Could Not Answer

A Discourse On Knowledge

Although Christians say that “Allâhu ta’âlâ knows things,” on various occasions they impute ignorance to Him. For instance, the Holy Bible, which they claim to have remained intact and which is being read in churches today, reads as follows in the first chapter of Genesis, in the Old Testament: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. ...” “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.” “And God saw the light, that it was good: ...” (Gen: 1-1 to 4) “God created heaven and earth. He saw that they were good and beautiful. ... Then He created that, and saw it was beautiful, good, and then that, and then that... .” (paraphrased from Gen: 1-6 to 31)

[O Christians!] Be reasonable, Supposing a civil engineer wanted to build a house; would he begin the construction before making a project and seeing whether it would be lovely enough? Of course, he would not. [Today also, before the construction of a building begins, an architect designs a plan so that the building will be comely and well-proportioned. In this plan he lays down the measurements of all the contents of the building. And the building is constructed according to this plan. Could a well-shaped building be made by piling up cement, stones, sand and bricks in a haphazard way? Has anyone attempted to make a house without a plan?] Is the knowledge that Allâhu ta’âlâ has even shorter [may Allâhu ta’âlâ protect us from saying so] than that of an engineer, a powerless born slave of His?

It is stated as follows about Allâhu ta’âlâ in the fifth and later verses of the sixth chapter of Genesis, in the Old Testament: “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, ...” “And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.” “And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.” (Gen: 6-5, 6, 7) Moreover, it is written in the seventh and eighth chapters of Genesis that Allâhu ta’âlâ commanded Nûh ‘alaihis-salâm’ to make a ship and live on this ship with his followers, that He annihilated all human beings and all the living except those who boarded the ship, that a flood inundated everywhere, it rained for forty days and forty nights and then the flood subsided, and that Allâhu ta’âlâ remembered Nûh ‘alaihis-salâm’ hundred and fifty days later. (Gen: 7-1 to 24; and 8-1)

It stands to reason that if an imbecile did something of vital importance he would not forget it for forty years. How could it ever be possible for Allâhu ta’âlâ, Creator of all ’âlems, to have forgotten Nûh ‘alaihis-salâm’ and those who were with him? Ignorance that Christians impute to Allâhu ta’âlâ is beyond limits of measurement.

According to Muslims’ belief and the teachings of the ’Ulamâ of Kelâm, all things that have happened and will happen are every moment within the knowledge of Allâhu ta’âlâ. Allâhu ta’âlâ knows everything, no matter whether it is existent or nonexistent, possible to exist or impossible. There is not a tiniest mote outside the knowledge of Allâhu ta’âlâ. Muslims have proved this fact with very many mental proofs.

Deeds of Allâhu ta’âlâ are Muhkam (Thorough, above reproach). They are far from defects or imperfection. There are numerous uses and hikmats in everything He creates. The Person whose Deeds are unchangeable and perfect is certainly the Creator of the universe. When a person sees the orderly systems in heavens and on earth, creation of heavens from nothing, qualities and peculiarities in substances, so many kinds of fruits, vegetables, plants, metals, and innumerable genera of animals, he will realize that the Deeds of Allâhu ta’âlâ are unchangeable and perfect. Upon meditating over the fact that all these things have been created with certain calculations and rules, the human mind will be stupefied. Allâhu ta’âlâ has created many a thing which the human mind falls short of comprehending in this universe.

[From his early childhood, man begins to make enquiries about where the things he sees around him have come from. As the child grows, he gradually realizes what a tremendous work of art this earth is on which he is living, and the more he realizes the greater his bewilderment. By the time he enters upon higher education and begins to learn about the subtleties in all these things and creatures around him, his bewilderment turns into admiration. What a stupendous miracle it is that only owing to the gravitation of the earth men are living on a fire-cored, round (somewhat low on both poles) globe travelling by itself with a great speed in an orbit in space. What a great power it is that makes all these mountains, rocks, seas, living creatures, plants around us, improves them and gives them innumerable peculiarities. While some animals walk on the earth, some of them fly in the sky, and others live in water. The sun, sending its lights unto us, provides the highest heat we could conceive of, which causes development of plants and effects chemical changes in some of them, which results in the formation of such substances as flour, sugar, and many others. On the other hand, our earthly globe is, as we know, only a tiny particle in the universe. The solar system, which consists of planets evolving round the sun and of which our globe is a member, is only one of the very many universal systems whose number is beyond our knowledge. Let us give a small example to explain the power and energy in the universe: The latest gigantic source of energy is the atomic bomb, which men have obtained by splitting (heavy) atomic nuclei. Yet when the energy released by great earthquakes is compared with the energy of an atomic bomb, which men consider to be “the greatest source of energy,” it will be seen that the former type of energy is equal to tens of thousands of atomic energy.

Man is mostly unaware of what a tremendous factory, an immaculate laboratory his body is. In fact, respiration alone is a terrific chemical event. The oxygen inhaled from the air is burned in the body and then exhaled in the form of carbon dioxide.

The alimentary (digestive) system, on the other hand, is a colossal factory. Nutritives received through the mouth are decomposed and assimilated in the stomach and bowels, the salutary essence extracted is transfused into the blood by way of the intestines, and waste matter is discharged. This fantastic event is automatically accomplished with super precision, and thus the body functions like a factory.]

Neither paper nor pens would suffice to write the details of these events. This fact is more obvious than the sun to scientists such as astronomers, anatomists, zoologists and botanists. [And the Creator of all these phenomena is ALLÂHU TA’ÂLÂ, who is the owner of very great power, who never changes and who is eternal.]

Especially the Awliyâ-i-kirâm, that is, people who have attained to high grades in the world of souls, see very clearly how perfectly systematic the Deeds of Allâhu ta’âlâ are. And perfect, systematic deeds, in their turn, signify that their owner is highly knowledgeable. For instance, when a person sees a beautiful handwriting, he will infer that the person who wrote it is learned and skilled in calligraphy. As a matter of fact, the hundred and sixty-fourth âyat of Baqara sûra purports, “Certainly, creation of heavens,[garnished with stars], and earth, [embroidered with mountains, seas, plants]; nights and days following one another; ships travelling on the sea and carrying to people what they need; rains which Allâhu ta’âlâ pours from heaven and thus resuscitates the plants after the earth has dried up; all sorts of animals which He spreads over the earth; winds which He makes blow from all directions; clouds which float between heaven and earth with the command of Allâhu ta’âlâ; all (these things)bear evidences and lessons concerning the power and greatness of Allâhu ta’âlâ for those who have reason, wisdom and discernment.” The fifty-third âyat of Fussilat sûra purports, “We shall show them [Meccans] our âyats [the sun, moon, stars, trees, winds, rains, formation of a baby’s limbs in its mother’s womb, which signify our greatness]both in the âfâq [in heavens and on earth] and in their very nafs [the exquisite qualities and dissimilitudes in their creations]. At last it shall be evident to them that what He [Qur’ân al-kerîm and Rasûlullah] said, is true.”

The expression ‘âyats in the âfâq’ in this âyat-i-kerîma is used to mean the worldly signs which denote the power of Allâhu ta’âlâ, such as heavens, stars, night and day, rays of the sun, darkness, shades, water, fire, earth, air. And what is meant by the ‘âyats [signs] in the enfus’ is those which are inside man, such as formation of child’s limbs in mother’s womb, [accomplishment of tremendous phenomena in an automatical and exceedingly fantastic manner, such as taking the oxygen from the air, burning it in the body, and expelling it in the form of carbon dioxide, taking substances of nutrition and drinks through the mouth, decomposing and digesting them, extracting their essence useful to body in the intestines and transferring it into blood, discharging their useless parts, functioning of the heart, the kidneys’ filtering harmful matter from blood, ... etc.]. The hikmat of expressing the âfâqî (objective) and enfusî (subjective) proofs in these âyat-i-kerîmas is to make them know, [have îmân in, and worship] Allâhu ta’âlâ, who is far from being opposite from or identical with His born slaves, who knows everything, who is the owner of hikmat, and who is Almighty. In short, these immaculate and orderly Deeds signify that Allâhu ta’âlâ, their Owner and the Creator of all these phenomena, has perfect knowledge and power. The ’Ulamâ of Kelâm have proved this by various evidences. For instance:

1 — Allâhu ta’âlâ is abstract. That is, He is not substantial [or material. He is not an element. He is not an alloy or a compound. He is not numerable. He cannot be measured. He cannot be calculated. No change occurs in Him. He is not dependent upon space. He is not at or in a place. He is not dependent upon time. He does not have an antecedent, a consequence, front, back, top, bottom, right, left. Therefore, the human thought, the human knowledge, the human mind cannot comprehend anything concerning Him]. And He, who is abstract, knows everything.

2 — Allâhu ta’âlâ, whose Person is sublime, knows His own Person. A creator who has this capacity knows others as well. Man’s knowing means his mentally visualizing the essences of really existent objects in a manner free of their material beings. There is nothing unknown to Allâhu ta’âlâ. He knows the true essence of His Person. It is a known fact that he who knows himself will know others, too.

Allâhu ta’âlâ has created everything except Himself with or without a means. Knowing the creatures necessitates knowing the existence of a creator.