God the Creator from Surah Luqman

The Muslim Times has the best collection of articles about the holy Quran and Monotheism
Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times

Almost every Surah of the Quran presents Monotheism in one metaphor or the other; often presenting God the Creator and arguing from tangible to the intangible. Several Surahs have long passages presenting God the Creator to the whole of humanity. Here are the passages from the thirty first Surah of the Quran:

خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ بِغَيْرِ عَمَدٍ تَرَوْنَهَا ۖ وَأَلْقَىٰ فِي الْأَرْضِ رَوَاسِيَ أَن تَمِيدَ بِكُمْ وَبَثَّ فِيهَا مِن كُلِّ دَابَّةٍ ۚ وَأَنزَلْنَا مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مَاءً فَأَنبَتْنَا فِيهَا مِن كُلِّ زَوْجٍ كَرِيمٍ

هَٰذَا خَلْقُ اللَّهِ فَأَرُونِي مَاذَا خَلَقَ الَّذِينَ مِن دُونِهِ ۚ بَلِ الظَّالِمُونَ فِي ضَلَالٍ مُّبِينٍ

“He created the heavens without any visible support, and He placed firm mountains on the earth––in case it should shake under you––and He spread all kinds of animals around it. We sent down water from the sky, with which We made every kind of good plant grow on earth: all this is God’s creation. Now, show Me what your other gods have created. No, the disbelievers are clearly astray.” (Al Quran 31:10-11)

Commentary of the above verses


“How can Allah have a son when He has no consort?” (Al Quran 6:101)

The field of biology has struck a fatal blow to the concept of Trinity and other dogma in Christianity on several counts. Firstly, there is the fundamental principle in biology “Like begets like,” which clearly refutes the concept of son ship of God. In the Holy Quran it is expressed in the words, “How can Allah have a son when He has no consort?” Man’s genetic code is made of 46 chromosomes and God is transcendent and beyond time, space and matter.

Secondly, the concept of Original Sin is completely incompatible with the fundamental laws of biology including the principles of gene inheritance and the facts supporting the theory of evolution. If all humans inhabiting the planet earth today are not direct descendants of Adam and Eve, who lived approximately 6000 years ago, then suddenly the very basic doctrines of Christianity, Original Sin and vicarious Atonement, Jesus dying on the cross for our sins, change into fiction.  All of us do not have the genes of “Original Sin” and are not in need of Jesus’ atonement. According to the theory of evolution modern humans have existed for at least more than 150,000 years, in other words Adam and Eve, who were merely 6000 years ago, are not the great grand parents of all the humans inhabiting planet earth today. I had originally written about this issue, in the Religion and Science section of the Summer 2008 volume of the Muslim Sunrise, the oldest Muslim publication of North America. Please read it on page 21 of the PDF file: Evaluating Original Sin against scientific discoveries.

Thirdly, one of the biggest contributions of biology in the last two centuries has been the fact that all living beings come from one lineage and inheritance and not three. Read on, and in the words of Sir Francis Bacon’s advice, “Read not to contradict … but to weigh and consider.” Erasmus Darwin grand father of Charles Darwin, was perhaps the first in suggesting that all life shared the same origin and that the secret of life lay in ‘filaments’ that are shared by all living beings, without exception. So, the 30 million life forms on this planet that have ever existed can be a witness of one God only and not three!

In the words of Matt Ridley in the first chapter of his book, Genome:

As the earth and ocean were probably peopled with vegetable productions long before the existence of animals; and many families of these animals long before other families of them, shall we conjecture that one and the same kind of living filaments is and has been the cause of all organic life? asked the polymathic poet and physician Erasmus Darwin in 1794. It was a startling guess for the time, not only in its bold conjecture that all organic life shared the same origin, sixty-five years before his grandson Charles’ book on the topic, but for its weird use of the word ‘filaments’. The secret of life is indeed a thread.

Prof. Richard Dawkins quotes Matt Ridley in his book The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing:

In the beginning was the word. The word was not DNA. That came afterwards, when life was already established, and when it had divided the labor between two separate activities: chemical work and information storage, metabolism and replication. But DNA contains a record of the word, faithfully transmitted through all subsequent eons to the astonishing present.

The Intelligent Design movement has created extensive literature arguing with the atheists or agnostics that there ought to be a creator of this universe and life on this planet. Despite their strong rooting in Christianity they conveniently keep ignoring that the universe and life talk of one designer or creator and not three! They choose to ignore the elephant in the room and go on without ever mentioning this divide between Christianity and Islam.

In the words of Matt Ridley in first chapter of his book, Genome:

The three-letter words of the genetic code are the same in every creature. CGA means arginine and GCG means alanine – in bats, in beetles, in beech trees, in bacteria. They even mean the same in the misleadingly named archaebacteria living at boiling temperatures in sulphurous springs thousands of feet beneath the surface of the Atlantic ocean or in those microscopic capsules of deviousness called viruses. Wherever you go in the world, whatever animal, plant, bug or blob you look at, if it is alive, it will use the same dictionary and know the same code.
All life is one. The genetic code, but a few tiny local aberrations, mostly for unexplained reasons in the ciliate protozoa, is the same in every creature. We all use exactly the same language.

Contrast this with the fact that modern computers are built around a number of mutually incompatible machine languages, determined by their processor chips. The different machine languages, in this example point to the different manufacturers.

Ridley continues, “This means – and religious people might find this a useful argument – that there was only one creation, one single event when life was born. Of course, that life might have been born on a different planet and seeded here by spacecraft, or there might even have been thousands of kinds of life at first, but only Luca survived in the ruthless free-for-all of the primeval soup. But until the genetic code was cracked in the 1960s, we did not know what we now know: that all life is one; seaweed is your distant cousin and anthrax one of your advanced relatives. The unity of life is an empirical fact. Erasmus Darwin was outrageously close to the mark: ‘One and the same kind of living filaments has been the cause of all organic life.’”

It is mind boggling that in this age of rationality the Trinitarian Christians are still maintaining their dogma. We invite them to real monotheism and offer them three better choices. These are in the order of preference:

♦ Islam
♦ Unitarian Christianity
♦ Judaism

Richard Dawkins quotes Francis Crick in his book The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing, “Heredity is all-or-none. That’s digital. But what neither Mendel nor anyone else before 1953 knew was that genes themselves are digital, within themselves. A gene is a sequence of code letters, drawn from an alphabet of precisely four letters, and the genetic code is universal throughout all known living things. Life is the execution of programs written using a small digital alphabet in a single, universal machine language. This realization was the hammer blow that knocked the last nail into the coffin of vitalism and, by extension, of dualism. The hammer was wielded, with undisguised youthful relish, by James Watson and Francis Crick.”

James Watson and Francis Crick’s famous one-page paper, describing the structure of DNA, appeared in Nature in 1953. In addition to being a biological epiphany, it also turned out to be an amazing religious epiphany. Trinity was no more! There could be only one creator of life on our planet earth. In the words of Allah:

خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ بِغَيْرِ عَمَدٍ تَرَوْنَهَا ۖ وَأَلْقَىٰ فِي الْأَرْضِ رَوَاسِيَ أَن تَمِيدَ بِكُمْ وَبَثَّ فِيهَا مِن كُلِّ دَابَّةٍ ۚ وَأَنزَلْنَا مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مَاءً فَأَنبَتْنَا فِيهَا مِن كُلِّ زَوْجٍ كَرِيمٍ

هَٰذَا خَلْقُ اللَّهِ فَأَرُونِي مَاذَا خَلَقَ الَّذِينَ مِن دُونِهِ ۚ بَلِ الظَّالِمُونَ فِي ضَلَالٍ مُّبِينٍ

“He created the heavens without any visible support, and He placed firm mountains on the earth––in case it should shake under you––and He spread all kinds of animals around it. We sent down water from the sky, with which We made every kind of good plant grow on earth: all this is God’s creation. Now, show Me what your other gods have created. No, the disbelievers are clearly astray.” (Al Quran 31:10-11)

Here Allah declares the unity of His creation as a proof of there being one God only.

Some additional related articles below:

The Quranic Challenge to the Atheists: Make a Fly, if You Can

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Surah Rome: A Powerful Case for Our Creator God

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

Epigraph: 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, and He is […]

The Muslim Times, Perhaps the Only Medium Presenting the Creator God of the Holy Quran

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A Slight Twist Makes David Attenborough a Great Teacher for God of the Abrahamic Faiths

Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times Sir David Frederick Attenborough is an agnostic, for he focuses on the question of suffering.  If that question […]

Surah Yunus: From Tangible to Intangible

“Say [Prophet], ‘Who provides for you from the sky and the earth? Who controls hearing and sight? Who brings forth the living from the dead and the dead from the […]

Provident God of the Abrahamic Faiths: Plain Water will Tell you the Story


Do not the disbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were a closed-up mass, then We opened them out? And We made from water every living thing. Will they not then believe? (Al Quran 21:31)


By Thomas David Parks: Ex Research Chemist, Ph.D., University of Illinois. Formerly Chairman Department of Chemistry, Stanford Research Institute; and Director of Research, Clorox Chemical Company. Specialist in microchemistry, electrolytic phenomena, X-ray diffraction and synthetic resins.

Whittaker Chambers in his book Witness tells of a simple incident which was probably the turning point of his life (and perhaps of the affairs of mankind). He was watching his little daughter and unconsciously became aware of the shape of her ears. He thought to himself how impossible that such delicate convolutions could have come about by chance. They could have been created only by premeditated design. But he pushed this thought out of his agnostic mind because he realized that the next step in logical sequence would have to be: design presupposes God — a thesis he was not yet ready to accept.

