Posts Tagged ‘Big Questions’

What is the meaning of life? Why are we here?

Sunday, March 4th, 2007

The Quran* (51:56) states that the purpose of our being is to worship God. God says in the Quran that He offered the “Trust”** to the heavens, the earth and the mountains to carry. They all declined to carry the Trust as they felt it would be a huge burden. But man carried it! We agreed to be God’s deputies in the earth, to enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong, knowing full well the reward and punishment waiting for us on the Last Day.
We are here because we wanted to. We chose to be born!

If you think about it, this is really the only explanation that is consistent with the premise of God. If we are here against our will, that would violate the principle of God’s fairness.

*Pronounced: qoor Ann, is the word of God which He revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in the 7th century A.D.
**The Trust [al Amana], as stated in 33:72, is widely interpreted as the use of the free will to establish God’s laws on earth.

Does God exist? How come?

Sunday, March 4th, 2007

This question, in Islam, is upside down. Everything and everybody is a creation of God, including existence. Things and people exist because of God, and they cannot exist without Him. God says in the Quran, 36:82, that when He wills something, He says to it: “Be” and it is. Not only does this illustrate the infinite power of God, but it also makes it clear that everything and everybody has always existed in a world known only to God. Existence as we know it, then, is a matter of transference from one world known only to God, to a world that we know.

Why is there suffering, death, evil and injustice in the world?

Sunday, March 4th, 2007

This world was not meant to be heaven. It is actually the second stage in our existence. The first stage was before we were in the womb when we were in another world known only to God. The next stage following this life is the life in the grave. The last stage God calls “The Lasting Home” which starts with the Day of Judgment.

The Trust that God offered us and we accepted is founded on the free will that we all know we have. The reason why there is evil and injustice in this world is that some of us choose them. We are capable of choosing goodness or evil. The choice of evil inevitably causes injustice and suffering.

Nothing happens, however, without God’s permission. God allows suffering to happen for a variety of reasons that are consistent with His comprehensive knowledge and fairness. Some suffering is a test of faith, other suffering is a punishment of sin. The suffering of others is a reminder to us of our own vulnerabilities and to be thankful to God for sparing us. The best way to express thanks to God is to alleviate suffering, correct injustice and fight evil.

The reason there is death is so we can transfer to the next life. We all will be resurrected on the Day of Judgment to stand trial before God for what we chose to do in this life.

Who is God? What does He look like?

Sunday, March 4th, 2007

God is the supreme being through whom everything and everybody is defined. He is not a man. Men are His creation. He does not have children, parents, siblings or any relatives. Family and relations are His creation. He is not an idol, an image, a planet, a star, an animal, a spirit, a concept, an energy, or anything else that you can imagine. All of those are His creations. He precedes and supercedes all. He is not male nor female. Gender is one of His creations. He is not old or young. Age and time are two of His creations. He does not have a body or a soul. Body and soul are two of His creations. He does not have a size nor can He be contained. Dimensions and containers are His creations. He cannot be in one place and not in another. God says in the Quran, 75:4, that He is with us wherever we are. He does not have a divine nature, nor a human nature. Nature is His creation. He is not a person, nor is He impersonal. Both concepts are His creation and He is beyond them. You get the point.

With a definition like that, it’s impossible there can be more than one such God. That’s why the oneness of God is the central theme of Islam and the first pillar of faith.

The Quran summarizes what God looks like in 42:11,
“Like His simile is nothing.”

Is there life after death?

Sunday, March 4th, 2007

Just like there is day after night and vegetation after aridness, there is life after death. The inevitability of the Hereafter is the second most emphasized teaching in Islam, after the oneness of God. We have been assigned a task in this life by God. In the Hereafter, God will review our performance. We will have to account for our conscious deeds.

How can one find the truth? Is there one truth?

Sunday, March 4th, 2007

One can find the truth, by being truthful about trying to find it! If you appeal to God, with complete sincerity, to guide you to His truth, He promises He will. Do not call upon a person, dead or alive, to guide you. Do not call on an image or a statue to bring you closer to God. Call on God only. There is only one truth, and it is defined by God. He calls it the Straight Path. All other paths will lead you away from Him.

Have we evolved from apes?

Sunday, March 4th, 2007

Evolution is one of God’s natural laws. Evidence of evolution was before our eyes long before Darwin made his studies of the species. We see a caterpillar evolve into a butterfly. We see a planted seed evolve into a palm tree. We see a fertilized egg evolve into a baby.

That said, it is not necessary for everything to evolve. God has applied another one of His laws, creation, to bring about some creatures. Man was one of those. The story of the creation of Adam is spelled out clearly in the Quran.