The Mystic and the Scientist
by Dr Allah Bakhsh
The Light (Pakistan), 24th December 1979 Issue (Vol. 59, No. 40, pp. 3–7, 10)
A common and grand purpose lies before them both, the mystic and the scientist. It is the discovery of the nature of the great Architect of the universe; the object of man’s creation and how to achieve it! Both are engaged in solving these great mysteries. Both should therefore arrive at a common conclusion. However, the methods pursued by them are different. The method of the mystic is esoteric, the inner enlightenment of his soul as to the ultimate Reality and Truth, whereas the method adopted by the scientist is exoteric. The mystic searches his own soul for solution, through his own higher senses of the subconscious realm. The true scientist employs his physical senses and the field of his activities is the material universe. The mystic is engaged in prayers and inner contemplation in the recesses of his soul for the revelation from on the High, while the scientist is busy with his tests and microscope in his laboratory.
The mystic if he is a true one, receives answer from the Ever-Living Ever-Answering Almighty, through the process of external revelation, an objective phenomenon, a passive reception of the Divine-voice, a process exterior and external to his own ideas and thinking. He becomes certain and thoroughly convinced that the voices he has heard, the visions he has seen, the knowledge he has received, are all beyond the shadow of a doubt from some Higher Consciousness than his own mortal-being.
His conviction in the truthfulness of his revelations is no less certain and sure than his own being, his physical senses and the physical universe. His heart and soul are perfectly convinced of the Divine-nature of his messages. He therefore challenges the whole world about the veracity of his communications. As the Almighty God assures to such a perfect mystic of His own aid and assistance, he therefore has an unbounded courage and dauntless defiance of all the forces arrayed against him.
The scientist on the other hand working as he is with his human mind and material-resources with his physical senses, is placed in quite a different position. As Newton said something to the following effect:
“I am only but like a child, playing on the vast seashore of knowledge, finding sometimes a prettier pebble than others and becoming puffed up with pride and pleasure while the vast unexplored sea of knowledge yet lies before me.”
The discoveries made by the scientist in the material realm, if corroborated by others and testified to by experiment and experience are the true Divine laws working in the physical universe and therefore should be accepted as truths to be obeyed and employed for man’s benefit. As regards the spiritual and moral fields, these are outside a scientist’s scope of research. The results and conclusions arrived at by him should therefore either testify to the truthfulness of the findings of the mystic or else they are erroneous or incomplete because both the Divine-voice and Divine-works must agree and concur and not antagonise and differ. Where they differ, the error must be on the part of the human discovery.
The conclusion we have arrived at has amply been attested in this age of advanced Science.
Revelational knowledge asserted from the very beginning that matter was destructible, ephemeral and unreal; whereas the light and energy of Divine-source is the eternal, permanent and real. But the science before the nineteenth century denied and derided all these spiritual verities. Then was ushered in an era of Atomic and Nuclear Science. In short, these sciences have ultimately arrived at the conclusion that the previous scientific concepts of matter were erroneous. Science has thus itself proved the falsity of its own previous concepts. Matter has at last been proved to be divisible, destructible, transient and unreal.
Elements are composed of antagonistic particles. Through fission of the atomic-nucleus, an element can be disintegrated to release tremendous energy in the form of heat, light and electro-magnetic radiations. As a matter of fact, according to modern scientific conception, matter and energy are interchangeable terms and inter-convertible. Underlying the diversity of natural elements there is the basic unity of their constitution. As Copernicus proved that our apparent observation of the movement of the sun round the earth was an aberration and an illusion while the truth was quite the contrary. So has the Nuclear Science proved man’s concept of the reality and diversity of physical universe to be an illusion. But this truth was however revealed centuries long before, through the process of Divine-revelation. Matter is neither the real power nor the controlling force behind the universe but it is the Great and Almighty Mind, the Creator, the Sustainer, the Controller and Director which is the ultimate Truth and Reality. Not only this but much more. Various forces had been regarded before like the various elements as different and diverse in their nature. It has however now been established very recently that they are not alien but are ultimately of one and the same nature. It has now been proved and accepted by the scientific-world that the apparently different forces, of Gravitation, of Electromagnetic as well as of Radioactive radiations have a common and similar origin.
Behind the visible matter is pent up concealed Energy within its Atomic nucleus. The diversity of elements is only apparent and an illusion. The basic reality is their common constitution, of electrical particles of Light, Heat and Radiations. Similarly, the apparent diversity of various forces, is only illusional. They are one and the same. The unity of elements and the unity of forces corroborates the Unity of origin of the universe. The great principle of Islamic Faith — the Unity of the ultimate power and force of God-head has been established by the modern most researches of physical science. The mystic and the scientist have come to agree to a common conclusion, thus proving the unifying concepts of both the Faith and Science. The concept taught by revelation was achieved in the twinkling of an eye, having been received by mystics through direct Divine information, like a radio-set receiving radiations from the atmosphere. The concurrence of science came to man after thousands of painful and arduous researches and after persistent denials and denunciations of Truth and Reality.
If such be the story of scientific research with regard to the constitution of material universe, how long will it take to discover the truth underlying the true nature of man’s constitution? We are inevitably led to the certain conclusion that man’s real happiness, salvation and progress lies in obediently following the Greatest Divine-Revelation, the Holy Quran and Sunnat [Actions] of the Holy Prophet of Islam.
Re-discovery of Religious Truths in a Scientific Age:
Great scientific researches and technological advances of the present age have turned man’s head, to deny and flout spiritual realities and moral values. Man has become too proud of his intellectual attainments. He boasts of his brilliant and marvellous successes in subduing natural forces for his benefit. He is deluded by the glimmer and glitter of gold and regards his material achievements as the be-all and end-all and the haven of his life. The need of the times therefore was for the advent of a spiritual luminary who should be able to convince the world of the truthfulness of verities of faith. This could not be done through mere reasoning and arguments, because the world has become saturated with the scientific spirit of observation and experiment. It demands observed phenomena and experienced realities. Could anyone in the present age come forward to meet the demand of the times? Could anyone put forward his own personal experience of having re-discovered God? Was there any man of the present era to produce unshakeable evidence of God’s speaking to man, of having been the recipient of Divine revelation? Could the world be shaken of its stark materialistic concepts and pursuits through studying such a person’s character and conduct? Were there any superhuman powers of fore-knowledge about coming world events, predicted by him? Did he work out the spiritual change in the lives of those who lived with him? In an age of atheism, agnosticism and mad material pursuits, the necessity of the arising of a spiritual luminary was all the more imminent and urgent. Without such an evidence of his own on the rediscovery of religious truths, how was it possible to shake the world out of its ignorance and denial? Such a mystic of the last days did indeed appear in time, in the person of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian. He did rediscover the phenomenon of Divine-revelation. He shook the world through his bold challenges, to witness God’s great signs working in his life. He sternly warned the world of the consequences of its one-sided materialistic pursuits by denying and defying Divine-spiritual laws and moral values. All the present-day major troubles and tribulations have been foretold by him, the turmoils and agitations, the unrest and violent wars, the inner lack of true happiness and harmony in human lives. All had been predicted by this great mystic of the 14th Islamic era. As he foretold the fate of Czar of Russia in 1914, so did he foretell the misfortune to befall the Shah of Iran to-day in the words:
تزلزل در ایوانِ کسریٰ
“I see shaking of the palaces of Kisra (Iran).”
Destruction and conflagration caused by the Atomic Bomb in modern warfare had also been visualised by him in his visions when he said,
“Friends! mend matters through tears from the eyes, because, the heaven O, ignorants! is about to rain fire from above.”
And again he did warn when he sung,
“although you think yourselves safe and secure but how should I relate to you my anguished condition. Before my eyes roll the days of great bewilderment and harassment.”
“Pour the water of Thy grace and mercy on the day of raining of fire.”
As the modern discovery of Nuclear research has established the truth of destructibility of matter and the reality and permanence of Energy, encased within it, truths told by revelation long before science discovered them, so, have also modern events and warfare equipment testify to the unreality and destructibility of man’s material pursuits. Scientific thinkers and philosophical historians have similarly now come to the conclusion that without Faith and its moral values, mankind is doomed. Thus as the scientific researches have testified to the truthfulness of spiritual truths, so has human experience at last led man to agree to the need of spiritual and moral values.
We reproduce below once again a mighty prophecy of the Mujaddid [Reformer] in which he even predicted about the then current scientific concepts contrary to Quranic principles to be proved false by the new Scientific discoveries:
Promised Messiah’s Prophecy of Triumph and Victory of Islam against Alien Sciences and Cults:
“In this age there is raging a severe conflict between the forces of religion and science. Noticing the onslaughts science is making on religion, there should not be the least disheartening and disappointment. In this conflict, it must be remembered, Islam need not make compromise with alien forces like a vanquished and fallen foe. On the contrary, let this prophecy be kept in mind, that this age being one of the spiritual sword of Islam, once again is bound to come out victorious in this conflict also, as it has shown its prowess previously, that its foes would soon be routed ignominiously so that Islam would triumph over all alien forces. However severe the onslaughts of science be and no matter with what new weapons the modern sciences may make attacks, defeat is ultimately decreed for them.
“I assert it with God’s gratefulness that I have been blessed with the knowledge of the superior excellences of Islam, on the strength of which I can assert that not only Islam would safeguard itself from the onslaughts of the new sciences but would soon prove the falsity of the contrary concepts. Indeed, Islam has absolutely no cause to be afraid of the attacks which new sciences and philosophy are making. The days of its glory are near at hand and I am already witnessing the signs of its victory in the heavens. This glory is spiritual as is this victory spiritual. So that the Divine-forces of Islam might weaken the contrary forces of false sciences to such a degree as to crush them entirely. I am at a loss to understand as to how and from whom have you learnt that the concepts which modern science and philosophy have coined are superior to Islamic principles?
Remember truly that these sciences possess an incomplete weapon of inductive logic and reasoning only, whereas Islam has to its credit, not only all this in its completeness but has also other heavenly weapons in its support. What cause for alarm then be for the sake of the faith of Islam!” (Aina-i Kamalat-i-Islam by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, 1893)