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Article appeared Friday, July 20th, 2012 in The News Today, Bangladesh

The Revelation (236)

yousuf mahbubul Islam, PhD

Have we created god or gods to serve our own purposes? The question is highly impertinent. Let us for a moment bear with the question and do a study of human habits. For example, when do we look for the Creator? Is it when we are in trouble or sick, before exams or when we need something? For whose benefit do we seek the Creator at these times? Again, is it convenient to have a god for wealth, a god for knowledge, a god for having children, i.e. a god for each individual human purpose? Whose needs would these gods fulfill? Further, when we get down in prayer to our Creator what is the purpose? If one prays regularly, fasts, gives charity, goes on pilgrimage what is the purpose? Is the purpose to please Allah or to be rewarded with heaven or jannat? If one goes to heaven, whose purpose would be fulfilled? Also, when a clergyman gives a decision without sincere study of religious text, what is going on? Could it be to show-off religious knowledge? Again, whose purpose is being served? Coming back to the question at the beginning of the article, how should the question be changed? Would a more appropriate question be, Has our Creator made each human for a specific purpose? If yes, how many of us consciously think about the Creators Purpose when doing anything? Should it be important to do so? Is it important to understand His Purpose and consider applying His Purpose to our life and daily activities? So, how can we know His Purpose? Can a created human being know the Creators Purpose intuitively? Can we find His Purpose if we examine the whole situation from a human beings point-of-view? Or should one examine the situation from the Creators point-of-view? Do scriptures Reveal His Purpose? Turning to the most recent Revelation, the Quran, we find that our Creator enlightens why He Created us, O you people! Adore your Guardian-Lord who created you and those who came before you so that you may have the chance to learn righteousness. [2.21] Success/salvation of human beings depends on fulfilling the purpose for which they were made, O you who believe! Bow down, prostrate yourselves and adore your Lord; and do good; that you may prosper. [22.77] As each has been given individual skills and a unique personality, To each is a goal to which Allah turns him; then strive together (as in a race) toward all that is good [2.148] Working together to fulfill the Creators Purpose serves to benefit the souls of human beings. And if anyone strives (with might and main) they do so for their own souls: for Allah is free of all needs from all creations. [29.6] For a person who claims belief, it is incumbent on him/her to find ways and do things to Please his/her Creator. O you who believe! Do your duty to Allah, seek the means of approach to Him and strive with might and main in His Cause: that you may prosper. [5.35] Go forth (whether equipped) lightly or heavily and strive and struggle with your goods and your individual selves in the Cause of Allah. That is best for you if you (but) knew. [9.41] Since we owe our existence and every moment of our lives to Allah, is it logical to make efforts to Please Him? A righteous attitude would serve to fulfill the purpose for which we were created.

If we do not do things to fulfill His Purpose, we are likely to have problems responding to the Creators inevitable questions on the Day of Judgment. If one wants to fulfill the Creators purpose what would then be an important activity? Those to whom We have sent the Book study it as it should be studied; they are the ones that believe; those who reject faith therein the loss is their own. [2.121] To find what the Creator wants, one needs to study and understand Revealed scriptures. The purpose of all Revealed scriptures is the same. For example, regarding helping each other to collectively fulfill the Creators Purpose we find in the Bible: just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved. [1 Corinthians 10:33, ESV] {1} Similarly, about adoring the Creator, Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength [Mark 12:30, NIV] {2} Just as the Creator has guided us to His Purpose, He has made lawful good things and unlawful bad things to help us lead fruitful physical lives. Instead of trying to follow the way shown by the prophets, should we be inventing laws? Is it possible to know better? Our Creator does not like excesses in the name of religion. What the Creator has made lawful, we should not make unlawful with the excuse that we are trying to please Him.

5.87 O you who believe! Make not unlawful the good things which Allah has made lawful for you but commit no excess: for Allah loves not those given to excess. 5.88 Eat of the things which Allah has provided for you lawful and good: but fear Allah in Whom you believe.
If I can thank God for the food and enjoy it, why should I be condemned for eating it? [1 Corinthians 10:30, NLT] {3} As Allah is Merciful,

5.89 Allah will not call you to account for what is futile in your oaths but He will call you to account for your deliberate oaths: for expiation feed then indigent persons on a scale of the average for the food of your families; or clothe them; or give a slave his freedom. If that is beyond your means then fast for three days. That is the expiation for the oaths you have sworn. But keep to your oaths. Thus Allah makes clear to you His Signs that you may be grateful.
Allah Guides why He as made unlawful intoxicants and gambling:

5.90 O you who believe! Intoxicants and gambling (dedication of) stones and (divination by) arrows are an abomination of Satan's handiwork: eschew such (abomination) that you may prosper. 5.91 Satan's plan is (but) to incite enmity and hatred between you with intoxicants and gambling and hinder you from the remembrance of Allah and from prayer: will you not then abstain?
-------{1} http://bible.cc/1_corinthians/10-33.htm {2} http://bible.cc/mark/12-30.htm {3} http://bible.cc/1_corinthians/10-30.htm