Two Important Answers to Two Important Questions: Why does the Qur'an not describe the news of the technological developments explicitly? Why does the Qur’an not mention them explicitly so that unbelievers will be compelled to confirm it?

TWO IMPORTANT ANSWERS TO TWO IMPORTANT QUESTIONS

THE FIRST

If you say: “The Qur’an was revealed for man, so why does it not describe the wonders of civilization explicitly, for they have the greatest importance in his eyes? Why does it suffice with secret signs, concealed allusions, slight indications, and slender reminders?”

The Answer:  Because the rights of the marvels of human civilization can only claim that much in the Qur’an’s discussions. For the Qur’an’s basic duty is to teach about the perfections and acts in the ‘sphere of dominicality’ and the duties and circumstances in the ‘sphere of worship.’ So the rights of human wonders in those two spheres diminish to being only a weak sign and slight indication. For if they were to demand their rights from the ‘sphere of dominicality,’ they would receive very few.

For example, if man’s aeroplane (1) were to say to the Qur’an: “Give me the right to speak and a place in your verses,” the planets, earth, and moon, which are the aeroplanes of the ‘sphere of dominicality,’ would reply in the name of the Qur’an: “You take a place in relation to your size.” And if man’s submarines were to ask for a place from the Qur’an’s verses, the submarines of that sphere, that is, the earth and stars which swim in the vast ocean of the atmosphere and the ether would say: “Your place beside us is so small as to be negligible.” And if the brilliant, star-like electric lights were to demand the right to speak and ask to be included in its verses, the electric lights of that sphere, the shooting stars, lightning, and stars and lamps which adorn the face of the skies, would say: “You may enter its discussions and explanations in relation to your light.” If the wonders of civilization were to demand their rights with a view to fineness of art and seek a place from its verses, then a single fly would bid them to be silent, saying: “Your rights are not equal to even one of my wings! For if all the fine arts and delicate instruments achieved through man’s faculty of will were to be gathered together, they could not be as wondrous as the fine art of my delicate members and tiny body.” The verse,

Those on whom you call besides Allah cannot create [even] a fly, if they all met together for the purpose. (Qur’an, 22:73.)

bids you to fall silent!”

If the marvels of civilization were to go to the ‘sphere of worship’ and demand their rights, they would receive a reply like this: “Your relations with us are very few, and you may not easily enter our sphere. For our programme is this: the world is a guest-house, and as for man, he remains there only a short time. He is a guest with many duties and in a brief lifetime is charged with preparing all the necessities for eternal life. The most important and essential matters will be offered to you. But most of you see this fleeting world through a veil of heedlessness, as an eternal abode, coloured and shaped by worldly feelings. So your share of worship, the basis of which is love of the truth and thinking of the hereafter, is very small. However, if there are among you respected craftsmen and artists and inspired inventors, who, purely for the benefit of Allah’s servants, serve the general interest and public well-being and betterment of social life, which is a valuable worship, these signs and indications of the Qur’an are surely sufficient for those sensitive people, who of course form a minority, in order to encourage their efforts and appreciate their art.”

THE ANSWER TO THE SECOND QUESTION

If you say:  “None of my doubts remains now after these investigations, and I affirm that together with other wonders, in the Qur’an are allusions to and indications of the wonders of modern civilization, indeed, to further advancements. Everything necessary for man’s happiness in this world and the next is found within it in relation to its worth. But why does the Qur’an not mention them explicitly so that obstinate unbelievers would be compelled to confirm it, and our hearts also would be easy?”

The Answer:  Religion is an examination, a test, proposed by Allah so that in the arena of competition elevated spirits and base spirits may be distinguished from one another. Just as materials are plunged in the fire so that diamonds and coal, gold and earth, separate out from one another, so too religion is a trial concerning the obligations placed on man by Allah and a driving to competition, which is what this abode of examination consists of. In this way the elevated jewels in the mine of man’s abilities become separated out from the dross. Since the Qur’an was revealed in this abode of examination for man to be perfected through trial in the arena of competition, it will surely only allude to the hidden events of the future pertaining to this world which everyone will see, and will only open the door to the reason to a degree that proves its argument. If it mentioned them explicitly, the mystery of man’s accountability would be negated. Simply, it would be as self-evident as writing There is no god but Allah clearly in stars on the face of the skies. Then everyone would have to affirm it whether they wanted to or not. There would be no competition, and the examination too would go for nothing. A spirit like coal would remain on the same level of a spirit like diamonds.(2)

In Short:  The All-Wise Qur’an is wise. It affords everything a position in relation to its value. Thus, one thousand three hundred years ago, the Qur’an saw concealed in the darkness of the future, man’s hidden fruits and progress, and showed them in a form better than we see and shall see. That means the Qur’an is the Word of One Who sees at the same instant all time and all within it.

Thus, one flash of the Qur’an’s miraculousness which shines on the face of the miracles of the Prophets.
 

O Allah! Grant us understanding of the mysteries of the Qur’an and success in the service of it at every instant at all times.

Glory be unto You! We have no knowledge save that which You have taught us; indeed, You are All-Knowing, All-Wise. (Qur’an, 2:32.)

O Allah! Grant blessings and peace and benedictions and honour to our master and lord Muhammad, Your servant and Prophet and Messenger, the Unlettered Prophet, and to his Family and Companions and wives and descendants, and to all the Prophets and Messengers, and to the angels close to Your Throne, and the saints and the righteous; grant too the most excellent of blessings and the purest peace and the most abundant benedictions, to the number of the Suras of the Qur’an, and its verses, and words and letters, and its meanings and indications and signs and allusions, and grant us forgiveness, and have mercy on us, and be gracious to us, O Allah, Our Creator, to the number of those blessings, through Your mercy, O Most Merciful of the Merciful! And all praise be to Allah, the Sustainer of All the Worlds. Amen. Amen.

 

(1) While writing this serious matter, involuntarily my pen adopted this subtle, though witty, style. So I left my pen free. I hope that the somewhat unserious style does not mar the seriousness of the subject.

(2). Abu Jahl the Accursed and Abu Bakr the Truthful would appear to be equal, and the mystery of the examination set by Allah, lost.
 

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