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02-18-2007, 12:45 AM

Jewels from the Quran

Description: The reason behind God’s right to the worship we offer in exclusion to others, the ultimate purpose behind such worship, and a warning against worshipping others along with or in exclusion to God.

1. God’s Sole Right to Worship
2. A Messenger to Entire Humanity
3. The Common Origin of Humanity
4. Piety and Wickedness

“O mankind, worship your Lord who has created you and those before you, that you may become righteous. He Who has made the earth a resting-place for you and the sky a canopy, and has sent down water from the sky and thereby brought forth fruits for your sustenance. Do not, then, claim that there is any power that could rival God, when you know.”
(Quran 2:21,22)

In these verses is the first commandment mentioned in the Quran, God proves the illogicality of worshipping others besides or instead of Him. He addresses humanity as a whole to direct all acts of worship to Him alone. He announces to them that He is their Lord, Sustainer, and Creator. Human beings did not appear out of nowhere, but rather God is the One who brought them into being out of nothingness. After their creation, God did not leave them on their own, rather He took care of them when they were in the womb of their mothers, and God has been caring for them throughout their life by providing for them various sources of sustenance. He created things in this life in such a way that they would be of benefit and comfort for people. Therefore, it is the Sole right of God – who created us and those who came before us - that He be worshipped, for it is He and none else who provided us these things.
Everything apart from God, such as humans, angels, and spirits, are created by God. Thus, creation should not be adored and worshipped as God. No created being owns or controls anything in the universe and, therefore, can neither harm nor benefit without God’s permission. God asks us rhetorically, how can we worship other beings besides Him while we know deep inside that God has no equal or rival? Due to this, God, and none other, has the sole right to command and He, and none else, deserves our strict obedience. He deserves to be singled out in all acts of worship, without association of any partners.
But so often we see worship being reduced to dry, empty rituals. God informs us in this verse that the goal of worship is to achieve Taqwa. In most Quran translations, Taqwa is translated as fear, piety, or righteousness. Perhaps a more accurate translation is ‘God-consciousness’ or ‘God-awareness.’ Taqwa is to be aware of God’s presence at all times and to put a shield between oneself and God’s displeasure by doing what is right. God does not benefit and is not in need of our worship, rather worship, as all His other commandments, is of benefit to our own selves. When a person worships God, they are reminded about Him, and in turn reminded of the purpose of their life, and they themselves will be discouraged from committing vein and evil deeds. These reminders lead to Taqwa or God-consciousness. If a person achieves this state of being, they do or say nothing except that they keep in mind the true reality of that deed, whether it is pleasing to his Lord or incurs His anger.


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02-18-2007, 04:17 AM
Very nice:)


02-18-2007, 09:12 PM
A Messenger to Entire Humanity


“O Mankind! The Messenger has come to you with the truth from your Lord, so believe, then, for your own good! And if you deny the truth - behold, unto God belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on earth, and God is indeed all-knowing, wise!” (Quran 4:170)

God invites all human beings to accept Muhammad as His “Messenger” who brought truth from his Lord. A “messenger” of God, in Islamic doctrine, is more than a prophet. A prophet is essentially someone who foretells the future. A “messenger” is a moral teacher appointed by God to carry the divine message to others based on revelation he receives. The reception of ‘message’ from God is termed ‘revelation.’ Islamic tradition views all ‘messengers’ as prophets, but all prophets are not considered ‘messengers.’ Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad, may God praise them, are viewed as messengers.
Why should someone accept Muhammad as God’s messenger? Muhammad was a fulfillment of the biblical prophecies of Moses and Jesus. Muhammad had an impeccable character and lived a perfect life that has been preserved like no other man’s. His religious teachings and morals are the best solution to modernity’s predicaments. The Quran, the scripture he brought from God to the world, is an inimitable literary miracle and the only world scripture that has been preserved word by word. In short, everything about him and from him is simply true. Those who do not know this man are invited to learn more about him, as God Himself has announced that belief in Muhammad is better for the person’s own good. If he does so, he will live a happy, disciplined existence in this life, and after death he will live for eternity in Paradise. If someone chooses to reject him (and, consequently, the One who sent him), it will not harm God or His messenger in anyway, but rather only harm the one who rejects. Everything in the universe belongs to God, He knows everything and is wise in what He commands and creates.



02-19-2007, 07:40 PM
The Common Origin of Humanity


O mankind! Be conscious of your Lord, who has created you from one soul (Adam), and out of it created its mate (Eve), and out of the two spread many men and women. And remain conscious of God, in whose name you demand [your rights] from one another, and of these ties of kinship. Verily, God is ever watchful over you!”
(Quran 4:1)
God addresses entire humanity and asks them to be conscious of Him, to be aware of His presence. God reminds people of a forgotten reality: their earthly origins. All human beings have One God, their Creator, one father – Adam – and one mother, Eve. The plight of modernity could begin to heal if human beings remember their origins.
Human beings did not appear on this earth by their own will. Rather, someone else willed that human beings inhabit earth. Someone else willed their existence and prepared the earth and sun in perfect balance to make life possible. If people were to recall this simple fact, they would proceed in the right direction. The One who willed human existence has perfect knowledge of humanity and their strengths and their weaknesses. If humans recognized this, they would obey the One they owe their existence to.
Just like human beings have come into existence by the will of the One, human beings also trace back to the same parents. If people were to realize this, racism, ethnic superiority, and exploitation would end. Siblings would stop fighting and taking each other’s life. Siblings would realize their common Creator and be conscious of Him, and give their “kin” their due rights. Human beings would not divide themselves into casts and classes. Human beings would not let race, skin color, or national origin determine superiority.
If human beings were to realize that another soul was created from the original single soul to be its mate and to spread both men and women throughout the world, they would respect women more. Women would not have to go through centuries of oppression, and their humanity would not have been denied for centuries. Unfortunately, when human beings tried to correct one wrong, they fell into another one. They forgot that a soul was created for a soul, that a woman makes a man complete. Men and women are not engaged in an eternal battle of genders; rather, they have been created to complement and complete each other.
God lays out the social fabric of human society, which lies in the family. God could have created multiple families instead of Adam and Eve in the beginning, but He chose to create Adam and Eve, and spread humanity from their seed. Islamic ethics considers the family to be the natural basis and cornerstone of a moral society. A family consists of a human couple and their (legal) children where both the man and woman have each essential roles to play in keeping the family happy and intact.
In the latter portion of the verse is a reminder to be conscious of God, to do what is right and to stay away from wrongdoing in whose Name people take oaths, swear allegiances, and ask favors.
Lastly, the verse ends with a reminder that God is ever watchful over everything, big or small; nothing escapes His knowledge and sight. The knowledge that God is watching helps one be conscious of Him.


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