"Abu Shakir, it is not because of one's knowledge, but it is due to his ignorance that he does not believe in Allah. When a wise man thinks of himself, he finds that his own body needs a controller so that all its organs and systems may function properly.
He then realizes that this vast universe also needs a controller or supervisor so that it may run smoothly."
"You said just now that both of us create our own gods - you by your hands and I by my imagination. But there is a big difference between your god and my Allah.
Your god did not exist before you made him out of wood or stone, but my Allah was there before I could think about Him. I do not create my Allah by my hands or by my brain. What I do is to know Him better and think of His Greatness. When you see a mountain you try to know more about it. It is not creating the mountain by imagination. That mountain was there before you saw it and it would be there when you are gone."
"You can not know much about the mountain because of your limited knowledge. The more your knowledge grows, the more you will learn about it. It is impossible for you to find out when and how that mountain came into being and when it would disappear. You can not find out what minerals are there inside or underneath the mountain and what is their benefit to mankind."
"Do you know that the stones, out of which you make your idols, came into being thousands of years ago and shall exist for thousands of years more? These stones have come here from a distant place.
They could travel that long journey because different parts of the earth are always moving, but this movement is so slow that you do not feel it. There is nothing in the universe, which is not in motion. Rest or motionlessness is meaningless. We are not at rest even when we are sleeping. We are in motion because the earth is in motion. Besides, we have a motion inside our own bodies."
"Abu Shakir, if you had any knowledge about the piece of stone, out of which you carve an idol, you would not have denied the existence of Allah and said that I have created Him by my imagination. You do not know what a stone is and how it came into being.
Today you can handle it as you like and cut it into any shape or form, but there was a time when it was in liquid state. Gradually it cooled down and Allah solidified it. In the beginning it was quite brittle and would have broken into pieces in your hand like a piece of glass." Asked Abu Shakir: "Was it in a liquid condition before?" "Yes, it was", replied Imam Ja'far Sadiq (p.b.u.h.)
Abu Shakir burst into a peal of laughter. One of the students of Imam Ja'far Sadiq (p.b.u.h.) got angry and was about to say something when he was stopped by his teacher.
Abu Shakir said: "I am laughing because you say that the stones are made of water." Imam Ja'far Sadiq (p.b.u.h.) replied: "I did not say that the stones are made of water. What I had said was that in the beginning they were in a liquid state."
Abu Shakir said: "What difference does it make. The liquid and water are the same things." Imam Ja'far Sadiq (p.b.u.h.) replied: "There are many liquids which are not water. Milk and vinegar are liquids, but they are not water, although they have water content in them. In the beginning the stones were liquid like water and they flowed like water.
Gradually they cooled down and became hard so that you could cut them and make them into idols. The same hard stones will turn into liquid, if they are heated."
Said Abu Shakir: "When I go home I will check the truth of your statement. I will put the stone in the fireplace and see if it turns into liquid or not."
Said the Imam: "You can not liquefy stone in your fireplace. Can you liquefy a piece of iron at home? A very high temperature is required to turn solid stone into liquid." "Do you realize how you could make the idols out of stones? It was Allah, who made the stones.
It was He Who created you and gave you the hands with the unique fingers, which enabled you to handle tools and chisel out the idols from the stones. Again it was He who gave you power and intelligence, which you used in making the idols."
"Abu Shakir, do you think that the mountains are only heaps of stones? The Great Allah has created them to serve some very useful purpose. They were not created so that you may take stones and turn them into idols. Wherever there is a mountain there is flowing water.
Rain and snow which fall on the mountain tops produce streams of fresh water. These streams combine together to form big rivers, which irrigate farms and fields. The people who live in the valleys, through which the rivers flow, are assured of constant supply of water. People, who can afford it, go to the mountains during the summer season to escape the heat of the plains."
"The mountains work as a great bulwark and protect towns and villages, which are in their valleys from the devastation and destruction of hurricanes. Green mountains provide good grazing grounds for sheep.
When scorching heat burns the pastures down in the plains and no fodder is left, the shepherds take their flocks of sheep to the mountains and stay there till the end of summer. Mountains are also habitats of birds and animals, some of which are a good source of food for those, who live there. Even the mountains, which are not green, are not without some use. If the people try, they may discover in them mines of metals and minerals which are useful for mankind."
"Abu Shakir, I am too small and too weak to create Allah with my brain. It is He, who has created my brain, so that I may think of Him and know Him - my Creator. He was there before I came into being and He would be there when I am no more. I do not mean that I would be totally destroyed. Nothing in the universe is totally destroyed. Everything is subject to change. It is only Allah, Who does not change."
