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059 Our Relationship With GOD!
Imtiaz Muhsin 13-Jan-12
The main objective of these talks (and therefore the scripts of these talks), is to stimulate thinking. Sensible, rational and logical thinking. So, my message, think, think & think! Be sensible, be rational and be logical.
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1. I have had the great privilege, (since Aug 2010), of presenting talks on the weekly Radio Program ‘Culture of Islam’ [Every Friday 8 to 8.30 pm, Radio Sri Lanka - FM 97.4] 2. Since these are Radio Talks, I refer to, or address the audience as ‘listeners’ 3. I am well aware that the audience to these talks would consist of people belonging to a variety of faiths. So as to make people of all faiths feel included, I very often use words and names that are common to all religions. 4. For these reasons, I use the name GOD, as well as Abraham, Moses, Jesus etc as well as the names Allah, Ibrahim (Alaihis Salaam), Moosa (Alaihis Salaam), Easa (Alaihis Salaam) etc 5. Muslims by habit usually say ‘Sallallahu Alaihiwasallam’, when the name of Prophet Muhammad is mentioned, and ‘Alaihis Salaam' when the name of a Prophet is mentioned. However, in these series of talks I have reduced the use of these prayers & sayings to the bare minimum. 6. Muslims, also by habit, use a number of Arabic prayers or sayings, such as Alhamdulillah, Insha Allah and so on. Again, I have reduced the use of these prayers or sayings to the bare minimum. 7. Sometimes I have to write Arabic words in the English script. I have devised my own way of writing Arabic in English, as follows;
س ث ص
s Ss SW
Information on these talks along with all download links can be found on my on my Blog (http://imtiazm.wordpress.com/) The dates or the schedules of these talks can be viewed on the Facebook Page (http://www.facebook.com/ImtiazMuhsin786) The Scripts of these talks can be downloaded from www.ScribD.com (www.ScribD.com Author – Imtiaz Muhsin) The audio files of these talks can be downloaded from YouTube (YouTube Channel – Imtiaz Muhsin) The YouTube Link to this talk is at
All Praise and Thanks is due to Allah and Allah alone Alhamdulillah! P.S. The Picture on the Cover is of the Beach Mosque at Kalmunaikudi in the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka
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059 Our Relationship With GOD!
Dear Friends, I greet you all with Assalamu Alaikum – which, I am sure you would recognize as the greeting of a Muslim, and means ‘Peace be upon you!’ or ‘Peace unto You!’ Alhamdulillah, last week, the topic I spoke on was titled ‘Nature or God?’ and I had this interesting – I would like to call it ‘an interesting learning experience’ - of preparing and presenting arguments, - or again, I would prefer to call it a logical and rational discourse - that everything, simply everything, happens through the ‘Will’ of God and that, THAT God is Allah. What I did, by the grace of God, was to logically bring in to the talk, the qualities or attributes that anyone would expect of a God or of ‘The God’ I thereafter pointed out, how in the Holy Quran, Allah Ta’aalah explains these many divine attributes of His and then also describes how He weaves the effects or the workings of each and every one of these attributes in to the workings of the Universe, including or with special emphasis on the workings of man and his psyche. I am sure all of you would have been amazed to hear the 100 attributes of God or of Allah that are mentioned in the Holy Quran, and I hope that at least some of you listeners would have been curious enough as to want to obtain a copy of the Holy Quran and go through these Aayath or what we refer to as the Signs of Allah in the Holy Quran – the Arabic word Aayath means ‘Signs’ Now returning to today’s talk. Alhamdulillah, the title of this particular series of talks on the weekly Radio Program ‘Culture of Islam’ is ‘Knowing Allah’ or ‘Knowing God’. I prefer to refer to Allah as Allah Ta’aalah which means ‘Allah the most exalted’, and this is the sixth talk in this series. Now the title of today’s talk is ‘Our Relationship!’ Obviously I am referring to the relationship between God and Man or Allah Ta’aalah and Man. Actually the title ‘The Relationship between Allah Ta’aalah and Mankind’ would be most appropriate. Anyway let us keep it at ‘Our Relationship!’ This week too, I would like to follow the style that I used last week, and again through the use of logic and reasoning, try to work out what we as humans would expect from God, and in turn what God would expect from us, and then see how the Holy Quran describes these interactions or this relationship. Are our expectations reasonable? Are these expectations (both ways – between ‘Man & God’ as well as between ‘God & Man’) described or addressed in the Holy Quran and do these match or are there some mismatches or considering another extreme, is it a total mismatch? Don’t you think that this would indeed be an interesting exercise? So now, let us think! What would God expect from us and also think out what would we or Mankind, expect from God? First let us begin with the individual Man.
