Repentance (Tauba)

Repentance or Tauba

We all make mistakes but a mistake that is never corrected is no longer a mistake, it is a way of life. Do not think you will stand before Allah (swt) and be excused for choosing a way of life that is filled with immorality, hypocrisy, lies, injustice… No, you cannot simply call it a mistake, true mistakes get fixed, immorality of the soul persists…

Q 4:17 The repentance accepted by Allah is only for those who do wrong in ignorance [or carelessness] and then repent soon after. It is those to whom Allah will turn in forgiveness, and Allah is ever Knowing and Wise.
Q 4:18 But repentance is not [accepted] of those who [continue to] do evil deeds up until, when death comes to one of them, he says, “Indeed, I have repented now,” or of those who die while they are disbelievers. For them We have prepared a painful punishment.
خدا انہیں لوگوں کی توبہ قبول فرماتا ہے جو نادانی سے بری حرکت کر بیٹھے ہیں۔ پھر جلد توبہ قبول کرلیتے ہیں پس ایسے لوگوں پر خدا مہربانی کرتا ہے۔ اور وہ سب کچھ جانتا (اور) حکمت والا ہےاور ایسے لوگوں کی توبہ قبول نہیں ہوتی جو (ساری عمر) برے کام کرتے ہیں۔ یہاں تک کہ جب ان میں سے کسی موت آموجود ہو تو اس وقت کہنے لگے کہ اب میں توبہ کرتا ہوں اور نہ ان کی (توبہ قبول ہوتی ہے) جو کفر کی حالت میں مریں۔ ایسے لوگوں کے لئے ہم نے عذاب الیم تیار کر رکھا ہے
http://quran.com/4/17-18

O you who say “I believe,” if that is how you will act toward GOD you believe in then why don’t you act like that to mere mortals? Are mortals better and more deserving of respect? You who say you know GOD is watching you but continue to commit the same “mistake” over and over have noting but contempt and disrespect for the GOD you profess belief in. Your actions speak louder than your words.
If this is how you see things then why don’t you go and break the same law over and over in front of a cop and see what the treatment is for the criminals. Do not think that it is any different in the next life.

Q 68:35 Then will We treat the Muslims like the criminals?
Q 68:36 What is [the matter] with you? How do you judge?
کیا ہم فرمانبرداروں کو نافرمانوں کی طرف (نعمتوں سے) محروم کردیں گے؟
تمہیں کیا ہوگیا ہے کیسی تجویزیں کرتے ہو؟

If you think you believe then open your eyes, see what Allah has commanded; justice, mercy, humility, morality, kindness, charity, patience… This is not negotiable, you either obey Allah or you do not. All these “religious” traditions and holidays promoted by “religions” will NOT help you once you meet Allah if you have not sincerely done what is commanded. We have been warned many times…

Q ‎6:151 Say, “Come, I will recite what your Lord has prohibited to you. [He commands] that you not associate anything with Him, and to parents, good treatment, and do not kill your children out of poverty; We will provide for you and them. And do not approach immoralities – what is apparent of them and what is concealed. And do not kill the soul which Allah has forbidden [to be killed] except by [legal] right. This has He instructed you that you may use reason.”
کہہ کہ (لوگو) آؤ میں تمہیں وہ چیزیں پڑھ کر سناؤں جو تمہارے پروردگار نے تم پر حرام کر دی ہیں (ان کی نسبت اس نے اس طرح ارشاد فرمایا ہے) کہ کسی چیز کو خدا کا شریک نہ بنانا اور ماں باپ (سے بدسلوکی نہ کرنا بلکہ) سلوک کرتے رہنا اور ناداری (کے اندیشے) سے اپنی اولاد کو قتل نہ کرنا کیونکہ تم کو اور ان کو ہم ہی رزق دیتے ہیں اور بےحیائی کے کام ظاہر ہوں یا پوشیدہ ان کے پاس نہ پھٹکنا اور کسی جان (والے) کو جس کے قتل کو خدا نے حرام کر دیا ہے قتل نہ کرنا مگر جائز طور پر (یعنی جس کا شریعت حکم دے) ان باتوں کا وہ تمہیں ارشاد فرماتا ہے تاکہ تم سمجھو

Q ‎6:152 And do not approach the orphan’s property except in a way that is best until he reaches maturity. And give full measure and weight in justice. We do not charge any soul except [with that within] its capacity. And when you testify, be just, even if [it concerns] a near relative. And the covenant of Allah fulfill. This has He instructed you that you may remember.
اور یتیم کے مال کے پاس بھی نہ جانا مگر ایسے طریق سے کہ بہت ہی پسندیدہ ہو یہاں تک کہ وہ جوانی کو پہنچ جائے اور ناپ تول انصاف کے ساتھ پوری پوری کیا کرو ہم کسی کو تکلیف نہیں دیتے مگر اس کی طاقت کے مطابق اور جب (کسی کی نسبت) کوئی بات کہو تو انصاف سے کہو گو وہ (تمہارا) رشتہ دار ہی ہو اور خدا کے عہد کو پورا کرو ان باتوں کا خدا تمہیں حکم دیتا ہے تاکہ تم نصحیت کرو

Q 6:153 And, [moreover], this is My path, which is straight, so follow it; and do not follow [other] ways, for you will be separated from His way. This has He instructed you that you may become righteous.
اور یہ کہ میرا سیدھا رستہ یہی ہے تو تم اسی پر چلنا اور اور رستوں پر نہ چلنا کہ (ان پر چل کر) خدا کے رستے سے الگ ہو جاؤ گے ان باتوں کا خدا تمہیں حکم دیتا ہے تاکہ تم پرہیزگار بنو

As for those who do not believe, nobody is forcing you. Eat, drink and be merry until that which is inevitable comes to you. It is not upon us to either convince you or force you to believe.

