|Arnold Yasin Mol
|Posted: Thu May 15, 2008 5:56 am Post subject: God doesn't violate the natural laws?
|On the Freeminds forum, the question was raised how God did punish certain people if He doesn't His own Laws? How is this possible?
[quote author=rover link=topic=16837.msg168613#msg168613 date=1210796230]
2:59 But, the transgressors altered the meaning of the word they had been given, and changed their attitude of humility and perseverance. So, We brought down upon the transgressors consequences from the heaven for, they infringed repeatedly (drifted away from the
To me it seems like God sent down punishment right from the heavens; something like meteors or stones etc.
How does this fit in with your position:
* God never intervenes (although He can) with the universe other than revelations/intuitions.
If your theory in true then meteors did not simply came down because people disobeyed God. Meteors were suppose to come down any way; irrespective of how people behaved. We cannot label this catastrophic event as "punishment".
There are tons of past events that needs to be explained in the light of this new paradigm. This is just one example that came up while doing my regular reading.
I have read your complete article "Evolution of Thinking". I found it interesting and refreshing.
When it comes to Qur' an interpretation, we mostly think in short term effects, while for example, a day for God is a thousand years. Also it is important to both use nature (3:191) and the whole Qur'anic message to understand each verse.
What is Revelation? It is an explanation of the workings of the universe, so we will know the laws that make a society succesful (3:110, 6:11, 6:165, 22:4, when a society deviates and becomes oppressors, only then will the laws of cause and effect turn against a nation (11:117). This is God's Sunnah, His way of handling nations.
18:27 Convey to them whatever of this Book is revealed
to you from your Lord. None can alter His Words. And you will find
no refuge other than Him. [His laws in Theory (Kalimaatillah), and His
laws in Practice as implemented in the Universe (Sunnatillah), never
change. 6:34, 6:116, 10:64, 17:77, 18:27, 33:38, 33:62, 40:85, 48:23]
33:38 There could be no difficulty to any prophet in what God has
assigned to him as a duty. That was God’s law for those who passed on
before. And the commandment of God is a determined decree.
As 11:117 clearly states that God will not punish a people as long as they are Muslihoon, reformers in their society, the Zulm refered to in 2:59 clearly means they were violators of human rights. Oppression will eventually ALWAYS turn against them. We can see that with any nation that oppresses people.
The Qur'an orders us to investigate nature so we can understand God and His System (3:191), He also says there are no flaws in His Design (50:6), and that there is no change in His Kalimaat, Decrees and Blueprint of the Universe (18:27). In 30:30 He clearly states He will not change or replace the current Universe, as this is of the best design, لا تبديل la tabdeela means no substitute/replacement. And we know through studying the universe that it has fixed laws running it.
Bringing all these together shows God works through the laws of the universe, and not simply with direct interference, breaking His own rules. As in the words of Paul Davies:
“There is no doubt that, even in the crude form, the hypothesis of an intelligent designer
applied to the laws of nature is far superior then the designer considered in the previous
section (of his book red.), who violates the laws of nature from time to time by working
miracles in evolutionary history. Design-by-laws is incomparably more intelligent than
design-by-miracles. If I were an omnipotent being who wanted to make an inhabited
universe like ours, and I could achieve this simply by conjuring up what I wanted when I
wanted it, I wouldn’t regard my activities as very clever. But to select a set of laws that,
without nay periodic fixing up and micromanagment, can bring a universe into being and
bring about self-organisation, self-complexification and self-assembly of life and
conciousness-well, that looks very clever indeed! So the ‘intelligent’design beloved of the
Intelligent Design movement strikes me as not very intelligent at all, in contrast to a
designer of laws of nature which by themselves have such astonishing creative ability
without the need for intervention and miracles. Intelligent design of the laws does not
conflict with science, because it accepts that the whole universe runs itself according to
physical laws, and that everything that happens in the universe has a natural
explanation. There are no miracles other than the miracle of nature itself."
[Page 226. The Goldilocks Enigma by Paul Davies, 2006]
So God's reaction towards Zulm, oppression, is already laid out in the laws of the universe. This does not mean God already pre-destined the punishment for this specific people at the beginning of the universe. God gave us freewill and endless possibilities to choose from, and He will fix these choices for us. These are just simple laws of cause and effect that will react to any violation of human rights.
You put your hand in the fire and you will burn it. Cause=hand in fire, effect=burned hand. This same law applies to society at large. When a society oppresses people, it will eventually fall. Cause=oppression, effect=fall of nation.
When a nation deviates from human rights as portrayed in the Revelation they were given, the universe responses to this, which will eventually cause the fall of the nation.
Verse 2:59 says رجزا من السماء Rijsan min as-SamaA. Rijs main meaning is polution or disease. It was used for a disease which caused shaky legs on a camel. It also means calamity, scourge, punishment as a consequence of a bad deed. Min SamaA, from the SamaA. SamaA comes from Ism, that which defines a thing. SamaA refers to the sky, space, the universe in total.
So we end up with 2 conclusions:
1. Rijsan min as-SamaA means Punishment from the Universe. Meaning the universal laws of Cause and Effect turned against them and caused the fall of their nation. This could be for example by a disease that broke out due to their lack of hygene, an invasion by another people because their defense had become weak due to their Zulm. Thus Rijsan min as-SamaA refers to the blueprint of the universe which directs its Laws.
2. Rijsan min as-SamaA has a direct meaning, the laws of cause and effect reacted by attracting a storm towards them which destroyed their nation. The understanding that it could refer to meteors is possible, but not likely as a meteor storm has never destroyed a whole nation, and a large meteor would destroy more then just them. A natural storm as a cyclone is far more likely. SamaA also refers to storm clouds.
Both meanings are possible without referring to God intervening with the universe as this is not necessary. The universe is such a perfect system (50:6), there is no need to intervene within its workings to get something done. The universe has an already built-in reaction system of cause and effect. What the Qur'an tells us is that the system of cause-and-effect also reacts to human deeds.
This also counts for many things that are seen as miracles in the Qur'an. Or they are mistranslated, or are metaphorical or they are possibilities we do not understand yet in the universe. But they never violate the laws of nature.
[Dear AY, please be brief, clear and to the point. SA]
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