Monotheism 7 – Divine Attributes Forgiveness
Channel: Jamal Badawi
Series: Jamal Badawi - Monotheism
File Size: 6.95MB
Salam Alaikum Peace be upon you and gentlemen, and welcome to another episode of Islamic focus. I'm your host, sin Hosni. And today's episode would be our seventh episode in the series on Islamic teachings, and the sixth on the concept of monotheism and the Islamic creed.
Our host today is a person well, by the way,
Salaam Alaikum. And welcome to our show. And let's start, as usual, a brief summary of this program. Okay, I think I would say that the major part of last session was mainly discussion of the positive attributes of Allah God, that is the affirmative side of the Islamic creed, we reviewed creation, and we said that God is the Creator, and that creation goes hand in hand with sovereignty is the creator and Sovereign of the universe. Secondly, was the attribute of life and eternity and we said that we're talking when you say Allah, or God, capital G, we're talking about a living God, who is the first and the last or Alpha and Omega whatever way you want to put it.
Certainly, we're talking about another divine attribute, and that is the absolute win and power of Allah as the creator. And we concluded from that, that it follows that God can never get tired or need any rest. A question was raised last time as to how the Muslim react to Genesis in the Bible, for example, the book of Genesis, chapter two, verse two would say that God rested on the Sabbath after getting the heavens on earth. And he said that there is no parody like that in the Quran, because as the Quran puts it, God does not get tired to need any, any rest. The fourth attribute we discussed was the absolute knowledge and wisdom of Allah God. And we said that this knowledge
extends to the past, present, and future. And that's why another competitive question was raised as to whether a Muslim would,
for example, have any parallel in Islam, to what exists in the Bible, like in the book of Genesis, chapter 11, verses five and six dealing with the Tower of Babel, or the Book of Exodus, chapter 32, verse 14, that shows that God repented or felt sorry for what he decided. And he said that from the Islamic standpoint, there is no parallel whatsoever in the Quran to this because the assumption is that God's knowledge is all pervading, all complete, so he does nothing he discovered, something that he didn't know is going to happen in the future. We also added that, if we follow the same logical line of thinking that God's knowledge covers all the future, until the day of judgment, and
thereafter, for eternity, then it follows that God does not need to become men in order to know how human beings feel or suffer, that this is not really necessary, because his knowledge already is there. He doesn't need to experience God becoming men in order to know the certain additional information he knows it already. And the last question was, as to whether the emphasis on the transcendence of Allah the Creator, means in any way that is some remote God, or being unapproachable? And then my answer to that we tried to quote from the Quran and to give an example, that shows that the attributes of mercy and compassion of Allah, that Allah has not been only
merciful, but is the source of mercy on man in Arabic, the source of mercy, is very prominent and very clear in the Quran, and very clear also, in every action that the devout Muslim would do, always invokes the compassion and mercy of Allah.
As a matter of fact, we focused in the last question last time, if I remember on the quotations from the Quran itself, where the concept of mercy and the concept of the compassion of God was quite clear. But now if we move to the human level, and we start seeing, okay, how does the closeness of Allah relate to me, I find that there are two dimensions to that thing, close a close deity as far as I'm concerned.
As a human can have two implications, the first implication implication is, I reach out to him when I'm in need. And the other dimension is I reach to him when I sin, and I need forgiveness. And let's take each of those dimensions separately and talk about them. First, how close is God to the human being? As far as reaching towards him and asking for a favor, let's say or asking for help? I think the word clause is very expressive as you use it.
And like some people say, is God's person some friends asked me, Do you think of Allah or God as a personal guide, or somebody up this whole person and how personal you relate to him. And like I said, the word closest, very explicit, because that is also the term used in the Quran, about the relationship between Allah God and a person who is trying to be pious we're trying to reach for him, let's be caught from the crowd to give you evidence. And in chapter 50, verse 16,
very, we created the human.
