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Article appeared Friday, February 15th, 2013 in The News Today, Bangladesh

The Revelation (266)

yousuf mahbubul Islam, PhD

Should we ask questions about our existence, questions about our abilities and the pleasures that we derive? If we compare ourselves, we would find that man has abilities that put him distinctly apart from other mammals. One such ability is the ability to ask questions. To answer questions, man can collect data from a variety of sources, read and analyze the collected data to confirm a hypothesis or a belief or reject it. A particular Verse in the most recent Revelation, the Quran, explains this privilege and uniqueness. We have honored the sons of Adam; provided them with transport on land and sea; given them for sustenance things good and pure; and conferred on them special favors above a great part of Our Creation. [17.70] From the above, two immediate questions arise. One question would be about the origin of life forms and more importantly, why we have been made different. Looking for data on the first question may eventually help answer the second question. To answer the first question many theories have been proposed. The Wiki page {1} outlines thirteen such theories. How can one prove or disprove any of the theories? One way would be to generate questions and collect data from various sources to answer and validate/invalidate each theory. Scientific approaches {2} such as deductive reasoning could also be used to support the findings on any theory. What are our data sources? In fact, whatever we can study and analyze provides data. As life forms function and interact with each other we could look at how things work with one another. For example, the engine of a car is a functioning device. The engine interacts with petrol or gasoline to generate a force. To deliver this force, the engine has been purposely and intelligently designed to utilize the combustion properties of petrol. Similarly, a diesel engine is designed around the properties of diesel just as the engine that works on methane gas has to be carefully designed to suit the specific properties of the gas. The remaining parts of any vehicle have to be intelligently designed to convert the force generated into the subsequent movement functions. Can sufficient data be collected on functioning devices to satisfactorily answer the question, Can functionality between two different things be induced without purposeful and intelligent design? Drawing parallels from the prevalent theories on the origins of life, further questions can be generated. For example, can a petrol engine evolve from a diesel engine? Or can the diesel molecules work with the molecules of the car automatically without purposeful design? On collecting data on mammals we find that the purpose of the digestive system is similar to the purpose of the engine of a car. The food that mammals intake is converted into the things required to support various functionalities. So the question is how does food happen to work together with the digestive system to deliver the things required for functions of the body? Can the coordination between food and the body be matched without intelligent design? Since body functions in all mammals are similar, it follows that it is the nature of food that must be intelligently designed to match. This logic is corroborated by data in the Verse 17.70, given them for sustenance things good and pure. The word good would imply health promoting and tasty while the word pure would imply fitting to the purpose of the digestive system. Could food design itself to fit into the purpose of the digestive system? The existence of purposeful design points to the presence of an Intelligent Designer. If there is an Intelligent Designer, should the Designer have a Design Document and provide a User Guide? The Quran confirms the existence of a Design Document and the fact that it itself is Revealed from it. Nor is there aught of the Unseen in heaven or earth but is in a Clear Record. Verily this (Revealed Part of the) Qur'an does explain to the Children of Israel most of the matters in which they disagree. And it certainly is a Guide and Mercy to those who believe. [27.75 27.77]

A revealed manual is only useful to those who work out that they are created. Such people would then look for the answer to the second question, why? We will find the answer when we consider the phrase, We have honored the sons of Adam in Verse 17.70. When given honor, what is the rightful thing to do? Should we honor the Intelligent Designer, i.e. our Creator, in return? Alif Lam Ra. These are the Verses of Revelation from the Qur'an that makes things clear. [15.1] How better to lend authenticity to the Revealed Verses than to refer back to the main design document, i.e. to places in the Clear Record by using the abbreviated letters?

7.1 Alif Lam Mim Sad. 7.2 A Book Revealed to you so let your heart be oppressed no more by any difficulty on that account that with it you may warn (the erring) and teach the believers. 7.3 Follow (O men!) the Revelation given to you from your Lord and follow not as friends or protectors other than Him. Little it is that you remember of admonition. 7.4 How many towns have We destroyed (for their sins)? Our punishment took them on a sudden by night or while they slept for their afternoon rest.
Destruction by a calamity is dishonorable as lineage is stopped and no one is left to remember the individuals who died. The purpose of Revelation is simply to warn. Warn about what? Who are those people who do not honor the Creator? But the Unbelievers (are steeped) in self-glory and opposition. [38.2] We did Reveal to Moses the Book after We had destroyed the earlier generations (to give) insight to men and Guidance and Mercy that they might receive admonition. [28.43]

7.5 When (thus) our punishment took them no cry did they utter but this "indeed we did wrong." 7.6 Then shall We question those to whom Our Message was sent and those by whom We sent it. 7.7 And verily We shall recount their whole story with knowledge for We were never absent (at any time or place). 7.8 The balance that day will be true: those whose scale (of good) will be heavy will prosper. 7.9 Those whose scale will be light will find their souls in perdition; for that they wrongfully treated our signs. 7.10 It is We who has placed you with authority on earth and provided you means for the fulfillment of your life: small are the thanks that you give!
------{Notes}: {1} http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_are_the_different_theories_about_the_origin_of_life {2} http://www.livescience.com/21569-deduction-vs-induction.html