Saturday, January 21, 2012
9. Human Robot Testing Programme and the Ultimate Fate of Man
We have already discussed why man is tested by God (see post 7). Since human biosystem is bestowed with free-will, it becomes imperative to test his obedience to Master – Allah – and willingness to act in the interest of God. Needless to say, obedience of man and his wilful submission to God form the most crucial criteria for judgment of his worth to serve God. Further, it is also necessary that the performance of human beings should be evaluated on individual basis for the obvious reason that no two individuals are created alike by Allah. A question that may be asked in this context is if human system is programmed to obey God, it would have obviated the need of the test. Any programmed system without freewill can act only as it is programmed. A ‘programmed obedience’ is quite different from voluntary obedience because in the latter case, the system consciously admits the authority and power of God thereby satisfying the Master’s ego, the attribute of Creator alone.
Test history of human race
The first test of human beings was that of Adam and Eve, which took place in the Garden where they were living after their creation. They were ordered by Allah not to touch a Tree there and if they did, they would become losers. Allah also cautioned them that the Satan is their enemy and to be on guard against it. But the Satan deceived them with alluring suggestions and they ate the fruit of the Tree. They were thus expelled from the garden by Allah to the earth with the instruction that when Allah’s guidance comes to mankind, whosoever follow it they will be on the right path and they do not have to fear or grieve. Whosoever reject it, they will fall into misery and reside in Hell for ever (Q. 2:38-39). Thus the test of mankind began on the earth. “Verily the Satan is an enemy to you; so treat him as enemy. He only invites his party to be the companions of the Blazing Fire.” (35:6). It is to make the test more effective Satan virus was incorporated into the biosoftware of human species (Adam’s nafs) by Iblis with the permission of Allah (Q. 38:80-85) as already discussed (see post 6). With the Satan virus in the system, which constantly lures human mind away from God’s guidance, only the most determined servants can stay on the right path. The successful human beings thus represent the most devoted servants of Allah. Indeed the efficiency of the divine test is greatly enhanced and the test is made foolproof by the presence of Satan virus.
As stated by Allah, it is binding on Him to provide guidance (Q. 2:38-39; 92:12) to human robots. This is necessary because unless and until human beings know who created them and for what purpose, why they are here, what God expects from them and what is their fate, etc., they will not be able to respond to the test the way God wants them to. So to convey His messages to human beings under test, Allah designed the most effective means of communication with them by choosing representatives from among themselves and appointing them as His messengers or prophets (Q. 4:165; 6:48; 10:2). “Is it a surprise to people that We conveyed (the message) to a person (Prophet Muhammad) from among themselves to warn people and to give good news to the believers that they have lofty rank of truth with their Lord? (But) the unbelievers said: “This (man) is indeed a clear magician!” (Q. 10:2). “Messengers are conveyors of good news and warners so that mankind, after (the coming) of the apostles, should not have any plea against Allah. And Allah is Mighty, Wise.” (Q. 4:165). “We had not sent the apostles except as bearers of good news and warners. So whoever believes and does good deeds, no fear shall be on them nor shall they grieve.” (Q. 6:48).
The history of mankind thus saw the advent of a string of prophets ending with Prophet Muhammad (Q. 10:47; 33:40). The Quran does not mention the names of all prophets. The names of Abraham, Ismail and Isaac, Jacob (Q. 2:133), Noah, David, Solomon, Job, Joseph, Moses, Aaron (Q. 6:84), Zakariya, John, Jesus, Elias (Q. 6:85), Elisha, Jonas and Lot (Q. 6:86) are among those mentioned in the Quran. Human communities are identified by their apostle. We are the nation of Muhammad, the last prophet in the series. “To every community is an apostle. Thus upon arrival of their apostle, judgement would be passed between them with justice and they will not be dealt with unjustly.” (Q. 10:47). “Muhammad is not the father of any of you, but (he is) messenger of Allah and the seal of the prophets. And Allah has full knowledge of all things.” (Q. 33:40).