I have known many scientists among my professors and fellow research workers who have had similar thoughts about observed facts in chemistry and physics, even though they have not spoken from the depths of despair that Whittaker Chambers found himself in.

I see order and design all about me in the inorganic world. I cannot believe that they are there by the haphazard, fortunate coming together of atoms. For me this design demands an intelligence, and this intelligence I call God.

Probably to a chemist the periodic arrangement of the elements is the most arresting. One of the first things a freshman chemistry student learns is the periodicity or order found in the elements. This order has been variously described and classified but we usually credit Mendeleev, the Russian chemist of the last century, with our periodic table. Not only did this arrangement provide a means of studying the known elements and their compounds but it also gave impetus to the search for those elements which had not yet been discovered.  Their very existence was postulated by vacant spaces in the orderly arrangement of the table.

Chemists today still use the periodic table to aid them in their study of reactions and to predict properties of unknown or new compounds. That they have been successful is sound testimony to the fact that beautiful order exists in the inorganic world.

But the order we see around us is not a relentless omnipotence. It is tempered with beneficence — a testimony to the fact that good and pleasure are as much a concern of Divine Intelligence as the immutable laws of Nature. Look around you at the exceptions and deviations that do, in fact, defy the laws of cold rationality.

Plitvice Waterfalls

Take, for example, water. From its formula weight –18 — one would predict it would be a gas at ordinary temperatures and pressures. Ammonia — with a formula weight of –17– is a gas at temperatures as low as minus 33° C. at atmospheric pressure. Hydrogen sulfide, closely related to water by position in the periodic table and with a formula weight of 34, is a gas at temperatures down to minus 59° C. The fact that water exists as a liquid at all, at ordinary temperatures, is something to make one stop and think.

Read furtherPlain Water will Tell you the Story – PDF File

(This article is reproduced from a book the Evidence of God in an Expanding Universe edited by John Clover Monsma, published in 1958. This book is a collection of short articles by different scientists about their views about God.  The pictures and the Periodic Table diagram have been added by the Muslim Times)

The Muslim Times’ Chief Editor’s comments:

Christian apologists want to make a case for Christianity based on laws of nature and science, by showing that there ought to be a Transcendent Creator of our universe.  They make this case, in one breath, and in the very next, deny all of science, by insisting on Eucharist, man-God of Jesus, who is not Transcendent, resurrection and miracles that violate laws of nature.

Atheists are right in exposing the irrationality of the Christian dogma. However, the Christians are right in as far as their claim that there needs to be a Creator of this universe, Who employed natural means to do His work. However, both parties in their self-conceit are not listening to how Islam resolves their conflict; Islam as understood by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and presented in the Muslim Times.

In a trilateral discussion between atheists, Christians and Muslims, I believe we can appreciate reality better and come up with better theology, especially if the discussion not only involves the Creator and purpose of the universe, but, also His complete Transcendence, Original Sin and evolution of life on our planet, Trinity, Mother Mary and Eucharist.


The holy Quran and the Water Stores of Our Planet


And We sent down water from the sky according to measure, and We caused it to stay in the earth—and surely it is We Who determine its taking away. (Al Quran 23:18)

The Canadian part of the Niagara falls. Additional reading: Provident God of the Abrahamic Faiths: Plain Water will Tell you the Story

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

A lot of geological evidence suggests that Mars once had quite a bit of surface water. The magnetic field of Mars is too weak to protect its atmosphere from solar wind. The solar wind striped off Martian atmosphere and it lost all its surface water into space. This was discovered by NASA.

If my articles are boring to you, it may be that you need to read more of them, as was suggested by John Cage, “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.”

This article I believe will give you a scientific paradigm to read the holy Quran like no commentator of the Quran has ever done before. So, if you leave this page without reviewing or reading this article, can I respectfully say that you do it at your own peril.

There are at best only 250 verses of the Quran about legislative issues and yet a large proportion of the Muslims lead their lives in dreams and activism to implement those in the Muslim societies and bring the discussions to the brim of irrationality and chaos.[1]

Nevertheless, a large majority of them are oblivious to the fact that there are 750-1000 verses inspiring believers to study nature and ponder over and stand in awe of the creativity and marvel of God’s creation.[2] There are several verses in the Quran talking about the marvel of water, its importance for life and the water cycle.

The water was already present when the Earth assembled itself out of the accretionary disk. Continued outgassing of volcanoes transferred the water into the atmosphere which was saturated with water. And rain transferred the water onto the surface.

An artist’s impression of what ancient Mars may have looked like, based on geological data. The Muslim Times has the best collection of articles about religion and science

Compared to other planets and smaller solar system object Earth has a big advantage. It is large enough to prevent water molecules to leave the gravitational field, and it has a magnetic field which prevents atmospheric erosion (Wikipedia). This is due to the Earth’s outer core being liquid (Moving charged liquid = magnetic field). Mars probably had oceans until its outer core solidified so much, that the convection was stopped. After the magnetic field disappeared a few million years of solar radiation removed all of the atmosphere and the oceans.

The holy Quran says:

Have you thought: If (all) your water were to disappear into the earth, who then could bring you gushing water? (Al Quran 67:30)

Do the disbelievers not realize that the heavens and earth were once one mass then We split them apart?  And We created from water every living thing. (Al Quran 21:30)

These three verses, including the one in the epigraph, are profound coming from 7th century Arabia, because they talk about subject of scientific import and truths about nature that were of no interest to the Arab society immersed in darkness, which had no concern about science, geology and astronomy.

In my introduction of these Quranic verses about water, what I want to emphasize is what could have gone wrong, if the holy Quran was not the literal word of God, as we see in the case of the Hhly Bible, or was a myth, as we see in the case of the Chinese and the Japanese myths about creation.

The contrast with scientific contradictions in the Bible and sheer mythical nature of Chinese and Japanese traditions, brings out the elegance and beauty of the holy Quran.

The Chinese tell of a time during the Hsia dynasty, in the third millennium before Jesus,  when our cosmic environment suddenly changed. Ten suns appeared in the sky. The people on earth suf­fered greatly from the heat, so the emperor ordered a famous archer to shoot down the extra suns. The archer was rewarded with a pill that had the power to make him immortal, but his wife stole it. For that offense she was banished to the moon.

The Japanese have their own share of myths.  According to them, Izanagi-no-Mikoto (male) and Izanami-no-Mikoto (female) were called by all the myriad gods and asked to help each other to create a new land which was to become Japan.  They were given a spear with which they stirred the water, and when removed water dripped from the end, an island was created in the great nothingness.  If our Western Navy personnel find these myths to be literally true our ships and fleets may begin to sink!

If you read the book of Genesis in the Bible carefully, the earth is created before the sun, we can have days and nights before the creation of the sun, our earth has a roof or a vault called the sky, plants and animals gain existence only after mankind and to top it all off, Grand Ma Eve was created from Grand Pa Adam’s rib, while he was sleeping.

Additionally, there are only four rivers in the planet earth, if time and space were not a consideration, I could keep on reading Genesis over and over and keep on adding to this list.

According to the second chapter of Genesis seas have been created, the whole of universe is in place, God has rested for a day also and yet there has been no rain at all on planet earth.   In contrast to the holy Quran the water cycle simply does not exist for the writers of the holy Bible!

The Quran was a wonderful book for its original addressee of the seventh century Arabia but its miracle and awe has been increasing with every new discovery and this was predicted in the Quran:

All praise is due to Allah, to Whom belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth. His is all praise in the Latter Days. He is the Wise, the All-Knowing. He knows whatever goes into the earth and whatever comes forth from it, and whatever descends from the heaven and whatever ascends into it. He is Ever Merciful, Most Forgiving. (Al Quran 34:1-2)

Additional reading

Read the Water Cycle section in the book linked, in the chapter on EarthThe Bible the Quran and Science


1. https://themuslimtimes.info/2018/11/11/dr-abdus-salam-islam-and-science-concordance-or-conflict/

2. https://themuslimtimes.info/2021/10/20/cataloging-750-verses-of-the-holy-quran-inspiring-believers-to-study-nature-12/

300,000 Years Old Homo sapien fossils discovered

Oldest Homo sapiens fossils discovered

By Ashley Strickland, CNN

Updated June 8, 2017

(CNN) The oldest fossil remains of Homo sapiens, dating back to 300,000 years, have been found at a site in Jebel Irhoud, Morocco. This is 100,000 years older than previously discovered fossils of Homo sapiens that have been securely dated. The discovery was presented in a study in the journal Nature on Wednesday.

This marks the first discovery of such fossils in north Africa, and widens the “cradle of mankind” to encompass all of Africa, the researchers said. Previous finds were in south or east Africa. The fossils, including a partial skull and a lower jaw, belong to five different individuals including three young adults, an adolescent and a child estimated to be 8 years old. Stone tools, animal bones and evidence of fire were also found within the same layer at the site.

But what the researchers found to be most remarkable about these fossils is that they capture a moment in time of evolution. The facial features of the skull look like a modern human, but the brain case is very elongated and archaically characteristic of early humans.

There has been increasing evidence that the modern human lineage diverged from Neanderthals and Denisovans 500,000 years ago, making us close relatives rather than direct descendants. Before this discovery, it was believed that the early modern humans we evolved from were in Africa 200,000 years ago and looked very similar to modern humans. But what happened in between that time?

This is still unknown, although the researchers suggest the possibility that there were multiple groups of hominins, or human ancestors, overlapping and having complex relationships.

