[Al-Qur'an 50:6-8] Have they not looked at the heaven above them - how We structured it and adorned it and how it has no rifts? And the earth - We spread it out and cast therein firmly set mountains and made grow therein [something] of every beautiful kind, Giving insight and a reminder for every servant who turns [to Allah].

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The Right Religion (Deen)

No change should there be in the creation of Allah [Quran 30:30] 
Mission of the Messengers - XIII  



Abstract
Islam is based on the last revealed scripture, The Quran, revealed through Muhammad fourteen centuries ago.  It uses the phrase The Right Religion in some places. One of the decrees of The Right Religion is that there should be no change in the creation of Allah.

Transhumanism seeks to transform the human being. It aims to tinker with the very core of what makes us human. It is beautifully packaged in the rhetoric of progress of mankind and the promise of transcending the existential challenges facing mankind.  

This study is an attempt at understanding the phrase The Right Religion [الدِّينُالْقَيِّمُ] in its usage across the Quran, in the context of the Creator God’s absolute right to decree and command; and through His guidance, understand the reason why there should be no change in Allah’s creation, especially in human nature.


Full Text

بَلِ اتَّبَعَ الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا أَهْوَاءَهُم بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ
فَمَن يَهْدِي مَنْ أَضَلَّ اللَّهُ وَمَا لَهُم مِّن نَّاصِرِينَ

فَأَقِمْ وَجْهَكَ لِلدِّينِ حَنِيفًا
فِطْرَتَ اللَّهِ الَّتِي فَطَرَ النَّاسَ عَلَيْهَا
لَا تَبْدِيلَ لِخَلْقِ اللَّهِ
ذَٰلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ
وَلَٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ

[Al-Quran 30:29 - 30] Nay, follow those who do wrong, their desires, without knowledge. Then who (can) guide (one) whom Allah has let go astray? And not for them any helpers. So direct your face toward the religion, inclining to truth. [Adhere to] the fitrah of Allah upon which He has created [all] peopleNo change should there be in the creation of AllahThat is the correct religion, but most of the people do not know. 

Al-Quran 30:30 is the basis of the series of posts subtitled Mission of the Messengers. A key phrase is ‘The Right Religion’. What does Genetic Engineering have to do with Religion, when Religion is Ancient and Genetic Engineering a modern scientific advancement of our age? Or is it so? 

Transhumanism (abbreviated as H+ or h+) is an international and intellectual movement that aims to transform the human condition by developing and making widely available sophisticated technologies to greatly enhance human intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities.

Why should Believers resist improvements in their condition when twenty-first century technologies hold promises of greatly enhanced capacities? The Quran is a Book about humans and the temporal human condition. It informs us of past events we have long forgotten, to help us prepare for an eternal future. The following ayaat remind us of what we were, and what we’ve lost, and more importantly, what we can aspire for!

Allah creates good everything that He creates:
[Al-Quran 32:7] The One Who made good every thing He created, and He began (the) creation (of) man from clay.

Furthermore, Allah is maintaining His creation in harmony:
[Al-Quran 35:41] Indeed, Allah upholds the heavens and the earth, lest they cease. And if they should cease, not can uphold them any one after Him. Indeed, He is Most Forbearing, Oft-Forgiving.

If Allah were to permit corruption, the entire creation would eventually sync out of balance, as forewarned:  
[Al-Quran  55:7 – 55:9] And the heaven, He raised it and He has set up the balance, That not you may transgress in the balance. And establish the weight in justice and (do) not make deficient the balance.

Yet, in this temporal test, there is no compulsion in religion (الدِّينِ):
[Al-Quran 2:256] (There is) no compulsion in the religion. Surely has become distinct the right (path) from the wrong. Then whoever disbelieves in false deities and believes in Allah, then surely he grasped the handhold - [the] firm, (which) not (will) break [for it]. And Allah (is) All-Hearing, All-Knowing.

