Life And Death


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  • Life And Death


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    In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

     

    Chapter five

    The Life Of This World

      Allah, praise and glory be to Him, has created the universe for a specific aim. He informed us with it in order to know why the creation has been brought about? What is the aim? And what is the end?   Allah, Whose Majesty reigns most high, says (what means):   “And I (Allah) created not the jinns and humans except they should worship Me (Alone). I seek not any provision from them (i.e. provision for themselves or for My creatures) nor do I ask that they should feed Me (i.e. feed themselves or My creatures). Verily, Allah is the All-Provider, Owner of Power, the Most Strong.” (Az-Zâriyât, 51: 56-58).   The aim behind creating this universe is to worship Allah, praise Him, celebrate His Glory, and exalt Him. In these Qur’anic verses The Truth, praise and glory be to Him, did not assign by name except â€˜The jinns and humans’, while excluding the rest of the creatures in the universe, but why?   Because Allah has given freedom of choice only to those two species amongst the creatures: they can believe in Allah and they can, Allah forbid, disbelieve in Him. They can obey Allah and they can, Allah forbid, disobey Him. As for the rest of the species in the universe, they are made to obey and never can disobey. They continually glorify the Praises of Allah, the Exalted and Ever-Majestic; they never forget His Glorification or slacken in it. Recite the Qur’anic verse in which Allah, be He highly blessed and exalted praise, says (what means):   “See you not that to Allah prostrates whoever is in the heavens and whoever is on the earth, and the sun, and the moon, and the stars, and the mountains, and the trees, and Ad-Dawâb (moving living creatures, beasts, etc.), and many of mankind? But there are many (men) on whom the punishment is justified. And whomsoever Allah disgraces, none can honour him. Verily! Allah does what He wills.” (Al-Hajj, 22:18)   The noble Qur’anic verse generalized prostration that include all the creatures, whether in the heavens or on the earth. None of them leave submission, showing obedience, remembering Allah and Glorifying His Praises. But mankind did not attain such a generalization. Instead, they are divided into two parties: one that obeys and believes and the other that disobeys and disbelieves. This division came only when Allah mentioned mankind, why? Because, as aforementioned, Allah, be He highly blessed and Exalted, has given mankind as well as jinn freedom of choice.   Allah has created this great universe to serve man, the viceroy on earth. The entire universe willingly obeyed their Creator, but many among mankind whom Allah has given sovereignty over His universe did not comply!   Allah, Whose Majesty reigns most high, has offered the trust, which is freedom of choice, to all species of the universe, but they were afraid to bear such a responsibility and said, ‘O Lord! We want to be compelled to obey.’ Allah, praise and glory be to Him, says (what means):   “Truly, We did offer Al­Amânah (the trust or moral responsibility or honesty and all the duties which Allah has ordained) to the heavens and the earth, and the mountains, but they declined to bear it and were afraid of it (i.e. afraid of Allah’s Torment). But man bore it. Verily, he was unjust (to himself) and ignorant (of its results).” (Al-Ahzâb, 33: 72)   This was the first and the last choice that all the species in this universe made. As for man, he chose to bear the trust, because Allah has willed that man should come to Him willingly not compulsorily. Man can disbelieve, but he believes out of loving Allah; he can disobey, but he obeys out of loving Allah. Therefore, mankind and jinn are the species that prove the attribute of loving Allah for His Sake. They willingly choose to follow His Way, out of love not compulsion. Hence, they glorify the Praises of Allah, prostrate themselves to Him, exalt Him, pray to Him and invoke Him as a confession of their love to Allah, praise and glory be to Him.   The Truth, be He highly blessed and exalted, says (what means): â€œAnd I (Allah) created not the jinns and humans except they should worship Me (Alone).” (Az-Zâriyât, 51: 56). For worship to be real, it should comprise all the activities of life. In other words, all man’s actions should reflect his love for Allah and every movement in life should be a vivid proof of this love. The Divine Law should be his guiding light, devotion should be his leader and no crookedness should be in the path he follows. Allah should never see him where He prohibited him, nor miss him where He ordered him to be.   True worship and how it should be?   