You are on page 1of 2

Article appeared Friday, July 30th, 2010 in The News Today, Bangladesh

The Revelation (141) yousuf mahbubul Islam, PhD

Throughout history, have individuals found the truth hard to accept? To bring out man’s attitude
toward the truth, Agnes Repplier (1855–1950), an American writer, is quoted to have said the
“There are few nudities so objectionable as the naked truth!” {1}

Before looking at how man has historically reacted to and treated individuals who support truth,
justice and righteous behavior we need to ask a fundamental question. Where exactly does the
truth of any action lie? Does the truth lie in the action itself or does it lie in the motivation or
intention behind the action? To understand this we may look at the story of Cain and Abel, the
sons of Adam and Eve. Both carried out the action of offering a sacrifice to the Creator. The
burning question is why was one action accepted and the other not? Allah informs us:
“Recite to them the truth of the story of the two sons of Adam. Behold! They each
presented a sacrifice (to Allah): it was accepted from one but not from the other. Said the
latter, "Be sure I will slay thee." "Surely", said the former, "Allah does accept of the
sacrifice of those who are righteous.” [5.27]

The moral of the story does not lie in the physical aspects of the offerings made by the brothers;
it lies in the intention behind the offering or sacrifice. To help Cain understand, Abel explains
the motivation behind his actions to his brother:
“If you do stretch your hand against me to slay me it is not for me to stretch my hand
against you to slay you: for I do fear Allah, the Cherisher of the worlds.” [5.28]

So the intention or motivation of Abel behind his actions was to seek the pleasure of the Creator
and avoidance of sin for fear of the Creator. How did Cain, on the other hand, full of selfishness,
pride and jealousy continue to react?
“The (selfish) soul of the other led him to the murder of his brother: he murdered him
and became (himself) one of the lost ones.” [5.30]

Similarly, throughout history, how has mankind treated those whose actions are dictated
seeking the pleasure of the Creator? In this connection Matthew 23:35 gives a warning:
“As a result, you will be held responsible for the murder of all godly people of all time –
from the murder of righteous Abel to the murder of Zechariah son of Barachiah, whom
you killed in the Temple between the sanctuary and the altar.” [Matthew 23:35, NLT,
2007] {2}

The Creator repeats the same warning in the Qur’an:

3.21 “As to those who deny the Signs of Allah and in defiance of right slay the
Prophets and slay those who teach just dealing with mankind announce to them
a grievous penalty.”
“We gave Moses the Book and followed him up with a succession of Apostles; We gave
Jesus, the son of Mary, clear (Signs) and strengthened him with the Holy Spirit. Is it that
whenever there comes to you an Apostle with what you yourselves desire not you are
puffed up with pride? Some you call impostors and others you slay!” [2.87]

Further, to help understand the gravity of sin committed, Allah says in the Qur’an:
“On that account: We ordained for the Children of Israel that if anyone slew a person
unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land it would be as if he slew the
whole people: and if anyone saved a life it would be as if he saved the life of the whole
people. Then although there came to them Our apostles with clear Signs yet even after
that many of them continued to commit excesses in the land.” [5.32]

Should people, who commit such excesses, be penalized? On the Day of Judgment, can such
people find any defense on their behalf? If, on the Day of Judgment, the Creator does find a
way to excuse people like Cain, would it be justice? What then, would the Creator say to people
like Abel, who put their complete trust in Him?

3.22 “They are those whose works will bear no fruit in this world and in the
Hereafter nor will they have anyone to help.”
Seeking to please the Creator, the One Who has given existence, is righteousness. Choosing to
please self over the Creator is not only rejection of blessings given by the Creator; it is complete
rejection of belief and faith!
“As to those who reject faith, if they had everything on earth and twice repeated to give
as ransom for the penalty of the Day of Judgment, it would never be accepted of them.
Theirs would be a grievous penalty. Their wish will be to get out of the fire; but never will
they get out there from: their penalty will be one that endures.” [5.36 – 5.37]

Can created beings, i.e. mankind, create their own rules and hope to get away with it – while
ignoring the Creator and His Commandments? Once one understands the fundamental truth
about creation, and organizes his/her life accordingly, i.e. on the basis of wanting to please the
Source of all creation, as also recommended by Jesus in Matthew 22:36-38, one embarks on
the path of righteousness. A saying of Mahatma Gandhi may help understand this:
"I believe in the fundamental truth of all great religions of the world." {3}

The fundamental truth, embodied in the first commandment, now repeated in the Qur’an (latest
Revelation), is that all of creation, including mankind, has One common Creator. Regardless of
manmade logic, attaching any family or images to the Creator goes against the fundamental
commandment! However,
“And most of them believe not in Allah without associating (others as partners) with
Him!” [12.106]

3.23 “Have you not turned your vision to those who were given a portion of the
Book (Revelation)? They are (now) invited to the Book of Allah to settle their
dispute but a party of them turn back and decline (the arbitration).”

3.24 “This because they say: "The fire shall not touch us but for a few numbered
days"; for their forgeries deceive them as to their own religion.”

3.25 “But how (will they fare) when We gather them together against a Day about
which there is no doubt and each soul will be paid out just what it has earned
without (favor or injustice)?”