Nature of God and Concept of Chosen People and Their Punishment

Muhammad Fakharuddin
20 min readMar 4, 2024
Photo by Maxwell Young on Unsplash

Mulsim on a grander scale is the one who has submitted its free will, in submission to the one powerful creator; and one who willingly agrees to follow and hold on to God's law to the best of his abilities.

Every Person historically speaking is a Muslim who conforms to the above principle—no matter which religion it belongs.

God sends multiple revelations and guidance through its Prophets; so all those Prophets and their followers are Muslims.

The same monotheistic principle applies to them and their teaching but laws keep changing according to context and time, based on human evolution and progress.

with Muhammad PBUH, God decided to send the last Prophet and last guidance

question? why did God decide to end the series of Prophets? maybe because it trusted that humans had developed enough sense and now are capable of learning through history and using rationale means to conclude, that God is one and is the creator and sustainer of this universe, or maybe because with advancement in human evolution and political sense Man is mature enough to take care of itself?

With the advent of the last Prophet, now accepting Islam is one who is also a Muslim who accepts God as one, all-powerful, and also accepts Muhammad PBUH as its last messenger; which also means to accept all Prophets and books before Muhammad PBUH, but those books are not binding to the followers of Islam.

All Abrahamic Faith ( and all Prophets teaching before it) started as monotheistic but with human corruption and weakness to use religion to attain power and fulfill their own desires; it became quite different entity. Jewish has made it into an ethnic religion, while Christianity made Jesus a savior ( or son of God) and in process made it a religion about him instead of following what he preached.

wrote two pieces one for Christian friends and one for the Jewish community addressing this problem

Entering Islam in a legal sense is very easy, but then as one understands, and moves forward in its quest to understand monotheism and its demand it certainly weighs on one; and then God starts to test, if what one is claiming is worthy of it or the claim of love and gratitude one is showing is on a very superficial level.

These gradation of faith are best explained in a famous hadith

The three levels of religion were revealed to the Prophet Muḥammad ﷺ in the famous hadith about his encounter with the Angel Gabriel, upon him be peace. Gabriel came to the Prophet ﷺ while his companions surrounded him and he said, “O Muḥammad, tell me about Islam.” The Prophet ﷺ said:

Islam is to testify there is no true god but Allah and Muḥammad is the Messenger of Allah, to establish prayer, to give charity, to fast the month of Ramadan, and to perform the Hajj pilgrimage to the House if one can find a way.

Gabriel said, “You have spoken truthfully,” and then he said, “Tell me about faith.” The Prophet ﷺ said:

Faith is to believe in Allah, His angels, His books, His messengers, the Last Day, and to believe in the Divine Decree (al-qadr), both its good and its evil.

Gabriel said, “You have spoken truthfully, so tell me about excellence.” The Prophet ﷺ said:

Excellence is to worship Allah as if you see Him, for though you do not see Him, He surely sees you.

As one can notice the difference between levels is not of addition of worship, but of certainty, in one faith, that becomes evident in the heart that it is the truth and that derives every action of one life and making it purposeful and in attainment of God's will.

Islam as an ideology keeps the door for anyone entering into it very easy, but the stairs of love in reaching God are endless.

State of Ummah, most Muslims living in Muslim-majority countries, are legally Muslims because they were born into it, but they do not have to grapple with their faith, their beliefs, and their love, and with their surroundings in accepting this religion of Islam, so they start to take their religion for granted; without studying it; questioning it, understanding and fighting with it, and internalizing it.

It was a similar case when after the success of Prophet Muhammad in conquering Mecca, a lot of Arabs started accepting Islam ( indicated in the verse below)

“The bedouins say: ‘We believe.’ Say: ‘You believe not but you only say, “We have surrendered (in Islam),” for Faith has not yet entered your hearts’…” [Al-Hujurat 49:14]

Also, those Muslim countries were colonized, though which is over but the slave mindset still lingers on, and later most of the rulers were installed by colonizers who were corrupt and made sure they ruled people through authoritarianism and applied policies that their masters pushed through different IMF programs, and ensuring they will be helped in continuing the status quo.

And whenever there was any attempt to revive the Muslim renaissance it was dealt with a heavy hand; and military coups and false media propaganda were orchestrated.

Though Corrupt Muslim leaders were able to ensure their control in most cases, in return, those countries eventually were left behind in technology and economically; as the effort was not invested in uplifting the masses and making them capable, but instead through education and the school system, corrupt leaders maintain their status quo.

