The Reasonings (page 103)
“In the Name of God, the All-Merciful, the All-Compassionate.
I bear witness that there is no deity but God, and I also bear witness that Muhammad upon him be blessings and peace is His Messenger.”
Until now, in our studies, we have been concentrating on the first part of the above testimony (i.e. nothing here has any Divine qualities to give existence to something and themselves). We have also concentrated on Resurrection i.e. this life is just a transient form of existence and we are going into a completely different and new type of existence, that which we do not know, and it does not matter. But definitely, existence will not cease when we die, and existence never ceases (refer to Arguments of Resurrection notes from our studies).
We are also concentrating on the fundamentals of belief system, one is belief in God and the other is belief in the hereafter. When the Quran refers to human beings in general, the expression for example, alladheena yu’minuna billahi wa bil yaumi’l-akhiri) refers to belief in God is associated with belief in the continuation of our existence after death i.e. another type of existence after this life.
When the Quran specifically mentions the people of the book, it says yu’minuna billahi wa rasoolihi. Why? Because if you believe in God and the continuation of existence (hereafter), you need to establish your belief in God and then definitely you need to establish your conviction about the Messengership of Prophethood. Why? That is the subject of this section that we are going to read.
If there is no deity in this type of existence but since existence is out there, there must be a Source of Existence. This conclusion necessitates that if there is such a Being who gave existence to us, then this Being must make it clear for us as to why It has created us and given us existence. This explanation is essential for us because I must know why I am here, otherwise I can guess that my existence is not meaningless and a haphazard happening. But Why is nothing unwise here and everything here has a purpose?
- I come here and ask the question: why do I exist here, somebody has given me existence and I am conscious of this.
Why am I given existence and why am I conscious of my existence?
I look around and everything is so meaningful, but things here do not give me explanation. I look at the objects around and I see that things are perfectly functioning, including my existence is perfectly functioning. My questioning is there but there is no answer. I cannot find out why am I here. Apparently, I am dragged into existence and given life and in the course of time, I become aware of my existence and qualities until the age of 14 and 15 years old (back then it was much earlier, like 10 years old that human beings started questioning that I am aware that I exist but what does existing mean i.e. taking on responsibility earlier on). I just get bewildered and perplexed, I do not know why am I here? But I keep questioning. No one says that I do not have such questions or the ability to ask such questions. There is a strong urge within my own existence that I must find out what is the purpose in my existence and what am I going to do?
- I see that things are meaningful but if there is no purpose that I can understand, then all the meaningful existence turns into meaninglessness.
- Everything is meaningful, but I do not know why they are meaningful, what does it mean?
Can you imagine that meaningful things are here but there is no real meaning in their existence and in their being meaningful?
Example: I can see a machine perfectly designed and doing lots of interesting things, but I do not know for what purpose I should be using this machine. I say this Engineer who made the machine must tell me what I am going to do with this machine. He must send a message saying that this machine is to be used for this purpose. The universe as it is in its material form looks meaningful, everything is existing in a perfect and harmonious way with full of wisdom. However, one thing is missing: “Why am I here?” There is no explanation from anything.
I can guess that there must be a purpose in my existence because our human qualities urge us to concentrate on this side. However, that may lead one to the two perspectives as discussed below.
If someone says, let’s do this, you say, why are we doing this? If someone says go to Toronto, I ask why do you ask me to go there? Without the purpose of the action, we do not feel the need of doing the action and it becomes meaningless i.e. why should I do this action? Let’s say I reach Toronto, but why did I come here? Now, I feel stupid. Definitely, we need instructions pointing out the purpose in our existence and the purpose in going to Toronto in the example.
- Without purpose of action, we do not know why we should do something?
I need instruction pointing out the purpose of my being here.
1st purpose is to conclude: Necessity of the existence of a Creator.
2nd purpose is to conclude: Necessity of the existence of Messengership.
- If there is a Creator, if the universe must have a Maker and if this Maker is a Wise One, then it is so obvious that no one can say that there is no Wisdom in existence.
Perspective #1: Some people (Atheistic perspective) say that we are in this world and this world must be meaningful by itself i.e. they deny that the meaningful existence refers to a Source of Existence as being a Conscious Source.
- “If there is no Conscious Being then the universe is wonderful, and we are going to die within this wonderful universe and we happen to be here accidentally, accidents take us into death and annihilation, then all the purposeful universe becomes purposeless and meaningless”.
