Self-Improvement Study Guides - Study Guide 10: The God Within
STUDY GUIDE 10
THE GOD WITHIN
Surah 2 Section 4:
"Greatness of Man and Need
of Revelation" (Read footnotes)
Surah 6 Verse 166
Surah 14 Verses 32-33
(to end of paragraph 4)
Will of God Part III
Review entire lecture
ALLAH (GOD) SHARES HIMSELF WITH HUMAN BEINGS. HOWEVER, WHEN GOD SHARES HIMSELF WITH US, HE GIVES US A DIFFICULTY TO OVERCOME. WE HAVE TO STRUGGLE WITH THE LIFE FORCE THAT IS WITHIN US, WHICH IS THE ONLY FORCE THERE IS, THERE IS NO OTHER FORCE BUT GOD. THERE IS BUT ONE LIFE THAT IS GIVEN TO US AND THAT IS DIVINE LIFE.
(HOLY QUR'AN READING: 'AND WHEN THY LORD SAID TO THE ANGELS, I AM GOING TO PLACE A RULER IN THE EARTH, THEY SAID, WILT THOU PLACE IN IT SUCH AS MAKE MISCHIEF IN IT AND SHED BLOOD? AND WE CELEBRATE THY PRAISE AND EXTOL THY HOLINESS. HE SAID: SURELY I KNOW WHAT YOU KNOW NOT.")
Please read and review the terms in the GLOSSARY on the next page before discussing the subject matter contained in this study guide. Please feel free to make comments and ask questions about these definitions as your circle goes over them with the coordinator.
SELF The uniting principle, underlying all subjective experience. That which knows, remembers, desires, suffers. Being the same throughout; being of one with the rest. "Oneself".
I The first self; the nominative singular pronoun used by a speaker in referring to himself. The ninth letter of the alphabet.
EGO The "1" or "Self" of any person; a person of thinking, feeling and willing, distinguishing itself from the selves of others and from the objects of its thought. The enduring and conscious element that knows experience.
In psychoanalysis (not a pure science), "ego" refers to the part of the psychic apparatus that experiences and reacts to the outside world and thus mediates between the primitive drives of the id and the demands of the social and physical environment.
The "ego" has a tendency to centralize all. action around itself.
ID The part of the psyche residing in the unconscious that is the source of instinctive energy. The primal urge and impulse which seeks self preservation and self-satisfaction in accordance with need and pleasure. It is modified by the "ego" before given overt expression, unless it is uncontrolled.
RULER One who rules. One who exercises dominating power, authority, or influence over; governs; decides or declares judicially; exercises authoritative guidance or direction. (From the Latin word "regul", meaning "by a straight stick" or "pattern".)
"The original word Khalifah (from khalafa, meaning "he came after or succeeded another that had perished or died"), means primarily a successor and hence, the supreme or the greatest ruler who supplies the place of him who has been before him ... one who judges among or rules, the Creatures of Allah by His command."
"This ('I am going to place a ruler in the earth') shows the high place that man was destined to hold in the whole of creation. What is stated here in an allegorical description of the preference of man above the whole of creation on earth and then of the election of those righteous servants of Allah from among men themselves who lead others into the right path." (Footnote 48 Holy Qur'an, Maulana Muhammad Ali Translation)
"The early Islamic state organization, which combined the offices of the spiritual and the temporal head of the community, was ... the most perfect which the history of statecraft can show. The head of state considered himself responsible to God, in the first place, for the exercise of his temporal authority.
