“O Allah grant my soul its piety And purify it, for you are the best who can purify it. You are its protector and guardian.”Prophet Muhammad, upon him peace and blessings
Which lenses of truth should we use to see ourselves and others?
Reformers or corrupters?
How can we tell the two or the many apart, for we all tell stories claiming ourselves and our tribe as the protagonist, using assumptions and conjecture that often carry and implant seeds of prejudice and malice about people’s intent or specific actions? The same facts can have different meanings and be told as countering, i.e., in varying contradictions to each other.
The Prophets’ stories, as related in the Quran by God, provides a light to answering these and many questions.
In addition, human power has a master narrative that carries assumptions, bias, pride (not dignity), and conjecture that people believe to be accurate and blindly use to engage each other, even God. These assumptions and conjectures are normative life experiences and shared meanings we construct or adopt to speak for others and God. They are framed within cultural, social, and political systems of power. The unchallenged assumptions and conjectures made when people tell and listen to stories can malign, silence, or distort the truth, particularly the stories of the Prophets and the words of God. When the stories in the Quran are shared as counter-narratives to the dominant voice, these stories enable a different “truth” to emerge and be heard, allowing an enlightened heart a lens of understanding the exact facts of an event. It will help us to see the reformer from the corrupter.
In this post, I want to focus on witnesses that will be brought before us on the Day of Judgment.
In 2010, I shared this in a Star Tribune blog titled: Why Study Islam? “My faith teaches me, that if the day of judgment arrives, the believers are building trees. Because truth is not bits there and here, but a light that allows us to listen and understand reality one layer at a time when we are emotionally and mentally centered and not incited.” The event in question discussed in the blog, took place in the beginning of 2008. My father passed away March 21, 2008.
Anas ibn Malik reported: The Messenger of Allah, upon him peace and blessings, said, “Even if the Resurrection were established upon one of you while he has in his hand a sapling, let him plant it.”
Source: Musnad Aḥmad 12902
“It is He Who has sent His Messenger with GuidanceQuran (48:28)
and the Religion of Truth,
to proclaim it over all religion:
and enough is Allah for a Witness.”
This post is not aimed at refuting the narratives of other faiths. Rather, it is meant to share the narrative of the Prophets’ stories in the Quran.
In that spirit, I see those who share the narrative of their faith as loving, kind, and generous. In the past, I was involved in interfaith events at Mosques or Churches, where each religion got a chance to share its narrative and meanings of normative life experiences. A case in point, two sweet ladies who said they were from Jehovah’s Witness knocked on my door. They wanted to share their Message. I thanked them for their kind gesture and intention.
I explained I am Muslim and that if they would like to share their Message, they are welcome to come to the Mosque, where we invite other faiths – and each can speak to the audience. They can also invite Muslims to Church, and each party can share what they hold to be true.
They started to share passages from the Bible, and I explained that I used to be involved with interfaith programs and am very familiar with the Christian faith, although out of respect do not speak on their behalf. I might share some Christians work that share our understanding on some issues, but I do not speak for other faiths.
They continued to share their understanding on the Day of Judgment. I thanked them again, for their kindness and wishing for my salvation – and asked them to join me in prayer, as God is Witness.
May God guide us to the truth and path of guidance to Him.
They agreed and kindly left, after sharing their card.
Sin means saying ‘No’ to God
The foolish among the people will say, “What has turned them away from their qiblah, which they used to face?” Say, “To Allah belongs the east and the west. He guides whom He wills to a straight path.”
And thus, we have made you a just community that you will be witnesses over the people, and the Messenger will be a witness over you. And We did not make the qiblah which you used to face except that We might make evident who would follow the Messenger from who would turn back on his heels. And indeed, it is difficult except for those whom Allah has guided. And never would Allah have caused you to lose your faith. Indeed, Allah is, to the people, Kind and Merciful.(Quran 2:142-143)
Qiblah means the direction of prayer. Al Masjid Al Aqsa or the furthest Mosque was the first qiblah for Muslims and it has been a significant and important place of worship for the Prophets and Messengers of God. Currently, it is toward the Kaabah, in Mecca. I will not give the wisdom that scholars mention behind the changing the direction of the qiblah. What is important to note, is how Prophet Muhammad, upon him peace and blessings, responded when God told him to face Al Masjid Al Aqsa. His unwavering unhesitating response to the command of God.
