How to acquire knowledge of God?
Now the question arises of how to acquire knowledge of and belief in God, his attributes, his law and the Day of Judgment?
We have already referred to the countless manifestations of God around us and in our own selves, which bear witness to the fact that there is one and only one creator and Governor of this universe and it is he who controls and directs it. These manifestations reflect the divine attributes of the creator: his great wisdom, his all-embracing knowledge, his omnipotence, his mercy, his all-sustaining power-in short his attributes can be traced everywhere in his works, but man’s intellect and capacity for knowledge have argued that there are two gods, others have professed belief in a trinity, and still others have succumbed to polytheism. Some have worshipped nature and others divided the creator into the gods of rain, air, fire, live, death and so on.
Similarly, men have put forward many erroneous nations about life after death for instance, that man is reduced to dust after death and will not rise to life again, or that man is subject to a process of continuous regeneration in this world and is punished or rewarded in future cycles of life.
Even greater difficulty arises when we come to the question of a code of living. To formulate a complete and balanced code that conforms to God’s pleasure merely using human reason is an extremely difficult task. Even if a man is equipped with the highest faculties of reason and intellect and possesses matchless wisdom and experience, the chances of his formulating the correct views on existence are slight. And even if, after a lifetime of reflection, he does in fact succeed, he will still lack the confidence that he has really discovered the truth and adopted the tight path.
The fullest and fairest test of man’s wisdom, reason and knowledge might have been to have left him to his own resources without any external guidance, but this would have meant that only those with the determination and ability to find the path of truth would find salvation, God, therefore, spared his human creatures such a hard test. Through his grace and benevolence he raised for mankind men from among themselves to whom he imparted the true knowledge of his attributes, revealed to them his law and the right code of living, gave them the knowledge of the meaning and purpose of life and of life after death and thus showed them the way by which ma can achieve success and eternal bliss.
These chosen men are the messengers of God his prophets. God has communicated knowledge and wisdom to them by means of revelation and the book containing the divine communications are called the book of God, or the word of God. The test of man’s wisdom and intellect therefore lies in this does he recognize God’s messengers after observing their pure and pious lives and carefully studying their Nobel and flawless teachings? A man of wisdom and common sense would accept instructions given by the messengers of truth, if he denies the messengers of God and their teachings, his denial would signify that he was devoid of the capacity to discover truth and righteousness. He would fail his test. Such a man will never be able to discover the truth about God and his law and life after death.