Updated: Apr 20
The Prophets hold the following concepts regarding man and the universe:-
Sovereignty Lies with God
This whole universe stretching out before man, or which man is a part, is not an accidental phenomenon. It is a well-organised and well-regulated dominion. God has created this state; He alone is the Master and Sole Ruler of this state. It is, in fact, a totalitarian system in which all powers are vested in the Central Authority. No one else shares the Rule of this Totalitarian Sovereign. All forces which operate in the system of this universe are under His direct control. Nothing in the universe dare to disobey His Commands or act on its own accord without His permission. No part of this All Embracing system can attain and naturally should not have autonomy or be
Subservience of Man
Man is a born subject of this Divine State. Man does not become a subject of this State in his physical being by adoption; he is born as a subject and it does not lie in his power to hold any other status than that of a subject. Man, therefore, has no right to devise a way of life or to define his own obligations. Man does not own anything in this universe and he has no right to make laws for the use of property which does not belong to him. Man's body and all human powers are the possession of God and His Gift. Hence the right to use his body or physical powers according to his own will does not vest in man. On the other hand, man shall use these Divine gifts according to the Will of the Almighty.
Similarly, all things---earth, animals, water, plants, minerals, which from the environment of man are the property of God. They do not belong to man. Hence he has no right to appropriate even these things according to his will. Man should deal with these things according to the rules set by the Master to Whom they really belong. Similarly, all men who inhabit this earth and whose lives are interlinked with each other are the subjects of God. Therefore, they have no right to formulate rules and regulations for ordering their mutual relations. The whole range of their mutual relationships should be governed by laws made by God.
As regards the question—what the law of God is, the Prophets inform us to same source
from which we have received knowledge about the reality of this world and about your own selves has conveyed to us the knowledge of the Divine Law. God Himself has revealed this knowledge to us and has appointed us to deliver this knowledge to you. Trust in us; recognize us as the envoy of your King and receive from us the authentic law
of the King.
Boundaries of Action
The Prophets further explain to us, “you observe that the entire business of this universe is running according to a system; yet the Emperor is not visible, nor do we see His functionaries at work. You have a sense of freedom and feel free to act according to your wishes; you may behave as if you are the owner of things; you may even bow your heads in subservience and obedience to others who impose as Masters; you receive sustenance under all circumstances; you are provided with means of work; disobedience of Divine rule does not entail immediate punishment. All this is meant to
put you a test. The Master has endowed you with wisdom, the faculty of deduction and
the power of choice between right or wrong. The Master has, therefore, thrown a veil
between His Being, His System of Dominion and your eyes. He wants to put you through a trial and see how you use the powers He has bestowed on you. He has blessed you with commonsense, freedom of choice, and measure of autonomy and has left you to act as you desire. If you realize your position as a subject and adopt this position with heart and soul without coercion, you will come out successful in the test of your Master.
On the other hand, if you fail to recognize your status as the subject of God or having recognized your position as a subject, you set upon a rebellious course you fail in the test. You have been vested with some powers in the world in order to put you through a trial. You have been given control and authority over many things in the world and have been granted a whole life-span to prove your worth”.
The World is a Place of Trial
The Prophets then inform us that worldly life is a period of trial; accordingly no accounts shall be called for not any reward or punishment be dispensed in this world. Whatever is given here is not necessarily a reward for virtue; it does not signify that God is pleased with you or He approves of your present deeds. All this is, in fact, given to you as a means of putting you through a test. Goods, wealth, children, positions in the Government, means of livelihood-all these are bestowed on you in order to test your performance and to enable you to make use of your good or bad qualities. Similarly, all hardships, losses, calamities which overtake you do not necessarily signify the visitation of God's punishment on you for some evil deed. Some of these afflictions are results of certain natural phenomena. Some of these hardships fall under the category of trials. Some misfortunes occur when one behaves in accordance with a view point which is opposed to reality. In such a case one inevitably suffers a rude shock.
In any case, this world is not a “House of Reward or Punishment; it is a 'House of Trial'. The consequence of actions which appear in this world cannot be taken as basis for judging a method or an action righteous or wicked, good or bad and unlawful or permissible. The consequences or worldly actions which will be established in the next world will form the real basis of judgement. When the period of grace (the present life) is over, a second life will start in which your deeds shall be assessed and judgement will be delivered as to whether you acquitted yourself with credit or ignominiously in the worldly life. The only basis on which you shall be judged guilty or non-guilty in the next world will be whether firstly, you employed your faculties or observation and reason in the right way and acknowledged the sovereignty of God and the Divine sanctity of His Commandments; secondly, whether you, having recognized the above reality and possessing also the freedom of choice, submitted to the Sovereign Lord and acted upon His Commandments without coercion and of your own accord.
(Reference: Islam and Ignorance)