Sunday, April 2, 2017

GOLDEN EDUCATION Chapter Eight

Chapter Eight


God « has not taken a wife or a son. » (72 : 3) God does not have a family. He does not need them. He does not need to be loved by a wife or helped by a son. Otherwise He wouldn’t be God. The best wife God could create for Himself or the best son He could ever make should be either as good as or better than Him. But why should God have someone in His presence who could be as good as or better than Him ? What would be the purspose ? There can’t be anything as good as or better than God and anything less good than God cannot be a god. “42.11. Naught is as His likeness”. There can only be God, on the one hand, and the Kingdom of God, on the other hand. And then (   ) Why ? Because (   ) (  ) (   ) Look at what man, this weak creature, has done against God, what if God surrounded Himself with other gods ? Would any sensible king accept to have around him someone who could do what he does or undo what he undoes ? That would be unwise of him. We have seen what happened in History between kings and their parents and their children and their siblings. God is (  ) (   ) God can do all His work on His own. God is (  ) So the Kingdom of God can only be ruled by God. But God does not want to rule by force only. With those who need force God will use force because He is 3.6. the Almighty, the Wise». To those who need love God will give love because He is 11.90 . Merciful , Loving.” It was narrated that ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “Some prisoners were brought to the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), and there was a woman among the prisoners who was searching (for her child). When she found her child she embraced him and put him to her breast. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said to us, ‘Do you think that this woman would throw her child in the fire?’ We said, ‘No, by Allah, not if she is able not to.’ The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, ‘Allah is more merciful to His slaves than this woman is to her child.’”  We all know that the rain, which is a gift from God, does not fall only where God is worshipped. (   ) (   ) This dead land could be anywhere in the world. You and I are not the one to judge God, but time has proved to us that God was right in doing so. (   ) We now know that in almost every country in the world there’s at least one person or two who believe in God, in Alllah. For the sake of that one person God is ready to provide to all the people living where he lives. Because that person will need to eat, to wear clothes, to use transportation, to have a home, etc, and all this cannot be done by him alone. He will need people to farm for him, people to make clothes for him, to build a home for him, etc, etc. All the people will eat quite the same things, use the same transportation, have the same kind of homes, etc, but in this world only. In the Hereafter only the faithful will have the good things. That’s why it’s not unislamic for a good Muslim to enjoy the good things of this life. (   ) That’s why God provided our forefathers who did not believe in Him. He provided them with food, with shelter, with everything. He caused love to make them feel so good so as to encourage them to marry, to support a family, to prepare the future generations of believers. That’s why when Angel Gabriel said to the prophet Muhammad (pbuh) that, if he wanted, God could destroy the people of Taif, who had mistreated him, he said : « No, I hope that Allah will make them beget children who will adore Allah Alone. » Does that mean that God is doing all this and taking all this trouble because He needs to be adored ? We’ll see that later in the book.

Now, if I am a good Muslim and have some knowledge about Islam I should share i twill all people all over the world, if I can. I am using things that come from all over the world (clothes, gadgets, books, etc). i should return the favour in the form of adive. God made those people help me (through their material products) to enjoy the life of the world, I should help them to see why God can be good for them too, why the life of the Hereafter is true and is no less good than the life of the world. God said to the prophet (pbuh) : (   ) The prophet (pbuh) died 14 centuries ago, his message is still being shared in so many languages by people who have tasted the sweetness of the Faith, by people who love God.

Now, it is ceasy for anyone to share such knowledge ? Well, it depends. God says : (   ) Put differently, I will be punished if I contradict myself. If I don’t contradict myself, if I do as I say, I will have problems still all the same. God says : (   )  Put differently, I will have to make a lot of sacrifices. Is it worth it ? Well, it depends once again. For me personally, I am a writer and I have no choice. (   ) (  ) I have learned things from my personal experience as a believer in God, in Allah ; so maybe there are people out there who would be interested in what I am saying. This has become part of my everything life as a believer. As I live a new day I earn something and lose something else, the least of which are my past days which are gone for good and will never come back. It’s not a 5-minute prayer every two or five hours that will alter the course of my day or prevent me from doing what I want to do. On the contrary, it’s more beneficial than a soldier’s respite. Likewise, when I am reading the Quran I am learning new things every time. When I am writing I am enjoying the immaterial side of my life. When I am posting my work on line I am making new friends. God is watching me all the time and that’s an honour for me. (  ) Everywhere I look I see signs that I’m leaving this world one day. I see babies who will be my eyes when I’m gone. I see young people who remind me that I too I was as young as them and I am no more. Now. I see very old people and I’m not sure I’ll live as long as them. I see plants that last a few months and trees that are more than 100 years old. All this reminds me that I am leaving sooner or later. At the same time, when I say my prayers five times a day, and read some Quran, and do some good, day in day out, I get the feeling that I am kind of investing in these days gone by and that this investment should bear fruit upon my death. I feel that my life is in fact eternal, once I left my mother’s womb. (   )   This gives me hope. So if I lose something when I am writing about religion I should consider that as an investment.

