Mission of the Messengers - XIV
The Bible and The Quran both inform us that we are made of dust:
In Surah al-Qadr, we read:
The difference between رُّوحُ and نَفْسُ is often lost in translations. In this post, translations of the Arabic word RUH are in dark purple bold letters, and translations of the Arabic word NAFS (Hebrew nephesh) are in light blue bold letters.
And in yourselves. Then will not you see?
What does it mean to purify the Nafs? What does it mean to corrupt it? And what does it mean to adhere to the Fitrat upon which Allah 'fatara' Humans (fitrata Allahi allatee fatara alnnasa AAalayha) and to not to make changes in the creation of Allah? Is it permissible to edit the genome; harvest and transplant organs; build chimeras; abort fetuses? Do we have sufficient clarity about our creation to confidently consider all or some of these as permissible? Or are these acts of corruption and crimes against creation?
Proponents of life-extension technologies quote Q5:32 to state that saving a life is like saving all mankind. Doesn't the ayat contain the exception clause 'he who kills a soul other than (for) a soul or (for) spreading corruption in the earth then (it) is as if he has killed all [the] mankind'? Wasn't Adam attempting life-extension when he tried to achieve Immortality as per Q20:114-124? Wasn't Adam the most knowledgable person as he had been taught all the names by God Himself? Weren't the ancients mightier and more knowledgable than us? Were they not also committing crimes that were corrupting creation?
And what exactly is death, the one that pre-exists this life, and the one that follows this life? Can we risk disobeying God based on our ignorance of the scripture?
Death being a state of being, it seems that the dead are conscious and able to experience and also communicate (though not with those still alive; see subtitle Barzakh below). Consider the following ayaat:
[Al-Quran 60:13, Translator: Shakir]
The Quran uses various words to inform us that it is Allah who has conceived, designed, originated, created and increases in creation, governs, sustains; and it is Allah to whom the Kingdom of the heavens and earth belongs. Therefore, Allah is the only Deity (ilah) and He alone is worthy of worship. Everything else is created, and no matter how great a task any created being may be entrusted with, everyone and everything, except Allah, is created and is serving Allah.
2:117 informs us that Allah is بَدِيعُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ
If we look at the usage of these words across the Quran, we find that 'badee' and 'fatara' are used exclusively as the acts of Allah, while 'khalaqa' is used for Allah and other beings. I think 'badee' refers to creation of something from nothing (primordial matter), and 'fatara' refer to separating and detailing the original design of all creation (software).
So, I infer that the acts of creation, and the preparation and revelation of the scriptures are all done under the instruction, guidance, supervision and control of Allah. Creation belongs to Allah and the scriptures are from Allah for our guidance. Al-Quran 2:252 states:
And Allah knows best.