Religion and Science: Al Hakeem: The Wise, The Creator With A Purpose

Attributes of Allah
The Muslim Times has the best collection for religion & science. We promote Islam for personal and spiritual life and secularism and Western democracy for public life

Source: The Muslim Sunrise Fall 2019, the longest running Muslim publication of North America, since 1922

Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times

Let me start off by saying, if my articles are boring to you, it may be that you need to read more of them, as was suggested by John Cage, who was a famous American composer of the twentieth century, “If something is boring after two minutes, try it for four. If still boring, then eight. Then sixteen. Then thirty-two. Eventually one discovers that it is not boring at all.”

Our universe is not a chaotic or an indiscernible creation of a whimsical Creator. No, not at all. “We have created the heavens and the earth and all that is between the two,” says Allah, “in accordance with requirements of truth and wisdom.” (1)

The creation of the universe was not a frivolous pursuit. “We created not the heaven and the earth and all that is between the two in sport.” Says Allah in the Quran, “Had We wished to find a pastime, We would surely have found it in that which is with Us, if at all We would have been inclined in that way.” (2)

For the universe to come into being, it required at least ten raised to the power of five hundred parameters to be set right for the universe to come out biophyllic for the existence of human species. What a marvelous feat of creation by All-Knowing, All-Powerful and All-Wise God. I did not fabricate this unimaginably large number of ten raised to the power of five hundred. This is the number of universes that the scientists are proposing in the multiverse to explain the biophyllic nature of our universe, in what is called multiverse theory or M theory. Of course God does not have any physical hands and He works through the laws of nature. Nevertheless, any reasonable person, unless strongly driven by an ideology of atheism, when facing such odds and examines the complexity, elegance and beauty of the universe, sees the hand of an infinite All-Wise God under the surface.

No wonder Allah says: “And He it is who created the heavens and the earth in accordance with the requirements of wisdom and the Truth; and the day He says, ‘Be!’, it will be. His word is indeed the Truth.” (3)

To describe the M theory, I take you to Stephen Hawking’s 2010 book that he had co-authored with Leonard Mlodinow. The title of the book is The Grand Design. In this book the authors have described their agnostic or atheistic world view, through the glasses of contemporary physics. However, the title itself is a Freudian slip revealing the underlying conflict of Hawking’s premise. He cannot express his proposition, even briefly so, without borrowing a phrase that argues the exact opposite and suggests a Designer, a Creator, a First cause, Alpha and Omega! The authors do not offer us any new evidence to prove their premise. The book repackages commonly known scientific information.

Nowhere in the book have the authors told us what could science have discovered that would have proved a Transcendent God, in other words their conclusion is in fact, only their starting premise.

The multiverse theory or the M Theory, is used to rescue the sinking ship of atheism and is invoked in one form or the other in concluding paragraphs of almost every chapter, of this book, after the fifth one. The multiverse theory, however, may belong to science fiction rather than science as we do not have access to multiverse to examine it through scientific methods. Hawking teaches us in the final paragraphs of the fifth chapter that the M theory allows for ten raised to the power 500 different universes, together represented with the term multiverse, each universe with its own laws, to explain the biophyllic nature of our universe. For additional reading about multiverse theory, please read my article, Ten Raised to Five Hundred Reasons for Our Gracious God, online (4).

The divine attribute of Al Hakeem, the Wise is mentioned at least fifty times in the holy Quran. The verse that links the creation of the universe with this attribute is, “He is Allah, the Creator, the Maker, the Fashioner; His are the most beautiful names. All that is in the heavens and the earth glorifies Him. He is the Mighty, the Most Wise.” (5)

The Most Wise has not only based the creation on sound reproducible principles, but has also made them predictable and discernible by human nature.

Three physicists born in Britain but now working in the United States were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2016 for research into the bizarre properties of matter in extreme states, including superconductors, superfluids and thin magnetic films.

David J. Thouless of the University of Washington was awarded half of the prize of 8 million Swedish kronor, or about $930,000, while F. Duncan M. Haldane of Princeton University and J. Michael Kosterlitz of Brown University shared the other half.

