By February 3, 2016 Read More →

Quran-Universe Parallel Reading: Chapter Fatiha – Part 4


“You alone we worship and You alone we ask for help.” Fatiha (1):5

What is worship?

  • Acknowledgment.

What am I acknowledging?

  • I have a Lord. Through my experience in the universe I conclude that there must be a Creator.
  • My reality i.e. I am given endless qualities and I am not the one producing them.
  • As a result, I conclude that the qualities that I experience in this universe and within myself are given by the Giver of my qualities i.e. ghaib.
  • I am only responsible to come up with conclusions based on my capacity.
  • The conclusion is for me, it is my perception and only I can be sure of it that there must be a Creator.

What is ghaib (non-physical existence)?

  • That which I cannot describe, is immaterial, but I have the ability to experience.
  • The meaning I deduce from events/objects in existence.
  • Example: paper+ ink symbols + carries a message.
  • The meaning I deduce from the text is ghaib. There is nothing material about the meaning. The particles do not give the meaning.
  • No one can ever show the meaning in the universe to anyone, but we experience it and we are sure of its existence.
  • In reality, we are living in ghaib, we are always in communication with ghaib.
  • Common mistake: ghaib is unknown or undefined.
  • If I experience meaning, then It cannot be unknown to me.
  • We may reduce ghaib to refer to certain things such as: Allah, angels, paradise although we are immersed into ghaib at every moment.

Religion must be a living phenomenon for me. It cannot be reduced to a material understanding. How can I explain the result of my feelings? The cells in my body are not producing my feelings; they cannot be the source of existence of my senses, feelings. Although it may seem that matter produces certain qualities that we experience and observe. In reality, at every moment we experience ghaib.

  • To dwell deeper on ghaib, first and foremost get to know yourself: I am not only matter! I have feelings of happiness, sadness, excitement, pleasure and many more which are not physical matter. My humanity is ghaib and is known to me in my being as I experience it. My own being informs me that I am a spiritual being and not just flesh and bones.

Quran is zikrah (reminding me of my reality).

  • Quran is not adding anything extra but reminding me of what is already within me. When it says “do not transgress the rights of others”, that sense is already within me. I have to revive that sense, be myself, my reality.
  • Don’t you see the heavens and earth? Are you sustaining it? Who sends the rain and snow? Are the particles in the atmosphere forming it? Some say the natural laws are causing it. These laws are nothing but a set of order in the universe.
  • No one can describe the natural laws or set of order. They are all ghaib. Everything is coming into existence as a result of the Order Producer.
  • Some early scholars asked: Can matter sustain itself or is matter sustained by the order? If matter is sustained by the order, then there is an “external agent” at play i.e. there must be an Order Producer. Also, can matter produce order?
  • No. Matter is produced alongside with the order by the Order Producer.
  • Matter exists within the order and is dependent on the order, not the other way around.
  • Therefore, there must be an Order Producer.
  • Materialists make us think matter produces the order.
  • THINK: Is the healthy breakfast producing my intelligence? Is the strawberry producing my feelings of love? Are the sun beams producing my thoughts?
  • My eyes are not the source of my seeing. My power of sight is functioning through the eyes. Eyes are completely dependent on its own order to come into existence.
  • Where did the order come from?
  • Which is essential? My material side or immaterial side (human qualities). The latter is the essential one. Material side is dependent on the Immaterial side.

Thus, communication is to my immaterial side. Matter does not produce meaning; it only serves as a vehicle to transfer meaning. With this awareness, we are always immersed in ghaib i.e. spirit to spirit communication in the universe.

Every moment, act of creation is communicating meaning to me from the Maker of the act of creation/matter/universe. Angels are messengers who bring message from your Creator. We are always with angels.

I have to utilize my abilities by questioning everythingcome up with my own conclusions and be confident with it. That is the way to enhance belief.

According to my conclusion, I see nothing coming out of existence from itself (lailaha); everything is coming from the Source who gives existence to everything (illallah). Without the physical world, I cannot become a believer. Thus, I am in constant communication with the One that gives existence to the universe. As a result, my mind and heart are comfortableYou alone we Worship= We all acknowledge that everything we experience in this universe is coming from You and we are just beings appearing in this existence as You willed. In other words, we acknowledge that every particle declares to be dependent on Your Will to give us existence. I thus speak on behalf of other beings because I have the capacity to understand. I am presenting my own conclusions to the One whose existence I acknowledge. DO NOT IMAGINE It! Declare your conclusion! That is worship, the pronouncement of one’s conclusion.

  • Make your object of worship One.

We all are given freewill which we may use to acknowledge our Object of worship or deny it. Atheists equate belief to an invalid claim. If I am careful and honest with this freedom, I establish belief otherwise I fall into denial.

It is known that the Prophet (pbuh) pointed out to his very own daughter at a sermon that she may inherit his material wealth (property) but he cannot save her (in terms of her belief). That is, belief cannot be inherited. It is a personal experience one must work on to feel secure in their existence. Do benefit from scholars, experts in the field but ultimately what you conclude is your own personal conviction. Even what I conclude does not belong to meI fully acknowledge that every moment help comes from You only= “You alone we ask for help.”

  • Example: when I take medicine, the elements in the medicine do not have the power to cure me. The properties within the elements are part of the created order.

My needs to fulfill my expectations come from It in the form of help. Nothing can help me.

  • Example: I am thirsty and I need water. Water itself cannot help me. My tongue, senses are helpless as well. Only the One that has established the order in creation through which I help myself get a glass of water is the One helping me.
  • Drink your water and acknowledge that only You can help me O Lord, I am happy with You!

In conclusion, I acknowledge that my needs come from It and my ability to fulfill the needs come from It as well. I acknowledge my reality because of It alone. What I learn from the Prophet (pbuh) is to present religion in a beautiful form but first I need to fill it in with meaning for myself. Only with this awareness can I start thinking about Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), through his teaching, interceding on my behalf.

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