The second proof: Mental reflection over Allaah’s kingdom

Dr. ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Abd Al-‘Aziz Al-Muslih

Article translated to : العربية Français

          The mind is the highest thing in man. It is the greatest gift Allaah Gave to him and is an incomparable honor. By it he is distinguished from livestock and other animals. The Noble Quran counted the one who neglects to use his senses and mind, not searching for the truth, as one who is more lost than livestock. That is because he does not employ the cognitive tools that were created for him. Instead, he keeps panting in pursuit of his desires and urges. Allaah The Almighty Says (what means): 

{Verily the worst of creatures according to Allaah are those deaf and dumb who do not intellectualize.} 

[Quran 8:22]

He also Says (what means): 

{For the Hellfire We have generated a multitude of Jinn and men. They have hearts, but not used to comprehend. They have eyes, but not used to perceive. They have ears, but not used to listen. These are like livestock; rather, they are more astray. These, they are the heedless.} 

[Quran 7:179]

          The Noble Quran regards the perceptive and reflective mind as a basis for salvation from Hellfire and victory unto Paradise. Allaah Says (what means): 

{They say, “If only we had listened or intellectualized, we would not be companions of the Blaze.”}

[Quran 67:10]

          Islam regards mental preservation as one of the five primary interests that Sharee‘ah (Islamic law) seeks to preserve. This preservation is complete, providing protection from doubts, destructive ideas, and vile values that lead to ruin. It also protects the mind from intoxicants and narcotics, as Islam forbade anything that removes one's mental capacity. Even traces of wine that do not intoxicate are forbidden, blocking the means to corruption and as a precaution to the consumption of a small amount becoming a gateway to a large amount. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said, 

“Whatever intoxicates in a large amount is forbidden in a small amount.”

[Ibn Maajah (3393)

, Abu Dawud (3681), At-Tirmithi (1865), an-Nasa’i (5607)].

          Islam seeks to block the paths of the devil and eradicate evil from the mind, out of respect and appreciation for it, in consideration of its role in verifying our responsibility to cultivate the earth, and to establish Allaah’s commands which He set for our benefit and prosperity. There are numerous verses in the Qur’an that straightforwardly address the mind, saying that it should look, ponder and search, thus making reflection an Islamic obligation. Allaah The Almighty Says (what means):

 {Say: Look at what is in the heavens and the earth, but the signs and warnings do not avail a people who do not believe.} 

[Quran 10:101]

He The Almighty also Says (what means): 

{Those who remember Allaah while standing, sitting, and on their sides; and who reflect over the creation of the heavens and the earth. “Our Lord, You did not create this in vain. Glory to You! Protect us from the torment of hellfire.”}

[Quran 3:191]

          ‘Abbas Mahmood Al-‘Aqqaad (d. 1964), a researcher into matters pertaining to mental usage and reflection, affirmed this in at-Tafkīr Farīdhah Islāmīyah (p. 9):

>span >          Due to the importance of the mind in attaining knowledge, a person must ponder the path to the procurement of an education and the attainment of definite beliefs.

          Let us analyze the linguistic meaning of the word ‘aql [in Arabic, “mind, intellect”]. The basic derivation of this word, according to some linguists, is that it means restriction and restraint. The scholars of our nation are unanimous that acquiring Sharee‘ah knowledge of, looking into, and reflecting over the kingdom of Allaah, along with purifying oneself, complete detachment from carnal bonds, and abandoning desires; will lead man to attaining the truth in a straight way pursuant to the method of the Quran and Sunnah.

          The many sciences of the Sharee‘ah, coupled with intellectual reflection over the conspicuous blessings and other gifts so copious from our Lord The Most Generous, after abandoning selfish desire, will collectively contribute to gaining insight. One may then discover what Allaah has Deposited into this vast existence of lessons, signs and blessings, that he may know thereafter that these blessings are a donated gift from Allaah. Then the light of divine knowledge, when it reaches the sound mind, will produce truthful certainty. Employing the mind in this matter is a necessary obligation in the religion of Islam, while the Church fathers regarded the inspired text and the Church itself as the only sources of knowledge. The intellect was discarded. Saint Anselm of Canterbury (d. 1109) said in Proslogion 1 (translated by Sidney Deane):

Nor do I seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe that I may understand. For this too I believe, that unless I first believe, I shall not understand.