The scientists relied on advanced mathematical models to study “theoretical discoveries of topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter,” in the words of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm (6). Mathematics somehow magically has the power to predict and allow discovery of the natural phenomena.

The universe is an amazing creation that is discernible and is open to scientific inquiry. “Most of what will be said on these questions will not be new;” wrote Eugene Wigner, Nobel Laureate in Physics, 1963, in an article, The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences, “it has probably occurred to most scientists in one form or another. My principal aim is to illuminate it from several sides. The first point is that the enormous usefulness of mathematics in the natural sciences is something bordering on the mysterious and that there is no rational explanation for it. Second, it is just this uncanny usefulness of mathematical concepts that raises the question of the uniqueness of our physical theories.” (7)

God made our universe biophyllic, He based it on mathematical principles, as He willed the creation of multiverse into being, through modulation of some ten raised to the power of five hundred variables, and then some four billion years ago, He started orchestrating various forms of life into existence, through the process of evolution and caused millions of species on our planet earth, with Homo sapiens being at the apex of His creation.

Al Hakeem and All-Wise God chose not to be like an absent land lord, but in His supreme wisdom decided to guide humanity through a long series of prophets, until His message climaxed in the holy Quran.

In the Quran, Allah argues from the physical to the moral, from the tangible to the intangible: “Do they not look at the camels, how they are created? And the firmament how it is raised high? And at the mountains, how they are set up? And the earth, how it is spread out? Then continue to admonish for you are but an admonisher; you have no authority to compel them.” (8) Again we read in Surah Rehman: “And the firmament has He raised high and He set up the balance. That you may not transgress in balance and justice. So weigh all things with fairness and fall not short of the measure.” (9)

The teachings of Allah given in His final scripture are full of wisdom and of utilitarian value for us. Majority of the references in the Quran to His attribute Al Hakim that are more than fifty as mentioned before, are in this context.

The Quranic teachings of family value and chastity are absolutely essential for the survival and flourishing of our families and human societies. The Quranic ideals have guaranteed religious freedom for all in the domain of man relation to God and appropriate legislation to manage the domain of human interaction, man relation to man. It has also guided us how to not fall victim to the evils of alcoholism and gambling, among scores of other beneficial teachings, about marriage, divorce and inheritance, to name a few. In the Muslim Times we have collected several articles to document the utilitarian benefit of the Quranic teachings (10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20).

Al Hakeem, the Most Wise not only created the universe on the principles of truth and wisdom, but has frequently mentioned the elegance of His first creation as a proof for human accountability and the second creation or hereafter (21). From the elegance of His creation, flows the wisdom of His teachings and then the ultimate consummation of human life, when we meet our Creator in the hereafter.

References

  1. The Holy Quran 15:86.
  2. The Holy Quran 21:17-18.
  3. The Holy Quran 6:74.
  4. https://themuslimtimes.info/2013/11/13/ten-to-five-hundred-reasons-for-our-gracious-god/
  5. The Holy Quran 59:25.
  6. https://themuslimtimes.info/2016/10/05/2016-nobel-prize-in-physics-shows-once-again/
  7. https://themuslimtimes.info/2016/06/08/the-unreasonable-effectiveness-of-mathematics-in-the-natural-sciences-4/
  8. The Holy Quran 88:18-23.
  9. The Holy Quran 55:8-10.
  10. https://themuslimtimes.info/2015/06/28/continue-to-build-the-case-for-utilitarian-value-of-the-teachings-of-islam/
  11. https://themuslimtimes.info/2019/06/17/is-god-necessary-for-morality-we-have-the-best-collection/
  12. https://themuslimtimes.info/2014/05/17/alcohol-kills-one-person-every-10-seconds-worldwide-who-2/
  13. https://themuslimtimes.info/2013/11/07/divorce-islam-versus-christianity/
  14. https://themuslimtimes.info/2015/06/25/pope-francis-has-become-a-muslim-at-least-on-the-divorce-issue-but-1400-years-too-late/
  15. https://themuslimtimes.info/2019/06/19/why-pope-francis-may-open-the-door-to-married-priests/
  16. https://themuslimtimes.info/2019/06/19/europes-oldest-person-dies-aged-116-after-crediting-her-long-life-to-faith-in-god-and-avoiding-booze/
  17. https://themuslimtimes.info/2018/07/31/alcohol-in-breast-milk-may-lead-to-lower-cognition-in-kids-study-finds/
  18. https://themuslimtimes.info/2018/07/15/video-lessons-from-the-life-of-prophet-yusuf-avoiding-the-lure-of-lust/
  19. https://themuslimtimes.info/2018/05/22/autophagy-and-fasting-its-effect-on-disease-and-how-fasting-may-help/
  20. https://themuslimtimes.info/2016/01/14/gambling-related-problems-an-international-repository/
  21. https://themuslimtimes.info/2015/10/28/stephen-hawking-there-is-no-heaven-its-a-fairy-story/