This also resulted in most of the intellectuals and educated few who developed through these systems also looking toward Western countries where their true potential can be achieved and they are more in line with Western ideologies and culture; rather than finding new meaning and relevance in their own historic and religious context.

Nature of God’s and its Law

It's a popular saying, that God works in mysterious ways, God is unimaginable from the perspective of the human mind to comprehend, we have finite knowledge, power, and intellect while God has all those attributed as infinite; it is the one who is the creator, sustainer and holds the world together.

Though we cannot imagine God or measure its abilities; God can be understood and realized through its attributes, as is evident through its creations in this unbounded universe; in which creation is always happening; every creature is busy following the rules of its nature and busy singing in the same harmony; while the human is found to be the grunted one and not able to find its true potential.

It's not that human is not created perfect, it's a perfect mix of matter and spirit; It is the only one for whom rules have been bent and provided the ability to rise and explore and consume all the possibilities around it but yet on the other side has been provided with weakness of ego, greed and lower self which make it short of what it can be. Now it's on to the human free will of where he wants to be; can it realize its whole potential and shine like a shining star or choose to be a slave of its lower self and become worse than an animal can be?

God does follow certain laws, if it were not for those laws we would not have found a stable environment on Earth and the laws of Physics would not thrive.

It is also important to understand that the laws set forth by God, are based on infinite wisdom and the ability to know everything, so as humans we need to submit to its will as we cannot fathom the consequence of some divine acts.

Below is the most profound and concise understanding of the creator

  1. Say: He, Allah is One.
  2. Allah is He on Whom all depend.
  3. He begets not, nor is He begotten;
  4. And none is like Him.

Monotheism is the only explanation of one true God that makes sense, since we see unity in the creation and God also explains, that if there were multiple powers we would see conflicts and eventually it would not turn up right.

“If there had been in them (the heaven and the earth) other gods besides Allah, then surely both would have gone to ruin.” 21:23

God based its laws on certain characteristics, it's not that God is dependent on it or cannot change but its laws are based on justice, mercy, and logic.

Transactional relationship, Most people have this expectation of God as our relationship with its mercy is transactional, that if we spend some time or give to a certain charity we will be blessed in a certain manner. But it does not work that way, but is used as a tactic by religious leaders to gain power or donations, as if they control God's will.

God is clear that for a desired change to happen people need to change and work toward changing themselves and make them worthy of his blessing.

“Surely Allah changes not the condition of a people until they change themselves” 13:11

Values of materialistic providence, which humans value the most are non-existent in front of God, and it merely to provide sustenance and is used by it to test people, it provides them more to test if they would be grateful and otherwise, it takes it away those valued possession to realize their patience; some time it also gives them a big leash so they increase in accumulating more sin for oneself (if they are truly misguided).

Quran 3:178: And let not those who disbelieve ever think that [because] We extend their time [of enjoyment] it is better for them. We only extend it for them so that they may increase in sin, and for them is a humiliating punishment.

In the same line Prophet Hadith.

The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “If the world were as worthy to Allah as the wing of a mosquito, an unbeliever would not even be given a sip of water.

Concept of chosen people

Now we have established that God has established certain laws and methods ( by its capacity of infinite wisdom) and are willing to follow them.

The same nature of God can be observed when it comes to choosing a person as Prophet or a Nation to deliver its message, there are multiple places where Allah says Prophets are selected or chosen by whom it wills.

so for instance in Muhammad PBUH's case, The below verse talks about how God decided to pick up an illiterate Prophet in Arabia and pass on the final message.

Quran 62:2, He is the One Who raised for the illiterate people a messenger from among themselves — reciting to them His revelations, purifying them, and teaching them the Book and wisdom, for indeed they had previously been clearly astray — along with others of them who have not yet joined them ˹in faith˺. For He is the Almighty, All-Wise.

This is the favor of Allah. He grants it to whoever He wills. And Allah is the Lord of infinite bounty.

Choosen people, have a moral responsibility, to hold the line of God's laws, and be aware of their strong trust shown by the creator, because they have been chosen to showcase to the world how people of God will behave in times of crises, and when faced with difficulty, and would not be boasting about the fact that they were chosen.

