Dreams, Visions and Revelation The Holy Qur'an The Origins of the Universe

Reason and Revelation

Reason and Revelation (Aziz A. Chaudhry, MD) (Summary of a portion of the book Braheen Ahmadiyya by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Promised Messiah) Words of God and Man’s Speech are not equal At this point, people who do not have the habit of deep thought, offer an objection that alphabet and single words are common in the words of God and words of man and so it shows association of man with God is necessary. The answer is, as we have explained in the main text earlier, that God has taught alphabet and single words to man which he has not invented by his own reason. Speech was taught to man in the beginning by revelation from God. What man has invented is the construction and sequence of sentences as his need may be. Speech and writing of God and man can never be equal, nor it should be otherwise man becomes an associate of God. Clay is a creation of God and man utilises it and makes pottery of many kinds but it does not prove the association of man with God. It might be proved so if man, using clay or dirt, could create animal and plant kingdoms and precious minerals. Man has no such power. Man also has power of invention and speech but it cannot be equal to the invention and speech of God. In some respects man can not compete with some insects which make silk or honey. One should remember well that just like elements of the human body, elements of speech are also from God, by which we mean alphabet, single words and short sentences on which speech is dependent. Whatever man needed for the evolution of his nature was provided by God. A seeker after truth should not be deceived by elements of speech which are found both in the speech of man and God. The difference is that in the literal words of God these words and sentences occur in such a sequence, wisdom, suitability, balance and eloquence as in all works by God. Man can not compete with God in anything He can do. That is why all disbelievers, in spite of their claims of eloquence and being kings of poetry, became dumb when challenged by the Holy Quran. 38 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS There is another aspect to this subject. Certain hope for salvation depends upon perfect certainty in the existence of the Creator and in His promise of punishment and reward. In order to acquire such certainty, a revealed book is necessary which should be beyond human powers to imitate. It is now necessary to consider two points. First, why is salvation related to perfect certainty? Second, why can we not gain perfect certainty from the study of nature? Perfect certainty and salvation depend upon man’s preference to God – the Exalted, and his love for Him above things of the world, its luxury, wealth, relationships and even his own self. But the trouble is that man turns to all these attractions. It is hard for him to turn to God with full zeal unless he has the same perfect certainty about the existence of God, pleasure in meeting Him, and His punishment and reward as he has about the existence of his wealth, property and experienced pleasures. A weak idea cannot overcome a strong idea. A Study of Creation does not lead to certainty about God One cannot acquire perfect certainty of the existence of God from the study of creation, which is not such a book in which one may find it written that God has created this creation, that He really does exist, meeting with Him is real pleasure and that He will reward the faithful and punish the wicked. Reflecting upon creation and that an order and organisation exists in the universe, can only provide the conjecture that this creation should have a creator. There is a great difference between “should be” and’ ‘is”. A person who says “should be” means he does not know any further and cannot say for sure whether God really exists or not. That is why people who only study creation never agree in their conclusions and never will. If it were written on any part of the sky with big and bright words that “I am unique and unmatched God who has created all things and will reward the righteous and punish the wicked” then in that case it might not be necessary for God to adopt any other method for creating certain faith. But this is not the case. In this respect all philosophers and wise men are agreed that a study of nature only provides a conjectural proof and not a real proof and even then only to those who think that nature is not self existing. But an atheist, who thinks that nature is self-existing will not agree and might say that no body has seen these natural things being created by a creator. Reason proves the necessity of the existence of God which it can not prove His actual existence. Many past philosophers who held conjectural arguments were involved in great mistakes and caused many conflicts without reaching a firm conclusion. After possessing thousands of doubts, the majority turned atheists, naturalists and non-believers. The paper boat of philosophy could not lead them to their destination because on one hand they were involved in love of the world and on the other they did not really know what would happen after death. Bereft of perfect certainty they passed their lives in great restlessness. The best that REASON AND REVELATION 39 reason can achieve is to help in reaching the conclusion that there is a necessity for a creator. Such philosophers remained prey to all sorts of doubts like unbelievers. Some denied that God is the all wise Controller. Some considered the sum total of souls to be co-existing with God, a view which is inherited by Arya Samajists. Some denied immortality of souls and the Day of Judgment. Some denied that God has knowledge of particulars and some worshipped idols. And many great philosophers denied altogether the existence of God – the Exalted. Only revealed books provide certain knowledge of God Now returning to the earlier point we have to accept one of two things. Either that God has no intention to lead man to perfect certainty or else He has definitely produced some method to reach perfect certainty. The first proposition is so obviously false that every wise man will agree. If we accept the second proposition we have no choice but to accept that this method must be a revealed book which is unique and unmatchable and in its expressions manifests all the beauties of laws of nature and further in it there is written testimony of its being from God and relates all religious matters. All these qualities will be found only in a revealed book which should be matchless and leads to perfect certainty in spiritual knowledge. An atheist may insist that nature is self-existent but after accepting that a discourse is beyond human powers, one will have to accept that God truly exists who has revealed such a book. He cannot maintain that this revealed discourse is self-existing like nature but will have to accept an author or a speaker for it. An atheist can argue and dispute the claim of a revealed book to be matchless but once he accepts that fact a seed will be sown in his heart to accept the existence of God. In addition this matchless revealed word of God contains what ever spiritual knowledge including life is needed for the perfection of self. This quality is not present in nature as its study does not reveal religious secrets. Without the matchless revealed word of God, salvation is not possible for unless there is perfect certainty about God, there cannot be any salvation. Those who think that it is not necessary that God’s word should be matchless, think ill of God. Alas they do not think that God’s laws of nature are so comprehensive that He has made even insects matchless, though they are not as useful. We reach the conclusion, which is in accordance to the glory of God and need of men, that God has certainly sent such a book for the salvation of mankind and perfection of knowledge which is matchless and leads to perfect spiritual knowledge, something which human reason alone could not accomplish. Such a book is the Holy Quran which has claimed perfection and advanced its proof. Brahmo-Samajists have raised some objections, after great efforts, so that some excuse be found not to accept the book of God, so that matters relating 40 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS to religion may not be perfected, and so that they might not say that just as God has provided sun, moon and food for our physical development, similarly He has revealed His books for spiritual guidance. Because these people blame God – the Exalted with miserliness, lack of love and mala4ministration and because their ideas contain insults and ill thinking about God, it is necessary that we should answer their objections. ,—— Patience and Steadfastness —-, (Holy ouran) “Have patience, then, as had the Messengers of strong determination.” (46:36). “And the gracious word of the Lord was fulfilled for the children of Israel because they were steadfast.” (7:138). “I have rewarded them this day for their steadfastness so that they alone have triumphed.” (23:112). “0 ye who believe! Be steadfast and strive to excel in steadfastness and be on your guard and fear Allah that you may prosper.” (3:201). “And endure thou with patience; and verily, thy patience is possible only with the help Of Allah. And grieve not for them, nor feel distressed because of their plots.” (16:128). “0 you who believe, be patient and enjoin patience and be firm and fear God that you may prosper.” (3:199). “And We will try you with something of fear and hunger, and loss of wealth and lives, and fruits; but give glad tidings to the patient.” (2:151). “Allah is with the steadfast.” (2:245). “And seek help with patience and prayer.” (2:246).

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