By January 12, 2013 Read More →

What is Religion?

Part 1

Ask yourself,

  • Are you really satisfied with the way you are communicating?

Pg 137:

“Then they responded with thanks and praise to the True Bestower’s showing His mercy and compassion through His sweet bounties, and exclaimed: “Glory be unto You! Al praise is Yours! How can we thank You as is Your due? You are utterly worthy of thanks! For all Your bounties spread through all the universe hymn Your praises and thank through the clear tongues of their beings. All Your bounties lined up in the market of the world and scattered over the face of the earth proclaim Your praises and extol You. Through testifying to Your munificence and generosity, all the well-ordered and well-proportioned fruits of Your mercy and bounty offer You thanks before the gazes of Your creatures.”

Addressing God by being aware of His presence

  • This is the heart/spirit/kernel of worship

When we pray, we go to the presence of God

  • I turn to Him, speak to Him and am responding to Him
  • Take notice of how you are expected to communicate with Him
    • By experiencing His bounties here, on earth
    • The communication needs to be established between Me and the owner of all the bounties
    • We cannot isolate ourselves from the world we live in.
    • We have to constantly be in the presence of God

We say, I am going to speak to my Lord

  • We often hear and even believe that in order to speak to our Lord we have to forget about the ‘world’
  • Practically speaking, we try to forget about the physical world
  • BUT can we really respond to God by forgetting the world?
    • No. Responding to God means communicating with Him. You have to communicate through what you have been given.
    • It is not realistic given the fact that we are living in this world

Do not try and forget the ‘world’ and the ‘worldly things’ in your pursuit of spirituality

  • We have to train ourselves to communicate as our beings are (i.e. existing in this physical world)

Methodology: Make a distinction between the physical world and what this world points to

  • We live in this world, but we have to be careful not to become worldly
    • E.g. I like drinking tea
      • The relationship between me and the tea has been established in the worldly sense
      • The tea addresses my body, my appetite, etc
      • But I am a human being. I do not only consist of my physical self
      • I am supposed to use my human qualities applying it to my drinking of the tea and see beyond the physical elements
      • We cannot forget the tea and strive to establish a relationship with the source
      • I have to use my human qualities to question the source of enjoyment that I am receiving from the tea
      • Unlike animals and other living things, we need to use the faculties given to us to establish a relationship with God

Commonly mentioned slogans/terms

  • Forget this world to establish a spiritual relationship
  • But how can this make sense when I am created within this physical world?
  • Unless I die and then subject myself away from this physical world, I am bound by it
  • Buy dying or extracting yourself from this universe is not consistent with the way I am created

“Through His sweet bounties”: Ask yourself, what are His sweet bounties

“Glory be unto You!”: Can you exclaim this through your experience of His


“All praise is Yours!”: Do you experience the qualities you are receiving and

understand that the source of these qualities is the source

of existence of the object in itself?

Our position in this world is not perfect as far as our priorities are concerned

  • I am a created being and only through my created-ness do I realize that I am needy of being made
  • I am subject to continuous change
  • Through being subject to change, I am experiencing the fact that creation is constantly being created AND that there is a creator who is making these changes BECAUSE I am incapable of changing the situation myself
  • In going through the reality of something being made, I reach the source who is making it
    • Who is giving me this shape?
    • I am a conscious being, who is giving me this consciousness?
    • What can be the source of my consciousness?
    • Experience this practically!
      • STRIVE to practice and internalize a constant awareness of me being subject to continuous change
      • And see that this change is happening in such perfect order, wisdom, balance, etc
      • In realizing and being aware, you are responding back to the source of the qualities that you are experiencing
      • The one who is giving control to the whole universe, is also giving control to me and He is my object of worship
      • Whoever is giving my existence right now, is operating on me, should be my Lord
      • I am happy with the good qualities that I have given, I should be thankful and I should praise the one who gives me all these qualities
        • All praise is due to the one who gave me my existence and is making me enjoy this life
    • In the case of the opposite, where I do not like growing old, death, aging, taste of something, etc
      • Ask yourself, why is the one who created you made you like the alternative (life, youth, etc)?
      • Why does He make me love life but instead gives me death?
      • He is communicating with me by creating all sorts of things
        • According to ME, the creation of most things is good, but somethings are bad
        • I don’t like being hungry, I don’t like death, I don’t like to be sick, I don’t like to lose my power of sight
        • This is how I appreciate life, health, existence, all the pleasures that I receive
        • From MY perspective, somethings are given to me to make me realize that I am absolutely dependent on my creator and I need my existence to be eternal, my pleasures to be eternal (never-ending) but I cannot guarantee it myself
        • All these things, which seem to be evil from MY perspective, helps me realize that I am not the source of my health and of my life
        • But for the one who created me – He is hitting two birds with one stone
          • He is demonstrating that He is the source of all good
          • Nothing, but Him can be the source of any creation
      • The wisdom in creating illness looks to ME and makes ME realize that I am not the source of health
        • When I am given health, I realize that He is the source of all goodness
        • The one who is making me think, is the source of all bounty
        • I need His act of creation to be able to see, to be able to appreciate the sweetness of life and of being healthy
        • Only by going through these so-called ‘negative’ experiences, He is teaching me about my needy reality

Imagine living in the world perfectly.

  • Without death, I think I live an eternal life
  • Without hunger, I think I am responsible for my own sustenance
    • Only when I am unhealthy, do I realize that my health is something that is created by a One beyond myself
    • I realize that I am in need of EVERYTHING
    • He creates situations so that I can know my reality

This is why we can summarize the message of the Quran to la ilaha illAllah

  • I have to first realize the incapability of ANYTHING to be it’s own source

Hence, we welcome things that we ‘dislike’ because they help us realize our reality

  • We thank our creator for giving us signs so that we may acknowledge our creator
  • What might seem evil, is only because we perceive it so. But His act of creation is not EVIL. He is teaching me my reality and guiding me.
  • He is the source of health and I am turning back to you because I realize that I cannot be the source of health.
    • This leads to me to turning to Allah and exclaim that all glory belongs to Allah


  • Food for thought
  • I seek refuge from the evil which I am suffering from

Don’t analyze existence simplistically by blaming God for a situation that you dislike.

Whenever a question enters your mind, don’t try and avoid.

Contemplate on it but do not address it with your preconceived perceptions.

Know that if Allah lets a question enter your mind, He will guide you to the answer but you must seek it out.

If we neglect all the negative things that happen to us (no death, no change, no illness, etc) how can I experience the creator?

  • My Lord is not this universe

The universe cannot be the source of existence of anything in this world

  • If the universe itself was created perfect, I need to know who created this universe

I am here. I am communicating with the surrounding world. Through my communication I am able to understand that everything around me is in need of being given existence

  • Everything around me is in need of being created
  • The earth, air, molecules, trees, etc ALL need to be created
  • I am impotent (I cannot be the cause of anything)
  • The One who created you as you are and put you in communication with the rest of the universe is doing so, so that you may know your reality

Your reality is this: You are not the source of your own existence

  • But I am ignorant of this fact
  • The only way I can confirm this is through my interaction with the rest of this world
  • If you do not have the ability to communicate with others, how will you realize your impotence
  • Only by communicating with the universe as YOU are, will you realize that the universe has been created in a perfect way for you to understand who you are and who your Lord is.



Through suffering, illness, separation – can you know who your Lord is

  • I will realize that I am needy because I want eternal life, eternal relationships
  • By realizing this, you also realize the qualities of the eternal one

Who or what the source of the existence of my human qualities is? Essential question!

  • It is not a difficult question but it has become so due to our preconceived perceptions and the way we have been taught religious knowledge

Concentrate on WHY DO I EXIST?

  • The answer is within the question
  • Only in the reality of your existence will you realize why you exist
    • By looking at your own self and how you function, you realize that it has been given to you and that should lead you to ask where it came from

We have to simplify the subject

  • Where I am?
  • Where do I come from?
  • Where do I get my sense of liking/disliking?
    • Through the senses I realize my reality
    • By taking care of my own reality, I realize that I am not the source of existence of anything
  • I am only using everything that already exists.