Punishment of Chosen people

If a Prophet or the chosen nation does not hold on to that promise and does not become the representative of God's laws sent to them, then they will face punishment after punishment as a reminder to return to their ways.

The same principle applies to Prophets as well, if they are given responsibility for a certain nation, they cannot leave away from them until a given commandment of God, one of the Prophets ( both in the Quran and Bible), as given as an example, is Prophet Jonah, who after getting dejected from his people decided to leave them and were reminded by God through punishment and then finally realizing it returns to complete what he is tasked for.

Promise with Abraham

God tested Abraham since he was a kid, he asked to leave the nation where he was born, and he went through trials throughout his life, but he stood firm in his love and sincerity to the monotheistic God and was given the title ‘ خليل الله’ KHALILULLAH’, which means ‘the friend of Allah’.

Ibrahim (A.S.) was the forefather of many great Prophets and is held in high esteem by all the major revealed religions i-e Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

Ibrahim (A.S.) is the only person that the Quran commands our prophet to look up to as a role model. Allah Says in the Al-Quran:

“Then, We have inspired you (O Muhammad): “Follow the religion of Ibrahim (Abraham) Haneefa (Islamic Monotheism — to worship none but Allah)” (Surah An-Nahl 16:123)

In the Bible, God promised or took a Covenant, where Abraham (Prophet Ibrahim) is promised a land (“from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates” Genesis 15:18)

On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram and said, “To your descendants, I give this land, from the Wadi of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates —

This Covenant was then reasserted to Abraham’s son Isaac (Prophet Ishaq), the latter’s son Ya’qub (Jacob, later named Israel), and to Moses (Prophet Musa).

We need to realize this is a moral covenant, it is an agreement based on upholding the law; it's not a promise to a race or ethnicity, as evident from the two verses from the bible

Moses told his people: “The Lord will establish you as His holy people, as He promised you on oath, if you keep the commands of the Lord your God and walk in obedience to Him… Do not turn aside from any of the commands I give you today, to the right or to the left, following other gods and serving them” (Deuteronomy 28: 1–14).

Inspired by the will of God, Moses let the Israelites know if they did not serve their Lord joyfully and gladly in the time of prosperity, in hunger and thirst, in nakedness and dire poverty, they will serve the enemies the Lord will send against them as an instrument of His chastisement (as the rod of His anger). God “will put an iron yoke on your neck until He has destroyed you” (Deuteronomy 28: 15–68; 29: 1–29).

We can see from history that Jews did not stay straight and firm on the monotheistic messages; in return, God destroyed their temple two times and dispersed them in the land and they spent their time in the diaspora for most of the period.

Prayer of Abraham

Later when Abraham migrated to Arab and had a son Ishmael, who was also a prophet and later from his lineage God selected another Prophet Muhammad PBUH.

Rasing of a Prophet in Arab land is the acceptance of Abraham's prayer, which he did after reconstructing the Kaba and as recorded in the Quran.

2:127
And ˹remember˺ when Abraham raised the foundation of the House with Ishmael, ˹both praying,˺ “Our Lord! Accept this from us. You are indeed the All-Hearing, All-Knowing.

Our Lord! Make us both ˹fully˺ submit to You1 and from our descendants a nation that will submit to You. Show us our rituals, and turn to us in grace. You are truly the Accepter of Repentance, Most Merciful.

Our Lord! Raise from among them a messenger who will recite to them Your revelations, teach them the Book and wisdom, and purify them. Indeed, You alone are the Almighty, All-Wise.”

Jews were the chosen people

Jews were the chosen people and they were sent Prophet after Prophet, it said that for a period of two thousand years, there was not a single period where they were not guided by a Prophet.

“O Children of Israel! Remember My Favour which I bestowed upon you, and fulfill (your obligations to) My Covenant (with you) so that I fulfill (My Obligations to) your covenant (with Me), and fear none but Me.” (Quran 2:40)

But Jews did not keep on their promises and were sent punishment by God as a reminder, in the principle of a chosen nation, so they will realize this and return to God’s monotheistic message and hold on to it.

Now therefore, if you will obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then you shall be My treasure among all peoples; for all the earth is Mine; And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words which you shall speak to the people of Israel. (Exodus 19:5–6)

But despite warning, they keep on their way, maybe thinking their chosenness is because of their race or specialty, and they keep crossing the line even by by killing the Prophets and also conspiring to kill Jesus, so God decided to rip his chosen tag away and destroy their temple.

