By September 28, 2017 Read More →

Quran-Universe Parallel Reading: Chapter Takwir – Part 9

“This is a reminder.   And indeed, for the righteous is a good place of final return, gardens of Eternity, whose doors will ever be open to them.”  

Sad (38) 49-50

“Reminder” means that if you know something, only then you can remember it.  Reminder is good if something is previously known.   Everything in this world is a reminder.  Human nature is designed in such a way that it recognizes the reality of what the origin of our spirit is.  Where is the Origin of our spirit coming from?  It is coming from an Eternal Source, the Creator who has created the soul and given it the ability to know its Origin.  This reality is there but we need to remember.  Why do we need to remember?  While we are being created within the body in this universe, the soul has to recover everything that is already within itself but it needs to be taught to discover what is in it. Like we learn something here but what we learn is nothing but discovering what is already within us. Otherwise, our potentiality dies away.  Human soul is not related to causal chain of the nature of creation of this world.  But since it is put in this body, which is subject to causal change, so the human soul has to remember its Origin within the conditions of this kind of creation.  The soul is from the Creator but it is in the cage of the human body which is subject to the conditions of this existence i.e. subject to causal change.

‘Causal change’ means that everything is created as related to each other which makes a kind of fence hiding something behind it.   Just like a net curtain, you can see the light behind it.  Nature of net curtain is such that if you look at the net curtain itself, you just see the curtain and If you focus only on what is behind the net curtain, then you do not see the net curtain.  Hence, human soul can discover what is behind the network of cause and effect relationship.

Example:  water is coming from the clouds, it is dropping and there is gravity there because everything is drawn to the center of the earth.  You have to look through this relationship (cloud and rain drops coming down), look through this relationship and find out the factor acting behind this relationship. What is causing the clouds to drop water?

Example:  if you water the plant, it grows.  There is a relationship between the plant and water.  Two ways to look at this:

  1. If you look at the plant and the water, water is the cause of the plant to grow.  If there is water, plant grows.  If there is no water, plant does not grow.  It is as if we are looking at the net curtain itself.
  2. Question: Is the water the real agent to make the plant grow?  What you find out is that water does not know and it does not have freewill, power and choice.   Water cannot be the cause of the growth of the tree but it is used, it is employed behind this network of cause and effect relationship.  What you see then is what is behind the curtain.  That is how the human soul finds out the real agent and relates his/her existence to this real agent.  I am also given existence by this agent.  Through the body relationship which is a kind of curtain, the spirit remembers where it came from i.e. its Origin of existence.

Our minds are always conditioned to think that everything is happening within the network of causal change.  It means the collection of the “natural laws.”  If the spirit pays attention to the sequences of the causal change, it finds itself within the cage of matter which is the body.  That is why the materialists think that our existence consists only of body and get mesmerized with the function of the body.  Example: brain controls everything, the whole network within the body they say.  But if you question, you find out that the brain does not have any freewill, power, purpose and brain is made up of atoms and particles which have no qualities within and from themselves.  We have to look through the net curtain and what is behind the net curtain.  Through the cause and effect relationship, if you question the agent by asking the question “can you be the cause of existence of this effect”, you will see the effect as the result.  Take any effect from a causal chain and see the qualities in the effect and right them down.  Example: what is the brain doing?  We see the brain doing some amazing things i.e. these are the qualities we observe on the brain.  Now go back to the brain and ask the particles of the brain: can you be the cause of existence of this quality that I see?  This is a fundamental principle of how to get rid of the chain of cause and effect relationship.  It is extremely important to find out the Origin of your soul.  In other words find out yourself (human side), not your body.

Example:  Look at a tree; it grows under water, sunlight and air.  You see that life is happening within the body of the tree and extremely complicated activities are going on within a perfect order.  These are the qualities.  Go back to the cause.  What are the causes?  Sunlight, water, minerals, air molecules and the particles of the seed or DNA. Ask the causes: “Do you have the qualities to be the Source of existence of the qualities that I have found in the effect?” What can you find?  The causes saying: “I have no power and I exist within the order that I am given existence.  I cannot have any choice, purpose and preferences.”  You can find out, just study the particles.  How can these particles be the cause of existence of the qualities that I have seen in the result (effect) that came into existence?  When you question this, you find out that they cannot be the Source of existence of these qualities.  So how can these particles be the cause of existence of these qualities that I am seeing?  When you question this, you realize that these particles cannot be the Source of existence of these qualities and then you inevitably question: What can the Cause of existence of these qualities?  This means that you are looking through the curtain of the network of the cause and effect relationship as we see in this world which is nothing but the order of the universe.  When you question this order, your human side sees what is behind the curtain i.e. the real agent: What can the real agent be?  In order to give existence to the qualities of the tree or the brain, one has to have Absolute Power, control everything at the same time with no break and unceasingly acting at the same time universally.  Hence, the Source must be Absolute.

