Men of knowledge have been resorting to thought with the remembrance of God (dhikr), and to remembrance of God with thought, imploring the hearts to speak, until the hearts responded with wisdom.Hasan Al-Basri
This post will be updated with the theme throughout this month.
I will update the blog with the Facebook posts on this post later this week.
I am sharing the wisdom and my reflections on the book Contemplation, by Malik Badri. I have an old edition, published in 2000. I checked and there is a new edition that is longer and published in 2018. I intend to purchase it and would encourage you as well.
I discussed on Facebook the behaviorist theory versus cognitive psychology. When we understand behaviorism, conditioning, stimulus and response, of which brainwashing is a branch, we can appreciate Ramadan as a gift from God. Often, people emphasize that Ramadan, the month of fasting is about feeling for the poor, however, the poor are also required to fast. The Quran mentions clearly that Ramadan is about, learning restraint.
O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint. (Quran 2:183)
To protect us from being manipulated, conditioned, brainwashed, turning away from God, in a stimulus and response manner. It is a protective gift from Our Lord, Our Creator, the Wali or the Protecting Friend. The only self-work we are asked to do, is discipline and restrain the self. Remembrance of God will repel Satan, however, the self requires training in restraint and discipline so it does not respond to whatever stimulus, in a mindless and brainless manner.
Remembrance of God is the backbone for positive change. I have not read the book Al-Hikmah fi Makhluqat Alah (The Wisdom Behind God’s Creation) by al-Ghazali, however, Badri references the book and quotes al-Ghazali on remembrance of God and contemplation is key to every good deed: “The way to a cognizance of God is to glorify Him in His creation, to contemplate His wonderful works, to understand the wisdom in His various inventions…It is a means to strengthen certainty and happiness…The Almighty created the minds and perfected them with revelation, ordering men with such minds to think of His creatures, to contemplate and learn a lesson from what wonders He has entrusted in His creation.”
Contemplation activates all the cognitive activities employed by a human being, so that the response is based on knowledge, cognition, faith, restraint, and not a stimulus.
I did a theme on Nature in the past that explored these stages, although, I mentioned it as layer upon layer, possibly a veil on our hearts, that is removed or polished through sincere contemplation.
- Perception: see, hear, feel, smell, taste, even indirectly such as imagination
- Wonder: beauty, excellence, precision, harmony, vastness, flawlessness, miraculous appearance
- Subhan Allah: connection, realization, amazement, appreciation
- Shuhud or Witnessing: spiritual cognition. “Our Lord, You did not create this in vain; praise be to You; then protect us from the punishment of the Fire.” (Quran 3:191)
The first two stages are recognized by believers and unbelievers alike. It is primitive contemplation or usage of our senses and faculties, that does not go beyond the stimulus and response stage. The next two stages are where believers are invited to, connecting our contemplation with cognition into an act of worship.
If you read the Quran, you will notice God engaging us in the process, or the stages, connecting our perception, emotion, cognition, to our spiritual heart, etc., as well:
"[And] who created seven heavens in layers. You do not see in the creation of the Most Merciful any inconsistency. So return [your] vision [to the sky]; do you see any breaks? Then return [your] vision twice again. [Your] vision will return to you humbled while it is dazzled. And We have certainly beautified the nearest heaven with stars..." (Quran 67:3-4)
This is just the nearest observable heaven.
Emotional, rational, or holistic?
I am reading chapter three from the book, Contemplation by Malik Badri.
I would like to weave it with this video on sound.
In the video, Dr. Mostafa discusses the scientific analysis of sounds based on science. He rasises points in the video from the Quran, to help us understand the verses on sounds regarding the Day of Judgment or those whose wrath fell upon them.
In particular, focus on what Dr. Mostafa mentions regarding the Jinn or Satan communication which we may not hear but does penetrate our thoughts and impact us.
As you reflect on this video, I leave you with two points:
1. The gift of Remembrance of God to His creation and the benefit it provides us in our stay on earth.
2. [Allah] said, “O Yahya [John the Baptist], take the Scripture with determination.” And We gave him judgment [while yet] a boy (Quran 19:12)
In chapter three, Badri references a few scholars, Muslim and non-Muslim alike who promote the healing affects of meditation. He cites Herbert Benson, who also recommends switching affirmations with words of one’s faith. For Muslims, Benson recommends:
- The word for God, Allah.
