What is GORAP?
GORAP is iERA’s dawah conversation framework based on a Qur’anic methodology. It allows you to take any conversation about Islam directly to the foundations of the religion.
The acronym stands for God’s Existence, Oneness, Revelation, And Prophethood.
The ‘G’ of GORAP stands for God (or God’s existence), and one of the simplest arguments to use is the design argument. Take the example of a bottle of water; it has been designed with certain features, such as a lid, transparent plastic and a label – each of these elements have a purpose. For instance, the transparent plastic allows you to see how much water the bottle has in it.
Designed features indicate a… designer.
So if something as simple as a water bottle has a designer, then what about something as complex, powerful and beautiful as the universe?. We as Muslims, believe that God is the Creator and Designer.
Moving on to ‘O’, or Oneness of the GORAP. This can be explained simply by the following analogy: God A wants to make a room with yellow painted walls and God B wants to make a room with blue painted walls. What would be the result? Would it be yellow or blue?
Well, by definition in Islam, God is ‘The All-Powerful’. If we follow this analogy, a paradox would result, which would be a conflict of wills. God A would be fighting God B’s will and vice versa. The result would be chaos and a meltdown.
If there were more than one God, we would have seen disorder within the creation; however, as we have order within the creation, the Creator must be one.
This is similar to what is mentioned in the Qur’an, where Allah says, “Had there been within the heavens and earth gods besides Allah, they both would have been ruined. So exalted is Allah, Lord of the Throne, above what they describe.” (21:22).
Let’s look at the ‘R’ from the GORAP approach – Revelation. There is a need for revelation to mankind, as it announces God’s presence to us of His Oneness. It also explains His nature (who He is) and it provides us with a manual on how to live our lives. Take this simple example, every time you buy an electrical gadget or device, what do you get with it in the box? An instruction manual! This is to show you how to use it correctly, all the warnings, do’s and don’ts, recommendations, etc.
The Qu’ran, which is the final revelation from God, is an instruction manual for human beings. So it has within it the do’s and don’ts for life. For example, save lives, be good to your neighbours, give to charity, do not consume intoxicants, do not gamble, do not lie etc. It also contains wisdom, morals, lessons, history, stories and so much more.
However, anyone can write a book and claim it is from the creator. So a book that is truly from God would have some evidence to show it is from the creator and not from man. The Qur’an has many pieces of evidence that can be explored, such as its miraculous literary and linguistic features, or its preservation throughout the ages.
Another area that can be discussed is how the Qur’an addresses various levels of intellect, at various times, and has a whole host of meanings for a particular word that it uses to describe the natural world. These words can relate to past and present understanding of the natural world, and they can relate to non-scientific meanings too, such as spiritual and moral insights.
Many of the statements in the Qur’an concerning nature and science agree with various levels of understanding and have a range of meanings. This means it has the ability to engage with various audiences, whether the 7th century or the 21st century and yet remain valid and agreeable with established reality.
This should surely make one think about who authored this book!
‘P’ or Prophethood was last part of the GORAP. What was the common, core message of all the Prophets? To believe in and worship one All-Mighty Creator.
Adam, Noah, Jesus and all the Prophets up to the final Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) all had this in common.
To claim that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) made this message up or lied his way to power has no merit. He was known for having an amazing character, even before claiming prophethood. In a time where corruption was widespread, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) would not engage with the evils that the society was immersed in. He would look after the orphans and elderly and would help to improve the society. As a result, the people honoured him with the title, the truthful and the trustworthy.
In fact, the Prophet (peace be upon him) was offered power, wealth and women by the chiefs of Makkah. He refused them all for the message he brought, which in turn resulted in him suffering great hardships. Does this sound like the profile of someone who is a liar to you?
To claim that he suffered from delusions – where he actually thought he was a prophet but in reality, he was not – also has no merit. This is very problematic because a deluded person could not have produced something as miraculous as the Qur’an. The coherence and message of the Qur’an that was revealed to him over a 23 year period could not have been produced from the ramblings of a deluded person.
In conclusion, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) did not have the psychological profile of someone who was a liar or deluded. Therefore, he was telling the truth and he is the Messenger of God.
That is a brief overview of iERA’s GORAP conversation framework.
To learn how to holistically share the message of Islam with compassion and reason, please visit iera.org