By September 20, 2017 Read More →

Quran-Universe Parallel Reading: Chapter Takwir – Part 8

81:13 “and when paradise is drawn within reach.

Hell is apart from you.  Only you can put yourself in Hell position.  That is, you can impose on yourself the harsh results of your false understanding and actions which deserves to be burned. Any false understanding deserves to be burned. If you assume the false understanding, the fire is invited to yourself. Fire does not come to you.

What is an understanding which deserves to be burned?

The idea that I will eventually be extinct or the purpose of my existence is eventually going to end. This really erodes your human reality. Example: if a metal piece starts rusting, they burn the rust in order to save at least the rest of the metal. If they do not burn it, then the metal continues to rust. That is, the false idea burns one’s humanity. That is why hell is represented with fire i.e. continues to burn.

When it comes to Paradise, it is non-rusted metal, you do not have to do any treatment on it. It is as it is.

What does Paradise represent as far as human reality is concerned?

Comment: The real homeland that we are supposed to go to.

Are you not there yet? If you are not there, then it is horrible. You should be there right now! We study Quran for now and here. If you want to go Paradise in the near future, then it is too late as you have to go there right now. If you are not in Paradise right now, then it is closed to you which means that something is wrong with your understanding of life.  The future out of this universe is something else but if you are in Paradise right now, then you will be in Paradise as long as you don’t go out of it and land in Hell. From our own birth, baby is born in Paradise. The baby does nothing and everyone takes care of him/her. The baby is like “an emperor” where everyone is employed to take care of him/her. The baby just needs to make a crying sound to be fed or cleansed and everyone rushes to serve the baby. The baby is in Paradise. Everything is taken care of in Paradise.  When a person preserves its pure nature, then Paradise is already there unless you distort /rust it or do something against your own nature.

You want to have Eternal Happiness. That is a given. You have to use your human qualities to understand where Eternal Happiness really lies, then you will be in Paradise automatically because all of your human qualities are encoded according to the requirements of Paradise or Eternal Happiness. If we use our tools to understand that we belong to the Absolute Eternal Creator and everything is from Him, we have to pay attention to this reality that He has given us life and anything we need. Everything is provided here. As a human being, you need to see, hear, breathe, and think… everything is working perfectly. Now, you have to think of the Source of your existence and your tools provided. Where did I get all of them? You belong to that Source who gave you all these qualities in your being including your desire for Eternal happiness.

You want to be in Paradise. That is a given. If you do not feel that you are in Paradise, then something is wrong with your understanding. You are made in a way to want to get rid of all your fear such as fear of hunger, disaster, losing your job, illness… This desire is given to you by the One who gave you existence and equipped you with these desires. Then search who this One is.

It is not enough to say “God”, you have to define it. Example: The podium is made by a carpenter. Ok, it is made by a carpenter so what am I going to do then? I have to see that the podium must be used according to the will of the carpenter, and then I can really connect myself to the carpenter otherwise telling you that it is made by a carpenter have no effect in your life. While you are using the podium, you may not have any connection with the carpenter. Example: yes, I accept that I am given existence by God, the Creator of the universe but I have fear of student loan and I want to get rid of it. People think that this feeling of getting rid of the student loans is theirs: “I want to get rid of it.” “I do not want to get ill”. “I do not want to be in need of anyone else’s help”. “I want to be self-sufficient for myself, how can I do this?” Be careful! You said that you are created by God but do you notice that in your treatment of yourself, there is no God!!! Instead of God, you have inserted yourself there. When you say, I want to get rid of the student loan and I want to have security for my life… your previous concept which requires that you have to believe in God because God created you, and you are sure of it, in your interaction and acknowledgment, there is no God but you. That is called “a hidden shirk”. That is, you have replaced God with yourself, by appropriating your desires, plan and expectations to yourself. Is that hypocrisy or what? Anything appropriated to yourself or to anything else other than God is called “shirk”. Understanding “shirk” as “idol worshipping” is a reduction to what it means. We need to be careful that we are talking about here. We are talking about the feeling of getting rid of the student loan. To think how we are going to pay the student loan and do all preparations for it is our responsibility. Again, this responsibility is also given to us by Our Creator.

