By October 8, 2016 Read More →

Pillars of Belief – Part 1

The Seedbed of Light, The Third Treatise

The Necessity of Resurrection (page 47)

“All praise be to God, to whose necessary Existence and Unity all atoms and compounds of the universe testify with the tongue of their helplessness and poverty [before God]. Peace and blessings be upon His Prophet, the discoverer of creation’s secrets and the key to its signs [of God’s existence and Unity], his fellow Prophets and Messengers, the angels nearest to God, and the righteous servants of God who live in the heavens and on Earth.”

Why is praising God and blessings to the Prophet prevalent in the tradition? It seems that the concept of belief in God and Prophet are in line with each other. That is, you cannot have one without the other.

How does the author approach belief in God which would be his understanding of belief in God? It seems that the author is starting the process with an observation of the universe which requires one to investigate to come to a conclusion.

In order to do a critical reading of the text, here are some more questions you should be asking yourself:

  • What are the foundations of belief in God?
  • How does the author perceive the concept of God?

Yes, one has to praise God but who is God? Have you ever thought about it? Every atom and compound in the universe testifies their Creator’s existence with the tongue of their helplessness that they cannot be the source of their existence, neither can anything else in the universe be. i.e. who they belong to? That is God. My cells in my brain are not the ones doing anything or bringing my learning abilities into existence. Who is doing it? That is God.

  • One has to go from the witnessed world to the Owner of the world that you witness to know God, otherwise you will never know who God is.

Allahu (God, what is It?) Lailaha (there is nothing that has Godhead i.e. ability to create within the universe) Then who is creating? There must be a Source bringing everything into existence. Illahu (that is God).

Just look at the world and you will see the helplessness of the things. Can you provide the qualities manifested in your being? Your ability to see, for instance, how come you can see and what is creating the power of sight? We cannot even shape our physical self. Our body itself declares that it cannot be the source of the senses in our being. Yet, we find ourselves with numerous qualities. What is the Creator of these qualities? The Creator of the qualities must be the One that gives existence to the universe. This approach to reading the scriptural texts helps one comprehend God.

Peace and blessings be upon his Prophet: How can you describe the Prophet without describing his personal characteristics first?

  • Let us look into the Prophets’ main mission which was not to teach human beings how to establish good moral behavior in the society but to introduce the Source of their existence. The ethics on moral behavior is second nature to every sane human being and can be learned from any sage person or book on moral codes.
  • What can I expect from the Prophet? To help me discover the secrets of creation. Prophet is the one who discovered the secrets of creation and so he should help me discover it as well through hadiths and seerah (biography) books.

If the Messenger appointed by the Creator of the universe is not going to help me discover secrets of this creation, what is his mission then?

Prophets are employed for people who have disconnected themselves from God. The main mission of the Prophet is to reconnect these people with the Source of their existence.

  • How can I connect myself to God?
  • Questioning the purpose of my existence.
  • Thinking about the way the universe is coming into existence.
  • Thorough Reflection of my overall being.

Question the existence of everything: How come I can speak, for example? What makes me speak? How am I living in this world with perfect harmony with the rest of the world?

  • Without discovering the infinite secrets of creation, no one can connect with God.

Ask yourself: Why do I do what I do?

Prophets come to help us become aware of the Creator.

  • Analogy: The laptop has an Engineer. Engineer does not create anything as he uses and assembles already existing things in the universe. Similarly, we do not create anything in this universe. We rearrange things according to already existing order of the universe. We cannot establish a new order. Everything is created within a perfect established order. Even our mind that we use already exists.

Secrets of creation mean what creation refers to: What is the meaning of existence of anything?

  • Creation does not have consciousness. It is made to obey the order. So, what purpose is creation here for? What about me, what is the purpose in the existence of my creation? Let’s say you love to help a child with his homework. Are you given this sense to helping others without any purpose and then die? Since you are a conscious being, you question why the sense of help is given to you? Firstly, who gave it to you? The Prophets come and help you understand that the One that gives you this sense is teaching you that It is the Creator of this sense of help in you. As a result, you realize that you have a Creator i.e. you confirm the existence of the Creator. “I have a Creator who is the Helper. Every human being is given the same sense to help others. Some prefer to use it to discover the secrets of creation i.e. get to know the Source of their existence. “ Hence, the purpose of creation in me points to the qualities of its Creator.

Can one deny the sense of help in their existence? No. It is there and it needs to be appropriated to its Owner. All human qualities are signs that introduce us to the Source of our existence. That is the only way to connect oneself to the Creator, which is the purpose of creation.