When we consider sin, we often look for evidence that it is a sin or evidence that it is not. In doing so, we conjecture much. Sin is simply saying ‘No’ to God’s command. Hence, the question Hajar asked demonstrates how to interpret scripture: Is this from God, or did God command this?
Here, God mentions that Prophet Muhammad, upon him peace and blessings, will be a witness over us, Muslims. Now, if we turn to God, seeking guidance, and we are following Prophet Muhammad, upon him peace and blessings, out of genuine faith, and not tribalism or other motives, God says: “it is difficult except for those whom Allah has guided. And never would Allah have caused you to lose your faith. Indeed, Allah is, to the people, Kind and Merciful.”
I will update the other set of witnesses in this verse tomorrow. Sometimes, God brings forth commands or trials, to offer people who are following for ulterior motives a chance to turn to God for guidance.
In fact, whenever we find something difficult, and we will all find something in our faith difficult to put in practice, we should turn to God and ask Him to make it easy on us.
I mentioned that Prophet Muhammad, upon him peace and blessings, will be a witness over us, Muslims. The previous theme went through the intimate conversation or supplications that Prophet Muhammad, upon him peace and blessings, had with God. I do not want to repeat it again, but feel free to review the theme, which begins with Divine Love versus Human Love.
To follow onto the previous post, we Muslims will be witnesses for previous prophets.
Imam Ahmad and Ibn Maajah narrated that Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri, may Allah be pleased with him, said: The Messenger of Allah, upon him peace and blessings, said: “A Prophet will come on the Day of Resurrection accompanied by one man, and a Prophet will come accompanied by two men, or more than that. Then his people will be called and it will be said to them: ‘Did this one convey the message to you?’ and they will say, ‘No.’ It will be said to him: ‘Did you convey the message to your people?’ and he will say: ‘Yes.’
It will be said to him: ‘Who will bear witness for you?’
He will say: ‘Muhammad and his followers.’ So Muhammad and his followers will be called.
It will be said to them: ‘Did this one convey the message to his people?’
They will say: ‘Yes.’
It will be said: ‘How did you know that?’
They will say: ‘Our Prophet came to us and told us that the Messengers had conveyed the message.’ ”
Some will say, “How can you bear witness when you were not there?”
1. Enough is God as a Witness.
2. God did not make us witnesses to the creation of the heavens and the earth or to the creation of ourselves, and He would not have taken the misguiders as assistants. (See: Quran 18:51).
3. We investigated the Message that reached us and the Messenger who brought it, while those that rejected it ran after conjecture, guessing at the unknown, playing with doubt and amusing themselves.
Those who rejected it are quite comfortable bearing witness to the creation of the heavens and the earth, and ourselves, when we were not there as witnesses over our creation. We should be open to investigating the Message and the Messenger, upon him peace and blessings, and believing him and accepting the Message he brought is from God.
In order for us to be witnesses, as Muslims, we must realize the Prophet and God will be witnesses over us. This means, we cannot use our faith as a weapon for power or other forms of egoism.
We ask God for refuge and guidance. Reflect on this for a few days.
It is recommended to read Chapter 18 of the Holy Quran every Friday.
Below are verses 47 to 51 for reflection regarding this theme:
And [warn of] the Day when We will remove the mountains and you will see the earth prominent, and We will gather them and not leave behind from them anyone.
And they will be presented before your Lord in rows, [and He will say], “You have certainly come to Us just as We created you the first time. But you claimed that We would never make for you an appointment.”
And the record [of deeds] will be placed [open], and you will see the criminals fearful of that within it, and they will say, “Oh, woe to us! What is this book that leaves nothing small or great except that it has enumerated it?” And they will find what they did present [before them]. And your Lord does injustice to no one.