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Everyone of us have had many experiences that we just cannot explain. There have been times we have escaped death – literally by a ‘whisker’ We have escaped many misfortunes – even to think about them makes us sweat – we just cannot explain how we escaped, how the menacing factors came together and then ‘just in time!’ What happened? We concoct explanations, but deep inside we know that what we experienced, and experienced ‘first hand’ is what we would call ‘the hand of God!’ Similarly we cannot explain some misfortunes that have struck us – according to all calculations, plans and ingredients, every factor was in our favor – but then the whole thing ‘crashed’ – how? The ‘experts’, the ‘pundits’ would give us explanations, how the crash was really staring at our face all the time and we did not heed their warnings. But then, deep inside we know that this was from God – and we are perturbed. Was it a punishment? Was it a wake-up call? That God was signaling to me that I should amend my ways? Or was it that God was saving me from a big disaster which I just could not perceive – a sort of a smaller loss to avert a bigger loss? In many of these cases, the bigger worry we have, its housed deep in our hearts, is not the effects of the crash, but WHY God did this to us. It is a hurt that we cannot share with others. Those are the answers we would like to seek, we want to seek. Similarly there are quite a few land mark events, we could even call them epic events in our lives – how we took that course, how we got through that exam, how we collected the capital, how we met that character - almost tailor made to help us in that precipitous situation. The timings, the events, the unexpected, the weather so many factors could suddenly transform a situ that then converts to become a windfall for us. Many successful Professionals would say that unexpectedly meeting someone, a sudden unexplainable thought – we call it a ‘thought from nowhere’, getting some appointment or some assignment in what we once described as ‘that god forsaken place’ became the event that most unexpectedly brought us good fortune, it changed our lives – there are too many of such factors, events and landmarks in our lives that we can only explain as a ‘God send’ We just cannot otherwise explain it. This is not just for you and for me, but it is so for every human being. Not just every human being but even races of human beings. Right through history the history of mankind, Man and peoples have realized this. And in all of us, as well as in all of them, we share this deep longing to get to know more about God. But then how do we do it? There is so much of Mumbo Jumbo surrounding this search that we actually think that we are going to go away from what we are seeking, rather than progress towards our goal. This is the path that we apparently see shown to us by religious leaders. What they see, we just cannot see.