People think that worship is only the five pillars of Islam, â€œTestifying that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, offering Prayer dutifully and perfectly, Paying Zakâh (Obligatory Charity), fasting Ramadan, and performing Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca) for whoever has the means to do so.” We say that these are the bases on which our religion is established.   Our lord has chosen Islam for us to be always with Him and not to be overtaken by Satan and in order to receive His Blessings, His Bestowments and Generosities all the time. For offering prayer after prayer gives us the power of faith that would guard us against deviation from the right path and draw us closer to Allah, be He highly blessed and exalted. The same applies to Fasting, paying the Zakâh and performing Hajj. Every act of worship amongst them is a Light from Allah, so whenever we feel languor or gloominess in the soul, we should resort to a brand from the Light of Allah that would restore our stability of faith. Same thing when your battery runs low, you connect it to a powerful electric source to get it recharged. Indeed, Islam encompasses the entire course of life, and covers every movement in it.   I do not want to get involved in a futile debate with those who say that the pillars of Islam are just Islam; that so long you offer prayers, pay Zakâh, fast and perform Hajj, you have guaranteed that you are with Allah, so you can do as you please and leave the movement of life uncontrolled by any of the regulations dictated by faith!   I say to all those people that I shall not discuss or debate what you are saying. I will only talk about one of the pillars (of Islam), which is offering prayers (Al-Salat). To perform our prayers we need some basic elements that help us stand between the Hands of Allah   The first thing we must do in order to stand between the Hands of Allah and for our prayer to be valid is to cover the private parts of our bodies. I would not say that I would need a garment or the like, just a piece of cloth to cover our private parts. This piece of cloth needs cotton; the cotton in turn needs someone to cultivate it and the cultivation needs plowing, seeds and irrigation. Seeds could be available or not. In case they were not, we must import them. In order to plow the land there must be a plow made of steel, that simple plow, which the primitive man used.   Further, we may need to search for an iron ore in mountains, which has to be melted for the plow to be made. We will also need a blacksmith to take this melted iron and shape it into a sharp tool, and then someone to bring it for us to use it. After the cotton ripen, we will need someone to harvest it, then someone to carry it to the cotton gin, then someone to take it to the cotton mill where it is spun into thread, then to the weaver who would interlace it into cloth, and then to the merchant who would sell it to us. All these stages are necessary so that I can stand in front of Allah having the private parts of my body covered for my prayer to be accepted.   Who prepares food for us?   In order to be strong to perform prayers I need what sustains me; a mouthful to eat in order to be able to bow and prostrate myself; a mouthful that strengthens me to do so. This loaf of bread that I buy from the grocery store has a long story of work behind it; beginning with the one who cultivated the wheat, then the one who grounded it into flour, then the one who kneaded it and baked it and finally to the one who brought it to the grocery store for me to buy.   We can see thus that much work is actually done in order to perform prayer. Imagine if we all remained praying in the Masjids doing nothing else, who would bring us a piece of cloth to cover our private parts and a loaf of bread to sustain ourselves? Whatever is needed to perform a certain duty is itself a duty. Therefore, worship comprises every action in this universe. So long as Allah, praise and glory be to Him, wants man a worshipper, He wants him a worshipper in his house, a worshipper in his office, a worshipper in the Masjid and a worshipper on the road; he should be a worshipper in every step of his life. Islam exhorts to the observance of decorum, it has even set some proprieties for people to follow while being on the road.   Allah, praise and glory be to Him, has shared out His Reward on the entire movement of life, because the course of Islam comprises all this movement. Thus, He has decreed a reward for he who visits the sick, he who maintains justice in judging between people, he who treats his neighbor kindly, he who removes whatever might be harmful from the road, he who helps a disabled to cross the road, he who spends on his family, he who answers people’s needs, he who puts an end to an act of injustice, he who utters kind words, he who gives a sincere advice, he who seeks to gain his living and that of his children, and he who forbids what is wrong and enjoins what is right. All that besides tens of thousands of other deeds, not included in the pillars of Islam but cause the winning of a great reward.   