“In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful … that the People of the Book may know that they have no power whatever over the grace of Allah, that Grace is entirely in His hand, to bestow it on whomsoever He wills. For Allah is the Lord of Grace abounding.” [LVII: 29]
The Law of Grace may be stated as follows:
Honor Almighty God consciously and He will bestow grace on you according to your effort.
God’s Grace is a reality arrogantly assumed by some, abused by many, and vainly pursued by others in the guise of ‘good luck’, but It is not a topic commonly discussed by Muslim exegetics. As a matter of fact, in the nine years I’ve been a Muslim academic I have never heard it discussed.
Grace is God’s favor, the dispensation of His Divine Will as made manifest to us in the cosmos [‘orderly arrangement of creation’]. Its personal manifestation transcends ordinary human comprehension as a serenity of spirit and that unshakeable resolve that rests within the hearts and minds of God’s servants in the face of any circumstance. All that exists has come into being by virtue of God’s infinite grace, yet no one but the innocent receives the ‘Peace of God’ without submission to His will and the disciplines of mind, body and spirit that accompany the conscious acknowledgement of this fact of life.
The skeptic may ask if evil a manifestation of God’s Grace and the answer is ‘yes’ because without evil there is no challenge to man’s exercise of ‘free will’. But this does not in the least imply that God is partly evil as do Freemasons and Gnostics who have adopted the ancient Persian dualism. The essence of ponerogenesis (ontogeny of evil) is the conscious disobedience to Divine Law that results in harm or loss. As a matter-of-fact, disobedience to God is the only sin, all others are mere sub-categories. Since it is inconceivable, therefore, for God to disobey His own Law, He can neither be, nor desire nor aspire to evil. He does however create and condone it, or better said, ‘permit’ Satan to challenge men whereby evil deeds legitimize consequent judgment. This owes to the fact that evil is an unavoidable corollary of all disobedience. The following passage delineates the reality:
“I swear by man’s personality and that whereby he has been formed, God has engraved into it its evil and its good [whereby it can guard itself against moral peril]. He who makes personality pure, shall be successful, while he who corrupts it shall be in the loss.” [91: 7: 10]
Therefore, for man to guard himself and overcome the ‘potential’ for the evil created within him he necessarily requires God’s assistance. If humanity has inherited aught from Adam besides intelligence, likeness and the terminal tryst with God on Judgment Day, it is the challenge of this trial of our faith and test of common sense.
“Every man shall taste of death, and the evil and good which befall you are a trial for you. … ‘Oh Jews, if, as you pretend, you are the friends of God and His elect of all mankind, wish for death that you may prove your sincerity.’ But they never wish for death, for rejoining their Lord; and that is because they know that their arms have wrought evil and injustice.”
[2: 177, 183]
God does indeed create and determine the horrid consequences of wickedness both here and hereafter. Whether temporal or eternal, these consequences are Divine Judgments that represent God’s disfavor. Hence, we may consider them the inverse of Divine Grace, that being Divine Curse: a coin with two sides. Similarly, these distasteful consequences manifest in degrees of allocation (e.g. seven layers of hell) according to the severity of disobedience. Therefore, every Spiritual Law holds potential for gradations of good and evil effects. Hence, when spiritual Law is dismissed as an immaterial consideration in the affairs of men, the inverse of the dismissed law with its antithetical forces immediately and autonomously come into play God’s design, inevitably leading towards progressive degrees of harm and perhaps damnation. This is the essence of predestination.
It is therefore important to know that the ubiquitous disregard for Spiritual Law is the cause of all war and lack of justice or peace in the affairs of men, and the reason Muslim’s have suffered both the demise of their autonomy and the loss of God’s protection as a polity.
There is no trial of faith without evil’s challenge because the Grace of God extends to an immortal after-life in a newly structured cosmos of pristine excellence with an absolute absence of evil. For man to enter this wondrous estate his perfected submission to God’s Will or at least his/her acknowledgement of God’s absolute autonomy are thoroughgoing requirements for the franchise. Confessions of God’s divine right and autonomy, by thought and/or deed, cannot be attained by unselfconscious automatons because predestined coercion would have contravened to negate the principle of free will. Hence, the Law of Grace demands man’s free and favorable assent or self-conscious self-subjugation to God’s infinite benevolence; and this is in order to avoid inverse consequences both here and in the hereafter.
