“…And he who has been given wisdom, has been given great good…” (2):269
The Twelfth Word: page 145, Second Principle:
“And human beings are weak and in want…”
- Do we really feel that we are in need?
- Yes, but our needs do not apply “only” to when we are ill. We are needy at “every moment” and that is what makes us “weak” individuals.
- We cannot control the change in creation as we are part of a set order.
- Example: we want to stay young forever but we cannot stop ourselves from aging.
- We cannot stop ourselves from being subject to time (i.e. change).
- We cannot escape our reality but we have desires.
- These desires are subject to the created order.
- We have two types of needs: artificial needs and existential needs:
- Our artificial needs are to be used as the means that help us realize our existential needs. Without the artificial needs, we would not be able to realize our existential needs or vice versa.
- We cannot avoid our existential needs because we have desires that extends to eternity.
- Example: We want to be happy forever. We want to be satisfied in our existence forever. We do not want to die ever…
- Our desires are endless and we are powerless: we are purposefully made in a way to continuously yearn for that which we desire and yet we cannot do anything about it.
- There is a human contradiction between “what we are” and “what we want”.
- This contradiction is the only way that we understand our reality.
- In reality, we only discover the order (set by the Creator) and follow it.
- This is the seed of acknowledging the authority of the Creator.
“…and he knows his weakness and poverty, but he is self-sufficient…”
- Can we be self-sufficient?
- We cannot; although we may cheat ourselves temporarily but it does not really satiate us in the long run.
- Example: when we lease a car, we may get some sort of satisfaction but in reality it is not fully ours. Even if we buy the car, we still know that either we will die and thus leave it or it will get old, we will leave it. Separation is inevitable.
- Do not fall in the trap that when you want something in this world, it may temporarily substitute or fulfill your artificial needs. You may think that you have satisfied your existential needs. For example, when you are hungry, you eat and in the interim think that you guaranteed your existence.
- Only when we relate our existence to an Absolute Creator, can we find satisfaction within ourselves.
- When we connect our existence to our reality, we realize that we are insignificant beings. This is the start of religion.
“…due to the wealth which his All-Generous Lord has stored up for Him in the hereafter,”
- Lord= your Owner, your Creator, the One who organizes this universe purposefully.
- We are made on a purpose and given consciousness to realize who our Lord is.
- Revelation apprises us that we have a Lord.
- We are created with the need of a Protector that guarantees us shelter in existence.
- Names that we use to label our Creator is not important, the concept of understanding His Lordship is important.
- We need to communicate with our Creator through the Scriptures that we can comfortably confirm.
- Wealth= your existence, your being, your interaction with the universe.
- Your existence belongs to your Owner, including your sense of needs, which you have to use as a means to acknowledge Him.
- We are created with the abilities to realize who our Owner is. Therefore, we have to find Him through His manifestations in our existence while we are here in this universe.
- I am purposefully made. In my existence, I feel the need of eternal happiness.
- As per the scripture, the One who gave me this desire will definitely provide it to me as He also promises in the scripture.
- The wealth my Lord has given me encompasses my senses which enables me to realize that He is the One providing me with my needs.
- Hereafter/Akhira is the end result of our conclusions in this existence.
- The existence of the hereafter is only possible for us to realize when we are aware of the wealth given to us by our Lord: He demonstrates His signs to us here in this universe.
- The demonstrations of these signs are His promise to us that there is an eternal existence i.e. the hereafter.
- We need to work on establishing full conviction within ourselves about the reality of this promise i.e. there must be a place where these desires must be met. As a result of this realization, when we are convinced that He will fulfill our desires, that is our confirmation of the existence of the hereafter.
- We ought to be convinced about the hereafter in our existence right now i.e. belief confirmation.
- In order to take the text as our guideline, we need to confirm the text within ourselves. Only then can we be convinced about the reality of our own existence.
- The result of realizing our human reality (as mentioned above) makes us aware that: “my Lord is promising me that I am in need of being eternally happy and there is wisdom in this need.” There must be absolutely no doubt about experiencing this human reality. We can never experience any flaw in creation. We are subject to the created order.
- It is impossible for the Creator to not keep His promise (Khulfu’l wa’ad).
- Having the right concept of the Creator within ourselves is important. Ask yourself: what does the concept of “having a Creator” brings to your existence?
- Similarly, for every word that we read in the scripture, we should conceptualize its meaning to get answers to our existential questions. Example:
“I call to witness this land” Balad (90):1
- Balad means “place”. We cannot reduce its meaning to a specific city; even the Prophet (pbuh) moved from Mecca to Medina. The way to conceptualize its meaning is by starting with “our very own existence right now”.
- Everything starts from our own being “right now”. My “place” in this existence is that I am always a needy individual before my Creator.
- The real amusement in this universe comes from the process of understanding the hereafter in “your existence right now”. This is imaan/belief.
- “Believing” as a result of our “fear” is not “belief”. Similarly, claiming to belong to a religious group does not make one a “believer” either.
- “Titles” do not really give a person any value before the Creator. Similarly, imposing your judgments on others goes against your “belief in God” because you can never rely on your judgments. The Creator is the Absolute judge; we are just holding the claim.
- Religion does not belong to anybody; it belongs to the Creator only.
- Everything in the scriptures refers to “believers”. (In the Quran there is no such thing as “support your fellow Muslim brothers”; on the contrary, there is “support your fellow believers”). Example: Give charity to the near of kin, the poor, orphans, travelers, the needy, baggers, deprived, ransom of slaves, those who are strained in God’s cause, (dhu’l qurbaa, faqeer, yateem, ibnu’s’sabeel, masakeen, saail, mahroom, riqaab, uhsiroo fee sabeeli’llah) but not particularly to “Muslims.”
- Our responsibility lies in submitting to the truth.
- A Muslim is the one who submits to the truth with full conviction.
Question: How can we see “Mercy” in the creation of Hell?
- Our hereafter/akhira in this existence lies in our conclusion: “I have a Lord who is taking care of my needs.”
- The foundation of our thoughts most of the time is based on false assumptions i.e. jumping into another type of creation while not being convinced in this type of creation.
- We need to apply “the concept” of “Paradise” and “Hell” to “our existence right now”.
- When you realize that you have a Lord, attach your existence (expectations) to Him solely.
- We cannot attribute our existence to anything in this universe besides the Creator. Example: we are not the product of our parents or we do not exist as a result of our cells developing by themselves.
- We need to ascribe our existence to the Owner only: That is why God is described as Rabbulalameen (Lord of the worlds).
- Who is God? He is my Lord, the Lord of the universe and all types of creation.
- When we feel secure in our existence that is Paradise. The alternate to “Paradise” is “Hell”: the result of denying the Creator/kufur.
- Our humanity rejects the consequences of that which is “Hell”. We are looking for “eternal happiness” and when we resist this feeling, we damage our own being. “Hell fuel” in the scripture refers to human beings and stones i.e. meaningless ideologies that we ascribe to our existence. [See Baqara (2): 24 and Tahrem (66):6]
- Hell is made up of you and me. It means that our kufur attitude (denying the Creator) brings tons of fuel to our existence.
- Because of this clear distinction between right (Paradise) and wrong (Hell), there is no way to confuse between the two. There is no gray area between “belief” and “unbelief”.
- In creating Hell as a result of denying God, there is Mercy as it enables us to see that which is “Hell”.
- The Creator is warning us that here is no happiness, hope and Paradise in denying Him.
- Clearly, “Hell” represents a horrible situation/place which we run away from. That is how we see Mercy in the existence of Hell.
- We are endowed with the qualities to “not deny the truth”: we hate mistakes, transgressions, faults… It is so clear, we cannot confuse it (see verse below):
“There should be no coercion in matters of faith. Distinct has now become the right way from [the way of] error: hence, he who rejects the powers of evil and believes in God has indeed taken hold of a support most unfailing, which shall never give way: for God is all-hearing, all-knowing.” Baqara (2):256
- The truth is clear means that the “right” and “wrong” are made distinct from each other. The mistakes we make are obvious because everything in creation is harmonious.
- The Mercy in the existence of Paradise is equal to the Mercy in the existence of Hell.
- We need to achieve khushu (satisfaction) in our prayers right now.
- If we are fixated on performing a certain “units of prayers” only, we transform our life into a play.
- Prayer is only taken into account as far as “our consciousness of prayer” is concerned, otherwise Quran says:
“So Woe to those who pray” Ma’oon (107):4
“[But] who are heedless of their prayers” Ma’oon(107):5
- We should not perform prayers with a total absent mind. Neither should we perform prayers as an investment to the hereafter. Metaphoric description of prayers makes us numb.
- Prayers need to be performed as our conclusion of our existence right now and presenting them to the Owner of our existence.
- We need to take care of our own personal responsibilities: Belief is our own personal conclusion. It cannot be communal.
Tags: 12th Word, Al-Balad, Al-Baqarah, Al-Maun, Human Reality, The Words, Wisdom Series