- Self-Awareness is the capacity for Self-Introspection
- Self-Introspection involves examination of one's own conscious thoughts and feelings and actions.
- Introspection is often compared with Perception, Reason, Memory, and Evidence – as a source of knowledge.
- Introspection is closely related to human Self-Reflection in contrast to external observation.
- Reality of (دین) Deen is: Keeping the Universe always in mind and taking stock of all our actions in relation to the Universe. Allam Iqbal calls it ”Ehtisaab-e-Kainat” (کائنات احتساب) [Iblis ki Majlisa Shura]
ہے حقیقت جسکے دیں کی احتساب کائنات
- Simple Consciousness: Possessed by both animals and humans
- Self-Consciousness: Possessed by humankind, encompassing thought, reason, and imagination (خویش شعور)
- Cosmic Consciousness: Higher consciousness (کائنات شعور). Allama Iqbal calls it: پیما فلک فکر
- The Quran asks us to reflect on Signs of Allah in the Universe and in the Human “Self” (41:53).
Reflecting on the Signs of Allah
- وَسَخَّرَ لَكُم مَّا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ جَمِيعًا مِّنْهُ ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ(45:13 He has subdued everything in the heavens and earth for you. And herein are signs for those who think and reflect. Allama Iqbal has essentially translated this verse when he says:
پرے ہے چرخ نیلی فام سے منزل مسلماں کی
ستارے جسکی گرد راہ ہوں وہ کارواں تو ہے
51: 20-21) وَفِي أَنفُسِكُمْ ۚ أَفَلَا تُبْصِرُونَ ; وَفِي الْأَرْضِ آيَاتٌ لِّلْمُوقِنِينَ And there are signs in Earth for all who are endowed with conviction. And there are signs within your own selves. Can you not, then, reflect? Again, Allama Iqbal has essentially translated this verse when he says:
تو راز کن فکاں ہے اپنی آنکھوں پر عیاں ہوجا
خودی کا رازداں ہو جا خدا کا ترجماں ہو جا
The Incredible Machinery of the Universe and its Goals
The Quran says that the goal of this incredible machinery operating in the Universe is to preserve the results of human deeds.
وَمَا خَلَقْنَا السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا لَاعِبِينَ ; مَا خَلَقْنَاهُمَا إِلَّا بِالْحَقِّ وَلَـٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَهُمْ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ 44:38-39)
Incredible Facts About the Vastness and Complexity of the Universe
- There are about 300,000 x 10**18 Stars within our observable universe.
- It is estimated that there are between 10**78 to 10**82 Atoms in the known, observable universe.
- There are at least 10 x 10**18 Planetary Systems in the known universe. Earth would be “1” of those.
- The Earth has roughly 5 x 10**18 grains of sand.
- If you took 10 drops of water and counted the number of water molecules in those drops, you'd get a number equal to all the stars in the universe.
- The surface of the Earth at the Equator moves at a speed of roughly 1,000 miles per hour. The Earth is moving about our Sun at 67,000 miles per hour. Our solar system whirls around the center of our Galaxy at 490,000 miles per hour.
- The galaxies in our neighborhood are also rushing at a speed of nearly 2.3 million miles per hour towards a structure called the Great Attractor.
Relation Between Material Values of the Universe and “Absolute Values” of Human Life
- 45:22 وَخَلَقَ اللَّـهُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ بِالْحَقِّ وَلِتُجْزَىٰ كُلُّ نَفْسٍ بِمَا كَسَبَتْ وَهُمْ لَا يُظْلَمُونَ
- Allah has created the universe for a definite constructive purpose. The purpose is that everyone gets the result of one’s action, and that no one is harmed.
The Universe Produces the Results of Human Actions
- Everything in the Universe is constantly busy working hard to make sure that no human action remains without producing its consequent result.
- This is the key to understanding the function of the Universe. On the physical level, it is obvious: Physical actions are subject to physical laws.
- If the Law of Nature in the physical world does not cooperate then all human effort will go to waste. The same is true in all areas of human effort subject to Law of Requital in the human world.
- This proves that the Universe and its laws exist in truth, and are real. When human effort and the universal physical laws cooperate in a symbiotic relationship, then we get the right result, and no human effort goes uncompensated.
Universal Values Affect Human “Self”
- Right input produces right output and wrong input produces wrong output.
- Human values are also included along with the material values.
- What about a tyrant facing the result of his tyranny, torture, exploitation, and murder? What about liars, cheaters, manipulators? The Quran says that – إِنَّهُ لَا يُفْلِحُ الْمُجْرِمُونَ(10:17) – it is Allah’s law that criminals would never succeed.
- However, we see that they are highly successful in society while those who are honest and hardworking face hardship at every step. The Quran says that criminals will pay for their crime and cannot escape the strong grip of the Law of Requital. The Universe is constantly working to make sure of it but it has its own time scale (22:47, 32:5).
Universe Preserves the Result of Every Human Action
- How the Universe does this, remains a subject of research.
- The Quran says that the Universe is working to make sure, that tyrants, cheaters, exploiters, etc. will ultimately be held accountable for their crimes.
- So far, there has been no research as to how the Universe does this.
- This relates to universal human values, not to physical sciences.
- If I want to defraud someone and I escape worldly authorities, how the Law of Requital driven by the Universe will hold me accountable?
- How the Laws of Nature and the Law of Requital relate to each other? This needs investigation and research.
- Leave aside research, our thinking has been frozen for thousand years and we have not done research on any serious reality of the Quran.
- West is doing research but it has limited itself to the Laws of Nature. It uses the power of Nature to exploit and subdue others, but it doesn't know how the Law of Requital will ultimately hold it accountable for its actions.
