Posts Tagged ‘scripture’

“But what human judgment outweighs the commandments of God on the scales of opinion? What “person of God” would ever say, “Well, yeah, God forbids it, but I think it’s okay?”[1]

~ Dr. Laurence B. Brown, MD

Author of The Eighth Scroll, MisGod’ed, God’ed, and Bearing True Witness

You can’t say, “I think the earth is square” when there is an established fact that the earth is spherical. You can’t say “I think Switzerland and Swaziland are neighboring countries” when there is an easily reachable atlas indicating that Switzerland is located in Western Europe while Swaziland is in the African continent. You should not say, “I think Obama and Osama are twins because their names closely match.” You can’t say “I think it’s ok to drink sulfuric acid because it looks like water” when you can get a litmus paper to conclusively determine whether the solution is acidic or not. Similarly, you can’t say, “I think all religions are right, they worship the same God”, “I think Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism e.t.c. represent differing paths to the same destination!”, “I think the true religion is . . .”, “I think the purpose of life is to eat, live and die”, “I think when people die, they go to heaven . . . ”e.t.c., when there is an authentic source to factually answer all these questions. Mere opinions which are not backed by scriptural evidences are unreliable. With opinions, you certainly have a right to be wrong but with facts, you don’t have a right to be wrong. This resonates well with Thomas Sowell who said “reality is not optional.”

The true word of God is enough to eliminate the “I think syndrome”. The true scripture contains the words of God. And when God says, it is a fact not a hypothesis/assumption/possibility. God’s Word is truth [Psalm 119:160; John 17:17] and God “. . .  cannot lie . . .” [Titus 1:2]. All doubts are normally silenced in confidence of divine guidance. It is an act of total ignorance to pretend you are smarter than God. By disagreeing with what He informs you through His (authentic) scripture for He is All-Knowing. “Should He (i.e. God) not know,- He that created? and He is the One that understands the finest mysteries (and) is well-acquainted (with them).” [Q 67:14.] The authentic scripture will factually answer what the true religion is? What is the purpose of life? What happens during and after death? Who will go to hell? How to live on earth? . . . and any other dilemma humans have. There is no room for thinking when the right answer is readily available. Ignorance in the absence of information may be excusable, but willful ignorance in the face of the True Word of God is a global disaster. Samuel Johnson said: “Knowledge is of two kinds. We know the subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information on it.” Now, wanton display of ignorance is when we don’t know the subject ourselves and we don’t bother knowing where to find information on the subject. However, when one is pushed to make an opinion, he should know full well that it is not a fact. He should say “that’s just my opinion,” but he must always end with, “I could be wrong.”

A semblance of success will be seen when we discard the unfounded opinions or attitudes vis-à-vis religion. As it is said, “Assumption is the mother of all screw-ups.” Amazingly, the Muslim Holy book elucidate on people who are doomed by saying that “. . . most of them follow not except assumption. Indeed, assumption avails not against the truth at all. Indeed, Allah is Knowing of what they do.” [Q 10:36] And Prophet Muhammad said, “. . . there will remain ignorant people who, when consulted, will give verdicts according to their opinions whereby they will mislead others and go astray.”[2] There is another story where some knowledge-deficient men gave an opinion which was to be followed by their sick fellow. As a result, the sick man died because by implementing the opinion suggested, it aggravated his sickness. On hearing this, Prophet Muhammad became very angry at these men who gave a wrong opinion. “Why didn’t they ask (from an authentic source) when they were ignorant,”[3]the prophet said.

{Excerpted from Salim Boss’ book “They are either Extremely Smart or Extremely Ignorant”. Buy the eBook  for $1.9 and the paperback for $9.  Just click here to buy the book}

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FOOTNOTES


[1]. Brown, Laurence B. MisGod’ed: A Roadmap of Guidance and Misguidance in the Abrahamic Religions. USA: BookSurge Publishing, 2007.pp. 275-276.

[2]. Bukhari, Vol. 9, Bk. 92, No. 410.

[3]. Narrated by DaraQutny.

 

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“God has given us more than fourteen billion cells and connections in our brain. Why would God give us such a complex organ system unless He expects us to use it?”

~ Ben Carson

He is the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. He is a Professor of Neurological Surgery, Oncology, Plastic Surgery and Pediatrics. He is also the author of Take The Risk (2008), The Big Picture (2000), Think Big (1996) and Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story (1990). He has received numerous honors and awards including over 40 honorary doctorate degrees.

