Can eternity be comprehended?
Just as, it is impossible for the ocean to fit into a glass, it is impossible for limited human mind to comprehend eternity. Nevertheless, even though he does not understand eternity, he can know that it exists. Understanding one thing, while believing and knowing another.
Humankind is limited in all aspects. There is a beginning of his life. As every beginning has an end, this life will end too. As you see, man can only perform limited works in his short life, which has a beginning and an end. His eyes can detect 2.5% of the all-existing beams. His ears can hear certain frequencies.
The truth that can be seen in material world is effective in spiritual world too. Human mind cannot understand everything. In fact, there is a beginning of his learning process. Knowledge that has a beginning cannot be infinite, just as life.
The starting point of insolvent human mind is his disability to understand himself. How dare the limited human mind can try to understand eternity without understanding himself at the first place? A human, who knows that numeral three is smaller than numeral four, definitely knows that if he subtracts four from three, he will get a negative number. Even though he knows that this is a fact, if he still insists to fit eternity into his limited mind, it means that he has accepted the negative result at the beginning; infinite negative.
Human cannot understand eternity but know it. And this is a divine grace to humankind. How could have we believed to our God, who has infinite number of attributes, otherwise? Humankind has given opportunity to make comparisons, to express opinions, and has given strength to make judgments. He, by the help of that power, knows well that as he has a beginning and an end, every other thing, which is created has a beginning and an end too.
Everything, which has a beginning, lectures us these two following truths: There is an Essence, who has created me from nothing and His being is eternal. Likewise, every end heralds about Him. Let us ask this following question to ourselves: Is it only eternity that we do not understand, or are there any other things such as, gravity, solar system, spirit, mind, imagination, and memory? Can you explain the spiritual factory in an apple tree? How come an egg becomes a flying bird? How does a semen walks, cries, hears after nine months? Unseen things are more than seen ones, miscomprehended things are more than comprehended ones, and unknown things are more than known ones in this world. Humans trying to understand eternity, as if he has already understood the mortal good, is burdensome if nothing else. I say, if nothing else, because there is a probability of going extreme and astray in the end.
Effort in understanding the eternity occurs in two different fields. One is, eternity of the divine attributes, the other is, eternity of the life in the Hereafter. There is an important difference, which should not be overlooked between these two. When eternity in the Hereafter is mentioned, time and space concepts recur to the minds. A ceaseless, boundless, immortal, and defect-free life Lives will not be taken in the Hereafter; it is eternal. And it is not unreasonable to expect minds to conceive this. As for the eternity of the attributes: To say that His might is infinite means, there wont be any deficiency of any sort in Gods might regardless of how many kingdoms He creates. His infinite knowledge means that He is considered free of ignorance. All His attributes should be evaluated in the same manner and respect. The truth, Pre-eternal is indeed post-eternal too is valid both for His Person and His attributes. That is to say, all his attributes are post-eternal. In fact, none is created later; they are all pre-eternal.
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- Al- Azim (The Magnificent)
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- What are the causes that lead man to deception?
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