When you use proper language, your way of thinking will settle down in this proper language. Example: The One who gave me the desire to get rid of the loan to save me from my fear is the One who is going to take care of it and I am sure that the feeling within me is a promise from Him so I will just ask Him to show me the way to do it because I belong to Him and my senses/feelings also belong to Him. I am from Him and whoever gave me all these senses will take care of it as well. It does not mean that you should not try to find a job but you should have no fear of your existence with the desire to get rid of all your fears or to fulfill their hopes and expectations.  I will return everything to the One who gave me all this.  That is, the consciousness that everything belongs to the One who gave them to me. Our human nature or the way we are created is perfect as long as we do not distort it. When we act according to our perfect nature, nothing disturbs us and nothing makes us fall into despair because my Creator is the One that created the universe is the feeling we live by. Everything is under His control and belongs to It. It is the Owner of the universe and I belong to It!! That security within this causal world is a sign of Paradise i.e. you feel secure.  Yes, I will do my job and try my best within the field of my freewill by acknowledging that I know this desire is from God and It will take care of it.

What is the most important desire for human beings?

Comment: Food and eating.

Would you prefer to have the best delicious food?

Comment: Yes.

Let’s say that you have the best delicious food prepared by your mother until the age of 65 years old. Is that Ok?

Comment: Yes.

How about 85 years old, would you say that I have been eating best delicious food until now and so it is enough?

Comment: No.

When you have the best food for 85 years and you are still young let’s say, what will happen afterwards?

Comment: I will die. All the nice food will go into the grave.

Isn’t that disappointing?

Comment: Yes. Food is not the important aim for human beings.

What is the ultimate aim for human beings then?

  • The ultimate aim for human beings is the need of wanting eternal life with happiness.

Where can a person get Eternal Happiness from?

Can that be attained from social security or insurance companies? No. Where can one get this Eternal happiness from? We are making a model of thinking in these classes.

Comment: The first step is to be in the know or accept that I am going to Eternally exist.

Where did you get this idea? Did your teacher or mother teach you this?

No. My senses or feelings tell me that I do not want to just end. Where did you get these feelings? I did not create these feelings and it existed within myself. In other words, it is given existence by the One who gave you existence. The One who gave you existence cannot be other than the One who gave existence to the universe including your feelings. Do you think the One who gave existence to the universe is the One who gave existence to the sense of Eternal Happiness? Yes. Is the One that gave you this feeling can give you Eternal Happiness? Is it able to do that? Look at the universe. Yes, it must because it would be unfair if It did not.

If It did not, then you would be disappointed with the Creator. This sense is given to you by your Creator. If you think that my Creator is not going to give me Eternal Happiness, It would be a crazy Creator. That understanding is given to you by your Creator that your Creator is not crazy. Is there anything crazy in creation? Spoiling the atmosphere is a way of teaching that what you are doing is wrong. It is not a disaster but just a warning that what you are doing is wrong. If you understand that the Source of existence of your feelings can do it because it is the One that gave existence to your feelings, then you can be in Paradise. Can you make yourself eternally exist and happy? No. How about your father? No. We cannot trust anyone. So, who can you trust or how are you going to satisfy your feeling to desire Eternal happiness? By knowing that there is Eternal happiness waiting for me provided by the One who gave me the desire for Eternal Happiness. That is the formula. We have to learn how to use language. Never use pre-accepted language while making a search for the truth (such as God, Paradise…) and install it in your thinking.

Question: What is your definition of Eternal Happiness?

Whatever we want i.e. eternal happiness is free from all fears and fulfills all the desires that we have in our existence. Who can make your existence eternal? The One who gave you the desire, It is the Creator and at the end we say “It is called God”. Invalid language: “God is the Creator.” Instead, the Creator whom I call “God”. We have to put everything upside down, so we do not fall into prejudice.

Question: Why do natural disasters happen that no human has control over, which challenges us with acquiring satisfaction in our existence?

Disasters are not punishment but are a challenge. Example: if you take a knife and cut yourself, you get hurt. The order of the universe is such that if something goes wrong, the Creator warns you that it is wrong. The natural disasters tell us that we take for granted whatever happens in the world. Does the earth have to rotate smoothly? No. The earth does not know what its doings but it is provided for you. These minor things are created to teach us that the nature of the universe does not have to be in a perfect position and it depends on the will of the Creator not the will of matter. The will of God is operating perfectly everywhere but from time to time shakes us that it is being done unto us to appreciate its Creator. It has nothing to do with punishment. You can call it “warning”, teaching or any wisdom in the existence of something. Example: Everyone dies. Do we die because we did something wrong? No. Death is given to me by my Creator. The worst scenario is death. A disaster shakes you and collapses your house perhaps. But as far as death is concerned, it is the reality.

Why do you think in the creation there is a reality of “death”?

Comment: It happens from the Creator to challenge us.

