F How are you, son?
S You know Dad, it’s obvious. I’m not the same as before at all.
F Why? Are you sick?
S I wish I am sick!
F Don’t say that, son! What happened?
S You’re asking me “What happened?” It was me who asked you this question last night.
F Everything is alright.
S What do you mean alright? You threw me into a sea of doubt; the huge waves drifted me away from the coast. Neither swimming nor riding a boat could save me.
F Thank God, thank God. It was exactly what I wanted.
S Dad, why did you do that? Please tell me.
F I’ll tell you, but first tell me where you have finally reached after you’ve been thrown away by the waves where neither swimming nor riding a boat could help you.
S I felt weak and lost. There was no way and no one who could be of assistance. I began looking for an absolute power to save me from this rough sea and help me reach the coast safely. Suddenly I felt that this power is near me, so I exclaimed profoundly: “O God the greatest”, and then a feeling of reassurance and certainty submerged me and made the doubts go away. Then I departed the sea of the awful doubt to the coast of faith.
F Well-done son. God be praised. This was exactly what I wanted for you. I wanted you to find God by yourself and to suffer in this trip, so you know the value of what you have found. I wanted you to experience the trip from doubt to faith in order to believe in the God that you have found, not the one that you’ve heard of from your father. There is a big difference between this and that.
S You are right Dad. My heart is filled up with confidence after that painful experience. And now I do feel the difference between my former faith and the new one I gained after this conscientious experience.
F This experience is called the conscientious reasoning of God’s existence. It’s neither based on rational reasoning nor on intellectual analysis and theological inference. It’s the reason for the pure nature, simple and genuine experience that leads naturally to God after dusting off the heaps of misunderstanding that concealed the truth.
S Explain more, Dad!
F Look son, human nature instinctively believes in God and it doesn’t need a reason. Have you ever seen how a thirsty person moves directly towards water? If you stop him/her while he/she is raising the glass to drink and ask whether he/she is sure that what he/she is drinking is water, what will he/she reply?
S So, why don’t most people believe in God if their innate nature is their guide?
F Son, an eye sees but if you put a thick headband on it, then it won’t. An ear can hear, but it cannot if it gets stuffed. Human nature works in the same way but it should be unrestricted and free. Lust must not control it and satanic temptations should not conceal it.
S Yes, Dad. Please continue your interesting talk.
F The conscientious reasoning of God’s existence says that if human beings get used to living in a deviating society that inherited aberration from its ancestors, the innate nature of the members of that society will be impaired. The following is a quotation from the Quran: “But long ages passed over them and their hearts grew hard? For many among them are rebellious transgressors.” Also read about the inheritance of straying and aberration: “We found our fathers following a certain cult, and we do guide ourselves by their footsteps.”
If a human being continues with life full of lust and extravagance, his nature will be dull, as God Says: “But after them there followed a posterity who missed prayers and followed after lusts soon.”
The Quran expresses regret for those unbelievers who are greedy, take over other people’s inheritance unjustly, and love being wealthy.
Another verse mentions that innate nature can remain impaired until the end of life if love of wealth and offspring overcomes the human nature: “The mutual rivalry for piling up (the good things of this world) diverts you. Until ye visit the graves.”
If you read history, you’ll find that the desire for life left its impacts on historical events. That’s why [the tribe of] Quraish was afraid that their political and financial powers would collapse after the emergence of Islam. Another case was when some of the companions of the Prophet came to `Ali son of Abu-Talib to congratulate him on assuming the post of caliphate. He blew out the candle to show that he would not spend even what a candle would worth from the public money to have their support. Soon they joined the enemy’s camp, and they fought him in the Jamal (The Camel) battle.
Also, as you know the sexual desire instigated Ibn Moljam to kill Ali to marry a beautiful woman named Qotam. Omar ibn Sa`d Killed Imam al-Husayn1 to be the ruler of Ray province. The `Abbasid dynasty grasped the power even though they had already known that they have no right to assume power. Harun al-Rashid, an `Abbasid ruler, once addressed his son: “If you compete with me for the power, I’ll issue an order to behead you.”
S So, it’s the desire that kills the innate nature.
F No, it doesn’t kill nature, but impairs it. Nature never dies.
S So, how can we re-activate its power?
F By giving it a shock.
S That was exactly what you have done with me, wasn’t it?
F Yes, son.
S Well-done Dad!
F Good for you, son. You have successfully passed the test. Your mother was worried about you but I wasn’t. I had confidence in your pure nature, you know.
S Did Mom know about it?
F Yes, I let her know, in order not to spoil the plan, I mean... to help me with it.
S Oh! So, you involved her in order not to spoil the plan... you mean to help you. Do you think both of these sentences have the same meaning?
F Son, you know she is a mother and she is full of kindness and mercy for her son. Thus, it was not easy for her at all to see you in that situation without disclosing the secret.
S Well Dad, let’s go back to the main subject, I mean our discussion about conscientious reasoning of God’s existence or the innate reasoning. I have a question for you.
F Go ahead.
S Who taught you how to perform such a plan to awaken my static nature and allow me to live the conscientious experience?
F Who taught me? Don’t you know that knowledge and delivering of knowledge is a blessing?
S Quite true.
F “And ye have no good thing but is from Allah”
S God be praised!
F Isn’t it true that having knowledge comes after the fact that one didn’t know anything before?
F “Taught man that which he knew not”
S So, it was God that showed you how to awaken the static nature through shock. But how did God show you that?
