Think about Him, Not about You. Don’t think about who you are: Hindu, Jew, Christian or Muslim. Rich, poor, black, white, man, woman. Instead focus and concentrate on who HE is: God of All. God of love. God of mercy and compassion. God of forgiveness and reprieve. God of revival, renewal and regeneration. Feel and see his presence before you.
How human beings pass from one stage of life to another is a matter that is both hidden and manifest.
And it is both simple and complex.
Call them, if you will, the Manaazil and Maqwaamaat of passage through life: Sulook.
Rights of Passage.
Or simply Pathways to Allah.
If, following 17th Century Christian Allegorist John Bunyan, you want to call it Pilgrim’s Progress, be my guest.
How is that for a spot of Interfaith Camaraderie and Bonhomie toward Christians on the part of this Muslim?
So, if you are a human being, you start out by looking at the world, investigating it, studying it and, somehow, falling in love with parts of it.
You then discover the Hadith.
Or, more appropriately, you are guided and led to it – to the Hadith of Sayyidina Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam.
You fall in love with Sayyidina Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam – the man, the messenger and his most glorious and all-conquering message.
And then along comes the Qur’an, at its own sweet, deliberate pace, and claims those who are tagged “blessed.”
You then navigate the Qur’an – as the Qur’an permits you to enter, tarry and proceed, all according to its most precise calculus.
And then, if you are of those who are called, you are smitten by the Qur’an. You end up falling in love with the Qur’an.
And then, if your name is on the list, you are invited to talk to the Qur’an. And the Qur’an then begins to talk to you, if it is your place, Maqwaam.
The Qur’an then lifts the veil. And you are allowed to behold the beauties and wonders that lie hidden behind every word and letter of the Qur’an.
The Qur’an now turns, right before your eyes, into the light, sheer radiance, that it is, and that was hidden from you all this time.
And if you can somehow survive this stage – consider the expression “Maqwaam” again or Manzil – and if you manage to navigate it successfully, then the unthinkable happens – provided of course your name comes up on the list.
You fall in love with God.
Thereafter, what happens to you, or, stated differently, what God does to you or with you, is a matter entirely between the two of you.
No third entity comes between you.
Na mee daanam chi manzil bood shab jaa-yee-ki man boodam;
Khuda khud meer-i mahfil bood andar laa makaan Khosroe.
Does any of this make any sense? I don’t know.
Maybe it does, maybe it does not.
Why worry about the crumbs from people’s tables? You can have Allah’s entire “bakery” at your disposal if you wish.
All you have to do is to fall in love with Allah.
It is as simple as that.
Life is about ongoing conversation – and interaction – with God Almighty. And it does not matter whether you are Muslim or non-Muslim, believer or nonbeliever.
The most formal and mostly one-way communication from God to his creation is Wahy. This is what people generally call “revelation.” But in reality it is God directly talking to his creation – which he does in many ways, and choosing and pressing into service modalities and instrumentalities he likes.
Of the highest form of this Wahy is the communication – messages – God sent to the men he chose as his trusted prophets and messengers. May God bless them all!
I am saying “chose,” using past tense, because the office of “Prophet” or “Messenger” was ended with the advent of Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, in this world over 1400 years ago.
I also said “men” because God declares in the Qur’an that all prophets and messengers were men. End of story.
God’s communication to his creation – including human beings – takes several forms. One is direct interchange of “talk” between God and his creation.
When God Almighty spoke to Moses, it was direct communication between the two without any intermediaries of any kind.
Otherwise, people talk to God all the time. Using languages and methods and devices they know.
And God “talks” to them too. Note how I have put the word “talks” in quotes as it refers to God.
Because who can ever characterize God’s communication in any way other than what he himself has chosen to tell us – in the Qur’an and through his prophets and messengers, may God bless them, last of whom was Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam.
The greatest contribution Islam made to human civilization was to tell human beings that they – each and every one of them, male as well as female – must try and learn to communicate with God directly and personally – and without intermediaries of any kind.
This was total and most sweeping revolution in the way humans were used to doing business with God.
Muslims communicate with God directly and in person – and following a most formal set of routines – during what is called the five daily “prayers” or Swalaat.
Starting from that most glorious and formal pinnacle of divinely sanctioned and tutored human discourse with God, in the form of Islamic “prayers” or Swalaah, Muslims, and all other people of all faiths or no faith, “talk” to God the way they see fit and as needs and circumstances – and trouble and emergencies – come calling, which they do all the time in this world with regard to all people.
And God "talks" to them all how and when he sees fit.
And the Qur'an is a continuous and unceasing flow of conversation stream from God directed at human beings -- and all the worlds. Whoever gets upstream with this nonstop flow of light and love, reaches God, where he will find God ready and waiting for him with a great welcome.
