REVELATION

God Communicates With Us.

As God has invested man with the faculty of reason for the understanding, to some degree, of elementary matters, in the same way God has vested in him a hidden faculty of receiving revelation. When human reason arrives at the limit of its reach, then at that stage God Almighty, for the purpose of leading His true and faithful servants to the perfection of understanding and certainty, guides them through revelation and visions. Thus the stages which reason could not reach are traversed by means of revelation and visions, and seekers after truth thereby arrive at full certainty. This is the way of Allah, and it is to guide us towards this path, that Prophets have appeared in the world.

Without treading this path, no one has ever arrived at true and perfect understanding. But the limited philosopher or intellectual is in such a hurry that he desires everything to be disclosed at the stage of reason. He does not know that reason cannot carry a burden beyond its strength, nor can it step further than its capacity. He does not reflect that, to carry a person to his desired excellence, God Almighty has bestowed upon him not only the faculty of reason but also the faculty of experiencing visions and revelations. It is the height of misfortune to make use of only the elementary means out of those that God has, out of His Perfect Wisdom, bestowed upon man for the purpose of recognizing God, and to remain ignorant of the rest.

It is extremely unwise to let those faculties atrophy through lack of use and to derive no benefit from them. A person who does not use the faculty of receiving revelation and denies its existence cannot be a true philosopher, whereas the existence of this faculty has been established by the testimony of thousands of the righteous and all men of true understanding have arrived at perfect understanding through this means.

Tuned into God

Revelation is not, and should not be considered anything supernatural or strange or fantastical by any means. The case of revelation is like that of radio transmission. Do we not listen to invisible radio waves everyday? There is a transmitter and a receiver, but the information is transmitted in an unseen way. All that is needed is that the receiver is tuned to the same frequency of the transmitter. This is very analogous to how revelation works. The transmitter is God, and the receiver is someone who is spiritually tuned to God’s frequency. A righteous soul selected by God for holy communion.

Spiritual Faculties

One type is the intellectual faculties, the source of which is the brain, and the other type is spiritual faculties the source of which is the heart. The purity of spiritual faculties depends upon the purity of the heart. That which cannot be discovered through the intellectual faculties is reached through the spiritual faculties. Spiritual faculties can develop such a degree of purity that the grace of God will be mirrored in them, but the condition is that they should be eager for the acquisition of grace and any obstructions should be removed Recognizing that God exists is not enough. Rather, by striving to attain the honour of Divine converse, they should behold His countenance directly through having experiencing His signs, and thus should attain complete certainty that the Creator exists.

Belief in the unseen is a fundamental constituent of the Islamic faith as mentioned in the verse quoted above. But the Quran is a book of reason and rationality which roundly condemns coercion or threat in any form to change human ideas. Thus to interpret this verse to indicate that it promotes blind faith by requiring man to believe in the ‘unseen’ would stand counter to this Qur’anic principles.

Quite to the contrary, to believe in the spurious without evidence and solid justification is what the Qu’ran attributes to the non-believers. It further condemns them for attempting to change the views of the believers by sheer brutality. What then, does the phrase ‘Belief in the Unseen’ mean?

Let us point out that the lack of knowledge about things does not necessarily mean that they do not exist. They may exist, but lie hidden behind the veil of the unknown. Later, either through the course of human investigation or through the agency of Divine revelation, they emerge from the realm of the unseen to that of the seen. All hidden knowledge of perceivable things, whether it pertains to the past, the present or the future, lies within the scope of this category.

In other words, we are required to believe in the existence of things which are not known at a given point in time, but do exist and may become known at another point in time. This belief cannot be dubbed as blind faith. The Qur’an does not require the believers to have faith in anything which is not supported by irrefutable arguments. Hence the unseen covers only such things as may become accessible through the instruments of reason, rationality and deductive logic. The point to be noted here is that the unseen as defined, though not directly perceivable by the senses, is yet verifiable. The rationale of this Qur’anic injunction is fully supported by human experience.