- Prophet’s words: “The Lord is wondrous kind…”
- Bilal’s words when he was tortured: Ahadun, ahadun…[One God, one God]
However, while Benson recognizes the healing impact of meditation and the use of such words to help Muslims, he along with others view healing as purely an emotional experience. In fact, Westerns who want to have a mystical experience are advised to avoid reasoned based forms of worship. Benson comments on Karen Armstrong’s book, A History of God, that the mystical experience is not rational but emotional and intuitive. Armstrong calls it the “silent contemplation.” Armstrong writes:
The mystical experience…is a subjective experience that involves an interior journey, not a perception of an objective fact outside the self; it is undertaken through the image making part of the mind-often called imagination – rather than through the more cerebral, logical faculty. Finally, it is something that the mystic creates in himself or herself deliberately.
To help us understand the difference between non-Islamic meditation and the importance of Islamic meditation, let us reflect on remembrance of God, or dhikr.
In “10 strategies of manipulation” by the media, Noam Chomsky said:
6. Use the emotional side more than the reflection
Making use of the emotional aspect is a classic technique for causing a short circuit on rational analysis , and finally to the critical sense of the individual. Furthermore, the use of emotional register to open the door to the unconscious for implantation or grafting ideas, desires, fears and anxieties , compulsions, or induce behaviors …
When we turn contemplation or meditation to strictly an emotional or mystical feeling, purely imagination, to reach inner peace and calm – we are nurturing ourselves and others to be targets for implantation or grafting ideas, desires, fears and anxieties, compulsions, or induce behaviors…
If we weave the video on sounds, there are voices or sounds we do not hear, yet according to Islamic teachings, we are told exist and aim to implant ideas against our teachings in our minds. Hence, remembrance of God is holistic, as it is not purely emotional, mystical, or imagination, but rational, intellectual, and encompassing cognition and reason, where the words do not just heal, calm, but protect us from such implantation from sounds and voices that we do not hear. It also helps us to be aware when such ideas are promoted to manipulate us.
Badri cites a few scholars on remembrance of God, and the verse:
Exalted is He and high above what they say by great sublimity. The seven heavens and the earth and whatever is in them exalt Him. And there is not a thing except that it exalts [Allah] by His praise, but you do not understand their [way of] exalting. Indeed, He is ever Forbearing and Forgiving. And when you recite the Qur'an, We put between you and those who do not believe in the Hereafter a concealed partition. (Quran 17:43-45)
Qur’an and the Contemplation of God’s Creation
The fourth chapter of the book, Contemplation by Malik Badri, is The Qur’an and the Contemplation of God’s Creation. The author discusses the various methods the Qur’an uses to nurture the human mind to contemplate and see signs of God in His Universe.
Attributes of God
The Qur’an has many verses that call the reader to reflect, bringing to the heart the Oneness of God, the Greatness of God, the Creator, the Originator of the Heavens and earth, the Strong, the Mighty, the Evolver and Bestower of forms, etc.,
That is Allah, your Lord; there is no deity except Him, the Creator of all things, so worship Him. And He is Disposer of all things. Vision perceives Him not, but He perceives [all] vision; and He is the Subtle, the Acquainted. There has come to you enlightenment from your Lord. So whoever will see does so for [the benefit of] his soul, and whoever is blind [does harm] against it. And [say], "I am not a guardian over you." (Quran 6:102-104)
Favors of God
Cattle, bees, and various creatures that we derive benefit. Also the various produces such as corn, olives, figs, date palms, grapes, and ever kind of fruit and herb. The heavenly orbits which are in subjection by His command. Image if the sun decide to rise from the West one day.
