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Islamic Ideology ( 24 Aug 2018, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Quranic Method of Cognition of Realities



By Kazi Wadud Nawaz, New Age Islam

24 August 2018

The Holy Qur'an is a Divine Manual of Universal Governance. It has been revealed for the guidance of mankind. It's a manual for transforming the world and building up individual and collective life of mankind on the basis of Islamic Law and Code of Conduct and to make them worthy of the status of Allah's Caliph on earth. General approaches of the Holy Qur'an towards cognition of the objective realities are as follows:

A.  Open- Ended Qur'anic Approach of Cognition of Realities:

The Holy Qur'an through the verse (Qur'an:3:7) which is self-explanatory has clearly suggested a correct approach towards the understanding of the Reality through integration of comprehensible and incomprehensible aspects of divine signs.

"He it is Who has sent down to thee the Book: In it are verses basic or fundamental (of established meaning); they are the foundation of the Book: others are allegorical. But those in whose hearts is perversity follow the part thereof that is allegorical, seeking discord, and searching for its hidden meanings, but no one knows its hidden meanings except Allah. And those who are firmly grounded in knowledge say, "We believe in the Book; the whole of it is from our Lord:" and none will grasp the Message except men of understanding." [Qur'an:3:7].

The basic principles of Islamic Faith, religious ethics, social and family laws and all verses related to Allah's Attributes or ‘Sifat' belong to the category of clear and comprehensible verses (Ayat-e-Muhkamat). Qur'anic verses that point to the miraculous events of the unseen occurring in the worldly life under direct divine intervention beyond the cognitive ability of mankind belong to the category of incomprehensible verses. (Ayat-e-Mutashabihaat)

The visible world forms the foundation of the clear and comprehensible domain of the Holy Qur'an (Ayat-e-Muhkamaat) that finds its extension in incomprehensible and non-visible reality (al-Gayeb) reflected by the allegorical domain of the Holy Qur'an (Ayat-e-Mutashabihaat).

The universe with all its interconnected physical phenomena manifests divine attributes extending towards the domain of spirituality and collectively leads towards a Singular Eternal Entity, the ultimate cause of all creations. The same thing happens with Time as a Divine Attribute.  Its manifestation and impact on the evolutionary process of life and universe constitute the comprehensible domain of divine signs in the physical world well within the cognitive capacity of Science. But the scientists are getting baffled and confused on the question of the origin of time, life, consciousness and the universe. Since all these points to the essence or ‘Zaat' of the Eternal Reality, they form the incomprehensible part of divine signs ie, "Ayat-E-Mutashabihaat". Their manifestations, impact and functional strategies all might come within the range of scientific endeavour as part of "Ayat-e-Muhkamaat" but the Ultimate Truth, in the final analysis, will be beyond the reach of science. And hence for the Modern Physics, Time is still an Illusion and so far as its beginning and origin are concerned will remain illusory beyond the cognitive ability of Science for all time to come.

Elevating Human Consciousness towards Just Estimation of Powers, Jurisdiction and Sovereignty of Allah (SWT):

"No just estimate have they made of Allah, such as is due to Him" -   says the Holy Qur'an [verse- 39:67].  Just estimate of Divine attributes is a vital component of faith of a believer. The Holy Qur'an, from beginning to end has described and explained in details, the depth and intensity of divine blessings and mercy on mankind, to convince him of Allah's greatness as the Creator.

All Qur'anic Verses without exception in course of argumentation have adequately dealt with logical basis of Allah's Sovereign Authority that demands acknowledgement and recognition of Divine Blessings from mankind on the stand-point of faith and morality.  

The Holy Qur'an has provided mankind with a divine tool for evaluating and understanding the Attributes of Allah manifested in worldly life in its ‘True (Haq)' perspective. And Science in course of its advancement gradually reveals glories of Allah's creation unravelling underlying Laws of Universal Governance.

The Holy Qur'an considers the universe, the Heavens and the Earth as a Divine Book full of signs similar to the verses of the Holy Qur'an, stretched open for mankind to study and reflect on the manifestations of the Attributes of Allah as the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe.  The Holy Qur'an through many of its verses has revealed close similitude between divine signs of the physical world and the Holy Qur'an itself. Allah says:

"On the earth, there are signs for those of assured faith. As also in your own selves: will ye not then see? And in Heaven is your Sustenance, as (also) that which you are promised. Then by the Lord of heaven and earth, this the very Truth, as much as the fact that you can speak intelligently to each other." [Verses: 20, 21, 22 and 23].

Allah speaks to mankind, His Caliph on earth, in the language of divine signs pervading the physical world and also through the Books of Revelation.

Scientific knowledge as divine blessings has been bestowed on mankind by Allah to help the study of these books (the Book of Nature and Revealed Scriptures) and to explore the mysteries of divine creations.

B.  Learning from the History:

The Holy Qur'an through many of its verses has given an open general call on mankind of all ages to learn from history. The divine punishment inflicted on the past community of Nuuh, Aad, Thamud, Lut and Farao for the transgression of values and morality is certainly a great negative lesson for mankind. The Holy Qur'an says:

"Do they not travel through the earth and see what was the end of those before them? They were even superior to them in strength, and in the traces (they have left) in the land, but Allah did call them to account for their sins, and none had they to defend them against Allah."  [Qur'an:40:21].

"Something like the fate of the people of Nuuh, the Aad, and the Samud, and those who came after them: but Allah never wishes injustice to His servants." [Qur'an:40:31].

"Do they not travel through the earth, and see what was the end of those before them, though they were superior to them in strength? Nor is Allah to be frustrated by anything whatever in the heavens or on the earth: for He is All-knowing, All-powerful" [Qur'an: 35:44].

They all were held guilty of moral transgression and refusal to accept truth brought to them by the Prophets of their respective ages. The divine instrument of their punishment was all natural calamities like flood, Hail Storm, Thunderstorm, and Earthquake etc.

C.  Uninterrupted Sequence and Continuity of Divine Intervention:

Allah's Art of Creation is an uninterrupted systematic process of development – sequentially coming into being and going out of being. The Holy Qur'an does not admit of any starting point for the creation of the universe and emergence of life on earth. As for the Holy Qur'an, the whole process of creation is certainly not a one-time divine affair. It needs Divine Intervention at every stage of development and change in the process of evolution. And Time that causes sequential recurrence of all natural events has a great role to play in the Evolutionary Process of Divine creation.