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February 1, 2019 God’s Mercy

What about when the right path is almost impossible to find?

So I have been watching a Netflix series called Ozark and the premise of the show is how one family keeps getting further and further away from righteousness and how they keep thinking that if they just do one more bad deed they will be able to get back to their normal lives.

In one of the episodes of Ozark, one of the main characters made the following quote that really resonated with me.

“evil comes when the righteous path is so hidden it looks like there is only one way out.”

What do you do when you reach a crossroads and you are being tested and you know the right path but it is too hard to make the right decision?

Scent of a women - I’ve been to the crossroads

The question is what should we do when temptation is too high.

[29:2] Do the people think that they will be left to say, "We believe," without being put to the test? [29:3] We have tested those before them, for GOD must distinguish those who are truthful, and He must expose the liars.

God's Tests Are Never Unreasonable [4:66] Had we decreed for them: "You must offer your lives," or "Give up your homes," they would not have done it, except for a few of them. (Even if such a command was issued,) had they done what they were commanded to do, it would have been better for them, and would prove the strength of their faith.

In consumer electronics and specifically semiconductors there are different grades of product quality. And each grade was more expensive. 

  • Commercial: 0 °C to 70 °C - test at 25C
  • Industrial: −40 °C to 85 °C
  • Automotive: −40 °C to 125 °C
  • Military: −55 °C to 125 °C

The higher the test the higher the cause 

[6:132] Everyone will attain a rank commensurate with their deeds. Your Lord is never unaware of anything they do.

  1. know what the right path is but too hard
  2. Cognitive dissonance kicks in and convince yourself the wrong path is the right path

The right path is so blocked that it is almost impossible to see

The worst thing that can happen to someone is when they can’t differentiate right from wrong. And this occurs when we persist in sins knowingly.

Cognitive dissonance - people like to think that they are good righteous, virtuous, but when their actions do not align this causes discomfort and they have a choice

  1. They can continue to try to improve and do better
  2. They can convince themselves that their sins are actually righteous

Better to sin out of weakness and admit it is a sin rather than lie to one’s self and deny it is sinful or worst yet call it righteous

[35:8] Note the one whose evil work is adorned in his eyes, until he thinks that it is righteous. GOD thus sends astray whoever wills (to go astray), and He guides whoever wills (to be guided). Therefore, do not grieve over them. GOD is fully aware of everything they do.

(3) The Hypocrites

[2:8] Then there are those who say, "We believe in GOD and the Last Day," while they are not believers. [2:9] In trying to deceive GOD and those who believe, they only deceive themselves without perceiving. [2:10] In their minds there is a disease. Consequently, GOD augments their disease. They have incurred a painful retribution for their lying. [2:11] When they are told, "Do not commit evil," they say, "But we are righteous!" [2:12] In fact, they are evildoers, but they do not perceive.

[6:43] If only they implored when our test afflicted them! Instead, their hearts were hardened, and the devil adorned their works in their eyes.

[2:186] When My servants ask you about Me, I am always near. I answer their prayers when they pray to Me. The people shall respond to Me and believe in Me, in order to be guided.

[3:135] If they fall in sin or wrong their souls, they remember God and ask forgiveness for their sins - and who forgives the sins except God - and they do not persist in sins, knowingly.

Joseph being tempted 

[12:23] The lady of the house where he lived tried to seduce him. She closed the doors and said, "I am all yours." He said, "May GOD protect me. He is my Lord, who gave me a good home. The transgressors never succeed."

[12:24] She almost succumbed to him, and he almost succumbed to her, if it were not that he saw a proof from his Lord. We thus diverted evil and sin away from him, for he was one of our devoted servants. 

This revelation is not about an ordinary guy, it is about Joseph who was blessed with wisdom and knowledge. Joseph knew what is right and what is wrong but with all knowing, he was about to fail, but he was saved. How? Joseph was saved because he implored to God.

God save him by showing a proof from his lord, a mercy, how about us? Do we implore to God?

Or can we see a proof from the God when we are at a crossroad and temptation is too high? 

[17:73] They almost diverted you from the revelations we have given you. They wanted you to fabricate something else, in order to consider you a friend. [17:74] If it were not that we strengthened you, you almost leaned towards them just a little bit. [17:75] Had you done that, we would have doubled the retribution for you in this life, and after death, and you would have found no one to help you against us.

When we sin we are actively trying to block out God’s light

[74:38] Every soul is trapped by its sins. [74:39] Except for those on the right.

[6:122] Is one who was dead and we granted him life, and provided him with light that enables him to move among the people, equal to one in total darkness from which he can never exit? The works of the disbelievers are thus adorned in their eyes.

