Loyal Followers

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Does Islam Need to be Defended?


Those who, stand either individually or in clumps, and claim that they are defending Islam do not trust in Allah and thereby blaspheme. Let us consider some of the more relevant and obvious repercussions of accepting Allah as the "The Originator of the heavens and the earth!" (Surah 6:101) which is basically this Universe, and the many billion other universes out there, all that space, and clutter in between. We, in truth, don't even make up an atom of a grain of sand in the entire scheme of things. And those are just His creations - so, in truth, we will never be able to even comprehend Allah. Whoever claims they do, makes false claims to godhood. 

Let us consider this starting point: that we are unfathomably small in His entire design. We die out just like all other living things on this earth. Our lifespan is short - a maximum of just over one hundred - with an average of about late 60s these days. We, as Homo Sapiens, only arrived on the scene relatively recently i.e. about 400,000 years ago, and our recorded history only stretches back to about 32,000 years ago with those cave paintings in Chauvet Cave of Chauvet-Pont-d'Arc Cave, in southern France. The earth is estimated by scientists to be approximately between 4.5 - 6 billion years old. So that's how we are even compared to the earth. Nothing much. And the universe? Scientists currently estimate it to be about 13.7 billion years old. So temporally our Homo Sapien race existence compared to the universe - our significance is 0.0000029197080. Now you then divide that by all the many people, animals, etc. and you come through and we realize how insignificant any of us are in the entire scheme of the universe. Even if you had the biological abilities, you just didn't the time.

When seen in this light, that Allah was long before us and shall be for ever, so what does it matter if some of his most insignificant creations on one of His billions, if not trillions, of galaxies and planet, does not believe in Him or infringes His injunctions? What does it matter that there are these non-believers who speak ill of Him? The truth is that no one can harm Allah or his religion because we are in His realm. What is more, going by scripture, we are all answerable to him on Judgment Day, so why should we have to answer to someone lesser whilst we are alive? A comparative analogy of the relationship between Allah and mankind/His Universe would be as a computer programmer to his program. Whatever program a programmer programs into his computer can never harm him (assuming it is your usual standard desktop PC and not some robotic killer machine whose sole purpose is to annihilate any living thing) - he can manipulate it, change it, do virtually anything to it but the computer or its programs or the product of its program can never, ever harm the programmer. So when there is no threat, there cannot be a defence.

And Allah is Eternal and Creator of All - what possible threat can there be to the Supreme Being of the Universe? If even Satan himself cannot bring about such an event (because he will get his butt kicked in the End), then what more the mere sons of Adam? And what do these ants think they can do in Allah's defence? That some of his sons thinks that Allah is in need of protection is to betray what they really think of themselves and Allah. The first is that they think too highly of himself and his worth to Allah and the Universe and secondly, they think too lowly of Allah and his Creations. They do not say this explicitly, but there is no need to because actions have always spoken louder than words.

If Allah does not need defenders, neither then does Islam. So what is this Defence of Islam really about then? 

It's the same thing that has happened over the centuries where religion is concerned: frustrated, unthinking, unlearned, morally and ethically corrupt human beings who want to achieve some control in their livese and that of others, and do so by piggybacking on a religion to establish a high moral position and to burn with righteous anger with supposed authority from God with which he can then carry out his psychosis. This Defence of Islam strategy is an attempt to play up their victimhood (defence presupposes an attack) to try and attract sympathy from concerned or related parties. But then in banding together and claiming defence they then allow themselves the possibility of a pre-attack strike (that is a 'defence' too which America used as a justification in attacking Iraq. Anybody notice the similarity in modus operandi between Muslim fundamentalists and USA foreign policy towards hostile countries?). Ultimately, the strategy is geared towards confrontation, violence and non-resolution. 

The truth of the matter is that the Defence of Islam was, is and never will be about Allah. It is about flawed human beings. It is about the corrupt, hypocritical human beings who seek not to worship Allah in humility but to try reach His exalted status by inflating further their massive ego; and then in failing so miserably and ending up ultimately becoming a disgrace both to Allah, Islam and human beings in general. Just because someone professes to be Muslim does not necessarily mean they practise Islam (i.e. submission) and just because one is practising Islam does not necessarily mean they are actually practising Islam. In either case, those questions are for Allah to decide, not us. If there's one thing I am certain of it is this - there is no human being in existence that can equal Allah's ability in deciding whether someone is a Muslim or not (and consequentially - a good enough one for that matter). One would have thought a Muslim would be very wary of assuming such a responsibility. That some are ready to do so with such casualness and vindictiveness provokes me to think they do not take their faith seriously in the ways that are important and meaningful for their own personal self-development (which must be distinguished from self-enrichment) and that of others. 