It is He who sends down rain from the sky; from it is drink and from it is foliage in which you pasture [animals]. He causes to grow for you thereby the crops, olives, palm trees, grapevines, and from all the fruits. Indeed in that is a sign for a people who give thought. And He has subjected for you the night and day and the sun and moon, and the stars are subjected by His command. Indeed in that are signs for a people who reason. And [He has subjected] whatever He multiplied for you on the earth of varying colors. Indeed in that is a sign for a people who remember. And it is He who subjected the sea for you to eat from it tender meat and to extract from it ornaments which you wear. And you see the ships plowing through it, and [He subjected it] that you may seek of His bounty; and perhaps you will be grateful. And landmarks. And by the stars they are [also] guided. Then is He who creates like one who does not create? So will you not be reminded? And if you should count the favors of Allah, you could not enumerate them. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. And Allah knows what you conceal and what you declare. And those they invoke other than Allah create nothing, and they [themselves] are created. (Quran 16:10-20)
There are quite a few verses that are mentioned for contemplation. I will add those later. Reflect on those for now.
Reprimands for unrelenting hearts
Tyrants when they rule a land, if they cannot subjugate people to their will, will use the most vicious and malicious means of control and torture. We read of such stories in the past such as the Pharaoh, Nimrod, etc., These are not just stories in books or scripture, we see them in current day – when wars – destroyed millions and people openly brag about flattening Gaza, the second Nakba is coming, etc.,
Part of speaking truth to power is reminding the tyrant that there is someone who can hold them to account, someone who has more power than they do. Tyrants act in the belief that no one will call them to account, and that belief needs to be punctured and deflated. The prophets reminded those in power of God’s presence and power. This reminder was to wake them up so they might see their vulnerability and the vulnerability of others, not to oppress them. Tyrants have a hatred of weakness, be it in themselves or others.
Prophet Abraham, upon him peace, reminded Nimrod of this by telling him that he could not make the sun rise:
Abraham said: ‘Lo! God causes the sun to rise in the east, so you cause it to come up from the west.’ Thus was the disbeliever absolutely defeated. And God guides not wrongdoing folk. (Quran 2:258)
These questions and reprimands engage the reader through soul-provoking questions, instigating contemplation on the evidence that is in plain sight for all to witness:
Examples of such verses are:
Then, do they not look at what is before them and what is behind them of the heaven and earth? If We should will, We could cause the earth to swallow them or [could] let fall upon them fragments from the sky. Indeed in that is a sign for every servant turning back [to Allah]. (Quran 34:9)
Then do they not look at the camels - how they are created? And at the sky - how it is raised? And at the mountains - how they are erected? And at the earth - how it is spread out? So remind, [O Muhammad]; you are only a reminder. You are not over them a controller. However, he who turns away and disbelieves - Then Allah will punish him with the greatest punishment. Indeed, to Us is their return. Then indeed, upon Us is their account. (Quran 88:17-26)
[Pharaoh] said, "So who is the Lord of you two, O Moses?" He said, "Our Lord is He who gave each thing its form and then guided [it]." [Pharaoh] said, "Then what is the case of the former generations?" [Moses] said, "The knowledge thereof is with my Lord in a record. My Lord neither errs nor forgets." [It is He] who has made for you the earth as a bed [spread out] and inserted therein for you roadways and sent down from the sky, rain and produced thereby categories of various plants. Eat [therefrom] and pasture your livestock. Indeed, in that are signs for those of intelligence. From the earth We created you, and into it We will return you, and from it We will extract you another time. And We certainly showed Pharaoh Our signs - all of them - but he denied and refused. He said, "Have you come to us to drive us out of our land with your magic, O Moses? (Quran 20:49-57)
How do the pious see these same realities?
At times, we think we can argue or engage His creation better than Him. Instead of using His arguments that He teaches us in the Quran, we come up with egotistical arguments, that cause more problems than solve.
The Quran is full of verses instigating the creation to reflect on the world they are in, and the beauties, benefits as well as in depth intelligence behind such realities and objects.
In this video, this seeker tries to have a conversation with God alone. I shared this in a post before on Facebook when I was doing a whole theme on Nature, and how one argues with His creation. Listen to how the individual engages God, and the signs God shows him in return.