Changing Allah’s creation is an audacious and futile effort, as nobody can improve upon His creation. The result of such efforts is corruption of creation: [Al-Quran 30:41] Has appeared the corruption in the land and the sea for what have earned (the) hands (of) people, so that He may let them taste a part (of) that which they have done so that they may return.

Humans have been granted the free-will to choose what they will. When the crimes of humanity exceed a certain limit, divine intervention becomes necessary to contain the corruption and save the Believers from extinction:
[Al-Quran 30:47]  And verily, We sent before you Messengers to their people, and they came to them with clear proofs; then We took retribution from those who committed crimes. And it was incumbent upon Us (to) help the believers.

On the promised Day, the criminals will be punished, and the Believers rewarded for their deeds:
[Al-Quran 30:43 - 44] So set your face to the religion right, before [that] comes a Day not (can be) averted [it] from Allah. That Day, they will be divided. Whoever disbelieves, then against him (is) his disbelief. And whoever does righteousness, then for themselves they are preparing,
       
The phrase  الدِّينُالْقَيِّمُ  comprises of two words: الدِّينُ and الْقَيِّمُ . Looking up its usage across the Quran, both together and independently, it helps to realize and understand what the phrase really means: 

Qayim [الْقَيِّمُ]
Qayyim means correct, right, straight, and shares the same root with mustaqqim: [the straight path we pray for daily اهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ]

Adjective
(6:161:9) qiyaman
قُلْ إِنَّنِي هَدَانِي رَبِّي إِلَىٰ صِرَاطٍ مُسْتَقِيمٍ دِينًا قِيَمًا
Adjective
(9:36:21) l-qayimu
ذَٰلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ فَلَا تَظْلِمُوا فِيهِنَّ أَنْفُسَكُمْ
(12:40:27) l-qayimu
أَمَرَ أَلَّا تَعْبُدُوا إِلَّا إِيَّاهُ ذَٰلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ
(18:2:1) qayyiman
قَيِّمًا لِيُنْذِرَ بَأْسًا شَدِيدًا مِنْ لَدُنْهُ
(30:30:17) l-qayimu
ذَٰلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ وَلَٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ
(30:43:4) l-qayimi
فَأَقِمْ وَجْهَكَ لِلدِّينِ الْقَيِّمِ مِنْ قَبْلِ أَنْ يَأْتِيَ يَوْمٌ لَا مَرَدَّ لَهُ  مِنَ اللَّهِ
Nominal
(1) Noun
(98:5:16) l-qayimati
وَذَٰلِكَ دِينُ الْقَيِّمَةِ
(2) Adjective
(98:3:3) qayyimatun
فِيهَا كُتُبٌ قَيِّمَةٌ

(2) Adjective
(1:6:3) l-mus'taqīma
اهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ


Deen [الدِّينُ]
Al-Quran 4:117 – 4:121 inform us that the rebellious Satan, when cursed by God, swore to take a portion of humans and said that:
‘… And I will mislead them, and I will arouse in them [sinful] desires, and I will command them so they will slit the ears of cattle, and I will command them so they will change the creation of Allah." And whoever takes Satan as an ally instead of Allah has certainly sustained a clear loss. …’

Al-Quran 20:118 informs us that there was enough in the Garden for Adam and his wife to neither go naked nor hungry. In Adam’s Attempt to Improve upon Allah’s Creation, I have discussed the genetic loss of natural clothing that Adam and his wife suffered in their pursuit of Immortality. It’s a loss we all witness constantly on our own bodies (our bare skin) throughout our lives. Our clothing is a sign from Allah!   

Surah at-Teen reasons that since humans have gone from being an excellent creation to a much lower form, then how can anyone belie the Deen:   

[Al-Quran 95:1-8, Translator: Safi Kaskas] By the fig and the olive and [by] Mount Sinai and [by] this secure city [Mecca], We have certainly created the human being in the best of stature; Then We return him to the lowest of the low, except for those who believe and do righteous deeds, for they will have an uninterrupted reward. So, do you still deny this faith? Isn't God the most Just of Judges?

