The Fallacy of Utilitarian Morality

Allah T'ala says in the Holy Quran:

 إَنَّ الَّذِينَ لاَ يَرْجُونَ لِقَاءنَا وَرَضُواْ بِالْحَياةِ الدُّنْيَا وَاطْمَأَنُّواْ بِهَا وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ عَنْ آيَاتِنَا غَافِلُونَ

أُوْلَـئِكَ مَأْوَاهُمُ النُّارُ بِمَا كَانُواْ يَكْسِبُونَ

 

Surely those who do not expect to meet Us, who are gratified with the life of the world and content with it, and are heedless of Our signs,their abode shall be the Fire in return for their misdeeds. (The Holy Quran, 10:7-8)


The statement that is being made here is that rejection of the doctrine of the Hereafter necessarily entails the punishment of Hell, and the argument that is being proffered in support of it is that those who are oblivious to the Hereafter commit, because of their disbelief in it, evil deeds which can only lead to them suffering the torments of Hell. This argument is corroborated by the entire record of man's past. It is quite clear that the lives of those who do not believe that they will not be held to account by God for their deeds; who work on the assumption that life is merely confined to the span of worldly existence; who measure human success or failure only in terms of the extent of material comfort, fame and power that a person is able to enjoy; who under the influence of such materialistic notions do not even care to pay attention to those signs of God which point to reality, assume an altogether wrong direction with the result that their life is vitiated. Hence they live a totally unbridled life, develop the worst possible character traits, and fill God's earth with injustice and corruption, with sin and transgression, and ultimately end up meriting the punishment of Hell.

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Surely the guilty shall not prosper!

 

إِنَّهُ لاَ يُفْلِحُ الْمُجْرِمُونَ 

 