Soul (our potentiality) remembers where it came from. We are given the potential to remember our Origin. If you say that this Quran is a reminder, then it is just showing us the origin of the existence of human beings and explaining it.  Yes, this verse is a reminder to teach us what the reality of this existence is about.  If you say that this is a reminder for you, then ‘hazaa’ (this) in the verse refers to “anything”.  It means that you can study and remember where you came from.  Where you came from means, what is the Origin of your existence?   If the Origin of existence has to be Absolute, my origin of existence must be that Origin of existence.  Hence, I belong to It.

People say that the spirit comes from God, they are just narrating the news from the Quran. When we hear that “God created your body” and breathed into it from His spirit, it means the ability to recognize Him in the created form is with us.  That is, the Source of your Origin is saying: “I will give you all the ways that you can recognize me.”  In other words, I am giving the spirit to you enabling you to recognize the Source of existence of the soul”.  From this news of the Quran, people conclude that we belong to God and we are created by God and so our Origin is God who created us and gave us existence.  God is Absolute and so our Origin must be Eternal.  That is why people say that we exist eternally but we are given the body now and we are experiencing existence within the conditions of this existence.  In other words, the soul is put in the body. ‘hazaa’ (this) in this verse above is a reminder to that.

What does “righteous” means?

Staying true to my reality.

What is “reality”?

It is a value-laden word.  According to materialists, “reality” means ‘matter’.  According to mystics, it means ‘love’.  Reality is “my being” as far as my existence is concerned.  Am I really consistent within my own being by using my human qualities?  That is my reality as far as I am concerned.  I cannot have two understandings at the same time:

  1. I am not satisfied with my reality.
  2. Yet, we live in a beautiful world.

Why do we have to worship God?  How do we know that we are created to worship God?

These are the questions that we have to bring to our own being and we have to be clear within ourselves that we should know what we are talking about our own humanity and so I can be consistent within my own being as a human being, not to contradict my humanity.  “Righteous” means a person who does not contradict himself/herself but thinks seriously.  Also, does not pick up or follow any school of thought without thinking about it.  We are given the quality to know who we are and where we come from.   Don’t be afraid about it but work on it.  Never follow anything without thinking about it.  Never utilize the words and values you learn from mainstream culture without questioning.  Just try to see if you feel consistent within yourself or not.  That is what you have to be, not to contradict yourself.

Example: Are you kind to other people?  Yes, that is you.  Do not contradict yourself and be consistent with it.  Do you really think that you are created?  Yes.  What is the Source of your existence?  What can be the Source of your Existence?  Think about it!!!  Listen to others but analyze it:  Does it make sense to me?  What does “Divine” means for me?  Don’t be afraid to ask questions.  If you do not ask questions, you will never get the answers.

We need to get out of the imitated culture influences. Imitation is not confirmation from within yourself.  If you say that I believe in the Quran and God created me.  Do you understand from within yourself that someone has created you?  Then go back to the Quran and confirm that “the Creator of the universe has really created me”. Revelation is not to be imitated but it needs to be confirmed.  You can only confirm after you investigate.  How do you investigate?  The human ability is within you which functions through yourself and the objects around you to gather data.  Use this data to analyze and come to a conclusion using your human qualities.  That is what belief is i.e. your conviction, not information or knowledge.  Conviction does not happen by itself.  Example: My Professor told me or my parents told me.   Such claims are not your conviction but information.  We have to turn the information into conviction through analyzing anything that comes to our mind or that which we learn and then reach a conclusion about.  This conclusion is your conviction and this conviction is what you are i.e. your belief.  Thus, righteous is someone who does not contradict the way s/he is made and so I have to be consistent and not contradict myself.  Imitating a concept is a contradiction because it is not confirmed by you i.e. knowledge is external to you and transferring it to you and so it becomes external.  It needs to be confirmed internally.

Comment:  In order not to qualify for being righteous, that means contradicting your reality, but you only realize this after investigation.

Since you have free will, you may come to a conclusion but may not submit to this conclusion because of the nature of freewill.  In its existence, the freewill is created to be free as per the will of the Creator.  We have to be extremely careful about freewill:  How am I using it?  Am I exploiting it or not?  We may contradict ourselves even after being convinced not to follow the wrong and submit our freewill to what we are already convinced about i.e. we can go against it.  I am convinced that I am created but I am going to act as an independent being from my Creator.   It means that I am going to choose another way which is going to contradict my human reality.

