We Can Not See God

Once there was a farmer who was a very good man. He worked hard on his farm and said his Salat/Namaz (prayer) on time every day.

Once he saw a sick man lying on the roadside. He helped him up and took him home to look after him. The next morning when the farmer got up for Salat he woke up his guest who said he did not want to pray.

The guest said that he could not see God so he did not want to pray to One whom he could not see. The farmer did not say anything. The next day the guest was feeling better and wanted to go home. The farmer walked with him across the fields. Suddenly they saw footprints. The guest told the farmer that they were the footprints of a tiger. "I don't believe that!" said the farmer. "I can't see a tiger here!"

The man looked surprised and said "Are these footprints not enough to tell you that a tiger was here?" The farmer said "Dear brother when you saw the footprints you believed that a tiger had passed this way; so are not the Sun, the Moon, the flowers, and the trees signs enough to make you believe that there must be one who made them?"

The man thought for a while and said "You are right. We can not see God with our eyes but we can understand from the things he has made that He exists."

Hence, from the above evidence, discussion and stories, we are certain that Almighty God exists. But just knowing is not sufficient. Because knowledge is simply a mental image, a reflection of some natural interaction upon the intellect. Even religious knowledge, like knowledge from holy texts, is not some sacred thing that automatically distinguishes the one who holds that knowledge.

It isn't necessary to immediately act on that information. Rather, we should allow it to ferment in the soul until it transforms into firmly rooted faith. It will then ignite an intense desire to act.

There is a huge gulf between knowledge and action, a gap that is not crossed but by the ship of faith. Look at how persistent some people are in defying the dictates of reason and true character, much less the things that have been spelled out clearly for them like religious prohibitions. They have the knowledge but it means nothing to them. Now, with the help of the following story we will learn how to place our faith in Almighty God firmly, with sound reasoning and full understanding.

Faith in God

The holy Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h.) was once walking with his companions when he saw an old lady working at a spinning wheel. Whilst she was working she was praising God for all that He had given her.

The holy Prophet (p.b.u.h.) greeted her and asked her: "Your faith is admirable; will you tell me what made you believe in God?"

The woman answered: "O Messenger of Almighty God! If I do not move my spinning wheel, it does not spin. If a simple thing like my spinning wheel, can not turn without help how it can be possible that the whole universe can operate so efficiently without a driving force.

There must be a Great one running it. Someone who controls every atom. The Great One can only be God, who is the Creator and Master of everything."

The holy Prophet (p.b.u.h.) was very pleased with the old woman's reply. Turning to his companions he said: "See how this old lady came to know about God through such a fine and simple way. Your faith in Almighty God should also be as firm as hers."

Inner Revolution

God is the greatest of all powers. No one can escape His reckoning. He will deal severely with the wicked. Belief in a God of this awesome nature is no simple matter; faith transforms a person a being when it enters his soul.

Imagine the change that comes over a person who suddenly realizes that a tiger is roaming freely in close vicinity of him. A far greater change occurs when one truly realizes the existence of God. To believe in God is to discover Him, and when one truly discovers God, one becomes more certain of His existence than of anything else, one fears Him above all else.

Faith in God is like an earthquake, which shakes the human soul. The true believer sees the Day of Resurrection before it comes. Such belief engulfs one's entire being in the fear of God.

This fear is manifested in all one's dealings with others. One does not humiliate the weak for one sees that they are God's envoys. One does not cover before the strong, because one sees that all are helpless before God. One accepts the truth when it is proven, for denying it would be like seeing heaven, and hell before one, then leaving the fresh gardens of paradise to plunge into the flames of hell.

From the above discussion, we know Almighty God exists everywhere and also we know how we should place our faith in Almighty God. Hence, now let us talk on the subject of Dua (prayer).

Dua and Its Exhortation

Dua (Supplication) in Arabic means "To call", and "To invoke". In the Islamic terminology, it means a humble prayer by a modest person to a superior. In another words, Dua means calling Almighty God for our needs and problems. It is a method of communication by means of which any soul on earth may present his/her requests to the Almighty God.

According to Ave Sina (his Persian name: Ibn Sina) in Kitab al-Najat: Dua (Prayer) is that which enables the soul to realize its divinity.

