All over the world Sufis are remembering God, some formally, some informally, some soberly, some exuberantly, some publicly and some in private.
All over the world Sufis are remembering God, some formally, some informally, some soberly, some exuberantly, some publicly and some in private.
Q. What links these key figures of modern scientific-intellectual thought?
Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
Arthur Compton (1892 – 1962)
Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)
Ernst Haeckel (1834 –1919)
Erwin Schrödinger (1887 –1961)
Francis Bacon (1561-1627)
Francis Collins (Born 1950)
Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)
Gottfried Leibniz (1646 –1716)
Gregor Mendel (1822-1884)
Guglielmo Marconi (1874 –1937)
Isaac Newton (1642-1727)
James Clerk Maxwell (1831 –1879)
Johannes Kepler (1571-1630)
John Eccles (1903 – 1997)
Louis Pasteur (1822-1895)
Max Planck (1858-1947)
Michael Faraday (1791-1867)
Nicholas Copernicus (1473-1543)
Rene Descartes (1596-1650)
Robert A. Millikan (1868 – 1953)
Robert Boyle (1791-1867)
Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1627)
Werner Heisenberg (1901 – 1976)
William Harvey (1578 –1657)
William Thomson Kelvin (1824-1907)
A. They all believed in God
Men can be strange creatures. Although it has been the case that since the European “Enlightenment Era” some misguided people started to misuse the terms and ideas of Newtonian science to support their atheistic view of the world Newton himself was a believer in the One God. He himself saw his discoveries as discovering the evidence of God’s beautiful work in nature. Historically materialistic ideas have been spread by various groups. Ironically these included certain ominous but influential secret brotherhoods who worked to spread Atheism through societies, whilst all along their own masters were and are involved in Baal worship.
Gradually the materialists managed to wrestle control of the European academic establishment (and subsequently re-writing history in their mould) and once this happened it is a sad reality that, especially in the sciences, European and American academics who are aware of God have had to hide their true beliefs to one degree or another to avoid hurting their careers and reputations.
Indeed the modern Western academic establishment has sometimes been compared to the Christian Church that dominated Europe’s though for so long with an iron fist and a girdle around the mind. Yet many important physicists, cosmologists and other scientists have continued on despite the fact that they were believers in God and they are often the one’s who have read God’s Signs through the Book of Nature.
For a long time people started to wrongly imagine that the cosmos functioned in a simple clockwork-like manner. Such ideas developed out of observations of apparent causation as did the idea that the universe can be simply understood through scientific means once all the laws, variables and phenomena had been scientifically recorded and studied. Yet as we have moved forwards in time the first part of this idea crumbled. New ways of observing things showed the universe to be far more complex and interesting than was first thought.
The wise people had always realized that the universe is alive, bursting with spirit, full of meaning and that God is the cause of causes and not just as the ‘primary cause’ (as in Plato), but rather He is also as the Sustainer of the entire system. These people have rejected the veil of materialist delusion and have sought to restore the Light of the Creator to the global intellectual consciousness, from Jean Jacques Rousseau and Goethe onwards many thinkers, started to express their intuitive awareness and experience of the immanent Divine.
They saw the harmful nature if the Mechanistic cult, which blinded men’s eyes to humanity, decency and intuitively recognized truths and they saw how it was spreading darkness over the world. The English natural philosopher Thomas Carlyle had long ago reminded the European thinkers of the limits of science and of the value of the wonderful phenomena of intuitive insight (which studies would one day demonstrate was the true provider of the great scientific studies – as opposed to the conscious faculties of reason). Carlyle also pointed out that the scientists had gone nowhere beyond where the normal folk had done apart from;
A few handbreadths deeper than we see
Into the Deep that is infinite
Without bottom as without shore
In this warning he was reminding the people that although we may find scientific causes through observation and experiment, that they too invariably have causes themselves and that finding the cause of causes can be a very long journey. Wise spiritually developed people can tell you that the Ultimate cause of causes is none other than God, and during the 20th century many physicists would come to this understanding through no other influence than their study of nature itself.
By the beginning of the 20th century CE various scientists had successfully challenged and slain simple mechanistic materialist misconceptions by revealing that the universe is far more mysterious than had once been thought. Scientists began to discover that what had once been recorded as supposed physical causes of particular events were actually mere superficial understandings of events that still defied explanation.
New study of the forces of the electro-magnetic spectrum would reveal the complete inadequacy of simple mechanistic ‘clockwork’ views physics to describe the activities of many forces and particles and the 20th century physicist Albert Einstein (who although generally against established religion was a strong believer in God seeing our Creator in Spinozan terms) would move beyond the Newtonian world view through his experimentally demonstrable theory and special theory of relativity. They would show that the simple mechanical world view was completely inadequate to describe the reality of ‘space-time’, whilst new understandings of particle physics would go even further towards disproving the simplistic mechanical view of the Universe that had been so popular with the Atheists.
Scientists like Max Planck who studied the world of physical forces, particles and processes at the most minute level (Quantum Physics) would open up a new world of understanding and they and their heirs would discover that sub-atomic particles behaved in ways that defied mechanical explanation and further that they existed on a physical level which functioned quite differently from the common physics of material objects that had been developing through history. They recorded things that overthrew old assumptions about the laws of nature, such as things that could only be described as existing simultaneously as an electro-magnetic wave and as a particle with mass and velocity at the same time. They also recorded how the mere act of human observation had effects upon the quantum realm (something which is inexplicable using an old fashioned mechanistic view of the Universe). Planck himself was a believer in God and promoted the idea that He is everywhere present, our powerful and benevolent Creator.
