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Article appeared Friday, December 21st, 2018 in The News Today, Bangladesh

The Revelation (552) yousuf mahbubul Islam, PhD

Is there a difference between being wealthy and being good? Or do the rich and those better off
feel that they have been rewarded because they are good or great? Or do they feel their wealth
provides immunity from the tests and trials of the temporary life on earth?

How can we work out/find the answers to these questions? One way would be to extract the
concepts mentioned in the questions and query each concept separately; then analyze the
relationships when combined. What concepts are mentioned? The main concepts are being
wealthy, being good, being rewarded, having immunity and temporary life. Let us start with life
and temporary life. So, what is life? As we grow older from being a baby, somewhere along the
way we realize that we have a life and are among the living. So, what is life?

Can we call life an opportunity to be alive among the living? As we have had no hand in creating
our life, can we say that it is an opportunity to feel and enjoy the qualities and skills of whoever
made us? How powerful and skillful must He be? So, is whatever we have and get in life a
blessing from Him? And why is life temporary? It is a fact that we all are destined to die one day.
Life as we find it on earth will end one day. We are here, therefore, only for a short span of the
eternal time available in the universe! Can we find confirmation of these thoughts from the Holy
Scriptures? For example, the Holy Scripture Al-Qur’an informs in the first part of Verse 40,
Chapter 30:
“It is God Who has created you: further He has provided for your sustenance; then He
will cause you to die; and again He will give you life.” [30.40a]

While confirming the source and origin of our life and its blessings, Verse 30.40a gives an
additional piece of information, and again He will give you life! What does this mean? God, who
has created us from nothing the first time, will resurrect us again after death? As He has already
created us once from nothing, can we, in reality argue about His Ability to create us again? In
the second part of the Verse [30.40b], God therefore asks a logically related and all important
“Are there any of your (false) "Partners" who can do any single one of these things?
Glory to Him! And high is He above the partners they attribute (to Him)!” [30.40b]

Obviously, even all of us put together cannot even create an ant with the intelligence that it has,
from nothing, nor can we create any of the blessings of life that He has given. Why is He talking
about “Partners”? Who could a partner be? When we work for a company, for example, do we
imagine that there are other people in the company who are equally important as the Big Boss?
Or do we at any time imagine that our personal wishes and desires take precedence over what
the Boss wants? If we do, we then, effectively have, either equated others or ourselves with the
Boss. So, why is the question in Verse 30.40b being asked? Do our desires and our wishes take
precedence over what God wants? Do we imagine that objects other than God have power over
our lives? If we do so, can this be a sin, i.e., opposite of doing good? If we have trouble in
believing that all power is vested in God, God asks us to consider how He created Jesus? As
his mother lived in isolation, how was Jesus born?

23.50 “And We made the son of Mary and his mother as a Sign: We gave them
both shelter on high ground affording rest and security and furnished with
God calls Jesus the son of Mary, as God created him directly without a father. God also
provided Mary with sustenance, without her and her baby having to go anywhere for food!

Jesus and his mother are both signs and miracles of God, i.e., a study of their lives should help
us establish proper belief in Him. We must find out what He wants, just as we would want to find
out what a Boss wants and attempt to please Him. If we do not, is this paramount to disbelief?
Verse 30.45 relates the consequences. The answer to why has He created life after death is?
“That He may reward those who believe and work righteous deeds out of His Bounty: for
He loves not those who reject Faith.” [30.45]

So, what could being good mean? Anyone who acquaints himself/herself with the reality of God
and shares this knowledge with others has the potential of becoming God’s representative on
earth. If we claim to be ethical beings, should this be our primary duty towards God? He
therefore addresses those have come to this realization and want to do good as:

23.51 “O you apostles! Enjoy (all) things good and pure and work righteousness:
for I am well-acquainted with (all) that you do.”
God has given us good sustenance to enjoy. And He is constantly aware of all that we are
doing. He takes into careful account of those trying to please Him.

23.52 “And verily this Brotherhood of yours is a single Brotherhood and I am your
Lord and Cherisher: therefore fear Me (and no other).”
All human beings, rich or poor, white or black, fully capable or disadvantaged, young or old, all
have this duty of acknowledging God – we are all, therefore, so to speak, in the same boat –
one creation and their one and only Creator. This is, in a word, the only religion –
acknowledging God for who He is.

23.53 “But people have cut off their affair (of unity) between them into sects: each
party rejoices in that which is with itself.”
But people have divided and diversified pure religion into sects – each feeling that their religion
is the truth.

23.54 “But leave them in their confused ignorance for a time.”

God has given each of us the knowledge and the intelligence to work out the truth.

23.55 “Do they think that because We have granted them abundance of wealth
and sons”
God is asking whether those who are rich feel secure because of the wealth or children that He
has blessed them with? Can being rich and having the resources to do God’s work be a greater

23.56 “We would hasten them on in every good? Nay they do not understand.”
God has given the rich and wealthy greater blessings than many. This is not a reward; it is in
fact a greater test.

23.57 “Verily those who live in awe for fear of their Lord;”

23.58 “Those who believe in the Signs of their Lord;”

23.59 “Those who join not (in worship) partners with their Lord;”
God has created all the bosses and the powerful people that we have in the world. He has in
fact created every situation to test whether we humbly acknowledge His blessings to do good
work helping others in addition to sharing our experiences of finding and acknowledging Him.

23.60 “And those who dispense charity with their hearts full of fear because they
will return to their Lord”

23.61 “It is these (people) who hasten in every good work and these who are
foremost in them.”