Stepping Up to The Creator : Religion - Islam (500 AD)
What new concept has Islam firmly established within society? Justice will not be denied.
#0. What does the conceptual framework of Islam have to offer us?
Islam: The term means "submission to God." The faith is characterized by an exclusive monotheism, the worship of Allah as the one true God, and Mohammed as the greatest of the prophets. Depending upon the degree of ones faithfulness and purity, one falls into the tortures of hell or feasting
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The ethical impulse of the movement would seem to have been powered more by justice than mercy.
- Dictionary of Philosophy and Religion, William L. Reese, p. 349
What do Muslims bring to the world? As do Jews, Buddhists, and Christians, they continue the spread of the Hindu ideas of monotheism, the soul, and eternal life. Their worldwide influence reaches over one billion Muslims in the world. In addition, they bring a commitment to the Buddhist struggle against suffering and they bring something new into the total picture. Muslims bring the idea of justice as a part of not only this life, but the life to follow.
Justice, the idea of fair treatment and due reward in the afterlife, implies being responsible for ones actions in this life.
What does this idea of justice do for a Causative Force? The idea of fair treatment and due reward in the afterlife suggests that we have a responsibility in this life. It suggests that we all have a responsibility and we must all determine just what that responsibility is. However, since we are all significant, since we all have a responsibility, we must respect each persons attempt at accomplishing the responsibility each feels they have as individuals. We have no right to interfere with a persons journey in this life as long as that journey does not interfere with the journey of others.
Justice will be meted out by a force far greater, both in power and understanding, than ourselves. Justice will not be denied. Justice will be enforced in the life beyond this one. This whole concept of justice being a part of the afterlife releases us of the socially time-consuming burden involving agonizing over the just sentencing in a transgression. It would cause us to look at how to rectify the situation and how to prevent its happening to anyone in society again.
#1. What does the conceptual framework of Islam imply about the universe within which we live?
Islam tells us, beware, justice will prevail. It may or may not come in this universe but either way, it will come in the afterlife, in eternity.
Hinduism brings us the concepts of "a" Causative Force, an eternal soul, and the connection of the two. Judaism spreads the ideas to the West. Buddhism brings us the idea that suffering must not be tolerated. Christianity tells us to love one another, which is the first step to eliminating suffering. Islam tells us to take the concept of eliminating suffering seriously, for although justice may not prevail here on earth, there will be no escaping it in eternity. Buddhism for enlightenment, Christianity with love, Islam to avoid the repercussions, all point towards the same idea: work to eliminate suffering.
Islam, as well as the rest, does not imply these ideas are earthly ideas. It implies they are absolutes. They do not lack qualifiers. We have no right to say justice should apply in one case, but we will overlook it in another case. In other words, they are universal ideas which we are to take with us as we travel throughout the universe.
Under Islamic perceptions, in eternity, justice will prevail. You will face justice in regards to how well you met your responsibilities in your journey through life. But justice implies judgment and who would be willing to judge knowing they would have to face the results of "bad" judgment calls as well as the "good" ones in the hereafter?
Who will do the judging if it may imperil them in terms of their personal eternal state of being? Perhaps we should stop putting our fellow souls in jeopardy by calling upon them to judge. Perhaps it is time to eliminate, in our present life forms, the concept of judging. How do we do this and still protect journeys for which we all have a responsibility?
We could do so by accepting the Islamic concept that justice will prevail. We could start leaving justice to eternity. Now individual actions will not be examined in order to bring justice but rather to right wrongs, in order to prevent harm from being inflicted upon other journeys.
Accepting the Islamic belief that justice will prevail implies we would move from judging journeys to protecting journeys. We would move from being judgmental to rectifying wrongs imposed upon journeys, to protecting others from having their personal journeys infringed upon. The universe would now experience a nonjudgmental traveler, humanity.
#2. How do the concepts of Islam reinforce the concept of panentheism?
Islam establishes the idea that justice is so important an issue, it will not be denied. Reinforcing panentheism? Absolutely, for what better way to ensure justice than to make the Causative Force so big, omnipresent, that there is no way of escaping Her justice?
A Causative Force being so large, panentheistic, that all suffering stays within Her, is felt by Her. A Causative Force being so intent on reducing pain, She intervenes and plants a seed, an idea, in the minds of people on earth to change the tendency of generating such trauma, such suffering. The seed is love. To plant this seed, She is believed, by huge numbers of people, to have sacrificed something very dear to Herself.
Panentheism raises these ideas to a new level of significance and understanding, for now the idea of suffering and love become something felt by, impacting upon, the Causative Force. Under panentheism, there is nowhere else for the repercussions of the actions of suffering and love to go but into the Causative Force Herself.
So much is being said about suffering and love, but what about justice? What about Islam? Islam reinforces it all. Islam reinforces the need for each individual to strive to eliminate suffering. Islam reinforces the idea of the need to love one another unconditionally. Islam says that you will have to face the realization of the impact your actions had upon others in this life. You will have to face the realization of the impact your actions had upon the Causative Force Herself. Justice will not be denied.
Justice will not be denied is a concept so strongly sensed by almost a billion people that it has become the core concept of their faith. A billion people so sure of this concept that the idea of it not happening becomes something they cannot fathom. If Islamic beliefs are absolutes, they leave only one option open for a Causative Force and that is the size of true omnipresence, all presence. As such, there would be no escaping justice for there would be nowhere else for our souls to go after life but into the arms of a waiting Causative Force. The implication: think long and hard about your actions. You alone are responsible for them.
#3. What does Islam reinforce about the significance of existence, life?
Life exists. You exist. You choose the actions you take. You are responsible for your actions. Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam say you will enter eternity after life. What could make life anymore significant than to know the Islamic concept was correct, you would be justly treated based upon your worldly actions?
Suffering exists around you and you ignore it. You will be fully aware of your actions in the afterlife, in eternity. Not only will you be aware of it, you will be aware of all the negative actions that generated ripple effects. You will be justly treated in your afterlife in eternity. This Islamic perception reinforces the impact life has upon eternity and reinforces the significance of life itself.
Suffering exists and you reach out with compassion, love.You will be aware of all your actions generated through ripple effects. You will be justly treated in your afterlife. This Islamic perception reinforces the impact life has upon eternity and reinforces the significance of life itself.
Now take the universe and place it inside the Causative Force. Now your actions, positive and negative, have no way out. Your actions not only affect you and your environment, but also affect others and their environments. These actions become a part of the Causative Force. Your actions actually impact upon the Causative Force. Justice takes on a new aspect. Now justice elevates the significance of life to a new level.
But what of the Christian concept of forgiveness? Islamic beliefs do not necessitate the rejection of such an idea. The Causative Force may very well forgive you for any wrongdoings you imposed upon Her just as a parent would forgive a child. This would no doubt ease your sense of empathy, but would it mean you completely forget the incident? And what of others you abused in life? Can the Causative Force override their emotional and physical pain? Can the Causative Force forgive you for them? Or do they have to do so themselves? And even if they did forgive you, could you ever forget the damage you inflicted upon them if you exist in an omnipresent, omniscient being? Empathy and justice in an eternity of total knowledge, omniscience. Can it ever stop?
#4. How does Islam help us understand what life is?
Islam tells us life is but one stage in our souls eternal state of existence. Islam also tells us that this stage is not a fantasy. Life is real. You will be held accountable for actions within it.
Christians hold to the idea that life is significant and as such must be lived immersed in total, unconditional love. They go on to say that you must go through life living with "utter integrity." What does this have to do with Islamic beliefs? If justice will not be denied, then having to face the repercussions of ones actions will just be a natural occurrence that goes along with existence.
Trust is based upon truth. Truth is based upon integrity. The more integrity one has, the closer one comes to the description of "utter integrity." Therefore, to live a life of "utter integrity," one must commit oneself to a life of truth embraced in love. But why would this be so? People being distrustful of others generates an environment filled with suspicion.
Actions such as physical abuse, mental abuse, verbal abuse, lying, generating rumors, breaking confidences, dishonesty, subjugation, using others for personal gain, rape, murder, and assault, all generate an atmosphere of distrust. Suffering is generated. Suffering is not only generated by such actions, but intentionally generated by such actions. Being intentionally inflicted with pain by ones fellow soul generates a different kind of pain than that generated by natural causes. Intentionally generated pain strikes to the very depths of ones being. Intentionally generated pain strikes to the heart of the soul itself, for this type of suffering is generated by one soul against another. This type of pain is generated by the breaking of trust between fellow souls, brothers, sisters, pieces of the Causative Force. What does Islam have to say about all this? Justice will not be denied.
Islam says that life is but one phase in existence, for the existence of the soul is eternal. Eternal life - never forgetting, forever empathizing with the impact of ones actions. Eternity - forever being aware. No wonder Islamic believers place so much emphasis upon understanding the concept that justice will not be denied. No wonder Christians place so much emphasis on loving one another. No wonder Buddhists place so much emphasis upon working to eliminate suffering. Justice will not be denied.
#5. What does Islam have to offer us as individuals?
Islam offers us the comfort of knowing that we do not need to look for justice in this life. Islam offers us the comfort that justice will not be denied. Justice will be an eternal state of being.
The actions one takes, the actions one has to face, cannot be forgotten if one passes from this life form into an eternal state of being as the Muslims state. If the Causative Force is omnipresent, as they also state, then the only place for actions one generates and for the repercussions of those actions to go is inside the Causative Force. The only place the love generated or the pain experienced would have to go would be within the Causative Force if She is omnipresent, for there is nowhere else.
