Exploration & analysis of theological and philosophical Islamic concepts from a rationalistic view point without a sectarian bias – Pt. 1
Comments by Gurupādācārya Svāmī of BRVF –
Definition of Islam taken and paraphrased (from Page 7 of the English book Similarities between Hinduism and Islam compiled by Usman Ghani of Malerkotla, Punjab – from the teachings of Dr. Abdul Karim Zakir Naik of Islamic Research Foundation – a Sunni Wahabi Salafist institution) —
Arabic word ‘salm’ means peace (śāntiḥ — śam in Sanskrit mean peace, as well) and ‘slim’ means submission of the individual (and collective) will to Allah. Both terms combined makes ‘Islam’ or the ‘peace acquired by submitting the individual and collective will to Allah’ (This can, also, mean – ‘surrender to the will of Allah through peaceful means’ or ‘will of Allah fulfilled through peace among living beings and the nature’).
Will of Allah means Allah has a desire and is a conscious object having icchā-śakti or the power of will/desire. Will of fellow souls indicates that the souls are conscious objects having icchā śakti, too. The process of submission of individual and collective will denotes that the wills of all individual beings are different (denoting that individual beings are, mutually, different) and that the will of Allah is different from their wills denoting that individual and collective wills of souls are different from Allah’s wills – resulting into difference of existence between the fellow souls and Allah – both objects are not identical denoting the similarity (not exact sameness, though) with the Hindu Vedantic concept of ‘dvaita’ or Dualism between God and souls. If there is no existential difference between the wills of individual souls and Allah (if Allah’s will would be same as individual soul’s will due to non-distinction and self-sameness between Allah and the individual being), no relevance would remain of submitting such individual wills to the Allah’s will. The concept of submission of the individual and collective wills of souls to Allah’s will indicates that a difference exists in the existence of the individual ouls and Allath and that such submission is, voluntarily, expected.
Another reason why such submission is, voluntarily but mandatorily (not by default robotic desire controlled by Allah, but by an individual voluntary desire based on individual soul’s own discretion), expected in Quran is verified in the 4:59 (Surah An-Nisa – Al-Qu’ran al-Kareem — Arabic) –
ﯵ ﯶ ﯷ ﯸ ﯹ ﯺ ﯻ ﯼ ﯽ ﯾ ﯿﰀ ﰁ ﰂ ﰃ ﰄ ﰅ ﰆ ﰇ ﰈ ﰉ ﰊ ﰋ ﰌ ﰍ ﰎﰏ ﰐ ﰑ ﰒ ﰓ
“O you who have believed, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you…..”
Remarks continued –
Such submission is, voluntary and not robotic, by default – due to the concept of ‘obeying’. If such submission was by default robotic on the part of souls, the whole purpose of issuing a decree to obey would be rendered useless. That which is, by default, obedient – is not instructed to obey – for something, by default, obedient due to robotically being controlled by Allah – such obedient object doesn’t have a free will to be exercised and so such object is not issued any orders of obeying (or even disobeying) to the command. Orders are issued on entities who can either accept or reject such orders and not to those objects who don’t have an option to reject or accept orders.
If not voluntarily, Allah would have made/turned the individual and collective wills of all fellow souls (who are different from Him in existence), by default, identical to His will or, by default, subjugated to His will. And if so, there no more remains any logical expectation from Allah’s side to have the individual/collective wills of fellow souls to align with His will since their wills have been made/turned identical/subjugated to His will, by default, just as how a shadow moves and takes shape, wholly, depending on the original object! In that case, the original object (Allah) will be the only actor and all souls and their wills be like shadows and, automatically, subjugated to the moves of Allah!
Therefore, the very concept that the individual/collective will(s) of fellow soul(s) need to be aligned with Allah’s will (and this expectation by Allah) denotes that it is, voluntary, on the part of the soul(s) and if not, voluntarily, done so by souls, Allah would punish them. This proves that Allah is the controller and giver of the fruits of actions/desire performed by fellow souls, but, not the controller of the desires and actions performed by them as for those desires and actions, only, the fellow souls are responsible and independent to undertake (unlike robots/shadows controlled by Allah).
