Dhaka, Bangladesh
The Revelation

Comments & Analyses-II

The Revelation

By Yousuf Mahbubul Islam, PhD

Are there people who invite others to think about God? Are such people mad or without good sense? Or do others have something very important to learn from them? History has recorded events surrounding such people. Could such historic records have lessons for mankind? Can we think of an example of such a person? Almost all of us have heard of the story of Prophet Noah (pbuh) and his ark. Was he such a person? Are there important lessons for us in the story of Noah, his neighbors and family? Noah’s story can be found in different Holy Scriptures, in reviews on the Web and now movies have also been made. The fact that multiple independent reviews/views exist and that expensive movies have been made indicate the importance and the need to derive lesson from Noah’s story. For truth seekers, however, deriving the moral of the story directly from Holy Scriptures may prove to be of better value. As flooding, tsunamis and calamities resulting in total destruction of cities and populations in many parts of the world have become a contemporary reality would drawing parallels with Noah’s story prove useful? Seidman and Seidman in their news post What do Noah and Flood teach us today? {1} in the Orange County Register ask that we seriously question ourselves and choose what we wish to believe – as our future on earth and life beyond death may depend on it. If we want an idea of the types of lessons we should think about, Mahoney proposes {2} possible lessons in his article Know your Bible – Lessons from Noah. As we question ourselves, a review of these 5 lessons {2} in the article may prove to be useful. Comparing these with the lessons of faith, righteousness and repentance proposed in the article Lessons from the Flood of Noah {3} may help further. As we start to question ourselves, it may be useful to consider the fact that we are all dear to our own self, i.e., we hold our experiences with existence very dear – we may dislike/regret things we may have done but we generally love our own self. If we do not want to be destroyed, should we think about the miracle of existence? Did the Power or God as we refer to Him give us existence so that we can ignore Him and go about daily life simply pleasing our own self? When we do approach Him, is it for something we need to further our own pleasure and existence? So, did God create us only so that we should use Him as a resource to further our personal agenda? With this line of thinking, can we run away from the following two questions? Could God have created intelligent human beings without a firm purpose? Having made us, can He also destroy us if we individually do not fulfill His Purpose? So, as we do not directly know His Purpose, should we work on finding out? If we choose to do so, the thinking processes would launch us on a path to finding out about the benefits of adopting a righteous attitude towards God. This ability and the subsequent journey alone is what distinguishes the human being from all other species created by God. Man is the only created species who has the ability to question what he/she observes/reads/hears, marvel at the creativity/indulgence of God and acknowledge His Greatness with gratitude and adoration. So, just as man has the ability to appreciate and acknowledge an artists’ creativity/ability when viewing a painting (e.g., the Mona Lisa), should man bear witness to the blessings and indulgence of God – especially as he/she is the major beneficiary? Just as Leonardo has a right to be acknowledged for every brushstroke and curve we observe in the painting Mona Lisa, should God be acknowledged for anything? As He has created everything, each soul, each ability, every moment to feel and enjoy these all represent “signs” of God and His Qualities of Greatness. Accordingly, we find in the Holy Scripture, the Al-Qur’an, “Woe to each sinful dealer in falsehoods: He hears the Signs of God rehearsed to him yet is obstinate and lofty as if he had not heard them: then announce to him a Penalty Grievous! And when he learns something of Our Signs he takes them in jest: for such there will be a humiliating Penalty.” [45.7 – 45.9] In a subsequent Verse, the Al-Qur’an confirms: “This is (true) Guidance: and for those who reject the Signs of their Lord is a grievous Penalty of abomination.” [45.11] Returning our discussion to Noah, what was his mission? Before the destruction from the flood, he lived and reasoned with his people for about 600 years {4} to evaluate the Signs of God and turn to Him in awe and adoration. To help us review his history, Chapter 71 of the Al-Qur’an is entirely devoted Noah. Having failed to convince his people, he cried to God, saying, “So I have called to them aloud; further I have spoken to them in public and secretly in private, saying, `Ask forgiveness from your Lord; for He is Oft-Forgiving; He will send rain to you in abundance; Give you increase in wealth and sons; and bestow on you gardens and bestow on you rivers. What is the matter with you that you do not attribute to God due grandeur while it is He that has created you in stages? See not how God has created the seven heavens one above another and made the moon a light in their midst and made the sun as a burning lamp?” [71.8 – 71.16] Noah spent hundreds of years and reasoned with his people in a variety of ways [71.1 – 71.20]. Having failed, and the fact that his people continuously conspired against him [71.22], he prayed for their destruction. 21.76 “(Remember) Noah when he cried (to Us) aforetime: We listened to his (prayer) and delivered him and his family from a great distress.” “And Noah said, “O my Lord! Leave not of the Unbelievers a single one on earth! For if You leave (any of) them they will but mislead Your devotees and they will breed none but wicked ungrateful ones. “” [71.26 – 71.27] 21.77 “We helped him (Noah) against a people who rejected Our Signs: truly they were a people given to Evil: so We drowned them (in the Flood) all together.” So, the purpose of intelligent humans is to witness and acknowledge the truth of God, our Creator. If we are arrogant and refuse to fulfill our primary purpose, is there anyone/anything to prevent Him destroying us? “Do you not observe that Allah created the Heavens and the earth to establish the Truth? If He so will He can remove you and put (in your place) a new Creation? Nor is that for God any great matter.” [14.19 – 14.20] {Notes}: {1}https://www.ocregister.com/2011/07/24/what-do-noah-and-flood-teach-us-today/ {2}https://www.thoughtco.com/lessons-from-noah-712755 {3} https://www.ucg.org/united-news/lessons-from-the-flood-of-noah {4}https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noah

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