In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Mr. Jameel:Peace and Mercy from Allah be upon all of you, Dear brother and sisters, I would like to welcome all of you to a new episode of our series: “Islam is a method of life”
I would like to welcome Dr. Mohammad Rateb Al Nabulsi the well-known Islamic proselytizer, May Allah protect him.
Dr. Rateb, you previously defined worship as follows: it is voluntarily obedience, which is mixed with hearted love, and is founded on certainty, to lead to eternal happiness.
You have mentioned as well that the human being is the only creature who bore the trust (divine Assignment), therefore, the question to be asked is: What are the constituents of this trust? And what is the foundation upon which it is built?
The constituents of bearing the trust:
Dr. Rateb:In the name of Allah The Most Gracious and the Most Merciful, and praise be to Allah Lord of the worlds, and peace and blessings be upon Sayyidina Muhammad, upon his Family and his Companions.
Mr. Jamil, the Divine assignment is the inner self of the human being that is charged to him/her as a trust, Allah said:
((Indeed he succeeds who purifies his ownself (i.e. obeys and performs all that Allah ordered, by following the true Faith of Islamic Monotheism and by doing righteous good deeds))And the real prosperity is to be successful in the Sight of Allah, and the successful that counts is that in the hereafter:
((Indeed he succeeds who purifies his ownself (i.e. obeys and performs all that Allah ordered, by following the true Faith of Islamic Monotheism and by doing righteous good deeds))The meaning of purifying human’s own self is to get it to know its Lord, make it obey Him, and push it to sublime through good deeds with which paradise is paid for, given paradise is the reason behind our existence.
Hence, the inner self in each one of us is the trust we are charged with, and accordingly, happiness and hardship are gains of our own hands, thus, if we purify this inner self, we will grant ourselves happiness in this life and in the hereafter, whereas if we don’t, we will drive it away from its Lord.
Unless we abide by the Divine method and stay away from harming other creations, we will be in hardship in this life, and in the hereafter.
When Allah assigned mankind to this trust, He gave them its constituents through which we know Allah and we draw closer to Him. Knowing Allah occurs through reflecting on this universe, including every minute detail in it, which indicates the Existence, the Oneness, the Perfection, and the best Attributes of Allah, as if this universe is a manifestation of Allah’s Beautiful Names.
Every phenomenon in Universe indicates Allah’s Greatness:Hence, Universe is the first constituent that no two persons can argue upon, regardless of their backgrounds, their religions, their kinship, their race, their origins, or their blood lines.
The universe is available to mankind in all its contents including the sun, the moon, the night, the day, the birds, the fish, the seas, and the mountains, as all these are manifestation of Allah’s Existence, Oneness, and Perfection, therefore, I call the universe as the first constant factor.
Some scholars said: “Universe is a silent Quran, Quran is a speaking universe, and Muhammad PBUH is a walking Quran (in his morals)”
Therefore, this universe is a silent Quran, while the Quran is a speaking universe, and Allah made His messenger Muhammad PBUH a good example to all mankind, as his morals were derived from Quran.
Being the first constant factor, the signs in the universe are endless, not to mention that talking about them needs years and years to come.
Every phenomenon in the universe indicates Allah’s Greatness, Allah’s Existence, Allah’s Oneness, Allah’s Might, Allah’s knowledge, and Allah’s Wisdom, therefore, this universe is a manifestation of Allah’s Beautiful Names and Best Attributes.
We know Allah through universal signs, Actions and Words:More than 1300 Ayahs in Quran tackle the universe, as if Allah is giving us a method of reflecting and connecting with this universe, Allah said:
((Verily! In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of night and day, there are indeed signs for men of understanding. Those who remember Allah (always, and in prayers) standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides))And the rest of the Ayah reflects my point:
((And think deeply about the creation of the heavens and the earth, (saying): "Our Lord! You have not created (all) this without purpose, glory to You! (Exalted be You above all that they associate with You as partners). Give us salvation from the torment of the Fire.))These universal signs go along with Allah’s Actions upon His creations.
((Say (O Muhammad): "Travel in the land and see what was the end of those who rejected truth."))
((Say (O Muhammad): "Travel in the land and see))In other words:
((what was the end of those who rejected truth."))Reflecting on Allah’s Actions upon His creations will bring us to know Allah, and reflecting on the creations will bring us to know Allah through His signs.
The third element is Allah’s Words (Quran).
