CULTURE OF ISLAM

062 Who are WE? Where do We ‘fit in’?
Imtiaz Muhsin 03-Feb-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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60 Whoa are WE? Where do WE ‘fit in’?

Please Note
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;

‫ت‬ ‫ط‬

th TH

‫س‬ ‫ث‬ ‫ص‬

s Ss SW

‫ض‬ ‫ظ‬

DHL DHZ

‫ه‬ ‫ح‬

H h

‫ع‬ ‫غ‬

Gh GH

    

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 that of the Colpetty Jummah Mosque, in Colombo Sri Lanka

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60 Whoa are WE? Where do WE ‘fit in’?

062 Who are WE? Where do WE ‘fit in’?
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!’ Explaining to you the title of this week’s talk can be a little complicating. Anyway, on this Weekly Radio Program, I recently decided to do a series of Talks on the interesting topic Knowing God or Knowing Allah. I prefer to refer to God or to Allah as Allah Ta’aalah, which means Allah most exalted. So, this is the 9th talk in this series Knowing Allah Ta’aalah. A few weeks ago, I attempted a talk on the topic ‘Is this what we are created for?’ or even the description, ‘Why are we on Earth?’ Whilst doing research for this topic, I realized that this topic was very vast, and I thought it would be both necessary as well as interesting to convert this in to another sub series of talks. So now we have this subseries “Is this what we are created for?’ within the main series ‘Knowing Allah Ta’aalah’ Today’s talk is the 3rd in this series and is titled ‘Who are we? Where do we fit in?’ This sub series consists of 8 episodes and they are;
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. What do we see, on Earth? Who are we? Where do we fit in? Our special benefits, on Earth What makes us stand out? What makes us special? Who is really in charge? What does God or Allah tell us about Himself? Our special faculties – how they should be used, how they should not be used. The two paths.

So now returning to this talk – the topic – Who are we? Where do we fit in? All of us have heard of Darwins Theory of Natural Selection or commonly known as the ‘Theory of Evolution’ Let us briefly look at the evidence for the theory of evolution. Now Scientists give us a range of compelling evidence to show that the Universe first came in to being around some 13.7 billion years ago and has been undergoing a series of transformations over several ages or phases, each lasting millions and some even billions of years. Life on Earth, as we know it, had begun maybe around 3.5 to 4 billion years ago. That is the evidence we have through studies of fossils. Life on earth had begun as single cell organisms and through a series of breathtaking changes or mutations over several Millions of years, some individuals of each organism evolved to a more complex organism.

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60 Whoa are WE? Where do WE ‘fit in’?

Usually the original or the parent organism remained and continued to procreate filling in a vital niche in the very complex system of directly supporting its own species as well as in very subtle ways indirectly supporting other organisms as well as the phenomena of life itself. Each organism played its role in its own unique eco system. So we have compelling evidence to show that a segment of the population of each organism, over time, gradually giving rise or evolving into more complex organisms. Today the most complex of these are the evolved organisms are the vertebrates – the 5 classes being: 1. The Land dwellers – the Mammals 2. The Water dwellers – the Fish 3. Those that Fly - the Birds or the Aves 4. Those that live in Water and Land but lay their eggs in water – the Amphibians 5. Those that live in Land and Water but lay their eggs in Land – the Reptiles There is an orderly collection of evidence over time – covering millions and sometimes billions of years, – mostly in form of fossils that show when each of these Classes of Animals as well as species evolved on earth. However where Man and his evolution is concerned, there are a series of HUGE questions. All available evidence strongly suggests that Man or the species that we call the Homo sapiens had arrived on this planet around 100,000 to 200,000 years ago. Why do I use the word ‘arrived’ and not ‘evolved’? I would say that according to all available evidence all species of animals and plants have evolved – but in the case of Man I would say he arrived on Planet Earth – why do I say this? When we study the ‘imagined’ chart of evolution we can easily see where each organism fits in. Each organism has an identifiable niche in the animal or the plant kingdom, as the case maybe. Now the most surprising fact is that in this evolutionary chart that we are drawing, we would find that there is a considerable gap, a number of unfilled ‘niches’ between the Primates and Man. According to what we see there has to have been at least 20 other species between the most evolved Primate and Man. There is evidence of a species which we call the Homo erectus that lived around 1.4 MYA to 50,000 years ago, and then nothing or it would be more correct to say a few smatterings of some individual fossils of maybe advanced species – in different parts of the word – but their evolutionary features are still far from the features displayed by Man or Homo sapiens. There is evidence to show that Homo erectus had evolved from the Primates, but then Homo erectus went extinct at least 50,000 years ago – and it is obvious that the development or the supposed evolutionary ‘gap’ between Homo erectus and Homo sapiens has to be several steps. Now what makes Man different from the other living creatures – especially the most evolved ones – the Primates?