If one is listening attentively to the Quran and takes to heart these conversations from God, than their response over time to the realities around us, is:
To Allah belongeth the dominion of the heavens and the earth; and Allah hath power over all things. Behold! in the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the alternation of night and day,- there are indeed Signs for men of understanding,- Men who celebrate the praises of Allah, standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides, and contemplate the (wonders of) creation in the heavens and the earth, (With the thought): "Our Lord! not for naught Hast Thou created (all) this! Glory to Thee! Give us salvation from the penalty of the Fire. (Quran 3:189-191)
Behold! in the creation of the heavens and the earth; in the alternation of the night and the day; in the sailing of the ships through the ocean for the profit of mankind; in the rain which Allah Sends down from the skies, and the life which He gives therewith to an earth that is dead; in the beasts of all kinds that He scatters through the earth; in the change of the winds, and the clouds which they Trail like their slaves between the sky and the earth;- (Here) indeed are Signs for a people that are wise. (Quran 2:164)
More Signs or Hearts that See?
When we do not accept the signs of God, that are as clear as day, we will readily accept conjecture, disinformation, misinformation, magic, as truth. Your conscience is a secret witness. It knows of the meeting with God in the pre-eternal realm and it recognizes the signs of God when presented by a Messenger, Prophet, or a pious person.
Those who reject the signs will argue in this world, it is the lack of evidence or no evidence why they do not believe in God. Yet, if one studies their lives, they readily accept everything that inclines or resonates with their ego based on conjecture, disinformation, misinformation, and magic. In the case of Pharaoh, he was willing to accept magic, however, he was not open to the signs by Moses, upon him peace.
During the first coming of Jesus, upon him peace, his people struggled to believe sign upon sign, miracle upon miracle, which they witnessed, despite the numerous sent. When God tested their hearts, they readily believed conjecture about Jesus, upon him peace, which they did not witness.
The children of Israel, saw sign upon sign, yet questioned Moses, upon him peace. However, they readily believed As Samiri in worshiping the golden calf.
Some will argue, we are not convinced these stories exist or are true. Well, look at present day. Two cases to reflect on. Case one: Richard Dawkins and ‘clock boy’. Case two: Christopher Hitchens did not believe in God, but he believed the Iraq War propaganda, and ferociously defended it. This is why, the Quran describes people who have lip-service faith as “avid listeners to falsehood…They distort words beyond their [proper] usages.”
If people say there is no evidence that God exists, look at how they live their lives, and listen to how much disinformation, conjecture, misinformation, and magic they readily believe about whatever they wish to believe is true. When we look at the whole picture: is their statement an accurate statement? Over the course of my life, I reflected much on such voices, but listened to them not just on matters of religion, but the discussions outside religion. I noticed this realization early on, and for this reason, I realized, we do not need more signs or signs, but rather hearts that can witness the signs all around us. Hence, I loved this supplication:
Oh Allah (God), show us truth as truth and enable us to observe it and show us falsehood as falsehood and enable us to avoid itProphet Muhammad, upon him peace and blessings
Here is your Arabic lesson of the day to reflect on:
- We do not use our minds to measure God, rather God sends us signs that our minds are capable of measuring.
- We know God with our conscience, the secret witness to the embedded knowledge in our heart.
God knows how we will respond if we received signs that are supernatural, or signs that overpower our minds such that we cannot encompass or comprehend them. We would say, we were bewitched to choose God.
Even if We opened out to them a gate from heaven, and they were to continue (all day) ascending therein, They would only say: "Our eyes have been intoxicated: Nay, we have been bewitched by sorcery." (Quran 15:14-15)
(Pharaoh) said: "If indeed thou hast come with a Sign, show it forth,- if thou tellest the truth." Then (Moses) threw his rod, and behold! it was a serpent, plain (for all to see)! And he drew out his hand, and behold! it was white to all beholders! Said the Chiefs of the people of Pharaoh: "This is indeed a sorcerer well-versed. (Quran 7-106-109)
When the Pharaoh was shown the sign of a rod turning into a snake, he responded, this is magic. This coming from someone using magic to prey on the ignorance of his people and overpower them. How many scientists and science did humans need to view this image? Hence, Richard Dawkins came to an ‘Aha’ moment. He just did not recognize it. He was furious at a child for saying, he built a clock when he only disassembled and reassembled the clock. That is Dawkin’s soul or the secret witness speaking, telling him, you only disassembled and reassembled things, or took an image, however, you are not the designer (Al Musawwir) or creator (Al Khaliq).