All the prophets were human beings (Q. 14:11; 21:8) and males (Q. 12:109; 21:7). They all spoke the language of their people (Q. 14:4). Many prophets were bestowed with special abilities in order to convince the people of their divinity and authenticity. Thus we find that Prophet Moses could change a rod into a snake (Q. 7:106-109); Prophet Jesus could speak from the cradle, heal the sick, bring dead men back to life, restore eyesight to the blind, heal lepers, create living bird from clay, to cite but a few. All such superhuman feats performed by the prophets were actually acts of God (Q. 5:110, 112-115). Prophet Muhammad was not endowed with such superhuman abilities. Although people asked Prophet Muhammad for divine proof so that they could believe in the message he conveyed, Allah did not give because even if they are shown signs, they would not have believed (Q. 4:153; 6:37, 109, 111; 29:50-51). For the people of Prophet Muhammad, the Quran itself is the greatest miracle. Allah asks: “Is the Book (the Quran) We sent down to you (Prophet Muhammad), which is recited to them, not enough of (a miracle) for them? Verily, in that is mercy and Reminder to the believers.” (Q. 29:51).
Allah’s message conveyed through the messengers to humanity is simple and straight – to obey and worship the one and only God (tawhid). This is the basic tenet of Allah’s religion, Islam, which all the prophets preached (Q. 7:59, 65; 21:25). “We had not sent an apostle before you (Prophet Muhammad) except to convey to him, “There is no God but I; therefore serve (i.e., worship) Me”. (Q. 21:25). Prophet Muhammad also conveyed the same message – the oneness of God. “And your God is One God. There is no God but He, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.” (Q. 2:163).
History of mankind reveals that man worshipped virtually every object in sight considering it as God. Even today a large number of people believe in the existence of gods and goddesses and worship them. Obviously, clear warnings were given by God to refrain from joining partners (gods and goddesses) with Him. “Certainly, it has been revealed to you (Prophet Muhammad) and to those before you that: “If you were to join (gods with Allah), truly fruitless will be your deeds (in this life), and you will surely be among the losers.” So you worship Allah and be among the grateful.” (Q. 39:65-66). Whenever God’s messengers came to the people with the warning against joining partners with Allah, they mocked at them and rejected them. The Quran recounts to us the fate of those earlier nations (Q. 6:65; 7:4, 22:45). Allah destroyed them as they were rejecters of Faith. “Thus how many nations We had destroyed while they were engaged in wrongdoing! They tumbled down on their roofs. And how many wells were abandoned and lofty towers!” (Q. 22:45). And Allah asks us to travel through the earth and find out for ourselves how their end was. And He raised fresh generations in their place (Q. 3:137; 6:6). “Do they not see how many generations before them We had destroyed? We had made available to them on the earth what We had not given you. We had sent them the sky (i.e., rain) in abundance and We made the rivers flowing beneath them. Yet for their sins We destroyed them and raised another generation after them.” (Q. 6:6). Allah asks us to learn a lesson from the fate of earlier civilizations (Q. 7:100). “Is it not a guiding (lesson) to those who inherit the earth after its (previous) inhabitants that if We had so wished, We would have punished them (too) for their sins and sealed their minds so that they will not hear?” (Q. 7:100).
Even though the destruction of the cities and early nations were mentioned in the Quran, it is only recently that man ventured to trace the early history of man in a scientific manner. An examination of the archaeological finds belonging to the early civilizations that flourished in Mesopotamia (present Iraq where the first human civilization took place), Egypt, India and others would reveal that they all came up near the river banks (Euphrates, Tigris, the Nile, the Indus, the Ganges, etc.) confirming the message given in the Quranic verse cited above (Q. 6:6). Secondly, it is generally believed that many these civilizations had been buried underneath as a result of some natural calamities. The Quran reveals to us that the ancient people believed in gods and goddesses joining partners with Allah, the only God. This was why they were destroyed (Q. 30:42). The archaeological investigations of the ancient ruins had unearthed from almost every site, idols supposed to be representations of their gods and goddesses. These artefacts provide clear evidence of the nature of worship popular in those days. Their continued practice of worshipping gods, goddesses ignoring the warnings given by their prophets led to their own destruction (Q. 30:42). “Say: “Travel through the earth and see how was the end of those before (you). Most of them were mushriks.” (Q. 30:42). Besides the total destruction of the nations, the Quran also mentions several other methods of dealing with the wrong doers by Allah so that they receive admonition. To this list of punishments belong drought, food scarcity (crop failures), mass death, outbreak of locusts, lice, frogs, etc. (Q. 7:130, 132, 133).