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60 Whoa are WE? Where do WE ‘fit in’?

1. Man is an excellent communicator – he uses his senses to see, to hear, to touch, to think and then he processes all this information to make sense and then stores this information for rapid retrieval. Right through his life he keeps on adding to his storehouse of experiences and is always trying to reason out what is happening and what he should do. So with age his knowledge matures. Now man communicates his experiences and his knowledge with other human beings – those in his society. Man has also developed the skill to convey this knowledge or information to the next generation who in turn improve or build on this knowledge and continue to convey this to the next generations – in this manner Man has the skill of not just communicating with other humans but of also collecting his knowledge and passing it down to future generations to build on and to improve – this feature is not observed in any other animals. 2. Man has a highly developed Central Nervous System or the Brain – which performs many functions – to detect sensations through the sensory organs, to recognize these senses, to organize these sensations, to process what signals it is receiving, to compare these signals or sensations to similar sensations it has received before, to provide alternative lines of action and to store the experience along with the experience of the resultant actions – an amazing set of faculties. 3. The specialized use of its appendages or hands – it is an amazing structure that enables man to do many innovative tasks and even to create machines for tasks that man is unable to do on his own – this is an amazing feature. Animals have legs, or hands or fins – but all of those appendages can be used only for a very limited, specialized duties or functions. Now if we say that man had evolved from, let us say the Apes, or even from any other creature – this is how the sequence of evolution should have taken place; There should have been an environment that made apes to think a little more, to use their hands a little more – this would have given rise to new species 1. Then there should have been another environment that made new species 1, to think even more and to use their hands even more – this would give rise to new species 2. Then there should have been another environment that made new species 2, to think even more, maybe to even begin sorting out the information that was inundating their brains through their senses – this would give rise to new species 3. Then there should have been another environment that made new species 3, to think even more, to sorting out the information stimulating their senses as well as the capability to communicate or to share this information with the others in this society – this would give rise to new species 4. Then there would have been another environment that made new species 4, to think even more, to sorting out the information, sharing or exchanging information or knowledge with society and another new feature developing the ability to hand over this knowledge or information to the next generation – this would give rise to new species 5, and so on. Where is the evidence regarding these species and where are those environments?? It appears that all life has been created, and then over the ages different forms have evolved to fit environments or eco systems – except in the case of Man.

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60 Whoa are WE? Where do WE ‘fit in’?

So we ask the question, what happened to Man or how is he on earth? It appears that Man was created using the blue print of the Primates, and Man was created from the same material as all other creatures – that is from Earth. So it appears that Man was created, the blueprint appears to be based on that of the evolved Primates, and the enhanced features or accessories viz. his brain and other parts of his anatomy were fashioned, and then he was sent in to this Earth. Now let us see how Allah Ta’aalah describes it; Firstly let us see how Allah Ta’ala describes himself as the Creator. Would that be enough? Surely as a student struck by the ‘Theory of Evolution’ and all its connected evidence would I not ask, ‘Should not Allah Ta’aalah describe himself not just as the Creator but also as the Evolver?’ Then again, surely as a person observing that Man did not evolve as such but certain of man’s most important or outstanding characteristics or faculties seem to have been fashioned, then should I not ask, ‘Should not Allah Ta’aalah describe himself not just as the ‘Creator’ or the ‘Creator & the Evolver’ but I would expect him to describe himself as ‘the Creator the Evolver and the Fashioner’? Is that correct? In Surah Hashr – Surah No 59 Aayath No 24;

Abc Al KhaaliQ Al Baari Mu Sauwwiru Mufti Taqi Usman the Creator, the Evolver, the Fashioner Marmaduke Pikthall the Creator, the Shaper out of naught, the Fashioner Dr. Mohsin Khan the Creator, the Inventor of all things, the Bestower of forms Yusuf Ali the Creator, the Evolver, the Bestower of Forms

Now let us see how Allah describes these processes – they are beautifully worded to give us many enlightening lessons;

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60 Whoa are WE? Where do WE ‘fit in’?

