Dialectical Acrobatics

Some of the idol-worshippers (mushrikin) say the stone house in Mecca represents the glory of God; others say that it is only God’s house symbolically. Such are their dialectical acrobatics. Similarly, they say the pillar in Mina is not the Devil but it symbolises the Devil. Why on earth do they need to symbolise God when God is omnipresent and omnipotent and why in God’s name do they give dignity and recognition to the Devil by ‘symbolising’ him at all?

Symbol means something that represents something else by association, resemblance, or convention, especially a material object used to represent something invisible. Now, this is exactly what the Muslims are associating with the Supreme God.

The fundamental teaching of the Reading propagates the belief of the unseen God and it clearly says, “This scripture is infallible; a guide for those who are observant and believe with the unseen” (2:2-3) and the most important commandment brought by Moses, Jesus and Muhammad was, “You shall NOT serve except God” (17:23).

When people make it a duty upon themselves to visit a symbol – they are actually associating and serving the symbol with the Supreme God. But the Reading says, “God will NOT forgive the association of anything besides Him… Anyone who sets any idol besides God has forged a great blasphemy“(4:48). And the Reading also says: ‘The human being tends to believe only what he sees in front of him”. (75:5).

Yet some idol-worshippers claim they need the square rock structure in Mecca as the direction to focus their ritual prayers. Others say they need the square box to unite the Muslims – but it seems that whatever excuses they give – it works on the contrary. There are no instructions in the Reading that people should face a specific direction when they pray – but there is a clear injunction that they should focus their direction to God’s prescribed sanctions as revealed in the Reading.

After considering all the evidence from the Reading, there is no doubt that the meaning of u’mra-ata (commonly known as the ‘umra) is to give life to or promote God’s consented decree (mas-jidil-lah). It does not talk about promoting a stone structure built by the Arabs in Mecca.

It is the duty of those who subscribe to the deen to cleanse God’s system, keep it pure and respond to the challenge by striving in the path of God against the idol-worshippers and the disbelievers who are polluting (or have polluted) God’s deen. God had never instructed anyone to cleanse a cube in Mecca or anywhere in the world.

Humans need a paradigm shift to follow the deen ordained by God. It is our duty to take the challenge to God’s system. It is a system of observing the moral conduct based upon universal values. It is a simple concept and easy to be observed by any man or woman. We have now reached the level of progress and technology where the machination of the few perverted minds cannot be done in isolation. Thus, take the challenge for your own good.

Those who consented to the system are assured of safety. At the very least, they will be free from the chains that burdened their neck. God’s system can be observed by anybody irrespective of gender, racial origin, culture or colour. All people are equal in the sight of God because He is the One who created them, therefore, they should observe Him the way He should be observed. I wish to remind the reader again that when I use the term He or Him, it does not mean God is being personified.

Mankind should respond to take the challenge (Hajuu) to God’s system (bayta) and give life to it (i’mara-ta) so that they can enjoy the true peacefulness. Religion is the greatest enemy of peacefulness or Islam. Forget about the Arab religion, the religion of Christianity, and the religion of Judaism or any other religion. Leave it to God to deal with those who follow religion to disbelieve in Him.

How could anyone disbelieve in God, when they were nothing, and then He gave them life to live in this world, and then He will put them to death, and then He will bring them back to life in the hereafter? Of course the most difficult part in our life is to be very certain of the life in the hereafter. Perhaps less than one percent of the world population believe in it. What does it cost to believe in it? Absolutely nothing! What IF there is there is such a thing as life after death? Perhaps at that time it would be too late for us to find out that no amount of money could save us from judgement. Or it may be too late to realise that no one can avail another including our parents, wife or children – or to understand that no one can be helped and no intercession will be accepted. It may be disturbing when we see all ties among us are severed and we return to the One who granted us life and death – as individuals.

