Why Do I Believe In God?

A man asked me today online, “what makes you so sure God exists?”

I took it as a moment to guide someone towards hope and faith, as it came quite sincerely and without insult, I answered him. I share with you guys too so you can share this with others if anyone asks you why you have faith or spiritual beliefs. I believe this was the best answer I have ever came up with, by showing the pattern throughout history.

Here is what I said:

Thanks for asking! I will tell you it is different for everyone, but for me it is because some of the most inspirational people in history believed in God. I connect to these people and what they say. They may not see God as the same, but they do not claim that God does not exist, only that God is far more incredible than we realize. Because of these people and their comments on God aligning to my thoughts, they confirm to me that God exists and carried them through some miraculous achievements.

I can see how it might be possible for a man to look down upon the earth and be an atheist, but I cannot conceive how he could look up into the heavens and say there is no God.”
~Abraham Lincoln

God has given you one face, and you make yourself another.
~William Shakespeare

God used beautiful mathematics in creating the world.
~Paul Dirac

The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be.
~Anne Frank

The moment I have realized God sitting in the temple of every human body, the moment I stand in reverence before every human being and see God in him – that moment I am free from bondage, everything that binds vanishes, and I am free.
~Swami Vivekananda

I believe in God, but not as one thing, not as an old man in the sky. I believe that what people call God is something in all of us. I believe that what Jesus and Mohammed and Buddha and all the rest said was right. It’s just that the translations have gone wrong.
~John Lennon

When the solution is simple, God is answering.
~Albert Einstein

I don’t stand for the black man’s side, I don’ t stand for the white man’s side. I stand for God’s side.
~Bob Marley

Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.
~Albert Einstein

I just want to do God’s will. And he’s allowed me to go to the mountain. And I’ve looked over, and I’ve seen the promised land! I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land.
~Martin Luther King, Jr.

While I know myself as a creation of God, I am also obligated to realize and remember that everyone else and everything else are also God’s creation.
~Maya Angelou

God, as Truth, has been for me a treasure beyond price. May He be so to every one of us.
~Mahatma Gandhi

Heaven means to be one with God.
~Confucius

Yeah. I agree with these awesome people.

 

 

 mankindservice

Education in Religion: Seeing the Unity

I believe that God truly has tested humans to use our brains. We are not to read one book and close our minds off to others. It has helped me to see the unity by immersing myself in not just the Quran, but in many other spiritual books and religious texts. I took a quiz yesterday to see how much I knew about religion and I scored pretty high due to my study of it throughout the years. If you do not have knowledge about a certain religion, you should caution yourself to ever speak negatively openly about it in public. You may have your opinions, but without knowledge, they are just that and never facts. Go to the source of the religious texts to get the information about another religion besides your own. You do not have to believe in something in order to learn. If anything, it solidified my own path by reading what I didn’t agree with.

If interested in testing your knowledge about world religions from the pew research please go here:

http://www.pewforum.org/quiz/u-s-religious-knowledge/

This is some of the books that have helped me see and understand the Quran in an unifying and peaceful light:

Book2

 

books

If you want to recommend any other books to me that I may not have read (other books are not pictured here, but I will let you know if I have not read what you suggest), please leave a comment below.

Islam Is Not an Arab Thing.

19:97

So, [O Muhammad], We have only made Qur’an easy in the Arabic language that you may give good tidings thereby to the righteous and warn thereby a hostile people.

26:191-99

191. Your Lord is the Almighty, the Merciful.

192. It is a revelation from the Lord of the Worlds.

193. The Honest Spirit came down with it.

194. Upon your heart, that you may be one of the warners.

195. In a clear Arabic tongue.

196. And it is in the scriptures of the ancients.

197. Is it not a sign for them that the scholars of the Children of Israel recognized it?

198. Had We revealed it to one of the foreigners.

199. And he had recited it to them, they still would not have believed in it.

 

3:3

He has sent down upon you, [O Muhammad], the Book in truth, confirming what was before it. And He revealed the Torah and the Gospel.