French Country Bread

French Country Bread

It is shaped a little like a loaf of French country bread, but the brain has been called the most complex object in the universe. Your brain consists of about 100 billion neurons*[1], “. . . the same order of magnitude as the number of stars in the Milky Way”[2]and which is about 16.6 times the number of people on Earth. The Oxford University biologist Professor Richard Hawkins said on man’s brain: “. . . if you unraveled a man’s brain cells and placed them end to end, there would be enough to go around the world 25 times”[3]These hundreds of billions of cells of the brain are interlinked through trillions of connections. Humans continue to make new neurons throughout life in response to mental activity. Every time you recall a memory or have a new thought, you are creating a new connection in your brain so why do people fear mental exercise. There are no pain receptors in your brain, meaning your brain can feel no pain yet people don’t want to risk thinking. Your brain uses 20% of the total oxygen in your body.[4]  There are about 100,000 miles of blood vessels in the brain of which if they were stretched out they would circle the earth more than four times.

The composition of the brain is approximately 75 % water and we have been raised up knowing that water is life. “The average adult brain weighs about 1400g . . . .”[5]hence the human brain is 2% of total body weight (compared to 0.15% of an elephant’s brain), meaning humans have the largest brain to body size. And others argue over the “big brain-big ideas’’ assumption or rather ‘the bigger the brain the greater the cognitive capacity’ presumption! To further see the uniqueness of our brain, you will be amazed to learn that human beings have the largest and most complex cerebral cortex in the animal kingdom making them qualitatively different from other animals at the level of mental functioning. The cerebral cortex is the layer of the brain often referred to as gray matter and is responsible for mental functionings. In his book, Are We Unique, James Trefil, a Robinson Professor of Physics at George Mason University, author of more than thirty books, and a science commentator for National Public Radio states:

What distinguishes the human brain is not the existence of the cortex, but its size and organization. If the human cerebral cortex were flattened out, it would be about the size and shape of a large cloth dinner napkin. Our nearest relative, the chimpanzee, has a smaller cortex—something a little bigger than a page of this book.[6]

Therefore, the inhabitants of the earth should memorize the fact that what makes humans different from other animals is the human brain. Exactly what James Trefil voiced: “. . . whatever it is that separates us from the other animals has to do with the functionings of our brain. In that three-pound mass enclosed in the bones of our skull lies the secret to human uniqueness.”[7] Our minds are still boggled at the thought of the speed of the information that can be processed by the brain. It has been estimated that neurons can send signals to thousands of other cells at a rate of about 200 miles per hour.[8]Ralph C. Merkle, researcher on molecular nanotechnology and cryonics writes, “It seems reasonable to conclude that the human brain has a “raw” computational power between 1013 and 1016 “operations” per second.”[9]Amazingly, the brain never stops developing and changing since embryonic times, till death. Trefil says the same thing: “Your brain never stops developing and changing. It’s been doing it from the time you were an embryo, and will keep on doing it all your life. And this ability, perhaps, represents its greatest strength.”[10]According to Brain Facts by The Society for Neuroscience, “Neuroscientists believe that the brain can remain relatively healthy and fully functioning as it ages . . . .”[11]After a study on intelligence of various age groups, Dr. K. Warner Schaie concluded that “. . . the decline in mental performance in many community-dwelling older people is probably due to disuse and is consequently reversible.”[12]Despite being told that the more we think, the better our brains function – regardless of age, why then, do people refuse to maximize the full potential of this unique organ?

While awake, your brain generates between 10 and 23 watts of power or enough energy to power a light bulb. “The brain works ceaselessly, even when you are sleeping, and it consumes prodigious amounts of energy.”[13]Even though it is 2% of your total body weight, your brain is the most energy-consuming part of your body because it uses 20% of your body‘s energy.

There has been a heart transplant, liver transplant, but there has never been a human brain transplant. We all know that reproductive organs (and other organs) are not endowed with maximum protection the way the brain is. The brain is best guarded in a protective skull and for enhanced security, the brain is further protected by three layers of membranes called the meninges (which comprise of the dura mater, arachnoid mater, and pia mater).[14]Some would easily argue that anything of great value should be under tight security. There are cells in your brain called astrocytes whose work is to look after your neurons, repair the CNS (Central Nervous System) tissue after injury or damage by disease. Such cells help keep the environment of your brain healthy.[15]Those not using the brain will see the futility of their brain being kept clean and healthy. The brain rules all of the body’s organs, including the heart. When the body encounters a shortage of nutrients, it is the brain that is privileged with nutrients above other organs. You may underestimate the importance of the brain, but your body recognizes the significance of the brain in that when there is hypovolaemia (decrease in the volume of circulating blood), the blood is diverted away from other organs and directed only to the brain and the heart.[16]In just 10 seconds after the loss of blood supply to the brain, you lose consciousness.[17] Incredibly, more electrical impulses are generated in one day by a single human brain than by all the telephones in the world. Those who are afraid of thinking will be caught in a bombshell to learn that the number of thoughts that is estimated the human brain produces on an average day is 70,000. It is also noted that the brain is capable of having more ideas than the number of atoms in the known universe. The computer would disappoint the user warning, “hard drive full” but that is not the case with the human brain. Humans have an unlimited capacity to learn. Michael J. Gelb, the author of the international best seller How to Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci and Innovate Like Edison says,Research shows that you begin learning in the womb and go right on learning until the moment you pass on. Your brain has a capacity for learning that is virtually limitless, which makes every human a potential genius.”

