By May 16, 2022 Read More →

Chapter Sa’d – Part 23

38:76 “He said, “I am better than him.  You created me from fire and created him from clay.”

Iblis is speaking here, and it is not denying that it is created.  That is, my egoistic side may still confirm that it is created but this is just a starting point, and it does not mean much.  Without accepting the Creator, we cannot go any further.  Accepting the Creator does not solve human problems, it is essential but not much.   That is, I must attach my existence to the Creator.  Which part of our existence must be attached to its Creator?  Iblis represents the approach that I am attributing the existence of my substance to its Creator.  We say that my body needs to be created, this is stated by all the students of the Quran.  To be a student of the Quran does not mean that one is an expert on the Quran. A child may say that he is an expert in a subject according to his level/capacity, but it does not mean that the expertise is complet.  Those people who respect the Quran as God’s word, most of them don’t make the distinction between the Quran (Speech/meaning) and “Mushaf” (written text/body/created).  That is the capacity of the people, they will be responsible within their capacity, none of my business.  I must make the distinction between the Quran and Mushaf.  We must understand the Speech of God clearly.

The way Iblis is making a comparison between Adam and himself is right because he is emphasizing on the bodily side of things.  Iblis is made up of fire and Adam is made up of clay.  Fire may have better qualities than clay.  Does it justify Iblis’ claim?  The Quran says no, because the most important aspect of our existence is related to our human side.  The body side is not different from a tree, car, or other created thing.  If I am talking about the tree, I should not reduce the existence of the tree to its body, rather its qualities such as life, structure of the cells, reproduction, photosynthesis … all these qualities must be taken into consideration.  What I take into consideration as my responsibility is that the universe must have a Creator, and my body has a Creator.  Thus far, I am equal to Iblis, who is also a believer.  I may still be Iblis until I pay attention to my human side and the qualities of a tree.  As part of my responsibility, I must seriously look at the human side, i.e., communicate with the qualities of the objects (angelic side).  Any type of body relationship means nothing, because when I die, the bodily relationship will come to an end, and I will go back to clay again.  What is important is all my feelings, human qualities, and consciousness (rooh/spirit), recognizing who is the Creator of it and who owns it?  

If I accept that God created the universe, and He created my body, but I am owning my human side, then I am at the Satanic level.  Here, I am not owning my body saying that it is created by God.  That is why in scientific studies, we understand that they have the Satanic approach, because they don’t take notice of the qualities of the things and question their existence.  They cannot put by their own principles unto the qualities of the object.  Can they put the spirit or the human side into a lab and study that?  No.  There is no causal relationship in the existence of my soulExample: I ate this and as a result, my body is healthy.  That is a causal relationship which means that I can attribute something to another thing of the universe, however, I cannot prove that the “cause” is the reason for the existence of the effect.  And so, when it comes to human spirit, what do I attribute it to?  There is no causal relationship there.  That is why scientists speak with a tricky language that we must watch out for.  They don’t mention the human spirit, and at the same time they don’t deny (which they cannot) that we are only bodies.  They try to reduce the human feelings to the functions of the brain cells, looking for a cause within the created things, and making a scientific study not related to their source of existence.  It is a huge deal to deny the source of the existence of our human side! 

We are not as superior to Iblis/Satan before our spirit is put into the body (i.e., Adam is sent to Earth, that means my spirit came to the Earth in the form of body.)  Through my body, my spirit is functioning.  If there was no tool/body in the hands of the spirit, the spirit cannot function.  Example: if you lose one of your senses such as hearing, although your spirit wants to hear, can you hear? No.  If there are no physical tools, e.g. ears, you cannot hear.  That is why after I die i.e. death, my spirit needs a tool/body to function, and resurrection is necessary, otherwise I will be non-functional.  My spirit alone is not functional as a quality within the conditions of this universe. We learn this way of creation that our Creator is letting me know that in the next creation we also need a body, but not like the body we have in this creation but appropriate to the capacity of our spirit which needs limitless satisfaction. 

