By July 17, 2019 Read More →

Chapter Falaq – Part 4

This chapter is said to be revealed around the 2nd year of the prophetic mission. We discussed most of the aspects of the first verse such as “Say”, “Daybreak” and “taking refuge with God”

We will touch on the so-called problem of evil.  Why do people see that as a problem?

Falaq (daybreak) also refers to the beginning of the message for human beings. Where human beings have questions and find answers within this verse. Human beings ask question through the ability given to them. If the answers are in the universe, we investigate in the universe to find the answer. For example, if one is ill, investigate and try to find the cure/the answer. The answer has already been provided.

There are some questions that human beings ask the answers of which cannot be found in the universe: Why do I exist? What is the purpose of my life, what kind of aims should I have?  No answers for such innate questions within the universe. Universe is transient and I want answers where I can feel secure and comfortable. The universe says that I can give you most needs, but I cannot secure your existence. Universe says that my parts are also going into death, indicating transience.

  • Such questions need an answer from the One that created me. When the answer comes to these kinds of questions, “daybreak is coming to me”, or I get enlightened!

Daybreak is mostly understood in terms of receiving revelation by the messengers.  Similarly, when it comes to getting the message for me, my daybreak occurs when I get the answer to my human questions.  That is the daybreak, i.e.  bringing light from the darkness, unknown and uncertainties. This then becomes a way to be enlightened for my human side and I feel secure in getting the answers.

“Say, I take refuge with the Lord of daybreak”.

The owner/master of these set of answers is my refuge, only He can answer my questions where I can be secure once I receive the answers. “Say” implying be aware and look for it, answer will come to you and expect it.  Nothing is useless or futile in creation as we understand, thus my questions and seeking the answers should also not be futile. This is included in the meaning of Falaq (daybreak).

“I take refuge from the evil of what He has created”

A problematic phrase at first glance – what does it mean?  The Creator has created something that is evil, something that harms me? For example, when my finger hurts, I feel pain and do not want it. I am given this ability of liking and disliking by my Creator.  Does anyone want to be in pain?  No.  Similarly, when someone insults me, I feel hurt.  Not necessarily only physical but both body and human side are always working together.

If the Creator is giving evil, generally the claim becomes that the being who creates this evil is evil. Now, the verse says, “I seek refuge from the evil that He has created”.  The text does not say “what He has created is evil”How do we understand this?

What He has created is different as far as the Creator is concerned. However, for me, as my relationship with the thing is concerned, i.e. relationship with the creation, I may feel something as evil. “That is evil” is the aspect of creation which touches me based on my relationship with the thing/creation.  For example, can we say that the creation of sun is evil? Can we say that the one who created the sun is evil? If I overly expose myself under a hot sun and get sun burn, what is my take on the sun, did it become evil? No.  Another simple example, a manufacturer produces knives. Are these manufacturers evil, do they have any bad intention? Should they not produce the knife since the knife can be misused to harm someone?

I may receive evil from what is created with pure good purpose. In the case of the knife, I may misuse it. My relationship with creation can be turned into evil by my misuse of things. The creation is good, and I can turn it into evil for myself.

  • Using our free will, we can make something good for us as evil. The options are with us. For example, a knife can be used to cut vegetables which are a good use of the knife or to harm someone which is an evil usage of the same knife whose manufacturer made it with a good intention.

Comment:  My relationship with creation can become evil for me.

That is your freewill.  Freewill is free with no compulsion.  In our observation of things, there is the very existence of things and our relationship with the things.  We must be careful about this because we have freewill where we have two options.  Example: When hungry we eat food.  If I overeat, then I may turn food into evil for me because of my relationship with food.  Everyone knows that by overeating, one may end up with indigestion.

The universe is as it is, and everything should be as I want and whatever I do, I should not be harmed by it—that is egoistic interpretation of human nature.

  • Human beings cannot exist by themselves, their existence must be dependent on the will of another Being. My nature has freewill where I sometimes like something, and sometimes I do not like something.  When I like something, I am happy when I receive it.  I do not feel happy when I get something which I do not like.  When I make a mistake as far as the purpose of my existence is concerned, then I should experience unhappiness so I can realize that I am doing something wrong in my interpretation of existence.  This, in turn makes me realize what I am when I recognize such i.e. a totally dependent being.

The sense of experiencing good/bad, happiness and unhappiness…this sense is given to me in order to make the right decision in my relationship with the universe and my Creator.

