• Raya Shokatfard

DOES GOD REALLY CARE? (PART 1)

Updated: Nov 2, 2020



By: Raya Shokatfard


Part 2, Part 3, Part 4


{In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful}


All chapters of the Qur'an except one begin with this verse.


One does not need to search much to find out how merciful his Lord is as the Qur'an, the Divine Book of guidance, repeatedly states His gracious mercy and kindness to humankind.


His mercy is not only manifested in the Quran, but in all revelations He bestowed upon His various prophets of the past.


At the beginning of 19th. century, James Russell Miller (1840 – 1912) was reported to have said: “that the mission of the twentieth century would be to discover God, and when God should be discovered, it would be found that he does not care.”


This would plunge the world into a total darkness if his opinion was true.


Humankind cannot live without hope. Although putting hope in other than God has been the norm and at times, beneficial, ultimately it is the hope in God that is the driving force for life and well-being.


By the advent of Prophet Muhammad significant corruption entered religious Holy Books; doctrines changed. After the council of Nicaea and the invention of the Trinity, most adherents of monotheism were persecuted until most traces of monotheism were wiped from the face of the earth by the end of fifth century.


Did God Stop Caring?


Many stories of the past are retold in the Qur'an as a reminder to the new adherents of monotheism


By no means!


By the beginning of the 6th. century God sent his final Prophet to revive the message of monotheism once more, but this time to the people who had received no revelation since Prophets Abraham and Ishmael. Yet, the message was universal and the same that was given to former Prophets.


Many stories of the past are retold in the Qur'an as a reminder to the new adherents of monotheism of those who deviated from the original message of their forefathers and turned to idol worship.


Prophet Muhammad’s message was no different than other Prophets, but the message was perfected with more detail and as a guidance and warning for all humankind and for all time.


In the Qur'an, Christian Bible and Jewish Torah the word “Allah” is used to mean God, as it is the proper word in Arabic. So, Allah is not a strange God of Muslims. It is just the Arabic name of the God of Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad.


Are Miracles the Signs of God’s Caring?


Some may presume God’s caring has stopped since there have not been any major miracles like the ones performed through various Prophets many centuries ago.


Muslims believe that the Qur'an is, by itself, a great miracle because through it God shows mankind the wonders of creation which cannot be counted, some of which have been only recently discovered. It also displays all manifestation of His great caring for all creatures as well as being a complete guidance for a successful life in this world and the Hereafter.


Origin of Human Creation


Let us begin with the creation of human beings. God created Adam, and out of His mercy, he created Eve to be his companion. He offered them all the bounties of Paradise and only forbade them to eat of one tree.


Satan lured them into eating of the fruit, thus causing them to be expelled. Yet, upon their repentance God forgave them and promised to guide them while they lived in their new abode on earth.


Unlike Christian belief where women are cursed because Eve was the first one who ate of the tree, God makes no distinction here about who ate first. Yes they erred and had to leave Paradise but were promised guidance.


People fail to reflect on all the blessings that God has bestowed on them. Are all blessings of God to be taken for granted?


Also, contrary to Christian belief that due to the sin Adam and Eve committed, all humans are born in sin and God had to send His only begotten son to be a sacrifice to atone for the sin of mankind. In Islam, no one pays for the sin of another and each person deserves forgiveness after repentance, which was the case with Adam and Eve. They were forgiven, but their disobedience caused them expulsion from Paradise yet promised continuous guidance for them and their progeny.


Right at the onset of Prophet Muhammad’s mission, God solidifies the message of monotheism: “No one has the right to be worshipped except Allah”, and negates ascription of a son to Him:


{Say (O Muhammad) He is God the One God, the Everlasting Refuge, who has not begotten, nor has been begotten, and none is equal to Him.} (Al Ikhlas 112: 1-4)


Also, He repeatedly declares that no sacrifice will wipe out anyone’s sin except his/her own repentance together with the grace of God which is bountiful toward His creation. It is that simple!


God has clearly warned us that we have a life in this world and one in the Hereafter. Out of His mercy and bounty, He does respond and answer the supplications of people’s worldly needs, but if they are not believers, they will not be the successful ones in the Hereafter.


To those who are eager to know how much God cares about them, all they have to do is read the Qur'an with an open heart and contemplate on it.


People naturally like to express their happiness toward those who show them some courtesy or kindness. This could be in form of receiving food, gifts, invitations, being taken care of when one is sick; being rescued in an accident, financial support and so on. This person would gladly show his gratitude to such care givers.


Yet, the same people fail to reflect on all the blessings that God has bestowed on them. Are all blessings of God to be taken for granted?


They may even forget that it was only through God that they receive any blessings from humans. God informs us that:


{To Allah belongs the kingdom of the heavens and Earth. He gives life and causes to die. You have no protector or helper besides Allah.} (At-Tawbah 9: 116)


Abraham, the father of all Abrahamic religions, justly describes God:


{He Who created me and guides me, Who gives me food and drink. When I am ill, He heals me. He will cause my death and then give me life.} (Ash-Shu‘ara’ 26: 78-82)


(… to be continued In-Shaa-Allah …)

_________________________________________________

Published on Reading Islam on Friday, 21 September 2012


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    Raya Shokatfard is an international speaker, film maker, and writer with a focus on women’s issues, Islam, and cultural issues. She holds BA and MBS degrees in Journalism and Mass Communication as well as a BA in Islamic Studies and an MD in TV Journalism.

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