By October 21, 2019 Read More →

Chapter Hashr – Part 1

Chapter 59, Hashr (The Gathering) Verses: 22-24

101st revealed Chapter of the Quran in the 4th year of the Medina period of the Prophetic mission.  The fundamental matters of the teachings of the Quran (as taught during the Meccan period) are refreshed here because the practical side of belief cannot be ignored from the belief foundations.   That is, the transition from Meccan period (13 years) to Medinan period requires not much details about the practical side because the teachings of the Quran are the same for both periods.

Example: How can you explain your prayers since praying, by definition is expressing your feelings.  Can you explain something that you are not aware of?  No.

59: 22 “It is God save whom there is no deity other than It. The One who knows all that is beyond the reach of a created being’s perception(ghaib), as well as all that can be witnessed by a creature’s senses (shahadah): He is the Most Merciful, the Most Gracious.”

Why do I ask that I exist?  Where did I get this ability to ask this question, along with all other existential questions?  Quran is the answer to your human questions.  Answer is only good when you have the questions.  We need to have questions and wonder what is going on in our existence.  In later centuries, questions were prohibited, and people just gathered knowledge from previous scholars.

  • Knowledge is not belief. Belief will start from knowledge.  In order to become belief, it must start from questions which ends up with satisfaction.
  • You cannot teach belief, but you can teach only how to develop belief.

When you are questioning your existence and you are asking the Existence Giver: who are you? How come I exist? Who gave existence to this universe? …  Then answer comes: “It is”.
You ask: Who?
Answer comes: “This God is lailaha” Again, you have no point of reference in the universe for “It” as a part of the universe. When you fail to find a Source of Existence (SOE) within the universe you are left with “There must be one but “It” is not here within the universe.  In other words, “It is lailaha”.
You say: “The One I was wondering about who was giving me existence and consciousness of my being and then giving me death, as if “It” is “playing” with me, that is the One who is the answer”.  You could not find “It” or the answer in the world.

  • That which you cannot find in the universe, is the answer. In other words, the One who gave you existence is not within the universe.
  • Rather than the answer, the question itself is the source of answer. Answer was within the question.

What makes the speech of God precious?

  • Human questions.

As you ask the questions, you declare what?

  • Your weakness, neediness, ignorance… “I do not know anything. I need to be educated.  If I do not understand that I need to be educated, then the Quran means nothing to me”.
  • No questions, no answer!

Think about the question while reading the text.  Be courageous, and ask, with this verse, what are you telling me?  Example: verse says that things will be destroyed.  Ask: Is that a problem for me?  Is that related to me?  Since I am going to be destroyed, why did you make me now?  Why are you telling me that I am going to be destroyed since you gave me existence?  That is the contradiction.  Example: While sun is rising and setting, it is a fear for me that this is temporary, and I will go away as well.  I do not want to disappear because I want a type of existence that will provide me with an eternal permanent enjoyable life.  The nature of this existence is ready to be destroyed and cannot sustain its existence by itself because I looked for my Source of Existence (SOE) and I could not find it within this universe, but I know that everything has a SOE.  My main concern is that the universe must be used and not ignored.

  • How am I going to use it?
  • You are not the answer, therefore there must be an answer apart from you. This answer must be the One who is “playing” with me and the universe.
  • Day, night, summer, winter so forth, keeps changing. It looks like a play but when you concentrate, you find that existence in this universe is a source of message that: “I cannot sustain my existence as it is given to me by something else”.

Can you imagine that the universe was static?  Of course, it would be not pleasurable for human beings.

Without asking the question who is “playing” with me, the Quran does not make sense.  The whole universe must have a Creator who gave us existence reminding me that I cannot be the SOE of my thoughts and feelings.  What are they given for?  Use the thoughts and feelings to search for the Source of Existence of this universe.

What is ghaib or Absolute?

The “It” itself is “ghaib” i.e. not the one piece of this universe or is not the SOE of my existence and the universe.  The Source of Existence of me is not the universe.

  • Lailaha is the description of illallah, not the other way around.

“God exist, therefore there is no God in the universe.”  This does not make sense logically.  Who is God?  It is not the part of this universe.

  • lailaha is the explanation of illallah.

Whatever you see here and could not find the answer must be known by God, as the Qur’an teaches.  He (“It”) gave you existence through these qualities so you can search for “It” through these qualities/questions.  He knows all your questions.

Don’t think that you are created for no purpose.  You are created so you will seek for the SOE, who is my Owner who brought me here.  He knows what you do not know, He knows what you are wondering.  He knows all your questions.

He knows what He is doing as He is Merciful and Gracious.  You were troubled with meaninglessness, if you were not in trouble (including psychological issues), you would never become aware of this One.  This setting of creation is out of Mercy and purpose.

The Merciful does not leave you alone if you are not with It or if you do not identify yourself with It.  Put all your hopes with Him because He knows what He is doing.  Universe is the result/knowledge of It and without It you cannot be put here.  He gave you the ability to wonder about It.  You must identify your existence with It.

Father figure is the symbolic way of answering human questions but is not satisfactory at face value.  If I understand the father figure as my Lord, then I am well-taken care of.  Human needs are such that I need a father to take care of me.  Father may take care of you but may not be the SOE because you will both die.  This symbolic way does not work because I can trust my father when I am a baby but not after adulthood.

If we understand what Lord or “Rab” means i.e. the One who gave me existence and takes care of me, then we can be satisfied in our existence.  He is the One who gave me the sense of satisfaction.  Material things cannot be the SOE of my expectations/satisfaction.

Where can I find Mercy?  That question can only be answered if we take into consideration the purpose of my existence, why do I exist in this form of existence?  We must keep questioning what is the reason and meaning in the creation of things we do not like.  Example: When something goes wrong as long as my expectations are concerned, then I am troubled.  Hence, I should not take for granted everything that exists for me. I need to investigate within the universe whether mercy is prevailing all over the universe including the things which I am created not to like. If we take into consideration the purpose of my existence in this world we can understand that I am given various types of opportunity to realize who I am and who my SOE is.

Finally, this type of existence is a beautiful contradiction.  I have the expectations and I cannot find its fulfilment within this universe.  We do not want to get out of existence.  Through this, I understand that I am not the resident of this type of creation which is called the universe.  I need a better home.  So, I should yearn for another type of existence. I use the experience here to get to know the need for a Permanent One.

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