This is the essence of Faith and the purpose of its trial during our earthly life. Without such faith we cannot please God nor can we enter the peace filled Grace of His Kingdoms either here or in the hereafter. Our only free choice, therefore, lies between good or evil; blessing or cursing — there is no third option!
To reiterate, the essence of evil is not its potential but rather the conscious denial of our pre-primordial covenant to acknowledge God’s sovereignty by obeying His Law. Hence, evil is disobedience to what we instinctively know is good for us. Therefore, when men awaken to temptation and succumb to Satan’s invitation rather than God’s, it is they who welcome and perpetrate wickedness. It is therefore stupidly myopic for men to blame God or even Satan.
Of their own free will, such people reject the additional grace of peaceful prosperity in the earth (as’Sakkinah).  This principle explains why it is that the un-peaceful prosperity commonly called ‘progress’ is filled with anxiety as the majority of men and women choose to worry about earthly possessions as they pile up booty. This includes deluded spouses who think their husband or wife ‘belongs’ to them, but even this sad condition is grace-filled until the first death brings an end to the fantasy. So then:
(1) if there is naught without grace, and
(2) if both good and evil proceed from this grace by virtue of our having even the ability to choose, it behooves the believer to
(3) understand the Laws written by the Eternal Cause of all causes, as well as the
(4) trial of our earthly life
(5) before the latter is terminated and we write an abidingly self-incriminating verdict in the Book of Deeds.
There inevitably come frequent trials to journeymen on the road of faith. Each trial, though it may hold evil is actually an act of grace because the option held forth is an opportunity to obtain additional favor that exceeds the potential of the evil. For this reason, Prophet Isa instructed his disciples to rejoice in persecution and trouble. To the contrary, if there is no trial of faith in a man’s life the implication is that God has withdrawn the promise of this enhanced potential and left the recalcitrant fool to his doom. These people are called Kufr or Kafir in Al-Qur’an and are to be avoided by believers whenever possible. Again, one should ask why.
The Qur’an often speaks of people whose ‘case’ or ‘trial’ is no longer considered by God. These are folk who no longer consider God while lusting after the finite benefits of His material world. These people repeatedly and assiduously choose evil’s potential until they became addicted (habituated) to it.
“… whoever seeks the advantage of the other world will receive the same and more of it. Whoever seeks the advantage of this world will receive the same, but he will have no share in the other.” [42: 20]
These ‘Materialists’ do not strive for the Kingdom of God’s eternal bonus nor seek the metaphysical light of additional guiding grace while they live on earth. This includes spiritualists who opt for the numerous forms of idolatry. As a result, God actually shuns them once they’ve repeatedly refused His Call to Grace. This is, unfortunately, an inverse consequence of ignoring the Law of Grace for too long. As heedless reprobates, even if religious, they live exclusively by the ordinary benevolence of temporal respite — which has its own natural ‘law of the jungle’ so to speak — rather than the appreciating support of advancing Divine favor. Hence, they fail the test by dismissing the Law of Grace and are but vaguely aware, if at all, that they’ve also rejected faith.  As a result, they reject God’s additional goodwill. For them one can do nothing.
Therefore, when evil is upon you, after you recover from the knowledge of its presence you should seek the attendant grace in the matter as it is hidden and awaits discovery. If you’re in sin, seek the grace of forgiveness. If you are in perplexity, seek the grace of guidance. If you are in persecution, seek the grace of deliverance (even if it means death), etc. Each of these circumstances requires the initial grace of fitrah with which we are all born before we turn once more to God in supplication for His additional favor. Only the proud and arrogant refuse this option. There is no other way to obtain God’s additional favor except in the following condition. This proviso is faithful service to a man or woman of faith whereby portions of the grace given to them by virtue of their perfection will naturally fall upon the servant—a bit like a dog and his master. In such cases, even an ignoramus gains favor with God.
