Rational Actor

God created the world complete with laws which are called sunnatullah (the laws of Allah). Since we, human being, are the inhabitants of the world, consequently we have to know and understand the sunnatullah. If not, we will not survive.

There are two types of God's laws on earth. First, the laws of physics. Examples of the laws are water flow downward not upward, ice is cold, fire is hot, knife is sharp in which if you cut yourself you will bleed, and so on. Most of us already know, accept, and believe the existence of the laws of physic. Since they are visible, they are easy to understand.

The second laws of God is the laws of metaphysics. Unlike the visible laws of physics, the metaphysical ones are unseen. Despite the invisibility, both the laws of physics and metaphysics are definite to occur.

So, what's rational actor? Rational actor is a person whose behaviors go along with the laws of God, both the physical and metaphysical ones. A rational actor will not reject both laws as rejection will be disastrous. If someone wants to survive physically and spiritually living in this world he must accept the visible and invisible laws of God.

Now, what are the examples of metaphysical laws of God? Some of them are as follow:

  • There is no consistency in this world. We might be healthy today but tomorrow we might get sick. We can't be always healthy and we can't be always sick. So if there's a person who always wants to be healthy for as long as he lives, it means that he doesn't go along with the metaphysical law of God. When a rational actor is sick, he will not be fussy or will not complain about his condition as he realizes that nobody is always healthy.
  • People have different wealth and riches. Some are poor and some are rich. If there is a person who constantly complains about his poverty or about other people's poverty, it means he rejects God's law of metaphysics. When a rational actor finds that many of his friends are much wealthier than him, he will not be jealous about it. On the contrary, if a previously rich rational actor becomes poor, he will not be stressful.
  • Comfortable and uncomfortable situation take turn to occur in our lives. The pair are certain and unavoidable. So, if a person is allergic to discomfort in life it means he rejects the law of God. We can't have comfortable life always. Calamity and disaster are definite. Comfortable situation will make a rational actor be grateful to God for it meanwhile uncomfortable situation will NOT make a rational actor sad or depressed. 
  • There's always ease after difficulty, so a person will not experience an everlasting difficulty. A rational actor will face difficulty with big heart while doing maximum effort as he realizes that as long as he does maximum effort, ease will definitely come.
  • Satan, in the form of human being and jinns, will always provoke anybody who obeys or tries to obey God's rules. Thus, nobody is free from other people's harassment or annoyance. A rational actor will not expect anybody around him behaving like angels. At the same time, a rational actor always strengthens his heart or soul by obeying God’s rules, to face the satans.
  • There are two wills in this world, i.e. God's wills and our wills and we don't know which one and when that will happen. It's against the metaphysical law of God if we want our wills to always happen. A rational actor will not hope for all his wills to be fulfilled. When they come true, he is grateful to God. But when they don’t, still he is grateful as he knows God’s wills are the best.
  • We can only give advice to other people, we can't change people. So, when a rational actor has been talking for hours to give advice to someone but still the person doesn't listen to the advice, he will not be upset. He realizes that his job is merely to convey the message, not to change him.

Most of us are already fluent working with the laws of physics. When we see fire, we put it out. When we want to have a glass of cold drink, we put ice cubes in the glass or put the drink in the fridge. When we want our plants to grow beautifully, we give fertilizer to them. When we want to get money, we work or do business. The laws are easy to deal with because they are visible, tangible and we only need our brain to face the laws. But how about the laws of metaphysics? Most people have difficulty in dealing with God's metaphysical laws. Sickness, lack of wealth, calamity, disaster, and other uncomfortable situations are always rejected by our heart. People behave negatively towards such things. The reason why it's difficult to face the laws is because of lack of Godly beliefs. Dealing with the laws of metaphysics need Godly beliefs to be in our heart or soul. We are able to obtain those Godly beliefs by contemplating about the origin of human being, the purpose of life and the rules of God in His Book, that is the Holy Qur’an. The action of contemplation requires the capability of the heart, not brain. Therefore, dealing with metaphysical laws needs the "intelligence" of the heart, instead of the brain. Unfortunately, since we were born, we use more of our brain than our heart, ending with failure in comprehending the metaphysical laws of God.

As said earlier, if we fail in dealing with sunnatullah (the laws of God), we will not survive. Failure in dealing with the physical laws of God surely causes us material or tangible loss. However, what happens when we fail in understanding the metaphysical laws of God? When that happens, frustration, anxiety, disappointment, and anger will occur. Those feelings are against the rules of God and they earn sins, increasing the chance for hell. On the contrary, success in coping with the metaphysical laws of God will earn rewards, increasing the chance for the place in heaven and that means the ultimate survival for the life of human being.

 

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Human Being in the Qur’an

The discussion about human being in the Qur'an includes the origin, the characteristics, the capability and the weakness of human being. The Qur’an explains that the first human being was created from clay and after the shape was perfected, God then blew His spirit into it. It’s stated in the Qur’an chapter 38 verse 71-72, “Behold, thy Lord said to the angels: “I am about to create man from clay. When I have fashioned him (in due proportion) and breathed into him of My spirit, fall ye down in obeisance unto him.”

As the Creator of human being, it is no doubt that God knows exactly what He has created. God knows the vices and virtues of human being. Some of the good and bad qualities of human being as stated in the Qur’an are as follow:

  • He is created in the best of shape. God says in chapter 95 verse 4 of the Qur’an, “We have indeed created man in the best of moulds.”
  • Human being is honored, as in the Qur’an chapter 17 verse 70, “We have honored the sons of Adam…and conferred on them special favors, above a great part of Our Creation.”
  • Man is unjust and ungrateful. Chapter 14 verse 34, “…Verily man is given up to injustice and ingratitude.”
  • Human being is impatient and fretful. Chapter 70 verse 19-20, “Truly man was created very impatient. (20)Fretful when evil touches him.”
  • Man is contentious. Chapter 18 verse 54, “…But man is, in most things, contentious.”

Since human being has both good and bad sides, a person can then choose whether he wants to follow his good characters or his bad ones. He himself chooses whether he wants to be a good person or a bad person.