[Al-Quran 95:1-8, Translator: Muhammad Asad] CONSIDER the fig and the olive, and Mount Sinai, and this land secure! Verily, We create man in the best conformation; and thereafter We reduce him to the lowest of low excepting only such as attain to faith and do good works: and theirs shall be a reward unending! What, then, [O man,] could henceforth cause thee to give the lie to this moral law?* Is not God the most just of judges?  


The Quran starts with a prayer that is recited multiple times in the daily obligatory prayers. It includes the declaration that Allah is [مَالِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ] meaning Lord of Day of The Religion or Moral Law, and is generally understood to mean the Day of Judgment or Requital.  

Surah al-Fateha
Transliteration          Maliki yawmi alddeeni
T.B.Irving                   Ruler on the Day for Repayment!  
Safi Kaskas                Master of the Day of Judgment.     
A M Daryabadi          Sovereign of the Day of Requital.  
Ahmed Ali                 King of the Day of Judgement.       


Surah at-Taubah
[Al-Quran 9:33] He (is) the One Who has sent His Messenger with the guidance and the religion (of) [the] truth, to manifest it over all religions. Even if dislike (it) the polytheists.

Surah al-Fath
[Al-Quran 48:28] He (is) the One Who (has) sent His Messenger with guidance and (the) religion, the true that He (may) make it prevail over the religions all. And sufficient is Allah (as) a Witness.

Surah as-Saff
[Al-Quran 61:9] He (is) the One Who sent His Messenger with guidance and (the) religion (of) the truth, to make it prevail over the religion all of them, although dislike (it) the polytheists.
           

What is The Right Religion? [الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ]  

The phrase [الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ] has been used in the Quran in the following ayaat:

9:36 Indeed, the number of months with Allah is twelve [lunar] months in the register of Allah [from] the day He created the heavens and the earth; of these, four are sacred. That is the correct religion, so do not wrong yourselves during them. And fight against the disbelievers collectively as they fight against you collectively. And know that Allah is with the righteous [who fear Him].

12:40 You worship not besides Him except [mere] names you have named them, you and your fathers, for which Allah has sent down no authority. Legislation is not but for Allah. He has commanded that you worship not except Him. That is the correct religion, but most of the people do not know.

30:30 So direct your face toward the religion, inclining to truth. [Adhere to] the fitrah of Allah upon which He has created [all] people. No change should there be in the creation of Allah. That is the correct religion, but most of the people do not know.  

30:43 So direct your face toward the correct religion before a Day comes from Allah of which there is no repelling. That Day, they will be divided.

98:5 And they were not commanded except to worship Allah , [being] sincere to Him in religion, inclining to truth, and to establish prayer and to give zakah. And that is the correct religion.

Notice that Q30:30 and Q30:43 both ayaat are from Surah Ar-Rum. The ayaat in between them, Q30:31-39, list the requirements of the correct religion beginning with establishing prayer, strict monotheism, sincerity in worship, belief in qadr, spending in charity and refraining from usury; Q30:40 reminds us that Allah alone grants life and death and will resurrect, and then Q30:41-43 mentions the present, past and future consequences of not adhering to the Right Religion!     


Surah al-An’am
[Al Quran 6:161] Say, "Indeed (as for) me, has guided me my Lord to a straight path - a religion right, religion (of) Ibrahim - a true monotheist. And not he was from the polytheists.

Earlier in the Surah, the straight path is listed as: 
[Al-Quran 6:150-155, Translator: Yusuf Ali] Say: "Bring forward your witnesses to prove that God did forbid so and so." If they bring such witnesses, be not thou amongst them: Nor follow thou the vain desires of such as treat our signs as falsehoods, and such as believe not in the Hereafter: for they hold others as equal with their Guardian-Lord. Say: "Come, I will rehearse what God hath (really) prohibited you from": Join not anything as equal with Him; be good to your parents; kill not your children on a plea of want;- We provide sustenance for you and for them;- come not nigh to shameful deeds. Whether open or secret; take not life, which God hath made sacred, except by way of justice and law: thus doth He command you, that ye may learn wisdom. And come not nigh to the orphan's property, except to improve it, until he attain the age of full strength; give measure and weight with (full) justice;- no burden do We place on any soul, but that which it can bear;- whenever ye speak, speak justly, even if a near relative is concerned; and fulfil the covenant of God: thus doth He command you, that ye may remember. Verily, this is My way, leading straight: follow it: follow not (other) paths: they will scatter you about from His (great) path: thus doth He command you. that ye may be righteous. Moreover, We gave Moses the Book, completing (Our favour) to those who would do right, and explaining all things in detail,- and a guide and a mercy, that they might believe in the meeting with their Lord. And this is a Book which We have revealed as a blessing: so follow it and be righteous, that ye may receive mercy:


When beginning the narration about Adam being tempted to eat off the forbidden tree in pursuit of Immortality and a Kingdom that Never Decays, it is stated in Surah Taha:
[Al-Quran 20:115] And verily We made a covenant with Adam before, but he forgot; and not We found in him determination.   

Surah az-Zumar extensively discusses sincerity in DEEN, and concludes with the picture of QIYAMAT when God will judge us all. 

[Al-Quran 39:6768] And not they appraised Allah (with) true appraisal, while the earth entirely (will be) in His Grip (on the) Day (of) the Resurrection, and the heavens (will be) folded in His Right Hand. Glory be to Him! And High is He above what they associate (with Him). And (will) be blown [in] the trumpet, then (will) fall dead whoever (is) in the heavens and whoever (is) on the earth except whom Allah wills. Then (it will) be blown [in it] a second time, and behold! They (will be) standing waiting.    

[Al-Quran 11:118-119] And if your Lord (had) willed surely He (could) have made the mankind one community, but not they will cease to differ.  Except (on) whom your Lord has bestowed Mercy, and for that He created them. And will be fulfilled (the) Word of your Lord, "Surely I will fill Hell with the Jinn and the men all together."

Surah al-Waqi`ah informs us of the three categories that people will be divided in and that it’ll be an alternate form of creation. 

Justice [قِسْط] vs Injustice [ظُلْم
Surah al-A`raf ayat 29 orders justice [قِسْط] and gives good news to those who comply with sincere submission: 
[Al-Quran 7:29] Say, "My Lord has ordered justice and set your faces at every masjid and invoke Him (being) sincere to Him (in) the religion. As He originated you (so) will you return." 

Zulm means injustice, and polytheism is a great injustice:
[Al-Quran 31:13] And when said Luqman to his son while he (was) instructing him, "O my son! (Do) not associate partners with Allah. Indeed, associating partners (is) surely an injustice great."

Satan commands injustice on many levels, from the smallest to the gravest, leading up to eventually polytheism and to making changes in the creation of Allah, specially the human software, so as to lead humanity into loss and extinction.

Surah Ghafir quotes the Believer admonishing his people against the ‘zulm’ they were indulging in: 
[Al-Quran 40:30 - 31, Translator: Rodwell] Then said he who believed, "O my people! truly I fear for you the like of the day of the allies, The like of the state of the people of Noah and Ad and Themoud, And of those who came after them; yet God willeth not injustice to his servants.
 
Transhumanism is the gravest evil facing humanity in this twenty first century. It seeks to corrupt the very core of what makes us human. It is beautifully packaged in the rhetoric of progress and the promise of transcending the existential challenges facing mankind. 

The consequences of Wronging the Self have been mentioned in the Quran. Genetic studies of Apes and Pigs support the Quran’s claim that when People of the Book wronged themselves, they were transformed as a deterrent punishment for those to come later. Our technology makes it possible to wrong ourselves, and it shows us the genetic evidence of how things may go wrong.  Those who do not believe in the scripture try to find their answers in their Theories of Evolution. The Believers need to realize the direct relevance of the scripture to our times and its pertinent reasoning.

May Allah save us from the deception and injustice of Transhumanism, the evil that threatens to corrupt our very being!

[Al-Quran 16:33 - 34, Translator: Yusuf Ali] Do the (ungodly) wait until the angels come to them, or there comes the Command of thy Lord (for their doom)? So did those who went before them. But God wronged them not: nay, they wronged their own souls. But the evil results of their deeds overtook them, and that very (Wrath) at which they had scoffed hemmed them in.  

