But even on the supposition that by reason alone man could reach this degree of the Divine Knowledge, yet this degree of knowledge about God and His Attributes would be far from sufficient to satisfy the longings of our hearts. For man cannot fully rely upon the conclusions drawn by his finite reason, because the wisest of men, who have most deeply pondered these things, have differed among themselves regarding them. Hence man feels doubts arise in his mind, and these give him no rest. Nor can he fully know what is God's will regarding man's conduct, and what are His commandments, and how man can please Him. Then how can man perform God's will, and how otherwise can he please His Creator? And how can he ever obtain true happiness unless he gain God's favour?

Hence it is evident that the only thing which can remove man's doubts and drive away his disquiet is a Divine Revelation, since this alone can deliver him from the whirlpool of hesitancy and cause him safely to reach the shore of certainty, and can thus bestow on him calm of heart, because only through such a Revelation can he know how to please God and reach the haven of eternal rest. Nor can there be any doubt that God Most High, who has excited in man's breast this longing for eternal happiness and rest of heart, has done so in order that man might seek and find the object of his desire. For it cannot be believed that the Most Merciful God has produced this thirst without providing the water of life wherewith to quench it. Since therefore universal experience has taught us that it is not in man's power to attain his goal without the aid of a Revelation, the necessity of a Revelation is evident to all men of intelligence. For those that fancy a Revelation to be needless, and hold that man, simply through the light of his own finite Reason, can come to know God and His Divine Will, and that he can thus please God and obtain true and eternal happiness, have evidently forgotten that


many wise men during all ages have dived into the fathomless sea of thought, and yet that not one of them all has ever grasped in his palm the pearl of his desire. The sages of ancient Greece and those of many another land have risen up, age after age, and endeavoured by their wisdom to explain the riddle of the Universe, but who among them all has ever succeeded in doing so without Divine Guidance? As the poet says:

No1 one hath loosed a knot from the matter of the world:
Each one that hath come hath added a few knots to this string.

In truth the dim light of human reason can never guide man through the dark night of ignorance, amid the dense forests of doubt and the deep quagmires of error, so that he may safely reach his goal. The traveller along the narrow way that leads to God can hope to arrive at his rest only through the guidance of the light of the Sun of the Divine Word (كلام). And such a Revelation hath God in His mercy bestowed upon the sons of men, that by it they might learn what their reason alone could not discover. And in this Revelation the Most High has declared His Will regarding mankind, and revealed the way of salvation and the means of attaining to the knowledge of the Merciful Creator and eternal bliss. Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift!

But in this world there exist many different religions, all of which claim to be in accordance with a Divine Revelation. It is clear that all religions cannot alike be from the One True God, since in many points they contradict one another. Some of them teach that there are many gods, some sanction the worship of idols, some command human sacrifices to deities whose disposition is cruel and who delight in sinful and licentious conduct. A thoughtful seeker may indeed find the jewel of truth lost and concealed in the mire of falsehood, and hence in false religions we may sometimes

‫1 هيج كس عُقدةُ از كارِ جهان باز نكرد ـ هركِة آمد كَرهي جند بر اين تار فُزود‫.