God is nowhere!

Category: Faith & Spirituality, Featured Topics: Allah Views: 9050

He indeed is the Aware, the Seer of His servants.
(Quran 17:30)

Truly We created man and We know what his innermost self whispers within him, and We are closer to him than his jugular vein.
(Quran 50:16)

In this, truly, there is a lesson for all who have eyes to see.
(Quran 3:13)

Where am I? It is hard to tell. My mind and my senses tell me that I am in a world of solid objects and of people who are no more and no less than they appear to be. But the Quran tells me, as do other scriptures, that-here and now-I am in the presence of God. My absence from Him is due only to my blindness or to the covering which encloses me and all who are with me, shutting out this tremendous presence.

Years ago, in India, I met a strange man known every where as "the German Swamy". He came to our home one evening in his grubby dhoti and fumigated the house with the acrid smoke of cheap cigars, and he told me a story. It was a story that depended for its point upon an English word, so he could not have heard it told in Tamil, the local language, or in German. Perhaps he had invented it for my benefit.

There was once a hermit, he said, who lived for many years in a cave, subjecting himself to bitter austerities in his search for God. Finally, in despair, he chalked on the cave wall the words "God is nowhere!" Then he walked out into the world or, perhaps, to his death. Some time later a shepherd boy took refuge in the cave, He was almost illiterate and traced with difficulty the letters which the hermit had left as his empty testimony. N-O-W, "Now". Having got that far he rested briefly before tracing the remaining letters: H-E-R-E, "Here". Light flooded his mind and joy possessed his heart. He had it. "God is now!" "He is here!" In a flash he reached the goal that the hermit had sought in vain.

As the Quran constantly reminds us, "God does as He wishes"; and again, we "plot", but He is the better "plotter". We think that we understand, but He alone understands. He chooses as his agents and for His greatest gifts men and women whom we may think unworthy; His justice and weighing are not like ours, "Far exalted is He above all that y attribute to Him," says the Quran.

There are, indeed, people-a few people-who have been enabled to see beyond and behind the stage set which is "reality" for the rest of us. Since they still live in this world, they have acquired a kind of double vision. In Ibn Arabi's phrase, they "see with two eyes". They walk among the one-eyed. They mix with them and bestow blessings upon them, having access to the ocean of mercy. But limited vision is what makes earthly existence possible. If we were all capable of perceiving, clearly and permanently, what lies beyond the screen, this world of trial and testing would have no function; it would no longer be what it is and what it is meant to be. St. Augustine referred to the fall of Adam as a "happy sin"; the fall from Paradise brought this non-paradisal world into being, and the Quran tells us that, it was created "in truth or "by the Truth". In other words, it was created in accordance with the divine intention as the theatre in which we play our parts as though this theatre were that there is. Hence the need for Revelation, for guidance, for the "messages" which come to us from elsewhere.

Charles Le Gai Eaton was born in Switzerland and educated at Charterhouse at King's College, Cambridge. He worked for many years as a teacher and journalist in Jamaica and Egypt (where he embraced Islam in 1951) before joining the British Diplomatic Service. He was a consultant to the Islamic Cultural Centre in London. He passed away at the age of 89 on February 26, 2010.

Excerpted from the book "Remembering God" by Charles Le Gai Eaton.

Remembering God
By Charles Le Gai Eaton
(241 pages - English)

Price: $19.95
Members Price: $17.96 (15% Off)

Availability:  Usually ships within 24 hours.


Related posts from similar topics:


Disclaimer
The opinions expressed herein, through this post or comments, contain positions and viewpoints that are not necessarily those of IslamiCity. These are offered as a means for IslamiCity to stimulate dialogue and discussion in our continuing mission of being an educational organization. The IslamiCity site may occasionally contain copyrighted material the use of which may not always have been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. IslamiCity is making such material available in its effort to advance understanding of humanitarian, education, democracy, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, and such (and all) material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml If you wish to use any copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

  7 Comments   Comment

  1. Hassan from Canada

    To Mr. Bahraini:

    I am not an Islamic scholar but I like to attempt to answer 2 questions among others, that you have posted:

    1. why Quran states that within this creation "wherever you turn, I am there."

    The whole creation of Allah S.W.T , fully and completely dependent on Him. This dependence is absolute. Allah continuously sustains and renews his creation. When a believer turns (i.e. seek or worship or ask for forgiveness or all of the previous) to Allah, he is not turning to any of his creation ( because, that would be Shirk). Therefore, the Ayah means that the believer will find Allah, regardless of where he is, because he himself is a created thing. This is the relationship between the created and the Creator. For the believers, the modality of this relation resides in the heart (Kalb).

    2. then why the Quran also tells us that "we were created perfect but then lowered to the lowest rungs of creation." If so, then this world is below Hell! and why God needs to do such a thing?

    Where does He drive the benefit from, us ; a bunch of lowly creatures?

