Weekly Activity – Sharing The Miracles In Our Lives

[2:118] Those who possess no knowledge say, “If only GOD could speak to us, or some miracle could come to us!” Others before them have uttered similar utterances; their minds are similar. We do manifest the miracles for those who have attained certainty.

Every day in our lives we experience miracles. The difference between the believer and the disbeliever is that when we see a miracle we recognize that it is from God an not just mere coincidence. A great depiction of this is from the movie Pulp Fiction, when the two assassins barely miss death from being shot at point blank range. While one of the assassins saw this as divine intervention and changed the course of his life the other thought this was just a coincidence that the person was just a bad shot.

God’s miracles are all around us and it is from the grace of God that we can recognize these miracles when they occur.

From our bodies:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BnNFMv561jY

To the universe:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8nUMBtEcvs

To every day life:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-v0fG2Pvp0

Below are some of the stories that were shared…

Flower pots
We were clearing the house and had a lot of large nice pots that we wanted to donate to Goodwill. We didn’t know if Goodwill was the best venue to find someone who would have the most use for the pots, but didn’t know of any alternatives. We were planning on dropping off the pots prior to Friday Prayer and were running late so decided that we would drop it off afterwards. After Friday Prayer we went to grab lunch and accidentally made a wrong turn. When we went to make a U-turn we just happened to turn into a parking lot with a sign saying “Lotus Gardens: Donations Welcome” It ended up this was a new project that they were starting to try to give work to homeless women through selling of garden supplies. They were more than enthusiastic to take our donations.

High School Exit Exam
When high school every student was required to take a test to see if they can make it to university. After the test they posted the results on a bulletin board. I was a really good student and thought for sure that I would be admitted, but upon reviewing the list I saw that my name was not posted. Distraught I went home and told my father who contact my brother in the United States and started the process for a visa to study in the states. When my other brother heard that I did not place on the exam he wanted to double check. When he went and looked into the matter he saw that my name was placed in-between the tears of the page and that I was actually admitted. I didn’t think anything about this for ten years. Within that ten years I finished school, got married, had two kids and then war erupted. As I was determining what would be best to do for my family my visa arrived and I was admitted to move to the US and bring my family.

Passport Ride
One night I accidentally left my passport on the top of my car and forgot about it. The following day I jumped in my car to go to work. I drove 25 miles on the highway going 70 mph. When I got to work and got out of the car I saw my son’s passport still sitting on top of the car.

Car Troubles
I was driving through a busy eight lane intersection in the middle of rush hour when my car broke down. Everyone was swerving and honking at me and I thought I was going to die, when someone very calmly drove up put cones around my car and told me to not worry. He casually pushed the minivan through the traffic and onto the side of the road. Then picked up the cones and drove off.

Lost Memory Stick
My dad lost his memory stick and was looking everywhere for it. A couple days later I find it on the street and it was heavily damaged and looked to have been ran over multiple times. I gave it to my dad and to everyone’s surprise it still worked and my dad was able to retrieve his files.

Wedding Ring Mishap
One day I get out of the shower and notice that I lost my wedding ring. Something inspired me to check in front of my kids school in the parking lot. When I went there in the middle of the street I found my ring still intact even though it was ran over by a car.

Misplaced Wallet
I left my wallet in the middle of a busy downtown area on a park bench, but didn’t realize it until we were nearly home. I started to panic thinking that for sure someone probably took my wallet. I recited the key asking God to protect my wallet as we drove back. When I finished I noticed that the license plate in front of us was 4HER114. I took this message as don’t worry “for her” “4HER” and 114 = 19×6. Praise God when we got back to the park bench it was still there and nothing was missing from it.

Ninja Reflexes
When I was 16 years old I was playing at a park with some friends, when an officer stops us and accuses us of breaking a window at the school the night before. I was the oldest and objected to the officer. The officer was not taking nice to my objections and began to get really confrontational. He got right up to my face and went to slap me across the face. I didn’t see the slap coming, but without knowing it managed to put my hand up just in time to block the slap. Both officer and me were shocked and stared at each other in disbelief as my hand was still up next to my face. The officer then took a pause and stepped back took a deep breath and said perhaps you were not the ones who caused the damage. Then walked away.

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2:124 – 2:141

Study Notes: 2:124 – 2:141

What was the commands that God tested Abraham with?

Abraham
[2:124] Recall that Abraham was put to the test by his Lord, through certain commands, and he fulfilled them. (God) said, “I am appointing you an imam for the people.” He said, “And also my descendants?” He said, “My covenant does not include the transgressors.”

Some people believe that this test was the dream that Abraham had from Satan that he should sacrifice Ismail.

Another belief is that this is referring to the command that God gave Abraham in the Bible in Genesis Chapter 17 to perform circumcision as part of the covenant. The reason for this is that God tests us with His commands to follow His laws. For instance God tells the believers to do their Salat, give their Zakat, give to charity and we can choose to abide by these laws or not.

[33:36] No believing man or believing woman, if GOD and His messenger issue any command, has any choice regarding that command. Anyone who disobeys GOD and His messenger has gone far astray.

This is different than the admission tests as the admission test is when Satan makes a claim against an individual and the Satan is allowed by God to administer the test under the guidelines that God sets. An example of this can be seen with the tests that Adam, Job, Jesus (Matthew 4:1-11) had to endure. In these examples it was Satan who was testing them.

Genesis Chapter 17:

  1. Now when Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty; Walk before Me, and be blameless.
  2. “I will establish My covenant between Me and you, And I will multiply you exceedingly.”
  3. Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying,
  4. “As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, And you will be the father of a multitude of nations.
  5. “No longer shall your name be called Abram, But your name shall be Abraham; For I have made you the father of a multitude of nations.
  6. I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of you, and kings will come forth from you.
  7. I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you.
  8. I will give to you and to your descendants after you, the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”
  9. God said further to Abraham, “Now as for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations.
  10. This is My covenant, which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: every male among you shall be circumcised.
  11. And you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin, and it shall be the sign of the covenant between Me and you.
  12. And every male among you who is eight days old shall be circumcised throughout your generations, a servant who is born in the house or who is bought with money from any foreigner, who is not of your descendants.
  13. A servant who is born in your house or who is bought with your money shall surely be circumcised; thus shall My covenant be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.
  14. But an uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that person shall be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant.”

Another belief is that this command was to be devoted to God alone.

Also, worth pointing out that the word in the verse “commands” is plural.

Another belief is that when Abraham encountered his father and father threatened to stone him that this could be part of the test.

Abraham
[19:41] Mention in the scripture Abraham; he was a saint, a prophet.
[19:42] He said to his father, “O my father, why do you worship what can neither hear, nor see, nor help you in any way?
[19:43] “O my father, I have received certain knowledge that you did not receive. Follow me, and I will guide you in a straight path.
[19:44] “O my father, do not worship the devil. The devil has rebelled against the Most Gracious.
[19:45] “O my father, I fear lest you incur retribution from the Most Gracious, then become an ally of the devil.”
[19:46] He said, “Have you forsaken my gods, O Abraham? Unless you stop, I will stone you. Leave me alone.”
[19:47] He said, “Peace be upon you. I will implore my Lord to forgive you; He has been Most Kind to me.
[19:48] “I will abandon you and the gods you worship beside GOD. I will worship only my Lord. By imploring my Lord alone, I cannot go wrong.”
[19:49] Because he abandoned them and the gods they worshiped beside GOD, we granted him Isaac and Jacob, and we made each of them a prophet.
[19:50] We showered them with our mercy, and we granted them an honorable position in history.

Abraham Delivered All the Practices of Submission (Islam)

Abraham Delivered All the Practices of Submission (Islam)

[2:127] As Abraham raised the foundations of the shrine, together with Ismail (they prayed): “Our Lord, accept this from us. You are the Hearer, the Omniscient.

Submission (Islam): Abraham’s Religion*

[2:135] They said, “You have to be Jewish or Christian, to be guided.” Say, “We follow the religion of Abraham – monotheism – he never was an idol worshiper.” 

Footnote: *2:135 The Quran repeatedly informs us that Submission is the religion of Abraham (3:95, 4:125, 6:161, 22:78). Abraham received a practical “scripture,” namely, all the duties and practices of Submission [the Contact Prayers (Salat), the obligatory charity (Zakat), the fasting of Ramadan, and the Hajj pilgrimage]. Muhammad was a follower of Abraham’s religion, as we see in 16:123; he delivered this Final Testament, the Quran. The third messenger of Submission delivered the religion’s proof of authenticity (see 3:81 and Appendices 1, 2, 24, & 26).

[2:130] Who would forsake the religion of Abraham, except one who fools his own soul? We have chosen him in this world, and in the Hereafter he will be with the righteous.
[2:131] When his Lord said to him, “Submit,” he said, “I submit to the Lord of the universe.”
[2:132] Moreover, Abraham exhorted his children to do the same, and so did Jacob: “O my children, GOD has pointed out the religion for you; do not die except as submitters.”

We follow the religion of Abraham the one who named us Submitters

[2:134] Such is a community from the past. They are responsible for what they earned, and you are responsible for what you earned. You are not answerable for anything they have done.

[2:139] Say, “Do you argue with us about GOD, when He is our Lord and your Lord? We are responsible for our deeds, and you are responsible for your deeds. To Him alone we are devoted.”

2:134 shows that the religion of Submission is between us and God and not the past communities, and from 2:139 we see that we are each responsible for our own deeds. Each community is responsible for their own works and we are not responsible for the works of other’s.

How do we know that it was Satan that made Abraham have the dream to sacrifice Ismail?

Abraham was going through an admission test. The admission test is carried out by Satan as seen with the examples of Adam and the tree, Job with his wealth and family, and Jesus (Matthew 4:1 -11)

Satanic Dream*
[37:102] When he grew enough to work with him, he said, “My son, I see in a dream that I am sacrificing you. What do you think?” He said, “O my father, do what you are commanded to do. You will find me, GOD willing, patient.” 

Footnote: *37:102 The Most Merciful never advocates evil (7:28). As with Job, Satan claimed that Abraham loved his son too much, and was permitted to put Abraham to that severe test.

[37:103] They both submitted, and he put his forehead down (to sacrifice him).

God Intervenes to Save Abraham and Ismail
[37:104] We called him: “O Abraham.
[37:105] “You have believed the dream.” We thus reward the righteous.
[37:106] That was an exacting test indeed.

God never advocates sin, therefore God would never inspire or command a believer to commit murder.

Examine All Inherited Information
[7:28] They commit a gross sin, then say, “We found our parents doing this, and GOD has commanded us to do it.” Say, “GOD never advocates sin. Are you saying about GOD what you do not know?”

Abraham was a righteous individual and wouldn’t be inspired on his own to murder his own son Ismail who was also a righteous individual. Therefore the inspiration was from Satan and not from God or from himself?

Who tests us?

God tests us through His commands, while Satan carries out the admission test when he makes a claim on the human being.

In 2:125 who does the “You” refer to in the “You shall purify My house”?

[2:125] We have rendered the shrine (the Ka`aba) a focal point for the people, and a safe sanctuary. You may use Abraham’s shrine as a prayer house. We commissioned Abraham and Ismail: “You shall purify My house for those who visit, those who live there, and those who bow and prostrate.”

If it refers to Abraham and Ismail why would they purify it if they established it?