- They say: “Why bother looking for a purpose in our existence because we are going to die and disappear from existence forever?”
Perspective #2: Some people know that the universe must have a purpose, but they make up purposes such as let me make up a purpose for myself i.e. let me help humanity.
- Help yourself first because you need to know what you are supposed to do here.
How can you help others without knowing what the purpose in your existence is? Helping humanity is a man-made story. It does not mean that we should not help others. First, establish who you are and why you are here, then accordingly you will have your relationship with the rest of the world. But without having the purpose within your own existence, what satisfaction does helping others bring to you?
- They may say: “I am here to help human beings and I am going to go into annihilation and the people I help will also go into annihilation/disappear”.
If we all end up in grave, then what is the purpose in helping others since we will all rot?
- If you have a purpose, then your actions will become meaningful.
In a way, both perspectives deny the Necessity of the Existence of a Conscious Creator and so, they turn the meaningful universe into meaninglessness and try to find out other reasons of making up this emptiness. “I do not know why I am here”. All these perspectives try to subsidize on their man-made purpose as to make it seems more reasonable.
This man-made purpose is really cheating myself that “I have helped someone”, which is not wrong, but it cannot be the purpose of my existence here, help others and then die. The whole universe is created in a perfect way and only some human beings and some domestic animals need help. Otherwise, the animals in the wild do not want any human interference and they do not want to be approached. We made the domesticated animals needy, so that we have something to look after, example, you put the bird in a cage, otherwise the bird wants to be free. It was your mistake from the beginning to spoil the nature of the animal. This is how people are replacing to understand the purpose of their life, instead of understanding why I am created, they make up purposes that I must help the animals and the needy.
- This sense of helping others is not bad, it is given to us that I must help other human beings/animals if they need it. BUT, if you do not know why you are here yourself and if you use the action or purpose of helping others as a replacement of your own existence, then what you are doing is that a huge universe is created and human beings are equipped with wonderful senses/detectors/tools and only sometimes I and others get ill and we cannot move as we want to and so we got to help each other. As if the universe needs your help… The One who gives existence to the whole universe does not need your help to complete something.
Yes, there is a purpose in the existence of the sense to want to help others: “I must help others”. There is a very valuable virtue in helping other people but if and only if you do it for the right purpose. That is, in order to educate yourself, put your feelings to experience to understand the Source of Existence of those feelings, who He is? Example: the sense of helping is a tool for me to understand that the Creator of my sense of helping is the One who prepared this universe to sustain my life in the perfect way.
- It means that while I am helping another person, I am expected to understand that my Creator is the Absolute Helper.
We need to go deeper and help ourselves establish who we are and why we are here.
The order of the human relationship is created in such a way that some are richer than others, some are healthier than others… This relationship will give the opportunity to exercise my feelings to know the Absolute Source of Existence of this feeling i.e. to know God, who is the one who feeds the needy. “When I feed someone, when I satisfy someone’s need, I feel satisfied. In this way, I am experiencing that my Creator loves to take care of me, loves to feed me and help me”. My feelings and experiences are means of getting to know who the Creator is. If you do not believe in a Creator, then the same action of helping humanity becomes meaningless.
Everything exists in a reasonable way and so the Creator of this universe is a reasonable One. Otherwise, if one’s action is not to get know the Source of Existence of one’s human feelings, then the action becomes meaningless and void. Think about it: “I help and help and at the end I die, so meaningless!” Example: A rich man establishes a hospital and people come in and when they leave happy, the rich man feels good. How should this be interpreted? It means that the One who creates you with health wants you to know that He is pleased with the way He creates mankind in this way. This is the means of acknowledging God, the Creator.
- If you do not use your actions as a means to be acknowledging your Creator and get to know your Source of Existence, then all your actions become futile and you just cheat yourself.
What is the purpose of these feelings that we find ourselves with? Since we are created to practice all these feelings as innate to us, we think that without connecting to the Creator and acknowledging the qualities of the Creator, we think that we are given these senses just to help others and die and disappear from existence forever. That is to say, replacing the purpose of our existence with something that is futile is dangerous!
- Why do we give a fake appearance to the purpose of our existence as if I made it meaningful?