  • If I happen to live in this world as an accidental being, then I will never be happy because I know that at the end, I will die. Is there any cure for such a person?    This person cannot find a cure for his condition.  We must experience our freewill of right/wrong choices in such a way that I must be careful in my small experiences with what has been created.

If you deny the Source of Existence (SOE) as the Eternal One and attribute your existence to accidents, then you assign a source of torture to your existence.  With this interpretation/attitude towards your existence, you turn the universe into evil.  Many people suffer from meaningless life which turns existence into evil.

  • I may turn my existence into evil by saying I do not have a Source of Existence; that would be a bad relationship with my existence and the existence of the universe.

Comment: People growing up without following an institutionalized religion, how would they know about evil?

You first must be convinced yourself, why do you follow a certain way of life.  If you follow a religious tradition just because you heard something from your family, then that is not conviction, and it does not save you.  Everyone must use their ability to find out that the universe must have a Conscious Creator.

If a person cannot find it by himself that his/her existence is not given accidentally, then the condition of this universe is faulty.  In this case, the SOE made this universe imperfect.  Belief has nothing to do with one’s family/cultural background, rather a personal confirmation as a result of experiencing the universe.  I must study the universe by myself through using my own human qualities.  We are given existence to use our human qualities.

  • Belief is personal confirmation under the witnessing of what has been created.

How about the message from the Prophet and the Creator?  How can we confirm that?  The Creator of the universe must provide answers because the universe says that I must have a Creator.  Then you ask, why has this Creator created me?  I must search for it.  Even if you follow your family religious culture, you have to investigate the information provided by your culture.

  • Investigate your own existence, the purpose of existence of the whole universe and then conclude something.

Question: Can my Creator ask me to do something which I have no ability to confirm or conclude?

No, if that were the case, then it would be a contradiction of my Creator.  The revelation must be in consistency with my human nature, the way I am created so I can confirm its message comfortably.  If any type of reasoning does not make sense to me, I reject it.  That is, if I do not understand the message the messenger brings from the Creator, then I feel uncomfortable and I cannot confirm it.  It wouldn’t be my mistake, rather the manufacturer’s mistake.

If the message the Creator sends to me contradicts my human nature, then I cannot accept it.  If I use my freewill consciously and carefully work with the conditions of the universe freely, then I understand that whatever is created is good for me.  My responsibility is to have a connection with the object by using my human capacity freely to understand the nature of this universe.

Comment: When I use the knife in the wrong way, that is in creation. But if I do not get any meaning from that act then that is evil.

Yes, my feeling pain is wrong for me as I don’t want pain. The creation of cutting is good so I should not complain but learn how to use the knife better.

  • Creation of event is not evil. My interpretation of my relationship with the event may be evil.

Comment: How should we understand child abuse?  There is no goodness and mercy in such events.

If I define my existence only to be happy in this world, without defining the purpose of my existence, then this complain will be right.  However, this training center is working for everyone, I am learning from all experiences.  Example: while driving I cannot guarantee that I will not get into an accident.  My responsibility is to drive safely and avoid reckless drivers.

In this world, if we did not experience any bad feelings as a result of the other people’s action, then I would not be trained because it would mean that people should not have free will to choose bad actions. That would mean that we want to be like robots.  I am here to be educated, I must learn through using my free will to make the right choice.  Do you think other students do not learn from students who are punished by the teacher for not doing their homework?  Not only do I experience what is right and wrong with events directly related to me, but also, I experience from other’s action as well what is right and wrong.

Exercise of someone’s free choice depends on me, how I interpret it.  I must pay attention to the choices of other people to learn from them. In other words, what is my relationship with this act of creation?  The purpose of existence of this world is not that I will be free from harmful things.  If I get burned by the sun light because I did not take proper precaution, then the existence of this harm is good.  Yes, this harm is created through the sun light because of my wrong choice.

  • My purpose of existence is not to learn what is right and wrong, rather what meaning do I derive from my relationship with the universe i.e. does it connect me with the Source of my existence and makes me realize what my reality in this world is?

There is mention of recompense in the Quran more or less interpreted as follows: “If some harm touches you from something that is not a result of your choice, then I will recompense you”. That is why if there is no eternal life after this life, then unjust actions that happens in this world will remain as an injustice.  Hence, we shouldn’t rebel, rather: “O God you created something which is harmful for me, but I know that you will recompense me.  I am harmed by some act of Your creation without my free will involved. In this world you taught me in your creation that You are Most Just.  I am sure Your Justice will recompense my pain.  Thank you for teaching me through Your Message that there will definitely be another creation where I will be recompensed for the injustice afflicted upon me in this world.  Through this event, I fulfilled the purpose of my existence i.e. I learned who I am, who my Creator is and what my destination is.”  There is no unlucky person created, everything is adjusted perfectly.

