Lesson 1: The Need for Divine Leaders
There are people who might perhaps ask if sending of the prophets by God is necessary to guide the people. Is our intellect not sufficient to understand the realities? Is the progress and development of science not sufficient to discover all of the secrets and illuminate all of the truths?
And then whatever the prophets might tell us, is one of two things which either our intellect understands well or it does not.
In the first case, we do not need the prophets and as to the second, we cannot accept something which goes against our intellect and wisdom.
On the other hand, is it correct for the human being to be placed completely in the hands of others and accept whatever they say without questioning? Are the prophets not human beings just like we are? How can we agree to place ourselves at the disposal of what another human being says?
Answers: Noting the following points, the position of the Holy Prophet in the system of the life of human beings will become clear.
1. We should recognize the fact that our knowledge is limited and with all of the progress which humanity has made in science and technology, still that which we know, in comparison to that which we do not know, is like a drop in comparison to an ocean.
As some of the great scientists say, all of the knowledge that we have at our disposal at the present time, can only be considered to be the abc’s of the great book of the world of creation.
In other words, the realms, judgments and comprehension of our intellect are a small area which has been lit by our knowledge. In truth, our intellect is like a strong spot light but the prophets and heavenly revelation are like a sun which shines upon the earth. Can a person say, “As I have a spot light, I no longer need the sun??!!
Even a clearer example: Life’s issues can be divided into three groups, ‘intelligent’, ‘unintelligent’ and ‘unknown’.
The prophets never say anything which was ‘unintelligent’, that is, something against the intellect or wisdom and if they do, they are not prophets, rather, they help us in the understanding of unknowns and this is very important for us.
Thus, those in the past who said that if a person has intelligence, he does not need a prophet or like those who today say that with all of the knowledge that the human being has today, there is no need for prophets and their teachings, have not understood the realms of the intelligence and knowledge of the human being, nor the mission of the prophets.
This is just like a child who has studied the abc’s in the first grade and then says, “I know everything and so I have no need of a teacher.” Are these not baseless words?
The prophets are not just teachers, either; the story of their leadership is something which needs to be discussed separately, which we will do in later lessons.
2. No one says that a human being should place themselves completely at the disposal of another person. The point is that the prophets — as we will later prove — are related to divine revelation, that is, with the endless knowledge of God, and we must, by means of certain and sure reasons, know their relation to God. It is only then that the words of these heavenly messages can be accepted and we accept their reckoned teachings with all of our hearts and being.
If I follow the prescriptions of an expert physician, have I erred? The prophets are great doctors of the spirit. If I accept the lessons of a teacher which are coordinated with the intellect, have I done something wrong? The prophets are the great teachers of humanity.
More important than this is that we carefully study the reason for the necessity of God sending the prophets to us. There are three reasons why we need the guidance of the prophets from God:
If we ride upon a fantastic and fairy tale-like horse which is built of rays of light and in every second we travel 300,000 kilometers in the shoreless space, doubtlessly we will need to have thousands of life-times of Noah just to see a small part of this extensive universe.
It is clear that this universe, with its greatness, was not created uselessly and as we learned in our study of God, the creation of this world has no benefit to God’s state, because He is a Being Who is totally and absolutely free from any need, Who is eternal and He has no deficiency which He could want to meet by the creation of the world and humanity.
Thus, we can conclude that His goal was to give Mercy to others and to help creatures reach perfection, just like the fact that the sun shines upon us without it having any need of us. This light and heat of the sun is only to our advantage and benefit because what do we do for the sun?
On the other hand, is our intelligence and knowledge sufficient for us to move along towards the way of perfection and the reaching towards becoming a perfect human being?
What amount of the secrets of the world do we know?
What is the truth of life?
When was this world created? No one knows the answer to these questions.
How long will it remain? Again, no one knows the answer to this.
Every scholar of humanity has an opinion from the social and economic point of view.
For instance, one group recommends capitalism and another group, socialism or communism and another group, neither accepts this group nor that, and considers both to be harmful.
In other issues of life, as well, there are differences of opinions among the scholars.
A human being falls into a state of wonder as to which one of all of these to accept.
It is here that, in all fairness, we must admit that in order to reach the main goal of creation, that is, perfection and nourishment of the human being in all areas, we need a series of teachings which are correct and empty of any error; ones which rely upon the realities of life, teachings which can help us, upon this long road, to reach the main goal.
This can only be done through God’s knowledge, that is, divine revelation through the prophets. Because of this, God Who created us to take this journey, must place the knowledge at our disposal.
We know that within our being, in addition to knowledge and wisdom, other motives called ‘instincts’ also exist, the instinct of self-love, the instinct of anger and harshness, the instinct of lust and multiple other instincts.
Without doubt, if we do not control our instincts, and they dominate over us, even our knowledge and intellect will be imprisoned, and the human being, like the oppressors of history, will be changed into wolves which are far more dangerous than the wolf of the wilderness.
We need a teacher to learn ethics. We need a model so that we can learn from him according to the principle whereby one narrates something and others follow.
A perfect and disciplined human being, from every point of view, is required to take our hand upon this way, which is full of twists and turns, and prevent the rebellion of our instincts, to have virtuous .principles and his deeds and words sit upon our hearts and very beings, nurture courage, bravery, friendship with other human beings, brotherhood, forgiveness, loyalty, correctness, trustworthiness and purity within our spirits.
What person, other than a pure and immaculate prophet, could be chosen to be such a teacher and guide?
For this very reason, it is not possible that God not show His Mercy to us and prevent us from the existence of such leaders and teachers. (A discussion on this will continue in the next lesson).
1. Do you feel that with whatever knowledge you gain, what you do not know has increased? (Give examples)
2. Can you clarify the difference between blind imitation and being followers of the prophets?
3. If, without a guide, we take the unknown road, what dangers will exist for us?
4. Describe the dimension of our need for leadership of the prophets.
5. Can you guess what other discussion remains in this area to complete this discussion