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What they describe as ‘the way’ – our logic tells us – no, that cannot be ‘the way’. We want to find out, but their journey does not appear to be one of discovery. So then what do we do? Let us see how people right through history even from prehistoric times have tried to understand God and their attempts to please Him. Imagine thousands of years ago, man living in a jungle, or desert or river side habitats. Their fears would have been wild animals, floods as well as famines and also those men who they identify as their enemy. They would have observed, over the years, that though they sowed and cultivated their fields, they were heavily dependent on the weather patterns, and weather was just not in their control. Sometimes the weather (mainly the rains) favored them sometimes the weather did not favor them. They feared wild animals and they took their precautions. But then unexpectedly, animals would attack them as well as destroy their crops. They wanted to live in peace. But their neighbors were war mongering and sometimes disastrous clashes took place. They did everything they could to keep themselves, their families, their domestic animals and their crops in good health, but then sometimes, beyond their control - sicknesses and disease ravaged them, those that they loved, their cattle and even their crops. They had this feeling that there was this Power, this God that was giving them the conditions of good and bad or evil, and they had this deep feeling that they must appease this God or make some sacrifices that would please this God so that he would give them all that they desired, or at least make conditions favorable to them. Thus we see, in every ancient culture, rain dances, harvesting dance, ritual offerings of wealth of cattle even of children. The logic behind these rituals just does not appeal to us. But it appealed to those who had to face the hardships or the gains. They were the ones on the frontlines. Now in our case too, we have this deep feeling that many of the powers in this world are controlled by God and we want the help or the assistance of God. That is why we want to know Him. So to understand God or how our relationship should be with God let us take this process of reasoning this process of applying logic a little further. We realize it is God who sets conditions. It is God who grants all favors and it is God who can change conditions. We are in need. Our needs are enormous, but then we describe them as simple. Now, what would we want? Good parents. Good home. Good car. Good friends. Good schooling. Good grades at exams. Good professional course. Good qualifications. Good wife. Good health. Good children. Good great earnings. Good house (we mean grand house) Good position (we mean Power) Good vocation (we mean high paying profession) Good friends (we mean sporting men and beautiful women) and so on.
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Now taking our reasoning and logic further, does all this good that we ask for, really mean ‘good’? As an example a young teenager is asking his father for a new Sports Car, or a powerful Motor Bike – would a sensible father give this to his son? Would this be good? So then is it possible that many of the things we desire, though we call it ‘good’, would God want to grant it to us for our good? So now we begin to realize another concept in this relationship with God – We seek from God, God grants, but more importantly God guides. Is it not logical that this God who we are absolutely certain is very wise – wise beyond words – would grant us good, but would not grant us everything that we think is good. In fact what I would expect God to do is to guide me towards good. Our concept of good is beauty, wealth, power, popularity etc God’s concept of good is that which would make us do good deeds – in other words that which would keep us away from immorality, shame and iniquity. So let us again, go a little further in logically reasoning out what this ‘good’ actually is. Is it not reasonable to think that just like granting us with ‘good’ would not God first try to cleanse us from evil? I would like to word it as cleanse us from immorality, shame and iniquity. Does that also not come under the description of granting good? Now, what is the evil we are involved in and how could this be cleansed from our lives? Evil is too heavy a word. Let us use the words immorality, shame and iniquity. Now it is up to us, to be very honest with ourselves and inspect our lifestyles and try to recognize the immorality, the shame and iniquity that has become part and parcel of our lives and lifestyles. Believe me, this process of identifying and eliminating these factors can be very very difficult, mentally ‘shaking’. But then if we apply ourselves with sincerity, then this process becomes the most satisfying program we could ever undertake. It needs an enormous amount of courage. It needs an enormous amount of clear thinking. It needs an enormous amount of dedication and patience. It needs an enormous amount of confidence that God is with us and He would never let us down! To assist all of you, let me point out some of these evils that we are dealing with in every facet of our lives. It is difficult for me to tell you that you are practicing these evils, so when listening to this brief description, I would request all my listeners to think that I am describing my deeds, my evils. When I say ‘we’, I mean ‘I’ – that would make it more palatable! The manner in which we do business - many of us call it a ‘Rat Race’ Our idea of business is not to serve but we think of ways and means of extracting money. We clothe these dealings in nobility and professionalism. There are many ruses we use. We teach students professional courses. What we are actually imparting to them are the cunning skills needed to extract money from people through means of iniquity and shameful practices. Almost every one of our advertisements that we post in our Daily Papers, on Posters, Flyers, and on the
