Lesson 5: A True Story
We have said that in the depths of the spirit of those who deny God with their tongue, a faith in God exists.
There is no doubt that victories and successes - especially for individuals with few possibilities - develops pride and this very pride becomes the source for forgetfulness, to the point where often a person even forgets his or her own opinions. But the moment that a storm of difficulties throws their life into chaos and the strong wind of difficulties attacks that person from all sides, the curtains of pride and selfishness moves away from their eyes and divinely-created nature (fitrat) and monotheism (the belief that God is One) appears.
History gives many examples of individuals who were like this, whose lives were full of deceit:
There was a minister who was very strong and powerful in his age. He had taken control of most of the power and no one opposed him. One day he entered a meeting in which a group of religious scholars were present. He turned to them and said, "For how long will you continue to say that God exists? I have many reasons to prove other- wise."
He said this with special pride. As the scholars who were present knew that he was not a reasonable or logical person and that power and strength had made him so proud that no words of truth would affect him, they ignored him and remained silent, a meaningful and humble silence.
This event passed. After a time, the minister insulted someone. The ruler of the time had him arrested and thrown in to jail.
One of the scholars who was present at the gathering thought to himself that the time to awaken him had come. Now that he has gotten off the horse of pride and the curtain of self-interest has moved away from his eyes, and the sense of accepting the truth was awakened in him, if he contacts him and gives rum words of advice, it may produce good results. He received permission to visit him and he went to the prison. As he neared rum, he saw that he was in a room all alone, walking back and forth and thinking and he was recalling a poem which said, "We are all like drawings or paintings of a lion which are painted or drawn on a flag. When the wind blows, it moves and perhaps even attacks, but in reality it has nothing from itself. Its strength is the wind which gives it power. We, also, as we gain more power, have nothing from ourselves. It is God who has given this strength to us and whenever He wills, He can take it from us."
The above-mentioned scholar saw that under these conditions, not only does he not deny the existence of God, but he has become ardently aware of God. After greeting him he said, "Do you recall how you said you have many reasons for the non-existence of God. I have come to answer those many reasons with just one response, "God is He Who, with such ease, took your power away from you." He hung his head in shame and did not answer because he knew that he had been wrong and he saw the light of God within himself. The Holy Quran says,
وَجَاوَزْنَا بِبَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ الْبَحْرَ فَأَتْبَعَهُمْ فِرْعَوْنُ وَجُنُودُهُ بَغْيًا وَعَدْوًا ۖ حَتَّىٰ إِذَا أَدْرَكَهُ الْغَرَقُ قَالَ آمَنْتُ أَنَّهُ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا الَّذِي آمَنَتْ بِهِ بَنُو إِسْرَائِيلَ وَأَنَا مِنَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ
"We took the Israeli tribes across the sea, Pharaoh and his has is followed them in pride and insolence. At length, when overwhelmed with the flood. he said. ‘I believe that there is no god except Him whom the Israeli tribes believe in. I am of those who submit (muslimin).' "(10:90)
1. Describe the consequences of the true story in several lines.
2. Why are the Israeli tribe called "Israeli tribe"?
3. Who was Pharaoh? Where did he live? What claims did he make?