Jun 1, 2009, 8:02 AM
As for the teachings of the Quran concerning the knowledge of God, they so draw the truth-seeking spirit of the human being to the exalted concepts they expound that it rises up far above the values of the material world and fixes its gaze on horizons where new dimensions of reality become visible. God Who presents the Quran to mankind is a unique force who cannot be compared with any created being. The norms He has established rule over the entire phenomenal world, and in His infinity, He cannot be contained within the conceptual world. The Quran proclaims: “He is God, the One without like; He is all-hearing and all-seeing.” (42:10). We know that all existing things can be classified either as matter or as energy, and the Quran refutes clearly the possibility that the exalted essence of God be compared either to matter or to energy.
This is the categorical statement of the Quran: “No eye can perceive Him, but He observes all eyes; H is subtle and invisible and well-aware of all things.” (6:103)
The Quran guides the human being to reflect carefully on the scheme of creation, to ponder deeply the inner nature of the bounties with which he has been blessed as well as the phenomena which surround him. A believer who travels through creation and reflects on the purposiveness of phenomena and contemplates the inner and outer aspects both of his own being and of his surroundings will reach the conclusion that all things are advancing each by means of its specific path toward a certain goal. If the human being wishes to attain his own salvation, he must conform to this universal tendency of all phenomena and join the caravan that is proceeding to the meeting with God.
The Noble Quran regards awareness of God as something innate in the human being, deriving from the essence of the laws that govern creation.It depicts materialists and atheists as being caught up in s realm of mental abstraction and struggling against their innate disposition to seek God. Similarly, all kinds of deviation from the path of monotheism, whether it be the dualism of Zoroastrianism or Trinitarianism of Hinduism and Christianity (for the followers of Christianity imported the belief in the trinity into their faith from other religions), are condemned by the Quran. It regards all such deviations as attempts to conceal the truth: “Those who say that God is one among three are unbelievers.” (5:73). When condemning the belief that Ezra and Jesus were sons of God, the Quran describes this belief as a remnant of the beliefs held by ancient peoples: “The Jews and the Christians say that Ezra and Jesus were the sons of God. This is what they say with their tongues, following those who were unbelievers before them.” (9:30).
The Quran makes this clear proclamation to the Prophet: “Say All praise belongs to God Who has never taken a son or a partner and Whose might and power can never diminish so that He might stand in need of a friend or a helper. Always praise the Divine Essence with mention of the greatest attributes of perfection.” (17:111). Finally, in a short surah, the Quran thoroughly refutes the false thinking that underlies polytheism as follows: “Say He is God, the One; He is not empty of content; He is not the offspring of anyone, nor is anyone His offspring; nor is anyone like unto Him.” (112)
The statement that God is “not empty of content” (this being one of the possible meanings of samad) may relate to the fact that matter is hollow, generally speaking; there is a remarkable vacuum at the hearts of the atoms that make up the material world. This surah may thus be proclaiming that not belonging to the category of matter, God is “not empty of contents.” Paul Clarence Ebersold, a physicist, poses this question: “Is God a person? Some people might reply that he is, but I do not think this scientifically correct.
Scientifically speaking, we cannot form a material concept of God, for He exists beyond the realm of material perception. It is true, on the other hand that numerous phenomena prove His existence; the works of His creation show clearly that He possesses infinite intelligence, knowledge and power.”
Weinhold, a well-known chemist, writes: “God does not represent some finite, material energy. Our limited ability to experiment and conceptualize is incapable of defining Him. Belief in the existence of God is a matter of the heart, although science may prove Him to be the prime and ultimate cause and thus indirectly reinforce the belief of the heart.”
This is how the logic of science approaches the question of describing the existence of the Creator. That which the Quran says concerning His unique essence is therefore, in exact conformity with the highest truths of science. The true value and significance of the fully rational teachings of the Quran concerning God become particularly apparent when we adopt comparative approach in examining the relevant verses of the Quran. We could compare them for example, with the teachings of Ancient Greece, the beliefs of Buddhism or Zoroastrianism or those held by the Arabs in the Age of Ignorance, for each of these covered a considerable portion of the world at that time. A neutral and objective comparison of this kind would enable us to appreciate better the value of the conscious belief preached by Islam, a belief based on pure monotheism in all its aspects and aimed at channeling all human activities toward a single goal.
Such a comparison would also help us to understand more fully the miraculous nature of the Quran as an abundant source of truth, first made available to us more than fourteen centuries ago. No one who is armed with the weapon of religion and is fully conscious of the true teachings of Islam will form attachment to anything apart from his faith and whatever he needs to attain his high goals
To be continued