The destructions and calamities were directed against worshipping false gods and goddesses, and joining partners with Allah. The message La ilaha illallah (There is no God but Allah) forms the most revered slogan of Islam. The messages revealed to the generations of mankind through a series of prophets show that. The doctrine of tawhid (God is one) revealed to the generations of mankind through a succession of prophets indicates that every prophet before Prophet Muhammad also preached Islam. The Holy Quran points to that in clear terms. “…Today I have perfected for you your religion, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion…” (Q. 5:3). “The religion before Allah is Islam (i.e., submission to His Will). The People of the Book split (into groups) because of mutual jealousy after knowledge had come to them. Whoever denies the messages (i.e., the Quran) of Allah, then (know) Allah is indeed swift in calling to account.” (Q. 3:19). “…He has chosen you and He has imposed no difficulties on you in religion. It is the religion of your father Abraham. It is He who named you Muslims, both before and in this (Quran). (That is) for the messenger to be a witness for you, and you (i.e., believers) the witnesses for the mankind. So establish the Prayer, give charity and hold on to Allah firmly. He is your guardian – the best to protect and the best to help.” (Q. 22:78).
In support of this Quranic declaration, we do not find the terms Judaism and Christianity used by Prophet Moses and Prophet Jesus in the Bible. Certainly, Prophet Moses was not preaching Judaism or a religion different from that preached by his predecessors. Similarly, Prophet Jesus did not say that he was preaching Christianity or a religion different from what his predecessors preached. None of the prophets including Prophet Muhammad told he was preaching a different religion, but they all said that they were preaching one and the same religion – the Religion of one and the only God. “It is He who sent down to you in truth the Book (i.e., the Quran) confirmin what went before it. And He sent down the Taurat (to Moses) and the Injeel (to Jesus) – before this, as guide to mankind. And He sent down the criterion (of judgment between right and wrong). Verily, those who reject the messages (ayat) of Allah have a severe penalty. And Allah is Mighty, Lord of retribution.” (Q. 3:3-4).
The Quran – the divine software of human guidance
Holy Book is defined here as the one containing only the messages of God (i.e., His own Words). There is only one Book now available in the world which fits into this definition. That is the Quran. The Quranic messages were transmitted through Gabriel (Rooh-ul-qudusi) onto the qalb of Prophet Muhammad (Q. 2:97; 16:102). Immediately after the opening sura (chapter) giving an important prayer, Almighty Allah proclaims to the world, the nation of Prophet Muhammad, thus: “That is the Book. No doubt about it. It is guidance to the God-conscious.” (Q. 2.2). And the Creator Himself takes it as His responsibility to protect it. “We have indeed sent down this Reminder (i.e., the Quran) and We will certainly guard it.” (Q. 15:9). The Quran is therefore under Allah’s protection and none can corrupt it. And no wonder, it has stood (and will stand) the test of time without change. The Quran is Allah’s directives to man and He is testing whether man obeys His directions and submits to Him voluntarily.