And we know what his soul whispers to him, and we are closest to him, then is Jackie Levin, that is God is closer to us than our own juggler veins. So that is exactly exactly there's no more novels a way of expressing closeness of Allah, the creators to his beloved creatures to hit the ground with creatures, human beings, than to describe it in this very positive sense. There is another interesting thing also, if I may add one more petition, but just get a background to it. One simple bedroom, came to Prophet Mohammed, about 1400 years ago, and in the simplicity and innocence of a desert man, he came and said, O Messenger of Allah, tell me
is Allah is God, so close, so that we might be able to have private discourse with him? can pray to him even secretly? Or is he far away so that we have to call on him on
so that he, you know, listen to us?
The Prophet sallallahu Sallam the prophet of Islam, may peace be upon him, he
actually didn't know what to answer him, but he received help. He received the revelation, the word of Allah the Quran, and one passage read
in chapter two, verse 186,
when my servants ask you, that is asked you or Mohammed, concerning me, concerning Allah, I am indeed close to them, in Arabic for any corrib I am indeed close to them. I listen to the prayer of every supplement, when he calls on me,
let them also with a will listen to my call, and believe in me, that they may walk in the right way. So that was the most
tender, if you will, the most
type of answer that can one can receive to that question about the closeness of Allah. And it's not only limited, by the way, just to the citation, it could go on and on giving you additional evidence from the Quran about the closeness of Allah to the pious to the people who call on Him in sincerity. But I'd like to add that, to the best of my knowledge, which is not much anyway. I don't know of any face on the face of this earth. That has a practice that parallels Islam insofar as manifesting and expressing this clause and direct relationship to Allah and Islam.
That is the five daily prayer. And when I use prayer, I'm not using that only in the sense limited sense of supplication praying to Allah. But I'm talking about the specific format, that you do the five daily prayer by having evolution or washing and having certain movements along thinking about him reciting verses, or passages, the whole ritual itself, like I said, To the best of my knowledge, I don't know of any other face, anywhere, that provides as much direct relationship with deity as the prayer provides. This is something that you have to really experience in order to appreciate it more. When you make your evolution you stand. You direct your face towards the Kaaba, the first
house on Earth, for the worship of the One God built by Prophet Abraham. And you start entering into the prayers in full devotion and humility, reciting verses talking, you're virtually talking to Allah. You don't see him in front of you in a physical sense, but you see him in your heart, you communicate with him, you supplicate to him, no intermediary, no person, even the prophet in says Prophet Mohammed as the last of God's prophets and messengers. May peace be upon them all is not regarded
Even as intermediary between man and God, it's the most direct the most novel type of relationship. That's why you find, for example, in the history of the Prophet, Prophet Mohammed and his followers. And the same would apply to many saints in history of that used to spend portions of the night praying in earnest, a feeling so joyful that he wouldn't feel the world around him. I don't know what else could be more close and more novel, than not only the citation look around, but also the practice of a devout Muslim in his direct and close relationship personally, if you will, quote unquote, personal relationship with Allah.
Maybe now we should move to the other dimension, which is the dimension of forgiveness and forgiveness being such a wide concept, such a rich concept, we should break it down a little bit into more
specific items. And I want to start with the idea of original sin, because that is a very important concept in the West. And I would like you very much to relate it to the Islamic context, how does Islam view the idea of original sin? And what are the repercussions and implications?
if you use the term Original Sin, then the answer is different. If you ask about sin period, then of course, you would say that, yeah, Islam says that
we are sinful as human beings who are tempted, and that we should find some way of retribution for that sin, which we can describe later on. But once you use the term Original Sin, I suppose you're referring perhaps tomorrow, the Judeo Christian tradition. And again, it's incumbent before we make any comparison is to find out what's the position
that has helped in the Judeo Christian tradition and compare it with a snap.
