Hidden Powers in Existence
Allah [glory be to Him and may He be exalted] created the universe and established laws to govern it. Everything in existence is subject to laws. Man has laws appropriate to his life in this world. All that serves man is also subject to laws so that these things give man the things he needs in life.
In this existence Allah has created things which act on your behalf and other things which you have to do yourself. The things which act on your behalf are those which are given to you cost-free, like the sun, the moon, the stars, the wind, and the rain. All these things are given to you without any payment being asked of you. As for the things which you have to do yourself, they are the secondary causes of Allah in the earth. If you do them, you will get something. If you do not do them, you will not get anything.
For instance, if you cultivate the earth well and plant good seeds in it, it will give you an abundant crop. If you do not culti-vate it and leave it unplanted, it will not give you anything. If you search for the minerals inside the mountains and dig mines to extract them, they will give up their treasures. If you do not act, they do not give you anything. It is like that with all the means of life. You must activate them in order for them to give you some-thing. You must make use of the means to reach the gifts that are there.
These are the laws which govern human beings but there are other creatures which have different powers. For instance the jinn have different laws, suitable to their fiery nature; They can pene-trate through solid walls by the nature of their being. They can take on any shape they wish. They have different laws which
govern them; and the laws of things which are subject to them are those which were created for their sake.
The angels are created from light and they too have laws. They ascend to heaven and descend to earth by the command of their Lord. Allah [glory be to Him arid may He be exalted] has creat-ed laws of ascent and descent for them as well as laws governing the taking on of different forms and all the things that enable them to perform their duties.
In the case of empirical knowledge, the intellect can apply it as it likes to the material things of’ existence. Then the intellect can also investigate the secrets which Allah has placed in the earth; the way it does that is either by direct witnessing or in the laboratory. However, the intellect has to stop at the outward forms of material existence. Regarding what is beyond the physical, or in other words unseen things, we can only take knowledge from those who have experience of it.
The unseen is a sphere which Allah did not create subject to the human intellect. For instance the intellect cannot say anything about the world of the angels or give us a sensory picture of an angel. It cannot tell us what its form is or what its nature is or the laws that govern it or how it lives or anything else of that sort.
That is also the case with the jinn, both the righteous among them and the rebellious jinn who are the shaytans that revolt against Allah’s plan [glory be to Him and may He be exalted] The human intellect cannot provide us with a picture of them. Indeed, when Allah wants to give us a terrifying picture of the punishment of Jahannam (Hell) -and we seek refuge with Allah from it!
-He says about the Tree of Zaqqum, which is the food of the people of the Fire:
“It is a tree that emerges from the base of the Blazing Fire. Its fruit are like the heads of the shaytans.” (37: 64-65)
Allah [glory be to Him and may He be exalted] used the image of the heads of the shaytans because none of us has seen them. If you were to bring a number of artists and ask them to
draw a picture of a shaytan, each of them would come up with a quite different picture from the others. He would draw the form which he imagines a shaytan to have. The imagination of one will not be the same as another in that respect but all will agree that the form of shaytan is both repulsive and frightening. By using the words,“the heads of shaytans” Allah paints for every man a picture which will make him terrified of the punishment of Jahannam. It provokes alarm in the hearts of all who read it so that fear of the punishment enters them. We seek refuge with Allah!
What is Unseen for Us
There are many things which are unseen for us, creatures and secrets which Allah [glory be to Him and may He be exalted] has not acquainted us with nor made our intellects capable of encompassing. With regard to these things we have no choice but to take our knowledge of them from Allah Almighty who created them. He alone knows their laws. Allah calls our attention to that in His words:
“I did not let them witness the creation of the heavens and the earth nor the creation of themselves. ] would not take as assistants any who lead astray.” (18:51)
That is to say, both the creation of the, heavens and the earth and also the creation of mankind were hidden from our intellects. We should not, therefore, dispute anything which Allah Almighty tells us about the creation and how it took place because otherwise we would stray from the truth. When a man comes and tells us something about the laws of jinn and angels, or the creation of existence and man, which is contrary to what Allah Almighty has told us, we ask him to produce his proof. If it is just a matter of speculation or imagination, we completely ignore it. If he has some sort of physical evidence, we discuss it. The evidence in this case is certainly spurious and intended to mislead.