 

Are you starting to see that the revelations were given to an Arab man named Muhammad, but he was a messenger for his nation. It does not mean the Quran was only for Arabs or can be only understood as an Arab. I am a English speaking ONLY Dutch/Irish/Scottish woman and I am proof that the Quran was made for all mankind.

 

 

islam1

Surah Hud: Chapter 11 (line 50-60) Hud

50. And to Aad, their brother Hud. He said, “O my people, worship God, you have no other god besides Him. You do nothing but invent lies.”

51. “O my people, I ask you no wage for it; my wage lies with Him who originated me. Do you not understand?”

52. “O my people, ask forgiveness from your Lord, and repent to Him. He will release the sky pouring down upon you, and will add strength to your strength. And do not turn away and be wicked.”

53. They said, “O Hud, you did not bring us any evidence, and we are not about to abandon our gods at your word, and we are not believers in you.”

54. “We only say that some of our gods have possessed you with evil.” He said, “I call God to witness, and you to witness, that I am innocent of what you associate.

55. Besides Him. So scheme against me, all of you, and do not hesitate.

56. I have placed my trust in God, my Lord and your Lord. There is not a creature but He holds it by the forelock. My Lord is on a straight path.

57. If you turn away, I have conveyed to you what I was sent to you with; and my Lord will replace you with another people, and you will not cause Him any harm. My Lord is Guardian over all things.”

58. And when Our decree came, We saved Hud and those who believed with him, by a mercy from Us, and We delivered them from a harsh punishment.

59. That was Aad; they denied the signs of their Lord, and defied His messengers, and followed the lead of every stubborn tyrant.

60. And they were pursued by a curse in this world, and on the Day of Resurrection. Indeed, Aad blasphemed against their Lord-so away with Aad, the people of Hud.

 

My interpretation:

Hud was the warner of an ancient people of a nation called Aad. He was trying to tell them that the sky would come pouring down on them and destroy them all if they did not stop worshipping others gods and practicing in polytheism. They only thought he was possessed by one of their gods that they worshipped. But Hud said he was innocent of the crime that they associated with him and he only believed in ONE Creator of the world and universe.

Line 57 shows exactly what happens and how evolution moves forwards. When one group of people grow to a point of where they can no longer spread messages of unity and one creator it seems then they are replaced by a new creation. Hud was given this wisdom to pass on to his people, but they did not listen to him as they did not listen to Noah.

Gabriel goes on to tell them that the people of Aad were destroyed and Hud and only the people that believed in him remained from that civilization. Till the day of resurrection when all the truth comes out they will be held accountable for not believing in Hud’s warnings.

Quite possibly where Aad was and were archeologists find few remains of a past civilization.

the_people_of_Ad

 

Surah Hud: Chapter 11 (line 40-50) Hud

40. Until, when Our command came, and the volcano erupted, We said, “Board into it a pair of every kind, and your family-except those against whom the sentence has already been passed-and those who have believed.” But those who believed with him were only a few.

41. He said, “Embark in it. In the name of God shall be its sailing and its anchorage. My Lord is indeed Forgiving and Merciful.”

42. And so it sailed with them amidst waves like hills. And Noah called to his son, who had kept away, “O my son! Embark with us, and do not be with the disbelievers.”

43. He said, “I will take refuge on a mountain-it will protect me from the water.” He said, “There is no protection from God’s decree today, except for him on whom He has mercy.” And the waves surged between them, and he was among the drowned.

44. And it was said, “O earth, swallow your waters,” and “O heaven, clear up.” And the waters receded, and the event was concluded, and it settled on Judi, and it was proclaimed: “Away with the wicked people.”

45. And Noah called to his Lord. He said, “O My Lord, my son is of my family, and Your promise is true, and You are the Wisest of the wise.”

