By June 30, 2018 Read More →

Arguments for Messengership – Part 32

The Reasonings (page 132)-

The fourth is that if an unlettered person expresses his view on the matters discussed among specialists or scholars, agreeing with them on the matters on which they agree, and explaining and establishing the truth on the matters on which they disagree, without having been contradicted later on, this shows his superiority and his being taught by an All-Knowing One.

Based on these facts we say: It is as if, despite being unlettered, the Prophet, upon him be peace and blessings, had penetrated all the depths of the past with his ever-active, unrestricted spirit, had learned the states and secrets of the previous Prophets as if he had lived together with them all,  and explained before the whole world all the basic principles on which all these states and secrets were based.  He made these same principles the premises of primary foundations of his mission, clarifying them to their utmost points.  In addition, the Prophet confirmed the truths to be found in the Scriptures that were sent to previous Messengers and corrected the faults and falsehoods which had found a way into them over time.  This shows his absolute truthfulness and Prophethood.

Another point to consider that Muhammad (PBUH) was not fabricating anything and was just conveying what he has been taught by the All-Knowing One is the fact that as an unlettered person, he was able to discuss matters related to existence with scholars and experts.

Thus far, Quran is the only revelation that claims to have been preserved in its original form.  The former scriptures might have got edited to a certain extent while interpreted by experts and thus lost their authenticity.  Example: The laws of a country change due to the practical conditions of people, although the constitution remains the same.  However, that was not the case with the other scriptures as they got changed from their original state while being interpreted and narrated.  The Quran is the only source thus far that has been preserved in its original state till now.

  • The Quran has not been corrupted because there is no serious claim about it otherwise. Hence, I am convinced.

Another point to consider that Muhammad is a messenger just employed to convey the message is that he corrected the distorted interpretations of the previous texts which really shows that his knowledge was coming from an Absolute Knowledgeable One.

There are available messages in the hands of people who followed other traditions and made these principles the primary foundations of their mission.  I must study whether their mission make sense to me or not.  I must listen to people who have investigated, studied before me.  If someone has learned through experience, then I can benefit from it.  I do not have to investigate if it is already there.  But at the end, I must conclude for myself and come to my own conclusions.

Study + Concentrate + Benefit from others = I need to conclude for myself.

  • One extreme: I am going to invent everything from scratch. I am going to find out the truth by myself.  Make another search without going to school and benefitting from previous researchers and become an Engineer, for example.  I am not going to listen to teachers and others who have already accumulated information and made it available/ready for me.  Life is not long enough, and there is no need to invent the wheel again, othrewise this person dies before being an Engineer.
  • Another extreme: There are people who know how to write a software program and I do not have to invent it again.
  • But when matter comes to one’s individual faith, then, the matter turns to reverse.
  • Everyone is responsible to know his/her Lord. Quran says: “I have created every individual and gave him the responsibility to know his/her Lord.”  We are potentially able to know who our lord is.  I must use this potentiality.

Some people say: “take the Quran as criteria and do what it says because I cannot make sure for myself.”  But Quran says: “Believe in God.”  Quran presents evidence and asks you “to investigate, use your abilities that God gave you to conclude and then you will understand that you have a Lord, I promise you.  I am giving you direction and evidence.”  We have to use the directions, otherwise, my spirit is not aware of its Lord because I have not educated it.  Every spirit is created with the potentiality to know that it has a Lord.

Islam says that you are created perfect in your being, whereas Christianity says that you have a defect.  First, investigate whether the universe is made by God.  If the universe is made by God, then do you think that the order of creation may have a defect?  If God is the Absolute Perfect Being, then what He does must be Perfect.  See yourself as created by an Absolute Being and see if you can explain your existence in another way?  How can I trust my existence if I am made by an accidental being?  Then I cannot trust myself.  Question your ability to feel good and get excited. Are you feeling good by accident?  If you are feeling good by accident, then how can you feel satisfied in the existence of your feeling?

Human beings potentially look for consistency in their existence, and then you can try to develop perfection in your creation and make it applicable in your practical life.  It is worth it because you understand that you are made by an Absolute One.  Trust yourself!  You have no reason not to.  All human potentialities are prefect.

Materialist person also use his potential to turn into capacity.  Example: the more you investigate the universe, the better technological advances you are able to make.  When such is done, then the potentiality is directing you to the truth which is demonstrable in the universe.  Universe and I have been given existence by the same Source.

Comment: I am able to confirm the Necessary Existence of an Absolute Truth i.e. there must be an Absolute Source who gives existence to this universe.  But, I may not be able to access it.

Your second sentence is incorrect.  I can not physically communicate with the Absolute Truth because by definition, It must be not of the nature of this universe or the created beings.  By definition, God is unimaginable not because our capacity is limited, rather it has to do with the nature of my existence.  I am a created being and It is my Source of Existence.  I develop as a created being, not a Creator. But it is comprehensible for me to accept the necessary existence of an Absoluter Source of Existence.

Can you claim something on which you have not developed your potentiality?  As long as you see that your conclusions are confirmable by your potentialities, that is it.  My potentiality cannot be corrupt because I am able to communicate with the world through them and the world makes sense to me. I am only responsible to use myself and not to contradict myself.  Try to understand the Necessarily Existent One by using the potentiality given to you to be used to get to know Him.  Be consistent!  I am made perfect.  I am aware that my potentiality is perfect.  Human potentiality has been given consciousness.

Using the universe and human potentiality makes us realize the Necessary Existence of an Absolute Truth.  The Absolute Truth is not to be found in the universe but the universe points to the necessary existence of the Absolute Truth.  I search for the Absolute Truth by studying the universe.