Some years ago, for instance, the University of California in America announced that it had found the “missing link” between man and ape and that it had physical evidence that man was descended from the apes. When asked for their evidence they said that it was a skull which they had come across in excavations: the skull of a man which had the jawbone of an ape. They said that they had also discovered the skull of an ape with a human jaw-bone. This was. the “missing link” which the world had been searching for to support Darwin’s theory that man is descended from the apes.
It soon came to light that the university had purchased these skulls from a archaeologist who had asked for ten million dollars for this “major discovery”. When the skulls were taken and sub-jected to detailed scientific investigation at the highest levels with the participation of a great number of scientists, they were discov-ered to be frauds. It was clear that the archaeologist in question had taken a human skull and the jawbone of an ape, and the skull of an ape and a human jawbone, and stuck them together using a very subtle technique which the, initial investigations undertaken by the University of California did not expose.
Such then was the physical evidence presented to prove a theo-ry which is contrary to what Allah [glory be to Him and may He be exalted] tells us about creation. It was spurious evidence man-ufactured by a clever swindler in order to deceive humanity.
If only people’s intellects would adhere to what Allah Almighty has stated about things that are hidden from us, they would be spared much research which in the end will only lead to what Allah has told us anyway. All scientific research regarding what is beyond the material universe is nothing but speculation. It is not based on any real evidence and will not lead us to any real ‘knowl-edge.
Existence and Science
When Allah [glory be to Him and may He be exalted] created the universe, He placed in it overt powers and hidden powers.
There are powers which we recognise and work with in the out-ward world: physical things which we see before us every day. We all share in sight and no one disagrees about the outward, percepti-ble world. But there are also hidden powers in existence. Those powers have their effects and have their role to play but we know nothing about them except what Allah wishes to show us.
To clarify what is meant by hidden powers we say that there is a difference between the actual existence of a thing and our per-ception of its existence. The thing might exist and might be around us and affect our lives without our being able to perceive its exis-tence. Indeed, sometimes we might deny its existence in spite of the fact that Allah Almighty has given us plenty of evidence that our lack of perception of the existence of something does not nec-essarily mean that it does not exist.
If we reflect on ordinary human life we find in it a thousand proofs that there can be a difference between the actual existence of a thing and knowledge of its existence. Indeed, all of human knowledge and the advances of human civilisation have arisen from our perceiving and making use of things whose existence was previously unknown.
Perhaps the easiest example to begin with is that of germs, organisms which are incredibly small and which enter a man’s body and cause him to become ill. His entire body goes out of bal-ance and his temperature rises. Specific symptoms appear such as spots, or the colour of his skin changes, and he feels pain. These changes happen because of a minuscule creature which has only recently been found to exist. The question which must be answered is whether these microbes and germs were only created recently or have existed since the creation of the universe. Of course they existed; it was just that their existence was not known about.
At a certain point Allah [glory be to Him and may He be exalt-ed] revealed to us some of His knowledge and we were able to find out about these microbes. We discovered that Allah had creat-ed a life-cycle for them and that they multiply and reproduce and that it is possible to eliminate them by using certain medicines. Medical science began to fill books with information about these .
microbes and their life-cycles. But those germs and microbes certainly did not depend on our perception of them for their exis-tence. They had always existed and carried ‘out their role in cre-ation, and our not perceiving them did not in any way stop them from doing so.
Every drop of blood contains red cells and white cells and dozens of others forms of which we knew nothing until very recently. If you take a drop of water and place it under a micro-scope you will see in myriad forms of life which we did not per-ceive nor know anything about before. The same applies to many many other things in existence.
There are Signs in The Universe
What is true in the microscopic world is also true of outer space. New stars are discovered every day. Did these stars exist before their existence was discovered or did they come into exis-tence the moment that happened?
The same might be said of the resources inside the earth such as petroleum, iron, and other minerals. Did they come into exis-tence the moment we discovered them? Or die! we in fact discover their existence later than we should have done? We did not pay attention to what Allah Almighty told us in the Noble Qur’an -that there are treasures inside the earth. He says:
“To Him belongs everything in the heavens and every-thing in the earth and everything in between them and everything under the ground.” (20:5)
We should have looked, at His words, “everything under the ground,” and searched for the treasures hidden inside the earth sooner than we did! In order to make this matter clearer we say that all the possibili-ties of existence have existed from the beginning of creation, but Allah [glory be to Him and may He be exalted] only revealed
them and use them for our development, progress, and civilisation.
