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Thread: Mysticism : A Truth , A Reality, a path

  1. #181
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    What is the Source of Mankind’s Power? 2/2

    This is God whose decisions are final. He is above ties of kinship and favoritism. He has the power to shatter the dream of human power and progress at any time. It is He who has determined the extent of the Earth’s duration, the life of Man, and the age of the universe. The presence of God means that Man is not independent and does not have total liberty to act as he pleases. In truth he is utterly helpless and dependent. The human intellect makes it clear that it is God alone who comes between the vision of humanity as self-sufficient, free agents and a view that perceives Mankind to be totally dependent and needy. If Man is to pursue his dream of ultimate power and control, it is necessary to resolve the question of whether God exists. Otherwise all of our predictions, conjectures and calculations based on advanced computer programmes and statistical techniques will have as much meaning and significance as the plans concocted by Don Quixote.

    We need to establish whether there is such a power that, in the blink of an eye, could cause the destruction of human greatness by directing an asteroid on a path of collision with planet Earth. Is there a force that could infect the human mind with a virus that would leave us all crippled in a vegetative state, and at the flicker of an eyelid it could suspend the faculties of the heart and mind, a force that in a fit of anger could transform the advanced Homo Sapiens into Chimpanzees once again? A power that is not bound by events and that does not allow any ‘coincidences’ to occur without its will? He is such an Absolute Ruler that He can wipe out the worlds worst tyrants and dictators by means of a deadly infection or thrombosis. In fact with a simple gesture of His hand of dominance he can transform the realities of the universe into a mirage or an imaginary illusion. Making claims of greatness in the presence of a God who has the power to do all this begins to seem a bit futile. If such a contender to human greatness exists then what course is left open to Mankind?

    There are only two options.

    Mankind can either acknowledge and submit to this force and continue to pursue their dream of greatness and control of the Universe with His blessing; or they can reject Him and wage a futile war that can only lead to hell and the total annihilation of Mankind. However, before this possibility materialises is it not necessary for the human race to focus their minds and establish whether such a threat really does exist? Would it not have been wise for the whole of Mankind to reflect collectively and find an answer to the question of whether human life is the result of a cosmic accident or whether we are the creatures and servants of God?

    We are continuously faced with evidence both within us and outside us those points to the fact that there is an external force that constantly intervenes in the management of the universe. Even if we reject evidence that is handed down by oral tradition and is based on fanciful imaginings, we should still expend as much effort and energy in objectively resolving this issue as we may do in working out a mathematical formula, establishing a scientific fact, or exploring the effects of a new political system. We have to open ourselves up to the possibility that to analyse and explore the existence of God we have to establish certain principles or a framework to guide our research. This will deal with issues such as the type of evidence that can be regarded as conclusive and on the basis of which we can either definitively accept or reject the existence of God. For instance, it is argued that nobody has seen God because of this no-one has been able to give eyewitness evidence of God. Imagine if someone had given an eyewitness account of God: would any of the intellectuals of the human race be willing to accept such a declaration? We could equally regard the testimony of the Messengers of God as evidence, since they were able to acquire a profound understanding of the reality of the cosmos and claimed to have a connection with this reality, and attested to receiving commandments from it. In addition they bore witness to the existence of intermediaries who could be referred to as Angels. We could also regard as evidence the countless miracles that occurred at the hands of different prophets and were witnessed by various nations, and which could only be explained by referring to God.

    However, the issue is that modern Man has expressed his reservations in accepting that human beings can develop any spiritual capacity, or that there can be a communication link between humankind and the reality of the cosmos. They have declared such phenomenon to be the result of a psychological complex within these individuals, and approached the whole subject in the context of psychological factors. They raised questions about the mental health of people who claimed to be Prophets. The result of all this was that the greatest truths and testimonies regarding God were now opens to doubt.

    Will be continued with the 3rd last chapter .. God: Reason or Blind Faith !!

  2. #182
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    God: Reason or Blind Faith? 1/3

    Not all questions are of equal weight; some are frivolous and others have grave consequences. Then there is the ultimate question on which hinges the happiness of thousands of years without end: What is the purpose of life? What possible value can we assign to this question! Man is not like the Satan of Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost’ who has given up all hope of entering paradise and is content to suffer eternally. He is not willing to take such a big risk and gamble away his future in a fit of drunken madness; nor is he foolish enough to claim that he believes in God and at the same time turns a blind eye to His commands. Man will never willingly declare that He deserves to dwell in hell: by nature he is averse to pain. Yet we are continuously gripped with fear, anxiety and worry. Do you not think that it is incumbent upon us to find a way to put an end to this mental torment? The presence of this question hangs over us like the sword of Damocles and drives away our peace of mind.

    The way to achieve this is simple. Like Abraham we have to establish a methodology that will allow us to test the reality of God and determine whether he exists. God and Man are two distinct entities. Man is a mix of errors and mistakes. These same flaws in the make-up of Man are the reason why he was blessed with the faculties of reason and consciousness. Despite his shortcomings and errors a member of the human race is still to be regarded as a human being. This status cannot be taken away from him regardless of his actions. As humans we all have the potential to sink to the depths of animal depravity or rise to the heights of beauty and divinity: we all pass through these levels and experience the consequences of reward and punishment. You can call those who succumb to the level of beasts and animals any lowly name that you wish, but the fact remains they will still be regarded as human beings.

    While this may be true for humans, the same cannot be said about God. All the attributes of God point to His perfection and infallibility, not a single one casts a shadow of doubt on His right to be God. This doesn’t mean that ‘God’ is a projection of the human mind, a mythical human ideal free from all errors and imperfections, injustice and oppression, tyranny and despotism, miserliness, anger and rage. In other words, a ‘Conceptual God’ whose qualities the human race should aspire to attain. This is not the kind of God that should be the subject of our research. A real God, whoever He may be, will be able to demonstrate that these qualities are an intrinsic part of Him, and that His perfection and sublime nature are not contingent upon anything external to Him. He should possess ultimate wisdom and intelligence, rank and status. He will exercise power with fairness, as He will not be in the debt of anyone, or have any ties of kinship or friendship. He will not be influenced by human wants and needs. He is the Creator, the Absolute, free from all errors and faults. He is there at the end of every road. He is the answer to every question. He is the station of reality. He is the subject of all research. He is the ultimate point of knowledge and wisdom. It is why He is God.

    This is God’s claim.

    Is this an imaginary claim or does it have a basis in reality and observable fact? Can it be proved? If so, how? It has to be said that it is not possible for Man to attribute fault to God. To do this we would have to acquire understanding and insight equal to God’s, and our knowledge would have to encompass every reality and place of the cosmos. In reality only God can know if He has any shortcomings. Our quest to prove or disprove God must therefore rely on observable facts and, according to established scientific practice, must centre on a researchable hypothesis. For instance, Abraham established the hypothesis that ‘God cannot wax or wane’, therefore anything that claims that it is God must not experience decline.

    What we need is a more robust hypothesis that takes into account the intellectual and scientific standards of modern times, a hypothesis that will enable us to put God to the test and establish the truth or falsehood of His claims. More than this it will provide a definitive answer to the question of God’s existence. The hypothesis to test is this: ‘God can never make a mistake’. If we can show a slight possibility of God making a mistake then any being that claims Godhood cannot be called ‘God’. If you think about it, the ultimate question that has haunted Mankind can be solved simply and effectively. All we need to do is to pinpoint one error and God’s claim to Godhood is in tatters!

    Before going further, it is important to note that all the proofs of God’s existence that have been provided by theologians so far have been abstract and particular. They lacked absolute authority, and the possibility of doubt always remained. For instance the cosmological argument states that God was the ‘first cause’ who created the cosmos. The opponents of this claim have argued that ‘Nature’ can be regarded as the Creator and if the design of the universe is attributed to God, it can equally be ascribed to a ‘chance event’. The ‘teleological argument’ points to the complex order and design of the universe as evidence of God. In response some have claimed that the matter of the universe has evolved over time and has become more refined and complex. If the theologians point to the orbits of the planets and stars to show the fine planning that must be behind all this, their opponents simply argue that this system arose from chaos and chance collisions and upheavals led to the natural order we see today.

    All these philosophical arguments cannot definitively prove that God exists. Thus life is the result of the interaction between various gases and acids, and there is a range of forces, such as gravity, that explain the creation of the cosmos. The paradox is that we equally do not have a definitive argument that disproves God! In fact there are many incidents that make us feel the existence of an invisible power or force. There is only one way to get out of this dilemma. If we can find some positively certified data that is ascribed to God. All we have to do then is to scrutinise this data using our hypothesis and with finality lay to rest the ghost of God!

    At first glance all revealed scriptures appear to be the words and data of God. They contain his ordinances and commands. However, not a single scripture has satisfied the complex critique expected by modern standards. The Vedas and the Ancient Upanishads for example display great philosophical insights, but fall short when discussing the creation of the universe and the world. Their teachings are no more than accepted ideas of the educated people in ancient times. In the same way, we find a sublime and unparalleled ethical framework in the Torah, Psalms and the New Testament that hints to their divine origin. But at the same time we find facts that are flawed and have no basis in reality. They leave the suspicion that this book cannot be ascribed to an infallible God. All these scriptures claim divine origin. However, the key question is: has God Himself claimed any of these books as His infallible data?

    The answer is a categorical no.

