Have they come into being without any agent, or are they their
own creators? Or have they created the heavens and the earth?
Nay, they do not have conviction (for they are blinded by
doubt)! (Qur’an 52:35-36)
Our eyes, ears, tongue, brain, intellect, limbs, heart-beat,
respiration, due proportion, and so on, all carry a strong
impression of creatureliness. Since the creator is not found
within ourselves, we are compelled to look for an external
creator. This, so to speak, intuitive reasoning is so
spontaneous that we need not consciously develop any logical
argument for it. The same affirmation of the creator takes
place as we perceive the external world, since it, too, gives
a strong impression of having been made. That is why when the
concept of God is passed down to us as a common heritage of
humankind, we feel predisposed to embrace it as the answer to
our natural and most basic inquiry: who is our creator ?
The Qur’an (2:34-37, 2:213, and 16:36) informs that the
concept of God has become our heritage because God was an
empirical reality for our earliest ancestors; thus, starting
from them, the knowledge of His existence has been handed down
to us generation after generation. Mankind, therefore, had one
religion to begin with but, with time, there arose disputes
about the attributes and will of God. Thereupon, God
initiated the institution of prophethood. From among each
nation, He selected the finest individuals as prophets and,
once again, revealed Himself and His plan to them. Thus, these
prophets, too, bore witness to the existence of one
transcendent God, His true attributes, and the Last Day .
Consequently, the mass-transmission of the knowledge of God
was reinforced, such that at no time or place did humankind
ever remain deprived of it.
Unlike the flat or the young-earth hypothesis, spontaneous
creation of man, and other myths handed down to us, we have no
reason to reject the concept of God. Quite the opposite, it
satisfies our intellect and is corroborated by empirical
evidence. Advancements in science and technology have made it
ever so clear that the awe-inspiring dispositions (powers) of
matter and energy are not self-explanatory. The unfolding of
these powers has shaped a universe exhibiting thorough
planning, diligence, deep wisdom, meaning, beneficence,
beauty, harmony, mathematical order, control,
self-sustainment, and so on. All this is impossible without
knowledge, intellect, wisdom, will, and volition, but matter
and energy are void of these. Hence, the universe ought to
have an external mind behind it – the mind of an all-wise and
all-powerful creator . The Qur’an (88:17-23 and
2:163-164, respectively) says:
Then, do they not look at the camels – how they are created?
And at the sky – how it is raised? And at the mountains – how
they are rooted and fixed firm? And at the earth – how it is
spread out [under their feet]? So, remind [O Muhammad]! Your
duty is only to remind, not to force them [to believe].
Your God is one God, there is no god but He; the All-Merciful,
the Ever-Affectionate. In the creation of the heavens and the
earth; in the alternation of night and day; in the ships that
sail the seas with goods for people; in the water which God
sends down from the sky to give life to the earth after it has
become barren, scattering all kinds of creatures over it; in
the changing of the winds and clouds that run their appointed
courses between the sky and the earth: there are signs in all
these for those who use their intellect.
Earlier, we have mentioned that prophets were sent to bear
witness to the existence of God and warn people of the
Judgement Day. To back their claims, they presented such
arguments and evidence that their people were left with no
reason to dispute them on rational grounds. A record thereof –
some of which we have presented here – can be found in the
Qur’an, the Scriptures, and the Hadith, which contains much
light for a seeker.
