|Volume 1, No 4, Fall 1991|
We have limited sight: we can see only five out of a million objects with naked eyes. Our hearing capability is also limited to sounds in the frequency range 20 to 20,000 hertz. Our sight and sound perceptions are very narrow. Ironically, often we do not see these limitations and ask, "Why can Allah not be seen? What is He made of?"
It is actually very disrespectful to ask such questions because we are trying to imagine Him with a narrow perception. We should look at ourselves at first and see who we are and how much we know before we can know and understand Him. Allah is far away from any limited quantity and quality. He is the supreme being which cannot be quantitated and qualitied with deficient human imagination and limited measures. If we could go a trillion years far away with light speed and observe the universe, all we could see might be no more than a microscopic object in comparison to Allah's existence. How can we comprehend Allah's essence and nature when we hardly know our own Antarctica continent. Allah is holy and pure in every aspect. Allah (SWT) is totally different from all what He created, both visible and invisible. Also, He is beyond our limited imagination, sight and hearing.
Allah's existence is unlimited, infinite. So, limited human beings cannot imagine Allah. Theologians say : "Whatever comes in your mind, it is not Allah." Islamic mystics say: "Whatever comes to your mind, Allah is far far beyond your conceptions. And you are always in a closed jar with your surroundings." Descartes says: "Humans are limited. The limited one cannot think about the limitless one." The German writer Goethe described the entity Allah as, "O The Unknown Existence! They glorify You Your one thousand and one names. I wouldn't be able to glorify You even with Your thousands of names because You are above all exaltations!"
Philosophers explain Allah's existence as an unimaginable entity. Allah is not a thing that humans can know and grasp. Eyes cannot see Him; ears cannot hear Him. So, we have to believe what Allah's messengers brought to us from Him. How can Allah be known? He is the alpha and omega. He is the source of reason and of knowledge. Our existence is a shadow of Allah's light. Our knowledge is a drop from His unimaginable knowledge. Yes, at some level there is a way to know Allah. However, this way is totally different than the way we know the material world. People who are trying to understand Him in the wrong way are ones who couldn't break their egos, and couldn't reach their deep down insight.Unfortunate people who say "I looked for Allah and couldn't find Him." Then they unveil their deviation from believing in Allah in the name of science and philosophy.
Allah is Allah, and He shows us the necessity of his existence in our hearts and souls. He touches in the deepest points of our souls with His existence. These feelings which he gives us are at the root of our knowledge and are stronger than our limited knowledge, imagination, thinking and intelligence. However, many times as humans we depart from these feelings and make mistakes, and fall from grace.
The universe has thousands of tongues and ways for us to remember Him. The Qur'an is an eloquent reminder. The prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is an excellent announcer of Him.