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Lesson 3

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Lesson - 3


Bis-mil-laa-hir Rah-maa-nir Ra-heem. In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.
Al-ham-du lil-laa-hi Rab-bil aa-la-meen. All Praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the worlds,
Ar-Rah-maa-nir Ra-heem The Beneficent, the Merciful,
Maa-li-ki yaw-mid-deen. Master of the Day of Requital.
Ee-yaa-ka na -bu-du wa ee-yaa-ka nas-ta- een. Thee do we serve and Thee do we beseech for help.
Ih-di nas si-raa-tal mus-ta-qeem Guide us on the right path,
Si-raa-tal la-zee-na an- am-ta a-lay-him. The path of those upon whom Thou hast bestowed favours,
Ghay-ril magh-doo-bi a-lay-him wa-lad-daal-leen. Not those upon whom wrath is brought down, nor those who go astray.

Undeniable Proof of Divine Existence

I have mentioned in my previous lesson that the existence of the Divine Being is the essential basis for a revealed religion or its scripture. If there is no God, as publicized by contemporary Marxist and materialistic philosophies, then the claim of any religion or book of being revealed by the Divine Being for the guidance of mankind holds no validity.

I also pointed out that a hundred and twenty-four thousand prophets, and a far greater number of righteous servants of Allah, bear testimony to this. The truthfulness and honesty of these individuals was generally accepted, and they sacrificed everything they had in the way of Allah. They faced great difficulties and risked their lives for His cause. In turn God manifested this undeniable proof of His existence in their lives: their missions which were considered implausible, reached fruition with Divine assistance. They were also given the news of their success at a time of complete hopelessness, and this announcement was made public. Those who followed them with complete obedience also found God.

Developments in knowledge and modern scientific thought initially propagated atheistic beliefs amongst the educated masses. Today the very same people admit to the unity and existence of the Divine Being. This is because scientific discovery has proven that the amazing universe, of which even a single atom holds within it a phenomenal creation, must have a Creator. He is One since all His creation works under one universal law.

Modern Age of Atheism

Human intelligence itself makes man aware that this wonderful creation has a Maker Who is also responsible for its up-keep. His own nature is also a witness to this; that is why even an atheist is forced to call upon God in times of distress. In spite of this strong evidence, why is atheism such a popular phenomenon today?

The answer to this is that in this modem age of scientific and intellectual development, blind faith is no longer accepted, and the younger generation does not necessarily follow the beliefs of the older without questioning. Today, unless there is strong reasoning to support it, people will not accept an argument. The concept of the Divine Being presented by religions other than Islam, no longer appeals to the educated mind. Common conception of the Divine Being was either that of a stone idol, a cow, or fire. Those who progressed beyond this started to worship human beings like themselves, be it Jesus, Mahatma Buddha, Krishna or Rama. According to the Christian belief Jesus died on the cross, stayed for three days in hell and was subsequently resurrected. In this case he was no better than other mortals because all religions tell us that every human being is brought back to life after his death. Mahatma Buddha, Krishna, and Rama like ordinary mortals have left this worldly abode. With the concept of the Divine Being bearing such close resemblance to mankind, it is not surprising to hear today that either there is no God or if there was one, He no longer exists. In fact all polytheistic beliefs (shirk) are dependent on one or several defects or shortcomings in God; that is why other gods are needed to make up for these deficiencies. In this age of enlightenment, human intellect and nature is unwilling to accept a stone idol or another human being as a god. Such deities would have defects and weaknesses similar to other humans, and would require associate gods to compensate for them. Scientific discovery, on the other hand, is providing evidence that this marvelous universe has One Creator Who possesses such goodness, strength and power that it astounds the human intellect.

Recognition of Divine Being through His Attributes

The One and Only God Who can be accepted today is the One the Holy Quran begins to inform us about in the words:
"All Praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the worlds"
(Al-ham-du lil-laa-hi Rab-bil aa-la-meen).

All praise is for Allah, the Only Lord (Rabb) of the worlds, i.e., He creates, develops and nourishes to perfection the whole universe and everything within it. Human nature does not appreciate a defect or a fault in a fellow being; how could it accept any deficiency or weakness in the Divine Being? God should be free of defects, in fact all of His attributes should be to the degree of complete perfection. Alhamdu lil-laah (All praise is for Allah) indicates that goodness has reached its perfection in Allah. It also tells us that since all good qualities and excellent praise is for Allah, the concept of righteousness and all admirable qualities that have arisen in the human mind are a result of awareness of the attributes of Allah. The human brain otherwise, like that of any other animal, is an anatomical organ in which by itself the concept of righteousness cannot arise. Thus we observe that animals do not have the concept of rectitude, or higher moral and spiritual values. If they do exhibit some qualities such as maternal love and tenderness for their offspring, these have been programmed into their nature by the Creator so that they can take care of them. They do not have the realization of what is good or evil, in order to guide them towards performance of the former or abstention from the latter.

Purpose of Man's Creation

Human beings like all other animals have the instincts of self and species preservation; however, realization of all other higher moral and spiritual values is because of Divine revelation which was given exclusively to them. There is no doubt that the Holy Quran mentions revelation to animals like the honey bee; it is only to guide it to fulfill the purpose of its creation. Man has been created for a purpose much higher than the lower animals, i.e., the realization of Divine attributes within himself. He was for this reason given knowledge of these attributes through Divine revelation from the very beginning. The Holy Quran tells us about this in the verse:
"Then Adam received words (revelation) from his Lord" (2:37).
Lord (Rabb) is Nourisher unto perfection from the lowest to the highest stage of development. The condition of man at the time of birth is similar to an animal. He has been created so that his spirit which is from Allah should reflect the Divine attributes within itself. It was for this reason the Holy Prophet Muhammad said:
"Create the moral characteristics of Allah within yourself."
The Holy Quran has also referred to this in the verse:
"(We take) Allah's color and who is better than Allah at coloring and we are His worshippers." (2:138)

Creating Allah's color in oneself obviously means reflecting His attributes.

Divine Guidance to all Nations

Allah did not reveal His attributes to the first created man Adam only. The Holy Quran clearly tells us:
"For every people was a guide," (13:7)

"and for every nation there was a messenger." (10:47)

This message was in the form of a revealed scripture which made man aware of the attributes of Allah, and enjoined him to inculcate those attributes within his self in a reflective sense. This arrangement which continued for thousands of years is responsible for creating the concept of spiritual and moral excellence in the human mind. These revealed books were either destroyed or corrupted, but the effect of their teachings remained to some degree. With passage of time the danger was that even this residual influence may also disappear, so Allah revealed the Holy Quran. In it Allah gathered together all those teachings that merited preservation as stated in the verses:
"A Messenger from Allah, reciting pure pages, wherein are (all) right books," (98:3)

"It (the Quran) is a Guardian over it (the previous revelation)." (5:48)

Allah has taken the responsibility upon Himself to protect the Holy Quran from destruction or interpolation as indicated in this verse:
"Surely We have revealed the Reminder, and surely We are its Guardian." (15:9)

Thus the forgotten lessons for human guidance have been revealed as a reminder in this book and Allah guarantees their preservation. This leads to the essential conclusion that only this book can now serve as a guide to all nations. This is such a great act of benevolence towards mankind that spontaneously the words "All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the worlds" are articulated by the suppliant. It must be remembered that the words (Aa-la-min) also stand for all nations, and Lord (Rabb) means one who develops from the lowest to the highest stage of physical and spiritual perfection. Without the heavenly light and guidance of the Holy Quran man who is unable to rise beyond the animal stage would have been deprived of the spiritual progress he was created for. Since this progress is meant for this world and the world Hereafter, how very beautiful and appropriate are the words, "All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the worlds." As man progresses along this path of moral and spiritual development, he becomes more aware of Allah's attributes of perfection in excellence and goodness. To quote Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Mujaddid (Reformer) of the 14th century Hijra:

"Since the excellence and goodness of Allah is unlimited, there is no limitation to the moral and spiritual progress of mankind in the life Hereafter."
Again, we say: "All praise is due to Allah the Lord of the worlds."

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