We must be careful that we must bring the Creator to our human side.  It is so important in the process of the analysis of understanding, (what I am, who I am) to understand that my feelings do not belong to me, it belongs to their Creator.  All my human qualities belong to my Creator.  Example: I like this or dislike that or approve this or disapprove of that.  Iblis is not realizing that all our senses like the sense of dislike is given to you.  The Creator lets you like something through your spirit, directly the Creator is the agent, and you are like the driver of a car, using the steering wheel.  The car is going, and it goes wherever you turn the steering wheel.  You cannot say that I am going there, rather the car is going there and I am sitting in it, but the steering wheel is in my hand.  Human beings must be very much aware of his/her free will.  The car/body/existence is given, and already functioning, so what am I doing then?  The steering wheel/freewill is under your control, that is the source of responsibility.  When I turn the steering wheel, does it help the car to function?  No, it does not add anything to the action of the car, only the direction is changed, the car/body/human being is working itself already.  I am responsible for the direction of the steering wheel because I am sitting on the driver’s seat.  The car does not belong to me, similarly, all my feelings don’t belong to me.  Example: I say horrible things are happening in the world, I don’t like it.  It is not you who does not like it, the Creator of this feeling teaches you not to like it.  That is why the Philosophers’ understanding of Divine Determining (Qadr) can’t be solved because they don’t acknowledge that the feelings don’t belong to us, rather the feelings belong to the Creator of the human being.  I am only responsible for free will that is only changing the directions of my feelings. And, I am not the creator of my actions, but I am only responsible for where the “car” is going, to which direction. I.e. how I am using my body and all of my feelings. 

My brain works like the car is working, but I am responsible to employ my intellect to find out the evidence of the truthfulness of whatever I choose.  My perspective and view of things depends on my choice, but none of my abilities and potentialities belong to me.  If I don’t like something, I must admit that my Creator is teaching me not to like it.  Example: I am sorry that your mother is sick, rather God is sorry and teaching me that He is not happy with it, and He will take care of it.  Physically, I do something, but I cannot create health/cure. You go and take the medicine to your mom using your free will and she will swallow it using her free will.  The result is created by the Creator of the medicine, Creator of the body and illness, nothing to do with me.  If we understand this matter, our life will have no problems, no stress/worries, no criticism of Qadr, why is it happening to me, why am I always chosen to be in trouble, what kind of Merciful God He is.  God is operating, not you!  God is teaching me: “Look, I want this, that is My preference, watch out for your free will, don’t criticize Me, try to understand My wisdom in the existence of anything”.  

Iblis is the best example for us, why is it saying that I am better?  Iblis is appropriating the sense of better or worse belonging to itself.  Iblis also makes a false comparison, reducing Adam to its material substance, like the scientists do.  Example: I am better because I am more knowledgeable.  

The Angelic side of the universe looks at the Angelic side of the human beings.  If you (my Creator) did not teach me anything, I would not know anything. We can only know what you taught us; this is such a beautiful attitude.  If I know something, I wouldn’t say that I know it, rather, God taught me, that is the Angelic approach.(See the Qur’an, 2: 32)  The universe in its entirety must be attributed to the Creator.  If only my body is attributed to its Creator, then this is nothing more than what Iblis represents.  I must come to my spiritual side and the qualities of creation: “What is the source of the existence of life? What is the source of the existence of growth?  What is the source of the existence of taste/smell? What is the source of the existence of my worries?  What is the source of the existence of my hopes/aspirations?  These are the points that we must pay attention to if we do not want to remain at the level of Iblis.  Satan whispers into us and we either follow him or not.  Iblis/Satan see things as matter and don’t see the qualities manifested in its existence.

38: 77 “God said: Get out of here!  You are rejected.”

