Faith as a Discovery

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan | Discover God | Al-Risala, April 1987, p. 3

In present times, so-called maps of the solar system have been prepared with great expertise and printed in atlases. No carto­grapher, however, can prepare a map of this kind, which is actually to scale, for if it were to be quite accurate, it should have to be spread out over a page so vast as to be barely imaginable. Consider that the sun is 1,200,000 times bigger than the earth. If the earth were then shown the size of a football, the sun would have to be magnified to the size of 1,200,000 footballs. The same applies to the distance between the sun and its furthest-flung planet. All this is quite beyond the capacity of the cartographer and, at best, an artist could only give his impressions of what these dimensions ought to look like.

Now imagine that you are located at a point in space from which you can see the entire solar system. Before you lie an extraordinary, astounding spectacle: a huge ball of fire–the sun–blazing relent­lessly, with about a dozen tiny, dark balls revolving around it in egg-shaped orbits. One would imagine this spectacle to be quite unique, but there are countless spectacles of this nature scattered throughout the universe. And they have but one purpose: to enable man to see the face of his Master reflected in them. Through them, man can come to know his Lord. It is this knowledge of God which, in religious terms, is known as faith.

Faith is a discovery. It is to witness something which lies beyond the veil of the Unseen. Truth is not self-evident. Faith is to feel Truth as though it were so. Such a discovery is a soul-rending experience which causes the seeker to undergo a tremendous up­heaval, turning his mind in a new direction, and instilling fresh passion into his heart.

Even a minor discovery can cause great stirrings of the intellect and emotions. Imagine then how much more intense are the feel­ings attendant upon the discovery of God. The impact of such a discovery is, in effect, too great to be put into words.