayyu al kafiroon), we say I believe in God and I am saved.  When it comes to having a comfortable, satisfied heart that I belong to Absolute One (which is called trusting in God), we fail.  How can you trust in God if you do not know Him really?  Who is He really? 

  • Belief in God does not necessitate that you know God.

Just like immigrants in this society know that there is an administration, but do they feel secure?  No, because they do not know if the state will take care of them or not and they do not feel secure.  Similarly, saying that the universe must have a Creator does not make you necessarily put your trust in that Creator knowing what He can do because you must know Him first to put your trust.  In order to know Him, you have to study His message revealing who He is to you and I?

89:19 “and you devour the inheritance of {the others} greedily,”

What have we inherited?

Comment:  Your human nature from your Creator.

Comment: Everything.

When you came to this world, you inherited the whole universe and you devour i.e. use it for your egoistic purpose.  Just like a child who cannot stop eating chocolate.  How do we understand “inheritance greedily”?  When your parents die, you will inherit wealth.  You receive it and it becomes your property without you working on it.  You cannot say that my father died and he left me some company, money and it is legal for me to use it.  This verse is not talking about this anymore.  Example: my father died, and I have not inherited anything, so this verse has nothing to do with me.

Quran talks about believing human beings will inherit earth while non-believers will not inherit the earth. (Qur’an, 7: 100.) It means that they are not receiving it, using it and benefitting from it.  Animal side uses it.  When your father dies, how will you distribute wealth he leaves you, that is inheritance law (fiqh matter).

Devouring inheritance greedily means for your ego purpose.  Example: when you see the universe, you say sunlight is for me, I have sat under the sun on the beach.  Here is a beautiful forest I must get fresh air.  That is an animalistic attitudeQuran does not speak to animals!  We are inheriting huge message sent to us through the existence of the universe introducing its Creator to me.  I must use my human side to utilize the universe.  We usually use the universe to satisfy our animalistic side i.e. egoistic purpose.   That is the devouring of inheritance!  Quran says be careful with what are you doing?

What else do we inherit?  All the knowledge and information from the previous generations, all the messages sent to us through the Prophets, we use them for our egoistic purposes and use it for our material body comfort, rather than human comfort i.e. satisfying our humanity.  We have reduced the message of the Quran just to apply it to our physical life (fast, pray, don’t do this…).  This is correct, but the Quran cannot be reduced to that animal aspect of human beings only.  Yes, my body should not eat food from dawn to dusk while fasting.  That is just my body’s duty.  What about my human duty?  What am I doing with it?  What am I doing with the inheritance I found when I was born in this world, the Prophetic inheritance i.e. the Quran for the people born in Muslim family?  What are we doing with this inheritance?

The problems are very deep because we do not train ourselves from the teachings of the Quran which is God’s guidance by definition.  What is the Quran?  Speech of the Creator.  Why does the Quran speak, or your Creator speak to you?  What do you need?  Quran says that I am speaking to you to teach you what you do not know. (Qur’an, 96: 5.) Doesn’t a farmer know how to cultivate the land?  They do not need guidance from the Creator to get the best harvest.  Creating a gadget or an app is an innate instinctive ability given to you by your Creator.  Do you need extra information from your Creator to manipulate your life?  What are we doing?

What do we need?  What I do not know.  What I do not know by using my instincts is referred to as “ghaib” in the language of the Quran.  Example: someone who does not have access to the Quran looks at the universe as a wonderful place, they do not need God’s guidance to use their intellect as far as their general appearance of creation is concerned.  That is not ghaib for them.  “Ghaib” is not an easy word to translate to in English, mostly translated as “unknown” or “unseen”.  Let us use it as a technical world for now.  Example: when you look at this computer, you say that it must have an Engineer.  Do you have any doubt about it?  No, it is not ghaib for you that the table has a Engineer.  Do you need special guidance for someone to come and say this computer has an Engineer?  Do you need the Engineer to come and say, I have made this?  You say, I know this is made by an Engineer, I do not need guidance about it BUT who is this Engineer?  Why did he create this?  How did he create this?  What is the purpose in creating this universe?  The Engineer of the universes is “ghaib”, I do not know.  What we inherit from the Prophetic tradition which explains the ghaib aspect of existence, not material aspect of existence.  Example: when you look at a deer, you say that this is a wonderful creature. It must have a Designer, Maker, Order-er…BUT who is this One and for what purpose has He made this deer?  In order to do what?  We do not know it.  Now, we need guidance.  In this respect, I need guidance.  I do not have to read the Quran to become a talented chef.  What I need is to know what is the purpose in my existence?  Knowing the purpose of my existence is the most important inheritance we are receiving through the Prophets.  Again, just as stated on page 5, believers benefit/inherit from the Earth.