Disliking genocide is beautiful

  • It is great that we dislike it
  • But ask yourself, why you dislike it?
  • Where did you get this sense of disliking?
  • The sense is given to me and I should go back to who has given me this sense and realize His greatness
  • It is not me who dislikes genocide. But it is the creator of this sense who has inspired me with it and hence why I dislike it
  • I should not say that although I do not like it, God created it so I should like it
    • The sense of dislike has been given to you and you are meant to learn a lesson from it
    • We learn that we are needy of not getting hurt/or hurting others
    • Everything is in need of being given existence

None of the cells, or the particles in the cells can create themselves

  • Nothing can be the source of existence of its own quality

I don’t like something to happen. I say, ‘ I don’t like to hurt anybody.’

  • To say ‘I don’t like it’ is a wrong statement

Belief means, believing in the creator without contradicting your own reality

  • Be consistent in your own reality

The Quran, says, we are teaching you the religion, which is perfect, and appropriately fitting your fitra/nature.

  • Any belief, needs to be in consistency with your own reality otherwise you are just imitating

“How can we thank You as is Your due?”: It is being insinuated that we cannot

truly thank God as is due

  • The blessings and experiences are WAY too many for us to truly fathom it in its entirety
  • AS WE ARE, what am I expected to know with regards to the existence of the reality of this world?
    • Can we not really understand the qualities of a single small fruit?
    • If we were given (an unlimited source of knowledge) – unreal
    • I have to use what I have (my reality) and understand that the source of existence of the orange is absolute
      • Why Absolute? Because bringing something into existence needs a quality which is beyond this created world
      • I am not responsible for knowing what the essence of Absolute is BUT I am responsible for concluding that the source of existence is Absolute
      • I cannot reach the content of Absolute; it is just how I am (my reality)

It is not because we cannot thank the Almighty for His infinite blessings that we cannot thank Him as is His due BUT rather it is because He is Absolute that I cannot thank Him as is His due.

He cannot be described (NOT BECAUSE I AM LIMITED) but because He is ABSOLUTE.

  • It is important that we get the sequencing of our understanding right
  • If we with the former (that I cannot describe Him because I am limited) we are opening the possibility for humans to say that since I was created limited, it is not my fault that I cannot describe Him. It will give humans room for slack.
  • We have to acknowledge our reality
  • We do not need to feel guilty about being unable to be truly thankful
  • BUT we are responsible to use our given abilities to be as thankful as we can.

While you are praying, you do not have to IMAGINE a scenario

  • Thank Him for what you have and you experience

“You are utterly worthy of thanks”: Because everything in creation is from Him

without any exception

“Everything in the universe hymn Your praises” :

The wind is blowing, the earth is revolving, the child is crying, etc… all the qualities of things around us are happening only by Him

  • All the qualities of the things that we study and learn are praising His qualities
  • I have to be confident of my belief in la ilaha BEFORE I can proclaim illAllah

“The clear tongues of their beings” : As they are. Everything is proclaiming your

grace as they are. I am not adding anything

when I worship.

  • Be in harmony with the glorification made by all creatures
  • I am just joining in their declarations
  • I stand here and I join in because I approve
  • You feel the pleasure because you are not contradicting yourself
  • The pleasure of this honesty is what is truly SWEET.

It is a kind of disease to separate religion from our daily affairs

  • The call to prayer a time for us to engage in DEDICATED concentration
  • But worship needs to happen ALL THE TIME

“All the bounties are lined up in the market of the world”:

Author is reestablishing the method, that we need to be engaged with this world

  • Some religions preach about separation from this world and the need for suffering, etc
  • But our reality is this world and we need to be in touch with this world to draw close to our source
  • You cannot exclude yourself from your reality and then try to understand your reality

What we are learning: How to live in a mystical spiritual awareness while living in this world.

“Face of the earth” : Once again, be in touch with this world, not separate yourself from it.

When someone is needy, and your give your meal to him, are you sacrificing or are you enjoying the act?

  • There is no sacrifice in true worship BECAUSE everything is done for the sake of Allah SWT
  • “We have to sacrifice” : Words that have become common BUT we need to re-think it
  • If we feel we are sacrificing, it is most likely because we have failed to see the worship in the act and are just performing it from a cultural background
  • We need to clean up the traditions in our cultural baggage

Tags: ,

Post a Comment