Conversation with Allah
My question is in regards to a book by Neale Donald Walsch, Conversations
with God, an Uncommon Dialogue.
In short, the author claims that he has had conversations with God where
he asks God questions and God provides answers and explanations to his
questions. An example of a question in the book is: "why is the world in
the shape it is?" and a follow up question to that is about "the starving
children of Africa, the violence and injustice in America, the earthquake
that kills hundreds in Brazil?" One major question is "What is hell?" and
there is a long explanation to the question, but in short, he writes that
Gods answer is "But hell does not exist as this place you have fantasized,
where you burn in some everlasting fire, or exist in some state of
everlasting torment. What purpose could I have in that? Even if I did hold
the extraordinarily unGodly thought that you did not "deserve" heaven, why
would I have a need to seek some kind of revenge, or punishment, for your
failing? Wouldn't it be a simple matter for Me to just dispose of you?
What vengeful part of Me would require that I subject you to eternal
suffering of a type and at a level beyond description?"
Have any of the Alims come across this book and if so what is their
opinions? If not, what can we think of these books, I mean, can such
things happen where God "talks" to normal people. I ask this b'se the
answers and explanations in this book are so in depth, that I find it hard
to be a work of a normal person. Please provide feedback.
Salamun Alaykum, I have not read the book you mentioned, however here are
some points regarding conversion with God from an Islamic point of view
the way I understand it to be.
1- Regarding conversion with God, the Holy Quran says:
It is not fitting for man that Allah should speak to him except by
inspiration, from behind a veil, or by sending of a messenger to reveal,
with Allah permission, what Allah wills: for He is most High, Most Wise
(chapter 42: verse 51).
We should note that from this verse one may infer that:
a) Speaking with God as a matter of principle is first rejected but as a
matter of exception some avenues are left open
b) Three avenues are left open: inspiration, communication through some
medium, and communication through messengers.
c) Considering the latter part of the verse where it says "for He is most
High, Most Wise", we understand that the reason why people cannot speak
with God except through those three avenues is due to the fact that his
status is beyond the reach of people (He is most High) and his knowledge
is beyond the comprehension of any individual (He is Most Wise).
d) To receive inspiration or be spoken to through a medium requires
certain qualifications, which are beyond the reach of ordinary
people. God did not speak to even some messengers of God. For example the
"Of some messengers We have already told thee the story; Of others we
not; And to Moses Allah spoke directly." (4:164)
"Those messengers we endowed with gifts, some above others. To some of
them Allah spoke; Others He raised to degrees; ..."(2:253)
e) With most of us (perhaps almost all of us) God only speaks through the
revelation, i.e., the Holy Quran.
2- Having said all of the above, regarding the person whom you are
inquiring about, I have no knowledge. But just as a matter of statistical
probability almost 99.9999999 percent of such claims are false. And if
these people make a claim to prophethood , they must perform miracles. If
there is no claim of prophecy we can only trust their words if they are in
agreement with the revelation (the Holy Quran). In the case being spoken
to by God only means that God has revealed His will to him through His
book which has been delivered by a prophet [in this case Hz. Mohammad
3- Finally, many people who did not and do not know the true meaning of
prophethood have always asked to talk to God. These people in their
ignorance consider prophets ordinary people like themselves, far from
them. If it were not because of these exceptional individuals among whom
prophet Mohammad (PBUH) was the most cardinal figure, no human being could
have ever received a word from Allah (SWT). As the Holy Quran says the
request to speak with God by ordinary people is nothing but ignorance:
"Say those without knowledge: "Why speaketh not Allah unto us? Or
cometh not unto us a Sign? So said the people before them words of similar
import. Their hearts are alike. We have indeed made clear the signs unto
any people who hold firmly to Faith." (2:118)