And [mention] when We said to the angels, “Prostrate to Adam,” and they prostrated, except for Iblees. He was of the jinn and departed from the command of his Lord. Then will you take him and his descendants as allies other than Me while they are enemies to you? Wretched it is for the wrongdoers as an exchange.
I did not make them witness to the creation of the heavens and the earth or to the creation of themselves, and I would not have taken the misguiders as assistants.(Quran 18:47-51)
- The Gathering (similar to the Day of Festival in story of Moses)
- Appointed Day
- The record, or book of deeds
- The Angels, or the recorders
- Human Conjecture without any witnesses
I will reflect on these verses in the coming week. I invite you to read the Chapter and reflect on it as well. Find a scholarly commentary and read on what scholars said of these verses.
We can see very clearly; God’s justice is open and transparent. Beautiful verses if one reflects on them. May God grant us His grace to be true and sincere to Him.
Our Heart is a Witness
“And that which is (locked up) in (human) breasts is made manifest- That their Lord had been Well-acquainted with them, (even to) that Day? ” (100:10-11)
You cannot see your reflection in dirty water. Similarly, you cannot see the truth if your heart is full of diseases. When the hearts are purified, clarity comes.
What does this mean?
It means, use our mind and don’t let our mind use us. We know this realization is true. Scientifically, it is true. Prejudice, pride, love, hatred, and bias obscure the truth. And you and I know we are human. Hence, when we come to this realization, it should push us to turn to God and to earnestly seek our hearts to be purified, so we can see the truth as truth.
Otherwise, our hearts will remain full of impurities, and we will lose awareness of the message embedded within our souls.
The Messenger of Allah, upon him peace and blessings, said:
“O Allah grant my soul its piety And purify it, for you are the best who can purify it. You are its protector and guardian.”
“O Allah, make faith beloved to us and beautify it in our hearts, and make unbelief, wickedness, and disobedience hateful to us, and make us among the rightly-guided. O Allah, let us pass away as Muslims, live as Muslims, and let us be joined with the righteous.”
This is the same message of all the Prophets of God. Use our reason and intelligence, and seek a pure heart.
Prophet Ibrahim, upon him peace, said:
“And let me not be in disgrace on the Day when (men) will be raised up;- The Day whereon neither wealth nor sons will avail, But only he (will prosper) that brings to Allah a sound (pure) heart”(Quran 26:87-89)
May Allah grant us pure hearts and sound minds, that are beautified and increased in faith, as we age. May we be granted the grace to ever turn to Him with all our needs.
I found this insight in Dr. Rateb Al Nabulsi’s analysis of the Divine Name:
If your eyes saw of Our Beauty that which they saw,
You would not turn away from Us to other ones.
And if your ears heard the Beauty of Our Speech,
You would take off the cloak of pride and come to Us.
And if you tasted of (Our) Love even a little,
You would excuse those who died of Our Love.
And if only a breeze from near Us blew to you,
You would die of alienation and eagerness to Our Nearness
Nice to reflect on as we reflect on the previous post and the attached Instagram post.
Turn to God.
And when he goes away, he strives throughout the land to cause corruption therein and destroy crops and animals. And Allah does not like corruption. And when it is said to him, ‘Fear Allah,’ pride in the sin takes hold of him. Sufficient for him is Hellfire, and how wretched is the resting place. And of the people is he who sells himself, seeking means to the approval of Allah. And Allah is kind to [His] servants.
O you who have believed, enter into Islam completely [and perfectly] and do not follow the footsteps of Satan. Indeed, he is to you a clear enemy. But if you deviate after clear proofs have come to you, then know that Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise. Do they await but that Allah should come to them in covers of clouds and the angels [as well] and the matter is [then] decided? And to Allah [all] matters are returned.”(Quran 2:204-210)
Let me explain that when one takes God as a witness, one can NOT claim God is on our side. Instead, we comfort our soul that God is Witness when falsely accused, and on the Day of Judgment, God will judge based on the truth.
As I mentioned, Islam calls for accountability and responsibility. A person must always have witnesses in case a need or a false accusation is made. Law-abiding documents must have witnesses. A marriage must have witnesses. We need it in many areas of our life: witnesses. A court of law cannot be obligated to judge the unseen or claims based on town gossip.
