Some people might raise this question: Are prophets needed to lead men? Isn't our wisdom sufficient enough to grasp the realities? Hasn't the advancement of human knowledge and science assisted man in discovering the truth? The structure of this argument continues something like this: Our wisdom either comprehends what the prophets have to offer to us or is unable to understand it.If the first case were true, we would not need the prophets and if the second case is correct, we would not be able to tolerate anything that goes against our wisdom and intellect. Besides, the argument goes on, is it right for us to be under the guidance of another and listen to him? Are the prophets not human beings like us? Answers: For us to answer these questions and find out the effects of the prophets on mankind, let us consider the following points: We should be aware that our knowledge is limited in scope and despite all the advances in human science, there are still immense amounts of secret and unknown facts that remain to be discovered. The ratio of our knowledge to the unknown is like the ratio of one drop of water to the ocean.In the words of some great scientists, all the science with which we are now familiar is just the alphabet of the great book of creation. In other words: the sphere of our judgment or our rational capacities is extremely minute. We are largely unaware of what goes on around us.
However, it is the prophets who widen this scope for us to see well. Our wisdom is like a tiny projector, but the prophets and their relations act as a bright sun. Could anybody claim that he does not need the sun because he is in the possession of a small projector? Now, let us explain more vividly: the problems of life can be divided into three groups: rational, irrational, and unknown.The prophets never utter irrational statements; i.e. they never say anything contrary to wisdom. If they did so, they would not be entitled to occupy the high position of prophethood. Rather, they endeavoured to bring obscurities to light and this is crucial for our lives. In the past, some people, such as Brahmins [of India and elsewhere] claimed that they did not need the prophets because they possessed wisdom. Similarly today, some people claim that prophets are not needed since man has advanced significantly in the area of scientific knowledge.
These people have recognized neither the scope of human science nor prophethood and the revelations of the prophets. This looks like the claim of a first grader of an elementary school who claims that since he knows the alphabet he knows everything and does not need teachers. Is this statement well-founded? Besides, prophets do not play only the role of the teacher. Their leadership is an issue to which we will refer later in our discussion. No one would dare declare that others should surrender themselves to him.The point to make here is that the prophets, as we shall prove later, possess divine revelation, i.e. they are connected to God's endless knowledge and we should grasp, through definitive reasoning, the nature of these relations. It is only through this approach that we can understand and adopt the teaching of these divine envoys.
Would I have done anything wrong if I had submitted to the prescription of an adroit and deft physician and acted on it? The prophets are great spiritual physicians. Would I have done wrong if I had followed the lectures and advice of a teacher with whom I am in harmony? Prophets are man's great teachers. Now we have to delve into the issue of the necessity of prophethood and the appointment of prophets by God.
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