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Article appeared Friday, July 14th, 2017 in The News Today, Bangladesh

The Revelation (484) yousuf mahbubul Islam, PhD


Do we ever wonder about Gods Qualities? For example, we have a notion that He creates. Do
we ever wonder how He creates? Or whether there is anything that God cannot do? Or whether
He is limited by the physical laws that He Himself has instituted? The fact that we do not
think or apply meaning to the Qualities of God, is pointed out in the Holy Quran.
If you ask them who it is that created the heavens and the earth they will certainly say
"God." Say: "Praise be to God!" But most of them understand not. [31.25]

What does understand not mean? How does one understand or not understand? The fact is, it
is only when we apply meaning to the words created the heavens and the earth; that we would
have a reasonable cause to say, Praise belongs to God! That is, we would be meaningfully
crediting God with something that only He can do. As we are often guilty of assuming that
objects other than God have power over our life, He uses a simple example or parable to
illustrate the difference between the others and His powers to create.
O men! Here is a parable presented to you, so listen to it! Those on whom besides God
you call cannot create (even) a fly if they all got together for the purpose! And if the fly
should snatch away anything from them they would have no power to release it from the
fly: feeble (weak in mind) are those who petition and those whom they petition! [22.73]

Compared to the making of a fly {1}, what would be involved in creating everything in the
heavens and the earth? Are thinking such thoughts important? Thinking about the Qualities of
God is not a whimsical past-time; it is the purpose for which human beings have been given
knowledge and intelligence. All human qualities have been created by God. As we say thank
you for the smallest of gifts or opportunities from others, God therefore asks
It is We Who have created you: why will you not witness the Truth? [56.57]

Just like a painting bears witness to the quality of its painter, all created things bear witness to
the Quality of God. Man is the only being required to bear witness to the Truth of God by
applying meaning to what is observed, heard and read.
Have you not considered that Allah created the Heavens and the earth in Truth? (If you
do not wish to bear witness to the truth, consider this): If He so wills He can remove you
and put (in your place) a new Creation? [14.19]

We need to concentrate and work out why we should praise God otherwise we would be
agreeing without understanding or without having applied any meaning. To bear witness to the
Qualities and Truth of God we must be convinced and have conviction through contemplation
and reflection regarding His Reality. The Holy Quran furnishes us with role models of people
both male and female who organized themselves to figure out the Reality of God, our Creator.
To do this, they shifted their focus away from worldly matters to concentrate on God and His
Qualities. Having done so, they received Guidance and extra special blessings from God. One
such person was Mary, the mother of Jesus (pbuh).

19.16 Relate in the Book (the story of) Mary when she withdrew from her family
to a place in the East.
Why did Mary need to withdraw from family matters? She isolated herself from family matters
and distractions to contemplate on God and His Qualities and demonstrate piety.
19.17 She placed a screen (to screen herself) from them: then We sent to her Our
angel and he appeared before her as a man in all respects.
The screen served three purposes to let others know that she did not want to be disturbed, to
veil her from prying eyes and allow her to perform her prayers privately in a cozy space. As she
did not want to be disturbed, so, with the appearance of a man in front of her,

19.18 She said: "I seek refuge (in God) Most Gracious, from you: (come not near
me) if you fear God."
The angel responded,

19.19 He said: "Nay I am only a messenger from your Lord (to announce) to you
the gift of a holy son."
Behold! The angel said, "O Mary! God gives you glad tidings of a Word from Him: his
name will be Christ Jesus the son of Mary held in honor in this world and the Hereafter
and of (the company of) those nearest to God. [3.45]

Given the current way in which children are born, Mary asked,

19.20 She said: "How shall I have a son seeing that no man has touched me and
I am not unchaste?"

19.21 He said: "So (it will be): your Lord says, That is easy for Me: and (We
wish) to appoint him as a Sign to men and a Mercy from Us: it is a matter (so)
decreed."
She said: "O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man has touched me?" He said:
"Even so: Allah creates what He wills (in any way that He wants); when He has decreed
a plan (all) He needs to say, `Be' and it is! [3.47]

The angel proceeded to describe the qualities and status of the child,
He shall speak to the people in childhood and in maturity and he shall be (of the
company) of the righteous. [3.46]

And Allah will teach him the Book of Wisdom, the Law (the Torah) and the Gospel.
[3.48]

Mary immediately realized the power of God, who can create in any way that He wants. He is
not limited by the physical laws that He Himself has instituted. She realized that she and her son
(Jesus) had been chosen and given special blessings by the Creator as the angels had also
informed her,
Behold! The angels said: "O Mary! Allah has chosen you and purified you; chosen you
above the women of all nations. "O Mary! Worship your Lord devoutly; prostrate yourself
and bow down (in prayer) with those who bow down." [3.42 3.43]

19.22 So she conceived him and retired with him to a remote place.
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{Notes}:
{1} https://www.orkin.com/flies/fly-anatomy/