Some observers would say that the new understanding of relativity and quantum physics would reveal that we humans could only observe certain external manifestations of reality. The supporters of the mechanistic world view had believed that the essence of the cosmos had been understandable through simple scientific observations, but the more scientists had studied the Universe, the more they had found the causes of the causes of the causes and the more they came to realize that apparent simplicity had masked enormous complexity. They realized that they had never developed real understanding of the essence of physical reality, but rather they had only made mathematical models that were good at describing how those things behaved.
They came to realize that science may not necessarily provide any of the ultimate answers that they had hoped for. From now on many top physicists would realize and assert the truth that their science could only give the human race a partial understanding of reality. The reality of the new developments in physics would be summed up by the Sir Arthur Eddington (1882-1944 CE), a great English astronomer, when he declared that the stuff of the world is mind stuff. Similarly Sir James Jeans (1877-1946 CE), the great English physicist and mathematician, came to the conclusion that the universe is a universe of thought. He would be one of many physicists who read the signs of God in physics and he went on through a strong process of scientific deduction and declared that as the Universe is a Universe of thought then its creation must have been an act of thought. Like many other deep thinkers he went onto to conclude that the evidence points towards the fact that the universe has been created by a conscious designer.
Philosophical systems are merely methods of thought and science is simply the applied of use methodical observation, clear measurement and mathematical and rational analysis allied to the idea that if we observe something happen every time we measure it – then people call it a ‘law of physics’, and the foolish amongst them imagine that it is immutable principle that will always happen given the same circumstances. Yet such a basis of understanding can never provide ultimate knowledge as it is based upon an un-provable hypothesis.
Quite simply, how can anyone know that the next time they measure what they thought was a ‘law’ they will not find that it changed. Without making an infinite number of measurements they cannot be sure that the next measurement will not disprove their entire understanding of the so called ‘laws of nature’ and how can a race of finite beings stuck in time make an infinite number of measurements?
Quite simply, science can never tell us anything with certainty as from our mortal position within the universe, unless we know everything about the ‘laws of nature’ we can not be sure that any of them are correct – as missing information could destroy our whole basis of understanding – and the system of science is incapable of ever providing certainty that we do know everything.
Quite simply, science is useful in many ways but when people imagine it is a tool for ultimate understanding they are building a house of cards or a house built upon sand, as unless you know everything you cannot be sure you know anything and as the former is clearly impossible for us limited created beings who live in the world so is the latter.
Looking for ultimate answers in science is rather like the parable where Mullah Nasruddin lost his ring down in the dimly lit cellar of his home. Realizing that there was little chance of finding it in the dark he went into the street and started looking for the ring there. A passer by asked him what he was looking for, to which he replied that he had lost his ring in his basement.
The bemused stranger asked him why he was not looking in the basement where he lost it to which the Mullah replied that there was no chance of finding it in that darkness therefore e he was looking where could see it if it was there.
Those who turn philosophy and science into religions that replace Revealed religion should be aware that there is simply no known law of existence that states that humankind may come to know all about existence through the intellectual endeavour of philosophy or scientific experiments.
Furthermore there is no evidence to show that existence may be truly understood by those within it and no reason to assume that such evidence will be forthcoming. In fact gaining such an understanding is an impossibility of sorts because when you exist within the laws of physics (as a part of the universe) you can never really be sure you know anything until you are sure you know everything.
You are like a fish in a pond who is unable to see out, only able to speculate about the the nature of the pond from within, not able to look at it from without because, you are destined, in life to remain within. The cosmos is your pond, in truth the Earth is your pond and all you can do is speculate until your Creator lets you swim out of that pond into the wide reality of the hereafter.
Science can never really give ultimate answers and as a scientist you can never be sure that your conclusions and basic premises are true because they may always be proved incorrect by new unknown information, as it arises. And the secret of unknown information is that you never know when it will arise or whether it exists or not.
At the same time the nature of the world is such that you can never be sure that you know everything, because laws of nature and facts of reality may remain secret from us. This can happen due to their existence and general effects not being within the possible scope of scientific inquiry because they are undetectable and immeasurable to us, and thus our presumptions always has the possibility of being illusory and/or incomplete. therefore e with intellectual pursuits such as the philosophy and science of the experimental approach you can never be sure you know anything at all.
There are however other ways and means of coming to a true understanding of the world, but they are opened to some and closed to others, as God wills it. Through special ways Divinely illuminated souls become aware of the great Creator who Muslims call ALLAH.
These ways include visions, dreams, intuitions, the call of the Blessed Prophets (may God bless him and give him peace) and the Divine Signs that can be perceived by the illuminated souls in the natural world. The world and cosmos is a Book that is full of the signs of God for those who have eyes.
Human beings who take a truly rational approach, who observe and think will arrive at the twin peaks of truth – Monotheism and knowing the need to submit to their Creator. Only through a proper understanding of the Divine Scriptures that God sent through His Messengers (may God bless him and give him peace) can human beings reach the greatest understanding of the truth. This is because Islam is the truth and Islam is the wisdom.
Those unfortunate people whose souls are shaped in the pattern of the accursed Satan tend to greatly over estimate their own intelligence and their ability to understand the world and this often leads to their creation of misguided philosophies and ‘sciences’ that claim to have all the answers, when in fact they are merely the self-justifications of hell bound ones who turn away the orphans and refuse to bow down to their Creator.
