Maulana Wahiduddin Khan  | The Sunday Guardian | July 18, 2021 

The ascendancy which the natural sciences have assumed over other branches of learning is due more to their broad-ranging applica­tions than to any new and great truth which they bring to mankind. Many of the discoveries in this field have no doubt been spectacular, but they relate to only a small, external part of the ultimate reality. They bring us no inner revelations, throw no new light on our reason for existence, or on the final destiny of mankind. Just as the countless astral bodies spinning throughout the vastness of space are only peripherally representative of a far greater universe than our tele­scopes can penetrate, so are our scientific discoveries indicative of a physical, finite reality whose magnitude and complexity are under­standable to us only within the limits of what the human mind can con­ceive of–albeit aided by the most sophisticated technology.

The riddle of man and the universe is something which has tanta­lized the minds of men from time immemorial. If we are to unravel this mystery, there are two avenues along which we may travel. One is that of the slow accretion of human knowledge; the other is that of divine revelation. Many of us are still travelling along that first avenue, and although the speed at which we are moving is increasing exponentially, we are still very far from even a glimpse of the ultimate truth. The second avenue is the one along which we are guided by the prophets–the divine messengers who came to this world to tell us that we, the world, the universe was created by an invisible all-powerful God, who continues to sustain us and everything around us. They came to tell us that this world is mortal and imperfect, but that it will come to an end and be followed by another world which is perfect and everlasting. It is only by listening to the prophets that we are able to grasp the deeper significance of the natural phenomena which we are so eager to ap­prehend and analyse. In so doing, we become alive to the more profound meaning of the beauty of snow-capped mountains, joyous bird song, luxuriant blossoms, a radiant sunset. It is only by imbibing the prophets’ words of enlightenment that we can become attuned to the Divine Voice and feel ourselves to be in the presence of Angels. It is only then that we can understand that what we had always thought of as our destination is really a thoroughfare–a passage from this world to the Hereafter.

Human science and technology can no doubt provide man with material resources, but these are purely ephemeral; it is only prophetic knowledge which will truly sustain man in this world and the next. Worldly knowledge aids man in his relationship with his environment: prophetic knowledge unites him with his Creator.