The Qur'anic term falah (prosperity, success) used in the above verse (last part of verse 10:17) has been understood by some to signify such things as longevity, worldly prosperity and other worldly attainments. Under this false impression, they tend to believe that if a claimant to prophethood attains material prosperity and longevity or if his message is spread around, then he ought to be considered a genuine Prophet because he has indeed attained 'prosperity'. Had he been an impostor, it is argued, he would soon have been assassinated, or would have starved to death, and, in any case, his message would not have spread around. Such an absurd line of argument can only be pursued by those who are altogether ignorant of the concept of falah (prosperity) as envisaged in the Qur'an, who are unaware of God's law of respite regarding evil-doers, and who are altogether unappreciative of the special meaning in which the term has been employed in the present context.
In order to fully understand what is meant by saying that 'the guilty shall not prosper', a number of things ought to be borne in mind. In the first place, the Qur'anic statement that "the guilty shall not prosper' is not made with a view to providing a yardstick that might be applied by people so as to determine the truth or falsity of the claimants of prophethood. The verse does not seek to stress that all those who 'prosper' after claiming to be a Prophet are truly Prophets, and that those who do not prosper after making such a claim are not so. The point of emphasis here is altogether different. Here the Prophet (peace be on him) is being made to say that since he knows fully that those guilty of inventing lies against Allah could not prosper, he would not dare make any claim to prophethood if such a claim was false.
On the other hand, the Prophet (peace be on him) also knew that the unbelievers were guilty of rejecting the true signs of God and of declaring a true Prophet of God to be an impostor. In view of that monstrous guilt, it was quite apparent to the Prophet (peace be on him) that they would not prosper.
Moreover, the Qur'anic term falah (prosperity, success) has not been used in the limited sense of worldly success. Rather, it denotes that enduring success which admits of no failure regardless of whether one is able to achieve success in the present phase of one's existence or not. it is quite possible that someone who calls people to falsehood might enjoy life and nourish in a worldly sense, and he might even be able to attain a substantial following for his message. But this is not true prosperity or success; rather it constitutes total loss and failure. Contrarily, it is also possible that someone who calls people to the truth might be exposed to much persecution and be overwhelmed by pain and suffering. It is possible that even before he is able to create any significant following, he is continually subjected to persecution and torture. In the Qur'anic view, such an apparently tragic end constitutes the very zenith of such a person's success rather than his failure.
Moreover, it should be remembered that it has been amply elucidated in the Qur'an that God does not punish evil-doers instantly: that He rather grants them a fair opportunity to mend their ways. Not only that, if the evil-doers misuse the respite granted by God to perpetrate further wrongs, they are sometimes granted an even further respite. In fact, at times a variety of worldly favours are bestowed upon such evil-doers in order that the potential for wickedness inherent in them might be fully exposed by their actions, proving that they do indeed deserve a very severe punishment. Hence, if an impostor continues to enjoy periods of respite and if worldly favours are lavished upon him this should not in any way give rise to the notion that he is on the right path.
In the same way as God grants respite to other evil-doers. He also grants respite to impostors. There are no grounds whatsoever for believing that the respite granted to other evil-doers would not be granted to those impostors who lay false claim to prophethood. We may well call to mind that Satan himself has been granted a respite until Doomsday, It has never been indicated that although Satan is granted a free hand to misguide human beings, as soon as he throws up an impostor claiming prophethood such a venture is instantly nipped in the bud.
In order to refute the view expressed above it is possible that someone may refer to the following verse of the Qur'an: Now if he [i.e. Muhammad] would have made up, ascribed some sayings to Us, We would indeed have seized him by the right hand, and then indeed would have cut his life-vein (al-Haqqah 69: 44-6).
Even a little reflection makes it obvious that the verse in question does not contradict the view we have expressed above. For, what the present verse says relates to a principle which God follows in dealing with true Prophets. Were any such Prophet to falsely claim something to be a revelation from God, he would instantly be seized by God's wrath. To argue to the contrary that all those who are not seized by God's wrath are necessarily genuine Prophets is simply a logical fallacy devoid of any justification. For the threat of instant Divine wrath embodied in this verse is applicable only to true Prophets, and not to impostors who, like other evil-doers, are granted a respite.
This can be well understood if we bear in mind the disciplinary rules laid down by different governments for their officials. It is obvious that those rules are not enforced in respect of ordinary citizens. Were the latter to lay any false claim to being a government official, he would be subjected to the normal rules of the criminal code relating to the conviction of those who are guilty of fraud rather than to the disciplinary rules meant for government officials. Under this analogy, an impostor who claims to be a Prophet, would be dealt with by God along with other evil-doers who commit evil, and who, as we know, are not necessarily punished immediately.
In any case, as we have pointed out earlier, the verses quoted above were not revealed so as to provide the criterion to judge the truth of anyone who lays claim to prophethood. This verse should not be considered to mean that if a celestial hand stretches forth to cut off the life-vein of a claimant to prophethood, such a person is an impostor; and if that does not happen, he is a genuine Prophet. Such a weird criterion would have been needed only if no other means were available to judge the genuineness of a claimant to prophethood. But as things stand, a Prophet is known by his character, by his work, and by the contents of his message. (Tafheemul Quran)

Asmaul Husna in a tabular form

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وَلِلّهِ الأَسْمَاء الْحُسْنَى فَادْعُوهُ بِهَا وَذَرُواْ الَّذِينَ يُلْحِدُونَ فِي أَسْمَآئِهِ سَيُجْزَوْنَ مَا كَانُواْ يَعْمَلُونَ

AL-ASMA-UL-HUSNA (THE BEAUTIFUL NAMES OF GOD)

The most beautiful names belong to God, so call on Him thereby. (7:180)
Those who believe, and whose hearts find satisfaction in the remembrance of GOD, for without doubt in the remembrance of God do hearts find satisfaction. (13:28)

