The Reasonings (page 126)
“In addition, new system of education and behavior, which are regarded as having no need for Divine Law, are completely unable to train the three basic human faculties – intellect, desire and anger – properly or to develop them into wisdom, chastity, moderation or chivalry respectively, nor to sustain them as such. As a result, humanity is in desperate need of Prophethood equipped with the balance of Divine justice, which influences and penetrates human nature and conscience.”
“New system of education” means materialist interpretation of what is going on in this world, basing all activities with the assumption that they are the result of another activity, which is a vicious closed circle. With this education system, there is no external interference or Creator ultimately. That is why the new system of education cannot answer “human needs”.
“Human behavior” is based on the argument that human beings are self-sufficient, they know what is right/wrong from their own instinct, which is nothing different than the term “humanitarianism”. With this behavior, human beings do not need Divine guidance if they follow their own instincts and human qualities, they will find the truth and enjoy a happy life in this world.
- In that sense, we do not need anything else to explain the universe apart from the universe itself. We do not need any Source to control human behavior apart from the human being themselves. That is what we are experiencing here and taught in the education system. There is no other education system besides this prevalent in the world.
Comment: When you say that there is no need other than the universe to understand the universe itself in its entirety, one can claim that you can study enough of what is in the universe, simply by looking at the universe itself but that claim falls short.
It means existence is taken for granted. That is, here is the universe existing by itself and here I am existing and working by myself, just happened to be in this condition. Universe takes care of itself and human beings also take care of themselves. That seems very simple.
“Human intellect, desires and anger” need training. Who is going to instruct me on how to manage human intellect, desires and anger?
- Can intellect find the way to act in the right way by itself or does it need any other wisdom as the text says?
- Intellect needs purpose and wisdom to be trained and educated.
Nothing can be self-satisfactory by itself because their existence is dependent. Example: table cannot be self-satisfactory by itself to become a table. Its existence is dependent because someone made it this way. If table had consciousness and free-will, it would say: “Why did you make me? How did you make me? What am I expected of in my being in this way?”
- Now, the Source of Existence (SOE) should be consulted.
When the SOE of the universe under the witnessing of the universe shows that It has Absolute qualities which requires to guide what It has created (such as do this way, not that way) where human freewill and consciousness are interfering. Example: I do not need my Creator to tell me how I am going to shape my ear as it is beyond my freewill and consciousness. But what I need guidance with is where I can freely practice my intellect and freewill.
We are all aware that we need some sort of guidance there but the point materialists confuse is that human nature is made in such a way that we can appreciate the guidance, however, we need to know that we cannot originate the guidance as we cannot originate our existence. That is, I can appreciate the guidance after I am being taught. We learn it.
If you do not put yourself in the process of learning or if you do not receive teaching, then you cannot develop your potentialities. Example: child learns through his/her own experience about taking care of his/her physical needs. As far as how to deal with his/her human qualities are concerned, s/he needs guidance.
Physical needs are physical, like the conditions of your stomach for example. Don’t you get surprised when you eat something, stomach produces certain substances to digest it, how does it know? Who established this system? It is meat which is made to function, and I do not need to be taught there. What I need to be taught is about my intellect, desires and anger?
- Desires represent the side of human beings that want to obtain what benefits them.
- Anger represents the side of human beings that they want to avoid what harms them.
How am I going to keep the balance? From one side, I want to have something. It is not wrong to want something. At the same time, I do not want to harm, and I do not want to be harmed. Example: if something happens in front of you and you think it is harmful to you, then you react. Running away is your reaction and it means that in order not to receive harm from that situation or object. The sense of obtaining, abstaining, avoiding, opposing or preventing, how am I going to keep the balance there? I am not asking my Creator to teach me how I should make my heart work. He has already established this system. When it comes to the consciousness of my emotions, which requires intellectual and freewill interference, then how am I going to handle that? Now, I need guidance.
Comment: Developing these three faculties results in wisdom, chivalry and chastity. These are the end results of these faculties. If I have intellect, then the purpose of having intellect is to be wise or express wisdom. Same goes for desire, if I find myself wanting what benefits me, then chastity is what is practiced in its highest potential.