But, a serious question arises that if Allah is so powerful and Almighty, why He doesn’t make the wills of all fellow souls, automatically, aligned with His will? Why He gives them this choice of deciding on voluntary basis? Because, if such voluntary choice is given (as it has been given on basis of Quran — according to the above analysis done by us), there remains a great misfortune on part of many souls who might not be, voluntarily, abiding by the will of Allah and thus fall into hell! Why would Allah, then, give such voluntary independence to the souls to choose their will (whether they want to abide by Allah’s will or not – this voluntary independence to decide) if He knows that by their choosing not to abide by His will – they will be doomed to misfortunate hell? If Allah is, truly, gracious (Rahman and Rahim), just like a mature father/mother/parent/guardian who know that an ignorant small child of theirs cannot decide on his/her own what is beneficial and what is not beneficial to him/her, — Allah would be taking the full control of the actions and desires/wills of fellow ignorant souls and make their desires/actions, automatically, aligned with His will! Then, there remains no point of giving such voluntary independence to the fellow souls – as to whether they can or cannot align with Allah’s will!
All this rational analysis proves that either He (Allah) doesn’t have that power of, automatically, turning their wills aligned to His will (former option) or even if He has such power, He is desiring to have the souls choose their own fortune and misfortune by their own hands (latter option)!
In the latter option, Allah seems to be acting like an irresponsible parent who lets go his/her ignorant child to act per his/her (child’s) whims regardless of whether that child hurts himself/herself or not. If so, Allah cannot be considered responsible and gracious. And if it is believed that the fellow souls are not immature and ignorant(s) like a small infant child but are compared to mature adults (parents don’t care about adults children’s responsibility), then how can this be true because those adult children who, voluntarily, choose to perform crimes – are they not immature and are they not given advise by their mature and well-wishing parents to abstain from indulging into such crimes and to not break the laws of state? How can criminal children who break the laws of state and engage in nonsensical activities be considered mature? Age related maturity is not factual maturity. Factual maturity is when a person understands what is, truly, beneficial for him/her and what is not – even if such an understanding person be a small child – he/she is, factually, mature.
So, this means that all those souls who are not wanting to abide by Allah’s will are not, truly, mature! And if they are not mature, why Allah gives them this voluntary power to decide as to whether they want to follow the beneficial path of Allah or not? Rather, their thoughts should have been controlled by Allah (in order to save them from doom) just how a puppeteer controls a puppet or a mechanic controls a robot!
And also, wouldn’t Allah be blamed for creating (all this applies, if at all, the creation of souls is accepted in Islam; and suppose if time and place related creation of souls is not accepted in Islam and if souls are considered as eternal and beginningless as the Allah, of what use will remain the status of Allah as the creator of all objects/beings sentient and insentient?) certain souls who are mature (willing to abide by Allah’s will) and certain who are immature (not willing to abide by Allah’s will)? Why such segregation in Allah’s perfect creation? A creation done by a perfect entity like Allah should be perfect, right?
However, if the former option is accepted, it proves that Allah is not Almighty, for if He was Almighty, He would have contained the power of, automatically, turning the wills of souls subjugated/aligned to His will just as all acts of a robot are controlled by its mechanic!
So, the dilemma, still, remains! Which one of the above two options (former or the latter) applies to Allah? Is Allah not having innate power to align and subjugate the individual/collective desires/wills of fellow souls with His own will? Or Is Allah having such innate power, but not exercising it, deliberately?
If the latter option is accepted, then it cannot be true because in many places in Quran, clear evidences are available which suggest that Allah becomes furious on those who displease Him by not wanting to abide by His will. Bible goes up to the extent of saying that the God of Abrahamics (Jews, Christians and Mulsims – all are Abrahamic faiths) is a jealous God meaning He is jealous of all those who don’t want to abide by His will. The jealousy of the Abrahamic God of Bible and the furious wrath of the Allah of Quran (Abrahamic God) proves that had such an Abrahamic God (Allah) the power of, automatically, aligning/subjugating the wills/desires of all souls with His desire, then He would have exercised such a power. This means that in the Abrahamic concept of Quran (and that of Christian and Jews, too), Allah is bereft of the innate/inherent/default might/power of, automatically, aligning/subjugating/controlling the individual and collective wills of souls with His own will. And this proves that the God of Abrahamics is not Almighty in the fullest sense, at least, according to our above analysis.
The views of Islamic and Abrahamic scholars are requested on our above analysis for further rational discussion on the matter.
— Bhakti-rasa-vedānta-pīthādhīśvara Gurupādācārya Rāmakṛṣṇa Svāmī of BRVF (a Sanātana-dharmīya/Hindu/Vedic Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava Vedāntic institution)