Science and philosophy are good for providing the human race with useful ways of thinking, vacuum cleaners and televisions, but they cannot show the way to either ultimate truth or wisdom. Many people spend their lives searching here and there amongst the sciences, the ‘ologies’ and the ‘isms’, but they never achieve satisfaction, because all those they seek knowledge from are devoid of understanding themselves.
People who look towards the place where the sweetest perfume originates are looking to ALLAH. They strive to let go of all the distractions, because they originate in ignorance. The best people in the world in the world have always been those who truly listened to ALLAH’s Messengers (peace and blessings upon them) and followed their guidance.
This is true in the present just as much as it was in the past. No matter how much a person tries to make their own system of goodness it will fail unless they have the Mercy and Guidance of ALLAH. God had the Mercy upon the people of the men and jinn to send them down the last Revelation of Islam through the Holy Prophet (may God bless him and give him peace).
The best and only guide towards Ultimate Truth is God and the way to reach God (SWT’s) guidance is through the Holy Qur’an, the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (may God bless him and give him peace), the true hearted and genuine Scholars of Islam and the friends of ALLAH. These are the helpers who may assist the layman in their understanding of ultimate things.
Scientific ‘truth’ is also very useful for the understanding of the physical world and it is developed through experimentation and the application of the scientific method, however scientific ‘truth’ is limited to that which can be deduced by the study of that limited part of space-time that humans have access to (it cannot reach into the Ghaib or come to an understanding of the Merciful and All Powerful God the Creator who is far beyond human understanding).
Although we may say ‘scientific truth’ what we really mean is ‘scientifically deduced theoretical conclusions that are supported by the repeated application of the scientific method to a particular physical phenomenon’ it is not ‘Truth’ in an ultimate sense, rather it is far inferior to Ultimate or Divine Truth, which is revealed through Revelation and which the believers are given innumerable undeniable and miraculous Signs of ALLAH.
During the 20th Century CE…
Bediuzzaman Said Nursi’s (ra) teachings became a beacon guiding us to the reality that only by living in the natural way that God the Merciful and Compassionate has taught humankind, can humans have any real well being. He explained how Muslims may live and interact with the modern world and effectively illuminated a path that weak Muslims and non-Muslims may take towards gaining true Wisdom. Have you ever looked at the Risale e Noor?
The primacy of Revelation versus the primacy of Philosophy was one of the great struggles of the history has been that of the conflict of the primacy of revelation with that of philosophy.
Bediuzzaman Said Nursi (ra) was at one time one of those who thought that philosophy and rational inquiry and understandings of religion were more than they were, yet eventually he burst out of that box and he knew, like Imam al Ghazali (ra) before him, that philosophy and rational inquiry are the products of men – limited as they are – and they can only be servants to something higher, a higher understanding that comes through the understanding of the Revelation, moving thus from philosophy to REALITY. He warned that those who stay trapped in the philosophers’ world-view were like those unhappy souls trapped in a dark pipe of their own making who die of suffocation before they get to their goal.
The Egoistic mind always tends to leans towards the cynical worship of the self and to perceive the ‘mind’ as being the ultimate arbiter of truth appeals to them. The wise, however, are aware of the reality of the truth revelation not just through intellect, or feeling, but also by intuition and the Mercy of ALLAH. God created humankind, the Angels, the jinn, the animals, nature, the world, the cosmos, the universe, the multiverse Paradise and Hell, and probably many other things and places that we do not know of and will never know of. He existed before all else and will exist after all else. One of the basic faults of philosophy is that there is simply no known law of existence that states that humankind may come to know all about existence through the intellectual endeavour of philosophy.
Nikolaus von Cusa, was an interesting man. In his 1440 CE De docta ignorantia, he pointed out that human reasoning may never completely comprehend truth – although the more we study things the closer we may (it seems) approach truth.
Later Michel Eyquem de Montaigne noted back in 1569 CE that until something is found of which we are completely certain we can be certain of nothing. In terms of physics it still has not and thus he is correct in his statement, yet in terms of the soul we can be certain of God because we know Him by many means.
If we think about it we can see that one of the basic faults of science is that there is simply no known law of existence that states that humankind may come to know all about existence through the intellectual endeavour of science. There is no true evidence to show that existence may be truly understood by those within it and no reason to assume that such evidence will be forthcoming. In fact such evidence is an impossibility of sorts. This is because when you exist within the laws of physics (as a part of the universe) you can never really be sure you know anything until you are sure you know everything. You are like a fish in a pond who is unable to see out, only able to speculate about the pond from within, not able to look at it from without because it remains within.
The cosmos is your pond, in truth the earth is your pond and all you can do is speculate. You are like a fish who tries to know and understand the whole world from their view in a pond, they have only been allowed to see a tiny fraction of reality and beyond that they have to be careful not to enter into speculative flights of fancy and pyramids of self delusion. As an observer from ‘within the pond’ you can never be sure that your conclusions and basic premises are true because they may always be proved incorrect by new unknown information, as it arises. And the secret of unknown information is that you never know when it will arise or whether it exists or not.
At the same time the nature of the world is such that you can never be sure that you know everything, because laws of nature and facts of reality may remain secret from us, due to their existence and general effects not being within the possible scope of scientific inquiry (i.e. undetectable and immeasurable to us), and thus our presumptions always has the possibility of being illusory and/or incomplete. therefore e with intellectual pursuits such as the philosophy and science of the experimental approach you can never be sure you know anything at all.
