Sunday, March 17, 2013

A Dialogue (Part 3)

46. In the last episode, we have dealt with short yet important arguments on the proof of God's existence.

47. What comes next is to ascertain that this God that exists is none other but Allah SWT.

48. I am going to put it this way. First, I shall bring forward the general idea on how do we decide who is God.

49. After that, we shall see from the Quran (through its existence and its arguments) that the God must not be other than Allah SWT.

50. So we have three things here. First, the general idea, then the second, proof from Al-Quran's existence and thirdly, the arguments by the Quran.

51. Firstly, the general idea is simple. If God exists, then He must act justly by providing signs to His creations. This is so that the creations will not have any valid excuse when God were to judge either to punish them (if they deny God) or save them (if they accept and submit to God).

52. Among the signs He has provided are through revelations (wahy).

53. Major religions such as Islam, Christianity and Hinduism, to name a few, have their own scriptures, believed to be the words of God (or at least the words that speak on behalf of God).

54. For instance, Islam with the Al-Quran and the Christianity with the Bible (Old and New Testaments).

55. Common sense will tell us easily, that the most important aspect of a religion is its concept of God.

56. Hence, while all above religions believe in God/gods, it is now necessary to provide a set of criteria or yardstick taught in each religion, to prove who is and who is not God. The most reliable source for this is definitely the scriptures of each religion.

57. As I am going to represent my beloved deen, Islam, I will explain the concept of God in Islam, and in doing so, will make fine comparisons between Allah as God with the God believed by the Christians, Jesus Christ being one of them (so that we can test how the criteria of God works).

58. However, as mentioned earlier, I will firstly speak in brief about the existence of Quran itself as a proof that Allah is the God, One and Only.

59. This is a very simple argument.

60. Firstly, just to get things clear here, Al-Quran is not the words of Prophet Muhammad SAW, but are the EXACT words of Allah SWT (revealed through him to the whole mankind). Insya Allah (God willing), I will elaborate more on this in the other upcoming episode, but suffice to say now, that the words of Muhammad SAW, is called ahadith (plural of hadith) instead.

61. Now, going back to the argument, Al-Quran has mentioned explicitly that it was revealed by Allah SWT and Allah will protect it until the end of time.

62. Now, imagine this. If all religions were to reach a global consensus, that today we shall burn and destroy all the scriptures and textual documents of religions (Quran, Bible, Veda etc.) including those on the net without any trace or backup copy whatsoever, guess what will happen?

63. Within only few days, only the Quran will come back to its absolute original form, with no alteration at all, not even an alphabet!

64. And why is this?

65. Because Al-Quran (which is in Arabic language) is the only book memorized in totality by many Muslims worldwide!

66. We have children as young as 5 years old (if not younger) who memorizes the Quran from cover to cover, and in addition to that, many of them don't even speak (or understand) Arabic language!

67. This is a guarantee from Allah (in Surah Al-Hijr, aayat no.9) that the preservation of Quran will last!

68. It has been more than 14 hundred years now, yet it has not been altered, not in the slightest!

(The case for Bible is significantly different, because even the Bible scholars would agree that not only Bible has gone through so many changes (addition and deletion) here and there throughout the course of its long history, in fact now there are so many different versions of Bible!)

69. The fact that Al-Quran explicitly mentions Allah as the One and only true God, and the fact that its preservation is impossible without permission (and work) of God, we have now come to the end of our first premise, that is, Al-Quran through its existence is a proof that Allah is the God.

70. Now, this last point may be the most interesting part to analyse together.

71. In the Quran, the 112th chapter is called Surah Al-Ikhlas.

72. It is one of the shortest Surah in it, nevertheless carries huge weight and significance when it comes  to the concept of God in Islam.

73. In fact we shall now analyse the 4 criteria of God it outlines from its short yet eloquent four verses.

74. The verses explain that Allah is the God, and then beautifully continue with the attributes of Allah as God (hence the criteria of God in Islam) which is fulfilled by only Allah and none others.

75. For comparison, now let's take Jesus Christ and put him on test (whether he fulfills the criteria to be God).

76. Before I continue though, it's necessary to mention here that  Jesus Christ (in Arabic, Isa) is regarded as a great prophet by us Muslims.

77. This comparison is in no way attempting to condemn him. In reality (for the Muslims), elevating him as God, is something he himself (Jesus) will despise and disprove of, hence a true form of insult instead!

78. The first verse says that God must be One and Only. Christians believe that Jesus is the Son of God, apart from The Father God and the Holy Spirit (in a concept called Trinity). Hence, the fact that now we have more than one God, we will say that Jesus is not a God.

79. The second verse refers to the absolute and eternal nature of God i.e God has neither beginning nor ending. Muslims and Christians alike believe that Jesus was born by Mary (in Arabic, Maryam).

80. However, only the Christians believe that Jesus died.

81. The fact that he was born means that he has a beginning. And the fact that he dies means that he also has an ending.

82. Therefore, according to the second criteria, Jesus must not be God because he begins and ends (which makes more sense if we consider him a human being, but a prophet, as believed by Muslims).

83. Thirdly, God must not beget nor is he begotten. What this means is that a God must not be born or that he gives birth. Jesus was born. Hence, he is not a God.

84. The last verse, hence the last criteria suggests that God is not God if he is the same (or possess any similarity with His creation).

85. Jesus obviously appears to be in the form of a man during his lifetime, which again makes him not a God, but as believed by the Muslim, more logically a prophet.

86. With a rather long discussion above, I shall put an end to this part here. 

87. Let me end with this testimony. I firmly bear witness that there is no God except Allah SWT, He is One and Only, and Muhammad SAW was his Messenger.

(To be continued in Part 4)

"Or have they taken for worship (other) gods besides Him (Allah)? Say: Bring your proof. This (the Quran) is the Reminder for those with me and the Reminder for those before me. But most of them know not the Truth, so they are averse."
(Surah Al-Anbiya, aayat no.24)

Read Part 2 here


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The Colours of Life

The Colours of Life
Picture taken on Syawal 1, 2009

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