There exists a misconception in some quarters that the Islamic state was a theocracy. The head of the Muslim state never considered himself a representative of God on earth, but as a representative of men who had chosen him to serve them; nonetheless, he certainly considered himself responsible to God for every act he did in the exercise of his authority. All people, including the ruler, had equal rights and obligations and were subject to the same law." (The Religion of Islam, Maulana Muhammad Ali. Page 626)
"In Hebrew, 'ruler' means 'Elohim', or 'God', 'Divine Essence', 'Will', 'Divine Force'." (Self-lmprovement, D. 13
"Elohim" (English form 'God'), the first of the names of Deity, is a plural noun in form, but is singular in meaning when it refers to the True God ... Genesis 1:26-27 gives the general account of the creation of man, and Genesis 2:7, the particular. The revealed facts are: Man was created ... there is an unbridgeable chasm between man and beast; the highest beast has no God-consciousness (spiritual nature) ... Man was made in the 'image and likeness' of God. This image is found chiefly in the fact that man is a personal, rational and moral being. While God is infinite and man is finite, nevertheless, man possesses the elements of personality similar to those of the Divine Person: thinking, feeling, willing...a moral nature ... made up of body, mind and soul ... The purpose of God is one. Man created in God's image was placed in sovereignty over the earth, crowned with glory and honor, yet subject to his Creator. The Divine Intention was and is that man should have fellowship with God in obedience." (Schofield Reference Bible, p. 1, footnote 3; p-3, footnote 2)
SUPER-EGO Psychological term for the Self-Accusing Spirit. "A great change takes place only when the authority is internalized through the establishment of the super-ego. The phenomena of conscience then reach a higher stage. Actually, it is not until now that we should speak of conscience or a sense of guilt. At this point, the fear of being found out come to an end; the distinction between doing something bad and wishing to do it disappears, since nothing can be hidden from the super-ego, even thoughts ... The super-ego torments the sinful ego with feelings of anxiety
and is on the watch for opportunities of getting it Punished by the external world ... As long as things go well with a man, his conscience is lenient and lets the ego do all sorts of things; but when misfortune befalls him, he searches his soul, acknowledges his sinfulness, heightens the demands of his conscience, imposes abstinence on himself and punishes himself with penances..."
1) The Holy Qur'an teaches us that Allah says "Be!" and it is. He does not desire or need permission to execute His Will. Who are the angels? Why did He inform them of His intentions beforehand?
2) What is meant by placing "a ruler in the earth"?
3) Why did the angels express anxiety and doubt over the decision made by the Lord of the worlds?
4) Even after expressing their concern, the angels said "we celebrate Thy praise and extol Thy holiness". Why was His holiness recognized by the angels in this exchange with Allah (God)?
5) Did Allah (God) do as He intended and place a ruler in the earth? What evidence is there that He did so?
6) Is there a connection between this action on the part of Allah (God) and our personal development? If so, what is it?
7) What was His purpose in placing a ruler in you and me?
8) By what means is He achieving His purpose?
9) What role, if any, do we have in the methodology Allah (God) uses to achieve this purpose?
10) We know that the Sun is not the center of the Universe; it is very near the center. How- do we know it is not the Center? What spiritual significance does this natural phenomenon have for us?
1) There is but one force: the Life Force. Each of the 99 attributes of Allah (God) is a force. Beneficence is guided by a force; Mercy is guided by a force. Retribution is guided by a force. In sharing Himself with man, God has placed these same forces or powers in the human being.
These forces may be used for negative ends or positive ends. In order to serve positive ends, the forces must be controlled. Allah (God) is the uniting principle bringing these forces into submission to His singular Will, to accomplish a certain objective. The dialogue taking place in Holy Qur'an 2:30 is actually the God, the Ruler, reasoning with the forces within Himself. He says, "I", for He is the uniting principle, "am going to place a ruler in the earth.' Then He allows the contrariness of the various forces (angels) to come up. Through reasoning with them, He unites them behind His Will; He unites His own Self-Community that He may go on with His Plan.
This same process occurs within us, as He has placed some of Himself within us. When we think to do a thing, other thoughts come up within us, questioning the move, or objecting to the move. We must then reason with ourselves to reach a conclusion, for confusion within Self has a chilling effect on movement. When we are confused, unsure, we cannot take action. So here, Allah (God), says to the questioning forces within Himself, 'I know what you know not."
The Arabic word for "angel" is "malak". It is said to be derived from "malaka", meaning "he controlled", and refers to the angels function of controlling the forces of nature on the physical side of life, or from "alk", which means "to send", referring to their function of acting as intermediaries between God and Man.
2) "I am going to place a ruler in the Earth." Not on the Earth, but in the Earth. Where did you come from? Your flesh is from ... the vegetation of the Earth. Your bone is from ... the stone of the Earth. Your blood is from ... the water of the Earth. This lump of flesh and blood and bone has to have a ruler in it. Something that commands it; something that dominates it.
"...God is going to form this body and He knows that you are supreme above the Sun, Moon and Stars; above all the creatures. You are the Supreme Existence --- Man and Woman. He is going to place in you a ruler."
