Science of Divinity

    Science of Divinity

    As-Salamu ‘alaykum – peace be with you.

    In many books dealing with creation in Islam, there is a famous Holy saying, where God Himself says: “I was a hidden treasure; I loved to be known. So, I created the world so that I would be known.” 

    This leads us to the question of essential KNOWLEDGE. If our purpose in existence is to know something, then it would be very unwise not to get to know it.

    As God has kept Himself Unseen to us in the physical realm, so ‘knowledge’ becomes the only practical means of human access to Him. In Imam Ghazali’s book Knowledge, Ihya Ulum Ud Din, his most famous encyclopaedic work on the revival of spiritual knowledge, he begins with this verse from the Qur’an: 

    Allah (Himself) is Witness that there is no God save Him. And the angels and the men of learning (too are witness). (The Qur’an, 3:18)

    So we see there are two main accesses of knowledge which human beings have been provided: REVELATION and our HUMAN INTELLECT. Revelation is when God reveals to mankind knowledge of Himself from the unseen and the rules by which we may understand how we should live our lives, this communication has been faithfully delivered by the best human beings who have ever lived, those chosen and appointed as messengers and prophets, from whom Divine words and guidance were received. Let’s look here, at where this is process described in the following translation of the Qur’an, which Muslims believe is the last complete Revelation: 

    It is not possible for any mortal man that God should speak to him except (that he does so) by (inspired) revelation, or from behind a veil, or though a messenger sent and authorized by Him to make known His will. (The Qur’an, 42:51)

    The second means of knowledge to discover the truth behind our existence and that of the physical universe, comes from intellect, our ability to observe, think and ponder about the cosmos around us as well as within us. We live on a whirling ball in space, somewhere between venus and mars. There’s a lot for us to think about.

    The universe itself can be considered an open Book from God with Signs and miracles, happening everyday, like the glorious rising and setting of the Sun, the mystical Moon, the deep night sky, full of galaxies boasting billions of stars, each with its own name and unique space in the universe; down to our very own Earth; the passing of night and day, seasons, oceans, life, creatures of all sizes and kinds, snow-topped mountains, green carpeted fields, not to mention the miracle of our being born through the love-bond of male and female, from something the size of an almost invisible atom of dust! 

    All these are signs which point us to the pre-existence of a Supreme Architect, from Whom originates the intricate balance and design of every molecule and motion; confirming the connection and interdependence of all things, and that everything is ultimately here for some kind of specific function or purpose in the Grand Scheme of things.

    We, as humanity, definitely must have a part to play in this magnificent scheme on the stage of time. But…now here’s the problem, we don’t have that much time. Humans – as far as we are know – are the only earthly creatures who have to live with the knowledge of their own mortality. Now, for anyone with a mind, it is hard not to question the reason for this, or to contemplate what might be beyond the final wall we all must climb over one day.

    In recent decades some physicists, in their pursuit of scientific truth, have unearthed a hidden order in nature; they have called it the Cosmic Code. Based on this order, scientists aim one day to uncover a grand unifying Theory of Everything.

    It’s fairly obvious that there must be something at the centre of existence. This Original source can be easily observed through the uniformity and workings in the forces of nature throughout the universe. It now feel necessary to analyse the implication of this information, from what we have been provided in the Qur’an.

    Do not the deniers see that the heavens and the earth were [once] one single unity, which We then ripped apart? And that We made out of water every living thing? (The Qur’an, 21:30)

    Although some seriously rational minds may prefer to reject the implications of a Divine Design, the evidence of life starting from a point of unity (oneness) is pretty undeniable. Yet they still seek would like to look elsewhere, for an alternative answer. In the end, it is left up to a person’s conscience to choose what he prefers to believe.

    The conscience itself is probably the most vital characteristic of being human. We often refer to this as a sense of ‘morality’. And it is the amazing dialogue within us, which makes us so unique – but also makes us accountable. It is the inner discussion with the self, which separates the human being from the animals.

    Regardless of where a person’s conscience asks him or her to look – if they are unbiased – a seeker of truth will inevitably find a mysterious door leading to God.

    In the next talk I will go over some of my background as a young man, without any fixed cultural abode, and how near death came, to wake me up and begin my journey in search of meaning. I’ll end here with a song I wrote alone the way, looking to try and find out what ‘it’ was all about.


    Miles From Nowhere

    Miles from nowhere
    I guess I’ll take my time

    Oh yeah, to reach there
    Look up at the mountain
    I have to climb
    Oh yeah, to reach there
    Lord, my body has been a good friend
    But I won’t need it when I reach the end
    Miles from nowhere,
    Guess I’ll take my time
    Oh yeah, to reach there

    I creep through the valleys
    And I grope through the woods
    ‘cause I know when I find it my honey
    It’s gonna make me feel good
    I love everything
    So don’t it make you feel sad
    ‘cause I’ll drink to you, my baby
    I’ll think to that, I’ll think to that

    Miles from nowhere
    Not a soul in sight
    Oh yeah, but it’s alright
    I have my freedom,
    I can make my own rules
    Oh yeah, the ones that I choose
    Lord, my body has been a good friend
    But I won’t need it when I reach the end
    Miles from nowhere
    Guess I’ll take my time
    Oh yeah, to reach there

    I love everything
    So don’t it make you feel sad
    ‘cause I’ll drink to you, my baby
    I’ll think to that, I’ll think to that

    Miles from nowhere
    Guess I’ll take my time
    Oh yeah, to reach there

     

    As part of a 4 Part exclusive BBC Radio series Yusuf shares his reflections during Ramadan 2020.

    Part One – Broadcasted on BBC Radio 01 / 05 / 20