Because of the powerful nature of the brain and the scanty information about the brain, people in every age and time, have tried using their latest technology as a model for trying to understand it. Ancient Greeks thought the brain functions like a catapult, Gottfried Leibniz compared it to a mill, other people compared the brain as a water clock while others as a telephone switchboard, some thought that the brain worked like a telegraph system, Sigmund Freud often compared the brain to hydraulic and electro-magnetic systems, and contemporarily some compare it with the computer. Did you know that many groundbreaking developments have been made by brain, and not brawn? As a matter of fact there are some great achievements that can only be made possible by the brain and which computers may not be able to duplicate. Can your PC paint the monalisa portrait, or can it, on its own, write the equivalent of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, or can it imagine? After all, the metaphor of the brain as a computer is false in that the human brain is not much like a computer. There is no “off” for the brain – even when you are sleeping, your brain is still active and working whereas when the power to your computer is turned off, signals are not transmitted. You will acknowledge and marvel at the awesomeness of your brain once the British neurophysicist W. Grey Walter declares that, “At least ten billion electronic cells would be needed to build a facsimile of a man’s brain. These cells would occupy about a million and a half cubic feet, and several additional millions of cubic feet would be needed for the ‘nerves’ or wiring. The power to operate it would be around a billion watts.”[18]

A discovery of this century is that the brain, unlike a computer, is a moldable organ which rewires itself all the time (neuroplasticity).[19]Rewiring in the human brain occurs when the brain is stimulated and when we remain passive far less rewiring occurs. It appears that brain plasticity and metacognition are closely entwined. The brain is reshaping itself constantly in response to the intellectual activity going on. Learning to perform new and challenging activities can help keep the brain fit, thanks to the ability of the brain to rewire itself.[20]And I believe that challenges like reading scriptures and attempting to discover the true religion is in the interests of the brain. The overthrown dogma was that the brain is hardwired, fixed in form and function therefore an older person is less inclined to learn new things. But with the discovery of neuroplasticity, the aging adults who feared their brains will fade had to put the fear at rest.

In The World of  the Brain, it is stated that: “ If we could learn how to utilize more of the brain’s capacity, or even to expand that capacity, the discoveries that would follow would transform our world into a healthier, more comfortable, and more stimulating place.”[21]Moreover, the human brain has a vast storage capacity in that it can hold information of 1000 supercomputers. The potential brain capacity is estimated as at least equivalent to that of 25 million volumes, a 500-mile-long bookshelf![22]In the words of Ben Carson, “No computer on earth can come close to the capacity of the average human brain. This brain that we all have is a tremendous gift from God — the most complex organ system in the entire universe. Your brain can take in two million bytes of information per second.”[23] Thus, even Isaac Asimov concludes that “The human brain, then, is the most complicated organization of matter that we know.”[24]And Keith Black, chief of neurosurgery at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles and who performs about 250 brain surgeries a year stated that, “If you look at the anatomy, the structure, the function, there’s nothing in the universe that’s more beautiful, that’s more complex, than the human brain.”[25]Susan Blackmore, a lecturer in psychology at the University of the West of England states:

In proportion to our body mass, our brain is three times as large as that of our nearest relatives. This huge organ is dangerous and painful to give birth to, expensive to build and, in a resting human, uses about 20 per cent of the body’s energy even though it is just 2 per cent of the body’s weight. There must be some reason for all this evolutionary expense.*[26]

Hippocrates, the Greek physician, mathematician and the Western father of medicine has also voiced the significance of using the brain when he made the following statement: “Men ought to know that from the brain, and from the brain only, arise our pleasures, joy, laughter and jests, as well as our sorrows, pains, griefs, and tears.” Others see it’s better to have weak kidneys, lungs, or other organs than having a weak brain. And Pasko T. Rakic, highlighting how unique we are from other species, say:  “The brain is the organ that sets us apart from any other species. It is not the strength of our muscles or of our bones that makes us different, it is our brain.”[27]And funny enough, the word “brain” appears 66 times in the plays of William Shakespeare.*

Now, if man is punished for not using such a powerful organ; the brain, then who is to blame? Man uses other organs for his survival. He maximizes the utility of his sexual organs for attaining sexual pleasures, he uses the organ eye to see even the microscopic things, the tongue is utilized by man to utter thousands of bizarre combination of words including backbiting and gossiping but why doesn’t he use his important organ, the brain to recognize the most important issue of life: the true religion? Of course man uses his brains but for other trivial things while ignoring to use the same brain to understand the purpose of life. This is no doubt a staggering display of ignorance. Are there better words than those of Edward Humphrey who quipped “true wisdom is to know what is best worth knowing, and to do what is best worth doing.” Astonishingly, you may see someone scratching his head toiling to solve puzzles (math puzzles, crossword puzzles, sudoku puzzles, jigsaw puzzle, word puzzles e.t.c.) while he is totally unprepared to scratch his head to examine religious scriptures to solve the puzzle of the authentic scripture. Solving math puzzles is good for the brain and solving religious puzzles is also good for the brain. What I condemn is priority disorder.

