Our non-Muslim brethren have loads of issues regarding true concept of God. Their urge to know the truth has specified startling issues that persuasively invite our attention. What’s the difference between God and nature, why God is hidden, why God should be praised, why love and fear of God and more……the queries are quite stimulating, not just an outcome of some sort of inquisition; rather they present a curious inner self that demand satisfactory response. Come, let’s explore the truth:
(35) Difference between God & Nature, are both one and the same?
The difference between nature and God is same as that of invention and the inventor. The invention let you understand the intellect of the inventor. Here nature is the invention and God is the Inventor. Some of the attributes of God specifically reflect this aspect with various connotations, have a look:
- Badī’ – the Wonderful Originator, the Awesome Inventor
- Bāri’ – the Inventor, the Maker from nothing, the Evolver
- Khāliq – the Creator, the Planner
- Mālik al-Mulk – the Master of the Kingdom
- Mubdi’ – the Beginner, the Originator
- Muqīt – the Nourisher, the Sustainer
- Musawwir – the Fashioner, the Bestower of forms
- Qādir – the Able, the Empowered, the Capable
Ponder over the nature you will be able to understand the wish and will of your Creator. That’s why you have been bestowed with faculties like ear, eyes and heart. The nature appeals to these human senses. Everything exist here is for your eyes only.
As you know in order to explain any scientific principle, experiment is developed; likewise God has developed the whole universe in order to help you understand what He likes and what He doesn’t. In fact the very purpose of human existence on earth is to get acquainted with the knowledge of the Creator’s likes and dislikes.
Now reflect over the celestial bodies, you can understand what your Creator likes. The celestial bodies like stars and galaxies float and are subjected to a speed of rotation, axis and path. We don’t find even a minutest of change in there prescribed limits. They are so well connected and fixed that they are being taken as a measuring scale, as evident from Kepler’s Laws of planetary motion and the way we measure the distance between planets and stars in terms of light year and the Astronomical Units (AU).
Have you ever contemplated why these floating objects portray an amazing precision? Unarguably, it’s due to there obedience / adherence to the laws prescribed by there Creator. In the heavens, in spite of giant and incredibly powerful heavenly objects you find peace and discipline. A true reflection not only helps in understanding the God, it enlightens the hearts too, with the fact that there has to be only One God, otherwise:
لَوۡ كَانَ فِيہِمَآ ءَالِهَةٌ إِلَّا ٱللَّهُ لَفَسَدَتَاۚ فَسُبۡحَـٰنَ ٱللَّهِ رَبِّ ٱلۡعَرۡشِ عَمَّا يَصِفُونَ
Had there been any gods in the heavens and the earth beside Allah, the order of both the heavens and the earth would have gone to ruin. Glory be to Allah, the Lord of the Throne, Who is far above their false descriptions of Him. (Ch 21 – Al Anbiya: 22)
For discipline and peace you need to follow certain principles prescribed for you by the Creator and resolve to abide by there strict adherence. There is no other alternative for the establishment of peace and justice in the society except following the Divine principles for which the whole universe bear a witness and knock your heart to realize the truth.
By pondering over different aspects of the nature like skies, stars, galaxies, earth, oceans, mountains, forest, rivers, trees, water, fruits, flowers, vegetation, gardens, barren lands and even human and their societies you can understand the liking of the Creator and also who you are and what your purpose of life on earth is?
Look at some of the aspects of nature and contemplate how the Noble Quran invites your attention:
أَفَلَمْ يَنظُرُوا إِلَى السَّمَاءِ فَوْقَهُمْ كَيْفَ بَنَيْنَاهَا وَزَيَّنَّاهَا وَمَا لَهَا مِن فُرُوجٍ
Have they never looked up to the sky above them, (and observed) how we made it and adorned it and how there is no flaw in it? (Ch 50 – Qaf: 6).
أَفَرَأَيْتُمُ الْمَاء الَّذِي تَشْرَبُونَ 0 أَأَنتُمْ أَنزَلْتُمُوهُ مِنَ الْمُزْنِ أَمْ نَحْنُ الْمُنزِلُونَ 0 لَوْ نَشَاء جَعَلْنَاهُ أُجَاجًا فَلَوْلَا تَشْكُرُونَ
Have you ever seen (with open eyes) the water that you drink? Is it you who cause it to rain from the clouds, or do We? If We so pleased We could make it salt. Then why don’t you be grateful.