Man did not manufacture the atmosphere nor add anything to it, but Allah Almighty placed in it the possibility of transmitting sound from one distant part of the earth to another over huge dis-tances. It became possible for someone to speak and for the whole world to hear him instantaneously. These possibilities were exploited by man when Allah willed him to discover how to do so. Even more than that, it became possible to use the special proper-ties of the atmosphere to transmit pictures so that when a man landed on the moon, we were able to see him at the very moment he landed while we were sitting in our homes.
The Perception of Existence
All these possibilities already existed and no one can claim to have added anything to the special properties of the atmosphere. However, we were ignorant of these things and did not know of their existence even though they were there.
The same applies to every new thing which science discovers for us. Science does not create new things. It simply reveals to us some of the special properties already innate in the universe which we did not know about before. Every discovery has its time. When its time comes, it is unveiled. Allah Almighty shows it to His cre-ation and they recognise it. If that discovery coincides with a researcher investigating the matter concerned, Allah will disclose it to him. If that is not the case, then the discovery will occur by what is sometimes called the law -of coincidence. But there is in reality no such thing as coincidence. Everything comes to fruition by the decree of Allah and according to His will. So the secrets of existence and the events that happen in it, great or small, are all by the permission and with the knowledge of Allah. Read the words of the Almighty:
“He possesses the keys of the Unseen. No one knows them except Him. He knows everything in the land and the sea. No leaffalls but that He knows it. There is no seed in the darkness of the earth, and no wet thing and no dry thing, but that it is in a Clear Book.” (6:59)
If we want to understand the picture better, we should recall the words of Allah Almighty in Surat at-Takwir:
“But you shall not will except if Allah wills, the Lord of all the Worlds.” (81:29)
Allah [glory be to Him and may He be exalted] used the words “you shall not will” in a general sense. He did not specify by that phrase one event rather than another. It refers to all that’ occurs in existence whatever form it takes. It is all by the will of Allah Almighty. When the will of Allah and man’s will come together, then the thing happens. If they do not come together, it does not happen. So everything in existence is absolutely subject to the will of Allah Almighty. Nothing exists which can be called coincidence because all the events of existence exist are in order and were recorded by Allah Almighty before He created the uni-verse. Indeed, all the events right up until the Day of Rising and beyond it are embraced by the knowledge of the Magnificent Creator of all existence.
The Forces of Existence are Many
From all of this it is quite clear that things which are hidden from us and which we cannot see actually do exist and carry out their appointed purposes in existence. When Allah [glory be to Him and may He be exalted] tells us about things that are hidden from us, such as the angels for instance, then we must be certain of their existence even though we cannot see them. We cannot make visual perception of things our sole criterion for their existence when Allah Almighty has given us thousands of proofs, even with
the physical realm, of the existence of much that is hidden from our sight.
The angels, then, are among the forces of good which we can-not see in our daily lives but which carry out their duties in the most complete manner. As the Almighty says:
“They do not disobey Allah no matter what command He gives them; and they do all that they are commanded.” (66:6)
Similarly, there are other ‘powers in existence which desire evil for man. We do not see them nor recognise their existence but Allah [glory be to Him and may He be exalted] has informed us about them as a mercy to us. He told us to seek refuge with Him from them. The shaytans are among those forces. The shaytans are rebellious jinn who reject the Revelations of Allah. There are righ-teous jinn and also disbelieving and rebellious jinn among the progeny of Iblis, as Allah says in Surat al-Jinn:
“Among us are there are righteous beings and among us are other than that. We follow many different paths.” (72:11)
The shaytans are the enemies of man and desire evil and not good for him. That is why they try to push him into doing what will harm him and not benefit him. But Allah [glory be to Him and may He be exalted] created the shaytans from fire and He created man from earth. Earth, as we know, is dark and heavy and the shaytans take from the fire of their creation something which .gives them greater strength and power than man. For instance, they can see us but we cannot see them, as Allah Almighty informs us:
“He and his tribe see you from where you do not see them.” (7:27)