Allah (God) had appointed human being as His vicegerent on earth, as stated in the Qur’an chapter 2 verse 30, “Behold, thy Lord said to the angels: “I will create a vicegerent on earth.”  Thus, as representative of God, the duty of human being on earth is merely applying God’s rules, not anyone else’s rules. Therefore, the purpose of life of human being is to worship or serve God only. God says in chapter 51 verse 56, “I have only created jinns and men that they may serve Me.”

In order to successfully perform the duty as vicegerent, God equips human being with the following:

  • capability of knowing about many kinds of objects and things. Chapter 2 verse 31, “And He taught Adam the nature of all things…”
  • God gives human being understanding or mind, and senses. Chapter 67 verse 23, “Say: “It is He Who has created you (and made you grow) and made for you the faculties of hearing, seeing, feeling and understanding…”
  • God bestows human being the ability to change life on earth. Chapter 13 verse 11, “…Verily never will God change the condition of a people until they change it themselves (with their own souls)…”
  • Finally, God makes the earth and everything in it, i.e. animals, plants, seas, mountains, rivers, planets, etc, submitted to human being, so that people can use them for fulfilling the duty given by God. It’s clearly stated in chapter 45 verse 12, “It is God Who has subjected the sea to you, that ships may sail through it by His command, that ye may seek of His bounty and that ye may be grateful.”

However, human being also has limitations or weaknesses:

  • Most people only know about worldly matters as God says in chapter 30 verse 6-7, “(It is) the promise of God. Never does God depart from His promise; but most men understand not. (7) They know but the outer (things) in the life of this world but of the end of thins they are heedless.”
  • People also know very little about soul or spirit or ruh, what will happen to the spirit when we die, where the spirit will go, the difference between the spirit itself compared to when the spirit still stay in the physical body, etc. Some people, such as fortune tellers, clairvoyants, claim that they know a lot about the spirit or soul of human being. However, what they have is false believe. God says in chapter 17 verse 85, “They ask thee concerning the spirit (of inspiration). Say: “The spirit (cometh) by command of my Lord; of knowledge it is only a little that is communicated to you (O men!)”.
  • Human being also has little understanding of what is good and what is bad for them. People think that having abundant of wealth is good for them but that is not always the case. People think that getting sick is bad for them, and again, that’s often good for them. God says in chapter 2 verse 216, “…But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But God knoweth, and ye know not.”

Allah (God) is the Most Gracious and the Most Merciful. God does not let human being, with limitations and weaknesses, without a complete guidance to live on earth. That is why the Qur’an exists to guide people to live, to become vicegerent on earth that is to lead their life according to the rules of the Creator.  Therefore, it is very important to understand the Qur’an so that we can fulfill the purpose of life successfully which leads to true happiness in the world and in the hereafter.

 

Watch: The Bible & The Qur'an; Christ in Islam; Jews & Muslims; The Purpose of Life

Our Covenant With God

Naturally, every human being is able to feel God in his heart.  That’s because before the soul was blown to the physical body in the mother’s womb, the soul already made a covenant with God in the spiritual world, as stated in the Qur’an chapter 7 verse 172: “When thy Lord drew (forth) from the children of Adam-from their loins- their descendants and made them testify concerning themselves (saying): “Am I not your Lord (Who cherishes and sustains you)?” They said: “Yea! We do testify!” (This), lest ye should say on the Day of Judgment: “Of this we were never mindful”.

All people were born in state of purity with the awareness of God and willingness to serve God only. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “No baby is born except that he is in his natural tendency (to worship Allah alone). It is his parents who make him a jew, a christian or a majusi (fire worshipper)."

Thus, every person has actually admitted that there is no god but God (Allah), that he will only worship God. The testimony also bears a consequence that during his life on earth, a person must not make other things as gods to him. Testifying that there is no god but God means that a person is not allowed to make worldly matters such as money, position, fame and fortune as god to him. He has promised that only God’s rules that matters.

Despite the fact that human being have made their covenant with God in the spiritual world, before being born to the world, generally people don’t feel or don’t remember at all that they had made such a covenant. However, what happened in the spiritual world can be proved in daily lives. The godly covenant still can be traced in our lives. There are many people who say that they don’t believe in God but when they are in despair they finally turn to God in one way or another.

Actually, it is normal when a person doesn’t remember his covenant with his Lord million years ago in the spiritual world. A person can’t even remember what happened and how he felt when he was still in his mother’s womb.  Let alone what happened in the womb, a person couldn’t remember his childhood or what he did a year ago, a month ago and even a week ago. That’s why God reminds people about the covenant through the Qur’an, the manual book for life.

Unfortunately, when some people are reminded about their covenant with God, they deny it and become angry instead. What makes people refuse to recognize their covenant with their Creator? What makes them refuse to be reminded about it?  It’s because the strong influence that surround them. The attack of materialism, secularism, atheism, and hedonism is so powerful that people are carried away by the deceit of worldly pleasure. Other gods in forms of money, wealth and riches, popularity, position, even women and men appear in the hearts of human being. One of the characters of God is that God doesn’t want to be taken partners as stated in the Qur'an chapter 4 verse 48. Once a person takes other things as god, God will go from his heart.

It is time to recall our covenant with God (Allah) and the covenant entails total obedience towards our Creator.

 

God forgiveth not that partners should be set up with Him; but He forgiveth anything else, to whom He pleaseth; to set up partners with God is to devise a sin most heinous indeed. (Qur'an chapter 4 verse 48)

 

 

The Attributes of God

 
Allah (God) is the Creator of all living things. We, human being, are the creation of God. God creates human being simply to worship Him as God says in the Quran chapter 51 verse 56, "I have only created jinns and men, that they may serve Me." That means human being is the servant of God and that makes God as the Master of human being. 
 
As a servant, a person must know the characteristics or nature of his Master. It is very important for him because by knowing the characteristics of his Master, a person (servant) is able to understand the commands of his Master and is able to serve the Master better. He will not misunderstand the rules set by the Master. Furthermore, by knowing the nature of his Boss, he knows how to behave.
 