(Ch 56 – Al Waqi’a: 68 – 70).
أَفَرَأَيْتُم مَّا تَحْرُثُونَ 0 أَأَنتُمْ تَزْرَعُونَهُ أَمْ نَحْنُ الزَّارِعُونَ 0 لَوْ نَشَاء لَجَعَلْنَاهُ حُطَامًا فَظَلَلْتُمْ تَفَكَّهُونَ
Have you ever considered the seeds that you sow ? Is it you who cause them to grow into crops, or do We? If We so pleased We could turn these crops into chaff, and you would then be left lamenting.
(Ch 56 – Al Waqi’a: 63 – 65).
On barren land:
وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ أَنَّكَ تَرَى الْأَرْضَ خَاشِعَةً فَإِذَا أَنزَلْنَا عَلَيْهَا الْمَاءَ اهْتَزَّتْ وَرَبَتْ ۚ إِنَّ الَّذِي أَحْيَاهَا لَمُحْيِي الْمَوْتَىٰ ۚ إِنَّهُ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ
And among the Signs of Allah is this that you see the earth dry and desolate; then as soon as We send down rain on it, it stirs (to life) and swells. Surely the God Who gives the dead earth life will raise the dead men also to life. Indeed, He has power over everything. (Ch 41 – Fussilat: 39).
To let us know who we are and what supposed to be done, God has created us in the best of molds and decorated the whole universe to facilitate us His true understanding. The nature is nothing but the manifestation of Divine Art that guide and facilitate us to harmonize our self with God’s nature and be His obedient, always.
(36) Why God is hidden?
No, God is not hidden, He is apparent through His creations. Look at the skies, sun, moon, the lightening, the rain, the earth and everything around you, even your own self, the food you eat, the water you drink, patient, the healthy one…. everyone has a message that let you know Who your God is and what Power and Authority He has?
Knowing God doesn’t mean having a knowledge surpassing the reality or knowing something beyond common experience. A true awareness about God is to know the reality of His being and ….
- The way His orders are being implemented in the nook and corner of the universe?
- How His decree decides the destiny of the nations?
- In what ways He causes a nation to develop or destroy?
- How He fashions an individual’s life and the way He delves with the collective conscience of humanity?
A reliable way of knowing these religious, spiritual, sociological and anthropological aspects would certainly help understand the concept of true God. Once you are aware, whether God is apparent or hidden doesn’t matter, what matters the most is His all-time obedience.
When you contemplate and find out the truth, you could feel His presence everywhere. You will be convinced that God to whom you obey is Omnipresent. Even, you would certainly go farther in realizing the truth. That there is no place on earth above which there is no sky, and there is not even a single moment of human life which is said to be void of God’s mercy and guidance.
God is with you wherever you are. He is apparent through His creations and the way they present themselves and behave differently in different conditions. You can see God in a poor person as he has been deprived of His blessings but you are not. You can feel the presence of God by looking at the precarious condition of downtrodden people. The following Hadith of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) has much more to offer on the subject, read it carefully:
قَالَ رَسُولُ اﷲِ صلی الله عليه وآله وسلم : إِنَّ اﷲَ يَقُوْلُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ: يَا ابْنَ آدَمَ، مَرِضْتُ فَلَمْ تَعُدْنِي! قَالَ: يَا رَبِّ، کَيْفَ أَعُوْدُکَ وَأَنْتَ رَبُّ الْعَالَمِينَ؟ قَالَ: أَمَا عَلِمْتَ أَنَّ عَبْدِي فُلَانًا مَرِضَ فَلَمْ تَعُدْهُ، أَمَا عَلِمْتَ أَنَّکَ لَوْ عُدْتَهُ لَوَجَدْتَنِي عِنْدَهُ؟ يَا ابْنَ آدَمَ، اسْتَطْعَمْتُکَ فَلَمْ تُطْعِمْنِي. قَالَ: يَا رَبِّ، وَکَيْفَ أُطْعِمُکَ وَأَنْتَ رَبُّ الْعَالَمِينَ؟ قَالَ: أَمَا عَلِمْتَ أَنَّهُ اسْتَطْعَمَکَ عَبْدِي فُلَانٌ فَلَمْ تُطْعِمْهُ؟ أَمَا عَلِمْتَ أَنَّکَ لَوْ أَطْعَمْتَهُ لَوَجَدْتَ ذٰلِکَ عِنْدِي؟ يَا ابْنَ آدَمَ، اسْتَسْقَيْتُکَ فَلَمْ تَسْقِنِي؟ قَالَ: يَا رَبِّ، کَيْفَ أَسْقِيکَ وَأَنْتَ رَبُّ الْعَالَمِيْنَ؟ قَالَ: اسْتَسْقَاکَ عَبْدِي فُ.لَانٌ فَلَمْ تَسْقِهِ، أَمَا إِنَّکَ لَوْ سَقَيْتَهُ وَجَدْتَّ ذٰلِکَ عِنْدِي.
The Messenger of Allah said: Allah, the Almighty, will say on the Day of Resurrection: O son of Adam, I fell ill and you visited Me not. He will say: O Lord, how should I visit You when You are the Lord of the worlds? He will say: Did you not know that My servant so-and-so had fallen ill and you visited him not? Did you not know that had you visited him you would have found Me with him?
O son of Adam, I asked you for food and you fed Me not. He will say: O Lord, and how should I feed You when You are the Lord of the worlds? He will say: Did you not know that My servant So-and-so asked you for food and you fed him not? Did you not know that had you fed him you would surely have found that (the reward for doing so) with Me?
O son of Adam, I asked you to give Me to drink and you gave Me not to drink. He will say: O Lord, how should I give You to drink when You are the Lord of the worlds? He will say: My servant So-and-so asked you to give him to drink and you gave him not to drink. Had you given him to drink you would have surely found that with Me. (Muslim).
As far looking at Him and seeing as a personification, is not possible as we are here with limitation of senses. See, we can hear but sound of low and very high frequencies is not audible. We can see but not the far off objects or that which is behind the curtain. Not hearing and not seeing doesn’t mean we are deaf and blind, it actually reveals the limitations, with such limitations it is impossible to look at the One Who is Perfect in all sense.
Yes, in this worldly life we are being trained to be able to look at Him. The more you know Him, the more you worship; every single good deed performed would contribute to this cause. If God wishes, the endeavors of this world can make you qualify to look at Him when in paradise.
وُجُوهٌ يَوْمَئِذ نَّاضِرَةٌ 0 إِلَى رَبِّهَا نَاظِرَةٌ
On that Day some faces shall be fresh, looking towards their Lord (Ch 75 – Al Qiyamah: 22-23).
The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: “When the righteous people enter Paradise. Allah will ask them: Do you want that I should bless you with something more? They will answer: Have You not made our faces bright: Have You not admitted us into Paradise and saved us from Hell? Thereupon, Allah will remove the curtain and none of the blessings that they had been blessed with until then will be dearer to them than that they should be blessed with the vision of their Lord”. (Muslim & Tirmidhi).
Keep looking at yourself and the world around; God is apparent rather He is very close to you than your jugular vein.
(37) Why should I believe in a God who wants to be praised all the time?
Praising God can’t be an artificial act, the words and hymns of praise come out of the heart when the mercy and bounties of God are realized. So the praise is for our own selves. It’s a depiction of a pure inner self, a gesture of thanks giving. Remembering God and chanting with different attributes reflect the depth of faith and love towards Him.
In reality, the whole of universe is engaged in praising its Creator. Our act of praising is an act of synchronization with the whole of universe. We make use of our tongue and other senses to express various words of praise, whereas the living and nonliving beings exist here obey the Creator and glorify Him in there own way:
سَبَّحَ لِلَّهِ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ
All that there is in the heavens and the earth has glorified Allah and He alone is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise (Ch 57 – Al Hadid: 1).
You can hear humming of bees, tweeting of birds, quacking of ducks, squawking of parrots, clicking of dolphins, roaring of tiger, the oscillating movement of leaves because of breeze, the blossoming of flowers…these adorable attitude are there act of praise. Our limitation of senses is a hindrance, we can’t understand what actual there act of glorification mean? In spite of tremendous development we are unable to translate there attitudes to know what exactly they mean?
تُسَبِّحُ لَهُ السَّمَاوَاتُ السَّبْعُ وَالْأَرْضُ وَمَنْ فِيهِنَّ ۚ وَإِنْ مِنْ شَيْءٍ إِلَّا يُسَبِّحُ بِحَمْدِهِ وَلَٰكِنْ لَا تَفْقَهُونَ تَسْبِيحَهُمْ ۗ إِنَّهُ كَانَ حَلِيمًا غَفُورًا
The seven heavens, the earth, and all within them give glory to Him. There is nothing but gives glory to Him with His praise, but you do not understand their hymns of praise. He is much forbearing, exceedingly Forgiving. (Ch 17 – Bani Israel: 44).
So we get synchronized with our act of praise with all creations existing in the universe, it is a privilege indeed. We are harmonized with the whole universe in terms of obeying the true Creator.
Another act of praise is when you spell out the names and greatness of God from the bottom of your heart. Look at the magnificent creation, look at the vastness and beauty of skies, look at the wonders of the world, reflect over the stars and galaxies, days and nights and the formation of weathers…. you tend to be God’s own servant at that moment of realization, oh my God, oh God, praise be to God…. are going to be the words that ooze out from your heart and reflect highest form of reverence of God.
An act of praise is a yard stick that measures your depth of love for the Creator. It reveals your intellect. It speaks of the gravity of your faith. God, by ordering us to praise, has actually taught us to be harmonious with the whole universe and be careful about the actuality of faith in Him. Your faith is as true as your interest in praising your Merciful God.
(38) Let us know about the small steps to get closer to God?
A strong relationship with God is possible with small steps too. Even a minutest deed, performed with a good intention, can be a cause to get closer to God.
You need to focus on one thing, that whatever you do that has to be for God alone. It should be strictly between you and Him. The following ways will help you out:
- Frequent remembrance of God
- Serve your parents.
- Look at parents with wishful eyes.
- Perform things according to your ease.
- An act of charity.
- Help the needy.
- Smile at the face of your brother.
- Remove anything disturbing from the path.
- Remember God when in alone and cry.
- Repent for the wrong doings.
- Forgive others faults.
- Overlook others mistakes.
- Plant a tree.
- Offer a glass of water.
- Remain silent instead of indulging in useless talks.
- Just think of doing great things.
- Do a good thing immediately after a mistake.
- Frequent prayers, no matter whether they are being answered or not.
- Worship God at the last phase of night, just an hour or so before dawn.
- Remain steadfast when a calamity befalls.
- Show patience at testing times.
- Strive for poor and destitute.
- Propagate virtues.
- Eradicate evils.
- Raise voice for the voiceless.
- Clean your house.
- Wash your clothes.
- Don’t rely on others even for a small thing.
- Be humble in dealings.
- Be soft in your conversations.
- Help the one who can’t do his work on his own.
- Pray for your brother in his absence.
The above things can be done even at large scale, since you need small steps, perform the activities with a low tone to suit your scheme.
(39) What a religion should teach, Love of God or Fear of God?
Religion makes good human, with God being its epicenter. For a human to be good, a strong connection with God is inevitable. The overall attitude, the life style, the culture, fair dealings, development, every facet of his life depends on how well he is connected with his God.
The life is all about an amalgamation of joyous and saddest moments. To ensure a God-centric attitude amidst all sorts of conditions, a person should have a dual facet of relationship with God. One should reflect His love and the other one, His fear.
At the time of joyous moments, the fear of God keeps him on the right track whereas at the time of sorrow, the love of God keeps his hopes alive and help him behave in a way that take him to the path of success. Therefore with God one should have a two prong relationship of love and fear, which is often referred to as reverence (Taqwa).
Any kind of imbalance between love and fear may cause distortion of religious thoughts and corruption of rituals and practices.
If there is only a fear factor, every dangerous and threat-prone thing may take the place of God. If there is only a love factor, then for every misdeed and corruption, the love of God may become an obstacle. It will never help a person to repent for his sins as he thinks he is dear of God. Instead of asking forgiveness or repenting he would prefer to do some charity work and get away even from biggest of the sins.
Therefore religious teachings should be a perfect blend of love and fear of God.
© Muhammad Abdullah Javed – April 2016
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