    God is aware of the intellectual confusion and shortcomings that have crept into His scriptures. He knows that large parts have been distorted or have been mixed with limited human ideas. In the Quran He categorically disassociates Himself from these books. He acknowledges that they were His message but points out that they have been corrupted, and the facts of reality have been either wiped out or intentionally substituted. This is the reason why God refuses to be judged on the basis of scriptures that he no longer regards as His true data. The only divine scripture that God makes an explicit claim to is the Quran. Without any doubt or wavering He declares that this is His data. Not only does He attribute every word and letter of this book to Himself, He invites Mankind to verify its contents based on their standards of research and investigation. God goes a step further and declares that the statements of the Quran are for all times and not specific to a historical period. He takes personal responsibility to ensure that it is completely safeguarded from corruption. He lays this book open to be challenged and to be held to account.

    To be continued....

  3. #183
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    God: Reason or Blind Faith? 2/3

    One fact that over the centuries supports Godís claim to the Quran to be true is His guarantee that He will protect it. No other book can claim that every letter and sentence within it has been preserved as it was over a period of 15 centuries, not changing even by a dot! Having verified this claim we are obliged to regard the Quran as the word and data of God for the purposes of our research. Every word and claim made within it has to be scrutinized on the basis of intellectual and scientific standards. You may find it astonishing that God Himself invites us to use our intellects to think and reflect and regards blind faith equal to the herd mentality of cattle. Adopting this approach means that there is no need for Man or God to collude with each other. Man is completely free to scrutinize this book without any sense of devotion, loyalty or obligation. He should muster all his intellectual faculties and without fear or favor approach the Quran. The goal of this research is simple: to show that God has made a mistake. He only has to find one mistake to prove that Godís claim is not true and therefore He cannot be God. The chances of not finding a single mistake in such a large book are slim. However, if there really is not a single error in it, then its author must be regarded as infallible, his statements accepted as true, his claims to be real, and that He has the right to be God.

    The Quran is not a book that consists only of commands and prohibitions. It encompasses all aspects of life and discusses social, ethical, historical and scientific realities. Its statements are not presented as conjecture and speculation but as final and definitive facts. However, God does not demand blind acceptance but verification of His claims. Suppose a person has failed to understand the social or ethical laws of God and as a result refuses to submit to His command. God has no objection against such a person since as humans we will only follow something once we have understood and accepted the thought behind it. Our acceptance of Godís commands are contingent upon the state of human knowledge. In some branches of science, such as ethics and sociology, we have only begun to make inroads. In these matters we cannot scrutinize the Quranís claims since our own knowledge has not reached its completion. However, there are other areas of knowledge in which we can claim to have reached some level of finality from a human perspective. There are established and accepted facts that can be used as a benchmark to test the claims of the Quran.

    During our research we must be careful not to let our biases come in the way of understanding the Quran. Prior to our own investigation and discussion of a particular topic we must first establish the basic principles and views that exist around this issue. In other words we must undertake a review related to the research question to fully put into perspective the Quranís claim. The Quran is not the first or the last book in the history of writing. Of course, it is the last revelation of God, but it is not the last in the long catalogue of books that have adorned the bookshelves of Mankind. Many manuscripts predating the Quran have been preserved, and since Mankind began to think and observe, many theories and assertions had began to circulate amongst the collective mind of Man. The philosophers of Greece are famous and renowned to this day. The research and investigation of Roman thinkers and scientists have been preserved. The collective human understanding of the world in the fifteen centuries before the Quran and after the Quran is accessible to us even today.

    Our research methodology should include a detailed and comprehensive analysis of all the human knowledge that existed before the Quran, including early scientific research. This will allow us to verify the claim that the Quran repeats the views and understanding of people in ancient times. The views of the ancients regarding life and the world should be compared with the statements of the Quran relating to the origin of life and the universe. If the statements of the Quran match those of antiquity we can conclude that it is the product of a human mind and not of God. More importantly, we must also bear in mind the scientific advances over the last two centuries that have produced a torrent of discoveries and data never known before to Man. These should also be compared with the Quranís declarations. We must adopt the same principles and methodology when researching the Quran as we do with any object of research in our higher institution of learning. The stakes are high. The danger of not reading the Quran is great, but the consequences of misunderstanding it are even greater. The mistakes of the Quran are Godís mistakes. If this is the case, and we must be absolutely certain that it is, then the human race will be able to rid itself forever from the concept of God, or at the very least the God we worship will be a creation of our mind, like the gods of ancient times.

    There is one other consideration when approaching the Quran. We must make sure that we have the qualifications and capacity to understand it. A primary school child will not be able to grasp a textbook written for a Masters student, let alone claim a right to clarify its meanings. In my view there are at least two intellectual levels by which we can approach the study of the Quran. Both of these fundamental standards are beyond narrow religious teachings. The first is the benchmark that God has set for the Quran. This requires that we have absolute God-like understanding of the Cosmos in order to verify the claims of the Quran. The extent to which we can participate with this standard is limited. The second benchmark is that which God expects from Mankind and the ways in which we can acquire the capacity to understand the Quran. Our main focus will be on this standard. A closer inspection of the book reveals that not only does it requires deep reflection it also demands a high degree of intelligence and learning. Since it deals definitively with a wide range of subjects it is necessary that the person who researches the Quran should also be a final authority in his field with the knowledge and understanding that this necessitates.

    As for those verses that deal with developments in the future, research into these must be postponed until human knowledge advances to a stage that allows it to verify these realities. For instance the Quran talks about realms and dimensions that the human mind has not yet been able to gain access to, such as multiple universes with numerous human populations, the expansiveness of Paradise, the calamities of the day of Judgment, the existence of non-physical beings such as Angels and Jinns and the complete and complex order of the higher regions of the cosmos, the entering and exiting of life and the reality of life after death. It is clear that for Mankind to give an opinion on these realities would be regarded as intellectually premature.

    However, there are many other facts in the Quran which can be analyzed, judged and verified according to modern standards of research and criticism. There is plenty of scope to expect some sort of error or mistake. God discusses the genesis of the universe and the origins of life. He talks in detail of the orbits of heavenly bodies. A detailed description is given of the creation of Man and the formation of life. The movements of mountains are mentioned and that the Earth is being reduced at the edges (plate tectonics). God also refers to the fact that the universe is expanding, and how the birds and clouds remain suspended in air. In fact there are so many facts that at any time you could find a settled scientific view on that topic and compare it with the conclusions of the Quran. This raises a question: whom should we rely on to understand and explain the Quran to us? If the opponents of the Quran are armed with the latest research and education, should we not expect someone who is able to understand the teachings of the Quran without any doubt or wavering in the way that God intended it to be understood, and to provide the required clarifications demanded by the modern age?

    To be continued....!
    Last edited by usman.khawar; 03-02-2012 at 11:05 AM.

  4. #184
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    God: Reason or Blind Faith? 3/3

    One fact that over the centuries supports God’s claim to the Quran to be true is His guarantee that He will protect it. No other book can claim that every letter and sentence within it has been preserved as it was over a period of 15 centuries, not changing even by a dot! Having verified this claim we are obliged to regard the Quran as the word and data of God for the purposes of our research. Every word and claim made within it has to be scrutinized on the basis of intellectual and scientific standards. You may find it astonishing that God Himself invites us to use our intellects to think and reflect and regards blind faith equal to the herd mentality of cattle. Adopting this approach means that there is no need for Man or God to collude with each other. Man is completely free to scrutinize this book without any sense of devotion, loyalty or obligation. He should muster all his intellectual faculties and without fear or favor approach the Quran. The goal of this research is simple: to show that God has made a mistake. He only has to find one mistake to prove that God’s claim is not true and therefore He cannot be God. The chances of not finding a single mistake in such a large book are slim. However, if there really is not a single error in it, then its author must be regarded as infallible, his statements accepted as true, his claims to be real, and that He has the right to be God.

    The Quran is not a book that consists only of commands and prohibitions. It encompasses all aspects of life and discusses social, ethical, historical and scientific realities. Its statements are not presented as conjecture and speculation but as final and definitive facts. However, God does not demand blind acceptance but verification of His claims. Suppose a person has failed to understand the social or ethical laws of God and as a result refuses to submit to His command. God has no objection against such a person since as humans we will only follow something once we have understood and accepted the thought behind it. Our acceptance of God’s commands are contingent upon the state of human knowledge. In some branches of science, such as ethics and sociology, we have only begun to make inroads. In these matters we cannot scrutinize the Quran’s claims since our own knowledge has not reached its completion. However, there are other areas of knowledge in which we can claim to have reached some level of finality from a human perspective. There are established and accepted facts that can be used as a benchmark to test the claims of the Quran.

    During our research we must be careful not to let our biases come in the way of understanding the Quran. Prior to our own investigation and discussion of a particular topic we must first establish the basic principles and views that exist around this issue. In other words we must undertake a review related to the research question to fully put into perspective the Quran’s claim. The Quran is not the first or the last book in the history of writing. Of course, it is the last revelation of God, but it is not the last in the long catalogue of books that have adorned the bookshelves of Mankind. Many manuscripts predating the Quran have been preserved, and since Mankind began to think and observe, many theories and assertions had began to circulate amongst the collective mind of Man. The philosophers of Greece are famous and renowned to this day. The research and investigation of Roman thinkers and scientists have been preserved. The collective human understanding of the world in the fifteen centuries before the Quran and after the Quran is accessible to us even today.

