Life And Death

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  • Life And Death


    In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

      Chapter One What Was The Beginning?     No issue has ever raised more controversy among people as that of life and death. And no issue the scientists have ever meddled in by introducing unveracious knowledge as the issue of life and death! This is because death is a metaphysical matter to us, and we should seek the knowledge and characteristics of whatever is unknown only from Allah, praise and glory be to Him. For as long as it is invisible it should not be definitely included in the knowledge man possesses. Still, it is incorporated based on mere hypothesis and illusions, which subjects it to many forged lies.   That is what misled the scientists – since the beginning of creation – and made them suffer a state of confusion, loss, even contrariety. Some of them adopted the theory of evolution; alleging that man has descended from an ape called ‘Lucy’!   To such liars we say: â€˜Who told you so?’ None of the historical records that narrated to us the world events since the most ancient times informed us that a monkey once turned to a human! Did this monkey turn to a human being then such a transformation process stopped? Or what did truly happen? Furthermore, did this monkey turn to a male or a female human being! If it has turned to a male, it would extinct. The end is the same if it has turned to a female. And where is the evidence they have relied on to make such judgment?!   The different branches of sciences and scientific researches have witnessed extensive development in all domains, on a scale definitely incomparable to the means available during old ages. Technology has become the main trend of the modern age. But still we are challenging them, in spite of all this, to prove their claims substantially; show us how the monkey could turn to a human?!   Allah, praise and glory be to Him, has informed us of such forged lies in His Noble Book (the Noble Qur’an) and warned us against them saying (what means):   “I (Allah) made them (Iblîs and his offspring) not to witness (nor took their help in) the creation of the heavens and the earth and not (even) their own creation, nor was I (Allah) to take the misleaders as helpers.” (Al-Kahf, 18: 51)   Allah, praise and glory be to Him, has told us that there would come misleaders who would speak about the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the creation of people, and how it happened? The sole aim behind the falsehood uttered by such misleaders is to lead people astray. They have never witnessed the creation of the heavens and the earth, nor their own creation to be able to speak about it knowledgably.   The emergence of such misleaders who claim that man evolved from a monkey, and those who maintained scientific theories about human creation, is itself a substantiating poof of the question of Faith in the universe. For if they had not come and misled people, we would have said that Allah, praise and glory be to Him, has informed us in the Noble Qur’an that there would come misleaders who would tell us that the heavens and the earth were created in such and such fashion, that man was created in such and such fashion but they came not. Hence, their appearance is a must, for strengthening Faith.  