You also use your greatest helper; the brain, and not the Holy Spirit, to choose the best watermelon in a supermarket. It is a waste of human brainpower to blindly accept religions/scriptures. God gave you brains in order to use it, so use your brains to distinguish the true religion from the false ones. You can’t get lost. Just utilize your faculties of mind. Because humans have an intuitive sense of rightand wrong and since “Truth stands out clear from Error” [Q 2:256], I believe we can discover the true religion. Never have a blind faith, use the brain to challenge the credibility of your religion. Galileo Galilei was absolutely right when he said, “I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.” To show the magnitude of the crime of not using the brain, the Qur’an calls those who suspend reason as the worst of species. “Indeed, the worst of living creatures in the sight of Allah are the deaf and dumb who do not use reason.” [Q 8:22] The brain has made it possible for us to achieve the wonders of walking on the moon and if well used we will surely achieve the wonders of walking on the surface of the Kingdon of Heaven.

Remember, brain is the top organ situated in the head then follows the heart which is situated in the chest. Superiority is from top downwards hence ask anyone where is God and he will point in the sky and not down. “Allahu-Akbar” is what Muslims normally chant, a phrase that means “God is Great” and this is a conviction which is in harmony with their Qur’anic verse: “Indeed, your Lord is Allah, who created the heavens and earth in six days and then established Himself above the Throne.” [Q7:54] No wonder Bart D. Ehrman will resonate with the conception that a God would probably be the “. . . one who was above all else, far beyond what we could imagine . . . .” On further contemplation, Bart Erhman, the Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina and a leading authority on the Bible adds, “as we gaze out into the evening sky and consider the billions of stars and the billions of galaxies. He (i.e. God) was above and beyond it all. . . .”[28] And you have also heard jargons like “upward mobility” and “downward mobility.” The point I am trying to emphasize here is that superiority is from top downwards. Therefore, you should first use your brain (which is at the top) then secondly, you believe with the heart. We should doubt those who discover a ‘true’ religion through their hearts rather than their heads. Ben Carson, is the world-famous brain surgeon, who when he speaks on issues of the brain, attention should be provided and to raise your voice is utter disrespect to intelligentsia. He once said: “The human brain is the thing that makes you who you are”. Those who are blessed with quickness of thought will unblinkingly face a Muslim and say, “your brain is the thing that makes you a Muslim”. For the sake of justice, the same witted person will unblushingly confront a Christian and say, “Your brain is the thing that makes you a Christian”. And since two divergent religions cannot both be true and since Jesus did not tolerate the luxury of neutrality [Mathew 12:30] but insisted on one way leading to heaven [John 14:6], we can safely conclude that either the Muslim or the Christian did not use the brain to search for the true religion. I therefore request you to undertake the most cerebral of tasks: to find out the true religion. To those who are motivated to re−examine their scriptures/religions in the supervision of the brain, I strongly recommend Laurence B. Brown’s two books, God’ed and MisGod’ed.

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{Excerpted from Salim Boss’ book “They are either Extremely Smart or Extremely Ignorant”. Buy the eBook  for $1.9 and the paperback for $9. Just click here to buy the book}

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Buy Ebook Smart

REFERRENCES:


[1]. . Guyton, Arthur C. Textbook of Medical Physiology. 8th ed. India: Prism Books Limited, 1991.p.478.

*A neuron is the principal functional unit of the nervous system, specialized for the receipt, processing and transmission of information. See Crossman, A.R. and D. Neary. Neuroanatomy. 2nd ed. Edinburg: Harcourt Publishers Limited, 2000.p 35.

[2]. Scientific American Sept. 1992.

[3]. Seymour, R. Ian.  Maximize Your Potential. Nigerian Edition. BeninCity: Joint Heirs Publications Nigeria, Ltd., 2002. p. 70.

[4]. Ganong, William F. Review of Medical Physiology. 22nd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc., 2005. p.617.

[5]. Ganong, William F. Review of Medical Physiology. 22nd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc., 2005. p.617.

[6]. Trefil, James. Are We Unique?: A Scientist Explores the Unparalleled Intelligence of the Human Mind. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1997. p. 20.

[7]. Trefil, James. Are We Unique?: A Scientist Explores the Unparalleled Intelligence of the Human Mind. New York:

John Wiley & Sons, 1997. p. 43.

