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Article appeared Friday, February 5th, 2016 in The News Today, Bangladesh

The Revelation (413)

yousuf mahbubul Islam, PhD

We often approach the Creator when we are sick, or in trouble, or seeking forgiveness, or if
there is a death in the family or when we need something desperately. We intuitively know that
no one other than He can come to our rescue. To fulfill our needs we pray and approach Him in
a variety of ways including recitation of the Quran. Essentially, we knock at His door if and
when we are in need. The attitude is as though the purpose of the Creator is only to serve our
personal needs.
The attitude reflects the fact that we put our needs at the center of whatever we do. The focus of
our day to day life is our own selfish self. To help understand this attitude, we may formulate two
opposing questions. Does God exist to serve our needs or has He created us for serving His
Purpose?
Should our attitude concern the Creator? The Holy Quran warns us as follows:
When trouble touches a man he cries unto Us (in all postures) lying down on his side or
sitting or standing. But when We have solved his trouble he passes on his way as if he
had never cried to Us for a trouble that touched him! Thus do the deeds of transgressors
seem fair in their eyes? [10.12]
What does he passes on his way as if he never cried to Us mean? The phrase is suggesting
that we subsequently completely ignore the Creator, i.e., forgetting to thank the Creator is a
serious transgression! As defined in the dictionary at vocabulary.com {1} a transgression is a sin
against God. How should He respond when we consistently sin against Him? The subsequent
Verses in the Quran clearly guide on the nature of this sin.
Generations before you We destroyed when they did wrong: their Apostles came to
them with Clear Signs but they would not believe! Thus do We requite those who sin!
Then We made you heirs in the land after them to see how you would behave! [10.13
10.14]
Excavation of sites and analysis of artifacts by archaeologists reveal the existence of
civilizations that no longer exist; they were completely destroyed, i.e., eliminated without direct
descendants. The Quran tells us that we have been put in place of such generations only to
assess how we, in turn, behave towards the Creator. So, what should be our behavior towards
Him?
O you who have believed, do your duty to Allah, seek the means of approach to Him
and strive with might and main (with all of ones strength and power) in His cause that
you may succeed. [5.35]
What could means of approach mean? We may approach Him by logically working out His
existence through assiduous study, establishing His truth in our hearts, being grateful,
demonstrating our devotion to Him and helping others work out the truth. Is such behavior likely
to please the Creator?
Did you then think that We had created you in jest (i.e., without a strict purpose) and
that you would not be brought back to Us (for accountability)? [23.115]
He has created us individually to see whether we would love Him in return for the intelligent and
free existence that He has given. How would the Creator treat those who find the means of
approach to Him? Abraham (pbuh) was among those who practiced a means of approach to the
Creator. He was born into a family where multiple gods including the Creator were worshipped
to fulfill different needs. He decided to question the ability of each god and establish the truth of
the one true God the Creator. He finally said to his father and those around him,
Behold! Abraham said to his father and his people, "I do indeed clear myself of what
you worship. (I worship) only Him Who made me and He will certainly guide me." [43.26
43.27]

As he pleased the Creator, by doing a logical analysis of prevailing practices and rejecting
practices other than those related to the Creator [6.74 6.82], the Creator in turn increased his
blessings. The following Verses enlighten us of how the Creator sent two messengers (angels)
to announce the birth of Ismail (a special blessing) in Abrahams old age.

15.51 Tell them about the guests of Abraham.


15.52 When they entered his presence and said, "Peace!" He replied, "We feel
afraid of you!"
As the guests declined to eat the food offered by Abraham, he felt apprehensive [11.69 11.70].

15.53 They reassured, "Fear not! We have come to give you glad tidings of a son
endowed with wisdom."
Through his son Ishmael, the religion of Islam would be established through Prophet
Muhammad (pbuh) {2}.

15.54 He replied, "Do you give me glad tidings that old age has seized me? Of
what, then is your good news?"
Given his age, Abraham wondered how he could have a son at the age of eighty-six {2, 3}?

15.55 They confirmed, "We give you glad tidings in truth: be not then in
despair!"
When the Creator wishes to bless, nothing can stand in the way [11.83]. So age, which is
generally considered as a barrier, is not a barrier for the Creator. Thinking that the Creator may
be limited by physical attributes is disbelief.

15.56 He said, "And who despairs of the mercy of his Lord but such as go
astray?"
Abraham understood and believed in the message given to him by the angels. He further
questioned what other duties were the angels to accomplish?

15.57 Abraham questioned, "What then is the (other) business on which you
(have come), O messengers (of Allah)?"
15.58 They said, "We have been sent to a people (deep) in sin.
They implied the people of Prophet Lot (Abrahams nephew) were to be destroyed {4} except
those who followed him. The people of Lot not only ignored the purpose of their creation, they
practiced gay sex (Sodomy) {4}. Lots wife was disobedient to her husband and therefore was
not among those saved [11.81]

15.59 "Excepting the adherents (followers) of Lot: them we are certainly


(charged) to save (from harm) all.
15.60 Except his wife who we have ascertained will be among those who will lag
behind.
The above Verses furnish an overview of two contrasting stories showing that the Creator can
do anything when pleased and what He did when displeased.
-------{Notes}:
{1} https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/transgression
{2} https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ishmael
{3} http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/8251-ishmael
{4} http://jandyongenesis.blogspot.com/2008/10/lots-story.html