Dhaka, Bangladesh
The Revelation

Comments & Analyses-II

The Revelation

By Yousuf Mahbubul Islam, PhD

How many truths can there be? One may answer obviously – one truth. If there is only one truth about any particular concept, then all others are falsehoods. All that is very good, but what is a truth and how would one recognize it? If we look up the Internet we would find a number of definitions and suggestions. In Psychology Today {1}, Neel Burton gives a useful overview of the philosophy of truth and says: “One way to understand truth is simply to look at its opposite, or opposites, namely, lies and bullshit. Lies differ from bullshit in that the liar must track the truth in order to conceal it, whereas the bullshiter has no regard or sensitivity for the truth or even for what his or her audience believes.” {1} So, for one who lies or accepts a lie, it is from a need or desire to conceal the truth. The person is therefore aware of the truth. However, as pointed out, there is also a category of person to whom words carry no meaning or value. They will speak or claim whatever seems advantageous at the spur of the moment. On a subsequent occasion, they may say or claim something different. In the words of Henry Frankfurt, “Someone who lies and someone who tells the truth are playing on opposite sides, so to speak, in the same game. Each responds to the facts as he understands them, although the response of the one is guided by the authority of the truth, while the response of the other defies that authority and refuses to meet its demands. The bullshiter ignores these demands altogether. He does not reject the authority of the truth, as the liar does, and oppose himself to it. He pays no attention to it at all. By virtue of this, bullshit is a greater enemy of the truth than lies are.” {1} What qualities should the truth have? Should truth be universal and timeless? Should it be valid with or without reference to human beings? If so, truth must therefore exist external to humans. Humans can only witness the truth. The relevant question that needs to be asked is can human’s harm/jeopardize their life by living on lies or bullshit? Now consider why the Qur’an carries the following Verses. Is it about the truth of our existence and how it is being communicated? 26.192 “Verily this is a Revelation from the Lord of the Worlds:” As truth must be external to humans, this is a message from the Creator of the Universe. Which “Worlds” is being talked about? Looking elsewhere in the Qur’an for an explanation, we find in the opening Verse of Chapter 34, “Praise is due to God to whom belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth, and to Him belongs all praise in the Hereafter: and He is the Wise, the Acquainted.” [34.1] Verse 34.1 makes a distinction between whatever exists in the current world, and whatever exists in the Hereafter, i.e., in the world after death. How important should such a communication be? 26.193 “With it came down the Spirit of Faith and Truth” The Revelation, i.e., the Verses were brought down by the Spirit of Faith and Truth. Again, in Chapter 16 we find an explanation. “Say, the Holy Spirit has brought the revelation from your Lord in truth in order to strengthen those who believe and as a guide and glad tidings to Muslims.” [16.102] The Holy Spirit is Archangel Gabriel {2}, whose job has been to bring down revealed Verses from God and also supporting the apostles sent by Him. “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.…” [2.87] 26.194 “To your heart and mind that you may be of the warner’s” 26.195 “In the perspicuous Arabic tongue.” The Verses of the current compilation Al-Qur’an were Revealed in stages as and when a situation demanded against events and questions raised to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) who was an Arab [41.44]. “Say, “It is only revealed to me that your god is but One God; so will you be Muslims (in submission to Him alone)?” But if they turn away, then say, “I have proclaimed the Message to you all alike and in truth; but I know not whether that which you are promised is near or far.” [21.108-21.109] 26.196 “And indeed, it is (mentioned) in the scriptures of former peoples.” “We did send apostles before you and appointed for them wives and children: and it was never the part of an apostle to bring a (revealed) Sign except as God permitted (or commanded). For each period is a Book (revealed).” [13.38] 26.197 “Is it not a Sign to them that the learned of the Children of Israel knew it (as true)?” A number of learned scholars of the Children of Israel (Jews) had accepted the Arab Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) {3} and recognized the nature of Revelation as similar to that given to Prophet Moses (pbuh). 26.198 “Had We revealed it to any of the non-Arabs” 26.199 “And had he recited it to them they would not have believed in it.” 26.200 “Thus have We caused it to enter the hearts of the Sinners.” 26.201 “They will not believe in it until they see the grievous Penalty;” 26.202 “But the (Penalty) will come to them of a sudden while they perceive it not;” Throughout the ages, all Revelations are from God brought down by Archangel Gabriel, giving the warning of punishment in the Hereafter for those who refuse to believe. So, although the Jews recognized Muhammad (pbuh) as the messenger promised in their scriptures {3}, they refused to accept him. It is a sin to reject any prophet of God, as it is tantamount to rejecting the message itself. 26.203 “Then they will say, “Shall we be respited?”” 26.204 “Do they then ask for Our Penalty to be hastened on?” Those who do not believe mockingly ask for punishment [e.g., 26.187] and others on the Day of Judgment will ask for a respite, i.e., a second chance [e.g., 23.99]. 26.205 “Then have you considered if We do let them enjoy (this life) for a few years” 26.206 “Yet there comes to them at length the (Punishment) which they were promised!” 26.207 “It will profit them not that they enjoyed (this life)!” 26.208 “Never did We destroy a population but had its warner’s” 26.209 “By way of reminder; and We never are unjust.” {Notes}: {1}https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/hide-and-seek/201808/what-is-truth {2} Nasr, S. H., Editor-in-Chief. (2015). The Study Quran: A new translation and commentary. HarperOne. Page 922. Commentary on Verse 26.193. {3} ibid. Verse 26.197.

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