Where Is God?

Where Is God?

By Aisha Stacey

where is God

Around the world and down through the ages people have struggled to come to terms with the question of where God is.

Where Is God?

Now and again human beings are prompted to ask themselves some of life’s truly profound questions. In the quiet darkness of the night, when far off stars twinkle in the vast, majestic sky, or in the cold, hard, light of day when life rushes past like a speeding train, people of all colors, races, and creeds wonder about the meaning of their existence. Why are we here? What does this all mean? Is this all there is?

On magnificent days filled with sunshine and iridescent blue skies, people turn their faces towards the sun and contemplate its beauty. In the deepest winter or the wildest storm, they ponder the strength inherent in the forces of nature. Somewhere in the deep recesses of the mind, the concept of God arises. The wonders of creation are a call to the heart and the soul. The gentle touch of a snowflake, the smell of freshly cut lawn, the soft patter of raindrops and fierce wind of a hurricane are all reminders that this world is full of wonder.

When pain and sadness threaten to engulf us, human beings are again prompted to contemplate the meaning of life. In the midst of suffering and grief, the concept of God arises. Even those who would consider themselves far from religion or spiritual belief find themselves looking skywards and pleading for help. When the heart constricts and fear swamps us, we turn helplessly towards some sort of higher power. The concept of a God then becomes real and meaningful.

In the midst of pleading and bargaining, the sheer vastness of the universe is laid bare. The reality of life is filled with awe and wonder. It is a rollercoaster ride. There are moments of great joy and periods of immense sadness. Life can be long and monotonous or it can be carefree. As God arises and His majesty is clear, more questions begin to take shape. One question that inevitably comes to mind is – where is God?

Around the world and down through the ages people have struggled to come to terms with the question of where God is. The human inclination is to search for God. The ancient Babylonians and Egyptians built lofty towers in their search for God. The Persians looked for Him in the fire. Still others, such as the indigenous people of North America and the Celtic people looked for God in the glorious signs of nature around them. Buddhists find God in themselves, and in the Hindu religion, God is believed to be in every place and in everything.

The quest for God can be confusing. When posing the question where is God, the resulting answers can also be confusing. God is everywhere. God is in your heart. God is where goodness and beauty exist. What happens, however, when your heart is empty and your surroundings are dismal, dirty, and ugly? Does God cease to exist? No! Of course not! Amidst this confusion, the Islamic concept of God is a beacon of light for those stumbling in the darkness.

What Muslims believe about God is clear-cut and simple. They do not believe that God is everywhere; they believe that God is above the heavens. The human need to turn our faces towards the sky in times of trouble and strife is an inherent answer to the question, where is God? God tells us in the Quran that He is the Most High (Al-Baqarah 2:255) and that He is above all His Creation.

“He it is Who created the heavens and the earth in six Days and then rose over the Throne (in a manner that suits His Majesty). He knows what goes into the earth and what comes forth from it, what descends from the heaven and what ascends thereto. And He is with you (by His Knowledge) whosesoever you may be. And God is the All-Seer of what you do.” (Al-Hadid 57:4)

Prophet Muhammad was known to point towards the sky when referring to God. When making supplication to God he raised his hands towards the heavens. During his Farewell sermon, Prophet Muhammad asked the people, “Have I not conveyed the message?” and they said, “Yes!” He asked again, “Have I not conveyed the message?” and they said, “Yes!” He asked a third time, “Have I not conveyed the message?” and they said “Yes!” Each time, he said, “O God, bear witness!” – at the same time pointing up to the sky and then at the people.[1]

God is above the heavens, above His creation. This, however, does not mean that He is contained by any sort of physical dimensions. God is close, very close, to those who believe in Him and He answers their every call. God knows all of our secrets, dreams, and wishes, nothing is hidden from Him. God is with His creation by His knowledge and power. God is the Creator and the Sustainer. Nothing comes into existence except by His will.

When Muslims marvel at the wonders of the universe they are secure in the knowledge that God, the Most High, is above the heavens, and comforted by the fact that He is with them in all their affairs. When a Muslim is struck by loss or grief, he does not question God’s wisdom, or ask the question, ‘where was God when I was sad or grieving or suffering?’ Humankind was created to worship God, (Al-Waqi`ah 56:51) and God said many times that trials and tribulations would be part of our life experience.

