The biggest obstacle preventing us from accomplishing our purposes and veiling the reality is conditionings. Our conditionings can make us as absurd as a man looking for his glasses when all the time they are sitting on his head. Indeed, until man is cleansed from his conditionings, and the value judgments and emotions that result from them, he can never truly know the One denoted by the name Allah. As such, he can never attain the reality of his self, nor know Allah as disclosed by Muhammad (saw).
He will utter the word Allah throughout his whole life, yet this will be the name given to the God created in his mind, the God he imagined based on his conditionings! Someone who fails to comprehend the Allah revealed by Muhammad (saw), can say Allah to the God he imagines and creates in his mind – as a result of a lifestyle driven by conditionings and instincts – all he likes, this will be of no benefit to him at all. For Duality is most certainly the worst form of self-oppression!
One who fails to recognize and comprehend Allah, as disclosed by Muhammad (saw), has no chance at knowing the origin of his consciousness, to leap into the dimension of cosmic consciousness, or to evaluate the universe in light of its actual reality! For the imaginary God in his head will forever keep him cocooned and prevent him from perceiving the reality for what it really is.
The only way one can escape the cocoon of his conditionings is by receiving and contemplating upon the knowledge of reality and complying with its requirements.
Sadly, however, people generally do not know how to use their inherent contemplative skills and are instead raised as rote learners. As such, they do not want or like to be involved in anything that requires deeper thinking. Due to this, they behave according to their environment, conforming to the ways of hearsay and imitating the things others do. As a result, everybody worships his own deity! From a very young age we become conditioned to believe that whatever the adults around us do must be the right thing, and hence we do the same; we adopt their values as our own. These values then drag us into assuming things that are totally contradictory to reality, trapping us inside a cocoon weaved from delusion and making us think: ‘Why should I spend my whole life worshipping God when I can just do something nice later and win His favor to escape?’
All such thoughts are inappropriate assumptions based on false information obtained via baseless conditionings! The Quran refers to such people as:
“...They follow only assumption and the illusory desires of their ego (even though) the knowledge of the reality has indeed come to them from their Rabb (the reality of the Names comprising their essence).” (Quran 53:23)
“But they have no knowledge (proof) thereof... They follow only unverifiable assumptions, and indeed, never can assumption reflect the Truth!” (Quran 53:28)
“Your mistaken assumption about your Rabb has brought you to perdition, and you have become among the losers.” (Quran 41:23)
Indeed, nothing can compensate for the loss caused by incorrect conditionings!
We confine ourselves to the flesh-bone body and assume the existence of a God up in the heavens and then we attempt to worship him with this bodily personality! We get upset with this God, we judge and criticize Him, and more often than not, we blame Him for doing inappropriate things… Never do we realize that a God like this simply cannot exist! Never do we hear Muhammad’s (saw) message that a God like that does not exist. Consequently we continue our lives making irreversible mistakes…
What if we were to consider man’s place on earth, if we were to think about the life and place of a single human being on earth… If there were a God as big as the Earth, what will be the place of this single human being next to God? Now think about the sun, one million three hundred and thirteen thousand times bigger than the earth… What is the place of the Earth next to the sun?
What is the size of a human next to the sun? Perhaps like a chromosome in a cell compared to the whole human body. And what is the place of the sun within the galaxy that comprises 400 billion stars like the sun? If the galaxy that comprises 400 billion sun-like stars were ‘God’, what would be the place of the sun next to this magnificence?
Now let us imagine the sun, worshipping this galaxy-god, by deifying and exalting it, or, denying, resenting and getting angry at it. What will be its effect, if any? And what will be the place of a single human being in comparison to this magnificent galaxy-god? Let us think about this on a serious note… For if we can see the absurdity in this picture, we can understand that prayer is not an offering-like practice, made to an external God in order to get into his good books!
The wise and the enlightened ones of the past say:
Allah does not need any of your prayers! It is you who needs them, if you want to secure your future.
Indeed, it is not Allah who needs your prayers but you! Prayer is for you!
If we fail to give sufficient importance to prayer, we would have oppressed our selves by not enriching it with the countless qualities and powers it deserves.
Knowing and deciphering your essential self, discovering your infinite intrinsic potential and allowing yourself to live in a paradisiacal state of eternal life depends on these activities you carry out.
You must engage in these practices for your self, for your own benefit…
On the contrary, the only one in loss will be you, for there is no God out there with whom you can ingratiate yourself!
If by saying ‘there is no God out there’ you abandon all your practices and prayers you will accrue an enormous loss. For, such practices are imperative for your future, and should never be neglected. The only misunderstanding that needs correcting is, none of these prayers and practices should be done for an external God with the intention of earning his favor, but for your very self and your future!