April 11, 2018 Growth Requires Sacrifice

Programmed Cell Death / Apoptosis is a process where the cell self-destructs 

Between 50 and 70 billion cells die each day due to apoptosis in the average human adult. For an average child between the ages of 8 and 14, approximately 20 to 30 billion cells die a day.

Fingers and toes self-destruction to eliminate the webbing

Metamorphosis – only the very basic tissues are spared some of the respiratory system, heart, brain tissue, but aside from that just about the entire caterpillar is dissolved into a liquid that is reassembled into a butterfly

Growth requires change

Change requires something to die (to give up one thing for another)

“The idea that cells take an active part in their own death comes from an observation that in certain cases a cell has to make new molecules in order to die. If you prevent this, the cell can’t die. The cell is participating in its own death because it has to participate to make something in order to die.” 

Kill Your Ego

[2:54] Recall that Moses said to his people, "O my people, you have wronged your souls by worshiping the calf. You must repent to your Creator. You shall kill your egos. This is better for you in the sight of your Creator." He did redeem you. He is the Redeemer, Most Merciful.

If you want something you have to sacrifice something else to get it

Can’t have your cake and eat it too 

Has to make the conscious decision to want to change - 

[13:11] Shifts (of angels) take turns, staying with each one of you—they are in front of you and behind you. They stay with you, and guard you in accordance with GOD's commands. Thus, GOD does not change the condition of any people unless they themselves make the decision to change. If GOD wills any hardship for any people, no force can stop it. For they have none beside Him as Lord and Master.

[38:30] To David we granted Solomon; a good and obedient servant. [38:31] One day he became preoccupied with beautiful horses, until the night fell. [38:32] He then said, "I enjoyed the material things more than I enjoyed worshiping my Lord, until the sun was gone.* [38:33] "Bring them back." (To bid farewell,) he rubbed their legs and necks. [38:34] We thus put Solomon to the test; we blessed him with vast material wealth, but he steadfastly submitted.* 

Sometimes to change you need a catalyst a change agent something to speed up the process  

Change direction of the Qibla

[2:142] The fools among the people would say, "Why did they change the direction of their Qiblah?" Say, "To GOD belongs the east and the west; He guides whoever wills in a straight path." [2:143] We thus made you an impartial community, that you may serve as witnesses among the people, and the messenger serves as a witness among you. We changed the direction of your original Qiblah only to distinguish those among you who readily follow the messenger from those who would turn back on their heels. It was a difficult test, but not for those who are guided by GOD. GOD never puts your worship to waste. GOD is Compassionate towards the people, Most Merciful. 

Isolation – the difference between being buried and planted

Joseph well

Brother’s turned against him and through him into the well and left him for dead

Joseph prison

The governor’s wife schemed against Joseph

[12:33] He said, "My Lord, the prison is better than giving in to them. Unless You divert their scheming from me, I may desire them and behave like the ignorant ones." [12:34] His Lord answered his prayer and diverted their scheming from him. He is the Hearer, the Omniscient. [12:35] Later, they saw to it, despite the clear proofs, that they should imprison him for awhile.

Muhammad Cave  

[9:40] If you fail to support him (the messenger), GOD has already supported him. Thus, when the disbelievers chased him, and he was one of two in the cave, he said to his friend, "Do not worry; GOD is with us." GOD then sent down contentment and security upon him, and supported him with invisible soldiers. He made the word of the disbelievers lowly. GOD's word reigns supreme. GOD is Almighty, Most Wise.

People of the Cave

[18:13] We narrate to you their history, truthfully. They were youths who believed in their Lord, and we increased their guidance. [18:14] We strengthened their hearts when they stood up and proclaimed: "Our only Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth. We will never worship any other god beside Him. Otherwise, we would be far astray. [18:15] "Here are our people setting up gods beside Him. If only they could provide any proof to support their stand! Who is more evil than the one who fabricates lies and attributes them to GOD? [18:16] "Since you wish to avoid them, and their worshiping of other than GOD,* let us take refuge in the cave. May your Lord shower you with His mercy and direct you to the right decision."

[18:20] "If they discover you, they will stone you, or force you to revert to their religion, then you can never succeed." 


The Birth of Jesus

[19:22] When she bore him, she isolated herself to a faraway place. [19:23] The birth process came to her by the trunk of a palm tree. She said, "(I am so ashamed;) I wish I were dead before this happened, and completely forgotten." [19:24] (The infant) called her from beneath her, saying, "Do not grieve. Your Lord has provided you with a stream. [19:25] "If you shake the trunk of this palm tree, it will drop ripe dates for you.* Footnote [19:26] "Eat and drink, and be happy. When you see anyone, say, 'I have made a vow of silence; I am not talking today to anyone.'" [19:27] She came to her family, carrying him. They said, "O Mary, you have committed something that is totally unexpected. [19:28] "O descendant of Aaron, your father was not a bad man, nor was your mother unchaste." 

The Infant Makes a Statement

[19:29] She pointed to him. They said, "How can we talk with an infant in the crib?" [19:30] (The infant spoke and) said, "I am a servant of GOD. He has given me the scripture, and has appointed me a prophet. [19:31] "He made me blessed wherever I go, and enjoined me to observe the Contact Prayers (Salat) and the obligatory charity (Zakat) for as long as I live. [19:32] "I am to honor my mother; He did not make me a disobedient rebel. [19:33] "And peace be upon me the day I was born, the day I die, and the day I get resurrected." 