God commanded that we take truthful witnesses and protect our rights. Hence, we cannot act irresponsibly, go to court and say God is my Witness. Likewise, we cannot transgress, go to court and say God is my Witness. Both actions are in violation of God’s commands. If anyone act in such a manner, then God is a witness that this person violated His commands.
And if you are on a journey and cannot find a scribe, then a security deposit [should be] taken. And if one of you entrusts another, then let him who is entrusted discharge his trust [faithfully] and let him fear Allah, his Lord. And do not conceal testimony, for whoever conceals it – his heart is indeed sinful, and Allah is Knowing of what you do.(Quran 2:283)
It is similar to testing God versus God testing you. When one takes God as a witness to an event, we are NOT speaking for God, but speaking to God, making supplication that He bears Witness to an event that needs a witness in normative life experiences and due to circumstances beyond one’s control, there are no witnesses, or the witnesses are giving false testimony. An example is the story of Joseph, upon him peace.
Hence, they do not run around town trying to prove their case or engage in countering, colluding with others to harass and overpower another. In such a case – where a false accusation is thrown, one can comfort their soul that God is a witness. Our soul is at peace, even if one is hurt by the false allegation.
A court of law is obligated to judge based on truthful witnesses. They cannot listen to testimony from the world of the unseen. For example, when people accuse me, I say, bring it to court. Usually, such individuals will go from place to place, smearing your name and engaging in sinful cunning games, but refuse to come before a court of law. Why? Their evidence is speculation and conjecture, which is not admissible in a court of law.
On the Day of Judgment, the world of the unseen will be brought forth as witnesses. And the witnesses themselves will be questioned. Below is a case in point:
And [beware the Day] when Allah will say, “O Jesus, Son of Mary, did you say to the people, ‘Take me and my mother as deities besides Allah?'” He will say, “Exalted are You! It was not for me to say that to which I have no right. If I had said it, You would have known it. You know what is within myself, and I do not know what is within Yourself. Indeed, it is You who is Knower of the unseen.
I said not to them except what You commanded me – to worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord. And I was a witness over them as long as I was among them; but when You took me up, You were the Observer over them, and You are, over all things, Witness.”(Quran 5:116-117)
When we are falsely accused, taking God as a Witness is speaking to God. As Jesus, upon him said: “If I had said it, You would have known it.” In other words, we ask God to judge based on what He witnessed, and we are open to His judgment of the matter without any opposition.
Let God speak for God
He [Noah] said, ‘My Lord, I take refuge with Thee, lest I should ask of Thee that whereof I have no knowledge; for if Thou forgivest me not, and hast not mercy on me, I shall be among the losers.’(Quran 11:47)
We do not like people to speak for us, about us, or what is within ourselves without knowledge, our permission, or consent. Likewise, we cannot speak for God or what is within Himself. We can convey His Message, Commands, and Words in the Quran as Jesus, upon him peace, said: “It was not for me to say that to which I have no right.”
God can speak for us, about us, and what is within us as He created us and knows us more than we know ourselves. Despite this tremendous knowledge of us, to the depth of our inner world and more hidden and secret to us, He Most High and Exalted uses witnesses to respond to those who deny and oppose His Judgment. God does not use human conjecture, corrupters, or mind games. He is God. Al Khabir could say, you are lying on the Day of Judgment. However, He brings evidence and witnesses to make it clear as day to all, that the individual opposing Him, is lying.
The lesson is: if God says, I witnessed from you x, y, and z, beg for Forgiveness and Mercy. Do not argue or oppose Him. If we do not oppose and deny what He Witnesses when He calls us to account, the witnesses will not be needed. Corrupters will argue, as they have a contentious, oppositional, and defiant spirit.
What if people reject the witnesses?
I reflected on how depending on one’s faith, a person opens themselves to God’s Judgment seeking His Forgiveness and Mercy. A person of faith finds God is sufficient as a witness. For a corrupter, God, the Angels, and the Prophets are not enough witnesses. They will argue and debate.
