Friday, December 14, 2007

Are Humans an Experiment?

Amongst Muslims, it is a given that Islam is the religion which concludes and overwrites all others. It is the answer; universal, and timeless. All religions before it were time and people specific, but Islam comes as a religion finale.

Yet if it is also a given that when God created the world everything had already been decided and realized, why wasn’t Islam the first? Why didn’t the answer arrive any earlier? And why are we now left with multiple faiths quarreling together on the very same earth?

Could it be possible that when humans first arrived on earth, things were not “fully realized”? Were humans an experiment, a very sophisticated one, left to unveil its possibilities under the watchful eye of God? And could that be the answer as to why creations have stopped after humans?

Was the progression of religions (as ethical guidelines) a parallel to the conclusions drawn from constant analysis and observation of the humans? Had the series of religions been a progression in regards to understanding and communicating with humans, almost as if adding to a list of “frequently asked questions-FAQ”?

Are humans but an experiment, assessed by religions for the sake of successfully achieving their purpose? And do they fall in line after several animalistic experiments? Did Islam come as a conclusion of the human experiment, simply setting them aside as a new project takes place?

Is another, more sophisticated experiment, soon to be introduced to earth or one of the many planets? And are we soon to watch with horror as our superiors take place?

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Allah doth blot out or confirm what He pleaseth: with Him is the Mother of the Book." (13:39)

Perhaps Allah has something else in mind? Is Islam as final as many think it is?

saudi said...

how can i know that the old text books are true ?
how can i guarantee that our religion is real ?
no Aysha !
it's not an experimental project.

why did god send the whole Christian and Muslim passengers to the middle east !
what about the 4 billion in East Asia ?
why would he choose the 200 million in middle east ?

currently the problem not with the experiment it's with the people who insist in killing others in the name of old book.. whether it's a Christian or Islamic

that's why I'm agnostic ! because the default situation for the human begins should be the Agnosticism.

the whole project is "Fake" There is no project in which god playing with his creatures !

and remember life is bitter without hope ! and here it began the story of heaven and hell!

with all my love
Saudi boy

ChrisLA said...

You imply that Islam came after the other major religions -- "All religions before it were time and people specific, but Islam comes as a religion finale." Actually, the Quran asserts that Islam came before Judaism and Christianity (and all the other beliefs). Surah 3:60-64 says, "No. Ibrahim in truth was not a Jew, neither a Christian; but he was a Muslim and one pure of faith [i.e, a monotheist]."

The problem with this assertion is that the is no mention of Islam or its Prophet until the 7th Century. So the claim and the reality are in sharp contrast.

Given that we all believe in a supreme being who is the creator of the universe and all that is in it, man has been trying since the beginning of time to understand this god and how to relate to him. It is possible that none of the so-called Prophets actually communicated with this god, but they sincerely tried to convey what they believed was the message and will of that god.

It is also clear that some used "revelation" as a means to further their own evil agendas. Joseph Kony of the Lord's Resistance Army in Uganda is an example of a "false prophet," about which all can agree. The test as to whether a given prophet was speaking for the creator or for his own agenda can usually be seen through the works of his followers. A good tree does not produce bad fruit.

Humans aren't an experiment, but rather, they are the ultimate end product of the creator's universe. Our understanding of him is advancing day by day. It would truly disappoint creator if people blindly followed a false prophet, failing to use the those attributes of reason and a sense of right and wrong so amply provided by the creator himself.

Aysha said...

anonymous,
I really don't know!

saudi,
You have introduced me to a beautiful term. I will explore it some more. I admire your passion with this subject matter and your insights.

Aysha said...

chrisla,
"It is possible that none of the so-called Prophets actually communicated with this god, but they sincerely tried to convey what they believed was the message and will of that god."

Some theories claim there is a repetitive pattern in the nature of "prhopets": their traits, IQ, family situation, etc, which results in some psychological condition. That, added to a high level of genius, long term of meditation and seclusion, summs up to the revelations and wisdom the prhopets are able to attain.