When we restrict our deeds to the performance of the five pillars of Islam, we deprive ourselves from ninety percent of the reward which Allah has promised us for sincerity in performing the activities of life. So long as The Truth, praise be to Him, has said (what means): â€œAnd I (Allah) created not the jinns and humans except they should worship Me (Alone).” (Az-Zâriyât, 51:65), then His entire Ordained Course is worship. This Course controls a believer’s actions in the universe; thus, every single action is an act of worship as long as it is dedicated to the end of earning the Good Pleasure of Allah.   The Divine Law set before creation   Before Allah, praise be to Him, created man, He established a Law for him and assigned his duty in life. As aforementioned, anyone who creates anything must first determine its purpose. As long as life is the capability of a thing to perform its duty, we must know the duty Allah has created us for. Allah, be He highly blessed and exalted, has established the Law of our life to be capable to perform the duty for whose sake we have been created.   It is real strange that the source of the world’s blights is man. Because he has a free will and a reasoning power to choose between alternatives, while the other creatures, that are made to obey Allah, cause no mischief.   They perform the role they were created for compulsorily without choice. But what ruins life and the entire universe are the matters in which man interferes with his power of choice.   Allah, be He highly blessed and exalted, wants us to follow in life the Law of our Creator, whereby we fulfill our duty exactly as the rest of the species of the universe. Allah, praise and glory be to Him, says (what means):   “(And) if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger (SAW).” (An-Nisâ’, 4:59)   All the creatures in the universe, including inanimate beings, plants, and animals, are all subjugated to perform their duty in life; that is serving man. But what is man’s duty? His sole duty is to worship Allah. Allah, be He highly blessed and exalted, says in the Sanctified Hadith:   “O son of Adam! I have created this universe for you, and created you for Myself, so do not be occupied by what is yours in place of what you are for.”   What is the essence of worship? Does Allah want us just to say, â€˜Subhân-Allâh’ (glorified be Allah), all daylong and that is it? No, actually worshipping Allah is man’s wholehearted occupation with the duty Allah has created him for. Every move in the universe is an act of worship. We resort to the five pillars of Islam to charge the faith ‘battery’ inside us. Therefore, the meaning of ‘worshiping,’ would be obeying Allah in the entire established Divine Law.   Man’s duty in life   All the creatures on the earth, including plants, inanimate beings and animals, are subjugated to you man, servile, obeying you in anything asked of them. Their duty in life is to serve the believer and the disbeliever, the pious and the impious until the Hour of Resurrection is established. Only then, man loses this privilege and this subjugation ends.   In worldly life, the sun does not shine on the believers only; nor does the earth gives forth its plants to the believers and withholds it from the disbelievers. The species of the earth interact for man and through him, regardless of his creed and his faith in his Lord. So, whoever succeed in adopting the means, would receive their yield, without differentiating between he who says, â€˜Lâ ilâha ill-Allâh’ (There is no God save Allah), and he who refuses to say it.   But in the hereafter things would be much different. The species would serve the believer alone and would not serve the disbeliever. When the disbeliever would attempt to lie to Allah and claims that he has obeyed Him, his legs would say, ‘No my Lord, he used me everyday to walk to the tavern.’ And his hands would say, ‘No my Lord, he used me to smite the weak’ And his tongue would say, ‘No my Lord, he used me to utter the word of disbelief.’ Thereby, he loses all mastery even over his own body. Recite the Qur’anic verse in which Allah, says (what means):   “Till, when they reach it (Hell-fire), their hearing (ears) and their eyes, and their skins will testify against them as to what they used to do. And they will say to their skins, ‘Why do you testify against us?’ They will say: ‘Allah has caused us to speak, as He causes all things to speak, and He created you the first time, and to Him you are made to return.’” (Fussilat, 41: 20-21)   Thus, man’s freedom of choice and the creatures’ serviceability to him are given to all mankind in worldly life, but in the hereafter it is for the believers only.   