God Is The Light Of The Heavens And The Earth
The Concept of God
Mostly people discuss about the existence and nature of God. Some people believe in God and some do not believe in Him. So we have theists, atheists, Deists, monotheists, agnostics, atomists, and sceptics. The disbelievers have no problem. They simply disbelieve and regard the universe and humankind the product of material evolutionary process.
Darwin in his book “The Origin of Species”, connoted his Theory of Evolution. Philosophers like Nietzsche and Karl Marx were also atheists. Bertrand Russell was an Agnostic. The burden of proof lies on the shoulders of the believers. They have to give the proof of the existence of God. They have given many arguments such as ontological, spiritual and rational arguments in the favour of their belief. Their main argument is that no creation is created without creator. This organized universe cannot be created by the blind force of matter.
The Quran time and again invites the humans to think in the creation of the Universe and their beings. Besides, about the matter of the existence of God, we find some Philosophers and theologians supporting Pantheism and some opposing Pantheism. I would very briefly highlight the concept of some major religions about the existence of God.
Hinduism believes in idolatry but they also claim that they believe in God and these gods and goddess in the shape of idols represent different traits of God whom they call “ Raam.” R. T. H. Griffith in “The Hymn of the Rig Vedas” on page 572 writes that in Holy Vedas, we find the concept of God and pantheism. Hindu Arya Samaj also believes in God. They believe in God, soul and matter as separate entities. The Hindus of South India known as “Langas”, whose great pioneers and preachers were Bistava and his nephew Chin Basilva were not idolaters. They were revolutionaries and reformers. They discarded Hindu cast system and concept of Reincarnation. They believed in human equality.
Buddhism is created out of Hinduism. Buddha, when asked by his followers about God, he kept silent. He was more concerned about the happiness and welfare of humans by spiritual elevation. He was a moralist and humanist. He rejected Caste System and idolatry of Hinduism but believed in Reincarnation. He found the life of humans full of suffering, misery and worriers. To come out of the gamut of troubles and tribulations, he advised his followers to find pleasure and peace in spiritualism and abandon the world and seek refuge in asceticism, virtue and meditation.
Jainism preaches the achievement of elevation and sublimity through virtuosity. Bethany in his book titled” The Major Religions of India”, writes that the Janis did not believe in God but divided the personality of man into two elements vis; soul and matter. They believe in Reincarnation and take it as natural process like Hindus.
The Sikhs believe in monotheism like the Muslims. Their sacred book titled “Guru Granth Sahib”, contains much Sufistic poetry and maxims of wisdom and exhortation. This book contains the sayings of Guru Nanak and was compiled by the fifth Guru Arjan Dev in 1604 AD. Sikhism is the blend of Hinduism and Islam. Baba Guru Nanak desired union between Muslims and Hindus and proposed a Medium way of faith. He accepted some beliefs of Hinduism and some of Islam. The main article of the faith of Sikhs is: “God is one and all humans are like brothers”. The Quran also says:
“Humankind is one community”. And it again says: ”Verily; the believers are brethren”.
Zoroastrianism is the religion preached by an Iranian Zoroaster. He believed in God. His book titled “Avesta”, mentions of one God, who is the creator of the universe. But he had divided his concept of God into two powers. “Yazdaan” is the God of virtue and “Ahraman” is the God of vice. He propounded virtuosity and abhorred sin.
In The Psalms of Prophet David in verse 7- 12, the belief in one God is specifically mentioned.
Islam believes in One God, who is the Creator, Sustainer, Omnipresent, Omniscient and Merciful. In Islam God, soul and matter are three separate entities. God has created this universe in six days. The Bible also mentions the creation of the Universe in six days. In Genesis (1: 1; 2: 4), the story of the creation of the humankind is mentioned.
Eminent German writer Heribert Busse in his book titled “Islam, Judaism and Christianity: Theological and Historical Affiliation“, throws ample light on the impact of these religions on each other. On page 65 of his book, he has mentioned about the faith of Christianity in the creation of humankind by God. According to Islam, God created the universe in proportion and truth. The Quran says:
“And He, it is Who created the heavens and the earth with Truth, and the day he says “Be”, it is done”. (6: 73).
In Sura Al- Maidah in verses 72 and 73, the Quran rejects the Christian concept of Trinity. Jesus himself said that there is one God and he has been sent by Him as an apostle. In the Gospel of John (17:3) and in the Gospel of Luke ( 18: 19), it is written that Jesus worshipped God and prayed and announced that he is sent by the Lord. About this profession of Jesus Christ, the Holy Quran says:
”And the Messiah said; “worship your God, my Lord and your Lord”.
The Holy Quran is very specific about monotheism and totally rejects idolatry and associates with God. It is called “Shirk” which means associating / assigning partners with Allah. In Surah An- Najm, in verse number 62, the Quran says:
”Therefore, prostrate you in obeisance unto God and worship Him (alone)”.
Then the clarion call for Oneness of God is given in Surah Al- Ikhlas (Unity of God):
”Say; He, God, is One. God, the needless. He begetteth not, nor is He begotten, And there is none like unto Him”.
Hence, we find the apostles of God gave clear message of His existence and presence everywhere. He is alive and responsive to our prayers and calls. Besides, great poets and philosophers believed in one God such as Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus, Henry Bergson, Wordsworth, Goethe, William Blake and Rumi.
The disbelievers say, if all creations are the creation of cause and effect, then what was the cause that created God? The believers respond that God is the Ultimate Cause. As He is the creator, hence no body created him. According to the Quran, God is the Light of the heavens and the earth. Is the universe the creation of God or the part of God? Such questions initiated a heated debate between philosophers and theologians. Hinduism and Greek philosophy promoted Gnosticism and Pantheism. Pantheism promoted idolatry.
In Muslims Sheikh Mohayyudin Ibne Arabi was influenced by Greek philosophy and promoted “Wahadul Wajood” (Pantheism). Mujaddid Alf-e-Thani rejected Pantheism and preached ”Wahdatul Shahood”. It means the universe is not the part of God but the creation of God in which the Light of God lightens as the the rays of the Sun lighten but are not the Sun, rather are the attribute of the Sun.
Then, the Muslim theologians discuss whether the attributes of God are the part of God or separate from God. Such philosophical debates are superfluous and mental boggling. Islam stresses more on the worship of God and the service of humans. Hence, shortly, it is inferred that the believers must promote mercy, compassion, forgiveness, justice, love, peace and nobility as these are the shoots of God’s attributes, instead of debating on the different self-created images of God and shedding blood of each other in the name of God.
There is a story that some believers of different religions were fighting. Everyone claimed that his religion preached peace. A passer-by stopped and asked them: ”Is fighting the way to prove peace”. Actually, what he meant was peace begets peace and war begets war. The human history testifies this bitter truth that in the name of God and religion, human blood has been shed mercilessly. Even today, the self-appointed and self-stayed custodians of all religions are exploiting religion. They are theological and spiritual thugs, imposters and cheats. The educated and enlightened people world over unite under the canopy of the mercy of One God. One God means One Mankind. We must shun religious extremism and racial discrimination. Live and let live should be our motto.