I have done my homework as decided in our last online class.
Spoke to a non-Muslim friend of mine , well educated , an ex professor . He is a cheerful person with loud laugh and a successful businessman.
I tied to be very objective consciously devoid of any sort of complex. Sometimes da’ee seems to have a feeling of superiority for having found the truth. But when we look deeper , we are what we are not because of our choice ,but by chance we happened to be born in a Muslim family.
I initiated the discussion that “Sir tomorrow you have Ganesh festival. We have been living in this country for the last 1200 years or so but unfortunately neither you know why we celebrate Ramadan or Bakrid nor I know the logic and reason behind your celebrations and Gods. I have a question that you call Ganesh, rat, cow, land and many other things as god and goddesses. When you call something or someone to be a god what elements you have in mind while attributing them as god “.He spoke for nearly an hour. His whole discussion can be summed up into three main points.
1. It’s just belief: Calling something as God is just a belief. We borrowed this idea from our forefathers. Belief cannot be an object of scientific dissection. As long as we were youngster we did not believe in any god for the reason purely that things did not fit in our frame of mind , but as we grew older , to be a “good” member of the society we left the rationale search at rest as we had many urgent needs and demands of life to concentrate at.
This tells us two things ; one is that generally people believe that faith is something which cannot stand the test of reason, including common Muslims who say “ Islam me aql ko dakhal naheen”. This is amazing. Man has been endowed with a brain far superior than mammalian or reptile brain , and that is being used to make this world a happy place to live in but unfortunately we don’t use it to make our eternal life a happier one.
From Islamic perspective , we pray to God as a mark of submission before His majesty and acknowledge that we are just His servants and would like to take His commandments to make the life here, for our self and for others to be in harmony with our nature and the cosmos outside.
Surah Al-Fatiha, Verse 2:
الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ
All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.
Second; people are not serious about this question. In the book “My Muslim friends” the author says that in the whole world only Muslims are serious about religion, to others it’s just a matter of “it happens to be”. He also says that only Muslims believe and pray a living God and they live a life for God.
2. Praying God for worldly wellbeing; I have spoken on this to many of my non-Muslim friends. Belief and prayers are meant to gain worldly material advancement. We expect God to listen to us and fulfil our needs , but we don’t want to listen to Him. We even don’t bother to find out what His commandments are for us.
From Islamic point of view , our prayers are to thank Him and praise Him for the abundance of bounties and blessings bestowed upon us.
Surah Ibrahim, Verse 32:
اللَّهُ الَّذِي خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ وَأَنزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مَاءً فَأَخْرَجَ بِهِ مِنَ الثَّمَرَاتِ رِزْقًا لَّكُمْ وَسَخَّرَ لَكُمُ الْفُلْكَ لِتَجْرِيَ فِي الْبَحْرِ بِأَمْرِهِ وَسَخَّرَ لَكُمُ الْأَنْهَارَ
Allah is He Who created the heavens and the earth and sent down water from the clouds, then brought forth with it fruits as a sustenance for you, and He has made the ships subservient to you, that they might run their course in the sea by His command, and He has made the rivers subservient to you.
Surah Ibrahim, Verse 33:
وَسَخَّرَ لَكُمُ الشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ دَائِبَيْنِ وَسَخَّرَ لَكُمُ اللَّيْلَ وَالنَّهَارَ
And He has made subservient to you the sun and the moon pursuing their courses, and He has made subservient to you the night and the day.
Surah Ibrahim, Verse 34:
وَآتَاكُم مِّن كُلِّ مَا سَأَلْتُمُوهُ وَإِن تَعُدُّوا نِعْمَتَ اللَّهِ لَا تُحْصُوهَا إِنَّ الْإِنسَانَ لَظَلُومٌ كَفَّارٌ
And He gives you of all that you ask Him; and if you count Allah’s favors, you will not be able to number them; most surely man is very unjust, very ungrateful.
3. Devoid of right to read and understand the religious books; The papaism in almost all religions have a tight grip over the revealed or sacred books. Common man is not entitled to read it , understand it and interpret it in accordance to age we live in. This sorry state of affairs is not only a tragedy of other religions but Muslims too have done a copycat of blind following. My friend said that the biggest issue with our religion is that even today we can’t make a demand to substantiate our religious belief from the holy text. This puts us in a disadvantageous position. He quoted an anecdote that some fifteen twenty years back there was a literary programme ( something like musha’era) . Kuvempu a renowned scholar of kannada and gnayniepeet award winner was on the stage. As the tradition is, only Brahimns have the prerogative of reading. Kuvempu , being from vokaligha community (one among shudra communities) was denied to speak from that platform. This put them in a disadvantageous position to speak anything confidently about their religion.
Islam stands for “the right to learning”. The revealed book is for the guidance of whole humanity. Everyone has the equal right to learn the knowledge, speak for it and lead a life according to the divine guidance.
Surah Yunus, Verse 57:
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ قَدْ جَاءَتْكُم مَّوْعِظَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَشِفَاءٌ لِّمَا فِي الصُّدُورِ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةٌ لِّلْمُؤْمِنِينَ
O men! there has come to you indeed an admonition from your Lord and a healing for what is in the breasts and a guidance and a mercy for the believers.
Reverting back to theme “concept of God” from Quranic point of view to call someone or something to be a God, it should pocess the following four qualities.
1. One who is the creator alone can be entitled to be called as God and He alone to be worshiped. It’s against all logic that we have been given life by someone and we thank someone else who don’t have any contribution in our existence.
Surah Ash-Shuara, Verse 78:
الَّذِي خَلَقَنِي فَهُوَ يَهْدِينِ
Who created me, then He has shown me the way:
2. He alone to be worshiped who had created the vast universe and dedicated them to serve we human beings. The sustainer has made the universe as our servant to give us the livelihood and everything for our living here. The sustainer alone is entitled to be called as God.
Surah Ash-Shuara, Verse 79:
وَالَّذِي هُوَ يُطْعِمُنِي وَيَسْقِينِ
And He Who gives me to eat and gives me to drink:
3. Sometimes we fall ill. It’s only He who cures. No doctor for sure can guarantee us that he had the capacity to heal.
Surah Ash-Shuara, Verse 80:
وَإِذَا مَرِضْتُ فَهُوَ يَشْفِينِ
And when I am sick, then He restores me to health
4. He alone pocess the Knowle of future
Quran substantiates this.
Surah Luqman, Verse 34:
إِنَّ اللَّهَ عِندَهُ عِلْمُ السَّاعَةِ وَيُنَزِّلُ الْغَيْثَ وَيَعْلَمُ مَا فِي الْأَرْحَامِ وَمَا تَدْرِي نَفْسٌ مَّاذَا تَكْسِبُ غَدًا وَمَا تَدْرِي نَفْسٌ بِأَيِّ أَرْضٍ تَمُوتُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ خَبِيرٌ
Surely Allah is He with Whom is the knowledge of the hour, and He sends down the rain and He knows what is in the wombs; and no one knows what he shall earn on the morrow; and no one knows in what land he shall die; surely Allah is Knowing, Aware.
Hence we come to the conclusion that concept of God has to be logical and can be proved scientifically. In Quran He claims that “I am the God” This claim carry weight which can be scrutinised in the light of arguments and the text.