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Media is grossly dishonest. We shamelessly flout that our products would solve all your problems, is made to fit your purse – our message is that we care about you – whilst the actual message is we want your money, we want your unstinting patronage. The manner in which we take advantage of the weak, even if they be our employees and those under our care. The manner in which we fleece the weak, the poor, the sick, the underprivileged - even if they are seeking our services, our assistance to improve their lot, maybe even to get out of life threatening situations. The manner in which we flaunt wealth, power, health and ambition – immoral, shameless, iniquitous. So now is it not within reason to think that if we want good, if we are seeking good from God – the real ‘good’, the real goods, then we have to go through a process of cleansing or purification. We have to, step by step, seek, recognize, identify, eliminate, rehabilitate or sacrifice anything and everything in our lives that shows even a modicum of immorality, shame or iniquity – we need lots of soul searching, lots of meditation, lots of deep, deep thinking! Believe me it is just not easy. It needs a huge amount of courage and a huge amount of belief and trust in this God – from whom we are now seeking guidance towards good. We are seeking guidance towards good without actually knowing the meaning or the ‘truth’ of this good or even where it is. We need guidance. So when God guides He gives us what He KNOWS is good for us, and many times it may not agree with our desires. We may find it even impossible to think that this condition, this guidance is good for us. So it necessarily means that our relationship with God must include the vital ingredient which we call ‘Submission’ – Submission to what? Submission to the Will of God. To accept happily, whatever condition he brings about in our lives. To be confident that he is guiding us and also to be confident that this is the path to good, and thus the journey as well as the destination has to be good. This is the real good that we should be seeking from God. Now many of us may claim that we are submitting to the Will of God. We say we accept everything around us – therefore we submit. This is not correct. Let us reason this out, and being a Muslim I would like to reason it out as a Muslim should. The path to ‘Submission to the Will of God has to go through 5 stages, what are they? 1. We must first read the Signs of God – we read the Holy Quran – the Quran contains the Aayaath of Allah or the Signs of God 2. We must contemplate on these Signs – at the beginning many of the Aayath or Signs may not make meaning – a few would – then start contemplating on those few. Contemplate till new meanings begin to emerge – then you begin to realize what is called the truth. 3. Then when these Aayaths or these Signs begin to give us deeper meanings or new meanings we come to the stage which we call ‘knowledge’ 4. At the next stage we have to convert this knowledge to conviction. We ask ourselves the question, ‘We have the knowledge, but do we truly believe? Has this knowledge brought changes in my life through conviction?’ 5. And then and only then, do we get to the stage of submission – where we completely submit to the will of God – that is putting ourselves directly on the path of His direct guidance and help.
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So in short, the 5 stages, what are they? Read – contemplate – knowledge – conviction – submission I Repeat Read – contemplate – knowledge – conviction – submission We have to work on all 5 stages. Let me attempt to further explain the meaning of this phrase ‘Submit to the Will of God’, along with a description of our idea of ‘submission’. What is required is, that we ‘Submit to the Will of God’ But what we say is ‘God must submit to OUR Will’ That is the HUGE HUGE difference – all our prayers, all our supplications to God is that He should grant us our desires. That God must submit to our demands to our beseeching, to our WILL. But then surely we can reason out that our good lies in being guided by God and for this guidance the best gift that we can expect from God is when we decide to submit to His Will. So now we have reasoned out logically, or reached a stage where we can say;
We want God to grant us good and ONLY good We want to find out our relationship with God We also realize that eliminating evil from our lives or life styles would also be equal to receiving ‘good’ To identify and to eliminate evil we need guidance from God So guidance is an important or maybe the defining ingredient of ‘good’ We find this word ‘evil’ too heavy, so to make it easier, rather than searching for ‘evil’ in our lives we search for those traits or deeds that can be described as immoral, shameful and iniquitous and there are many. To recognize, identify and eliminate these immoral, shameful and iniquitous traits is no easy task; we need devotion (lots of it), patience and dedication. Whilst eliminating these traits, we would find ourselves in difficult situations. We may be eliminating many of those factors that we had taken for granted or are the mainstays of our life styles, even what we would call our ‘anchors’
So now, let me logically list out some of the dilemmas that we would have to face; On one front we would find that we are losing many things that we cherished – how do we cope? On another front we would find that we are losing our wealth and our material resources – how do we cope? On another front we would find that we are losing our friends, those that have stood with us, those that shared in our immoral, shameful and iniquitous deeds – how do we cope? On another front we would find that we are losing the love and respect of our family, our near and dear – how do we cope? On another front we would see the disappointment of our near and dear – how do we cope? On another front, because we are weak, sometimes we could slip, we say we are doing something and then we weaken, things go horribly wrong – we become the ridicule of our friends our near and dear – how do we cope?