Although Iblis accepted the Creator, it attributed all its conclusions to himself (sense of like/dislike…)  It is a big responsibility to decide to go beyond the physicality of things.  When the Quran says that there are signs within and outside of you, look at the creation of the world. (Qur’an, 51: 20-21; 41: 53) If I just see how wonderful my eyes are, my nose is… this is good but only an Iblis status.  Some of us miss the point; the Quran does not mean this.  Rather, it means that I accept that the universe is created by a Creator who is called God, and the universe includes my body as well.  Now let us go to the Angelic side/meaning that the universe transfers through its qualities and my Angelic side (human qualities) does not belong to matter, and therefore we don’t have any “cause” in this world for their existence.  Although Science covers up the reality (kafara), scientists sometimes say that when you look at the universe there may be something beyond matter.  It does not matter because we still must study the universe and benefit from it, it means we can exploit and consume it, without noticing the qualities of the things that drives one to accept the Creator who is functioning right now in the body of the tree, me, and the universe, because they cannot attribute these qualities to any “cause” in the universe.  Hence, we cannot really disregard the universe together with  the qualities of the things.

Comment: What about the verse that says that “it is possible that you like a thing which is bad for you and like a thing which is good for you”? (2: 216)

While you are using your freewill, you are using the criteria that you invented for yourself.  Example: To have a lot of money is good.  To have my children be in a high paying profession is excellent.  Who says that?  You distorted the purpose of your existence.  Be careful not to distort the definition of good and bad, which must be according to the purpose of our existence.  I am not created here to have a profession and make money, rather I am here to use money and profession to fulfill the purpose of my existence.  This distorted definition of good/bad is rejectedBe careful which criteria you are using and how do you define yourself and your existence, the purpose of your existence?  That is why God’s guidance is needed, my Creator must help me to develop my own values.  What is the aim of my life?  What am I going to be successful in?  The senses of like/dislike are from our Creator. Example: the sense of disliking injustice is God’s disliking injustice letting me know through my sense. This sense is directly given to me by God, that is why He says that I breath into clay/your body from My spirit. (15: 29; 38: 72)  However, I may distort it for I have free will.  

To feel the need of Divine guidance, you must go through many other stages previously, so you can say that I need Divine guidance.  The necessity of Divine guidance is essential to us, but we need to have to realize it first, otherwise you cannot say that you need Divine guidance.  We must define human beings, we must define the reality of existence, and then say that I think that there are some questions that we cannot get the answers to by ourselves and by anything of this universe.  Also, we cannot assure whether these answers are correct or not, so we must refer these questions to the One who gave me the capacity to ask the questions, the Creator of the ability to question.  I must understand that whoever gave me the ability to ask this question, whatever the content of the question is, must answer.  This phase of searching is my problem/responsibility.  If I cannot find it in this world, because I am asking the world why I am created and the world says nothing, but the world only says that our Creator is wonderful, then I must search for a solution.  The universe says: Look at the qualities of your existence, isn’t it wonderful!?  That is, it.  But why am I created?  Silence.  So, I must search for an answer to it.

While thinking I must be free, not that I must go refer my questions to the Quran.  THE GUIDANCE FROM THE CREATOR OF MY QUESTIONING ABILITIES MUST BE SOMEWHERE.  Also, if you don’t like the Quran’s answer, look for another source, because YOUR EXISTENCE AND THE EXISTENCE OF YOUR QUESTIONS NEED A CREATOR.  Can you find any cause for the existence of your question here in this universe?  Example: if you eat more meat, your quality of questioning will develop or improve?  No.  You must use all the capacity and dimensions given to you to search.