Now, what would I hope for as a believer who knows something about Islam ? In the Quran I read : 5.54. whom He loveth and who love Him”. What does that mean ? Well, it means that, why not, God can love me too. And that’s something I would love so much. But how do I know that God loves me ? God says : (   ) Assumedly, if God gives me everything I want, that can be a sign that He loves me. But what’s the sign that I love Him ? Why should God love me if I don’t love Him in return ? Am I the only one in the kingdom of God ? Why should God favour me over all his bondmen ? God says : (   ) Am I (   ) ? God says : (   ) (   ) (   ) If that applies to me too, what did I give God in return ? When someone gives me something I say thank you. Did I thank God for all His gifts ? How ? Do I have a special relationship with God, a relationship far, far better than my relationship with anybody else ? God says : (   )   (   ) (   )  (  ) Am I among those meant by these verses ? When I want to sin, for example, do I hide from God or from people ? Do I fear God or do I fear people ? God says : (   ) (   )  (   )  (   ) Do I really care about (   ) ?  Do I really fear God ? Do I really love God ? God says : (   )  Do I follow the prophet (pbuh) ? Do I ask myself such questions when I am alright or only when I am miserable ? What do I do when I am miserable ? Do I turn to God or do I turn away from Him ? Do I implore God to forgive and help me or do I try by all by means to ward off bad luck ?

You know, as I do, that normal adult people aspire to three things : financial independence, marriage and good health. What if I had none of these ? What if I were jobless, single and sick ? What could I do, knowing that I can’t, even if I try, ward off bad luck ? All I can do is live with that and accept it and wait for salvation –just like a homeless person who can’t find a shelter. Suppose I were married and had two wonderful boys and a loving spouse, would I know what may happen to me or to them in the near future ? Now, here’s an anecdote. It’s in the Quran. "…And as for the wall, it belonged to two orphan boys in the city, and there was beneath it a treasure belonging to them, and their father had been righteous, and thy Lord intended that they should come to their full strength and should bring forth their treasure as a mercy from their Lord…" (18 : 73-82) Moses was a prophet and yet he could not see the point in killing an « innocent child ». You and I would have the same reaction. Even after reading the justification for the killing of the child one would still wonder : Why didn’t God give those good parents the right child right away ? Well, they might have taken that for granted, just as I take it for granted when I take the train, when I switch on the light, when I turn on the tele, when I take a call from a dear person… Do I thank God for all this comfort ? What if I lost such comfort ? What if I lost anything that was so dear to me ?

Hopefully, that great loss may –I say may– bring me closer to my Lord so that I’ll think more seriously not only of my material comfort, my healthcare, my fianancial ease in this world but also of my salvation. What do you think I would prefer : work after a long period of unemployment or a kind message from a person I loved so much and thought she had forgotten all about me ? How would I feel when I read that unhoped-for message or when I get a suprise call from that dear person ? If I think about it, it’s nothing compared to when God lets the rain in after a severe drought or when He puts out the fire of a deadly war or when He helps someone repay his debt after he was very close to imprisonment. That’s my chance to feel the love of God. That’s my chance to relish and cherish that love from my Lord and the Lord of the Worlds. People are proud to take selfies with humans like them, how about the love of the Lord of the Worlds ?

These are personal experiences. I am an ordinary believer. I am not a saint. What happened to me can happen to other people in various ways. I too need to understand things that cannot be understood by reason alone. So I need to go through personal experience and to know about other people’s personal experiences.