Because they didn’t previously have fossil evidence of Homo sapiens from 300,000 years ago, this helps to fill a small part of that gap in the fossil record. The fossils provide insight about this evolutionary time for Homo sapiens before the early modern stage 200,000 years ago.

“Our analysis convinced us that this material represents the very root of our species, the oldest Homo sapiens ever found in Africa or elsewhere,” said Jean-Jacques Hublin, lead study author, paleoanthropologist and professor at Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.

“We confirmed that they display this surprising combination of very advanced features and more archaic conditions. It allowed us to envision a more complex picture for the emergence of our species with different parts of the anatomy evolving at different rates, some features being fixed very early in a modern way and others taking a longer time to reach the modern condition.”

If we could see these Homo sapiens from 300,000 years ago walking around today, they would look very similar to us — if they were wearing a hat, Hublin said. Their faces would be short, flat and retracted compared to Neanderthals, and even some of the dental aspects are similar to ours.

But that elongated skull would give them away as being not quite like us. Their brains, and specifically the cerebellum, wasn’t shaped like ours. But based on the brain case they discovered, these Homo sapiens did have a larger cerebellum than Neanderthals.

“The story of our species in the last 300,000 years is mostly the evolution of our brain and in this time period, a number of mutations occurred affecting brain connectivity,” Hublin said.

Read further

Additional reading

The Story of Adam and A Progressive, Metaphorical Reading of the Quran

Charles Darwin: An Epiphany for the Muslims, A Catastrophe for the Christians

I Am Second Coming of Al-Hallaj, But, Only With Allah’s Grace

Kaaba in Mecca. “Surely, the First House of worship established for the benefit of the whole mankind is the one in Mecca, abounding in blessings and a means of guidance for all people.” (Al Quran 3:96)
Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times

Abū ‘l-Muġīth Al-Ḥusayn bin Manṣūr al-Ḥallāj was a Persian mystic, poet and teacher of Sufism.[5][6][7] Al-Hallaj gained a wide following as a preacher before he became implicated in power struggles of the Abbasid court and was executed on 26th of March 922 after a long period of confinement on religious and political charges. The legend has it that he was killed for saying that I am the Truth, Anāl-Ḥaqq, some thought that he is suggesting that he is god!

I have no desire to be a martyr, yet I have the audacity to declare that I am the second coming of Al Hallaj. Because, I believe that no one has a better commentary of the Al-Haqq attribute of Allah than I do, as I have worked on the ‘Religion and Science‘ theme in Islam and the Quran for more than two decades now: A Century of Scholarship for Quran and Science.

The second coming of Al-Hallaj may be more luminous this time around, because the description that Allah being the Truth will be more poignant, as I present the attribute with scientific and mathematical clarity, given the scientific developments in the last millennium.

Additionally, I want to do better than my first appearance, and learn from his destiny and avoid getting killed by the political elite, who are capable of mixing their religion with their political agenda.

However, this article is not as much about me, as my Muslim readers, as you will get to see in the last paragraph of this article. Please, don’t be carried away by the symbolism or the metaphors in this article.

Dr. Zia H Shah, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times and author of this article

My fear is that my commentary of the attribute of Al-Haqq can be taken as blasphemy by the established, as it may have implications for their political agenda and ambitions.

So, I just checked which countries have capital punishment for blasphemy charges. The countries that cannot be on my bucket list for traveling and site seeing, for the foreseeable future:

  • AfghanistanBlasphemy law in Afghanistan is defined by the Penal Code of 1976, which addresses “Crimes Against Religions”, but leaves the issue of blasphemy to Sharia. Sharia permits the authorities to treat blasphemy as a capital crime. The authorities can punish blasphemy with death if the blasphemy is committed by a male of sound mind over age 18 or by a female of sound mind over age 16. Anyone accused of blasphemy has three days to recant. If an accused does not recant, death by hanging may follow.[25]
  • BruneiCapital punishment in Brunei was introduced for blasphemy in April 2019, but under heavy international pressure, the sultan of Brunei announced a moratorium on the death penalty while defending the legislation overall. Various offences of the new Sharia-based penal code which could be framed as ‘blasphemy’ include ‘Propagation of religion other than religion of Islam’ (Article 209), printing, disseminating, importing, broadcasting, and distributing of publications deemed contrary to Sharia (Articles 213, 214 and 215), non-Muslims using ‘Allah’ as the name of their god (for example, Bruneian Christians), ‘Contempt etc. of religious authority’ (Article 230), ‘Incitement to neglect religious duty’ (Article 235), amongst other Hudud crimes.[13]
  • Iran: The Islamic Republic of Iran has a penal code that is heavily influenced by Sharia. Amongst the religious offences that may be punished with execution are insulting the prophet Muhammad, and moharebeh, usually translated as ‘enmity against God’. The regime periodically executes dozens of prisoners, usually by hanging, by merit of religious offences. In practice, many of the executions seem not so much aimed at nonbelievers or religious dissenters, but at punishing political protests against the theocratic government, which argues that any opposition to its divinely granted authority is opposition to Allah himself, and therefore blasphemous. However, a legal clause provides that if a suspect professes that the insult was a mistake or made in anger, the sentence may be converted to 74 lashes instead of hanging.[14]
  • Mauritania: In 2018, Mauritania upgraded its punishment for blasphemy from imprisonment to death and made it compulsory; convicts were no longer given the option of repentance within three days to go free.[19]
  • NigeriaBlasphemy law in Nigeria allows a suspect to be condemned for blasphemy via the Customary system and the Sharia system.[20] Although this prohibition against blasphemy in the Criminal Code and in Sharia is potentially unconstitutional, since the Federal Constitution’s Section 38 entitles every Nigerian to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion, and Section 39 gives every Nigerian the right to freedom of expression,[26] death sentences for blasphemy are frequently carried out in some of the 12 northern states that have implemented Sharia, such as Kano State in 2015 and 2016. Moreover, five Muslim vigilantes who reportedly hacked a Christian woman to death for ‘blaspheming the prophet Muhammad’ on 2 June 2016 were all acquitted of murder by the Sharia court of Kano State.[20]
  • PakistanBlasphemy in Pakistan is criminalised by Penal Code Articles 295 to 298. Only blasphemy under 295-C may be punished with the death penalty. It states: ‘Use of derogatory remarks, etc., in respect of the Holy Prophet: Whoever by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representation or by any imputation, innuendo, or insinuation, directly or indirectly, defiles the sacred name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine.’[27] ‘Apostasy’ is sometimes considered ‘evidence’ of ‘blasphemy’ and is then prosecuted as such, even though ‘apostasy’ itself is not a crime in Pakistan.[6]
  • Saudi Arabia: Blasphemy is conceived as ‘a deviation from Sunni Islam’ and therefore considered a form of apostasy, and may be prosecuted as such (contrary to other jurisdictions, where apostasy is sometimes considered a form/evidence of blasphemy). Because apostasy carries the death penalty, blasphemers are executed, usually by beheading or crucifixion. It is unclear whether blasphemy itself would be separately punishable if there was no prohibition on apostasy.[21][28]
  • Somalia: Due to the ongoing Somali civil war, the militant group Al-Shabaab is able to impose the death penalty for blasphemy in the areas it controls. On the other hand, the 1963 Criminal Code, which applies in the rest of the country, at most punishes ‘blasphemy’ and ‘defamation of Islam’ by up to two years in prison. The 2012 provisional federal constitution of Somalia and the Puntland and Somaliland regional constitutions, despite acknowledging the freedom of expression, all prohibit the promotion/propagation of religion other than Islam, though the punishment that the internationally recognised government and regional governments would apply for it is not clear.[22][29]

To me the attribute Al Haqq means that Allah is the perfect Truth and nothing but the Truth, falsehood touches him not. Today, I will discuss only three uses of the word الْحَقُّ in the holy Quran among more than a hundred.

Al-Haqq is one of the attributes of Allah, because Allah uses it for Himself in the Quran:

ذَٰلِكَ بِأَنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ الْحَقُّ وَأَنَّهُ يُحْيِي الْمَوْتَىٰ وَأَنَّهُ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ

“That is because Allah is the Truth, الْحَقُّ and that it is He Who brings the dead to life, and that He has power over all things.” (Al Quran 22:6) Please also see 31:30.

This attribute is intimately intertwined with the holy Quran being the truth and a revelation from the All Knowing, based on His knowledge of the secrets of the heaven and the earth:

المر ۚ تِلْكَ آيَاتُ الْكِتَابِ ۗ وَالَّذِي أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ مِن رَّبِّكَ الْحَقُّ وَلَٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ

اللَّهُ الَّذِي رَفَعَ السَّمَاوَاتِ بِغَيْرِ عَمَدٍ تَرَوْنَهَا ۖ ثُمَّ اسْتَوَىٰ عَلَى الْعَرْشِ ۖ وَسَخَّرَ الشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ ۖ كُلٌّ يَجْرِي لِأَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّى ۚ يُدَبِّرُ الْأَمْرَ يُفَصِّلُ الْآيَاتِ لَعَلَّكُم بِلِقَاءِ رَبِّكُمْ تُوقِنُونَ

وَهُوَ الَّذِي مَدَّ الْأَرْضَ وَجَعَلَ فِيهَا رَوَاسِيَ وَأَنْهَارًا ۖ وَمِن كُلِّ الثَّمَرَاتِ جَعَلَ فِيهَا زَوْجَيْنِ اثْنَيْنِ ۖ يُغْشِي اللَّيْلَ النَّهَارَ ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ

These are the signs of the Scripture. What your Lord has sent down to you [Prophet] is the truth, yet most people do not believe. It is God who raised up the heavens with no visible supports and then established Himself on the throne; He has subjected the sun and the moon each to pursue its course for an appointed time; He regulates all things, and makes the revelations clear so that you may be certain of meeting your Lord; 3 it is He who spread out the earth, placed firm mountains and rivers on it, and made two of every kind of fruit; He draws the veil of night over the day. There truly are signs in this for people who reflect. (Al Quran 13:1-3)

God’s knowledge of the secrets of science that were totally unknown to humanity of the seventh century, when the Quran was revealed, not only serve as a proof of the Quran, but also help us understand science and the creation of the universe, in a realm of the perfect truth or الْحَقُّ:

وَمَا خَلَقْنَا السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا إِلَّا بِالْحَقِّ

“We have created the heavens and the earth and all that is between the two in accordance with the perfect truth and wisdom.” (Al Quran 15:85)

This verse implies that the laws of nature are inviolable and that indeed was the underpinning that set the study of nature and the scientific revolution into motion.