Yet the words of the Messengers of God are the protected words of truthful ones from a truthful and all knowing being, God the One True God , who sees and hears and knows all. Who created and shaped and sustains the world, and it is a thing totally easy for Him.
Sir James Jeans (1877-1946 CE), was a great English physicist and mathematician. Although not a ‘Muslim’, he was one of many physicists who were able to see the signs of God in physics. After a careful process of scientific deduction he declared that as the Universe is a Universe of thought then its creation must have been an act of thought and he concluded that the evidence suggested that the Universe had been created by a ‘great Architect’.
Abdur Raheem Nelson
Anti Relious Bias in Modern Academia Promotes Atheism
Prof. George Yancey is a sociologist at the University of North Texas. He is the author of a number of works, most interestingly ‘Compromising Scholarship Religious and Political Bias in American Higher Education’ in which he systematically explores the reality of social bias against religious conservatives in American higher education. The work systematically demonstrates the reality of this social bias through quantitative and qualitative analysis of the views and attitudes of American academia in various fields.
Prof. Yancey demonstrates how politically and religiously conservative academics (therefore the ideas they hold) face various different types of exclusion or marginalization in American universities.
This threatens the free exchange of ideas in the academic discourse and the reader can imagine how this situation strengthens the grip of the liberal atheists (who dominate US academia) upon society as a whole, with each generation of young educated people being placed under the tutelage of people of a particular worldview, one which most of them will come to adopt, thinking that it is the only norm for an educated person because other voices have been stifled and excluded.
The book is written about the American situation, but its findings also reflect the situation in Europe (indeed in Europe we may find this pro-liberal pro-atheist anti-conservative anti-religious bias is even worse)
“Groundbreaking. This research brilliantly unmasks the subtle social, philosophical, and ideological forces behind the exclusion of conservatives and their viewpoints from the academic enterprise.”
—Louis Bolce, Associate Professor of Political Science at Baruch College, City University of New York
At the start of the day; the ignorant man thinks about what he will do that day’ ….
‘At the start of the day; the wise man thinks about what God will do with him’
(Sheik ibn Ata’ullah (ra).
If you’re swimming in the sea of choices and experiences that is the worldly life, having fun or just swimming along and then you find that its full of sharks and crocodiles who want to drag you down to a terrible place where you will be devoured, head for this Island of Blessings, Safety and Rewards, the route there is a straight one, but there are many distractions, ignore them, focus on that island and hold on to the only handhold that doesn’t break and God willing you’ll get there soon enough, do you want to be the fool who says ‘I’m having fun, the island is far away, I like it here’ and swims round and round in circles until the predators get him and drag him down.
Rumi (ra) once compared the world to the witch of Kabul who held men prisoner with her decorations and perfume. He informed the people that we may free ourselves from the witchcraft of the world by repeating;
‘I take refuge in the Lord of daybreak’
He reminded us to beware of the world and that to escape from her snares we need to follow a guide whose; breath is cool, who can loosen our shackles and who understand the mystery of ALLAH does whatever He chooses. The world is a trap and its bait is lust. We can escape from this trap by turning our faces to God. Rumi reminds us that when we go along the right way we have blessings, but when we wander on the wrong path we do not do too well.
Throughout the Mathnavi Rumi (ra) calls us to abandon desire for the unnecessary worldly things so that we can receive the mercies of the Creator and then we can find that without moving we can travel from His prison into His beautiful rose-garden.
Hold on to God’s Mercy
that Doesn’t Break
Race each other to forgiveness
from your Lord
and a Garden as wide as the
Heavens and the Earth,
prepared for the dutiful
(Surah Imran 133)
..Their Lord gives them good tidings of mercy from Him, and acceptance,
and Gardens where enduring pleasure will be theirs;
There they will abide for ever.
Lo! with God there is immense reward.
(Surah Taubah 21-2)
And whoso does good works,
whether of male or female,
and he (or she) is a believer,
such will enter paradise
and they will not be wronged
the dint in a date- stone.
(Surah an Nisa 124)
Rumi once explained that there are two types of intelligence or wisdom. The first is that acquired intelligence which is gained through education; studying from books and lecturers, memorizing, reflecting and forming concepts. This intelligence has its uses, but it can also sometimes be a burden. The second type of intelligence is a gift of wisdom from God.
Acquired intelligence is like water supply entering a house from outside, if the supply is blocked the house may go without water, but the wisdom that is a gift from God flows from the heart. therefore e he advised the people to seek the wisdom that God may bestow upon a person more than acquired intelligence.
Intuition is an internal wisdom that exists at the core of each individual. This includes the intuition of the Fitra (the true nature of humans) and the subconscious memory of seeing God before entering the fetus, the memory of Him informing us that He is our Lord and Creator and that we should worship Him.
Intuition exists somewhere between intellect and emotion and it is the product of repeated pattern recognition. It is not intellectual, although intellectual knowledge aids it and neither is it emotional, although emotion informs it. Rather than intuition being the slave of emotion or intellect it is their true master.
The ‘humanist’ 20th century psychologist Carl Rogers became aware of the inner wisdom that resides in each individual whilst he was working as a psychotherapist. He called this inner ability to perceive things accurately, and to function in ways that promote well-being, the Organismic Valuing Process. Others such as Abraham Maslow have also become aware of the innate intuitive human ability of self-actualization.
