Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The Merciful Established Himself on the Throne

Written by Member: Asim Awan
Country: United States of America
Date: 30-Sep-2005
The above phrase occurs in the Qur'an in seven places and is used in classical Arabic idiomatically. God Almighty has taken to running the affairs of creation. This verse is so profound in meaning, that it would be significant to analyze its implications: 1. Everytime it is preceded by a verse recounting that God Almighty created the heavens and the earth. It strikes at the very idea, held by Deists that God simply left the universe to run on its own. In fact, the Deist position leaves no room for religion. 2. This idea strikes at the very basis for idolatry. Idolatry has always acknowledged that although there was only One Creator for the universe, He was unconcerned with the welfare of man. He was so transcendent that it was beyond his Glory that he involve himself in the running of the universe. This led men to take other beings of worship so that "they may bring us nearer to God." The fact that God is continuously running the universe such that "everyday He is in a new splendour", should make man realize that only God is worthy to be worshipped, and only He is worthy to be called on for help. 3. God mentions his attribute Ar-Rahman. This teaches man some important points: a. As Ameen Ahsan Islahi points out, Ar-Rahman is an intensive form of fa'lan. This expresses 'great fervency and enthusiasm', and ultimately points out that it was the Almighty's abounding mercy that caused him to create and maintain the universe. His purpose is for a just and noble end. "My mercy overcomes my wrath." b. It is tantamount to pure ingratitude to take other beings for worship other than Allah. How can one even raise their hands to another, when they realize that God Almighty created us, and is maintaining us purely out of his Abounding Mercy? In fact, it is only with due recognition of this reality, that one does not fall into shirk. In Surah Baqarah, verse 163, God Almighty says, "Your God is one God. There is no god but Him. He is the Compassionate, the Ever-Merciful." This verse states the oneness of God first in the positive sense, and then in the negative sense. This is followed by the attributes Ar-Rahman, and Ar-Raheem. The mentioning of these attributes hold a significant place, for it is a recognition of these attributes that cause men to turn to God alone, and it is a lack of conviction in these attributes that cause man to fall into shirk. Hadeeth report the Prophet (S) saying upon hearing a supplicant to God use these two attributes, that the person has called upon God by his greatest names, such that he will not be refused. With this in mind, it would be wise to end on some reflections of the attribute of God Ar-Rabb. The reason is because the idea of rububiiyah conveys a similar idea to the phrase under discussion. God, according to surah Fatiha, is the Rabb of the vastness of creation. The root, r-b-b, according to Muhammad Ali, has the idea of fostering something in such a manner as to help it to attain one condition after another until it reaches the goal of completion. The implications of this are that every single creature needs the assistance of God to reach its full potential. Guidance is actually a manifest law in the universe, and permeates everything through and through. In the case of man, the rubbubiya of God manifests itself not only in material blessings, but spiritual blessings as well. Man was created with a dual nature, possessing both body and spirit, so his needs are two-fold. In Surah Fatiha, man recognizes that God is the Rabb of the vastness of Creation, which is an undeniable reality. Everything he sees around his is as if it was put in the service of him. This recognition ultimately impels him to implore his Lord for the fulfillment of his spiritual needs, including teaching him the proper way of worship. "You alone we worship, and you alone we seek help." Finally, God has responded to this natural urge by providing him revelation, ultimating reaching its 'perfect' form in the Qur'an. "Ar-Rahman, Has Taught the Qur'an, and Created man." The greatest manifestation of God is that he provides man with hidaya. When one acknowledges God is controlling the affairs of the world, than one realizes that "Have we not sent a warner?" is plain truth.