We need an explanation of why we are here. Going back to the machine example, if the machine looks very meaningful and everything works perfectly but you do not know what is the purpose of this meaningful machine and for what purpose I am going to use this machine, then now you look for an explanation from the Engineer/Maker of the machine. “Yes, the Maker of this machine looks like a wise Engineer, but He did not make it clear as to what I am going to do with it”. This state of being contradicts the wisdom appearing in the existence of the machine. Now, you look for a manual that there must be a purpose in the existence of this machine and letting me know how to use it/what purpose to use it for.
What is the purpose of this machine that the Engineer made? In this respect, the Quran emphasizes alongside with human nature that belief in God necessitates belief in the message bearer i.e. someone will come with a message and explain to me/showing me the purpose of my existence. Messenger means a messenger together with his/her message. You cannot have the messenger without a message. Like a postman doing his job without delivering mail. What would that mean!?
Messengership must be thought of alongside with the message it brings. The meaningfulness of the message, reasonableness of the message and rational consistency of the message makes the existence of the messenger more legitimate.
- We cannot isolate the messenger from the message.
Yes, everything seems to be meaningful and if you are convinced that there must be a Wise Creator and a Conscious Being who gives existence to this perfect universe, then you say that the Source of Existence of the universe must send a message to let me know why I am here? And so, we look for a messenger who brings the message to me. But the universe itself is a message to what? The universe points to the Necessary Existence of a Conscious Creator and the Necessity of Existence of a message bearer because my human feelings say that there must be a purpose in my existence since I am aware of it, these human feelings are a witness and so we must combine the two i.e.
- Belief in the Necessity of the Existence of a Conscious Creator.
- Belief in the Necessity of the Existence of a Message bearer.
Comment: Anything that carries a message is a messenger. The message or the messenger can be in various form of Speech that I must be able to comprehend (verbal, visual…) and so messenger is not limited to a human being. Is the word “Muhammad” being used here as an idea or a messenger who can communicate to me in a way that I can understand?
We are thinking creatures and we are given the ability to understand the language and speak back/argue. Everything is a messenger to demonstrate the Necessity of the Existence of a Creator. But as a human being, I cannot really understand what is the purpose of my existence in this universe? Come back to the machine example, the machine says that I have a Conscious and talented Engineer. Ok, but “what am I going to do with you?” I say to the machine. What is the purpose of your existence? Now, we need a verbal explanation that will say that this is the purpose in its existence i.e. this machine is to be used for this purpose (a manual). This manual will tell me that if I use this machine in this way, then it will make me the most successful user and benefit from the machine in the best way. That is the explanation that I need.
Everything is a message that carries the message of the qualities of the Engineer. The machine speaks but the purpose of the usage of the machine needs a verbal explanation for me. That is why the universe forces me, urges me to look for the Source of verbal explanation (the Creator must provide me with this desired guidance in human form) which makes it clear the purpose of my being in this world.
When the text says, “Muhammad”, it represents Messengership. In this age, it is represented by this person and in another century, the Messengership is represented by another; regardless, there must be an explanation for us. The Quran says along the lines that “if we have not sent you a Messenger, then we are not going to take you into account for your existence because you do not know why you are here” (17: 15.) There must be a Messenger for everyone at their own level. If someone is responsible for acknowledging the existence of God only, then that is what they are responsible for as they have not heard any verbal explanation as coming from the Prophets. But for us as being exposed to the verbal explanation, for our reality, we keep hearing that they are some messengers. Some religions say that this is our Prophet who brought this message explaining the verbal speech of the Creator of the universe i.e. why am I here? We must search for it and look for it and there must be a verbal explanation because I am aware of the existence of the Prophet. Even after the death of the Prophet, it does not matter for me because the message is still out there.
- This message has been brought to me by a human being. You do not have to know the person who is called “Jesus” or “Muhammad” for example. Just as you do not have to know the Essence of the Creator. In both cases, you know that such entities must exist.
We must know that this message has been brought to us in verbal form, spoken out by a person as I understand. “Muhammad” represents a person who brought the message to me and I must acknowledge that this person represents the existence of Messengers in my age. This message is what I have received from him, which is really guidance from my Creator.
In our study of this particular topic, the word “Messenger” is used for a person who is employed to carry the message to me from the Creator explaining: “How I am going to live in this world and which kind of purposes I am going to accomplish while I am given life here.”
The universe is also a messenger, but it points to the Necessity of the Absolute. However, the content of the messenger in human form is different as it explains my existential questions.