God will bring those impacted by their oppression and transgressions as witnesses for questioning. Again, God brings people who are trustworthy as witnesses, not dishonest and corrupt. The Angels will bear witness. However, Satan will not. It will be clear that the witnesses brought forth to testify, are innocent and credible.
As the Prophets are questioned, the victims are questioned.
When the souls are sorted out, (being joined, like with like);(Quran 81:7-9)
When the female (infant), buried alive, is questioned –
For what crime she was killed;
To appreciate this passage, I want to share a story. Growing up in the states, we heard much about women’s rights compared to the Muslim communities globally. We believed or expected that going to court would be very easy to get our rights heard and addressed.
In brevity, it was just as difficult as women are facing in Iran. This is not to say that Muslim communities are beacons of women’s rights. They struggle in different ways and, at times to skirt our responsibilities or deflect the multiple ways we oppress – we focus on how women are oppressed over there. Muslim communities will focus on women’s rights in non-Muslim communities and vice versa. You probably saw how Israel, who fought ferociously to avoid any investigation into the targeted assassination of Shireen Abu Akhleh, Rouzan al-Najjar, and imprisonment of Ahed Tamimi, could not help but defend women in Iran in the recent protests.
In this manner, we keep focusing on how others over there are oppressing and nurturing blindness to our areas of needed growth. We were summoned to court in Chicago to respond to the usual false accusations by my sister’s ex-husband. As we prepared to leave for Chicago from Minnesota, her young daughter swallowed something harmful, forcing us to rush to the emergency room. We left the hospital very late and needed to inform the court that we could not make the court date. As we were calling to reschedule, given the crisis, we learned the Sheriff had a warrant for my sister for attempted murder. My sister’s ex-husband even had witnesses to give testimony that they saw my sister approach in a car and shoot many times at her ex-husband, then flee. Not one witness, but many.
So, we asked the Sheriff and the police department if the hospital staff would be sufficient witnesses that we never set foot in Illinois, much less Chicago, on that date or time? After investigating with the hospital, they verified my sister was in Minnesota.
Likewise, transgressors will bring witnesses to give false testimony on the Day of Judgment. I have never argued with a transgressor that did not get or manufacture witnesses. People will blame each other. They will even throw blame at the prophets. Each will absolve themselves from the other.
And they will turn to one another, and question one another. They will say: “It was ye who used to come to us from the right hand (of power and authority)!” They will reply: “Nay, ye yourselves had no Faith! “Nor had we any authority over you. Nay, it was ye who were a people in obstinate rebellion! “So now has been proved true, against us, the word of our Lord that we shall indeed (have to) taste (the punishment of our sins). “We led you astray: for truly we were ourselves astray.”(Quran 37:27-32)
And they all shall appear before Allah (on the Day of Resurrection); then the weak will say to those who were arrogant, “Verily, we were following you; can you avail us anything against God’s Torment?” They will say: “Had God guided us, we would have guided you. It makes no difference to us (now) whether we rage, or bear (these torments) with patience; there is no place of refuge for us.”(Quran 14:21)
The Satan will say when the matter will have been decided, “Allah promised you a truthful promise while I gave you a promise and did not fulfill it. I had no authority over you, except that I invited you and you accepted my call. So, do not blame me, but blame yourselves. Neither I can come to your help, nor can you come to my help. I disown your associating me with Allah in the past. Surely, there is a painful punishment for the unjust.”(Quran 14:22)
They admit they called people to disobedience, but they blame those who followed them. This is why I began a theme on can men and women play games. A pious person, does not call to disobedience, at all. In the case of the Prophets, they called people to obedience of God, not disobedience. The Prophets were practicing what they were preaching, and their people did not follow them. If you reflect on the argument of transgressors, like Satan, they even blame God, “had God guided us.“
Blame, harass, or hold onto the strong rope?
- After calling others to disobedience, do you argue like Satan, do not blame me, blame yourselves?
- When someone calls you to disobedience, do you argue: I cannot follow you, because on the Day of Resurrection, I cannot protect you and you cannot protect me? In addition, I cannot blame you and you cannot blame me?