While, I and a very large majority of the scientists believe in the sanctity of laws of nature, the Catholic Church does not, for it has not only condoned exorcism but has held miracles to be supernatural events in violation of laws of nature.

In an article, What’s a ‘miracle’? Here’s how the Catholic Church decidesDorian Llywelyn writes:

Theologians working for the Congregation assess all aspects of the life of a candidate for canonization. These include the “Promoter of the Faith” (sometimes called “the Devil’s advocate”), whose role was changed in 1983 from finding arguments against canonization to supervising the process.

Separately, a medical board of independent scientific experts is appointed to investigate a claimed miracle. They begin by looking for purely natural explanations as they review the medical history.

New rules

The process of canonization has undergone continuous revisions throughout history.

In 2016, Pope Francis initiated reforms in how the church assesses miracles, which are meant to make the process more rigorous and transparent.

Another of Francis’ reforms is that in order for a canonization case to go forward, two-thirds of the medical board are required to affirm that the miraculous event cannot be explained by natural causes. Previously, only a simple majority was needed.

From Catholicism, let us move to Protestantism. My favorite Christian Pastor is Joel Osteen, whom I consider as Prince of optimism and have often promoted his work about human psychology: Videos: Let Joel Osteen Breathe Hope, Optimism and Success in Your Life.

Having said that, his theology can be often unscientific, he not only believes in literal resurrection of Jesus but also believes that Jesus made Lazarus rise from the dead, four days after his death. A few articles about resurrection are in order: Did Jesus Die on Cross — BBC Documentary?Do Christians Still Believe in the Resurrection of the Body? and Bishop John Shelby Spong, who took resurrection as a metaphor dies at 90.

The above examples are about Christians, but, I could be as easily or more easily on the wrong side of many Muslims from different denominations, because, I recently wrote an article: Is Islam a Religion or a State: Most Muslims Do Not Know?

So, if I want to not be a martyr, many of the Muslim countries need not be my travel destinations or stops: Afghanistan, Brunei, Iran, Mauritania, Nigeria (some northern states), Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Somalia (al-Shabaab-controlled areas).[5]

I have been safe in USA since 1989. But, some caution is in order here as well, as the Supreme Court has started monkeying with the First Amendment: Is this Christian Shariah: Supreme Court Sides With Coach Over Prayers on 50-Yard Line?

There are conflicting reports about the first Al-Hallaj’s most famous saying, أنا الحق Anāl-Ḥaqq “I am The Truth,” which was taken to mean that he was claiming to be God, since Al-Ḥaqq “the Truth” is one of the Ninety Nine Names of Allah. The earliest report, coming from a hostile account of Basra grammarians, states that he said it in the mosque of Al-Mansur, while testimonies that emerged decades later claimed that it was said in private during consultations with Junayd Baghdadi.[7][9] Even though this utterance has become inseparably associated with his execution in the popular imagination, owing in part to its inclusion in his biography by Attar of Nishapur, the historical issues surrounding his execution are far more complex.[7] In another controversial statement, al-Hallaj claimed “There is nothing wrapped in my turban but God, ” and similarly he would point to his cloak and say, ما في جبتي إلا الله Mā fī jubbatī illā l-Lāh “There is nothing in my cloak but God.” He also wrote:

I saw my Lord with the eye of the heart
I asked, ‘Who are You?’
He replied, ‘You’.[24]

These are poetic descriptions, but, what I find very safe to assume are: The Holy Quran: “His are the Most Beautiful Names!” and We are all living in the Womb of God-the-Mother, 13.8 billion Years Pregnancy.

NPR: Evangelicals Question The Existence Of Adam And Eve

Source: NPR

By Barbara Bradley Hagerty

Let’s go back to the beginning — all the way to Adam and Eve, and to the question: Did they exist, and did all of humanity descend from that single pair?

According to the Bible (Genesis 2:7), this is how humanity began: “The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” God then called the man Adam, and later created Eve from Adam’s rib.

Polls by Gallup and the Pew Research Center find that four out of 10 Americans believe this account. It’s a central tenet for much of conservative Christianity, from evangelicals to confessional churches such as the Christian Reformed Church.

But now some conservative scholars are saying publicly that they can no longer believe the Genesis account. Asked how likely it is that we all descended from Adam and Eve, Dennis Venema, a biologist at Trinity Western University, replies: “That would be against all the genomic evidence that we’ve assembled over the last 20 years, so not likely at all.”

The Muslim Sunrise was the first to publish how historical Adam influences Original Sin in 2007. See articles below to find the reference

Researching The Human Genome

Venema says there is no way we can be traced back to a single couple. He says with the mapping of the human genome, it’s clear that modern humans emerged from other primates as a large population — long before the Genesis time frame of a few thousand years ago. And given the genetic variation of people today, he says scientists can’t get that population size below 10,000 people at any time in our evolutionary history.

Read further

Dr. Zia H Shah, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times

Suggested Reading by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times:

The Story of Adam and A Progressive, Metaphorical Reading of the Quran

Charles Darwin: An Epiphany for the Muslims, A Catastrophe for the Christians

Meeting the Quranic Adam with Charles Darwin

300,000 Years Old Homo sapien fossils discovered

Surah Qaf: The First Creation as the Foremost Proof for Afterlife


The Surah very precisely and concisely highlights a very common theme in the Quran of a Creator God, Who has created humans and this universe for a purpose and will hold them accountable.

The first few verses of this Surah highlight the creativity of God Almighty as a proof for the Afterlife or the second creation:

Do they not see the sky above them, how We have built and adorned it, without any flaw, and how We spread out the earth and put firm mountains on it, and caused every kind of beautiful plants in pairs to grow in it, as a lesson and reminder for every servant who turns to God; and how We send blessed water down from the sky and grow with it gardens and the harvest grains, and the towering palm trees laden with clusters of dates, as a provision for everyone; how with water We give new life to a land that is dead? This is how the dead will emerge. (Verses 6-11)

The punch line is delivered a little bit later: “So were We incapable of the first creation? No indeed! Yet they doubt a second creation.” (Verse 15)

Such line of reasoning is pursued at least in a dozen other places in the holy Quran, therefore it is of fundamental importance for the believers to see the universe as a beautiful creation of God, rather than as an accident as the staunch atheists will have us believe. Here is an article to express gratitude to the Al Rahman God, the Lord of Mercy, for His creativity: Ten Raised to Five Hundred Reasons for Our Gracious God.

We believe the two fundamental beliefs in Islam, which it shares with Judaism and Christianity are belief in the Transcendent God and accountability in the life after death. (87:16-19) The former is discussed at some length in the commentary of Surah Al Fatihah and the latter in the commentary of Surah Al Waqi’ah.

In verse 38 of this surah, Allah stresses again: “We created the heavens, the earth, and everything in between, in six Days without tiring.” The surah closes with a verse, highlighting the role of the prophet Muhammad, may peace be on him, as a teacher of the Quran: “But, You, (Muhammad) have not been appointed as a guardian. So remind, with this Qur’an, those who fear My warning.”

According to Muhammad Abdel Haleem, as he writes a brief introduction to this surah:

A Meccan sura which deals predominantly with the Resurrection and the Day of Judgement. Reference is made to previous generations of disbelievers (verses 12-14), both to warn the disbelievers in Mecca and to reassure the Prophet. Creation is cited as an indication of God’s ability to bring the dead to life again (verses 3-11), and emphasis is placed on the powerlessness of man on the Day of Resurrection (verses 20-30). The sura both opens and closes with mention of the Qur’an.

بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

50:1. Qaaf;  We cite the testimony of the glorious Quran!

 ق ۚ وَالْقُرْآنِ الْمَجِيدِ

50:2. But the disbelievers marvel that a warner has come from among them and they say, ‘How strange!’

 بَلْ عَجِبُوا أَن جَاءَهُم مُّنذِرٌ مِّنْهُمْ فَقَالَ الْكَافِرُونَ هَـٰذَا شَيْءٌ عَجِيبٌ

50:3. ‘To come back to life after we have died and become dust? That is very far-fetched.’

 أَإِذَا مِتْنَا وَكُنَّا تُرَابًا ۖ ذَٰلِكَ رَجْعٌ بَعِيدٌ

50:4 We know very well what the earth takes away from them; We keep a comprehensive record.

  قَدْ عَلِمْنَا مَا تَنقُصُ الْأَرْضُ مِنْهُمْ ۖ وَعِندَنَا كِتَابٌ حَفِيظٌ

50:5. But the disbelievers deny the truth when it comes to them; so they end up in a confused state.

