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Article appeared Friday, April 16th, 2010 in The News Today, Bangladesh

The Revelation (126) yousuf mahbubul Islam, PhD

Why do people study? For example why do engineers study the subject of engineering in-depth?
One reason could be to find out how things work and discover how to make things for the benefit
of man. Once engineers build things, they often provide maintenance manuals for the users.
Maintenance manuals generally guide users on how to get the best use out of the product in
question. Is there a type of person who ignores the maintenance manual provided?

Now, which type of person would you call wise? The person who consults the manual to find out
about the manufactured product or the person who personally feels he/she knows better and
does not consult the manual? Which of the two is more likely to get better use from the
manufactured product and what opinion would you have of the person who feels he/she knows
better than the manufacturer? Incidentally, is it necessary for the engineer who built the product
to personally handover the manual? Or is it sufficient to make it available somehow? Can making
the manual conveniently available be counted as a favor?

Similarly, would created intelligent beings need a maintenance manual? Do human beings need
to know how to get the best out of this life? If the Creator actually sent down such a manual, what
should such a manual be called? What, in fact, does Revelation mean and what in fact is
embodied in the Qur’an? Allah asks:
“…you (would) have not expected that the Book would be sent to you except as a Mercy
from your Lord...?” [28.86]

“We have Revealed for you a Book in which is a Message for you: will you not then
understand?” [21.10]

In addition, what arrangements did the Creator make to help man understand Revelation easily?
“And no question do they bring to thee (O Prophet) but We Reveal to thee the truth and
the best explanation (thereof).” [25.33]

What better way to help mankind understand the Maintenance Manual than to Reveal Answers
as and when questions were asked – something akin to frequently asked questions (FAQ)?
“Should He not know He that created? And He is the One that understands the finest
mysteries (and) is well-acquainted (with them).” [67.14]

Why has the Creator sent Revelation? An example of Guidance:

“These are Verses of the Wise Book, a Guide and a Mercy to the doers of good; those
who establish regular Prayer and give regular charity and have (in their hearts) the
assurance of the Hereafter. These are on (true) guidance from their Lord; and these are
the ones who will prosper.” [31.2 – 31.5]

Verses 31.2 – 31.5 put forward three major characteristics of those who will achieve success;
1. adore the Creator by showing gratitude through sincere prayer
2. give regular charity and
3. in their hearts are satisfied with the Creator’s Promise of the Hereafter

On the other hand, for those who do not wish to follow Guidance, Allah says
“Leave them alone to enjoy (the good things of this life) and to please themselves: let
(false) hopes amuse them: soon will knowledge (undeceive them).” [15.3]
Since there is no compulsion in religion [2.256], should Allah force wisdom on people?
“If it had been the Lord's Will they would all have believed all who are on earth! Will you
then compel mankind against their (free) will to believe?” [10.99]

As wisdom is a Created entity, only the Creator can Grant Guidance, however, He Grants
Guidance to only those who sincerely seek Guidance.

2.269 “He grants wisdom to whom He pleases; and he to whom wisdom is granted
receives indeed a benefit overflowing; but none will grasp the message but men of
Allah will not force Guidance on anyone, as
“"…Allah does advance in Guidance those who seek guidance;…” [19.76]

Who are those that will gain understanding?

“…study it (Revelation) as it should be studied…” [2.121]

And not those who argue to present logic against Guidance:

“And when they are told, "Spend of (the bounties) with which Allah has provided you."
Unbelievers say to those who believe: "Shall we then feed those whom if Allah had so
willed He would have fed (Himself)?..."” [36.47]

For example, wisdom tells us that it is differences [5.48] that create the opportunities to be
charitable. Even to be charitable, one needs to study and find out for himself/herself why charity
needs to be given and in what manner.

2.270 “And whatever you spend in charity or devotion be sure Allah knows it all.
But the wrong-doers have no helpers.”
What is charity? Allah Guides:
“"But seek with that (resources) which Allah has bestowed on you the Home of the
Hereafter nor forget your portion in this world: but do good as Allah has been good to
you and seek not (occasions for) mischief in the land:…"” [28.77]

“We ordained…"Life for life eye for eye nose for nose ear for ear tooth for tooth and
wounds equal for equal." But if anyone remits the retaliation by way of charity it is an
act of atonement for himself...” [5.45]

2.271 “If you disclose (acts of) charity even so it is well but if you conceal them
and make them reach those (really) in need that is best for you: it will remove from
you some of your (stains of) evil. And Allah is well acquainted with what you do.”
Helping others understand the Message of Allah is also considered an act of charity or good. The
test of a messenger, however, is not whether the listener comes over to the right path. The test is
only whether the message has been delivered sincerely keeping in mind the rights of the listener.

2.272 “It is not required of you (O Apostles) to set them on the right path but Allah
sets on the right path whom He pleases. Whatever of good you give benefits your
own souls and you shall only do so seeking the "Face" of Allah. Whatever good
you give, shall be rendered back to you and you shall not be dealt with unjustly.”
Charity itself must be free of any intentions other than to seek the pleasure of the Creator.
“Those who spend their wealth for increase in self-purification and have in their minds no
favor from anyone (or) for which a reward is expected in return, but only the desire to
seek the countenance of their Lord Most High – soon will they attain (complete)
satisfaction.” [92.18 – 92.21]