"Abu Shakir, please tell me sincerely to whom will you turn for help when you are in trouble? Do you hope that the idol you carve out of stone can come to your succor? Can it cure you when you are sick; save you from mishaps and calamities; save you from starvation and help you pay your debts?"
Abu Shakir replied: "I have no such expectations from the stone, but, I think there is something inside the stone, which will help me. Moreover, I can not help worshipping it." Imam Ja'far Sadiq (p.b.u.h.) enquired:
"What is inside the stone? Is it also stone?" "I do not know what it is. But it can not help me if it is also stone," replied Abu Shakir.
Said Imam Ja'far Sadiq (p.b.u.h.): "Abu Shakir, what is inside the stone and is not stone and can help when you are in trouble is, Allah." Abu Shakir pondered over the subject for a while and then said: "Is Allah, who can not be seen, inside the stone?" The Imam replied: "He is everywhere."
Abu Shakir said: "I can not believe that a thing may be everywhere but remain unseen." The Imam said: "Do you know that the air is everywhere but can not be seen?"
Said Abu Shakir: "Although I can not see the air, I can, at least, feel it when it moves. But I can neither see your Allah nor feel his presence." Imam Ja'far Sadiq (p.b.u.h.) said: "You do not feel the presence of air when it is not moving. The air is only a creation of Allah. He is everywhere, but you can not see Him or feel His presence by your senses. You have admitted just now that although you do not see it, but your instinct or your soul tells you that there is something inside the stone, and is not the stone, which can help you.
That something is Allah. Your instinct also tells you that you can not live without Allah and without worshipping Him." Abu Shakir said: "It is true. I can not live without worshipping idols."
Said Imam Ja'far Sadiq (p.b.u.h.): "Do not say idols. Say Allah. It is He, Who is worthy of worship. Just like you everyone is obliged to worship Him. One, who does not worship Allah, has no guide and no guardian. He is just like one, who can not see, can not hear, can not feel and can not think. He does not know where to go and on whom to depend when in trouble.
Worshipping Allah is a part of living. Every living being worships Him instinctively. Even the animals can not live without worshipping Him. We can not ask them and they can not tell us that they worship Allah, but their well regulated and orderly life is sufficient proof that they worship Him.
"I do not say that the animals believe in Allah and worship Him just as we do. But there is no doubt that they obey the laws made by their Creator faithfully, which means they worship Him. If they were not obedient to their Creator, they could not have such an orderly and regulated life."
"We see that just before the advent of spring the titmouse (a kind of small bird) always comes at the same time and sings, as if to give us the tiding of the new season. The itinerary of these migratory birds is so regulated and their schedule so fixed that even if the last days of winter are still cold, their arrival is not delayed for more than a few days.
When Chilchila (a migratory bird) returns after covering a distance of thousands of miles, it builds its nest at the same place, where it had built it last spring. Was it possible for these small birds to have such a well organized life if they did not obey the laws of Allah and worship Him?"
"Abu Shakir, even the plants obey the laws made by Allah faithfully and worship Him. Out of 150 species of plants, which are further divided into hundreds of sub-species you will not find even one plant, which has a disorganized and disorderly life."
"Abu Shakir, just like us the plants also does not see their Creator, but they worship Him by obeying His laws instinctively."
"I know that you will not accept, or perhaps you do not understand, what I say. A man must have sufficient knowledge to understand complicated problems."
"Abu Shakir, not only animals by their animal instinct and plants by their plant instinct obey Allah and worship Him, the lifeless and inanimate objects also, with whatever instinct they have, obey Allah and worship Him. If they did not worship Him, they would not have followed the laws made by Him. As a result, their atoms would have broken apart and they would have been destroyed."
"The light which comes from the sun also worships Allah by obeying his laws, which are very stringent and exact. It comes into being by the combination of two opposite forces. These forces also obey the laws of Allah and worship Him, otherwise they can not produce light."
"Abu Shakir, if there was no Allah there would have been no universe and no you and me. The sentence, "There is no Allah', is meaningless. The existence of Allah is a must. If attention of Allah is diverted, even for a moment from the affairs of the universe to something else, it would break up. Everything in the universe obeys His laws, which are permanent and eternal.
Because of His absolute wisdom and knowledge, He could make such wonderful laws, which will last for ever. Each and every law, made by Him serves some special and useful purpose." When the Imam concluded his discourse, Abu Shakir fell into a deep reverie as if he was greatly inspired.
Imam Ja'far Sadiq (p.b.u.h.) asked: "Do you now believe that Allah, who can not be seen, does exist and what you worship is the unseen Allah?"