    Our research methodology should include a detailed and comprehensive analysis of all the human knowledge that existed before the Quran, including early scientific research. This will allow us to verify the claim that the Quran repeats the views and understanding of people in ancient times. The views of the ancients regarding life and the world should be compared with the statements of the Quran relating to the origin of life and the universe. If the statements of the Quran match those of antiquity we can conclude that it is the product of a human mind and not of God. More importantly, we must also bear in mind the scientific advances over the last two centuries that have produced a torrent of discoveries and data never known before to Man. These should also be compared with the Quran’s declarations. We must adopt the same principles and methodology when researching the Quran as we do with any object of research in our higher institution of learning. The stakes are high. The danger of not reading the Quran is great, but the consequences of misunderstanding it are even greater. The mistakes of the Quran are God’s mistakes. If this is the case, and we must be absolutely certain that it is, then the human race will be able to rid itself forever from the concept of God, or at the very least the God we worship will be a creation of our mind, like the gods of ancient times.

    There is one other consideration when approaching the Quran. We must make sure that we have the qualifications and capacity to understand it. A primary school child will not be able to grasp a textbook written for a Masters student, let alone claim a right to clarify its meanings. In my view there are at least two intellectual levels by which we can approach the study of the Quran. Both of these fundamental standards are beyond narrow religious teachings. The first is the benchmark that God has set for the Quran. This requires that we have absolute God-like understanding of the Cosmos in order to verify the claims of the Quran. The extent to which we can participate with this standard is limited. The second benchmark is that which God expects from Mankind and the ways in which we can acquire the capacity to understand the Quran. Our main focus will be on this standard. A closer inspection of the book reveals that not only does it requires deep reflection it also demands a high degree of intelligence and learning. Since it deals definitively with a wide range of subjects it is necessary that the person who researches the Quran should also be a final authority in his field with the knowledge and understanding that this necessitates.

    As for those verses that deal with developments in the future, research into these must be postponed until human knowledge advances to a stage that allows it to verify these realities. For instance the Quran talks about realms and dimensions that the human mind has not yet been able to gain access to, such as multiple universes with numerous human populations, the expansiveness of Paradise, the calamities of the day of Judgment, the existence of non-physical beings such as Angels and Jinns and the complete and complex order of the higher regions of the cosmos, the entering and exiting of life and the reality of life after death. It is clear that for Mankind to give an opinion on these realities would be regarded as intellectually premature.

    However, there are many other facts in the Quran which can be analyzed, judged and verified according to modern standards of research and criticism. There is plenty of scope to expect some sort of error or mistake. God discusses the genesis of the universe and the origins of life. He talks in detail of the orbits of heavenly bodies. A detailed description is given of the creation of Man and the formation of life. The movements of mountains are mentioned and that the Earth is being reduced at the edges (plate tectonics). God also refers to the fact that the universe is expanding, and how the birds and clouds remain suspended in air. In fact there are so many facts that at any time you could find a settled scientific view on that topic and compare it with the conclusions of the Quran. This raises a question: whom should we rely on to understand and explain the Quran to us? If the opponents of the Quran are armed with the latest research and education, should we not expect someone who is able to understand the teachings of the Quran without any doubt or wavering in the way that God intended it to be understood, and to provide the required clarifications demanded by the modern age?

    To be continued....!
    Last edited by usman.khawar; 03-02-2012 at 11:04 AM.

  5. #185
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    Quran: The Key to God 1/3 2nd last chapter..

    To state that the Quran is God’s Speech is an extraordinary claim. It is astounding, especially if you call to mind the full signification of the term ‘God’. We are in fact referring to the reality and source of everything, including the whole cosmos. His vastness let alone His essence cannot be fathomed by the human mind. There are no signs or indications that would allow us to uncover and know Him directly. So when the Quran claims that it is God’s speech - His words, sentences, statements, style of expression, and way of thinking - it is a mighty statement.

    The Quran is the ‘Straight Path’ consisting of God’s injunctions, exhortations and promises. It makes claims relating to the process of creation, states facts, and deals with the origin of the world and the universe. It reminds us of the reality of death and gives us assurances of life after death; the paths to both Heaven and Hell are made plain. It talks about gender and birth and even mentions the role of genes in reproduction. In fact it explains in detail the foetal stages of development prior to birth. The laws of marriage and divorce are clearly set out. The Quran also contains tales of temptations and whisperings, it reminds us of forgotten stories with timeless truths, and it signposts our future and final destination. In short every aspect of the social, economic and cultural aspect of human existence is dealt with in the Quran. God has mentioned everything in His own words, providing us with the advice and guidance we need to live fulfilling lives.
    The Quran deals with a vast range of subjects and issues. Despite this we do not find inconsistency in its style or contradictions in its message. It maintains a secure and confident tone and a refined and elegant style throughout. There is no other book in the world that is completely free from perversions of language or meaning. Its eloquence and clarity is such that with one phrase it conveys what would take volumes. The Lord of the universe has utilized every technique of persuasion and communication; skies of generosity and compassion burst forth as well as warnings of wrath and punishment. Upon reading it you get a feeling that the author of this book has to be God, even if this may not be the case. His kindness is untainted with self-interest and knows no bounds. It is truly divine and you will never find, let alone imagine, anyone as compassionate as Him. His power and authority rise above all. It is impossible to envisage any rival or partner. He is self-sufficient and openly proclaims His independence from everyone and everything. Yet His concern and affection clings to humanity right up to the moment of death; the door of salvation remains open until the very last breath.

    It is an astonishing and wonderful book. The ancient Arab is proud, arrogant and eloquent. He looks down on all others when it comes to mastery over language. But when the Quran gives him the challenge of producing a verse of equal power and expression, he admits defeat. His tribal pride hangs its head in shame. The Quran alone has been blessed with this miracle of language. No other book can claim this. Literary masterpieces are respected because their choice of words and phrases are so masterly that any alternative way of expression cannot be imagined. The language of the Quran is inimitable. No commentary or translation (and there are thousands to choose from) has ever been able to approach the mastery of the Quranic language either in its form or meaning.

    The preservation of the Quran from alterations is unprecedented for any book; not a single dot or a letter has been added or removed since its revelation over fifteen centuries ago. The effect that it has on its readers is also profound. It has the power to change hearts even if it is simply recited. There is no work of prose in the world that can be read with such beauty and impact on its listeners. Quran reciters, despite their sublime voices, are left with a feeling that they have still not done justice to the verses of the Quran. Its preservation is so complete that even the way certain letters should be pronounced is documented. The idea of distorting or modifying its words did not stand a chance. Such protection suggests a power greater than Man. The integrity of the Quran was safeguarded primarily by its followers, but those who rejected it also played a part. If this book contained errors and inconsistencies would Communist Russia have kept quiet? They would have screamed out and proclaimed that the Quran’s integrity is questionable, its message is corrupted, it cannot be relied on.

    You may argue that the fact of preservation is not really a miracle, and nor is it proof of God’s existence. However, you will have to at least admit that there is one claim of the Quran that for fifteen hundred years not a single intellectual has been able to deny – ‘ It is we who have sent down this reminder (Quran) and We will ensure its preservation’. The tears that have flowed from the eyes of its reciters are more than those shed by Mankind for all their calamites and disasters put together. The Quran is preserved in the minds of Mankind with diligence. No other book in the world can boast of being committed to memory the way the book of God can. The world looks in amazement at the sheer love and devotion the Muslims afford to the Quran – a legacy passed on from one generation to another. This is the same Quran that God presents as evidence of His existence. The fact that a thing is not visible to your eye doesn’t mean it does not exist. Many ordinary things cannot be observed by the human eye. We cannot see the air around us; does that mean it does not exist? Is it possible to see the atom with our naked eye? If to observe certain things we need specialist tools and expertise, then to glance at God we need the vision of Muhammad (PBUH). Mankind is unable to reach this level.

    The Quran is also unique in its definition of God and description of His attributes. No other book in the world presents such an accessible and layered understanding of God’s importance, essence and attributes. You will not find a broader or greater concept of God anywhere else. In Judaism God is seen as a tribal chieftain who chooses a specific race of people for special treatment, and the rest of Mankind are excluded from enjoying the cool shade of His compassion. The Christian concept of God is more limited than this. He is more like a family man, seen as the Patriarch of the family. These views of God were not taught by Jesus or Moses. When we read the statements of the Prophets in the Quran it is clear that not a single one had any doubt on Gods sovereignty, greatness and inclusivity. But the minds of their people moved towards misguidance, distortion and corruption of their message. So the idea of God was restricted so much that later social anthropologists would conclude that God was a product of the limited self-interest of individual social groups. This is why God felt a need in the Quran to describe Himself and His attributes to us in his own words, so that people would fulfil their obligations towards Him and not compare His greatness and majesty to anything else. As time went by civilization developed, knowledge and wisdom grew, and new horizons of research and learning were opened up. All this gave us an opportunity to verify God’s claims of Himself and the Cosmos. It is only through knowledge that we can recognize God. The
    Quran states:
    ‘It is only those with knowledge that know the best, and they are the ones who are enveloped in God’s cloak of knowledge’

    Quran is knowledge; and knowledge is Quran. Not only does the Quran invite us to think and reflect but it also identifies those subjects that will enable Man to achieve the best outcomes. Its viewpoint questions our assumptions about life - that it has an independent existence in and of itself, and reminds us that it is fleeting and will come to an end. In the broader context of the Cosmos, the Earth and our Galaxy are like grains of sand kicked up during the course of a long journey. This observation is based on facts. The size and population of the human race continues to grow. It cannot, however, go beyond the capacity that the Earth has to support. The never-ending expansion of the human population cannot continue forever. Human life will inevitably come to an end. There are many assumptions that Man declares with conviction to be eternal truths: yet in the eyes of God they are implausible and incorrect.