Peace.

Denis Daniel Kuzelj

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A question by an Atheist

Question. I have difficulty in accepting this nasty and ill tempered god that our religious clergy wants us to believe in. This god is either the product of human imagination or merely an imposter. Our real Creator would never hate His creation. And He would not want to burn His creation in the Hell forever.

Answer. GOD who commands all that is good and forbids all that is evil and who gave you a free will instead of making you a mindless drone deserves blame because you disobey him? Seriously?

Do parents who raised their child, teaching him only what is best and who gave him everything, deserve blame for the crimes that child commits once he rebels and refuses to listen and obey them? Would they be considered good if they would lock him up in chains for as long as they live and prevent him from committing crimes?

As far as the eternal punishment and reward are concerned who would think of them unjust except the guilty? Would those who heeded GOD’s call and lived moral lives think that eternal reward is unjust? How about a life sentence in this world? Do you object to that? How about we let them out once and see if they do better?

All of these issues are addressed in the Quran coincidentally. I would recommend you study it and find what GOD says about it. And if you believe that there is a creator then who are you to judge him? You who cannot imagine even the creation, you who cannot imagine the size of the ocean or the size of a star or the infinity of space think that you can somehow reason out the creator? What would even make you think that? Do not judge what you cannot even imagine. 

As far as nasty and ill tempered. Where did you read that? Because GOD will punish the guilty for their evil deeds? Would you punish someone who raped your daughter? Who murdered your son? Who oppressed them and enslaved them? Are we not all GOD’s children? Know that it is not GOD who commits crimes such as these but those in DISOBEDIENCE to GOD. You are telling me it is unjust to punish the guilty?

Then will We treat the Muslims like the criminals? What is [the matter] with you? How do you judge? (Qur’an 68:35-36)

Even after our crimes GOD gives us the opportunity to repent and reform and we can be forgiven but even that is not enough? Should each and every one of us see hell with our own eyes so we can be sure? Should GOD, the creator of the universe, come to each and every one of us individually and convince us of his existence? Most of us cannot even see the mayor of our city but we think we deserve to see GOD? Seriously? 

It is human arrogance that breeds such suggestions. I have no ill will toward you and I am of the people that would help you in the time of need but I have no respect for this way of thinking. I have no respect for it because it used to be my way of thinking. Maybe you do not realize it as I have not realized it long ago that this is nothing but arrogance and ignorance to take this view. If you have not read the books and Qur’an I strongly suggest you read them for yourself. 

GOD commands us mercy, charity, humility, honesty, kindness, peace and promises eternal bliss to those who learn to espouse such qualities in this short life. Those who do not, who find it acceptable to oppress, lie, cheat, steal, kill etc and who never learn to change are promised eternal damnation. If you think about it rationally, how could someone who never changed in this life be allowed into heaven among the meek, the humble, the truthful etc, would such people not eventually turn heaven back into hell? This is a selection process you decide where you go, we will be judged with justice and nothing but justice. After justice there is nothing else.

Surah Al-Anbiya, Verse 47: And We shall set up balances of justice on the Day of Resurrection, then none will be dealt with unjustly in anything. And if there be the weight of a mustard seed, We will bring it. And Sufficient are We as Reckoners.

You have a choice and I have a choice. You will have your deeds and I will have my deeds. You do not have to believe anything or anyone. you alone have the power over your life. GOD has warned us and now it is up to each of us. It is that simple. Whatever we may feel about it is our personal problem…

Surely this is a reminder, then let whoever wishes take the path to his Lord. — Quran 

Do it or do not do it. Whether you believe or do not believe is not my problem. It neither picks my pocket nor brakes my leg. I will continue to invite to our creator in a way I see it right, you do not have to heed the reminder nor listen to me.

Peace

Denis Daniel Kuzelj

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Divine Will and Human Freedom

This article appeared on Aslan Media on July 29, 2012.

Shakespeare writes: “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.” This pretty much sums up the role of the three groups of factors that shape human destiny: heredity, human effort, and environment. This also echoes what Scriptures would tell us.

Influenced by Muslim traditions and Muslim and Christian scholars and theologians, Muslims and Christians widely believe that God predestines the fate of human beings – how long they live, how they live, what fortune or misfortune they enjoy or suffer in life — no matter what they actually do during their time on earth. But if this were true, as I concluded in an earlier article, the whole case for religion that makes man responsible for his actions would crumble. Destiny plays a part in human life, but man largely shapes his own destiny.