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great work.....needs to be translated to all languages.

Anonymous said...

Good understanding of God/Allah.

Likewise it is for Allah to punish the Muslims who have decided to leave theri faith and not for mere human to mete out the punishment. that's why there is a judgement day.

A person who is vehemently "defending" Islam may, at heart really be an apostate .

amoker said...

US attack Iraq because of oil

Anyway, good rational thought.

Ray said...

During the war of Badr, Prophet Muhammad s.a.w prayed to Allah to protect the Muslim or else there will be no one else left on earth to worship HIM. So do you think that Allah really needs human being to worship HIM? Obviously Allah/ Islam do not need Muslim as the defender. But Allah has created human being as the "kalifah" with positions more valuable than all other creations. The Muslim is actually trying to defend the faith and this is what differs human being to all other creations.

lil ms d said...

please marry me art.

Daef said...

Ray,

There are alot of things that makes a human being different from all other living creatures. Being Muslim/Christian/Hindu/Jedi and defending one's faith is one of them. Just like me playing the Xbox. The Sperm Whale will never ever beat me at Xbox.

Then you said: "The Muslim is actually trying to defend the faith ..." That's the thing I never understood what is THE faith? You mean there's an objetive idea of faith held by some group of trustees out there? Faith is one's personal relationship to god. There is no proprietary right to it like you do land or chattel. And there is no need for anyone to defend my faith in God except myself.

I mean check this out: Say you are feeling weak in your faith because you saw too many chicks in tight, mini skirts or overdosed on yoga. Am I supposed to step in and tell those girls to cover their lovely legs or give you a smack me up whilst you are saluting to the sun? And will your faith be defended and preserved then?

Ray, the only person that can help us keep and nurture our faith is us. No one else. Not even your mother or your father. If a Muslim loses their faith, the only person they can blame is themselves. The problem around here is some of them blame everything else. But that's to be expected by people who know nothing about faith and everything about their ego.

Peace.

Anonymous said...

Nice article, really loved the planetary comparisons!

And I agree that the Inner Jihad is invoked in vain to make oneself feel better. It should be a personal struggle, and no one should legislate alim-ness.

I do find it hard to reconcile the scientific age of the universe with the Abrahamic description of it though... care to discuss?

MAS

Anonymous said...

Dude,

I like the way you look at things..

Don't go and blame others for all your shortcomings.

I don't agree with God though, if there is one, why are we asked to Chant and Recite his greatness all day and night?

Sounds incredibly Vain to me..

Anonymous said...

Your moderate stance is a breathe of fresh air from the extremist thoughts I am so use to. However, your argument is flawed. Though I like the rational thought process that you had to go through to compose this article, your underlying assumption that forms the basis of your argument is flawed and not based on rational thought. That assumption is Allah/God/Zeus/Baal/Ra/Jupiter's existence.

The god hypothesis is an outdated mode of thinking unsuitable for this time and age. Without this radical hypothesis, our world would have been much more peaceful.

Fundamentalism has awoken many a dormant atheist across the world who want nothing but peace and equality for the human race through the abolishment of religious discrimination. Visit your local atheist organization and explore our side of the story. You'd be pleasantly surprise I'd bet. Rational humanism will be the savior of our species.

Have a good day.

Anonymous said...

Dear friend, you are talking about MAYA. And even MAYA is translated differently by Indian theologists.

MAYA - "Existing Matter that cannot be explained - Siva concept"

MAYA - "Always existing and needs no creater - Buddhism & Jainism"

MAYA - "Existing but only as an illusion - Vedanta"

Now you would understand why we Indians do not fight about God. HE is MAYA - cannot be explained in ANY form or explained in EVERY form.

Daef said...

Hi anonymouses (4:45pm and 5:28pm posts),

I can see you are itching to lure me into a 'Is there a god debate?'. I feel this issue to be intellectual stimulating up to a point. But I don't think that there is a definite answer to that one way or the other.

I am quite familiar with the aethist arguments and enjoy reading them as I do the one in favour of the existence of God (or Gods along with their many variations).

You have said that my assumption of the existence of God is flawed. To one that demands certain material proof then yes. But life is more than just about that is being seen.

Much actually takes place unseen - our emotions, our immediate feelings our thoughts - all we have are circumstantial evidence that we do. Our machines can measure blood flow but cannot read thoughts.

And that is why faith is ultimately to me personal and requires no evidence. That is what I understand by faith.

Think about love. Someone you love. Do you know how much s/he loves you? Can you measure it? Can you explain it to others? Can you compare it? Are the comparisons valid? No. You don't know. You cannot measure it. There's no 5cm of love (although I can imagine love in inches! funny that! mwahaha). But you believe it's love. Well, I believe it anyway.

