Discovery of God at the level of realization is called maarifah. Man can discover God by deeply pondering upon and contemplating on His signs in nature. The source of the realization of God is, in the words of the Quran, reflection (tafakkur and tadabbur) (3:191). The attainment of God- realization by contemplation is entirely a function of the mind. In the human body, the act of thinking is done only by the brain. What is achieved by this process of thinking has been defined as God-realization.

Everything has its price. Without paying the price, one cannot receive the things one desires. Similarly, the discovery of God also has its price, and this price is man’s being. Nothing less than that can be the price of the discovery of God. It can be attained only at the cost of the negation of one’s self. If one is not willing to negate oneself, one cannot achieve the discovery of God.

One’s negation does not mean some kind of mysterious words counted out on the rosary. It can be done only through reflection and contemplation rather than by doing physical exercises in the name of spirituality. What is self-negation? Self-negation for man is to discover the Lord to the extent that his existence in comparison to that of God becomes valueless. This is true discovery of God.



Islam does not subscribe to the concept of conversion. It believes that religion is a matter of individual choice. The search for the truth should be every person’s individual effort and the decisions one then takes in the matter of religion is completely personal.

The concept of religious conversion is alien to the Quran. It has no basis in the Quran. The Quran speaks of marefat, which means God-realization or the discovery of God. So, the truth is your own discovery, your own realization. It is a personal choice. If you want to know what the purpose of life is, what life and death are about, and so on, you have to study, reflect and discuss with learned people. And after that, you may reach some conclusion. And that is your religion. So, your religion is your own discovery.

In religious ‘conversion’, there are two parties: the converter and the converted. But this is not the concept in Islam. In Islam, there is only one party—and that is you. If you want to find the truth, you have to reflect and study on your own. And when you discover something as the truth, you opt for it.

If it were possible to discover Creation, then it is possible to discover the Creator as well. This is possible only through contemplation. French philosopher, Rene Descartes said, “I think, therefore I exist.” Following this dictum you can say, “I exist, therefore God also exists.”

A: As per my experience, discovery of truth leaves no room for frustration. This is because man remains tensed because of matters of the world. But if he finds the truth which next to God is truth, his relation with God is established and then he starts receiving divine succor and inspiration. It is important to note that this is not applicable for self-proclaimed truth. Only that which is truth next to God is what attaches you to God.

Speaking Tree | TOI | May 8, 2011

It's not just about God, man cannot have complete knowledge of anything. All kinds of human knowledge are based on the probability theory; if we accept this criterion for other things, why can't we do the same for the existence of God?


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