Thursday, 25 August 2011

Seeing God

The practise of representing God in human form is, and has been, quite widespread. When man lost touch with divine revelation which taught that God was not similar to His creation, he began to direct his worship to creation. In doing so, he often chose to represent God in human form, as man was obviously the greatest living being on earth. In the Qur'an, Allah makes it very clear that nothing we can think of is like Him. Allah states, There is nothing like Him (Allah) but He sees and hears all.The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 42, Verse 11 and There is none comparable to Him. The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 112, Verse 4

After making it clear that He is not like His creation, Allah goes on to inform us that our eyes cannot grasp Him. He said ,

Eyes cannot catch Him but He catches all eyes The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 6, Verse 103
This divine statement points out that man is incapable of viewing the Divine Being.
Seeing God
There is none comparable to Him. The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 112, Verse 4
In order to emphasize this fact, Allah related in the Qur'an a pertinent incident from the life of Prophet Moosa (Moses);

And when Moses came to our appointed meeting place and his Lord spoke to him, he said: 'My Lord!Show me Yourself so that I may gaze upon You.' He replied: 'You will never see Me, but look at the mountain. If it remains in its place you will be able to see Me.' When his Lord revealed His glory to the mountain, it was crushed into dust, and Moses fell down unconscious. When he regained his consciousness he said: 'Glory be unto You!I turn to You repentant and I am the first of the true believers.' The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 7, Verse 143
Prophet Moosa (Moses) thought that he might be allowed to see God since Allah had preferred him over the rest of mankind of that time by choosing him to receive His message. But, Allah made it very clear to him that it was not possible for him or anyone else. No man could bear the intensity of even seeing Allah's glory much less Allah's boundless being. When the mountain disintegrated, Prophet Moosa realized his error and begged Allah's forgiveness for requesting something which was not permitted.
If God could be seen in this life, the tests of this life would be pointless. What makes this life a real test is the fact that we are obliged to believe in Allah without exactly seeing Him. If Allah were visible, everyone would believe in Him and all that the prophets taught. In fact, man would end up like angels, in total obedience to Allah. Because Allah made man to be higher than the angels, whose belief in Allah was without choice, man's choice of belief over disbelief had to be in a situation where Allah's existence could be questioned. Thus, Allah has kept himself hidden from mankind and will continue to do so until the Last day.