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Jamadi Thani / Rajab 1425 H July 2004
Volume 17-07 No : 211
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Religion - Dr. Zakir Naik


Is the Quran God's Word? - Part 10

Is the Quran God's Word? - Part 10

By Dr. Zakir Naik

In the nine articles that have appeared in this series, we have disproved and confuted all the allegations of disbelievers and critics regarding the origin of the Qur’an. The Qur’an earns your respect because you cannot disqualify it. The Qur’an is of Divine Origin. It is a revelation from the Creator of the humankind.

QURANIC CONCEPT OF GOD:

Every Theist Should Agree That Qur’an Is The Word Of God :

No logical person who believes in the existence of God can deny that Qur’an is God’s word after being presented all these proofs (please refer all nine articles in this series). To the atheist who does not believe in the existence of God, the question, “is the Qur’an the God’s word?” is baseless. He does not believe in God, therefore such a question does not arise in his mind.

C0NGRATULATIONS TO ATHEISTS:

The first thing I would like to do, on meeting an atheist is say ‘congratulations’. Most of those who believe in some concept of god have blind faith or belief. Many a person is a Christian, because his father is a Christian; many others are Hindus because their parents are Hindus. Many Muslims are Muslims simply because their parents are Muslims. A vast majority of the people in the world blindly follow the religion of their parents. An atheist, on the other hand, even though he may be belong to a religious family, uses his intellect while denying the existence of God because he / she disagrees with the qualities of God that he has learnt in his religion or from his parents.

Muslims may question me: “Zakir, why do you congratulate an atheist?” The reason that I congratulate an atheist is because he agrees with the first part of the Shahaadah i.e. Islamic creed which reads ‘Laa ilahaa’ i.e. ‘there is no God’. Half the job is already done. Now the only part left for such a person today is ‘illallah’ i.e. ‘except Allah’. Whereas with others, one has to first remove the wrong concepts of god they have in their minds, and then put the concept of the one true God.

LOGICAL CONCEPT OF GOD:

My first question to the atheist is “what is the definition of God?” For a person to say there is no God, he should know what the meaning of God is. Suppose I hold a book and say ‘this is a pen’. The opposite person should know the definition of a pen for him to refute and say that it is not a pen. Even if he does not know what I am holding in my hand, for him to say that this is not a pen, he should at least know what does a pen mean. In a similar manner, for an atheist to say ‘there is no god’, he should at least know the concept of God. His concept of God is derived from the surroundings in which he lives or has been brought up. The deity that people worship has human qualities and hence he does not believe in such a god. Similarly, a Muslim too does believe in such false gods.

If a non-Muslim believes that Islam is a merciless religion that preaches terrorism, a religion that does not give rights to women, a religion that contradicts science, in this limited sense that non-Muslim is correct to reject his notion of Islam. The problem is that he has a wrong picture of Islam. Even I reject such a false picture of Islam, but at the same time, it is my duty as a Muslim to present the correct picture of Islam to that Non-Muslim. It is up to us to remove misconceptions and explain that Islam is a merciful religion, that it gives equal rights to women, it does not conflict with logic, reason and science – and once we do so, that non-Muslim may InshaAllah accept Islam.

Similarly, an atheist rejects the false models, notions and concepts of god. It is the duty of every Muslim to present the correct concept of God.

CONCEPT OF GOD ACCORDING TO SURAH IKHLAAS:

The best definition, of Almighty God, that you can find in the Qur’an is in Surah Ikhlaas, Chapter 112 verse 1-4 “Say he is Allah, the one and only.

The eternal, the absolute.

He begets not, nor is He begotten

And there is none like Him”.

(112:1-4)

The word ‘assamad’ is difficult to translate. It means that absolute existence can be attributed only to Allah, all other existence being temporal or conditional. It also means Allah is not dependant on any person or thing but all persons and things are dependent on Him.

This is a four-line definition of Almighty God according to Qur’an. If any candidate claims to be God and satisfies this definition, we Muslims have no objection in accepting such a candidate as god. This Surah Ikhlaas is the acid test – it is the ‘Furqan’ or the criteria to judge between the One True God and the false claimants to divinity. Whichever deity that any human being on the face of this earth worships – if that deity fulfils these four criteria then such a deity is none else than the one true God.

For example, if some one says that Bhagwaan Rajneesh or ‘Osho’ is Almighty God, lets put Rajneesh to test. The first criteria is ‘Qul hu Allahu Ahad’ i.e. “say he is Allah, one and only”.

a. It is the touch stone of Theology

Surah Ikhlaas i.e. Chapter 112 of the Glorious Qur’an is the touchstone of Theology. ‘Theo’ in Greek means God and ‘logy’ means study. Thus ‘Theology’ means ‘study of God’ and Surah Ikhlaas is the touchstone of the study of God.