  • We are learning from experiences of others as well and we relate it to ourselves.

If there was no life after this one, then there would be no meaning in living in this world.  Just as if there was no professional life after graduation where I practice what I learned in school, what is the point in going to school?  Only through learning in this universe and no real-life experience of what we learned and just dying and disappearing from existence does not make sense. Thus, belief in the necessary existence of eternal life makes sense then.  Resurrection after death completes the whole picture of existence in this world.

What is martyrdom (shaheed)?

  • It means witnessing.

Witnessing what? 

  • The truth we can conclude from the creation of this universe and committing ourselves to preserving and upholding the right of this truth.

When you witness something, what is the outcome for it? 

  • Fulfilling the purposes of my existence.

When you get mesmerized with the stars and moon at night for a minute let’s say, then you are a witness (shaheed).  That is, I witnessed the reality of my Creator.  I am witnessing the grandeur of the Creator.

What is the reward of witnessing?

  • Eternal Happiness. That is, you start feeling it now by witnessing any event, that my Creator is teaching me what is right and wrong. I am concluding that the Source of existence of this universe must be Absolute.  When I attach my understanding to Absolute One, I realize that its treatment of me will be eternal.

If I refer an event to an All wise One, the response from the Absolute will be limitless. That is why they say that Paradise is limitless because it is a response from the Creator to a person who concludes/confirms that the Source must be an Absolute One, and the treatment of Absolute must be limitless.

  • Why is this world limited, then?

That is why we should conclude that if the SOE of this universe must be Absolute, death cannot be the end of my existence. His act of creation cannot be limited to this universe, though Absolute may manifest Itself through different phases.

Comment:  I cannot decide who is a witness (shaheed)

That means by definition you can only witness and confirm Absolute.  One minute of getting mesmerized with creation and witnessing the Absolute will turn into infinite pleasure. We are not in the position to assign statuses to people including ourselves.  What are we going to do with knowing who is what?  Are we the One Who is establishing the Final Judgement for people?  While the judges are protecting the rights of people in a certain society by passing a judgement, they are not passing the final judgment but helping the people who are wronged and preventing the injustice afflicting the innocent. This is a temporary practice of justice in this world. It cannot be absolute. Final Judgement remains with the Absolute knowledge of the All-Judge, the Creator of the universe.

  • We learn reality in various ways through what we like and dislike. Both feelings are given to get to know the truth.

Comment:  What is the difference between witnessing and learning?

A harms B. I saw that.  Confirming the truth about who is right who is wrong is witnessing for me.  Learning is mostly neutral. I may take lesson from it and choose not to do the same mistake.

I prefer to do something is different from the result being created by the Creator of the universe.  The creation side of event is always good.  See goodness in everything because creation is teaching me to get ready for Eternal Life. 

Everything created here makes sense by referring to an Eternal Life.  Giving existence requires that the Source of Existence must be Absolute.  The existence of this universe makes it necessary that there must be another Eternal Existence, otherwise this universe’s existence would turn into contradiction i.e. wonderful creation but dead-end without any experience of the act of Absolute in an infinite way. The definition of Absolute Creator necessitates that His act of creation must be infinite.

  • If there was no Eternal Life, this life would be meaningless. The more I enjoy my life, the angrier I become if there was no Eternal Life. To lose something more valuable causes more pain. Witnessing the act of an Absolute Being and appreciating it with no experience of His Absolute act of creation causes pain for human beings who are given the desire for eternal happiness. That would be a very painful disappointment, therefore a contradiction for the Creator of the sense of desire for eternal happiness. If the Creator of this desire was not going to give eternal happiness, why should He have given this desire to me?  Not to give me the eternal happiness would be a contradiction.

Again, this contradiction forces us to look for an Eternal Life otherwise this universe would be meaningless and a cause of pain for conscious human beings.

  • If death is the end of existence, then the life in this world would be nothing but torture.

Finally, witnessing refers to the one who witnessed the truth and confirmed it. If I refer an event to an Absolute wise one, just one, generous one – the response from the source must be eternal, where I cannot see the limit in the response. Reward is eternal happiness which comes from an Absolute source.


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