[8]. Guttman, Monika. “The Aging Brain.” USC Health Magazine Spring 2001.

[9]. Merkle, Ralph C. “Energy Limits to the Computational Power of the Human Brain.” Foresight Update 1 Aug. 1989. No. 6. <http://www.foresight.org/updates/Update06/Update06.1.html#anchor171085&gt;

[10]. Trefil, James. Are We Unique?: A Scientist Explores the Unparalleled Intelligence of the Human Mind. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1997. p. 78.

[11]. The Society for Neuroscience. Brain Facts: A Primer on the Brain and Nervous System. Washington, DC: The Society for Neuroscience, 2008.p.34.

[12]. The Human Brain. The Franklin Institute Online. 2004. <http://www.fi.edu/learn/brain/exercise.html&gt;

[13]. Alvin & Virginia, Sivestein. World of the Brain. New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1986. pp. 20-21.

[14]. Crossman, A.R. and D. Neary. Neuroanatomy. 2nd ed. Edinburg: Harcourt Publishers Limited, 2000.p.11 & p.49.

[15]. Young, Barbara and John W. Heath. Wheater’s Functional Histology. 4th ed. Edinburg: Elsevier Science Limited, 2002.p.134.

[16]. Ganong, William F. Review of Medical Physiology. 22nd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc., 2005. p.637.

[17]. Ganong, William F. Review of Medical Physiology. 22nd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc., 2005. p.619.

[18]. Seymour, R. Ian.  Maximize Your Potential. Nigerian Edition. BeninCity: Joint Heirs Publications Nigeria, Ltd., 2002. p.70.

[19]. “How The Brain Rewires Itself.” Time 19 Jan. 2007. For more about brain rewiring see a book titled “The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Science.” by Norman Doidge.

[20]. A Jom. “Neuroplasticity: How to Achieve a Brighter Brain.” 3 Dec. 2007. healthmad.com. <http://www.healthmad.com/Senior-Health/Neuroplasticity-How-to-Achieve-a-Brighter-Brain.63961&gt;

[21]. Alvin & Virginia, Sivestein. World of the Brain. New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1986.p. 2.

[22]. DeYoung, Donald B.  “Thinking about the Brain.” icr.org. < http://www.icr.org/article/thinking-about-brain/&gt;

[23]. Carson, Benjamin. The Big Picture. Nairobi: International Bible Society, 2002. p.50.

[24]. Hooper, J. and D. Teresi. Foreword. The Three-Pound Universe. Macmillan,1986.

[25]. Schreiber, Le Anne. “Determined to enter the brain in a friendly way.” Discover April 2004.

[26]

*In this quote, there is an element of evolution theory and it is important to clarify that Darwin’s Theory of Evolution is not a proven scientific fact. In the Quandary of Evolution, Harun Yahya writes: “Scientific discoveries and evidence reveal one unalterable truth: Life did not emerge as the result of a chain of coincidences, as evolutionists claim. The truth revealed by science today is that everything was created according to a flawless plan.” Those interested in facts and not hypothesis should read Harun Yahya’s books on the refutation of darwinism which include: 1)the Quandary of Evolution (encyclopedic) i & ii; 2) The Errors of the American National Academy of Sciences: A reply to the Book Science and Creationism; 3) The Collapse of the Theory of Evolution in 50 Steps; 4) Why Darwinism is Incompatible with the Qur’an; 5) The Error of the Evolution of Species; 6) The Perfect Design of the Universe is not by Chance; 7) The Evolution Deceit; 8) Darwinism Refuted; 9) The Dark Magic of Darwinism; 10) Confessions of Evolutionists; 11) Tell me about the Creation; 12) The Microbiological Collapse of Evolution; 13) The Collapse of Materialism; 14) The End of Materialism; 15) The Biggest Deception in the History of Biology: Darwinism; 16) The Collapse of the Theory of Evolution in 20 Questions; 17) The Collapse of the Theory of Evolution; 18) The Religion of Darwinism; 19) The Theory of Evolution; and 20) Evolutionary falsehoods. The books are available from Harun Yahya’s website http://www.harunyahya.com

. Blakemore, Susan. “Meme, Myself, I.” New Scientist 13 March 1999.

[27]. Great Issues for Medicine in the Twenty-First Century. Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sciences, vol. 882, p. 66, 1999.

