Images and Imagination
Social Issues
Question asked by .
Answered by Jhangeer Hanif

I am convinced that there is no God but Allah. However, every time I pray or think about Allah’s oneness, images come up in my mind to help me with the process. The images are obviously not of Allah, but of the facts that convinced me about Allah being the One and Only God. For instance, the Qur’ān tells us to compare the undeniable order found in the universe, on this planet, everywhere with the consistency and order found in it. The list of all eye opening truths will take forever to write. Yet I find the ones regarding the creation and order of this universe, and of us (and our bodies), to be the most convincing.

The images coming to my mind are by no means real, but they help me think. It is not possible for any human being to imagine the vastness of the universe, let alone how it looked like while it was being expanded by Allah (there is no possible way of telling where the universe was since there was nothing before it with the exception of Allah, and we don't know what Allah looks like). So, can you please tell me of a better way to think about Allah's oneness, as I feel like a child who has, through Allah's mercy begun to think about the truth that defines reality itself; that separates reason from madness? Everything I have learned has a connection with imagery. Yet I cannot use imagery, or mental pictures to help me understand Allah better. If we utilize imagery to understand the world around us then why can we not rely on it to facilitate us in understanding the oneness of Allah? This is so confusing; sometimes I feel that Allah has led me toward a great treasure yet I am too stupid to fully understand its value.


This is a great virtue that you possess. You should nurture it and use it to appreciate the greatness of the Almighty and the reality that He alone is administering the affairs of this vast universe. You have rightly pointed out that all the terrestrial panoramas and the celestial heights bear witness to the fact that someone has wisely put them into process. As the Qur’ān asserts, the orderly arrangement and the minutely calculated management of world affairs could not have been achieved had there been more than one creator and administrator. The Almighty has extended an invitation to man at scores of places in the Qur’ān to ponder over the mystery of his own creation as well as of the world he lives in, all the while thinking how meticulously his Creator has set details for each phenomenon that takes place within and around him. Thus, there is an evident connection between the Creator and His creation that our Master wants us to establish and thereby appreciate. Obviously, when we would strive to realize this hidden, yet so apparent relationship, related images will naturally come to our mind. Therefore, this situation should not be feared since it is exactly what our Lord wants us to do. Hence, there is no reason not to benefit from this great virtue. You are indeed allowed to utilize imagery to appreciate the oneness of Allah.

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