A choice must be made: Believe the word or God and follow him alone or follow a different path that takes one way from pure devotion

We are just half-way through the Qur’an and this appears to be its main message, repeated many times thus far. 

Each of the following would define “God” differently, but Moses gave the same message:

This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Joshua did as well:

Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. (Joshua 24:15)

The simple message from Jesus to his disciples (then and now) was the same:

As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him. (Mark 1:16-18)

Paul also saw the choice as a contrast:

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. (Colossians 3:1-2)

Two ways and two destinies.  There was much in this surah that describes each destiny.  First, Paradise is pictured as well-watered gardens perpetually in bloom and lush.  The garden provides a neverending food supply and constant shade.  The word “perpetual” is used three times in this passage.  In this “excellent” place one is surrounded by ancestors, spouses and descendants.  Paradise is a place of family love, provision, and comfort. 

On the other hand, the Fire is described as “dreadful” and “torment.”  Just the name itself conjures up the typical images of Hell.  The one whose destiny is the Fire stands “defenseless before God.”  Most interesting is that there will be “unceasing disaster” and that this disaster is described in a “here and now” sort of way.  The Fire is your worst nightmare, right here, right now.           

But why should one leave a worldview they have always had and listen to Muhammad?  Creation is a strong witness to the reality and power of God (see yesterday’s post).  Though, according to today’s reading ultimately it comes down to whether one is willing to believe the Qur’an.  Allah is not terribly interested in being known through miracles; one knows Him through words (13:38).  Allah’s main persuasive agency is the Qur’an. 

According to this surah, the Qur’an is the “more” that we said yesterday was needed.  Creation may convince one of a Higher Power, but it is ultimately the words of the Qur’an that reveal this Power to be Allah. 

Of course, it comes down to faith even still, doesn’t it?  Is there good reason to believe that the words of this one man Muhammad are in fact the words of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob?