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Article appeared Friday, November 6, 2015 in The News Today, Bangladesh

The Revelation (400)

yousuf mahbubul Islam, PhD

There are moments in our life when decisions need to be taken and actions need to be
performed accordingly. Our choice to take a firm decision may be colored or influenced by a
variety of random factors, motivation and personal choice, lack of logical understanding or
analysis, arrogance or, even lack of self-esteem. Regardless of what the influence is, the type of
decision/action taken is a proof of our character and nature.
So, would it be important to consider the driving logic behind the decisions taken? In addition to
the factors listed above, one may have certain objectives that influence personal decisions. For
example, if we consider the various service professions such as a doctor, nurse, teacher, etc.,
what could be the possible objectives? The objective of a doctor or nurse may be to treat a
patients illness till he/she gets well or alternatively it may be just a means to make money.
These two objectives are not mutually exclusive. A doctor who is sincere about helping to cure
patients may develop a good reputation. Together with the good reputation patients and money
will run after him/her. However, would patients run after a doctor whose objective is simply to
make money, i.e., a doctor who does not, in reality, care about his/her patients? In the long run,
which objective is likely to yield better results?
To help understand the long term outcomes of our decisions/actions, the American clergyman
Robert H. Schuller (1926 1915) compared our actions or deeds to seeds,
Anyone can count the seeds in an apple, but only God can count the number of apples
in a seed. {1}
In fact, the long term volume of results cannot be predicted. Applying this understanding to her
own life as a religious teacher, the American Senior Pastor and author Karen Jensen is known
to have said,
You can count the seeds in an apple, but you can't count the apples in a seed. When
you teach, you never know how many lives you will influence...you are teaching for
eternity. {2}
So, if a teacher helps a student develop self-confidence and motivation towards the subject,
what may be the long term result? On the other hand, if a teacher is only concerned about
making money from the teaching job, and without concern for actual student learning, what may
happen? A student may develop the impression that teaching is just another 9 to 5 job to make
money, in addition to the fact that the student may not learn anything. An institution with such
teachers may start losing students and may even have to shut down eventually.
Unseen, who is it that supports decisions and actions to have long term effects? As pointed out
by Schuller {1}, it is only God who knows how many apples would come out of a seed. How? It
is only He that can make a seed grow. So, which are the seeds that the Creator is likely to help
grow and produce fruit? Looking through the Holy Quran, the following Verse answers this
question.
And the likeness (similar example) of those who spend their substance (skills and
resources) seeking means to get the approval of Allah to strengthen their souls, is like a
garden high and fertile; with rain it yields a double increase of harvest. Even if it doesnt
receive heavy rain, light moisture is sufficient. Allah sees well whatever you do. [2.265]
So, anything that is done with the intention of pleasing the Creator as opposed to pleasing
oneself is a seed that would get approval and support to grow multifold. If one has the intention
of pleasing the Creator, it proves belief. With belief, one would want to know what would please
the Creator. For those who want to know, Allah gives examples in the Quran. For example, lets
relate the following Verses to the way we react to the faults of other people.

Those who spend their substance in the cause of Allah and follow not up their gifts with
reminders of their generosity or with injury, for them their reward is with their Lord; on
them shall be no fear nor shall they grieve. Kind words and the covering of faults (e.g.,
forgiveness) are better than charity followed by injury. Allah is free of all wants and He is
Most Forbearing. [2.262 2.263]
Covering of others faults helps develop patience and build our character. When we do
something to please the Creator it benefits our own soul in the long run it does not benefit the
Creator. Allah further explains this in the following Verses.

14.24 Have you not considered how Allah sets forth a parable (a similar example)
making a good word is like a strong tree, whose roots are firmly fixed and its
branches reach the heavens.
What are other qualities of such a tree?

14.25 It produces its fruit all the time by the permission of the Lord. And Allah
presents examples for people (who wish to understand) in order that they may
receive admonition (be reminded).
On the other hand, how are decisions/actions/deeds that do not consider the approval of the
Creator looked upon?

14.26 And the parable of a bad word is that of a weak tree, uprooted from the
surface of the earth, not having any stability.
One who takes into account possible approval of the Creator in essence demonstrates belief
and,

14.27 Allah will establish in strength those who demonstrate belief together with
the Word that stands firm in this world and in the Hereafter; but Allah will leave to
stray those who do wrong. Allah does what He wills.
Seeking to please the Creator establishes and demonstrates the meaning of the first Word or
commandment of revealed religion in our hearts there is no deity except Allah. If we seek to
please ourselves in our decisions/actions and deeds we, in essence, demonstrate our own
importance over that of the Creator, i.e., prove disbelief by making equal our personal
importance to that of the Creator.

14.28 Have you not considered those who exchanged the favor of Allah for
disbelief and settled their followers in the Home of Ruin?
It is Allah who has given us resources and skills to prove our character. Should we exchange
Allahs Love and blessings for the sake of satisfying our egos? What should the Creator do with
those who feel that they themselves are more important than the Creator? By demonstrating our
own importance we also misguide those who follow us away from the importance of our Maker.
What is the Home of Ruin?

14.29 (It is) Hell, which they will enter to burn, and a wretched home to settle in!
14.30 As they have attributed to Allah equals and mislead (people) from His Way!
Say, "Enjoy (your brief power), for indeed your destination is the Fire!"
-------{Notes}:
{1} http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/r/roberthsc121372.html
{2} http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/380901.Karen_Jensen