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[21:23] He is never to be asked about anything He
does, while all others are questioned.
Questioning by its very nature means being doubtful, freethinking,
examining, disbelieving. We frequently deny these human qualities
in others and ourselves despite the fact that we were created with
this very nature.
[18:54] We have cited in this Quran every kind of
example, but the human being is the most argumentative creature.
Many of us become self-righteous prosecutors hiding behind the
Quran when our own individual interpretations of it are questioned
Defenses of the ego can make us intolerant of questions that doubt
our understanding or interpretation of the Quran. This defensive
mechanism contributes to our suspicion of each other. We make unjust
accusations against the questioner to defend our egos, even resorting
to the labeling of questioners as disbelievers.
Efforts to explain the unexplainable with multiple meaning verses,
may satisfy our ego’s need to demonstrate superiority of knowledge,
however we could find ourselves guilty of doing exactly what the
Quran warns us against in Sura 3:7
[3:7] He sent down to you this scripture, containing
straightforward verses—which constitute the essence of the
scripture—as well as multiple-meaning or allegorical verses.
Those who harbor doubts in their hearts will pursue the multiple-meaning
verses to create confusion, and to extricate
a certain meaning. None
knows the true meaning thereof except GOD and those well founded
in knowledge. They say, "We believe in this – all of
it comes from our Lord." Only those who possess intelligence
will take heed.
To harbor means to refuge, shelter, hide, foster. The Quran mentions
the “harboring of doubt” frequently while informing
us that all of our doubts will be brought forth.
[50:16] We created the human, and we know what he
whispers to himself. We are closer to him than his jugular vein.
Therefore we should not cover our ears, eyes and minds out of fear
Questions by their very nature challenge us to examine our doubts
and many of us fail the test of taking a stand for God alone in
denial of our doubts. As the ego fights the challenge, all too often
we end up trying to defend ourselves with multi-meaning verses to
extract a rationale for our individual position rather than referring
to the straightforward verses of the Quran. We circumvent questions
with answers that are opinionated and indirect to the question.
An unanticipated question exposes doubt and uncertainty of all;
therefore even believers fear their doubts being exposed. Those
of us who are students may have experienced this phenomenon when
asking an innocent question of an instructor who does not anticipate
it. Some instructors only invite a recitation of their own teaching
and uninvited questions and responses are abruptly dismissed.
Curiosity vs Inquisitiveness
We often cannot distinguish between curiosity (innocent sincere
questions) and inquisitiveness (meddling,
prying, and challenge to our authority/beliefs). Perhaps this occurs
when we frame our responses from a personal context or due to paranoia
from previous malicious attacks in our experience. In anticipation
of such attacks to our belief system perhaps we become so defensive
that we begin to recite rehearsed responses before allowing ourselves
to hear another’s questions.
As a curious talkative child I was indeed a test for my parents.
They described me as curious rather than bad. Often my questions
were dismissed or given illogical answers (especially about God).
I can remember being punished merely because my questioning such
answers (talkback) had insulted a parental ego. Despite my attempt
to be courteous, I shortly realized that the sin I had committed
was my rejection of a vague answer and my persistence to have my
question answered in a way I could comprehend. I am striving to
be a submitter today because my search for knowledge led me to this
I remember having a recent conversation with my mother. She stated
that I converted to Islam because they could not supply the answers
to my questions and my response was, “yes, that’s how
[29:8] We enjoined the human being to honor his parents.
But if they try to force you to set up idols beside Me, do not obey
them. To Me is your ultimate return, then I will inform you of everything
you had done.
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