A Beautiful book on Understanding God and His Mysterious Ways.

Creative Commons License photo credit: steve_263
I clearly remember the day, when I was introduced to this book by Ali. He excitedly brought Hadith-e-Muffadal to me and said, Arif, you must read this book. “Thanks Ali,” I replied, “but I’ve got just so much to read and much more to do, that I just don’t have the time to add another book to my reading list.” He thought for a while and then quipped back, “Okay Arif, do this. Hold the book in your hand, open to any page and read any paragraph.” That was a reasonable enough. So I took the book, opened a page randomly, picked a paragraph to read and I began. As soon as I did, I was dumbfounded in awe. My mind had just been shattered to a million pieces. Oh, the vision and perspective with which Imam Jaffer-as-Sadiq viewed the world. That too when? In the year 700 AD! That’s 1,300 years from today. Forget about of Radio, TV or Google back in 700 AD there were hardly any books!

Anyway, The book is divided in to five chapters, briefly which cover:

1. Introduction
The background how Muffadal came to approach the Imam on this topic

2. The Human Being
The ingeniuty of God’s design of the Human Being. Why has man been designed in the way he has been designed? Is there an All Knowing, All Wise, All Merciful Creator? Or is it a result of nature and Evolution? Look for the response to that argument in this section.

3. The Animal Kingdom
The wisdom of God’s design in the Animal Kingdom. My favourite bit in this section is the beginning portion titled The Animal World, where Imam speaks of the wisdom in; the design of the muscular structure of the animals, their skeletal structure, the difference between carnivorous and herbivorous animals etc. By the way, look out for the answer to Darwin’s observation, why is it that man so closely resembles the monkey.

4. The Environment
The balance with which there exist day & night, summer & winter. The wisdom present in the size of the earth, the plentitude of water, the abundanc of air, the lack of fire etc.

5. Natural Disasters
The answer to Question if God is All Merciful and All Powerful, why do we have Natural Disasters? Why is there injustice and evil? Is it just so that we appreciate and value goodness? But then why couldn’t God create us to be good as well as appreciate good at the same time?

The book is not too big, just 60 odd pages, but exhaustive. It’s deep, yet highly readable. It’s truly with great honour and pleasure I present to all my dear blog readers, Hadith-e-Muffadal. You may download the pdf by clicking here.

Here are few (lengthy) excerpts that have touched me deeply.

Creation of Man

We now start with a description of the creation of Man before you to learn a lesson there from. The first step in the creation of Man refers to the state when the embryo in the womb is adjusted, though it is confined within three distinct kinds of coverings and three kinds of darkness. The first being that of the outer wall, the second of the womb and the third of the placenta. This is a time when the embryo can neither manage its nutrition nor ward off any harm from itself.

The menstrual flow is diverted to serve him as nutriment, just as water carries nutriment to the plants. So this process goes on until such time as his constitution is perfected, the skin over his body gets tough enough to withstand the atmosphere -so that it does not receive any harm from the air – and his eyes get capacity to withstand light. When all this is accomplished, its mother gets labour pangs, which severely shake her to uneasiness, culminating in the birth of the infant.

With the birth of the infant, the menstrual flow which served as nutrition in the womb is diverted to the mother’s breasts. Its taste is altered, as well as its colour, and it becomes a nutriment of quite a different kind, which exactly suits the temperament of the infant, as and when it needs the same, compared with the flow of blood.

Simultaneously with its birth, it starts moving and licking its lips with its tongue to indicate its desire for milk. It finds its mothers pair of breasts as luscious reservoirs hanging to provide nutrition for it. He gets its nutrition from milk in this way until such time as his body remains delicate, his organs and bowels soft and weak.

Consider how agriculture is ordained to thrive. A hundred or so grains spring from a single seed. A single grain from
a single seed would have been logical. Why then such multiplication? Surely to amplify the grain so that the same
may serve as food to last till the next crop besides provision as seed for the farmers.

Consider a monarch intending to populate a town. lie plans to provide such quantities of grain as would suffice the
residents to serve as food till the next crop besides provision for seed. See how this plan is adumbrated in the scheme
of the Almighty Allah, Glory be to Him, that agriculture should lead to such multiplication as to serve both the need
for nutrition as well as that for seeding.

Similar is the case with the trees, vegetation and the date-tree. They generate abundant fruit. You see that there is a
single root, but there are many off-shoots. Why? Surely for the purpose of propagating the progeny from the seeds,
after people have put them to their use. If there had been a single root without the branches shooting off in such
abundance, it would not have been feasible to take off anything from it for sowing or any other business. In the case
of a sudden calamity the original would have perished with no chance for another plant to replace it.

Existence of God

Above all them, are the atheists to be pitied, who demand to see with their physical eyes One Who is inscrutable even to the intellect. This being impossible, they took to flat denial of His Existence. They demanded, why He cannot be encompassed within the intellect? He transcends intellect just as things beyond the visual field cannot be perceived by the eyes.

As an example, if you see a piece of stone flying up in the air, the logical conclusion you draw is that someone has hurled it above. The eye may not have seen it and yet the intellect realises it because of its discerning capacity, in that the piece of stone cannot go up by itself. You see that the eye stopped at a point and could not advance further. Similarly the intellect stops short at its prescribed limit in the matter of the Divine Immanence. It cannot advance further.

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