وَلَوۡ بَسَطَ اللّٰهُ الرِّزۡقَ لِعِبَادِهٖ لَبَغَوۡا فِى الۡاَرۡضِ وَلٰكِنۡ يُّنَزِّلُ بِقَدَرٍ مَّا يَشَآءؕ اِنَّهٗ بِعِبَادِهٖ خَبِيۡرٌۢ بَصِيۡر
وَهُوَ الَّذِي يُنَزِّلُ الْغَيْثَ مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا قَنَطُوا وَيَنْشُرُ رَحْمَتَهُ ۚ وَهُوَ الْوَلِيُّ الْحَمِيدُ
وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ خَلْقُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَمَا بَثَّ فِيهِمَا مِنْ دَابَّةٍ ۚ وَهُوَ عَلَىٰ جَمْعِهِمْ إِذَا يَشَاءُ قَدِيرٌ
If God were to grant abundant provision to [all] His creatures, they would act insolently on earth, but He sends down in due measure whatever He will, for He is well aware of His servants and watchful over them: it is He who sends rain after they have despaired and spreads His mercy far and wide. He is the Protector, Worthy of All Praise. Among His signs is the creation of the heavens and earth and all the living creatures He has dispersed throughout them: He has the power to gather them all together whenever He will. (42: 27-29)
Human life on earth depends on water, but the supply of water is completely in God’s hands. If God does not provide water, man cannot obtain it on his own. Similarly, the distribution of sustenance is at the will of God. While doing so, God takes into account the depth of the human soul and, according to this, allocates sustenance to everybody. If people are given greater abundance than they can deal with equanimity, they will become obstreperous and arrogant and, as a result, oppression and disturbance will prevail everywhere on the earth. We observe that when a farmer scatters seeds, he also has the power to reap the harvest therefrom. This observation indicates that God too can Marshall all His dispersed creations and gather them in His Court where the future of humanity will be collectively decided. For the Creator for whom it was possible to create and spread His creations far and wide, why should it be impossible to collect and re-assemble them after death?
Whatever misfortune befalls you is of your own doing—God forgives much—you cannot escape Him anywhere on earth. You have no protector or helper other than God. (42: 30-31)
The present world has been created and made subject to the law of cause and effect. So, if an individual is beset by adversity, it is clearly due to his own shortcomings. However, it sometimes happens that a man commits a sin, yet remains unaffected by its baneful outcome. All these events happen in the world so that man should learn a lesson from them. When he sees that whatever people receive is commensurate with their deeds, he should infer that in the Hereafter also, everybody will be rewarded according to his deeds. Similarly, when he sees that somebody has been guilty of a lapse, yet goes unpunished, he should learn the lesson that God is Merciful and Gracious, and that if a man turns towards Him, He, in His Mercy, will save him from the consequences of his shortcomings. If a man’s Faith is deep, he comes to the point of discerning a picture of the Hereafter in the events of this world.
“Prayer in one respect is the worship of God, and in other, it is an acknowledgment of the divinity of God. It is to surrender before God, attributing all true kinds of Greatness to Him alone.”
Hallmark of an Open Society
The remedy for ignorance is asking questions. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)
The spirit of inquiry is the hallmark of an open society and the above saying of the Prophet aptly illustrates this principle. A culture of curiosity and open-mindedness will foster development in any society by motivating its members to learn enthusiastically and enrich their knowledge. This is because awareness of one’s ignorance is half of knowledge, as it becomes a stepping-stone to seeking and finding answers. A questioning mind is like a flowing river that is replenished with fresh thoughts and ideas and continues on its journey.
It is very simple to remember God, and also quite natural. For instance, when you are walking, you are doing so entirely because of the blessings of God. God is providing you sunlight; He is supplying you with oxygen and air. Also, it is He who has caused the gravitational attraction of the earth to enable you to walk, and so on. Without these divine blessings, you cannot walk on earth. If you realize these divine bounties and connect them with God, then you are remembering God. Similarly, when you are washing your clothes, you can do so due to divine blessings. The water that you use is supplied by God, the cotton that makes up your clothes, the soap through which you clean, all have been provided by God. If you reflect on these bounties of God and connect them with God, then you are remembering God.
Remembering God is not different from your being. It is interwoven in your being like energy is. You and energy are separate, but in fact, both are the same. So, every moment there are bounties of God present around you. If you awaken in yourself this consciousness and connect what you see or experience with God, then you are remembering God.
The Prophet used to remember God on each occasion by making it a point of reference for God’s remembrance. So, for the Prophet, remembrance of God and other tasks were not two separate activities. Rather, both were intermingled. If we all have had some negative experience in the past, when we recall it today, convert it into an item of thankfulness to God, because God didn’t let me stay on in that negative moment and made me reach a better situation today. When your feelings are molded in the form of words, that is what constitutes remembrance of God. When your own divine feelings take expression in words, this is a remembrance of God. These words could be in your mother tongue or the Arabic language.
“One principle of success in this world is to abandon one thing in favor of another.”