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Article appeared Friday, October 2nd, 2015 in The News Today, Bangladesh

The Revelation (395)

yousuf mahbubul Islam, PhD

Do we ever think about the simple pleasures of daily life that we enjoy? For example, can you
name a sight, a sound or smell that you have enjoyed? We may enjoy the smell of a perfume, a
rain-filled breeze or a food spice. To reflect further, may we take the example of a food spice
called cinnamon? Do we enjoy the smell of cinnamon when it is added as a spice to a cake
being baked or a chicken being fried?
As cinnamon heats up in the cake or is fried with the chicken, distinct and characteristic smells
are carried through the air, enter our nostrils, are carried through our sensory system, register in
our brain and finally a feeling of a good smell or pleasure is generated in the brain. Not only
does the brain derive pleasure out of the smell, it can individually recognize the smell of baking
or roasting cinnamon an elaborate system that allows humans to enjoy the simple pleasure
of smell! There are two straightforward questions that we may ask at this point. How and why?
How does such an elaborate system happen to exist? And why was the system put together?
To understand the blessing of the system of smell, let us imagine that it did not exist, i.e., raw
cinnamon without a smell and humans without the ability to smell, enjoy and recognize the
source. If a team of engineers were assigned to design, build and put into operation a regular
moment-to-moment system of smell, what would they need to do? What steps would they need
to take? Let us try and workout at least one step. For example, how would they decide what the
exact smell of roasting or baking cinnamon should be, create the corresponding smell and
how would they arrange for the human brain to recognize each smell and distinguish it from
the smell of the raw cinnamon?
As we start thinking about the steps required for the system, we may realize that it is beyond the
range of human intelligence and power to implement it. It would require a Being of supreme
intelligence and absolute power to conceptualize, design, build and implement such a system.
Once we have this realization, we may ask the next question why would the Being go to all
this trouble? Just like an artist is known through his/her artwork, could it be that this Being
desires to be known through the systems that He has created for man?
Could it be that the Creator wants to be known to man for the attributes that He has
demonstrated through His Blessings? Whatever pleasures we derive out of life are
conceptualized, designed, built and implemented by Him. Does He deserve praise for the
myriad systems that He has created for us? Just like when we recognize the brushstrokes of an
artist and shower praise, what should we do when we recognize or realize the extraordinary
qualities or attributes of the Creator?
At this point, if we start wondering about the Creator, e.g., what He has done for us and, what
the response of benefiting humans should be, the first chapter or Sura Fatiha of the Quran talks
about some of His attributes.
In the name of Allah Most Gracious Most Merciful. (All) praise is (due) to Allah the
Cherisher and Sustainer of the Worlds. Most Gracious, Most Merciful. Master of the Day
of Judgment. It is You (alone) we worship and Your aid (alone) do we seek. Guide us to
the straight path (that leads to You). The path of those on whom You have bestowed
Your grace, not the path of those who have invoked Your anger nor those who have
gone astray. [1.1 1.7]
The Arabic word Allah literally means the God {1}, i.e., the Creator. From the verses above, can
we pick out the attributes mentioned? For example, Most Gracious, Most Merciful, Cherisher,

Sustainer, Master, Judge, object of our worship, Helper, Guide and Anger. Revisiting the system
of smell, which of these attributes would be related to conceptualizing, designing,
implementing and sustaining the system? In addition, do the Verses talk about the attitude of
those who are enjoying the pleasures of life? Also, what would He need to judge?
As a Being who has created each system from nothing, would He first want to create a
documentation system to document the specific details of each concept and its intended
purpose? As and when the concepts are tested in practice, would He need to improve or
change designs? In Chapter 13 (Sura Ar-Raad) we find the following Verse.

13.39 Allah eliminates what He wills (wishes) or confirms what He pleases; with
Him is the Mother of the Book.
As the Originator, Cherisher and Sustainer of each system, He has the prerogative to
discontinue, add, change, improve or confirm what He has in the Mother of the Book. If this
Book contains the master plan of every system, where is it?
We have made it a Qur'an in Arabic that you may be able to understand (and learn
wisdom). And verily it is in the Mother of the Book in Our Presence high (in dignity) full of
wisdom. [43.3 43.4]
The Mother of the Book is with the Creator. As the Messenger (Prophet Muhammad, pbuh) at
the time was an Arab [41.44], Verses from the Mother of the Book were converted to Arabic for
comprehension and dissemination in the local language.

13.40 And whether We show you (O, Muhammad) part of what We promise them
or take you in death, upon you is only the duty to (make the Message or
notification) reach them; it is Our part to call them to account.
The job or task of the Messenger was simply to deliver the knowledge and commandments sent
by the Creator. As we are all enjoying the advantages and pleasures of life, it is only right and
just that we intelligently link our blessings with the Creator as the Originator, Cherisher and
Sustainer and appropriately demonstrate our gratitude. Life is an opportunity to know and
acknowledge the attributes of the Creator. If we remain busy with enjoying the pleasures and do
not acknowledge Him, what may Allah do?

13.41 Do they not see that We gradually reduce the land (or area under their
control) from its outlying borders? And once Allah decides; no one can adjust or
stop His command. And He is swift in calling to account.
He has given each to enjoy the opportunity of an individual life and turn to Him in gratitude. If
not, He will gradually reduce our skills and power as a warning.

13.42 And those before had also plotted but to Allah belongs the plan and the
outcome entirely. He knows what every soul earns and soon will the disbelievers
know for whom is the final home.
History testifies to what happened to those who simply chased the pleasures of the world, were
ungrateful and did not bother to analyze the content of the message carried by the Prophet. The
Creator is constantly vigilant of what each of us does.

13.43 And those who disbelieve say, "You are not a messenger." Say (O,
Muhammad), "Sufficient is Allah as a witness between me and you, and the
witness of whoever has knowledge of the Book (Scripture)."
{1} https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allah