The idea of original sin, as I understand it, is that Adam and Eve when they committed that act of disobedience of Allah of God, by eating from the forbidden tree,
by necessity, that original sin
would be inherited by all their descendants, and that they will be condemned. So the only way really, for them to get out of that sin is to reconcile God's justice and mercy occur, at least according to some they say that because God was merciful, he wanted to forgive Adam and Eve, but he will because he was just God also, he wanted to punish them. So the there seem to be a kind of impression of a conflict in the mind of God between his mercy and His justice, and that's the only resolution of that is to sacrifice blood and that blood must combine humanity and divinity and declaim. theologically, Vickers is made that yeah, that Jesus is the only person who combined
divinity and humanity and as such by believing in Him, that his blood atones for the for the sense of, of humanity. Now, again, we find superficial similarity in one aspect here between the biblical
presentation of this concept and the Quranic but it stops right there. The fact that Adam and Eve committed an act of disobedience is similarly as the Quran mentioned, that they committed that act. However, there are five basic reasons why in Islam, there is no concept of original sin, and that meaning.
The first reason is that, first of all, Allah created the humankind, He created us. And when He created us, he knew that we are made of materials and spirit. We are, at least as the story goes crazy, that's from clay, whether you think clay in literal sense or in a sense of having the same elements that you find in the clay on an earth which is through again. And as such, you know that you are partly material, partly spiritual, it's intermingling type of components in our existence. It follows from that, that God knows that As humans, we are fallible, we are sinful, if you will, we are imperfect. But our salability our sinfulness, it should not be equated with criminality, it
doesn't mean that we are terminal that we are hopeless and there is no way for us really to make up for this mistakes. This is one thing to keep in mind. So why then if Allah knows that he would condemn the entire human race, because of a weakness that happened by by Adam and Eve, the fathers or father or mother of creation of human beings. A second basic reason why a Muslim would not accept the original sin doctrine is that the Quran makes it very clear that Adam and Eve, after they committed that mistake, they realized their mistake, and they actually prayed earnestly to Allah to God for forgiveness. Let me give you a specific documentation of this in 722 It took
about Adam and Eve, it says, they said, Our Lord, we have wronged our souls, if you forgive us not, and bestow not upon us Your mercy, which has certainly been lost.
So both of them prayed for forgiveness. By the way, if I may inject a little footnote here, it is interesting to notice that the terminology used in the Quran does not put the blame for the original sin. There is knowledge instead or the blame for that first particular sin on woman. That's very important. By the way, very few people know that. Yeah, yes. In fact, the Quran uses the 10 for goals that cannot have been have on them. Now for sanity Narvik that's used the term for two both of them Adam and Eve repented, Adam and Eve, asked us for forgiveness, Adam and Eve were forgiven. In other words, it blames both of them. In fact, it would be interesting to note that even in one verse
in the Quran, that limb is mentioned about Adam.
And Adam doesn't mean that it didn't have passes. But it shows that there is no theology in Islam, of blaming a woman for the fall of Adam, as you know, they might exist elsewhere. Indeed,
we should realize that the sin of the mistake does not necessarily deaden our heart, or close the door for reform and moral growth. This is the second reason a third reason
for non acceptance of the doctrine is that according to Islam, Allah Yes, is both just and merciful. But according to the Quran, also, the mercy of Allah far exceeds His justice. So it's not a matter of if you did that sin, there's no way even though you might be sincere, you might be repenting, you might have no way. This is not the cases that mercy exceeds, I think, in the citation that we had in the previous program, it has also something to that effect, that what it was at my mercy, included, are in temperature, everything. And from the Muslim point of view, how is it that God or Allah knowing our weakness, listening to the supplication to the sincere prayer of Adam, a prayer of Adam
and Eve, oh, Allah, please forgive us we were weak, were sinful, and he still
refuse to forgive them unless a blood is shed, and especially if that is the blood of an innocent, and great men like Prophet Jesus May peace be upon him? Why can't he forgive if he has the full authority and power to grant this forgiveness? The first reason is that it is not it doesn't only stop at that we find that the Quran is explicit that Adam and Eve not only prayed for forgiveness, but they weren't forgiven actually, before they were sent down to live on earth to court in