When we (people) talk, we sometimes make mistakes in what we say. Sometimes we are not consistent in what we say. And sometimes we are not being honest in saying certain matters. However, God is not like that. God is The Truth, God doesn't make mistakes, God is not inconsistent and God doesn't break promises. Therefore, the best way to know and understand the characteristics of God is of course straight from God's words, that is the Quran, which is never changed since 1400 years ago and which has been proved many times through science as the truth.
 
By understanding the Qur’an, a person can find out the attributes or characteristics of God, the way that God “think” and “behave”. And if a person believes that God’s characteristics are the ones explained in the Qur’an, he will never be worried, sad, or stressful in whatever he faces. By understanding the “mind” of Allah, a person knows how to handle problems in his life. Believing in he attributes of God is one of the godly believes that human being must have.
 
Some of God’s attributes as stated in the Qur’an are as follows:
1.      God values human being merely based on his or her righteousness as stated in the Qur’an chapter 49 verse 13, “…Verily the most honored of you in the sight of God is (he who is) the most righteous of you…”. So, God doesn’t consider a person’s wealth, cleverness, fame, beauty, status, and descendant to determine someone’s quality. God only considers the level of obedience towards God’s rules or the righteousness. The more a person obeys God’s rules, the more righteous he becomes and the higher his rank is in the sight of God. If a person truly believes that God has this attribute, he then will not be influenced by hedonistic perceptions that a person is successful if he is rich, famous, and so forth.
 
2.      Allah (God) will not change our condition if we ourselves don’t try to change it, as stated in the Qur’an chapter 13 verse 11, “…Verily never will God change the condition of a people until they change it themselves (with their own souls)…”. So, if, for example, a person has financial difficulties and he believes this attribute of God, he will focus on his efforts in trying to change his situation. He will not focus on the result of his efforts because the result is under God’s care. Because of that, the person is free from stress or worry.
 
3.      God gives fortune or prosperity to human being differently. In the Qur’an chapter 16 verse 71 God says, “God has bestowed His gifts of sustenance more freely on some of you than on others…” A person who believes that God gives sustenance differently among the people, will not be jealous of other people’s greater fortune. If, after working hard and trying his best effort, the result is not as good as his friend who doesn’t work as hard as him, he will not be disappointed. He will just say, “Praise be to Allah Who gives wealth more to others…”
 
4.      God does not put a burden greater than a person can bear, as in the Qur’an chapter 2 verse 286, “On no soul doth God place a burden greater than it can bear.” Actually, God knows the capacity of every human being. So, if calamity or bad thing happens to someone, God knows that he can handle it. The problem is the person doesn’t want to deal with the problem with his own capacity. He only wants to have easy way out. It’s just like a student having an exam tomorrow. If he studies hard days before the exam, of course he will pass with good grades but if he doesn’t study hard, he will fail! Thus, if a person believes that God will never put a burden beyond his capacity, when trouble comes, he will try with all his might to solve the problem as he believes he can handle it.
 
5.      God is not unfair to human being, as stated in the Qur’an chapter 10 verse 44, “Verily God will not deal unjustly with man in aught. It is man that wrongs his own soul.” When bad things happen, people often say that God is so unfair to them. “Why is it happening to me…? It’s so unfair.” God is the Creator of the universe and God is The Most Merciful, The Most Gracious, The Most Noble, The Most Wise and The Most Knowing of what is good for every one of us. Is it possible that out of such a Creator then come unfair things…? No way! The reason why people think that God is unfair is because people have different perception of what is good and what is bad for them. To people, good is when things happen according to their ego and desire, and bad is when things does not happen according to their ego and desire. Meanwhile, to God, when something can make people go to heaven, it is good. And when something can make people go to hell, it is called bad.
 
6.      God is with people who are patience as stated in the Qur’an chapter 2 verse 153, “O ye who believe! Seek help with patient perseverance and prayer for God is with those who patiently persevere.” If a person has difficulty in his life and he believes in this attribute o f God, he will do the best effort and at the same time he will be patient as well as pray to God. God helps people who make efforts, pray, and patient in doing the efforts.
 
7.      God will test human being with good and bad things. Chapter 7 verse 167 “…We have tried them with both prosperity and adversity.” Chapter 21 verse 35, “…And We test you by evil and by good, by way of trial.” Many people pray to God so that no calamities, problems, sickness or other bad things befall upon them. Actually that’s the wrong way to pray. It is God’s nature to give human being both good and bad as tests in life, as a sign of God’s mercy upon human. Thus, a person must pray to God, “O Allah… Please make me strong in dealing with Your trials…”
 
8.      God will give reward to people who restrain from their desire as stated in chapter 79 verse 40-41, “And for such as had entertained the fear of standing before their Lord’s (tribunal) and had restrained (their) soul from lower desires, (41) Their abode will be the heaven (garden).”  Corruption, stealing, cheating, stinginess, being prejudiced, unwillingness to help others… Those are low desires and if a person follows such desires, he will only get sins from God. But if a person has an intention to cheat, and then he remembers God and he restrains from cheating, that person will earn great reward from God. 
 
9.      God will give relief after difficulty. God says in the Qur’an chapter 94 verse 5-6, “So, verily, with every difficulty, there is relief, (6)Verily, with every difficulty there is relief.“ So, God will never give never-ending difficulty to a person. But, this characteristic is guaranteed as long as the person does good effort in handling his difficulty (look at no. 2). If the person doesn’t do anything, God will not help him in giving the relief.
 
There are many more of attributes of God that can be learned from the Qur’an. The above are just some of them. It is important to understand the Qur’an so that the attributes of God can be understood well. Understanding the characters of the Master (God) will help us serve the Master better, therefore, earning the rewards that we need for our next life in the hereafter.
 