A diseased heart will not believe with more signs, it will keep arguing. So, we should learn to ask God, for hearts that see the signs around us, and within us, and use our minds to witness His Greatness, the Creator Supreme, of skill and knowledge (infinite) in those signs.
"Is not He Who created the heavens and the earth able to create the like thereof?" - Yea, indeed! for He is the Creator Supreme, of skill and knowledge (infinite)! (Quran 36:81)
The Human Being
I mentioned the complexity of the brain before. It looks like a small blob, about three pounds, and yet scientists admit how complex it is to study the human brain:
Many fields of science are complicated, and of course anything under active scientific investigation is not fully understood. But the brain seems different. Extra complex. Extra mysterious.Dr. Rachel Tompa
[the brain] is so complex, so constantly in motion, so mega-faceted and super-connected that all our attempts to describe its actions are, by nature, simplistic. Every remarkable discovery we make only further elucidates how astonishingly elaborate is the brain and its circuitry – that which affords us life and health, movement and memory, intuition and wisdom. That which appears to be crude clump of jelly assemblies and then retains notes on every movement, every breath, every incident that has ever occurred to you or ever will, as well as every thought or dream you have ever or ever will have.Dr. Herbert Benson, Timeless Healing
I encourage you to read a few articles from various scientists on the complexity and beauty of the brain. A gift from God. Dr. Badri gives more verses from the Quran which explores some of the miracles of our creation. He says, the divine call, which questions how people can be blind to the miraculous creation of their own selves.
On the earth are signs for those of assured Faith, As also in your own selves: Will ye not then see? (Quran 51: 20-21)
Two theories: Backwards or Hoax
Our faith, like every aspect of our lives is not a straight horizontal line or a straight upward line. The Quran is clear that there are days that will be for us and others where we will be in trial. We saw this in all the Prophets’ lives and stories. This is true in all aspects of our lives, hence why trade is allowed and usury or interest is not. This is by divine will to test everyone’s faith:
If a wound hath touched you, be sure a similar wound hath touched the others. Such days (of varying fortunes) We give to men and men by turns: that Allah may know those that believe, and that He may take to Himself from your ranks Martyr-witnesses (to Truth). And Allah loveth not those that do wrong. (Quran 3:140)
A world where the oppressors or those with power are always in power, and those who are weak are always weak and oppressed. This brought about two theories:
- The oppressed are backwards. Blame the oppressed.
- If the oppressed build or innovate anything, it is a hoax.
I reflected on these theories and here is how I understand them. I mentioned in the blog, that yes, I agree with evangelicals that God allowed the former President Trump in power, but He also allowed others, even Salman Rusdhie. This power or opportunity does not mean theists or Islam is backwards, rather, that – those who make such claims are insecure, lack conviction in their beliefs, such that were theists to build such great things or present their ideas, they would say, this is magic or as Dawkins said, this is a hoax.
Hence, God allows them to discover the truth through their own power and hands, and asks others to contribute to the conversation, and help them reflect on what they built. God gives turns to each people. Where some theists go wrong, is they have hidden envy or awe of those in power, instead of an awe of God in their hearts as they claim. Like Dawkins and Rushdie, they believe if they are not on top or winning, the superpowers of the day, they are failures. In fact, when winning, they make the same comments that Dawkins and Rushdie, which might also be a test for some theists to reflect on their inner reality.
For, Believers are those who, when Allah is mentioned, feel a tremor in their hearts, and when they hear His signs rehearsed, find their faith strengthened, and put (all) their trust in their Lord; (Quran 8:2)
I would hope you would get the book, Contemplation by Dr Malik Badri and watch the series on science and religion by Dr. Mostafa Mahmoud, both scientists in their own right, who also help us as they contemplate on the scientific discoveries by others with respect and humility in light of Islamic teachings.
"But Allah has created you and your handwork!" (Quran 37:96)
"...Nor shall they attain any of His knowledge except that which He wills...(Quran 2:255)
"It was We Who taught him the making of coats of mail for your benefit, to guard you from each other's violence: will ye then be grateful? (It was Our power that made) the violent (unruly) wind flow (tamely) for Solomon, to his order, to the land which We had blessed: for We do know all things." (Quran 21:80-81)
It is We Who have created you: why will ye not witness the Truth? Do ye then see?- The (human Seed) that ye throw out,-Is it ye who create it, or are We the Creators? (Quran 56:57-59)
At the end of chapter five, Badri mentions even during the time of Makkah, God drew the attention of the people of Makkah, Madinah, and the neighboring areas to the ships sailing smoothly across the oceans like moving mountains, it was a time when most of these ships were in the hands of people who had not yet embraced Islam. Nevertheless, it did not prevent the believers from contemplating a sign of God, the benefit and use of which He had chosen to put into the hands of unbelievers. This reminds me of the quote by Imam Shafi’i: And I never debated with anyone but that I did not mind whether Allah has put the truth on my tongue or his tongue. This can also include scientific discoveries. Faith does not fear contemplating on what God gives power to others to build. We don’t yell hoax, when others build it, or backwards when we build them. We can appreciate and contemplate on them in light of faith, witnessing God created us and all our handiwork. God calls us to see the signs all around us..
See ye the seed that ye sow in the ground? Is it ye that cause it to grow, or are We the Cause? Were it Our Will, We could crumble it to dry powder, and ye would be left in wonderment, (Saying), "We are indeed left with debts (for nothing): "Indeed are we shut out (of the fruits of our labour)" See ye the water which ye drink? Do ye bring it down (in rain) from the cloud or do We? Were it Our Will, We could make it salt (and unpalatable): then why do ye not give thanks? See ye the Fire which ye kindle? Is it ye who grow the tree which feeds the fire, or do We grow it? We have made it a memorial (of Our handiwork), and an article of comfort and convenience for the denizens of deserts. Then celebrate with praises the name of thy Lord, the Supreme! (Quran 56:63-74)
Contemplation of the Invisible and its Limits
There is limitation on contemplating on the Divine Being Himself, since none but God knows Himself. We do not speak for God, but convey what He shared about Himself. We do not interpret His inner reality, as only He knows this knowledge, even prophets do not know, as Jesus, upon him peace said: I do not know what is within Yourself. Ibn ‘Abbas said: “Some people tried to contemplate the Almighty, but the Prophet said to them: ‘Contemplate the creation of God and not God Himself, for you can never give Him His due.'” We cannot even guess the inner reality of others, as the brain remains a mystery to scientists. When we tried, we created more harm than good: We do not read minds, and we know that none of us can predict the future.
We can also reflect on His Divine Attributes and Names. The Attributes of God are the same nature as His Being. Ibn ‘Abbas said: “The Divine Being is shaded by His glorious Attributes and His Attributes are shaded by His deeds. So how do you feel about a Divine beauty shaded by Attributes of perfection, and adorned with epithets of grandeur and splendor.”
Five Stages: Pre-eternal, womb, birth, sleep, and death
While we are limited in reflecting on the Divine, we can reflect on death, the barzakh, and the pre-eternal realm. We go through stages and all these stages are stored in our memory. We may not be able to access our memories in the pre-eternal realm where we bore witness that God is our Lord, then we entered the world of the womb similar to the world after death, the barzakh (the stage between death and resurrection). This time period represents the period of darkness before our birth or in the case of the barzakh, our resurrection. Our sleep is a small reminder of our death. The Quran gives us sufficient information to help guide these reflections. Recent scientific discoveries by non-Muslims (so one can’t accuse Muslims of confirmation bias) confirm the truth of the Quran on these matters.
Individual levels of contemplation
Contemplation should NOT replace obligatory prayer or any of the commands of God. It should not replace the pillars such as fasting, zakat (purification of wealth), planning the pilgrimage, and what God requires of one. Rather, contemplation supplements one’s faith and increases it. It nurtures certainty and depth of faith. Contemplation is about worship, not egoism. It is not escapism. For example, taking care of your children or your parents are a form of jihad (struggling in the way of God) and supersedes contemplation. Jihad, or “striving against one’s inclinations,” also supersede contemplation. This inclination includes running away from the battlefield without just cause. This is important so one does not pervert contemplation into what I feel, want, or desire. The author mentions depth of faith, length of concentration, psychological state, environmental factors, the influence of culture, knowledge of the objects of contemplation, companionship, nature of the objects of contemplation, and familiarity.
The day We shall gather the righteous to (Allah) Most Gracious, like a band presented before a King for honours, And We shall drive the sinners to Hell, like thirsty cattle driven down to water,- (19:85-86)
Depths of faith
Depths of faith come about by acting on the guidelines of one’s faith. Sometimes people will assume someone who is an introvert has more depth of faith than someone who is an extrovert, or vice versa depending on how both personalities are perceived in society. I am an introvert and my daughter an extrovert. These are personality identifiers not faith identifiers. Depth of faith is identified by how much one turns to God seeking guidance, and follows the guidance sent to Prophet Muhammad, upon him peace and blessings.
Length of concentration
It is easy for an introvert to concentrate and listen to an eighteen hour lecture on scholarly commentary of the Quran. It is difficult for an extrovert to sit more than ten to thirty minutes. They need stimulation and to be engaged. However, this does not mean they cannot concentrate on movies such as the Stellar Tours, Zoo animals, or nature sites. There are many opportunities and various means based on each person’s personality to sit and watch the sunset or sunrise and praise God.
This one is quite complex, however, there are people who are persecuted and cave into themselves. Most do not recognize them, and some might further attack them or accuse them of lack of faith, hatred, or falsehoods. I will not go further in depth on this one, just to remind myself and others, a person’s internal reality is known by God. While we cannot diagnose others, we can protect ourselves from harm’s way based on what we directly see and hear, not speculation. Given their psychological state might not be healthy, reading daily morning and evening supplications might be beneficial. Given their state, they are heavily impacted by Jinns, and less by their ego. I will continue to say, my knowledge is limited in this area.
I will expand on some of these later…
Experimental Science and Religion: The Cosmic Laws
A couple of days ago, my daughter and I visited the science museum and watched a show in the Omni Theater. We chose the Stellar Tours, a planetarium show with real-time images from space. We got a rare glimpse at some of the farthest reaches of the universe. It was nice to review some basic facts to help us be grateful. One can also do a simple google search:
- Jupiter’s environment is probably not conducive to life as we know it. The temperatures, pressures, and materials that characterize this planet are most likely too extreme and volatile for organisms to adapt to.
- Mars lacks an Earth-like atmospheric pressure. It’s relatively cool with an average annual temperature of -60 degrees Celsius. Upon stepping on Mars’ surface, you could probably survive for around two minutes before your organs ruptured. Earth is almost twice the size of Mars. NASA reports: “Nearly 70 percent of Earth is covered with liquid water; Mars has none.”
- The surface of Pluto is extremely cold, so it seems unlikely that life could exist there. At such cold temperatures, water, which is vital for life as we know it, is essentially rock-like. Pluto’s interior is warmer, however, and some think there could even be an ocean deep inside.
- Life on Venus Is Impossible because of Lack of Water, Study Suggests. The amount of water in the atmosphere of Venus is so low that even the most drought-tolerant of Earth’s microbes wouldn’t be able to survive there, a new study has found.
- Saturn’s environment is not conducive to life as we know it. The temperatures, pressures, and materials that characterize this planet are most likely too extreme and volatile for organisms to adapt to.
- Just like Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune are enormous balls of gas. One would get crushed almost instantly if you attempted to stand on these planets in any condition, let alone without a space suit.
- It is unlikely that life as we know it could survive on Mercury due to solar radiation, and extreme temperatures.
To appreciate the many gifts in our planet earth, it helps to do a comparison between each of planets and our planet earth. Below are some examples. As you read the Quran, you will find references to these gifts such as: Say: “See ye?- If your stream be some morning lost (in the underground earth), who then can supply you with clear-flowing water?” (Quran 67:30)
This reminded me of the passage in the Holy Quran: Chapter 56, Al-Waqi’a or The Great Event. Something to reflect on.
I will expand on some of these later…
–this is an excerpt from the forthcoming book, Love Is Deeper Than Words
Note: I work very hard on my writing, listening to scholars, and reflecting on their teachings. Should anyone be inspired by the essays, please give attribution and cite them. It is unethical to claim others’ writings without attribution, especially when others’ ideas become your quotes globally amplified and you are handsomely paid and praised. I am not your free content provider.