the quest for happiness and peace and rest of heart. Yet in the ways which we have mentioned and
in others like them no man can ever attain to the goal of his hope. How is it possible that the
ever-living spirit of a man should be satisfied with the transitory pleasures of this passing world?
As Sa'di says:
To1 none, O my brother, doth this world abide,
In its Maker alone let thy heart then confide,
O trust and rely not on Earth's fair domain,
For many like thee hath she nourished and slain.
Only that which is eternal can satisfy the immortal human spirit; hence only in the knowledge of
God, the Eternal One, and in having our will attuned to His holy Will, can we find rest of soul and
quiet of heart. Therefore everyone who desires to gain these eternal treasures, without which Qarun
[i.e. Korah, supposed by Muslims to have been very wealthy] with all his wealth was poor
indeed, and every man who wishes to inherit that true and abiding happiness which can never pass
away, must before everything else seek and find the spring and fountain of eternal joy, which is God
Himself, and enjoy the delight of meeting with his Lord. For verily the best of all the joys of both
worlds lies in coming to Him, whom we seek and serve: than which there can be no higher felicity.
The object of the creation of the sons of men is that they may know and serve and please God Most
High, the Merciful, the Gracious: not that, like the beasts that perish, they should eat and drink
and devote themselves to the service of the belly and to licentiousness, nor that they should heap
up for themselves transitory wealth and seek honour and glory in the sight of their fellows. Nay, on
the contrary, man was created that he might attain to the knowledge of his Almighty Creator, and
with true adoration and devotion of heart should serve Him, whose service is
perfect freedom from sin and from pollution and from the slavery of the Evil One, for only thus can
everlasting happiness be the lot of any created being. Hence, as long as we are in this world, we
should seek to attain this noble object of our existence, and never rest until we have attained it.
Whoever thinks not of these things, but wastes the precious years of this life on earth in the
pursuit of earthly pleasures only, how can that man escape the wrath of God?
But in what manner can we find and come to know God, the Eternal, the Incomprehensible, the
Invisible? Can this be done merely through our intellectual powers, as some men fancy?
Man1 comprehendeth not the character of man,
How much then doth the character of the Omnipotent take the pre-eminence!
He it is who produced all things as an inventor,
How then doth one who renews his breath comprehend Him?
It is impossible that our defective and limited intellect should embrace the Eternal and
Unchangeable Creator, and should comprehend Him with regard to whose Most Exalted Nature
beginning and end are alike unthinkable. Job is famous for his patience even more than for his
wisdom, yet on this subject he said:
Canst thou by searching find out God?
Canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection?
It is high as heaven; what canst thou do?
Deeper than Sheol, what canst thou know?
It is true that, apart from direct Revelation, man may undoubtedly learn something about God from
the works of creation and from his own nature. For instance, he may learn with perfect certainty
that God exists, that He is exalted far above all things in heaven and in earth, that His wisdom is
unsearchable and His