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Objections raised against Divine Revelation

islam-info.ch
9/25/2011
29205 views

 And those who do not know (the wisdom implied in Divine revelation) say, ‘Why does not Allâh (Himself) speak to us or give us a (convincing) sign?’ That is exactly what their predecessors had said. Their hearts have become very much alike. We have certainly made (Our) signs explicitly clear for a people who wish to be convinced. (2:118)

 

To deny the existence of Divine revelation solely because we do not see Divine revelation coming down and we do not hear its sound, and we have not personally observed or experienced it nor have we ever seen any miracle being performed is not a valid standpoint and does not prove that it has no existence.

 

How can we reject the evidence of thousands of recipients of Divine revelation and of visionaries, an evidence that has a long history of continuity and which has no room for fabrication fraud or forgery? If someone does not hear a heavenly sound originating externally, or his eyes do not see visions, this is no argument for assuming that divine revelation is a baseless and unreal thing. It is unreasonable to reject the evidence of thousands of persons with spiritual experience, merely on the ground that our knowledge of this field is finite and limited. What kind of wisdom would it be if I was to deny the existence of London or Washington or Beijing just because my eyes have not seen them? There have always been holy personage from times immemorial who have had the spiritual experience, whose ears have heard God the High's voice, whose eyes have seen visions, whose sense of smell has detected the wafting of divine fragrance. They have had the experience of receiving divine revelation, and have observed its reality and its effects. To deny their righteous testimony resembles a blind man denying the observations of a person blessed with sight. Absence of knowledge is no argument for the nonexistence of something. For such persons it is better that they accept the guidance of wise men blessed with spiritual sight rather than wandering and stumbling around.

 

Just as a born-blind person cannot understand the difference between light and darkness, similarly anyone, who has not had the spiritual experience and has not undergone the experience of receiving divine revelation, cannot be fully aware of the reality of this phenomenon. When one is cutoff from all worldly attachments, one's spirit takes on such a purified hue that it is impossible to describe it in words. It is only by treading the road of rectitude and piety (Taqwâ) that one reaches this special stage, a stage at which one can fathom the reality of Divine communication. Till such a stage is reached one should be content with benefiting form the spiritual insights of the gnostics.

 

Piety, self-sacrifice, generosity, patience, fortitude, all these positive qualities, and avoidance of evils like lying, deception, sexual licence, breach of promise and drinking - all the heights of good morals have been achieved largely due to the spiritual encounters in the form of Divine revelation. The historical facts, whose chain goes right back to Adam, cannot be denied out of prejudice against religion. Have the seeds of these moral qualities been sown by some Pharaohs, Caesars, Kaisers, or Chosroes, or have then been sown by Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad? In short, divine revelation is a proven reality. Its witnesses are millions of inhabitants of this world and the honourable apostles and in the Ummah of Muhammad, such witnesses include the Holy Companions, the Muhaddathîn and Mujjadads (those blessed with divine dialogue), the Sûfîs and the saints. All these are imbued with gnosis and knowledge and bear testimony through their personal encounters that God the High communicates with His them through dreams, visions, and divine revelation and there are occasions when they hear God's delicious words.

 

Another objection made on Divine Revelation is that Divine revelation puts a brake on development of human thought and stops scientific research to move forward and paralyses the human intellectual faculties. The above objections stand negated because there is historical evidence that major developments of scientific truths have always taken place only through persons who were followers of, and recipients of Divine revelation. In the earlier times it was the Divine revelation received by Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus that set the foundation of human values and civilization, and it is an undisputable historical fact. Behind the universal acceptance of a code of elates, and condemnation of evils like lying, deception and fraud, theft, murder and pillage etc, lie a long chain of efforts and sacrifices made by these holy men.

 

The largest, the most perfect and pure Divine revelation which we have today is in the form of The Holy Qur'ân, and a study of this book shows that it has time and again reiterated the need to exercise human faculties of intellect and thought. The verses like 7:176; 30:21; 39:42; 45:13; 10:24; 16:14; 2:221; 14:25; 28:43; 39:27; 2:164; 13:4; 30:28; 59:14 are only some of the Qur'ânic references where an appeal is made to exercise reason and intellect and ponder over the wonderful aspects of the handiwork of the All-Mighty.

 

Another objection raised against divine revelation is that it is a restriction and freedom is always better than restrictions. But divine revelation is a restriction worth a thousand freedoms; it is a restriction without which true freedom cannot be attained. To illustrates this point, can we consider all preventive preconditions to be restrictive of our freedom and as not care for them, or should we discard all rules of hygiene and health, all traffic rules (allowing a freedom of having accidents), all the byelaws of city corporation and other civic bodies as restrictions and should we disobey them? A country's constitution is a restriction. The mechanisms of economics are restrictions. The laws of nature are restrictions. The laws of chemistry are restrictions. Can we say that refraining from poison is a restriction? These are the limits that protect us from perdition and provide us a safe environment in which we are free to act. Similarly the laws of ethic an religious morals show us the limits to protect us from many dangers we are not aware of.

 

To sum up, divine revelation is neither unnecessary nor nonexistent. It is a clear truth, which is logically necessary and expedient and a phenomenon which has been proven to be a fact through investigation just as the sun's rising is an argument for sun's existence. Inspite of all the difficulties and uncertainties, some of which are organic, some psychological, some pertain to dialectics, some are related to religious thought, metaphysics, and expressions such as "descent of angels", the "raising of the prophets" and the "arrival of the scriptures " etc , divine revelation is a true reality and an undeniable fact; it is a need of mankind and a necessity for this universe. To deny its existence solely for this reason that we do not see divine revelation coming down and we do not hear its sound, and we have not personally observed or experienced it, is not a valid standpoint and does not prove that in fact it has no existence.






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