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Article appeared Friday, April 12th, 2019 in The News Today, Bangladesh

The Revelation (566) yousuf mahbubul Islam, PhD


When in trouble, we often turn to God in desperation. We also pray to Him when we
need something badly, or just when we want something. Why do we turn to Him on
these occasions? Is it because somewhere deep inside us we know that it is God who
can save us and it is He who provides? This means that we intuitively know that God
can hear us and can help us. Have we, however, tried to work out who God is? For
example, have we thought about any of His Qualities? And what is His relationship with
us? Also, what is His relationship with the Universe?

To start off, can we think of Qualities that permit us to call on Him? For example, do we
assume that He can hear us from wherever on earth we call Him? Does this mean that
He is All Hearing? We often pray silently and do not vocalize our prayers. Does this
mean that He can hear what we say in our minds? Having heard us, what abilities does
He need to be able to help us? For example, if we are in the middle of the ocean and our
ship is slowly but surely sinking. What abilities does He need to be able to save us? For
us to survive, He has to somehow get us to the shore. Once we wake up on the shore,
we wonder how we got there – many such ship wrecked people have survived ocean
disasters. Having saved us, what powers has He demonstrated?

We often acknowledge that He is our Creator. Have we, however, worked out what it
means to be the Creator? Did He create us? What else did He create? Did He create the
Universe and everything else in it? Can we cast our minds to the time before the Big
Bang? What existed before the creation of the Universe? Scientists have mathematically
shown that both time and space are created {1} entities. However, on the question of
what existed before, the scientists are clueless and excuse themselves by saying {2} it is
like asking what is north of the North Pole! A similarly mind boggling question would be
where did knowledge come from? For example, how does a Tree Fern {3} know how to
shape itself? How does a honeybee know what a hexagonal shape {4} is? Where did the
honeybee’s knowledge come from? So, where in fact, did knowledge come from?

Together with time and space, God must have also created knowledge! Without
knowledge {5}, there is a darkness of nothingness where no thought can exist and
nothing has meaning. How can we describe a Being who has created knowledge itself?
Where can we find a definition? Would Holy Scriptures help? God describes Himself in
the following Verse of the Al-Qur’an.

24.35 “Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The parable of His
Light is a niche and within it a lamp. The lamp is in a glass. The glass is a
brilliant star lit from a blessed olive tree neither of the East nor of the West.
Its oil would well nigh shine forth, even if no fire had touched it. Light upon
light! Allah guides whom He wills to His Light, and Allah sets forth parables
for mankind, and Allah is Knower of all things.”
To help mankind attach meaning to who God is, He presents a parable or analogy. God
has called Himself “Allah” {6} in the Verse. What does He mean by the analogy? The
main theme of the analogy is “light”. So, how is light useful to mankind? Light enables
humans to see in the dark. Once we “see” something we can begin to comprehend. To
further understand, can the concept of light be linked to the previous paragraph? Along
with space, time and light, God has also originated or created “knowledge” by which we
comprehend or understand. So, once we see using the light created by Him, we
comprehend by the knowledge that He has created and given to humankind – light upon
light. Once we are able to see, God sheds light through giving meaning to knowledge.
Niches are recessed places in walls where candles or lamps are kept to give light to the
entire room in the dark. This light is like the light of a brilliant star that is self-sustaining
and does not need external energy. Those who want to know Him He guides them
through the processing of knowledge that He has given – they can then “see” God
through this knowledge and thereby come out from the darkness of ignorance.

24.36 “(This light is) in houses which Allah has permitted to be raised to
honor; for the celebration in them of His name: in them is He glorified in the
mornings and in the evenings (again and again)”
In places where the inhabitants repeatedly study and credit God for everything, He
honors through His Light.

24.37 “By men whom neither traffic nor merchandise can divert from the
Remembrance of Allah nor from regular Prayer nor from the practice of
regular Charity: their (only) fear is for the Day when hearts and eyes will be
transformed.”
Such persons give God priority in all things and are not distracted by worldly matters
from remembering Him – they fear the Day of Judgment where they will be accountable
for how they used their time on earth.

24.38 “That Allah may reward them according to the best of their deeds and
add even more for them out of His Grace: for Allah does provide for those
whom He will without measure.”
God has created the Day of Judgment and Hereafter so that He can reward such
people.

24.39 “But the Unbelievers their deeds are like a mirage in sandy deserts
which the man parched with thirst mistakes for water; until when he comes
up to it he finds it to be nothing: but he finds Allah (ever) with him and Allah
will pay him his account: and Allah is swift in taking account.”
As the purpose of creation is to remove mankind from the darkness of ignorance, those
who do not look for God through their hearts supported by knowledge will be in trouble
on the Day of Judgment.

24.40 “Or (the Unbelievers' state) is like that they are in the depths of
darkness in a vast deep ocean covered by waves, upon which are more
waves topped by (dark) clouds: depths of darkness one above another: if a
man stretches out his hand he can hardly see it! For any to whom Allah
gives not light there is no light!”
------
{Notes}:
{1} http://www.hawking.org.uk/the-beginning-of-time.html
{2} https://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2017/10/05/what-existed-before-the-big-
bang/#6b109ba57671
{3} https://www.britannica.com/plant/tree-fern
{4} https://askdruniverse.wsu.edu/2015/11/02/why-do-bees-make-hexagons/
{5} https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knowledge
{6} https://www.britannica.com/topic/Allah

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