Prophet Muhammad (may God bless him and give him peace) is reported to have explained that ‘Religion (Islam) is sincere talking helping and good advice’ (Bukhari). He (may God bless him and give him peace) often gave wise counsel to the people such as explaining ‘make the most of five things before five others, life before death, health before sickness, free time before becoming busy, youth before old age, and wealth before poverty.’ (Saheeh al-Jaami).
Imam Jalaluddeen Suyuti (ra) recorded a narration that summarized the Holy Prophet’s (may God bless him and give him peace) practically talking helping a person over a broad range of areas in one meeting. Suyuti (ra) records how one time a person came to the Holy Prophet (may God bless him and give him peace) and asked him to counsel him on some important issues. The Holy Prophet’s counsel is paraphrased below;
O Rasoolollah I desire to become an Alim.
Fear and obey God and knowledge and wisdom will come to you.
I desire to be wealthy.
If you choose contentment you will be wealthy.
I wish to be of the best of people.
The one who benefits others is the best of people…..
I want to become a just person.
Do for others what you like for yourself so you may become a just person.
I wish to be liked in the court of God.
Then practice the Dhikr of God Ta’aala.
I desire to be amongst the devout.
Worship God as though you are seeing Him….
I wish that my faith should be perfect.
Correct your personality and your faith will become perfect.
I wish to be classed amongst the obedient.
Perform your Fard duties so that you will be counted amongst the obedient.
I wish to be resurrected with light in the Resurrection.
Avoid oppressing others and you will be resurrected with light on the Day of Judgement.
I desire God’s Mercy.
Show mercy upon yourself and the creation of God Ta’ala and He will show Mercy to you.
I wish for my sins to decrease..
Seek God Ta’ala’s forgiveness and your sins will decrease……
I wish to be honoured.
Avoid complaining in difficult times and you will be honoured.
I desire abundant provisions..
Always remain in a state of purity so there will be blessings in your provision.
I wish to become the friend of God and His Prophet (may God bless him and give him peace).
Like the things that God and His Prophet (may God bless him and give him peace) like and dislike that which they dislike….
I desire to be saved from the anger of God Ta’ala.
Do not become angry with anyone without having a valid Shariah reason so that you are saved from the anger of God.
I wish to become a person who’s supplications are accepted by God.
Abstain form unlawful things and unlawful speech.
I desire that God won’t disgrace me in front of everyone on the Day of Judgement.
Hide the faults of your brother and God Ta’ala will cover your faults.
“A fool sees not the same tree that a wise man sees.”
(William Blake – a wise saying)
A rich profligate
is a lump of earth gilded
and a pious ascetic worshiper
is a sweetheart
covered in earth.
is the patched garment of Moses
and the former
is the bejeweled beard of Pharaoh.
Nevertheless good men
retain a cheerful countenance in adversity
whilst the rich droop their heads
even in prosperity.
Who possesses wealth and dignity
but therewith succours not those
whose minds are distressed,
Warn him wealth and dignity
will not be his the mansion
of the next world.
Many wise people have explained that the secret of happy life is to be in harmony with your Merciful Creator and enjoy it, appreciating the things He gives you.
When fortune is a person’s slave
His heart is perpetually disposed towards obedience.
It is not fit to turn aside one’s head from servitude,
since fortune is obtainable from obedience.
Happiness is procured from obedience;
The heart becomes illumined from the light of obedience.
If you girds thy loins with submission,
Thou wilt open the door of everlasting happiness.
The wise man doth not turn his head from obedience,
since no excellence is more lofty than obedience.
Keep your ablutions freshened with the waters of obedience,
so that to-morrow you may be free as from fire.
Establish your prayers with sincerity,
So that you may attain everlasting prosperity.
Enlightenment of soul springs from obedience,
Just as the earth derives light from the sun.
Worship the Creator;
Sit down in the portals of obedience.
If you makes choice to worship the Creator,
you will be a chieftain in the kingdom of fortune.
Raise thy head and keep not abstinence in thy pocket,
for Paradise is the abode of the abstinent.
Lighten the lamp of your soul with piety,
that you may become happy, like the prosperous
Whoever is clad with the garment of genuine spirituality
has no fear for the trials of the day of Judgement.
Allah is the light of the Heavens
and the Earth
The metaphor of His light
is as if there were a niche
And in it a lamp;
the lamp enclosed in Glass;
The Glass as if it was a brilliant star;
Lit from a blessed tree,
An Olive neither of
the East or the West.
(Holy Qur’an Surah An-Nur 35-37)
Allah is the one true God. The God of the Torah, the Psalms, the Gospels, the Holy Qur’an and of all genuine Revelations. He was worshiped by the all the genuine Prophets, such as,
John the Baptist,
… amongst thousands of others, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon all of them. Allah is the Creator of the Cosmos and all creation.
He chooses to be called He but He is far above being male or female.
Allah is the wonderful name that simply means ‘the God’ in the blessed and favoured Arabic language
(in the Hebrew Torah He was known as ‘Yahweh’ and other names).
Allah is the name in Arabic which refers to the True God, who was the one who inspired all the true Prophets.
Allah has been known to all peoples in all the lands of the world and in all the ages of the world through His Messengers.
People have referred to Him by many names,
but He is the One True God and in the most recent Revelation,
the Holy Qur’an, he has generally referred to Himself as Allah.
He has 99 beautiful names which shall be described in another post InshaAllah.
