A deist is a person who believes God is one, is not supernatural, and who believes that religious truths are discovered rather than given supernaturally. You can be both a deist and a Muslim, don't listen to people who probably never took a second to try and reconcile the two. Deists involve America's founders as well as the founders of quantum physics. They include Albert Einstein, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Adam Smith (the guy who influenced market economics in the west), Aristotle, Benjamin Franklin, Cicero, Dmitri Mendeleev (the periodic table of elements guy), the guy from Bad Religion, George Washington, Isaac Newton, James Madison, Leonardo Da Vinci, Mark Twain, Max Planck, Neil Armstrong, Nick Cave, Thomas Edison, Thomas Paine, Victor Hugo, Voltaire, William Loyd Garrison and a host of other nobel prize winners for breakthroughs in knowledge, mathematicians and scientists, revolutionaries, anarchists and abolitionists, nature lovers (like John Muir) and artists, and Jewish, Christian and Muslim thinkers alike, all listed here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_deists Can one really be a Muslim and a deist?
God Doesn’t Move, People Do
According to deism, the universe is the unfolding of God, the way a flower grows and unfolds itself from a seed; the way a watch runs after it is wound up. This gets rid of the egotistical desire for God to "do things." Even when we ask God to do things for others, we are really just being vain unless we ask for something that already happened/ is happening. For a deist Muslim, knowledge of how things are supposed to play out based on the measure of one's provisions (DNA, experiences based on inevitable cause and effect, the person's ability to control their consciousness, etc.) is only with God.
We can hope, and praying for others is a great way to get us out of our own egos/heads. It's simply an affirmation that we care about others, an affirmation that our litany of "I should have done this" or "I shouldn't have said that" and drama and resentment and self-pity is not the whole world. But when it comes to ourselves, it is more realistic to say "Whatever Gold wills, I will work to accept it" and to meditate on our intentions to work on bettering our selves so that when we do interact with others, it might influence them to better themselves as we lead by example and insightful speech. This is more useful than using prayer as a "wish list" and by being peace, love, and the other things we wish to see, we might spread them so that our hopes and prayers do come true.
talking with God
It makes perfect sense to converse with our inner strength and inner wisdom and address it as God. We just must keep in mind that any clarity or insight we get through this is being put into language, concepts, and a cultural place in time. God transcends these things, so it's a diluted form of God (most Muslims say angels are the process of transmission between our higher selves and God, but have addressed God- like Mary did). God in Islam is "closer to you than your jugular"
It is said when a person feels distant from God, you ask them "Did God move, or did you?" The answer is always that they moved. Think of terrorists or people who commit suicide due to depression. Did God abandon them, or did they abandon God*?
*not that depression is the willful abandonment of God, some people have harder circumstances where they were never taught skills, and brain chemistry is altered beyond their control and only God can judge them, not me. More on this in a future post about Justice and why bad things happen to good people if a good God exists
Truth Doesn’t Move, Minds Realize It
God is always there for us, but God is also immovable. God doesn't have emotions because that means God can change. God's revelation and mercy is always there, waiting for people who are receptive to it. Everyone who prays to God for guidance is putting themselves in a more receptive state of mind. When people meditate, their brain waves slow down to alpha and theta waves. Our right brains (as opposed to the left hemisphere) become more passive and receptive to guidance, knowledge, and ultimately answers during prayer. Muhammad (Peace be upon him) simply meditated in the cave to the point where one leaves their individual ego consciousness and joins the immovable Source, a feat which only prophets experience as the communication of God to them.
Language dilutes God because God does not speak languages. That's why angels exist, they translate the immovable word of God, which is beyond words, to language we can understand. Angels are simply a process of understanding universal truths.
Why do you think every religion has The Golden Rule? There is a Hadith (a saying of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him) that there are thousands of prophets. Also, prophets are limited but messengers are not. Everytime a mother teachers her child the golden rule, she is giving them a heart, an ability to go beyond the ego, that is. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said "Heaven lies at the feet of the mothers." Every religion therefore is rightly-guided insofar as it has commonalities with Islam, such as the laws of justice and fairness, limits of the ego, directing our highest love to the right place (beyond the impermanent world) so that loving and appreciating temporary things or opinions does not turn into worship; charity and wealth redistribution; the basic worth and dignity of being a human, etc.