    Earth was never meant to be a permanent abode for Mankind. Nor is the human race eternal. The Earth is not a self-sustaining place; its resources are finite and diminishing. Its climate can suddenly change making it uninhabitable. In cosmic terms, the Earth is a unique planet produced as a result of extraordinary conditions. No other planet or star is known to support similar life forms as planet Earth. The conclusions of scientific research into extra terrestrial life appear to be in line with the unique planet theory. How irrational and absurd is it then to believe that the Earth is our permanent home and will last forever in its current state. Perhaps we live in the hope that when the conditions that make life sustainable on Earth no longer exist, we will by then be able to migrate to another part of the universe. However, this would only be for a few hundred people at the most, and not for the billions of humans that currently reside on Earth. No other planet is blessed with the conditions that would allow it to sustain such a large number of people. For the present, inter-galactic migration and space cities are the stuff of science fiction and crazy dreams. Not all dreams come true! How can any intelligent and knowing person deny the fact that the cosmos, world and life are upheld by a conscious and intelligent reality? This being is the author of the Quran and He makes His claim to the cosmos in its verses. The Quran adopts many different styles to impart its message, but it underlines the importance of knowledge when it comes to understanding reality. This is the only benchmark. It is only those with knowledge and insight who are able to recognize the veracity of God’s statements. According to the Quran there is always somebody more knowledgeable than the most learned person we know. The most intelligent and wise person is the one who has the most perfect understanding of the Quran. As Hazrat Ali once remarked ‘I too read the same Quran as you are reading, but the difference is that I have been blessed with unlimited understanding’.

    To be continued....
    Last edited by usman.khawar; 03-05-2012 at 04:40 AM.

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    Quran: The Key to God 2/3 2nd last chapter..

    There is no hint of imitation in the Quran. Its tone is firm, authoritative and decisive. Ptolemy, the Greek philosopher, claimed that the Earth is stationary; yet the Quran declares with absolute clarity that the whole universe is in motion and every planet and star is moving in its own orbit. When the prevalent views about the creation of the universe were based on mythologies, the Quran proclaimed clearly that there was only a single atom of matter when the Universe was created which ‘split asunder’ leading to the creation of the Cosmos. As for life on Earth, its origin was water. Centuries before Einstein, the Quran informs us that the universe is expanding.

    Man has always been fascinated with sheer size and magnitude. The glory of the Sun had almost a divine status in the past, and even today, a majestic, dazzling star - the source of life and light. In every age it has been considered worthy of worship and respect. It has not diminished in its glory either now or then. Yet in the words of the Quran, it is no more than a lamp, just like countless other lamps that God has adorned the universe with. The process by which these came into existence may be described as the clashing of stars. Even with our modern instruments we have not been able to understand the far-reaching impact and effect of these collisions at the dawn of time. God describes this matter as rocks. The language is of pre-modern times, but the information that is being imparted is truly modern. The big issues of the end of life and the universe are clearly explained. In the dark curtain of doubt the questions of the present age are studded like pearls but answers are impossible to find.

    The planning and vision of modern Man extends over five, ten or fifty years. These are the limits of our certainty. The planner of the Quran, on the other hand, created a master plan (Lauh-e-Mahfooz) for the universe fifty thousand years before it came into being. He gave the order for the plan to be implemented and let it be. Is it not strange then, to imagine that God, who is fully aware of the origin of life and the universe, and also its end, was not aware of the intelligence and mentality of modern Man? He did not take their advances in knowledge into account as He did not foresee the capacity of His own creation; and nor was he aware of the changes in society and economy that were to occur? If this were the case then there would be no similarity between the established findings of modern science and the Quran. At best the Quran would reflect the common state of knowledge in the early dark ages. This is not the case. According to the Quran Man is a hasty and simple-minded creature who cannot shoulder the weight of his intellectual arrogance and pride. He is weak and cannot cope with the notion of power, let alone power itself. He is also weak as he has been unable to make his mind rule over his base instincts. This self-proclaimed paragon of intelligence and sheer genius overlooked the most basic facts. Having once walked along the lofty peaks of the straight path He is now lost in the depths of doubt and desire. Is it the mark of intelligence to ignore the single most important question of life and death, and to act like a disgruntled child who just refuses to listen because they are upset? In their arrogance and pride the Kings of the East and West declared that they were gods - was Man really the son of Adam? To regard Man as human and merely mortal was seen as a backward step in the advance of the species! The reptilian instinct driven Homo Habilis and Homo Erectus was visible once again. The powerful men became willing captives to the base and primitive instincts that humans share with animals; and they could not escape the consequences of their arrogance and oppression. Pharaoh was destroyed by the waves.

    Today the Pharaohs of Egypt lie in expectation of another tragedy of the Nile to occur. The intellectual Dajjal of America and Europe is in no mood to heed the lessons from the decaying bones of tyrants such as Genghis and Hulagu Khan. Perhaps the God of power and fury has stationed Himself along the path along which human society, in a fit of madness and transgression, is moving. He has taken aim and is ready to launch an attack. What does the future hold for human society - anger and hatred, death and destruction, annihilation and devastation? This is the path that we have chosen. We are only one step away from making our planet flow with rivers of sulphur and molten iron; where the only drink will be a poisonous throat ripping substance, and in the midst of the ruins the only things to grow will be cacti; and mile upon mile of ditches and craters of erupting lava. This will lead to the Day of Judgment. Death will be no more. The cloak of pain (human skin) will be changed again and again but the feeling of pain will be constant.

    Perhaps there are only a few gasps of life that remain. Is it not time that the people of intelligence and wisdom feel the need of the Quran? There is still time to ponder and reflect; just enough time to glance at the data of God contained within the covers of the Quran. We should not reject the call to investigate. Denial should only come after understanding and recognition. Man cannot find solace before he dies except by being certain that all he believed in was on the basis of truth and integrity. When one surveys the state of knowledge before the Quran, one is left with the impression that contradiction and confusion was the lot of Mankind.

    We must acknowledge the ancient world of learning whose intellectuals and sages are to this day hailed as masters. The legacy left by the intellectual maturity of the thinkers of Greece, Egypt and Rome, their love of learning, and their footprints are to this day beacons of guidance. Nobody can claim that they are better than Socrates; and who can deny the deep and piercing intellect of Aristotle and Plato? If on one side we find the brilliant minds of Zeno and Diogenes, on the other are the piercing intellects who, with their questions, are extending the limits of intellectual and transmitted knowledge to soaring heights. This period saw the birth of many new sciences – maths, geometry, philosophy, wisdom. We can even find the early indications of the discipline of sociology in their thought. Plutarch and Cicero of Rome appear like the Russel and Whitehead of today.

    Following the guidance of the ancient scholars later generations were able to acquire increased knowledge, and the caravan of thought was led to the next stage of its journey. Ptolemy’s study of the solar system, despite its flaws, laid the foundations of a new science. The pioneers of thought possess great intelligence. We find such geniuses as Dionysius and Plotinus; and religious philosophers such as Augustine and Aquinas. In ancient India the centers of learning such as Taksila and Ajeen were bustling with scholars and intellectuals. Here we find the literary masters Kalidaas, Chandarbahaan Bhaat alongside the founder of political philosophy and government, the Machiavelli of the ancient world, Pundit Chankiya. The basis of Maharishi and Mahabhkashu culture was on personal purification as well as the acquisition of metaphysical realities. All this led to a complete philosophy of life. The Vedas, Upanishads, Shaastra, Mahabaraat and other Hindu scriptures are full of religious litanies, while at the same time they are replete with masterpieces of literary, scientific and philosophical insights.

    Ancient China also left a unique legacy of knowledge and wisdom. No distinction was made between the philosopher and artisan. The mature and deep intellect contained in the writings of Confucius and Tao cannot fail to impress us. The mass produced minds of our age in comparison are feeble, pathetic and passive. The Chinese were technologically advanced; they invented tools for counting, utilized the wheel, developed the Manjanik (early form of propelled missiles) and experimented with flight; they possessed iron filters, metal armour, watches and pens; they also had printing presses, gunpowder; and they were aware of chemical poisoning. The ancient world is full of technological feats of mastery. The dam of ‘Ma’aarib’ built by the people of Sabaa is from before the time of the Quran; the pyramids of Egypt to this day are a testament to the engineering and building expertise of the ancient Egyptians. Craftsmanship and learning reached great heights. Admittedly, the advance of scientific knowledge and understanding of the world was a bit weak. Then again, perhaps this was to allow future Man to have an equal share in the realm of construction and destruction.

    This brief survey of the ancient world shows that the Quran did not appear in a vacuum of knowledge and thinking. The human mind was as sharp then as it is now. There were democracies and absolutist monarchies. The type and quality of knowledge has changed, as too have our tools of destruction and annihilation on a mass scale. However, there is no evidence to claim that the period before the Quran was an age when human thought was primitive and undeveloped. How then could the Quran not be influenced or informed by the accepted knowledge of its time? Surely its views on creation and scientific knowledge must be in line with the prevalent beliefs of that age. At the same time how can the Quran, a book written over a thousand years ago, not be affected by the inevitable gaps (uncertainties) in human knowledge over the ages? And finally how can it be in line with modern advances in scientific knowledge. Did the Quran not borrow ideas from the ancient wisdom and learning about the world?