However, it is very hard to be certain when it comes to a sensitive topic such as this. I notice that people, when discussing religions, tend to fall under two main cateogires: The doubtful questioners, and the assertive knowledgables. These categories have nothing to do with how much a person truly knows or doesn't know, but it has more to do with how comfortable each feels about having grey areas in their life.

I am curious about your conclsion:

"Humans aren't an experiment, but rather, they are the ultimate end product of the creator's universe. Our understanding of him is advancing day by day."

Usually I hear the opposite of this. People keep saying that we are straying further away from God. I find your conclusion grabbing, and I would truly appreciate it if you could ellaborate some more?

Trevelyana said...

ok when I asked a very rudimentary form of that question in 5th grade, my Islamic teacher threatened my mom with kicking me out of the school

Anonymous said...

"that's why I'm agnostic ! because the default situation for the human begins should be the Agnosticism"

I agree 100% Saudi

ChrisLA said...

Our understanding of the creator, his message, and his will are definitely advancing because we have expanded our knowledge of the universe -- from unravelling DNA to seeing beyond our own galaxy. The knowledge of mankind is estimated to double every seven years. Not only does this rapid advance of knowledge reduce the span of religious speculation, but it also points more clearly to what is good and what is evil.

Take smoking, for example. In our lifetime it has gone from being cool to being stupid. It's not a "sin" in any religion, but anything that clearly harms ones health unnecessarily is seen as a kind of evil. Acts that hurt or diminish others are also seen as evil.

If people are "straying further away from God," it may be that they are merely rejecting some ancient interpretations of God which have been proven wrong by the advance of knowledge. Or they may be chafing under the realization that some of the cool things they like to do (the list is long) have been deemed to be stupid or dysfunctional -- but then, that's not about any religion, is it?

In my experience and conversations with people I know, I find that people are, indeed, gaining a greater understanding of the creator, and they find him more and more awesome. Would it truly honor him if we believed his essence was in a [fill in the blank]?

أبو سنان said...

Chrisla writes:

"The problem with this assertion is that the is no mention of Islam or its Prophet until the 7th Century. So the claim and the reality are in sharp contrast."

You misunderstand the verse and what it means. "Muslim" is a noun, but it is also a adjective.

In this case when it says:

"....but he was a Muslim and one pure of faith"

The word "Muslim" is used as both a noun and an adjective. A "Muslim" is nothing more than someone who submits to God. In this manner all the Prophets, from Adam to Mohammed, were "Muslim" in that they submitted to God.

In my view, as a convert to Islam, I view Judaism as the branch of the tree of monotheism. I look at our brothers, the Christians, as the branches and limbs of this tree. As a believer I view Islam as the flower of the tree.

They are all subtly different, but all part of the same thing.

As to the "why" of it all. Many will claim to have all of the answers, and these are the biggest liars.

I dont claim to know why things happen the way they do. However, I believe in a just and caring God and refuse to accept the idea that we are nothing more than guinea pigs in a big experiment. Such a God would be callous and mean.

This is where faith comes in. Either you have it or you dont. I am an engineer by education so "faith" isnt an idea that comes easily to me. But, Alhamdulillah, I have it.

It isnt that I dont have questions, it IS that I realise I might not ever have the answers and I am okay with that.

badryyah alabdulrahman said...

ayusha...

first u didnt tell us...what is islam?what is ur definition to islam...?

according to this definition u will find easly that islam is a nature..more than religion..

thats whay the (mutazelah) sect dicided that (mind) is the first and only evident...not the text..

that woud take us to another question...what mind they are talking about...

i suggest u ayusha to read very much and then ask...and to choose ur questions carefully cos these question were asked before and were deeply answered before..

just read darling...

Aysha said...