To obtain grace, all one has to do is ask and then wait in submissive conformity-with and patient service-to Divine Law until the grace is given. It is a very simple matter. An example in my own life is this book and the few others I’ve written. Outwardly during the years of their research and writing my life appeared destitute of God’s additional grace. I was unable to practice my profession as a Physician and finances remained extremely hard pressed. Even my clothing became tattered and often we had little to eat. I initially cursed the officials who refused me the professional privileges I thought I deserved. But one day it occurred to me that had I been working as a Doctor I would never have sought God with such earnestness; nor would I have studied, nor learned, nor written what He bestowed upon me during that very trying time by His Grace. This then brings up a contingent to the Law of Grace, which is a very interesting corollary.
The Law of Reception
The reception of grace is a conscious function that is completely contingent upon one’s religious conviction. Al’Qur’an segregates this matter by calling it ‘certitude’, an attitude that does not equate with mere submission:
“Some Arabs of the desert have claimed that they have achieved religious conviction. Say: ‘You have not achieved such conviction. You have been converted to Islam and have acquiesced in it, but religious certitude and conviction have not yet found their way to your heart and conscious-ness.’” [49: 14]
This passage describes those whom consider the belief in God but remain uncertain. This uncertainty is a barrier only overcome by trial and the resultant effort made to rise above the trial’s challenge. There is no other path to the realm of religious conviction and increased favor with Allah. Therefore, to simply acquiesce and make no further effort to attain certitude is a slippery path flanked by murky pools of suspect motivation. Unfortunately, this describes many believers and shabby shepherds. Were this not so, the grace of God’s favor would have been maintained and increased in Islam such that the unity and power of its polity would never have waned. Such is the Law of Grace. This last statement is endorsed, I believe, by the following passage:
“Rather, God grants you the favor of guiding you to religious conviction if only you are sincere (genuine).” [49: 17]
Sincerity of heart is a legal prerequisite for the activation of Grace as metaphysical guidance or ‘light’ in anyone’s life. When the trials of sincerity are won, the real journey of grace along the path to wisdom begins:
“And if my servants ask you of Me, tell them I am near and that I respond to the caller who calls upon me. Tell them to pray to Me, to believe in Me. That is the way to wisdom. … Seek further assistance by patience and prayer. The latter overtaxes none but the irreverent and the proud. It is a force of genuine assistance …” [2: 186, 45-46]
Hence, grace is assistance from God, an actual ‘force’ that is attained via the marriage of patience with prayer.
We do not enter life consciously, and thereby, we receive the initial dispensation of respite’s grace without realizing it. Gradually, over many years, we waken to mortal circumstances and either seek God or simply enjoy the finite benefits of this world. For those who seek Him, as Al’Qur’an teaches, God approaches them at even a greater pace, surpassing any effort they might expend. When we begin this conscious collaboration with our Creator, He offers us additional Grace. Therefore, just as life itself is a gift of His Grace, so also are the additions of His favor. Those who not only believe but also seek Him receive these increments consciously. The trouble is there are always contingencies: i.e. required conditions for the receipt and utilization of this additional grace — reasons many reject the offer.
Contrary to the beloved doctrine of Christians, the grace of God’s additional favor is not gratuitous. There are clauses in the contract of Faith, should we sign it in prayer or public confession, which we cannot retract without a consequential loss of Grace. The added Grace is contingent on continued obedience. Ultimately, in the finite world, the greatest manifestation of this additional grace is peace of mind; what some call dignity or gravitas) despite all adversity, It is the exact opposite of what men commonly consider evidence of God’s favor!
The reprobate may receive what appears to be favor but in reality is a temporary benefit that holds an ultimate evil. Examples abound in the entertainment world or in business when men murder or suicide over their losses. However, with sincere Believers there is a binding contingency clause: along with more of God’s favor comes greater accountability. Essentially, this is equivalent to the miserable accountability of the reprobate, but the effects appear more immediately in the earthly life. One observes this in the religious world where many a preacher or priest falls from the grace of God and men. In mercy does God judge them in the present life based on this contingency, yet He still offers the eternal favor of Heaven upon sincere repentance. By contrast, the reprobate, hypocrite, or insincere believer goes merrily about their business ‘till the Grim Reaper presents the final bill.
