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Article appeared Friday, March 9th, 2012 in The News Today, Bangladesh

The Revelation (219)

yousuf mahbubul Islam, PhD

Has the Creator introduced Himself or appeared to mankind? Turning to the Bible in the Book of Exodus we find the following instruction being given to Prophet Moses (pbuh): “Go, assemble the elders of Israel and say to them, 'The LORD, the God of your fathers--the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob--appeared to me and said: I have watched over you and have seen what has been done to you in Egypt.” [Exodus 3:16, NIV] {1} Who, exactly, is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob? Why did He ask Moses to introduce Him to the elders of Israel? Was it a warning before the oppressed were saved and Pharaoh was punished? Together with these questions, some other questions and concepts arise. Was the introduction only for or limited to the elders of Israel? Is God only the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob? Or is He the God of mankind? The Book of Deuteronomy in the Old Testament of the Bible clarifies who God is, “To the LORD your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it.” [Deuteronomy 10:14, NIV] {2} As does the Book of Acts in the New Testament of the Bible: “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands.” [Acts 17:24, NIV] {3} As does the most recent Revelation, the Qur’an, confirm the previous revelations and once again remind who our Creator is: “To Allah belong all things in the heavens and on earth. Verily We have directed the People of the Book before you and you (O Muslims) to fear Allah. But if you deny Him lo! To Allah belong all things in the heavens and on earth and Allah is free of all wants worthy of all praise.” [4.131] Each successive Revelation has repeatedly pointed out that everything belongs to the Creator – we are therefore individually accountable to Him. Our Creator has chosen to give intelligence and free-will to see who will acknowledge Him, adore Him and be grateful to Him in return. Who are the People of the Book? They are all those who have received Direction (Revelation) from the Creator. “And before this was the Book of Moses as a guide and a mercy; and this Book (the Qur’an) confirms (it) in the Arabic tongue; to admonish the unjust and as glad tidings to those who do right.” [46.12] Prophet Jesus (pbuh) did not come to change any Law. His mission was mainly to confirm and ensure proper implementation of the Law given to Moses {4}. “Don't misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the Laws of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose.” [Matthew 5:17, NLT] {4} So, why has our Creator sent Revelations repeatedly through the ages? What is the purpose of Revelation? The Book of Malachi in the Old Testament gives two reasons. The first reason: “A son honors his father and a servant his master. If I am a father, where is the honor due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?" says the LORD Almighty…” [Malachi 1:6, NIV] {5} Jesus explained the honor, respect and adoration that is the Creator’s due:

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” [Mark 12:30, NIV] {6} And the second reason: “Are we not all children of the same Father? Are we not all created by the same God? Then why do we betray each other, violating the covenant of our ancestors?” [Malachi 2:10, NLT] {7} A covenant is the agreement one makes when accepting belief or faith. The agreement is that the faithful person will honor the Creator and all the Laws given by the Creator. However, as pointed out in the Qur’an, the most recent Revelation: “And there are among them illiterates who know not the Book but (see in it their own) desires and they do nothing but conjecture.” [2.78] There are those who use religion to further their own selfish plans and programs. Instead of approaching Revelation as Guidance and allowing Revelation to speak for itself, they interpret scripture using man-made concepts. They often unjustifiably make unlawful things lawful and lawful things unlawful as the following Verse warns. “O you who believe! Make not unlawful the good things which Allah has made lawful for you but commit no excess: for Allah loves not those given to excess.” [5.87] For example, “They say: “Such cattle and crops are forbidden. None may eat of them save those whom we permit” — so they falsely claim. Other cattle they declare to be forbidden to burden their backs; and there are cattle over which they do not pronounce God’s name, inventing [in all this] a lie against Him. He will surely requite them for their (unlawful) inventions.” [6.138] On the other hand, for those who believe and seek guidance from their Creator, Allah Guides them: “They ask you what is lawful to them. Say: Lawful to you are all good things of life. As for those hunting animals which you train by imparting to them something of the knowledge God has imparted to you, you may eat of what they catch for you. But mention God’s name over it and have fear of God; indeed, God is swift in reckoning.” [5.4]

5.5 “This day are things good and pure made lawful to you. The food of the People of the Book is lawful to you and yours is lawful to them. (Lawful to you in marriage) are (not only) chaste women who are believers but chaste women among the People of the Book revealed before your time when you give them their due dowers (bridal due given by husband) and desire chastity not lewdness (illegal sex) nor secret intrigues (secret companions). If anyone rejects faith fruitless is his work and in the Hereafter he will be in the ranks of those who have lost.”
----{Notes}: {1} http://bible.cc/exodus/3-16.htm {2} http://bible.cc/deuteronomy/10-14.htm {3} http://bible.cc/acts/17-24.htm {4} http://bible.cc/matthew/5-17.htm {5} http://bible.cc/malachi/1-6.htm {6} http://bible.cc/mark/12-30.htm {7} http://bible.cc/malachi/2-10.htm