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Article appeared Friday, August 28th, 2015 in The News Today, Bangladesh

The Revelation (391)

yousuf mahbubul Islam, PhD

We often seek protection from evil spirits or unwanted trouble. Being intelligent beings we feel
powerless. What measures do we usually take? Often we add Evil Eye Protection {1}
ornaments to our doorways, on the wall or on cabinet tops. Selling of charms, amulets and a
host of such objects for protection is a huge business {2}. To convince people that such
protection schemes work, the images or carvings of holy persons and verses from the Holy
Scriptures are included {3}. The innovative protection schemes vary from culture to culture {2}
and promote the belief that lifeless objects and rituals have a power or protection ability of their
own.
What kind of power do these protective charms or schemes need? For example, if we employ a
body guard, he would need to sense the evil spirit, he would need knowledge of how the evil
spirit works and then would need the appropriate tools to fight and stop the evil spirit. It is clear
that a body guard would need the appropriate intelligence, tools and power to combat evil we
would never dream of hiring a two-year baby as a body guard. Yet we believe that lifeless text,
images or objects with no intelligence or power whatsoever can not only recognize but also
protect us from evil! It is important to realize that Holy Scriptures {4} warn against the use of
such schemes. For example, as quoted from the Bible,
Moreover, Josiah removed the mediums and the spirits and the teraphim and the idols
and all the abominations that were seen in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem that he
might confirm the words of the law which were written in the book. (2 Kings 23:24,
NAS) {4}
By destroying the objects, Josiah proved that these things have no power whatsoever, even to
protect themselves. What are the words of the Law and how was it confirmed?
You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on
the earth beneath or in the waters below. [Exodus 20:4, NIV] {5}
Exodus 20:4 is one of the commandments given to Moses {6} as part of the Law. This
commandment is a practical implementation of the first commandment which states that there is
only one power, the Al-Mighty Creator. If we approach other imagined powers as well as the
Creator, it demonstrates a lack of understanding of Who He is. We need to use our intelligence
to separate the power and absoluteness of the Creator. He has originated everything there is
absolutely no power other than Him. To help us understand Who He is, the Quran guides us to
the things that He does regularly.

13.12 It is He Who shows you the lightning by way both of fear and of hope: it is
He Who raises up the clouds heavy with (fertilizing) rain!
We need to study the lightning and thunder phenomenon {7} both as to why it instills fear and at
the same time how it gives hope. A study of the water cycle may show how He has designed the
system and the benefits that it brings.

13.13 Nay the thunder repeats His Praises and so do the angels with awe as well
as with fear. He sends loud thunderbolts and strikes whomsoever He wills while
they (dare to) dispute about Allah (even after seeing) the strength of His power
(supreme)!
The design of the lightening system bears witness to His Wisdom and greatness.

13.14 To Him (alone belongs) is supplication in truth. Any others that they call
upon besides Him do not respond to them it is as though they were to stretch
their hands towards water to come to their mouth but it reaches them not. The
supplication and prayer of those without faith is nothing but (futile) wandering (in
the mind).
Prayer without understanding and full conviction is futile. Faith requires that we realize that the
Creator is the Originator and sole power. To prove that we understand, we must be in awe of the
Creator and reject all other forms of idolatry. Everything else is subservient to Him.

13.15 Whatever beings there are in the heavens and the earth do prostrate
themselves to Allah (acknowledging subjection) with good will or by compulsion,
so do their shadows in the mornings and evenings.
Even the shadows that we see follow the laws and rules set down by the Creator. There is no
other protector other than He. He alone is the Protector and the best to Protect from anything
that threatens us. So for protection we need to simply approach him directly and none other.

13.16 Say, "Who is the Lord and Sustainer of the heavens and the earth?" Say,
"It is Allah." Say, "Have you then taken (for worship) protectors other than He
such as have no power either for good or for harm (even) to themselves?" Say,
"Are the blind equal to those who see? Or is the depth of the darkness equal to
the Light?" Or do they assign to Allah partners who have created (something) just
as He has created so that the creation seemed to them similar? Say, "Allah is the
Creator of all things, He is the One, the Supreme and Irresistible."
So, whatever we need, we need only approach Him with appropriate conviction and humility.

13.17 It is He Who sends down water from the skies and the channels flow each
according to its measure, and the torrent carries a rising foam. Even so, from that
(ore or glass) which they heat in the fire to make ornaments or utensils therewith,
there is a scum likewise. Thus Allah presents (by parables) the truth and
falsehood. As for the scum, it disappears as froth cast out, while that which
benefits mankind remains on the earth thus does Allah present analogies.
The deed of seeking protection from other objects is like the scum we see carried by the water.
Just as scum is removed, we should similarly remove such deeds from our lives; we would
otherwise be in serious trouble with Him.

13.18 For those who respond to their Lord are (all) good things, but those who
do not respond to Him, even if they had all that is in the heavens and on earth and
as much more they would offer it for ransom. For them will the reckoning be
terrible; their abode will be Hell O, what a bed of misery!
We should intelligently work out Who the Creator is in our hearts and adore Him as appropriate.
Other objects that draw our attention have been created only as a test of our intelligence.
-------{Notes}:
{1} https://www.yatzer.com/evil-eye-protection-sebastian-bergne-gaiagino
{2} http://www.luckymojo.com/protectionspells.html
{3} http://readersandrootworkers.org/wiki/Category:Protection_From_Enemies,_Warding_Off_Evil,_and_Safe_Travel
{4} http://www.bibleinfo.com/en/questions/what-does-god-say-about-people-who-use-amulets
{5} http://biblehub.com/exodus/20-4.htm
{6} https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thou_shalt_not_make_unto_thee_any_graven_image
{7} http://scijinks.jpl.nasa.gov/lightning/