The God whom the Muslims call Allah
is the God of All True Believers
Allah means, the-God in Arabic. It refers to the One True God of the Torah, the Gospels, the Holy Qur’an and many other scriptures of the world. He is the God who was loved and worshipped from the time of the first man and woman to this present day, by all the best people.
To worship anything other than the One True God is a grave mistake.
God has been known in every age and all true worship has been directed to Him. The most important thing you can ever know is that there is Only One God and He is our Amazing Lord.
God is far beyond having limits placed upon Him, He is beyond being restricted and beyond having parts or limbs. Beyond male or female, beyond similarity to the created beings, beyond being in need of anyone. Further He is is beyond being contained by the six directions (unlike the created things). God knows that exact nature of all these things.
Whilst a human being can only be consciously aware of a few things at one time God is aware of the entire multiplicity of things with absolute ease. He knows every single atom of the universe and they all serve Him alone.
Even every cell, every strand of DNA, every molecule and every atom of the most ardent disbeliever, the most ferocious skeptic, are in complete submission to God. The disbelief of these individuals being part of the Divine plan, even though at the personal subjective level, they have chosen their stance with the free choices that He gave them.
Nothing encompasses Him.
He is not limited by spatial dimension or time.
The ‘Sifah’ are the Attributes of God, including;
True believers neither deny these Attributes
nor do they make anthropomorphic comparisons
between God’s attributes and those of the created creatures.
God’s 99 beautiful Names that also describe his attributes.
God’s Essence is something different from His Attributes.
Although we may reflect upon the good qualities of God’s Attributes,
trying to think about His Essence should be avoided
as it is beyond our comprehension whilst we are limited by this worldly realm.
People who waste their time trying to understand God’s essence
often fall into confusion and come to misguided views
as they are trying to comprehend something beyond their intellectual tools of understanding.
Before space and time there was only Allah. Beyond the realm of that which is imaginable to humans, exists Allah. Beyond the capacities of human understanding exists Allah. Beyond anything you have or could ever dream of is Allah. Beyond the laws of physics and the limits of the human imagination Allah is there. Beyond the limits of time, Allah is there.
There is no god other than He, nor is there anything like Him, nor anything with power that can oppose him, nor anything equal to Him. He has had no child, no father, no wife and no partner.
All created beings are dependent upon Allah but He is self-existent. All created beings have faults and weaknesses but Allah is perfect. He is unique and beyond comparison. This is one reason why He is beyond human comprehension.
There is no beginning to His being first nor an end to His being the last – there was no point at which He began and non at which He can be said to end as He is eternal.
Allah cannot be described within the confines of human language a way that explains His greatness and no one in the world can imagine Allah in a way that encompasses His reality – He is beyond our minds – beyond our imaginings.
Deep thinkers derive lessons from His signs but know that to imagine His Essence is beyond them, they learn through His Signs but avoid trying to reflect on His Essence.
God is beyond our imaginations
He cannot be comprehended by the human mind, the good people will see His beautiful reality in Paradise and then they will know what He looks like. This is a great blessing for them. Their vision of Him will not be all encompassing, but it will be such a wondrous experience as to make all the other wonders of Paradise seem insignificant.
There is nothing like God and He is different from any created being. Anyone who knowingly likens or confuses God with the created beings is deeply confused.
The true believers will one day see God in the Garden of Paradise yet until then they may not imagine what it is like to look at Allah , however much they may try. The interpretation of this seeing is done by avoiding its interpretation.
Wise people guard themselves against either negating or denying any of the attributes of God, or of likening Him to something else. to
God, the Glorious and Exalted, can only be described in terms of Oneness and total singular Unity, no creation is in any way like Him.God is not limited by space or time, He encompasses the heavens and the earth, He is everywhere with his awareness. He is beyond having limits placed on Him, or being restricted, or having parts or limbs. Nor is He contained by the six directions as all created things are.
If you think you are able to imagine God know that your imagination is doing Him no justice and what you imagine is far less amazing than He is.
If you wish to see God remain steadfast in true faith and good deeds and God-willing in the hereafter you will be blessed with this and then you may realize how limited your earthbound imagination was.
When we think of God or speak to Him we very naturally think of Him being somewhere upwards from where we are, we also very naturally know that in Paradise we may be able to see Him, but not while we are earthbound.
Yet we also know he can see and hear us wherever we are. If we are blessed, especially in the last third of the night or if we are alone in a beautiful place or are in a heightened spiritual state, we may also instinctively know that God is close to us, unseen but strongly felt.
We may feel (indeed we may feel a knowing with a strong feeling of surety) that we can reach out in supplication to Him and ask Him to help us with great confidence of success at such times.
These are all experiences and knowings from the shared intuitive and instinctive knowledge of humanity and they can be found amongst different peoples and religions.
Some people limit God in their imaginations to a spatial position upon the Divine Throne (although they may deny it – it seems that they are imagining that His being on the Throne is comparable to their sitting on a chair), yet they must realize that He is not limited, He is beyond being limited to spatiality and beyond the ‘laws of physics’.
Wise believers know that He is indeed upon the Throne (according to His own words), but they also know that He is not limited to the reality that exists within the universe (space-time).
Al-Arsh (the Divine Throne) and Al-Kursi (the Divine Chair) are real, yet we must know that God is independent of the Throne and that which is beneath it. He encompasses the Creation, not vice verse.
