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Article appeared Friday, October 12th, 2018 in The News Today, Bangladesh

The Revelation (543) yousuf mahbubul Islam, PhD

Each of us has his/her own view about the Creator and about the practice of religion. Is it then
surprising that not only are there so many religions in the world, even the adherents of the same
religion argue/disagree amongst themselves regarding day to day practices? Why are there so
many views? According to PhilosophyNews, as reported in the PraisePhilly website {1}, even
““The meaning of the term ‘religion’ has been hotly debated for centuries by theologians,
philosophers, politicians, and even scientists”. A true definition of religion will never come
about because there are too many opposing views and a clear consensus is clearly
impossible to reach.” {1}

Why is this so? Is it because our arguments about religion are based on individual perception
{2} rather than on fact? Are there facts that we are somehow missing? In the Holy Scripture, the
Al-Qur’an, God commands adherents of a religion not to divide their religion into sects, i.e.,
separate beliefs within and also not to support or follow
“Those who split up their Religion and become (mere) Sects, each party rejoicing in
what it has with itself!” [30.32]

What facts are we missing? For example, let’s imagine that a manufacturer builds customized
robots for different purposes. Now, if the robots had their own perception, would they be able to
decide who their manufacturer is or why they were built? Equally, would it be important for an
individual robot to find out why it was made? Rather than trying to decide on its own, the robots’
job would be to find out why it was made, and fulfill its role, otherwise it may be discarded. The
robot’s “religion” would be to acknowledge the fact that it is custom built and perform its
activities according to the “manual” provided, i.e., if it doesn’t want to be discarded.

Similarly, for human beings, could the term religion be decided and defined? Could it simply be
a science or philosophy that would outline the purpose of his/her existence and consist of
guiding principles that would prevent humans from being discarded? What would the role of
human perception then be? As a first step, the human perception should be able to decide that it
has not made itself – that it is purpose built with an individual personality. Second, that it needs
to find guidance on its purpose. Third, it needs to follow this guidance to prevent the eventuality
of being discarded. Accordingly, the Al-Qur’an carries the story of what our Creator said when
He put Adam and Eve together with Satan on earth.
“We said, "Get down all of you from here. And when guidance comes to you from Me,
whosoever follows My guidance – on them shall be no fear nor shall they grieve. "But
those who reject Faith (i.e., disbelieve) and deny Our Signs (i.e., guidance) those will be
companions of the Fire; they will abide therein eternally."” [2.38 – 2.39]

Regarding blindly following our own perceptions, i.e., following own desires and denying
guidance, God has the following documented in the Al-Qur’an,
“"But whosoever turns away from My Message (i.e., remembering his/her purpose),
verily for him is a life narrowed down (i.e., difficult life) and We shall raise him up blind on
the Day of Judgment." He will ask, "O my Lord! Why have You raised me up blind while I
had sight (before)?" (God) will respond, "Thus did you do when Our Signs came to you -
disregarded them: so will you this day be disregarded."” [20.124 – 20.126]

“Have you seen such a one who takes as his god his own passion (or desire/impulse)?
Then could you be a disposer of affairs for him?” [25.43]
For those who continue to argue and demean religion, the Al-Qur’an warns,
“God will judge between you on the Day of Judgment concerning that matters over
which you differ.” [22.69]

Whatever is in our hearts, whatever we argue, whatever we think, God asks us to evaluate the
following statement using our perceptions,

22.70 “Do you not know that God knows all that is in heavens and on earth?
Indeed it is all in a record and indeed that is easy for Him.”
All our thoughts, emotions and deeds are being recorded, in preparation for the Day of
“And the Book (of Deeds) will be placed (before you); and you will see the sinful in great
terror because of what is (recorded) therein; they will say, "Ah! Woe to us! What a book
is this! It leaves out nothing small or great but takes account thereof!" They will find all
that they did placed before them: and not one will your Lord treat with injustice.” [18.49]

22.71 “Yet they worship besides God, things for which no authority has been sent
down to them and of which they have (really) no knowledge: for those that do
wrong there is no helper.”
Have we prioritized the pursuit of wealth, power and status – made these things much more
important than turning to God and fulfilling the purpose for which we have been created?

22.72 “When Our Clear Signs (i.e., guidance) are rehearsed to them you will
notice a denial on the faces of the Unbelievers! They nearly attack with violence
those who rehearse Our Signs to them. Say, "Shall I tell you of something (far)
worse than these Signs? It is the Fire (of Hell)! God has promised it to the
Unbelievers! And evil is that destination!"”
Do we attack verbally, oppress or physically persecute those who invite us to turn to God and
follow true religion as it should be followed? Do we accept the Holy Scriptures as our daily
guidance manuals?

22.73 “O men! Here is a parable for you! Listen to it! Those on whom besides God
you call (upon or rely on) cannot create (even) a fly if they all met together for the
purpose! And if the fly should snatch away anything from them they would have
no power to release it from the fly: feeble are those who petition and those whom
they petition!”
After death, which of the things that we have prioritized can help us? Which will earn a ticket to
eternal life/bliss with God in the life after the Day of Judgment? Have we worked out who God
is? If He has the capacity to create human beings and the Universe, could there be anything He
cannot do? Can we run away and hide from Him? Would it not be better to find out why He has
created us and try to please Him?

22.74 “No just estimate have they made of God: for God is He Who is strong and
able to carry out His Will.”