To feel secure, trust God

Updated 13 August 2015

To feel secure, trust God

From their childhood, people always want to have someone on whom they can truly trust. They feel the need to insure everything they have, because the lower-self always fears that something wicked will befall them. Until they pass from this world, people can’t help but grapple with this feeling.

They either suspect that their closest friend would backstab them or fear losing their possessions, or getting sick and dying. Nevertheless, as a requisite of the test in this world, the lower self always feels insecure and concerned.
In family life, school life, married life or business life there is an environment of incessant conflict, and a damaging spirit of competition. People want to live at ease, establish friendships and share their sorrows and joys. Yet in order to experience such sincerity, they lack the necessary building blocks; the sense of security is under perpetual assault and people try to protect it by various measures.
These people can in no way relish the pleasures of this life not only because of the insecurity they feel regarding others but also for their lives. Concerns occupy every moment of their lives.
Let’s think of a person: He works for years, earns some money and ultimately accomplishes buying the house of his dreams. That house, however, becomes a source of concern from the very day it is purchased. He needs to make more effort to be able to maintain it than the effort he exerted to buy it. He has security cameras installed all over the house, the garden is enveloped with barbed wire fences and high walls. As if these measures were not sufficient, the security is upgraded with an alarm system controlling every part of the house and a watch dog in the garden, accompanied with signs hung over the gate saying, “Beware of dog.” But all these measures are still not sufficient.
That house which is bought after years of sacrifice and hard work can be burned down to the ground in no time. A single spark can all of a sudden reduce a house into ashes. Once these thoughts start to occupy one’s mind, people lose sleep and find themselves visiting their local insurance agent. They, at least, want to feel at ease in the case of ordinary damage. A house purchased to lead a peaceful and comfortable life turns out to be a source of concern, something that may at any time cause them trouble. In the uneasiness of not knowing what might befall them, they constantly strive to insure their possessions.
Indeed people have also made it a habit to sign a prenuptial agreement. This agreement is designed as a means of not losing one’s possessions to the other party in case they decide to divorce one day. This is a measure taken based on the possibility that that love, compassion and friendship would ultimately come to an end. It is not a practice that stems from the concern felt for someone, to whom one addresses as “My love” and intends to spend an entire lifetime together.
This is essentially a security measure taken to guarantee one’s own life and to eliminate the risk of being cheated one day. However, this is also meaningful in showing the dimensions of spiritual damage that insecurity inflicts on people.
It is not only possessions that cause trouble for people. As he grows older, he thinks that he also needs to protect his body. People are totally oblivious about what is happening in their bodies. Pondering over it also distresses them. As they think they can contract cancer any moment or become disabled, they feel even more distressed. Upon this, they purchase health insurance, thinking they can never be entirely sure that they would not become sick. They feel obliged to save some money for such unexpected health problems. This also causes a lifetime of worry. The money spent on health becomes an even greater annoyance than the fear of illness or death.
In brief, people can never find peace in their souls because of the persistent sense of insecurity that haunts them. They often find the solution in other methods. They think that once they secure their possessions, they will find peace. Alternatively, once they don’t have any health problems, they will be happy. The fact is, the key to peace and bliss is putting one’s trust in God. Once a person understands that everything is under God’s control, that not even a leaf falls without God’s leave, and that God has the might to create anything by His order “Be”, he feels a sense of relief in his heart.
It is God Who creates all incidents, whether favorable or not, with all their details to test us in this world; whether we can see the goodness in them or not, goodness and auspiciousness is concealed in each seemingly bad thing. Our actual guardian and protector is God. It is not an insurance company, a watchdog in the garden or cameras that will protect our house. God protects our houses, but He makes those measures instrumental for it. It is not an insurance company or physicians who will heal us when we get sick. It is God Who will keep us healthy or cure us when we get sick. It is an act of worship and obligatory upon us to take measures, but after taking all the necessary measures, we put our trust in God. After all the measures we take, if that adversity still persists, then we forbear, realizing that God puts us to the test with it. If God wills goodness for us in destiny, no one can ever hinder it. If He wills hardship, there is again no one who can prevent it. Whatever God wills in destiny, it will assuredly happen despite all the possible measures that could be taken.
Our possessions, lives, health, spouses, kids, everything belongs to God. It is God Who endows us with blessings and it is also God Who may take them from us as a part of the trial. It is the peace of being aware of these truths and having faith in God that renders the soul satisfied, not any temporary measures we take. Indeed, in one verse of the Qur’an God relates thus:
“We will test you with a certain amount of fear and hunger and loss of wealth and life and fruits. But give good news to the steadfast.” (Qur’an, 2:155)
Consequently, what we should do is to know that everything is under God’s control and that we must trust in Him with all our hearts. The sole remedy to insecurity, uneasiness and apprehension in the lower-self is to put one’s trust in God.

The writer has authored more than 300 books translated in 73 languages on politics, religion and science.

Gospels lead us to the Qur’an

Updated 23 September 2016

Gospels lead us to the Qur’an

Brandon Yusuf Toropov gives a vivid account of his personal quest to study the most authentic verses of the Bible — the Q verses — and his coming into the fold of Islam. Thhis is the concluding part of his story.

I WAS interested in the research being done that indicated that the oldest strata of the Gospels reflected an extremely early oral source known as Q (the Q source: Q from German, Quelle, meaning ‘source,’ is a hypothetical written collection of Jesus’s sayings) and that each of the individual sayings of Jesus (may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him) needed to be evaluated on its own merits, and not as part of the narrative material that surrounded it. This is because that narrative material was added many years later.

Wresting with the doctrine of the Trinity: The more I looked at these sayings, the more impossible it became for me to reconcile the notion of the Trinity with that which seemed most authentic to me in the Gospels. I found myself face-to-face with some very difficult questions. Where in the Gospels did Jesus use the word “Trinity”? If Jesus was God, as the doctrine of the Trinity claims, why did he worship God? And, if Jesus was God, why in the world would he say something like the following? “Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God.” (Mark, 10:18) Did he somehow forget that he himself was God when he said this?

The Holy Qur’an: In November of 2002, I began to read a translation of the Qur’an. I had never read an English translation of the entire text of the Qur’an before. I had only read summaries of the Qur’an written by non-Muslims. (And very misleading summaries at that.)
Words do not adequately describe the extraordinary effect that this book had on me. Suffice to say that the very same magnetism that had drawn me to the Gospels at the age of 11 was present in a new and deeply imperative form. This book was telling me, just as I could tell Jesus had been telling me, about matters of ultimate concern. The Qur’an was offering authoritative guidance and compelling responses to the questions I had been asking for years about the Gospels.
“It is not (possible) for any human being to whom God has given the Book and wisdom and prophethood to say to the people: ‘Be my worshippers rather than God’s.’ On the contrary, (he would say): ‘Be devoted worshippers of your Lord, because you are teaching the Book and you are studying it.’ Nor would he order you to take angels and prophets for lords. Would he order you to disbelieve after you have submitted to God’s will?” (Qur’an, 3:79-80)
The Qur’an drew me to its message because it so powerfully confirmed the sayings of Jesus that I felt in my heart had to be authentic. Below, you will find just a few examples of the parallels that made my heart pliant to the worship of God. Each Gospel verse comes from the reconstructed text known as Q, a text that today’s scholars believe represents the earliest surviving strata of the teachings of the Messiah. Note how close this material is to the Qur’anic message.

On monotheism: In Q, Jesus endorses a rigorous monotheism. “Get thee behind me, Satan: For it is written, ‘Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.’” (Luke, 4:8) Compare: “Children of Adam, did We not command you not to worship Satan? He was your sworn enemy. Did We not command you to worship Me and tell you that this is the straight path?” (Qur’an, 36:60-61)

On Aqaba: Q identifies a right path that is often difficult, a path that unbelievers will choose not to follow. “Enter ye in through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction and many there are who go in there. Narrow is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matthew, 7:13-14) Compare: “The worldly life is made to seem attractive to the disbelievers who scoff at the faithful, but the pious, in the life Hereafter, will have a position far above them…” (Qur’an, 2:212)

On Taqwa: Q warns us to fear only the judgment of God. “And I say unto you, my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear. Fear Him, which after He hath killed, hath the power to cast into Hell. Yea, I say unto you, fear Him!” (Luke, 12:4-5) Compare: “To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and the earth. God’s retribution is severe. Should you then have fear of anyone other than God?” (Qur’an, 16:52)

Earthly life: In Q, Jesus warns humanity plainly that earthly advantages and pleasures should not be the goal of our lives: “Woe unto you that are rich! For you have received your consolation. Woe unto you who are full! You shall be hungry. Woe unto you who laugh now! You shall weep and mourn.” (Luke, 6:24) Compare: “The desire to have increase of worldly gains has preoccupied you so much (that you have neglected the obligation of remembering God) – until you come to your graves! You shall know. You shall certainly know (about the consequences of your deeds.) You will certainly have the knowledge of your deeds beyond all doubt. You will be shown hell, and you will see it with your own eyes. Then, on that day, you shall be questioned about the bounties (of God).” (Qur’an, 102:1-8)

Crucifixion: We are left then with an amazing early Gospel, a Gospel that (non-Muslim) scholars believe is historically closest to Jesus, a Gospel that has the following characteristics: Agreement with the Qur’an’s uncompromising message of God’s Oneness; agreement with the Qur’an’s message of an afterlife of salvation or hellfire ... based on our earthly deeds; agreement with the Qur’an’s warning not to be misled by dunya, the attractions and pleasures of worldly life. A complete absence of any reference to Christ’s death on the cross, resurrection, or sacrifice for humanity! This is the Gospel that today’s most advanced non-Muslim scholars have identified for us ... and this Gospel is pointing us, if only we will listen to it, in precisely the same direction as the Qur’an! I became a Muslim on March 20, 2003. It became obvious to me that I had to share this message with as many thoughtful Christians as I could.