Since Hz. Adam, human beings have followed two ways that are opposite to each other. One of them is the way of truth and guidance; the other isthe way of unbelief and misguidance.
While the heart, mind, and the conscience in man lead him to the first way, the evil commanding soul and carnal desires urge him into the second way. As a result, there occur upheavals and conflicts in the inner world of man.
These inner wars beget, on the one hand, faith, good deeds and guidance, and on the other hand, unbelief, rebellion, and anarchy.
Here, we will deal with the causes that deceive man, lead him to wrong paths, and thus veil his eyes so that he cannot see the truth.
The main causes are as follows:
1- SUPERFICIAL OUTLOOK AND HEEDLESSNESS
An important cause that takes people away from the truth is to look at this wondrous universe and the excellent phenomena- taking place therein with a heedless and superficial glance.
Just as a mirage is assumed to be water from afar in a desert, so too can a superstition which is impossible to happen be mistaken for truth out of heedlessness and from a simple perspective. Moreover, a star is seen as small as candlelight from afar; similarly, a truth cannot be duly grasped when viewed from a great distance. Staying overly familiar with and indifferent to the divine truths veils the truths and eventually leads man to deception. Yes, because of heedlessness and superficiality in glancing, man overlooks the perfect order that encompasses this universe, wonderful arrangement, and this dazzling beauty. For instance, he cannot reflect upon this universe that is being managed easily and harmoniously like a factory. He cannot contemplate such wonderful actions as the feeding of all of the living beings with air, the purposeful arrangement of day and night and the seasons coming one after another, the extraction of rain from clouds, the extraction of light from the sun. He cannot reflect on elements mobilized purposefully and mercifully to help plants, on plants sent as a help for animals and on animals made subservient to the needs of humanity.
He cannot think about the artful creation of diverse plants and trees from all seeds.
He cannot consider that each flower and leaf, each seed and fruit is a work of art. He cannot think about the distinct natures, feelings, diverse equipment, orderly feeding and birth and death of all animals.
And as a result, he cannot grasp the truth that the eternal power that manifests itself in this universe comes from the One Almighty, that the knowledge that surrounds all creatures comes from the One All-Knowing, and that the purposeful and beneficial forms of all creatures come from the One All-Wise.
One who views this wondrous universe, which is the place of the manifestation of myriad of names, cannot perceive and grasp the divine purposes therein. He remains unaware of the existence and oneness, of the greatness and power, and of the sovereignty and majesty of Allah Almighty.
2- NOT THINKING ABOUT THE AIMS AND MYSTERIES IN THE CREATION OF MAN
Another reason for deception is man being negligent of his high nature, and his not thinking about where he comes from and where he is going, and what his duty in this world is.
Allah Almighty created man in the most distinguished nature in this universe, bestowed on him reasoning through which he can observe the purposes in the universe, a conscience through which he can distinguish between the right and the wrong, between the good and the bad, a capacity from which all kinds of sciences can spring forth. He favored him with a tongue through which he can sense the entire world of flavors, a pair of eyes, which can relish all kinds of beauties, ears that can hear any kinds of melodies.
Allah made this man, whom He created as a distinguished being, a friend, and addressee to Himself, informed him of His commandments and prohibitions through the heavenly scriptures He sent and thus showed him the way of bliss and guidance.
If human fails to appreciate the value of the equipment he is favored with, he becomes negligent of his Lord, he forgets that he is a creature and art of Him, that he is always under His care and surveillance, and that he is always fed with His favors. He abstains from the duties he is obliged to carry out toward Him. He presumes himself as left to his own devices. He is contained by apprehensions and superstitions by not using any of his capabilities and abilities properly that are given to him to try to know Allah; and thus he ruins the happiness of both this world and the next.
3- STRONG ATTACHMENT TO THE FLEETING PLEASURES OF THIS WORLD
Allah Almighty made this world a place of manifestation of His exalted attributes and His beautiful names and showed His knowledge, art, skills, and wisdom in it. He created the world as a field for man to cultivate for his eternal life, a place of testing for his capabilities to flourish and as a showroom for Divine arts to be pondered over.
