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Prophet Muhammad — 67: God’s hand behind everything

Published: 12/06/2011 01:31:00 AM GMT
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By SHEIKH MUHAMMAD AL-GHAZALI Published: Apr 14, 2011 21:52 Updated: Apr 14, 2011 21:53
The arguments advanced by materialists who deny God and His creation of the universe are absurd, or at least childish. A child who looks at a mirror may think that the image he sees moves by itself, or that something in the mirror causes its movement. It takes the child a little understanding to realize that it is the person reflected in the mirror who does the movement. Many are those who, in their childish rationality, attribute to matter what it cannot do or understand. I wonder: who produced the distinctive patterns of fingers? Is it the skin? The skin in this case is a passive object.

Great as the wonders of the body are, there are more wonderful aspects to the human race. Who has fashioned our intelligence or lack of it? Who has determined rashness or cool-headedness in our nature? What causes an ‘unknown soldier' to do his heroics: is it another person? Or is it an element in his constitution?

Only stupid people deliberately lead themselves away from God. They try to ignore His higher ability with crude ignorance. What is most amazing at that is the fact that those who go this way describe themselves as more advanced and scientific. People have long denied that God is the Creator of all. They attributed things to their immediate causes, just like the child who says that the mirror is what causes the movement of the picture it reflects.

Zain ibn Khalid Al-Juhani reports: “God's messenger led the dawn prayer at Al-Hudaibiyah — after a rainfall. When he finished, he turned to us and said: ‘Do you know what your Lord has said?' We said: ‘God and His messenger know better'. He answered: God said: ‘Some of My servants have started the day believing in Me and some are unbelievers. Those who say: we have been sent rain by God's grace and mercy, believe in Me and disbelieve in the stars. Those who say: we have been sent rain because of such movement of stars disbelieve in Me and believe in the stars.”

Those who imagine that things occur without God's ultimate power and His will are truly unbelievers. Unfortunately, they are too many in our world. Those who know that God is the Creator of all and the Giver of every blessing are the true believers. Although they may attribute things figuratively to God's creation, they remain believers. A person who says that the summer has caused the fruits on the trees to ripen means that the warmer climate brought about that result. He does not deny God by saying so. He knows that it is God who has created the plants and trees, as aspects of the grace He bestows on His creation. The unbeliever is the one who leaves no room in his heart and mind to God, attributing things to their immediate and apparent causes. They refuse to acknowledge God's will behind these causes. The Prophet occasionally exposed the direct reasons, giving them their true value, so that he would direct people to their Lord and help them to be always conscious of Him.

Out of His kindness to His servants, God may sometimes deprive people of what they need so that they would hasten to appeal to Him and urgently pray to Him. When He grants them their requests, they will feel true gratitude to Him. Their faith grows stronger. It is for this reason that special prayers, such as the one for rain, the prayer for a certain need and that for help in making a choice, i.e. istikharah, are recommended.

I have seen in Makkah that when rain is slow coming, people turn to prayer and appeal to God for help. Within a few days, there is normally a rainfall. We have seen that during the Prophet's lifetime, the response came after the appeal. The Prophet hardly finished the prayer when the skies opened and streams were soon flooded. What I felt too strange was that when a drought recently took its heavy toll in East and West Africa, causing real famine, no one thought of praying for rain. That is because in the material civilization of our modern world, God is neither known nor appealed to. Imperialism planted the same hollow vision wherever it extended its authority.

Reproduced from Arab News

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