Researching Islam – Suggested Methodology (part 4 of 4): God’sWisdom is Sometimes beyond Our Understanding
Description: Questioning minor details can often detract from the true message.
- By Aisha Stacey (© 2011 IslamReligion.com)
- Published on 21 Nov 2011
- Last modified on 10 Nov 2013
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In the previous three articles we discussed a suggested methodology for proving the validity and truth of Islam. When researching it is important to not only ask logical questions but also to expect a logical answer. In essence Islam is a message and guide from the Creator to the creation, therefore it should make sense. Thus we research and ask all the relevant questions. What is Islam and what do Muslims believe? Soon, sometimes very quickly, or after long hours, months or years of study we discover the answer, but what happens now? When it becomes clear that Islam is the true religion, what should be your next move?
At this point, the point where the sheer overwhelming power of God becomes self evident it would make perfect sense to embrace the religion of Islam. Many people do just that. They begin their new life’s journey secure in the knowledge that they are standing firmly on the right path. However, the research does not end there. Islam tells us that acquiring knowledge is a life long journey. New Muslims busy themselves in learning their new religion and marvel at the simplicity of a life lead by instructions from the Creator.
Others however feel driven to ask more questions, seek more answers and delve deeply into issues that are not immediately necessary. The age old saying, you must walk before you can run, is no less true when you apply it to learning about Islam. There is no relevant point to asking intricate questions when you have no yet understood the basics well. Believing in Islam as the truth implies accepting the whole message even if the meaning behind, or reason for many rulings is not completely understood. This may seem like a dilemma, especially if your research has led you to understand that Islam is the religion of informed knowledge not a religion based on blind faith. However trying to understand the wisdom in the secondary details before looking in to the proofs of Islam and its fundamentals, is not a good idea, because even if you find the wisdom in a few things but disagree with the main message, then there is no real benefit as it will not get you anywhere.
God does what He does for reasons that are at times beyond our comprehension and for reasons that may or may not be apparent. A Muslim learns to understand and accept this statement, not automatically or with blind faith, but by establishing a connection with God. A Muslim is encouraged to maintain a connection and one easy, yet beneficial way of doing this, is to contemplate and understand His Beautiful Names. Through these names, we are able to know our Creator and learn how to praise and worship Him. We also gain an insight into how and why God’s wisdom and justice is sometimes beyond our understanding.
The names Al-Hakeem (The Wise) and Al-Hakam (The Judge) indicate God is the source of all wisdom, in His creation and in His commands, and He is the Judge of all things. He is the One Who created everything, and therefore He alone knows the true wisdom of everything. He judges with fairness and does not oppress anyone the slightest. God is just in all His decisions. This may be evident when one embraces Islam or it might be a slow realisation.
God’s unending justice and wisdom may not always be clear; it takes time and effort to truly understand the details. Asking petulant questions can lead to confusion. Once one has established the truthfulness of Islam the next step is to accept the entire message, embrace the religion and learn to pray. It is no coincidence that the first pillar of Islam is to believe, with no reservations that God is One and that Mohammad is His messenger and that the second pillar is to pray. Prayer establishes the connection and opens wide the path to lifelong learning and knowledge. Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, spoke to his companions about both the importance of learning about Islam in a sensible order, and the importance of gaining knowledge.
...so let the first thing to which you will invite them be the Oneness of God. If they learn that, tell them that God has enjoined on them, five prayers to be offered in one day and one night.
Whoever follows a path in the pursuit of knowledge, God will make a path to Paradise easy for him.
Asking questions about minor details and expecting to understand everything before conversion is a pointless exercise. One must assess the primary sources of Islam, both the Quran and the authentic traditions of Prophet Muhammad, ask logical questions, and obtain logical answers to establish truthfulness. If s person is satisfied that Islam is the true religion of humankind he or she should embrace the faith without delay and begin to learn its practices and details.