no to rational sacrifice, no to “enchantment”

“The fate of our times is characterized by rationalization, intellectualization and the disenchantment of the world…” said Weber in the beginning of the 20th century. Many today think that he was correct in this claim. People today speak of disenchantment and possible re-enchantment of the world. Weber puts rationalization, intellectualization and disenchantment in one box. The box that has “enchantment” is presumably the box of religion/theology/meaning etc. and these are the opposite of a rational/intellectual disenchantment. It is fair to presume Weber was saying that the world was “enchanted” before it was “disenchanted”. I write this post to say that I do not subscribe to a Weberian dichotomy between enchantment and disenchantment. To believe that the world has a maker, that I have a maker, that He gave me life and everything that I have, every quality or ability at my disposal, is not an irrational enchantment. What the world is, is a question that I ask the One who made it. I do not presume that I can describe it truthfully on my own. That someone or something gave existence to what exists is something I find uncontroversially rational and in this One, the owner of me and my world and all that I love, is my only refuge. My intellect approves of this idea unhesitatingly. It seeks its owner and its refuge. It seeks the meaning of beauty and my love of beauty. It seeks an answer to its lack of ability to give me a satisfactory answer to my yearning for eternal life and joy for all that I love but which, in front of my eyes, is dying and passing constantly.

My friends, there is no “intellectual sacrifice” involved in seeing that things exist and that they couldn’t just happen to be and that they could not give themselves existence. Laws of nature cannot create things. Accident or chance cannot be the source of my life and my love. It cannot be the source or destination for all the beauty and the love of beauty.

I name something a pattern or “law” as an acknowledgement of an order and a willed pattern. The laws do not create the pattern or the order. To say that laws create things or are the cause of things is simply illogical and irrational. Such an assertion has no evidence or logic. Praise to the One who made me, I am not inclined to make such sloppy errors of thinking due to a pre-decided enmity towards accepting the existence of a maker who gives existence to things in an ordered way and makes me able to see that order and appreciate it.

There was no “enchanted” world to begin with (at least there is no such concept that is relevant for me to understand the world as meaningful). It is not enchantment to say that the world has a creator and owner who is my refuge. It is simply the rational and intellectual thing to say.

My concern today is that when I stand before my Lord on the day of reckoning and when my parents and children and family and brothers and loved ones stand before God on the day when He takes account, I am not ashamed and they are not ashamed.

let us not be among those who were not sure of life after death, of our meeting with our Lord, of our Lord’s mercy and judgment. Let us not be those who lived and died without being aware of their Lord and without submitting all things to His lordship and mercy. Let us not be those who cannot answer to Him for the blessings He had given to us – existence, life, love, beauty and most of all, a desire for Him and His pleasure.

For what did I live and for what did I die? What became of the lives and loves of those I loved? What became of our joys and sorrows? What was the meaning of our joys and sorrows? What did we live for? Where did we go? What was our state when we met our Lord?

Those who can do it, I ask that you plead that your God, our God, forgives me and all my loved ones and all his creatures. May all receive his pleasure. may all be saved from eternal punishment. may we all be saved from the shame and pain of our wrongdoings.may we and our loved ones see God’s mercy in all that they experience in life, joys and sorrows, and may we surrender and prostrate and glorify Him until He takes us from this world and we stand before Him. May we stand before Him having fulfilled our purpose and may we all find God’s pardon and prosperity.

Help me God. I need help and I have no one who can help me except you. I trust you with my life and the lives of all that I love. Protect us. Erase our wrongs. Grant us success and reward so our hearts find peace that comes from reaching a good end.

The praise is for the Lord of all worlds.

Published by Faraz Sheikh

Faraz Sheikh

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