By July 7, 2018 Read More →

Arguments for Messengership – Part 33

The Reasonings (page 133)-

There are some signs in the Quran that are evidence that Quran cannot be produced by a man.  Also, literary it is extraordinary.  There are many aspects of the Quran that proves and demonstrates scientific subjects, related to human discoveries which was not possible during the revelation of the Quran but now they became possible.  Although, they are open to interpretations, the evidences of such discoveries are still many.  One can argue about one of the evidences saying that it is a false interpretation, but since they are many evidences, one must accept it.  The other side that people are excited about, especially after the development of the computer system, is the study of the numerical data related to the Quran.  Scholars who followed the classical tradition rejects such data (however, it is not the point that we have to pay attention to).  There are still some signs in the Quran that during the 23 years of time, with almost no collected book, just pieces here and there gathered from people’s house, the numerical data still match.  Can the data be made up then?  No, that is impossible to keep the balance throughout 23 years.  In other words, it is impossible to keep the balance between two opposing subjects, so they are mentioned in equal numbers.  (no one can arrange sentences like this if they write a book, without spoiling the structure of the text). 

Example, the following are mentioned in the Quran in equal number:

  • men and women are mentioned 24 times each.
  • life of this world and life of the hereafter in the Quran are mentioned 115 times.
  • angels and satan are mentioned 88 times.
  • life and death are mentioned 145 times.
  • give to charity and be happy with it is mentioned 73 times.
  • magic and discordance in the society mentioned 60 times. Magic is used to confuse ordinary people as an accusation to the Prophet.
  • give charity (zakat) and the result as “blessings/baraka” mentioned 32 times. The more you give, the more increase happens.
  • mind (reasoning power) and light (heart) mentioned 49 times. The more you use your mind, the lighter your heart becomes.
  • speaking and addressing to people is mentioned 25 times.
  • hope and fear mentioned 8 times.
  • difficulty and patience are mentioned 114 times. We may think that we are experiencing difficulty, but we have to encounter it with patience.  Although patience does not mean to wait until difficulty goes away.  Rather, know that what I am experiencing is the decision of God, I must see the wisdom in its existence and I should not rebel, reject and criticize.
  • Muhammad and Sharia (laws) are mentioned 4 times.

These are important signs that this is not a humanly constructed text.  Also, it does not mean that we are justifying our attitude of accepting the text.  It does not mean that because of this one reality, it is humanly impossible to produce such a text.  At the same time, it does not mean that we must accept everything that the text says without being convinced about the truthfulness of the topics that the text presents to us concerning “belief”.  I must be convinced, I must study for myself.  How about the literature signs and human discoveries that were impossible during that time?  These matters are important just to draw people’s attention that this is not an ordinary text and so take it seriously!  It cannot be humanly produced.  We must be careful not to go to the extreme that “whatever it says, I must believe as it is humanly impossible to produce such text”.  Belief is not such!  Belief is something where one reaches certainty.  Quran uses the word certainty “yaqeen” in both senses.

  1. People who are very much convinced in their conclusions that they have no doubt at all and they are fully satisfied which is called “yaqeen”.
  2. “yaqeen” is also used for death. That is, until you die, you must keep worshipping God alone.

Why is “yaqeen” in the Quran always equated to death?  Because that is the only certainty that we human beings have about our lives here.  In other words, we may doubt about everything else except death.  Our calculations show that living beings and non-living beings die.  Example: galaxies and stars all die.  Due to this fact, we cannot attribute any quality to anything as the source of its own qualities.  If I am the one who gave existence to myself, I cannot make myself non-existent or die.  To be able to give existence to yourself, you must be self-existent.  If something is self-existent, then it cannot be non-existent.  That is why you cannot imagine the non-existence of a thing which is self-existent.

If you think about non-existence in terms of anything, then it does not apply because nothing is self-existent here.  Here, everything depends in its existence on something else.  Example: water depends for its existence on oxygen and hydrogen.  (Hydrogen and oxygen alone cannot make water is another topic).  In other words, water cannot exist without hydrogen and oxygen, it is dependent on these elements to be water.  We can argue further:  Can oxygen and hydrogen make water, this is another topic?  Self-existence has no sample in this universe that is why we cannot think of anything in terms of possibly being a self-existent one.  We cannot comprehend self-existent, but we can only comprehend self-existence by making a comparison to non-self-existent being.