Muhammad (peace be upon him), like Jesus before him (peace be upon him), had insights about Universal Truths and knew these insights were not a part of his own ego consciousness. Verily, they came from On High. These truths were applied to his current situation in political history, and his personal live as well. such was the case of Muhammad(peace be upon him)'s mistake by banning honey because his wives said it made his breath stink. Once one knows the Truth, it is a force beyond them which reminds them of it. We can see that play out in our daily lives when we battle with our conscience (the Quran says we all have a bit of God's light breathed in us- inner strength and wisdom) and read the Declaration of Independence "We are endowed with our creator with rights" as the source of our law. We and our laws are not prophets, we just take universal truths and apply them to our lives and societies. That's what prophets did; they just did it better than us because they were more receptive.
But Isn’t Punishment Divine Intervention?
There are many forms of justice that occur naturally, without need of an interventionist God. I will post about this later. Now it is enough to say two things:
The prophets are all mentioned as “warners”. Like how some of the parents of children who died in school shootings, they blame not just the killer but society. The role that “bad guys” play in society is important because it alerts society’s attention to neglected areas, the way that pain in the body alerts the mind to an area that needs assistance. The prophets of the Quran are said to be people who diagnosed that there were spiritual solutions to the problems of oppression, injustice, and attitudes of cynicism, depression, and arrogance. How much further along has society got on these terms?
The Quran gave women the right to divorce and own property long before the Europeans and their American colonists did; the Buddhists (they came up with cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy) and Sufi Muslims (they came up with “This too shall pass”) used meditation, mantras and coping skills that are now being used by psychologists and doctors everywhere. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Albert Einstein were, like the prophets, socialists in their political philosophy and yet both had quotes saying that the solutions to our problems will come from a change in consciousness, not the law.
There is nothing new under the sun, indeed.
Judgment Day as Inevitable Reality Based Off Our Unique Actions
I don't pretend to fully understand this, but I grow more in understanding each day.
Karma helps makes God's justice instant. The Quran constantly talks about people who sin but are only hurting themselves. The Last Day is likely a scientific inevitability by the laws of balance which govern our universe. No need to believe in an interventionist Allah. We (our souls) will go back to our source just like our bodies will go back to their source, the earth; while bodies fall down when people die and sink into the earth due to natural forces of gravity and decomposition; souls go back to God through their own natural forces, not because of divine intervention.
The Quran mentions people who, at their death, witness their own deeds from a perspective where they realize what they did wrong. How could a thing go back to its source without realizing how far from its source it was? Water evaporates back to clouds; likewise, even in life, people look back at their younger days and see a huge gulf between where they were then and where they are now. I’m talking morally and in terms of self-awareness and personal growth, not physical location. Allah set things up perfectly.
A drop of water returning to a body of water often finds itself drifting through intense rapids and dangerous waterfalls. The adjustment from leaving the body to returning to God is as painful as the ego and its illusions are strong, which could be why the Quran says that all Muslims go to hell when they die, but some stay longer than others. The strength of our ego's attachments to this world and to its limited beliefs determines the length of stay / degree of intensity of hell. We have a longer journey back to the source when we worship the ego.
Staying close to God during life is like a raindrop that lands in the part of the river nearest the ocean. We never know how close to the ocean we are, so we cannot get arrogant and assume we will get to heaven. If we are all ego, in fact, we will absorb into clay like water that neither evaporates nor drifts back to the ocean. A fitting “punishment” that turns out not to be a punishment after all, just a law of nature.
The Quran describes how God’s attributes is Light so ineffable it is beyond the category of a thing. Angels are the transmission of universal truths (math, human rights, laws of physics, etc.) that lay dormant in the void empty of things (God is no-thing) from light to darkness; they are subtle light information we grasp when we are “enlightened” or a “lightbulb” goes off in our heads. “Clay” is the densest form of light and thus the furthest from God. It is physical matter and is “darkness.” The body is clay, the spirit in each of us is light, and the combination of light and clay – fire – is the self or soul, for good or for evil. If we stay without enlightenment, lacking knowledge of our true spiritual nature, we guess that we can use our mind and willpower to do whatever we want and come up with awesome ideas like “human rights” as if it were something we invented and did not discover. We display an arrogance that we don’t need any help. But recognizing ourselves as a guest and child of God granted temporary the gift of life, and making the effort to sincerely be submitting to our host (simply a disciplined act of thanks), we are Muslims.
Will Atheists Go to Hell?
The way nature reclaims abandoned land, and hair claims unkempt faces, and the earth reclaims a spiritless body; God will reclaim my consciousness, as it drifts back to its source like a leaf does to gravity.
It will be a rebirth. Will I have, through heart-expanding practices, grown the organs necessary to see God as a loving Friend that has been close to me my whole life? or will I be born defective and blind after living my days in ego and self-absorption and thus see God as an awe-ful, fearful Other? No doubt God is Kingly and Severe, but "My Mercy Prevails Over My Wrath." I will prepare to see God as the Mother Light she is. These organs of the heart are my only true possession, and as long as I stay realistic I will not lose them.
