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The Meaning of the Creed

In origin, the word “Aqeeda” [Creed] is derived from “Aqada” [tied] which implies fixing, tightening, and binding. One says, “I tied the robe” in case he fixed, tightened, or bound it.

Here, we mean by it the information which come to be tightened to the mind, and which the mind accepts and absolutely believes in to the extent that they become fixed, tightened, and bound to his mind. We want by the creed the bases of the religion which are monotheism, justice, prophecy, authority, and resurrection.

The Role of the Creed in Man’s Life

Man’s creed is the base of all his approaches and conduct in life. The creed is what spurs on the human being to work, determines his approach, and motivates him to be fruitful. It is for sure that there is no thought which exceeds Islam in its high evaluation of the creed; according to the Islamic perspective, the creed represents the standard of the evaluation of all the deeds; even the correct deeds are considered to be valueless unless they originate from a correct creed.

It is related that Imam Mohammad Al-Baqer (God’s peace bestowed upon him) said, “No deed avails when it is accompanied by doubt and apostasy.”1

Therefore, the correctness, validity, and function of any deed in the perfectness of the human being are conditional upon the correctness of the creed of the worker. Otherwise, in case man’s creed is incorrect, he will be either a denier for what is true, or he will be overwhelmed by doubt; in both cases, he will not have the correct motif for work because the correct creed is what orientates the human being towards the deed and accordingly determines its correctness and value.

From an Islamic point of view, the first point to be recorded in the file of one’s deeds and about which the human being- any human being- will be asked after his death and at his admittance to the hereafter is about his creeds, not about the deeds i.e. Who is your God and Lord in Whom you believe? What is the religion which you adopt? Who is your prophet and model whom you followed in your life?

Consequently, the human being must know his God and believe in Him; know his religion and walk on its path; and know his prophet and his model and thus follow after them.

The Ways of Knowledge

The Most Glorious and Reverent God, due to His Love to and Mercy of man, facilitated the way for the human being to know the correct creed. The Most Glorified and High God made the paths leading to Him as much as the breaths of mankind are, thus making them easy to be passed, accessible, clear, and harmonious with his nature, so that he will be guided to it when he is wakeful. Moreover, He deposited in the human being potentials and abilities by means of which he can acquire the correct creed. What are, therefore, these potentials and abilities?

The human being has potentials and abilities entitling him to acquire what he is ignorant about and entitling him to get knowledge. Among these potentials and abilities are the following:

1- The Senses

The senses are the hearing, the sight, the smelling, the tasting, and the touching. One knows what he ignores through one of the senses. And then he, by means of his mind, recognize the meanings of the words after having heard them; the beauty of the nature after having seen it; the freshness of the odor after having smelled it; the sweetness of the honey after having tasted it; and the hotness of the fire after having touched it. These divine graces which God bestowed upon us are called the sensual ability, through which one can recognize whatever falls within its frame.

2- The Mind

The mind is what distinguishes the human being from all the irrational animals. It is with which The Most Glorious and Reverent God honored the human being over all the beings. Accordingly, he is able to recognize the existence of the things which do not fall within the frame of his hearing or seeing or his other senses. He can recognize that the wire has electricity although he did not see the electricity with his naked eye yet saw its result i.e. the light emitting from the lit lamp. This ability is called the mental ability.

By means of the potentials and the abilities which the human being has, he can reach the true creeds easily because they, as we have just pointed out, are in harmony with his pure nature and sound mind.

Knowing The Most Glorious and Reverent God

Man can employ the potentials and the abilities which The Most Glorious and Reverent God bestowed upon him by making them ways to come at knowing Him. The Most Glorified and High God guided to these ways in His Noble Book when He said, We shall show them Our Portents on the horizons and within themselves until it will be manifest unto them that it is the Truth.﴿2

The First Way

When we turn with our senses towards the horizons of the world around us, towards what it contains from all the creatures and the day and night succession and the movement and the benefits of the winds which are all organized in an exact order void of any contradiction or conflict, we clearly recognize that it is impossible that they be present without a Creator Who got them out from the darkness of the non existence to the light of existence, Who had them in this extremely exact order. This Creator is The Most Reverent and High God.

To this The Noble Qur’an guides us in In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the difference of night and day, and the ships which run upon the sea with what is of use to men, and the water which Allah sendeth down from the sky, thereby reviving the earth after its death, and dispersing all kinds of beasts therein, and (in) the ordinance of the winds, and the clouds obedient between heaven and earth: are signs (of Allah’s Sovereignty) for people who have seen. 3﴿

This blessed Qur’anian verse mentions the signs which indicate The Most High and Reverent God:

* The skies contain milliards of suns and stars- some of which are seen by the naked eye and the other some are seen by means of the telescope- and which are arranged with each other in a correlated order.

* The earth has life on it which is variously manifested in thousands of species of animals and plants.

* The day and the night, and the darkness and the light succeed each other according to a specific order, so that one of them will gradually decrease so that the other one will gradually increase. Also, the four seasons succeed each other. And there is integration among the plants and the other creatures: Had this succession disappeared, life would have disappeared from this earth.