Suggested reading

Cataloging 750 verses of the Holy Quran inspiring believers to study nature

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Quote of the Day: By Imam Jaffar Sadiq

Quote of Imam Jaffar Sadiq
Suggested reading: Surah Al Ma’un – The Common Kindness

Jaʿfar ibn Muḥammad aṣ-Ṣādiq (Arabicجَعْفَر ٱبْن مُحَمَّد ٱلصَّادِق‎‎; 700 or 702–765 CE), commonly known as Ja’far al-Ṣādiq or simply as-Sadiq (The Truthful), was an 8th-century Muslim scholar and scientist.[5] He is considered as an Imam by Twelver and Isma’ili Shī’ites, and a major figure in the Hanafi and Maliki schools of Sunni jurisprudence.[6] He was a descendant of the Caliph Ali and Fatimah bint Muhammad on the side of his father, Muhammad al-Baqir, and of Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr on the maternal side of his family, Umm Farwah bint al-Qasim. Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr was raised by Ali, but was not his son.[7] Ali used to say: “Muhammad Ibn Abu Bakr is my son but from Abu Bakr’s lineage”.[8] Al-Sadiq is the 6th Imam for Twelvers, is recognized by the majority of the Shi’ite sects as an Imam, and is revered in traditional Sunni Islam as a transmitter of Ahadith, therefore a prominent jurist,[4] and a mystic to Sufis. Despite his wide-ranging attributions in a number religious disciplines, no works penned by Ja’far himself remain extant.[9]

Al-Sadiq was born in either 700 or 702 CE. He inherited the position of imam from his father in his mid-thirties. As a Shi’ite Imam, al-Sadiq stayed out of the political conflicts that embroiled the region, evading the many requests for support that he received from rebels. He was the victim of some harassment by the Abbasid caliphs, and was eventually, according to most Shi’ite Muslims, poisoned at the orders of the Caliph Al-Mansur. In addition to his connection with Sunni schools of Sunni jurisprudence,[10] he was a significant figure in the formulation of Shia doctrine. The traditions recorded from al-Sadiq are said to be more numerous than all hadiths recorded from all other Shia imams combined.[11] As the founder of “Ja’fari jurisprudence“, al-Sadiq also elaborated the doctrine of Nass (divinely inspired designation of each imam by the previous imam), and Ismah (the infallibility of the imams), as well as that of Taqiyyah.[12][13]

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PM New Zealand: ‘The believers in their mutual kindness, compassion, and sympathy are just like one body’

Video: Prince William Draws Upon Princess Diana’s Death In Powerful Speech in New Zealand Mosque

Two Hundred Verses about Compassionate Living in the Quran

A Message of Compassion and Love from the Holy Bible

True Fasting: A Message of Compassion and Love from the Old Testament

Abou Ben Adhem, A Compassionate Man

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A British Convert to Islam: ‘I found Qur’an mother of all philosophies’

Myriam Francois-Cerrah
Myriam Francois-Cerrah

Source: Arab News

By Myriam Francois-Cerrah, who became popular when she was a child for acting in the 90s hit film ‘Sense and Sensibility.’ Now she is gaining more popularity for being one of a growing number of educated middle class female converts to Islam in Britain. She has recently contributed to a series of videos on Islam produced in the UK titled, “Inspired by Muhammad.”

