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Article appeared Friday, April 22nd, 2011 in The News Today, Bangladesh

The Revelation (175) yousuf mahbubul Islam, PhD

Most of us have heard of the famous painting “Mona Lisa” by Leonardo Da Vinci. Leonardo {1}
started painting the Mona Lisa in 1503 or 1504 and completed the painting shortly before he
died in 1519. This 16th century painting which Leonardo painted off-and-on during the 15 year
period is considered to be among the most famous and considered priceless or at least the
most expensive in the world. There are a few questions that one might consider here. Why or
for whom did Leonardo make the painting? To whom exclusively should the qualities of painted
person be accredited to? Can the woman in the painting claim any of the qualities to be her

Can making of the painting be compared to making of each individual human being? Where do
the physical qualities of each individual human being come from? Rick Warren {2} is very
specific about this and explains on page 14 of his best-selling book, “Purpose Driven Life”,
“God prescribed every single detail of your body. He deliberately chose your race, the
color of your skin, your hair, and every other feature. He custom-made your body just the
way he wanted it. He also determined the natural talents you would possess and the
uniqueness of your personality. The Bible says, "You know me inside and out, you know
every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was
sculpted from nothing into something." Because God made you for a reason, he also
decided when you would be born and how long you would live. He planned the days of
your life in advance, choosing the exact time of your birth and death. The Bible says,
"You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life before I began to
breathe. Every day was recorded in your Book!” {2}

When Leonardo made Mona Lisa, how much detail did he have to think about? Did he have to
plan the color of the eyes, the color of the skin, the hair, etc.? Similarly, our Creator had to plan
every single detail not only of our physical beings, but also our nature and opportunities. The
most recent Revelation, the Qur’an details the initial creation of each human being as well as
gives us the purpose.
“It is He Who has created you from dust then from a sperm-drop then from a leech-like
clot; then does He get you out (into the light) as a child: then lets you (grow and) reach
your age of full strength; then lets you become old though of you there are some who die
before; and lets you reach a Term appointed: in order that you may learn wisdom.”

The Creator has given each of us a unique individual personality to enjoy and intelligence to
learn wisdom and give thanks.
“It is He Who brought you forth from the wombs of your mothers when you knew
nothing; and He gave you hearing and sight and intelligence and affections: that you
may give thanks (to Allah)” [16.78]

He has given each unique skills and opportunities to lead a fulfilled life.
“To each is a goal to which Allah turns him; then strive together (as in a race) toward all
that is good...” [2.148]

“It is We who have placed you with authority on earth and provided you therein with
means for the fulfillment of your life: small are the thanks that you give!” [7.10]
With all these gifts what should be our attitude towards our Creator? Should we use the
potential that he Creator has given us and strive with all that He has given us to do the best we
can as in a race to better everybody? If we do not want to use the gifts to do our best, what will
happen? As Rick Warren tells us about the Day of Judgment, on page 22 of his book {2}:
“One day you will stand before God, and he will do an audit of your life, a final exam,
before you enter eternity. The Bible says, "Remember, each of us will stand
personally before the judgment seat of God.... Yes, each of us will have to give a
personal account to God."” {2}

Warren enlightens us as to one of the questions each of us will be asked when we stand before
our Creator who has given us all these gifts to use in a manner to please Him:
“"What did you do with what I gave you?" What did you do with your life-all the gifts,
talents, opportunities, energy, relationships, and resources God gave you? Did you
spend them on yourself, or did you use them for the purposes God made you for?"”

Not unlike Leonardo made Mona Lisa, Allah created us for His Own satisfaction. So we do not
use the gifts given by the Creator to please Him, does He not have the right to question us? The
Qur’an therefore enlightens us:
“And strive in His cause as you ought to strive (with sincerity and under discipline): He
has chosen you and has imposed no difficulties on you in religion; it is the cult of your
father Abraham. It is He Who has named you Muslims both before and in this
(Revelation); that the Apostle may be a witness for you and you be witnesses for
mankind! So establish regular Prayer give regular Charity and hold fast to Allah! He is
your Protector the Best to protect and the Best to help!” [22.78]

If one does not wish to strive and do things to please the Giver of all the gifts, our Creator
“And let not those who covetously withhold of the gifts which Allah has given them of His
Grace think that it is good for them: nay it will be the worse for them: soon shall the
things which they covetously withheld be tied to their necks like a twisted collar on the
Day of Judgment. To Allah belongs the heritage of the heavens and the earth; and Allah
is well acquainted with all that you do.” [3.180]
{2} Warren, R. (2002). Purpose Driven Life: What on earth am I here for? Zondervan