I should not be selfish i.e. until what point I should stop. Human potentialities have no limit such as “I must have this and this one and that one”. Example: Dictators, when they see any group of people that is going to make their authority uncomfortable and unstable, then they look to get rid of such people or disable them to preserve their authority. Now where to put the limit? According to the dictator, he is right because he wants to protect his authority because, according to him/her, the society needs him/her, and the group of people will say that I want to exercise my right and who is this dictator preventing me to do what I think is true. Where are we going to stop as this is the conflict of interest?
- We must put a limit and who will put the limit?
Dictators have the authority and they must put the rules and limitations. That is why, the Creator is expected to interfere and give guidance as an authority over what He himself has created, where human intellect and human freewill are set free? The Creator of the universe must give guidance. I do not need guidance from my Creator as to how my stomach works, it is already there.
- I need guidance where I am free to choose to practice freely.
- I need guidance where I can make sense of the things freely but using my intellect.
- My feelings also have no limits and they need to be managed, and by whom?
Comment: How is this training different from the training of the civilization, example, learn to manage your anger?
Not the value of the civilization, rather, national interests, i.e. your interest. It is better to think about it, rather than not think about it at all and leave it as free as it is. They may get it right the first time, but it is not permanent/universal. No one knows what will happen tomorrow, how people will react, and which kinds of feelings will develop, which kind of life conditions will emerge and what kind of attitude I should take with the emerging conditions. I do not know. Somehow, everyone is selfish. In the teachings of Divine guidance, selfishness is not bad but for the sake of what? Getting all the benefits for myself and harming others? No. At the same time, we must look for anyways where we can save ourselves from falling into mistakes or making wrong decisions and fulfill the purpose of our existence. In that case, we must be selfish. It does not mean to save yourself and forget about others. No. It means, I first must save myself and then if you find what I share useful, then go ahead.
Historical events show us that the Prophets received the message and then delivered it. They must be the first to practice. Can you imagine a person preaches something and does not practice for himself/herself? This person cannot be then the Messenger (the Teacher) employed by the Creator.
“As a result, humanity is in desperate need of Prophethood equipped with the balance of Divine justice”.
What is Divine justice? A system introduced by the One who gave existence to the universe and human beings. If someone says that I am not happy with a particular revelations, then that is ok as long as you have studied it and reached that conclusion. It does not mean that you should stop searching for Divine justice, you must keep searching until you are satisfied because there must be Divine justice/guidance that satisfies my human expectations, we need it because of the limitless of our human qualities and opportunities i.e. where to start and where to stop.
When you help someone who needs help (not necessarily material help), and when you help him, is it good for me or the person I am helping? It is good for myself essentially despite whether the person wants to benefit from it.
- If I do not help someone who I can help, who am I harming?
Comment: Can you elaborate more on why is helping someone good for you first before it is good for someone?
You do it because you feel the need and you are created with this quality and you must fulfill it. If you do not fulfill this need or practice it, then you will harm yourself i.e. you will contradict yourself, so you must do it. This is the difference between the new system of education and human behavior. They say that I am sacrificing my wealth when I share it with someone.
Divine wisdom says, whatever you give, you gain. Example: if you have $10.00, and you gave in $5.00, how much do you have left? $5.00. However, under the Divine guidance which is really the Prophetic teachings, you have endless dollars.
First of all, it was not you who is the owner the property, it was the grace of the Creator Who has created it for you. And, you have spent it on a needy person in acknowledgement of the real Owner who created the needy person and presented him/her to you giving you the opportunity to practice your acknowledgement of the Real Owner of the property. By giving the Creator’s property to the needy person who is created by the same One as your being, you know that it was the means of your loyalty to the Owner. That is the purpose of your existence fulfilment of which should be your aim. In this way you get the real satisfaction from the property you are given. This satisfaction is the way to gain Eternal Happiness by acting in the Name of the Absolute Being. Your happiness is not a temporary one any more. You attached your being to the Absolute Creator, thus secured your existence eternally by realizing that you belong to Him and He is the Eternal Source of your existence.
- Wealth and material property is really nothing as compared to helping humanity by guiding people to the truth with advice.
Divine guidance always teaches that whatever you give is an increase in your prosperity. Why? Because you are helping yourself by helping others. Example: if you are a teacher and when you are teaching, what happens? That knowledge in you becomes more solid, well-established and you learn better. Outwardly, it may seem that you have shared some of your information/ knowledge with others and you have lost some of it, rather, you have increased the understanding of that knowledge!