*For more references on the complexity of the brain see, The Society for Neuroscience. Brain Facts: A Primer on the Brain and Nervous System. Washington, DC: The Society for Neuroscience, 2008. Trefil, James. Are We Unique?: A Scientist Explores the Unparalleled Intelligence of the Human Mind. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1997; Ondigo, Yahya M.A. God’s Blessings to Humanity: Part iii. Nairobi: Abu Aisha Stores, 2009; <http://www.brainsource.com/amazing%20brain.htm&gt;; Sandra Aamodt, Sam Wang. “Ten amazing facts about your brain.” The Times 28 March 2008; <http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/facts.html&gt;;Disabled world. “Human Brain Facts and Answers.” disabled-world.com 19 Oct. 2008. <http://www.disabled-world.com/artman/publish/brain-facts.shtml&gt;;”100 Fascinating Facts You Never Knew About the Human Brain.” nursingassistantcentral.com 2009. <http://www.nursingassistantcentral.com/blog/2008/100-fascinating-facts-you-never-knew-about-the-human-brain/&gt;;Gillman, Steven. “Ten amazing Brain Facts.” downthelane.net <http://www.downthelane.net/ten-brain-facts.php&gt;

[28]. Ehrman, Bart D. Jesus, Interrupted. Kindle Edition. HarperCollins e-books, 2009.p.277                 

 “. . . for His (God’s) mercy endures forever.”

[Psalm 136:1]

This one sentence is repeated 26 times in the 26 verses of Psalm 136. What a miracle!

The Nokia Manufacturing Company would not manufacture a phone without supplementing it with a Manual. Just recently, I had bought a new Nokia Phone, a 1203 Nokia Model. It came with a User Guide (manual) detailing important information on how to use the device. In the General Information corner of the manual, it read:

Check http://www.nokia.com/support or your local Nokia Web site for the latest version of this guide, additional information, downloads, and services related to your Nokia product. On the website, you can get information on the use of Nokia products and services. If you need to contact customer service, check the list of local Nokia contact centers at http://www.nokia.com/customerservice. For maintenance services, check your nearest Nokia service center at http://www.nokia.com/ repair.[1]

 Now that is what I call caring for the customers. The Manual went further to provide a diversity of resources for helping customers to properly use the phone. On page 6 of the Manual, it warned: “Read these simple guidelines. Not following them may be dangerous or illegal. Read the complete user guide for further information.” And we hear shameless people wanting us to believe that God is a “don’t carer” because He didn’t provide us with simple guidelines on how to use the planet earth in the most efficient way. It is only those who prefer to die than endure the pain of thinking, who assumes God created them without a manual. Some consider thinking is the greatest torture, some believe thinking is the hardest work on earth and others have the conviction that if you think hard, you will die, and some are made to believe that if they think, they will go to hell, hence very few people take the risk of thinking.

God made the sun to provide light during the day and at night the moon reflects the Suns’ light assisting us to fight waves of darkness. And the stars had been useful for navigation. God gifted creatures with perfect systems best suited for their conditions and needs thus you hear that migrating birds can navigate, even on overcast days, by light polarization. The pit viper (a type of snake) uses a natural infrared sensor to sense warm-blooded animals. Animals give off different heat signatures. The pit viper senses body heat from animals and gives the snake a ‘picture’ of that animal. This helps the snake to find prey in the dark and defend itself against intruders, even in complete darkness. Sharks possess what is called passive electroreception; they sense electric fields hence they can identify obstacles, potential prey, or even a mate. Using such sensory system, the sharks can even locate living fish under the sand. Bees use the earth’s magnetic field for comb building and navigation. Bats and dolphins “see” with sonar. Whales migrate by “reading” the Earth’s magnetic fields. The mentally-handicapped and those who take little or no pleasure from thinking would have the right to say animals were endowed with a perfect and systematic program of survival while man was totally neglected. “And they did not appraise Allah with true appraisal when they said, “Allah did not reveal to a human being anything.” [Q 6:91]

Do you think you can count all the favors of God on mankind! I doubt if there is someone  capable of counting them. Those demanding ignorance think God has bestowed us with infinite favors save the favor of a Life-Manual. Among the blessings is that:

. . . the grazing livestock He (God) has created for you; in them is warmth and [numerous] benefits, and from them you eat. And for you in them is [the enjoyment of] beauty when you bring them in [for the evening] and when you send them out [to pasture]. And they carry your loads to a land you could not have reached except with difficulty to yourselves. Indeed, your Lord is Kind and Merciful. And [He created] the horses, mules and donkeys for you to ride and [as] adornment. And He creates that which you do not know . . . It is He who sends down rain from the sky; from it is drink and from it is foliage in which you pasture [animals]. He causes to grow for you thereby the crops, olives, palm trees, grapevines, and from all the fruits. Indeed in that is a sign for a people who give thought. And He has subjected for you the night and day and the sun and moon, and the stars are subjected by His command. Indeed in that are signs for a people who reason. And [He has subjected] whatever He multiplied for you on the earth of varying colors. Indeed in that is a sign for a people who remember. And it is He who subjected the sea for you to eat from it tender meat and to extract from it ornaments which you wear. And you see the ships plowing through it, and [He subjected it] that you may seek of His bounty; and perhaps you will be grateful. And He has cast into the earth firmly set mountains, lest it shift with you, and [made] rivers and roads, that you may be guided. And landmarks. And by the stars they are [also] guided . . . And if you should count the favors of Allah, you could not enumerate them. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. [Q 16:5-18]