46. He said, “O Noah, he is not of your family. It is an unrighteous deed. So do not ask Me about something you know nothing about. I admonish you, lest you be one of the ignorant.”

47. He said, “O My Lord, I seek refuge with You, from asking You about what I have no knowledge of. Unless You forgive me, and have mercy on me, I will be one of the losers.”

48. It was said, “O Noah, disembark with peace from Us; and with blessings upon you, and upon communities from those with you. And other communities We will grant prosperity, and then a painful torment from Us will befall them.”

49. These are some stories from the past that we reveal to you. Neither you, nor your people knew them before this. So be patient. The future belongs to the pious.

50. And to Aad, their brother Hud. He said, “O my people, worship God, you have no other god besides Him. You do nothing but invent lies.”

My interpretation: 

Gabriel is retelling of the account of the great flood where Noah built his Ark guided by God. After the underwater volcano erupted filling the land with water where Noah was living, he realized that his son was still out there. His son called to him and said he will take cover on a mountain. Noah knew that his son would not survive the event and that God’s promise to wipe that whole area away was made.

Eventually the water receded and the skies cleared up. The Ark is said to have settled on Mount Judi where it was proclaimed to be a new start for Noah and the people who believed. the wicked people have been washed away.

But Noah called out to God and asked for his son, but God told him that his son was one of the wicked and He knew something of Noah’s son’s soul that caused him to be part of the wicked people and not part of his bloodline in terms of being a righteous believer. So Noah realized that once again God had a Plan that he could not know, but must play an important role in and asked God for Mercy.

Line 48, it is hard to know, but I believe this line is actually saying that there were other people already living around Mount Judi that he could build a new community with. It is hard to believe at this time that Noah and a few people on the ark were the only ones left, but in this line it does not say. And really it is not important. What is important is to understand that while there was destruction, there was always a chance at a new beginning for mankind.

The communities that Noah helped foster through faith and good will, prospered spiritually. The communities that were fostered on worship of other gods or men, prospered physically, but eventually they were destroyed and did not live on.

Line 49 is where then Gabriel brings Muhammad back to the present time to explain that a place like Mecca that is living with its gold and luxury will be destroyed soon if they do not comply with living right. Child sacrifice and other immorality being done in worship and in not, will be punished eventually if they do not learn from these revelations. The future belongs to the pious. Just as the Bible brings forth that the meek shall inherit the earth, it means those who are humble and good will get what they deserve in the end because God is good.

Line 50, will bring Muhammad into the story of an ancient people called Aad, and their messenger of the nation called Hud.

Amazingly this photo is of Mount Judi and many scholars and archeologists today claim that this 515ft long crater is once where the ark laid after the waters receded. Sure looks like it to me.

noahs_ark_5

Surah Hud: Chapter 11 (line 20-30) Hud

20. These will not escape on earth, and they have no protectors besides God. The punishment will be doubled for them. They have failed to hear, and they have failed to see.

21. Those are the ones who lost their souls, and what they had invented has strayed away from them.

22. Without a doubt, in the Hereafter, they will be the biggest losers.

23. As for those who believe and do good deeds, and humble themselves before their Lord-these are the inhabitants of Paradise, where they will abide forever.

24. The parable of the two groups is that of the blind and the deaf, and the seeing and the hearing. Are they equal in comparison? Will you not reflect?

25. We sent Noah to his people, “I am to you a clear warner.”

26. “That you shall worship none but God. I fear for you the agony of a painful Day.”

27. The notables who disbelieved among his people said, “We see in you nothing but a man like us, and we see that only the worst among us have followed you, those of immature judgment. And we see that you have no advantage over us. In fact, we think you are liars.”

28. He said, “O my people, Have you considered? If I stand on clear evidence from my Lord, and He has given me a mercy from Himself, but you were blind to it, can we compel you to accept it, even though you dislike it?”

