By Aftab Ahmad, New Age Islam
30 May 2014
God has created this universe and created human beings on earth. Man does not live on earth isolated from God. God is in constant touch of human beings and all the creatures on earth. Man is associated with God very closely and He cares for him, guides him and communicates to him whenever required and wherever. Sometimes this communication is loud and sometimes, it is very subtle. God communicates with Man on three levels. In the Quran God says this:
“And it is not for any human being that Allah should speak to him except by revelation or from behind a partition or that He sends a messenger to reveal, by His permission, what He wills. Indeed, He is Most High and Wise. “(As Shrua: 51)
Thus God communicates with Man
Through a messenger (an angel) who conveys God’s message to the Prophet or to an ordinary human being
From Behind the Curtain
Through inspiration and intuition.
The first level of communication is of the highest order which is meant for prophets. This mode of communication is used mainly communicating with prophets. God sends His designated angels to the Prophets with revelation (Wah’i) which are mainly religious commandments. For example, the angel Gabriel brought revelations to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
Though this mode of communication is specifically meant for communication with prophets, God has sometimes used this mode of communication to guide ordinary persons, even with women, whom most Muslims consider inferior to men, particularly in religious and spiritual matters. On two occasions, God has used this mode of communication with mothers of two prophets, though they were not prophets themselves. One was Prophet Moses’ mother and the other was Prophet Jesus Christ’s mother, Mary (Mariam).
When the Pharaoh was killing all the male children of a section of his population, God protected Child Moses who was still a suckling. Prophet Moses is reminded of God’s favours with him in the Quran:
“And We had already conferred favour upon you another time, When We inspired to your mother what We inspired, [Saying], 'Cast him into the chest and cast it into the river, and the river will throw it onto the bank; there will take him an enemy to Me and an enemy to him.' And I bestowed upon you love from Me that you would be brought up under My eye. “(Taha: 37-39)
In another Surah also, the Quran refers to this revelation to Moses’ mother:
“And We inspired to the mother of Moses, "Suckle him; but when you fear for him, cast him into the river and do not fear and do not grieve. Indeed, We will return him to you and will make him [one] of the messengers." “(Al Quisas: 7)
Thus, Quran clearly says that God sent down revelations to Moses’ mother guiding her what she should do to see that her son is not only protected but also brought back to her while Pharaoh is unsuspecting of the whole affair. This episode in the Quran also shows that revelations to men and women are not restricted to prophets alone but can also be made to ordinary persons, men and women, whenever God wills it. Thus it may be inferred that though the line of prophets has been sealed, this mode of communication may not have been ended. Pious and spiritual persons may have got communications of this highest order which sometimes produce in them a metaphysical feeling leading them to believe that they are also prophets. Many people after the final prophet Muhammad (pbuh) have claimed to be prophets perhaps because of this mode of communication they got from God. They mistook spiritual communication from God for prophetic revelations.
Prophet Jesus Christ’s mother, Mary also got communication from God through angels before the birth of Jesus Christ. Since God wanted Jesus to be born out of the womb of Hadhrat Mariam, He wanted Mariam to be a pious and noble lady. Therefore, she got revelations from God through angels:
“And [mention] when the angels said, "O Mary, indeed Allah has chosen you and purified you and chosen you above the women of the worlds. O Mary, be devoutly obedient to your Lord and prostrate and bow with those who bow [in prayer]." “(Al-e-Imran: 42-43)
Again, before the birth of Christ, angels came to her and informed her that a prophet will be born from her womb.
“[And mention] when the angels said, "O Mary, indeed Allah gives you good tidings of a word from Him, whose name will be the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary - distinguished in this world and the Hereafter and among those brought near [to Allah ]. He will speak to the people in the cradle and in maturity and will be of the righteous." She said, "My Lord, how will I have a child when no man has touched me?" [The angel] said, "Such is Allah; He creates what He wills. When He decrees a matter, He only says to it, 'Be,' and it is. “(Al-e-Imran: 45-47)
Later when she became pregnant and withdrew herself to a secluded place, a voice guided her as to what she should do.
This is the second level of communication, that is, from behind the curtain.
“But he called her from below her, "Do not grieve; your Lord has provided beneath you a stream. And shake toward you the trunk of the palm tree; it will drop upon you ripe, fresh dates. “(Mariam: 24-25)
However, she was not a common woman but a chosen one by God though she was not a prophet.(Christians consider her a prophet on the basis of revelations she got). The Quran says:
“And his mother was a supporter of truth (Siddiqua) “(Al Maidah: 75)
This second mode of communication is also used by God to communicate with prophets. Prophets do not see God but hear a voice from the heavens guiding and informing them.
The third mode of communication is inspiration or intuition from God. Dreams and visions come into this category. That’s why true dreams are called 47th part of prophethood. God communicates with ordinary people through this mode of communication. This is the most secular mode of communication which covers all the human beings irrespective of religion, even atheists, as God loves all his creations and cares for them. Even animals get this mode of communication through which they are alerted about impending threats and disasters.
People get ideas from God through this mode of communication, through intuition or inspiration. Prophet Noah built the ark through inspiration from God. Prophet David who was also a scientist and an engineer of his time made weapons of war and tools of general use from iron through inspiration or intuition from God as there were no IITs or technical universities in those days. He got techniques and knowledge about the physical characteristics of iron through inspiration or intuition from God. In modern days, scientists get formulas, ideas and knowledge about matter through inspiration or intuition. The only condition for deserving this is to have a thinking mind and one should be curious to know the secrets of the universe and nature and a passion for knowledge. There is nothing religious about it. Majority of scientists these days who get ideas and scientific knowledge about scientific discoveries are Chinese (atheists or agnostics) Jews (‘the condemned community’) and Hindus (Mushrekeen). In this, there is food for thought for the Muslims who consider themselves superior to others and the gifted ones.
Post script: The ideas in this article are also a result of inspiration from God.
Aftab Ahmad is a columnist for New Age Islam. He has been studying the Holy Quran for some time.