Finite vs Infinite Intelligence – Mehfil e Islam

Infinite Intelligence

Finite vs Infinite Intelligence

By A Hafiz Qadri

Many people claim not to understand certain principles or instructions of the Creator and question their rationality. Frankly, this very tendency borders on irrationality.

Imagine if we could devise means to communicate with animals and it turned out that an ant failed to understand the political or economic decisions of a developed country, would anyone even bother trying to convince it of the logicality of such decisions? And isn’t it surprising that despite being fellow creatures, we feel so intellectually superior that we could not spare the time or resource to devote to their intellectual satisfaction?

Never mind the ants, or any other creature for that matter, we would not change our ways even if our own immature children refused to accept such decisions. For we know that certain facts or points of wisdom are impossible to be communicated to unready or immature minds. Similarly, there are facts which our tiny and finite minds fail to comprehend what the infinite wisdom and reason of Allah causes to manifest in this world. All we are told to do is to submit for a short period, just as a child is asked to, and when we are ready for it, Allah will enlighten us of the rationale behind many of the mysteries that abound in this world. This will certainly be in the Hereafter, but for many it can be in this world too.

Why don’t we always understand Allah’s ways? Again, just as a father may want to test his child by asking them to do something which may not be immediately comprehensible to them, so as to ascertain the degree of obedience and the true impetus behind that obedience, so does Allah instruct us to do things which may not easily be grasped by our minds. Indeed if we understood every command and were able to reason out each and every instruction, it would cease to be a test, for every act of obedience would be carried out with full knowledge of the benefits and interests that lie behind it. That would not only invalidate the object of the test, but also render the concept of ultimate reward and punishment meaningless.

Take the example of a man belonging to some isolated region of the world, who, upon entering a modern city, objects to its traffic system. He begins to question its very purpose; perhaps even denying belief in the designers and manufacturers of traffic lights due to his own failure to comprehend the wisdom behind it. Or the example of a child who refuses to accept the rationale behind hospitals, and the surgeries carried out within, and suggests naively, ‘If there were no hospitals and surgeons, there would be no operations and surgeries!’

Who are we to question Allah’s judgements and decisions which stem from His infinite wisdom? Especially in light of the fact that we are but his tiny creations even from our observation of this universe, not even considering what may exist beyond. A piece of machinery could logically never be superior in intelligence than the designer and maker of it.

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