“God has taken upon Himself to show mercy.” [7: 12]
The Law of Grace is the only spiritual law of which I am aware whereby God imposed on Himself a reciprocal response according to man’s effort. God obligated Himself to favor certain creatures for Paradise by virtue of the fortuity of their faith and deeds; Paradise being the ultimate manifestation of the Law of Grace. Therefore, by grace we live; by grace do we experience mortal life; and by additional grace do we look forward to reward in Paradise. To the contrary, a ceaseless existence in hell cannot be called ‘living’ as it bears absolutely no freedom of will and is totally devoid of God’s Grace, which is why it has been called the second death. The soul is lost to eternal bondage, grace is removed, and the consequences of deeds performed during earthly respite are reaped, apparently without end, although scholars debate the matter. In this circumstance, we see the Will of God enacted without grace.
Therefore, by faith and good works we work out our own salvation through degrees of God’s Grace in order to inherit the promise of eternal benevolence, which holds the paramount deliverance of our soul to freedom. Anyone with common sense looks forward to the removal of wickedness from the self as well as the ultimate removal of people who have lost both reason and soul, albeit with remorse for such foolishness and its dreadful end. With this in mind, let us look at another aspect of God’s grace.
Who deserves The Grace of God?
The question is actually moot, but I pose it for the sake of folks who reason in circles. No one deserves the grace of God. God’s Grace simply is. It is offered as a real and increasing potential to everyone equally as incremental rewards for obedience. It is only the receptive knowledge or conscious taking of this grace that creates differential categories of additional benefit. Think of grace as an invitation to a wedding as aptly analogized in the Gospels. For believers it is a given that we exist by grace and that any invitation to receive more grace depends solely upon the invitee’s acceptance and preparation for the delightful event. We may choose to accept or decline the invitation, and there are those who pretend acceptance but give excuse later, or perhaps show up unprepared for the occasion. Those who consciously receive the invitation are humbled. Afterwards, they excitedly prepare by trimming the lamp of truth with the shears of Wisdom and then store enough oil (deeds) for the journey. All of this takes place during the night of mortal life.
What grace then remains for those who do not prepare for the final feast? The answer is ‘none’ because God’s favor cannot be shared. It is specific for each individual. I cannot give you God’s favor anymore than you can give me your spinal cord. Reprobates carry just enough oil of grace to complete their mortal life. In the end, their lamp is empty because they refused the invitation and by default have declined additional oil for the festival in Paradise. All are weighed in the balance of God’s justice. Those found light on the scale with empty oil lamps (i.e. insufficient good deeds) will have forfeited the invitation and discovered much too late that they are not welcome. These have only wronged themselves and there is no one else to blame.
What then? — must we be spotless in order to enter the garden? The answer is yes. Nevertheless, how can this be since we all continually sin? How is it that any man may trim his lamp and conserve sufficient oil and demonstrate a spotless and well preserved invitation card at the door? The answer is again by the grace of God’s ever turning in mercy to forgive His servants. If sin equals one weight and repentance, prayer, a good deed or even its intention are equal to ten or a hundred weight, what excuse has any man? ‘Ah then,’ says the cunning hypocrite, “I may sin as I like as long as I balance my scale with prayers and good deeds!” “Not so my clever enemy of truth,” says I. For if God weighs even the intention of a good deed in a man’s favor, so also will He weigh a man’s sinful intentions to his disfavor; so that the hypocrites’ good deeds slip from the balance as God’s grace given to those who received the benefit while he lived. This is because such a man’s intention is to deceive:
“Behold, the actions are but judged according to the intentions; and behold, unto every man is due but what he intended. Thence, whoso migrated for the sake of the world or to wed a woman, his migration is accounted for that unto which he migrated.” – Hadith 1, Al’Bukhari
“They (hypocrites) are worthless… They are the enemies, so beware of them. The curse of Allah is upon them! How are they deluded away from the truth! … Allah will not forgive them. Truly Allah guides not rebellious transgressors.” [63: 4-6]
Hypocrites are sincere liars who serve themselves and Iblis. Why would God accept the prayers of a liar or equate his eternal estate with truly obedient slaves of truth? So do not take God’s Grace for granted or dare think to manipulate this law for earthly or eternal benefit!