"In Hebrew, 'ruler' means 'Elohim' or 'God', 'Divine Essence', 'Will', 'Divine Force'. God shares Himself with Man and Woman. The only reason you can say I is because the True I has shared a part of His I AM with you, that you may be� He, Allah, God, places in you a Power Himself...."
3) Look at the time and the source of the revelation of His intentions. The Holy Qur'an was revealed 1400 years ago, bringing this declaration, pot in past occurring now. In giving His wisdom and knowledge to man, God is breaking the circle of 24 scientists who have kept this divine power among itself. This decision causes great distress, because the angels, observing man's behavior, which is already degenerating, are certain that when he is given the power of
God, he will do nothing but create mischief and shed blood (kill). They already know what the God of Moon did 66 trillion years ago through misuse of Divine Power, so they are shocked that God would consider placing that same power in such an ill-equipped creature as Man.
"The Angels say, 'You are Holy. Why would you do a thing like this?' And God says, 'I know what you know not.' (Self-improvement, p. 12)
"God declares His Will to the angels, the controlling forces of nature, to create Man, who is meant to rule the forces of nature, and to whom, therefore, power to rule is to be delegated. Being entrusted with such great powers, man could use them rightly or wrongly, and it is to this fear of abuse of power that the angels give expression ... The whole history of man is briefly written in this one verse.
Man is the greatest killer on Earth, but he also turns the gifts of God to the best use ... to God was known the brighter side as well as the darker side of this picture. Hence the words, 'I know what you know not." Holy Qur'an Footnotes 48-50, Maulana Muhammad Ali Translation
4) While giving expression to their concern over the darker side of humanity (mischief-making and bloodshedding), the angels still declare that they realize this is not the Divine purpose for placing His Power in man, because Allah (God) is Holy; he is "free from all imperfections". (See footnote 51, Holy Qur'an, Maulana Muhammad Ali)
5) "God is a man and we just cannot make Him other than man, lest we make Him an inferior one; for man's intelligence has no equal in other than man. His wisdom is infinite; capable of accomplishing anything that His brain can conceive. A spirit is subjected to us and not we to the spirit." (Message To The Blackman, p. 6)
"Allah is He Who created the heavens and the earth and sent down water from the clouds, then brought forth with it fruits as a sustenance for you, and He has made the ships subservient to you to run their course in the sea by His command, and He has made the rivers subservient to you ... And He has made subservient to you the night and the day ... And He gives you all you ask of Him. And if you count Allah's favours, you will not be able to number them. Surely man is very unjust, very ungrateful." (Holy Qur'an 14:32,33)
"...Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the Earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth." (Genesis 1:28)
Many people perceive the setting up of a ruler and the establishment of a kingdom as a man sitting on a gold chair, wearing flowing robes and a crown.
The true meaning is that Allah (God) is settling Himself on the brain (throne) of Man, by placing His own depth of Knowledge, Wisdom and Understanding within us.
"And He is Who created the heavens and the earth in six periods; and His Throne of Power is ever on water that He might manifest (the good qualities in) you whoever of you is best in deeds." (Holy Qur'an 11:7).
6) When he placed a ruler in us, He placed something inside to lead us and give us guidance by which we may be successful.
There are things that you instinctively know are gifts; you don't have to be taught that. The nature of you is created that way. There are other things that you have to learn, but most of us know right from wrong. It is an instinctive thing that God puts right in the nature of you.
So when there is a moral consciousness, your mind says: "I shouldn't do that. I am wrong." Then you are coming awake. And, when you are condemning your own- actions, then there is an awakening of moral consciousness. You are coming out of an animal stage into a moral stage of development; that is a very good sign. But when you can do evil with impunity and don't feel anything, you are dead morally, dead spiritually and you are an animal in your so-called human existence.
We lived, in a world that is spiritually and morally underdeveloped and man's potential to become human has not been realized..."
Allah (God) is evolving us through the Holy Qur'an. Throughout this 6,000 year period, starting with the prophets, He has slowly but surely prepared us for the position of His vicegerent. During this time, we have become lower and lower in our expression, so it appears we are regressing rather than progressing. But it is only when we reach our lowest state that He may lift us up. Only when we are prostrate in submission, may we be used to serve His purpose. This year, 1987, we see men falling in every area of life. The 87th Surah, "The Most High" tells us that through glorification of God, man can rise to the highest place He is capable of rising. .