 

The Qur’an as Manual Book

Every gadget, machine or tool, has specific way to be used. Most of the things we use in our life have manual books or instruction guides. If a person buys a brand new car, he has to know how to operate or run the car. He can get a complete information about the car in the manual book which explains the elements of the car, how to take care of it, the dos and don'ts, and many more. In order to successfully and safely use the car for a long time, he has to follow all the instructions or rules in the manual book of the car. If he doesn't follow or if he changes some of the rules according to his own limited knowledge, then sooner or later the car will be broken.

Human being is the product of God, the creation of God. Therefore, human being also need manual book for living on earth. The Qur'an which was revealed by Allah (God) through Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is a manual book, a complete guidance for all people on earth. People have limited mind. People can't solve everything based on his limited knowledge. That's why, God sent the Qur'an and it is a proof of God's love towards human being as the Qur'an is truly a guide for human being in how to live on earth so that human being is happy not only in this world but also in the hereafter. Whoever wants to achieve happiness in both worlds, he must use the Qur'an as his manual book. 

However, the Qur'an is often treated or used in the wrong ways. Basically, based on what happens in the society, people use the Qur'an in one of these three ways:

1. the Qur'an as rhymes or recitation,

2. the Qur'an as magic formula,

3. the Qur'an as manual book for life.

If a person uses the Qur'an as rhymes, then all he has to do is to make sound or to recite  the Arabic letters perfectly and beautifully, according to the rules of Qur'an recitation, without the need to know the meaning. There are competitions in Qur'an recitation in which the winner is the one who is able to recite it the most beautifully. Sadly, there is common perception in the society (muslim society) that people who can recite the Qur'an beautifully are pious people, kindhearted people. This perception is of course wrong as such people don't understand the meaning of what they are reading. Even if they understand, doesn't mean they implement the rules of God in the Qur'an.

If a person uses the Qur'an as magic formula, then he doesn't have to recite it perfectly or beautifully, but what matters to him is which verses or chapters that he has to recite (say) and how many times he has to recite it. People dealing with jins or black magic, fortune tellers and witchcrafts often use verses from the Qur'an. They will say something like these: "If you want to be rich, you have to read chapter 114 of the Qur'an for 100 times every night!". "If you want to be successfull, you have to say "laa ilaaha illallaahu" for 200 times every morning!" "Say 'astaghfirullah' for 99 times every day, then your sins will be forgiven by God!"… those are examples of using the Qur'an as magic formula.

The correct way to use the Qur'an is to make it as manual book for life. If a person uses the Qur'an as his manual book then he MUST understand the meaning of the Qur'an. Besides reading the Arabic part of the Qur'an, he will read the translation of the Qur'an, he will try to understand it and implement the rules of God as stated in the Qur'an. If a person uses the Qur'an as his guide in his life, he will find solutions for his problems and he will decide every issue/problem according to the Qur'an. In short, using the Qur'an as a manual book means following the teaching of God in whole, not in parts. 

What will happen if the Qur'an is not used accordingly? Well, what will happen if a person doesn't obey the manual book when he tries to operate or fix his washing machine? If he doesn't do as the manual book's instructions, the machine will not last very long and finally it will be broken. The same thing happens when people don't use the Qur'an correctly. Using the Qur'an in the wrong way will definitely result in great loss for human being. It will cause a great loss as the ultimate goal of true happiness in the world and in the hereafter will not be achieved. And the action of using the Qur'an improperly or not using the Qur'an at all in life will be accounted before God in the hereafter.

God truly wants all human being to have the ultimate happiness and to enter paradise. God says in chapter 2 verse 38, "… And if, as is sure, there comes to you guidance from Me, whosoever follows My guidance, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve." God has provided human being with perfect manual or guide book to follow. All we have to do is to understand and obey the guidance.

On the contrary, God doesn't favor people who don't use the Qur'an in their lives and condemn those who don't refer to the Qur'an for solutions. God says in chapter 5 verse 44, "…If any do fail to judge by (the light of) what God hath revealed, they are (no better than) unbelievers." Verse 45, "…And if any fail to judge by (the light of) what God hath revealed, they are (no better than) wrong-doers."  Verse 47, "…If any do fail to judge by (the light of) what God hath revealed, they are (no better than) those who rebel." And there is no place in paradise for the unbelievers, wrong-doers, and those who rebel.

The Qur'an is truly an awe-inspiring book. It's such an amazing book that God says in chapter   verse 31, "If there were a Qur'an with which mountains were moved, or the earth were cloven asunder, or the dead were made to speak, (this would be the one!)." However, such a qualities can be felt or sensed only when the holy book is used according to the purpose, that is the manual book for life on earth. And the manual book must be understood and the instructions must be obeyed. 

Indonesia is a country where the muslim community is the highest in number in the world. If the muslims use the Qur'an properly, that is if they understand and follow the teachings, the country should be prosperous and noble qualities such as honesty, cleanliness, and discipline should prevail. However, looking at the situation and condition of the people, it is obvious that the Qur'an hasn't been used properly. The Qur'an lies only on bookshelves at homes. The people only read aloud or recite the Arabic letters beautifully. Or, people just position the Qur'an in the brain, that is as knowledge. Most of them don't have the Qur'an in their hearts, meaning they don't have belief that the Qur'an is their manual book. Remember, knowledge will not result in action but the belief will.

It is interesting to know that the habit of using the Qur'an as rhymes or recitation is the result of Dutch colonialism in Indonesia for more than 300 years. At that time, whenever people recited the Qur'an, the Dutch would say, "Let them recite the Qur'an, do not disturb them! By reciting only, they will not know the meaning, so just let them recite." The colonizer actually had read the Qur'an and they knew that if the people knew the meaning and teachings of the Qur'an, surely they would not let themselves being oppressed and enslaved. God forbids oppression and slavery.

The Qur'an is guidance for mankind containing wisdom and rules in how to lead our lives on earth so that we survive in this world and in the hereafter. Using the Qur'an in a wrong way or not using the Qur'an in our lives will be a great loss. Don't let it happen…

 

Verily this Qur'an doth guide to that which is most right (or stable), and giveth the glad tidings to the believers who work deeds of righteousness, that they shall have a magnificent reward. (Qur'an chapter 17 verse 9).