F “Verify this Qur’an guides to that which is most right (or stable)”
S Oh, now I understand. There is a verse. I guess it’s from the Meccan2 chapter, narrating an experience about sailing in the sea while the climate was good. Then the ship reached the high seas where tempest raged and waves were overwhelming. The passengers were terrified and looked for someone to save them from an inevitable death. With all the anguish, they turned to God and God saved them... Glory to God... this is the same experience that I went through yesterday, but instead of a real sea it was a sea of doubt.
F I didn’t wish to throw you in a real sea. I have not been told to do so.
S Is it rational that you have been instructed to do so?
F Why not?
S How can it be sensible for a father to throw his son in a sea?
F What if you see a mother is ordered to throw her son in the sea.
S I can’t believe it.
F You forgot the Quran...
S Oh, yes, right... “So We sent this inspiration to the mother of Moses: “Suckle (thy child).”
F “but when thou hast fears about him, cast him into the river, but fear not nor grieve: for We shall restore him to thee, and We shall make him one of Our apostles.”
S It was a great tribulation for this forbearing mother!
F Your God afflicts everyone with trials according to his endurance. Human beings must suffer on earth. The Mulk Chapter explains that tribulation is one of the reasons behind the creation of the human beings. O son! Don’t assume that tribulation only means trouble, disaster or something of the sort. It means trial and test. God tests human beings in various situations. “He Who created death and life, that He may try which of you is best in deed.”
Notice the following holy verses:
“We have tried them with both prosperity and adversity.” “and We test you by evil and by good by way of trial” “Now, as for man, when his Lord trieth him, giving him honor and gifts, then saith he, (puffed up), “My Lord hath honored me.” “But when He trieth him, restricting his subsistence for him, then saith he (in despair), “My Lord hath humiliated me!”
S So God tests all His servants anyway. He grants them something to see what they will do. On the other hand, God sometimes prevents his servants from something in order to see their response.
And the most severe afflictions are specified for prophets, and the next are the virtuous believers.
F Yes son. Because they have the strongest endurance for bearing troubles. But the principle that you should bear in mind is that it is impossible for God to afflict human beings greater than their ability. God is fair and merciful and doesn’t afflict a person with something beyond his capacity.
S But Dad, we see some people suffer from a severe affliction and they say that they cannot endure it.
F This is impossible, son. God doesn’t charge a person with something more than his power and ability. Those people are able to overcome their troubles with strength and forbearance unknown to them. Remember your experience yesterday, could you imagine that you would have borne that doubt which shocked all your indisputable religious ideologies?
S You’re right Dad. I couldn’t imagine that I’d bear that. I thought that I’d become a disbeliever or turn mad.
F Now you are neither disbeliever nor mad. You were able to endure that tribulation, but you were not aware of your ability. God made that clear to you and to those who think that they’re unable to bear certain difficulties.
S While reading Quran, I sometimes pass by the story of Abraham and how God commanded him to sacrifice his son. He woke up and told the dream to his son Ishmael, who instantly agreed and said: “O my father! Do as thou art commanded: thou will find me, if Allah so wills one practicing Patience and Constancy!” At that Moment, I shake humbly for this submissiveness to God, Glory be to Him, especially when Abraham held the knife on his son. Dad!
When I visualize this scene, I shudder. The son was on the ground, the father was holding a sharp knife in his right hand onto his son’s neck and his son’s head was in his left hand. Ishmael surrendered to his father who was passing the knife on the neck of his dear one, but the knife didn’t hurt the son. The father thought that this maybe because of his fatherly passion, so he pressed more on the knife to slaughter his son, but O God! The knife didn’t harm him. You know Dad, my body trembles when I talk about this.
F Me too. I believe that this is a true holy love. Don’t you see my voice is wavering and my eyes are pouring tears while I’m listening to you? Two great loves competed, but the greater love (the love and obedience to God) overcame the lesser one (the father’s love for his son and the son’s love of life)!
S How great is the patience of Abraham and Ishmael on this tribulation! God says: “And We shall try you until We test those among you who strive their utmost and persevere in patience; and We shall try your reported (mettle).”
F O son, prophets suffered much more than this. God tested them with wives who hurt them, sons who disobeyed them and tribes who deserted them but they were patient and strong. So that God compensates them. You know that God rewards those who endure ultimately.
S I wish I could have lived during the time of prophets to believe in them, support them and strive with them for the sake of God. But, unfortunately this is a wish that will never come true.
F Why not son?
S How could it be, while we are many centuries away from them?
F My son. God, be He exalted, said: “All who obey Allah and the Apostle are in the company of those on whom the Grace of Allah is, of the prophets (who teach), the sincere (lovers of Truth), the witnesses (who testify), and the Righteous (who do good): Ah! What a beautiful fellowship!”
S So the way is clear, it is by obeying God and His prophet[s].
F You can fulfill your wish in his way, so don’t get disappointed. One more thing; don’t you love them?
S Yes, I do Dad.
F So you’ll meet them in the hereafter. There, people will be with those whom they love.
S You don’t mean superficial love, do you?
F Of course not. The true love is the one which leads us to follow prophets’ way.
S Well Dad, here you go back to the subject of love!
F Is religion anything but love? OK son... now go to bed early so that you can wake up for the morning prayers. Good night
S OK Dad, good night.
- 1. Imam al-Husayn, son of Imam `Ali, is buried in Karbala, a city in Iraq. Imam al-Husayn’s tragic story is one of the most famous and impressive stories in Islam, especially amongst the Shi`ah. He is considered the first hero of Islam who sacrificed himself and his sons for the sake of God and religion. I recommend you to read his story. You’ll find it really impressing and worthwhile.
- 2. According to the place of their revelation, the Chapters (Surah) of the Holy Qur'an are divided into Meccan (those revealed at Mecca) and Madanite (those revealed at al-Madinah).