If the disbeliever tried to escape on the Day of Resurrection, his feet would not move; if he wanted to run away from hellfire, his legs would drive him towards it in defiance of his will. If he wanted to drink, he would be given scalding water that would tear up his bowels, if he wanted to clothe himself; the angels of fire would cut out for him a garment from hellfire sticking to his body.   The species of the universe would not serve the disbeliever on the Day of Resurrection, but would curse him, burn him and torture him. Allah, praise and glory be to Him, has honored man by granting him another life; a life not given through means, but is directly bestowed by Allah, praise and glory be to Him. A life of delights not to forsake man nor is he to leave it; a life befitting in its bestowments the believer whom Allah has vested with power in the universe; an eternal life that knows no death.   Man’s lifetime does not end by his death after worldly life. He has another life, which is the meant one. But who is to attain such life and such delights? He is the one who fulfills in this worldly life the duty that Allah has created him for. That is, obeying Allah in what to do and what not to do, such obedience that leads man to immortality in heavenly delights.   Allah has created this world to be obeyed in it and to have all the creatures celebrating His Praises. If you joined the creatures of the universe and you became a worshipper of Allah, you would be in harmony with those species in worldly life, and then Allah, glory be to Him, would grant you immortality in the hereafter.   But if Allah, praise and glory be to Him, has created us to worship Him, does this mean that Allah, glory be to Him, needs this worship? We say, â€˜With His Graceful Being, Allah stands Rich beyond need of any of His creatures. No sin will do Him the least harm, and He will profit none by any act of obedience. He has created us free to choose, then whosoever wills, let him believe, and whosoever wills, let him disbelieve. Whosoever wills, let him come to Allah willingly and not by force.’ Allah, Whose Majesty reigns most high, says (what means):   “If We will, We could send down to them from the heaven a sign, to which they would bend their necks in humility.” (Ash-Shu‘arâ’, 26: 4)   The Divine Law and the work of the human mind   What did man do after Allah has made him the master of this world and subjugated to him all the species of the universe? Did he justly perceive the meaning of worldly life and hastened to practice the Divine Law? On the contrary, man abandoned the Divine Law and began passing his own laws. Consequently, misery overwhelmed the universe because of the manmade laws that people adopted instead of the Law of Allah. Thus, man became miserable because he deserted the Law decreed by Allah and followed his own intellect.   Certainly, there is sharp difference between having the laws that govern your life established by The All-Knowing, The All-Wise, The Omnipotent and having them established by a human with limited capabilities, understanding and lifetime, who knows some things and is ignorant of many others.   The Divine Laws are stable, neither change nor alter, for the One Who established them knows what would happen in the entire universe till the Last Hour is established. Nothing is unforeseen or unexpected to Him, because Allah, glory be to Him, is the All-Knowing and comprehends everything in His Knowledge.   On the other hand, we see that manmade laws, for their deficiency, undergo many amendments and changes. Hardly a few years pass before we are surprised by the fact that the causes for which the law was established were not remedied; that new unexpected aspects have emerged. Thus, we undergo the painstaking procedure of amending the law. But those who amend the laws are also humans whose knowledge is limited. So, after a few years those laws would require amendment once more. Thus, humanity would continue to suffer the hardship of amending the laws till the Commandment of Allah would come to pass.   Misery in the universe stems from the fact that we did not carry out the duty for which we were created; that is worshipping Allah and adopting His Divine Law, which falsehood cannot come to it from before it or behind it, because it is sent down by The All-Wise, Worthy of all Praise.   We have forsaken the Divine Law, which is the best for us and we began to amend, moralize, and be misled by our human arrogance and belief that we are more capable of reforming the universe than Allah, praise and glory be to Him. But we ruined everything, we wasted our life, we wasted the purpose behind it, and that is the main crime that humanity perpetrates against itself and against the right owed to its Creator.   