Article appeared Friday, December 23rd, 2011 in The News Today, Bangladesh

The Revelation (208)

yousuf mahbubul Islam, PhD

How many people are there in the world today that say or claim, “I believe in the Creator”? If there is a Creator and we have been created, should the Creator have any rights? What kind of rights? To understand this, let’s consider an analogy. What kind of rights do we give to the painter of a painting? For example, while acknowledging Leonardo as the artist who painted the famous picture ‘Mona Lisa’ do we credit the picture itself for making itself ‘beautiful’ or credit others for Mona Lisa’s fame? No, we clearly understand and acknowledge Leonardo’s right to be exclusively known as the artist or creator of the painting and do not mix or adulterate this right by crediting the painting itself or anyone else. If one did happen to credit the painting itself, would it be silly, illogical, an untruth as well as an injustice to Leonardo? Can this analogy be applied to the creation of human beings and our Creator? If yes, should our Creator enjoy exclusive rights similar to the rights we give Leonardo? Should we credit other things together with the Creator? For example, is it ok to credit ourselves for the skills we have, to credit the quality of our successes to ‘Good Luck’ or ‘Bad Luck’, to credit ‘Mother Nature’ for our calamities or credit religious ‘fakirs’ or others for the birth of our children, etc.? If we did credit other things together with the Creator, would it be silly, illogical, an untruth or an injustice to our Creator? Should our Creator react to such injustice done to Him? If we imagine this from the point-of-view of the Creator, how would we ourselves feel towards such injustice? Turning to the most recent Revelation, the Qur’an we find the following Guidance: “It is those who believe and confuse not their beliefs with wrong that are (truly) in security for they are on (right) guidance.” [6.82] Further, in the subsequent Verse, our Creator Reveals that this was the basis of the argument which was given to Abraham (pbuh) to use to help those around him understand. “That was the reasoning about Us which We gave to Abraham (to use) against his people: We raise whom We will degree after degree:...” [6.83] Abraham had many questions as he was growing up. He noticed all those around him crediting other things together with the Creator. This confused him. Can there be so many creators? This confusion is brought out in the following Verse: “If you ask them who it is that created the heavens and the earth they will certainly say "Allah." (If so) say: "Praise be to Allah!" But most of them understand not.” [31.25] A subsequent Verse clarifies doubts: “That is because Allah is the (only) Reality and because whatever else they invoke besides Him is Falsehood;…” [31.30] Faced with such a confusing environment, what did Abraham do? Did he just follow what everyone else was doing? To satisfy his conscience and logic, he proceeded to look for the Creator. He searched for the real creator in all the things that were worshiped, at the time, in addition to the Creator. Finally, he logically concluded that the Creator must be above and beyond all the created things that are around him and said: “For me I have set my face firmly and truly toward Him Who created the heavens and the earth, and never shall I give partners to Allah.” [6.79]

Having come to this realization, did Abraham sit quietly and adore his Creator alone by himself? Or did he try to convince those around him of the truth as well as his children? Our Creator furnishes us with an example: “Lo! Abraham said to his father Azar: “Take you idols for (other) gods? For that I see you and your people are in manifest error.”” [6.74] Is it a wonder that our Creator says to Abraham in the Bible, a previous Revelation: “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” [Genesis 12:3, NIV] {1} In addition, to establish proper protocol, he built an altar to establish systems for worshipping and adoring the Creator. “…There he built an altar to the LORD and called on the name of the LORD.” [Genesis 12:8, NIV] {2} Muslims believe this altar to be the Kaaba at Makkah. When building this, Abraham prayed to our Creator, saying: “And remember Abraham and Ishmael raised the foundations of the House (with this prayer): "Our Lord! Accept (this service) from us for You are the All-Hearing, the AllKnowing.” [2.127] The yearly pilgrimage or Hajj is performed around the Kaaba. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) reestablished the rites of pilgrimage in answer to the prayer of Abraham: “Our Lord! Send amongst them an Apostle of their own who shall rehearse Your Signs to them and instruct them in Scripture and Wisdom and sanctify them;..” [2.129] Is it a wonder that our Creator took Abraham for a friend and made him a great nation? Allah therefore says in the Qur’an:

4.125 “Who could be of better faith than he who surrenders himself completely to God, does what is good, and follows the creed of Abraham, who turned away from all that is false? For God has taken Abraham for a friend.”
Should we surrender or resign ourselves to the life and resources given by our Creator and do our best with what we have or should we look for ‘better’ things? In the case of the painting Mona Lisa, who knows what is best for the painting – the painting itself or the painter? Should the painting feel that it knows better or trust Leonardo to do his best? In the case of human beings, what has the Creator done for each human being? Who knows better, the created human being or the Creator? Should we look for ‘better’ things to do or look for things to do that demonstrate trust and please the Creator? “And this was the legacy that Abraham left to his sons and so did Jacob; "O my sons! Allah has chosen the faith for you; then die not except in the faith of Islam (submission to the Creator)."” [2.132]

4.126 “To God belongs all that is in the heavens and the earth; and indeed God encompasses everything.”
---{Notes}: {1} http://bible.cc/genesis/12-3.htm {2} http://bible.cc/genesis/12-8.htm