I embraced Islam after graduating from Cambridge. Prior to that I was a skeptical Catholic — a believer in God but with a mistrust of organized religion.

The Qur’an was pivotal for me. I first tried to approach it in anger, as part of an attempt to prove my Muslim friend wrong. Later I began reading it with a more open mind.

The opening of Al-Fatiha, with its address to the whole of mankind, psychologically stopped me in my tracks. It spoke of previous scriptures in a way, which I both recognized, but also differed. It clarified many of the doubts I had about Christianity. It made me an adult as I suddenly realized that my destiny and my actions had consequences for which I alone would now be held responsible.

In a world governed by relativism, it outlined objective moral truths and the foundation of morality.

As someone who’d always had a keen interest in philosophy, the Qur’an felt like the culmination of all of this philosophical cogitation.

It combined Kant, Hume, Sartre and Aristotle. It somehow managed to address and answer the deep philosophical questions posed over centuries of human existence and answer its most fundamental one, ‘why are we here?’

In the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), I recognized a man who was tasked with a momentous mission, like his predecessors, Moses, Jesus and Abraham (peace be upon them all).

I had to pick apart much of the Orientalist libel surrounding him in order to obtain accurate information, since the historical relativism which people apply to some degree when studying other historical figures, is often completely absent, in what is a clear attempt to disparage his person.

I think many of my close friends thought I was going through another phase and would emerge from the other side unscathed, not realizing that the change was much more profound.

Some of my closest friends did their best to support me and understand my decisions. I have remained very close to some of my childhood friends and through them I recognize the universality of the divine message, as God’s values shine through in the good deeds any human does.

I have never seen my conversion as a ‘reaction’ against, or an opposition to my culture. In contrast, it was a validation of what I’ve always thought was praiseworthy, while being a guidance for areas in need of improvement. I also found many mosques not particularly welcoming and found the rules and protocol confusing and stressful.

I did not immediately identify with the Muslim community. I found many things odd and many attitudes perplexing. The attention given to the outward over the inward continues to trouble me deeply.

There is a need for a confident, articulate British Muslim identity which can contribute to the discussions of our time. Islam is not meant to be an alien religion, we shouldn’t feel like we’ve lost all trace of ourselves. Islam is a validation of the good in us and a means to rectify the bad.

Islam is about always having balance and I think the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) message was fundamental about having balance and equilibrium in all that we do.

The Prophet’s message was always that you repel bad with good that you always respond to evil with good and always remember that God loves justice so even when people are committing serious injustices against you, you have a moral responsibility and a moral obligation in front of God to always uphold justice and never yourself transgress those limits.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: ‘Forgive him who wrongs you. Join him who cuts you off. Do good to him who does evil to you and speak the truth even if it be against yourself.’

Islam’s beauty really becomes to its own when it becomes manifest; and it becomes manifest when you make it into a tool for the betterment of society, human kind and the world.

The ideal from an Islamic perspective is for ethics to become living ethics, to become an applied body of values and not remain unfortunately as it often is cloistered somewhere which is some more divorced from reality.

Reference

Surah Rome: A Powerful Case for Our Creator God

Northern lights
Northern lights in Iceland. The Muslim Times has the best collection of articles about the holy Quran and Monotheism

Allah says in verses 17-27 and I am quoting from the translation by Muhammad Abdel Haleem:

So celebrate God’s glory in the evening, in the morning – praise is due to Him in the heavens and the earth – in the late afternoon, and at midday. He brings the living out of the dead and the dead out of the living. He gives life to the earth after death, and you will be brought out in the same way. One of His signs is that He created you from dust and – lo and behold! – you became human and scattered far and wide. Another of His signs is that He created spouses from among yourselves for you to live with in tranquility: He ordained love and kindness between you. There truly are signs in this for those who reflect. Another of His signs is the creation of the heavens and earth, and the diversity of your languages and colors. There truly are signs in this for those who know. Among His signs are your sleep, by night and by day, and your seeking His bounty. There truly are signs in this for those who can hear. Among His signs, too, are that He shows you the lightning that terrifies and inspires hope; that He sends water down from the sky to restore the earth to life after death. There truly are signs in this for those who use their reason. Among His signs, too, is the fact that the heavens and the earth stand firm by His command. In the end, you will all emerge when He calls you from the earth. Everyone in the heavens and earth belongs to Him, and all are obedient to Him. He is the One who originates creation and will do it again – this is even easier for Him. He is above all comparison in the heavens and earth; He is the Almighty, the All Wise.

