The Nature of God

Editorial

The presence of evil in the world has often given rise to the question that if God is so Powerful and so Merciful then why does He not rid the world of such misery? Why does He not crush the work of Satan once and for all? Surely that would result in peace and enable mankind to live in harmony. The difficulty with such a solution is that it overlooks the very purpose of creation itself. The object of the creation of man as set out in the Holy Qur’an is the worship of God the Creator (Ch.51:V.57) and it is this worship that enables man to draw closer to God. This worship is not merely the offering of the daily salat. Although that is an obligatory element, any effort that seeks to earn the pleasure of Allah merits reward. The Qu’ran sets out very clearly the attributes of God and the actions of man that earn nearness to Him and these are further supplemented by the life- example of the Holy Prophet(saw). For example man must be honest, just and merciful and if he is not then he is giving way to the Satanic forces that constantly seek to pull him away from the path to God. The misery we see in this world is a reflection of man’s failure to suppress the satan within him. However, by struggling to overcome negative temptations and striving for positive actions man progresses and gains Allah’s pleasure. Such a struggle can only take place when there is a force that needs to be resisted and overcome. Take away the negative force and the struggle and you take away the ability for man to progress and earn his reward. In this issue of The Review of Religions we reprint an interview of The Promised Messiah(as) by Professor Wragge of England, 2 The Review of Religions – June 2006 Fareed Ahmad – Newquay, UK EDITORIAL then living in the outbacks that took place in 1908 that tackles this very issue. It is fascinating to see that the questions that troubled the intellectuals of that time are not very different from the questions that trouble the mind of modern man. Similarly the answers that were so eloquently given by the Promised Messiah(as) remain as true today as they did nearly a century ago – no doubt a living testament to the timeless message of Islam and its guidance as set out in the Holy Qur’an. 3 EDITORIAL The Review of Religions – June 2006 References to the Holy Qur’an item count ‘Bismillah…’ (In the Name of Allah…) as the first verse of each Chapter. In some non- standard texts, this is not counted and should the reader refer to such texts, the verse quoted in The Review of Religions will be found one verse less than the number quoted. In this journal, for the ease of non-Muslim readers, ‘(saw)’ or ‘saw’ after the words, ‘Holy Prophet’, or the name ‘Muhammad’, are used. They stand for ‘Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam’ meaning ‘Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him’. Likewise, the letters ‘(as)’ or ‘as’ after the name of all other prophets is an abbreviation meaning ‘Peace be upon him’ derived from ‘Alaihis salatu wassalam’ which are words that a Muslim utters out of respect whenever he or she comes across that name. The abbreviation ‘ra’ or (ra) stands for ‘Radhiallahu Ta’ala anhu and is used for Companions of a Prophet, meaning Allah be pleased with him or her (when followed by the relevant Arabic pronoun). Finally, ‘ru’ or (ru) for Rahemahullahu Ta’ala means the Mercy of Allah the Exalted be upon him. In keeping with current universal practice, local transliterations are preferred to their anglicised versions, e.g. Makkah instead of Mecca, etc.