Some merely cry out to him in heart-rending screams as pain strikes them in a plethora of forms and situations. His guarantee to them all is: “I respond to you when you call me.”
And as for the cries of those in pain and in distress, Allah says, he hears them too, when no one else can or will.
And when it comes to those suffering from any kind of oppression, injustice and egregious wrongdoing on the part of their fellow-human beings, especially those in positions of power, wealth, authority and influence over them, then his doors are open all the time – and their cries reach him without hindrance.
What a God! Who would want a God besides him?
Ever wondered who God is? Don’t. Not anymore.
Go to the source and get the answer from God himself.
Don’t ask others who God is. Not Muslims and, certainly, not Non-Muslims.
No disrespect, folks: My beloved non-Muslim friends and brothers and sisters. It is an informed and fairly confident statement.
And a very, very considered, and respectful, one too.
And no disrespect to my Muslim brothers and sisters, either.
I know only too well how intricately my worldly success and other-worldly salvation is welded to both of you ladies and gentlemen, of the Muslim as well as non-Muslim persuasion.
But what I am saying is this: Instead of asking these folks – Muslims and non-Muslims – go and ask God Almighty directly who or even, as Pharaoh did, “what” he is.
You see, Non-Muslims, really, don’t know – and, in most cases it seems, don’t care.
Muslims, on the other hand, know a little bit, no matter how sketchy and confused they may be, but they won’t share.
So, between the two of them – those who Don’t Care and those who Won’t Share – the goose of the world is nicely cooked to a perfect juicy pink.
That is why I am saying, don’t ask people, instead, go to God directly and ask him.
You can do that by picking up a copy of the Qur’an today – and reading it.
That is all you need to do and you will get all the answers you were looking for.
About God – or just about anything else.
So, pick up a copy of the Qur’an and read it.
You can get yourself either a translation of the Qur’an in any language you know. Or you can take yourself to the one and only, original, Qur’an, which is in Arabic.
For, there is only one Qur’an. And it is in Arabic.
Arabic is the original language in which the Qur’an was sent down: from God in Heaven Above to Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, on Earth Below.
So, when you visit with the Qur’an and talk to it, this is what the Qur’an will tell you – about God. For, the one talking to you in and through the Qur’an is
God Almighty himself.
And he will tell you, God I mean – right at the outset – in the very first passage of the very first chapter, who he is: that he is God, the maker, master and owner of the worlds.
“Worlds” plural – with an “s” at the end – don’t forget that. For, that pretty much is all you need to know.
That he is the one who made the world and the one who owns and controls the world. The one whose writ and mandate runs the world – from the rising of the sun in the East to the fading and setting of your own breath in the privacy of your own bed, when you slide into blissful slumber every night, after a hard day’s labor.
And it is, therefore, he whose will, commands and directives must prevail in the way human beings manage their affairs, small and big, in the world.
That is what God Almighty himself will tell you in the Qur’an about who he really is.
That he is the Master of the Worlds – Rabbul 'Aalameen.
Learn that expression well. And carry it with you wherever you go. I mean in your physical, psychological, social, political, cultural, epochal traversing of time and space, throughout your life.
Hold on to God’s own words Rabbul 'Aalameen, for, you will need those words to remind you, every step of your uncertain journey through life, who he is and who you really are.
He is the master. And you, with all your pretensions, are nothing but a slave: his slave.
His and no one else’s.
But he is the master of not this or that little domain, but of all the worlds – plural with an “s” – which means every conceivable world of every kind that may exist anywhere, at any time, in any form.
Now, what you have in your hands is a miracle – a genuine wonder without parallel.
And that is what a miracle really is: an event whose probability of occurrence is so small as to be almost non-existent.
Odds defy its existence.
I don’t mean the entire Qur’an, which of course is a Miracle Par Excellence from beginning to end. I mean just that one divine expression: Rabbul 'Aalameen.
You get it, of course? Right? How can anyone possibly miss it?
To think and talk about the “World” – in singular – is challenge enough to our cramped, narrow, insular mind – even today, in spite of all our education and sophistication and scientific and cultural advancement.
But to talk about Worlds – plural with an “s” at the end – is nothing short of a miracle, wouldn’t you say?
For anyone, anywhere, at any time.
And then to think and talk about Worlds in plural, not today or yesterday, but all of 1400 years ago? As they say, Come on, give me a break!
And that too, not in famous centers of civilization, learning and culture like Greece, Rome, China, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Persia and India, but in the barren sands and rocks of Arabia?
How is something like that even conceivable?
But that is exactly what happened, right? For, it was precisely then – 14 centuries ago – and in that place – in Makkah, Arabia – that the Qur’an came down.
So, the expression you hold in your hands today – Rabbul 'Aalameen – is from then. And it is from there.
But, wait, don’t go away yet. For, we have more where this thing came from.
Now, the man out of whose mouth this miraculous expression – Rabbul 'Aalameen –emanated, his name was not Socrates, Aristotle, Plato, Copernicus, Einstein or Carl Sagan, but Muhammad – Sallallahu Alaihi wa Wasallam – a man whom the Qur’an itself refers to as “The Unlettered Prophet.”
So, you are telling me: “An Unlettered Man, in an unsophisticated place like Arabia, in the middle of the Seventh Century from Christ, uttered these earth-shaking expressions “The Worlds” and “Master of the Worlds”?
You must be joking!
How is it possible? What “Worlds” could he conceivably be thinking about?
Unless, of course, it was God that was speaking, and not this Unlettered Man, Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam.
For, it must be obvious to anyone that there is no earthly way that the words of the Qur’an could be the words of this Unlettered Man, Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam.
Absolutely, positively not! The odds are too overwhelmingly against such an outcome.
Such a profound and earth-shattering Revolution in human thought, speech and reality-consciousness, coming out of the mind and mouth of a simple human being like that?
Not possible! Simply speaking, it is off of all possible probability charts!
And, then, not only that: Do you know that the Qur’an uses that Most Revolutionary Expression, Al 'Aalameen, the Worlds, not once or twice or 10 times, but a soul-stirring 73 times, no less?
Do you know that?
You don’t? You didn’t know that? Well, what can I say?
Non-Muslims don’t care, Muslims don’t share. So, the fate of world is in a pretty precarious place.
I can only quote God in the Qur’an:
Yaa Hasratan 'Alal 'Ibaad!
That is what God himself says in the Qur’an!
Yaa Hasratan 'Alal 'Ibaad!
“How pitiable are human beings! How utterly sad and sorry their life!”
And then there is even more!
God Almighty, in the Qur’an, calls himself Rabbul 'Aalameen, not once or twice – or even 10 times – but no less than 42 times.
That doesn’t mean anything to you?
All I can say is: Yaa Hasratan 'Alal 'Ibaad!
Non-Muslims don’t care, Muslims don’t share. So, humanity hurtles down the path of loss and despair.
Wal 'Asr! Innal Insaana La Fee Khusr!
“Judged by the testimony of Time, the Human Being is in a State of Loss.”
That is why I say: Don’t ask the Muslims. And don’t ask the Non-Muslims. But, instead, go directly to the Qur’an, and ask God Almighty himself who he really is!
And he will tell you who he is:
Maker, Master and Owner of All the Multiple Worlds!
That is who he really is!
Isn’t this alone reason enough for everyone everywhere to check out the Qur’an and see who really God is?
"One of the saddest tragedies in the world is the fact that all too many non-Muslims use their troubled dynamics with the Muslims as an excuse for their ignorance about Islam.
It breaks one’s heart thinking that all too, too many non-Muslims turn their fight with Muslims, their fellow-human beings on this earth, for whatever reason, into a fight with their own creator, God Almighty in Heaven." (Dr. Pasha)
Muslims Have a Problem – and So Do Non-Muslims
Muslims have a problem. Non-Muslims have a problem. They all have a problem.
And it is not what most people may think it is – whatever people may think it is. I am talking about a very different problem, and which to me is at the core of all other problems anyone, Muslim or non-Muslim, may have in this world.
I am referring to Dhikr Allah – thinking of God. They just don’t do enough of it. Neither group does. Not the Muslims, not the non-Muslims.
They just don’t think about Allah enough. [...]
People talk. They talk all the time.
For, that is what it means to be a human being: Talk, talk, talk.
But the question is what do they talk about?
Answer: They talk about practically everything in the world – and many things that may not even be in the world.
And yet there is one thing they do not talk about. Or they are reluctant to talk about.
Or they don’t put as much effort and energy into talking about.
Or, even, don’t show as much interest or inclination in talking about.
If you realize that everything you have is a gift to you from God Almighty, then, every time you open your mouth, what right do you have to say anything other than Alhamdulillah – meaning, “Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, God, Thank You!”?
And do so, not only with your mouth and with the bottom of your heart, but with every cell, sinew and pore in your body? [...]
People often have questions about the way God does things. Many good people do.
And it is perfectly all right for them to do so.
At least from the Islamic point of view it is.
God, in the Qur'an, not only allows humans to ask questions, he even encourages and challenges them to do so.
So, there are people who do not understand how a loving, good, just, fair and compassionate God can allow bad things to happen in this world if he is really in control of everything that happens.
How can a Good God permit, watch and preside over Evil?