chapter two verse 37. Say then learned Adam from his Lord, words of inspiration, and his Lord turned towards him, for he is oft returning, Most Merciful. A similar verse also appears in 2122, but gives the same impression also that God has already forgiven Adam and Eve because they were sincere, and he knew there's their weakness. And finally, another important reason why a Muslim does not believe in the original sin is that the original sin as a doctrine assumes the inheritance of the sin, that even though it was done by Adam and Eve, everybody, for the entire generation, until the Day of Judgment carries the stigma of that sin. This is not the case, according to the Quran. To cite again
and no bearer of burdens, can bear the burden of another's. This is the difficulty again of translating the beauty of the Quran as it appears in origin and in English. But actually, what it means here is that sin
does not really pass on to other people, nobody can carry the sin or pay for the sin of others, everybody should stand on his or her on feet. The verse continues, that the human can have nothing but what he or she strives for, that the fruits of his striving will soon come inside, then will he be rewarded with a reward complete. And by the way, this does not necessarily mean that we are saved only by our deeds, this would be human arrogance. Definitely we are saved also by grace, but according to the Quran, you have to earn that grace, that that grace is given to people who have who show this sincere attitude and turning in earnest toward Allah. In fact, this was echoed also by
Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, when he said in one of his sayings, that every child is born innocent and pure. Nobody is born with original sin. Absolutely. actually use the term every child or infant is born pure and innocent. As
The white cloth,
just completely pure. It is what he makes of himself or herself later on what kind of indoctrination he gets, that makes him good or bad. But initially, there is no sin to be inherited.
Great, so now, maybe we could move to the next level, or the next dimension of forgiveness, forgiveness, that comes from one of the points that you mentioned. And that is,
if Adam and Eve were forgiven, why, why were they sent to Earth? A lot of people think that they were sent to Earth as a punishment as a tool to make up or to atone for the sins. So how do you reconcile those two? Not so according to them? In fact, they, they could be a separate topic of what is the concept of human, according to Sam, who is the human what is the creator for what is wrong on Earth, or his or her role on it? But just to stick to the particular points you're asking?
It appears superficially that we are here on Earth, or Adam and Eve were sent down to earth, simply because of that mistake they did. So it's punishment. No, according to stem, we are not living on Earth as a punishment for that sin. No.
In fact, the Quran narrates that even before Allah created Adam and Eve, in his conversation or dialogue with the engines, when the engines were worried how this creature will behave, being partly material, partly spiritual.
And in this, the Quran uses the term Indonesia, I don't fill up the halifa, that God telling the engine, I'm going to create a vise journal or a trustee on Earth, which means that before even Adam and Eve were created, they were destined to live on Earth. Now we might ask ourselves, but why were they kept in the Garden of Eden or in paradise before they came to us. And the way I understand it, as a Muslim is that this was a listen to them, before they come on Earth, of the consequences of obedience and disobedience to Allah. So they learned that lesson before coming, but originally they were coming on. So we're not used as punishment from that we shouldn't have this stigma, of paying
for that, for that we are here to accomplish a mission, a very noble mission, which the Quran describes as being the trustees of our Creator on earth. And that's quite different from the concept of this punishment. And it's great, now that you have eliminated this confusing issue or this
usual misconception about original sin and the descent of Adam, as some people look at it and dissent being sort of degrading, and maybe we should come to the idea of repentance, which is really the heart and soul of forgiveness, repentance, and how does a person repent in Islam? And first of all, does the concept of repentance exists in Islam? What are his dimension? How does one repent? Do we need confessions? Do we need absolution? How?
Does the mechanics right? I think this is a very relevant question, because that's a question also that was directed to me by many of my Christian friends when they say all right, if there is no blood sacrifice, if you don't, if you believe in Jesus as a prophet and messenger of Allah, not as the Son of God, whose blood, you know, cell phones for you, right? How do you make retribution for sins if you admit that we fall in sins as humans? To start with? I'd like to say first, that the question of confession does not exist in Islam whatsoever.