Paul (d. 67) said in 1 Corinthians 1:19 (with GNT):

I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and set aside the understanding of the scholars.

As such, the Church waged war against scientists. This fierce war led to the burning at the stake of Giordano Bruno (d. 1600) and to Galileo (d. 1642) being forced in court to recant his idea about heliocentrism (the rotation of the earth around the sun) and to support what the Church considered to be true; that the earth is stationary. Religion and science had clashed.

          The mathematician and physicist P.C.W. Davies said in his book Space and time in the modern universe that science has distanced itself from the Biblical understanding of cosmogony. However, the Quran and Sunnah have come to dispel the false accusation that religion is incompatible with science. Science, the sound mind, and religion all progress together in harmonious unity. It is not fitting that the mind, given to us by Allaah, should ever be inoperative. Rather, it is a mind's meditation over Allaah's vast kingdom that makes the mindful person, through his reflections, realize that behind this perfect design is something wise; and behind this precision in due measure is the perfection of a powerful producer. If his mind then went on to reflect over the results that he sees, the manifestations of wisdom, graceful artistry, and great planning would become clear. He would know with certain knowledge that behind this wisdom is something intent and judicious. He would know that behind these blessings is something truly generous. He would know that the maintainer of the kingdom of the heavens and the earth is something living and lasting, majestic and great. For that, our Lord The Almighty Commanded us to reflect over His vast dominion. Allaah The Almighty Says (what means):

 {Verily in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the difference of night and day, there are signs for those with intellects; those who remember Allaah while standing, sitting, and on their sides; and who reflect over the creation of the heavens and the earth. “Our Lord, You did not create this in vain. Glory to You! Protect us from the torment of Hellfire.”} 

[Quran 3:190-191]

          The man confused by the various paths may ask about the true method of using the mind to prove the existence of The Creator, so we say to him: The correct method and safest, most marked, and fairest path is the method of the noble Quran. Allaah Condensed therein this greatest of theorems, using the clearest intellectual proofs, called[evidence of invention] by the scholars of Islam. Allaah The Almighty Says (what means):

 {Or were they created from nothing? Or are they the creators?} 

[Quran 52:35]

, and then He challenged them, Saying (what means): {Or did they create the heavens and the earth? Rather, they are not certain.} [Quran 52:36]

          The summary of this Quranic method, of which our Lord Told us, can be summed up in three sure axioms:

          The first axiom is that every deed requires a doer. This is one of the most intuitive intellectual postulates. Man is a creature on earth, and he came to exist after his non-existence. Allaah The Almighty rhetorically Asks Saying (what means): 

{Has there ever been an instance in time for man when he was not something mentioned?} 

[Quran 76:1]

          He also Says (what means): 

{How do you disbelieve in Allaah, while you were lifeless and He made you live?} 

[Quran 2:28]

It is not possible for a person to contend with this and to claim the existence of a product without a producer to produce it. This theorem is innate, intuitive and indisputable, as intellects old and new have agreed. The alternative is nothing more than acting as a small child; when he is asked about “who broke the glass”, he answers in a way as to avoid accusation, suggesting “it broke by itself”. You might laugh sarcastically at the invalidity of his response, since the most intuitive of postulates requires that every deed has a doer.

          The second axiom is that this deed, i.e. creating the complex craft called man, with his incredible composition made in the best of statures, reflects the supreme ability of the wise maker, glory to Him. You can read with your mind and see with the eye of insight and reflection many of the attributes of the doer through his deeds.

          For example, the fetus being formed in the mother's womb: From whence comes his food, drink and air? He lives in his mother's belly, feeding from the placenta, and behind three layers of darkness.

