Example of Power vs. Power of Example
Cont’d from page 1
to the people was: “I don’t want revenge on the Taliban, I want education for the sons and daughters of the Taliban”.
That, my fellow submitters is the power of example.
Nelson Mandela (1918-2013) was imprisoned for standing up against Apartheid. After twenty-seven years in prison: Instead of bitterness and hatred, he chose forgiveness. Instead of war, he chose peace. Instead of division, he chose unity. Instead of arrogance, he chose humility. That, my fellow submitters, is the power of example.
Now let’s take a look at the power of example from God and His Quran:
In the Quran, we learn that there shall be no compulsion in religion (2:256). The Quran does not demand belief. Instead, the Quran invites to belief. That is why throughout the Quran, we see verses to the effect:
O people, do you recall so and so?
O people, have you thought of such and such?
O people have you considered so and so?
It is always an invitation (12:108, 22:67) for people to look at the evidence; then decide what to do.
That, my fellow submitters, is the power of example.
A QURANIC POWER OF EXAMPLE
ALMIGHTY GOD: [2:117] The Initiator of the heavens and the earth: to have anything done, He simply says to it, “Be,” and it is. That is why HE is the ALMIGHTY. Yet, with all His might, let us learn from how He instructed Moses to act:
[20:43-44] “Go to Pharaoh, for he transgressed. “Speak to him nicely; he may take heed, or become reverent.”
That, my fellow submitters, is the power of example.
GOD willing, as Submitters, we lead by example.
In the Name of God,
Most Gracious, Most Merciful
His Will of Love
God’s will of love is expressed in Quran; it is in perfect harmony with and consistent with His set laws, ethics and systems and with all of His attributes. God has precisely used the word “love” along with its many different Arabic derivatives in Quran to teach us that love is a logical and realistic feeling that conforms with our God-given gift of freedom (18:29, 2:148, 33:72). Because of our freedom of choice, we will prefer certain things, people, morals, ideologies, talents, etc. In other words, favoring, liking, loving, preferring and making certain choices, all of that demonstrate our God-given freedom.
Our Creator has also expressed for us that He has His preferences. He has cited for us the traits He wants for us to have and detailed for us who exactly is worthy of earning His love or His condemnation. Within Quran, God has stated who He loves or abhors, what He likes or dislikes.
The divine plan behind this is to set for us the basic guidelines for an ideal and righteous community and to help us realize what constitutes evil and what leads to corruption. Also, by stating what He loves and what He doesn’t, who is worthy of His love and who is deserving His wrath, God has made it explicit that His will of love is based on logical conditions, and has its rules. By our own volition, we end up either close to God (in the bliss of Paradise), or far from Him (in Gehenna). We either follow His criteria of love or face the consequences of our own man-made criteria of love. This system is clearly spelled out in the following verses:
[3:30-32] The day will come when each soul will find all the good works it had done brought forth. As for the evil works, it will wish that they were far, far removed.
God alerts you that you shall reverence Him alone. God is Compassionate towards the people. Proclaim: “If you love God, you should follow me.” God will then love you, and forgive your sins. God is Forgiver, Most Merciful. Proclaim: “You shall obey God and the messenger.” If they turn away, God does not love the disbelievers.
It is a myth and utterly illogical to believe that God has ever sent messages through any of His messengers—humans, scriptures or angels—to promote unconditional love. That flawed ideology would imply loving everything, including whatever and whoever God has decreed He abhors. God doesn’t love evil or those that embody it (His enemies) and He sets for us the highest example of all traits (16:60). True believers love what God loves and disown what He disowns and abhors. We have been issued straightforward rules to deal with enemies of God. There is no rule in Quran to love everyone or turn the other cheek for our enemies (9:123, 9:73, 5:54). Unconditional love is a man-made standard that goes against common sense and ironically, against human nature. More importantly, it opposes certain ethics and commands in Quran and it doesn’t follow the best example of love set by the Almighty.
Hypothetically, if God’s love was unconditional, this would defeat the whole purpose of our existence on earth—the final chance to choose Him over Satan. His love would serve as a permission to violate His established laws. There would be no straight or crooked path, no point behind any ethics or commands, because God’s “unconditional love” would be waiting at the end of the road to save us all. This is a myth about God that is based on conjecture, wishful thinking and/or lack of knowledge.
We are obligated as believers and submitters to carefully study the boundaries set for us in Quran in order to pursue love in a safe and constructive manner— the manner that would please God alone
Cont'd on page 4