Deep Thinking!

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Deep Thinking! Empty Deep Thinking!

Post by Jibrail on Sun Mar 16, 2008 3:18 pm

Introduction


Those who remember Allah, standing, sitting, and lying on their sides, and reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth: "O Lord, You have not created this for nothing. Glory be to You! So safeguard us from the punishment of the Fire."
(Surat Al 'Imran: 191)


Have you ever thought about the fact that you did not exist before you were conceived and then born into the world and that you have come into existence from mere nothingness?

Have you ever thought about how the fragrant and beautifully coloured flowers you see everyday have come out of pitch black, muddy soil?

Have you ever thought about how mosquitoes, which irritatingly fly around you, move their wings so fast that we are unable to see them?

Have you ever thought about how the peels of fruits such as bananas, watermelons, melons and oranges serve as wrappings of high quality, and how the fruits are packed in these wrappings so that they maintain their taste and fragrance?

Have you ever thought about the possibility that while you are asleep a sudden earthquake could raze your home, your office, and your city to the ground and that in a few seconds you could lose everything of the world you possess?

Have you ever thought of how your life passes away very quickly, and that you will grow old and become weak, and slowly lose your beauty, health and strength?

Have you ever thought about how one day you will find the angels of death appointed by Allah before you and that you will then leave this world?

Have you ever thought about why people are so attached to a world from which they will soon depart when what they basically need is to strive for the Hereafter?

Man is a being whom Allah furnishes with the faculty of thought. Yet, most people do not use this very important faculty as they should. In fact, some people almost never think.

In truth, each person possesses a capacity for thought of which even he himself is unaware. Once man begins to use this capacity, facts he has not been able to realise until that very moment begin to be uncovered for him. The deeper he goes in reflection, the more his capacity to think improves, and this is possible for everyone. One just has to realise that one needs to reflect and then to strive hard.

The purpose of this book is to invite people to think in the best way and show ways of doing this. Someone who does not think will remain totally distant from truths and lead his life in self-deception and error. As a result, he will not grasp the purpose of the creation of the world, and the reason for his existence on the earth. Yet, Allah has created everything with a purpose. This fact is stated in the Qur'an as follows:

We did not create the heavens and the earth and everything between them as a game. We did not create them except with truth but most of them do not know it. (Surat ad-Dukhan: 38-39)

Did you suppose that We created you for amusement and that you would not return to Us? (Surat al-Muminun: 115)

Therefore, each person needs to ponder the purpose of creation, first as it concerns him himself, and then as it pertains to everything he sees in the universe and every event he experiences throughout his life. Someone who does not think, will understand the facts only after he dies, when he gives account before Allah, but then it will be too late. Allah says in the Qur'an that on the day of account, everybody will think and see the truth:

That day Hell is produced, that day man will remember; but how will the remembrance help him?

He will say, "Oh! If only I had prepared in advance for this life of mine!" (Surat al-Fajr: 23-24)

While Allah has given us a chance in the life of this world to reflect and derive conclusions from our reflections, to see the truth will bring us great gain in our life in the Hereafter. For this reason, Allah has summoned all people, through His prophets and books, to reflect on their creation and on the creation of the universe:

Have they not reflected within themselves? Allah did not create the heavens and the earth and everything between them except with truth and for a fixed term. Yet many people reject the meeting with their Lord. (Surat ar-Rum: Cool



Deep Thinking


Most people believe that in order to think deeply, one needs to put one's head between one's hands, withdraw to an empty room, and isolate oneself from all other people and affairs. Indeed, they make such a big issue of thinking deeply that they find it too difficult, and imagine that it is a quality exclusive to philosophers.

However, as we stated in the introduction, Allah invites people to reflect and says that He has revealed the Qur'an for people to reflect on it: "It is a book We have sent down to you, full of blessing, so let people of intelligence ponder its signs and take heed." (Surah Sad: 29). What is important is one's sincerely improving one's ability to think and going deeper in thinking.

On the other hand, people who do not spend effort to that end continue their lives in deep heedlessness. The word heedlessness has connotations like neglectfulness without forgetting, abandoning, being mistaken, disregarding, being careless. The heedless state of those who do not reflect is a consequence of forgetting or deliberately disregarding the purpose of their creation and of the realities which religion teaches. Yet, this is an extremely dangerous course that may lead to Hell. Correspondingly, Allah has warned people against being among the heedless:

Remember your Lord in yourself humbly and fearfully, without loudness of voice, morning and evening. Do not be of the heedless ones. (Surat al-A'raf: 205)

Warn them of the day of bitter regret when the affair will be resolved. But they take no notice and they do not believe. (Surah Maryam: 39)

In the Qur'an, Allah refers to people who reflect and who, after reflecting conscientiously, see the truth and therefore fear Him. Allah says that those who blindly follow their forefathers without thinking, out of tradition, are wrong. When asked, these people say that they are religious and believe in Allah, yet, since they do not think, they do not amend their conduct from fear of Allah. In the following verses, the mentality of these people is clearly laid out:

Say: "To whom does the earth belong, and everyone in it, if you have any knowledge?"

