Knowledge of perception

[CONTENTS] But we could attain to a higher degree of certainty than that described above through 'ain al-yaqin, which means a direct knowledge of a thing as, for instance, in the material world we obtain the knowledge of a perfume through the sense of smell, that of the taste of edibles through the tongue and that of tangibility through the organs of touch.

All these experiences fall under the heading of 'ain al-yaqin. But with respect to the life to come our knowledge attains this degree when we are directly inspired by God, hear His kind voice and experience His true revelations. Moreover, we feel this desire - the thirst for inspiration - in our hearts which is inexplicable unless we admit that the Merciful has provided the means of its satisfaction. Can we, in the present life which is the only gauge of the next and a nursery of it, remain contented with a blind faith based on tales and legends regarding the existence of the true, perfect, all-powerful and living Master, or be satisfied with the little effort of reason which has hitherto given to the world only imperfect and deficient knowledge of the Divine Being? Do not the lovers of God really desire that they should enjoy the bliss of speaking to their Creator? Can they, who have sacrificed everything for His sake and forsaken all their worldly interests, and who give their hearts and souls for Him, be content to stand in a dim light never to see the brilliant face of that shining sun of righteousness? Is it not true that the sweet Divine words "I am" furnish a better knowledge of His existence than all the reasoning of the philosophers, so much so that all their literature, seeking to prove the existence of God by the insufficient light of reason, is as nothing compared with these words?

In short, if the Beneficent has willed to give a perfect knowledge of His own Self to the seekers-after-truth, He has not shut the doors through which they may be illumined by His word. In this connection, the Quran teaches us this prayer:

"Guide us on the right path, the path of those upon whom Thou hast bestowed favors"- 1:6-7.

It may be noted that "favors" here signify the "heavenly blessings" which a person receives directly from God, such as inspiration and revelation. In another verse we read:

"For them (believers) is good news in this world's life and in the Hereafter..." - 10:64.

Yet in another place, the Supreme Being says the following with regard to the righteous people:

"Those who say, Our Lord is Allah, then continue in the right way, the angels descend upon them, saying: Fear not, nor be grieved, and receive good tidings of the Garden which you were promised" - 41:30.

This verse indicates that the righteous are inspired by God in times of fear and grief; and that angels are sent down for their consolation.