The capacity of realizing the necessity of the existence of a Creator is already given to human beings, my spirit. That is, my spirit is qualified to accept and conclude that the universe must have a cause of existence, I must have a cause of existence, my feelings must have a cause of existence.  It means that the necessity of the cause of existence of the universe is within the capacity of the human intellect which is created with this capacity.  However, which kind of Creator He is, the qualities of the Creator, the relationship with my feelings and spirit, now that requires explanation from someone/somewhere not of the nature of the universe.  The relationship of my feelings to its source of existence requires the qualities of the Creator to be taught to me, that is what I cannot know.  I question who this God is and come to myself, use my feelings and accordingly I define my Source of Existence.  But I must understand that my feelings belong to Him, and I need His guidance on how I can transfer my feelings in realizing and understanding the qualities of the Creator of the feelings.  Example: I love my child.  My sense needs to be created.  I can understand that, but what is the purpose of loving?  That is where I need guidance that He is the loving One.  The purpose is to realize that God is the One who gave this sense to you for you to get to know Him.  That is how we should understand that the human spirit is directly coming from God, and it is in the created form, and God must be in the Absolute form.  How can I transfer the created form of my qualities into the Absolute form and connect to Him and understand that the Creator must be Absolute Lover (or Hater i.e., rejector of wrong)?  THE PURPOSE OF MY EXISTENCE NEEDS GUIDANCE BUT TO KNOW THAT MY EXISTENCE NEEDS A CAUSE (CALLED GOD) DOES NOT NEED GUIDANCE.  Some people think about these questions by themselves without knowing what God is, and saying, that is how Jesus is saying, Torah is saying, religion is saying…  They agree that there must be something, and named it “mother nature”, which is a kind of air-like thing (STILL WITHIN THE UNIVERSE).  

It is a common discussion in the historical debates, whether reason can find God or cannot find?  These people were trying to understand the reality of belief, and whether they made a right or wrong conclusion, we must appreciate them, because they paved the path for us to question and develop, they are the founding fathers of these questions.  Example: when you learn something for the first time, do you get it right at the first attempt?  No.  How many times do you make mistakes?  So many opportunities are given to me.  Thanks to the mistakes, we are learning what is right.  After you learn, you know what is right and wrong, in other words you know how to do the things that you are trained to do.  We must appreciate the previous work of the scholars.  The previous scholars started the discussion and opened the door that these are the problems you must be aware of.  Now, we understand the statements that are unnecessary: can the mind find God?  We must qualify and specify it: Can the mind find and understand the necessity of the existence of a Creator?  How about the qualities of this Creator?  How about the purpose of existence of these qualities manifested in me in created form (spirit)?  What are they?  How am I going to handle my feelings?  Example: the car is there, and it works, but you need to be taught on how to operate it.  Can anyone without referring to any Divine guidance looks at the car and can say that the car happens to be as a car without any accident? i.e., it must need a DesignerYou don’t need guidance from God to conclude that the car/universe needs a Designer or a team of Engineers to be created.  What am I going to do with this car/existence?  How am I going to utilize this, for what purpose and to go where?  You need to ask the Designer of the car.  If we make this distinction, it is easy to solve all classical disputes among the scholars.  The Philosophers take one attitude, the scholars of Kalam (Speech of God), the Mutazilites, the Asharites all take their own attitudes.  Yes, we can find the necessary existence of God with reasoning, but we must use Divine Guidance to know who this God is.

Comment: We are made in a way where we require to attribute things to a cause.  The more I am aware of my Source of existence, the better relationship I have with this source.

Without guidance, how can you define Absolute, that the Creator must be an Absolute Being which cannot be defined within the conditions of this universe or created beings? The quality of Creatorship needs to be disclosed by Divine guidance.  Example: I am created by something.  Why did you create me?  He must respondWhat am I supposed to do here?  Are you playing with me, giving life and then death?  What are you doing with me?  I don’t know thisTHAT IS WHY THE QUR’ANIC EXAMPLES OF THE PROPHETIC STORIES/NARRATIONS ARE HUMAN ANALYSIS OF HUMAN SENSES.  Example: if you do this or go in this direction, you will be like Pharaoh (how horrible) or like Moses (how human).  We also have the attitude of the magicians that I am the one creating or doing this, however, when guidance comes (Moses’ staff is the criteria to confirm the message), they say that we cannot challenge this message, hence we must submit.  That is why prostration means to accept the message.  (We must free ourselves from cultural elements such as how God asks Angels to prostrate before Adam or the brothers of Joseph to prostrate before him, so how can men prostrate in front of other men. We must relate them to our practical life.)  We must be more serious!

