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Article appeared Friday, November 20, 2015 in The News Today, Bangladesh

The Revelation (402)

yousuf mahbubul Islam, PhD

We all know that Leonardo da Vinci painted the portrait Mona Lisa with a lot of love and care.
The woman in the portrait is unaware that she is a painting, nor does she know what a painting
is or even that a painting cannot exist without a painter. Mona Lisa is totally in the dark about
Leonardo and herself, i.e., she has no intelligence. As such, she cannot work out the
relationship between a painter and his painting.
Now imagine that Leonardo were able to give Mona Lisa intelligence and feelings. With this new
found intelligence what would Mona Lisa do? Would it be worthwhile understanding her own
qualities and looking for the painter who made her? Why? Would she want to adore Leonardo
for making her world famous? Would she praise Leonardo for his skills in beautifully putting her
together in the portrait?
In addition to her personal approach to Leonardo, would Mona Lisa want others to know of his
skills and give him recognition for the skilled artist that he is? How would she arrange for others
to know about Leonardo and give him respect or acknowledgment due for his extraordinary
skills?
On the other hand, would it be proper and just or even wise for Mona Lisa to imagine that she
was the product of concepts like Natural Selection {1}? What is Leonardo likely to think of Mona
Lisa if she had such concepts? Now, if an inanimate object like a painting cannot be the product
of Natural Selection, can the origin of a much more complex animate being, e.g., humans, be
attributed to Natural Selection?
Not unlike the hypothetical attitude of Mona Lisa towards her origin, Abraham (pbuh) similarly
wondered who his maker was. He took the trouble to logically work out who created him as he
felt obligated to know the truth. He saw his father approaching multiple gods {2}. A god
obviously had to be a being that had some power over him and had to perpetually exist. As such
he questioned his father with logic,
Behold, he said to his father, "O my father! Why worship that which hears not, sees not
and cannot profit you in any way? [Quran, 19.42]
To establish the truth for himself, he analyzed the qualities of all the gods that his father
approached, i.e., he acted like a researcher to establish and confirm the truth. The following
Verses from the Holy Quran briefly describe how he progressively eliminated each god that
was in vogue at the time. He looked to the heavens for clues.
When the night covered him over he saw a star. He said (to himself), "This is my Lord."
But when it set he said, "I love not those that set." [6.76]
When he saw the moon rising in splendor he said, "This is my Lord.", but when the
moon set he said, "Unless my Lord guides me I shall surely be among those who go
astray." [6.77]
When he saw the sun rising in splendor he said, "This is my Lord; this is the greatest (of
all)." But when the sun set he said, "O my people! I am (now) free from your (guilt) of
giving partners to Allah. [6.78]
Why did he feel that he was free from the guilt of giving partners to Allah? What or who is a
partner? A partner is anything that humans approach in addition to the Creator. For example,
one may pray to the Creator for a much needed job. Then, for the same job, the person may
arrange a bribe for a member of the selection committee. In addition, just in case, the person

may visit a religious sage (pir sahib) and also invest in a lucky charm for the same purpose.
Can the member of the selection committee, religious sage and lucky charm all have the same
power as the Creator to arrange the job? Objects having equal power are imagined partners.
Having done his research, Abraham convinced himself that the one and only true god had to be
above and beyond the created realm. He then affirmed his faith with the following:
For me I have set my face firmly and truly toward Him Who created the heavens and
the earth, and never shall I give partners to Allah. [6.79]
Once he convinced himself of the truth, he realized that approaching multiple partners was an
injustice to the One who had given him life. He therefore asked the Creators help support to
establish the truth among his children and subsequently among others.
Remember Abraham said, "O my Lord, make this city one of peace and security: and
preserve me and my sons from worshipping idols. [14.35]
...So, whoever follows my ways is of me and, he who disobeys me indeed You are
Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful. [14.36]
So Abraham established a way of rejecting prevalent partners, which is a guiding methodology
for the rest of mankind. He subsequently wanted his children and wife to continue establishing
the truth and proper protocol (prayer ritual) in the valley of Makkah.

14.37 "Our Lord, I have settled some of my descendants to dwell in a valley


without cultivation (i.e., without food and water) near the sacred House; our Lord,
in order that they may establish regular prayer. Please fill the hearts of some
people with love towards them and feed them with fruits, so that they may be
grateful and give thanks.
Availability of food and water in the barren land among people unknown would be a proof of the
Creators direct support. This would help establish belief in the hearts of those present. After the
prayer, Abraham resigns to the Will of the Creator.

14.38 Our Lord, indeed You know what we conceal and what we declare, for
nothing whatsoever is hidden from Allah whether on earth or in heaven.
He then proceeded to praise Allah for His special blessings and asked His support to establish
appropriate prayer protocol.

14.39 "Praise to Allah, who has granted to me in old age Ishmael and Isaac; for
indeed my Lord is the Hearer of prayer and supplication!
14.40 My Lord, make me an establisher of regular prayer and also (raise such
persons) among my offspring. Our Lord, accept my supplication.
He then realized that there are many who have passed away without realizing the truth. Each
will have to account for the injustices towards the Creator.

14.41 Our Lord, forgive me, my parents and (all) believers on the Day that the
Account (of each individual) will be established!"
14.42 Think not that Allah does not heed the deeds of those who do wrong. He
but gives them respite against a Day when the eyes will fixedly stare in horror
-----------{Notes}:
{1} http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/evo_25
{2} http://www.islamreligion.com/articles/293/viewall/story-of-abraham/