Yes, it was taught to us at school that ("Islam", a state of surrender to a single God, was the message of all prophets before Mohammad. That "monotheism" was their core message while many things changed such as the list of do's and don'ts, and other technicalities of worship and life.)

It was also taught that:
(Islam did not come to deny a previous message or prophet, but to reinforce their truth as messengers of God, and to bring people back to the right track.)

These basics are relative to the questions as hand:

- Why is the message that Mohammad conveyed "Islam" final?
- Isn't there a possibility that people will need another rescue from the dark?
- Is the message of Mohammad final because it is conveyed through the Quran and God promised to save the Quran from forgery?
- Why was Quran the only book assurred to remain saved from forgery? Why not any previous book? Were other books temprary and had the message been under goign development and not ready for saving yet?
- If all the world had been decided before hand, and everything realized, why were there messages from God allowed to be misinterpreted, religions branching out into many different names, and why even during Islam the message kept changing "eg. alcohol allowed, then forbidden. Prayers a large number then decreased."?

Is experimenting a bad thing? When we experiments to further and advance technology are we bad, or are we passionatly doing our best?

Aysha said...

Trev,
Unfortunatly that is how it is with many schools. What I remember most clearly is how our religion prof. at university attacked the shiaat belief with 10% of the class students being shiaa. They were so upset, and had many responses to what she was saying, including that she mentioned something that the minorty of them believ in. So I encouraged them to speak up next class. Surprisingly, the prof did not have a ready response. She knew hot to attack but not how to converse with them. So she changed the subject immediatly. I wished right then that such attempts would happen more often by shiaa students and girls with other beliefs. Imagine how that would help establish more caution amongst teachers "attackers" and would also encourage students to reject single sided debates.

Aysha said...

Anonymous,
He did pause quite an argument, didn't he :)

ChrisLA,
You are a rich "read". I appreciate how subtle, and observant you are. As you set your argument, you seem aware of the various backgrounds others are coming from and articulate accordingly. Thank you very much for all your insights.

أبو سنان,
I am often envious of those who have tried two religions, experienced two cultures, lived in two countries, etc. There's a certain maturity and understanding of the world that can never be conveyed, but can only be achieved through the first hand experience of things. That is why when I read your comments, I cannot categorize you. I am usually more inclined to listen and consider opinions given by those whom I am unable to categorize. I feel they have "selected" their own package, and that selection -whether I like or do not like- came through sincere questioning and indipendency. To me, that is what life is about.

"It isnt that I dont have questions, it IS that I realise I might not ever have the answers and I am okay with that."

How true...

Aysha said...

badryyah alabdulrahman,
You didn't tell me what your own reflections are about the questions at hand. I want something other than "read" ;)

أبو سنان said...

Let me answer the questions you pose with my thoughts. Of course I am no scholar.

-Mohammad was the last messenger. Why him and not someone else? Why not Issa? As a parent I have come to view God in much the same manner that I view parenthood. God has given us many chances, but eventually we must "sink our swim" on our own. It is like being a parent. You can only teacher your children so much and there comes a time where they must learn on their own. Often this involved learning the hard way. This means as a parent you must often watch your own children make mistakes and even hurt themselves, but they have to go it alone eventually. Here in the US this is called "tough love". I believe the same concept applies to God. He has given us many chances, as a people, and after Mohammed God decided it was time to let us "sink or swim" and let us learn the hard way if we refused to learn our lessons from Him.

-For the second question I refer you to the answer above. God, basically the "parent" of mankind has done what He can do. At this point it is up to us.

-The Qur'an is unique in that it was given to us in a time where it was possible to keep and preserve a document given to us. The other texts were revealed at a time when mankind wasn’t ready to keep and hold a text. I also feel that the revelation of The Qur'an had to wait until such a time that a language, in this case Arabic, came about that would ALWAYS be in use. If you look at the Old and New Testament they were written in languages that have been dead for hundreds and hundreds of years. A text cannot be truly alive if no one can even read it in the original language. As to the forgery issue, I think it is clear that major changes have been made to both the Old and New Testament. I think these issues form some of the "challenge" that is religion and faith. The challenge is to be able to see through the nonsense and the changes and be able to see "the face of God" for yourself.