- When research is done to discover how the Universe is created in truth (حق), and is constantly busy in realizing the result of every human action, then the world will find out how extraordinary this Quranic proclamation is!
Universal Permanent Values and Its Relation to the Universe
إنَّ يَوْمَ الْفَصْلِ مِيقَاتُهُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ ; يَوْمَ لَا يُغْنِي مَوْلًى عَن مَّوْلًى شَيْئًا وَلَا هُمْ يُنصَرُونَ (44:40-41). Every human action produces result, which will manifest at the appointed time. At that time no friend will be of any help, nor will any other kind of help reach them.
- Do they think that Allah created this huge Universe and all its machinery without any role in human affairs that leaves humans unaccountable? No, that is not the case. The time of accountability will definitely come. Then everyone will be held accountable. No one will be able to influence the decision that time. This will be the Day of Reckoning (يَوْمَ الْفَصْلِ -Yaumul Fasl).
- The Law of Requital will render its judgment in the human world just as the Law of Nature renders its judgment in the material world.
Justice and Mercy Are Not Against Each Other in Islam
إِلَّا مَن رَّحِمَ اللَّـهُ ۚ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الرَّحِيمُ (44:42)
- Apparently, mercy and justice seem contradictory but the entire edifice of the Quran is erected on justice. The Law of requital is based on justice.
- Those whose self-development has taken place as per Divine Laws will have no fear on that Day.
- The Divine Law of Sustenance and Nourishment is exalted in power and might (44:42).
- They had spent their life in accordance with the permanent values of the Quran. Therefore, they will be saved that Day. (21:103, 27:89)
The Teaching of the Quran Revolves Around the Orbits of Permanent Values
- Allah provides the sustenance and has all the power over His creation (44:42).
- It will never be the case that His laws do not produce results (45:22).
- The Universe exists for the benefit of humans.
- The teaching of the Quran revolves around the fact that the entire Universe with its machinery is working so that no human action remains without producing result.
- The day the humanity believes in the reality of this truth, that day this earth will turn into heaven. When every human being starts thinking that not just my bad action but also my bad intention is bound to produce bad result and I will have to suffer the consequences, then the world will change that day into heaven. If not, then the world will be hell.
Effect of Human Actions on Human “Self”
مَنْ عَمِلَ صَالِحًا فَلِنَفْسِهِ ۖ وَمَنْ أَسَاءَ فَعَلَيْهَا ۖ ثُمَّ إِلَىٰ رَبِّكُمْ تُرْجَعُونَ (45:15)
- Whoever does good, does good for his own self.
- Whoever does evil, does bad to his own self.
- Everything is subject to the Law of Requital.
- Whoever works for improving human condition will benefit himself.
- Whoever goes astray will himself suffer the consequence thereof.
- No one is outside the realm of the Law of Requital. Our every step goes towards it.
The Importance of Conquering the Forces of Nature
وَسَخَّرَ لَكُم مَّا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ جَمِيعًا مِّنْهُ ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ (45:13)
- Those who think and reflect on the fact that whoever acquires knowledge of the Laws of Nature, will be able to control these forces.
- آيَاتٍ لِّلْمُؤْمِنِينَ (45:3); آيَاتٌ لِّقَوْمٍ يُوقِنُونَ (45:4); آيَاتٌ لِّقَوْمٍ يَعْقِلُونَ (45:5). لَآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ (45:13). A nation that uses intellect and knowledge; that uses concentrated, focused and penetrating thinking; a nation that has conviction on the signs spread throughout the Universe – that nation will be able to conquer the forces of the entire Universe
The Benefits Obtained by Conquering the Forces of Nature Must Be Spent According the Divine Measure
- It requires great fortitude and constant effort and sacrifice to conquer the forces of nature.
- A nation which has not conquered the forces of nature becomes dependent on those who have. The Quran says that there is only humiliation and suffering and destruction for such a dependent nation.
- Nations who have conquered the forces of nature mostly use it to subjugate and to dominate others. The Quran warns that this tyrannical behavior leads to their destruction. Past history bears ample evidence of this.
- How should the power obtained from conquering the nature be used? The Quran says that it should be used for the benefit of all humankind.
- Abiding by this divine Code, will bring success and happiness to the entire world.
- These benefits have to be spent according to divine values, i.e., according to universal permanent values. The Quran says: وَأَمَّا مَا يَنفَعُ النَّاسَ فَيَمْكُثُ فِي الْأَرْضِ (13:17) – that which is beneficial for the humanity lasts.
سَنُرِيهِمْ آيَاتِنَا فِي الْآفَاقِ وَفِي أَنفُسِهِمْ حَتَّىٰ يَتَبَيَّنَ لَهُمْ أَنَّهُ الْحَقُّ (41:53)
We will show them our signs in the Universe and in their “selves”. Thereafter, it will become clear to them that whatever the Quran had told is based on truth. As human knowledge and research progresses, many more realities related to our world, as well as the outer universe, will unveil themselves. Consequently all claims made by the Quran will be vindicated.
إِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَا يُغَيِّرُ مَا بِقَوْمٍ حَتَّىٰ يُغَيِّرُوا مَا بِأَنفُسِهِمْ (13:11)
Life does not produce change in external conditions until there is a change in its inner depth. Allah does not change the condition of a people until they themselves try to effect a change in their condition by illuminating the arc of their daily life with a clearly specified goal.
- Therefore, we need to first align, adjust, and balance our intellectual energy, our emotional energy, and our psychological energy within our own inner “selves.”
- This will repair and restore our external misalignment and imbalance.
- We have to first synchronize our will with that of Allah’s Will before any real change in our external conditions will take place.
- We will be able then to function as holistic and consilience community for the benefit of entire humankind: كُنتُمْ خَيْرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ (3:110) – You are an Ummah raised for the good of all humanity.