Look, our existence is dependent here. We are not self-existent here, including everything else.  Since existence exist, human mind can easily comprehend that their existence is dependent.  Since everything is dependent here, inevitable question for the human mind is to ask: existence is dependent on what?  This logic requires that there must be a Source of existence.  In this universe nothing is the source of existence, so there must be a Source of existence.  We must admit that with our materialistic mind, we cannot solve this problem of existence.  It is a problem of our human mind.  The problem is that existence cannot be solved within the universe by referring to the universe only.  We must admit that there must be a Source of Existence of the whole universe, not of the nature of this universe.  The existence of this Source must be not like the existence of this world.  Logically, there must be a self-existing one who gave existence to this universe and made this universe be dependent on Its choice.  We comfortably understand that this Source of Existence must be Conscious and have Absolute qualities, otherwise how do I explain the details with perfect order and harmony.  Self-existent one must be Absolute.  That is what we understand.  “Yaqeen” means death which means that we cannot self-exist and have a self-existent quality.  If we do not have a self-existent quality, then there must be a self-existent One who gave us existence with a temporary life here.  This self-existent One made everything existing in this universe dependent on Its will/choice.  This is an inevitable human conclusion.  You do not have to believe in it.  A materialistic mind cannot argue against this human logical conclusion because it is impossible to conclude otherwise.   In other words, there is no way to deny that the universe is dependent on something which must be self-existent.

Because we cannot liken this self-existent being to anything in this universe, we cannot reason about its nature and essence in terms of this universe.  This universe is just the opposite of the qualities of the Self-existing Eternal One.  That is why we cannot say that Self-Existent One may be annihilated in its existence.  Even the dependent existence being cannot annihilate their existence.  That is, you can be changed but you cannot annihilate your existence.  Example: Materialist science says that nothing can be annihilated, nothing can be created out of nothing.  It shows that nothing in the universe can give an end to its existence.  By following the order in creation, things are just subject to change their type of existence.  Example: when you burn wood, its existence turns into something else, but you cannot annihilate wood.  That is, you can change the quality of wood into light energy, ash or something else but still you cannot give an end to the existence of anything.  If we cannot think of giving an end to the existence of anything, then it is another evidence that nothing can annihilate themselves.  That is, a dependent being cannot make itself into non-existence, so how can I imagine that these beings can give existence to themselves? That is, they cannot give existence to themselves, neither can annihilate their existence, therefore, nothing within this universe is self-existent. They all need a Source Of Existence (SOE) to exist in this ever-changing, ever-renewed world.

Belief is the result of human logic i.e. intelligent activity and can only be proven if the alternate demonstrates that it is wrong.  “Unless otherwise proven, then it is correct”.  Belief works in this way i.e. you cannot speculate about Absolute Being i.e. anything which is not of the nature of this universe.  You cannot speculate about something which is not of the nature of this universe.  You can speculate about things within the nature of this created universe.  If someone comes up with evidence (convincing arguments) demonstrating that one thing within the whole universe exist by itself and is not dependent, then whatever the human logic says that “the universe is made and there must be a Maker” is false.  Unless it is proven that something exists by itself (a galaxy existing on its own for example), then throw away all the matters related to believe in the SOE which is called God because otherwise is proven to be true.  That is why Quran presents believe in a negating way.  Lailaha, therefore illallah.  Not the other way around illalah, therefore lailaha.  When lailaha is proven, then illalah is the necessary conclusion of it i.e. corollary.

We are excited of the miraculous signs of the Quran in many ways which is a sign that the text must be taken seriously.  It does not mean that the text must be imitated.  This is the missing point among most people where they think that since it is not human production, whatever claim is in there must be accepted because it is not human production.  This does not make believe, rather it makes imitation.  Take the signs as indications that I must study this text seriously.  When I study, I will see in it a lot of claims about things concerning “ghaib” i.e. things concerning which are not within this universe and existing in this form of the universe.  Signs are here pointing to the Necessary Existence of such a Being, but this Being cannot be thought of in terms of anything of this universe.  I cannot think of the Source of Existence of this universe in terms of this universe.  But the universe is full of signs i.e. everything is a sign to the Necessarily Existent One (SOE).  Someone made me which is not in this universe.  I am not looking for the Source of Existence physically outside this universe, rather I conclude that it is not of the nature of this universe and so I call it Absolute.  I cannot think of its essence, but I must accept its existence in a different form.  That is very convincing without being biased.