[22:26]: We appointed Abraham to establish the Shrine: “You shall not idolize any other god beside Me, and purify My shrine for those who visit it, those who live near it, and those who bow and prostrate.

Perhaps this is because purification is a continuous process. Muhammad received the Quran over 23 years and used to worship idols prior to coming to Submission. The example of the Messenger of the Covenant as depicted in Malaci is that he will be refining and we know from history that Rashad spent his whole life purifying the message. Similarly Abraham and Ismail still had more purification after establishing the Ka’aba.

Malachi Chapter 3

  1. “Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming,” says the Lord of hosts.
  2. “But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap.
  3. He will sit as a smelter and purifier of silver, and He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may present to the Lord offerings in righteousness…

Could the spot that Abraham placed the Ka’aba been a sacred spot prior to Abraham and Abraham established it as a focal point?

Were idols worshiped prior to the establishment of the Kaaba, if so were these idols worshiped where the Ka’aba was established?

Here is a link to Abraham’s family tree. Worth noting that there weren’t too many generations between Noah and Abraham.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraham%27s_family_tree

[71:21] Noah said, “My Lord, they disobeyed me, and followed those who were even more corrupted when blessed with money and children.
[71:22] “They schemed terrible schemes.
[71:23] “They said, `Do not abandon your gods. Do not abandon Wadd, Suwaa`, Yaghouth, Ya`ooq, and Nasr.’

The Flimsy Idols
[53:19] Compare this with the female idols Allaat and Al-`Uzzah.
[53:20] And Manaat, the third one.

From the bible we see how Abraham ends up in Mecca. Lot is Abraham’s nephew and when they both lived in the same land their shepherds had quarrels and disputes with one another and to resolve this matter Abraham offered the choice to Lot as to which land he wanted and Abraham said he will take the opposite. Lot selected the land of Sodom while Abraham went to Cannan.

Excerpt from Wikipedia:

The dispute ends in peaceful way, in which Abraham concedes a handful piece of the Promised Land, which belongs to him, in order to resolve the conflict peacefully. According to the Bible in Genesis 13:5-13, at the beginning of the story, Lot is described as a very wealthy man, like Abraham is after his return from Egypt. The biblical text does not elaborate on the exact reason for the dispute, however, as a result of this, Abraham offers Lot to separate, in order to prevent the fight, and he grants Lot with the right to be the first among the two to pick the territory he desires:

  1. And also Lot, who went with Abram, had flocks and cattle and tents.”
  2. And the land did not bear them to dwell together, for their possessions were many, and they could not dwell together.”
  3. And there was a quarrel between the herdsmen of Abram’s cattle and between the herdsmen of Lot’s cattle, and the Canaanites and the Perizzites were then dwelling in the land.”
  4. And Abram said to Lot, “Please let there be no quarrel between me and between you and between my herdsmen and between your herdsmen, for we are brethren.”
  5. Is not all the land before you? Please part from me; if [you go] left, I will go right, and if [you go] right, I will go left. “

The text suggests that Abraham’s language is “clear, firm and polite.”Lot accepts the peace deal, for the Partition of the Land, and chooses the area of the plain of the Jordan – in Sodom area, and the story ends with Abraham and Lot separately settling in different areas of the Land:

  1. And Lot raised his eyes, and he saw the entire plain of the Jordan, that it was entirely watered; before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, as you come to Zoar.”
  2. And Lot chose for himself the entire plain of the Jordan, and Lot traveled from the east, and they parted from one another”
  3. Abram dwelt in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelt in the cities of the plain, and he pitched his tents toward Sodom.”

The reference to Sodom in verse 13 suggests that Lot made a bad choice. Peter Leithart notes the reference to the “garden of the Lord” in verse 10, and equates this with Eden. In this way, “Sodom proved to be a very fallen Eden.”Lot pitches his tents near Sodom according to Genesis 13:12. By 14:12, Lot is living in the city itself. The destruction of Sodom is related in chapter 19. The outcome is an example of how Abraham resolved a conflict by trusting the Lord to take care of him, while Lot’s decision was based upon what appeared to him to be an attractive, logical choice without considering God’s will beforehand.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraham_and_Lot%27s_conflict

Was Mecca established as a traders spot prior to the time of Abraham?

According to Wikipedia and scripture Mecca was a plantless valley and later became the center of commerce:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaaba#History

[14:37] “Our Lord, I have settled part of my family in this plantless valley, at Your Sacred House. Our Lord, they are to observe the Contact Prayers (Salat), so let throngs of people converge upon them, and provide for them all kinds of fruits, that they may be appreciative.

Does not look like there was much activity in Mecca prior to Abraham and Ismail building the Ka’aba. I think this is one of the miracles that God bestowed upon Abraham that his wife was sterile and despite that he still became the father of nations, and even though he resided in a plantless valley today millions of people all over the world travel to the Shrine that he established. That God can take what appears to be a dire situation and allow it to flourish despite any circumstances.

Interesting fact that in 1979 a group of people seized the Grand Mosque in Mecca for two weeks.

The Grand Mosque seizure occurred during November and December 1979 when extremist insurgents calling for the overthrow of the House of Saud took over Al-Masjid al-Haram in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, during the annual Hajj pilgrimage. The insurgents declared that the Mahdi (the “redeemer of Islam”) had arrived in the form of one of their leaders – Mohammed Abdullah al-Qahtani – and called on Muslims to obey him. The seizure of Islam’s holiest site, the taking hostage of hundreds of Hajj pilgrims, and the deaths of hundreds of militants, security forces and hostages caught in crossfire in the ensuing battles for control of the site, all shocked the Islamic world. The siege ended two weeks after the takeover began with militants and the mosque was cleared. Following the attack, the Saudi state implemented a stricter enforcement of Islamic code.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Mosque_Seizure 

What does it mean to conceal a testimony from God?