The service of Iblis, father of deception, is incumbent upon those who indeed may believe but are without faith:
“… Satan and his legion keep a constant eye upon you. You have no awareness of them. Their nature is to be the friends and guides of those who have no faith and no conviction.” [7:27]
This verse establishes that Hypocrites are men who lack conviction by definition. What then is the nature of conviction with regard to belief in God? The answer lay in the antithetical example of Cain who believed in God but remained convinced he should murder his brother. Here we have a man of belief based on primary knowledge who placed his faith in a promise from Satan rather than God. He believed in God but not in God’s Promises. His deluded conviction was therefore one of belief in the word of a creature he associated with God. This classic illustration of shirk represents the impurity of worship that resulted in the prototypical religious murder or ‘nascent crusade’, which in turn separated this seed of Adam from both his family and God.
Cain had both conviction and belief but his faith in Satan misguided and misplaced his will and subsequent deed, despite his belief in and knowledge of God. He left the garden with nothing but the grace of respite, refusing first to acknowledge and secondly repent of the foul deed when given opportunity. He then became the primal archetypical reprobate sectarian.
“A philosopher is a dead poet and a dying theologian.”
– Will Durant, Historian –
It is appropriate here to comment on the nature of a science whose proponents put it forth as ‘Theology’. The term defines itself literally as ‘the Study of God’. Yet pausing for a moment’s reflection evokes the absurd imagination of men putting God under a microscope in order to define not only His existential nature but also what makes Him tick. One may certainly study religion, wisdom, prophetic literature and scripture, creation, etc. but God Himself? I think it best not to concern ourselves with the paeans of dead poets or the gaunt piety of blind men of the cloth who claim reason and yet coined this contrary word.
“And when they ask you concerning the Spirit, answer: ‘The Spirit belongs to God. Given the little knowledge that you have, your minds must fall short of understanding its nature.” [17:85]
Writers and Philosophers have often exhausted themselves seeking evidence for God’s immanence without avail, while others have sought to grasp the essence of the Creator Himself—all to no purpose.
– Mohd. H. Hykal
Sufi-claimers and Hindus say that divine union-with and direct perception-of God is possible despite the fact that Al’Qur’an says it is impossible for man to even begin to comprehend the essence of His Spirit or ‘Word of Command’, let alone God Himself. Besides, if God were so readily available for human study there would neither be reason for Him to test our faith nor any purpose for the dispensation of grace according to the works of faith. Surely, it is difficult enough to define grace and agree on its existence yet the fact of the matter is that man’s reason cannot go far enough to prove grace is even present, because reason can only confirm rather than prove that the grace or God exists, and this confirmation only stands in the affirmative for each individual and for those who join the experience of subjective cognizance.
Such is the case of a poor villager raised to Chief Minister who later retired in peace. He and those close to him are able to affirm and confirm the manifest nature of God’s temporal grace in his life through direct observation and experience. As revered, successful, knowledge-able and wizened as he is, I doubt he’d dare to describe or define God, but I’m certain he can attest to the effects of God’s guidance and direction in his life and tell us exactly how he managed to receive his supplemental portions of grace.
Goethe had this to say about the science of man’s reason:
Therefore, reason itself is the subjective advancement of the faculty of thought, which is a power bestowed by grace so that we may acknowledge the existence of grace and therefore also the existence of its Author. The corollary is that ‘objective science’ remains constrained by individual and collective biases that subjectively and collectively establish what is called a paradigm (consensus) rather than reality. Whereas to deny grace is to deny God which therefore implies that the denier is devoid of sound reason, even less sensible than cattle as the Qur’an so aptly puts it, or as Goethe says: ‘whose prejudice is inclined towards the falsehood with which he feels harmony’.
How then can schismatics dare to define God or grace when they have repeatedly broken the law of Grace for millennia? The reality is that prior to the Christian Age there was no science of Theology outside of the pagan Mystery Religions. Monotheists studied the scriptures and if they lacked the grace of comprehension they either waited for more or did nothing about it. Others however, changed the Word of God then walked off to found another sect. The Revelation of Al’Qur’an ended all possibility of scriptural debate for the sane among us. Thus, its advent ushered in an era rife with a new Scholastic levels of conflict with schismatics from an even greater lack of grace because its Revelation was superior and final. These controversies eventually spawned Atheism, a phenomenon that never before existed. Can we therefore blame God for such foolishness? God forbid! His grace is available for all to come into the fold of comprehensive unity and thus end the debate. Nevertheless, man is contentious and ‘seeks many devices’, as said Prophet Da’ud in the Psalms.
