Verse 20 completes the idea developed in the previous verse. It says that when through a consideration of the atom man has gained knowledge of the existence of the Creator and acknowledges His supremacy, then man must so preserve the state of his ʿaql that he is not led away or prevented from faithfully treading the glorious path leading towards perfection, by temptations or by a self-seeking disbeliever.
This verse, though apparently complementary to verse 19, is in itself pregnant with serious thought and meaning. It says, ‘when you know this you must acknowledge your master, the most high.’ The word ‘this’ we have seen refers to atomic energy. Just as the atom—the ultimate particle capable of independent existence—is capable of releasing energy of a force and power fantastic of conception, even so the soul of man—a speck of Allah’s Creation—after discipline, purification and the absorption of the ‘radiant grace’ acquires so fantastic a power as to propel itself to the pinnacle of evolution, the highest perfection.
One also notes the antithesis in the use of the words ‘most high’, in relation to the word ‘atom’. Man’s mind by knowing the smallest is projected to the most high i.e. the mightiest. The author also uses the term ‘disbeliever’ in this context. A possibility is indicated, that when man has pondered on the atom—the smallest —and its supreme force, man is confused and confounded to such an extent that he identifies the atom itself with the Creator, and tends so to join the ranks of the disbelievers.
Protection from such a fallacy lies in man recognising his limitations and living strictly within the orbit of the directions given in the Book of Allah. A special mention needs to be made of the fact that this is the first time in Fatimi literature that a reference has been made to the subject of atom and atomic energy. One also admires the manner in which the atom and atomic energy have been utilised to illustrate and corroborate a thought process in the realm of philosophy.
The use of the phrase ‘most high’ to refer to the Creator recalls to mind the Quranic verse which translated reads as follows:
‘In the Name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate. Magnify the name of the lord the most high, who created and shaped, who determined and guided, who brought forth the pasturage then made it blackening wrack. We shall make thee recite, to forget not, save, what Allah wills; surely He knows what is spoken aloud and what is hidden.’ (87: 1-7)