7) Prophet Muhammad is reported to have attributed these words to Allah (God): "I loved that I should be known, so I created man." (See footnote 2770, Holy Qur'an, Maulana Muhammad Ali Translation)
It is Allah's (God's purpose to bring us to perfection through the struggle to overcome difficulty.
"And We shall certainly try you with something of fear and hunger and loss of property and lives and fruits; and give good news to the patient, who, when a
misfortune befalls them, say: 'Surely we are Allah's and to Him we shall return.' Those are the on whom are blessings and mercy from their Lord and those are the followers of the right course." (Holy Qur'an, 2:155-1 57)
"Nothing will afflict us save what Allah has ordained for us." (9:51), is in reference to Allah's (God's) Will, which is that we are made to suffer for our own perfection.
8) "He (God) is going to place in you a ruler. But, the ruler that He puts in you has got to come through stages of development and on its way it is going to create mischief and cause the shedding of blood ..." (Self-Improvement, p. 1 3)
"The universal law is fully explained in (87:1-3): 'Glorify the name of thy Lord, the Most High, Who creates, then makes complete, and Who measures, then guides'. Four things are mentioned regarding every object of creation, including man: its creation, its completion, its measure and its guidance to its goal." (Religion of Islam, p. 263 Maulana Muhammad Ali)
"Man can be an animal or man can reflect Allah (God). You start in this world, like a fish, swimming in a bag of water. You evolve out of that and you come forth crawling; like other crawling things on Earth. Allah (God) never intended for you to be an animal. He wanted you to be a perfect reflection of Himself (Holy Qur'an, 11:7). But, there must be a coming out of the animal stage of development into a moral consciousness, where you have a spirit in you that accuses you for what you do, based on that which you know instinctively is right." (Holy Qur'an 75:2) (Self-improvement, pages 14-16).
9) When God shares Himself with us, he gives us a problem to overcome ... We have to struggle with the only force that is in us, which is the Life Force. There is no other force but God.
There is but one life and that is Divine Life. All life comes from water ... H20 has three... forms, depending upon the condition of the atmosphere ... Solid (ice)... Liquid ... Gas (steam) ... Ice is the opposite of steam. God is the opposite of the Devil. There is but one life. God gives you life ... How do we live it? ... If we live it in a negative way, under the influence of our own Life Force and will not struggle to master it, then we become a devil in our person. We become an opposer to the Will of God in our person. There is no devil outside of us giving us hell, it is the devil of ourselves raising hell with Self and on the Earth.
What role do we have in achieving God's purpose? "The more we struggle to gain mastery over Self, the closer we come to God. It is faith in God that stretches us towards Him. It is our faith in Him that makes us move closer to Him to connect with Him. And when we connect with Him, Heaven and Earth meet."
10) If the Sun were the center of the Universe, it would remain in its central position with all things revolving around it. But the Sun itself revolves around the Unseen Reality that makes it move.
What is it in us (human beings) that cause us to seek to be the center of attention? Why do we actually feel pain when we see another human being receive attention?
It is the God Force within us. Allah knows He is the center, so the God within us is reaching for Allah, but in reaching, we don't realize that the God within us is not the Lord of the worlds. The true center of the Universe, the true center of Power is not the power itself, but the author of the power, but in the search we get misled by the power itself.
The pain we feel when someone else gets attention is the God Force inside saying "I am God and besides Me there is no other god." This is our struggle. We must wrestle with this force, otherwise we make mischief with it.
The various means that the God has allowed to check that force. Fear; Reward (delayed gratification); Religion. This is allowed so that the Force does not wreak havoc on the planet while the person is struggling to overcome it.
God has placed His Essence in man. He has 99 attributes, including Destroyer (Killer). But His Attributes are in balance. In nature, all things kill to live, a snake kills and eats a rat. You can't blame the snake for eating the rat or the rat for being eaten. This is in accordance with the nature of both and therefore it is in line with the Law of Justice.
But here is a man, a human being, who is a killer and doesn't even know why he is killing people. This is result of misuse or unable to control the God Force.
Satan told God, "I will come in the straight path", meaning I will come right through their nature.
The most profound statement the Honorable Elijah Muhammad made, "God is a Man."