The shaytans have constant vision of us even though we cannot see them. We would not know of their existence if Allah Almighty had not informed us of it. How would we be protected from their evil if Allah had not Almighty taught us how to seek refuge from them? Allah [glory be to Him and may He be exalted] desires to remove our fear that harm will befall us from these forces that we do not see but which see us, and He has assured us that He will protect us and guard us, He does not sleep nor does He overlook anything. He sustains existence, that is to say He supports it every second. He says:
“Allah. There is no god but Him, the Living, the All-Sustaining. Drowsiness does not overcome Him nor does sleep.” (2:255)
Allah Almighty further desires to increase our peace of mind and tells us that He is the Creator of the heavens and the earth and that therefore there is no creature in existence able to escape His will. Every creature is completely and utterly subject to the laws which the Creator made for it. It cannot rebel against them. That is so that we do not fear that any of Allah’s creatures will rebel and do anything for which their Creator has not given permission. He says:
“To Him belongs everything in the heavens and the earth.” (2:255)
In this way He increases our peace of mind. We might think that someone might possess such power of intercession with Allah as would make him able to do what he wishes without His permis-sion so that he can do as he likes. Or someone might think that there was something in Allah’s creation, which cannot counted or enumerated, which might be hidden from His knowledge or might escape, even if only for a fraction of a second, from the absolute of power of Allah Almighty. So He says:
Who can intercede with Him except by His permis-sion? He knows what is before them and what is after them. But they do not encompass any knowledge of Him except what He wills.” (2:255)
Allah wants people to know that they are protected by Allah’s concern as long as they obey Him and hold to Him even in the state when they have no power to defend themselves at all -while they are asleep. They should keep in mind that in the case of Allah Almighty, “Drowsiness does not overcome Him nor “does sleep.” That is why man can sleep soundly, safe and secure in the knowl-edge that the eye of Allah which never sleeps is protecting him; It is the power of Allah which is the source of all the capacities of everything else in existence. They are under His control and so people should have no fear that anything will harm them.
Just as Allah [glory be to Him and may He be exalted] informs us about the shaytans who see us but whom we do not see, so He also informs us about two other hidden forces: magic and envy. If Allah had not told us about them, we would not have recognised them nor understood anything about them. However Allah has taught us about these two things and so we know how to guard ourselves from them by seeking refuge with Him from them.
Nothing in existence, no matter what the nature of its creation, has any power to bring harm or benefit to any other creature. No creature or genus should allow itself to be deluded into thinking that it has any intrinsic superiority or power. There is no force in existence that has any effectiveness whatsoever except that which Allah desires it to have.
When Iblis rebelled, he falsely assumed that the nature of his own creation raised him above the will of His Creator. So when Allah [glory be to Him and may He be exalted] asked him to prostrate to Adam, his reply was as has come in the Noble Qur’an:
“I am better than him. You created me from fire and You created him from clay.” (7:12)
And in another ayat, Iblis says:
“What! Me prostrate to one You have created out of clay?” (17:61)
In this instance Iblis took one of the elements of his creation which made him feel that he, was intrinsically superior to man. He forgot that what each creature is given does not come from itself. It is from the Almighty and therefore, just as it is subject in its for-mation to the will of Allah, so it is also subject to the commands of Allah. No matter what the creational nature of Iblis was, that did not give him any reason for disobeying the commands of Allah and ascribing his strength to himself. Doing that made him an unbeliever. Creatures can be deluded by blessing into thinking that the blessing they have been given makes them independent of the Giver of Blessing and that that blessing has been obtained by their own capabilities. In doing this they forget their Creator and rebel against Him who gave them the blessing.
This is the case with Qarun who said:
“He said, ‘I have only been given it on account of a knowledge I possess,” (18:78)
He forgot that all knowledge is from Allah and that when He gave it to him, the gift of it should have increased him in thankful-ness to Allah and obedience to His commands.
We have so far seen that there are hidden forces in existence which Allah [glory be to Him and may He be exalted] created and which are governed by laws of which we know nothing and of whose nature we do not know anything except what Allah Almighty has told us. However, in spite of our ignorance about them, these forces nevertheless exist and have effects. Allah Almighty has also called our attention to the fact that even if one
genus is by nature stronger than another, He is nonetheless able to subject it to a weaker one. We must now examine a number of important questions:
What is magic? Who are the people who practice it? What is its effect on man? Why did Allah Almighty send two angels to teach people magic?