Light is what lets us know what is right and wrong so that we can get back on the right path

Trees move in the direction of the light

Kudzu plant will slowly grow over existing structures like trees and will block all sunlight from approaching the object and eventually kill the tree

All paths lead back to God so we can submit willingly or unwillingly but ultimately we will be returned to God and either be rewarded with Paradise or see the retribution of Hell

[13:15] To GOD prostrates everyone in the heavens and the earth, willingly or unwillingly, and so do their shadows in the mornings and the evenings.

What do we need to see something? 3 things:

  1. We need eyes and a brain
  2. We need light  and more importantly
  3. We have to want to see

God's light is the same. We can see God's light with our hearts as long as we are not strayers and want to see God's signs by imploring to Him.

What is God’s light and what it does? 

There is only one verse in Quran that talks about Light Upon Light and that is when God explains.

God 

[24:35] GOD is the light of the heavens and the earth. The allegory of His light is that of a concave mirror behind a lamp that is placed inside a glass container. The glass container is like a bright, pearl-like star. The fuel thereof is supplied from a blessed oil-producing tree, that is neither eastern, nor western. Its oil is almost self-radiating; needs no fire to ignite it. Light upon light. GOD guides to His light whomever He wills. GOD thus cites the parables for the people. GOD is fully aware of all things.

What does God's light do? It provides guidance. 

When in the Contact Prayer, we say "Guide us to the right path the path of those whom You blessed; not of those who have deserved wrath, nor of the strayers.

We are asking God to turn on his light. It helps us to see the whole thing, our innermost egos and the consequences of our actions. 

It is interesting to mention that there is only one verse that talks about darkness upon darkness and this verse is in the same chapter of Light Upon Light, 5 verses below. There is something very unique about it that I have to share with you.

[24:40] Another allegory is that of being in total darkness in the midst of a violent ocean, with waves upon waves, in addition to thick fog. Darkness upon darkness—if he looked at his own hand, he could barely see it. Whomever GOD deprives of light, will have no light.

God talks about Darkness upon Darkness... the strange part is , in the same verse, God says "if he looked at his own hand, he could barely see it."; What does “barely” mean? You can barely see if there is tiny light otherwise you could see nothing. What does a tiny light is doing in the middle of Darkness Upon Darkness.

Do you know what is called that tiny light in total darkness?

HOPE

Never despair of God’s mercy. No matter what the odds are.

God's Infinite Mercy 

[39:53] Proclaim: "O My servants who exceeded the limits, never despair of GOD's mercy. For GOD forgives all sins. He is the Forgiver, Most Merciful."

It tells me no matter how darn the situation is, darkness upon darkness, there is always hope, a tiny shred of light, never despair.

[9:118] Also (redeemed were) the three who stayed behind. The spacious earth became so straitened for them, that they almost gave up all hope for themselves. Finally, they realized that there was no escape from God, except to Him. He then redeemed them that they may repent. God is the Redeemer, Most Merciful.

When is the best time to plant a tree 40 years ago when is the next best day today

[65:2] ...Anyone who reverences GOD, He will create an exit for him.  [65:3] And will provide for him whence he never expected. Anyone who trusts in GOD, He suffices him. GOD's commands are done. GOD has decreed for everything its fate.

[65:4] ...Anyone who reverences GOD, He makes everything easy for him.

[65:7]...GOD will provide ease after difficulty.

If you think that there isn't a way, rest assured that with God there is always a way.

In the heart to the Sahara desert is the Ubari sand sea

Swallows that left Nigeria have travelled 1 and a half thousand miles so far on their way to Europe

Luckily in the Ubari Sand Sea there is an oasis called Umm Al-maa

In the midst of the desert ancient ground water swells to the surface

And at first glance it looks like just what the swallows need for hydration in order to make their trip

But they must be careful because this oasis is poisonous

evaporation over the years has caused this oasis to be saltier than the sea and if that isn’t bad enough the place is infested with vast swarms of flies

But this plague is the swallows salvation because the flies are filled with fresh water that have been filtered from the brine

The birds get all the water and food they need from the flies bodies 

[2:214] Do you expect to enter Paradise without being tested like those before you? They were tested with hardship and adversity, and were shaken up, until the messenger and those who believed with him said, "Where is GOD's victory?" GOD's victory is near.

[2:286] GOD never burdens a soul beyond its means: to its credit is what it earns, and against it is what it commits. "Our Lord, do not condemn us if we forget or make mistakes. Our Lord, and protect us from blaspheming against You, like those before us have done. Our Lord, protect us from sinning until it becomes too late for us to repent. Pardon us and forgive us. You are our Lord and Master. Grant us victory over the disbelieving people."