That we can never deal with the original of matter is a truth related by the Islamic scholars. This truth has nothing to do with skepticism.
All the information we have regarding matter is the information that comes into existence as a result of the interpretation of the electrical signals in our brain.
All through our life we deal with the form of matter in our brain; that is to say, with its perception, or in other words, its illusion. However saying that matter is an illusion does not mean, “matter does not exist.” Actually matter does exist outside, but we are not in touch with the illusion of matter outside but its illusion in our brain. This is a fact revealed both by science and the Islamic scholars.
Relating this truth of the matter is not sophistry. What is peculiar to this movement which is also called “skepticism” is an outright denial of the existence of the matter and it is a deviant notion. But the statement, “matter exists as an illusion” is a fact revealed by Islamic scholars in their works and scientific findings.
All the beings we see, mountains, flowers, human beings, oceans, in brief everything we see around us, every being God states in the Qur'an that exists and that He created from nothing, are created and they exist. However, people can neither see the original of these beings, nor sense them with their sensory organs, nor feel or hear them. What they see and sense are the copies of them in their brains. This is a scientific truth and today, medical schools being the foremost, it is a scientific subject taught in all education institutions. For instance a person who watches a movie right now can neither watch the original of this movie nor touch the original screen of the TV.
The light that emits from the original of this movie is transformed into electrical signals by some cells in the human eye. This electrical signal reaches the visual cortex at the rear of the brain and alerts it. As a result, the image of this movie comes into existence at the rear of the brain. Right now you can’t watch this movie with your eyes. This film form at the rear of your brain, precisely in the visual cortex. The movie that you are watching is the “copy movie” at the rear of your brain. The original of this movie is seen by God.
This is the fact that Mr. Adnan Oktar relates in his works. This truth is also related by some great Islamic scholars, including Imam Rabbani.
For instance, Imam Rabbani says the following:
I used the following statement above: “The creation of God is in the order of sense and illusion. This means the following: “Almighty God created beings at such a level that at that level, there exists no stability and existence for beings at any ground other than sense and illusion. 45
AND HE CREATED IT IN THE ORDER OF SENSE AND ILLUSION. BESIDES AT ANY TIME HE WILLS AND AT ANY FORM HE WISHES... Outside, there exists nothing stable and existent other than the entity and attributes of Almighty God.” (Letters of Rabbani, 470)
As it is noticed, Imam Rabani accentuates that the universe we see is “at the level of sense and illusion”, that is, we deal with the illusion of matter. While saying that matter is illusion, Imam Rabbani explains that the sole absolute existence is God:
Outside there exists no entity other than Almighty God...Maybe by the way Almighty God creates, things exist in the form of illusion. If an image is settled for it, that image is in the order of illusion. If it has any entity, it also comes into existence by Almighty God’s artistry at the level of illusion. In brief, its constancy and image comes into existence in a single position. Its certainty and image are not in separate places...” ( Letters of Rabbani, Letter 470, translated by. Abdulkadir Akçiçek, Çile Publishing House, 1983, p. 519)
Muhyiddin Arabi explains the essence of matter in his book Fusus al-Hiqam [The Essence of Wisdom] as follows:
We say: you need to know that beings other than God, or what is known as the universe, is, in proximity to God, like the shadow of a person. This being the case, beings other than God are the shadows of God. The shadow absolutely exists in the form of sense. (Fusus al-Hiqam, translated by. Nuri Gençosman, İstanbul 1990, p. 117-18)
The great scholar Imam Jafar Sadiq explains that all the information we have regarding the outside world consists of the information we have in the small visual cortex of our brain with an erudite example:
“Abu Abdullah (Imam Jafar Sadiq) said: “O Hisham, how many sense organs do you have?
He said: “I have five sense organs.”
He said:“Which one is smaller than others?”
He said: “Eyesight.”
He said: “What is the diameter of eyesight?”
He said: "The size of a lentil or smaller than it."
He said : “O Hashim! Look at around and explain to me what you see in front of you and above you.” He said: “I see the heavens, the ground, palaces, lands, mountains and rivers.”
He said : “God, Who is able to place all these entities into a lentil or something smaller than a lentil, can place all the world into an egg without downsizing the world or enlarging the egg.”
Hisham immediately embraced Imam; he kissed his hands, head and feet and said: “This is enough for me, O the son of Messenger of God, this is enough for me!” (Usu al-Qafi, AL-Qulayni, p. 104-105)
Just as how Imam Jafar Sadiq said, the visual cortex of the brain is the size of a lentil. Both the image of a small room or a wide landscape fit into this tiny space within the brain. All the information a person has regarding what he calls his house, his car, his property or beauty actually merely consists of the image presented to that person in this lentil-size space. No one who has ever lived throughout history has ever seen the original of matter, that is, his house, his car, his property and even his own body that exists, outside his brain. He merely knows everything by the image God makes him see in his brain.
To conclude, that matter is an illusion coming into existence in our brains does not render it “non-existent”, but it does provide us with information about the content of the matter with which we deal. This information is the fact that no person can ever be in touch with the original of the matter.
No doubt this is a glorious manifestation of God’s unique artistry of creation.