Once the prophet Muhammad (pbuh) asked his wife Aysha (rd) : « What is left of the sheep ? » She said : « It is all gone except for that lamb shoulder. » He said : « No, do not say that, Aysha, say we still have it all, except for that lamb shoulder ! » How could you and I understand this with our logic ? The sheep was eaten up by the poor to whom Aysha had given it and there remained no more in her room but that lamb shoulder : that’s logic, that’s reason. But to the prophet (pbuh) there was another logic. He saw God’s logic. But we humans when we lose something it’s hard for us to think of a replacement/a compensation that we can’t see with our eyes.

We humans will always ask such logical questions as to why did God give the prophets Noah and Lot bad wives and to the tyrant Pharoah a good wife he didn’t deserve ? Would we see in Pharoah’s wife a wife to him but also a foster  mother to Moses (pbuh), who could have been killed  by Pharoah ?

The Quran tells us that God did not give a child to Abraham (pbuh) until he was very old. And then after He gave him a child and this child grew up a little bit, God told Abraham (pbuh) (in a dream) to sacrifice him. Someone who doesn’t have faith in his heart would only see in this kind of sadism. But both Abraham and his son would forget all about the pains they had during the trial once they saw the gift brought down by angels from the sky, from the Lord of the Worlds. It’s like slapping your little son or little brother and then you give him a surprise present : the slap is painful, but your present will make him forget it, because you gave him a sign that you love him, that you didn’t mean him any harm. Likewise, it is not easy for many people to fast during the whole month of Ramadan. And yet they do it, not out of fear of people, but to please God and to do good to their own health.

Why did God do that to Abraham, why did He order him to sacrifice his son ? We don’t need to farfetch an explanation. When God tells me, as a believer, to do something I have to do it, I don’t ask why. (   )   (    )  Nobody asks a king to justify an order. God is the King / the Lord of the Worlds, period. Adam, don’t touch that tree. That’s it, don’t touch it. (   )  Don’t go beyond what you have been ordered. (   )  That’s it, don’t touch those birds. Don’t ask questions. Maybe there are secrets I don’t know and God would not let me in the secret. So I have to do as  I am bid. Who am I to be let into the secret of God ? I should respect the distance between me and my Lord as I respect the distance between me and my superiors at work. I should show my Lord that He is indeed my Lord. I should show Him that I love Him by obeying His orders whatever they are. I should not ask why a male heir should have as twice as a female heir. That’s none of my business. I should not ask why a woman does not pray during her menstruations. God did not ask me to use water for my ablutions if I am ill. God  permits me to only perform tayammum if I can’t find/use water, or to perform my daily prayers lying on my side in bed if I am ill. god permits me to postpone fasting until after Ramadan if I am ill. if I can see symbolism in tayammum, why can’t I see symbolism in Adam’s tree or in Hevrews’ river or in Mecca’s hunting ?

God made me a viceroy of Him in this earth. A viceroy is not the king. But a viceroy can be brought near the king. I too can be brought near my Lord if I make a good viceroy. What’s my job as a viceroy ? I do what I can, that’s my job. I can help a homeless person by giving him shelter or food or clothes or money or just a smile. I am doing this to human like myself. If I marry I marry a human like myself. If I work, I work for a human like myself. If God wants to take revenge on a tyrant He will send him a human like himself. God will not transport victims in ambulances or help the blind cross the street. I, as a believer, do it in His name. If God wills that I be jobless, nobody will ever give me work unless God wills so. If God wills that I be single, nobody will marry me unless God wills so. That’s because God is the Lord. (   ) God is never in the headlines, but He is somewhere behing what’s in the headlines. When a celebrity dies, all the media talk about that celebrity, but where is he/she taken ? To a church or a mosque, to where God is. People who have faith in their hearts know that. So each would do what he/she can as a viceroy of God. They will seek a peaceful relationship rather than a confrontational relationship with God, because they know that there are things that God Alone can do. God does them for us. (    )  (   )  These people who have faith in their hearts strive to serve their Lord and do not wait for Him to serve them. That’s golden education. When they need something they beg God to help them. When they have questions they think about possible answers rather than ask them bluntly. These people know that even science cannot explain everything. So they try to guess what God would expect of each of them and each would strive to accomplish his/her mission in the best way possible. What matters is what God wants, not what they want.


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