“Eyes cannot reach Him but He reaches the eyes. And He is the Incomprehensible, the All-Aware.” (Al-Anam, 6: 104).
In this verse, God draws the attention of man to the fact that his eyes are not capable of seeing Him, for He is Subtle and subtle things cannot be perceived by the eyes. What then is the way of knowing God? He answers this question by saying; “but He reaches the eyes”, i.e., though the eye of man is not capable of seeing Him, yet He reveals Himself to man by a display of His powers and by a manifestation of His attributes. Manifold are the ways in which He reveals Himself to man. He displays His unlimited power, sometimes by terror-striking signs, sometimes through prophets, sometimes by signs of mercy, and sometimes by accepting prayer.
Of all the doctrines and beliefs that have been subjected to in this age of materialism, the greatest is the belief in the existence of God. The idolater sets up other gods with God, but he believes at least in the existence of God. The atheist, however, denies the very existence of the Supreme Being. As in the present day science everything is based on observation, hence the demand of the Atheist is: If there is a God, show Him to us. How can we believe in Him without seeing Him?
As Western influences have gone a long way towards effacing from the hearts of many young people the imprint of the Divine Being and hundreds of college students, barristers, etc., have begun to deny the existence of God, and there are thousands of persons, who, through refraining from an open declaration of their views through fear of the community, have really no faith in Him, therefore Allah inspired me to write this sermon so that some fortunate soul may derive benefit from it.
The first demand which an atheist makes is that: If you show God to us, we will believe in Him. Man knows different things by means of different senses. Some things we know by means of seeing, some by touching, some by smelling, some by hearing and some by tasting. A colour is known by seeing, not by smelling, touching or tasting. If anybody says that he will acknowledge a colour only if he is made to hear the sound of it, will not such a man be regarded as a fool? Similarly, fragrance is known by means of smelling.
Now, if anybody says that he will take a rose to be fragrant only if he is made to taste its fragrance, will such a person be regarded as wise? On the other hand, if anybody seeks to know by smelling things which can be known by tasting such as sourness, sweetness, bitterness and saltiness, he will never be able to do so. So it is not right that we should accept those things only which we can behold with our eyes and disbelieve those things which are not cognizable by the eye. If it be right to do so, then we shall have to deny the fragrance of the rose, the sourness of the lemon, the sweetness of honey, the hardness of iron and the melodiousness of sound, for these are things which we cannot perceive with the aid of the eye.
How absurd is then the demand that God must be shown to us before we believe in Him! Do those who make such a demand believe in the fragrance of the rose or sweetness of honey because they have seen it? Why do they then, in the case of the Supreme Being, propose the seeing of God as a necessary condition of their accepting Him?
Moreover, there are certain things in man himself the existence of which he recognises without having seen them. Does man believe in his heart, liver, brain, bowels, lungs and spleen after having seen them? If these things be taken out of his body to be shown to him he will die before he has time to look on them. I have given these illustrations in order to show that we do not know all things merely by seeing but that they are known by means of five different senses.
Now I will show that there are many things which are not knowable even by the five senses, there being another way of knowing them. For instance reason, memory and intelligence are things which are not denied by anybody in the world but nobody has ever seen, heard, tasted, smelt or touched them. How did we then seem to know that there is such a thing as reason, or memory or intelligence? Or take energy for instance, which is possessed more or less, by every person whether weak or strong. But has anybody ever seen, smelt, touched, or tasted energy? Even the simplest man can see that we have not known these things by means of five senses, but that there are other evidences that have led us to take conscience of their existence.
But God is subtlest of all things. How unjust is it then to say that we cannot believe in the existence of God unless He is shown to us. Has anybody ever seen electricity? But can we then deny the transmission of messages and signals to long distances, lighting and the working of machinery by means of electricity? The discovery of either has brought about a revolution in the domain of physical science, but has any scientist been able to find it by means of seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling or touching? But if we deny its existence, we find ourselves unable to explain how the rays of the sun reach the Earth. How unjust is then the demand that in order to believe in God, He must be visible to the eye, while there are so many things which are believed in but they are not visible to the eye or perceptible by any other of the five senses. God is visible but only to the eyes that are capable of seeing Him. But if anybody is desirous of seeing Him, He is before the whole world through His powers and in spite of His being hidden, He is the most apparent of all. This fact has been briefly but very exquisitely mentioned in the Holy Quran like I explained at the beginning of my sermon.
And that it is He Who makes (whom He wills) laugh, and makes (whom He wills) weep;
And that it is He Who causes death and gives life;
And that He (Allah) creates the pairs, male and female,
In these verses God draws the attention of man to the fact that every action must have an agent and therefore if we ponder over the whole universe, we shall be led to the conclusion that God is the end of all things and that it is He Who is directing the universe. If a person thinks over this huge creation, he has no choice but to accept the existence of a Being Who brought this universe into being.
May Allah help mankind to recognise and feel His existence through their inner self and through the many signs apparent in this universe, which extols His glorious presence amongst us all. Insha-Allah, Ameen.
---Friday Sermon of 28 October 2016 ~(26 Muharram 1438 AH) delivered by Khalifatullah Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim Saheb (atba) of Mauritius.