Indeed Allah encompasses all things, and that which is above it, and the things that He has created are incapable of encompassing Him – this includes the Throne and the Heavens and indeed the whole created universe, be sure of this.
For the one who asks where is God ? The Holy Qur’an explains that He is…
firmly established on the Throne (of Authority).
He knows what enters within the earth
and what goes forth out of it
and what goes down from heaven and what mounts up to it.
And He is with you wherever you may be.
And Allah sees well all that you do.
(from Holy Qur’an Surah al-Hadeed)
God is omnipotent, He can do anything.
What does this mean in practice?
Some modern Muslim scholars of Divine Religion will respond to this question with the simple answer;
God can do anything at all.
This view is sometimes heard amongst the modern Salafis.
However some other people then may ask questions like; ‘Can He make Himself cease to exist? Can He make another God like himself? Can He make a square triangle? ‘
Most modern Muslim scholars of Divine Religion will answer the question
God is omnipotent, He can do anything.
What does this mean in practice?
with words to the effect of.
‘It means that God can do anything that is not a rational impossibility,
it means that He can do anything that is contingently possible,
it means that He can do anything that is not a logical absurdity.
This is the view popular amongst the Asharis and Maturidis.
To the questions “Can God make Himself cease to exist or make another God like himself?” or “Can God make a square triangle?” this group may point out that these things are logical absurdities – therefore they cannot occur and are not relevant to God’s omnipotence.
A third group answer these questions in a different way from either of the above two understandings. They may answer the question;
‘God is omnipotent, He can do anything.
What does this mean in practice?’
with the following wise, simple and beautiful answer.
‘GOD CAN DO ANYTHING THAT BEFITS HIS MAJESTY
HE CAN DO ANYTHING THAT IS IN ACCORDANCE WITH
HIS DIVINE NAMES AND ATTRIBUTES
To the questions “Can God make Himself cease to exist or make another God like himself?” or “Can God make a square triangle?” this group would answer;
He cannot make another God like Himself because it is one of His beautiful Divine attributes to be the ONE GOD
…and He cannot cease to exist because it is one of his beautiful Divine Attributes to be the Everliving One.‘
As to square triangles the proponents of this view may ask the question
‘WHY SHOULD GOD BE LIMITED BY
WHAT MEN DECLARE TO BE LOGICAL OR POSSIBLE?’
And they have a very strong point indeed as just because we cannot imagine something with our limited human minds doesn’t mean that God cannot do it.
All three of these interpretations have existed amongst the Sunni scholars who were seeking the blessings and mercy of God and He knows best as to which of them is closest to the Divine Truth.
In the hereafter these seekers after wisdom will know which view was most correct.
What are the Signs of God?
Believers remind people that the signs of God are a source of true knowledge by which we may perceive our Creator and thus come to comprehend the true reality of the Universe.
God has filled the world with wondrous signs for all those with open hearts to see. They have an ideal nature in that to those whose inclination is good they are obvious, every present and oft occurring. However to those whose choices and inclinations are selfish, egoistic and corrupt the Signs of God are invisible.
If a person inclines towards goodness God inclines towards them and opens up the awareness of the true nature of reality, but those who incline towards greed and selfish lust find the pathway to ignorance is opened up for them. Thus those who deserve good come to believe whilst those who deserve less come to disbelieve (unless God has Mercy upon them).
What are Miracles?
Miracles are the unusual signs that God shows through his Messengers to support them and help the people recognize the authenticity of their Message.
They are an alteration of the normal apparent occurrence of natural cause and effect and therefore they may be seen as being ‘supernatural’, but in truth the seeming laws of cause and effect are just so at the order of God, who sustains and cherishes the universe – and so are miracles, therefore although they are unusual in occurrence, they are completely natural as the whole Created physical realm obeys God when it is following its normal path or one that amazes the people.
Examples of Miracles are the Staff of Moses (Musa (may God bless him and give him peace), which turned into a snake and at the snakes of the sorcerers of Egypt, thus showing the weakness of idolatry, or his hand which became shining, or the parting of the Red Sea that allowed the Israelite Muslims to escape from Pharaoh.
God made it so that many Miracles would occur during the Prophecy of Jesus (may God bless him and give him peace), these included bringing the dead back to life, curing the sick and making a bird of clay and bringing it to life etc.
The Holy Prophet Muhammad (may God bless him and give him peace) was one through whom many miracles were shown (to the extent that whole books may be written on the subject), but the greatest one of his blessed Prophecy was the Miraculous Holy Qur’an.
Avoid Circular Arguments
Some modern Muslim laymen belonging to two particular differing theological approaches (both calling themselves Sunni) will argue for hours over things that don’t concern them. In one of these time wasting arguments the more proactive of these two groups starts to assert that God is literally and firmly physically established on His Throne in the Heavens based upon their literalist reading of scripture they tend to say that this establishment is exclusive of His being elsewhere or exclusive of his being beyond space and time (the best view and the view in Aqeedah Tahawiah)– they see those who hold a different view as misguided people. The second group asserts that the first group has an oversimple view that is based upon selectively reading Divine Scriptures and that the first group is not on the view of the majority of eminent Sunni scholars of history. The second group then goes on to expound a subtle explanation of these issues based upon either the views of the followers of Imam Ashari (ra) or Imam Maturidi (ra). This second group may talk of how Allah is everywhere or beyond space and time (the latter being the better understanding). When this discussion takes place without Adab (Islamic manners) it becomes a great source of satanic growth and harmful development. Allah knows best about these fine details. Arguing over them is certainly not helpful, laymen arguing over them both wastes time (a greatly valuable commodity) and causes much harm. The pro-active group on this issue tend to call themselves Salafis but the real Salaf did not behave like them. One time a man said to Imam Malik (raa) ‘(we know) that the All Merciful is established upon the Throne, how is He established?’
