Making Sense of God – Part 1-1

Ashraf Schneider


Channel: Ashraf Schneider

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AI: Summary © The concept of God is often portrayed in media as being the only person who has the ability to die. It's important to reexamine one's life to uncover their natural state and realize the nature of God. rational argument is seen as a way to explore their natural state, but it is possible to achieve spiritual expression through experiences. The speaker also discusses the idea of a need for a person to explore their natural state and become spiritual through experiences.
Transcript ©
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Peace, blessings and mercy be upon you all. Welcome back to my page. In this latest series of videos, we'll be piecing together an understanding of and trying to make sense of a God whose glory and majesty actually exceed human understanding throughout history, and over the centuries, our collective human interest in God has never waned. philosophers, scientists, theologians and laymen alike have debated this topic for millennia, and continue to do so. While some refuse to accept that the question of God is even important. Others maintain you the central to every moment of their existence, some doubts if God even exists, others are assured of God's existence as they are of

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their own. So why does it even matter? Why should we be trying to make sense of God? And why aren't we all? Let's talk about it. There are so many reasons why people hold back from discussing their belief in God, or even exploring the concept of a higher power. Some people might simply see no need for God in their lives, and their conviction is so absolute that there is no room for discussion. For others, the idea of any drastic change in lifestyle can be too intimidating to contemplate, so they rely on upbringing or the fates of their family or friends to serve as a comfortable escape from their own uncertainty. Some people might have had negative personal experiences with those who

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claim to be following a specific God or religion, and so have developed a resistance to discussing all exploring their faith. Certainly, many could be forgiven for not being tempted by belief. Given the continuous stream of negative press on the topic of religion, it is easy to look at the state of the world today and to shrug and dismiss faith as inconsequential. It may be incredibly tempting to just brush off all religions together with any discussion of God and to live like everyone else who just do what seems to feel good at the time. That may seem fine for a while. But in the end, important questions remain unanswered, and they never really go away, dwell for a moment on the

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scenario. Imagine you wake up from a deep sleep and find yourself on a fast moving train. You have no idea how you got there panicked, you start asking the other passengers where the train is going, and how you ended up traveling on it. But to your surprise, no one has any answers. And worse yet, no one seems to care that they haven't a clue how they got there, or where they are going. Instead, they are busy talking, eating and reading the newspaper? Would you be able to just join the rest of them and be indifferent to your predicament? Or would you continue to seek an answer? Whether you like it or not, you are on the train and you are heading somewhere. Those are the facts we are here

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on. We have been thrown into existence seemingly unwillingly, and eventually our time here will end and we will die. Death is something people resist talking about. And yet it is something we all agree will happen. It is natural to wonder, why am I here? Where will I go after this? Is death the end? Will I cease to exist? Or is death just being born into another stage of my journey? If you reflect deeply on your life and morality, the issue of God's existence becomes immediately important as scripture seeks to answer some of those burning questions about the meaning of both life and death. That is not to say that someone should believe in God simply because they are scared of

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death. Rather, it makes knowing the answer to the question of whether God truly exists more urgent. If there is a God, then we need to take notice and understand what we are created for. So that our finite time on the train here on earth does not go to waste. Everything that we as humans do here on earth has a purpose. Just like the parts of our bodies have certain purposes. Our eyes are to see our ears to hear our hearts exists to pump blood. So it makes sense that we too are created for a purpose in the larger scheme of things. Who knows what that purpose is? Well, the Quran tells us in chapter 57, verse three, that God is the first and the last, the Most High and the most, and he has

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perfect knowledge of all things. If we want to discover our true purpose, then we best ask He who has perfect knowledge of all things, wouldn't you agree? So how do we break down the barriers to talking about and making sense of God? When someone says they do not believe in God? Perhaps the first question we should ask is, what sort of God is it that you don't believe in? Sometimes the reason why people are confused about God is that there are various concepts of God which are incorrect, contradictory, and counter intuitive. Having only ever encountered these concepts of God may even be the reason why some people identify

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as atheists, for example, the idea of God as a gray bearded man in the sky, who sits on a chair and throws lightning and evil people, but also turns a blind eye to war, poverty and abuse is a concept that doesn't make sense to most people, and for good reason. Surely war, poverty and abuse affect the good and the bad in equal measure. We see good people suffering. And so we cannot accept this notion of a God who looks and acts like a human being without compassion. Do you see where I'm going with this? If all someone has ever encountered is a fundamentally flawed concept of God, such as this one, it's not surprising that they end up rejecting belief out of hand isn't. There is however,

