Importance Of Sending Prophets (Part 1)


Man is aware of nothing at the time of his creation. The creation around him, however, is so vast that only Allahu ta'ala knows its extent. This is reported in the thirty-first ayat [1] of Surat al-Muddaththir [2]. A child begins to perceive classes of beings through its sense organs. Each class of beings is termed an 'alam. The sense organ created first in man is the tactile organ; with the ability of touch, man perceives cold, hot, wet, dry, soft, hard and the like. The tactile organ cannot perceive colours or sounds, and these are thought to be nonexistent. Then his organ of sight is created, and with it colours and shapes are perceived. The world perceived by this organ has more variety and more numerous beings than the tactile world. Next his auditory organ functions. With this sense organ sounds and tunes are perceived. Afterwards, his ability to taste and then his ability to smell are created. Thus the five senses which reflect the world of perception are completed.

Towards the seventh year of life, his power of discretion (tamyiz) is created by which things that cannot be comprehended through the sense organs are realized. This power differentiates things that are perceived by the sense organs from one another. Then his intellect or wisdom is created. What is useful, harmful, good or bad is ascertained by the power of discretion; wisdom distinguishes the necessary, permissible, possible or impossible from one another. Wisdom comprehends things that cannot be grasped by the powers of perception and discretion.

Besides wisdom, Allahu ta'ala creates one more power in some of His chosen slaves. With this, things that cannot be understood or learnt thru wisdom and things that will happen in future are known. This is called the power of prophethood (nubuwwa). Because the power of discretion cannot comprehend the things within the cognitive area of wisdom, it is oblivious to them. And because wisdom cannot understand the things comprehended by the power of prophethood, it disbelieves and denies them. Denial of what cannot be comprehended is the result of not comprehending, not knowing. Likewise, a person born blind will know nothing of colours or shapes if he does not hear about them. He will not believe in their existence. To reveal to His slaves that the power of nubuwwa (prophecy) also exists, Allahu ta'ala created dreams in men similar to this power. In dreams, man might see what will happen in the future clearly or in its vision in the alam-i mithal.

[1] ayat: A verse of al-Qur'an al-karim; al-ayat al-karima.
[2] suura(t): a Qur'anic chapter [a chapter of the Qur'an].