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The Story of Blondin
I thought that was a great story to start the podcast with as I wanted to talk about what it means to believe in God.
A gallop poll last year found that 89% of American say they believe in God, but what does that truly mean?
To believe in the mere existence of God does not mean anything if you do not know, understand or believe who God is.
When we truly believe something our actions should correspond with our beliefs
In the story of Blondin despite the people witnessing him successfully walking 1100 feet across and 160 feet above Niagara falls numerous times and saying they believed with their lips showed they really didn’t believe because of their actions by not willing to get inside the wheelbarrow
If we truly believe in God then our actions will correspond with our supposed belief
Knowing God’s qualities and most importantly that God is doing everything
God is doing everything
What does that mean: God is doing everything
[10:61] You do not get into any situation, nor do you recite any Quran, nor do you do anything, without us being witnesses thereof as you do it. Not even an atom's weight is out of your Lord's control, be it in the heavens or the earth. Nor is there anything smaller than an atom, or larger, that is not recorded in a profound record.
How would you behave if you truly believed God is doing everything?
The Battle of the Parties (33:9 – 33:20)
O you who believe, remember GOD's blessing upon you; when soldiers attacked you, we sent upon them violent wind and invisible soldiers. GOD is Seer of everything you do. When they came from above you, and from beneath you, your eyes were terrified, your hearts ran out of patience, and you harbored unbefitting thoughts about GOD. [33:11] That is when the believers were truly tested; they were severely shaken up. [33:12] The hypocrites and those with doubts in their hearts said, "What GOD and His messenger promised us was no more than an illusion!" [33:13] A group of them said, "O people of Yathrib, you cannot attain victory; go back." Others made up excuses to the prophet: "Our homes are vulnerable," when they were not vulnerable. They just wanted to flee. [33:14] Had the enemy invaded and asked them to join, they would have joined the enemy without hesitation. [33:15] They had pledged to GOD in the past that they would not turn around and flee; making a pledge with GOD involves a great responsibility. Say, "If you flee, you can never flee from death or from being killed. No matter what happens, you only live a short while longer." Say, "Who would protect you from GOD if He willed any adversity, or willed any blessing for you?" They can never find, beside GOD, any other Lord and Master. [33:18] GOD is fully aware of the hinderers among you, and those who say to their comrades, "Let us all stay behind." Rarely do they mobilize for defense. [33:19] Also, they are too stingy when dealing with you. If anything threatens the community, you see their eyes rolling with fear, as if death had already come to them. Once the crisis is over, they whip you with sharp tongues. They are too stingy with their wealth. These are not believers, and, consequently, GOD has nullified their works. This is easy for GOD to do. [33:20] They thought that the parties might come back. In that case, they would wish that they were lost in the desert, asking about your news from afar. Had the parties attacked you while they were with you, they would rarely support you.
[33:21] The messenger of GOD has set up a good example for those among you who seek GOD and the Last Day, and constantly think about GOD. Footnote [33:22] When the true believers saw the parties (ready to attack), they said, "This is what GOD and His messenger have promised us, and GOD and His messenger are truthful." This (dangerous situation) only strengthened their faith and augmented their submission.
If we truly believe this then we would never fear anything besides God.
To fear anything besides God is to give power to another entity independent of God.
Fear: The Devil's Tool
[3:175] It is the devil's system to instill fear into his subjects. Do not fear them and fear Me instead, if you are believers.
The start of wisdom begins with fearing God?
To believe anything besides God can harm or benefit you is tantamount to idol worship.
[5:76] Say, "Would you worship beside GOD powerless idols who can neither harm you, nor benefit you? GOD is Hearer, Omniscient."
[10:106] "You shall not worship beside GOD what possesses no power to benefit you or harm you. If you do, you will be a transgressor."
As mentioned in the previous podcast by harm is the absence of God, such that when we knowingly commit sin we are distancing ourselves from our creator
Even the messengers could not harm or benefit themselves:
[10:49] Say, "I possess no power to harm myself, or benefit myself; only what GOD wills takes place." Each community has a predetermined life span. Once their interim comes to an end, they cannot delay it by one hour, nor advance it.
God controls life and death
Time of Death Predetermined
[3:145] No one dies except by GOD's leave, at a predetermined time. Whoever seeks the vanities of this world, we give him therefrom, and whoever seeks the rewards of the Hereafter, we bless him therein. We reward those who are appreciative.
Moment of Death Predetermined
[3:154] After the setback, He sent down upon you peaceful slumber that pacified some of you. Others among you were selfishly concerned about themselves. They harbored thoughts about GOD that were not right— the same thoughts they had harbored during the days of ignorance. Thus, they said, "Is anything up to us?" Say, "Everything is up to GOD." They concealed inside themselves what they did not reveal to you. They said, "If it was up to us, none of us would have been killed in this battle." Say, "Had you stayed in your homes, those destined to be killed would have crawled into their death beds." GOD thus puts you to the test to bring out your true convictions, and to test what is in your hearts. GOD is fully aware of the innermost thoughts.
This doesn’t happen overnight it takes time – from a weak believer to a strong believer
Story of Moses – from my tongue gets tied to No way
[26:10] Recall that your Lord called Moses: "Go to the transgressing people. [26:11] "Pharaoh's people; perhaps they reform." [26:12] He said, "My Lord, I fear lest they disbelieve me. [26:13] "I may lose my temper. My tongue gets tied; send for my brother Aaron. [26:14] "Also, they consider me a fugitive; I fear lest they kill me." [26:15] He said, "No, (they will not). Go with My proofs. We will be with you, listening. [26:16] "Go to Pharaoh and say, 'We are messengers from the Lord of the universe. [26:17] "'Let the Children of Israel go.'"
[26:60] They pursued them towards the east. [26:61] When both parties saw each other, Moses' people said, "We will be caught." [26:62] He said, "No way. My Lord is with me; He will guide me." [26:63] We then inspired Moses: "Strike the sea with your staff," whereupon it parted. Each part was like a great hill. [26:64] We then delivered them all. [26:65] We thus saved Moses and all those who were with him. [26:66] And we drowned the others. [26:67] This should be a sufficient proof, but most people are not believers. [26:68] Most assuredly, your Lord is the Almighty, Most Merciful.
If we truly believe in God would we ever get angry?
Wayne Dyer example of an orange
[3:134] who give to charity during the good times, as well as the bad times. They are suppressors of anger, and pardoners of the people. GOD loves the charitable.
[42:37] They avoid gross sins and vice, and when angered they forgive.
[21:37] The human being is impatient by nature. I will inevitably show you My signs; do not be in such a hurry.
[17:11] The human being often prays for something that may hurt him, thinking that he is praying for something good. The human being is impatient. [17:12] We rendered the night and the day two signs. We made the night dark, and the day lighted, that you may seek provisions from your Lord therein. This also establishes for you a timing system, and the means of calculation. We thus explain everything in detail.
If we truly believe that God is doing everything would we ever be worried about not having enough…money, clothes, cars, homes, etc.
6 days of creation
[41:9] Say, "You disbelieve in the One who created the earth in two days,* and you set up idols to rank with Him, though He is Lord of the universe." [41:10] He placed on it stabilizers (mountains), made it productive, and He calculated its provisions in four days, to satisfy the needs of all its inhabitants.
So the calculating of the exact provisions of every creature was twice as complex as the physical creation of the heavens and the earth and all the physical laws
God controls all provisions – from even before the creation -
[34:36] Say, "My Lord is the One who controls all provisions; He grants the provisions to whomever He wills, or reduces them, but most people do not know."
[34:39] Say, "My Lord is the One who controls all provisions; He increases the provisions for whomever He chooses from among His servants, or reduces them. Anything you spend (in the cause of God), He will reward you for it; He is the Best Provider."
Everything is already written down and works in accordance with the will of God
[57:22] Anything that happens on earth, or to you, has already been recorded, even before the creation. This is easy for GOD to do.
[16:1] GOD's command has already been issued (and everything has already been written), so do not rush it.* Be He glorified; the Most High, far above any idols they set up.
God gives us the opportunity to earn credit
[36:47] When they are told, "Give from GOD's provisions to you," those who disbelieve say to those who believe, "Why should we give to those whom GOD could feed, if He so willed? You are really far astray."
