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Article appeared Friday, December 23rd, 2016 in The News Today, Bangladesh

The Revelation (456)

yousuf mahbubul Islam, PhD

In our day to day life, do we find ourselves in situations where we need external help? For
example, when facing an interview, while giving an exam, in a sinking ship, or even when in a
plane that is fast falling out of the sky? On such occasions, whom or what do we approach for
help? Who, in fact, has the capacity to provide help?
Most people would answer the Creator or God! Where can we look to find out more about the
only Being who can come to our rescue in the Holy Scriptures? For example, in the Holy
Quran, the seven verses of the opening chapter introduce some of His Qualities.
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Praise belongs to Allah the
Cherisher and the Sustainer of the Worlds. Most Gracious, Most Merciful. Owner of the
Day of Judgment. It is You we worship and it is Your aid that we seek. Show us the
straight path. The way of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace; Those whose
(portion) is not wrath and who go not astray. [1.1 1.7]
Can some of His Qualities or Attributes be picked from the Verses? He calls Himself Allah
(Arabic for The God {1}) and is being addressed as the Most Gracious and the Most Merciful
Cherisher and Sustainer of the both worlds (the current world and the world to come [34.1]). He
will Judge our deeds on the Day of Judgment to see whether we actually worshipped Him and
sought His help. Approaching Him alone for help is the straight path. The question is do we
worship Him alone? Allah warns in the Quran,

17.56 Say: "Call on those besides Him whom you fancy: they have neither the
power to remove your troubles from you nor to change them."
Anything other than the Creator has no power He has created everything and every moment
from nothing. So do we approach others to solve our problems? Allah says,

17.57 Those whom they call upon do desire (for themselves) means of access to
their Lord even those who are nearest: they hope for His Mercy and fear His
Wrath: for the Wrath of your Lord is something to take heed of.
Do we visit the graves of saints and prophets? As they were nearer to the Creator do we feel
that they would pray to Him on our behalf? As pointed out in the Verse, they themselves seek to
be pleasing to Him and hope for His Mercy. In that sense, all created human beings are equal.
We can all directly approach Him we all need to hope and pray for His Mercy! To clarify the
position of those who are lying in graves,
Nor are alike those that are living and those that are dead. Allah can make any that He
wills to hear; but thou cannot make those to hear who are (buried) in graves. [35.22]
Those who are in graves cannot hear us so praying to them is futile. As they are unable to
hear us, are they themselves in a position to do anything for us? Why should we fear the
Creators wrath?

17.58 There is not a population but We shall destroy it before the Day of
Judgment or punish it with a dreadful Penalty: that is written in the (eternal)
Record.
The Creator has destroyed many populations leaving no descendants, due to their repeated
demonstration of disbelief.

(As to those) before them not one of the populations which We destroyed believed: will
these believe? [21.6]
The question being placed before current generations is, will we believe? If not, are we in
danger of being utterly destroyed as were generations before only remnants of some of their
buildings remain?
Not for (idle) sport did We create the heavens and the earth and all that is between!
[21.16]
The Creator has gone to great lengths to demonstrate and establish Himself as the Creator. The
job of human beings is to analyze the things that we observe, i.e., Signs of the Creators
involvement and establish His Reality in their hearts. In todays age, however, the Creator has
stopped showing additional or extra miracles as Signs because people of past generations did
not even believe in the extra miracles.

17.59 And We refrain from sending the Signs only because the men of former
generations treated them as false: We sent the She-camel: to the Thamud to open
their eyes but they treated her wrongfully: (Now) We only send the Signs by way
of terror (and warning from evil).
As an example of a special miracle, the Thamud had demanded that Prophet Salih ask the
Creator to produce a pregnant she-camel from a big boulder. Even after the miracle took place
before their own eyes, they disbelieved and killed her. So, after a three day warning the Thamud
were completely destroyed [11.61 11.68]. The Signs now include natural calamities shown by
way fear and warning.
As developing proper belief is important, Bediuzzaman Said Nursis work Risale-i Nur was
written with this objective in mind. Risale-i Nur shows that the Signs of God, the mirrors of His
Names and Attributes, are revealed to us constantly in new and ever-changing forms and
configurations, eliciting acknowledgement, acceptance, submission, love and worship. He
shows that there is a distinct process involved in becoming a Muslim in the true sense of the
word: contemplation to knowledge, knowledge to affirmation, affirmation to belief or conviction,
and from conviction to submission. As an example, we can see the process of becoming a true
Muslim in the story of Prophet Abraham. His father worshipped many things including Allah. His
contemplation started with a question. Can all the things worshipped by his father be gods?
What kind of power would each god have, etc. [19.42]. As part of knowledge, he examined the
quality of each god separately. As affirmation, after eliminating all gods, he settled for Allah as
the one and only God. For developing conviction, he asked Allah about how He makes things
[2.260]. Feel the devotion in his prayer as part of his submission as a devoted deputy:
"Our Lord! Make us Muslims in submission to You and from our descendants a Muslim
nation in submission to You. And show us our places for the celebration of (due) rites;
and turn to us in mercy; for You are the Oft-Returning (Accepting of repentance), MostMerciful. [2.128]
--------{Notes}:
{1} https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allah