Through prayer human beings worship absolute truth, and seek an eternal reward. Prayer is the foundation-stone of religion; and religion is the means by which the soul is purified of all that pollutes it. Prayer is the worship of the Creator of all things, the Supreme ruler of the entire world, the Source of all strength. Prayer is the adoration of the one whose being is necessary.

The Almighty God likes to help us and He Himself asks us to call Him, whenever we need His help.

Almighty God, the most Exalted, says in His Glorious Book:

"(Oh! Prophet) when my servants ask you about me, then (say to them) verily, I am near. I answer the prayer of supplicant when he beseeches me". (The holy Qur'an. 2: 186 ) Many verses in the holy Qur'an lay stress on Dua, and explain the value of Dua. Also, there are numerous traditions of the holy Prophet (p.b.u.h) and Imams (p.b.u.t.) which stress on the importance of Dua in the life of a believer. Almighty God openly invites us for invocation.

"And your God says: Call upon Me, I will answer you". (The holy Qur'an. 40 : 60 ) Almighty God loves the hands of His creatures that are stretched before Him with all humility, imploring Him to grant his/her prayers.

Almighty God feels shy of returning those supplications unanswered and unattended. Saying of the holy Prophet (p.b.u.h.) confirms it. It is narrated by Salman Farsi, the holy Prophet (p.b.u.h.) said, "Almighty God is modest as well as generous. When His servant spreads his hands before Him [for prayers], He feels shy to return them empty handed" [Abu Dawood, Tirmizi. and Ibne Ma'ja]. His response comes in three ways:

Either He accepts, or differs, or sheds our sins; or elevates our position in Akhirah (Hereafter). But on the other hand we, human beings, due to our utter ignorance start complaining without understanding the logic, as it can be seen in the following story.

Shipwreck: Faith in Allah

The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for Allah to rescue him, and every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming.

Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect him from the elements, and to store his few possessions. But then one day, after scavenging for food, he arrived 'home' to find his little hut in flames, the smoke rolling up to the sky. The worst had happened; everything was lost. He was stunned with grief and despair.

"Allah, why have you forsaken me?" he cried. Early the next day, however, he was awakened by the sound of a ship that was approaching the island.

It had come to rescue him. "How did you know I was here?" asked the weary man of his rescuers. "We saw your smoke signal," they replied. The man's knees crumbled and he fell to the sandy ground and stretched out his arms towards the skies and cried out with joy: "O Almighty Allah, please forgive me for doubting you. You have shown me your great Mercy and I shall always put my trust and faith in You forever more."

It is easy to get discouraged when things are going bad. But we shouldn't lose heart in our trust and faith, because Allah is always near us, [ "...We are nearer to him than (his) jugular vein." (The holy Qur'an. 50:16 ) In other words, it means that Allah is quicker to our heart than the blood which flows through our heart] even in the midst of pain and suffering.

Remember, next time your little hut is burning to the ground it just may be a smoke signal that summons the Grace of Allah. For all the negative things we have to say to ourselves, Allah has a positive answer for it, if we sincerely have trust and faith in our hearts believe in only Him. Almighty God is very kind and magnanimous in showering His limitless bounties and infinite mercy on His obedient slaves.

Just P.U.S.H! This is a fictional story, only for the purpose of explanation and easy understanding. Because what we Muslims believe in Allah is different, as defined by Shaykh Saduq, one of the most distinguished scholars is as follows:

"Verily, Allah is One, Unique, nothing is like Him, He is Eternal; Hearing, Seeing, Omniscient, Living, Omnipotent, above every need. He can not be described in terms of substance, nor body, nor form, nor accident, nor line, nor surface, nor heaviness, nor lightness, nor color, nor movement, nor rest, nor time, nor space.

He is above all the descriptions which can be applied to His creatures. He is away from both extremes: Neither He is just a non-entity (as atheists implied), nor He is just like other things. He is Existent, not like other existing things."

A man was sleeping at night in his cabin when suddenly his room filled with light, and the God told the man he had work for him to do, and showed him a large rock in front of his cabin.

The God explained that the man was to push against the rock with all his might. So, the man did, day after day. For many years he toiled from sun up to sun down; his shoulders set squarely against the cold, massive surface of the unmoving rock, pushing with all of his might.

Each night the man returned to his cabin sore and worn out, feeling that his whole day had been spent in vain.