 بَلْ كَذَّبُوا بِالْحَقِّ لَمَّا جَاءَهُمْ فَهُمْ فِي أَمْرٍ مَّرِيجٍ

50:6. Do they not see the sky above them, how We have built and adorned it, without any flaw.

 أَفَلَمْ يَنظُرُوا إِلَى السَّمَاءِ فَوْقَهُمْ كَيْفَ بَنَيْنَاهَا وَزَيَّنَّاهَا وَمَا لَهَا مِن فُرُوجٍ

50:7. And how We spread out the earth and put firm mountains on it, and caused every kind of beautiful plants in pairs to grow in it,

 وَالْأَرْضَ مَدَدْنَاهَا وَأَلْقَيْنَا فِيهَا رَوَاسِيَ وَأَنبَتْنَا فِيهَا مِن كُلِّ زَوْجٍ بَهِيجٍ

50:8. As a lesson and reminder for every servant who turns to God;

 تَبْصِرَةً وَذِكْرَىٰ لِكُلِّ عَبْدٍ مُّنِيبٍ

50:9. And how We send blessed water down from the sky and grow with it gardens and harvest grains.

 وَنَزَّلْنَا مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مَاءً مُّبَارَكًا فَأَنبَتْنَا بِهِ جَنَّاتٍ وَحَبَّ الْحَصِيدِ

50:10. And the towering palm trees laden with clusters of dates,

 وَالنَّخْلَ بَاسِقَاتٍ لَّهَا طَلْعٌ نَّضِيدٌ

50:11. As a provision for everyone; how with water We give new life to a land that is dead? This is how the dead will emerge.

 رِّزْقًا لِّلْعِبَادِ ۖ وَأَحْيَيْنَا بِهِ بَلْدَةً مَّيْتًا ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ الْخُرُوجُ

50:12. The people of Noah disbelieved long before these disbelievers, as did the people of Rass, Thamud,

 كَذَّبَتْ قَبْلَهُمْ قَوْمُ نُوحٍ وَأَصْحَابُ الرَّسِّ وَثَمُودُ

50:13. ‘Ad, Pharaoh and the people of Lot,

 وَعَادٌ وَفِرْعَوْنُ وَإِخْوَانُ لُوطٍ

50:14. The Forest-Dwellers, Tubba’: all of these people disbelieved their messengers, and so My warning was realized.

 وَأَصْحَابُ الْأَيْكَةِ وَقَوْمُ تُبَّعٍ ۚ كُلٌّ كَذَّبَ الرُّسُلَ فَحَقَّ وَعِيدِ

50:15. So were We incapable of the first creation? No indeed! Yet they doubt a second creation.

 أَفَعَيِينَا بِالْخَلْقِ الْأَوَّلِ ۚ

 بَلْ هُمْ فِي لَبْسٍ مِّنْ خَلْقٍ جَدِيدٍ

50:16. We did indeed create man, We know what his soul whispers to him: We are closer to him than his jugular vein

 وَلَقَدْ خَلَقْنَا الْإِنسَانَ وَنَعْلَمُ مَا تُوَسْوِسُ بِهِ نَفْسُهُ ۖ وَنَحْنُ أَقْرَبُ إِلَيْهِ مِنْ حَبْلِ الْوَرِيدِ

50:17.  With two monitors set to record, one on his right side and one on his left.

 إِذْ يَتَلَقَّى الْمُتَلَقِّيَانِ عَنِ الْيَمِينِ وَعَنِ الشِّمَالِ قَعِيدٌ

50:18. He does not utter anything without a ready watcher beside him.

 مَّا يَلْفِظُ مِن قَوْلٍ إِلَّا لَدَيْهِ رَقِيبٌ عَتِيدٌ

50:19. The stupor of imminent death will bring the Truth with it: ‘This is what you tried to escape.’

 وَجَاءَتْ سَكْرَةُ الْمَوْتِ بِالْحَقِّ ۖ ذَٰلِكَ مَا كُنتَ مِنْهُ تَحِيدُ

50:20. The Trumpet will be sounded: ‘This is the Day you were warned of.’

 وَنُفِخَ فِي ال ذَٰلِكَ يَوْمُ الْوَعِيدِصُّورِ ۚ

50:21. Each person will arrive attended by an angel to drive him on and another to bear witness:

  وَجَاءَتْ كُلُّ نَفْسٍ مَّعَهَا سَائِقٌ وَشَهِيدٌ

50:22. You paid no attention to this Day; but today We have removed your veil of denial and your sight is sharp.

 لَّقَدْ كُنتَ فِي غَفْلَةٍ مِّنْ هَـٰذَا فَكَشَفْنَا عَنكَ غِطَاءَكَ فَبَصَرُكَ الْيَوْمَ حَدِيدٌ

50:23. The person’s attendant will say, ‘Here is what I have prepared.’

 وَقَالَ قَرِينُهُ هَـٰذَا مَا لَدَيَّ عَتِيدٌ

50:24. Cast every obstinate disbeliever into Hell.

 أَلْقِيَا فِي جَهَنَّمَ كُلَّ كَفَّارٍ عَنِيدٍ

50:25. Everyone who hindered good, was aggressive, caused others to doubt,

 مَّنَّاعٍ لِّلْخَيْرِ مُعْتَدٍ مُّرِيبٍ

50:26. And set up other gods beside God. Cast him into severe punishment!

  الَّذِي جَعَلَ مَعَ اللَّـهِ إِلَـٰهًا آخَرَ فَأَلْقِيَاهُ فِي الْعَذَابِ الشَّدِيدِ

50:27. And his evil companion will say, ‘Lord, I did not make him transgress; he had already gone far astray on his own.’

 قَالَ قَرِينُهُ رَبَّنَا مَا أَطْغَيْتُهُ وَلَـٰكِن كَانَ فِي ضَلَالٍ بَعِيدٍ

50:28. God will say, ‘Do not argue in My presence. I sent you a warning.’

 قَالَ لَا تَخْتَصِمُوا لَدَيَّ وَقَدْ قَدَّمْتُ إِلَيْكُم بِالْوَعِيدِ

50:29. And My word cannot be changed: I am not unjust to the slightest to any of my servants.

 مَا يُبَدَّلُ الْقَوْلُ لَدَيَّ وَمَا أَنَا بِظَلَّامٍ لِّلْعَبِي

50:30. We shall ask Hell on that day, ‘Are you full?’And it will reply, ‘Are there no more?’

 يَوْمَ نَقُولُ لِجَهَنَّمَ هَلِ امْتَلَأْتِ وَتَقُولُ هَلْ مِن مَّزِيدٍ

50:31. But Paradise will be brought close to the reverent and will no longer be distant.

 وَأُزْلِفَتِ الْجَنَّةُ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ غَيْرَ بَعِيدٍ

50:32. This is what you were promised —this is for everyone who turned often to God and kept Him in mind.

 هَـٰذَا مَا تُوعَدُونَ لِكُلِّ أَوَّابٍ حَفِيظٍ

50:33. Who held the Most Gracious in awe, though He is unseen, who comes before Him with a heart turned to Him in devotion.

  مَّنْ خَشِيَ الرَّحْمَـٰنَ بِالْغَيْبِ وَجَاءَ بِقَلْبٍ مُّنِيبٍ

50:34. So enter it in peace. This is the Day of everlasting Life.

 ادْخُلُوهَا بِسَلَامٍ ۖ ذَٰلِكَ يَوْمُ الْخُلُودِ

50:35. They will have all that they wish for there, and We have more for them that they cannot conceive.

  لَهُم مَّا يَشَاءُونَ فِيهَا وَلَدَيْنَا مَزِيدٌ

50:36. We have destroyed even mightier generations before these disbelievers. Then they searched around in the lands, but there was no refuge.

وَكَمْ أَهْلَكْنَا قَبْلَهُم مِّن قَرْنٍ هُمْ أَشَدُّ مِنْهُم بَطْشًا فَنَقَّبُوا فِي الْبِلَادِ هَلْ مِن مَّحِيصٍ

50:37. There truly is a reminder in this for whoever has a heart, whoever listens attentively.

 إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَذِكْرَىٰ لِمَن كَانَ لَهُ قَلْبٌ أَوْ أَلْقَى السَّمْعَ وَهُوَ شَهِيدٌ

50:38. We created the heavens, the earth, and everything in between, in six Days without tiring.

وَلَقَدْ خَلَقْنَا السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا فِي سِتَّةِ أَيَّامٍ وَمَا مَسَّنَا مِن لُّغُوبٍ

50:39. Oh Prophet, bear everything they say with patience; celebrate the praise of your Lord before the rising and setting of the sun;

 فَاصْبِرْ عَلَىٰ مَا يَقُولُونَ وَسَبِّحْ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّكَ قَبْلَ طُلُوعِ الشَّمْسِ وَقَبْلَ الْغُرُوبِ

50:40. Proclaim His praise in the night and at the end of every formal prayer.

 وَمِنَ اللَّيْلِ فَسَبِّحْهُ وَأَدْبَارَ السُّجُودِ

50:41. Listen out for the Day when the caller will call from a nearby place.

 وَاسْتَمِعْ يَوْمَ يُنَادِ الْمُنَادِ مِن مَّكَانٍ قَرِيبٍ

50:42. The Day they will hear the mighty inevitable blast, that is the Day when they will come forth.

  يَوْمَ يَسْمَعُونَ الصَّيْحَةَ بِالْحَقِّ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ يَوْمُ الْخُرُوجِ

50:43. It is We who give life and cause death;  and to Us is the final return.

 إِنَّا نَحْنُ نُحْيِي وَنُمِيتُ وَإِلَيْنَا الْمَصِيرُ

50:44. On the Day when the earth will be split asunder, letting them rush out and that gathering will be easy for Us.

