Today when I was at the Mosque, it was a shame to see so many people dozing off as the Imam gave his sermon. It clearly didn’t interest them enough to keep them awake. It’s a big problem: far too often Imams at Mosques repeat stories from the Quran that they’ve told many times before.
The Quran, however, is not just a book of stories. It deals with everything from cosmology and cosmography, to psychology and the existential questions philosophers have lost sleep over.
Perhaps of paramount importance in today’s age, especially in the west, is the Quran’s message to atheists.
The Islamic tradition holds that God created everything out of a divine act of Love so that we may come to know Him. The word for human being in Arabic is Insaan, which comes from the word Nisyan, which means to forget. When we enter into this world, many of us forget who we are and where we came from. The Quran calls itself a reminder: its purpose is to remind people, or, as others say, to wake us up.
But many of us expect to be able to snuggle up with the Quran and read it as if it’s just another book. This is what Lesley Hazleton made of the Quran when she read it:
And if anyone does intend on reading the Quran, Gai Eaton, author of the masterpiece, Islam and the Destiny of Man, said: “If they are by nature superficial they will find it in [the Quran] only superficialities, and if profound, profundities in corresponding measures. If they come arrogantly, they will interpret certain verses as justification for their arrogance…”
Is this all there is?
And they [the disbelievers] say: “There is naught but the life of this world and we shall not be raised [from the dead].” 6:29
The Divine reply is:
“Not in play did We create the heavens and the earth and all that is in between them.” 44:38
“Deem ye that We did but create you in vain and that ye shall not be brought back unto Us?” 23:115
Why doesn’t God give us a miracle? Well, as an atheist told me recently, even if he did see an “angel” it would probably be his “mind playing tricks on him”.
“Even if We did send unto them angels, and the dead did speak unto them, and We gathered together all things before their very eyes, they would not believe, unless it is in Allah’s Plan: But most of them ignore (the truth).” 6:111
Where did we come from?
“Were they created of nothing, or are they themselves the creators?” 52: 35-36
And where are we going?
“Where are you going?” 81:26
Maybe we’ve been tricked!
“Do not let the chief-deciever deceive you about Allah.”