Divine guidance can only be brought into the discussion after realizing that I have questions and the answers to these questions, I cannot find it by myself because my capacity is limited to the causal chain of the universe, and the causal chain of the universe does not give me the purpose in its existence.  Why is that?  Example: the tree is created, if I accept that it is created, so what?  I will die and it will die at the end, what is the point in its existence?  Divine Guidance comes letting me know that the tree/the universe is glorifying, it is exalting, praising its Creator, that is how you can get to know the qualities of the Creator, called asma (names), through its function, so study how the tree is created to get to know the qualities of its Creator and extol the Creator?  When you study the tree, you understand how beautiful its design is, how wonderfully it has been created, how wise it is created in a functioning way?  How purposefully the tree is functioning!  There are endless purposes in the existence of a tree, all of them must be utilized, understood, and employed to understand the qualities of its Creator, therefore our Creator and establish thankful relations with Him.  That is what we learn from the Quran saying that everything in the universe glorifies its Creator. It means “Me”, God.  “The main purpose of your existence is to know who I am, don’t claim anything, everything that you have belongs to Me”.  Your duty is to acknowledge that everything you have belongs to Me, the Creator.  The car (the universe) is perfectly functioning by its Creator, the ability to use the steering wheel (free will) is given to you. Hence, while using the car you need to be thankful to its Maker, rather than claiming that it is yours because you paid for it. 

38:78 “My rejection will follow you until the Day of Judgment.”

When we die, we are given another existence which is not subject to time, deterioration, worn out, then you will understand who the Owner of everything and the purpose of your existence is, you will fulfill that.  “yawmu’d-Deen” (literal meaning “the day of paying back”) means returning your qualities back to its owner, paying your debt back to its owner.  What is the debt?  You have been given all the qualities and you have not paid anything for them.  PAY BACK by acknowledging it!  Now revelation comes and tells me how am I expected to pay back?  That is what revelation helps me with.  How am I expected to pay?  How can I pay back the favors of existence?  The revelation teaches you to return to Me, use the qualities that I gave you if you want to understand who I am, who is the Owner of your car, that is the purpose of your existence.  If I am put in the driver’s seat, I am free to use the car, whichever direction to go.  I do not need to pay for the car/body/existence/the universe.  The owner of the car lets me know that: “I will take care of it, it is ensured by Me, don’t worry, it is free”.  I ask, why is this guy doing this favor to me?  Then guidance comes, do you want me to tell you?  We can only do this after accepting that the car/universe/existence has an Engineer, a first necessary step with no much value.  Now, we must reason again: I am put in the driver’s seat, and I am given the freedom to use it as I want, how fast and slow, for what?  Then I say, let me ask the Engineer who gave it to me.  That is why (as emphasized earlier in the notes) to know that the car/universe must have an Engineer is within my capacity, but what to do with my existence is not within my capacity.  Hence, I must look for the Engineer: “hey, where are you, who are you, why did you give this car to me and favor me with this opportunity (it means create me)?”  I am giving it to you whether you are grateful or ungrateful”. –That is what the Quran explains, so I can choose freely from the options below:

Option 1: I am given existence with this car (myself) and it is my car, I can use it as I want.  

Option 2: Why am I given this car by someone, there is an Agent and His purpose behind this car?  

This ability is necessary (that there must be an Engineer) to know that I should look for the Engineer to ask why did you give it to me?  If I was not given the ability to understand that this car has an Engineer, how can I search for Divine Guidance?  I must have this capacity, and then ask for the guidance of the Engineer/my body, Divine Guidance.