It is but my ego that will touch the fire. I hope to God we will be more than an ego on this earth. There is a hadith which says that if a person has one ounce of faith (gratitude) in the hearts, they will leave hell after a certain period of time.
The parable of the two atheists:
The first atheist: There was once a society where the poor tended not to vote for certain political parties. This was because the ideology of these two groups were that they hated the government helping people based off the notion "if I can make it, anyone can make it." Because they are not affected by it, or because they had an opportunity the people they grew up with did not, these government-hating groups ignored the opportunity-limiting roles of racism, sexism, and class oppression. Some were called libertarians, and some libertarians were, like Congressman Paul Ryan, are Objectivists, meaning that they want to get rid of as many laws as possible so that they can do whatever they want because they feel like laws hold them down, which is we he is trying to reverse Civil Rights. Okay, so I suck at telling parables. This isn't a parable anymore.
Not all of these people mentioned above are atheists; in fact, they may be the “prosperity Gospel” religious figures who believe that they can use God to get whatever they want. But there is a certain branch of atheists who think that they can will themselves to do whatever they want. If a Muslim from Muhammad's time saw these atheists, or these prosperity Gospel Christians, or a girl or guy of any or no political or religious affiliation who thinks they can get anything they want from their parents, from others, from society, from the internet, and do whatever they want without checking themselves, they would all be seen as atheists. That is why a hadith says that during the moment people go overboard with their emotions or passions, such as aggressively begging by getting in people's faces with musical instruments (annoying them until they gave them money so they could go on to the next person) or getting drunk when they had the power to quit while they were ahead (and other examples that are the equivalent of "beating a dead horse") were not Muslims during those actions. The Prophet (peace be upon him), in this hadith, is saying that anyone who oversteps the natural bounds of willpower that Allah gives them is trying to not be a human. They are trying to be a god and denouncing God's limits. They are being atheists.
The second atheist:
Some foolish people call all atheists arrogant because they never met an atheist who admits that their teachers, their family, and opportunities which they were blessed with play a big role in success. Are these acknowledgers really atheists though? Religion is just admitting that there are forces beyond our control we need to be thankful for, and Islam is just a way to say all those forces are really one.
This is the “tahwid” principle that is fundamental to Islam; it is what made Islam separate from the religion of the pagan Arabs who performed shared rituals. The pagans used to believe that Time was a god, and Time was cursed because it brought decay, bad luck, suffering and death. The Quran flipped this by saying that Allah is time, and these things are not bad, it is just thinking that makes it so. One of the craziest parts of the Quran involves Moses getting upset that his teacher did a bunch of seemingly evil things, but because Moses lacked the full context, his teacher showed him how he was actually doing good things. He dismissed Moses as a student and moved on.
The Islamic word for "Faith" actually is the same as "Gratitude," and we can't logically thank anyone or anything without thanking the cause of that thing either, so rather than going down a long list including "I'd like to thank the air and the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs and supernovas for creating elements we need etc." they just call the sum of all history God, and ask us to redeem history by being good people. So in a way if an atheist thanks "life" or "the universe" and does not believe in "bad luck" but rather sees hardship as a source for growth, and is a moral person, I think a Muslim would say to them "you fit our definition of a Muslim."
God, Truth, and Consequences are always there. There is no reality but theirs, for they are lasting while all else is perishing. If we are receptive, we can come to know them. A revelation is simply the introduction of a religious concept new to humanity because it is discovered by a prophet. Non-religious revelations happen all the time, and the difference between a prophet and a messenger is that a messenger simply does not bring a religious text. Scientists like Tesla who gave us alternating current (he even beat out Thomas Edison's direct current), the harnessing and distributing of light, x-rays, radio (Guglielmo Marconi was initially credited, and most believe him to be the inventor of radio to this day. ), remote control, electric motor (it's coming back), the laser, Wireless Communications and Limitless Free Energy but said he only understood how to do all this due to mystical visions. Mathematicians like the discovers of zero and Pythagoras, who gave us his theorem, was the first person known to have taught the earth was spherical, with antipodes and that it revolved around the sun, and who discovered that random sounds on the street could be translated into math and could be applied to music, made their discoveries by mystical revelation. We don't need do believe in supernatural, just the power of metaphor and symbolism, synchronicity (the principle that miracles happen all the time), and mysticism.
As a good friend said to me " I don't think that if God is master of a system he has to start violating and corrupting the creation in order to make one little miracle." And she is a devout believer in God.