Dhaka, Bangladesh
The Revelation

Comments & Analyses-II

The Revelation

By Yousuf Mahbubul Islam, PhD

The Creator has given each an intelligent and unique life full of opportunities. If we are motivated, we can use these opportunities to live our personality, develop our skills, do things to achieve success and gain a status and standing in society. Enjoying and benefitting from all of this, are we grateful? Do then, those who believe, have duties and responsibilities towards Him? As we start discussing this question, it may be relevant to first examine the concept of “belief”. What is belief? Is it simply about asking God Almighty for the things that we need, things that we want and seeking Him out when in trouble, i.e., can belief just be recognition of God as the One who gives, protects and saves? To understand this concept, let us compare having God as our Benefactor versus having a boss in a company. How do we deal with the boss? Does our interaction involve only asking for things and asking for a solution to problems that we cannot solve? Or do we also have duties and responsibilities towards the boss of the company? Needless to say, the boss has hired/given us an existence in the company for a purpose. If we do not fulfill this purpose, or do things as required, what might he do? If we choose to ignore what the boss wants, he may remove us! So, basically one has to find out why he/she has been hired and carry out the required duties and responsibilities. The boss who can hire can also fire the employees. We must therefore give priority to the boss’s purpose and wishes, i.e., if we understand the concept of having a boss. Can this appreciation of the importance of the boss be classified as a belief? Can fulfilling the purpose of being hired be a part of such a belief system? A boss gives existence in his/her company and provides the resources to carry out duties and responsibilities. Compared to the boss, what has the Almighty Creator given each of us? How should we define belief in this case? Can He do away with us if He wanted? He has created a unique personality from nothing and arranged for all our opportunities. How, then, should belief be defined in this case? Should we ask the question, why has He taken the trouble to give us an existence? Is it just for repeatedly asking Him for things we want/need and when in trouble? If we understand the concept of being created, could belief be defined as appreciating Him as our Creator, demonstrating gratitude, taking the trouble not only to find out the purpose of being created, but also fulfilling this purpose? Would fulfilling His purpose consist of carrying out our duties and responsibilities as His creation? Holy Scriptures warn us of the consequences of not fulfilling our duties and responsibilities. If we, as His creation, fail to please Him, we find the following Verse in the Al-Qur’an. Not only can He remove an individual from the face of the earth, He can replace entire nations. “If He so pleased He can blot you out and bring in a New Creation; nor is this difficult for God.” [35.16 – 35.17] Elsewhere in the Al-Qur’an God confirms that indeed He has completely destroyed nations/generations before us – even nations who were better in technology and had better things that pleased the eye. “But how many (countless) generations before them have We destroyed who were even better in equipment and in glitter to the eye?” [19.74] The Verse 19.74 frames a question – it is therefore an invitation to look up history and find out the manner in which many nations were completely destroyed, leaving behind no descendents. Accordingly, another Verse additionally asks whether we can hear any sound from them. “And how many a generation before them have We destroyed? Can you see a single man of them, or hear from them the slightest sound?” [19.98] So, what would we rather do – ignore our Benefactor’s purpose? Or at least check out what our duties and responsibilities could be towards Him? Chapter 23 of the Al-Qur’an, titled The Believers opens with the desired characteristics of believers. Let us examine the opening Verses of this Chapter. 23.1 “The Believers must (eventually) win through” A believer is one who believes that he/she has been created for a purpose and makes various efforts to fulfill this purpose. God therefore asks the following question. “Do you then think that We have created you in jest and that you would not be brought back to Us (for account)?” [23.115] The job of a believer is to find the truth about our own creation, acknowledge God with gratitude and share the truth with others. “Among those whom We have created, there are some people who guide others with the truth and establish justice therewith.” [7.181] 23.2 “Those who humble themselves in their prayers;” In prayer, a believer stands before His Lord, the Master and Owner of the Universe, in an appropriately pious and humble frame of mind – they also rush to pray often, as it is an activity that pleases the heart. 23.3 “Who avoid vain talk;” “And when they hear vain talk they turn away from there and say, “To us our deeds and to you yours; peace be to you: we seek not the ignorant.”” [28.55] Whatever skills, qualities and successes we have are given by God. Therefore God compares those who indulge boastful talk with the braying of an ass. “And swell not your cheek (for pride) at men nor walk in insolence through the earth; for Allah loves not any arrogant boaster. And be moderate in your pace and lower your voice; for the harshest of sounds without doubt is the braying of the ass.” [31.18 – 31.19] 23.4 “Who are active in deeds of charity;” A believer spends both time and resources in the active service of others. Regarding payment of alms, there are some special rules laid down, e.g., those given in Verses 9.60 and 6.141. 23.5 “Who abstain from sex” 23.6 “Except with those joined to them in the marriage bond or those (e.g., captives) whom their right hands possess for (in their case) they are free from blame” Avoid sexual relations from other than those on whom a believer has a right through marriage or by rightful means. 23.7 “But those whose desires exceed those limits are transgressors” 23.8 “Those who faithfully observe their trust and their covenants;” Believers make promises to keep, and execute their trust in their role as trustees. 23.9 “And who (strictly) guard their prayers”

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