Quranic Verse 76:3 “We have guided man to a road of whether he will be grateful or ungrateful, (that is up to me to choose now.)”

How can I be grateful?  I don’t know. I need guidance there, but to search for guidance, and feel the need for guidance, I must be given the ability to acknowledge that this car/existence/universe must have a conscious Engineer, otherwise I do not have the means to feel the need of the Divine.  This is missing in most practicing religious people because they say that they need Divine Guidance.  But why?

  1. The humanist says that we don’t need Divine Guidance for I know what is good and bad.  
  2. The Deist says that I know that the universe must have a Creator, I don’t need the Prophets to tell me this.  
  3. That is why some Philosophers claim that the Prophets are needed for ignorant uneducated people.  They say that the universe must have an Architect, and they did not read anything (scripture) to come to that conclusion, because the universe is so perfectly designed.  
  4. In Christianity, creation is emphasized on the importance of a Designer, they are right, but it does not have much value, because I can find the Designer, so what?  

Nevertheless, these people are working sincerely; we must appreciate them and take lessons from their seriousness.  None of the contemporary Muslim scholars are as vigorous as these Christian scientists.  How can I utilize science to turn it into a tool that I must learn my purpose of existence fromDesigner is a correct concept but not enough.

“Deen” comes from the word “dayn”, debt, we must return it back to its owner, otherwise we can never pay it back.  If I attribute my existence to its Owner, that is not payment, it is correct but not enough.  At this stage, I need guidance that I have to use my existence (feelings) to know my Creator and submit my abilities to Him and get to know Him.  That is why the famous Quranic verse says, “I created you, the human being, only to worship me.” (51: 56) How can I worship Him?  Prayer and fasting are not enough, what is the meaning included in the prayer and fasting?  It means that you must get to know Him.  Ibn Abbas interpreted the verse as: Get to know Me, so you will worship Me according to how much you know Me.”  Otherwise, worshiping Him is something in suspension, we should not reduce worship into prayers and fasting or ritualistic activities, rather, how am I going to use these ritualistic activities into a conscious relationship with my Creator, and after doing the ritualistic activities, I will realize that this ability is also given to me by my Creator.  I have nothing to claim.  That is what “Deen” means, return everything to get to know Him.

“Yaum”, means the day of Judgment, it means “when you return it”.  What is this tie between Yaum and Deen?  When you realize the reality of the existence of everything, only then can you pay back.  That is called haqaiqu’l-haqiqah, the reality of the truth.  Example: someone comes to you with a bunch of flowers.  You can acknowledge that these flowers are given to you by so and so.  Does it mean anything?  Not much.  You must see the reality of the action of bringing the flowers to you, establishing friendly relationships, appreciation, and interest in you.  The reality behind the bunch of flowers has nothing to do with the flowers itself or just knowing the sender, rather what does this act of giving  you the flowers represent?  Similarly, the reality of this universe has nothing to do with how it appears to be, when you realize that, what is the reality of the existence of the universe, that is your day, and only then you can pay back.  It is important to understand this tie because we keep reciting this during prayers “maliki yaumi’ddeen”, what does it mean?  

When you look at a tree, a materialistic view would be to look at its physical appearance, existence, and actions.  What we are expected to do is to look at the tree and see the manifestations of the acts of its Creator with His infinite qualities reflected in the actions.  Example: if I sing a song, even if you don’t see me, you experience the qualities of the song you hear from me.  Your physical ears hear it and your feelings and intellect appreciates the beauty or ugliness of the song.  Rather than looking at the physical appearance, go to the Angelic side/meaning side of the creation, that is the reality of the truth, manifested itself in the universe.  We must understand the reality of the truth, when we understand this and appreciate it, we turn it back to the Creator and yaum-i-deen (Day of judgment literal meaning) is realized.  The Day of Judgment is not wrong, but what is “day” and what are you judging about? These need to be explained.

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