Twelfth Principle: The distinctness of the point of view of the Qur'an and philosophy and the results that arise from this distinction.

TWELFTH PRINCIPLE: Since prophethood, the affirmation of Divine unity, and belief all look to unity, the hereafter, and Divinity, they see truth and reality in accordance with those. While philosophers and scientists look to multiplicity, causes, and nature, and see in accordance with them. Their points of view are extremely distant from one another. The greatest aim of the people of philosophy is so small and insignificant as to be imperceptible among the aims of the scholars of religion and theology.

It is because of this that scientists have advanced greatly in detailed explanation of the nature of beings and their minutest states, but they are so far behind the exalted Divine sciences and sciences concerned with the hereafter, which are true wisdom and knowledge, that they are more backward than a simple believer. Those who do not understand this mystery suppose the investigative scholars of Islam to be relatively backward to the philosophers. But how can those whose minds see no further than their eyes and are submerged in multiplicity reach those who follow elevated sacred aims through ‘the legacy of prophethood’?

Furthermore, when something is considered from two points of view, it shows two different truths, and both of them may be the truth. No certain fact of science can touch the sacred truths of the Qur’an. The short hand of science cannot reach up to its pure sublimity. We shall mention an example to illustrate this:

For example, if the globe of the earth is considered from the point of view of the people of science, its reality is this: as a middle-sized planet, it revolves around the sun amid countless stars; it is a small creature in relation to the stars. But as is explained in the Fifteenth Word, if it is considered from the point of view of the people of the Qur’an, its reality is this: since man, the fruit of the world, is a most comprehensive, most wondrous, most impotent, most weak, and most subtle miracle of Divine power, the earth, his cradle and dwelling-place, is in regard to meaning and art, the universe’s heart and centre; despite its smallness and lowliness in relation to the heavens, it is the display and exhibition of all the miracles of Divine art; the place of reflection and point of focus of the manifestations of all the Divine Names; the place of display and reflection of infinite dominical activity; the means and market of boundless Divine creativity and especially the munificent creation of the numerous species of plants and small animals; and the place in small measure of samples of the creatures of the broad worlds of the hereafter; it is a rapidly working loom weaving everlasting textiles; the swiftly changing place producing views for eternal panoramas; and the narrow and temporary arable field and seed-bed producing at speed the seeds for everlasting gardens.

It is because of this vastness of meaning and importance of art of the earth that the All-Wise Qur’an holds it -like a tiny fruit of the vast tree of the heavens- equal to all the heavens, like holding a tiny heart equivalent to a huge body. It places it in one pan of a scales and places all the heavens in the other, and repeatedly says: Sustainer of the heavens and the earth. Compare other matters with this and understand that the soulless, dim truths of philosophy cannot clash with the brilliant, living truths of the Qur’an. Since the point of view is different, they appear differently.

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Fourth Branch: The explanation of the following verse: Everything prostrates before Almighty Allah. The specific worship of beings.

 

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