All these God does for His creation. All the innumerable favors which God bestows man, all these favors . . . I mean, in all the immeasurable favors, God did not include the favor of a revelation/divine book/blueprint whereby man can know how to live according to God’s wish. More grippingly, loving parents guide their children by providing good education, good health, protect them against harm and so forth. Sometimes your mother will provide you with some recommendations such as: It’s going to rain, don’t forget to carry your umbrella! Carry a jacket, its really cold out there! Early to bed early to rise makes a man healthy wealthy and wise! Wash your hands before you eat! For strong and healthy teeth, brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste! Son, carrots are good for your eyes! Don’t eat too much candy dear! I don’t want to see you walking with those thugs! e.t.c. No one doubts that such do’s and don’ts have a lot of benefits. I am wondering that our mothers (just human beings with limited knowledge) could give us such useful recommendations while our good and loving God (the All-knower of what harms and benefits mankind) decided not to list some tips of smart living on the surface of earth. I beg to differ.

At the time of Prophet Muhammad, there was a woman who was frantically searching for her baby in a crowd. Naturally, mothers have overwhelming feelings of love, tenderness and mercy for their babies. So when she finally found the baby, she took it in her arms, cradled it next to her chest and suckled it. Then the Prophet asked his disciples, “Do you think that this lady can throw her son in the fire?” Of course our fast and furious reply would be “hell no!” and similarly the disciples responded by saying that the woman would never do such a thing. The Prophet then said, “Allah is more merciful to His slaves (i.e. human beings) than this lady to her son.”[2] In Psalm 23 God is described as a “shepherd” who cares for His sheep but which kind of a shepherd is this, one may ask, who does not provide a map/manual/textbook/scripture which would lead people to the right path? Those who are not deprived the right to think will know that God can never condemn us to Hell without revealing to us what it takes to be a candidate of Hell. What is the point of the government establishing prisons if they don’t set to its people what is lawful and what is unlawful. It would be accusing God of felony criminal neglect if he will let us suffer on earth and later be cast in tormenting Hell Fire because He fails to give us perfect guidance on the most important aspect of life which is how to worship God. It is really funny that everything has been figured out, except how to live! Men who employ just a modicum of commonsense will agree for sure that God must have given us a perfect and systematic guidance of worshipping him.

There is the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights yet we are selfish not to give the Creator of the Universe a chance to make some few Declarations of Rights. We are living in a world of rules and regulations. Every game has a rule; you’ve also heard safety rules, rules of grammer, rule of law, rule of the land, rules of engagement (ROE), military rule, library rules, rule of court, rule of thumb, rule of force e.t.c. but intellectual dwarfs launch protestations when God frames His rules. When invited to someone’s house, you will struggle to conform to the standards and rules of that home. The while-in-Rome-do-as-Romans-do principle otherwise don’t go to Rome. But stupidity of man is manifested when he is invited in a home called planet earth, he does not respect the Owner and His rules, and to make things worse, man decides to establish his own rules (Way of life/Laws/Policy/Religion/Ideology). “Do they then seek the judgement of (the Days of) Ignorance? And who is better in judgement than Allâh for a people who have firm Faith.” [Q 5:50] And to escape from reality, man pretends that God did not reveal a certain code of behavior. Almost every country has a constitution. Some marvel at the ingenuity of this man-made document as in the example of a British prime minister, William Gladstone describing the US constitution as “. . . the most wonderful work ever struck off at a given time by the brain and purpose of man.”[3]When you open the American Constitution, the first thing you will come across is the following statement:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquillity, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.[4]

Someone might inquire: “Did your God ever ordain any document that is meant to establish Justice, insure domestic and international Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to people?” Again, am still troubled at hearing that God did not establish a constitution for mankind.

We are told that, “When Allah completed the creation, He wrote in His Book which is with Him on His Throne, “My Mercy overpowers My Anger.”[5]Moreover, Psalm 136 goes with repetitive message that “. . . His mercy endures forever”, but why would God abandon us on this planet without supplementing us with a systematic way/formula of living? According to the Qur’an, after Adam and Eve disobeyed God, they were expelled to earth, but God in his mercy promised them that He will send them a Manual from which the dwellers of earth will get guidance. Addressing them, God said, “Descend from it [i.e., Paradise] – all, [your descendants] being enemies to one another. And if there should come to you guidance (i.e. manual/revelation/scripture) from Me – then whoever follows My guidance will neither go astray [in the world] nor suffer. And whoever turns away from My remembrance (revelation) – indeed, he will have a depressed [i.e., difficult] life. . . .” [Q 20:123-124] So we see that through God’s enduring mercy, man is given a Life-Manual but because of man’s ignorance of the existence of the manual, his life becomes enveloped with difficulties. Those who assumed God didn’t lay down a systematic code of living didn’t utilize their huge frontal lobes to come up with a better idea. Behind wrong living is wrong thinking and just like operating any garget without a manual (or using a wrong manual) is distressful, similarly living without a God-given manual is stressful.