“And He it is Who has created the heavens and the earth in six Days …that He might try you, which of you is the best in deeds.” (Hud 11:7)

In their darkest night, or their darkest hour humankind instinctively looks towards the sky. When their hearts beat heavily and fear threatens to overwhelm them, people turn to God. They raise their hands and beg for mercy, forgiveness, or kindness, and God responds; For He is the Most Merciful, the Most Forgiving and the Most Kind. God is distinct and separate from His creation, and there is nothing like Him. He is All-Hearing and All-Seeing. (Ash-Shura 42:11) Hence when we ask the question where is God, the answer is undoubtedly, He is above the heavens and above all His creation. We also say that He is not in need of any of His creation and all of creation needs Him.

 

Footnotes:

[1] The text of the Farewell Sermon can be found in Saheeh Bukhari and Saheeh Muslim, and in the books of At Tirmidhi and Imam Ahmad.

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Taken with slight editorial modifications from www.islamreligion.com

Aisha Stacey is an Australian revert to Islam. She currently spends her time between Australia and Qatar. Aisha works as a writer at the Fanar Cultural Islamic Centre in Doha, Qatar while studying for an Arts/Psychology degree.

 

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God Exists. Full Stop!

God Exists. Full Stop!

By Truth Seeker Staff

God Exists. Full Stop was created by the London Dawah Movement (LDM) under the same title.

It answers the question the following question: Do we really need anything to prove the existence of God?

Before answering or watching the answer to this question, let us look into the meaning of God in Islam.

The first and most important teaching of Islam is the oneness or uniqueness of God (Allah). This teaching is the first part of the first pillar of Islam and the first article of faith that Muslims must believe. Islam teaches a oneness of Allah that goes beyond the English term “one.”

In the 112th chapter of the Qur’an, Surah Al-Ikhlas, Allah explains to humanity how to believe in Him. This Chapter is so important that some narrations of the Prophet Mohammed (Peace and blessings be upon him) say, if the Qur’an were to be divided into three sections, the meaning of Surah Al-Ikhlas would represent 1/3 of the overall content of the Qur’an. Surah Al-Ikhlas reads as follows (in meaning),

“Say, Allah is ahad (unique/one). Allah is He on Whom all depend. He begets not, nor is He begotten. And none is like unto Him.” (Al-Ikhlas, 1-4)

Some non-Muslims allege that God in Islam is a stern and cruel one who demands to be obeyed fully and is not loving and kind. Nothing could be farther from the truth than this allegation. It is enough to know that, with the exception of one, each of the 114 chapters of the Qur’an begins with the verse ” In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate”. In one of the sayings of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), we are told that “Allah is more loving and kind than a mother to her dear child”.

On the other hand, Allah is also Just. Hence, evildoers and sinners must have their share of punishment, and the virtuous must have God’s bounties and favors. Actually, God’s attribute of Mercy has full manifestation in His attribute of Justice. People suffering throughout their lives for His sake should not receive similar treatment from their Lord as people who oppress and exploit others their whole lives. Expecting similar treatment for them would amount to negating the very belief in the accountability of man in the Hereafter and thereby negate all the incentives for a moral and virtuous life in this world.

You can also read on the concept of God in Islam under the sections: Does God Exist? and Oasis of Faith. Also, many materials on this topic can be found on The Comprehensive Muslim e-Library.

Now, coming to our previous question, Do we really need anything to prove the existence of God? The answer is that we do not as this is clearly evident from many various perspectives.

Join us to see and learn more about this vital question and its answer.

 

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This video was taken with due reference from the London Dawah Movement (LDM).

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Understanding the Nature of God: A King Like Other Kings?

Understanding the Nature of God: A King Like Other Kings?

By Shahul Hameed

Question:

When used about Allah, the word king means the Source of all Power, the Ultimate Authority, the Unquestionable Ruler, the Law-Giver, etc.

When used about Allah, the word king means the Source of all Power, the Ultimate Authority, the Unquestionable Ruler, the Law-Giver, etc.

Koran says: “there is nothing in existence like unto Him.” But (I’ll cite just one name here, Big Brother has 99 names), Allah’s name is “the King.” So… either He is like a king or not. If so, then Surat Al-Ikhlas is invalid, for He IS like something. If not, why call Him King in the first place?

Answer:

To understand this concept, we need to understand that Muslims believe that in the noble Qur’an it is Allah Almighty Who addresses humans. And Muslims also believe that Allah is the All-Powerful, All-Knowing, Sovereign God of everything in existence.

Allah is Transcendent (that is, existing beyond our mundane world of space and time), and it is He Who created humans having a body and soul, and placed them on earth as His vicegerents or ambassadors.

Humanity’s Progress… or Not

As humans have been appointed as Allah’s vicegerents on earth, He bestowed on them special powers and capabilities like reason, imagination, memory, inquisitiveness, etc.

It is these powers of humans that have enabled them to make huge progress in the fields of science, technology, and art.

Yet, humanity’s achievements as moral and spiritual beings are quite dismal. Muslims believe that this is because of their negligence of the divine guidance Allah Almighty has given them.

In the noble Qur’an, we find the Transcendent God of the universe addressing temporal humans through revelation. Revelation of the divine message takes place in human language, whether it is Hebrew, Aramaic, or Arabic.

Language: A Part of History and Culture

We know that a language used by a people is part and parcel of the history and culture of that people. And for this reason, the best medium of expression for a particular people is their own language. So we do not have verbal equivalents in one language for certain ideas easily expressed in another language.

For instance, the Eskimo language has a wide range of words to describe the subtle changes in snowfall.

The Arabic language may not have equivalents for all those words. But Arabic has words for different kinds of desert winds, which the Eskimos cannot imagine.

The foregoing means that people in one culture do not understand aspects of life in another culture. If so, how can we humans who are confined within the narrow bounds of this world clearly understand the nature of God whose existence transcends our world of space and time?

Conveying Ideas through Similes and Metaphors

The only possibility is to use similes and metaphors based on our life experiences to convey some ideas of the transcendent reality. That is what we see in the noble Qur’an, when God speaks about Himself.

God has no beginning, no end; while humans have a beginning and an end; so humans have difficulty in conceiving a Being so entirely different from them, while the truth is that there is nothing in the world like God.

As part of the divine guidance in the Qur’an, God teaches us what our role in the world is. To put the whole subject in perspective, He tells us about Himself in the first place, as far as we humans can understand His transcendent nature, which is unique and so unlike anything we know of.

If people have a good idea of the many styles and devices writers adopt to convey abstruse and difficult ideas, they can easily find an answer to the question you raised.

In fact, creative writers employ many literary devices to drive home their ideas or to appeal to people’s aesthetic sense. For instance, there are figures of speech like similes and metaphors commonly used in language for effective expression.

A simile is used for comparison highlighting some point of similarity in essentially different things. Here is the definition of “simile” as given in the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition:

n. A figure of speech in which two essentially unlike things are compared, often in a phrase introduced by like or as, as in “How like the winter hath my absence been” or “So are you to my thoughts as food to life” (Shakespeare).

Look at the two examples of simile quoted from Shakespeare: In both cases, the comparison is between essentially unlike things, but the word “like” is used for suggesting some comparable aspect between the things being compared.

There is another figure of speech called “metaphor” which is defined by the American Heritage Dictionary:

n. A figure of speech in which a word or phrase that ordinarily designates one thing is used to designate another, thus making an implicit comparison, as in “a sea of troubles” or “All the world’s a stage” (Shakespeare).

In the first example above, troubles in large number are compared to a sea, and in the second example, the world is called a stage (that is, a stage for dramatic performances). We know the differences between numerousness and the sea; as well as between the world and a stage. But we do not take those expressions literally.

The Apparent Contradiction in Question

In the light of the foregoing, let us look at the way the comparison you mentioned is used in the glorious Qur’an. Here is a translation of Surat Al-Ikhlas:

“Say: He is Allah, the One and Only; Allah, the Eternal, Absolute; He begets not, nor is He begotten; And there is none like unto Him.” (Al-Ikhlas 112:1-4)

But in Surat An-Nas, we see that Allah calls Himself:

“The King (or Ruler) of Humankind.” ( An-Nas 114:2)

You pointed out that there is a contradiction between the verse “there is none like unto Him” and the verse, “the King of humankind.”

But let us see how expressions of that kind work. For instance, see the following pair of sentences:

1. There has never been a poet like Kalidasa.

2. Kalidasa was the Shakespeare of India.

By way of explanation we can say: Kalidasa was the greatest poet of India as Shakespeare was the greatest poet of England.

We do not see any incompatibility between the above two statements.

Now see the following:

1. There is no one like Allah.

2. Allah is the King of Humankind.

By way of explanation we can say:

There is no one like Allah.

There is no king like Allah.

And there is no king like the King of Humankind, that is, Allah.

What Does God’s Being a King Mean?

And when we say that Allah is the King of Humankind, we do not mean that Allah has the same limitations as a king on earth has. It is clear as crystal (another simile!) that Allah is the King without any limits, Whose throne encompasses everything in creation.

When used about Allah, the word king means the Source of all Power, the Ultimate Authority, the Unquestionable Ruler, the Law-Giver, etc.

In all these senses, He is a king, but He is so different from all human kings. Thus it is true that He is a king in this special sense. The word king is used because it conveys a concept that we can understand and is useful to give us some idea of God.

This is the way Allah can be described in a human language, as far as He can be described. So there is no contradiction between Surat Al-Ikhlas and Surat An-Nas. That is to say, both surahs convey ideas that are perfectly valid.

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This article is based on a question and its answer that was published on onislam.net in 2012 by Professor Shahul Hameed.

Professor Shahul Hameed is a consultant to Ask About Islam. He was previously the Head of the Department of English, Farook College, Calicut University, India. He also held the position of president of the Kerala Islamic Mission, Calicut, India. He is the author of three books on Islam published in the Malayalam language. His books are on comparative religion, the status of women, and science and human values. Professor Hameed has published poems and articles in various magazines. He has also presented papers and given talks on topics related to Islam in several conferences and seminars.

 

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Why Cannot We See Allah?

Why Cannot We See Allah?

By Spahic Omer

Why Cannot We See Allah?Why Cannot We See Allah?

One may ask why we cannot see Allah, although we can communicate with Him so closely.

In a nutshell, we cannot see Allah because, first, there is nothing like Him (Al-Shura, 42:11). Our eyes and other senses and faculties are relative things and thus, can only see other relative things belonging to the corresponding existential realms. They cannot see, hear or recognize beyond the orb of our everyday existential things and objects.

Second, nobody says that humans will not see Allah. Both the Holy Qur’an and the Prophet’s Sunnah are explicit that believers will see Him in Paradise (jannah). The vision will be as clear and certain as seeing “the moon on the night when it is full” and “the sun on a cloudless day” (Sahih al-Bukhari).

What is more, seeing Allah will be the best reward in Paradise; whereas not seeing Him will be the worst and most painful chastisement for the inhabitants of Hell. Seeing Allah is the greatest blessing and joy, so it is withheld for the place of ultimate blessing and joy, namely Paradise, and it is reserved exclusively for believers. This, in addition, serves to believers as a strong motive to continue doing good in this world and never get bored or give up.

It goes without saying that not seeing Allah is only a temporary decree for Allah’s true servants, who are closest to Him in this world. Seeing Allah in Paradise could also imply the pinnacle, or culmination, of their incessant drawing closer to Him.

Third, we cannot see Allah now and here because we are trapped in time and space, while He is beyond them. Time and space are Allah’s creation. He is not fettered by them; we are. Consequently, man cannot think except along the lines of time, space and matter.

Once the hindrances posed by the time and space factors of this world are eliminated in the Hereafter — or modulated, together with man himself and his various faculties, so as to make them suitable and fitting for the conditions of the Hereafter – seeing Allah will appear utterly viable and sensible, especially for those who will be Paradise-bound.

Even in this world, man can see instantly and directly very little and very few things. Man is myopic or short-sighted, so to speak. He cannot see more because of a myriad of time and space components and influences standing between him and things, incapacitating him from seeing more. To see more, man must overcome, or eliminate, those components and influences. The problem, therefore, is not with things and objects, but with man and his limited abilities.

For example, a person sitting in a windowless room can only see the room’s interior. To see outside, he must leave the room; that is to say, he must overcome the room as a hindrance to seeing outside.

Moreover, to see a friend in a nearby town, 50 km away, a person must travel that much; that is, he must overcome the hindrance of the necessary distance and time that separate him from seeing the friend. The same principle applies to seeing everything else that lies outside the perimeters of the windowless room.

Similarly, for a person to see his friend who passed away two years ago, he will have to travel back in time two years or more; that is, he will have to deal with the insurmountable time hurdle or barrier, in order to see his friend. Also, for a person to see his future grandchildren, he will have to travel into the future as much as necessary; which means, he will again have to contend with the unassailable time difficulty.

At any rate, to see and experience things, man must free himself from the physical milieus and situations wherein he, as substantially a physical being himself, is confined or imprisoned.

The whole issue is about man and his weaknesses, exacerbated by the spatial and temporal parameters and constraints within which he operates. Yet, there are many other things right inside man, or everywhere around him, which man cannot see, but which undeniably exist. Some of those things are radio waves as a type of electronic wave used to transmit data for satellites, computer networks and radio, atoms as the smallest building blocks of matter, air or oxygen, ultraviolet light, gravity, the mind, the soul, emotions, quantum particles, the actual size of the universe, etc.

Anyway, it makes sense to wish, yet ask, to see existing things and objects. But a code of ethics, as well as a dose of pragmatism and common sense, are needed. Man must realize that, just like in everything else, there are certain physical, rational, ethical, and spiritual rules, regulations and procedures that preside over the prospect of seeing things.

For man — insignificant, weak, and vulnerable as he is — to insist on seeing Almighty Allah, Who is the only truly Transcendent Being, the Exalted, Sublime, Ever-Living and Self-Sustaining, while he is imprisoned and stuck in the yokes of matter, is at once an ignorant, arrogant, and preposterous pretense.

When Allah spoke to Prophet Musa (Moses) on Mount Sinai, Musa at one point said: “O my Lord! Show (Yourself) to me that I may look upon You” (Al-A`raf, 7:143).

Musa asked to see Allah because, as a prophet, he knew that seeing Allah is not impossible, nor that wishing, or even humbly asking, to see Him in extraordinary situations such as the one in which Musa had found himself, is blasphemous.

When Allah replied that Musa neither will nor could, see Him, He meant that in the context of this world only – as is the view of all mainstream exegetes (mufassir).

And when Allah said to Musa after that: “Behold this mountain: if it remains firm in its place, then — only then — will you see Me”, Allah wanted to bring home to Musa his existing human weaknesses, as well as the impediments and hurdles of time and space, which will need to be overcome, or liquidated, if he was to see Almighty Allah. Allah wanted to communicate to Musa that he was not ready to see Him, nor had the time come for such an event to take place.

At last: “When his Lord manifested His glory on the mount, He made it as dust and Musa fell down in a swoon. When he recovered his senses, he said: ‘Glory be to You! To You, I turn in repentance and I am the first to believe’” (Al-A`raf, 7:143).

When Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was asked if he had seen Allah on the night of Mi’raj (ascension into heaven), he replied: “(He is veiled by) Light, how could I see Him?” (Sahih Muslim).

Finally, Allah declares: “No vision can grasp Him, but His grasp is over all vision. He is above all comprehension yet is acquainted with all things” (Al-An`am, 6:103).

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Taken with slight editorial modifications from islamicity.org

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Are We Grateful To God?

Are We Grateful To God?

By Syed Abul Ala Maududi

Are We Grateful To God? “There is a sign for them in the lifeless earth: We give it life and We produce grain from it for them to eat; We have put gardens of date palms and grapes in the earth, and We have made springs of water gush out of it so that they could eat its fruit. It was not their own hands that made all this. How can they not give thanks?” (Ya-Sin 36:33-36)

Following is a commentary of these verses of the Qur’an by Syed Abul Ala Maududi.

In these brief sentences, the vegetable and plant life of the earth has been presented as an argument. Man is consuming the products of the earth day and night and regards this as very ordinary. But if he considers it seriously, he will see that the growth of rich crops and lush green gardens from the dry earth and the flowing in it of the springs and rivers is not a simple thing, which might be happening of itself, but there is a great wisdom and power and providence which is working behind it.

Consider the reality of the earth. The substances of which it is composed do not possess any power of their own for growth. All these substances individually as well as after every sort of combination, remain inorganic and thus do not possess any sign of life.

The question is: How did it become possible for plant life to emerge from the lifeless earth? If one looks into it one will see that there are some important factors without whose provision beforehand life here could not have come into existence.

First, in particular regions of the earth, on its outer surface, a layer was arranged of many such substances, which could serve as food for vegetation. This layer was kept soft so that the roots of the vegetation could spread in it and suck food.

Secondly, a system of irrigation was arranged on the earth in different ways so that the food elements could get dissolved in water and absorbed by the roots.

Thirdly, the atmosphere was arranged around the earth which protects it against the calamities of the sky, becomes a means of the rainfall, and possesses gases which are necessary for the life and growth of the vegetation.

Fourthly, a relationship was established between the sun and the earth so as to provide proper temperature and suitable seasons for the vegetation.

With the provision of these main factors (which in themselves are combinations of countless other factors), the coming to life of the vegetation becomes possible. After arranging the suitable conditions the seed of each species of the vegetation was so constituted that as soon as it received favorable soil, water, air and season, vegetable life should begin stirring within it. Besides, inside the same seed, a system was so arranged that from the seed of every species a plant precisely of the same species should grow with all the characteristics of its own species and heredity.

Then, in addition to this, another wonderful thing was done. Vegetation was not created in twenty, or fifty, or a hundred kinds but in countless species, and they were so made that they should fulfill the requirements of food, medicine and clothing and innumerable other needs of the countless kinds of animals and man, who were to be brought into being after the vegetation on the earth.

Anyone who ponders over this wonderful arrangement, if he is not stubborn and prejudiced, will himself testify that all this could not have come about by itself. There is certainly a wise plan underlying it, according to which harmonies and relationships of the soil, water, air and season with respect to the vegetation, and harmonies and relationships of the vegetation with respect to the needs and requirements of animals and human beings have been determined, keeping in view the finest detail.

No sensible person can imagine that these universal, all-embracing relationships could be a mere accident. This same subtle arrangement points to the fact that this cannot be the work of many gods. This is, and can only be, the work of One God, Who is the Creator and Lord of the earth, water, air, sun, vegetation, animals and mankind.

If each of these had a separate god, it cannot be imagined that such a comprehensive and universal plan with such deep and wise relationship and harmony could be produced, and should have continued to work with such regularity for millions upon millions of years.

After giving these arguments for Tauhid (confirming the Oneness of God the creator of the universe), Allah says: “Do they not then give thanks?” That is: “Are these people so thankless and ungrateful that they do not render thanks to that God Who has provided all this for their survival, but thank others for the blessings and favors done by Him? Are they so wretched that instead of bowing before Him they bow before the false gods, who have not created even a blade of grass for them.

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Syed Abul Ala Maududi (September 25, 1903 – September 22, 1979), was a Pakistani journalist, theologian, Muslim revivalist leader and political philosopher, and a major 20th Century Islamic thinker.

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God is Ar-Raqib: The Ever-Watchful

God is Ar-Raqib: The Ever-Watchful

By Salman Al-Oadah

ever-watchful_nAllah says, relating the words of Jesus (peace be upon him) in the Qur’an:

I was a witness over them while I dwelt among them; when You took me up, you were Ever-Watchful over them, and You are a Witness to all things. (Al-Ma’idah 5: 117)

Allah also says:

Allah is Ever-Watchful over all things. (Al-Ahzab 33: 52], and:

Surely Allah is Ever-Watchful over you. (An-Nisa’ 4: 1)

Allah watches over all of His servants and keeps watch over all of their affairs, their secrets, and their deeds. This should make us more aware of Allah’s rights over us and of our duty towards Him.

Implications

Today’s world excels in managerial and financial oversight. Self-monitoring is regarded as a great personal quality that makes a person more-productive, honest, and impervious to corruption. Nothing brings about this quality in a person like the awareness that Allah is Ever-Watchful and knows everything we do, great and small, visible and hidden.

It is strange to find an employee who dutifully observes all five prayers but then goes about cheating, embezzling, and avoiding responsibility. That employee’s prayer attests to the belief in Allah and that one can commune with Allah in secret. It attests to the belief that Allah sees and hears what we do.

On the other hand, how does this employee feel that it is possible to cheat other people of their rights, as if Allah is not aware of those deeds?

A genuine belief that Allah is Ever-Watchful makes us vitally aware of Allah’s supervision. It makes us feel ashamed to commit sin, knowing that He is watching over us when we commit disgraceful deeds.

Ascend in Faith

I have given thought to why certain civilizations around the world are so much more productive and exhibit a far better work effort than we witness in most Muslim countries. I think the reason is that self-monitoring has become firmly integrated into the personal makeup of the people living in those societies. It is a personality trait and a part of their mind-set, even before cameras are installed and oversight measured are instituted by management.

What if more people in the Muslim world were to embrace this value, adding it to this their awareness – stemming from faith – that Allah is watching over us and taking account of all that we do, and that our ultimate fate in the Hereafter is tied to what we do in this world?

Think of how much this would affect our productivity and development. Think of how much it would combat the corruption, graft and wastage that debilitate so many Muslim countries?

Personal values – chief among them being our belief in Allah, His names and His attributes – are what it takes to build a vibrant, healthy, productive, and stable society, provided that those values are not merely held in the abstract, mere rigid concepts, but are transformed into practical expressions of our hearts and our actions.

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Courtesy onislam.net with slight modifications.

Salman Al-Oadah is a prominent Saudi scholar. He supervises the website Islam Today (www.islamtoday.com).

 

 

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