Why do you think that the One who gives life gives you death? When It gives life, it is the best One. We do not like death and this sense is given to us by our Creator and It gives us death despite our sense of not liking death. Why? That is the best way to help me understand the reality of my existence that I cannot perpetuate my life and make my existence Eternal, hence I am totally dependent. Every time we hear that someone dies and I am going to die as well is a sign to make me aware that I am temporary and my existence is totally dependent on the One who gave me life and the sense of Eternal Happiness.  I have to trust Him! Everything is perfectly arranged to teach me who I am and what my position is here in this universe.  My position is not to correct anything in this universe i.e. not to corrupt anything is the best for me. Keep your original form as it is given to you. Try not to dirty or spoil it, keep it perfect. That is what is required from us.  We fall into mistakes and wrong passages and the Creator is so Merciful that It helps us with reminders.  Any undesired thing is not a punishment, if we understand this otherwise, we cannot solve any problems.

Comment: Fracking causes earthquake. We as humans also do things that can lead to earthquake.

The order that the earth is subject to is this. There is wisdom in the order to train us to know that the things do not have to always be the same way as they are; they are totally dependent on the One who gave existence to the earth.

We should take care of our responsibility not to spoil the order of the universe. That is our responsibility. When we misuse the order, we learn nothing to educate ourselves but be arrogant in misusing the freedom we are given.

Question: Can you say more about there is no good and bad people?

Disasters and calamity does not happen because of our bad actions. It may be for us to remember who we are and what our reality is. Earthquake is one of them. Example: A young person may never think that s/he will be a candidate of going to the hospital because as you age certain parts of your body may cause trouble. When faced with a calamity, one questions: “Why am I in this position?” To know that I cannot sustain my life. Can you imagine that if you never change and the earth has to revolve as it is without any interruption, then you will take everything for granted that the world is as it is, that is it, there is no manipulation, no control or conscious will behind the acts to be in this way or another way? Nothing has to be as it is because they are given existence as they are. The Creator is showing us It is Its own choice that the world revolves so It adjusts the things apparently.

The Maker of the Earth is adjusting this Earth in a way to shake us from time to time that this is not our permanent home and that we take how things happen for granted. That is how we learn with interruptions in regular routines taken for granted.  Imagine the world has no interruption.  It does not happen by itself but it is arranged to serve us by a conscious will. Classical example is that there is wisdom in the existence of everything.  Wisdom helps me realize what my reality is. When I go to the hospital, I do not complain but I am happy to realize that I get to know that my existence is dependent on the One that brought me into existence.

  • Can you guarantee that you will live for 60 years or tomorrow? No. Then you are a man of truth! We know that anytime anything may happen not according to my will. It means that everything is arranged by something else not me. We understand that we all are dependent on that something else. Who can it be? The One who arranged the earth for me. We should not get disappointed with death (which is the worst scenario) because that is how I really understand that my existence depends on something else not on me. Whoever gives me existence is the One who is taking care of the whole universe. Through my own existence, I can understand this.

Comment: Why are we sure that the desire of eternal happiness is something that we all have? How can we have the heightened awareness of death (the equalizer) and eternal desire?

This world is the world of contrasts which, in turn makes the existence in this type of world beautiful.  Otherwise, if there was no contrast, we will take everything for granted that things are happening by themselves.  Through the contrast I understand that nothing depends on me, the state, the stars and galaxies… everything depends on the One who gave existence to the whole universe. This desire of Eternal Happiness is given to me by my Creator but nothing can provide me with Eternal Happiness, so look for it. Where did you get this idea of eternity? Question it. Where did you get this feeling that you want Eternal happiness? You do not want to die and go into annihilation. Everyone has this which means that this desire is a call, an invitation: “Hey you cannot get it from anywhere but Me because I am the One who gave you this sense and you cannot attribute this sense to anything in this world.” If this world was not a world of contradiction, I would not be able to understand my reality i.e. why I am here. The main fundamental teaching of the Quran is lailaha illallah, that summarizes the contrast of existence in this type of existence, why? You will say that nothing here can satisfy me other than the One that gave me this desire. There is no god but God is a reduction to understanding lailaha illallah. It needs further explanation.

  • Nothing in this world can satisfy me, other than the One who gave this desire to me. That is the only way to understand the Source of our existence. Where is the Source of our existence? Not in this type of existence. There is no creator in this type of existence which can satisfy me.

Comment: Nothing can happen to you unless it comes from God in terms of physical illness. We know from research that we can get HIV/Aids from certain things.

That is how the law of the order of the universe is. Whatever you do in this world, you cannot escape death or getting old. The freewill is given to us in order to choose what is already existent. If there is a way to avoid certain illness, the way is already engrained in the order of the universe so your freewill is there to discover and use it. But if it is not given within this universe, you cannot choose it. That is why we cannot choose not to die. Freewill is different from the fixed order of the universe, although free will is a part of the intended order of creation of human beings.

  • In fact, when we use our freewill, we just follow the order. It means that you follow the will of the Orderer or obey the Creator. If you are conscious of it, you say “I obey the Orderer of the Owner of the universe, I am His follower” and you are proud of it.

If you like the One who put the order of the universe, when you obey the order, He will make you feel happy. When you fulfill the desire of the One you love, He will make you feel happy. That is when you follow the order in creation with acknowledgment, you should be happy.

If you do not acknowledge the purpose of the order, instead, feel that you are not free to act as you wish without being subject to the Will of the Orderer, then, you feel very depressed or humiliated. This is the sign from the Creator of the order that you have chosen a wrong attitude. It is a call for you to correct your understanding of your existence.

  • “Those who are happy with me I will be happy with them” (Qur’an, 98: 8.)
  • Example: You are ill and going to hospital. You have to be happy with this phenomenon because you are obeying the order of the Creator by going to hospital and taking medicine.
  • Example: If you are given an event where you get to serve the ones you love in time of crisis, then you can be the happiest person only if you acknowledge the Owner of the order of the universe.

Whoever gives existence to this universe has arranged the order because it must be His production because nothing can happen by itself. Human logic says that.

Comment: When it comes to freewill and the order of the universe tells us to act a certain way and we may not want to act a certain way at that time and we may justify it as wrong. In other words, we do not want to do things for the sake of doing it or following people. If you follow the wrong, is that the order of the universe?

Following a certain way of doing things is within the order of the universe. Analogy: If someone says that 2+2= 5, the order of the universe with your capacity and freewill is such that you oppose 2 + 2= 5 (a false idea indeed). The order of the universe is to oppose it. If the larger majority of the people go a wrong way, you have the freewill for not going there. People may blame you, that is their choice but as long as you are convinced that what you are doing is right, follow it.

Comments: The order of the universe is not following what you see around you. The order of the universe comes from within you.

You are given the sense that this is wrong. This sense is given to you to oppose it, is also the order of the universe.

Comment: Paradise and Hell is a state of being. Can we go through Hell and Paradise throughout our day?

Would you like to go? No one wants to go to Hell. I would like to stay in Paradise. If someone offers you horrible food, you say no because you have this feeling of saying no and you obey the feeling.

  • State of Paradise is within our own nature engrained in us, don’t spoil it!
  • State of Hell is outside of us, it is external to our nature but we are free to choose it.
  • What is engrained in our nature is not to go to Hell!

You are free to go into the wrong way of traffic. Some people do that and hurt themselves i.e. spoil their nature. Paradise is automatically within us, whatever you are doing is in tune with your human nature and you are satisfied with it. That satisfaction is a sign that we should not spoil our Paradise like state.

We can fluctuate between Paradise and Hell because we have the freewill. If we did not have any choice to go to Hell, we would not have freewill.  We love to have freedom to choose but that is our choice whether we take the wrong way or keep the right way.

Comment: Treatments for illness is an idea that we can live as we want within our abilities.

We cannot perpetuate our existence and fulfill our desires eternally. While we are discovering treatments, it is within the order of the universe. The Creator gave you the desire that you do not like death and temporariness. The same Creator is giving you death. What does it mean? You should not like temporariness. You should search for Eternity but when you search for Eternity, you would not be able to find it within the universe. When you search for the source of your existence, you cannot find it within the universe, it is a call: “Come to Me and find Me and identify your existence with Me not with the universe.”  Some say that we are made of molecules and they are looking for its source within the universe but they can find no way to satisfy their human desires. Universe is temporary and I desire Eternity. It is the easiest way to get out of the prison of this universe by finding the source of existence of this universe which is called the Creator of the universe. That is the perfect order the universe is created that we will find happiness by attributing our existence to its source; this source has nothing to do with this universe. While you are obeying any kind of order, you are practicing your desire not to die. If there was no desire not to die, can you look for Eternity or Source of existence of this universe? No. This is the only way to acknowledge the reality of this existence.

  • If there was no transience, can you look for the source of existence of things? Never.

What does “Paradise is drawn within reach” mean? (to be continued…)

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