Our humanity can only get satisfaction by connecting our being to the Absolute Being: While helping the child, your main purpose is to understand that the Creator of this sense is the Absolute Helper. Your body goes to help as per the order set in creation. Your humanity however, looks to connect to God, the Absolute Being as per the order set in creation which needs to be discovered. That is, your qualities are given to you by the Creator and hence, the Creator is the One that needs to be acknowledged, praised and desired. Thinking that you are the one producing your qualities is a hidden act of deifying yourself. Without attributing the Source of existence to the Creator and using this reasoning as a means of recognizing who the Creator is, doing any physical action may cause you loss, sorrow and pain.

Be serious with your existence: What is the purpose of my existence?

  • Rituals are physical actions needed to be executed in this manifested physical world only if a personal conclusion has been understood and established. Rituals are the end product of your harvest. It is like a fruit hanging on the branch of a tree. Without a trunk and its roots, a fruit will be dead.

“There is a fundamental close relationship between the six pillars of belief so much that one cannot be considered without the others. Believing in one requires believing in the others. Given this, without proceeding to explain the arguments for the Resurrection, it is proper to expound briefly some arguments for God’s Existence and Unity and the Prophet’s Messenger-ship.”

If one does not believe in God, can one believe in resurrection? No. If one does not believe in the Messenger-ship of the Prophets, can one believe in God? No. It seems that all pillars of belief are inter-related.

The Prophets help us attach our being to our Creator. That is why we have to look at Prophetic mission to get guidance with managing our relationship with creation in order to connect with its Creator. Prophets do not teach us what to do in this world (ritualistic matters aside.) Their mission is to walk us through how to connect to our Creator while doing what we are doing.

What is the connection between me and my Creator while I am learning a new skill? While I am learning I should be amazed that my cells are not the producer of my ability to learn. Instead on being proud of myself, I need to be proud with the Source of existence of my qualities. All qualities are given to me to know the One who gives me the qualities. We are not given qualities to become Noble Laureates. What is the point of being a Laureate if your end result is death, thus complete annihilation? The message of the Prophet is to direct you to turn everything to your Creator. You have to learn new skills because if you do not learn, how would you know that you have the qualities to learn. The more you l earn, the more you become aware of the Creator. The other side to that is self-pride or meaninglessness.

Belief in Prophethood is directly connected to Belief in God. Otherwise there may be a concept of someone who created the universe and that concepts just stays up there with no application into one’s life whatsoever. If there is no belief in Prophethood, then there is no belief in resurrection. That is the main point the author is trying to make.

  • If there is no resurrection, then the concept of God becomes a joke.

We cannot develop an understanding of a concept unless we think of ourselves. That is, every reflection must start with your own existence. Those people who deny Creator takes existence for granted. Question the Source of existence of every action. If you want to understand the truth in this life, you have to start with existence. Example: How are your fingers working? What is the source of existence of your nervous system?

  • In our understanding of religion, most of us are materialists.

Some arguments for God’s Existence and Unity (page 48)-

“KNOW, O FRIEND, that those who follow naturalism and adhere dogmatically to causality find the door of thanksgiving [to the Creator] closed and the door of associating partners with Him opened. Associating partners with, unbelief in, and ingratitude to God are based on a foundation of impossibilities, for: The One Who creates a fruit with all of its art and meaning can create and govern Earth.”

You can understand anything at a deeper level if you develop yourself with critical reading. For example, a text is always there with its content. Its meaning depends on your capacity to understand it. Similarly, any scripture acts the same way. That is, if the Quran is true as it claims to be (i.e. coming from infinite knowledge of God), then it is expected to satisfy me at every level of my capacity. The more you question, the better answers it gives you. No questions, no answers. Meaning exposes itself according to your capacity which develops according to your questioning. As you carry on questioning, the text explains further. If a text fails to answer your question, then it is coming from a limited source. The Speaker in the Quran says that you can get every answer from me because my Source is Absolute. Do not hurry to jump into answers. You may find the text speaking to you in a contradictory way (mostly if you carry a dogmatic or biased idea). That is a call to check yourself first and foremost: Is my understanding coming from culture or from within, a legitimate source which gives existence to my logical conclusions?

  • Question the values you have inherited from civilization through questioning dogmatism.
  • Dogmatic= decide about something without being aware about the legitimacy of the idea and preserve it. There are two dogmatic approaches that the author is referring to:
  1. I have no answer to existence, hence I don’t want to question.
  2. This is our religion, it must be right.
  • Reading the text critically does not mean that you are doubtful about something.

What the text says is what you understand from it. While understanding the text, never think that what you understand is equal to what the text says. The Speaker in the Quran speaks to you to help you understand who your Creator is. Example: prescription of fasting means that while doing the practice, it is expected that you become aware of your reality i.e. who you are and who your Lord is. The Quran teaches you how to make use of the universe to get to know its Creator.

A car has a manual which talks about how to use the different functionalities of the car. Unlike the car manual, the Quran teaches you the meaning of the car and using your qualities as connected to the Maker of the car. Why do you exist with the need to drive a car? In other words, how to use the different functionalities of the car to get to know its Maker is the aim of the Quran.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Post a Comment