How are you going to inherit the Earth?  By receiving the message sent to you through the existence of the Earth you inherit the message, not the earth.  You will die, and will not need the earth, it will pass away.  You inherit millions and die, and it is left for others.  You cannot take anything with you.  The real inheritance is to get the message in the existence of the earth.  Only believers can get it.  Believing in what?  “Ghaib” side of creationBelief means becoming aware/certain of the message in the existence of the earth.  Only believers can inherit it!  Let us not use the earth for our animalistic side only.  Everyone benefits from eating good produce, that is not benefiting from the inheritance.  The real inheritance in the content of the teachings of the Quran which is ghaib aspect of creation.  Are we inheriting it?

Comment: Why cannot we just define “ghaib” as getting the meaning of our existence?

How are you going to get the meaning of existence if you do not have the revelation which reveals the ghaib aspect of creation?  Example: a humanist will say I know the meaning in the existence of the earth i.e. we should not pollute it, spoil it and exploit it.  They do not get the message.  How can you get the message?  Only when you receive the message of the Creator revealing to you what the real message is all about so that your human side will be in communication/correspondence with the message you receive.  Practically and simply speaking, get the meaning but the meaning can only be perceived through the One who reveals it to you.  That is why we mostly devour the inheritance in physical form, whereas in the message that the Prophet brings to us, it addresses our human side/needs.

89:20 “and you love wealth with exceeding love.” 

You love wealth in such a way like real love.  Maal is used in the Quran with endless meaning.  Example: your abilities, qualities…  Let’s say you are a dentist and people come to you to get their teeth fixed so they can chew because they love to eat.  People love their teeth to be healthy to eat.  That cannot be our ultimate aim, but we have to take care of our eyes, skin, body…  This is “maal” in this context.  Also, we love having properties, but we do not pay attention to the message in their existence (in the context of this verse).  Example: Quran says you really love property, to take care of your body shape/skin excessively but you do not take care of your human needs/human side.  You love property and updated technology.  “Maal” in this context is anything which is used for its own material purposes.  When it is used in the Quran, those people who struggle (make jihaad) with their own being (nafs) and amwaal (properties).  How can we make jihad with our maal?

  • Use your abilities to achieve and get to know their real Owner.

If you do not use this and just take care of our eye health for example, then you are not getting any message from them.  Our humanity is not benefitting from them, only the animal side is.  “You really love property for the sake of its material value”.

89:21 “Nay, but [how will you fare on Judgment Day,] when the earth is crushed with crushing upon crushing.”

Quran guides human beings to make them realize one point and the purpose is completely different.  “You are being neglectful about it, you do not do this…” and suddenly it says “Indeed, when the earth is crushed into pieces.”  What is the connection?

Comment: Becoming aware of the Creator.

If you just reduce religious activities to the material side of your life only, then you are crushed.  Example: I have a car and I obtained it in a “halal” (religiously permissible) way.  You are treating the car as a material good.  When the car is crushed into pieces, all your justification about obtaining it in a halal way is crushed.  Example: you took care of your teeth/body, it will be crushed into pieces.  What is left?  Nothing.

Here, the subject suddenly changes as if not related to the previous one.  If you only take notice of the material aspect of inheritance/your life, then there is no hope. You cannot escape from it as it will crash into pieces.  What are you doing then?  What we need is Eternity in my existence, happiness, satisfaction…

Where is Eternity in our satisfaction if we just pay attention to material aspect of our life in the name of religion?  Example: I prayed asr (afternoon prayer) and I applied all rules perfectly.  That is only physical.  All physical actions will be crushed into pieces.  What will remain with you?  While doing all these actions, your consciousness, awareness, insightful perception of what you are doing.  So, spirit will get the message from there.

What did your humanity gain out of giving zakat (charity) or fasting?  We must make the body fast, but the body will crush.  These acts must have a serious message in them.  If we do not get it, the physical side will definitely crush into pieces and there will be nothing left.  Let’s say you have a billion dollars and that is more than enough for your worldly life here.  Your body will have nothing to do with millions of dollars anymore.  Do not reduce actions/worships to its physical form only!  Physical form must be taken care of, but its purpose is to have some consciousness through this action, these physical actions must be reminders:  While giving “zakat,” you are given the opportunity to practice the generosity of your Creator, you are employed to give out.  You do not say I give some money to people.  To give money is not the purpose. While you are giving it, you practically experience the sense to acknowledge that your Creator is the Generous/Just-One.

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