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Article appeared Friday, August 6th, 2010 in The News Today, Bangladesh

The Revelation (142) yousuf mahbubul Islam, PhD


Horse races provide one of the most popular forms of betting in the world today {1}. The idea of
the bet is to win money by predicting the winning horse before a race. Some, after choosing
their winning horse, additionally choose to bet on other horses in the same race, just in case.
Instead of putting their faith on one horse, they place their bets on multiple horses just hoping
that any one of the chosen horses might win!!

Should faith or belief in the Creator be similar to placing a bet? Should one place additional bets
on other things that may have power or influence, just in case? The question is by placing
additional bets does one actually confirm disbelief in the Creator? The French philosopher,
mathematician and physicist Blaise Pascal (1623 – 1662) gave this kind of attitude towards the
Creator some thought. He came up with a suggestion what is now called Pascal’s Wager or
Pascal’s Gambit {2} suggesting that a person should exclusively bet or wager as though God
exists, because living life accordingly one has everything to gain, and nothing to lose! Pascal’s
Wager is the result of a series of probability deductions and concludes:
“Wager, then, without hesitation that He is.” {2}

When one hesitates, what are the additional things that one may wager or place bets on? Are
additional wagers placed on inanimate objects such as lucky charms, amulets, money, statues
or idols; dead people such as ancestors, those in graves, bygone prophets, bygone religious
people; animate objects such as religious leaders, people holding a status, ‘pirs’, black magic
traders, spirits, animals, etc.? To justify the additional bets, do people come up with man-made
justifications or excuses?

In the Qur’an, the latest Revelation, the Creator repeats feedback on this “type” of belief.
“And most of them believe not in Allah{3} without associating (others as partners) with
Him!” [12.106]

How does one associate partners with the Creator? In earlier Revelations, how did the Creator
point this out?
“You shall have no other gods before me.” [Exodus 20:3]

Subsequently, how did Jesus explain this?


“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all
your mind.' This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: 'You
shall love your neighbor as yourself.' On these two commandments hang all the law and
the prophets.” [Matthew 22:37-40]

Jesus not only confirms the most important commandment, he points out that all prophets
(including himself) have the same message or commandment to convey. What does loving the
Creator with “with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” mean? Does he
imply that the focus of all our emotions, our soul and our logic should solely and exclusively be
the Creator? The following Verse from the Qur’an may help to shed light on this:
“O, you who believe! Do your duty to Allah, seek the means of approach unto Him and
strive with might and main in His cause: that you may prosper.” [5.35]

To help us understand who Allah{3} is, the first commandment in Exodus 20 is preceded by:
“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of
bondage.{4}” [Exodus 20:1]
So who is the Creator? The Creator is the One who enabled Moses and his people to come out
of “bondage”. What historical events demonstrate how He did this? Do the events speak of His
Power? Verses from the Qur’an further elaborate who the Creator is:

3.26 “Say: "O Allah! Lord of Power (and Rule) You give Power to whom You
Please and You Strip off power from whom You please, You Endow with honor
whom You Please and You Bring low whom You Please; in Your Hand is all Good.
Verily over all things You have Power.”

3.27 “You Cause the Night to gain over the Day and You Cause the Day to gain on
the Night; You Bring the Living out from the Dead and You Bring the Dead out
from the Living; and You Give Sustenance to whom You Please without
measure.”
How does the “Day” gain over the “Night” and the “Night” gain over the “Day”? Allah tells us that
He is responsible for the tilt of the earth’s axis and the creation of the seasons{5} that form an
integral part of our lives. As for the creation of each individual human being:
“Say: "It is He Who has created you (and made you grow) and made for you the
faculties of hearing, seeing, feeling and understanding: little thanks it is you give." Say:
"It is He Who has multiplied you through the earth and to Him shall you be gathered
together (on the Day of Judgment)."” [67.23 – 67.24]

Therefore, Allah asks:


“…(Who) is better? Allah or the false gods they associate with Him?”

For those who wish to believe exclusively in the Creator and feel directly accountable to Him for
their deeds,
“O, you who believe! Guard your own souls: if you follow (right) guidance no hurt can
come to you from those who stray. The goal of you all is to Allah: it is He that will show
you the truth of all that you do.”

3.28 “Let not the believers take for friends or helpers unbelievers rather than (in
place of) believers; if any do, than in nothing will there be help from Allah; except
by way of precaution that you may guard yourselves from them. But Allah
cautions you (to remember) Himself for the final goal is to Allah.”

3.29 “Say: "Whether you hide what is in your hearts or reveal it Allah Knows it all.
He knows what is in the heavens and what is on earth. And Allah has Power over
all things.”

3.30 “"On the Day when every soul will be confronted with all the good it has
done and all the evil it has done, it will wish there were a great distance between
it and its evil. But Allah Cautions you (to remember) Himself. And Allah is Full of
Kindness to those that serve Him.”
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{Notes}:
{1} http://www.theartofbetting.com/horse-betting/horse-race-betting-the-tricks
{2} http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pascal%27s_Wager
{3} http://www.peshitta.org/lexicon. Type the word “god” in the search box. Find out for yourself
the word for god in Aramaic.
{4} http://www.swedenborgdigitallibrary.org/sower/exnmdt/exod36.htm
{5} http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solstice