Are you responsible for your actions? Will you be held accountable for them? Will others be held accountable for their actions? Will justice prevail? You need to answer these questions yourself, for if you pass from this life into another, a spiritual life immersed in an omnipresent Causative Force - existing everywhere - and an omniscient Causative Force - all knowledgeable - then wouldnt you know the answer to these questions at that time? Wouldnt being fully aware of the answer and being fully capable of experiencing the pain and emotions that were the results of your actions be a form of judgment? Perhaps the Islamic idea of justice not being denied is an absolute.
But what of reducing the suffering of others? What has that to do with you? Once having passed through this life state, Islam implies you move into a new state of eternity. Panentheism implies you return to the only place there is and that is within the Causative Force. Having returned to the Causative Force, you take with you your awareness which includes your experiences. But in addition to this, you are now privy to the knowledge of the Causative Force who is omniscient. This would mean you are privy to all the suffering others have experienced. Reducing suffering in the world would in turn reduce the amount of suffering of our species that is being added to the Causative Force, which also reduces your suffering.
#6. What significance does Islam have to offer us as a species?
Each piece of suffering that is intentionally overlooked will be justly dealt with. This does not apply to only your individual actions, but to the actions generated by the society within which you live.
Being responsible for our own actions is one thing but being responsible for the results of the actions generated by the societies within which we live is another. Why would we be responsible? Why would we have to face the repercussions of the ripples societies and our species generate? How can we, individually, be held accountable for torture imposed upon other individuals if our government is a ruthless dictatorship? You are not responsible for that, are you? What of a ruthless crime organization that exists within your society or neighborhood? What of drug cartels and the suffering they generate? They exist in distant countries. What about starvation, ignorance, abuse, disease; you are not responsible, are you?
You exist in a society. Society is not a thing. Society is not an entity of its own. Society is the total sum of actions generated by the people that exist within it. Society may be ruled by ruthless dictators, but it is done so only because the people living within that society allow it to be so. Society may be governed by a vote of the people, but it is the effort or lack of effort of the people within that society that allows government to ignore the subjugation of the oppressed. Society may decide to electrocute the mass murderer, but it is the individuals in society which create the atmosphere, the ambiance, within society that allows such actions to take place. But you say, "I didnt do it! I didnt do it!!" Ah, but in the end, if there is an eternity to which we go, if we have free will, if we are not just puppets, accountability has to be reckoned with. Justice implies answering two questions, not one: "Did you do it, did you encourage it?" and "Could you have done anything to prevent the journey of others from being interfered with?"
But we are only human. Are we, or are we souls in human bodies? Are we capable of taking action? Are we capable of working to eliminate suffering by loving one another? Will we be held accountable? Will justice be denied or are the Islamic beliefs correct?
#7. What significance does Islam have to offer other life forms in the universe?
Islam offers all life forms the concept of justice. Islam offers all life forms throughout the universe the comfort of knowing that their pain and suffering will be addressed. Islam offers all life forms throughout the universe the right to travel unimpaired. Islam offers all life forms the right to expect to be treated with love and dignity.
As a total group of species, human and otherwise, throughout the universe, we develop an atmosphere, ambiance, through which we all must travel. If the Causative Force is omnipresent, all present, than all actions taken by all species throughout the universe would have nowhere else to go but into the Causative Force Herself. As such, all species throughout the universe will act together to impact upon the Causative Force and what She will be when we end our physical journey and pass on and into the Causative Force Herself.
As such, justice will not be denied. Is there anymore that can be said to better explain what will happen if Islam is correct in what her billion followers sense through faith? The perceptions sensed by the followers of the Islamic faith include eternal life and justice. These concepts do not apply to just one species. The principle applies as a truth. The principle applies to all life forms throughout the universe. Islam has justice to offer all souls.
Domination, subjugation, abuse, using others, lack of integrity, lack of loving behavior, all will be dealt with through justice in the state of being we occupy after this part of our journey is over. For now, we need to protect our own journeys from being completed in the manner we individually sense our personal journeys are to proceed. We need to protect the journeys of others to proceed likewise. We need to remove the impediments some souls have placed in the way of our own paths as well as the paths of others.
We do not need to worry about revenge or seeking justice for the wrongs committed against ourselves or others. But we have a responsibility to actively and aggressively make certain that wrongs committed against our journeys do not happen again and that they do not happen to others. This is what Islam has to offer all life forms, earth creatures or otherwise.
#8. What does Islam imply about our significance in eternity?
Islam holds to the idea of eternal life. The life we presently have is only temporary. But they believe there is a reason for this journey and it has significance. To interfere with this significance is to interfere with a purpose intended by the Causative Force and will be dealt with justly.
