Monday, June 30, 2008

Who is most loved by God? (Jews, Christians, Muslims, Hindous, etc.)

We who believe in God, whom do we think God loves most? May be the followers of every religion would think that they are the ones. God loves them most! Jews are the chosen people, Gods children, so He loves them most. Christians, who believe in the Christ, deserves to be saved and loved by the Lord. Or Muslims who worship the one God who begets not and has not been begotten. Which group is the most loved by God? Supposing that every group even thinks that the others are OK, let alone are loved by Him.

I, as a Muslim who believe that true Islam is misunderstood, misrepresented, misquoted and attacked both by stupid or superficial Muslims and islamophobists, as such, I believe that God loves none of the previous groups, just for belonging to any one of them. I learn from and believe the prophet Muahammad, and here is his answer to this question:

GOD LOVES MOST… THOSE WHO ARE MOST USEFUL TO PEOPLE.

Now here is a new group. This is THE religious leader of Islam saying that those whom God, Allah loves most are simply those who are most useful to their fellow humans. Note that he didn’t even say: those who are most useful to Muslims. Just to people. He doesn’t even specify what type of usefulness. That’s why a Muslim believes that he is rewarded by God for any benefit that he brings to people. Islam considers work as an act of worship, and work useful to others goes higher, to the Love of God. This is a very well-known saying of the prophet among Muslims as well. It’s not Muhammad’s fault then when Bin Laden has a different opinion. Muhammad delivered the message then he passed away. He can’t come back to life to correct everyone’s illusions. This is our own mission now!

This saying is not an isolated event in the Islamic understanding:

According to the Quran, 49:13

“Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things).”

Here it is stated that God doesn’t give preference for anyone except for how righteous and mindful of Him they are. No names here, no labels (Islam, Muslims). Just values.

In another passage, the Quran refutes the idea that Jews and/or Christians have any special place just for being so:

Quran 5:18

(Both) the Jews and the Christians say: 'We are the sons of Allah, and his beloved.' Say: 'Why then would He punish you for your sins? No! You are but humans among all those he has created”.

I like that! We’re all just humans, like all other humans He has created. He judges us not based on what religion we were born following or we say we follow. He judges us according to how righteous we are. Labels don’t matter to Him. Here comes to my mind another saying of the Prophet: “God does not look at your images and your bodies, He looks at your hearts.” Beautiful! Note the distinction between "images" and "bodies".

Yet another meaning the Prophet mentioned, where he particularly talks to Arabs, warning them from the silliness of ever thinking that because the Quran was revealed in Arabic, they as Arabs would have any advantage in the sight of God: “All people are as equal as the teeth of a comb, there is no virtue (nothing better or superior) to an Arab over a non-Arab nor white over colored except by the fear and mindfulness of God".

To finish this post, I'd like to mention an even more astonishing verse from the Quran, 2:62

"Those who believe, and those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Christians and the Sabians,- any who believe in Allah and the Last Day, and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve. "

Give me anything close to that in any other scripture! Here the Quran even names those "others", and establishes one simple criterion for all: believing in God and Judgement Day and doing good deeds, resulting in them being rewarded and having no fear. The same meaning is repeated in other verses as well. I for one didn't find any other religion that has this same message as clearly, and that's why I chose to be a true Muslim!

That was just one of the hidden treasures of Islam!

2 comments:

L said...

Congratulations once again on your message of equality and goodness. Allow me only to draw your attention to some verses of the New Testament (which is about the life - deeds and words - of Jesus Christ; as opposed to the Old Testament which relates to pre-Jesus i.e. pre-Christianity times). Please bear in mind, also, that Christianity is the religion of those who followed Jesus. Jesus Himself was a Jew, and as you well know Islam was not established yet. Therefore, there was only one known monotheistic religion at the time when the following verses were spoken. (I have chosen only a few of many, which invite to love, peace, and goodness - and also not to judge the other) As they say in french, "à bon entendeur salut".

Mt 7:1 (see also Lk 6:37) § On Judging
7.1."Judge not, that you be not judged
7.2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. 7.3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 7.4 Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when there is the log in your own eye? 7.5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.

Mt 7:21 (see also Lk 6:46) § On Self Deception
7.20 Thus you will know them by their fruits. 7.21."Not every one who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven


Mt 22:35 (see also Mk 12:28 & Lk 10:25) § A Tricky Question
22.35 And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question, to test him. 22.36 "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?" 22.37 And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. 22.38 This is the great and first commandment. 22.39 And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself

Lk 10:29 § The Parable of the Good Samaritan
10.29 But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" 10.30 Jesus replied, "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 10.31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 10.32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 10.33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was; and when he saw him, he had compassion, 10.34 and went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; then he set him on his own beast and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 10.35 And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, 'Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.' 10.36 Which of these three, do you think, proved neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?" 10.37 He said, "The one who showed mercy on him." And Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise."

Anonymous said...

Arslan
I am a medical scientist; I am a Pakistani national. I am currently living in United Kingdom. I have left Islam. I am an ex Muslim, hardcore atheist, and an anti-theist. I have always been a borderline and questioning believer who had little affinity for Islam. In United Kingdom, I had the opportunity to study, in some detail, about theology, specifically Islam. What followed was a long and very painful personal journey that culminated in me realizing the truth about Islam and coming to some very basic conclusions as to what I really believed in. I also joined an atheist society in UK, which further strengthened my conviction in atheism…. Presently, militant Islam is on the verge of overtaking many parts of my home country, Pakistan. Many parts of it have already been completely radicalized and sharia has been implemented in areas like Swat and some parts of NWFP. Sharia is the "divine" law sent down by Allah. The following list partially encompasses some of the laws that would be implemented under Sharia:
1. Abrogation and prohibition of modern form of judiciary and democracy. Dismantling of parliamentary system.
2. Stoning, till death, for adultery.
3. The second class status for non believers, " Dhimmitude".
4. Amputation of hand and feet, from opposite sides, for thievery.
5. Complete prohibition of music, modern form of cinema.
6. The award of death punishment for leaving Islam and committing blasphemy.

This is sharia. The "punishment" of apostasy and blasphemy, in almost all Islamic countries, including Pakistan is most likely either a very long imprisonment or execution. In my home country it’s impossible to profess or declare apostasy or to even state anything remotely critical of Islamic theology. Such an act could certainly lead to severe reprisal, most probably a most painful death. And such incidents have happened routinely in the recent past. In Pakistan, blasphemy is punishable by death and this is a part of the framework of law (Pakistan Penal Code 295). Most importantly, these forms of “punishments" are sanctified by Muhammad and hadiths. Thus, these "punishments” are completely "justified." Why does Islam so vociferously wants to shield itself against rationality or justified criticism? Why? Why is it that Muslims readily get prepared to kill and be killed in the name of "Allah" and his "prophet?" It is beyond my comprehension, that why would a religion claiming to be divine, prompt its adherents to kill on such trivialities as Danish cartoons. From a personal perspective, it would be impossible for me to live in my home country without the fear of severe persecution, possibly ending in my death. These are real dangers being faced by ex Muslims living in Islamic countries.
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE ABOVE??????