Lesson 3: Two Clear Ways of Knowing God
From the earliest of times until today, books have been, written about coming to know God and a great deal has been said by scholars and non-scholars.
Each one chooses a way in order to come to understand this issue but from among all of the ways, there are two ways which can help us to grow near to this great Creator of the universe:
First, an inward way (the closest way) Second, an outward way (the clearest way)
With the first way, we get in touch with our deep, inner self and we hear the cry of monotheism from within the depths of ourselves.
With the second way, we explore the expansive created world, and we see the signs of the Creator in all creatures and in the heart of every atom. Each one of these two ways requires a great deal of explanation, but what we will try -to do is to briefly study each one of these two ways.
Let us think about the following:
1. Scholars say that every human being who thinks, from whatever class or race one be, if left alone, receives no special training, not even hears the, words of people who worship God nor the words of materialists , that person will naturally become aware of a force or power which is above nature and which rules all of the world.
In the corners of one's heart and spirit, one will sense a very subtle sound, which is full of kindness and, at the same time, clear and firm, which calls one towards the great Source of the universe and the power that we call God. This is that very pure, divinely-created human nature of people.
2. It is possible that one becomes occupied with the commotion in the material world and one's daily life and the lights and attractions of life and one may temporarily neglect to hear this sound, but when one finds oneself facing problems and difficulties, whenever a natural catastrophe like a flood or an earthquake of a hurricane comes, yea, at this time, when one is curtailed from all means of material life, and when one finds no place of refuge, this inner sound gains strength. One senses that within one's self, a power is calling one, a power which is superior to all forces, a secret force and all difficulties and problems seem simple before it.
It is rare to find a person who in such difficulties does not automatically turn to God. It is this issue which shows how close we are to Him and how close He is to us. He is in our spirit and our very soul. Of course, the cry of instinct (nature) is always within a person but at times like this, it finds greater force.
3. Our history shows that even the powerful rulers who, at the time of peace and calm, refuse to even mention the Name of God, when the bases of their power begin to shake an d they see that they are about to lose all of their power, they turn to God and they hear the voice of their Divinely created nature.
History tells us that when Pharaoh saw that he was drowning in the waves of the sea, he said, "I confess that there is no god but the great God of Moses." This cry came from his soul. Not only Pharaoh, but all people who are in a state or condition like he was, cry out the same thing he did.
4. If you study the real reasons for this, you will agree that a light shines from there which calls you to God. Perhaps there have been times when you have met with difficulties and problems and all of the usual ways of solving problems do not work. At that moment, most certainly, you have seen that there is a force in the world which can easily solve it.
At this moment, a hope mixed with love fills your spirit and soul and it removes the clouds of darkness from our soul. Yeah. This is the closest way which a person can take to God.
We know that this question may arise for some of you. Does this possibility not exist that based upon what we have been taught by our environment, our father and mother, at sensitive moments, we begin to think that we should not ask God for help?
We know you are right and correct in asking this question, but we have a very interesting answer which we give in the next lesson. The Holy Quran says,
فَإِذَا رَكِبُوا فِي الْفُلْكِ دَعَوُا اللَّهَ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدِّينَ فَلَمَّا نَجَّاهُمْ إِلَى الْبَرِّ إِذَا هُمْ يُشْرِكُونَ
"Now, if they embark on a boat. they call on God, making their devotion sincerely (and exclusively) to Him; but when He has delivered them safely to (dry) land. behold, they give a share (of their worship to others)!" (29:65)
1. Try to memorize the surah number, verse number and meaning of word to word translation and gradually become familiar with the language of the Holy Quran.
2. Has a complicated problem ever arisen for you for which no solution seemed available to you except the kindness of God, the Almighty? (Write or tell about it briefly).
3. Why is this way called the closest way?