Suggested reading

Everything is a Miracle According to the Holy Quran and Albert Einstein

How Islam has Influenced Christian understanding of God

The anesthesia of familiarity: There should be a Creator of Our Universe

A challenge for Dawkins: Where did carbon come from?

Ten Raised to Five Hundred Reasons for Our Gracious God

How Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque prepares Iftar for 30,000

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque (Arabic: جَامِع ٱلشَّيْخ زَايِد ٱلْكَبِيْر‎, romanized: Jāmiʿ Ash-Shaykh Zāyid Al-Kabīr) is located in Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates.[1] The largest mosque in the country, it is the key place of worship for daily prayers, Friday gathering and Eid prayers. During Eid, it may be visited by more than 41,000 people.[1]

History The Grand Mosque was constructed between 1996 and 2007.[2] It was designed by Syrian architect Yousef Abdelky.[3] The building complex measures approximately 290 by 420 m (950 by 1,380 ft), covering an area of more than 12 hectares (30 acres), excluding exterior landscaping and vehicle parking. The main axis of the building is rotated about 11° south of true west, aligning it in the direction of the Kaaba in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Dimensions and alignment are estimated from satellite images; this information is not available at the Sheikh Zayed Mosque Web site as of 2014.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
The Muslim Times has the best collection to refute sectarianism among the Muslims

The project was launched by the late president of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who wanted to establish a structure that would unite the cultural diversity of the Islamic world with the historical and modern values of architecture and art.[4] His final resting place is located on the grounds adjacent to the complex.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center (SZGMC) offices are located in the west minarets. SZGMC manages the day-to-day operations and serves as a center of learning and discovery through its educational cultural activities and visitor programs.

The library, located in the northeast minaret, serves the community with classic books and publications addressing a range of Islamic subjects: sciences, civilization, calligraphy, the arts, and coins, including some rare publications dating back more than 200 years. The collection comprises material in a broad range of languages, including Arabic, English, French, Italian, Spanish, German, and Korean.

For two years running, it was voted the world’s second favorite landmark by TripAdvisor.[5]

Suggested reading

Two Hundred Verses about Compassionate Living in the Quran

Forty Hadiths or Sayings of the Prophet Muhammad about Compassionate Living

Surah Al Ma’un – The Common Kindness

Understanding Satan in the Quran Provides for Progressive Islam

Adam and Eve
Where was Eden, wherein Satan seduced Adam and Eve?

Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times

Satan or Iblis is mentioned no less than 60 times in the holy Quran. Is Satan a real physical entity or only a metaphorical construct?

The understanding of Satan by 1.6 billion Muslims is bogged down by the commentaries of these verses by numerous scholars in the last 1400 years.

I have found Jāvēd Ahmad Ghāmidī to be one of more progressive scholars in recent times and I have learnt from him on several issues, yet his description of Satan, even though modern in some ways is still elusive in other ways and self-contradictory, for his obsession with Jinn as beings created from energy, among his other ideological limitations. He is a Pakistani Muslim theologian, Quran scholar, Islamic modernist, exegete and educationist. He is also the founding President of Al-Mawrid Institute of Islamic Sciences and its sister organisation Danish Sara.[1] He became a member of the Council of Islamic Ideology (responsible for giving legal advice on Islamic issues to the Pakistani Government and the country’s Parliament) on 28 January 2006, where he remained for a couple of years.[2] He also taught Islamic studies at the Civil Services Academy for more than a decade from 1979 to 1991.[3] He was also a student of the famous Islamic scholar and exegete, Amin Ahsan Islahi. He is running an intellectual movement similar to Wastiyya in Egypt on the popular electronic media of Pakistan.[4]

Here are his videos about Satan in Urdu:

Before dwelling further on this subject that many will find controversial, let me say, read on and in the words of Sir Francis Bacon, “Read not to contradict … but to weigh and consider.”