Surah Ahzaab cites injustice as a reason why humans are unfaithful to their Trust, and this is why we must be judged:
[Al-Quran 33:7273, Translator: Safi Kaskas] We offered the Trust to the heavens, the earth and the mountains; but they refused to bear it and feared it, yet the human being took it on. He has always been unjust and ignorant, [This is in order that] God punishes the hypocrites, men and women, as well as the men and women who associate others with Him, and why God turns mercifully towards the believing men and women, for God is the Ever-Forgiving, the Mercy Giver.

Is knowledge of creation the Trust we are entrusted with? Why grant us, or any other creation the knowledge, if we are not to use it? Do we have a greater purpose than just living our lives in this temporal world and enjoying the delights of the Gardens in the Hereafter? The Quran reiterates that the Gardens of the Hereafter will be granted as an inheritance. Inheritance implies ownership and responsibility. Furthermore, there seems to be a very grand role awaiting some of us in the Divine Government:

Surah Al-Qamar
Indeed, the righteous (will be) in gardens and river, 
In a seat (of) honor near a King Most Powerful.





Concordance in the Qur’an:
 الدِّينِ

الْقَيِّمُ

ظُلْم

قِسْط



Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Wronging the Self

No change should there be in the creation of Allah [Quran 30:30] 
Mission of the Messengers-XII

Related posts:
Mission of the Messengers
Part IV: Balance & Guidance
Part V: Crime & Punishment
Part VI: Immortality & A Kingdom that Never Decays
Part VII: Days of Allah
Part XI: The Womb 

Abstract
Understanding how we wrong our self by changing the creation of Allah.

Full Text


قَالَا رَبَّنَا ظَلَمْنَا أَنفُسَنَا وَإِن لَّمْ تَغْفِرْ لَنَا وَتَرْحَمْنَا لَنَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ


[Al-Qur’an 7:23] Both of them said "Our Lord we have wronged ourselves, and if not You forgive [for] us and have mercy (on) us, surely, we will be among the losers."


To Wrong the Self 
Adam and his wife cried out that they had wronged themselves. The Qur’an informs us that the creation of Allah should not be changed, and warns us that changing what is within will result in Allah changing our condition. When Adam was placed in the Garden, he was warned to not to let Satan get him out of the state he was in:

[Al-Qur’an 20:11720:119] Then We said, "O Adam! Indeed, this (is) an enemy to you and to your wife. So not (let) him drive you both from Paradise so (that) you would suffer. Indeed, for you that not you will be hungry therein and not you will be unclothed. And that you not will suffer from thirst therein and not exposed to the sun's heat."

Obeying Satan made them slip from the wonderfully comfortable state they were in:

[Al-Qur’an 2:36] Then made [both of] them slip the Shaitaan from it, and he got [both of] them out from what they [both] were in [it]. And We said, "Go down (all of you), some of you to others (as) enemy; and for you in the earth (is) a dwelling place and a provision for a period."

We, the progeny of Adam, have also been forewarned to not to let Satan get us out as he got Adam and his wife out of the Garden:

[Al-Qur’an 7:27] O Children (of) Adam! (Let) not tempt you [the] Shaitaan as he drove out your parents from Paradise, stripping from both of them their clothing to show both of them their shame. Indeed, he sees you - he and his tribe from where not you see them. Indeed, We have made the devils friends of those who (do) not believe.


Consequences of Wronging the Self
Advances in Genetic Engineering promise revolutionary changes in health and longevity, if not immortality. It is tempting to get swayed by them, just as Adam got tempted by the promise of immortality. However, our Creator has forewarned us to not to tinker with His creation. When we change what is within us, we will earn the harm and cause ourselves to be removed from the state we are into a worse state of being:

[Al-Qur’an 13:10 - 13:11] (It is) same (to Him) [of you] (one) who conceals the speech or (one) who publicizes it and (one) who [he] (is) hidden by night or goes freely by day. For him (are) successive (Angels) before him and behind him, who guard him by (the) Command of Allah. Indeed, Allah (does) not change the condition of a people, until they change what (is) in themselves. And when Allah wills for a people misfortune, then (there is) no turning away of it, and not for them besides Him any protector.