Those who are negligent of this face of the world fall in love with its fleeting and deceptive face. They canalize their minds and hearts, capabilities and abilities that are given for an eternal life into its fleeting pleasures. They are taken in by the fancy that the eternal favors they are granted are given to them only to satisfy their desires. They seek the approval of people rather than the consent of Allah Almighty. They try to acquire worldly ranks rather than the rewards of the hereafter. With excessive pleasures and intoxications, they ruin their discretion. Gradually, they turn this way of life into a cause. Firstly, they become indifferent to spiritual matters and the matters related to the hereafter; and then they go on with opposing to them. Finally, their insights toward divine truths become weaker; their reasoning grows superficial. They fail to reason an apprehension or a superstition, which can easily be understood to be impossible with little attention; they are easily deceived by baseless misgivings.
4- REMAINING INDIFFERENT TO THE TRUTHS CONVEYED AND TAUGHT BY THE PROPHETS
Another important reason for deception is man’s deeming his own thinking and understanding enough to figure out the Divine truths and thus abstaining from knocking on the door of prophethood. However, such truths as how to believe in Allah Almighty and in His attributes and names, how this Supreme Being created the universe, with which aims He sent humans to this world, what certain duties He gave them and where we will go after this world cannot be grasped by this limited mind. These can only be seen under the light of revelation.
Allah Almighty sent prophets and revealed scriptures in order to convey these truths. Allah, Who gathered the planets around the sun, electrons around the nucleus, bees around a queen bee, and ants around a queen, ordained that humans gather around the center of prophethood so that their hearts, spirits and consciences be educated and perfected by the hands of prophets (may Allah be pleased with them all).
As is known, since people differ in ideas and understanding, in desires and feelings, as well as in their physical appearance, they may view the same divine truth from different perspectives. One may call something wrong which another one sees true. We will eventually end up with as many different ideas and views, with as many diverse evaluations and judgments as the number of people.
For, man, who is a candidate for a superior life and who is in love with an eternal bliss, this limited and imperfect mind cannot be a sufficient guide. With it, man can progress up to a certain point. It is possible for him to find the truth and to attain happiness in both this world and the next only by obeying the prophets. For this reason, Allah Almighty sent prophets to humans so that they can distinguish between the right and the wrong, the true and the false.
Prophets informed humans of the existence and oneness of Allah Almighty, made those who obeyed them rise in the ranks of knowledge (pertaining to God), and saved them from unbelief, idolatry, and superstitious beliefs. These illustrious people became perfect mirrors to the names and attributes of Allah, loved Him and made their peoples love Him. They encouraged those who believed in them to eternal bliss, and warned people against divine punishment.
They made them literate in reading the divine names that are manifested in the universe and taught them how to view and contemplate the world. They informed them of the mystery of the creation of the universe and taught in the best way where the creatures come from, where they head to, and what their duties are. In short, they explained how to attain the consent of Allah and how to be saved from divine punishment.
Allah Almighty created the prophets (upon them be peace) in the best of creation; He Himself purified their minds and hearts, all capabilities and feelings in the best fashion and sent these selected persons to the humanity each as a guide and teacher. He especially purified the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) who is the Sultan of prophets, in the most beautiful and perfect style, revealed to him the Glorious Quran, which is the sun of all truths, made him cognizant of all its truths and mysteries, and gathered all the necessary abilities to raise humans to the highest rank in His Beloved of Perfect Eloquence. He raised him to highest ranks in all the levels of high ethics and sent him as a perfect guide to humanity in faith and worship, in perfection and virtues.
The companions, each of whom is a star of guidance, great mujtahids such as Abu Hanifa, Imam Shafii, Imam Malik and Ibn Hanbal, perfect guides such as Shah Ghaylani, Shah Naqshibend, Rufai and Shazali, great knowledgeable scholars such as Fakhruddin Razi, Taftazani and Sayyid Jurjani, who are cognizant of the finest mysteries of the Glorious Quran, and such thinkers as Muhyiddin Arabi, Mawlana, Shams Tabrizi always received guidance and inspiration from the knowledge and faith of this sun of guidance, Muhammad, (pbuh).
Unbelief and blasphemy have damaged the spiritual dimension of the community and many superstitions and sophistries have occupied much space in our minds in our age because the lessons and instructions, guidance and inspiration of this sun of guidance have not been benefited duly.
Furthermore, despite the great progress made in science and technology today, science and technology cannot provide peace in public and individual lives, such superior qualities as love, mercy and justice are replaced by violence, violation and anarchy, no philosophical doctrine has the power to diagnose and cure these wounds of the community, and even some of those doctrines themselves have led to aggression and violence only because the door of the school of prophethood is not knocked at.
5- BEING AFFECTED BY MATERIALIST PROPAGANDA AND INDOCTRINATIONS
Man is always open to outside effects. He is like an empty pot in this respect. If his inside is not filled with truths and true ideas, it will be filled with wrong ideologies, superstitions, and sophistries instead. This is the cause of the spiritual breakdowns and ideological sufferings of the youth today. Although the only way to be saved from those spiritual sufferings is to satisfy minds, hearts and consciences with the elevated truths brought about by the Glorious Quran, some youths incline more to deceptive slogans and magical recipes (!). They suppose that they will find peace by filling those spiritual gaps in that way.
Benefiting from the state of theirs, materialists deceive and attract them with such imaginary slogans and propaganda as justice and equality. After making them their sympathizers, they cast doubts into the minds of these youths beside the imaginary recipes they put forward for the solution of social problems. After a certain time, they lead those young people to such a situation that they do not accept any truth other than the materialistic and atheistic thought by gradually bombarding young minds with incessant and intense indoctrinations. From then on, those youths become like robots, having lost their ability to reason. Although it is a fact that even a simple building cannot be without a maker, they take this excellent palace of universe as without an owner. Though it is impossible that a letter be without a writer, they suppose this book of universe, in each letter of which there are endless instances of wisdom, to be without a writer.
Furthermore, they believe that all the plants, animals, and humans are created by lifeless, unconscious, and powerless nature or that they come into existence by themselves. They suppose that they are aimless, without a duty, on their own devices and without an owner and thus fall into a fearsome misguidance.
They cannot see the interior ugliness of unbelief which lowers the quality of man from the rank of diamonds to the rank of coal and which annuls all the human capabilities and thus lowers him far below the degree of animals. However, no truth running in the universe can be explained by unbelief.
These questions do not have clear answers other than assumptions and presumptions in the materialistic and atheistic philosophy:
“How did this universe and the wonderful creatures therein come into existence?”
“How did this wondrous and precise system going on from atom to the largest galaxies come into being?”
“How do you explain all the elements of the universe, constituents like water and earth, creatures both living and none-living serving human beings directly or indirectly?”
“What should be the aim and purpose of man in this universe, in which there is nothing without a purpose and benefit, as is acknowledged by science?”
“What is death, which is certified by the deaths of thousands of people daily in the universe? Is there a way to be saved from the executioner of death?”
Man can be satisfied, can find peace and can attain comfort in the world, and bliss and security in the hereafter only by finding answers to these questions.
Furthermore, denial is impossible itself and is made of lies. For instance, denying the architect of the Selimiye Mosque is sheer sophistry and is a gross lie. While such a wonderful and amazing work is there with its wondrous plan, marvelous esthetic and with artful construction, it is the biggest sophistry and superstition without the slightest truth to deny its architect.
Similarly, denying Allah, the Creator, Owner, and Ruler of this wondrous palace of the universe is a lie much uglier to an unbound degree than this example, is a grave delirium and horrible sophistry.
6- TO COMPARE ALLAH ALMIGHTY TO HIS CREATURES
Another cause that leads humans to misguidance is to compare the truths related to the person and attributes of Allah to the beings He creates. In fact, Allah Almighty is the Necessarily Existent One, is pre-eternal and post-eternal. All His attributes are ultimately perfect. He is free from inability, need, place, and time; He can by no means be compared to the weak, poor and mortal creatures He created out of nothingness.
As is known, in order for two things to be compared to one another, they must have common qualities. For example, the composition of man can in no way be compared to the composition of a stone. As even two creatures with different compositions cannot be compared to one another, how can we compare the Necessary to the possible; the Creator to the created?
7- NOT TO KNOW THAT THE SACRED NATURE OF ALLAH CANNOT BE GRASPED BY MIND
Everybody can know the existence of Allah by his mind. Everybody can say, “As a work of art cannot be without a maker, a building without a builder, so I, too, cannot be without a Creator, without an Owner. The heavens and the earth cannot be without an All-Wise, without an Artist.” However, the mind is unable to comprehend the true nature of Allah Almighty; it cannot cover even one-step distance in this valley.