That is why, humanitarian activities say that when you do something, you are sacrificing and helping others. Divine guidance, on the contrary says that when you do any activities, you are helping yourself i.e. increase in developing your human qualities. That is why, we cannot own anything. Have I sacrificed anything while helping anyone or doing any other actions? No.
- As far as the satisfaction of my human side is concerned, because I have not contradicted myself, I say that this property was not mine and when I use it in the name of the One who owns the property (it means that I acknowledge it and confirm it that it does not belong to me), that is why I cannot get proud of it.
The other side, principles of human behavior under humanitarian activities say that you can be proud of your actions. In any teachings of Divine guidance, does it say that you can be proud of your actions? No.
Hence, you cannot be proud of it, rather you must be thankful for it, because your property is used in such a way that brings you Eternal Happiness. Physically, it seems that you are losing but it is not the case because when you act in the name of the One who owns you or owns the property (whatever qualities you have).
- In the morning, you got out of the house and gave a smile at your neighbor, who is happy? I am happy.
Example: you showed a blank face to the neighbor and you feel uncomfortable yourself, let alone the other one. The other one’s attitude has nothing to do with you. That is why we do not need materialistic understandings of behavior, it does not mean anything.
Comment: It is impossible to act in a selfless manner. To act in a selfless manner means to contradict your reality.
Selflessness, as defined by the Divine guidance means whatever you are given does not belong to you but to its Creator; surely, you did not create it. If you perform your prayers, it is for you. Selflessness means being aware that what you are doing is for your own need. It means, I am very thankful. Typical advice we get from the Prophets, is that anything you do in an altruistic way for example, you must be thankful because you are given the opportunity to do it in the acknowledgement of your Creator. It means that “you are benefiting from it”.
When you use selflessness in the context of the materialistic worldview, then you just say that you are helping others by sacrificing “your” property. Whereas, using selflessness in the context of Divine worldview, then you are doing it in the name of the Creator to satisfy your own needs i.e. that is what we are created for.
If we are not careful we may read the Divine text in a strange way: “God commanded us to pray, so I am obeying the command.” Rather than: “God commanded us to pray, so I need to pray to satisfy my own needs to fulfil the purpose of my existence”. These are two different perspectives. We usually read the Divine texts as law book and we do not understand where the difference lies.
- Example: when God says, do not drink alcohol. It means that you should not drink alcohol as a human being. You are just following your own benefit, not obeying God.
- God is guiding you how to benefit from your existence. So, it is for yourself, you do not have to obey It.
- It is GUIDANCE, not rules!
If you are commanded, it does not bring any bearing to your humanity. Any command is just in fact a guidance. If the child is running on the road, you shout, and the child says: “my father is commanding me to stop.” That is an irrational, rather, I need to stop, it is good for me. That is guidance i.e. a command to act wisely upon things to fulfill the purpose of my existence.
Comment: If the child does not know why it is in her/his benefit to stop or drink alcohol for example, then do I not drink it anyway or do I wait to figure it out? Because they are things in the Quran that I still have not figured out why should I do or not do it?
Everything is for your own self. If someone does not leave his traditional/cultural understanding of religion, then s/he cannot understand Divine guidance because cultural understanding of religion contradicts with human nature i.e. “God told me, and I must do it”. That is the present-day mentality and perspective. However, when you leave the cultural religion aside (I do not know what it is and I am going to start from scratch), from scratch what you develop in understanding the Quran is that it is a guidance for me, my Creator says that do this and do not do that and then you say (whenever it comes to my practical life): “Whatever the Creator asks me to do is for my benefit and whatever my Creator asks me not to do it is also for my benefit.” Look for it and you will find it. While investigating you do not have to stop the practice. You may carry on doing what seems to be fine for you but keep investigating.
If you see someone drunk or lying, then you say that thank God I am saved from it. That is so obvious! “We are here to worship God i.e. to obey His command” is a simplistic and misleading understanding of worship of God. We cannot really have two of them together. We must get rid of one and install the other.
Comment: Should we try to rationalize the guidance? Example: when you see that someone is drunk, and you see that now I understand it so.