- When God shows you, you are wrong, do you say to yourself, I cannot blame anyone for the choices I made or who I followed. I can turn to God and seek His Mercy and Forgiveness. God is Oft-Forgiving.
- In our troubled times, do you turn to God, read Al Fatiha from your heart, seeking guidance, wisdom, knowledge, and aid to stay firm on the straight path?
- When called to guidance, do you argue, if God wants to guide us, He will guide us?
- Do you say to yourself in the Presence of God: “Our Lord! we have heard the call of one calling (Us) to Faith, ‘Believe ye in the Lord,’ and we have believed. Our Lord! Forgive us our sins, blot out from us our iniquities, and take to Thyself our souls in the company of the righteous.” (Quran 3:193)
- Do you argue with others: “Say: O ye that reject Faith! I worship not that which ye worship, Nor will ye worship that which I worship. And I will not worship that which ye have been wont to worship, Nor will ye worship that which I worship. To you be your Way, and to me mine.” (Quran 109:1-6)
After ten years of fighting this case, it was evident that the justice system is in favor of those who have strong attorneys, large network, and money to keep the fight going. This is no different than other societies or faith communities. It is the human condition. Money talks. Keep in mind, this is someone who crossed Canada into the US, and the law enforcement, found arms in his car. He was able to vacate this charge in the backdrop of Islamophobia. It does not take much to reflect on what connections he had. We did not have money to spare to fight further. The court system realized he was making stuff up, however, the judge told us, the prisons are full. This part of our lives opened our eyes to the justice system, and to justice in general, here and elsewhere, including the UN. We saw how the Iraq war unfolded, given the testimonies of petty criminals.
The Quran describes the reality of injustice best, in the most truthful description:
“…Weak will say to those who were arrogant…”
We prayed to God to protect us from his harm, and later learned that he was arrested for attempting to buy a gun illegally, to harm someone. He was convicted and went to jail for some years, giving us a break from his harm. As one recalls this and reads the Quran, it is striking how this passage reads when the transgressors are brought for questioning:
His Companion will say: “Our Lord! I did not make him transgress, but he was (himself) far astray.” He will say: “Dispute not with each other in My Presence: I had already in advance sent you Warning. “The Word changes not before Me, and I do not the least injustice to My Servants. “One Day We will ask Hell, “Art thou filled to the full?” It will say, “Are there any more (to come)?”(Quran 50:26-30)
In the passage above, his companion admits that he had knowledge that he was far astray, however, instead of setting a boundary, he chose to enable his transgressions. The few verses before shares how God uses Angels, sinless, who prostrated to Adam out of respect, to record our deeds, while the arrogant use people who are far astray. This is what I meant, if you see someone, who is far astray, do not play games. Our faith does not allow us to use people who are far astray to commit injustice, transgressions, or rationalize oppression.
Shame, Humiliate, or Mercy?
If you do a search on the root letters of witness in the Quran, you will find 123 verses or ayahs. Before I continue, I want to remind that God is Oft-Forgiving and Most Merciful. This grilling process on the Day of Resurrection is only for people who deny before God, their record of deeds, and the accounting. How people live on earth is how they will be resurrected.
Let me give an example, 14 years ago, I was driving and saw a school bus stop, raise the stop sign arm. It was a four lane, two in each direction with an island in between. I assumed since I was on the far right, and the bus was on the far left, I could pass. There was a police car and I passed. The police car stopped me. I was penalized and given a ticket. I assumed I knew the rules regarding school bus, but it appeared I did not in such cases. Is this shame, humiliation, or mercy that I was immediately warned? I saw it as a mercy. For myself as I would hate to accidentally cause the death of a child and for any school child.
Similarly, God sends us warnings to wake us up regarding our actions that could potentially lead to harm to ourselves or others. At times, we are confused and assume we are doing things right. A warning makes us cautious, and to take extra measures to protect ourselves and others.
On the Day of Resurrection – the grilling process that I mentioned above only unfolds when people deny, give false testimony, blame others, distort and malign, and ferociously argue. How one lives on earth is a telling sign of how one will be resurrected. If you accept God’s warnings, and ever turn and return to Him, that will be your state on the Day of Judgment.