Because we are born into a community which respect the Quran as the word of God, we may think that it is a privilege, rather it may be a disadvantage.  If you utilize it to fulfill the purpose of your existence, then it is a privilege, otherwise it is a disadvantage because of the cultural background and information you receive from society makes you inclined to look for an evidence arguing in favor of what you have already identified yourself with.  If someone gives a hot speech in a Muslim community then we feel comfortable as Muslims.  If someone gives the same speech to a group of Atheist, the same people laugh at it.  It means this kind of speech is not human because it is only approved with a biased attitude.  That applies to all religions.  We live with our prejudices which prevents us from questioning what we are claiming.  That is the obstacles.  What we claim is what we have inherited in the culture.  We do not confirm it.  We are just happy with any claim which confirms my claim.  I do not question it.  That is not very human.

Speaking on behalf of Islam without any reasoning, that is annoying.  On the other hand, if an Atheist criticizes Islam, then you got to give a convincing answer and share your conclusions with this person as a human being.  If Quran is the word of God then the word of God must be convincing.  If anyone speaks in favor of what you believe without convincing evidence, then reject it.  Although, s/he says lailaha illallah strongly, reject his/her attitude.

You have go to have your community, but it should not be based on same prejudices, rather convincing evidence.  We must share convincing evidence with our community.  People around us must be believing people.  Do not accept what is going on in the community structure.  Make sure that we are sharing convincing evidence with each other.  Without convincing reasoning, any discourse must be rejected with one exception i.e. during prayers.  During prayers, we are not reasoning but presenting the conclusions of our previous reasonings.  Example: someone gives a sermon, look for convincing reason in the sermon.  Do not criticize anyone during prayers because everyone is presenting their conclusions.  If there are no convincing reasoning in the sermon, that person is consolidating “imitation” not consolidating belief.  DANGEROUS!!

  • Look for the community/friend who is abiding by consolidating my belief.
  • Even if you become isolated, then you must study yourself.

Comment: what do we need community for if they are failing in this most important matter?

Even a couple of people, community which make sense for any human being regardless of background.  Never pass judgment about other people.  We do not know who is doing for what?  We can make a judgment about ourselves: Am I doing the same thing?

Religious identity is not important.  Sometimes, someone from another faith may defend belief better than you can.  As far as what s/he says makes sense to you is what matters to form a community.  Cultural identity has no value and it is not your community.  It is more likely to find a member of your community from among the believers and people who question (as per the Quran).  If a person questions, then that is good.  Specially, if s/he is critical to his culture.  If someone agrees with the media regardless of his religious background, then he is not questioning and using his mind as he is controlled and manipulated by others.  If someone does not have faith in social media and newspapers, then you can talk to this person.  Also, if someone criticizes his cultural religion, then s/he is open to listening.  Example: I do not feel any reason why should I pray?  This person is more likely to share his/her questions with you.  Why should I fast?  You can have a community with such a person who is open to investigation.

“The Third Way

We should consider the following four points and one conclusion to the Age of Happiness:

The First Point: Consider that even a small habit can only be removed permanently from a small community by a powerful ruler and with great effort.  Then, see how that person, upon him be peace and blessings, in such a short time removed numerous ingrained habits from greatly obsessed, extremely proud, and obstinate communities, using little outward power or effort, replacing them with exalted qualities that became inherent in their being, raising them to the rank of the most illustrious, renowned, exemplary community of history.  So, if you do not confirm what a peerless individual this person must have been, I will have to record you among the sophists.”

This is how the order of creation works.  If someone does not know that smoking is harmful, then it becomes a habit after a long time.  One day it is proven to you that it is really fatal for your health, then it is more likely that this person will quit.  Although addicted, I did not know that.  That is how human nature in creation works. This is how the contemporaries of the Prophet were.