If you want to purchase or sell your gold jewellery, you would first evaluate it. Such an evaluation of gold jewellery is done by a goldsmith with the help of a touchstone. He rubs the gold jewellery on the touch stone and compares its colour with rubbing samples of gold. If it matches with 24 Karat gold he will tell that your jewellery is 24 Karat pure gold. If it is not high quality pure Gold, he will tell you its value whether 22 Karats, 18 Karats or it may not be gold at all. It may be fake because all that glitters is not gold.

Similarly Surah Ikhlaas (Chapter 112 of the Qur’an) is the touchstone of theology, which can verify whether the deity that you worship is a true God or a false God. Thus, Surah Ikhlaas is a four-line definition of Almighty God according to the Qur’an. If any one claims to be, or is believed to be Almighty God, and satisfies this four-line definition, we Muslims will readily accept that deity as God. This Chapter of the Glorious Qur’an, Surah Ikhlaas, is the acid test. It is the ‘Furqan’ or the criterion to judge between the one True God and false claimants to divinity. Hence, whichever deity any human on earth worships, if such a deity fulfills the criteria specified in this Chapter of the Qur’an, then this deity is worthy of worship and is the One True God.

b. Is Bhagwan Rajneesh God?

Some people say that Bhagwan Rajneesh or Osho Rajneesh is Almighty God. Please note my words; I have stated that some people say that Bhagwan Rajneesh is Almighty God. Once during a question-answer session there was a Hindu gentleman who misunderstood my statement. He said that Hindus do not worship Rajneesh as God. I am aware that Hinduism does not consider Rajneesh to be God. Rajneesh has followers, who are converts to his philosophy / ideology, but who were originally followers of various different religions.

Let us put this candidate Bhagwan Rajneesh to the test of Divinity as prescribed by Surah Ikhlaas, the touchstone of Divinity.

(i) The First Criterion is ‘Qul hu Allah hu ahad’ –‘say, He is Allah one and only’. Is Rajneesh one and only? We know several such fake god-men and claimants of divinity amongst humans. Several are found in our country, India. Rajneesh is surely not one and only. Not as a human and not even as a human claimant to godhood. However, some disciples of Rajneesh may still state that Rajneesh is unique and that he is one and only.

(ii) Let us analyze the second criterion ‘Allah hus samad’ – ‘Allah the Absolute and Eternal’. Is Rajneesh absolute and eternal? We know from his biography that he suffered from diabetes, asthama, and chronic backache. He alleged that the U.S.A. government gave him slow poison while he was in their jail. Imagine! Almighty God being poisoned! Moreover, all are aware that Rajneesh died and was cremated / buried. So Rajneesh was neither eternal, nor absolute

(iii) The third Criteria is ‘Lam ya lid wa lam yu lad’ – ‘He begets not, nor is begotten’. However, Rajneesh was begotten. He was born in Jabalpur in India. Like all humans, he too had a mother and a father. Later on they chose to become his disciples.

Rajneesh was a very intelligent person. In May 1981 he went to U.S.A. He established a town in Oregeon and named it ‘Rajneeshpuram’. It seems that he took America for a ride for the U.S. government arrested him and later deported him out of America in 1985. So Rajneesh returned to India and started a ‘Rajneesh Neosanyas commune in Pune in India which was later renamed the ‘Osho commune’.

If you visit this ‘Osho commune’ in Pune you will find it written on his tombstone, “Osho - never born, never died, only visited the planet earth between 11th Dec. 1931 to 19th Jan 1990”. They conveniently forget to mention on this tombstone that Rajneesh was not given a visa for 21 different countries of the world. Imagine Almighty God visiting the earth and requiring a visa! The Arch Bishop of Greece had said that if Rajneesh was not deported they would burn his house and those of his disciples.

(iv) The fourth test is so stringent that none besides the One True God, Allah (swt), can pass it. ‘Wa lam ya kullahu kufuwan ahad’ which means, ‘there is none like Him’. The moment you can imagine or compare the candidate or claimant to godhood to anything, this candidate is not god. Neither can you have a mental picture of God.

We know that Rajneesh was a human being. He had one head, two hands, two feet, and a white flowing beard. The moment you can think or imagine what the claimant to godhood is, he or she is not god.

Suppose someone says, “God is a thousand times as strong as Arnold Schwarzenegger”. Arnold Schwarzenegger is one of the strongest men on earth. He was given the title ‘Mr. Universe’. The moment you can compare Almighty God to anything, whether it is a 1000 times stronger or a million times stronger, whether it be Darasingh or Kingkong, the moment you can compare the claimant to godhood to anything, he is not God. ‘Wa lam ya kul lahu kufwan ahad’ ‘there is none like Him.’ n

(To be continued)

The author, Dr. Zakir Naik, is a well-known orator and scholar of Comparative Religion.
He is the President of the Mumbai-based Islamic Research Foundation. He may be reached at zakir@irf.net

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