As is known, it is one thing to know the existence of something and another to know its nature. In the universe, there are many things whose existence mind knows very clearly but hose nature it cannot grasp. There so many truths such as the spirit, the gravitational force, electricity, dreams and compassion that as it is a fact to know that they exist, it is still another fact to know that their nature cannot be understood. It is slickness and ignorance to force the mind to grasp the natures that it is unable to do so. With this situation of his, man deviates from the right way and ruins himself by undertaking a burden that is far above his strength.
Moving from the principle a work of art cannot comprehend its artist, mind, too, cannot comprehend the true nature of its Creator. For, it is His creature, His work of art. Like every creature, mind is also limited. As seeing, hearing and all other senses each have a limited area, mind also has a certain area and power of understanding. It is not within mind’s area of understanding to comprehend the exalted nature of Allah Almighty.
Man cannot even understand the natures of his own spirit, of his dreams, and of his conscience, let alone the person of Allah. For, as they are not material, mind cannot clothe them an image.
For instance, as length, dampness, dryness, greatness or smallness are not valid for dream, mind cannot cover it and thus cannot grasp it. However, no one can deny this entity, whose nature is unknown, either.
Forcing man, who is unable to know his own nature, to understand the person of Allah, Who is the Creator of all minds, dreams, spirits, feelings, consciences, memories, angels is the greatest ignorance and slickness.
All the attributes of Allah are endless, absolute, pre-eternal, and post-eternal. Mind, on the other hand, is limited, bounded, and created afterwards. Surely, the one bounded cannot understand the absolute one, the one limited cannot understand the endless one, the one created afterwards cannot understand the eternal one. It is the real understanding for man to know that he is unable to understand the exalted nature of Allah Almighty.
Mind is responsible for knowing Allah Almighty as Necessarily Existing, possessing endless might, with a boundless will, having knowledge that encompasses everything. Besides, this is the aim of the creation of man.
Therefore, the sacred nature of Allah Almighty can neither be understood, nor dreamed of or felt. Everything understood via mind and felt through feelings is created. The existence of Allah in this world can only be seen through the light of mind and felt via the light of heart.
This being the truth, it is nothing other than delusion to force man to understand Allah with His Person.
The duty of mind is just to understand the greatness, might, sovereignty, endless wisdom, help, favors and blessings of Allah Almighty that are manifested in universe and to witness all these consciously together with the other creatures.
The Quran of Miraculous Exposition has taught us this truth in many of its verses, and Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in many of his hadiths.
It is impossible for man to understand the exalted nature of Allah in this respect, either: There is no equivalent to or example of this Unique and All-Inclusive One so that it be possible to understand His exalted nature by way of comparison and example or of experience.
Just as a drop of water shining on the leaf of a rose cannot truly understand the width and depth of the heavens, so, too, the limited human mind cannot understand the sacred nature of the Necessarily Existing One, Who created the endless realms out of nothingness.
8- BEING FORCED TO UNDERSTAND THE ENTIRE REALM OF EXISTENCE WITH THE FIVE SENSES
One of the causes that deceive some people is to deny the truths that they cannot perceive through the five senses. However, the realm of existence is not composed only of those felt through the five senses.
As is known, human can see only material existents through the sense of sight. He feels the realm of savors with his tongue, the realm of voices with his ear, the realm of odors with his nose. However, there are so many realities such as angels, spiritual beings, electricity, and principles of attraction and of repulsion that are neither seen nor heard. The existence of these realities is beyond doubt, notwithstanding.
Some people who close their eyes to this truth fall into a grave mistake by saying “I do not believe what I do not see” and by supposing that the entire realm of existence consists only of the beings they see. However, not being seen cannot be a proof of not existing. In this universe, those we do not see are many more than those we see. Moreover, in human body, the things we do not see such as intellect, dream, memory, conscience, love, fear, curiosity are many times more than the ones that we see.