Historically, we have established that Muhammad’s claim is from God (legitimacy of the text in that aspect).  How do I know that this text is from God?  There is no evidence contradicting that Muhammad is the Messenger of God but am I satisfied that the text is from God? 

  • Am I satisfied that this text is from God? In other words, am I satisfied with the content of the message and confirm it?

Someone else’s studying the text does not help me.  Someone else’s being satisfied does not make me satisfied.  But I can benefit from their efforts in understanding the text as long as it makes sense to me. Now, I must study the text for myself together with benefitting from others who studied it previously and made comment on it. Ultimately, without imitating the previous people’s conclusion I need to make sure that it speaks to me as far as what it claims to be.  Someone else’s confirmation does not help me.  His being satisfied does not make me satisfied. I myself must be satisfied with my own conclusions. Just as a chef can teach me how to cook but at the same time, I must learn how to cook myself and eat.  That is belief.

Quran is the evidence to the Absolute Truth.  I am trying to understand the content of the Quran according to my capacity.  I need to confirm the text by examining evidence in the universe.

I can benefit from experts on how to find my answers.  “Teach me how to get answers.”  Belief matters is a personal need.  Someone investigating and reaching personal satisfaction and conclusion satisfies them not you.  You must benefit from their teachings in order to satisfy yourself.  Someone else knowing Engineering does not make you an Engineer. After learning from the teacher, you need to see the truth in their teaching at the end. One should not say that, it is true because the teacher said that it is true. This is not confirmation, it is only an imitation. Through imitation one cannot learn anything, let alone confirm its truthfulness. Belief is a matter of confirmation, not information.

How do you believe that the Quran is the word of God?  I need to learn for myself.  Again, benefit from the experts, learn and come to the conclusions for yourself: “Yes, I believe that the Quran is the word of God.”  Our problem is that we do not study the Quran!

  • The principles and premises in the Quran must be digested by everyone which are the fundamental teachings that Muhammad introduced. I must see if those fundamental teachings match my human capacity.
  • How should I understand God? Which kind of relationship should I have with God?  These are the questions that Muhammad (pbuh) help answer.

Analogy: Someone pays tax on behalf of the whole city.  Will you have to pay tax?  No.  But believing that the tax has to be paid, is a matter of every person’s responsibility. When it comes to my belief and actions that are related to my personal responsibility/relationship with God, I cannot put it on another’s shoulder.

Can you claim that you are perfect?  No.  There is always a defect in you so trust the perfect one, Jesus for example, because he purified himself and sacrificed himself for your sins, just believe in him.  These ideologies do not help anyone, rather it makes human beings lazy!  Belief is personal, I cannot put it on someone else’s or Jesus’ shoulders.  Human beings may be lazy and want to give the responsibility on other people’s shoulders.

  • Get ready to study the message, feel the need and educate yourself accordingly. Don’t be Lazy!!  Accept that I am lazy and not doing it!
  • Personal responsibility is inevitable. I cannot say that I am free from suffering because someone has suffered for me. One may not say that this subject is known to the teacher, I do not have to learn it.

You may say that my potentiality is perfect but in my practical life, I am always behind.  That is, you have not employed your potentiality to become capacity.  I have always shortcomings.  What is the way to get rid of shortcomings?  Study the teachings of the Prophets, benefit from the teachings and help myself to overcome shortcomings as much as I study.  By following the Prophetic teachings, you can overcome your shortcomings.  Potentially, you can become an Engineer but if you do not study and benefit from the people, then your potentiality never turns into capacity.  Benefit from teachers and see if it is working for you, then accordingly you become an Engineer based on effort you spent on it.

  • Belief in God and the Messenger of God follow his teachings and then you will save yourself.

Analogy:  I believe this is the best Professor in Engineering.  Since you are convinced that he is a good Professor, take lessons from him and learn.

No one’s teachings are 100%, that is why we must follow teachings of the Prophet or anyone who claims the Truth.  Just benefit from him!  If sometimes it makes sense and sometimes it does not, then you are free to say that the teaching contradicts my potentiality.

Human beings make progress gradually, step by step.  Each step must make sense to me, so I can go to the next step.  That is how we make progress.

  • Progress: how much I have transferred my potentiality into capacity?

When I make progress in my humanity, I did not invent anything new, it is already there.  Quran says: “we have created you perfect” i.e. the spirit is created perfect by its Source of Existence.

That is why, Muhammad does not claim that he has a new information, rather he says: I am on the line of the previous messengers (what they conveyed), although their message is somehow disturbed because of various interpretations.  I am correcting them, but I am not on a different mission.  Also, their narrations are not totally wrong.  Whatever you confirm from previous scriptures, it also confirms Muhammad’s messenger-ship because Muhammad says that I agree with them.  If I am satisfied with previous Messenger’s narrations, I can use it to support Muhammad’s claim to be Prophet because he says that the same God gave him miracles.

An Indication

O brother and sisters!  Sometimes an oath substitutes for the truth.  So, listen:

 I swear by the One Who revealed to the Prophet the narratives in the Quran (the basic aspects of the histories of the previous Prophets and their people), and took his spirit into the depths of the past and to the peaks of the future, making secrets apparent to him, that the Prophet’s most careful and penetrating view is free from being deceived and confused, and his mission is absolutely true, exalted above deceiving and confusing people.

It is said that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) always spoke with an oath.  An oath makes what is being delivered as a strong message, “I witness its truthfulness, so can you if you concentrate on the meanings delivered by me”.  In other words, “oath” also confirms surety about revelation i.e. it refers text to God.

If I am satisfied with the content of the text, then I confirm that the person is sure about the reality that it is sent from God.  I need to first:
1. Confirm the text that it is from God at the end of my studying it.
2. Then, this person, Muhammad, is saying the truth that the Speech is from God.

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