Sunday, November 29, 2009


Surah 64 Al-Tagabun verses 8-11

8. Believe, therefore, in Allah and his messenger, and in the light which we have sent down. And Allah is well aquainted with all you do.

9. The day that he assembles you for a day of assembly--that will be a day of mutual loss and gain (among you). And those who believe in Allah and work righteousness--he will remove from them their ill, and he will admit them to gardens beneath which rivers flow, to dwell therein forever: that will be the supreme triumph.

10. But those who reject faith and treat our signs as falsehoods, they will be companions of the fire, to dwell therein for aye: and evil is that goal.

11. No kind of Calamity can occur except by leave of Allah: and if any one believes in Allah, (He) Guides his heart: for Allah knows all things.

Sometimes it is simply easier to be intellectually lazy.---and we humans will often take the easier route. These verses are interesting because they hint at the root of suffering---as well as its solution.

Euclides frames his understanding of Suffering and God's nature----

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
then he is not omnipotent

Is he able, but not willing?
then he is malevolent.

Is he both able and willing?
Then whence comes evil?

Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him GOD?

In the above, the key that is missing in the understanding of suffering is Human beings and the effect/consequences of their free-will. When we frame questions in order to understand a phenomenon or problem, we should take into consideration all aspects, for to do otherwise is to frame the wrong question---thus giving ourselves the wrong answer.

If God is omnipotent and therefore, capable of preventing evil---then where does suffering originate from? It comes from the consequences of the egoic actions of human beings. ---But, one might argue---there are forces of nature beyond human control--such as the Asian Tsunami, Katrina(U.S.), or the earthquakes in Asia.(for example China---where a school building collapsed). While it may be easier to blame God, it would be intellectually lazy to do so---in all of these instances, it was human actions that intensified the sufferring, --In China, the buildings were made of shoddy materials--so that someone could make more profit---Katrina---the whole area was built on a former marshland that was below sea level---it was a disaster waiting to happen---and the time was up. In the case of the Asian Tsunami---U.S. warning systems were all over the sea-bed---but secrecy was more important than lives and adequate warning was never passed on to the relevant governments---We humans have the intelligence and the technology to alleviate and/or prevent much of the sufferring in our world---if we co-operate with each other, respect nature and all of God's creations, there is much good that we can do---instead we are divided---too worried about our own petty concerns.
We may be the cause of much of our sufferring but we are also the solution. Many of our Wisdom teachings tell us that all mankind is one family, we are brothers and sisters of each other. As members of a global family, we can show mutual respect, concern and compassion for each other. With this inner attitude, possibilities can open up for much good action....Inshallah.

Our free-will is a gift from God. We can choose to use it wisely for the good of all of his creation.

Monday, November 23, 2009


Surah 31 verses 12-19

12 We bestowed (in the past) Wisdom on Luqman: "Show your gratitude to God." Any who is so grateful does so to the benefit of his own soul: but if any is ungrateful, surely God is free of all wants, worthy of all praise.
13 Luqman said to hs son: "O my son! Join not in worship (others) with God for false worship is indeed the hightest wrong-doing.
14 And we have enjoined on man to be good to his parents: In travail upon travail did his mother bear him and in years twain was his weaning. (hear this command)"Show gratitude to me and to your parents: to me is your final goal."
15 And if they make you join in worship with Me things of which you have no knowledge, obey them not; Yet bear them company in this life with justice (and consideration), and follow the way of those who turn to me: in the end the return of you all is to me, and I will tell you all that you did.
16. Luqman said "O my son, if there is a weight of a mustard seed and it were hidden in a rock or anywhere in the heavens or on earth , God will bring it forth and God is subtle and aware.
17 O my son! establish regular prayer, enjoin what is just and forbid what is wrong and bear with patience constancy whatever happens, for this is firmness (of purpose) in the (conduct of) affairs.
18 And don't swell your cheek (in pride) at men, nor walk in insolence through the earth: for God does not love the arrogant boaster.
19 And be moderate in your pace, and lower your voice; for the harshest of sounds without doubt is the braying of an ass."

This may have been Luqman's advice to his son, but there is much we can learn from it. True faith comes from inside---from the integrity of character, and this is best reflected in our relationship with our parents. In our pursuit of ambition and pleasure, we should not forget the sacrifices our parents have made for us. Likewise, we should always be grateful for the blessings God has bestowed on us. If we keep in mind that our return is to God, it will help us in our journey through life. It is not for us to determine what someone else is doing or not doing---for God knows all---we should concentrate on our soul/self, for we can only control our own intentions and actions. Practicing, moderation, patience and humility in our relationships, we strengthen our character and bring our soul/self closer to true faith.