Thursday, August 12, 2010

To whom are prophets sent?

Question: I'm thinking that many people are not ... strongly religious. Some might even deny religion publicly, and others just "can't be bothered" with religion in their lives. These are people who live in the world and have religious associations of the lightest kind, giving alms and tithes and going to services on some of the most mandatory dates just to make an appearance. There are probably more such people in our world than there are such as we, who they see as obsessive in our pursuit of such nonsense. It is to these people that the prophets are sent, is it not?
I guess we all need guidance. Intuitively, the thinking mind can identify the presence of a creator/ cause agent / prime mover or whatever label our minds come up with. Also, the conscientious soul can discern between right and wrong. But, to make things clear and inform us of the reality of it, to sift the correct philosophy from the philosophical maze that we reason, I think its a cherished blessing that we all need to be thankful for.
In fact, God says in the Quran that the prophets' only duty is to give glad tidings and warn. There is no compulsion in religion, and only those who are essentially good will willingly heed to the message. Therefore, the prophets need not worry and cry their hearts out in compassion for those who do not heed to the message. They should only persevere with the message, knowing that only God knows what's in the hearts, thus sharing the message with all, and not giving up on anyone.
This discussion group itself is a good example of thinking souls, searching for answers, coming up with their own ideas of who / what this force is, whether it is sentient or not, if this is all part of evolution where the 'force' had no choice or whether it is a deliberate divine act, do we need to acknowledge and deify this force, if yes, then who and how? We need guidance. Let me share the oft-repeated seven verses, a prayer we recite daily in our prayers. We ask for guidance on the right path... as left to our own devices, it would be easy to get lost in our thoughts and ideas, and end up misguided.
Holy Quran Chapter 1 Verses 1-7
1 In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.
2 Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds,
3 The Beneficent, the Merciful.
4 Master of the Day of Judgment,
5 Thee (alone) we worship; Thee (alone) we ask for help.
6 Show us the straight path,
7 The path of those whom Thou hast favoured; Not the (path) of those who earn Thine anger nor of those who go astray.

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