Videos: Former Bible Preacher Shared A Bit About Qur'an & Bible

            Jesus, Qur'an, And Islam 

            The Purpose Of Life by Jeffrey Lang

Twitter: Maharani Hasibuan

Satan the Eternal Enemy

Satan, devil… Those words are often heard or read somewhere. But, what is exactly satan? Is it a creature with two horns on its head, two fiery bulging eyes, red face, and devilish smile..? When we say 'satan', do we really know what we say? What is the difference between jinn, iblis, and satan?

Human being was created out of clay. Angels were created out of light. Meanwhile, jinns were created from fire. Satan is often considered as another creation of God just like human being and angels. Satan is often thought to be created from fire, just like jinn. When God creates something, the creation must fulfill the purpose set by God. What is the purpose of the creation of human being? Human being is created merely to worship God. If a person obeys God, he will earn reward and if he doesn't obey, he will earn sin. Now, if satan is a creation just like human being, what is the purpose of the creation? Most people will say the purpose is to mislead people on earth or to make people disobey God. So, if the satan is successful in misleading people, will satan earn reward and go to heaven..? Misleading people or making people doing evil deeds is sinful, so satan must go to hell. Now, if satan doesn't succeed in misleading people, will satan go to hell because satan couldn't fulfill the purpose? It's funny to think that satan will go to hell whether or not satan fulfill the job. What a poor creation! God is unfair!

Satan is often associated with iblis. Satan and iblis are often considered the same entity. However, the Qur'an explains that iblis is creature of God among jinn who disobeyed God as stated in chapter 28 verse 50, "And behold, We said to the angels "Bow down to Adam", and they bowed down except iblis. He was one of the jinns and he broke the command of his Lord…" ​It is clear that ​among the jinns, there are some who disobey God and such jinns are called iblis who vowed to mislead the descendants of Adam until the last day comes. The intention of iblis is clear in the Qur'an chapter 38 verse 82, "(Iblis) said: "Then by thy power, I will put them all in the wrong." 

Meanwhile, satan is manifested in the form of human being and jinn as stated in the Qur'an chapter 6 verse 112, "Likewise did We make for every Messenger an enemy, evil ones, among men and jinns, inspiring each other with flowery discourses by way of deception…" Furthermore in chapter 114 verse 4-6, "From the mischief of the whisperer (of evil), who withdraws (after his whisper). (The same) who whispers in the hearts of mankind. Among jinns and among men." 

Therefore, satan is not another type of creation of God. Satan is attribute or nature, or character. Iblis is satan because iblis mislead people from the way of God. Whoever disobey God's rules in the Qur'an is satan. If a person has desire to do evil deeds, the desire itself is satan. If I have a friend and my friend asks me to steal money, then my friend is satan as he provokes me to disobey God's rule. If I follow his desire to steal, then I become satan too. If I repent and regret, then I'm no longer a satan. If a father suggests his son to lie then the father is satan. If his son follows the father's suggestion, then his son is satan. But if the son rejects to lie then the son is not satan. 

It is mistaken that satan is powerful. Satan can only do the provocation or suggestion as said in the Qur'an chaper 14 verse 22, "And satan will say when the matter is decided, "It was God Who gave you a promise of truth. I too promised but I failed in my promise to you. I had no authority over you except to call you, but ye listened to me. Then reproach not me but reproach your own souls. I cannot listen to your cries nor can ye listen to mine. I reject your former act in associating me with God. For wrong-doers there must be a grievous penalty." Satan can't force or make people to execute the evil deeds. It is up to us whether or not we want to follow satan's provocation or whisper. Human being is truly free to decide what to do and what to choose. Satan is actually very weak as satan only whispers the idea of doing sins.  

Jinn can also be satan and provoke human being from obeying God's rule. Satanic jinns or iblis often take forms – human, animal, and other kinds of forms –  to deceive human being. Iblis usually take forms of dead relatives and imitate the way they speak and behave when they were still alive. The purpose of such action is to make people believe that the souls of dead people can come to earth which is not true and against the teaching of the Qur'an. Empty houses often have devilish jinns inside to disturb the residents. And there are many more ways that iblis do to make people go astray, to disbelieve God.

Why are we often provoked by satan? That's because satan come in the form of people we are familiar with, so we don't realize that at certain time, they are being satan. People still think that satan is another creation of God with distinctive physical features so when facing a familiar person being satanic they don't see satan but someone they know. 

It is important to be able to handle satan. That's because satan prevent human being to achieve the ultimate goal of being happy in this world and in the hereafter. Satan's provocation or suggestion is only one kind, that is asking people NOT to follow the rules of God in the Qur'an. If the rules are not implemented, it can be guaranteed that a person can't be happy in both world.

Human being — SATAN–> Al Qur'an ——-> true happiness

​Some characteristics and actions that belong to satan as mentioned in the Qur'an are arrogance, stinginess, prejudice, backbiting, dishonesty, extravagance (in life style), killing, ruining the environment, corruption, stealing, violence, and many more. And there is no better way to beat the evil whispers of satan than seeking refuge to God all the time, which is commanded in the Qur'an chapter 23 verse 97 & 98, "And say "O my Lord! I seek refuge with Thee from the suggestions of the evil ones. And I seek refuge with Thee O my Lord! Lest they should come near me." 

Satan is eternal enemy of every human being. Even Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was accompanied by satan in the form of desire and iblis. The Prophet said, "None of us is without satan. I myself have satan, however with God's help I can beat the satan."

So, hold tighly the rules of God in the Qur'an and seek refuge to God whenever there is the provocation of satan.

 

 

 

Believing The Hereafter

Some people believe that there is no such thing as hereafter. They believe that people are just like candles. When they die, they simply vanish, like the light of the candle being blown. No responsibility or whatsoever for what they had done on earth. Thieves and murderers as well as pious people will end up in the same situation.