When we think it is us doing good we are feeding our ego – when we remember that God is the one who is allowing us to do good then it is feeding our soul
[76:9] "We feed you for the sake of GOD; we expect no reward from you, nor thanks.
If you truly believe in God how excited would you be to have God’s word to mankind via the Quran?
People win a new car and they lose their mind. God just offered us something that is more valuable than an earthful of gold. How appreciative are we?
What Price Faith
[10:54] If any wicked soul possessed everything on earth, it would readily offer it as ransom.
[3:91] Those who disbelieve and die as disbelievers, an earthful of gold will not be accepted from any of them, even if such a ransom were possible. They have incurred painful retribution; they will have no helpers.
What do you get from God’s word and following God’s recommendations?
[10:55] Absolutely, to GOD belongs everything in the heavens and the earth. Absolutely, GOD's promise is truth, but most of them do not know. [10:56] He controls life and death, and to Him you will be returned. [10:57] O people, enlightenment has come to you herein from your Lord, and healing for anything that troubles your hearts, and guidance, and mercy for the believers.
Joy for the Believers
[10:58] Say, "With GOD's grace and with His mercy they shall rejoice." This is far better than any wealth they can accumulate.
Happiness: Now and Forever*
[10:62] Absolutely, GOD's allies have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve. [10:63] They are those who believe and lead a righteous life. [10:64] For them, joy and happiness in this world, as well as in the Hereafter. This is GOD's unchangeable law. Such is the greatest triumph.
Joy and happiness without fear or grief from now to all of eternity – sounds pretty nice
If you believe in God would you hesitate one second to implement God’s recommendations in your day to day life?
So what is your priority?
[53:24] What is it that the human being desires? [53:25] To GOD belongs both the Hereafter, and this world.
Choose Your Priorities Carefully This Life
[17:18] Anyone who chooses this fleeting life as his priority, we will rush to him what we decide to give him, then we commit him to Gehenna, where he suffers forever, despised and defeated.
Re-arrange Your Priorities
[29:64] This worldly life is no more than vanity and play, while the abode of the Hereafter is the real life, if they only knew. [29:65] When they ride on a ship, they implore GOD, devoting their prayers to Him. But as soon as He saves them to the shore, they revert to idolatry.
Preoccupation With the Wrong Life
[30:6] Such is GOD's promise—and GOD never breaks His promise—but most people do not know. [30:7] They care only about things of this world that are visible to them, while being totally oblivious to the Hereafter.
[35:5] O people, GOD's promise is the truth; therefore, do not be distracted by this lowly life. Do not be diverted from GOD by mere illusions.
Preoccupation With This Life Condemned
[57:20] Know that this worldly life is no more than play and games, and boasting among you, and hoarding of money and children. It is like abundant rain that produces plants and pleases the disbelievers. But then the plants turn into useless hay, and are blown away by the wind. In the Hereafter there is either severe retribution, or forgiveness from GOD and approval. This worldly life is no more than a temporary illusion.
The Intelligent Alternative
[57:21] Therefore, you shall race towards forgiveness from your Lord, and a Paradise whose width encompasses the heaven and the earth. It awaits those who believed in GOD and His messengers. Such is GOD's grace that He bestows upon whomever He wills. GOD is Possessor of Infinite Grace.
Rearranging Our Priorities
[6:32] The life of this world is no more than illusion and vanity, while the abode of the Hereafter is far better for the righteous. Do you not understand?!
Remember God’s blessings that we may succeed
[7:69] "Is it too much of a wonder that a message should come to you from your Lord, through a man like you, to warn you? Recall that He made you inheritors after the people of Noah, and multiplied your number. Remember GOD's blessings, that you may succeed.”
Matthew 6:19 - 33
19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; 21 for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 22 “The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is [k]clear, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eye is [l]bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! 24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and [m]wealth. 25 “For this reason I say to you, [n]do not be worried about your [o]life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the [p]air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27 And who of you by being worried can add a single [q]hour to his [r]life? 28 And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, 29 yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! 31 Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ 32 For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.33 But [s]seek first [t]His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be [u]added to you.