 يَوْمَ تَشَقَّقُ الْأَرْضُ عَنْهُمْ سِرَاعًا ۚ ذَٰلِكَ حَشْرٌ عَلَيْنَا يَسِيرٌ

50:45. We know best what the disbelievers say.  But, You, Muhammad have not been appointed as a guardian. So remind, with this Quran, those who fear My warning.

 نَّحْنُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا يَقُولُونَ ۖ وَمَا أَنتَ عَلَيْهِم بِجَبَّارٍ ۖ فَذَكِّرْ بِالْقُرْآنِ مَن يَخَافُ وَعِيدِ



The first few verses of this Surah highlight the creativity of God Almighty as a proof for the Afterlife or the second creation:

Do they not see the sky above them, how We have built and adorned it, without any flaw, and how We spread out the earth and put firm mountains on it, and caused every kind of beautiful plants in pairs to grow in it, as a lesson and reminder for every servant who turns to God; and how We send blessed water down from the sky and grow with it gardens and the harvest grains,and the towering palm trees laden with clusters of dates, as a provision for everyone; how with water We give new life to a land that is dead? This is how the dead will emerge. (Verses 6-11)

The punch line is delivered a little bit later: “So were We incapable of the first creation? No indeed! Yet they doubt a second creation.” (Verse 15)

Such line of reasoning is pursued at least in a dozen other places in the holy Quran, therefore it is of fundamental importance for the believers to see the universe as a beautiful creation of God, rather than as an accident as the staunch atheists will have us believe. Here is an article to express gratitude to the Al Rahman God, the Lord of Mercy, for His creativity: Ten Raised to Five Hundred Reasons for Our Gracious God.

According to Seyyed Hossein Nasr and colleagues in their recent commentary:

This is one of several passages to call human beings to reflect upon the beauty, proportionality, and bounty of the natural world as evidence of God’s Mercy and wisdom and of the Resurrection; see 16:79-81; 24:43-50; 26:7-8; 33:27; 35:27-28; 36:71-73; 45:1-5.

We believe the two fundamental beliefs in Islam, which it shares with Judaism and Christianity are belief in the Transcendent God and accountability in the life after death. (87:16-19) The former is discussed at some length in the commentary of Surah Al Fatihah and the latter in the commentary of Surah Al Waqi’ah.


“The people of Noah disbelieved long before these disbelievers, as did the people of Rass, Thamud, ‘Ad, Pharaoh and the people of Lot, the Forest-Dwellers, Tubba’: all of these people disbelieved their messengers, and so My warning was realized.”

The Quran is not bringing a new message about the Creator God or accountability. The same message was delivered to the prior people, as mentioned in these verses.

According to Seyyed Hossein Nasr and colleagues in their recent commentary:

Before them means before the idolaters who  oppose the Prophet (T). For the Quranic account of Noah and the flood, see 11:25-48; 23:23-30; 26:105-21; Surah 71. The inhabitants of al-Rass (cf. 25:38) is an enigmatic reference that some understand to mean one of the towns of the tribe of Thamud (T). Others understand al-Rass to mean “the well’’ and interpret it as a reference to the well in which the people spoken of in 36:13-27 threw the prophet whom God had sent to them (I). The ‘Ad and the Thamud were pre-Islamic Arabian tribes who rejected the prophets sent to them. For the account of the ‘Ad see 7:65-72; 11:50-60; 41:15-16; 54:18-21. For that of the Thamud, see 7:73-79; 11:61-68; 26:141-58; 54:24-31. The story of Lot and his people is discussed most extensively in 11:77-83; see also 7:80-84; 15:57-77; 21:74-75; 26:160-73;  27:54-58; 29:28-35; 37:133-38. The thicket translates al- aykah, which according to some is a proper name. The inhabitants of the thicket are either the people of Midian, who are said to have rejected the prophet Shu‘ayb (see 7:85-93; 11:84-95; 26:176-89; 29:36-37), or a second community to which Shu‘ayb was sent (Mw). For Tubba‘ , most likely a reference to a line of kings in southern Arabia, see 44:37c.

How does the history of prophets of the past plays out in the contemporary life? For this we link a recent article from the Muslim Sunrise, the oldest Muslim publication of North America, written and collected by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times: God’s Existence and Natural Disasters.


“So were We incapable of the first creation? No indeed! Yet they doubt a second creation.”

According to Seyyed Hossein Nasr and colleagues in their recent commentary:

This verse is a rebuke to what the idolaters say in v.  3. They are questioned as to how it is that they could doubt God’s ability to resurrect when they have the evidence of God’s ability to create everything that is around them (T). The rhetorical question is answered in 46:33: Have they not considered that God, Who created the heavens and the earth and did not weary in their creation, is able to give life to the dead? Yea! He is Powerful over all things. In the present verse, the first creation means the creation of this world. When confronted with the Quranic teaching regarding bodily resurrection, the reaction of the disbelievers is that they say, What! When we are bones and dust, shall we indeed be resurrected as a new creation? (17:49, 98). In this interpretation new creation refers to the Resurrection; see also 13:5; 14:19; 34:7; 35:16-17c. New creation can also be understood as a reference to the perpetual creation of the world, in which God’s creative act is renewed at every instant (K). That most human beings are in doubt regarding a new creation indicates that they are unable to see because their sight is not yet piercing (see v. 22).


“Everyone who hindered good, was aggressive, caused others to doubt.”

So, the purpose of belief in the Creator God, Who holds us accountable is not to merely promote a random idea, but to inspire humans to do good, to be kind, compassionate and just towards fellow humans. Suggested reading on this theme, Two Hundred Verses about Compassionate Living in the Quran

and Surah Al Ma’un – The Common Kindness.


“So enter it in peace. This is the Day of everlasting Life.”

According to Seyyed Hossein Nasr and colleagues in their recent commentary:

Enter it in peace. This is the day of abiding.”  34 Peace translates salam, which also denotes  “greeting” and “safety.” Enter it in peace is thus interpreted to mean, “Enter secure from every fear,” or “Enter with the greeting of peace” (JJ), as in 56:25-26: They hear no idle talk therein, nor incitement to sin, save that “Peace! Peace!” is uttered (cf. 7:46; 10:10; 13:23-24; 14:23; 16:32; 19:62; 25:75; 33:44; 36:58). Thus the Garden is also known as the Abode of Peace (61127; 10:25). That this is the day of abiding indicates that it is the day on which everlasting life in the Garden will begin (JJ, T).


“We know best what the disbelievers say.  But, You, Muhammad have not been appointed as a guardian. So remind, with this Quran, those who fear My warning.”

The freedom of religion is clearly highlighted in the last verse of the Surah.

According to Seyyed Hossein Nasr and colleagues in their recent commentary:

Given the general principle in Islam that there is no coercion in religion (2:256), the Prophet is not to compel disbelievers. His function is only to remind human beings through revelation (see 88:21-22), as prophets are only responsible for proclaiming the message (see, e.g. 3:20; 5:92, 99; 13:40; 16:35. 82; 24:54; 29:18; 36:17; 42:48). Those who fear My Threat (see also 87:9-10) is understood by some to mean the believers (JJ), but can be taken more generally to mean all but the most obstinate disbelievers, since every human being is believed to bear the primordial covenant, and thus the remembrance of God, within the depths of his or her soul (see 7:172c; 30:30c).

Additional suggested reading

Surah Al Waqi’ah (The Event or the Resurrection)

Surah Al Balad: The City of Makkah


This is an early Makkan surah when the Muslims were being severely persecuted there, yet it has a grand prophecy that Islam will prevail in the very same city and the holy prophet Muhammad, may peace be on him, will be hailed as a great national and international hero.

This surah once again stresses, in very powerful metaphors that the very purpose of religion is to guide us into compassionate living, a message often repeated in the Quran. Please see the commentary of Surah Al Ma’un – The Common Kindness and an article: Two Hundred Verses about Compassionate Living in the Quran.

بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

1. I call this city as a witness.

لَا أُقْسِمُ بِهَـٰذَا الْبَلَدِ 

2. And you [Muhammad] are an inhabitant of this city.

 وَأَنتَ حِلٌّ بِهَـٰذَا الْبَلَدِ 

3. And I cite the father Abraham and the son Ishmael as a witness.

 وَوَالِدٍ وَمَا وَلَدَ 

4. That We have created man for toil and trial.

 لَقَدْ خَلَقْنَا الْإِنسَانَ فِي كَبَدٍ 

5. Does he think that no one will have power over him?

 أَيَحْسَبُ أَن لَّن يَقْدِرَ عَلَيْهِ أَحَدٌ

6. He boasts about his wealth.

 يَقُولُ أَهْلَكْتُ مَالًا لُّبَدًا 

7. Does he think no one observes him?

 أَيَحْسَبُ أَن لَّمْ يَرَهُ أَحَدٌ 

8. Did We not give him two eyes?

 أَلَمْ نَجْعَل لَّهُ عَيْنَيْنِ 

9. And a tongue and two lips?

 وَلِسَانًا وَشَفَتَيْنِ 

10. And point out to him the two clear ways [of good and evil]?

 وَلِسَانًا وَشَفَتَيْنِ 

11. Yet he has not attempted the steep path.

 فَلَا اقْتَحَمَ الْعَقَبَةَ 

12. What will explain to you what the steep path is?

 وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا الْعَقَبَةُ 

13. It is to free a slave.

 فَكُّ رَقَبَةٍ 

14. It is to feed at a time of hunger.

 أَوْ إِطْعَامٌ فِي يَوْمٍ ذِي مَسْغَبَةٍ 

15. An orphaned relative.

 يَتِيمًا ذَا مَقْرَبَةٍ

16. Or a poor person in distress.

 أَوْ مِسْكِينًا ذَا مَتْرَبَةٍ 

17. Then he is of those who believe and exhort one another to patience, and exhort one another to mercy.

ثُمَّ كَانَ مِنَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالصَّبْرِ وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالْمَرْحَمَةِ

18. These are the people of the right hand.

 أُولَـٰئِكَ أَصْحَابُ الْمَيْمَنَةِ

19. And those who disbelieve in Our messages, they are the people of the left hand.

وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا بِآيَاتِنَا هُمْ أَصْحَابُ الْمَشْأَمَةِ

20. And the Fire will close in on them.

عَلَيْهِمْ نَارٌ مُّؤْصَدَةٌ



This is a Makkan surah, while the prophet Muhammad, may peace be on him, was engaged in a struggle of survival against large odds in the city of Makkah in the early part of his ministry. Given his triumph in the city later on and the earlier triumph of Abraham and Ishmael in settling the city of Makkah in wilderness some 2400 years ago and how the spring of Zam Zam came to be, described else where in the holy Quran, the city becomes a witness to the truth of Islam, the Quran and the prophet Muhammad.