They will say: "To Allah." Say: "So will you not pay heed?"

Say: "Who is the Lord of the Seven Heavens and the Lord of the Mighty Throne?"

They will say: "Allah." Say: "So will you not have taqwa*?"

Say: "In whose hand is the dominion over everything, He who gives protection and from whom no protection can be given, if you have any knowledge?"

They will say: "Allah's." Say: "So how have you been bewitched?"

The fact is that We have given them the truth and they are liars. (Surat al-Muminun: 84-90)

Thinking Removes the Spell on People

In the above verse, Allah asks people, "So how have you been bewitched?" The word "bewitched" in the verse implies a state of mental numbness that takes control of people as a whole. An unthinking person's mind is benumbed, his sight becomes fuzzy, he acts as if he does not see the facts before his eyes, and his faculty of judgement weakens. He becomes incapable of grasping even a plain truth. He cannot be fully conscious of extraordinary events taking place right before him. He does not notice the intricate details of events. The reason for people's leading heedless lives for thousands of years and their staying away from deep thought as a whole, as if it is merely a cultural heritage, is actually this mental numbness.

We can explain one of the outcomes of this collective spell with an example:

Beneath the earth's surface lies a boiling stratum or layer called magma. The crust of the earth is very thin, which implies that this blaze is very close to us, almost under our feet. In order to have a better understanding of how thin the earth's crust is we can make a comparison: the thickness of the earth's crust in proportion to the whole earth can be compared to the thickness of the peel of the apple in proportion to the whole apple.

Everyone knows that there is a stratum boiling at very high temperatures right beneath the earth's surface, but few people think much about it. This is because their parents, brothers, relatives, friends, neighbours, the journalists of the newspapers they read, TV programme producers and their university professors do not think about it either.

Let us try to make you think over this a little. Let us assume that a person, having lost his memory, tries to learn about his surroundings by asking questions of everyone around him. This person would first ask where he is. What would he think if he was told that beneath the ground he stands on lies a globe of boiling fire and that these flames could gush out of the earth's surface in the event of a strong earthquake or a volcanic eruption? Let us go further and suppose that this person was told that this world is simply a small planet and it floats in an infinite dark void called space and that space contains even greater dangers than those beneath the earth’s crust. For example, meteors weighing tonnes freely move around in space. There is no reason why they should not alter their courses, perhaps because of some gravitational influence from another planet, and collide with the earth.

Surely, that person would not be able to forget, even for a moment, the risky situation he is in. He would investigate how people lead their lives in such an environment to which they hang on by the skin of their teeth. He would realise that a flawless system has been brought into being. The inside of the planet on which he lives contains great danger, yet very delicate balances prevent this danger from harming people, except in unusual circumstances. The person who realises this understands that the earth and all creatures on it live and continue their existence in safety only by the will of Allah, owing to the flawless balance He has created.

This example is only one of millions, even billions of examples upon which people need to ponder. Giving another example will be useful to help us understand how heedlessness affects people's faculty of thought and restrains their intellectual capacity.

People know that the life of this world passes away and ends very rapidly, yet still, they behave as if they will never leave this world. They act as if there is no death in the world. This, indeed, is a kind of spell carried over from generation to generation. This has such a strong effect that when someone talks about death, people immediately close the subject for fear of breaking the spell on them and facing the reality. People who have spent their entire lives in order to buy fine houses, summer residences and cars, and to send their children to good colleges, do not want to think that one day they will die and that they will not be able to take their cars, their houses, or children with them. Consequently, rather than beginning to do something for the real life after death, they choose not to think.

However, everyone, sooner or later, will definitely die and after one dies, whether one believes it or not, the eternal life will begin for everyone. Whether this eternal life will be spent in Paradise or in Hell depends on what one has done in the short life of this world. While such is the plain truth, the only reason why people behave as if death does not exist is this spell that has covered them because they do not think.

Those who cannot, by thinking, save themselves from this spell and therefore from a heedless state, will understand the facts by seeing them with their eyes after they die. Allah communicates this fact in the Qur'an:

You were heedless of this, so We have stripped you of your covering and today your sight is sharp. (Surah Qaf: 22)

As Allah says in the verse, the sight which here is blurred because of not thinking, will be "sharp" at the time when the person gives account in the Hereafter after death.

It should be pointed out that people deliberately impose such a spell on themselves. They suppose that by doing so they will live restful and relaxed lives. However, it is very easy for anyone to make a decision and shake off this mental numbness, and begin to live with a clear consciousness. Allah has presented the solution to people; people who reflect can dispel this enchantment while they are in the world. They thus come to understand that all events have a purpose and an inner meaning, and are able to see wisdom in the events that Allah creates at every instant.

One can Think at Anytime and Anywhere

Such a crowd makes one reflect upon Allah's unique vast creation. Since the moment the world came into existence, Allah has created billions of human faces, all different from each other.

There is no time, place or condition necessary for thought. Anyone may think while walking on the street, going to the office, driving a car, working at the computer, attending a friend's gathering or having lunch.
Jibrail
Jibrail
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