AllahThe God. The only one Almighty. He alone is worthy of worship.Al-MubdiThe Originator. He who creates all creatures initially without matter or model.
Al-AdlThe Just. He who is Equitable.Al-MughniThe Enricher. The Sufficer.
Al-AakhirThe Last.Al-MuhayminThe Guardian. He who watches over and protects all things. (Helper in Peril)
Al-AfuThe Pardoner. He who pardons all who sincerely repents.Al-MuhsiThe Appraiser. He who knows the number of every single thing in existence, even to infinity.
Al-AlimThe Knower of All. He who has full knowledge of all things.Al-Mu'idThe Restorer. He who recreates His creatures after He has annihilated them.
Al-AhadThe One. The only one.Al-Mu'izzThe Bestower of Honors. He who confers honor and dignity.
Al-AwwalThe First.Al-MujibThe Responder to Prayer. He who grants the wishes who appeals to him.
Al-AzizThe Mighty & Strong.Al-MuqitThe Nourisher. He who gives every creature it's sustenance.
Al-AzeemThe Magnificent. The Most High. He who is Most Splendid.Al-MuqaddimThe Expediter. He who brings forward whatever He wills (Forewarner).
Al-BadiThe Incomparable. He who is without model or match, and who brings into being worlds of amazing wonder.Al-MuqsitThe Equitable One. He who does everything with proper balance and harmony.
Al-Ba'ithThe Resurrector. He who brings the dead to life, and raises them from their tombs.Al-MuqtadirThe Creator of All Power. He who disposes at His will even of the strongest and mightiest of His creatures.
Al-BaqiThe Everlasting One. Eternal (in the future).Al-MumitThe Taker of Life. He who creates the death of a living creature.
Al-BariThe Maker of Order (Skilled Worker). O Evolver who created all things so that each whole and its parts are in perfect conformity and harmony.Al-MuntaqimThe Avenger. He who justly inflicts upon wrongdoers the punishment they deserve.
Al-BarrSource of all Goodness. He who treats His servants tolerantly, and whose goodness and kindness are very great indeed.Al-MusawwirThe Shaper of Beauty. He who designs all things, giving each its particular form and character (Sculptor).
Al-BasirThe All-Seeing. To those who invoke this Name one hundred times between the obligatory and customary prayers in Friday congregation, Allah grants esteem in the eyes of others.Al-Muta'aliThe Supreme One. He is exalted in every respect, far beyond anything the mind could possibly attribute to His creatures.
Al-BasitThe Reliever (Uncloser). He who releases, letting things expand.Al-MutakabbirThe Majestic. He who demonstrates His greatness in all things and in all ways.
Al-BatinThe Hidden One. He who is hidden, concealed.Al-MudhillThe Humiliator. He who degrades and abases.
Al-DharThe Distresser The Creator of the Harmful. He who creates things that cause pain and injury.An-NafiThe Creator of Good. He who creates things that yields advantages and benefit.
Al-FattahThe Opener. He who opens the solution to all problems and makes things easy.An-NurThe Light. He who gives light to all the worlds, who illuminates the faces, minds and hearts of His servants.
Al-GhaffarThe Forgiving. He who is always ready to forgive.Al-QabidhThe Constrictor. He who constricts and restricts.
Al-GhafurThe Forgiver and Hides Faults.Al-QadirThe All Powerful. He who is Able to do what He wills as He wills (Providence).
Al-GhaniThe Rich one. He who is infinitely rich and completely Independent.Al-QahharThe Subduer. He who dominates all things, and prevails upon them to do whatever He wills (Dominant).
Al-HadiThe Guide. He who provides guidance.Al-QawiThe Most Strong.The Possessor of All Strength.
Al-HafizThe Preserver. He who guards all creatures in every detail.Al-QayyumThe Self-Existing One. He who maintains the heavens, the earth, and everything that exists.
Al-HaiyThe Ever Living One. The living who knows all things and whose strength is sufficient for everything.Al-QuddusThe Pure One. He who is free from all errors.
Al-HakimThe Perfectly Wise. He whose every command and action is pure wisdom.Ar-Rafi'The Exalter. He who raises up.
Al-HakamThe Judge. He who judges and makes right prevails.Ar-RaheemThe All Compassionate. He who acts with extreme kindness.
Al-'AliThe Highest. The Exalted.Ar-RahmanThe All Merciful. He who wills goodness and mercy for all His creatures.