In this surah, Allah describes the ‘steep path’ to excellence starting in verse number 11.  In verse 4 of the surah it was mentioned that human psyche is given to toil towards some goal, so it is better that he or she works towards the steep path of excellence in humanitarian works and to free slaves and captives and feed the hungry and take care of the orphans and weak, rather than pursuing some frivolous goal.

Humanitarian service should be done in a fashion that we set the orphans or the vulnerable free to achieve their best potentials rather than embroiling them into strings to use them for our purposes, like any selfish god-father figure would do, to serve his own needs. Else where the Quran says: “And they feed, for love of Allah, the poor, the orphan, and the prisoner, saying, ‘We feed you for Allah’s pleasure only. We desire no payback nor thanks from you.'” (Al Quran 76:8-9)

This surah very powerfully demonstrates that the purpose of religion or of Islam is to instill compassion and love of humanity and not an obsession with the religious dogma. For example else where we read:

Goodness does not consist in turning your face towards East or West. The truly good are those who believe in God and the Last Day, in the angels, the Scripture, and the prophets; who give away some of their wealth, however much they cherish it, to their relatives, to orphans, the needy, travelers and beggars and to liberate those in debt and bondage; those who keep up the prayers and pay the prescribed alms; who keep pledges whenever they make them; who are steadfast in misfortune, adversity and times of danger. These are the ones who are true, and it is they who are aware of God.  (Al Quran 2:177)

This verse talks about a set of beliefs and then a set of good deeds, the intricate relationship between the two escapes many if not most. Many take a set of beliefs as dogma or a magical wand that if believed in will lead to certain success here and in the hereafter. But, see if we believe that Jesus died for our sins or for that matter Moses or Joseph died for our sins or Muhammad, may peace be on him, went to heaven in his physical body, such ideas or deeply held beliefs are no different from knowing or believing that the table I am looking at in the center of my room right now is made of wood. This belief has no trans-formative value on my character. But, a belief gathered through life long experience, in All-Knowing, All-Powerful, Merciful and Gracious God, who loves us and has revealed Himself through prophets and scriptures and taught us accountability on the Day of Judgment, has the ability to jolt our psyche and make our character compassionate, truthful and honest.  Such a deeply held and experienced belief and not any set of dogmas is implied in this verse of Surah Baqarah. In short, religion is about leading an honest life of compassion demonstrating kindness and not about obsession over dogma or ritual or who has the religious authority.

According to Muhammad Ali in commentary of the verses under discussion:

Note the tone of these earliest revelations. The service of humanity (along with the service of God) is the one topic. The doing of good to the oppressed, the poor, and the orphans is called an uphill road or a high mountain because of the difficulty of doing it. The constant reference to the helping of the poor and the orphans and the setting free of slaves brings to light the real character of the Prophet, who is described by one knowing him most intimately as one who earned for those who had no means themselves (B. 1:1). No religion has laid so much stress on the uplift of the poor and the distressed as Islam, and it is the only religion which enjoins the duty of granting freedom to slaves, and the Holy Prophet Muhammad is the only founder of a religion who showed the noble example of freeing all slaves that he ever had and helping in the freedom of others. Yet prejudiced writers blame Islam for not taking any steps to uproot slavery. There is even a suggestion that such precepts regarding the nobility of liberating slaves as exist in the Makkan chapters were abrogated by later revelation (see Wherry), a preposterous statement in view of the plain directions given in 9:60 (the latest revelation) to the State itself to spend a part of the public funds in purchasing freedom for slaves.

For a more detailed discussion of love, compassion and emphasis on humanitarian work in the holy Quran, please read: Two Hundred Verses about Compassionate Living in the Quran.

Suggested reading
Abou Ben Adhem, A Compassionate Man
A Message of Compassion and Love from the Holy Bible
True Fasting: A Message of Compassion and Love from the Old Testament
Forty Hadiths or Sayings of the Prophet Muhammad about Compassionate Living
‘Love Hormone’ Oxytocin May Enhance Feelings Of Spirituality
We Will be Judged by Our Compassion and Deeds and Not Our Dogma

Surah Al Ma’un – The Common Kindness


A Makkan surah describing the characteristics of a person who denies the faith or its real purpose.

بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

107:1. Have you considered the person who denies the faith or its real purpose?

أَرَأَيْتَ الَّذِي يُكَذِّبُ بِالدِّينِ

107:2. It is he who pushes aside the orphan,

 فَذَٰلِكَ الَّذِي يَدُعُّ الْيَتِيمَ 

107:3. And does not urge others to feed the needy.

 وَلَا يَحُضُّ عَلَىٰ طَعَامِ الْمِسْكِينِ

107:4. So woe to those who pray,

 فَوَيْلٌ لِّلْمُصَلِّينَ 

107:5. But are heedless of their prayers.

 الَّذِينَ هُمْ عَن صَلَاتِهِمْ سَاهُونَ

107:6. Those who are all show,

 الَّذِينَ هُمْ يُرَاءُونَ 

107:7. And forbid the common kindness.

 وَيَمْنَعُونَ الْمَاعُونَ 


Throughout the teachings of the Holy Quran, service to mankind is a running theme. At many different places God specifically mentions the help of the disadvantaged elements in the society. In fact it will not be a stretch to say that Islam promotes a welfare society. All members of the society are responsible for taking care of each other in time of their need. This aspect of the Faith is so dominant that God rejects the worship of those who are negligent of this duty.

God draws our attention towards the person who is openly rejecting Faith. This rejection is not in terms of his professing the Faith as this person is busy in salat (prayer) openly and all can see him. He is a believer and a Muslim if you ask him. Yet God is declaring him a non-believer. The reason for this denouncement by God is the actions of this person. He is identified as the one who does not help the orphan. He in fact shows his contempt by driving them away from himself.

Orphan is the direct translation of the word “yateem.” An orphan is a person whose parents have passed away. When this happens to a minor or a child, his social support is lost. Until there is some support system for him, he is not going to do well in life. The holy Prophet Muhammad (may peace be upon him) was an orphan himself. His family was able to provide support for him until he grew up. But he had a special affinity for orphans. Throughout the holy Quran and in the narrations of the Prophet, care of the orphans has been stressed over and over again.

In a larger sense anyone who does not have a leader or guide in life can also be considered an orphan. Many young children go astray because their parents are unable to provide them guidance and training due to their own circumstances or inabilities. In such cases it is the responsibility of the society to provide for the needs of these children who are orphans in a metaphorical sense.

Caring for the poor and the hungry is important for any society. The importance of this is highlighted by pointing out this in the 3rd verse. The above two values are so important to God that he denounces those who are negligent in this duty, even when they are busy in salat.

Salat is considered to be a central tenant of the religion of Islam. Generally speaking the rituals of worship carry the greatest importance in any religion. In this chapter of the Holy Quran, God has set this priority right. Salat and other rituals worship is of no importance to God unless the believer is also engaged in the service of God’s creation.  In fact God expresses his displeasure for those who only focus on the worship and forget helping those in need.

According to God, the salat of such people is only a show. It has no significance. These people have not understood the real significance of salat. God did not need for us to bow before him five times a day. It does not benefit him in any way. He is above all this. So what is the purpose of salat? According to God the real purpose of salat is to develop an understanding of the purpose of creation and religion. It is a tool for training of the believers. The real purpose is serving the creation of God. Balance between worship and service has to be maintained. (Islam is a religion of moderation and middle way, “Ummatun wasatan”)

If salat is not accompanied by good works then it is only a show.

The last verse once again addresses the miserly behavior of these people. They refuse to participate in the common kindness and are averse to helping  even by lending trivial items of daily use.

Surah Al Takathur – Competing for More


According to Seyyed Hossein Nasr and colleagues in the introduction to this surah:

The first two verses speak of the delusion of accumulating worldly goods, which is referenced throughout the Quran (e.g., 3:14; 9:24), while the remaining Verses (vv. 3-8) promise that those who persist in such behavior will know Hellfire with certainty.

بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

102:1. The desire of increase in worldly possessions beguiles you.

 أَلْهَاكُمُ التَّكَاثُرُ

102:2. Till you reach the graves.

 حَتَّىٰ زُرْتُمُ الْمَقَابِرَ

102:3. Surely, you will soon come to know the vanity of your pursuits.