 {He creates you in the wombs of your mothers, creation after creation, in three layers of darkness.} 

[Quran 39:6]

, i.e. the darkness of the placenta, the darkness of the womb, and the darkness of his mother’s belly. Then when he emerges and his provision is cut off with the cutting of the umbilical cord, we find he has new provision in his mother's milk, warm during winter and cool during summer. When he emerges to pur world, we find he has a tongue with which he shouts, declaring his need for nutrition; and two eyes with which he sees; and two feet for walking. All of that is: 

{in the best of statures.} 

[Quran 95:4]

          Insight indicates that the one who brought all of this into being is a great, gracious, and merciful Maker. Through pondering this truth, one can say with complete confidence that such is a truly kind Benefactor. This is seen in the effects of these blessings and this mercy, which encompasses creation from beginning to end. One is then able to say with surety and ease that the One who manifested this is The Cognizant Creator.

 {Does not the One who created know, while He is subtle, yet aware?}

 [Quran 67:14],

as He prepared for man the means to hear, see, speak and move, that he may engage his life in all its phases.

          Even in the four ducts of the face: tears in the eye, saliva in the mouth, cerumen in the ear and mucus in the nose, one can realize the far-reaching wisdom in such decent design and correct arrangement.

          As such and as one continues his study of human design, he can deduce the attributes of Allaah’s perfection; regarding His ability, being the Sustainer of existence, creativity, sovereignity, dominance, perfection of formation of all creatures, wisdom, and knowledge of what is seen and what is unseen. We thus know with certainty that The One who Designed man and Brought him into being is Allaah Alone, without any partner, and that He is described with these great attributes.

{There is nothing like unto Him, and He is hearing and seeing.}

[Quran 42:11]

          Why say this and believe this? It is because anything other than Allaah is fake and false, a fallacy to the mind and truth, and a denial of the most intuitive of sure postulates;

 {For that is Allaah your Lord the truth; what then is beyond the truth except error?}

 [Quran 10:32]

          As for the opinion that everything is random, a main reference for those who snub and deny Allaah, then whoever accepts that is thereby betrayed whenever the many manifestations of wisdom in creation reoccur; randomness has no wisdom or permanence, and so rare is its repetition.

          Consider a typewriter. If the letters were pressed randomly until a proper word is formed; after a million attempts, it is not likely that the same word would appear. How then could we imagine that such an activity could produce a complete literary work of science? Further, the current library of human knowledge has yet to completely catalog man and the world around him. How right was he who said, “This universe is an immense book and the scholars have merely read some words on its cover.”

          This universe, with its marvelous design and great constitution, is the loudest speaker against the opinion of randomness and the failure of its claim. As for these, who when asked about what brought the existence of all things into being, they try to hide behind “nature”; and when asked about nature’s own design, and that every design must have a designer, and every deed a doer; then they are annoyed when their claims are frustrated by fair researchers of the people of truth and equity. One could say to them: This “nature” was nonexistent before its existence; and something nonexistent does not cause itself to exist. Even your own self, before it existed, was nonexistent. Or did you somehow spontaneously bring about your existence? 

{Or did they create the heavens and the earth? Rather, they are not certain.}

 [Quran 52:36]

          The third axiom is that the alleged doer (“nature”) is essentially unable to intelligently do anything from beginning to end, being, itself, unaware and inoperative. Ar-Rahaawi, (d. 10c) wrote in Adab at-Tabīb(1/35), quoting the Greek philosopher Aristotle (d. 322b):

“Is it not a wonder that nature, unable to understand, is driven to a designed purpose, yet it does not ponder or reflect over the deed it does?”

          Indeed, nature is created, which means it is itself designed, and every creature requires a creator. This is one of those most intuitive postulates, of certainty, fixed in each mind for all mankind.

          O seeker of truth! O inquirer for proof! Nothing remains in front of you but to know with certain knowledge which is not mixed with doubt, nor shaken by suspicion, to believe with all confidence that the creator, bestower of blessings, provider, and maintainer of the dominion of the heavens and the earth is Allaah, The Living and The Everlasting, not something other than Allaah. Therefore, He Alone is the generous Lord: loved, served and obeyed. 

{Truly to Him belong the creation and the command. Blessed is Allaah, Lord of the worlds.}

 [Quran 7:54]



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