I believe the best understanding of Satan and the best commentary of these verses is provided in light of modern psychology and biology and a short description here will clarify centuries of debate and also give us a paradigm for a progressive understanding of the holy Quran and Islam.

Study of human mind in the last two centuries in the field of psychology has not shown any evidence of thought insertion by external beings in normal and healthy human functioning.  As a physician and a student of psychology, I know, I own all my thoughts and am responsible for them.  All Knowing God can reveal Himself to the prophets and saints, He is Omnipresent and Omniscient, attributes that our conscience refuses to attribute to Satan, or we will be believing in almost two Gods, one of virtue and the other of evil, akin to a belief in Zoroastrianism.

Please find all the sixty two mentions of Satan or Iblis in the Quran, in the references below.[1]  In each instance it is easy to attribute the sin or misconduct to human failings rather than an external invisible being. I will examine just one instance here today, “And he who turns away from the remembrance of the Gracious God, We appoint for him a Satan, who becomes his companion.” (Al Quran 43:36) As someone gradually grows away from the concept of All Knowing God, who is All-Aware of our inner most thoughts and all our deeds, he becomes more and more vulnerable to sins and crime, as human psychology and daily experience suggests and we need not invoke an external Satan. Suggested reading and viewing of a National Geographic documentary: All Knowing, All Seeing God Keeps Us Away from Crime and Sin: See the Evidence.

The holy Quran describes a meeting of God, angles, Satan, Adam and Eve on several occasions.  Such a meeting never happened in a physical sense and is only a metaphor.  A metaphor that was very necessary for the first addressees of the holy Quran, the seventh century Arab desert dwellers, unless Allah was going to teach them all about human biology and evolution, with proofs and details.  A discussion which would have been very likely to transform the struggle for spiritual life into modern day debates among the creationists and evolutionists.

Homo-sapiens have evolved from chimpanzee like animals in the last 200,000 years or so.  Molecular biology has become fool proof evidence for the common ancestry of all life on the planet earth.  The debate is over as far as this aspect of evolution is concerned.  Now only the ill informed or stubborn debate this issue.

Watch the logical presentation of molecular biology in the short video below and think, would you rather agree with this or with the convoluted  description of Jāvēd Ahmad Ghāmidī above?

If our understanding of the 62 verses talking about Satan and Iblis is guided by human psychology and biology, rather than an insistence on literalism, then stage is set for reading the holy Quran with an open mind, rather than in a fixed framework of our ideology and instead of using the scripture for legalistic debates we begin to read it in the privacy of our minds for a better understanding of religion for individual spirituality, rather than making it into a dueling sport or the basis of our politics or governance.

The Eden from which Adam and Eve were expelled was not somewhere in heavens or paradise, but on this very planet earth!

Suggested reading:

Biology of Our Human Family: Who are We Related To?

Jinn: Do They Exist?

Hamza Yusuf on Jinns: Powerful Men or Demons?

Saving the Muslims From Exorcisms and Jinns

The Holy Quran and the Seventh Century Arabian Metaphors

Reading the Quran and the Bible Literally Means Demons and Jinns Will Rule Humans

Possessed by Jinns: Many Medieval Muslim Scholars Need Exorcism

References

  1. 2:34, 36, 168, 208, 268; 3:175; 4:76, 117, 120; 6:43, 142; 7:11, 27, 175, 200, 201; 12:5, 42; 15:17, 31, 32;  16:63, 98; 17:27, 53, 61; 18:50, 63; 19:44, 45, 68, 83; 20:116, 117, 120; 22:3, 52, 53; 24:21; 25:29, 55; 26:95;  27:24, 25; 29:38; 31:21; 35:6; 37:7; 38:41, 74, 75; 34:20; 36:60; 41:36; 43:36, 62; 47:25; 58:10, 19; 59:16; 67:5; 81:25.

We have saved the above videos in the Muslim Times as well to preserve them for the posterity: