By Samiya Illias
April 2, 2017
Islam is based on the last revealed scripture, The Quran, revealed through Muhammad fourteen centuries ago. It uses the phrase The Right Religion in some places. One of the decrees of The Right Religion is that there should be no change in the creation of Allah.
Transhumanism aims to transform the human being. It seeks to tinker with the very core of what makes us human. It is beautifully packaged in the rhetoric of progress and the promise of transcending the existential challenges facing mankind.
This study is an attempt at understanding the phrase The Right Religion [الدِّينُالْقَيِّمُ] in its usage across the Quran, in the context of the Creator God’s absolute right to decree and command; and through His guidance, understand the reason why there should be no change in Allah’s creation, especially in human nature.
بَلِ اتَّبَعَ الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا أَهْوَاءَهُم بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ
فَمَن يَهْدِي مَنْ أَضَلَّ اللَّهُ وَمَا لَهُم مِّن نَّاصِرِينَ
فَأَقِمْ وَجْهَكَ لِلدِّينِ حَنِيفًا
فِطْرَتَ اللَّهِ الَّتِي فَطَرَ النَّاسَ عَلَيْهَا
لَا تَبْدِيلَ لِخَلْقِ اللَّهِ
ذَٰلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ
وَلَٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ
[Al-Quran 30:29 - 30] Nay, follow those who do wrong, their desires, without knowledge. Then who (can) guide (one) whom Allah has let go astray? And not for them any helpers. So direct your face toward the religion, inclining to truth. [Adhere to] the fitrah of Allah upon which He has created [all] people. No change should there be in the creation of Allah. That is the correct religion, but most of the people do not know.
Al-Quran 30:30 is the basis of the series of posts subtitled Mission of the Messengers. A key phrase is ‘The Right Religion’. What does Genetic Engineering have to do with Religion, when Religion is Ancient and Genetic Engineering a modern scientific advancement of our age? Or is it so?
Transhumanism (abbreviated as H+ or h+) is an international and intellectual movement that aims to transform the human condition by developing and making widely available sophisticated technologies to greatly enhance human intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities.
Why should Believers resist improvements in their condition when twenty-first century technologies hold promises of greatly enhanced capacities? The Quran is a Book about humans and the temporal human condition. It informs us of past events we have long forgotten, to help us prepare for an eternal future. The following ayaat remind us of what we were, and what we’ve lost, and more importantly, what we can aspire for!
Allah Creates Good Everything That He Creates:
[Al-Quran 32:7] The One Who made good every thing He created, and He began (the) creation (of) man from clay.
Furthermore, Allah is maintaining His creation in harmony:
[Al-Quran 35:41] Indeed, Allah upholds the heavens and the earth, lest they cease. And if they should cease, not can uphold them any one after Him. Indeed, He is Most Forbearing, Oft-Forgiving.
If Allah were to permit corruption, the entire creation would eventually sync out of balance. Upsetting the balance is a crime:
[Al-Quran 55:7 – 55:9] And the heaven, He raised it and He has set up the balance, That not you may transgress in the balance. And establish the weight in justice and (do) not make deficient the balance.
Yet, in this temporal test, there is no compulsion in religion (الدِّينِ):
[Al-Quran 2:256] (There is) no compulsion in the religion. Surely has become distinct the right (path) from the wrong. Then whoever disbelieves in false deities and believes in Allah, then surely he grasped the handhold - [the] firm, (which) not (will) break [for it]. And Allah (is) All-Hearing, All-Knowing.
Changing Allah’s creation is an audacious and futile effort, as nobody can improve upon His creation. The result of such efforts is corruption of creation:
[Al-Quran 30:41] Has appeared the corruption in the land and the sea for what have earned (the) hands (of) people, so that He may let them taste a part (of) that which they have done so that they may return.
Humans have been granted the free-will to choose what they will. Human activity has indeed adversly impacted the planet, upsetting the Balance and throwing many species into extinction. Humans continue to pose a grave threat to Earth. When the crimes of humans exceed a certain limit, divine intervention becomes necessary to contain/wipe out the corruption, restore the Balance, and save the Believers from extinction:
[Al-Quran 30:47] And verily, We sent before you Messengers to their people, and they came to them with clear proofs; then We took retribution from those who committed crimes. And it was incumbent upon Us (to) help the believers.
On the promised Day, the criminals will be punished, and the Believers rewarded for their deeds:
[Al-Quran 30:43 - 44] So set your face to the religion right, before [that] comes a Day not (can be) averted [it] from Allah. That Day, they will be divided. Whoever disbelieves, then against him (is) his disbelief. And whoever does righteousness, then for themselves they are preparing,
The phrase الدِّينُالْقَيِّمُ comprises of two words: الدِّينُ and الْقَيِّمُ . Looking up its usage across the Quran, both together and independently, it helps to realize and understand what the phrase really means:
Qayyim means correct, right, straight, and shares the same root with mustaqqim: [the straight path we pray for daily اهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ]
قُلْ إِنَّنِي هَدَانِي رَبِّي إِلَىٰ صِرَاطٍ مُسْتَقِيمٍ دِينًا قِيَمًا
ذَٰلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ فَلَا تَظْلِمُوا فِيهِنَّ أَنْفُسَكُمْ
أَمَرَ أَلَّا تَعْبُدُوا إِلَّا إِيَّاهُ ذَٰلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ
قَيِّمًا لِيُنْذِرَ بَأْسًا شَدِيدًا مِنْ لَدُنْهُ
ذَٰلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ وَلَٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ
فَأَقِمْ وَجْهَكَ لِلدِّينِ الْقَيِّمِ مِنْ قَبْلِ أَنْ يَأْتِيَ يَوْمٌ لَا مَرَدَّ لَهُ مِنَ اللَّهِ
وَذَٰلِكَ دِينُ الْقَيِّمَةِ
فِيهَا كُتُبٌ قَيِّمَةٌ
اهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ
Al-Quran 4:117 – 4:121 inform us that the rebellious Satan, when cursed by God, swore to take a portion of humans and said that:
‘… And I will mislead them, and I will arouse in them [sinful] desires, and I will command them so they will slit the ears of cattle, and I will command them so they will change the creation of Allah." And whoever takes Satan as an ally instead of Allah has certainly sustained a clear loss. …’
Al-Quran 20:118 informs us that there was enough in the Garden for Adam and his wife to neither go naked nor hungry. In Adam’s Attempt to Improve upon Allah’s Creation, I have discussed the genetic loss of natural clothing that Adam and his wife suffered in their pursuit of Immortality. It’s a loss we all witness constantly on our own bodies (our bare skin) throughout our lives. Our clothing is a sign from Allah!
Surah at-Teen reasons that since humans have gone from being an excellent creation to a much lower form, then how can anyone belie the Deen:
[Al-Quran 95:1-8, Translator: Safi Kaskas] By the fig and the olive and [by] Mount Sinai and [by] this secure city [Mecca], We have certainly created the human being in the best of stature; Then We return him to the lowest of the low, except for those who believe and do righteous deeds, for they will have an uninterrupted reward. So, do you still deny this faith? Isn't God the most Just of Judges?
[Al-Quran 95:1-8, Translator: Muhammad Asad] CONSIDER the fig and the olive, and Mount Sinai, and this land secure! Verily, We create man in the best conformation; and thereafter We reduce him to the lowest of low excepting only such as attain to faith and do good works: and theirs shall be a reward unending! What, then, [O man,] could henceforth cause thee to give the lie to this moral law?* Is not God the most just of judges?
* The word [دِّينِ], in its various forms, is translated as judgment, return, acknowledgement, contract, debt, recompense and religion. While most translators translate (بِالدِّينِ) as judgement in Q95:7, Safi Kaskas translates it as faith, and Asad translates it as moral law.
The Quran starts with a prayer that is recited multiple times in the daily obligatory prayers. It includes the declaration that Allah is [مَالِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ] meaning Lord of Day of The Religion or Moral Law, and is generally understood to mean the Day of Judgment or Requital.
Transliteration Maliki yawmi alddeeni
T.B.Irving Ruler on the Day for Repayment!
Safi Kaskas Master of the Day of Judgment.
A M Daryabadi Sovereign of the Day of Requital.
Ahmed Ali King of the Day of Judgement.
The following three ayaat inform us that the True Religion must prevail over all religions:
[Al-Quran 9:33] He (is) the One Who has sent His Messenger with the guidance and the religion (of) [the] truth, to manifest it over all religions. Even if dislike (it) the polytheists.
[Al-Quran 48:28] He (is) the One Who (has) sent His Messenger with guidance and (the) religion, the true that He (may) make it prevail over the religions all. And sufficient is Allah (as) a Witness.
[Al-Quran 61:9] He (is) the One Who sent His Messenger with guidance and (the) religion (of) the truth, to make it prevail over the religion all of them, although dislike (it) the polytheists.
What is The Right Religion? [الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ]
The phrase [الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ] has been used in the Quran in the following ayaat:
9:36 Indeed, the number of months with Allah is twelve [lunar] months in the register of Allah [from] the day He created the heavens and the earth; of these, four are sacred. That is the correct religion, so do not wrong yourselves during them. And fight against the disbelievers collectively as they fight against you collectively. And know that Allah is with the righteous [who fear Him].
12:40 You worship not besides Him except [mere] names you have named them, you and your fathers, for which Allah has sent down no authority. Legislation is not but for Allah. He has commanded that you worship not except Him. That is the correct religion, but most of the people do not know.
30:30 So direct your face toward the religion, inclining to truth. [Adhere to] the fitrah of Allah upon which He has created [all] people. No change should there be in the creation of Allah. That is the correct religion, but most of the people do not know.
30:43 So direct your face toward the correct religion before a Day comes from Allah of which there is no repelling. That Day, they will be divided.
98:5 And they were not commanded except to worship Allah , [being] sincere to Him in religion, inclining to truth, and to establish prayer and to give zakah. And that is the correct religion.
Notice that Q30:30 and Q30:43 both ayaat are from Surah Ar-Rum. The ayaat in between them, Q30:31-39, list the requirements of the correct religion beginning with establishing prayer, strict monotheism, non-sectarianism, sincerity in worship, belief in qadr, spending in charity and refraining from usury; Q30:40 reminds us that Allah alone grants life and death and will resurrect, and then Q30:41-43 mentions the present, past and future consequences of not adhering to the Right Religion!
[Al Quran 6:161] Say, "Indeed (as for) me, has guided me my Lord to a straight path - a religion right, religion (of) Ibrahim - a true monotheist. And not he was from the polytheists.
Earlier in the Surah, after discussing polytheistics superstitions and prohibitions, and clarifying the matter, the straight path is listed as:
[Al-Quran 6:150-155, Translator: Yusuf Ali] Say: "Bring forward your witnesses to prove that God did forbid so and so." If they bring such witnesses, be not thou amongst them: Nor follow thou the vain desires of such as treat our signs as falsehoods, and such as believe not in the Hereafter: for they hold others as equal with their Guardian-Lord. Say: "Come, I will rehearse what God hath (really) prohibited you from": Join not anything as equal with Him; be good to your parents; kill not your children on a plea of want;- We provide sustenance for you and for them;- come not nigh to shameful deeds. Whether open or secret; take not life, which God hath made sacred, except by way of justice and law: thus doth He command you, that ye may learn wisdom. And come not nigh to the orphan's property, except to improve it, until he attain the age of full strength; give measure and weight with (full) justice;- no burden do We place on any soul, but that which it can bear;- whenever ye speak, speak justly, even if a near relative is concerned; and fulfil the covenant of God: thus doth He command you, that ye may remember. Verily, this is My way, leading straight: follow it: follow not (other) paths: they will scatter you about from His (great) path: thus doth He command you. that ye may be righteous. Moreover, We gave Moses the Book, completing (Our favour) to those who would do right, and explaining all things in detail,- and a guide and a mercy, that they might believe in the meeting with their Lord. And this is a Book which We have revealed as a blessing: so follow it and be righteous, that ye may receive mercy:
When beginning the narration about Adam being tempted to eat off the forbidden tree in pursuit of Immortality and a Kingdom that Never Decays, it is stated in Surah Taha:
[Al-Quran 20:115] And verily We made a covenant with Adam before, but he forgot; and not We found in him determination.
Surah az-Zumar extensively discusses sincerity in DEEN, and concludes with the picture of QIYAMAT when God will judge us all:
[Al-Quran 39:67 – 68] And not they appraised Allah (with) true appraisal, while the earth entirely (will be) in His Grip (on the) Day (of) the Resurrection, and the heavens (will be) folded in His Right Hand. Glory be to Him! And High is He above what they associate (with Him). And (will) be blown [in] the trumpet, then (will) fall dead whoever (is) in the heavens and whoever (is) on the earth except whom Allah wills. Then (it will) be blown [in it] a second time, and behold! They (will be) standing waiting.
Surah Hud begins with a declaration, and subsequently clarifies that not everyone will believe, and informs us why only some people are able to take guidance:
[Al-Quran 11:1] Alif Lam Ra. (This is) a Book are perfected its Verses moreover, explained in detail from (he One Who) (is) All-Wise, All-Aware.
[Al-Quran 11:118-119] And if your Lord (had) willed surely He (could) have made the mankind one community, but not they will cease to differ. Except (on) whom your Lord has bestowed Mercy, and for that He created them. And will be fulfilled (the) Word of your Lord, "Surely I will fill Hell with the Jinn and the men all together."
Surah al-Waqi`ah informs us of the three categories that people will be divided in and that it’ll be an alternate form of creation.
Justice [قِسْط] vs Injustice [ظُلْم]
Surah al-A`raf ayat 29 orders justice [قِسْط] and gives good news to those who comply with sincere submission:
[Al-Quran 7:29] Say, "My Lord has ordered justice and set your faces at every masjid and invoke Him (being) sincere to Him (in) the religion. As He originated you (so) will you return."
Zulm means injustice, and polytheism is a great injustice:
[Al-Quran 31:13] And when said Luqman to his son while he (was) instructing him, "O my son! (Do) not associate partners with Allah. Indeed, associating partners (is) surely an injustice great."
Satan commands injustice on many levels, from the smallest to the gravest, leading up to eventually polytheism and to making changes in the creation of Allah, specially the human software, so as to lead humanity into loss and extinction.
Surah Ghafir quotes the Believer admonishing his people against the ‘zulm’ they were indulging in:
[Al-Quran 40:30 - 31, Translator: Rodwell] Then said he who believed, "O my people! truly I fear for you the like of the day of the allies, The like of the state of the people of Noah and Ad and Themoud, And of those who came after them; yet God willeth not injustice to his servants.
Transhumanism is the gravest evil facing humanity in this twenty first century. It seeks to corrupt the very core of what makes us human. It is beautifully packaged in the rhetoric of progress and the promise of transcending the existential challenges facing mankind.
The consequences of Wronging the Self have been mentioned in the Quran. Genetic studies of Apes and Pigs support the Quran’s claim that when People of the Book wronged themselves, they were transformed as a deterrent punishment for those to come later. Our technology makes it possible to wrong ourselves, and it shows us the genetic evidence of how things may go wrong. Those who do not believe in the scripture try to find their answers in their Theories of Evolution. The Believers need to realize the direct relevance of the scripture to our times and its pertinent reasoning.
May Allah save us from the deception and injustice of Transhumanism, the evil that threatens to corrupt our very being!
[Al-Quran 16:33 - 34, Translator: Yusuf Ali] Do the (ungodly) wait until the angels come to them, or there comes the Command of thy Lord (for their doom)? So did those who went before them. But God wronged them not: nay, they wronged their own souls. But the evil results of their deeds overtook them, and that very (Wrath) at which they had scoffed hemmed them in.
Surah Ahzaab cites injustice as a reason why humans are unfaithful to their Trust, and this is why we must be judged:
[Al-Quran 33:72 – 73, Translator: Safi Kaskas] We offered the Trust to the heavens, the earth and the mountains; but they refused to bear it and feared it, yet the human being took it on. He has always been unjust and ignorant, [This is in order that] God punishes the hypocrites, men and women, as well as the men and women who associate others with Him, and why God turns mercifully towards the believing men and women, for God is the Ever-Forgiving, the Mercy Giver.
What was the Trust we were entrusted with? In this life, we have been entrusted with planet Earth, and granted insights in the knowledge of creation. Why grant us, or any other creation the knowledge, if we are not to use it? Do we have a greater purpose than just living our lives in this temporal world and enjoying the delights of the Gardens in the Hereafter? The Quran reiterates that the Gardens of the Hereafter will be granted as an inheritance. Inheritance implies ownership and responsibility. Furthermore, there seems to be a very grand role awaiting some of us in the Divine Government:
Indeed, the righteous (will be) in gardens and river,
In a seat (of) honor
near a King Most Powerful.
[Al-Quran 54:54 - 55]
Concordance in the Qur’an: