Making Sense of God – Part 1
Channel: Ashraf Schneider
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Episode Transcript ©
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Peace, blessings and mercy be upon y'all. Welcome back to our 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 the topic for millennia, and continue to do so. While some refuse to accept that the question of God is even important, and is maintained that it is central to every moment of their existence, some doubts if God even exists, others are assured of God's existence as they are of
their own. So why does it even matter? Why should we try making sense of God? And why aren't we all let's talk about that. 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 and their lines, and their conviction is so absolute that there's no room for discussion. For others, the idea of any drastic change in their lifestyle can be too intimidating to contemplate, so they rely on upbringing or the faith of their family or friends to serve as a comfortable escape from their own uncertainty. Some people may have had negative personal experiences with those who
claim to be following a specific God or religion, and so have developed a resistance to discussing or exploring their faith. Certainly, many could be forgiven for not being tempted by belief, giving 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, or 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 will never really go away to all four moments on the
scenario. Imagine that you wake up from a deep sleep, and you 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 just talking, eating and reading the newspapers, would you be able to just join the rest of them and be in different your predicament? Or would you continue to seek answers whether you like it or not, you are on the train and you are heading somewhere. Those are the facts,
we are here on we have been thrown into existence seemingly unwillingly, and eventually, our time here will end and we will die. This is something people resist talking about. And yet it is something we can all agree will happen. It is natural to wonder why am I here? Where am I going 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 own life and mortality, 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 death. Rather, it makes knowing the answer to the question of whether God exists more urgent.
If there is a God, that 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. 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 incoherent, contradictory, and counter intuitive. Having only ever countered these concepts of God may even be the reason why some people identify as atheist, for example, the idea of God as a great
bearded man in the sky, who sits on a chair and throws lightning at evil people, but also turns a blind eye to war. Poverty. Abuse is a concept that doesn't make sense to most people, and for good reason. Surely war, poverty and abuse affects the good and the bad in equal measure. We see good people suffering and so we cannot accept this notion
of God who looks and acts like a human being with our 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 is it? There is, however, a concept of God that is both intuitive and rational, we can find references to throughout history and across cultures. It is the idea that there is a Creator who is one eternal soul sufficient and unique. This Creator God is in no way like his creation, nor is His 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 it's summed up superbly in the following verses in the Quran. In chapter 112, verses one to four we read, say, oh, Prophet hears God, one, an invisible God, the Sustainer needed by all, he has never had offspring, nor was he born, and there's 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 and naturally acknowledge the Creator as solely worthy of worship. It is, however, society and the upbringing that can either encourage the further 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 all together. 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 presenting signs and inviting critical engagement of the mind and art. In the Quran. God presents several such triggers, signs for people who have their
eyes open to them. For example, in the Quran, in chapter two verses 163 264 We read your God is only one God, there is no God worthy of worship except Him, the most compassionate, most merciful, indeed, in the creation of the heavens and the earth, the alternation of the day and the night, the ships that sail the sea, for the benefits of humanity, the rain sent down by God from the skies, reviving the after its death, 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 that's there are signs for people of understanding. Apart from rational arguments, trauma and other such negative and
extreme experiences can also act as triggers to us seeking to uncover I inherit belief in God. It is not uncommon to hear about someone coming to believe in God due to such occurrences. God even specifically mentions this being the case in the Quran and 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 wind to the passengers the light. Suddenly the ships are overcome by gale of wind. Those who are on board are overwhelmed by the waves from every side, and they assume that they are doomed, then they cry out to God alone and sincere devotion. If you save us from this, we will certainly be grateful. But as soon as you rescued them, they transgress in the land unjustly. Oh, humanity. Your transgressions is only against your own souls. There's only brief enjoyment in this worldly life, then to us as your return. And then we will inform you of what you
used to do.
What does verse on cutters is the fact that it is easier to believe in God when your perception is that it will directly benefit you. Many people are driven to faith by trauma or circumstances beyond their control, but they abandon their faith again as 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 the
inevitable meeting with that. And the trivial nature of this very short life should be able to make you reconsider your relationship with God. But it also 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 unsure whether God exists, a spiritual experience can give you that certainty that no rational argument can. As humans, we are made of physical matter. But we also have a spiritual dimension, no amount of physical pleasure, whether it's from food, sex, fame, or anything else can fulfill our spiritual needs as they transcend our
bodies. Our spiritual needs can only be fulfilled by connection with God, and it has to be experienced to be truly appreciated and understood. It is like trying to describe a new and completely foreign delicacy to someone who has never heard of or seen it before. Nothing you can say is comparable of making someone appreciate the delightful tastes and textures of a dish they've never encountered and eaten themselves. The approximation or representation of the experience will always fall short to the experience itself. There is God tells us a comfort in remembering him that can only be experienced by doing so. In the Koran, 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, do hearts find comfort. Those who believe and do good for them will be blessed and an honorable destination. Making Sense of God. Ben is both intuitive in its purest sense, and highly academic, and that the resources exist for you to rationalize your faith based on empirical evidence. In part two of this video series will be further exploring this rational, empirical basis for faith and the irrefutable proof God provides for us for his own existence. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our 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 we've shared with you today, I look forward to connecting with you in the comment sections. Alternatively, you're always welcome to message us through our page. Maybe Almighty bless you with goodness Zakka here