Comment: Messengership seems a communication of the message from the unperceivable world (what we call “ghaib”) to me.
There must be a Source of Existence and It must have a Self-Sustaining existence is different from what I am experiencing in the universe. One gets to confirm the message through its truthfulness and reasonableness, that is how we know the message, and the universe with our conscience as they all witness to it. The messenger is carrying the message from “ghaib” to you for one extra purpose, explaining to you your existential questions i.e. the purpose of your existence: what am I going to do here and how can I establish my life in the most perfect way? So, I need guidance to teach me. Everyone needs teaching. Do people learn without going through any kind of education system? No. My inquiry of the purpose of my existence and how can I live in the best way requires me the need for a teacher. Example: Even to become a janitor, you need education/orientation.
We cannot know the essence of anything. We have freewill which means that we must choose between options. The choosing necessitates at least two options. As far as the analysis of the existence is concerned, the Source of Existence of the subject that we are interested in is concerned, we always have two options i.e. this exists, and this does not exist (which means that I can be sure about something’s existence compared with its non-existence which is imaginary). Example: this pencil exists. In order for me to become aware of the existence of this pencil, I imagine its non-existence. I say, rather than non-existing, this pencil exists. Non-existence of the pencil is just an option which has no reality as far as the existence is concerned.
We must be aware that there is only existing universe. In order for me to become aware of the existing universe, my nature is made in such a way that I can only become aware of the existence of something through a comparison which is lack of its existence. Some say that the universe exists because its Creator preferred it to exist than preferring its non-existence. We only use that as an option to utilize our freewill. Example: Things exist and so I question the Source of their existence. Things do not have to exist, but they do exist. Just as this machine does not have to exist by itself. Since there is a machine, I say “what is the Source of Existence of this machine who preferred this machine to be a machine?” There must be a Conscious Will behind its existence. Imagining non-existence is just an option to give me the opportunity to become aware of the existence of the various qualities existing within the universe.
- Non-existence does not have any reality, but it is just an option.
People say that the universe exists and that is it. They are not denying something in their understanding, rather they do not want to accept that universe must have a Creator. Universe itself says that “I exist and what is the Source of my existence?”
All the qualities in the universe demonstrate “existence” and human mind says “what is the Source of existence”? Human mind is given the ability to think this.
- If there is no pencil, then I do not ask the question.
- If there is a pencil, then I ask, who put it here, who made it, what is the purpose in its being here?
Quran says (with an opposite meaning) along the lines of: “Those people who insist not to admit that this universe has a Source which gave it existence are insulting the universe” Quran (3: 191) They say that the universe exists as it is. It means that they reduce the existence of this universe to nothing. Just as if you ignore someone saying hi to you, how would the person feel? Insulted. It means that you are reducing my existence to nothingness and meaningless.
The Quranic language says that: “Denial is the result to what you make of the message of the angels”. The messengers come and say something to you and you pretend as if there is no voice i.e. the universe being meaningful means nothing. Just as someone writes to you a letter saying that I am interested in you and I want to be your friend. You take the paper and say that this is useless. What will the one who wrote the letter feel? Offended. That is why they insult God and God says that “if you forget me, then I will forget you.” Quran (9: 67) It means that if you ignore me, then I will ignore you (i.e. not treat you with My Mercy.)
- That is why the Quran says that God acts according to your thought of Him means that It will treat you according to how you treat Him. That is if you acknowledge Its Grace unto you (O God, you are the Most Gracious!), then you are in Paradise (you will be treated by your God as the One who provides everything Eternally) and feel satisfied in your existence. If you say that there is no such thing, then you are not treated as having an Owner (that is called Hell).
- Living a life with no acknowledgment of the Creator is an insult to its Grace.
Insulting is denial. Can you create air, water, food…? No. They are all given to you and you denied, and so you will be treated with the lack of this treatment that you are receiving in this universe only on a temporary base (i.e.) until you die. With denial, you conclude that God is not being a care taker, which is nothing but Hell. Some scholars say that “Hell” represents the false deities that human beings made in this universe.
This is an introduction class to why we need to study Messengership and what is the importance of it and how can we make sure that Messengers must exist and how can we know the Messengers? We can know the Messengers only through the truthfulness, reasonableness of their message. If someone tells me the true message, then I say that you are the message bearer.
Comment: Do we verify Messengership by verifying the message?
Yes. But we will study and go into details.
