However, it must be remembered that the concept of conquering the universe as presented by Islam is quite different from the materialistic concept of the West. The West has also undertaken the task of conquering it, and indeed in the last few years they have attained extraordinary successes in this field. But the first and fundamental difference of Islam with the West is that their restricted material visualization of things has deprived them of seeing the vast world beyond matter. Hence whatever new inventions are made by them are regarded as the fruits of their own power, intellect and labor. They do not perceive the active hand of the Creator or Master behind these discoveries. But the vision of Islam sees things beyond the investigations, experiments and discoveries and it observes the supreme power of creation of Allah behind them. Allah has subjugated the entire universe for
mankind on one hand, and on the other hand He has bestowed man with the intellect, wisdom, power and energy through which he has been able to dominate the forces of this universe. Hence the teaching of Islam is that after the success gained in the process of subjugation of universe he should kneel down before his Creator and Master in humble submission rather than be proud and arrogant. It is Allah who awarded him with the honor of ruling over the entire universe. According to the Quranic teaching the call of a true Muslim on such occasions is:
“Glorified be He Who has subjugated (all) this to us and we ourselves were not capable to do it, And surely to our Lord we shall return.”
The second fundamental difference between Islam and the West with regard to the conquering of the universe is that the ultimate object of the Western efforts in this direction is the conquering of the universe itself. According to them, the aim of a man’s life, is nothing more than gaining the maximum benefit and pleasure out of the universe and depart from this world. Contrary to this, subjugation of the universe, in the eyes of Islam, is not the final aim by itself; but it is a means to achieve the goal, and only a milestone on the path of a man’s destination. The Islamic point of view is that Man gets the right to utilize the services of this universe only when he fulfills the purpose of his creation and discharges his duties rightly and sincerely. Almighty Allah has not subjugated this universe to man without purpose and the purpose is that man should perform the duty imposed on him with precision and honesty. This duty is worship and submission to Allah. Allah said:
“And I have not created the Jinn and mankind but to worship Me”. (51:56)
The third fundamental difference between the West and Islam is that any new force or power which man comes to possess as a result of his struggle for dominating the universe can be applied or used for any purpose that is allowed by human reason. But Islam teaches that the purpose of its use is determined by Almighty Allah who has bestowed that power to man, hence these inventions and discoveries can be used only for the objectives permitted by Him. When man determines by himself the purpose without the guidance of Divine Revelations these bounties of the universe may sometimes lead him to the path of destruction instead of giving any benefit to mankind. This results in the fact that despite hoisting his flag on the moon and Mars his own life seems to fall into the abyss of darkness. Thus the Islamic concept of subjugation of universe is more universal and comprehensive than that of the West, and more beneficial for Mankind.
May Almighty Allah give us the ability to recognize its true values and to practice them in the right direction. (Ameen)