The Quran states that God has created everything in due measure (taqdir, proportion or destiny) (25:2). Shakespeare puts it: “There’s a divinity that shapes our ends.” The German Philosopher Goethe says: “Man supposes that he directs his life and governs his actions, when his existence is irretrievably under the control of destiny.” David Eagleman notes in his book Incognito: “Most of what we do and think and feel is not under our conscious control.” He documents how human biology, especially the brain’s constitution and health, affects human behavior.

Certainly, though, destiny is a tricky term to understand. Often what we may call destiny or fate befalling us is nothing but the outcome of what we (or our forefathers or society) have done. The Quran states along these lines: “Whatever misfortune strikes you is due to what your hands have earned” (42:30) and “Laisa lil insani illa ma sa’a – There’s nothing for man without effort” (53:39; also see 20:15; 2:286).

The history of human civilization is that of human endeavor: unprecedented material prosperity, immense improvement in human living standards, impressive development in prevention and control of diseases, and a sharp increase in human longevity. Also look at man-caused fires, massacres, injustice, humiliation, inequality, poverty, and misery. This dark record of what man has done made Wordsworth lament “what man has made of man!” With all the arms build-up worldwide and arms race and nuclear proliferation going apace, the world stands at a tipping point. World peace hangs on a very delicate balance.

In their dreams and visions, individuals sometimes see things that foretell future events. The Quran also announces some important events in advance: the birth of Jesus who would be worthy of respect in both worlds (3:45); the birth of John (Yahya) who would be an honorable prophet to his people (3:39); Muslims’ victory at the Badr battle (3:124-126; 8:9-12); and the fall of the Roman empire (30:2-4). Call, if you will, such dreams, visions, and announcements vindications of Divine will. However, an analysis of such predicted events may suggest that underlying factors at play in most cases are rather hereditary or environmental, reflecting the predominant role of human effort, present or past.

That God does not directly will or influence events is brought out by several verses of the Quran. A key passage reads as: “Surely God does not change the condition of people until they change their own selves (nafs)” (13:11). Still another states that God lands one where one chooses to turn (4:115). God mocks those who do not feed the poor and says that if God willed, He could have fed them (36:47). Also: “If God willed, He could have guided us all” (6:149), “If He willed, He could have made humankind one nation” (5:48), and “If He willed, all would have believed” (10:99). The import of all these verses is that God does not directly determine our affairs.

Look at another important Quran verse that unequivocally upholds freedom of human choice: “The Truth (has now come) from your Lord; let, then, him who wills believe (in it), and let him who wills reject (it)” (18:29). There are other verses that categorically make human beings accountable for their own actions: “You are responsible for your own selves” (5:105) and “Spend in God’s cause, and let not your own hands lead you to ruin” (2:195).

But what do you make of such statements in the Quran that say that nothing happens without God’s knowledge (2:33) and that everything is in the Book (78:29)? Is human freedom limited by God’s knowledge and power? A great Islamic thinker Indian-Pakistani poet, philosopher Muhammad Iqbal does not think so. In his seminal work Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam, he forcefully and beautifully describes God’s knowledge and power in a way that admits of freely exercised creativity on the part of humankind: “If history is regarded merely as a gradually revealed photo of a predetermined order of events, then there is no room in it for novelty and initiation. Consequently, we can attach no meaning to the word ‘creation’, which has a meaning for us only in view of our own capacity for original action. The truth is that the whole theological controversy relating to predestination is due to pure speculation with no eye on the spontaneity of life, which is a fact of actual experience. No doubt, the emergence of egos endowed with the power of spontaneous and hence unforeseeable action is, in a sense, a limitation on the freedom of the all-inclusive Ego. But this limitation is not externally imposed. It is born out of His own creative freedom whereby He has chosen finite egos to be participators of His life, power, and freedom.” He further aptly notes:

It is the lot of man to share in the deeper aspirations of the universe around him and to shape his own destiny as well as that of the universe […] And in this process of progressive change God becomes a co-worker with him, provided man takes the initiative.

Several Quran verses encapsulate this idea of God becoming a co-worker with man (13:11; 8:53; 19:76; 42:23; 2:26). God adds good to those who do good (42:23). This is a God’s Law: If you start doing something good, you’re further inclined to doing the good things and if you start doing evil, you’re further attracted to the evil.

Man, as all the creation, is subject to the Laws of God, which scientists call the Laws of Nature. But note: God Himself is subject to such Laws. He never changes His Sunnah or Ways (35:43, 17:77). This Divine will, of course, constrains human freedom. None can work in contravention of such laws. But this is a general constraining factor as well as a blessing for humankind. If things hadn’t been that way, we couldn’t have ever known for sure what works for us and what does not and all scientific research would have come to a standstill.

Evolution is a natural process, taking place throughout the universe. Evolution is a manifestation of Divine will.

Submitted by Abdur Rab
Abdur Rab is a retired economist and public policy analyst and author of Exploring Islam in a New Light: A View from the Quranic Perspective, 2010. Follow Abdur Rab@Twitter.

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