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On another front well meaning relations and friends – those whose destinies are intimately tied up with ours – would advise us, many times tearfully – how do we cope? On another front there would be commitments that we have to face, there would be debts that we have to service, suddenly our future and the future of our near and dear looks frightening – how do we cope?
What I am trying to point out to all you listeners is that this journey of getting to know God, getting to know our relationship, getting to know how we should obtain the pleasure of God, establishing this wonderful relationship, – this journey, of submitting to the will of God would just not be easy. It is not for the faint hearted. I would call it the most difficult challenge and task on earth. We see the glory of those who have conquered Mt Everest – we know that the long and arduous training and the climb would have been very very difficult – we glorify them because they did not give up. We see the glory of the Gold Medal winner of the Olympics Marathon - we know that the long and arduous training and the race would have been very very difficult – we adore him because he did not give up. We see the glory of that professional who passed a very difficult exam - we know that the application over many years and the process of what we call the ‘burning of the midnight oil’ would have been very very difficult – we look up to him because he did not give up. Believe me, if we undertake that journey to eliminate immorality, shame and iniquity from our lives along with the process of submitting our wills to God – logically, we can reason out three things; 1. The journey would be very difficult 2. God (whose presence we have reasoned out) would be with us, guiding us, strengthening us. 3. The journey is bound to test our convictions test our submissiveness. I am sure that just like those persons who climbed Mt Everest, or won Gold Medals at the Olympics Marathon or passed the pinnacle of tests would have had an arduous task and struggle – this journey of submitting to God would be equally or more arduous and testing. But then gradually, the satisfaction that we would feel deep inside us would be better than that person when he was atop Mt Everest, or that God Medal Winner when he crossed that finishing line, or that Professional when he read his results sheet – it would not just be a satisfaction, it would be a confident assurance, really a conviction that God is with me, God is directly favoring me – WOW! And the funny part or the irony – those not on this path would just not realize, they would think that we are deprived, we are living in abstinence – they cannot realize the truth because they have not made any serious attempts to even to try to realize the truth! Now through a process of reasoning we have visualized the relationship that we should have with God. We should submit to Him. He should grant us all our needs. He should grant us good. He should guide us towards good. In short ‘We should submit to God. God should guide us’ – correct? Right!
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Now, since I am a Muslim, I would like to share with you how Allah Ta’aala describes our relationship. The relationship between Man and Allah, and the relationship between Allah and Man. Now, how do I do that? Because there are so many Aayaths in the Holy Quran that describes this – in fact it may not be wrong if someone told me that every Aayath describes this relationship or that every Aayath is a facet of this relationship. I have selected an Aayath from the opening Chapter of the Holy Quran – which is Called Surah Faathiha (Surah means Chapter), and this is Aayath No 4 ‘EEyaaka Naghbudhu wa EEyaka Nasthagheen’ Which means – ‘Thee do we worship and thy aid do we seek’ Thee and thy are not words that we are familiar with – so let me describe this Aayath in easy words – ‘It is only YOU that we worship and it is only from YOU that we seek help’ Now when we use the word worship it really means – devoted service, loving service, satisfied service – does it also not mean submission? So the relationship is that we worship Allah. It is only from Allah that we seek help. In the very next Aayath in this Surah Faathiha, we put forward our biggest need; IHdhināsSwiraaTHhal MusthaQeem Guide us on the straight path THAT is our biggest need. So what is our relationship? On our part We Worship Allah Ta’aalah
On Allah’s part it is only He who could guide or misguide
So, we seek guidance only from Allah Ta’aalah.