The Quran informs us it is the guidance (divine instructions) to mankind (Q. 2:2). Acceptance of Allah’s instructions by man is in effect similar to installation of particular software in computer, which is also a set of instructions for its operation. When a person accepts Allah’s instructions, it means that he has willingly and voluntarily installed the instructions (divine software) in his biosystem (in the memory, sadr). The individual henceforth lives in accordance with Allah’s directives. The individual who accepts the Quran and lives according to the directions contained therein becomes a totally programmed robot of Allah. In other words, not only the biological activities (that CPU carries out as per the biosoftware) but also the conscious activities commanded by mind (qalb) will also be now governed by the divine directions. This point can be made clear with an example. We come across situations in our daily life wherein human mind does not exercise its freewill but accepts the rules and laws prescribed by the government of the country. For instance, while driving a car one obeys the traffic rules irrespective of whether he likes those rules or not. If the red traffic light is on, he stops the vehicle, which he is driving, even if he is in an emergency. No one violates this rule. This is equivalent to forgoing one’s freewill and acting as per the installed instructions; in this case, the traffic rules. Similarly voluntary acceptance of Allah’s directions (Islam) by an individual will make him a totally programmed robot of Allah. He will no longer be living according to his likes and dislikes but only according to the likes and dislikes of Allah as per His directions. He becomes a dedicated robot of Allah – the true Muslim. “There is no compulsion in the religion (Islam). Verily, the right path has become distinctly clear from the wrong. Whoever rejects Tagut (i.e., some false god the Pagan Arabs were worshipping) and believes in Allah, then he has grasped a strong rope that will never break. And Allah hears and knows all things.” (Q. 2:256). Say: “This truth (i.e., the Quran) is from your Lord.” Then whoever wants (to believe), let him believe; and whoever wants (to reject), let him reject. Verily, We have kept for the wrongdoers Fire; its framework (i.e., smoke and flame) will envelop them. If they ask for help, they will be given a (kind of) water like molten metal capable of scalding their faces. What an awful drink and what a bad resting place!” (Q. 18:29). “Say: Obey Allah and obey the messenger. But if you turn away, he is only responsible for the duty placed on him and you for that placed on you. If you obey him, you shall be on right guidance. There is no responsibility on the messenger except to convey the clear (Quran).” (Q. 24:54). These messages unequivocally declare that Islam cannot be thrust upon any one. Forced or coerced conversion will not make a person Muslim. It is against Islam. In fact the prophets had been instructed thus. The responsibility of the prophet is only to convey Allah’s message and nothing more (Q. 24:54). It is up to the individual to accept them or not. It is from this fact the religion of God derives the name ‘Islam’ – submission to the Will of God.
Duration of the test and its termination
Allah has prescribed lifespan for each individual in his biosoftware (Q. 3:145). Death is also thus a programmed phenomenon (Q. 3:145; 4:78). Death is ordained in the biosoftware to terminate the test period of human beings. “(He) who created death and life to test which of you is best in deed. And He is the Mighty, Oft-Forgiving.” (Q. 67:2). When the biosoftware program (nafs) reaches the END instruction, the software gets deleted from the human biosystem. This removal of nafs results in death (Q. 6:93). The software is no longer present in the body and the body loses its life.
With death the test life of an individual comes to an end. The Quran further reveals what happens to the biosoftware deleted from the body, how resurrection of an individual from nafs takes place followed by evaluation of performance during the test period, final judgement and award of Heaven or Hell.
As death is ordained to terminate the test life of human beings, end of the universe is also ordained with the completion of the human robot testing programme. The process of re-creation of the universe is discussed in post 2. Re-creation of the next universe will pave way for the resurrection of the entire mankind who have undergone the test. The resurrection scenario has been described at many places in the Quran reminding man of meeting with the Creator and Final Judgement (Q. 2:45-46; 16:38; 17:49-52; 19:66-67; 22:5; 30:8; 50:3-5; 75:3-4, to cite but a few). Most people, however, find it hard to believe and they ignore this certainty. “Man says: What! When I am dead, shall I then be raised up alive? But does not man call to mind that We created him before out of nothing?” (Q. 19:66-67). “O mankind! if you have a doubt about the Resurrection, (consider) that We created you out of dust, then out of sperm, then out of a leech-like clot, then out of a morsel of flesh, partly formed and partly unformed, in order that We may manifest (our power) to you; and We cause whom We will to rest in the wombs for an appointed term, then do We bring you out as babes, then (foster you) that you may reach your age of full strength; and some of you are called to die, and some are sent back to the feeblest old age, so that they know nothing after having known (much), and (further), you see the earth barren and lifeless, but when We pour down rain on it, it is stirred (to life), it swells, and it puts forth every kind of beautiful growth.” (Q. 22:5). “Do they not reflect in their own minds? Not but for just ends and for a term appointed, did Allah create the heavens and the earth, and all between them: yet are there truly many among men who deny the meeting with their Lord (at the Resurrection)!” (Q. 30:8).
The Quran reveals that creation and resurrection of human beings is like that of a single nafs (Q. 31:28). It is clear that resurrection takes place from the biosoftware and not from the dead body, which decomposes in a short time. Since the resurrection is from the nafs, the mechanism of human re-creation represents the true cloning process, i.e., the creation of the facsimile of a person from his biosoftware. In order to re-create the same human individuals (from their nafs) who lived on this planet, their biosoftware must be available. This would mean that biosoftware (nafs) of human individuals have to be stored until resurrection.