When the Ancients Wronged the Self
The Ancients were punished for similar crimes:

[Al-Qur’an 8:52 - 8:53] Like (the) way (of) people of Firaun and those who (were) before them. They disbelieved in (the) Signs (of) Allah, so Allah seized them for their sins. Indeed, Allah (is) All-Strong (and) severe (in) the penalty. That (is) because Allah is not One Who changes a favor which He had bestowed on a people until they change what (is) in themselves. And indeed, Allah (is) All-Hearing, All-Knowing.


When the People of the Book Wronged the Self
The Bani Israel were punished for their violations:

[Al-Qur’an 2:652:66] And indeed, you knew those who transgressed among you in the (matter of) Sabbath. So We said to them, "Be apes, despised." So We made it a deterrent punishment for those (in) front (of) them and those after them and an admonition for those who fear (Allah).

[Al-Qur’an 5:59 - 5:605:61] Say, "O People (of) the Book! Do you resent [of] us except that we believe in Allah and what has been revealed to us and what was revealed before, and that most of you (are) defiantly disobedient." Say, "Shall I inform you (of) worse than that (as) recompense from Allah? Whom Allah has cursed and He became angry with him and made of them [the] apes and [the] swines, and (who) worshipped the false deities. Those (are) worse (in) position and farthest astray from (the) even way." And when they come to you they say, "We believe." But certainly they entered with disbelief and they certainly went out with it. And Allah knows best [of] what they were hiding.

[Al-Qur’an 7:164 - 7:166] And when said a community among them, "Why (do) you preach a people, (whom) Allah (is going to) destroy them or punish them (with) a punishment severe?" They said, "To be absolved before your Lord and that they may become righteous." So when they forgot what they had been reminded with [it], We saved those who forbade [from] the evil, and We seized those who wronged with a punishment wretched, because they were defiantly disobeying. So when they exceeded all bounds about what they were forbidden from it, We said to them, "Be apes, despised."




The Correct Religion
We have been commanded and warned:

[Al-Qur’an 30:30] So set your face to the religion upright. Nature (made by) Allah (upon) which He has created mankind [on it]. No change (should there be) in the creation (of) Allah. That (is) the religion the correct, but most men (do) not know.


Scientific Findings 

Apes
The science journal Nature reported:
"The bonobo genome shows that more than 3% of the human genome is more closely related to either bonobos or chimpanzees than these are to each other. This can be used to illuminate the population history and selective events that affected the ancestor of bonobos and chimpanzees. In addition, about 25% of human genes contain parts that are more closely related to one of the two apes than the other. Such regions can now be identified and will hopefully contribute to the unravelling of the genetic background of phenotypic similarities among humans, bonobos and chimpanzees."


Pigs
In Genome-wide characterization of PRE-1 reveals a hidden evolutionary relationship between suidae and primates, the authors write:
"Although mammals share most of the same genes, the pig has always been thought to be a better biomedical model to humans than rodents due to its similar biochemical and physiological functions. The pig genome has been decoded, providing an necessary resource for mining similar genomic elements in non-coding regions. The SINE composition, being the second most abundant in terms of genome coverage, was the first to be considered for genomic mining. In this report, we described a parallel world of porcine PRE-1 that almost copies all of the genomic performance of the human Alu element in the genome. In addition, we further explained that the formation of PRE-1 fragments of different lengths is based on a mutation hot spot-dependent fracture mechanism. Lastly, we compared the evolutionary behavior of porcine PRE-1 with that of human Alus and concluded that they are both descended from 7SL RNA and generated by different, independent evolutionary pathways. Therefore, all of the genomic evidence for a closer taxonomic relationship between the suidae and primate are not limited to the genes but also extended to the SINEs."


Last updated on: February 19, 2017