It is a fact that every prophet talked about the life in this world and the life in the hereafter. Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad talked about it. The Unseen Power will inevitably make us answerable for everything we did in this life. He has counted every single one of us – everything that is in the skies and on earth – male or female. We may not realise every single one of us is nothing except a slave of our Master who created us. Also, it is not possible for any prophets to have instructed the people to serve them besides God. Instead they consistently said, “you shall not serve except God

God has made everything easy for mankind. He will not burden any soul beyond its mean. Thus, people can observe His system from their residences, offices or wherever they may be. Judged by the standards of the Reading people who are dressed in weird ‘religious’ attire are described as hypocrites, ‘When you see them you may be impressed by their appearance – and when they speak, you hear their voice. But they are like wooden logs. They think every outcry is intended against them. Beware of them – God curses them, for they have deviated’ (63:4).

Muhammad’s commitment

We saw in verse 6:160 above that Muhammad was following the order of Abraham. The Reading is not a new revelation or a new guidance from God. It is the same set of decrees prescribed to Abraham and Moses. The essence of all the Scriptures is the same.

In-naa haza lafi suhufil ulaa, suhufi ibrohim wa-musaa. (87:18-19)

Indeed, this is what is in the Scriptures of old, the Scriptures of Abraham and Moses. (87:18-19)

We have seen that Abraham used the word Sol-laa in his own language, Moses in his and Jesus in his. The word Sol-laa appears for the first time in the Reading at 2:2-3:

That book is infallible, a guide for those who are observant, they believe in the unseen and uphold their commitments (Sol-laa-ta) and from Our provisions to them they give. (2:2-3)

The word Sol-laa at the beginning of surah 2 refers to those who are observant and believe in the unseen God. They are committed to the tenets in the Quran and they are charitable to others. This is part of their commitment. Reading further, one sees verses detailing additional commitments. 2:4 says, ‘They believe in what was revealed to you from your Lord, and what was revealed before you, and they are positively certain about the Hereafter’. We should also note: it also says ‘those who believe in the previous Scripture’ which means, there is a link between the Reading and the previous revealed Books.

Those who believe that the Reading is from God are committed to accepting the whole of it. The word Sol-laa in verse 2:3 cannot mean ritual prayer because we cannot do charity through ritual prayers and we do not believe in God’s books through ritual prayers.

If we believe the Scripture, we will see all the prescribed decrees in the Book. With God’s blessing, He will open up our hearts to peacefulness when our hearts say, ‘We hear and we obey’. That is the moment when we enter into agreement with God:

You shall be appreciative of God’s blessing upon you and uphold the covenant He has made with you when you said, “We hear and we obey.” You shall observe God, and God is fully aware of your innermost thoughts. (5:7)

We do not see our Creator, but the Reading says His power is able to know our innermost thoughts. The moment our heart says we hear and we obey to His prescribed way we have agreed to uphold our Sol-laa.

Recite what is revealed upon you from the Scripture and uphold the commitments (or to what you have committed to i.e the revealed tenets you read from the scripture). Surely your commitments will keep you from evil and it is also for the remembrance of God, which is even greater. (29:45)

The explanation in the bracket is my own. God assures us in 29:45 that if we recite His Scripture and commit ourselves to the values prescribed by Him – it will keep us from doing bad things or getting involved in evil works. It is a method of remembering Him, which is a great achievement. In other words, one way of remembering God is through upholding our commitments of the Quranic teachings and keep the teachings pure at all time – maintain such attitude as an ongoing process as a way of life ‘from sunrise to sunset and during parts of the night’. For as long as we remember Him we are committed to doing good deeds in our lives.

You shall uphold what was prescribed to you, and also those who repented with you, and not transgress. Indeed, He knows whatever your deeds are, watching. Do not incline to those who are wicked. That will make you suffer the Fire. And there is none for you except God as a protector and you will not be helped. And uphold your commitments (aqimi-Sol-laa-ta) through the ends of the day and the parts from the night. Indeed the good deeds nullify the bad. That is the remembrance for those who want to remember. You shall be steadfast. God never fails to reward the righteous. (11:112-115)

The meaning of Sol-laa in the above verses is crystal clear. It has nothing to do with ritual prayers. The Sol-laa is to be observed as a means of remembering our Lord the Creator and to commit ourselves to doing good deeds which will obviously nullify all the negative elements in our life. There is nothing magical about the process.