Rationalize maybe a misleading vocabulary. Not only “rationalize it” but experience it as a human being. Some people say that it organizes your daily life. It makes you be aware of what you are doing. That is rationalizing prayers which is called in Islamic literature “wisdom side of the action”.
- Wisdom side of the action (hikmah) is not the real reason that one should do something.
- What is the other side of this? The reason/Divine guidance (‘illah) behind it i.e. it is my God who is telling me this, it means it must be for my good, let me see and understand. Example: the most important and frequent reminder of action in the Quran is pray and give charity. What you must do is that you must go back to your prayer and try to understand which kind of effect it has within you, not necessarily that it organizes your life as there are machines now reminding you that it is sunrise now. That would be meaningless to look to just organize your life only.
- Divine guidance (‘illah) is helping you to fulfill the purpose in your existence (your need for Eternal Satisfaction) and it includes in it some benefits as far as the material side of your life is concerned i.e. organizing your life.
Can you give to charity because it is benefitting you as far as your material life is concerned? No, material life is losing it, but you feel great about yourself and want to mention it to everyone. Sure, you can but not to be proud of it, rather this feeling of being happy within yourself is a sign that it is in your nature to be happy, and you develop your awareness of the Source of your existence by practicing this feeling. That is, you are happy when you do not contradict yourself.
- Keep doing the same actions but the perspective must change i.e. the commandments must change into guidance and so we must see that Divine justice/guidance is GUIDANCE, not commandments.
Comment: It feels necessary to understand wisdom behind it, that it must be so.
You will experience wisdom behind it. Example: I must pray but I had to wrap us some things at work and spare some time to prepare myself to pray. I lost 30 minutes and rationally, it does not make sense because I lost something when I rationalize it. What I must do is how do I feel as a human being in my own self when I consciously perform the pray?
Never read Divine text as a source of commandment. But God says, believe in God, otherwise you will be punished forever. You can take it as a command and believe in God because of the fear of Hell. Which kind of satisfaction do you get from this? You will always feel obliged from the One who gives you the commandment, just like people who pay tax but hate it because they know the fines that follows afterwards.
That is why when God says believe in God, it means that you need to believe to SATISFY your own being in this type of life, that is your own NEED. Same with “belief in the hereafter”, if you do not believe in the hereafter, then look at your life, it is horrible and meaningless, so why do you bother about anything if you will fall into annihilation/black hole?
Comment: What if you do not feel the guidance/rule experientially as beneficial? Example: you see someone as drunk, you say that you want to avoid this. What about you see a person having one drink and feels in peace, experientially it seems beneficial for me, then what?
When our Creator guides us, it does not mean that it should not make sense to us rationally, but you cannot reduce the value of this guidance to a rational scope. You are a human being and you can experience this. Example: do you want to have a mental illness, so it will disable you? No. “If someone has a mental illness and cannot think and control himself properly and if someone says that I can cure you, but I need one million dollars”. What will you do? If you have, then you will give it. Now, drinking in general is getting rid of your mental/intellectual ability and you are harming yourself and contradicting your own human nature. Drinking a little which may not make you lose your mental ability, but it is a sign that you are not drinking a lot to avoid from using your mental ability, but we are expected to acknowledge that drinking, in general, is a way of getting rid of one’s intellectual ability. So, I must keep it out from my life totally in acknowledgement of the Creator of all the intoxicants.
- By not drinking, you are keeping yourself sober. When you are sober, you are satisfied with your existence/being, which is the purpose of your existence, to feel satisfied as belonging to an Eternal Source.
But people may interpret it in the wrong way, which is commandments not guidance, and justify it since everyone is free to do so but you must understand that it goes against the nature of human beings, not rationally only.
Here is a sensitive slogan: “You cannot rationalize religion.”
- Yes, you cannot rationalize Divine guidance but, at the same time, Divine guidance does not contradict human nature as a whole, including reason and all the other senses. You must experience that.
- If someone has not trained himself/herself in learning the Divine guidance and experiencing it in his/her life, s/he may find it difficult at the beginning but the reason why s/he does not find it easy to do it because his/her brain/understanding is limited to rational justification.
That is why some people say that prayers are good as it reminds you that you are a created being and you must go and remember that I have to obey the Creator’s command. But how about when you really get into it based of your experience? That is, when you pray, think about what you are doing and genuinely expressing? In a simple way, you are experiencing your reality without contradicting yourself and expressing it towards your Creator, that is what I must do. Just as when you receive grace from someone, your immediate response is to thank him/her.
- Consciousness is key here.
Are you conscious of what you are doing in this world while you are being created? What do you do? You express your reality, admit it and present it to your Creator and be in contact with Him. That comfort is it because you realized that you are always in contact with your Creator and communicating with Him as He is closer and always closer. He is your Creator. When you realize that you have a Creator who is giving you existence, giving you all your abilities, He is the One providing you everything in this world and you are in His presence, can you imagine? You are in the presence of your Lord. As a human being, you feel full satisfaction within your own senses. “Yes, I am with my Creator who is the Owner of this universe and gave me existence.”
- It needs training, and this is a starting point, communicating with the One who created you because He loved you to exist. Some people symbolizes it with “your Beloved.”
If you do not have this sense of your Creator being your Beloved, rather an enemy who is going to punish me if I do not obey Him, then what happens? You cannot be in the presence of your beloved, rather you are in the presence of a tyrant and you will not get any pleasure submitting yourself to a dictator saying that you are a greatest man. How satisfied will you feel? On the contrary, you do not feel honored but belittled. It feels against human honor.
- Rather, I am the product of the Owner of the universe, now, who can challenge me? My boss, protector of my existence is the Owner of the universe!
Humility in this sense is accepting that you are created and given existence and you should be pleased in your existence: “I am very happy that I exist because through my existence I acknowledge that my Source of Existence, Originator of Existence is the One who owns everything, is the Absolute One and I belong to It”. That is the expression: “You are my Beloved!”.
- Prayers and other activities are a means of expressing your consciousness and consolidating it.
Comment: If you accept that you are created, and you receive Divine guidance and you accept that as a standard and yet you struggle to experience it and understand it, why do I need this?
The Scripture says: do this. Divine text (by definition) gives guidance to you because it is good for you and you must understand it within yourself. If you say that why do I need to pray, let me go to the Quran and find out. The Speech of God says that you must try to understand it why you need it within yourself. Hence, check yourself! If one does not pay attention to her/his being in this world, s/he does not know his/her reality. If someone knows the Scripture only, it means that s/he does not know the reality. We must know ourselves first.
Comment: It sounds that your starting point is to accept Divine guidance unconditionally and then to discover the need within yourself.
Accepting Divine guidance unconditionally means to realize that you need Divine guidance. It means that you need guidance from your Creator. It is not forced upon us, it is only offered to us, but we need it. That is what the main purpose of the text that we are studying is. Why do you think that food is created? Because you need it. Why do you think that air is created? It is because you need it. Do not worry! You are always being taken care of by your Creator. Just look at yourself!
When you read Quranic text or the Prophetic teachings and if you are happy with it, you say that I need that one. Let me see do I really need it or not? It is very easy to understand the value of the guidance from our Creator if you have the right attitude. That is why some people, not deep-thinking people, say that why does God want us to worship Him? They have never thought of anything at all seriously. You start from scratch: Who are you? How do you find yourself here? You do not need to argue with anyone. Just think about: How do you explain your existence?
“Thousands of Prophets who appeared among humanity proved their claim to Prophethood with thousands of miracles they worked. These miracles, which formed an irrefutable proof and an absolutely true voice, announce and establish the mission of Prophethood. They also function as a proof for the existence and Oneness of the Creator.
Miracles is a difficult concept to understand. In the Quran, it says: “they asked the Prophets to show them “ayat” or “signs” and the Prophets (with their different names mentioned) showed signs to the people”. Some people say these signs are referred to as “literal miracles”. Example: “My sign is that when I throw my staff, it becomes a serpent”.
In another context, not related to the literal ones, the same Quran says that those people ask you to show signs that you are employed by God. The Prophets reply that “our signs are our messages”.
- In one aspect, the people’s expectation of signs means demonstration in material form.
- In another aspect, the “ayat” or “signs” is used to prove that the message is the sign.
What we need to understand is that the physical appearance of the miracles is needed for the people who are present in the life of the Prophet because they have not received the message completely, they have not digested the content of the message completely, and someone comes in and present to them the message. Is that easy to accept? No.
- Most people who do not tell lies, are they Prophets?
