Science a Limited Worldview

Science, as the word is now widely understood, acquaints us with the situation of some parts of the universe; it cannot explain the essential character of the whole universe, its origins or its destiny. The scientist’s worldview is like the knowledge about the elephant gained by those who touched it in the dark. The one who felt the elephant’s ear supposed it to be a shaped like a fan; the one who felt its leg, supposed it to be shaped like a column; the one who felt its back supposed it to be shaped like a throne and the one who felt its trunk, supposed it to be shaped like a serpent. Science, it has been said is like a powerful searchlight in the long winter night, lighting up a small area in its beam but unable to shed like beyond its border. This is not to pronounce on its usefulness of otherwise, it is only to say that it is limited.

From another quarter, Ibn Al ‘Arabi, May Allah shower him with mercy, the Muslim mystic, replied to the question as to who made the creator saying that it can only occur to a disordered mind. According to him, it is Allah who substantiates existence and it would be erroneous to point to existence or the universe as a proof of Allah. This is the same as saying that light indicates day and it would be a lopsided argument to claim the day proves the existence of light. For everything besides Allah is false and it is Allah who aids in proving and finding, there is no proof leading to Allah. Allah is the proof which is no need of another proof. He is the self-evident truth and He is the evidence of that substantiates everything.

He is manifest in order, precision, beauty and regularity; in tree leaves, in feathers of a fawn, in the wings of a butterfly, in the fragrance of flowers, in the chanting of the nightingale, in the harmony of planets and stars which make up that symphonic poem that we call the universe. If we allege that all this came into being by chance, we would be like a person who believes that throwing a million letters into a space can result in its spontaneous assembly, into an authorless Shakespearean sonnet. The Qur’an spares us all these arguments with a few expressive words. It says without sophistry and in decisive clarity:

“Say, that Allah is One, the Absolute and Eternal. He begot none nor was he begotten. And none is equal to Him.”

[Qur’an 112:1-4]

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