There are two very salient points in this Aayath; 1. Allah is going to create a Bashar – now who or what is a Bashar? It is a communicator of good news. Not just ‘good news’ such as winning a lottery, getting through an exam or winning an election – but news that embodies ‘goodness’ or we could even say information to the ways of enlightenment. So, for a Bashar to be created, that Bashar should have all the tools or the faculties to play the role of a Bashar. He should not just have senses, but he should have the capability of processing the stimulations or the information that is being received by those senses and be able to process this information and to rationally reason out the ‘goodness’ in these messages. He should be able to read this goodness and convey it in a good manner to all human beings. That would qualify him to be a ‘Bashar’ 2. So, Allah Ta’aalah tells us that He is going to create a Bashar, and then he also informs us that this Bashar is going to be created out of ‘Min SWalSWaalim Min Hama imMasnoon’ ‘Ringing clay of decayed mud’ – in other words out of the same material that He has created all living organisms on Earth – maybe indicating that the basic blueprint for this Bashr would be based on that of the most evolved creatures on Earth – the Apes Then Allah Ta’aalah also tells us;

So Allah Ta’aalah tells us that He is going to place this Khaleefah or the vicegerent on this Earth. So (1) the Bashr is being created, (2) the Khaleefah is being placed. In other words, the Bashar or the communicator of good is being created, and (this Bashr) is going to be placed on Earth as a Khaleefah – a vicegerent – interesting no? So, now let us see, what points Allah Ta’ala is telling us about what valuable qualities He gives Aadham AS, (which would be the qualities of Man)

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60 Whoa are WE? Where do WE ‘fit in’?

1. Allah Ta’ala is telling us about the physical material He uses for this creation; 15:28 Wa Iz Qaala Rabbuka lil Malaa’ikathi KhaaliQun Bashara(n)m Min SWalSWaali(n)m Min hama’i(n)m Masnoon And when your Rabb said to the Angels Indeed I will create a (Bashar) a human From ringing clay made of decayed mud

2. He also tells us that this Man is going to be his Khaleefah; (2:30) Wa Iz Qaala Rabbuka lil Malaa’ikathi Innee Jaaghilun fil ArDHli Khaleefathan and when your Rabb said to the Angels I am going to place a vicegerent (Khaleefah) on Earth 3. He also tells us that this man is his Bashr – or news or Signs broadcaster; And when your Rabb said to the Angels Indeed I will create a (Bashar) a human

(15:28) Wa Iz Qaala Rabbuka lil Malaa’ikathi KhaaliQun Bashara(n)m

4. And then Allah Ta’ala tells us about something special that he gives or does with Aadham AS – He says (Fa Izaa SawwaithuHu – So, when I have fashioned him) 15:29 Fa izaa Sawwaiy thuHu This could mean; a. Shape b. Knowledge 5. Allah Ta’ala tells us that He taught Aadham AS (2:31) Wa ghallama Aadhama l Asmaa’a kullaHaa And He taught Aadham The names, all of them So when, I have fashioned him

6. and then, Allah Ta’ala has breathed his spirit (His Ruh) in to him, (15:29) Wa nafakhthu FeeHi mi(n)r Roohee Fa Qaghoo laHu Saajidheen And breathed into him of my spirit (Ruh) Then fall down to him prostrating

7. and then Allah Ta’aalah tells us that He has inspired in us the ability to perceive between right and wrong – is this not correct – no other animal has this deep sense of what’s right & what’s wrong. (Surah Shums)

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60 Whoa are WE? Where do WE ‘fit in’?