We know man should have a divine guidance either in the form of a Prophet or a Scripture, but what about those generations that lived prior the Torah, Gospels and Qur’an? The answer is very simple. God’s knowledge of the past outmatches the knowledge of all world historians and record keepers. The Qur’an describes God in the following format: “Allah – there is no deity except Him, the Ever-Living, the Sustainer of [all] existence. Neither drowsiness overtakes Him nor sleep. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. Who is it that can intercede with Him except by His permission? He knows what is [presently] before them and what will be after them, and they encompass not a thing of His knowledge except for what He wills . . . .”[Q 2:255] That is a God who knew the number of all galaxies even before man came up with the Hubble Telescope. And as you haven’t imagined, “. . . with Him (i.e. God) are the keys of the unseen; none knows them except Him. And He knows what is on the land and in the sea. Not a leaf falls but that He knows it. And no grain is there within the darknesses of the earth and no moist or dry [thing] but that it is [written] in a clear record.” [Q 6:59] As we browse through the verses of the Qur’an, the following message pops up: “. . . No fruit comes out of its sheath, nor does a female conceive (within her womb), nor brings forth (young), except by His (i.e. God’s) Knowledge.” [Q 41:47] So it means that God even knows the birthdays and deathdays of all the 6 billion people on earth! “And not absent from your Lord is any [part] of an atom’s weight within the earth or within the heaven or [anything] smaller than that or greater but that it is in a clear register (i.e. God knows it).” [Q 10:61] So Allah knows the word count of this book! And what if I say I have a secret that is confined in my heart and I haven’t confided it to anyone, would you say that Allah knows of it? “It is the same (to God)” Qur’an Chapter 13 verse 10 states, “whether any of you conceal his speech or declare it openly, whether he be hid by night or go forth freely by day (Allah knows all that).” In fact, even a mystified pregnant woman heading to hospital for an ultrasound check may get a miscarriage when she astonishingly discovers that “Allah knows what every female bears, and by how much the wombs fall short (of their time or number) or exceed.” [Q 13:8] He is a God who knows the weight of every mountain, a God who knows the exact number of litres of waters present in our oceans, a God who knows the exact number of raindrops when it rains. A God who knows all the leaves of plants and trees, a God who knows the precise number of people sleeping at this minute on this planet and the number of people who will wake up after exactly one hour from now. When we read the verse “And there is no creature on earth but that upon Allah is its provision, and He knows its place of dwelling and place of storage. . . .” [Q 11:6] does it mean that God knows the room I slept in last night? You should also know that God even knows that right now, right there, you are reading this book! So you mean “Allah is the All-Knower of everything.” [Q 64:11]. That’s my point.

Now, when such a God says “. . . We certainly sent into every nation a messenger (proclaiming): “Worship Allâh (Alone), and avoid (or keep away from) Tâghût (i.e. all false deities)….” [Q 16:36], no clever person should dispute. Even Muhammad was not fully aware of past history of divine guidance. God taught Muhammad saying, “And We (i.e God) have already sent messengers before you. Among them are those [whose stories] We have related to you, and among them are those [whose stories] We have not related to you.” [Q 40:78]. So not only is God aware of the fact that every nation had a messenger preaching the true religion, but also there is a “. . . Day (i.e. the Day of Resurrection) when Allah will resurrect them (i.e. mankind) all together and inform them of what they did. Allah has kept account of it, while they have forgotten it. And Allah is Witness over all things.” [Q 58:6] Because God is Just and “. . . His mercy endures forever.” [Psalm 136:1], every people/generation was given a manual on how to worship God. But because of the injustice of man, he doesn’t want to know whether God sent divine guidance and even if he acknowledges the existence of the Guidance, he doesn’t care its do’s and don’ts.

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{Excerpted from Salim Boss’ book “They are either Extremely Smart or Extremely Ignorant”. Buy the eBook  for $1.9 and the paperback for $9. Just click here to buy the book}

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REFERRENCES:


[1]. Nokia 1202/1203 User Guide in English. 9211638/ Issue 2, 2008.p.9.

[2]. Bukhari Vol.8, Bk.73, No.28. Also see Muslim, Bk. 37, No. 6635.

[3]. The Constitution of the United States of America, Analysis and Interpretation. Preface. By Alexander Willey. Washington D.C.,: United States Government printing Office, 1953.

[4]. The Constitution of the United States of America, Analysis and Interpretation. Washington D.C.,: United States Government printing Office, 1953. p.19.

[5]. Bukhari Vol.4, Bk. 54, No. 416. Also see Muslim Bk. 37, No. 6628.