[2:140] Do you say that Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob, and the Patriarchs were Jewish or Christian? Say, “Do you know better than GOD? Who is more evil than one who conceals a testimony he has learned from GOD? GOD is never unaware of anything you do.”

Concealing the Word of God
[2:76] And when they meet the believers, they say, “We believe,” but when they get together with each other, they say, “Do not inform (the believers) of the information given to you by GOD, lest you provide them with support for their argument concerning your Lord. Do you not understand?”

Chapter 12 Joseph’s Dad told Joseph not to divulge his dream to his brothers…was this concealing the word of God?

Concealing the word of God is in regards to scripture. For instance in the Old Testament some individuals attempted to change Ismail to Isaac in regards to Abraham sacrificing his son. Or in the New Testament many Gospels were omitted as it conflicted with their narrative of Christianity when it depicted Jesus as a prophet with a wife and kids. It is also interesting that in 2:140 it uses the word “testimony” as during the time of the past scriptures most of the scripture was passed down orally.

Not all inspiration is meant to be communicated to everyone. What God told Joseph was not meant for everyone. Scripture is different than inspiration

One form of testimony can be seen in 6:19

Quran, the Whole Quran, and Nothing But the Quran
[6:19] Say, “Whose testimony is the greatest?” Say, “GOD’s. He is the witness between me and you that this Quran* has been inspired to me, to preach it to you and whomever it reaches. Indeed, you bear witness that there are other gods* beside GOD.” Say, “I do not testify as you do; there is only one god, and I disown your idolatry.”

What can we learn from the devotion that we see from Abraham

Hajj today has added a lot of steps that have not been authorized by God for instance an additional two unit Contact Prayer at the station of Abraham. 

What does it mean when it says “station of Abraham” in 3:97

[3:97] In it are clear signs: the station of Abraham. Anyone who enters it shall be granted safe passage. The people owe it to GOD that they shall observe Hajj to this shrine, when they can afford it. As for those who disbelieve, GOD does not need anyone.

According to Wikipedia:

“The Station of Abraham, a glass and metal enclosure with what is said to be an imprint of Abraham’s foot. Abraham is said to have stood on this stone during the construction of the upper parts of the Kaaba, raising Ismail on his shoulders for the uppermost parts”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaaba

Why is the word “Shrine” in the Quran when it refers to the Ka’aba only capitalized on the following verses? 5:2, 22:26, 33:33, 52:4

What does it mean to use Abraham’s shrine?

[2:125] We have rendered the shrine (the Ka`aba) a focal point for the people, and a safe sanctuary. You may use Abraham’s shrine as a prayer house. We commissioned Abraham and Ismail: “You shall purify My house for those who visit, those who live there, and those who bow and prostrate.”

Do we need to pass all our admission test to be in God’s kingdom?

As long as we submit to God and don’t break God’s law we remain in God’s kingdom once we break God’s law we step out of God’s kingdom. This can be seen in the example of Adam in Paradise.

Humans Fail to Make a Firm Stand
[20:115] We tested Adam in the past, but he forgot, and we found him indecisive.
[20:116] Recall that we said to the angels, “Fall prostrate before Adam.” They fell prostrate, except Satan; he refused.
[20:117] We then said, “O Adam, this is an enemy of you and your wife. Do not let him evict you from Paradise, lest you become miserable.
[20:118] “You are guaranteed never to hunger therein, nor go unsheltered.
[20:119] “Nor will you thirst therein, nor suffer from any heat.”
[20:120] But the devil whispered to him, saying, “O Adam, let me show you the tree of eternity and unending kingship.”
[20:121] They ate from it, whereupon their bodies became visible to them, and they tried to cover themselves with the leaves of Paradise. Adam thus disobeyed his Lord, and fell.
[20:122] Subsequently, his Lord chose him, redeemed him, and guided him.
[20:123] He said, “Go down therefrom, all of you. You are enemies of one another. When guidance comes to you from Me, anyone who follows My guidance will not go astray, nor suffer any misery.

 As long as we observe God’s laws we are in God’s protection

Perfect Happiness: Now and Forever (Introduction)
One of the most elusive objectives of every human being is “Happiness.” The Quran reveals the secret of attaining perfect happiness in this life and forever. We learn from the Quran that happiness is an exclusive quality of the soul. Thus, a body that attains all the material successes it longs for – money, power, fame, etc. – often belongs to an unhappy person. Happiness depends totally on the degree of growth and development attained by the soul, the real person. The Quran provides a detailed map towards perfect happiness for both body and soul, both in this world and in the eternal Hereafter (Appendix 15).

In the numerous verses throughout this proven Testament, God personally guarantees the believers’ happiness, now and forever:

Absolutely, God’s allies will have nothing to fear,
nor will they grieve.
They are those who believe
and lead a righteous life.
For them happiness in this life, and in the Hereafter.
Such is God’s inviolable law.
This is the true triumph [10:62-64]

God already grants us so many blessings in advance i.e. our eyes, our legs our lives.

Interesting to compare Jacob losing Joseph vs. Abraham wiling to sacrafice Ismail. Jacob grieved due to his attachment to Joseph.

The tests are designed to commensurate with our degree of faith. So that we are not tested beyond our limits.

God’s Tests Are Never Unreasonable
[4:66] Had we decreed for them: “You must offer your lives,” or “Give up your homes,” they would not have done it, except for a few of them. (Even if such a command was issued,) had they done what they were commanded to do, it would have been better for them, and would prove the strength of their faith.

Having a visa in God’s kingdom vs. having citizenship in God’s kingdom. When we are citizens in God’s kingdom God will keep us in His kingdom and protect us from falling in sin.

2:105 – Jealousy Condemned

Jealousy Condemned
[2:105] Neither the disbelievers among the followers of the scripture, nor the idol worshipers, wish to see any blessings come down to you from your Lord. However, GOD showers His blessings upon whomever He chooses. GOD possesses infinite grace.

God possesses infinite grace, yet people who do not know God think that God’s resources are finite.

[17:100] Proclaim, “If you possessed my Lord’s treasures of mercy, you would have withheld them, fearing that you might exhaust them. The human being is stingy.”

[17:20] For each one of them we provide; we provide for those and these from your Lord’s bounties. Your Lord’s bounties are inexhaustible.

What is the difference between jealousy and envy?

Homer explain jealousy vs. envy:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tmx1jpqv3RA

Jealousy unlike envy is the belief that God’s mercy, provisions, blessings are a zero-sum game, such that God rewarding some is taking away from the reward from others.

A zero-sum game is a situation in which a gain by one person or side must be matched by a loss by another person or side

Why are the disbelievers among the followers of the scripture, or the idol worshipers jealous of the believers? Why not just join them and reap in God’s benefits?

Jealousy is an attribute of the ego where we want what others have.

Monkey experiment

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=meiU6TxysCg

Jealousy and fairness are related and we see that even monkey’s have a sense of fairness in them, and since monkey’s have no ego there should be something more to jealousy.

People are jealous because they only see the cross-section of someone’s life where they get the achievement and not all the hard work and backstory that it took to get there. God sees everything we all do and knows who is most deserving of what reward, and sometimes what appears to be a reward for someone else is actually their downfall.

[6:124] When a powerful proof comes to them, they say, “We will not believe, unless we are given what is given to GOD’s messengers!” GOD knows exactly who is best qualified to deliver His message. Such criminals will suffer debasement at GOD, and terrible retribution as a consequence of their evil scheming. 

Qaaroon
[28:76] Qaaroon (the slave driver) was one of Moses’ people who betrayed them and oppressed them. We gave him so many treasures that the keys thereof were almost too heavy for the strongest band. His people said to him, “Do not be so arrogant; GOD does not love those who are arrogant.
[28:77] “Use the provisions bestowed upon you by GOD to seek the abode of the Hereafter, without neglecting your share in this world. Be charitable, as GOD has been charitable towards you. Do not keep on corrupting the earth. GOD does not love the corruptors.”
[28:78] He said, “I attained all this because of my own cleverness.” Did he not realize that GOD had annihilated before him generations that were much stronger than he, and greater in number? The (annihilated) transgressors were not asked about their crimes.
[28:79] One day, he came out to his people in full splendor. Those who preferred this worldly life said, “Oh, we wish that we possessed what Qaaroon has attained. Indeed, he is very fortunate.”

The Real Wealth
[28:80] As for those who were blessed with knowledge, they said, “Woe to you, GOD’s recompense is far better for those who believe and lead a righteous life.” None attains this except the steadfast.

The Tyrants’ Inevitable Fate
[28:81] We then caused the earth to swallow him and his mansion. No army could have helped him against GOD; he was not destined to be a winner.
[28:82] Those who were envious of him the day before said, “Now we realize that GOD is the One who provides for whomever He chooses from among His servants, and withholds. If it were not for GOD’s grace towards us, He could have caused the earth to swallow us too. We now realize that the disbelievers never succeed.”

[19:70] We know full well those who are most deserving of burning therein.

Jealousy comes from ego that thinking that I am better

[7:12] He said, “What prevented you from prostrating when I ordered you?” He said, “I am better than he; You created me from fire, and created him from mud.”

Jealousy is failure to understand God’s system

[2:87] We gave Moses the scripture, and subsequent to him we sent other messengers, and we gave Jesus, son of Mary, profound miracles and supported him with the Holy Spirit. Is it not a fact that every time a messenger went to you with anything you disliked, your ego caused you to be arrogant? Some of them you rejected, and some of them you killed.

Jealousy is about losing something..i.e. power, money etc. The people of previous scripture feel like they are losing God’s favor.

Lack of confidence in God = Jealousy

Questioning God’s wisdom causes jealousy

[2:247] Their prophet said to them, “GOD has appointed Taloot (Saul) to be your king.” They said, “How can he have kingship over us when we are more worthy of kingship than he; he is not even rich?” He said, “GOD has chosen him over you, and has blessed him with an abundance in knowledge and in body.” GOD grants His kingship to whomever He wills. GOD is Bounteous, Omniscient.

Jealousy in s society can be very destructive. In some countries the thought of someone else being successful is looked at negatively, but in the US especially in Silicon Valley it is looked in a positive light. Because people in the US see someone else successful and think good for them if they too work hard they can achieve that same status.

Jealousy

One example of destructive jealousy can be seen in the game show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.” In some countries the audience members will attempt to sabotage the contestant because they don’t think they are worthy of winning. In the US the audience will typically try their best to help the contestant succeed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SmLwnSXNpFU

Jealousy is removed from our hearts when we make it to heaven. One can have jealousy and still make it to heavan, but in heaven we will be cleansed of this deficiency

What research do we know behind the brain effects of jealousy?

http://www.cambridge.org/about-us/media/press-releases/hardwired-jealousy-research/
http://phys.org/news177245481.html

God tells us to compete in righteousness (5:48). Does jealousy fuel competition?

In a competition you can try to trip or sabotage your competition or help them along.

When we compete in righteousness we realize that someone else’s victory does not mean our loss.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-UQWh-xXlOs

When we compete in righteousness we are happy for others who gain in righteousness because it makes this world a better place and we all benefit from that.

Believing Nations Prosper
[10:98] Any community that believes will surely be rewarded for believing. For example, the people of Jonah: when they believed, we relieved the humiliating retribution they had been suffering in this world, and we made them prosperous.

2:97 – 2:123

This weeke we read from 2:97 – 2:123

[2:98] Anyone who opposes GOD, and His angels, and His messengers, and Gabriel and Michael, should know that GOD opposes the disbelievers.

God talks a lot about Gabriel, but in this verse we also see Michael. Who is Michael?

According to Revelations 12:7-9 Michael was the angel who exiled Satan.

“…there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven.”

Excerpt from Wikipedia:
After the conflict, Satan is thrown to earth along with the fallen angels, where he (“that ancient serpent called the devil”) still tries to “lead the whole world astray”.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_%28archangel%29

Which other angels are mentioned in the Quran?

• Gabriel
• Michael
• The angel that will blow the horn on the Day of Judgment
• The Drivers of the Wind
• The Arrangers
• The angles that guard Hell

Witchcraft Condemned
[2:102] They pursued what the devils taught concerning Solomon’s kingdom. Solomon, however, was not a disbeliever, but the devils were disbelievers. They taught the people sorcery, and that which was sent down through the two angels of Babel, Haroot and Maroot. These two did not divulge such knowledge without pointing out: “This is a test. You shall not abuse such knowledge.” But the people used it in such evil schemes as the breaking up of marriages. They can never harm anyone against the will of GOD. They thus learn what hurts them, not what benefits them, and they know full well that whoever practices witchcraft will have no share in the Hereafter. Miserable indeed is what they sell their souls for, if they only knew.

Since witchcraft is condemned, why is it that the two angel of Babel had the information of sorcery if it is something that is not good?

Sorcery definition: magic done with the help of evil spirits

There is a lot of information that is given to the angels, but can be abused by the people. Knowledge reveals information for certain purposes and can be abused by the people when used inappropriately.

The devils taught sorcery, the devils used to work for Solomon.

The First Oil Field
[34:12] To Solomon we committed the wind at his disposal, traveling one month coming and one month going. And we caused a spring of oil to gush out for him. Also, the jinns worked for him, by his Lord’s leave. Any one of them who disregarded our commands, we subjected him to a severe retribution.
[34:13] They made for him anything he wanted – niches, statues, deep pools, and heavy cooking pots. O family of David, work (righteousness) to show your appreciation. Only a few of My servants are appreciative.

Is there any good that can come out of sorcery?

Example of jinns with castle of Sheba and the jinn who had knowledge of the book

Faster Than the Speed of Light
[27:38] He said, “O you elders, which of you can bring me her mansion, before they arrive here as submitters?”
[27:39] One afrit from the jinns said, “I can bring it to you before you stand up. I am powerful enough to do this.”
[27:40] The one who possessed knowledge from the book said, “I can bring it to you in the blink of your eye.” When he saw it settled in front of him, he said, “This is a blessing from my Lord, whereby He tests me, to show whether I am appreciative or unappreciative. Whoever is appreciative is appreciative for his own good, and if one turns unappreciative, then my Lord is in no need for him, Most Honorable.”

If people abuse the knowledge whose fault is it?

What would angels use sorcery for?

God gives the human being knowledge, and we can use this knowledge for good or for evil. The choice is ours. If we abuse the knowledge it is to our own detriment.

[16:67] And from the fruits of date palms and grapes you produce intoxicants, as well as good provisions. This should be (sufficient) proof for people who understand.

[20:96] He said, “I saw what they could not see. I grabbed a fistful (of dust) from the place where the messenger stood, and used it (to mix into the golden calf). This is what my mind inspired me to do.”

Modern day example of people using knowledge for detrimental activity is when people lie with statistics or when financial wizards swindle millions of people through schemes that give them all the upside and none of the downside.

Angels were not using sorcery, they just had knowledge, but the people used if for evil work and sorcery.

Do people still use witchcraft?

[72:6] ” `Human beings used to seek power through jinn beings, but they only afflicted them with a lot of adversity.

Voodoo uses jinns for power and is one of the prevailing religions in places like Haiti and Senegal. The number one sport in Senegal is voodoo wrestling.

We know that paganism is condemned, and we shouldn’t participate in pagan activities. Some historians attribute birthday cakes and blowing out of candles as a pagan ritual. Therefore should we participate in birthday cakes and blowing out of candles?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birthday_cake#Pagan_theory

There are many things in our day to day lives that are tied back to pagan roots i.e. names of the days of the week or the planets. My gauge is that if the idea has surpassed the origins such that most people will have no linkage between the action and the pagan roots then the paganism is void. Language is constantly changing and adapting and the words and actions that mean one thing before will be completing absolved of that meaning in the future. The opposite is also true as we see how people twist words in future generations to construe a bad meaning.

Twisting the Words of Supplication
[2:104] O you who believe, do not say, “Raa`ena”* (be our shepherd). Instead, you should say, “Unzurna” (watch over us), and listen. The disbelievers have incurred a painful retribution.

Footnote *2:104 The word “Raa`ena” was abused by some Hebrew-speaking people, and twisted to sound like a dirty word (see also 4:46).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Names_of_the_days_of_the_week

What about Christmas? Is it okay to celebrate Christmas today?

Christmas is heavily tied to paganism and is still heavily attributed to Christian false doctrines. This relationship is still heavily influenced. In addition if we were to celebrate Jesus’s birth and not all the prophets and messengers then we are making a distinction among God’s messengers and breaking God’s commandment.

You Shall Not Make Any Distinction Among God’s Messengers
[2:285] The messenger has believed in what was sent down to him from his Lord, and so did the believers. They believe in GOD, His angels, His scripture, and His messengers: “We make no distinction among any of His messengers.” They say, “We hear, and we obey.* Forgive us, our Lord. To You is the ultimate destiny.”
Additionally Jesus was not born in December.

The Birth of Jesus
[19:22] When she bore him, she isolated herself to a faraway place.
[19:23] The birth process came to her by the trunk of a palm tree. She said, “(I am so ashamed;) I wish I were dead before this happened, and completely forgotten.”
[19:24] (The infant) called her from beneath her, saying, “Do not grieve. Your Lord has provided you with a stream.
[19:25] “If you shake the trunk of this palm tree, it will drop ripe dates for you.*

*19:25 Thus, Jesus was born in late September or early October. This is when dates ripen in the Middle East to the point of falling off the tree.

The longest night of the year is December 22nd. Three days after on December 25th is when the day starts becoming longer. This was heavily celebrated by the pagan world and mythology.

When Constantine took power he wanted to fuse the Christian’s with paganism and fused their holidays together and replaced the pagan god with Jesus around 336AD.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturnalia

Another good source on the topic of Christmas and paganism is Herbert Armstrong:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herbert_W._Armstrong

People light candles for religious observance like churches, the tomb’s of saints and Hanukah. What is the significance of the candle in religious ceremonies?

Where did the concept of a Christmas tree come from?

Jeremiah Chapter 10:
1. Hear the word which the Lord speaks to you, O house of Israel.
2. Thus says the Lord, “Do not learn the way of the nations, And do not be terrified by the signs of the heavens Although the nations are terrified by them;
3. For the customs of the peoples are [a]delusion; Because it is wood cut from the forest, The work of the hands of a craftsman with a cutting tool.
4. “They decorate it with silver and with gold; They fasten it with nails and with hammers So that it will not totter.
5. “Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field are they, And they cannot speak; They must be carried, Because they cannot walk! Do not fear them, For they can do no harm, Nor can they do any good.”
6. There is none like You, O Lord; You are great, and great is Your name in might.

Submission: The Only Religion
[2:112] Indeed, those who submit themselves absolutely to GOD alone, while leading a righteous life, will receive their recompense from their Lord; they have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.*

The importance of “alone” in 2:112 cannot be over emphasized. We have thousands of religions in the world. What causes so many religions to be created? Each religion claims to have a shortcut to God via some intermediary. If people accept there is no shortcut and it is just God and you then you will have one only religion.

When God says “Be” is this baked into the fabric of the universe from the moment of the Big Bang or does the event happen and go against the laws of physics?

[2:117] The Initiator of the heavens and the earth: to have anything done, He simply says to it, “Be,” and it is.

[3:47] She said, “My Lord, how can I have a son, when no man has touched me?” He said, “GOD thus creates whatever He wills. To have anything done, He simply says to it, `Be,’ and it is.

God is not limited and can either decide to bake it into the moment of the Big Bang or decide to break the laws of this world and insert whatever He wills.

Never Question God’s Wisdom
[21:23] He is never to be asked about anything He does, while all others are questioned.

Knowing God
[10:61] You do not get into any situation, nor do you recite any Quran, nor do you do anything, without us being witnesses thereof as you do it. Not even an atom’s weight is out of your Lord’s control, be it in the heavens or the earth. Nor is there anything smaller than an atom, or larger, that is not recorded in a profound record.

[2:115] To GOD belongs the east and the west; wherever you go there will be the presence of GOD. GOD is Omnipresent, Omniscient.

What are the different Omni characteristics of God?
• Omniscient: All Knowing
• Omnipotent: All Powerful
• Omnipresent: Everywhere

Weekly Exercise – Honoring Our Parents

The Commandments
[2:83] We made a covenant with the Children of Israel: “You shall not worship except GOD. You shall honor your parents and regard the relatives, the orphans, and the poor. You shall treat the people amicably. You shall observe the Contact Prayers (Salat) and give the obligatory charity (Zakat).” But you turned away, except a few of you, and you became averse.

To honor our parents we need to first be appreciative of the system that God developed that each child is brought into this life by means of a mother and a father. While not everyone will have a mother and father in their life for those of us who do it is a real blessing and something that we should always be appreciative of. All of us have parents. And our parents made a lot of sacrifices and selfless acts to help bring us up the best they could. Having children is a very selfless act and you really appreciate your parents that much more after having your own children and seeing all the work they put into raising us.

Thank you God for our parents and their continuous love and care that they show us.

Can you imagine accepting a career like this?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MWcJZ210AaM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Jpb2_YdxYM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHvjTLOtq0U

.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S14kvB-HMc0

2:77 – 2:96

2:77 comment: We can’t conceal anything from God

[2:78] Among them are gentiles who do not know the scripture, except through hearsay, then assume that they know it.

What is a gentile?
Definition of gentile is someone who is not Jewish
http://onelook.com/?w=gentile&ls=a

The Arabic word “ummy” was twisted to mean “illiterate” to justify their belief that Muhammad could not read or write. See Appendix 28.
http://www.masjidtucson.org/quran/appendices/appendix28.html

Proof that this word means gentile is in 3:75

[3:75] Some followers of the scripture can be trusted with a whole lot, and they will give it back to you. Others among them cannot be trusted with a single dinar; they will not repay you unless you keep after them. That is because they say, “We do not have to be honest when dealing with the gentiles!” Thus, they attribute lies to GOD, knowingly.

Additionally proof that Muhammad was not illiterate can be determined from the first three revelations:

1st Revelation: God command’s Muhammad to “read” twice.
[96:1] Read, in the name of your Lord, who created.
[96:2] He created man from an embryo.
[96:3] Read, and your Lord, Most Exalted.
[96:4] Teaches by means of the pen.
[96:5] He teaches man what he never knew.

2nd Revelation: God tells us the purpose of the pen.
[68:1] NuN, the pen, and what they (the people) write. 

3rd Revelation: God tells Muhammad and all the believers to…
[73:4] Or a little more. And read the Quran from cover to cover.

2:78 comment: Most religious leaders do not teach what is right, but only their personal opinions. They don’t look for guidance from the Quran and provide inaccurate information. God’s religion in the Quran is much easier than what was preached by most.

2:79 comment: People who gain money by being professional religionist are mostly charlatans. And the people who follow them just compete in donating to the church with the guise that it absolves them from having to be righteous

2:80 comment: Many people assume that hell is only temporary, but both heaven and hell are eternal

Footnote: 2:80-82 It is an established belief among corrupted Muslims that they will suffer in Hell only in proportion to the number of sins they had committed, then they will get out of Hell and go to Heaven. They also believe that Muhammad will intercede on their behalf, and will take them out of Hell. Such beliefs are contrary to the Quran (Appendix 8).

2:82 comment: Believe that there is one God and use the time in our life to be righteous. Similar to 2:62

Unity of All Submitters
[2:62] Surely, those who believe, those who are Jewish, the Christians, and the converts; anyone who (1) believes in GOD, and (2) believes in the Last Day, and (3) leads a righteous life, will receive their recompense from their Lord. They have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.

What is a covenant?
Definition of covenant
http://onelook.com/?w=covenant&ls=a
noun

  • a legal agreement between two people, for example one relating to a house, land, or property
  • a formal agreement or promise

Example

  • (Bible) an agreement between God and his people in which God makes certain promises and requires certain behavior from them in return
  • a signed written agreement between two or more parties (nations) to perform some action

verb

  • to legally agree to do something

Example

  • enter into a covenant
  • enter into a covenant or formal agreement(“They covenanted with Judas for 30 pieces of silver”)

[5:12] GOD had taken a covenant from the Children of Israel, and we raised among them twelve patriarchs. And GOD said, “I am with you, so long as you observe the Contact Prayers (Salat), give the obligatory charity (Zakat), and believe in My messengers and respect them, and continue to lend GOD a loan of righteousness. I will then remit your sins, and admit you into gardens with flowing streams. Anyone who disbelieves after this, has indeed strayed off the right path.”

When God took a covenant with the humans He agreed to do His part if the humans fulfill their part of the promise.

2:83 comment: What does it mean to not evict from their home?
Evict: to legally force someone to leave the house they are living in, usually because they have not paid their rent
http://onelook.com/?w=evict&ls=a

2:87 comment: What is the meaning of ego?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p2Ly1D-b51Y

Ego is believing that God is not running everything

2:88 comment: When our minds are made up the neurons in our brain become fixed and that belief is reinforced in our brain. The older we get the more difficult it is to change our brain.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLp-edwiGUU

2:89 comment: God gave his scripture to the believers and the disbeliever

Where is the Quran prophesized in the pervious scriptures?
Gospel of Truth was one of the gospels that were disregarded when the Books of the Bible were selected. Below is a passage from the Gospel of Truth that I believe is referring to the Quran. Note that the Quran was reveled through a span of 23 years.

“For He revealed it as a knowledge with which all its emanations agree, namely, the knowledge of the living book which He revealed to the 23 aeons at last as His letters, displaying to them that these are not merely vowels nor consonants, so that one may read them and think of something void of meaning; on the contrary, they are letters which convey the truth. They are pronounced only when they are known. Each letter is a perfect truth like a perfect book, for they are letters written by the hand of the unity, since the Father wrote them for the aeons, so that they by means of His letters might come to know the Father.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_Truth
http://gnosis.org/naghamm/got.html

2:90 comment: We should always be very embracing of God’s revelations in everything we do.

2:91 comment: Refers to people who selectively follow portions of the scripture

2:92 comment: Children of Israel are the chosen people because they received so many miracles yet they still reverted

2:93 comment: See 7:171

[7:171] We raised the mountain above them like an umbrella, and they thought it was going to fall on them: “You shall uphold what we have given you, strongly, and remember the contents thereof, that you may be saved.”

2:94 comment: If someone asks us do you believe in God – we would say yes? Then if they ask us would we wish to die? What would we say?

At the time of death what would be our feeling?

[62:6] Say, “O you who are Jewish, if you claim that you are GOD’s chosen, to the exclusion of all other people, then you should long for death if you are truthful!”

They think that they are the only ones who are right and everyone else is wrong

Our response if we long for death would be no. Not because we are fearing death

We wouldn’t want to die because we have only this life to grow and develop our souls and we can have heaven here on earth

Believers don’t fear death. They know if that they live or die they can have heaven from now

[4:69] Those who obey GOD and the messenger belong with those blessed by GOD – the prophets, the saints, the martyrs, and the righteous. These are the best company.

More Mathematical Proofs from Chapter 74

The Quran’s Common Denominator
[74:30] Over it is nineteen.

[74:31] We appointed angels to be guardians of Hell, and we assigned their number (19) (1) to disturb the disbelievers, (2) to convince the Christians and Jews (that this is a divine scripture), (3) to strengthen the faith of the faithful, (4) to remove all traces of doubt from the hearts of Christians, Jews, as well as the believers, and (5) to expose those who harbor doubt in their hearts, and the disbelievers; they will say, “What did GOD mean by this allegory?” GOD thus sends astray whomever He wills, and guides whomever He wills. None knows the soldiers of your Lord except He. This is a reminder for the people.

I learned of the below facts today:

The number of words from 74:1 to 74:19 is 57 = 19×3
The number of words from 74:1 to 74:31 is 95 = 19×5
The number of letters from 74:1 to 74:31 right before it says “nineteen” is 361 = 19×19
The number of words in 74:31 is 95 = 19×5
The number of letters in 74:31 is 247 = 19×13

God be glorified. I wanted to verify this so I put together the spreadsheet below incase anyone else would like to verify for themselves.

74_31