Imam Malik (raa) answered;
“The firm establishment is not unknown,
the how of it is not known/intelligible,
asking about this is an innovation,
to believe in it is a duty”
then he said;
“and I see you are an innovator”
and ordered that he be ejected from the lesson.
The real Salaf did not argue over such things – they did not even discuss them. Those calling themselves Salafis could learn much from Imam Malik (raa) on this issue and others. There is more than one view on this issue amongst the scholars of Islam and Allah knows best about them. Imam Malik held a good safe view on this issue, other scholars had other views – the Ashari and Maturidi schools too developed for good reasons (defending from certain wrong ideas). Rather than get involved in circular arguments people would do better to focus their efforts on good deeds. At the end of the day all Sunni Muslims agree that Allah is established on the Divine Throne – these arguing people would probably benefit by leaving each other alone on their understanding of the exact nature of this establishment. At the end of the day all Sunni Muslims agree that Allah is everywhere at least in His awareness – these arguing people would probably benefit by leaving each other alone on their understanding of the exact nature of this immanent presence.
All the Prophets (may God bless him and give him peace) have explained that the Angels are wonderful spiritual beings, who exist to serve God and to do His bidding, God has ordained it that they exist beyond the apparent ‘Laws of Physics’ and thus the Angels may travel great distance, make themselves visible or invisible, tiny or massive and by God’s leave they have the power to effect the world in many ways.
There are untold numbers of Angels who live in Paradise worshiping God (and this is what they love to do) and there are also Angels who perform functions in the world. There are Angels who pray for the Children of Adam and ask God to forgive the people of the Earth, by His leave. There are the great Archangels who selflessly serve God.
God created the Angels early in the existence of space-time. He created them out of pure energy to be His servants and He sent them out into the universe to perform various important functions throughout the universe. Angels have the power of reason and the ability of understanding. They also have a physical form, which they may change in size or appearance.
Angels generally go about their cosmic tasks invisible to men and jinn whom may be nearby. Angels neither eat nor drink as humans do and their subsistence comes to them as they pray to God. They do not have free will and it is their nature to always obey God, thus they only ever want that which God wishes them to.
There are billions of Angels in the multiverse and they each serve God in their own special roles. As is the rest of the natural universe (each and every molecule, every atom and every subatomic particle), the Angels are in complete submission to God.
The Holy Prophet (may God bless him and give him peace) also reminded the human race of the correct understanding of God’s servants the Angels (may God bless him and give him peace).
All the Prophets (may God bless him and give him peace) have explained that the Angels are wonderful spiritual beings, who exist to serve God and to do His bidding, God has ordained it that the Angels exist beyond the apparent ‘Laws of Physics’ and thus the Angels may travel great distance, make themselves visible or invisible, tiny or massive and by God’s leave they have the power to effect the world in many ways.
There are untold numbers of Angels who live in Paradise worshiping God (and this is what they love to do) and there are also Angels who perform functions in the world. There are Angels who pray for the human beings and ask God to forgive the people of the Earth, by His leave. There are the great Arch Angels who selflessly serve God, these are, The Holy Spirit Gabriel (may God bless him and give him peace), the head of the Angels, who is carried the Messages from God to His Prophets (may God bless him and give him peace).
The Angel Michael (may God bless him and give him peace), who oversees much of the the Angelic world and much of the provision in the Earthly world.
The Angel Izraeel (may God bless him and give him peace), who takes the souls of the living at their ordained hour. The Angel Israfeel (may God bless him and give him peace), who will one day have the great task of blowing the trumpet that will herald the end of the world and as soon as he blows it the time of the Earthly world will be over.
There are also the Guardian Angels (the Haafizyan) and wherever we are we are accompanied by our own two recording (Kiraaman and Khatibeen) and they record our deeds (both good and bad) and when we a good they are happy, but when we commit ill they are sad with mercy for us.
Unless God orders them to appear to us we can neither hear or see them, but our recording Angels see and hear us (apart from when we are undressed or engaged in marital relations – but then God still knows the benevolent or harmful deeds that we have performed).
When we pass away we human beings are met by the Angels Munkar and Nakeer who ask the deceased person certain questions. They appear in a beautiful form to the good people and a terrifying form to the evil ones.
Furthermore, the Angel Malik (may God bless him and give him peace) is the gatekeeper of Jahannam (the place of punishment) whilst the Angel Ridwaan (may God bless him and give him peace) is the gatekeeper of Paradise.
The Angels were created before us human beings and throughout our lives they have been there with us every step of the way (even if we sometimes forgot about them – they never forgot about us). Over the years some people have made the mistake of asking the Angels for help directly, but the Holy Prophet (may God bless him and give him peace) explained that we must avoid this mistake.
Many modern people have forgotten this but, to directly ask help from Angels is spiritually harmful and debasing to the human, particularly as mischievous Jinn spirits may pretend to be Angels, thus deluding, fooling and harming people who are seeking their help. Angels are wonderful and special beings and they may help us in many many ways, but the thing that we must always remember is that we should only ever pray to God Almighty and ask Him for help – He may then help us directly or through the means of Angels as He wishes.