When an animal comes to this world, it comes with the necessary skills to survive and usually within a short amount of time it will become a fully functioning being. It will perfectly realize all the potential of its species. It will also gain full strength and not need its parents any more. In fact a hen that nurtured its chick to maturity would get in a fight with its off spring for food. When it comes to the humankind this does not hold true. It will take years for a human being to gain all the necessary skills. Realizing our full potential does not seem possible either since most of our capabilities are not bound by a limit. Our dreams are endless and our creativity knows no bounds. In this regard we will never gain full independence from our parents since learning never ends. One can say the purpose of life is to learn and know. We are not sent here to live like animals. That is to say, we are not supposed live only for eating, drinking and populating. This is where the materialistic philosophy fails as well. It is not able to separate humans from animals.
It follows then, that knowledge is the most significant phenomenon defining our existence. There are various ways to gain knowledge and process it. Our senses, conscious and reasoning all work together to create, process and internalize knowledge. It is also important to know where knowledge takes us. Depending on how we look at life knowledge can have limited or infinite consequences. If what we know does not increase our knowledge of God’s greatness then it will only have limited material benefits in this life that ends with our death. However if it increases our understanding and respect of Him that it becomes infinite since God is infinite. Its consequence will not be limited to this life either. For example, if we study Physics to improve our comfort, that will be the only limited use of our knowledge. Surely, it will make our lives better and that is laudable. Nevertheless it is just that. On the other hand if our knowledge leads us to learn more about God’s names and His greatness, the consequences of our knowledge will not be limited to its material gains only.
We have to look at the universe not for the sake of things in it but for the sake of Allah and His greatness. As Fethullah Gulen tells us the universe is a book from God and all the letters in this book will point to Him.