Beneath the sophistry, “I do not believe what I do not see”lies the superstition of mind laying its duty on the eyes. However, each sense of man opens the door of a different realm; the duty of one of them cannot be expected from another. For instance, the eye cannot take on the duty of the ear, or the nose that of the tongue. Man cannot feel with his eyes the flavor of a meal or the singing of a nightingale or the odor of a rose. The eye, which is unable to carry out the duties of these organs, cannot take on the duty of the mind by any means.
Though a work of art is seen with eyes, its artist is understood with mind. The one who says I do not believe what I do not see is regarded to have denied the artist of this work of art. In the same way, it is grave ignorance to deny the Artist, while regarding this wonderful universe and while admiring the deep wisdom therein.
How will such a person explain such endless works as creating, giving life, feeding, causing to grow and develop, giving form and beautifying that are manifested in the universe in every instant, and that clearly point out the existence of Allah?
Allah Almighty is not seen because of His intense manifestation and not having any opposites. For instance, if we suppose that the sun covers the entire universe with its body just as the atmosphere covers our globe from all sides, then it would not be possible to see the sun with eyes. Then the sun would become invisible because of its intense manifestation. In addition, as it would not have such an opposite as night, the sun could not be seen. For all these, it would be grave ignorance to deny the existence of this sun, which is present everywhere with its light.
That Allah is not seen because of His intense manifestation and not having any opposites can be viewed to a certain degree under the light of this example.
Yes, “the minds of those who try to find everything in the matter are in their eyes. The eye, on the other hand, is blind in spirituality.”
9- MAN DISOBEYING ALLAH BY ABANDONING WORSHIP, WHICH IS HIS NATURAL DUTY
Allah Almighty created this universe and everything in it for man and made him the greatest aim and result of this universe. Certainly, human must also have a great aim beyond the universe. And this aim is only belief in Allah and worshipping and obeying Him.
Worship is understanding and proclaiming the greatness, the eternal beauty, and the flawlessness of Allah Almighty, and is giving thanks for and praising His boundless favors and blessings. Man can attain the rank of true humanity only with worship. For, worship limits the animal desires of human beings, makes him nearer to his Lord, lifts his spirit to elevated goals, cleanses his heart, renders man possessor of high ethics and good character.
The natural duty of man is worship. One who abandons this duty is degraded morally and becomes a prisoner of animal desires. He does not care for rights and justice, starts to go down spiritually, and cannot see the horrible ugliness inside sins. The sins he commits may lead him to unbelief gradually. His heart and conscience become darker as he commits sins. His faculties die away and his understanding becomes paralyzed. He loses the ability to reason healthily.
As is known, an officer who does not carry out the duties his chief gives feels embarrassment toward him first. If he continues this disobedience, finally this embarrassment is replaced by a kind of enmity and rebellion. In the same way, man first becomes ashamed when he abandons the duties of servitude his Creator commanded. Love and fear toward his Lord are erased from his heart and are replaced by hatred and enmity as he continues sinning. The more he insists on disobedience, the more he hates worship. He objects to fate, starts to question the mercy of Allah Almighty, begins to defend his disobedience. Such a person has become ready to be taken in by the indoctrinations and propaganda against religion and the sacred. Such a person starts to see the slightest misgiving as a sound proof in such issues related to faith as deity, the hereafter, fate, resurrection and so on. He is deluded by the supposition that he will thus escape from responsibility and find security. Committees of mischief can easily delude this kind of people and attach them to themselves.
10- NOT APPLYING TO AUTHORITIES IN RELIGIOUS ISSUES
Modern people rightfully apply to authorities in scientific fields. Though he must show this sensitivity much more in religious issues, he does not do that, rather he either suffices with his own mind or regards the words of incompetent people in this field. However, even if one who is not competent in religion is an expert in other fields, his statements are not regarded as evidence in religion. As is known, one who is an expert in one field of science can be ignorant in another. His statements are counted invalid in the latter.
For instance, however far a doctor goes in medicine, his words are not accepted in engineering; in this field, he is not consulted. This being the truth, in realities related to faith, the Quran and the religion that are not possible to be understood by mind, man can neither depend on his own mind, nor act in accordance with the words of those incapable in this field. His duty in this matter is to apply to authorities in religious issues or to apply to their works. Those who do not do that most often go away from the truth by mistaking their desires, fears, and fancies for thought.