Al-HalimThe Forbearing. He who is Most Clement.Ar-RaqibThe Watchful One.
Al-HamidThe Praisedworthy. All praise belongs to Him, and who alone do the tongues of all creation laud.Ar-RashidThe Righteous Teacher. He who moves all things in accordance with His eternal plan, bringing them without error and with order and wisdom to their ultimate destiny (Unerring).
Al-HaqqThe Truth. He who’s being endures unchangingly.Ar-Ra'ufThe Kind. He who is very compassionate (Indulgent).
Al-HasibThe Accounter. He who knows every details.Ar-RazzaqThe Sustainer. He who provides all things useful to His creatures.
Al-JabbarThe Compelling. He who repairs all broken thing, and completes that which is incomplete.As-SaburThe Patient One. He who is characterized by infinite patience.
Al-JaleelThe Glorious. He who is Lord of Majesty and Grandeur.As-SalaamThe Source of Peace. He who frees His servants from all danger.
Al-JaameThe Gatherer. He who brings together what He wills, when He wills, where He wills.As-SamadThe Eternal. He who is the only recourse for the ending of need and the removal of affliction.
Al-KabirThe Greatest. He who supremely great.As-SamiThe Hearer of All. Allah takes care of all the needs of those who invoke this glorious Name one hundred times.
Al-KarimThe Generous. He whose generosity is most abundant.Ash-ShahidThe Witness. He who is present everywhere and observes all things.
Al-KhabirThe All Aware. He who has the knowledge of inner & most secret aspects of all things.Ash-ShakurThe Rewarder of Thankfulness. He who gratefully rewards good deeds (Appreciator).
Al-KhafidThe Abaser. He who brings down, diminishes.At-TawwabThe Acceptor to Repentance. He who is ever ready to accept repentance and to forgive sins (Relenting).
Al-KhaliqThe Creator. He who brings from non-being into being, creating all things in such a way that He determines their existence and the conditions and events they are to experience.Al-VakilThe Trustee / Guardian. He who manages the affairs of those who duly commit them to His charge, and who looks after them better than they could themselves.
Al-LatifThe Subtle One. He who knows the minutest subtleties of all things.Al-ValiThe Protecting Friend. He who is a nearest friend to His good servants.
Al-MajidThe Majestic One. He whose glory is most great and most high.Al-WahhabThe Giver of All. He who constantly bestows blessings of every kind.
Al-Ma'jidThe Glorious. He, whose dignity and glory are most great, and whose generosity and munificence are bountiful.Al-WahidThe Unique. He who is Single, absolutely without partner or equal in His Essence, Attributes, Actions, Names and Decrees.
Al-MalikThe Absolute Ruler. The Ruler of the entire universe (King of Kings).Al-WajidThe Finder. He who finds what He wishes when He wishes (Perceiving).
Malik-ul-MulkThe Owner of All. The King of the Kingdom.Al-WadudThe Loving One. He who loves His good servants, and bestows his compassion upon them.
Al-Mani'The Preventer of Harm. The Withholder.Al-WaliThe Governor. The Protecting Friend. He who administers this vast universe and all its passing phenomena.
Al-MominThe Inspirer of Faith. He who awakes the light of faith in our hearts.Al-Wasi'The All Comprehending. He who has limitless capacity and abundance.
Al-MateenThe Firm. He who is very steadfast.Al-WarithThe Inheritor of All. He who is the Real Owner of all riches.
Al-MuhyiThe Giver of Life. He who confers life, gives vitality, revives.Az-ZahirThe Manifest One. He who is Evident.
Al-Mu'akhkhirThe Delayer. He who sets back or delays whatever He wills.Zal-Jalali-
Wal-Ikram
The Lord of Majesty and Bounty. He who possesses both greatness and gracious magnanimity.
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Short Quotes

Allah is the Lord

اَلْحَمْدُ ِللهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِيْنَ     Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the entire universe.(1:2)
In Arabic the word Rabb has three meanings: (i) Lord and Master; (ii) Sustainer, Provider, Supporter, Nourisher and Guardian, and (iii) Sovereign, Ruler, He Who controls and directs. God is the Rabb of the universe in all three meanings of the term.