Maulana Wahiduddin Khan | Discover God | Al-Risala, June 1987
In one of nature’s greatest laboratories – the sun – atomic reaction converts into light. The humble cow – a living laboratory – converts grass into milk. The very trees are nature’s laboratories, taking in water, minerals and gases and converting them into flowers and fruits.
This process of conversion taking place all around us automatically and unceasingly, and with the utmost perfection of result, is something which we tend to take for granted. But God requires that we too undergo a process of conversion, not in the unthinking, instinctive ways of nature, but in a conscious, willing way. And this conversion has to take place, not on a material, but on a spiritual plane.
In the normal course of events, we merely observe the external world. But we should do much more than just observe, for the creator of the universe requires us to see Him reflected in the mirror of His creation. The facts which enter our minds as so many pieces of ordinary information must be converted into knowledge of God, just as a seed falling on fertile soil will convert itself into a tree. But if the base metal of everyday experience is to be thus transmuted into the gold of divine understanding, a certain inner mechanism has to be activated. One who can awaken his inner mechanism in this way is a true believer; one who cannot, is a disbeliever, and his ultimate fate will be hellfire and damnation. It is the true believer who knows how to convert resentment into forgiveness, jealousy into equanimity, and meanness into magnanimity. In short, he has the capacity to convert the mundane into the sublime. It is he then who will, at the last, have heaven’s gates thrown open to him when he comes before his Maker.