-Once again I'll go to the parental comparison. God knows everything that was going to happen, but He allows us freedom to make our own decisions and choices. With my baby boys I often know before they do something what the outcome will be, I will even advise them against something and tell them they'll get hurt, but at the end of the day the choice is theirs. It is how people learn, it is how people evolve into better beings. God has given us a lot of freedom, if just seems as a people often we abuse it and cannot handle it. This is how I view things like alcohol. I don’t view almost anything as bad, in and of itself, it is how it is used that makes it either bad or good. If we could, as a people, only ever drink two glasses of wine or two beers it would be fine. However, as a people, we have shown that this really isn't possible. Look at the ills it has caused since the beginning of time! So like any good parent if the children cannot use something in a positive manner it is taken away. But, even in this, God has given us a choice. Alcohol is forbidden, but we have the choice to obey God or not. It is our choice to make.

Anyway, thanks for your comments about me. I guess I do not fit into any category. I agree with you and I am the same, I often tend to listen more to people who are more independent and free thinkers. They are people who have charted their own paths and do not tend to allow their ideas and thoughts to be controlled by their background or any other group.

I would have to point out to you that by traveling to the US, living here and going to school, you are putting yourself in the same position as well. You are being able to live in another culture and this will allow you to open your eyes to others, a different reality, and make your ideas and opinions much more valuable.

The more someone has traveled and experience, the more likely I am to find them of value.

Thanks for your time and Eid mubarak to you and your family.

abcd said...

Assalamu Alaikum

Allahu A'lam
Who knows what will happen

But before we ask too many questions, I dont think Islam with the foretelling of the future has seen the end of its term yet. Well not at least before Mahdi and Isa AS return.

I guess for those of us that
were born into the religion if islam, as opposed to finding islam,
i guess there is an element of needing to refind the faith for ourselves. After all its the fact that it needs an element of faith that distinguishes us as Muslims, the verb.

On the permissbility of wine drinking and then the amount of prayers are to be offered, surely this was done for ease of transition for human beings, no? Even in this story I am sure there stories to be extracted from.

Allah Alam
So long as we do enough to enter Jannah insha allah
Ameen

Anonymous said...

Who said that Islam comes as a fuller articulation to formerly incomplete religions --if I understand your note here Aysha.
Islam is but a “reiteration” to former faiths; this is only true when we think of those faiths in their "pure" essences. Islam comes as nothing new in dogma, the message is very simple. There is no god but Allah. Put in other words, the label has changed but the labeled dogma is the same. I am speaking in terms of “dogma.” True, Islam came with new solutions to the troubled human condition, but these solutions remain external to its one and only core. So faith-wise, Islam has not introduced anything new. Nor is there any way you can think of it as an answer that has come at a relatively late stage of the universal scenario.
There is no experimentation Aysha; beware you are subconsciously applying Darwinism as a mechanism of evolution to religion! Evolution may be, yes, applied on the origin of species and on the development of ideas (I will allow myself say so only in rough terms), but there is no space for evolution if the messages of Allah. The religion Allah has decreed has always been one; of one, two, three steps: the formula is set at the very the outset. Yet if it comes as a reiteration to former (now-deformed) faiths, this should not incline us to think of it as a novel answer Allah has rather preferred to unveil only now.
I hope you got my message clearly.
Monotheist in Riyadh

Anonymous said...

Could it be possible that when humans first arrived on earth, things were not “fully realized”?
<< Could it be possible that you are faithful enough by now to ask God forgiveness for questioning his "incomplete realization"?

Humans are in no means an experiment by God, because He's the all-knowing, and experiments are needed to gain more knowledge!

Anonymous said...

Sorry to say that this is very Darwinian, and that it also reflects provincial thinking.