Knowing Allah is the gist of the religion (Islam):Knowing Allah the Almighty is the gist of this religion (Islam), as when you know the law-Giver before knowing the law, you will devote yourself to obeying the law-Giver, whereas if you know the law without knowing the law-Giver, you will try to break away from the law in various ways which you yourself invent.
Unfortunately, this is how some Muslims are acting nowadays, as they don’t know the law-Giver, yet they know the law, and consequently they come up with very poor jurisprudence, which reflects their beating around the bushes, trying to get away from the Islamic law through legislating Fataws and jurisprudence Allah has never ordered.
The important point here is that when you know the law-Giver (Allah) then you know the law (orders and bans), you will be dedicated to carry them out, but if you know the law without knowing the law-Giver, you will do your best to get away from abiding with that law.
Hence, through the universal signs, Allah’s Actions and Quranic Ayahs we get to know Allah the Almighty.
Mr. Jameel:So Dr. Rateb, you are saying that the universe is the first constituent and the first constant factor in the trust.
We should know the Creator through His creations:
Dr. Rateb:It is the common denominator among mankind, as it is the same wherever you go on earth, east or west, north or south, and in advanced countries or developed ones, not to mention that there is an immutable belief in the universe.
The true triumph lies in surpassing from the universe to its Creator by the believer, whereas the disbeliever is satisfied with believing in the universe only, it lies in surpassing the blessings to the bless-Giver (Allah), whereas the disbeliever is satisfied with the blessings only, it lies in surpassing the directing to the Director, the creations to the Creator, and the wisdom to the Wise, as if the believer is a bridge on which you pass to the other bank in order to know Allah the Almighty.
Mr. Jameel:Dr. Rateb, to summarize we can say that the universe is the first constituent in bearing the trust, and whoever has reasoning, is able to reflect on it, so what about the reasoning as well?
Reasoning is our means to know Allah in the light of Revelation:
Dr. Rateb:Reasoning is the mean bestowed upon us by Allah, and it is the most precious blessing that has ever been given to any creation, and mankind are honored to have it.
It is based on three principles, first of which is the cause, then the objectiveness, and finally the harmony.
The entire universe is built according to objectiveness and it doesn’t accept contradictions exactly like reasoning.
Though the mind (reasoning) is our mean to know Allah the Almighty, but sometimes it transgresses.
((Nay! Verily, man does transgress all bounds (in disbelief and evil deed, etc.). Because he considers himself self-sufficient.))
((Verily, he thought and plotted; So let him be cursed! How he plotted! And once more let him be cursed, how he plotted!))Therefore, reasoning might transgress, despite its subtle balance in judging matters, why is that?
The eye, by way of example, can’t see without light which is the middle factor between it as a device and between objects (meant to be seen), so as the mind, and though it is the most precious device we were bestowed by Allah, yet, it is useless in knowing the truth, unless Revelation was the middle factor between reasoning and between great matters in life.
In this example, Revelation to the mind resembles the light to the eye, hence, reasoning is a mean to know Allah under the condition of using Revelation in order to bring mind’s usage to perfection (reasoning and Revelation complete one another).
Otherwise, reasoning without Revelation will bring about tendency towards tangible purposes, and this will lead to hardship which will be noting but the outcome of man’s own gain.
Mr. Jameel:Therefore, man is given this universe, then reasoning, and he will be held accountable according to his reasoning and his reflection on this universe, now what about the third constituent in the divine assignment which is human nature?
Human nature is the detector to our faults:
Dr. Rateb:Human nature (innate) is installed in mankind as the psychological measure and the inner detector through which man can tell when he/she goes wrong, Allah said:
((And by Nafs (Adam or a person or a soul, etc.), and Him Who perfected him in proportion; Then He showed him what is wrong for him and what is right for him;))Namely, when Nafs goes right, it knows it, and when it goes wrong, it knows it as well.
Therefore, the human being according to the Quran is as described in the following Ayah:
(( Nay! Man will be a witness against himself [as his body parts (skin, hands, legs, etc.) will speak about his deeds]. Though he may put forth his excuses (to cover his evil deeds).))The congruence between human nature and the divine laws is a character in mankind, and any violation to Islamic laws will reflect in hardship in the innate, and any wrongdoing in applying Allah’s method, will reflect as self blaming or a sting of conscience so to speak.
Mr. Jameel:Dr. Rateb, this issue isn’t finished yet, and we will carry on next episode. I would like to thank you for your coming to our show, and I would like to thank all spectators for watching us, and we will meet you next time, and I will leave you under the Protection of Allah.