Another example, I hear that there is evidence around me that smoking is really hazardous to my health but never mind, I am smoking.  After 5 years of smoking, someone proves to you that smoking is fatal, can you give up?  Rarely.  The One who established this order made human nature in such a way that if you get used to rejecting the truth, your habit becomes your second nature.   It is nothing shocking for you here. This matter was not the case for the contemporaries of the prophet. (pbuh)

  • We should not be doing something which we are convinced against.

Example: I am convinced through my culture that God speaks to me, but I do not pay attention to what God says to me.  How can you be mindless with what God tells you as while praying you want to answer a text message?  Although, you are somehow convinced that Quran is the speech of God, you do not pay attention to it despite someone proving to you that you must pay attention to it.  Since you are familiar to it, it has no effect in you.  That is why we do not change and make radical revolutionary decision in our lives because we already know, and we do not take serious consideration.  There is nothing shocking for us.

Why was Muhammad so successful in his life?

These people were ignorant, and they did not know anything.   For example, drinking alcohol, they did not know that it is something that they should not do.  If someone comes and tells you that you have a purpose in your life and proves it to you that this world is dependent on Someone’s will who created you for the purpose to fulfill the purpose in your creation, He is giving you the opportunity to exercise in this world that you do not own your choices.  You cannot choose what you drink as you want but the Owner of the drink will tell you what to drink and what not to drink.  As soon as you realize that water is not yours, all juices are not yours and alcohol is not yours, the Owner of all this tells you that “I will give you the opportunity to exercise to practice that these are not yours.  You can drink everything but not alcohol”.  Example: Someone offers you: “This is apple juice”.  You say thank you with the realization that the Owner of the apple juice has allowed me to drink it, that is practice of belief.  Whereas, if someone presents you with vine, the Owner of the vine is presenting you the opportunity to acknowledge Him as the Owner of the vine because we are living in this physical world and I must practice what I conclude about my reality in physical terms.  My reality does not belong to me, I must have the opportunity to practice, that is what rituals are for, to practice one’s belief but consciously.

These ignorant people at the time of the Prophet knew that God is somewhere up there but they did not get used to disobeying God.  They thought what they were doing was not wrong including tribal pride which is still valid.  Suddenly, they encountered a message saying that they do not belong to themselves, this world is just a place of training and educating your human qualities.  And, one part of this training is not drinking alcohol.  Now, they can easily give up.  This shows that if the reason behind not drinking alcohol makes me convinced that I should not drink alcohol, then I quickly stop drinking alcohol.  It is human nature to do that because it is a shocking impact on your decision just as in the smoking analogy.  But if you are familiar with it, then you cannot do that because you are immune to disobeying.

Alcohol is harmful, but I still drink and even if someone demonstrates, then it does not have a shocking effect on me.  Muhammad came with the message completely unknown to the people and convinced them that their existence does not belong to themselves, they have an Owner who has organized this universe in such a way where you train yourself and get ready to know the Source of your existence.  This is an opportunity for you in the physical world that you should not drink alcohol and every other liquid is allowed by the Owner.  What happens?  I do not have an existence by myself, I am convinced about it.  Now, I am also convinced that I should follow the instruction given to me by my Creator.

The message Prophet Muhammad conveyed made sense to people in every aspect of life (lailaha illallah).  It means that his message is right as it brought about revolutionary change in every aspect of life.  The message was human and did not contradict human nature.  “I belong to Him, I am from Him.  My existence belongs to Him.  I leave my existence to Him.”

It is an interesting historical reality that in the prophet’s life, in his second period his life in Medina, the pagan Arabs did not find difficult to change their world-view and habits and accepted his message and immediately applied it in their practical lives. Whereas, there were some Jewish community around the same city, they had their own but outwardly similar content with the message of the prophet. They believed in God and that God sends messengers and in the book,  they had which attributed to a prophet and some prohibitions by God mentioned in this book were already known to them. Majority of these people found following the new instruction of the prophet Muhammad, because they were familiar with the divinely inspired rules and they were not really following them in their practical lives. They found it difficult to change their habits because they were already familiar with this kind of messages and without reasoning them they were blindly accepting but not really following them. Those messages were taken by them as a tribal identity which was hard to leave behind.

  • Muhammad’s success came from the truthfulness of the message.
  • Muhammad’s message says that this message is from your Creator, he does not say that this is from me.
  • This success demonstrates that his claim to be the Prophet is correct.