    A fruitless debate and sophistry

      Mankind was at a loss with respect to a trivial philosophical dilemma for which they had no proof; the dilemma of what was born first the egg or the chicken? Such an issue aroused many fruitless debates, and schools after schools were founded discussing such a topic. In reply to them all, we say, ‘No need for such sophistry, Allah, praise and glory be to Him, has saved us (from such a maze) and pointed to us how the very beginning of creation was.’ Allah, The Most Exalted, says (what means):   “And of everything We have created pairs, that you may remember (the Grace of Allah).”(Az-Zâriyât, 51: 49)   In the light of the knowledge we gain from Almighty Allah, the Qur’anic verse means that no creation can subsist unless through a male and a female. So, that fruitless debate, and that scientific nonsense (so to speak) are worthless. Allah, praise and glory be to Him, has told us that He has created of everything pairs. Therefore, without the hen, which fertilizes the egg inside the womb of the chicken, the egg will remain unfertilized and will yield nothing.   Allah, praise and glory be to Him, has willed that the process of creation be of four stages. Each stage is considered to be an indication of the Divine Inimitability of Allah and His endless Power. The Prophet Adam (peace be upon him) was the first created human being, as indicated by the noble Qur’anic verse in which The Truth [Al-Haqq: one of the Beautiful Names of Allah], be He highly blessed and exalted, says (what means):   “(Remember) when your Lord said to the angels: ‘Truly, I am going to create man from clay’. So when I have fashioned him and breathed into him (his) soul created by Me, then you fall down prostrate to him.”(Sâd, 38: 71-72)   That was the beginning of creation as Allah, praise and glory be to Him, has informed us. By breathing the soul Allah created into Adam, He originated in the loin of Adam (peace be upon him) all his offspring till the Day of Resurrection, having the form of very minute creatures written on them by a Divine code all the attributes of the human being. This is the creation Allah, The Exalted and Ever-Majestic, has revealed to us in the Noble Qur’an, saying (what means):   “And (remember) when your Lord brought forth from the Children of Adam, from their loins, their seed (or from Adam's loin his offspring) and made them testify as to themselves (saying): ‘Am I not your Lord?’ They said: ‘Yes! We testify,’ lest you should say on the Day of Resurrection: ‘Verily, we have been unaware of this.’ Or lest you should say: ‘It was only our fathers afortime who took others as partners in worship along with Allah, and we were (merely their) descendants after them; will You then destroy us because of the deeds of men who practised Al-Bâtil (i.e. polytheism and committing crimes and sins, invoking and worshipping others besides Allah)?’” (Al-A‘râf, 7: 172-173)   Some people may wonder saying, ‘What relates me to the Prophet Adam (peace be upon him) after the passage of all those long centuries?’ To them we say: In you there is a trace of the soul Allah has breathed into Adam (peace be upon him), which granted you life. Still, they ask, ‘How?’ We say that life is a continuous chain, if severed it would end. You were brought into being through a spermatozoon from you father, and unless your father existed you would not have been born. And your father is brought into being owing to a precedent life, which is your grandfather’s life. So, you exist as a result of another life that preceded your own and your grandfather also exists as a result of another preceding life and so on. This way, the chain of life continues till it is traced back to Adam (peace be upon him). It means if Adam (peace be upon him) did not come to life first, his offspring would not have existed. His offspring has obtained life from a spermatozoon in the loin of Adam (peace be upon him). From the life of Adam (peace be upon him) his offspring has obtained life and in turn transmitted it to their posterities.   Life proceeded thus, just as Allah has willed for it, until it passed to us and would pass to our children and our grandsons till the Last Hour is established.   Witnessing Allah in the immaterial existence   From the beginning Allah made all His creatures witness Him (and made them testify that He is their Lord), and none of mankind whether from the previous or future generations failed to witness Him. Unless mankind witnessed their lord they would not have been able to comprehend the question of belief in the unknown, and on top of it, belief in the Presence of Allah. Why? Because the human mind cannot grasp the meaning of abstract things, except by witnessing them.   You would not realize what does ‘a mountain’ mean, unless you really saw or climbed a mountain; similarly, you would not realize what does ‘a lake’ mean, unless you beheld it or saw a picture of it. Allah, praise and glory be to Him, has not been seen by any human being and no mind can ever grasp Him. Nevertheless, when the Name of Allah is mentioned, you find no difficulty in understanding the meaning. That He is the Omnipotent Power that has created, originated, maintained, and provided every thing. Also in worshipping Allah, you feel your heart is overwhelmed with serenity. All this proves that Allah has made us witness Him in the immaterial existence at the creation of Adam (peace be upon him). We also know that He is Omnipresent and is The Creator of everything. This is what we call the fiducial instinct.   We are all born having such fiducial instinct that fills our souls and hearts, and attracts us to The Supreme Creator. Each baby is born with such an instinct, as the Hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) says, â€˜Every baby is born with the instinct of Islamic monotheism, but its parents christianize it, judaize it or make it a magus.’  

    Forms of the creation of mankind

      We return to the forms of the creation of mankind, which are four:   The first is the creation without a male and a female; that is to say directly by Allah without causes, which is the creation of Adam (peace be upon him).   The second is the creation from a male only, that is the creation of Hawwa (Eve, may Allah be pleased with her) who has been created from the rib of Adam (peace be upon him), as the Noble Qur’an has told us in the verse in which Allah, The Truth, be He highly blessed and exalted, says (what means):   “O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person (Adam), and from him (Adam) He created his wife [Hawwa (Eve)], and from them both He created many men and women and fear Allah through Whom you demand your mutual (rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship). Surely, Allah is Ever an All­Watcher over you.” (An-Nisâ’, 4: 3)   The third is the creation from a male and a female, which takes place by the Will of Allah, praise and glory be to Him, and by causations.   The causative factors behind the third form of creation is the presence of a male and a female, but the Absolute Power of Allah, praise and glory be to Him, made such factors not function independently, but through the Will of The Causer and Originator. So, a man may marry a woman, and both have all the causative factors for having children, but they never do, owing to the Will of Allah that towers highly above all causes. Recite the noble Qur’anic verse in which Allah, The Most Exalted, says (what means):   “To Allah belongs the kingdom of the heavens and the earth. He creates what He wills. He bestows female (offspring) upon whom He wills, and bestows male (offspring) upon whom He wills. Or He bestows both males and females, and He renders barren whom He wills. Verily, He is the All-Knower and is Able to do all things.”(Ash-Shûra, 42: 49-50)   It is to understand well that even with the presence of the causative factors, represented in the male and female, reproduction may never occur, save by the Divine Will and the absolute Power of Allah. Thus, the union of a male and female may produce no offspring, because it is not a mechanical process that completely depends on man, for the Will of The Originator reigns supreme over all causes.   To complete the forms of creation comes the fourth kind, which is the creation of ÃŽesâ, (Jesus, peace be upon him), son of Maryum (Mary, may Allah be pleased with her) who has been created from a female only, without the male factor, whereby the four miracles of creation are perfected: creation without neither a male nor a female, creation from a male without a female, creation with the union of both, and creation from a female without a male. These are the four forms of creation.   Allah, praise and glory be to Him, has originated two different stages to be undergone by His Creation: life and death. Life is one of the Creations of Allah, praise and glory be to Him, as well as death.   The Truth, praise and glory be to Him, says (what means):   “Who has created death and life, that He may test you which of you is best in deed.”(Al-Mulk, 67: 2)   Each of these two stages (life and death) is governed by certain laws, about which we do not know but the very least that Allah, be He highly blessed and exalted, has imparted to us. Nevertheless, through this quite insignificant knowledge, we generalize our concepts concerning life and death.   Some people assume that nothing exists in this world beyond what we really see in everyday life, though those who endorse such sayings do die and come back to life everyday. In a second, they unconsciously move from one law of existence to another. The Truth, be He highly blessed and exalted, says (what means):   “It is Allah Who takes away the souls at the time of their death, and those that die not during their sleep. He keeps those (souls) for which He has ordained death and sends the rest for a term appointed. Verily, in this are signs for a people who think deeply.” (Az-Zumar, 39:42)    

    Laws of life and death

      When man goes to sleep he moves from one law of existence to another. While awake he is governed by certain laws; he sees material matters and proceeds with the daily activities of life depending on his mental power. This is the present world visible to man, the world that all mankind share. Nevertheless, when we go to sleep, we move to another world, a world that does not submit neither to reason, logic nor the laws of worldly life. We move out of the wheel of time. So, man cannot tell how long he has slept without resorting to an instrument for measuring time or natural phenomena. As when he sleeps by day and awakes to find it dark or sleeps by night, then the sunlight shines forth. Unless he depends on such means he will never know how long he has slept.   Sleep removes man from the realms of this life, thus he neither perceives it nor knows anything about it. He becomes completely separated from it. And as he becomes detached from the events of life, he becomes also detached from its laws. In dreams, man sees things, while his eyes are closed. He may feel as if he is running while his legs lie on bed unmoved. In dreams, he may also fall from a high mountain without being injured, and he may see himself flying or sinking into the ground. Moreover, while asleep man remains sensible so he may laugh, cry, or have a nightmare that makes him shout or rouse from sleep scared. Hence, man during sleep submits neither to reason, logic, nor the laws that govern our daily life. For instance, if you said to someone that you went to America and returned twenty times in one night, could he belie you? The answer is no. And if you told him that in your dreams you talked to so and so, who has died long ago, could he belie you? Again the answer is no.  

    What are the laws of sleep?

      As we have aforementioned during sleep, man submits to certain laws, that science can never discover. People agreed upon excluding whatever man sees while asleep from debatable laws. None can argue the reasonability of dreams, no matter how illogical they sounded or how deep they delved into the realms of the incredible.   Different psychological schools have tried hard to find a reasonable interpretation for what man sees in his dreams, but they all failed. In spite of the great achievements of psychology, all that has been achieved in this field is just mere guesswork and assumptions that never reached the truth.   Science has indicated that the maximum time during which the human mind is active while sleeping is seventeen seconds only. Nevertheless, man may see dreams that need an hour or more to be narrated.   Such kind of transmission from one law to another happens to all of us. Allah, praise and glory be to Him, being merciful to our minds, wanted to let us know that when man goes to sleep, he moves to the death world, and when he awakes, Allah, praise and glory be to Him, restores his soul to him, but why? So that man realizes that he can move from one law of existence to another, and another. Therefore, when man is informed that he is going to be immortalized in the hereafter, we should believe that he is going to be governed by other laws, and thus never wonder.   But how can man be immortal? Owing to a life governed by its special laws to which man shall submit.   Thus, each of us unconsciously moves from one law to another every night, then by the Power of Allah, we come back to the first law of life that governs us while awake, and then we sleep to move to another law.   I do not think that any of those who professes to have knowledge can tell us what are the laws to which man submits during sleep, or how can he see while his eyes are closed!? Or how can he run while his legs are motionless!? Or how can he travel when he has not left his place!?   Hence, man possesses other hidden faculties, we are unaware of, that function during sleep; and there are laws unknown to us which man passes through during his life journey.   The beginning of life   Many scientists have tried hard to depict for us how life started on earth, introducing many visions; as claiming that it has started with a unicellular creature and then the cell has undergone fission and developments, and so forth.   In answering them, we say that we are given life only by The One Who has created us, and the creator of a thing is the only one from whom we should seek an interpretation. Allah, praise and glory be to Him, The Creator, has informed us that he has created man from the clay of the earth. The modern science, which Allah has revealed to His creatures, has lately proved that this clay is composed of eighteen elements, all found in the human body.   The proportions of such elements may vary from one person to another. In some bodies, iron, magnesium or calcium can be less than other elements. Such deficiency can be discovered through modern chemical analyses, and then the doctor prescribes the medicine that compensates such kind of shortage. But in every body there always exists eighteen elements.   Allah, praise and glory be to Him, has informed us that He created man from clay and pottery clay of altered black smooth mud, as the noble Qur’anic verse saying (what means):   “(Remember) when your Lord said to the angels: ‘Truly, I am going to create man from clay’.” (Sâd, 38:71)   And the noble Qur’anic verse saying (what means):   “And (remember) when your Lord said to the angels: ‘I am going to create a man (Adam) from sounding clay of altered black smooth mud. So, when I have fashioned him completely and breathed into him (Adam) the soul which I created for him, then fall (you) down prostrating yourselves unto him.’” (Al-Hijr, 15: 28-29)   Thus, Allah, praise and glory be to Him, has specified to us the composing elements of the human body and the stages of creation. When a metaphysical issue is tackled Allah, praise and glory be to Him, out of mercifulness to our minds, approximates the meaning by setting forth examples from palpable realties. We have not witnessed the process of creation, but we do witness death everyday, it is a matter we all see.   Indeed, the destruction of anything is the opposite of its construction. For instance, if you are erecting a building you start by constructing the first floor and end up by the last floor. But in destruction you start by the last floor. Also, when traveling to Alexandria, your last destination would be Alexandria. But if you wanted to return, your first place of departure would be Alexandria. Hence, death happens contrarily to of life, because it destroys it.   The last thing that enters man’s body is the soul, as Allah, glory be to Him, has told us. It is also the first thing to depart the body. Afterwards, man’s body hardens, and becomes just like the hardened pottery clay of altered black smooth mud, then the body decomposes and becomes just like argil. Then water separates from mud; the water goes down the earth, and the mud turns to dust. That is the truth stated by the Noble Qur’an that death comes to bear witness to it.   Man desires to know what is Death? But we advice him first to know what is life? What inspires life in your body is the soul, which is a creature within you, though invisible to you. You perceive the soul neither by its shape or figure, rather by its effect, as it is the thing that inspires sense in you and endows you with life.  

    Bestowal of life in the soul

      Where is that soul? Is it in your mind that thinks? Or in your hands wherewith you hold? Or in your heart that beats with life? Or in your feet wherewith you walk? Where is it? And how does it look like? Actually, nobody knows.   So, if you were unable to reveal the hidden secret of one of the Creations of Allah that exists inside your body, would you be able then to reveal the secret of the whole creation? That is impossible.   We hope that you first discover the secret within your own self and being, before passing your judgment on the entire humanity. But if you failed to unveil one of the Secrets of the Creations of Allah that He has placed inside your body, would you be able to reveal the Secrets of Allah in His Universe? The answer is that you would not be able to, but man is defiant and tries to interfere in what surpasses the capacities of the human mind.   The human mind is bounded by set limits; its task is to choose between alternatives in life and to differentiate the good from the evil. Man is created having the power of free choice, and his mind is the tool of realizing it. Nevertheless, by the power of this mind, man can never go beyond what Allah has decreed to remain hidden or unseen.  

    Existence … and the perception of existence

      Philosophers have strained their minds trying to discover what is beyond the matter. But they did not pose for a moment to question themselves about what has inspired in them the belief there is something beyond the matter? It is the fiducial human instinct that says so, because it realizes and perceives that there exist things beyond the matter. But could its secret be attained by the human intellect?   The answer is, ‘No,’ unless Allah, glory be to Him, willed to reveal to His servants one of the secrets of His Universe. In every generation, Allah, glory be to Him, reveals one of the secrets of this universe, which humanity has never known before. If a scientist happens to be after that secret, Allah may reveal it to him. If not, Allah may reveal it to us through what we call the precept of coincidence. Actually, that precept of coincidence is imaginary and exists only in the human mind.   This universe together with all its destinies and incidents, whether trivial or grand, is meticulously arranged by Allah, glory be to Him, one incident after the other; nothing whatsoever is hidden from Him no matter how petty it is, and nothing in this universe happens except by His Will. Indeed, a solemn sign of the Grandeur of Allah, praise and glory be to Him, is that He has recorded all the events to happen in the universe from the beginning of creation till the Day of Resurrection in a Book before creation took place. Recite the noble Qur’anic verse in which Allah, glory be to Him, says (what means):   “No calamity befalls on the earth or in yourselves but is inscribed in the Book of Decrees (Al-Lauh Al-Mahfûz), before We bring it into existence. Verily, that is easy for Allah.” (Al-Hadîd, 57: 22)   And the noble Qur’anic verse in which Allah, glory be to Him, says (what means):   “And with Him are the keys of the Ghaib (all that is hidden), none knows them but He. And He knows whatever there is in (or on) the earth and in the sea; not a leaf falls, but he knows it. There is not a grain in the darkness of the earth nor anything fresh or dry, but is written in a Clear Record.” (Al-An‘âm, 6: 59)   The fact that Allah, praise and glory be to Him, has recorded all the events to take place in the universe means that there is no such thing as coincidence. But rather everything happens according to a highly accurate order and exquisite organization. Thus, nothing happens by chance, but owing to our inability to perceive the secrets of existence we claims that events happen by coincidence.   Allah, praise and glory be to Him, gradually reveals to the mind from the secrets of the universe what we have never known before, but certainly have existed before we became aware of them. Therefore, there is a difference between actual existence and the perception of existence. Millions of things exist around us, performing their role in life, but though we benefit from them we do not perceive their existence. Allah, glory be to Him, willed to inform us that there exists million of things that perform their role in the universe even if we have not known them before. Moreover, our unawareness of them does not signify that they do not exist.   Briefly, we sum up what we have detailed in this chapter: Allah, praise and glory be to Him, has caused life to be from a male and a female, thus of everything Allah has created pairs. Second, reproduction does not take place by one gender but by two and the Absolute Power of Allah is unbound by causes.   Afterwards, we have illustrated that life has continued as a chain since the creation of the Prophet Adam (peace be upon him) till the Day of Resurrection, moving from a living human being to another, but when seized by death it shall stop.   Then, we have illustrated that man can never unveil the secret of life or the beginning of creation and how it occurred, because he never witnessed it. Furthermore, if man failed to discover one secret of his body, which is the soul, how can he aspire to know the secret behind the creation of the entire universe?   Allah, praise and glory be to Him, has not made the mind the means to learn the secret of life, but the mind is to mediate on the Signs of Allah in His universe; to absolutely realize that Allah, glory be to Him, is the Creator of this universe. So, when comes to man a Messenger of Allah to convey His Divine Law, he should hail him with belief, but regretfully man has hailed him with disbelief, we seek the Refuge of Allah from it (disbelief).   When we desire to know the secret of life and death we must seek its knowledge only from Allah, Who has created life and death. Everyday we move from life to death when we go to sleep, and from death back to life when we wake up, but we are heedless of that owing to our negligence and weakness. Nevertheless, man definitely submits to at least two laws in his life, that of wakefulness and sleep.   But what is life? That is what we shall discuss, by the Will and Help of Allah, in the next chapter.                    
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