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a concept of God that is both intuitive and rational, we can find references to it throughout history and across cultures. It is the idea that there is a Creator who was one eternal, self sufficient and unique. Thus, Creator God is in no way like his creation, nor is creation in any way equal or comparable to God. Just like a carpenter doesn't become a part of or resemble the table they created. With greater reason. God is distinct from his creation, there is nothing incoherent or irrational about this belief. In fact, this concept is both intuitive and rational, and is summed up superbly in the following verses of the Quran. In chapter 112, verses one to four who read say, oh,

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prophet, He is God, one and indivisible, God, the Sustainer needed by all, he has never had offspring, nor was he born, and there is nothing comparable to him. Islam teaches us that every human being already has a type of essential and instinctive knowledge of God deep within themselves, but that the external world can either bury that inherent insight and understanding or encourage and nurture it. The Prophet Muhammad peace and blessings be upon him explained that each child is born in a natural state in which they are cognizant on and naturally acknowledge the Creator as solely worthy of worship. It is, however, society and the upbringing that can either encourage the further

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development and exploration of this natural state or work to oppose it. That is to say that societal pressures, desires and other factors of day to day earthly life can cover this natural state with beliefs that are unnatural, such as worshiping entities other than God, humanizing God, or denying God altogether. Belief in God does not require rational justification. But this is not to say that God's existence cannot be understood through rational arguments. Of course it can. What should be comprehended is that rational arguments only serve as triggers to uncover and encourage the natural state. The Quran invites us to uncover the belief in God by providing triggers for reflection, by

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presenting signs and inviting critical engagement of the mind.

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In the Koran God presents several such triggers, signs for people that have their eyes open to them. For example, in chapter two verses 163 264, we read your God is only one God, there is no God worthy of worship except the most compassionate, most merciful, indeed, in the creation of the heavens and the earth, the alternation of the day and night, the ships that sail the sea for the benefit of humanity, the rains and down Vanguard from the sky, reviving the optics, the scattering of all kinds of creatures throughout the shifting of the winds, and the clouds drifting between the heavens and the earth. In all, those are surely signs for people of understanding. Apart from rational

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arguments, trauma and other such negative and extreme experiences can also act as traitors to us seeking to uncover our inherent belief in God. It is not uncommon to hear about someone coming to belief in God due to such occurrences. God even specifically mentioned this being the case in the Quran, chapter 10, verses 22 to 23, which reads as follows. He is the one who enables you to travel through land and sea and it so happens that you are on ships sailing with a favorable to the passengers the light. Suddenly, the ships are overcome by gale of wind, and those who are on board are overwhelmed by the waves from every side, and they assume they all do. They cry out to God, and

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sincere devotion. If you save us from this, we will certainly be grateful. But as soon as he rescues them, they transgress in the land unjustly over humanity. Your transgression is only against your own souls. There's only brief enjoyment in this world in love, then to us is your return. And then we will inform you of what you use to do. What this verse uncovers is the fact that it is easier to believe in God when you pursue

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Truth is that it will directly benefit you. Many people are driven to fail by trauma or circumstances beyond their control. But they abandon their faith again when things seem to be going their way. But the fact of the matter is, you don't even need to be in a dire situation to remember God, taking a few moments and reflecting about inevitable meeting with death. And the trivial nature of this very short life should be enough to make you reconsider your relationship with God. But it doesn't need to be all doom and gloom. Positive spiritual experiences, just like trauma can be triggers for discovering and exploring your faith. Even if you happen to be someone who started out

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unsure whether God exists, his spiritual experience can give you that certainty that no rational argument can As humans, we are made or physical matter. But we also have a spiritual dimension, no amount of physical pleasure, whether it's from food, sex, fame, or anything can fulfill our spiritual needs as they transcend our bodies. Our spiritual needs can only be fulfilled by a connection with God, and it has to be experienced to truly be appreciated, or understood. It is like trying to describe a new and completely foreign delicacy to someone who has never seen or heard of it before. Nothing you can say is capable of making someone appreciate the delightful tastes and

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textures of a dish they have not encountered and eaten themselves, the approximation or representation of the experience will always fall short of the experience itself. There is God tells us a comfort in remembering him that can only be experienced by doing so. In the Quran, chapter 13, verses 28 to 29. We read those who believe and whose hearts find comfort in the remembrance of God. Surely, in the remembrance of God, two hearts find comfort, those who believe and do good for them will be blessed, and an honorable destination. Making Sense of God then is both intuitive in its purest sense and highly academic, in that the resources exist for you to rationalize your faith

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based on empirical evidence. In part two of this video series, we'll be further exploring this rational empirical basis for faith and the irrefutable proof God provides us of his own existence. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank my viewers as always, for your kind words and comments and your engagement with our content. If you have any questions about any of the content I've shared with you today, I look forward to connecting with you in the comment sections. Alternatively, you're always welcome to send me a DM via my page. Until next time, Zakah