A Muslim should not confess, except to he who controls the power to forgive and the only one who control the power to forgive is Allah alone, God, no, no intermediaries, no priesthood, no prophet, even a messenger can grant this forgiveness.
This is one thing. But as far as the concept of retribution, how do you make up or repent from sins? There are
three or four basic conditions I say all four because in some cases, the fourth condition may be applicable for repentance. The first condition is to stop something evil or wrong that you're doing, because that's an advance of goodwill, or doing something I stopped at first. Number two, is to feel sorry for what you did. Because if you don't feel sorry for what you did, then that means that a person might be too arrogant to admit his his an error. And to admit that you're an error is not bad. It's a more college. Okay. Certainly, that one should have the sincere intention not to repeat that particular offense or any other offense. Again, I'm saying sincere intention. It doesn't mean
that you can never fall because maybe you have the sincere intention. But as you go on, your human weakness might pull you back. But at least at the time of making repentance you have the determination not to get back to this sin or mistake again.
The first condition which like I said before could be applicable to some cases. If your sin involves encroachment on the rights of others, then your your repentance cannot be accepted, unless you also return the rights that is due to other people. So as likely if I stole something from you or take away some of your rights
I cannot really say I am sincerely repenting unless I return back your
Perhaps like we did also another of the Divine attribute because forgiveness is one of the crucial divine attributes I should refer directly also to the Quran to see the how explains it.
The first citation is from 1549 and 50 proclaim that is proclaimed all Mohammed to my servants, that I am indeed the oft forgiving, Most Merciful and that my penalty will indeed be a grievous penalty. So you have a choice between gayness penalty or really wide open door for repentance and correcting our path on life. The second from 1114
this again, we run into problems in translation in the original Arabic It says in Manhattan it was hipness say at the rough translation of meaning. For those things that are good are good deeds, remove those that are evil, in other words, good deeds, atone for, for bad deeds. So if even if you have done lots of bad deeds do good and that will take care of this past mistakes.
In the in 3953 and 54. Again, the concession is meaning, say, O Muhammad, the people, all my servants, servants of Allah, who have transgressed against their souls, despair, not of the mercy of Allah, despair not for Allah forgives all sins, he is about forgiving, Most Merciful, turn you to your Lord in repentance, and vow to His will, before the penalty comes on you. After that, you shall not be helped. Also in three one certified, giving one of the characteristics of the believers of the true believers and those who having done something to be ashamed of or wronged their souls earnestly, bring a lot to mind or remember Allah and ask for forgiveness for their sins, and who can
forgive sins except Allah, and they are never obstinate in resisting knowingly in drunk they have done. Finally, one more in 2082. But without doubt, I am that Allah God. Without doubt, I am also he that forgives again and again, to those who repent, beliefs, and do right, who and fine are ready to receive through guidance. It's interesting to notice here that the term in Arabic used for forgiveness here in this particular passage, as far and that's different from a four. A four simply means that not only one who forgives, but one who forgets again and again that you were preparation for the tuition.
And this is the Quranic program for atonement for sins without the question of original sin or blood sacrifice. I think the concept is quite clear at this point. But thank you very much, Dr. Gamal, for this beautiful presentation. And thank you ladies and gentlemen for being with us on today's program. Next time we will continue on the last part about the attributes of a lie in Islam. We'll talk about the implications and relevance to an everyday Muslim, regular Muslim, and who will move from them to the concept of prophets with which is the second part of the creed in the Islamic creed.
If you have any questions Meanwhile, please don't hesitate to write us on Post Office Box 116 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, the Islamic association of maritimes. Whether the questions are related to the program or they are related to Islam in general, any queries you may have, please don't hesitate to send them. And thank you very much. See you next time Salaam Alaikum Peace be upon you