    To be continued...!

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    Quran: The Key to God 3/3

    The Quran inherited the same ancient societies that were passed down from one generation to another. Along with this will have come the wisdom and knowledge of that time linked with a particular way and philosophy of life. Can the Quran be accused of plagiarism? Does it, like the Greeks and Romans, adopt a vague and conjectural approach when discussing the reality of phenomena? Are its views on important and fundamental issues based on a list of assumptions, and does it rely on speculation and guesswork to determine the purpose of life? Is the Prophet of the Quran a sophist who finds a certain pleasure in his own intellectual speculations, such as Plato and Aristotle, and this is what drives him to think?

    Man has sunk to unprecedented depths. All around us we see arrogance and hubris, pomp and glory, power and might. The standards of government and control are not based on justice but on exploitation. The son of Adam refuses to acknowledge the humanity of his own brethren. Mankind is divided into ranks. Hatred has seeped into the minds of men; so much so that different religious and cultural traditions are not tolerated. The culture of politics is like that of a pack of wolves who find any excuse to attack defenseless prey. This is a world where the weak are devoured by the strong; and the backlash provokes fear. Extremism has risen like a fully fledged philosophy of life: an unprecedented development in the history of ideas. ‘Let them suffer’ is the motto of both the oppressor and oppressed. The vicious cycle of suffering has no end. Killing and bloodshed is answered by death and destruction. Where the perpetrator has superiority in arms and numbers, the victim has his rage and anger, self-sacrifice and the choice of time and location of an attack. There does not seem to be an end in sight for this war on terror. No civilized society can tolerate the constant threat of terrorism. How can you live a life in peace and tranquility when the sword of unknown tragedies dangles in front of your eyes?

    Our politicians are weak and pander to public opinion – not a single one has demonstrated profound judgment or proposed a middle way between conflicting interests. The tragic consequences of reprisals and counter-reprisals have not been blocked by any political leader in the world. At such a critical point in the history of Mankind our leaders display sheer arrogance that they cannot distinguish between black and white, right and wrong. These diseased minds are incapable of protecting the future survival of the human race. The institution of the United Nations has become laughably ineffective. The nations of the world appear helpless in achieving their most basic goals through the UN. This organization serves the interest of the rich nations and is dependent on them for survival. It is being led by people who lack basic human values and are therefore unable to play an impartial and effective role.

    The representatives of the most powerful nations on earth, from time to time, pass a handful of resolutions in an attempt to prove their humanity. They lack genuineness and their acts of hypocrisy aim to encourage weaker nations to be patient and accept their domination by the powerful. The powerful nations no longer believe in the equality of Mankind. Instead they put their trust in brute force to create divisions amongst the people of the world - a policy of divide and rule that was devised thousands of years earlier by the Priests of Hinduism. But now the whole world is being sucked into this caste system and is being sub-divided into untouchables, Shudras (labourers), Viashyas (Merchants), Kathris (Rulers) and Brahmins (nobility). The less developed nations of the world have no right to become equal citizens of the advanced nations. Their lives, sustenance and growth depend on the handouts distributed by the wealthy nations out of their generosity and kindness. Under the pretext of counter-terrorism, the civilized nations are amassing more powerful and deadly weapons of mass destruction. But the unremitting and horrific counter response from the terrorists have put into doubt their dreams and plans. The tragedy of 9/11 was like a stone cast at the greenhouse of the ‘powerful’. One single stone was enough to unnerve and unleash a wave of panic in the heart of the mighty!

    The social tragedy is far worse. The values that drive the powerful (greed, jealousy, fear, blind acceptance of their will, unjust distribution of resources) are dragging the human species down to the evolutionary status of the chimpanzee. This backward mentality has left a deep rift in the ethical dealings of human-kind. In the name of human freedom homosexuality and lesbianism are practiced: the responsibilities of family life are neglected. There has been a total breakdown of the family unit. This has led to a massive increase in children who have no idea of who their mother or father is: we are producing individuals who have no bonds or links with society. Each person is busy drinking the poison of individualism. This is a recipe for transforming human society into a rotten and decaying mess. If this ethical crisis continues unchecked the next step could well be the total separation of the male and female species. A society where men and women exist independently, heading for direct collision. There will be no need for men and the only function they will have will be to ensure that womankind can continue to grow the human species, like the Queen Bee who exploits the male drone to fertilize her eggs followed by the instant death of the drone!

    The systems of Nature are fixed. But God Himself has allowed Mankind to interfere with the workings of Nature until the appointed time. This is His decree. The clock of destiny is ticking towards the final countdown. The piercing mind can feel and hear its strokes. You don’t need any special fifth sense to hear its chimes. Nor do you have to undergo rigorous spiritual retreats or undertake strict Yoga exercises. The study of the wise book, the Quran, is all you need. If you require further clarification then the Hadith of the Prophet (PBUH) will give you this. Together they contain all the signs of the end of time - ninety nine percent of these have already materialized. Yet we have hoped that things will change. Our hope does not rest with political leaders: but with the One who is in absolute control of the Cosmos. He who has made compassion his motto and made it dominates all of His other attributes. It is He who has made room on the plane of time and space for the preservation of the human species. But O Man! O Muslim! Where is your Quran?
    The Quran delineates the principles of knowledge. The speech of God is the highest source of knowledge and wisdom. The issue is not whether you believe or know this. Whoever wants to access the Quran must have an understanding of the nature of the data he is investigating. The Quran is not the opinion of an armchair philosopher or writer. It is not the knowledge of someone trying to unravel the meaning of events and phenomenon but of one who is their creator. Neither is it the product of a tortured mind who responds to its suffering and problems by adopting a particular thought and methodology to cope.
    It is possible that some intellectual may object to God’s justice; or find that his aesthetic taste is not similar to God’s; or regard His ethical laws as extreme; or claim that they undermine human dignity and respect; or complain about slavery; or criticize the rules of marriage. Whatever it may be, such a person has not acquired the quality of patience and resilience (Sabr). This principle underlies the Quran’s approach to knowledge. We are quick to judge and condemn – we do not want to challenge our preconceived ideas and prejudices. The option of Sabr requires painstaking study, labor and an objective mind. We opt for the easy option of rejection without reflection. As the Quran states:

    How can you have patience about things the knowledge of which you comprehend not (18:68)
    The vast distance of time and space that separates the critics from the book of God is a major obstacle that has to be overcome first. No human being can ever claim to be free from the influence and constraints of the era and land in which he dwells. Even if he lives to be a hundred years he cannot acquire the knowledge that will be discovered centuries later. Such a person is not the creator of the Heavens and the Earth and nor is he able to perceive reality from the perspective of one who has created these realities. All thinkers observe events and phenomenon from the perspective of their time: they are the products of their age. This short-sightedness is the basis of intellectual misunderstanding and difference. How can someone who is intoxicated with his own intellectual supremacy and is unable to resolve his inferiority/superiority complex ever find the Quran suitable or agreeable?

    If the system of requital of human beings is based on limiting our freedom to indulge all our passions, and reward and punishment is linked to the choices we make, then the human race cannot unilaterally withdraw from the workings of these laws just because they do not agree with its outlook. We are bound to them in the same way as we are to the laws of physics. If in this day and age you claim to free yourself from compliance and servitude, you will find that God really has no objection to this. It is God’s grace that has given you the opportunity to think all your good thoughts. But God does not allow the personal reflections of individual thinkers to have universal sanction. Intellectuals comprise a small percentage of the human population: should God abdicate the guidance of the whole of Mankind to their whims and fancies?

    If in relation to marriage God has allowed men to have more than one wife, you will find that it is only a small fraction of presumptuous women who feel the need to oppose this. These cultured, intellectual and working women are a mere insignificant statistic from the three billion women that live on Planet Earth. They seem to believe that the Quran was revealed for them alone, and it does not have to take into account all the other women living in all other periods of time and their issues both past and present. It is only God who can have the knowledge of all times and ages and a universal perspective. Our views are self-centered, localized and limited. The Quran also states another reason why God’s statements should take precedence:

    It may be that you dislike a thing while it is good for you, and it may be that you like a thing whilst it is bad for you. Allah knows and you know not (2:216)

    Can we accept that another human being or creature can be God? He has more complete and perfect knowledge than us. This verse is sufficient as an explanation of the constraints placed on our free will. The meaning of events, whether positive or negative, cannot be determined until it has run its course and the final outcome is visible. This is beyond human capacity and knowledge.

    Man has not yet fully understood the workings of the human mind. Do we really know who it is that thinks? Has science been able to identify the origin of thought: is it really generated by us, or are our thoughts travelers from alien worlds who temporarily reside in our minds? Like Angels or Demons they cast their ideas, which produce certain states within us, and are responsible for our choices. Can the mind be cardiographed like the heart to show ‘vessels’ that carry thoughts and ideas to the brain? All that Man has is the capacity to understand these and put these feelings and hunches into words leading to action. I am convinced that in times to come Man will have evidence to prove what God has stated in a few simple words:

    And you desire not a thing except that Allah, the Lord of the worlds desires it (81:29)
    Our wills are subject to His will. It is He who has permitted us this free will and we exercise it within the constraints he has placed.

    The world of the human mind is in need of further exploration. Its vastness is linked to the mutual connections that it makes. Our desire to investigate this microcosm is inversely proportional to the huge interest we show in researching the Macrocosm. Do we imagine that we will one day exhaust our research of the universe and then we will have time to explore the mind? Do we have this time? Has any other human civilization in the past managed to achieve all of its scientific, literary and social plans and had time left to understand itself and its role? This time Man seems more optimistic: his technology is sophisticated and his thinking is precise. But the causes which led to the destruction of former civilizations can still be found today. With great regret it has to be said that the civilized and cultured man of today has a lower ethical standard than past nations. He is also more inclined to support forces of destruction. Modern Man may be far superior in terms of science and empirical research than earlier civilizations, but at the same time at the social, cultural and ethical level he has adopted a course that could result in a major catastrophe at any time. He is far inferior in terms of justice, morality, upright character, mutual care, compassion and enterprise.

    To be continued...for the last chapter...

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    Quran: Humanity’s Only Hope 1/4 Last chapter

    The inherent limit of human understanding is the greatest obstacle in understanding the Quran. The All-knowing author of the Quran informs us of the realities of the physical and metaphysical realms. Faced with this, the reader of the Quran, despite his vast learning and intelligence, feels intellectually powerless and out of his depth. All of our knowledge is limited to what we acquire during some stage of our short lives through painstaking labor. Even then, the sum total of this knowledge is confined to a branch or aspect of all human learning. In modern times knowledge has shrunk even more; specializations in one’s own field have resulted in the loss of scholars who have a universal knowledge base. The sheer explosion of human learning in the last century perhaps makes it impossible for a single human being to combine all knowledge in one mind. To fully comprehend the Quran we must pool together the research undertaken by all branches of science.

    The outcomes of knowledge can only be fully appreciated if all those who have struggled and toiled utilize the fruits of their labor for the benefit and welfare of the whole of humanity. However, knowledge in the hands of the advanced nations has become a means of reinforcing their superiority. The weaker nations of the world are prevented from acquiring this learning to ensure that they are never in a position to challenge the powerful nations. It is true that various countries in the world participate in researching some branches of science, but the majority of extremely intelligent human beings are not entitled to enter the higher learning that gives honor, status and seeks to understand the universe through deploying sophisticated technological means.

    Why do Western scholars not recognize the value and importance of the Quran in the way that Muslims do? The reason for this is absolutely plain. The quest for God, to include Him in your own life and that of the Cosmos, acknowledging His power and dominion is not seen as a priority of the Human Race. They are shying away from making the most vital decision, and make no attempt to find out how the conditions of Earth were made adaptable for human dwelling. For argument's sake let us accept that all this could have been the result of random events; the tragedy is that no branch of learning or research has taken this question seriously or objectively critiqued the alternative views on this. At times these views are mocked, ridiculed and dismissed because those who hold them are seen as backward and intellectually inferior.

    The truths of religion are not judged on their own merits but on the abject conditions of those who believe in it. In modern times, Judaism and Christianity struggle to produce followers who live up to their noble teachings. But this does not undermine the moral ideals of these religions. In the same way Islam too is devoid of individuals possessing depth of intelligence and character who are able to absorb the sublime intellectual values of Islam and at the same time are characterized with sincere devotion to God. As individuals and as a society we are removed from grasping the true benchmarks of religion in general, and Islam in particular. Shallow thinking, ignorance and blind following of Mullahs who have cheapened religious ideas, have transformed Islam from a religion rooted in intellect and wisdom to a religion of empty rituals performed mechanically. Islam today is riddled with attitudes more commonly associated with cults and secret societies. The dominant religious traditions regard education as a means to personal status and a tool to spread sectarian bigotry. By setting up narrow-minded and partisan educational institutions they are transforming sincere Muslims into emblems of fear and terror, wrenching compassion for humanity and noble character traits from their hearts.

    The Quran does not permit such extreme hatred and blind aggression. It exhorts us to exercise extreme caution even when fighting for God. The rules of military Jihad are firmly rooted in moderation and respect for humanity. It deplores and strictly opposes the manipulation of these rules to justify the indiscriminate killing of humanity outside the rule of law. Islam cannot be categorized under the popular slogans of our times. It is beyond modernity and tradition, conservatism and progressive liberalism. The foundation of Islam is the Quran. In every age this book has been the classic of its time, providing authority and certainty. Although objects and means change with time, human nature remains constant. The human being of today is not that different from his ancient counterpart in terms of ethical values and ideals. He is not modern in this. During all ages Man has been modern; or to put it in another way, he is as old as he was in ancient times in relation to his humanity.
    Sadly, the direction of knowledge diverted away from refinement of the Self. Despite gaining mastery over objects, we have been unable to create a standard for the improvement of our base habits and character traits. We failed to establish institutions (with the exception of the Sufis) which would allow us to change the make-up of the darker side of the human self. Science proved helpless in curtailing our uncontrollable appetites and gluttonous passions. Nobody has discovered a cure for selfishness. The outcome in human terms has been disastrous; greed and the lust for power and fame have gone beyond any reckoning. The concept of self-awareness disappeared and was replaced by the fire of self-interest whose flames raged far and wide. The standards required to enter paradise were gradually lowered, yet those who yearned for it vanished. In contrast, the clamor and rush to enter the ranks of Hell is remarkable! In the words of the Prophet there are only two camps to choose from: Iman or Kufr, belief or disbelief.

    The situation in the Muslim world is that although there is no outright rejection of faith, there is a huge gulf between belief and practice. Hypocrisy is the tool and path leading to Kufr. The religion of Islam has been damaged by this. So when the question of guidance of humanity arises it is rare that the name of Islam is mentioned. Real men of God are few but the cheerleaders of Mullahism are many; shallow men prostrating to God are in abundance but where are the worshippers infused with sincerity towards God? Men with well groomed features, flowing beards, elegant turbans, who worship greed and wealth are plenty. The Quran has been reduced to chants and litanies recited in memorial services for the dead. Its understanding has become captive to the machinations of the destructive Self. Mullahs are mushrooming in profusion, but ordinary people are still thirsting for spiritual fulfillment. The world of Islam is bewitched. The magical minds of the wizards of the West produced false gods of modernity which captivated the imagination of the Muslims. In the name of innovation and modernization the Samiri (sorcerer who led the Israelites astray by carving the golden calf) of the present age has created new citadels that cannot be breached by ordinary minds. There is nothing that can break this spell, except the Quran.

    The Quran is the genuine magical tablet of the universe, the only book that provides all the answers. Without it, you cannot sustain any theory, idea or conclusion that seeks to provide a comprehensive and unified explanation of reality. The paths of philosophy and science ultimately hit a brick wall. In the imagery of the Quran this caravan of superficial knowledge, despite thousands of explanations and interpretations, is like a group of travellers on a ramshackle ship in the midst of a raging sea and violent storm. Holding onto a broken rudder they drift along through torrential rain, lightning and thunder. The momentary flash of lightning provides them with a glimpse of their surroundings, and seconds later they are plunged back into the depths of darkness.

    To be continued...

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    Quran: Humanity’s Only Hope 2/4 Last chapter

    All theories are incomplete and are unable to provide a universal explanation of everything. The Quran alone offers a ‘Theory of Everything’. The highest authority in all matters must be accorded to God. The attention of existent things needs to be turned to the One who has Absolute Existence. Rise and fall, profit and loss, past, present and future, ideas and imaginings, ignorance and awareness, Heaven and Earth, self and cosmos, fear and depression, anxiety and worry, complacency and urgency, business and art, good and evil, illumination and darkness; in fact every issue or question of the world and the cosmos gains clarity and meaning through Him. The dialectics of debate rarely lead to complete understanding; nor do the investigations of philosophy quench Humankind’s thirst for certainty. All metaphysical reality is reduced to abstract concepts fuelled by conjecture. Understanding ultimate reality unaided is beyond the intellectual apparatus of Man.

    The Quran instils certainty about the Real Creator - an understanding which is free from speculation and doubt. The great project of Life on Earth becomes a meaningless and futile Endeavour if we ignore the fundamental reality of this Force (God) which animates the whole of existence. It is like a man who has lost the use of his mind and lives out his life without any purpose or recollection of who he is and what he was supposed to be doing. No greatness or honour can be conferred to a person who has lost the use of his higher faculties. Any attempt to refer to such an individual with accolades of glory is nothing but empty words. In the same way, all sublime thoughts and goals acquire meaning, and thus honor, when they are connected with God. Without Him they are like glorious flowers in full bloom growing in the desert with nobody to admire or appreciate their beauty. Eventually they wither away and crumble into dust, as though they had never existed!

    The situation of Man is somewhat similar. He grows and blossoms in all his glory and then, in a single instance he ceases to exist. I sometimes wonder about the mindset of Man and what drives him to compete for celebrity and status when at the back of his mind he knows that it will all go up in a puff of smoke. Caught in the vortex of mutual appreciation and flattery, what is it that Man values as he gets ready to breathe his last? I don’t know for certain, but I can say with complete conviction that the grandeur and fame showered upon the corpse after death brings no real benefit to it. Life is pointless without reference to a higher power (God). We cannot change the inevitable outcome of death even if we were to bring together the collective intelligence and resources of the entire species. The flicker of death forever casts its shadow on life. Throughout life, evil appears to be the selection of the aggressor whilst good seems to be the choice of the faint-hearted, even though they both culminate at the same point – death. Despite this, grasping the good holds more appeal and promise than indulging in evil.