The Quran tells us that it is from the earth everyone will be resurrected after death. “He (Allah) said: “You (Adam and Eve following their failure in the test in the Garden) get down with mutual enmity among yourselves. And on earth is your dwelling place and means of livelihood for a term (fixed).” He (Allah) said: “Therein shall you live and therein shall you die and from there shall you be brought out (i.e., resurrection).” (Q. 7:24-25). “From the (earth) We created you, into it We shall return you and from it We shall bring you out another time.” (Q. 20:55). The Quranic revelation of resurrection of the dead from the earth implies that the biosoftware (nafs) removed from the human body at death is stored in the earth spaces. The Quran also sheds light on the resurrection phenomena by citing analogies. “It is He Who brings out the living from the dead, and brings out the dead from the living, and Who gives life to the earth after it is dead: and thus shall you be brought out (from the dead).” (Q. 30:19). “And among His Signs in this: you see the earth barren and desolate; but when We send down rain to it, it is stirred to life and yields increase. Truly, He Who gives life to the (dead) earth can surely give life to (men) who are dead. For He has power over all things.” (Q. 41:39). “It is Allah Who sends forth the winds so that they raise up the clouds, and We drive them to a land that is dead (to cause rain), and revive the earth therewith after its death; even so (will be) the resurrection.” (Q. 35:9).
In these verses Allah uses the similitude of a dried-up land that comes back to life upon receiving the rain to explain to us the mode of resurrection of human robots. From the allegorical description of the process of giving life to dead earth by sending rain, we may infer that it will be by a similar process human beings will also be resurrected. “Giving life to a dead earth” is a figurative statement. Although the dried-up earth may look “dead” without vegetation it is not strictly dead because it preserves seeds, spores, etc., in a dormant condition. When rain falls down, water will break the dormancy of those seed materials that lie scattered on the parched earth, enabling them to germinate and grow. In the dormant condition, the seeds do carry biosoftware and are hence ‘alive’. However, the biosoftware is in a sort of “rest mode” with little or no execution of the program. When the dormant condition switches over to “operation mode” as happens when the raindrop falls on the dormant seed, the biosoftware starts executing. The dormancy is broken by the water drops. The dormancy is a natural strategy to tide over a difficult draught period. The water molecules serve as abiomemetic switch to trigger the execution of the biosoftware stored in the seed materials. Through this analogy the Quran says human beings will also be resurrected like that on the Judgement Day. This would necessitate storage of human biosoftware in the earth spaces in dormant condition. It may be noted in this context that it is carbon-based chromosome that stores the biosoftware while the body is alive. Perhaps the clay surfaces in the soil may be serving as storage medium for the biosoftware removed from the body at death. This is suggested here because clay is silicon-based material. Since silicon is closely related to carbon chemically, it may also have similar property (of storing biological information) as carbon. These “biomemetic niches” in soil can be considered equivalent to dormant seeds. Further the Quran reveals that: “And among His signs is the existence of the skies and earth by His command. Then when He calls you by a single call (on the Day of Resurrection), behold you (all) come out of the earth!” (Q. 30:25). This means that on the Day of Judgement a single command from Allah will trigger the biosoftware stored on the clay surfaces from ‘dormant mode’ to ‘execution mode’ resulting in the development of the respective individuals. This is the true cloning process! Here Allah’s command plays the role of water drop that brings the biosoftware of dormant seeds into operation mode.