If Islamic beliefs are correct, if we have a soul and if that soul is tied to eternity, then traveling through one day or one hundred years is in a sense the same. One day or one hundred years is almost nothing when compared to eternity. The journey through life either has a purpose or it does not. Either way, we have to make a decision regarding the actions we take in life. But do we have to make a choice? Yes, for even if we do not make a choice, we have made a choice. By not making a choice as to whether or not we believe life has a purpose, we have decided not to address the issue and leave it unresolved. We have assigned the concept of purposelessness to our existence.
Islam, by declaring that justice will take place in the afterlife, in eternity, has taken the stand that life is important, has significance, has purpose. In addition, this purpose is so significant that justice will be an absolute in eternity. The bottom line: do not interfere with the purpose of other journeys; do not interfere with the reason the Causative Force allowed the journeys to take place. Respect the journeys of others or face the consequences of resultant justice.
If life has no purpose, the decisions we make have no meaning. To discuss the issue makes no sense in terms of eternal existence. Therefore, to discuss this aspect is interesting but nonproductive in terms of eternity.
On the other hand, if there is a purpose to traveling through life, then the decisions we make in life do have meaning. To discuss the issue makes sense in terms of eternal existence itself. Therefore, to discuss this aspect is not only interesting but has the potential of being productive in terms of our very eternal existence.
And what of our existence in eternity? Islamic beliefs assign justice as one of the predominant characteristics we will find there.
#9. What does Islam imply about our relationship to the Causative Force?
Islamic belief in justice being one of the primary elements of eternity implies that life in not only significant but very significant. Why else would justice be a major part of eternity, which in turn is a primary characteristic of the Causative Force?
But does the Causative Force pass out justice out of vengeance? Vengeance does not appear to be a necessary trait for an all knowing, all powerful, all present entity. Vengeance is usually a trait that applies to "little" entities attempting to display power.
Vengeance is defined as "the infliction of punishment in return for a wrong committed." Attempting to accomplish ones tasks in life, ones purpose, is all one can humanly do. A Causative Force expecting more of Her creations is unreasonable, especially for an entity as powerful and knowledgeable as the Causative Force.
Assisting other souls to do likewise, assisting other souls to accomplish their purposes, would seem to be an action that would reap positive rewards. It isnt a case of being idealistic; it is a case of being practical. After all, if one is to face justice for eternity, what justice, "due reward and fair treatment," would one prefer to face: justice for assisting the Causative Force or justice for interfering with the Causative Force?
But what of "justice?" Is it not the "infliction of punishment for a wrong committed?" No, justice is a giving process. One receives "due reward" and "fair treatment" depending upon ones accomplishment of what one was sent to do. This is not punishment; this is simply reaping the fruits of ones labors.
The ideas of a single Causative Force, the soul, eternal life of the soul, elimination of suffering, loving one another, and as we will see, justice, all were taking root upon our earth. But humankind was not exactly humane yet. We still treated each other as property, as a means to self serving goals, as just another way of getting what we wanted.
Something still seems to be missing. If the present size of the Causative Force does not allow us to accept other humans different than ourselves, then perhaps it is time to change something more. Perhaps it is time to once more change the size we assign our perceived Causative Force.
Conclusion: How do the concepts of Islam reinforce the concept of symbiotic panentheism?
They do not; what is really taking place is that symbiotic panentheism is reinforcing Islam.
If the Causative Force is "all present" as Islam, Judaism, Christianity, and other traditional theisms state, then the only place for your soul to travel, once it departs this universe, is into the Causative Force Herself. This is the concept of panentheism.
If there is meaning to life, a purpose for the essence of the individual traveling within this physical reality, then for the soul to have to directly enter the Causative Force would imply the need of the Causative Force for whatever it is the soul was to accomplish while it existed within the physical universe. If there were no need, there would be no purpose. The need on the part of the Causative Force for whatever it is the soul was to accomplish suggests the Causative Force needs us. It is already accepted by the majority of our species that we need the Causative Force. Now the suggestion is being made that the Causative Force needs us. [This will be established in the sections dealing with Science, Philosophy, and Prophecy.] This interdependence is known in science as "symbiosis." But what of justice? The Islamic implication is that one had better not interfere with this interdependence of the Causative Force and individual souls. Any interference and obstruction causing the soul to accomplish its necessary goal for the Causative Force will be met with the repercussions meriting the severity of the interference, the severity of obstructing the symbiotic relationship that exists between the Causative Force and the soul.
Interfering with the Causative Force Herself. Interfering with the work of the soul. Justice, "due reward," will be applied accordingly. What more needs to be said about the negative implications this could have for your own soul?
Assisting the Causative Force. Assisting with the work of souls. Justice, due reward, will be applied accordingly. What more needs to be said about the positive implications this could have for your own soul? Islamic justice says it well.