The same is explained in the Quran in the following verses,

The example of those who were entrusted with ˹observing˺ the Torah but failed to do so is that of a donkey carrying books.1 How evil is the example of those who reject Allah’s signs? For Allah does not guide the wrongdoing of people.

Say, ˹O Prophet,˺ “O Jews! If you claim to be Allah’s chosen ˹people˺ out of all humanity, then wish for death, if what you say is true.”

But they will never wish for that because of what their hands have done.1 And Allah has perfect knowledge of the wrongdoers.

This is in return for the punishment for, disobeying Allah, killing some of the prophets (including Zachariah and John the Baptist), claiming to have killed Jesus, accusing Mary of adultery, and dealing with usury.

Quran replaced Jews with Muslims ( in continuation of Abraham's prayer)

God decided to send the last Prophet Muhammad PBUH, in the same lineage as Abraham but to his other son Ishmael; and replaced his chosen nation from Jews to Muslims.

Selecting the Arab nation to be a bearer of the last Prophet is a clear sign that, Jews have now not been favored by God to be the bearer of its message.

So Promise made to Abraham still holds, but now with a different set of people, from his lineage, the difference is this final message is for the whole of humanity and is for the end of time and anyone born till the end of the world.

Still, the message is the same as monotheism, but since it's the last message till the end of time, it's a comprehensive message, and it's out of God's infinite compassion for the whole world.

Muslims now are entrusted to uphold God's promise and spread and persevere in the face of difficulty, come what may, and if one realizes it's quite a heavy obligation.

“Let there arise out of you a group of people inviting to all that is good (Islam), enjoining Al-Ma‘roof (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do) and forbidding Al-Munkar (polytheism and disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden). And it is they who are the successful” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:104]

Enjoining what is good (al-mahroof) and forbidding what is evil (al-munkar) is one of the most important Islamic duties, indeed it is the noblest and most sublime. This is the task of the Prophets and Messengers (peace be upon them all).

Allah has made the Muslim ummah the best nation ever raised for mankind, to do this important task.

Muslim Punishment.

Muslims like Jews, do not stay firm on this message of the Quran, hence we saw a similar pattern of punishment being repeated to them.

Major persecutions of Jews happened at the hands of Babylonians, Romans, and Hitler.

On a similar scale, Mulsim suffered at the hands of Mongols, and the Crusades, and then most of their land was Colonized; though they had physically gained freedom still they were virtually ruled by corrupt leaders who were puppets to the Western world.

It's human nature, that they tend to forget when provided with sufficiency, so they start to take things for granted, then when punishment befalls them few become impatient and start to complain; while some stay strong and try to return after being reminded.

This is the same law that has been applied over and over to chosen people of God.

Muslims will become weak is also found in the end-time prophecies of Prophet Muhammad; it is always on the card and in line with human behavior.

“Rather, on that day you will be many, but you will be like foam, like the foam on the river. And Allah will remove the fear of you from the hearts of your enemies and will throw wahn (weakness) into your hearts.” Someone said: “O Messenger of Allah! What is wahn?” He said: “Love of the world and the hatred for death.”

Since the Prophet knew that his nation would not hold on to religion hence he prayed to Allah to not destroy his nation, God did agree that his nation would not be wiped out of the earth, but did not accept his prayer that they would not be divided and fight each other.

Prophet Hadith, ‘I asked my Lord for three things; He granted me two and withheld one. I asked my Lord not to destroy my nation with a widespread famine, and He granted me that, and I asked Him that He not exterminate my nation by drowning, and He granted me that. And I asked Him that He not let their aggression be against one another, but He withheld that from me.’

If the Ummah ( followers of Islam at large) fails to do its duty of holding strong on the right path; enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil, wrongdoing and corruption will spread throughout the land, and it will deserve the curse of Allah.

Being a chosen nation is quite a heavy task

People have this wrong concept that God's chosen people is an easy task, it is a responsibility and trust on you, that you have to abide by.

If few groups in the chosen people are doing the Jobs and upholding the law and establishing justice and peace in the world then it would suffice for the whole nation or group, but if no one takes responsibility then punishment is on everyone so people are reminded of the task they have inscribed with.