    It is difficult to state the pre-requisite knowledge needed to understand the Quran. However, we must be careful not to obstruct anyone, whatever their background or level of intelligence, from reading the Quran. The nature of the Quran is that it gradually descends and ‘reveals’ itself to its readers in direct proportion to their purity of intention and capacity to receive. One of the most important characteristics of a great scholar is that he judges people according to their intellectual capacities. He does not expect those of limited experience and intelligence to respond intellectually and nor does he hope to receive an ignorant response from the learned. Consequently he pitches his message in line with the intellectual capacity and experience of his listeners. God is the Knower of the Unseen and the Visible realms of reality (Alim-ul-Ghaib wa-Shahada). He understands the outward and the inner aspects of Mankind, and is intimately aware of the levels of understanding and experience of every single human being.

    All those who approach the Quran benefit from it. The All-Wise Creator has placed within His book something for everybody. There are many who are only able to phonetically recite the words of the Quran and have no understanding of the meanings contained within it. Such people benefit immensely from simply reciting the words of the Holy Book and will experience a wonderful sense of serenity. Those who merely want to focus on improving their outward actions and their lifestyle will find that the Quran has provided them with a framework to achieve this aim. Beyond this there are some who seek a broad and general understanding; such people will find the Quran to be the greatest guide to wisdom and guidance compared to any other book. For intellectuals and scholars, the Quran is an abundant resource which informs their research and investigations. As a result of their diligent study, God opens up for them specific meanings in the Quran. Besides all these groups of people there are a few who approach the Quran purely to know God and seek His good will and pleasure at all times. Their study of the Book opens up to them channels of inspiration from God.


    To be continued...

  10. #190
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    Quran: Humanity’s Only Hope 3/4 Last chapter

    The Quran raises the level of human understanding and insight to an unprecedented degree. It provides solace for the seekers through its sublime conception of the divine. First and foremost it is the Book of Knowledge. It places an extraordinary emphasis on knowledge to the extent that it exhorts the noblest of beings, stationed in the most sublime rank of Prophethood, Muhammad (PBUH) to beseech God and declare: ‘My Lord increase me in knowledge’.

    And say, "O My Lord! advance me In knowledge (20:114)

    It praises those who question and reflect, proclaiming that they are the ones chosen by theQuran. Equally it reviles those who follow faith blindly, dogmatically and without thinking. God declares in the Wise Book

    For the worst of beasts (people) In the sight of Allah are the deaf and the dumb,- those who do not use their intellects (8:22)

    These are the people who deliberately suspend their faculties of reason and intellect. They approach the speech of God in a feeble-minded manner characterized by blind imitation which paralyses their minds. This is the state of the vast majority of educated Muslims. The Quran is a focal point for their devotion but not of their reflection and study. Contemporary Muslim scientists, philosophers and scholars harbor a secret fear that if they were to apply the same rigorous standard of research required of other fields to the Quran, it would not be able to withstand such a critique. The intellectual arrogance of this claim is staggering. They are not prepared to give the Quran a fair chance, or even test their assumption of deficit in the Quran. They proceed straight to judgment! There are some intellectuals who feel they are doing a favor to God by reading His book and giving it their consideration. In their minds they believe that they are making a huge sacrifice by aligning themselves with God and the Quran. In the Indian Subcontinent, religious scholars who claim to be intellectuals have cast themselves as self-sacrificing martyrs to whom God should be grateful for defending His Book. The study of the Quran did not lead them to uncover the limits of their knowledge but instead it drove them to make outrageous claims of superiority: that they were the revivers of religion (Mujadid) and the Pole which upholds it (Qutb). The last few decades have rarely produced a scholar of the Quran who did not display a wish to lay the foundations of a personal Islamic empire or who did not create vast organizations in the name of the Quran or Mysticism (Tasawwuf) centred on himself. It appears that the poison of pseudo scholarship seeped into their blood stream and an insane obsession to seek personal greatness by exploiting religion enveloped their outlooks.

    A psychological analysis of the minds of these scholars clearly reveals that they have strayed far from the path of balance. Instead of instilling the majesty of the Quran, they focused on establishing their personal authority in the minds and hearts of their followers. The Islamic movements that have arisen over the last century have all claimed that the Quran is the basis of their ideologies. However, after a short while the insane desire to single-handedly bring about a revolution, whose focal point is the personality of the founder himself, overshadows everything else. The desperate situation of many Muslim countries has made it easy for ego-driven scholars to offer quick fix solutions and promises of glory to the masses who verge on the brink of despair. The belief that the Mehdi will come and solve all our problems is a product these religious salesmen are keen to sell. It is the best-selling Islamic ideology of this age as it appeals to our sense of complacency and requires us to do nothing except wait.

    These expert scholars of the Quran rely on many defective interpretations of the Wise Book to support their personal Islamic revolutions, irrespective of the context and stage of development of the Muslim Ummah. This misuse of the Quran is the worst example of political exploitation to gain control over the lives of ordinary people. Entire generations of respected and esteemed commentators of the Quran were not driven by this hunger for power, but instead they imparted their insight, wisdom and teachings to the community of Islam and then journeyed on to their Lord. The Quran should never be understood through the filter of one’s personal inferiority complex; nor can the Quran be approached by preconceived notions that are then projected on to its verses. Islamic schools of thought are plagued with bigotry and sectarian hatred because their followers do not hesitate to force their partisan interpretations onto the Quran, using it as a tool to score party political points. This dishonest approach to the Quran has won them a few blind and bigoted followers, but the higher teachings of the Quran have been assigned to oblivion and obscurity. Furthermore, they block others from the sincere understanding of the Quran by claiming they have a monopoly over its interpretation. The intellectual capacity of all people is not the same. It is impossible to accept that there are no other individuals, besides these ego-scholars, who possess the higher levels of intellect and understanding to comprehend the Quran.

    The Quran states that God raises the rank and status of whomsoever He wills and that above every person of knowledge there is another who surpasses him. The sectarian groups of today shower accolades and mighty titles on their most minor scholars in an attempt to psychologically create a feeling of inferiority and inadequacy amongst ordinary Muslims. They refer to the most ordinary translators of the Quran as geniuses and masters in order to instil respect, loyalty and blind acceptance. The master and his followers are both blind adherents. The objections and criticism which applies to one also applies to the other. The only difference is the point of reference. Where there is a range of intellectual capacity within people, the phenomenon of blind following is usually present. Contemporary scholars of the Quran are the least balanced. They adopt abnormal approaches to life and pass these onto their followers. The Quran encourages its readers to ponder deeply and after a lengthy period of reflection to arrive at a conclusion. In contrast the Quran experts of today pass judgement with haste and do not permit any questioning of their process. Emotional attachment and response has seeped into every atom and fibre of the Indian Subcontinent. This fanatical approach causes immense damage to the objective style of thinking adopted by the Quran.

    People have a tendency to measure the majestic author of this Mighty Book with the benchmark of their limited intelligence and personal views. They limit their focus on the Cosmic Book to a few mundane issues related to personal life, dress and relationships. I accept that these matters are mentioned in the Quran and we should not ignore them, since Islamic society depends on such laws to regulate the affairs of people. However, we must not ignore the whole and focus only on its constituent parts, nor lose sight of the wood because of our focus on individual trees. As a Muslim it is important to be aware of the rituals of religion, but is it true that the entire message of the Quran starts and finishes with these external aspects? Is it the case that a Muslim on his death bed will only be worried about his prayers and fasting or should he also be concerned about the purity of his heart, the depth of his understanding, and the development of his spirituality? Do we apply the same superficial benchmark to other disciplines? For instance, would we be content with a pharmacist who has read the contents page of a book on pharmacy and is able to read the labels of medicines but has no understanding of the properties of any of the drugs he is prescribing to the general public? Is it right that a student studying for an MA degree continues to focus on the lessons that he learnt as a youngster? Is there no difference in understanding between a Post Graduate student and a child in primary school?

    No other field of study suffers from the intellectual destitution that characterizes our approach to religion. Those at the helm have constructed narrow boundaries around their minds and have condemned everyone else to stay within those limits. We do not get beyond the surface aspects of our faith. Have the students of the Quran understood the goal of the teachings of this Noble Book? The love and recognition of God, His proximity and devotion has not been able to go beyond the length of the Mullah’s trousers. Why are the teachers of Quranic sciences unable to instil a deep rooted love of God in the hearts of their students? Is it possible to perceive the magnanimity and nobility of character in the believers which, in the words of the Quran, produces a divine light which marches in front of the servants of God acting as their guide? We do not notice the barren womb of this age producing spiritual masters such as Junaid of Baghdad, Bayazid of Bistam, Abdul Qadir of Jilan, Ali Hujweri, , Moeenuddin Chishti and Baba Farid. The teachings of the Quran produced such amazing individuals. In contrast, the understanding of the Quran by power-hungry scholars churns out hordes of narrow-minded bigots whom we see lurking on street corners clad in towering turbans, immaculate dress and with raised trouser lengths that reveal their anklebones as a mark of their piety. .

    To be continiued for the last episode of this book....

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    Quran: Humanity’s Only Hope 4/4 Last chapter

    The most prestigious organizations of the world undertake a careful process of recruitment and selection involving sophisticated tests designed to identify the best brains and abilities. These are the measures we take to ensure the smooth running of a small enterprise in a very small world. Do you imagine that God, most Sublime and Exalted, would select the feeblest-minded people who dress in the outward clothing of Islam to oversee the management of the Quranic system upon which the entire cosmos depends? Such people cannot be regarded as your intellectual equals, let alone be entrusted with the reins of leadership of Mankind. It is not befitting that they don the cloak of stewardship of the Earth or be considered worthy of providing direction and vision in religious or worldly affairs.

