October 1, 2009

The Questions

One of the interesting things about the Qur'an is that there are a number of verses (at least 21) that I think of collectively as "The Questions." Each of the questions are framed in an "either-or" format: your answer is either one or the other. The answer to each of the questions is painfully obvious to a believer (in this case I don't think there even needs to be a distinction between Muslims, Jews or Christians). For a non-believer, I think the questions are more challenging, especially some of the more nature-oriented verses, like 56:58-9. Sperm are created within the male body, and a typical man can ejaculate over 40 million sperm at any one time; yet, how many of those sperm did we "create?" Do we have any conscious control over the creation of sperm, say, with respect to different features of a body (e.g., hair color, shape of the nose, etc.)? No, of course not. Through Allah's (swt) will, our bodies create the sperm in the way that He decides, not in how we choose.

If you know of any other "Questions" in the Qur'an that I missed, please add them in the comments.

Is the man who follows the good pleasure of God Like the man who draws on himself the wrath of God, and whose abode is in Hell?- A woeful refuge! (3:162)

Is it not (the case) that to God belongeth whatever is in the heavens and on earth? Is it not (the case) that God's promise is assuredly true? Yet most of them understand not. (10:55)

Is then one who doth know that that which hath been revealed unto thee from thy Lord is the Truth, like one who is blind? It is those who are endued with understanding that receive admonition;- (13:19)

Is then He who standeth over every soul (and knoweth) all that it doth, (like any others)? And yet they ascribe partners to God. Say: "But name them! is it that ye will inform Him of something he knoweth not on earth, or is it (just) a show of words?" Nay! to those who believe not, their pretense seems pleasing, but they are kept back (thereby) from the path. And those whom God leaves to stray, no one can guide. (13:33)

Is then He Who creates like one that creates not? Will ye not receive admonition? (16:17)

Is then the man who believes no better than the man who is rebellious and wicked? Not equal are they. (32:18)

Is he, then, to whom the evil of his conduct is made alluring, so that he looks upon it as good, (equal to one who is rightly guided)? For God leaves to stray whom He wills, and guides whom He wills. So let not thy soul go out in (vainly) sighing after them: for God knows well all that they do! (35:8)

Is it not to God that sincere devotion is due? But those who take for protectors other than God (say): "We only serve them in order that they may bring us nearer to God." Truly God will judge between them in that wherein they differ. But God guides not such as are false and ungrateful. (39:3)

Is one who worships devoutly during the hour of the night prostrating himself or standing (in adoration), who takes heed of the Hereafter, and who places his hope in the Mercy of his Lord - (like one who does not)? Say: "Are those equal, those who know and those who do not know? It is those who are endued with understanding that receive admonition. (39:9)

Is, then, one against whom the decree of Punishment is justly due (equal to one who eschews Evil)? Wouldst thou, then, deliver one (who is) in the Fire? (39:19)

Is one whose heart God has opened to Islam, so that he has received Enlightenment from God, (no better than one hard-hearted)? Woe to those whose hearts are hardened against celebrating the praises of God! they are manifestly wandering (in error)! (39:22)

Is, then, one who has to fear the brunt of the Penalty on the Day of Judgment (and receive it) on his face, (like one guarded therefrom)? It will be said to the wrong- doers: "Taste ye (the fruits of) what ye earned!" (39:24)

Is not God enough for his Servant? But they try to frighten thee with other (gods) besides Him! for such as God leaves to stray, there can be no guide. (39:36)

Is then one brought up among trinkets, and unable to give a clear account in a dispute (to be associated with God)? (43:18)

Is then one who is on a clear (Path) from his Lord, no better than one to whom the evil of his conduct seems pleasing, and such as follow their own lusts? (47:14)

Is it that their faculties of understanding urge them to this, or are they but a people transgressing beyond bounds? (52:32)

Do ye then see?- The (human Seed) that ye throw out,- Is it ye who create it, or are We the Creators? (56:58-9)

See ye the seed that ye sow in the ground? Is it ye that cause it to grow, or are We the Cause? (56:63-4)

See ye the Fire which ye kindle? Is it ye who grow the tree which feeds the fire, or do We grow it? (56:71-2)

Is then one who walks headlong, with his face groveling, better guided,- or one who walks evenly on a Straight Way? (67:22)

Is not God the wisest of judges? (95:8)

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