29. “O my people! I ask of you no money for it. My reward lies only with God. And I am not about to dismiss those who believed; they will surely meet their Lord. And I see that you are ignorant people.”

30. “O my people! Who will support me against God, if I dismiss them? Will you not give a thought?”

My interpretation:

I had to go back to include line 19 to understand 20,  “Those who hinder others from the path of God, and seek to make it crooked; and regarding the Hereafter, they are in denial.”

These are the ones who will not escape the judgment of God and the truth of what they have done spiritually to people will experience the harsh truth of what they have done. They will become the loser of paradise because of this guilt they will carry when everything is shown to them.

The believers who do good in the world, have faith in something outside themselves and money, will be the rewarded of paradise. Possibly because they will have learned the lessons their souls need to and have detached from their egos enough to experience bliss.

While there is nothing wrong with someone who looses their sight or is born without sight, the parable is trying to show that someone who doesn’t believe is just like a deaf or blind person. They can not see or hear the Signs from the Lord and will remain in disadvantage of those who can, by their own choice.

Gabriel tells Muhammad that Noah as a messenger said to the people that he had messages to give and for people to heed the warnings. They thought he was just like him and did not take him to be specially appointed to anything, so they laughed at Noah and ridiculed him while blocking others from coming to him to listen to the words of God. They called Noah immature, and others ignorant for following him. But truly they were the ignorant ones.

Noah tried hard to get people to listen to him. He said that he only stands as clear evidence of guidance from the Lord and that he doesn’t want power or money, but only to warn the people. His rewards lies with God and he made sure to tell the people that no reward on earth was he after.

Here at the last line, Noah is asking for  the people to support him and to see that he would never dismiss a person in their curiosity to hear what he has to say. He has a duty to perform for God and fears for his soul to abandon it.

An artist’s depiction of Noah trying to get people to listen to him.

noah_building the ark

 

 

MLK Was a Servant of God: A Muslim’s Perspective

Martin Luther King jr. wasn’t perfect. He had some blemishes in his personal life, but when the Quran says that God will take account of the good and bad of what a person does, I am sure MLK’s good far outweighs the bad.

As a muslim, I consider him my Christian brother under the same God. He didn’t seek to persecute or divide people. He actually tried to unite was has been broken and corrupted by those in charge. He brought people of all color and faiths together of good people who were tired of the injustice in the world.

He taught the African Americans of America to rise above the white’s hate and misguided racism. And now today so many people are the better for it. He followed a calling from above to bring people together in love and peace, and this is the tenants of Islam.

He spoke about unequal wealth distribution towards others just as the Quran teaches that is so wrong of the people in charge and what Muhammad must publicly address.

2:195

And spend in the way of Allah and do not throw [yourselves] with your [own] hands into destruction [by refraining]. And do good; indeed, Allah loves the doers of good.

MLK2-cc_notfreelance

 

MLK also brought the idea of how inaction is a choice and God judges upon that, cause when something is happening to others and you remain neutral you are allowing something to happen and therefore not being a good person that God wants you to.

3:144

Muhammad is not but a messenger. [Other] messengers have passed on before him. So if he was to die or be killed, would you turn back on your heels [to unbelief]? And he who turns back on his heels will never harm Allah at all; but Allah will reward the grateful.

neutral

 

He also showed the willingness to be a submitter to God, otherwise known in Arabic as a “muslim” and was able to serve the higher good. He also understood that EVERYONE can make the choice to serve and submit to God and create peace and spread love around this world.

2:128

Our Lord, and make us Muslims [in submission] to You and from our descendants a Muslim nation [in submission] to You. And show us our rites and accept our repentance. Indeed, You are the Accepting of repentance, the Merciful.

service

Yes…as a muslim, there is no doubt in my mind that this man lies with the angels now. He was our Christian brother, fellow muslims. I hope we take a moment to remember his words and his service, to stop and think about the violence and injustice that is happening to so many others today, that this man died to bring awareness towards. Just as so many other human messengers of God have.