There are some things that we must take that leap of faith in order to reach. The image I have - something high up just out of reach. You have to jump to reach it. If you jump high enough you may reach it. That jump is faith. Nothing in between the air except yourself. That bit is faith. Because sometimes you just don't have boxes to stack up to get there.

Perhaps rational humanism will prevail. But don't forget the human - we are as strong as we are weak and as intelligent as we are stupid, we are unpredictable whimsical creatures as much as we are predictable ethical creatures. That is our tragedy and triumph.

But if you want to get a discussion going, you can reach me at bobothemonkey[a]gmail[dot]com.

jonno1951 said...

Art

I now know why you are a good lawyer. Love your humour and your well thought out argument. Never miss your blogs since the one you posted after RPK's release. Keep up the good work, brother

Anonymous said...

If we were to equate our existence to that of the God's computer programming, I would say that the dualistic/binary programming language used was one called - you and me; sin and virtues; good and bad; pretty and ugly, honor and disgrace and etc. On the other hand God's existence/world in eternal and infinite which means there is no end and no beginning; no you and me; no sin and virtues; no good and bad and etc.

My friend told me that we can never fully understand God because our ability is limited. But why whould God want to send messages to us which he knew we would not fully comprehend? Isn't that making fun of us? And would understanding only part of the message poses the danger of misunderstanding the real message (like the story of the 3 bilnd man and the elephant). Surely the all-knowing and compassionate God would not play such a joke on us.

My believe is that as long as we continue to perceive the world from the finite/dualistic perspective, we will never be able to understand God's eternal world and wisdom.

Anonymous said...

ONE GOD ... many religions.
Religions are like many roads leading to a big city. Which road is better is not that important. How we plan to drive on that road is more important. Drive carefully abiding all rules and regulations, we are safe. Drive recklessly, we are doomed.

Kris said...

Brilliant dissertation Art...absolutely brilliant... The fundamental problem (as touched by Daef as well) is that we have too inflated an opinion of ourselves, our existence and our place in the scheme of things.

Daef, you echoed my sentiment when you said that "the only person that can help us keep and nurture our faith is us. No one else." ...

Anonymous said...

One of America’s pre-eminent evangelicals is challenging the advice of a retiring Roman Catholic Bishop in the Netherlands who has raised eyebrows worldwide by suggesting Dutch Christians pray to “Allah.”

Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, argues that it is inappropriate for Christians to call God Allah based on irreconcilable theological differences associated with the name Allah and core Christian beliefs.

The key condition behind calling the Christian God Allah is that Allah must refer to the same God as the one in the Bible. However, this requirement presents “a huge problem for both Muslims and Christians,” contends Mohler.

The theologian pointed out that the Qur’an explicitly denies that Allah has a son, and Islam considers the idea of a triune God to be blasphemy.

“Thus, from its very starting point Islam denies what Christianity takes as its central truth claim – the fact that Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of the Father,” wrote Mohler on his web blog Wednesday.

“If Allah has no Son by definition, Allah is not the God who revealed himself in the Son. How then can the use of Allah by Christians lead to anything but confusion …and worse?”

Last Monday, during an interview with a Dutch TV program, 71-year-old Bishop Tiny Muskens promoted the idea of Dutch Christians calling God Allah, believing that it would ease much of the conflict between the Christian and Muslim faiths. Muskens contended that God doesn’t mind what He is called and the arguments over what to call Him is an invention of man.

“Allah is a very beautiful word for God. Shouldn’t we all say that from now on we will name God Allah? …What does God care what we call Him? It is our problem,” said Muskens, according to The Associated Press.

The retiring bishop was a former missionary to Indonesia – the most populous Muslim country in the world – for eight years, where he said priests used the name “Allah” while celebrating Mass.

In response, Mohler pointed out that it would be difficult to support the argument that “Allah” can be used as a generic term for God. The theologian said separation of Allah from the language, theology, and worship closely associated with it is difficult. Moreover, even non-Arabic speaking Muslims use Allah when referring to their god.

Another irreconcilable difference is that Jesus commanded his followers to baptize “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

“When this command is taken seriously and obeyed, the whole issue is greatly clarified – a Christian cannot baptize in the name of Allah,” stated Mohler.

“So Bishop Muskens is disingenuous at best when he suggests that God does not care about His name. This is not a matter of mere ‘discussion and bickering,’” said Mohler.

“If Allah has no son, Allah is not the father of our Lord Jesus Christ…This is no mere ‘discussion and bickering.’ This is where the Gospel stands or falls,” the theologian concluded.

Bishop Muskens in the past endorsed other controversial ideas which went against the Vatican leadership – such as those who are hungry can steal bread and that condoms should be permissible in the fight against HIV/AIDS.