I sincerely pray and hope that all of you benefit from these talks as much as I have benefitted from doing research from the Quran and then preparing and presenting these talks to you. May Allah Ta’aalah guide us all and accept us all. Jazza Kalla Khairan. Assalamu Alaikum
Imtiaz Muhsin Colombo Sri Lanka firstname.lastname@example.org
You Tube Channel - HaneefanMusliman
59 Our Relationship!
Some relevant Aayaths from the Quran: Guidance is for those on the right path
Whom does Allah love?
Allah describes himself
59 Our Relationship!
59 Our Relationship!
Series 2 The Talks numbered 054 to 071 is under a series titled ‘Knowing Allah Ta’aalah or Knowing GOD’ The details of the scripts of these 16 Episodes (Talks) are as follows;
Talk No Episode 1 Episode 2 Episode 3 Episode 4 Episode 5 Episode 6 Episode 7 Talk Number & Title 054 Ilm – Knowing Allah 055 Rationality - The Foundation of Islam 056 Is Man Special? 057 Ar Rahmaan - The Beneficent 058 Nature or GOD? 059 Our Relationship with GOD! Sub Series: 060 Is this what we are created for? (Is this what we are created for? – Part 1) Sub Series: 061 What do we see on Earth (Is this what we are created for? – Part 2) Sub Series: 062 Who are WE? Where do we fit in? (Is this what we are created for? – Part 3) Sub Series: 063 Our benefits on Earth (Is this what we are created for? – Part 4) Sub Series: 066 What makes us 'Stand Out'? What makes us 'Special'? (Is this what we are created for? – Part 5) Sub Series: 067 Who is in charge? (Is this what we are created for? – Part 6) Sub Series: 068 What ALLAH Teaches Us, About Himself (Is this what we are created for? – Part 7) Sub Series: 069 Our Special Faculties How they should be used, How they should not be used! (Is this what we are created for? – Part 8) Sub Series: 070 The TWO Paths 071 Is this what we are created for? A review of Parts 1 to 8 from the Sub Series ‘Is this what we are created for?’ Date Broadcast Dec 9th 2011 Dec 16h 2011 Dec 23th 2011 Dec 30th 2011 Jan 6th 2012 Jan 13th 2012 Jan 20th 2012 Jan 27th 2012 Feb 3rd 2012 Feb 10th 2012 Feb 17th 2012 Feb 24th 2012 Mar 2nd 2012 Details of Picture on Cover Wellawatte Jummah Mosque in Colombo, Sri Lanka Parasangaswewa Mosque (a remote village) in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka Mutwal Jummah Mosque in Colombo, Sri Lanka The Akbar Mosque in Slave Island, Colombo, Sri Lanka Mosque in Matara, from the Southern Province of Sri Lanka Beach Mosque at Kalmunaikudi in the Eastern Province, Sri Lanka A Mosque in the Kurnegala District, Sri Lanka Maradana Jummah Mosque in Colombo, Sri Lanka Colpetty Jummah Mosque, in Colombo, Sri Lanka The Jummah Mosque at Natpidimunnai, in the Ampara District, Sri Lanka The Devatagaha Mosque in Colombo, Sri Lanka A Mosque in a rural village in the Ampara District, in Sri Lanka The Jummah Mosque in ‘Oluvil’ a village in the Ampara District, Sri Lanka The Dhanakawewa Jummah Mosque in a remote village in the Anuradhapura District in Sri Lanka Mosque at Madhavakulam in the Puttlam District, Sri Lanka A Mosque by a river in the Eastern Province, Sri Lanka
Episode 8 Episode 9 Episode 10
Mar 9th 2012 Mar 16th 2012 Mar 23rd 2012
Episode 15 Episode 16
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