    Allah S.W.T creation is perfect and without blemish. However, Allah has given limited free will to man. By exercising this limited free will without Guidence through divine revelation, Man run the risk of becoming morally deprave and become the worst of all creation. That is what is meant by the above Ayat in Sura Teen. Allah created us for only one purpose: to worship Him and Him alone. Through trials and tribulations in this world, Allah selects those who are constant and steadfast in His worship. These are the people who are fortunate to enjoy Allah's companionship in Paradise. As for the rest of mankind, Allah will forgive, punish or destroy as He sees fit.

    Allah S.W.T has not benefit from out worship. It is us who receive benefit by worshipping Him. Furthermore, Allah and only Allah, with His Infinite Bounty and Glory, deservers to be worshipped. It is Allah's right to us and to Him,our obligatio

  2. Abdu Salaam Mohammed from Nigeria

    Irrespective of our thoughts, Allah is everywhere and that's why He's Omnipresent. Among the ahadith is a passage about Ihsaan: That we worship Allah as if we see Him. For if we can't see Him, He definitely sees us.

  3. Caner Ovali from Australia

    Aleykum Salam brother Ahmad

    Here are the replies to the questions you have put forward.

    "Wherever you turn, i am there" is majaaz (metaphorical). It doesn't matter if you turn right, left, down, up or where you are in the world, Allah s.w.t will Hear you, See you and Know all thst is going on in your heart but that doesn't mean He's literally here in His creation. It's impossible to know Allah s.w.t. through our five senses which is why we have EEMAAN. EEMAAN is metaphysical, somthing which cannot be touched, smelt, heard, felt or tasted just like our spirits or the hereafter. Thats why in the beginning of surah al Baqarah, Allah s.w.t. mentions that the believers have EEMAAN in the GHAYB (the unseen or things which cannot be known through the 5 senses).

    When Allah s.w.t says in surah et-Tin that "We restored him to the condition of the lowest of the low" the authorities of tafseer have outlined this as meaning old age. Allah created us or moulded us in the best way meaning He gave us strength, health, mind etc but all this goes away when we get old which is why in the following ayah Allah s.w.t. says that only those who have EEMAAN and do good deeds will succeed in the hereafter.

    The Almighty created us so that us humans and the jinns can worship Him alone. Also in surah Mulk ayah 2 The Almighty says "He, Who has created death and life that He might test you, as to whose work, is excellent among you. And He is the Esteemed one the Forgiving"

    As for all the suffering in the world, it's not Allah s.w.t. fault or causing. We have free will and man has used this free will for bad purposes which has resulted in catastrophes around the world. This is not Allah s.w.t fault.

    As for the story of Adem (peace be upon him) and Satan, i didn't fully understand you question. Maybe somebody else could answer or you may post again.

  4. Maya V from AK

    I may not agree with all that is said in this article. Nevertheless, it is a nice article with thoughts and philosophy filled which Muslims lack these days. Having an inner vision gives sharp edge on this world - it doesn;t make material existance unavoidable or difficuly. Who is the role model?!

  5. Ahmed Bahraini from Bahrain

    Caner - salam.

    You wrote: "The universe, the world and time are all creations by Allah s.w.t and Allah s.w.t is not inside his creation."

    The why Quran states that within this creation "wherever you turn, I am there."

    The writer tells us that "this world was created "by truth"".

    then why the Quran also tells us that "we were created perfect but then lowered to the lowest rungs of creation." If so, then this world is below Hell! and why God needs to do such a thing?

    Where does He drive the benefit from, us ; a bunch of lowly creatures?

    Then He also tells us that He did not create all this in vain.

    So, what is the purpose of this creation and why The Almighty saw it fit to create us???

    So much suffering through the ages. For what purpose?? When even Satan knew that this Adam will spell blood and thus refused to bow down to Adam. Did God not know this?? Sure HE did but why then he carried on with this creation? saying to Satan and the angels "I know that (about this Adam) which you do not know."

    What did HE know about us that even the angels did not know. And why did HE ask the angles to bow down to Adam and not to HIMSELF??

    I am yet to find a religious teacher who can give me a convincing answer.

  6. Caner Ovali from Australia

    This article is heavily 'sufi' toned and attempts to support the philosophy of 'wahdat al wujud' which again is part of the sufi circles. Wahdat al wujud (originally and Indian philosophy who by the way Ibn Arabi has been influenced by)is basically where what whatever the human experiences through the 5 senses is not real and that only Allah is real but we can't see that because of our perception being blinded which then leads to the writer saying that some people (only a few) HAVE seen beyond this fake world and see the real world behind this stage set as he puts it. Of course those few are sufis like Ibn Arabi etc. I don't know how they come to this conclusion when even Rasulullah s.a.w didn't see Allah s.w.t with his own eyes. Narrated in 3 seperate hadeeths by Abdullah ibn Shakeeq all with slight variations, rasulullah s.a.w. clearly says he didn't see Him but saw light (tafseer Ibn Katheer surah Isra verse 1) This also is a matter of aqeedah. Abu Haneefah rahmetullahi aleyh and other great sunni scholars believe that above the universe there is the Arsh and Allah s.w.t is above that Arsh but not above in a way we can comprehend. The universe, the world and time are all creations by Allah s.w.t and Allah s.w.t is not inside his creation.