 كَلَّا سَوْفَ تَعْلَمُونَ

102:4. Again, you surely will soon come to know how mistaken you are.

 ثُمَّ كَلَّا سَوْفَ تَعْلَمُونَ

102:5. Only if you knew for certain!

 كَلَّا لَوْ تَعْلَمُونَ عِلْمَ الْيَقِينِ

102:6. You would surely see hell in this very life.

 لَتَرَوُنَّ الْجَحِيمَ

102:7. But, you will see it with the certainty of sight in the life to come.

 ثُمَّ لَتَرَوُنَّهَا عَيْنَ الْيَقِينِ

102:8. Then you shall be called to account, on that day, in respect of the worldly favors conferred on you.

 ثُمَّ لَتُسْأَلُنَّ يَوْمَئِذٍ عَنِ النَّعِيمِ

A common fallacy of the human condition is described in the verses: “You love that which is transitory; and you neglect that which is lasting.” (75:20-21) The Quran repeatedly teaches us to put our temporary worldly life in the perspective of eternal Afterlife. The common mistake is that most of us do not give the due importance to Afterlife, but, there  is also the possibility of error in the other direction, which is the error of asceticism, in giving up the worldly life, in not realizing that ultimately the results of our eternal life are based on our actions in this very ephemeral life.

According to Seyyed Hossein Nasr and colleagues in the commentary of the first verse of this surah:

Vying for increase in worldly gains distracts people  from obedience to God and remembering the Hereafter (Q, Ts). ‘Distraction’ (lahw) indicates an amusement, something that keeps people from achieving their real goals (Al, Is). In this vein, the Quran advises, Let not the life of this world delude you (31:33; 35:5; see also 45:35). Vying for increase translates takathur, which implies both competing and boasting. It can pertain to anything that people seek for the gratification of their egos rather than for God’s sake. According to a saying attributed to the Prophet, it means gathering wealth without right, withholding it from those to whom it rightfully belongs, and hoarding it (Q).

Islam does not prohibit the use or seeking of the good things of this world; but it certainly condemns those who are wholly engrossed in them and make them the very object and purpose of their lives. In fact the Quran has taught us a prayer to seek good both in this world and the hereafter: “And of them there are some who say: ‘Our Lord, grant us good in this world as well as good in the world to come, and protect us from the torment of the Fire.’” (2:201)

However, the Quran puts the worldly life and the eternal life, constantly into perspective, like in this surah, “The desire of increase in worldly possessions beguiles you till you reach the graves. You will soon realize the vanity of your pursuits; again, you will soon realize how mistaken you are. If you only knew with the certainty of knowledge.” (102:1-5)

We will collect all the instances in the Quran, which highlight this human dilemma of striking the balance between the worldly life and the Afterlife. For starters, please see: 3:14-15; 3:185; 9:37; 10:24; 10:70; 13:26; 18:45-46; 29:64; 35:5; 57:20 and 87:16-19. Let us conclude this paragraph by quoting the verses from Surah Kahf: “Expound to them the case of the life of this world. It is like water that we send down from the sky, and the vegetation of the earth grows and mingles with it and all becomes stubble which is scattered about by the winds. Allah has full power over everything.  Wealth and children are an ornament of the life  of this world: then of these that which is converted into a source of permanent beneficence is best in the sight of your Lord, both in respect of immediate reward and in respect of expected benefits.” (18:45-46)

This dilemma arising out of finite versus the infinite has also been described in secular literature as Pascal wager.

The desire to progress in one way or another is embedded to a lesser or greater extent in human nature.  Some are more ambitious than the others but every one is pursuing some goal or object.  It is a distinctive characteristic in man which differentiates him from all lower forms of creation. The urge to progress is a healthy one, provided it does not clash with one’s moral development.  However, today it seems that the acquisition of wealth is the main avenue of progress along which men seek to advance.  But, as mentioned before, one who devotes one’s whole attention to increasing ones wealth and neglects one’s moral development is growing away from peace and acquiring miseries for oneself.

While advancement in worldly affairs is encouraged and commended by Islam, nevertheless, greater stress is laid on the development of the soul and progress along the path of righteousness; for God says in the Holy Quran that the most honored in His sight are those who are the most righteous.  Excessive materialism arises in those men who do not look beyond the grave and fail to appreciate the scheme of things in their totality. They give attention only to their material progress as they do not know of any other progress.  On the other hand, the men of God, do not neglect their moral and spiritual progress.  A believer knows that his love for God should excel his love for the things of this world. He yearns to develop within himself the attributes of God; and while he does not ignore the responsibilities of life he is ever watchful in avoiding all temptations liable to hinder his moral and spiritual advancement.

If on one extreme, of love for worldly things, is materialism then on the other extreme is asceticism.  Asceticism is so to speak an escape from our role in this present life.  Both extremes are detrimental to the moral and spiritual progress of man.  Sometimes one opts for asceticism and a kind of resignation in life in order to escape failure and the psychological pain associated with such failure.  This, then becomes  an escape mechanism and religion should not be blamed for such faulty resignation.  Islam just wants to put all things in true perspective and set the priorities right.  If we study the life history of the prophet Muhammad there is no element of escapism in his life.  His monumental accomplishments in a short life span of 63 years will always remain unparalleled.

Materialism leads to such love for these material things that it becomes more and more difficult for one to make moral choices when material stakes are high.  Islam teaches us a balance between the two forces, so that on one hand material progress is not halted and on the other hand moral and spiritual progress is not compromised.  We do not want to lay down proofs of the life after death here for we have pursued that in the commentary of Surah Al Waqi’ah (The Event or the Resurrection).  Whereas, materialism and exclusive focus on this world is short sightedness, as it ignores the life after death, asceticism is ignoring the purpose of life.

When we think about the part of our life, that has passed, it seems like a flash, a wink or twinkling of the eye.  It only leaves a feeling of nostalgia behind, and its existence appears rather unreal.  In short it has a fleeting existence and seems like a dream that is passed.  For those who have passed all their lives and have died, according to the Holy Quran when they look back, it seems to them that they lived only for a moment on this earth (23:112-113).

Bible quotes a moving testimony from King Solomon regarding the futility of taking worldly success as the final goal of one’s life:

I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and Planted vineyards.  I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of  fruit trees in them.  I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees. I bought male and female slaves and had other slaves who were born in my house.  I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before me.  I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces.  I acquired men and women singers, and harem as well — the delights of the heart of men. I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. In all this my wisdom stayed with me.

I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure.

My heart took delight in all my work, and this was the reward for all my labor.

Yet when I surveyed all that my hand had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun (Bible, Ecclesiastes 2:4-11).

The message in these quotes is not one of asceticism but one of contentment and of simplicity.  These verses mean to put our present life in perspective of our eternal life in the hereafter.  These verses do not deny the useful role of some of the material things in our lives.  As the holy Quran, after naming some worldly goods says, “All these are the provisions of this life.”  It is excessive love and greed for material things that leads to evil and destruction of peace of mind in several ways.  If one recalls and analyzes the events of years ago, very often, one realizes that many of the issues that appeared to be vitally important yesterday, appear trivial and meaningless today.  Among other reasons, it is this perspective, that puts our present life in true colors against the life after death.

It is also very important that what is being criticized here is the act to seek material gains as ends in themselves.  A devout believer will also seek these same material gains, but with an intention to be able to serve God and His creatures with those resources.  The same pursuit becomes a mirage for the worldly inclined (24:39), and a source of spiritual progress for the devout believer.  It is the underlying intention that determines the quality of actions and in many instances the end result.

The story of Korah (Qarun), who was a contemporary of Moses puts our pursuit for worldly wealth into perspective.  His wealth made him very arrogant and exultant. The Holy Quran describes it in some detail.

Indeed, Korah was of the people of Moses, but he behaved tyrannically towards them. And We had given him treasures of hoarded wealth so much that the keys thereof would have weighed down a party of strong men. When his people said to him, ‘Exult not, surely Allah loves not those who exult;  And seek … the Home of the Hereafter (by spending in the way of Allah); and neglect not your people in this world; and do good to others as Allah has done good to you; And seek not to create mischief in the land. Indeed, Allah loves not those who create mischief;’  He said, ‘All this has been given to me because of the knowledge I possess. (Where does Allah come in the picture?)’.  …  So he went forth before his people in all his pomp. Those who were desirous of the life of this world said, ‘Would that we had the like of what Korah has been given!  Truly, he is the master of great fortune.’  But those who had been given true knowledge said, `Woe unto you (on what you long for), Allah’s (lasting) reward (in the hereafter) is best for those who believe and do good works; and it shall be granted to no one except those who are steadfast.’  (Because of arrogant attitude of Korah and his persecution of Moses and his followers).  Then Allah (caused an earth quake) and made the earth to swallow him up and his dwelling; And he had no party to help him against Allah, nor was he of those who can defend themselves.   And those who had coveted his position the day before began to say, ‘… it is indeed Allah Who enlarges the provisions for such of His servants as He pleases and straitens it for whom He pleases. Had not Allah been gracious to us, He would have caused it to swallow us up also. Ah!  the ungrateful never prosper.’  The home of the Hereafter. We give to those who seek not self-exaltation in the earth, …And the good end is for the righteous. (28:76-83)

Accumulation of wealth and power for personal aggrandizement is hell fire, but the same desire to make money to raise one’s family and to serve humanity becomes a great boon for the believer. Indeed actions are judged by their motives.

In conclusion: “This present life is merely an amusement and a diversion; the true life is in the Hereafter, if only they knew.” (29:64)