    The Quran has cause for complaint. It was the benchmark for those who remembered God day and night, shed tears in awe and wonder, and whose hearts were infused with the love of the sublime. They took on the colours of God; they did not dismiss as insignificant anything on Earth or in the cosmos; they exercised their faculties of reason and intelligence, pondered over the creation of the universe, the heavens and the alternations of night and day to understand the principles that Govern creation. They were able to gain mastery over the winds and subjugate the clouds and rain; they pinpointed the hidden treasures of the Earth; they were constantly engaged in the exploration of the signs and symbols scattered in the cosmos; they were ever grateful to the wisdom contained in the Book which guided their investigations; and they paid their debt of worship to God in a manner which was befitting His majesty.

    These men of letters, scientists, intellectuals, souls driven by the desire to explore could not satisfy their thirst for knowledge except through the Quran. They never tired of reading the Quran as its meanings were inexhaustible. The divine cloak of knowledge enveloped them. These believers (Mumin) and submitters (Muslims) were so dear to God that he disclosed to them the paths of hidden knowledge. Such was their knowledge of the Book that, like Asif bin Barziyyah, they had mastery over fusion and diffusion of matter. With a mere gesture of their finger, an illuminating lamp would burst into flame. From the fingers of the Messenger of God (PBUH) fountains of fresh water would flow. Even angels and the Jinn would bow their heads in submission to their leadership. The throne of Suleyman and the winds were under their control. From behind the clouds angels saluted them in admiration.

    This is not the stuff of fantasy and make-believe. This is the reality of those who surrender themselves to God (Arabic: Muslim), who adore their Lord; who are the inheritors of the Book; who are the stewards of God on Earth (Khalifat-ullah fil Ard). We are referring to the followers of Muhammad, the Messenger of God, and of the students of the Quran. All the miracles referred to before are no longer witnessed today. Yet the resource that enabled these feats, namely the Quran, is still with us today. It is a question about our engagement and approach to the Quran, the Book of Reality. Our superficial contact with the Quran makes the flowing fountains of human potential seem like a mirage in the desert. The sacred paths have become covered with debris. Unity has been sacrificed at the altar of sectarianism. Madness has gripped the Muslim Ummah. Faith and morality are no more than folk tales. The resources of faith are sold in the marketplace. Knowledge of God is confined to the length of the beard and the cut of one’s collar.

    Can we reclaim the lost legacy for which we were created?

    Everything around us has crumbled. Doubt has encircled every certainty. But one thing has been preserved; a treasure that none has been able to pillage, a book that has stood the test of time and survived unadulterated, undistorted and unscathed. It is the speech of God; His overwhelming evidence, an invincible argument. It is the source of all wisdom and knowledge, conferring honor and dignity to those who submit to Him (lit. Islam and the Muslims). It reveals the secrets of the universe and the Self. It is the criterion which defines the priorities of thought and life. It is the key that opens the door to the love of God and the Prophet (PBUH). It is a discourse which unravels the most complex of enigmas. Its elegant and inimitable style captivates and delights. It promotes the ideal of intellectual humility and develops loftiness of thought. It enables Man to attain his full human potential. When you return to the Quran, distances will diminish and events will turn in your favour. The mercy of God will burst forth from the storehouses of Heaven. The sun will dispel the dark shadows of loss and failure. The movements of the planets will become compliant, and the Heavens and the Earth will await the command of the Deputy of God on Earth.

    However, the blessings of the Quran are not the sole preserve of the Muslims. The Quran speaks directly to humankind. It provides the argument that dispels doubt and ushers in certainty. It contains the data that will enable us to verify the claim of God. The time has come for the whole of humanity to objectively evaluate the Quran. Ball is in Man’s court. God has made and presented His argument.

    The End.

  12. #192
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    i am very thankful for all of you guys and your patience. you can now discuss or question here whatever u like i'll also inshallah try to answer.
    i will be glad if have any feedback of this book as well from the few people who were very consistent and read all.

    Thank n Regards

  13. #193
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    God: Reason or Blind Faith? 3/3 ... i was just reading it again and found a mistake after all i m human being not God actually i have repeated episode 2 of this chapter. i m starting it from one paragraph before, so here it is the remaning one.. if darcy is here he can have his answer in details as well about the scientific external argument about the God's existence.


    However, there are many other facts in the Quran which can be analyzed, judged and verified according to modern standards of research and criticism. There is plenty of scope to expect some sort of error or mistake. God discusses the genesis of the universe and the origins of life. He talks in detail of the orbits of heavenly bodies. A detailed description is given of the creation of Man and the formation of life. The movements of mountains are mentioned and that the Earth is being reduced at the edges (plate tectonics). God also refers to the fact that the universe is expanding, and how the birds and clouds remain suspended in air. In fact there are so many facts that at any time you could find a settled scientific view on that topic and compare it with the conclusions of the Quran. This raises a question: whom should we rely on to understand and explain the Quran to us? If the opponents of the Quran are armed with the latest research and education, should we not expect someone who is able to understand the teachings of the Quran without any doubt or wavering in the way that God intended it to be understood, and to provide the required clarifications demanded by the modern age?

    Unfortunately, there is no contemporary or past scholar who has a comprehensive understanding of non-religious sciences as well as a complete grasp of Quranic sciences and who is also familiar with the research methodology of Western intellectuals. The honor and respect which is currently enjoyed by the Western Mind is not based on intellectual insight but on the social and economic progress which is a result of the practical application of western scientific research. They have become so engrossed with acquiring physical benefits that they are unable to even consider the possibility of any non-physical reality. What is more, until now they have never attempted to scrutinize the Quran to verify its claims or perhaps they have been prevented from doing so. If they were to rise above their personal prejudices and climb out of the depths of religious bigotry would they be able to accomplish this research task? I am sure that if Bradlow and Bacon had studied the Quran in detail they would not have become secularists. Besides, it is pointless to commiserate over something that God’s providence had not decreed to be their lot!

    Today, Europe and America are attempting to instill a sense of inferiority in the minds of Muslims, an inferiority complex whose basis is not knowledge and learning but power and wealth. This has led to the creation of a totally erroneous approach to reality in the minds of some Muslim intellectuals. If political power and control of resources are the signs that one is following the truth, then for thirteen centuries the Muslims dominated global politics and were therefore on the truthful path. A period of a hundred years in the ascendancy is not decisive in the polity of nations. Is there any intellectual or thinker who is willing to guarantee that this brief domination of the West will be everlasting? Is there a single Western nation which does not feel threatened by the emergence of a powerful Islamic entity; and which does not fear its own demise?

    The speed with which the secular system of the world is reaching its final conclusion is visible for all to see. Time and again history has witnessed that secularism has given birth to a society characterized by religious extremism (with the exception of the early Muslim community, which was unique because it was founded on the principles of the golden mean and its outcome was based on moderation). In contrast, the unfettered moral freedoms that are currently the legacy of the West will lead to the inevitable destruction of the current social order within fifty years if current trends are to continue. Its death will be like that of a parasitic plant that becomes separated from its host plant and gradually withers away. When the Roman philosopher Cicero predicted the decline of the Roman Empire the conditions of society were much the same. The demon of freedom to indulge in excess was niggling away at the moral fibre of society. Cicero’s prophecy was fulfilled before its time. If you look at the pace of social decline it’s not farfetched to say that the coming years will put a final seal on the insanity of human excess.

    This makes it all the more vital for us to find a conclusive answer to the core questions of the human condition. Who are we? What is the point and purpose of human life? To what extent are we free? To what extent are we bound and limited?
    The outcome of the life of this world is plain to see. But is anybody concerned about the long period of life that is contingent upon the existence of God? It is vital for us to establish whether there is such a life. Our rejection or confirmation must be based on objective evidence. Ignoring this question may be fatal if the evidence points to the contrary. We cannot simply dismiss God as a product of a crazy mind or as a result of religious passion that presents folklore as fact. Nor can we accept without question the blatantly dismissive slogans bandied about by the secularist or the claims of the scientist and philosopher that God is a figment of the imagination.

    Anybody who does not accept this view is irrational and illogical. We are talking about a reality on which depends centuries upon centuries of our future life. The fundamental stumbling block between Man and God is the issue of existence. God is not a sweet pill of the mind who makes it easy for us to swallow bitter reality or the fruit of insanity. God is the King of the Cosmos, Absolutely Powerful, every decision and choice rests with Him. There is only one way in which we can bypass the reality of God and that is if He does not exist. The only way to prove that he does not exist is to show that He has made an error, and this can be done by proving that He has made a mistake in His book. This is not possible at all except by scrutinizing the Quran.

    ............
    Thanks
    Rab e adkhilni Mudkhla Sidqnw wa akhrijni mukhraja sidkanw wja alni milla dunka Sultananasira!!

  14. #194
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    kindly discuss...
    Rab e adkhilni Mudkhla Sidqnw wa akhrijni mukhraja sidkanw wja alni milla dunka Sultananasira!!

  15. #195
    Quote Originally Posted by usman.khawar View Post
    kindly discuss...
    You are kidding, aren't you? Brevity is the soul of wit.

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