Comment: Can we verify Messengership through studying practical life? If someone gives me dental books and I read them for four years, but no one puts a drill in my hand, then I cannot treat a patient. I think that real life shows you that you cannot just have information, you need a human model to show you. Is this reasoning valid?
Anyone can claim that I am the Messenger of the Creator and I have received the message from the Creator. Human beings are free to claim everything. BUT how can we know that the manual of the machine that I bought is going to serve its purpose? If the manual book does not correspond to the functioning of the machine, then you go back to the manufacturer and you say that this manual is not the manual that I expected from the manufacturer of the machine, it must be wrong. How can you make sure that someone’s message is really from the Creator of the universe? The universe (my human qualities and things around me) will witness to the truthfulness of the manual book. Universe is in front of us, we are not going to accept things blindly.
- If someone says that I have received the message from the Creator of the universe, I say bring the message, so I can see the connection between my human senses, the book and the universe.
Some people claim that the Prophet spread Islam through “sword” i.e. “force” because they do not want to accept the message as it does not fit their biased claim. If the message is spread by force, then it is not right. No one can make someone believe by force, it is not natural. If Islam was spread by force, then it is wrong. Do you see the hidden intention in saying this rhetoric? They say it just to discard Islam from the interest of people from the very beginning i.e. if it is pro-war then it is not right as it goes against my nature. What they do now is twist verses from the Quran and isolate them from the general purposes of the teachings of the Quran. They are successful to a certain extent. As a result, people think that Islam is a barbaric religion which is contradictory to human nature and so reject it. Let us study if Islam is barbaric. They block the door to wondering what the Qur’an teaches. They jump to studying the corrupt societies’ practices.
This is the criterium for us: If the message of the messenger says something which cannot be verified by my human nature, then this is a false claim for me. Let me see what the text says, so be free and go and investigate it as much as you can do. But do investigate it!
Do we understand that the relationship between belief in God necessitates belief in the Messengers? That is, if only you are convinced that this message is true. The message says that I am given to you from the Creator of the universe and the messenger just conveys and teaches how to implement it into practical life conditions.
- If you cut off the messengers from its Source, it is not a message from its Source, rather it is a philosophy. If someone says that I got a meaningful information of the universe and purpose in human nature and it is my production, then that is not the messenger of the Creator of the universe.
There must be a tie between the Creator of the universe and the source through which I receive the message, so that I cannot say that this is someone’s thoughts, and of course then it is limited to this person’s time and conditions. You say: “This is a good thought and philosophy valid only within the capacity of this man and time conditions of this man”. One century later, you cannot really say anything about this thought/philosophy. Therefore, necessarily the message or guidance from the Creator of the universe must be Absolute. That is what Messengership means bringing message from the Creator which is valid throughout time-space.
- Personal philosophy is not valid within time-space, rather just to the conditions of that person, which is an idea of the person.
Comment: Is it possible to find the truth without reading the message?
Abraham, as a person represents how a person should start his journey of investigation. “Here I am and here is a star, moon… what are they? How come they exist? These are examples presented to us by the Creator of the universe through examples of Abraham. “That is the representation of human nature.” Quran (6: 75-79)
- (First Stage)- Human nature must start questioning the existence of objects around them.
- After your conclusion of there must be a Source of Existence giving existence to things in a meaningful way but for what purpose, then you move on to the second stage.
- (Second Stage)– How am I going to use my existence and utilize the existence of this universe in the best way? Which kind of purpose I should have? That is another revelation of the message through the Prophets.
Everyone by themselves can come to a conclusion that there must be something which caused this universe to come into existence. Yes, there must be something and this something must be Conscious and very Wise. Everything is purposeful, what is the purpose in my existence? No answer. That is the second stage.
We cannot say that Prophet Abraham as a Prophet asked the sun. It is just a representation of first stage of human journey of investigating what is going on in this universe. Have you thought about the existence of the moon given to you? Have you considered them? Quran gives various examples, it means that it is a call for us that you have to start your journey by questioning the source of existence of everything around you and then you can say that I am sure there must be something called God who must be the Source of Existence of the universe. And then you say (second stage), why did God give me existence, for what?
Tags: Annihilation, Arguments for Messengership Series, Atheist, Death, Die, Eternally, Existence, Message, Messengership, Most Gracious, Paradise, Philosophy, Resurrection, Satisfaction