It means that some wise men may come up to you with an idea and you must think about it. So how are we going to differentiate? The difference with Messengership is that they claim that this is from my Creator, your Creator and the Creator of the universe. The contemporaries of the Prophet needed a change in accustomed order to give satisfaction to their hearts while they were there temporarily. It is not for the truthfulness of the message, rather the status/claim of Prophethood.
For them, the truthfulness of the message needed to be studied. For us, we need to ALSO investigate the claim of Prophethood because they are many wise men out there.
- Is what they are presenting inspired by God? Check yourself to see.
The physical appearance of the miracles that this text is talking about is physical manifestation of creation which people understand that no one can do it at that time and it is impossible for that man to do it.
“The miracles also function as a proof for the existence and Oneness of the Creator”, it means that the One who established the order of the universe is the Creator of the universe and can change the order. Can anyone change the order of the universe besides the Creator of the universe? They just follow the order. This proof applies to us as well. No one changes the order of the universe, we just discover the order in the universe which was not known to human beings when we find it in the order. Only the One who owns the universe can change the order of the universe.
- When you see that the order is changed, you realize that the universe is owned by Someone and He is now changing the order. That is also the sign as an evidence for the existence and Oneness of the Creator, the One who owns the order and gives existence to the universe.
Example: Moses’ miracles, have you seen it? No. What we must do now is that because it is narrated by the One whose knowledge and comprehension is infinite and so I must see the universal message in it rather than the physical appearance of it. That is why some parts of the Quran says that the Prophets when asked to give signs said this message is the sign, especially the people who wanted to challenge the Prophets.
In the narration of Moses’ relationship with Pharaoh, Moses presents the message to Pharaoh in a way where he says that I am not challenging your authority and I am not after anything at all, I am just giving you the message which is created by the One who owns the universe; and Moses’ staff becomes a python and everyone is frightened. Pharaoh is challenged there, and he says that you are a magician as he does not want to accept it. Don’t you know that the One who narrates this in the Quran, by definition should know that I have not seen It. Why does He keep telling me this message to me now, because I cannot really approve the miracle happened in my absence?
- Why do you think that my Creator narrates this event to me? Because I must see the universal message in it, not the physical appearance of the miracles.
What is Moses’ message? A dry wood turns into Python and swallows all other false magic.
- What is that? “The message”.
- That is what we must understand and interpret all the physical narrations of the miracles as such.
- One must have access to this message so that all the false ideologies will be swallowed by that Divine message.
Example: Abraham was thrown into fire and he was not burnt. If someone tries to harm you because of your “belief in God”, can they really harm you at all?
- No, they harm your flesh, not belief which takes place in your human senses.
- Each one of us is Abraham and if I know that I am consistent in my belief, no one can harm me.
- Even they kill you, they do not harm you. They kill your body, not the human qualities or spirit. Hence, the message is there, and you can understand.
However, tradition turned “miracles” depicted in narrations into physical appearances, so it becomes difficult for us to understand. The Quran says that if you have the belief of Abrahamic tradition, no one can harm you. At the most, they kill your body and they cannot harm your belief at all.
- That is why some say: “Before becoming an Abraham, do not throw yourself in the fire.” It means educate yourself through the teachings of Abraham, it is very simple and then do not worry about anything, because no one can harm you even physically i.e. if you follow the tradition, anger, ambitions mixed with false ideas or caprices, then you get harmed and nothing works.
How many combined meanings altogether under one umbrella?
“Miracles” in Arabic is “mu’jiza” and there is no such word in the Quran.
- People asking to show miracles is used with Arabic word “aya” or “sign”.
- The Prophet showed them “ayat” or “signs” i.e. miracles and they still did not believe in the message.
- Those people asked the Prophet to show them an “aya” or “a miracle” so they may understand that the Prophet is employed by God.
- The sentences of the Quran are described as “aya”.
- Any existing being in the universe is described as aya.
During Prophets’ time “a physical miracle” or “aya” is needed. Later, “the message” or “aya” is needed. People whose worldview is materially based, need physical demonstration. Do you need a physical demonstration? The Prophets are not here physically.
Finally, if someone comes and says that I have a wonderful idea and it is from God, we suspect it and the person because we are human beings.
Tags: Arguments for Messengership Series, Eternity, Messengership, Potentialities, Worship