All this was sufficient to establish the existence of God. To
eradicate all doubts, however, God elevated some of His
prophets (anbiya’) to the status of messengers (rusul). Each
messenger warned his people that God had decreed to directly
interfere in this world and deal with them according to their
moral conduct. The righteous among them would be blessed with honour, prosperity, and political power, whereas the wicked
would be disgraced and severely punished. Mostly, only a
minority paid heed and fulfilled the moral commandments of
God, whereas a vast majority – with enormous resources,
military, and civil authority – mocked this message. However,
after each messenger delivered the truth with such arguments
and evidence that his people were left with no excuse to deny
it, the prophesied punishment – no matter how improbable it
seemed – came to pass and, in most cases, utterly destroyed
the deniers. On the other hand, each messenger and his
companions – no matter how few, weak, or oppressed – were
bestowed with the promised honour, salvation, and authority in
the land :
Have the accounts of your predecessors not reached you: the
people of Noah, the ‘Ād, and the Thamud, and those who came
after them – they who are not known to any except God? Their
messengers came to them with clear signs, but they placed
their hands on their mouths and said, ‘We reject the message
with which you have been sent and have baffling doubts about
that you are calling us to.’ Their messengers said, ‘Can there
be any doubt about God, the creator of the heavens and the
earth? He calls you so that He may forgive you your sins and
grant you respite till an appointed time.’ They replied, ‘You
are only a human being like us. You wish to stop us from
worshipping the deities our forefathers have been worshipping;
bring us, therefore, a clear miracle.’ Their messengers
replied, ‘We are indeed but mortals like you. Yet, God bestows
His favour on whichever of His servants He chooses, and it
does not lie in our power to produce any miracle except by the
leave of God…’ At last, these rejecters told their messengers,
‘Return to our religion or we shall banish you from our land.’
Thereupon, their Lord revealed to them, ‘We will destroy these
wrongdoers and then give you this land to dwell after them.
[These are glad tidings for] those who are fearful of standing
before Me and those who fear My warning.’ (Qur’an 14:9-14)
The Qur’an (54:9-45) tells that God set up numerous such
miniature days of judgement throughout human history and,
thereby, empirically established the basic claim of religion,
i.e., the existence of God and the advent of the Last Day. The
last of such miniature judgements took place on the Arabian
Peninsula in the seventh century AD, when the last messenger
of God, Muhammad (sws), came
to this world. This event, with its details laid bare before
our eyes, invites us all to witness God through the pages of
The Qur’an (7:172-74) narrates that, in the spiritual realm,
God gathered entire humankind and asked, ‘Am I not your
[Creator and] Sustainer?’ all unequivocally replied, ‘Verily,
you are! We bear witness to this.’ Nonetheless, in this
worldly life, man sometimes refuses to acknowledge God. This
is mere obstinacy. Thus, on the one hand, he denies the
existence of God but, on the other, he remains eager within
his scope of knowledge to seek an actor for an action; a
planner for a plan; a character for a characteristic; an
effecter for an effect; and a knowledgeable, wise organiser
for something which is organised. All the knowledge he has
acquired is a product of such pursuance. This is how the
actions of such a person belie him and fully unveil the
obstinacy behind his denial of God .
Here, one may argue that this is not always the case. For
example, the Atheist-Darwinists do not seek any wise organiser
for the organisation present in a living cell; instead, it is
attributed to ‘chance’ and ‘blind, random, purposeless, and
unguided’ processes working over long periods of time. This,
in fact, is the very contradiction we intend to point out
here. Nowhere else in their lives would they be satisfied
without finding an actor for even a simple action, let alone
such a marvellous unit of life. The Oxford mathematician John
Lennox reminds, ‘Carl Sagan thought that a single message from
space would be enough to convince us that there were
intelligences in the universe other than our own.’ [4, p. 175]
However, when it comes to inherent powers of matter – enabling
it to evolve into numerous awe-inspiring entities (like the
cell with semantic information) and to bring about spectacular
phenomena, like mathematical laws of nature – they are
conveniently explained away as ‘by chance’. What can be more unacademic than this? It implies that not even a decent
hypothesis is there to put forward against the idea of God
‘But, then,’ it is asked, ‘who created the Creator?’ This is a
secondary question, with no bearing on the question at hand,
i.e., if the universe is self-explanatory or points to a mind
behind it . A chair from its very being necessitates a
carpenter, whether or not the carpenter himself is created. If
upon meeting God, He happens to be created, not
self-explanatory, then we shall look for His creator too, but
how can we evade an immediate question because of the one that
has not even arisen yet?
I would like to thank Selina Köhr and Razi Allah Lone for
their useful comments and suggestions. – J.H.
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