DO not all these points give us an enormous amount of information or wealth of information about the special place man has on this Earth and do not all these points neatly fit – give us an enlightening rationally acceptable description? When viewed in the manner as instructed by Allah Ta’aalah, then the many special features of Man makes sense and then, we have to make sense to find out our role in this World. 2. Now, to discuss about the environment factor – the 2nd factor. All organisms are environment specific. Simply put, the Zebra has its own environment and the Polar Bear its own environment. The Earth has a tremendous variety of environments; we may even call them eco systems. We are not just referring to the physical factors such as temp, humidity, height above sea level but even factors such as the availability of food, the availability of the many resources, the ability and the skills to locate and to hunt down their food as well as to adapt to the weather patterns and the changing seasons In the environment that the Zebra lives in, there would be plenty of grass and shrubs – the staple diet of the Zebra, whilst in the environment of the Polar Bear there would be Seals, one of the main items that constitute the food of the Polar Bear – but then remember Polar Bears live on Land or on Ice whilst Seals live in the Sea or the Sea Shore. Now let us look at the case of Man – does he not occupy almost every environment or eco system on Land? In Sura Mulk (Surah 67 Aayath No 15), Allah Ta’aalah draws our attention as follows;

Now in the case of Man, he has the faculties to adapt to any environment – and where food is concerned, he has the ability to cook his food – no other animal has this capability. So Man ensures that he can adapt to any environment and if the food available in that environment is not ready made for human consumption, then Man has developed the ability to process this food or to cook this food so as to suit both his palate as well as his digestion. Now for the 3rd factor Man’s position in the food chain. This needs quite a bit of explanation but for the purposes of this talk it is sufficient to say that Man is not a predator or a prey in the food chain – man is above all that – we do not really hunt like all other predatory animals do, we have a higher organization – we farm. Thus, we relate to the agricultural revolution.

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60 Whoa are WE? Where do WE ‘fit in’?

We farm crops, we herd cattle – we manage all our resources – and unfortunately in this process Man becomes evil. Man becomes ungrateful. I thank Allah Ta’aalah for giving me this opportunity of preparing for these series of talks. So, I hope that through this talk, listeners would agree that Man is not just special – he is ‘Super special’ and the manner in which the Holy Quran draws our attention to these characteristics or qualities or the God given favors to Man – is truly revealing, truly enlightening. So now summing it up in a really interesting manner – it actually excites me; All living organisms appear to have evolved on Earth – however Man has arrived. In other words we are aliens. Yes, I repeat, we are aliens. Our bodies are our space ship. Earth is a transitory place. Our actual destination is either Heaven or Hell. This is how the Holy Quran advises us; (003:133) Wa Saarighoo ilaa MaGHfirathim mi(n)r Rabbikum Wa Jannaathin gharDHluHas Samaawaathu wal ArDHlu Ughiddhath lil MutthaQeen (002:024) FaththaQun Naarallathee Wa QoodhuHan Naasu Wal hijaarathu U’idhdhath lil Kaafireen Race with one another towards Forgiveness from your Lord and towards a paradise the width of which spans the heavens and the earth. Paradise has been prepared for the MutthaQi then guard yourselves against the Fire, the fuel of which will be men and stones. It has been prepared for disbelievers.

At first this thought would make you smile, even make you laugh. But as you keep on examining the evidence in front of you – many things begin to make sense. Leading Muslim Scholars over the centuries used to give us the example of a Horse and a rider. We were compared to the rider on the horse. If we neglect our health and allow the horse to get strong, then the horse would lead us where it wants to go. This would further injure us. If we looked after ourselves and gave the horse only what it needs, then we would be in control of the horse. So earlier Muslim Scholars used to tell us that one day we would be getting off the horse and at that stage we must ensure that we are stronger than the Horse and that we have led the horse to the destination that we want to go to

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60 Whoa are WE? Where do WE ‘fit in’?

Now I am adding a rather interesting twist to that example. We are aliens. Our bodies are our ‘Space-ship’ Our Space ship is made of Earth, and follows the blue print of the Primates. Thus, if we were to allow the needs, or the desires of the body to dictate terms, then, we in a dangerous situation. We should use our reason our logic and think out what we need and make all attempts to achieve those goals. Allah Ta’aalah assures us of His guidance – to those who try! So Insha Allah, next week, Insha Allah I hope to talk on the sub topic ‘Our special benefits, on Earth’ 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 crescent786@hotmail.com

You Tube Channel - HaneefanMusliman

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60 Whoa are WE? Where do WE ‘fit in’?

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

Episode 11

Episode 12

Episode 13

Episode 14

Mar 9th 2012 Mar 16th 2012 Mar 23rd 2012

Episode 15 Episode 16

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60 Whoa are WE? Where do WE ‘fit in’?

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