It is only Allah whose discretion holds supreme in this world. No one else's discretion has in reality even a trace of authority. However, for the sake of trial, Allah has sanctioned freedom to man, who has been given considerable liberty in an otherwise completely enslaved existence to see how he uses it: does he opt for the realistic choice of submitting to Allah's -- the real Master's -- will or does he get carried away by the thrills of his undeserving liberty and, as a consequence, resort to a rebellious attitude. Allah has prepared Paradise for those who despite possessing many options choose to remain optionless; those who volunteer to fear Allah even on occasions when fear is not seemingly warranted; those who, despite wielding full authority, surrender all their authority to Allah. When such people are provided with sustenance through the medium of some apparent material source, they acknowledge that it is in fact Allah Who has arranged it for them. They have the liberty to be unfair to others, but they check the sinful inclinations of their liberty for fear of Allah. Opportunities of demonstrating anger, hatred, and revenge come their way, but they choose to exercise restraint on occasions of anger and offer forgiveness on occasions of hatred and revenge. Allah allows them to be praised lavishly by others, but they find solace in remaining humble. Allah makes them wealthy, but instead of spending their wealth to satisfy their vain desires, they find it more satisfying to spend their wealth in His way. They follow the way of Allah instead of following the way of their own whims; instead of living for their own sake, they live for the sake of Allah. The serene world of Paradise is indeed for such people. They make themselves subservient to Allah with their own free will; they choose to remain constrained within the divinely ordained restrictions, despite enjoying the freedom to remain unrestricted.
We certainly do not perceive God, but we do observe this world. History has recorded the story of the fashion in which we have beheld it for the last five thousand years. We have observed it from widely different angles. The Bedouin of deserts, and the unsophisticated tillers of soil had their share of intimate observation of this world. The modern scientists and astronomers like Swedenborg, Herschel, Hubble and Einstein have made this observation from their very special positions. We saw this world even when our imagination suggested that a slightly taller structure would literally shake hands with the sky; we are still watching it now when we know that some of its stars are so distantly placed from us that their light takes billions of years to reach us.
There was a time when we fancied our sun to be no more than a big ball which, if it were to somehow cool down and descend to us, could be conveniently employed for our benefits. Our modern enlightenment has enabled us to know its distance from Pluto, a planet, for example, is four billion and six hundred million miles. Furthermore, we know that this system is only a small part of a large galaxy which has billions of suns, and that this galaxy is just one of the millions of spiral nebulae.
This, then, is what we know as yet, we do not know what more is in store, still eluding us for want of ever further scientific probing.
Throughout this long period of stay in this world, we have always heard the silent verdict of our intuition that all this arrangement despite its vast expanse and grandeur, is a creation. Our intellect unequivocally endorses this verdict. Efforts to form a contrary opinion not withstanding, human intellect has always ended up with the same conclusion. The findings of the latest research are, likewise, no different. Man is, consequently, forced to confirm that this world is undoubtedly a creation, no more and no less than that.
We conclude from the above that if this world is a creation, it should definitely have a Creator. A common rebuttal of this argument, based on the question of identification of a Creator of this deduced Creator, is clearly illogical, for we do not argue that everything should necessarily have a Creator. On the contrary, we assert that every creation should indispensably have a Creator, and because we accept this world to be a creation, it must logically have a Creator. Everyone should, therefore, submit willingly to this verdict of our intellect.
We readily yield to this verdict which is unanimously endorsed by our intuition as well as by our intellect. Our entire existence, in fact, is a clear testimony to it. Nothing within or external to us can challenge this contention. We, therefore, believe that the existence of God is an unquestionable reality which no reasonable person can afford to deny.
Reality does not appear through our observations and experiences only. We also, at times, infer from evidences of objects and events to arrive at conclusions. Information gathered through both channels deserve equal right on the word. A modern physical scientist has rightly remarked that reality is always reality whether discovered directly or through reasoning. The major part of man's best scholarly achievement is based on this process. He unhesitatingly affirms those facts which he has discovered through logical reasoning just as he affirms those which he has observed directly.
As the Holy Qur'an invites man to believe in the facts which belong to the second category, the unseen facts, it was but logical that it should have adopted the process of intellectual reasoning to convince its readers. It first draws the attention of man to the reality which exists in his intuition. It informs him that the Powerful and Wise Being who unquestionably exists beyond the domain of his senses was never unknown to his intuition. Call Him Allah or Rahman (the Beneficent)' all good names are His. The Qur'an then draws the attention of man's intellect to the visible aspects of this world. It presents for his consideration the various expressions of nature, both within himself and external to him in the surroundings, which lie within his observable reach, It says:
Your God is one God; there is no God save Him, the Beneficent, the Merciful. Lo! in the creation of the heavens and the earth; and the difference of night and day, and the ships which run upon the sea with that which is of use to man, and the water which Allah sends down from the sky, thereby reviving the earth after its death, and in the dispersing all kinds of beasts therein, and in the ordinance of the winds, and the clouds obedient between heaven and earth are signs for people who ponder. (2:164-165)
It then implores the intellect to accept the consequential outcome towards which these expressions inevitably lead, for it is only befitting for it to submit to truth.
It is the same process which modern science has adopted to prove many of its claims. The Holy Qur'an employed it in a period when the startling achievements of our times were unknown. Modern science was, no doubt, fortunate in discovering the process which is the only way of appreciating unseen realities. It is, however, unfortunate in ignoring the reality which emerges most prominently after adopting this process: the existence of God.
We do not know how long will it take to overcome this contradictory attitude.