Take the example of Abraham, the patriarch of both the Arabs and the Jews. He was granted leadership of mankind only after he had undergone very severe tests and had shown himself to be faithful and true to God under all circumstances. What God had demanded of Abraham was the most difficult sacrifice — his son’s life — and when God finally intervened before Abraham could sacrifice his son, it was because Abraham had demonstrated his perfect willingness to make any sacrifice demanded of him by God, no matter how great or how terrible it might have been.

The rule that applied to Abraham applies to every generation: only those who prove themselves worthy will be granted a share in God’s covenant; those who do not will meet the same fate as any other offenders in God’s sight, regardless of the nation to which they belong. One who is willing to make soul-searing sacrifices for God’s cause shows his utmost dedication to it: it is only just and natural, then, that he should become the leader of his people.

God will replace one group of people with other

For God it's not a big issue, if one group or certain people do not uphold its rules, and are unheard of them, he will select another group and convert them to the right path, hence we saw this after the Mongols destroyed Muslim land and then later themselves become Muslims and then stand up for the cause of Islam. this is in principle to this law

O believers! Whoever among you abandons their faith, Allah will replace them with others who love Him and are loved by Him. They will be humble with the believers but firm towards the disbelievers, struggling in the Way of Allah; fearing no blame from anyone. This is the favor of Allah. He grants it to whoever He wills. And Allah is All-Bountiful, All-Knowing.

Why does God need to have chosen people?

One would ask why chosen people are needed. These are the representative nations of God on earth, who are responsible for showing the right path since there are no Prophets today to show what is right and wrong and how to live a moral and balanced life.

Another important objective is a good and evil problem, which we can also observe in history whenever fascist or dictatorship leaders are risen, they have been anti-religion, and have destroyed places of worship, maybe they think people should rule and follow that evil ideology and consider him supreme ( and religious people as the opposing force), so he banter against religious people.

Quran 22:40, They are those who have been expelled from their homes for no reason other than proclaiming: “Our Lord is Allah.” Had Allah not repelled the aggression of some people by means of others, destruction would have surely claimed monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques in which Allah’s Name is often mentioned. Allah will certainly help those who stand up for Him. Allah is truly All-Powerful, Almighty.

˹They are˺ all those who, if established in the land by Us, would perform prayer, pay alms-tax, encourage what is good, and forbid what is evil. And with Allah rests the outcome of all affairs.

Similarly, if there is oppression in the land, God needs a party to stand for justice and peace, it's not like God can solve all problems but he wants to test his people and make it evident to them who stand for justice and who stood on the wrong path ( so on the day of judgment people will not complain).

It's also a test for those chosen people who are claiming their allegiance to the moral path, to show them their real selves and how strong they are in comparison to their claim, so those who are weak in their claim will drop off mid-way and God will show who is true and worthy in their claim, on the other side it also becomes a testing ground for oppressed people, so they can show perseverance in the face of injustice.

Way forward for Chosen People

The nature of God and its laws stay constant, (it can change as it will), but if you are the one Chosen to proclaim it message of monotheism, it will stick with you; you cannot run away from it and forget it.

Also, this life is a test, there is a judgment coming, and we have been tasked to find a better version of ourselves and in the process give back to society, fight Evil and its forces who run on the greed of acquiring more Power and Capital, and keep humanity its slaves.

So the only way forward is to accept the message, with an open heart and mind, you have been blessed and selected to be worthy of it, can you stand firm on it and be worthy of your belief?

God does not love Israel

Those Christians who think, that God blesses Israel and loves Israel and that they are chosen people; no matter what they do, are wrong in so many accounts, as this article explains chosenness is based on standing by a monotheistic message.

The promise is not made with a secular country, also since the Jewish community did not stand by the agreement they were replaced with another set of Mulsim; who are also part of Abraham's lineage ( as per the original Promise to Abraham lineage) but not with the same group of people originally.

But it's hard to understand when people are blinded by their urge for salvation and apply this reductionist theory.

Similarly, since God does not bless Israel; Rapture Theology is also based on wrong theology, probably it needs an article of its own, but salvation was never just based on faith only, one has to earn it through actions ( after being on a monotheistic message); and God can only decide who is worthy of standing firm on its path and fulfill its obligation; Justice also demands judgment is based on one’s context, abilities and situation specific to that person instead of a general ruling.

Even Palestinian Pastors are calling out these Western churches, who have come up with a wrong theology and hurting them in the process.

https://www.change.org/p/an-open-letter-from-palestinian-christians-to-western-church-leaders-and-theologians

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