Believing in the existence of the hereafter is one of the Godly beliefs. Allah (God) warns human being about the existence of hereafter in the Qur'an chapter 6 verse 32, "What is the life of this world but play and amusement? But the best is the home in the hereafter, for those who are righteous. Will ye not then understand?". Qur'an chapter 29 verse 64, "What is the life of this world but amusement and play But verily the home in thereafter, that is life indeed, if they but knew." And God says in the Qur'an chapter 17 verse 10, "And those who believe not in the hereafter, (it announceth) that We have prepared for them a penalty grievous (indeed)."

But as a matter of fact, even without the verses from the Qur'an, it is logical for a person to believe in the hereafter. All he has to do is to function his mind and heart or contemplate spiritually.

We all agree that a person must be responsible for every action he makes.  If we spill coffee to the floor, we must clean the floor. If we lose our parents' valuable item, we must replace it. When a person hurts someone physically, he must be responsible, at least by paying for the medication. When a person lies, he must face the consequence of his lying. When person steals or kills or rapes someone, he must face the laws for his evil deeds. So, basically, a person must be responsible. However, what if a person doesn't have a chance to be responsible or to receive the consequence of his actions when he was still alive on earth? Let's say a person who has done corruption for many years but never get caught or never get punished on earth and then suddenly he dies due to heart attack. Or a killer who never get caught and punished until he dies at his old age. It is just not fair, it is just not logical and it is against the common sense that such a person will just disappear from this world with his evil deed without being accounted for his action. On the contrary, it is logical that he will be accounted for his evil deeds 'somewhere' and 'somehow'. And that 'somewhere' and 'somehow' is the hereafter, in the form of either heaven for good deeds or hell for bad deeds.

Let's contemplate further. Imagine there are two dead bodies in front of us. One dead body is a kind, pious person who used to implement the teachings in the Qur'an when he was still alive. The other dead body is a bad person who used to disobey the teachings of God in the Qur'an. He used to lie, get angry, hurt people's feelings with nasty words and attitudes, and did things based on his desires. Those two dead bodies were wrapped by white, kafan fabric, special fabric for wrapping dead bodies. They both look the same, nothing different. When the faces are totally covered by the fabric, the living ones couldn't make the difference which one was a good person and which one was the bad one. It is against the common sense that the two people will just vanish or will not receive the consequence of their actions which are very different to each other.  So, the only perfect place for complete and fair calculation is the hereafter. God will give reward for the good deeds that haven't been rewarded on earth and God will give punishment for the bad deeds that haven't been paid on earth. In short, the hereafter with heaven and hell is the manifestation of God's attribute of being The Most Just.

Knowing that the hereafter exists is not enough because knowing will not result in action. Knowing lies in the brain and if it stays there, it will not give benefit at all. But bear in mind that knowing (knowledge) is important in a sense that it is the 'raw material' for being processed further in our heart. What is the most important is believing or having faith that hereafter exists. The believe, which lies in the heart, will result in action. What is the prove that someone does believe in the hereafter? Simply take a look at his behavior or action.

If a person still likes slandering or gossiping about other people, it means his belief of the existence of the hereafter is not yet strong. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, "Gossiping feels good on earth, but it can lead a person to hell in the hereafter."

If a person still feels in his heart that he is better than others it means his belief of the existence of the hereafter is not yet strong. God forbids human being to be arrogant.

If a person still does many bad things such as stealing, lying, cheating, hurting other people, it is then clear that he doesn't have strong belief, or he doesn't believe at all, of the existence of the hereafter. 

And if a person still refuses to help others or rejects to do good deeds, it means that he doesn't have strong belief, or he doesn't believe at all, of the existence of the hereafter. God promises in the Qur'an chapter 43 verse 72, "Such will be the garden (heaven) of which ye are made heirs for your (good) deeds (in life)." Furthermore in chapter 2 verse 82, "But those who have faith and work righteousness, they are companions of the garden (heaven). Therein shall they abide (forever)."

Thus, it is clear that if a person has a low quality of belief of the existence of the hereafter, his actions or behavior will not be good as God says in the Qur'an chapter 16 verse 60, "To those who believe not in the hereafter applies the similitude of evil…" 

Having a solid belief that hereafter exists will undoubtedly drive us to do as many God's rules as possible. It will be much easier for in accepting and comprehending the rest of God's rules. 

​Please recall the journey of human being:

soul world —-> mother's womb world —-> this world —-> grave world —-> hereafter (heaven and hell)

In the end, there are only two places that human being will arrive. Make sure that we have as many Godly beliefs, including the belief that hereafter exists, so that we don't end up in the wrong place…

Videos: A Glimpse About Qur'an And Bible

           The Purpose Of Life

          Jesus, Qur'an, And Islam

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The Importance of Godly Beliefs

A bit of review from previous posts… What is the activity of spiritual contemplation? To contemplate spiritually means to feel using the heart and to think using the brain. The purpose of doing spiritual contemplation is to increase God awareness in our soul, not the intelligence. So, when contemplating we use our heart or soul more than we use our brain. Doing the contemplation (in Arabic is tafakur) itself has a great value in the sight of Allah. There are many verses in the Qur'an where God asks us, human being, to contemplate, to reflect, to understand. Here are some of the verses:

"Then do they not reflect upon the Qur'an? If it had been from [any] other than Allah , they would have found within it much contradiction." (Qur'an chapter 4: verse 82)

"Indeed, in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of the night and the day are signs for those of understanding." (ch.3:190)

"The example of [this] worldly life is but like rain which We have sent down from the sky that the plants of the earth absorb – [those] from which men and livestock eat – until, when the earth has taken on its adornment and is beautified and its people suppose that they have capability over it, there comes to it Our command by night or by day, and We make it as a harvest, as if it had not flourished yesterday. Thus do We explain in detail the signs for a people who give thought." (ch. 10:24)

"[We sent them] with clear proofs and written ordinances. And We revealed to you the message that you may make clear to the people what was sent down to them and that they might give thought." (ch. 16:44)

A reference used for doing contemplation is the Qur'an and hadith (sayings of the Prophet). So, if the result of contemplation is against the rules of Allah in the Qur'an, it is then wrong. No matter how logical it is, if it is not parallel with the Qur'an, it is definitely wrong. 