Left Egypt where he met Shuaib and talked with God

Growth comes with trust in God

[22:15] If anyone thinks that GOD cannot support him in this life and in the Hereafter, let him turn completely to (his Creator in) heaven, and sever (his dependence on anyone else). He will then see that this plan eliminates anything that bothers him.

Ostrich Effect – Avoiding Responsibility

Not to be mistaken by hermitism - these are people who were isolated not necessarily by choice, but by circumstances. 

[57:27] Subsequent to them, we sent our messengers. We sent Jesus the son of Mary, and we gave him the Injeel (Gospel), and we placed in the hearts of his followers kindness and mercy. But they invented hermitism which we never decreed for them. All we asked them to do was to uphold the commandments approved by GOD. But they did not uphold the message as they should have. Consequently, we gave those who believed among them their recompense, while many of them were wicked.


[21:87] And Zan-Noon (Jonah, "the one with an 'N' in his name"), abandoned his mission in protest, thinking that we could not control him. He ended up imploring from the darkness (of the big fish's belly): "There is no god other than You. Be You glorified. I have committed a gross sin." 

[68:48] You shall steadfastly persevere in carrying out the commands of your Lord. Do not be like (Jonah) who called from inside the fish.

[11:42] As it sailed with them in waves like hills, Noah called his son, who was isolated: "O my son, come ride with us; do not be with the disbelievers." 

Psychological research reveals more about this unhealthy appetite for ignorance. In one study, students watched a bogus educational film about a serious disease called “TAA Deficiency”. In fact, TAA Deficiency is completely fictional, but the students were not told this information; instead, they were asked whether they wished to provide a cheek swab for assessing their risk of developing the disease.

Half of the students were told that if they ever developed TAA Deficiency, then the treatment would involve them taking a two-week course of pills. Of this group, 52% agreed to provide the diagnostic cheek swab.

The other half of students learned the treatment would involve taking the pills for the rest of their lives. Of this group, only 21% agreed to the swab.

These findings demonstrate a common pattern seen in other studies within and beyond the context of healthcare. That is, people are especially resistant to hearing feedback when they believe it could oblige them to do something difficult or unpleasant. 

The Hypocrites

[9:64] The hypocrites worry that a sura may be revealed exposing what is inside their hearts. Say, "Go ahead and mock. GOD will expose exactly what you are afraid of." [9:65] If you ask them, they would say, "We were only mocking and kidding." Say, "Do you realize that you are mocking GOD, and His revelations, and His messenger?" [9:66] Do not apologize. You have disbelieved after having believed. If we pardon some of you, we will punish others among you, as a consequence of their wickedness.

Exposing the Hypocrites

[47:20] Those who believed said: "When will a new sura be revealed?" But when a straightforward sura was revealed, wherein fighting was mentioned, you would see those who harbored doubts in their hearts looking at you, as if death had already come to them. They were thus exposed.

Proof of Faith During Muhammad's Era

[47:21] Obedience and righteous utterances are expected of them. If only they showed confidence in GOD, when mobilization was called for, it would have been better for them.

This is our final chance 

[7:53] Are they waiting until all (prophecies) are fulfilled? The day such fulfillment comes to pass, those who disregarded it in the past will say, "The messengers of our Lord have brought the truth. Are there any intercessors to intercede on our behalf? Would you send us back, so that we change our behavior, and do better works than what we did?" They have lost their souls, and their own innovations have caused their doom.

[23:99] When death comes to one of them, he says, "My Lord, send me back. [23:100] "I will then work righteousness in everything I left." Not true. This is a false claim that he makes. A barrier will separate his soul from this world until resurrection.

[6:27] If only you could see them when they face the hellfire! They would say then, "Woe to us. Oh, we wish if we could go back, and never reject our Lord's revelations, and join the believers." [6:28] As a matter of fact, (they only say this because) their secrets have been exposed. If they go back, they will commit exactly the same crimes. They are liars

[35:37] They will scream therein, "Our Lord, if you get us out of here, we will work righteousness, instead of the works we used to do." Did we not give you a life-long chance, with continuous reminders for those who would take heed? Did you not receive the warner? Therefore, taste (the consequences). The transgressors will have no one to help them. 

Like Locusts – Cannibalizing and Fleeing From One Another

[54:6] Ignore them; the day will come when the caller will announce a terrible disaster. [54:7] With their eyes humiliated, they come out of the graves like scattered locusts.

Mutual Blaming 

On the Day of Resurrection

[34:32] The leaders will say to those who followed them, "Are we the ones who diverted you from the guidance after it came to you? No; it is you who were wicked." [34:33] The followers will say to their leaders, "It was you who schemed night and day, then commanded us to be unappreciative of GOD, and to set up idols to rank with Him." They will be ridden with remorse, when they see the retribution, for we will place shackles around the necks of those who disbelieved. Are they not justly requited for what they did? 

[40:47] As they argue in Hell, the followers will say to their leaders, "We used to be your followers, can you spare us any part of this Hell?" [40:48] The leaders will say, "We are all in this together. GOD has judged among the people." 

Believers are like butterflies

[101:4] That is the day when the people come out like swarms of butterflies. 

Believers like a cocoon come out of the graves like butterflies

Believer’s who grow their soul

[79:1] The (angels who) snatch (the souls of the disbelievers) forcibly. [79:2] And those who gently take (the souls of the believers) joyfully.

[91:7] The soul and Him who created it. [91:8] Then showed it what is evil and what is good. [91:9] Successful is one who redeems it. [91:10] Failing is one who neglects it.