If we tried our best, but had shortcomings and faults that we did not address, God will call us to account for these issues between Him and Us privately. If we do not deny, but accept His accounting, it will go very smoothly and we will be forgiven. You can listen to the whole video or a few minutes at 31:50. It is your Arabic lesson, so you can use this as a reason to have coffee and baklava with an Arab. If you are watching the World Cup in Qatar, this can be an extra incentive to learn the Arabic language.
However, not everyone surrenders and confesses to the wrong they engaged in. Some lived on earth, engaging in sinful cunning games to overpower the truth, distort, or kill the messenger.
They said, “Take a mutual oath by Allah that we will kill him by night, he and his family. Then we will say to his executor, ‘We did not witness the destruction of his family, and indeed, we are truthful.’ ”(Quran 27:49)
They die in that state, never facing accountability or justice. As they lived and exited their life, they will be resurrected.
Produce your proof
And We will extract from every nation a witness and say, “Produce your proof,” and they will know that the truth belongs to Allah, and lost from them is that which they used to invent.”(Quran 28:75)
I found the whole process of the Day of Judgment amazing at the finest degree of utmost justice that God engages with His creation when calling them to account.
This passage baffled me that God asks them to present their arguments and evidence, even though He knows every minute detail, including what is most hidden. This instagram post contains a lesson by Shaykh Ash-Sharaawy, which explains the accounting process.
I found it interesting that while people blame God and project their issues onto Him, on the Day of Resurrection, they do not blame God but each other. They turn against each other and disassociate from each other. In the passage above, even Satan confesses, “Allah promised you a truthful promise while I gave you a promise and did not fulfill it.“
Just because people turn against each other and do not have an argument, does not mean they will stop arguing. They denied God, the Angels, the Messengers, and truthful and innocent people as witnesses. They will disassociate from each other and yet continue to argue.
- That Day, We will seal over their mouths, and their hands will speak to Us, and their feet will testify about what they used to earn. (Quran 36:65)
- And they will say to their skins, “Why have you testified against us?” They will say, “We were made to speak by Allah, who has made everything speak; and He created you the first time, and to Him you are returned. And you were not covering yourselves, lest your hearing testify against you or your sight or your skins, but you assumed that Allah does not know much of what you do. And that was your assumption which you assumed about your Lord. It has brought you to ruin, and you have become among the losers.”
As of 2022, it is still true, that what we are ignorant of regarding outer space is much greater than what we know. In addition, it is still true that with regards to history, that which we are ignorant of is much greater than that which we know. This should not discourage us from learning and researching. It should humble us from making claims denying God, the next world, origin of creation, and the origin of the world based on conjecture.
“O ye assembly of Jinns and men! If it be ye can pass beyond the zones of the heavens and the earth, pass ye! not without authority shall ye be able to pass! Then which of the favours of your Lord will ye deny?”(Quran 55:33-34)
Knowing this, instead of conclusion shopping, as we study outer space and history, we can explore the message brought forth by the Messengers and give it serious study for our own souls, knowing we are going to exit this world.
This study should not harass, bully, or compel others to submit to our beliefs: physically through violence or mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Likewise, we must protect ourselves from harassment, bullying, and brainwashing, making it difficult to accept our faith. We have a right to practice Islamic teachings. This means that we do not distort the message and commands of God in exchange for acceptance and belonging or turn it into a weapon for power and control.
“If they turn away, say: ‘Bear witness that we are Muslims.’” (Quran 3:64)
This is the definition of spiritual, mental, and emotional boundaries.
When people work on being convinced by their faith and the message one claim is from the Divine, they do not feel the desire to harm others or mock them. There are many common understandings where we can coexist and work together with human dignity and respect.
And if they deny you, [O Muhammad], then say, “For me are my deeds, and for you are your deeds. You are disassociated from what I do, and I am disassociated from what you do.”(Quran 10:41)
Reflect on this passage
–this is an excerpt from the forthcoming book, Love Is Deeper Than Words
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