If you are righteous as we discussed right now, then you end up with complete comfort in this world because you concluded that you have to be kind to a needy person for example.  That is your conviction and you acted in a kind way.  Do you feel that you acted in a kind way?  Yes and you look for an excuse to mention and share the experience to others.  “Today was a good day because there was a man who needed help and I helped out.  That is the sign of “good place” in this world, you ended up being in the best place as you were created because you did not contradict yourself.  Your soul is experiencing the happiness, all relaxed and not constrained or going through difficulties and being nervous.  That is the sign that you are doing something right.  After you yourself (the soul) is taken away from the causal chain, you are left with your happiness.  Within the causal chain you may be happy but have a headache because of some vein blockage within the brain due to poor circulation.  However, within your existence, you feel happiness.

When the soul is separated from the body, your happiness remains with no problem.  That is the sign that you will be given in your next creation a happy life/ existence so you will continue being in this way.  You learned, deserved and experienced this. That is, under any hardship that is caused by “cause and effect” relationship, if you see what is behind the network of this causal chain, you see your reality.  When you find your reality or when the soul is taken away from the body (death), death is the freedom that the bird is flying away from the cage of “cause and effect” network.  That is, freedom for the soul who has experienced happiness within its own existence while being within the cage.  If you do not educate or prepare yourself to be happy in this world (cage) by being consistent within yourself, then you will always criticize creation which means criticizing your Source of existence, your Creator.  As a result, your spirit is not in good relation with the Creator and does not trust It.  And your Source of existence treats you accordingly.  Example:  Did you trust money, fame or your family in this world?  Did you get the pleasure from them only?  If you think that I am happy because I have this beautiful house or a higher degree, then when your soul is taken away from the cause and effect network, what remains?  I am happy with the house but there is no house.  The way the Creator creates tells me that get happiness from the house but you know that the house cannot give you happiness at all by itself.

Comment:  I have come to believe that the ultimate desire is fulfilled in your awareness of the Source of your existence.

Yes, once you become aware of your existence, you relate your existence to your Source and become aware that the Source is Absolute and you belong to the Absolute.  Here, you can get what you want but as long as you go beyond the cause and effect relationship you find the Source.  Example: Causes such as (house, marriage…) cannot make you happy because they have no choice.  Happiness comes from the Source of your existence.  If you realize that this house is the grace or sign from the Creator.  Practically speaking, in this type of existence, you cannot know the Absolute Source of your existence if you do not question where the house and happiness came from.  We have to always refer to the things created around us and from them go through the network and look for the Source of their existence.  If someone says that I do not need to take notice of the creation of this world, let alone the cause and effect relationship, belief is in my heart, then you ask how come?  Therefore, definitely, you have to go through the acts of creation here and see what is beyond them and refer your existence to the Source of existence of what you are experiencing here.  Then go through the network of cause and effect relationship.  When you go through the network of cause and effect relationship, then you can easily find the Source of your existence and everything comes from there.  We are experiencing in this world how we should struggle to go through the cause and effect relationship.   There are many ways.  Sometimes you are given something and you have to question its Source of existence.  Sometimes you are given something which you do not desire and you say that this cannot be the Source of existence of my pleasure, so I have to see how the order is established.  The order is established in a perfect way pointing to its Source as being the Absolute One.

We have to always go through the hardships (or blessings) that we receive.  What is the cause of existence of this thing?  How can I relate my existence to their Source?  When you do that, the gardens of Eternity awaits you and you start experiencing the gardens of Eternity i.e. happiness in this world.  You start experiencing within the conditions of this causal relationship and your spirit goes beyond it and finds what is behind the network.  We are able to do that because everything here is a reminder.

Everything here reminds me of what my reality is and I ought to use them and remember where I come from.  When you do this, you will be experiencing Eternal Happiness starting from now.   You do not have to feel miserable for God to favor you.

Comment: If we align our thoughts about the reality of experiencing heaven in this world with God consciousness, is this a satisfaction in our thoughts or is it the universe around us which is also created in a heavenly manner.  How does it work?

You can only get any satisfaction under any circumstances if only you go beyond the cause and effect relationship and see the main Source of existence or Agent functioning behind the cause and effect relationship and it is inevitable to conclude that the Agent must be Absolute.

Comment: So the glimpse of Heaven that we get on Earth is just the satisfaction within us?