Human being is different with animal. All lions have the same behavior regardless the type. But, even two people of the same religion and education may have different behavior as a person's behavior and attitude is determined by what is inside his heart. If he has wrong beliefs in his heart, he will show wrong behavior or bad deeds. 

Belief is truly something powerful. That's why many people do unimaginable things because of what they believe in their hearts. That's what push or motivate them in doing the evil things. Therefore, the belief that every human being should have is Godly belief or the belief that goes along with the rules of Allah in the Qur'an.

How powerful is it the Godly belief, Qur'ani belief..? God describes the power as in chapter 13 verse 31: "If there were a Qur'an with which mountains were moved, or the earth were cloven asunder, or the dead were made to speak, (this would be the one!)"

Having Godly beliefs is important because: 

  1. they determine the behavior,
  2. they deflect the bad desire/provocation of satan, automatically making the desire/satan powerless.

If a person has Godly belief as follows: "God bestows wealth differently to people", then the bad desire/satan provocation that is automatically beaten is jealousy and prejudice.

If a person has Godly belief as follows: "God's decision or destiny is good", the bad desire/satan provocation that is automatically beaten in disappointment, sadness and despair.

If a person has Godly belief as follows: "good deeds are for ourselves, not for people whom he helps", then the low desire/satan provocation which is automatically beaten is asking something in return for his deeds. 

If a person has Godly belief as follows: "doing evil things earns sins & increasing the chance to go to hell", the bad desire/satan provocation which is automatically beaten is cheating, getting drunk, using drugs, stealing, and other wrongdoings.

If a person has Godly belief as follows: "whoever does cruelty/wrongdoings to him, then that bad person will have to be responsible in the hereafter", then the bad desire/satan provocation that is automatically beaten is having grudge and resentment.

If a person has Godly belief as follows: "children is the a trust from God, his children are not actually his but God's", then the bad desire/satan provocation that is automatically beaten is "torturing" the children in anyway.

If a person has Godly belief as follows: "the only role model is Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)", he will not idolize or follow other people such as celebrities.

If a person has Godly belief as follows: "the best human being is the one who obeys God the most", he will not be fooled by materialistic success.

… and there are many more Godly beliefs we find in the Qur'an.

So it is important to have as many Godly beliefsas possible because those beliefs will protect the heart from becoming dirty (sinful) with the bad desire/satan provocationHaving Godly beliefs makes it easier for human being to obey God's commands in the Qur'an and the sayings of Prophet (hadits). And it is the promise of God as stated in the Qur'an that if we always obey the rules of God, we will always be truly happy:

"We said, "Go down from it, all of you. And when guidance comes to you from Me, whoever follows My guidance – there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve." (Qur'an ch.2 verse 38)

"Yes [on the contrary], whoever submits his face in Islam to Allah while being a doer of good will have his reward with his Lord. And no fear will there be concerning them, nor will they grieve." (Qur'an ch.2 verse 112)

So, gain as many Godly beliefs as possible…!

Twitter: Maharani Hasibuan

 

Knowledge Versus Godly Belief

Piety of every person is not the same. Two men graduated from the same university, studying the same subject (Islam) turn out to have different piety, points of views and behavior. Even Al Qur'an scholars have different piety and attitude. What causes the differences?

There is a true experience when an ustadz (religious teacher) of a boarding Islamic school asked ten of his students came to him. He wanted to know the result of the Islamic studying of his students. The teacher gave each of the students a pigeon. 

"Please find a place where nobody can see you and slaughter the bird I just gave you. After that, come back to me bringing the dead pigeon," he ordered.

The ten students ran to find hidden places to slaughter the birds. After slaughtering, the students came back to the teacher and showed their work. It turned out that all students slaughtered the bird except one student. The teacher asked him why he didn't do what he was asked to do. The student answered, "I tried to find a place where nobody can see me. I couldn't find it, because wherever I go, I believe that Allah (God) sees me all the time. So, I didn't slaughter this bird."

Those ten students studied the same thing for years with the same teachers. However not all of them did the same thing. Thus, knowledge does not determine the behavior or deed. So, what drives the action or behavor? It is belief. The belief that God is always watching had prevented that one student from slaughtering the bird. Such a belief is called Godly belief.

Knowledge and belief is just like flour and bread. Eating flour doesn't make a person full but eating bread does. 

Flour <——————> Knowledge

Bread <—————–> Belief

Getting full <——————-> Behavior, attitude, action

 

However, knowledge is important because it is the raw material for obtaining belief in our heart or soul. God says in the Qur'an chapter 20 verse 114: "So high [above all] is Allah , the Sovereign, the Truth. And, [O Muhammad], do not hasten with [recitation of] the Qur'an before its revelation is completed to you, and say, "My Lord, increase me in knowledge." Also in chapter 39 verse 9: "…Say, "Are those who know equal to those who do not know?" Only they will remember [who are] people of understanding." 

But, if knowledge is not 'cooked' or processed further to become belief, then the knowledge that we have will not give benefit, meaning the knowledge will not lead to action or behavior. 

If a person takes Islam simply as a knowledge, that person will not behave according to the rules of God in the Qur'an. That's because Islam will be just a bunch of information that he puts in his brain. He knows but he doesn't believe. Meanwhile, if a person takes Islam as a belief or faith, he will put all the teachings in his heart or soul, resulting in parallel attitude. 

Knowing that God exists will not make a person prays five times a day and fast. But believing that God exists will make a person obeying the command of praying and fasting. Knowing that life is a test from God will not make a person patient. But believing that life is a test from God will make him patient in facing all the problems in his life. Knowing that Islam is the only religion approved by God will not make a person stay in Islam. But believing that Islam is the only religion approved by God will make a person stay in Islam forever and will not convert to other religion. Knowing that taking other things as god is unforgivable sin will not make a person stop 'worshipping' money and job position. But believing that taking other things as god is unforgivable sin will prevent a person from 'worshipping' money and job position. And knowing that doing bad things is actually booking a place in hell will not stop a person from lying, stealing, doing corruption, and cheating. But believing that doing bad things is the same as booking a place in hell will definitely stop a person from doing bad things.

Now, which one is more important? Having a great amount of knowledge or Godly belief? It is clear that piety or good behavior or good deeds is the result of having many Godly beliefs, not the result of having an abundant of knowledge. Piety, good behavior, good deeds are the result of having an abundant of Godly belief is the heart or soul, not the result of an abundant of knowledge in the brain. Therefore, our priority as a human being, as a creation of God is to gain as many Godly beliefs as possible.

Remember the saying of the Prophet, "knowledge without action is like lightning and thunder without rain." Having knowledge about Islam is not enough to produce piety or good deeds. In the sight of God, the best people are not those who are rich in knowledge but who are rich in piety or good deeds as God says in the Qur'an chapter 98 verse 7, "Those who have faith and do righteous deeds, they are the best of creatures .

 

 

 

 

Godly Beliefs

Believing is very important as it drives the action or behavior of people. Knowing does not result in behavior but belief does. Knowing (knowledge) lies on the brain while believing exists in the heart or soul. 

People behave according to what they believe, not what they know. Is it possible that two people who have the same religion have different attitude on the same problem? Is it possible that two people graduating from the same university, studying the same subjects from the same lecturers, have different opinion about the same issue? Is it possible that two religious preacher have different attitude on the same religious issue? Of course it is possible, because they have different beliefs in their hearts. Their knowledge is the same but their beliefs are different. 

So, people who have the same background, education, and experience turn out to behave differently upon the same issue. Again, that's because their beliefs are different. 

Furthermore, many people do outrageous, unbelievable things that we can't imagine. For example, many people steal, corrupt, abuse the people around them, kill other people simply because of the skin color & race, ruin the environment for gaining lots of profit. Many people are addicted to drugs, alcohol, fornication...and many more… What drives them to do that..? It's their beliefs, not their knowledge. Surely they know that killing, abusing, stealing, corrupting etc are wrongdoings but they still do that. They only 'know' that it is wrong but they don't believe it is wrong.

*********************************

Belief in someone's heart or soul will determine his behavior, attitude, and action. Morale values that a person has depends on the belief in his heart. The differences in attitude, behavior, morale value, and action are due to differences in people's beliefs in their hearts.

However, why African tiger has the same behavior with Sumatran tiger? Why elephants all over the world have the same behavior? Of course it's the same… Animals don't have heart or soul!

A person needs the right beliefs so that his attitude is right as well. But what sort of belief that a person must have in his heart? What is the criteria for the right, flawless belief? Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, "I leave you two thing in which if you hold on tight on them, you will never get lost. Those two things are Kitabullah (Al Qur'an) and my sunnah (Prophet's way of life and sayings)."

So, what a person needs is beliefs that are in accordance with the Qur'an and the Prophet's sayings and his way of life. Those beliefs are called Godly beliefs. The more Godly beliefs a person has, the stronger,healthier, and cleaner soul he has. Having the right beliefs in our soul will lead to noble behavior. Having the wrong beliefs in our soul will lead to sinful behavior. 

Some examples of Godly beliefs as contained in the Qur'an are:

  • The prosperity of every person is different. God doesn't give the same prosperity to people around us. If a person has this belief, he will not be jealous of other people's fortune. Allah (God) says in the Qur'an chapter 4 verse 32: "And in no wise covet those things in which God hath bestowed His gifts more freely on some of you than on others…"
  • There is only one God worthy of worship. If a person has this belief in his heart, he will not worship other than God (Allah) alone. God says: “Worship Allah and associate nothing with Him…” (ch.4:36)

  • Being kind is God's command. If a person believes it he will stay away from cruelty. God says: "…and to parents do good, and to relatives, orphans, the needy, the near neighbor, the neighbor farther away, the companion at your side, the traveler, and those whom your right hands possess. Indeed, Allah does not like those who are self-deluding and boastful.” (ch. 4:36)

  • Ruining the environment is against God's will. If a person has this belief, he will take care of the environment. God says: "And cause not corruption upon the earth after its reformation." (ch. 7:56)

  • Convert to other religion equals hell. If a person has this belief, he will not desire to change his own religion and he will not allow his family members to convert. God says: "If anyone desires a religion other than Islam (submission to God), never will it be accepted of him and in the hereafter he will be in the ranks of those who have lost (all spiritual good)." (ch. 3:85)
  • God's decision is always good. If a person has this belief, he will not complain, he will not be sad, and he won't be disappointed if bad things happen to him. God says in chapter 41 verse 46: "…nor is thy Lord ever unjust (in the least) to His servants." Furthermore, chapter 2 verse 216: "…But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But God knoweth, and ye know not."
  • Whoever holds his anger, heaven is the reward. If a person has this belief, he will never be angry at all and he has no problem in not getting angry. God says: "And for such as had entertained the fear of standing before their Lord's (tribunal) and had restrained (their) soul from lower desires, their abode will be the heaven." (ch. 79:40-41)
  • Backbiting & negative assumptions are sinful. If a person believe it, he will not gossip and avoid prejudice. God says: "O you who have believed, avoid much [negative] assumption. Indeed, some assumption is sin. And do not spy or backbite each other. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his brother when dead? You would detest it. And fear Allah ; indeed, Allah is Accepting of repentance and Merciful." (ch. 49:12)

…and there are many more of Godly beliefs. The Qur'an consists of 6,236 verses. It is equal to 6,236 Godly beliefs.

So, it is clear that having Godly beliefs, as many as possible, is very important as such beliefs can calm down the lower desires of human being and can deflect the provocation of satan. If a person has wrong beliefs in his heart, then his attitude and behavior will also be wrong and that's very dangerous. If a person has wrong knowledge, to some extent, it is still tolerable as knowledge doesn't determine behavior/attitude/action. It is the belief that forms the behavior. 

Gaining knowledge is important… But gaining Godly beliefs is more important…!

 

Faith without knowledge is like light in the hands of a baby… knowledge without faith is like light in the hands of a thief…

​Knowledge without action is like lightning and thunder without rain (saying of Prophet Muhammad)

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