We deviated from the purpose for which this universe, and ourselves as well, are created and our life became vain. Since we have wasted our first life, then our second life is definitely wasted, as the first life is the path ushering to the delights of the real life in the hereafter, provided that we fulfill our duty in worldly life just as Allah has commanded us. But if we vainly wasted the first life and began moralizing depending on our fallibility, rendering what is lawful unlawful, and what is unlawful lawful, describing those who abide by the Law of Allah as old-fashioned savage people, though real savagery is to abandon the Law of Allah. If we do so then regretfully we have indeed wasted the hereafter too.   Life from a male and a female   When Allah, praise and glory be to Him, has created this life, He established laws for it. Among these laws, is that no life originates except from a male and a female, each of which is created independently from the other. Mankind, plants, animals and all the species on the earth are created from a male and a female, where masculinity and femininity exist independently in two creatures. Unquestionably, no creature springs from another creature, as Darwinism falsely claims. Recite the Qu’anic verse in which The Truth, praise be to Him, says (what means):   “And of everything We have created pairs, that you may remember (the Grace of Allah).” (Az-Zâriyât, 51: 49)   There has also existed another polarity that remained unknown to us and we learned about it only recently. We have learned that in electricity there should be a positive and a negative pole for the spark to be emitted. If both poles were either negative or positive, electricity would not be produced. We have also learned that clouds are bipolar, upon joining together rain falls. We have also learned that the atom contains positive and negative particles. Still, there exist other things we have not known yet. Surely, when Allah reveals their secrets to us, we will learn that all the creatures of the universe, without exception, are from a male and a female.   But, there are two main issues that Allah has revealed His Judgment pertaining to them and ordered us not to subject them to our reasoning, nor to think about them; simply because the human intellect can never gain any knowledge regarding them. The first issue is that you would never know how the universe was created. The second issue is that you would never how you were created.   We say to those who have their own theories concerning the beginning of creation and how the universe seemed before the beginning of life: From where did you deduce your theories and from where did you get such information? Did you witness their creation or have there come to you of knowledge that which did not come to others? Those who say that man evolved from an ape are surely wrong. Anyone who tackles the issue of creation and the origin of the universe is wrong no matter how many false evidences he has gathered, that do not surpass being mere conjectures and guesswork.   We summarize what we have detailed by saying that Allah, praise and glory be to Him, has created this universe to prostrate itself to Him and to celebrate His Praises, glorified be He. The entire universe obeys Allah by forced submission, but Allah, be He highly blessed and exalted, wants to be worshipped out of loving Him.   Allah, praise and glory be to Him, has established a Divine Law revealed through the sent messengers, which comprises every movement in life. Worship is not limited to offering prayers, paying the Zakah (obligatory charity), Fasting and performing Hajj, but every single movement in life is an act of worship and is a law.   Allah wants us to be active in life and populate the earth. In order, for instance, to engage in the worship of offering prayers, extensive activities have to be carried out that comprises many aspects of life. Allah, be He highly blessed and exalted, does not want us to just glorify Him night and day, but He wants us to work and be active. And whatever is indispensable to perform a certain duty is indeed a duty itself.   Man was mischievous on the earth by his free will. He abandoned the Divine laws and began passing his own laws. Humanity became miserable because of manmade laws. Man has forsaken the Divine Law in order to formulate laws based on his reasoning power. He kept arguing about issues that are far beyond his mental capacity. Indeed, no matter how long we debated regarding the origin of the universe and the creation of man we would reach no truth.   That is concerning our worldly life restricted by our short lifetime. As for the life to come, the true one that would not be followed by either death or perishing, the eternal life, that would be the topic of the next chapter.      
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