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Article appeared Friday, January 22nd, 2016 in The News Today, Bangladesh

The Revelation (411)

yousuf mahbubul Islam, PhD

We are sometimes offered free samples of products. Why? Could it be to sample the quality of
the manufacturer of the product? Once we have used the product, having benefitted from the
properties built in by the manufacturer, it is hoped that we would become regular users. Whether
or not we become a regular user, we at least thank the distributor for the free sample. Showing
gratitude is a natural, straightforward response. In such a case, it is not difficult to understand
why one should be grateful.
By the same token, why has the Creator given each a free life? Could it be to sample the
Qualities of our Maker? Life would then be an opportunity to benefit from and appreciate the
Qualities of the Almighty utilizing our special human abilities. In parallel to the gratitude
demonstrated for the free sample, what would be a straightforward and logical response to the
Giver of blessings? Also, having given so much, would it be reasonable for the Creator to expect
a demonstration of gratitude?
However, unlike the gratitude shown for the free samples, the path to showing our Benefactor
gratitude is somehow paved with confusing thoughts. If these thoughts lead to ingratitude, how
should the Creator look upon such people? The Holy Quran gives the following warning,
Assuredly, Allah knows what they conceal and what they declare. Indeed, He does not
like the arrogant. [16.23]
Thoughts of pride lead to confusion and prevent one from being grateful. A question at this point
could be is it logical for a created being to have feelings of pride and arrogance? In an attempt
to hide these illogical feelings, such people come up with excuses. The subsequent Verse in the
Quran gives an example of such an excuse,
When it is said to them, "What has your Lord has sent down?" They say, "Legends of
the former peoples!" [16.24]
Humans have the potential and the capacity to test/check each individual thought against
available facts. Developing a questioning methodology to check illogical thoughts would build
our character and help us be righteous. For example, how could the thought in Verse 16.24 be
tested? Such testing/checking could start with a question like, why would former people create
such legends? Also, can the thoughts expressed in Verses 16.23 and 16.24 be classified as part
of a legend?
Where do such confused thoughts come from? Historical records in the Holy Scriptures tell us
that thoughts of arrogance and pride were first introduced by Satan {1}, i.e., Iblees, when he
became arrogant and refused to listen to the Creators commandment. When asked, he said
that he would not bow to a human who was made from clay.
(Allah) asked, "What prevented you from bowing down when I commanded you?" He
(Satan) said, "I am better than he. You created me from fire and him from clay." [7.12]
How did the Creator respond to such a blatant disobedience?
(Allah) said, "Then get out from here, for indeed you are expelled. [15.34]
Had Iblees had the analytical capacity to ask questions, he could have asked, why have I been
asked to bow to Adam? However, it seems that his intelligence is limited to emotions like pride,
arrogance and jealousy.

15.35 And indeed, upon you is this curse until the Day of Judgment.
Being expelled, Iblees wanted to take revenge. So, he asked permission to inject his thoughts
into unsuspecting human beings.

15.36 (Iblees) said, "My Lord, give me respite till the Day humans are
resurrected."
15.37 (Allah) said, "So indeed, you are of those reprieved
15.38 Until the Day of the Time Appointed.
15.39 (Iblis) said, "My Lord, because You have put me in the wrong I will surely
make (disobedience/wrong) attractive to them (humans) on the earth and I will
mislead them all
How would Iblees misguide people?
He (Iblees) said, "Because You have thrown me out of the way, I will surely lie in wait
for them on Your straight path. "Then will I come to them from before them and from
behind them from their right and their left, and You will not find in most of them gratitude
(towards You). [7.16 7.17]
From the above Verse, we can see that the main target is to prevent gratitude for Allahs favors.
He uses variety of excuses luring people to future gains, past gains, promotion of wrong and
arrogance of being right. The website {1}, IqraSense.com gives ideas on the kind of thoughts
that Iblees promotes.
He has decided to make the world appear beautiful and attractive and works on ways to
lure man, limit his perspective to the gains, pleasures and enjoyment of this world alone,
and make him forget the path that Allah (SWT) has chalked out for all human beings
during their stay here. Satans ultimate goal is to make people go astray and eventually
to turn them into disbelievers, or polytheists at a minimum. The manner in which Satan
pursues that goal varies in accordance with the interests and inclinations of his victims.
For example, he uses piety to attack the pious; scholarly disciplines to attack scholars;
false reasoning and logic for those who take pride in being knowledgeable, and
ignorance to attack the ignorant. {1}
Allah therefore says in the Quran,
O children of Adam, let not Satan seduce you in the same manner as he got your
parents out of the garden stripping them of their raiment to expose their shame: for he
and his tribe watch you from a position where you cannot see them: We made the evil
ones friends (only) to those without faith. [7.27]

15.40 Except, among them, Your chosen servants.


15.41 (Allah) said, "This (the way of My sincere servants) is indeed a Way that
leads straight to Me.
15.42 "For over My servants, indeed, you will have no authority, except such as
put themselves in the wrong and follow you."
15.43 And verily Hell is the promised place for them all!
Verily Satan is an enemy to you, so treat him as an enemy. He only invites his followers
that they may become Companions of the Blazing Fire. [35.6]
-----{Notes}:
{1} http://www.iqrasense.com/satan-and-evil/satan-story-shaitaan-tactics-methods-to-ward-offinfluences-whispers.html