If a person questions, then there is hope that s/he may understand the truth.  If a person does not try to understand what the Quranic message is, then s/he gets used to it.  Even if you demonstrate to this person that the Quran is God’s word, it does not have a shocking effect on him/her because s/he says that I know it.  Hence, s/he cannot make a radical change in his/her life.  Whereas, as known historically, the Meccan desserts Bedouins became the most civilized society in 23 years.

Let us take the example of the United States in 1920 when they tried to ban alcohol.  They were not successful because the reason was not convincing in a shocking way.  Their world view did not change.  Just saying, don’t drink alcohol or do not smoke because its harmful for you which they already knew. Was the banning law successful? No.

  • The radical change in people’s lives that took place during the Muhammadan period had shocking effect in people’s lives.

“The Second Point: A state is an entity that has a collective persona the formations of which requires a long process.  Triumphing over powerful, long-established states is not easy, and requires a long time and great strife.  Devotion to such a state has become a second, ingrained nature in its citizens.  Despite this fact, that person, upon him be peace and blessings, formed a well-organized community from small, scattered tribes which had been in continuous conflict with one another, and founded an extremely powerful, well-established state in so brief a time as twenty years.  This seemingly small state triumphed over the two superpowers of the time with a single blow within ten years of its establishment, destroying one eternally, and defeating the other so decisively that it would not be able to recover until its collapse.  If you cannot see the extraordinariness in this person’s accomplishments, you will be recorded among the blind.”

It takes a while to establish a state or a governing body.  Mostly people are proud of their affiliation of their state.  Why were the community trained under leadership of Muhammad so successful in destroying well-established states despite having any physical power?  They were successful because they were educated under the leadership of the teachings of Muhammad.  The teachings were so effective that when they introduced the Quranic ideas to the neighboring people, they were convinced with the truthfulness of these ideas and were shocked.  (If one’s ideas are acceptable to human nature, then that idea is supported by the Creator of this human nature, God.  This has nothing to do with the community as being supported by God.  This means that revelation is from God, that is why it was powerful.  With the power of consistency of revelation, they were able to convince the people.  That is why we should not buy into the ideas of Muslim armies being triumphant as a result of powerful army, rather the result of the power of the truthfulness of the message.  This proves that the message that Muhammad came with was correct according to human nature, the most acceptable message because it is from the Creator of human beings as Muhammad (pbuh) claimed thus.  This proves also that Muhammad was not a man of success by himself, but his message was the message of success (true message that made a shocking effect on human beings and they were easily able to leave their devotion to their states).

  • Success has nothing to do with help of God in physical terms as camel riders, rather, success is the power of the message. We should not read history as it is written in books putting emphasis on power.
  • Think about it, if you oppress someone for a long time, what happens at the end? They rebel.
  • “Power to power” is impossible to defeat a nation permanently.

When the Meccan tribes were convinced with the Muhammadan truth, they were able to easily present it to others.  We should not say “Muslim Power” defeated the empires/states, rather the truthfulness of the message defeated the states.  Attributing power to man insults the teachings of Muhammad (as done in most history books).

  • What Muhammad taught to people was very convincing to human nature and that was not his production but the production of His Maker: “This message is true, it is from God and its appropriate to your human nature, think about it and make a revolution in your life”.

Any shocking news make people easily change their life radically.  Truthfulness of message is proved in the physical terms in this point.  We may wonder how Muhammad’s life was, how his community was…  Mostly, history attributes the power to “Muslims”, rather than emphasizing on the power of the message.  Example: Muslims were powerful, and they destroyed strong armies.  Muhammad never said that I am a powerful leader, rather I am a humble man with no power, just transferring message received from God and it is true for you, think about it.  Power of the message of Quran defeated the states/empires.

Verse, Quran (46:9) Say, “I am not something original among the messengers, nor do I know what will be done with me or with you. I only follow that which is revealed to me, and I am not but a clear warner.”

How did Bedouins destroyed a strong Persian Empire?  History books say with strength of imaan/belief.  Ask yourself: With the strength of belief do I become powerful in physical terms?  No.  It is with the strength of the truthfulness of the message that you become strong.


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