If a Thing Exists, it is not Necessary that it Must Also be Sensible & Visible, By Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi

Translated By: Professor Muhammad Hasan Askari & Karrar Husain
Compiled By: Mufti Umar Anwar Badakhshani

Answer to Modernism

Fourth Principle

If a thing exists, it is not necessary that it must also be sensible and visible.


There are three ways in which one can justifiably predicate of a fact that it is true:

  • 1) Personal Observation: On the basis of personal observation—for example, we ourselves see Zaid coming.
  • 2) Truthful Reporter: On the basis of a report from a truthful reporter — for example, some trustworthy man reports to us that Zaid has come. But our acceptance of such a report will depend on the condition that we cannot find a stronger argument to refute this report. For example someone reports to a man that Zaid came last night, and wounded the listener with a sword. But the listener knows that he has not been wounded by any one, nor is he wounded at the present moment. In this case, personal observation is there to refute thereport. So, we would conclude that the report is not true, and that the alleged fact is not real.
  • 3) Rational Argument: On the basis of a rational argument – for example, although one has not seen the sun rising nor has any one made such a report, yet merely by seeing the sunlight one’s reason at once recognizes that the sun has already risen, for one knows that the existence of sunlight depends on the rising of the sun.

Among these three facts which we have just examined existenceis common to all, but only one of them is perceptible by the senses, while the other two are not. This goes to prove that:

  • When we say that a certain fact does exist, it is not necessary that it should also be perceptible by the senses.
  • Nor is it necessary that fact which is not perceptible by the senses should, on that ground alone, be considered as non-existent.

For example, explicit and clear verses of the Holy Quran have reported to us that there are above us seven great bodies which are called the Heavens. Now, if we cannot see them because of this visible blue tent above our heads, it is not rationally necessary that, merely on the ground of their not being perceptible by the sense, we should negate their existence. On the contrary, it is possible that they do exist, and since a truthful reporter (namely, the Holy Quran) has given us a report about them, it is rationally necessary to affirm their existence, as we have already shown under Principle No: 2.

SOURCE: Answer to modernism, By Maulana Asharaf Ali thanvi

Answer to Modernism: To read the Fifth Principle Click on the link below:


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