How can the Universe help a Seeker reach Truth?

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan | Spirituality in Islam | 19 Nonember 2022

God created a perfect and complete world as an eternal abode for Man called Paradise. Then, He wanted to know who was worthy of inhabiting that eternal world. For this purpose, He created the time-bound and imperfect abode in which we are now living. This life, therefore, is only a test. Man is constantly under the observation of his Lord. With every utterance and movement, Man is writing his own eternal destiny. One who, during his pre-death period proves himself through his conduct deserving of that world will, in his post-death-period, be rewarded with admission into it. Others, however, will be flung into the Universal junkyard, that is Hell, condemned for eternity. So, they will lose both the worlds, the present incomplete world as well as the next, i.e. perfect and everlasting world.

God has revealed Himself in two books—the Qur’an and the Universe. The Qur’an is a literal version of God’s word, while the Universe, or nature, is a practical demonstration of it. These two are the basic sources of spiritual inspiration for a man who seeks to live a life according to the divine scheme.

This dual source of divine inspiration is mentioned in the Qur’an in the following verse:

“God is He who raised the Heavens without visible supports, then He ascended the Throne. He has compelled the sun and the moon to be of service, each pursuing an appointed course; He controls the affairs (of the Universe); He makes plain His revelations, so that you may be certain of the meeting with your Lord” (13:2).

So, the Qur’an is like a guidebook. It prepares the mind so that one may properly understand the Universe and live in it as desired by God.

So, a true believer (Momin) has precisely that kind of prepared mind. When he sees the Universe with its various parts functioning in an absolutely coherent manner, he will spontaneously say: “There is no god but one God!” and when he examines it, he will find that there are so many complex happenings in its vastness. Nevertheless, he finds that every part of the universe is highly predictable. With this discovery, he realizes that it is as if God was suggesting that he himself should have a predictable character. When he observes that the various parts of the Universe function with absolute harmony, he realizes that, in like manner, he should live in complete harmony with society, without hatred or malice towards anyone. When he sees the events of the universe always proceeding towards a meaningful result, he realizes that man’s life, too, must have a meaningful end. Thus he exclaims:

“O our Lord! You have not created (all) this without purpose. Glory be to You! Give us salvation from the torment of Hellfire!” (3:191).

In brief, the universe is a manifestation of the Attributes of Almighty God. Hence, it is a source of spiritual nourishment for those who want to lead a divine life on earth. For them, the whole universe becomes a great means of their reaching spiritual perfection. This spiritual development continues incessantly throughout their earthly life. As the ultimate result of this life-long developmental process, they attain that degree of spirituality, which the Qur’an calls the ‘Rabbani soul.’ It is such as these who, in the life Hereafter, will be told by their most compassionate Lord: “Dwell in Paradise; you shall have no fear, nor shall you grieve.” (7:49)