The ‘devices’ Prophet Da’ud wrote of are, each and every one, apologies such as the cunning of Jesuit casuistry. These serve to preclude man’s submission to God’s Will and thereby justify the negative assertion of man’s will towards sin. This is now called Humanism. Hence, Allah withholds the grace of Unity for His polity in the earth so that proud schismatics can crusade under private banners of dubious temporal respite, claiming all types of opinions rather than confirmations of what is indeed true. These people have used the grace-gift of reason’s power to justify disobedience to the Giver of their sense of thought, and many are well versed in the science of Theology. What then is this madness; for to deny submission to God via His Prophets and their example is to deny God’s absolute autonomy. How then can such demented men and women claim to know or study Him?
The truth is that we cannot study God but we can study what He created. Hence, the science of Theology is as ridiculousness as the Oxford definition of the Trinity or the Sufi-claimer’s ‘mystic union’ with God. We may study Creation and God’s Revelatory Word as both reflect His grace in an astonishing manner for those who have not rejected His invitation to the festival of Paradise. Such a study, when not joined to shirk (idolatry), brings a unity of moral purpose inclined towards peace and an intelligently responsible progress (Hadhari). To the contrary, those who have discarded the divine call to Paradise by calling shirk deviation or even worse, Islam, are proponents of disunity and will no doubt find fault with this text. Out of pity, I can only wish them a prolonged respite, for that is most likely the last of God’s grace they shall ever know.
 “God made you a true promise whereas I made you a false promise. I had no power over you but only invited you to error and you accepted my invitation. Do not blame me but only yourselves.” – Satan Speaking (14: 22)
 Hence: the challenge to Prophet Job and suffering of Muslims prior to Hijra.
 “O ye that believe! fear Allah and believe in His Messenger, and He will bestow on you a double portion of His Mercy: He will provide for you a light by which ye shall walk straight in your path, and He will forgive you your past … “ [LVIII: 28]
 There are others who believe but do not act on their belief. This, unfortunately, is equivalent to unbelief. In the Qur’an, Faith is inextricably married to good deeds. See V2:112 for example, “Yes, but whoever submits his face to Allah and he is a Muhsin [a good doer who performs good deeds totally for Allah’s sake without any show-off or to gain praise or fame] then his reward is with his Lord, on such shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.” Even Paul said: “Faith without works is dead.”
 A clear indication that Jinn rather than angels are the so-called ‘Watchers’ worshipped by the ancients and to this day by many.
 “… In both Judaism and Islam, the codification of religious law (Talmud; Sharia) has been considered a separate discipline and has often taken precedence over theology. Both religions lay stress on the indivisible unity of God and his unknowability by humans, and their theologians were not therefore as exercised with the problem of God’s nature as were Christian theologians. In Christianity, however, the interaction between ideas of essentially Jewish provenance and the Greco–Roman world, and the systematic attempts to define Jesus‘ relationship to God the Father and the Holy Spirit (Trinity), the relationship of divine and human nature in the person of Jesus, and the significance of his birth, crucifixion, and resurrection, have led to a long history of theological argument.” – Oxford Encyclopedia, Tenth Ed.
 “God’s curse is upon those who take graves for their mosque.” — reportedly spoken by The Prophet during his final visit to the Madina Mosque, as recorded in The Life of the Prophet by Mohd H. Haykal ─ See also V 4:51, “the words “Jibt and Taghut” cover wide meanings: … anything worshiped other than Allah i.e., all false deities, it may be an idol, satan, graves, stone, sun, star, angel, saints, or any human being. [see also Tafsir Ibn Kathir]… and sometimes Taghut means a false judge who gives false judgment (V4:60).” The Noble Qur’an, ibid, page 117, also V 4:51 for Allah’s curse.