Satisfaction within is the result of our acknowledging our Source of Existence as being the Absolute One.  So I belong to the Absolute One.  (innalillahi)  “We belong to God” is an invitation for us to realize that the Source of Existence is an Absolute One (God-Allah means that): “Hey reader, realize that your Source of Existence is the Absolute One”.  If you realize this (wa inna ilaihi raaji’un), you will find yourself returning to that Absolute Source and you belong to it.  You do not bother about anything else.  In this world, you have to go through the “cause and effect” relationship.  Example: If you are hungry, you have to eat.  If you do not eat, you do not get the taste.  If you do not get the taste, you do not question the Source of Existence of the taste and you would not be aware of the Source of existence of taste.  You have to experience everything.  If you are experiencing it, then you have the ability to question the Source of Existence of it. Example:  you are eating chocolate.  AskCan the chocolate give me pleasure by itself or is it employed?  Chocolate is a vehicle.  When you are eating the chocolate, you say that: “I have received a text message from the Source of Existence of the chocolate saying that It is the Source of existence of the pleasure that I am enjoying.”  You reply saying: “Yes, thank you.”  It is very important to acknowledge.  This acknowledgment is necessary.  If you do not acknowledge it, then it becomes obscure for you i.e. I like it alhamdolillah, God is great.  But you have to feel it i.e. go beyond the chocolate while you are eating it:  What is the cause of existence of this pleasure?  If you question this, only then can you get in contact with the Creator.  Otherwise you cannot make eating the chocolate into Eternal Happiness.  You can say that chocolate was wonderful and it is gone.

Comment:  If you enjoy chocolate and if you refer it to the Absolute Source and you think that there must be an existence where I can enjoy chocolate for all Eternity.  How did you come to this conclusion of Eternity?  Because the chocolate finishes and it leads to disappointment.

From your experience, the transient nature of the chocolate demonstrates that it is not the Source of existence of the pleasure that you are experiencing.  If it is not, then, what is the Source of existence of this pleasure?  Do not be tired of using this question: What is my Source of Existence?  What is the Source of existence of the chocolate?  What is the Source of existence of the taste in me?  What is the Source of existence of my need for this pleasure?

Atheist philosophy does not use this language because they do not have an answer to this question.  Non-reflecting religious people on the other hand jump to the conclusion that “Allah created everything.”  That is why we have to make it real by questioning the Source of existence of everything, per example above, the hunger.  What is the Source of existence of my craving for chocolate?  Do not jump to God because then it cannot be your conviction.  Anything external to you cannot be your belief.  Every time you question the Source of existence of something, you end up with: “it can be given existence by the One who knows me and all my qualities and who knows how to create the chocolate.  In order to create the chocolate, He has to be powerful enough and create everything i.e. Absolute”.

When you find the Source of Existence to be Absolute, you find the Source of Existence of your happiness and you belong to Him.  That is how to get Eternal Happiness while being in this world without worrying about anything.  The Source of Existence of the chocolate is where I belong to, that is my real Source of Existence.  He is Absolute and if It is Absolute, then I belong to It, why worry?  It does not mean that I should not look for the chocolate but when I get the chocolate, know that it is not the chocolate that is satisfying you but the Creator of the chocolate, the Absolute One is satisfying you and letting you know what your Source of Existence is and who you belong to.  This is real and going on within yourself without any imitation.

Example:  God has created this need of getting a job but you are not getting it but you belong to the One who has created the need for the job.  You belong to Him.  We are not here in this world to get the job; we are here to know what the Source of existence of me is.  The ultimate aim is to acknowledge the Source.  These are means, sometimes you are given the job and sometimes you are not and in both cases, you have to realize that your Source of Existence is the One who created this need for you in both cases.  That is why the Quran says that we can put you into trial either with good things or pain.  That is, anything which you do not like is also created by God.  We are not in this world to eat chocolate.  We are in this world to find the Source because the need to eat chocolate is there given to you.  This need is given to you to find the Source as being the Absolute One and so you will be happy because you belong to the Absolute One.  In the casual world, if you could not get the chocolate that is fine because the causal world is really for you to go beyond it.  If you are stuck within the network of the causal world, it means that you are already lost.  We will try to get the chocolate but the point is not to get the chocolate.  Through eating the chocolate or not getting it, the main purpose is to find out where this desire to eat chocolate comes from i.e. the Source of existence of it.

  • Did you acknowledge the Source or not?

What is the Source of existence of that desire?  When you question it, you can go beyond it.  If you do not question the Source of existence, then you are stuck with the network.  We have to look at the effect and make a list of the qualities of the effect and go to the apparent causes and question the ability or quality of the causes, whether it can be the Source of Existence of the qualities of the effect?

  • This kind of reasoning comes to the conclusion that causes cannot be responsible for the existence of the effect that we observe.
  • So how do you come to this conclusion?  The effect exists but where did it come from?  So, go through the cause and effect network and beyond it and you find out that in order to give existence to this sense and me, One has to be Absolute, i.e. not a part of this universe, not dependent in its existence on anything else, that is, Self-Existing, all the qualities must be essential to its existence.

Through the vehicle, you get the Source.  If you do not question the vehicle, you do not find the Source.  In this type of creation, you cannot have a linear relationship with the Source of your existence because the soul is within the body, that is, subject to the order of this universe. Whereas, the Source is the Creator of this order.  But when you die, based on how you educated your soul, then you may have a relationship with the Source of your existence without the network of cause and effect relationship, but still in a created form.  We have to go through trial and error in this world.  That is without saying “lailaha” (this was nothing but a vehicle and cannot be the Source of existence), we can never say “illallah” (there must be a Source which is Absolute).

Example:  As a human being I am seeing that water has no will and consciousness, it has to be as it is made.  This is so important.  Being in this world, if someone says that I have direct relationship with the Creator, it is impossible.  You have to go through lailaha or question the Source of Existence of the chain, then you can find It easily and the Source of Existence will be wide open for you. That is what the Quran says: “the door will ever be open.”  That is, the door is ever open.  If you say that: “I want to really understand and acknowledge the Source of my existence, but I cannot get there” does it mean the door is closed?  No.  It means that when you are in contact with the Source of your existence in this world, Paradise is there and the door is open.  You do not have to go through difficulties in order to acknowledge Him.  The Quran is emphatically saying that the door is “open” (mufattah) rather than the door will be open and never closed.  That is, everyone that questions get the answers at the condition of not conditioning or contradicting themselves.

Comment:  Garden of Eternity, is it something physical or a realization?

Soul is of the nature of law.  We cannot experience Eternal Happiness without the tools.  Example: if there is water and the climate is below freezing level, water freezes or liquid becomes solid.  If there is no water, can we experience the freezing of the water?  No. The abstract notions exist but they can only operate through vehicles.  Example: we have a sense of sight.  If you were not given eyes, can you become aware of the sense of sight?  No.  Can this sense be operated without the eyes?  No.  That is why the Quranic news emphasizes on the bodily resurrection because human soul cannot experience what it has already obtained through understanding and consciousness while in this world.  Only by using the eyes (tools) do we become aware of an Absolute Source who has provided you with the sense of sight, not the eye only.  When you die, you are remained with this consciousness which cannot operate without the tools.  So you must be given the right tools, not like the one we experience here which is subject to deterioration.  But you have the desire to wanting to see everything perfectly and the tools are not satisfying your need.  What happens now is that the Absolute Source of sight will give you tools which will enable you to practice as you deserve to be (because your consciousness and education of your soul desires it eternally) if you acknowledge it.

If you say that I am able to see because I have eyes which are a natural thing and eyes are enabling me to see, when you die, what is left?  Nothing.  That is why the Quran says that you will be blind in the afterlife if you say that the eye is the Source of sight (Qur’an 17: 72).  Hence, anytime that you see something, you say that the One who gives me existence is the Absolute Source of power of sight.  So, I belong to It.  If you become familiar with the Source, It says that I will give you appropriate tools to experience the power of sight eternally.  That is how we are trained here, to get acquainted with the source of our existence. 

  • That is worship, acknowledging the source, known in the traditional sense as “we are created to worship God alone.”

If someone questions the network of causal chain, s/he will definitely be able to understand the causes as we see.  They are the vehicles; they are the bricks not the architect.  They are put there and do not have any freewill.  They are employed.  If you acknowledge the employer who has employed them, you will understand that He is the One who has given you the eyes and every living being in the universe, then it must be Absolute.   It means that it must be the Creator of the whole universe. My need to see comes from Him not the eyes.  Without this realization, if something happens to the eyes, we think that we will lose it forever.  This lack of confidence in one’s being is the sign of Hell, experiencing the lack of what you need. The spirit of such a being is trained with that realization that the power of sight is coming from the eye.  That is, when I die, there is nothing to see.  As a result, the Creator of the eyes says that I will give you an existence with the inability to see because you did not ask the Creator to see eternally which is acknowledgment.  Only the Absolute Creator of the eyes can give you Eternal sight. That is your conclusion. 

  • Hell is what you earn.
  • Paradise is what is prepared for you i.e. it is already there you just need to find out. It is beyond the curtain. It is not closed and hidden.  You will be given tools for your soul to experience what it has prepared itself for.  Hence, prepare yourself and always refer to the Eternal Source.  The righteous do not contradict their being.

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