Several Quranic verses add strength to the suggestion that human nafs is stored in the earth spaces and on the Day of Judgement (the Day of resurrection) people will come out from these resting places: “Does he not know when that which is in the graves (quboor) is raked up…” (Q. 100:9); “They will come out from (their) graves (ajdathi) with their eyes humbled like locusts scattered over.” (Q. 54:7); “The Day on which they come out of their graves (ajdathi) in sudden haste as if they were rushing to a goal.” (Q. 70:43). The terms qabr (plural quboor) and ajdathi are translated by translators M.H. Shakir, M. Pickthal and Mohsin Khan as “graves” (Q. 36:51; 54:7; 70:43) while Yusuf Ali translated the word as “sepulchers” (meaning “graves”) at Q. 36:51 and 70:43 and as “graves” at Q. 54:7. This conventional interpretation of these words to mean the place of burial of the dead body is obviously wrong because not all people are buried below the earth for religious and other reasons but yet they are resurrected from their graves. Moreover as already discussed, the Quran reveals that resurrection of human beings is from nafs. Therefore the term “graves” implies myriads of biosoftware niches on the earth where biosoftware (nafs) of dead people are stored. This interpretation is further strengthened by the description of ajdathi as resting place or place of sleep (Q. 36:51-52) and the kind of feeling people will have while being resurrected. Between death and resurrection, one would feel as if he had hardly spent an hour (Q. 10:45) and was in sleep (Q. 36:51-52).
Following resurrection, human beings will be judged individually based on their dossiers (information on performance during test life stored in sadr) and the successful will be admitted to Heaven (the earth of the re-created universe) and the losers will enter Hell.
Heaven – the Muslim Earth
As can be logically expected, the re-created universe will have more or less the same environment and components as that of the present universe because the laboratory environment (present Earth) in which human robots are tested should be similar to the environment of the final abode (next Earth or Heaven) where the successful robots are deployed forever. The re-created earth of the next universe is the Heaven promised by Allah where the successful human robots will live forever serving Allah (Q. 21:105). This means there will be no more deletion of biosoftware (nafs) from the body. This is understandable because death is required only to terminate the test life. Allah’s declaration (Q. 21:104) that He will create another universe as He created the first one (the present universe) also suggests that the re-created universe will have more or less the same environmental conditions suggesting the laws and rules (physics and chemistry) of the next universe will be almost similar to the present one. It will be different in certain respects like size (the size of next Earth will be equal to that of the present universe), eternal nature (Q.57:12; 43:74), Allah’s bounties, provisions, etc. “One day the earth will be changed to a different earth, and so will be the skies and (men) will be marshalled forth, before Allah, the One, the Irresistible.” (Q. 14:48). “Be quick in the race for forgiveness from your Lord, and for a Garden (Heaven) whose width is that (of the whole) of the skies and the earth, prepared for the righteous.” (Q. 3:133). “Be you foremost (in seeking) Forgiveness from your Lord, and a Garden (of Bliss), the width whereof is as the width of the sky and the earth, prepared for those who believe in Allah and His apostles: that is the Grace of Allah, which He bestows on whom He pleases: and Allah is the Lord of Grace abounding.” (Q. 57:21).
The Quran provides a fairly good account of the physical environment of the new Earth as well as its biosphere. The biosphere will be composed of not only human beings but all other living beings (plants, animals, etc.) as well. “(Here is) a parable of the Garden which the righteous are promised: in it are rivers of water incorruptible; rivers of milk of which the taste never changes; rivers of wine, a joy to those who drink; and rivers of honey pure and clear. In it there are for them all kinds of fruits; and Grace from their Lord…” (Q. 47:15). “There is not an animal (that lives) on the earth, nor a being that flies on its wings, but (forms part of) communities like you. Nothing have We omitted from the Book, and they (all) shall be gathered to their Lord in the end.” (Q. 6:38). “Reclining in the (Garden) on raised sofas they will see there neither sun’s (excessive heat) nor excessive cold.” (Q. 76:13). Garden will be full of fruits hanging low in humility (Q. 76:14), and people will be wearing silk there (Q. 76:12). “But give glad tidings to those who believe and work righteousness, that their portion is Gardens, beneath which rivers flow. Every time they are fed with fruits there from, they say: “Why, this is what we were fed with before,” for they are given things in similitude; and they have therein companions pure (and holy); and they abide therein (forever).” (Q. 2:25). “Whatever they wish they will get therein (Heaven). They will dwell (there) forever, a promise to be asked for from your Lord.” (Q. 25:16). They will have everything in plenty. That is the Heaven promised by Allah to His successful human robots. Since the inhabitants of Heaven are human beings totally submitted to the will of Allah, Heaven can be rightly called the Muslim Earth. They will live there forever.
With the deployment of the righteous human robots in Heaven and the rest in Hell, Allah’s mission revealed through the Quran comes to an end.