* The ships float in the seas and oceans and sail by means of the winds which blow according to a special order from the North and South Poles towards the equator and vice versa. These winds are regarded to be a natural power to move the gigantic ships which resemble the floating cities. Nevertheless, the use of the fuel engines nowadays has not underestimated these winds.

* The rain falls down to revive the earth, so that there will be life; so that the plants, by means of its bliss, will grow; and so that the animals will live by means of the life of these plants.

* The winds are moved from one side to another not only on the surface of the seas and the oceans for the sake of the ship movement, but also on the land for the sake of the fertilization of the plants, the calming of the atmosphere, and the prevention of the accumulation of poisons in the environment.

* The clouds are accumulated in the heights of the environment. They carry tons of water which was created and dedicated for the welfare of this human being.

All these clear signs, which we recognize by means of our senses, serve as an obvious evident for the greatness of this Creator in a doubtless and definite manner. It is as if all the creatures are wandering, “Can it be that all these elements and creatures be accidentally gathered without a Creator Who created, arranged, and organized them?!”

The Second Way

When the human being speculates about this existence, he obviously recognizes that it is indispensable that there be a Founder and a Creator for this universe. This is so because it is impossible that anything be without an Existor. This is known by intuition. Even the child understands this meaning: In case you put your hand on his shoulder without him seeing you, he becomes aware of you and turns towards you. This is so because he intuitively knows that it is indispensable that there be a person who is touching him on his shoulder.

And The Most Glorious and Reverent God guided us to this meaning in His Saying, Or were they created out of naught? Or are they the creators? Or did they create the heavens and the earth? Nay, but they are sure of nothing!﴿4

These two blessed Qur’anian verses present inquiries and assumptions as regards the Origin and the Founder of this world.

The First Assumption

This assumption suggests that the creatures were existed by themselves without any creator. The abolishment of this assumption is

obvious because it is like the one who pretends that this building in which we dwell was existed by itself i.e. its stones and metals and cements gathered, thus producing this established building.

The Second Assumption

This assumption suggests that these creatures created themselves. It is also abolished because that the thing brings itself to existence means that it was existing before its existence, so that it will bring itself to existence. In case we, therefore, assume that the human being is the one who brought himself to existence, this means that he was existing before his existence in order to be able to bring himself to existence; and this is impossible.

The Third Assumption

This assumption suggests that these creatures are the creators of the skies and the earth. And this is clearly abolished; for how can the human being, who is unable to create himself and to create a like to himself, to bring to existence what is greater than he is?!

There is, therefore, an Everlasting Knower, Needless of the mankind, Capable of everything. He is the Innovator Creator. He is The Most Glorious and Reverent God.

To this truth The Prince of the Believers (God’s peace bestowed upon him) pointed out and guided us when he (God’s peace bestowed upon him) was asked about proving the existence of the Creator. He (God’s peace bestowed upon him) said, “The dung indicates the camel. The manure indicates the donkeys. And the footprints indicate the walking. Then, how is that such so delicate a celestial sphere and so dense a lower center do not indicate The Most Kind, The Most Expert?!”5

For Reading

A Boat without a Maker

The historiographers relate that one man attended one of Baghdad’s intellectual councils during the Abaseed Era in order to argue about the existence of God. The head of the council sent after one scholar in order to carry out the mission of argument.

The messenger went to the scholar and related to him the matter. The scholar said to him, “I will follow you at once.” The audience had waited for hours, and they were about to disperse when suddenly did the scholar enter and start saying, “I am sorry for being late, for I came, in my way, upon astonishing something…” They amazingly asked him, “What is that thing? Tell us.”

The scholar answered them, “I got out of the house till I stood by the shore of Tigris River. I saw a big tree falling in the river and transforming by itself into various geometrical pieces. And then I saw some nails running from afar, tightening the wooden pieces together, and producing a well elaborated and delicate boat.”

They asked him, “What happened after that?”

He answered them, “The boat drew without any oar or captain near the other shore where all the passengers got down peacefully.”

At this, the man who was waiting to argue with him started laughing and mocking him, thus saying, “I am sorry for having wasted the time in attendance for such an ignorant fool… How can I argue with a man who pretends to be a scholar yet talks about a tree that falls, gets itself cut, gets itself tightened, and transforms into a boat which carries the people without any oar or captain?!”

Here, the scholar turned to him and answered with the tone of the believer who trusts his God, “You laughed, mocked, and used bad words… It is my right now to answer you amazingly and wonderingly, ‘If that the simple boat be existing by itself is an amazing affair and is an indicator of ignorance and foolishness…, then it will be more amazing that you say that the skies and the earth were accidentally existed and without a Creator!”

When the man heard that, he said nothing.


1- Al-Kafi [The Sufficient]/ Al-Koulayni/ Part Two/ Page 400
2- The Noble Qur’an/ Fossilat [Explained in Details] Chapter/ Verse 53
3- The Noble Qur’an/ Al-Baqara [The Cow] Chapter/ Verse 164
4- The Noble Qur’an/ Al-Tour [The Mountain] Chapter/ Verses 36 and 38
5- Bihar Al-Anwar [The Seas of Lights]/ The Scholar Al-Majlisi/ Part Three/ Page 55

595 View | 05-04-2013 | 14:24


 
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