There are three main aspects of faith in God (Allah in Arabic):
The faith (Iman) in Allah (God) is based on four foundations:
The faith in God is axiomatic which man accepts with the help of his intuition without the need of a rational proof. (6th principle in earlier Chapter No.4). It is an axiom, the proofs of which subsist in every thing in this world, yet it needs no proof. Although the proofs are so numerous that they can not be enumerated in this short space. Fifty years ago a Syrian scholar, Sahaikh Jamaluddin al Qasimi, published a book on this subject, entitled “Proofs of the Oneness of God”. I would also like to mention another book, “God Manifest in the Age of Science“, written by thirty different and well established scientists. Another relevant book is “Man Does not Stand Alone“. These books will convince the reader that a true scientist, just as much as a layman, has to be a believer.
The tendency for atheism, a lack of respect and contempt for God is prevalent among ill-informed scientists, who have deprived themselves of the characteristics of inborn faith and have consequently fallen into the abyss of disbelief, The books referred to contain many valuable discourses by reputable scholars, such as Frank Alien, world famous biologist, Robert Morris Budge, inventor of radar, John Cleveland Kawthrone, professor of Chemistry and John Herbert Blonde, Professor of physics, to name but a few.
It is worth mentioning here that Professor Frank Alien disproved the theory of the pre-existence or timelessness of the universe, as was propagated by the Greek philosophers. Science has now established that everything has a time limit, Without elaborating on the evidence of the existence of God which has been expounded by scholars throughout the ages, I would like to quote just one verse from the many verses in the Holy Qur’an, which are clear and irrefutable proofs. This verse sums up this question briefly and concisely: “And on earth there are signs (of God’s existence) visible to those who are endowed with inner certainty, just as (there are signs thereof) within your own selves. Can you not, then see?” (Qur’an;51:20-21). This must be sufficient proof for both scholars and laymen alike. Deep in our hearts we are all convinced of the existence of God. As we saw in the previous chapter, we call on Him in times of crisis or great difficulty; our inborn faith urges us to seek His help at such times. What’s more, if we look around we can see ample proof of His existence. The inner self is convinced by intuition and the intellect by logical proof.
So why would anyone deny God’s existence? Isn’t that rather like a person who, even though his clothes are soaking wet, denies having been anywhere near water? Anyone denying His existence does so because: “They have forgotten God and so God made them forget themselves”.(Qur’an;9:67). People are so absorbed with their own lives that they do not want to spend any time whatsoever in reflection and meditation. They keep themselves busy doing any job that comes their way, or in idle chat – or reading rubbish. The self becomes their biggest enemy and they live as if life is a burden they want to unload. Most people, as you have probably noticed, are engrossed by the pleasures of life. They eat, drink, sleep and go about their daily work through which they earn material benefits for themselves and their families. It is as if they were stuck in a rut. There is hardly any difference between their past and present, and they have hardly anything to look forward to in the future which might be different from their present way of life. But that is not the case with a believer who puts his faith into practice.
No practicing Muslim, for example, can resign himself to a monotonous routine life. On the contrary, such a person has to think and reflect and wonder “Where did I come from? Where will I go from here? Where does my life begin and end?” He realises that life is not a span of time between the two points of birth and death. He knows that he existed before birth, in his mother’s womb, and prior to that he was just a drop of sperm which was created from the blood that ran through his father’s body. His father’s blood was formed from the food he ate, and this food was prepared from the fruits of the earth. So a long chain of unknown factors led to his birth. How then could he create himself through his intellect and will power when, at a certain time, he existed without either? A child is unaware of himself until the age of four. We are unable to remember our birth or the days we spent in our mother’s womb.
It is clear that man existed even before he was aware of himself, and it is absurd to say that man is his own creator. The questions we put to atheists and heretics should therefore be “Did you create yourself through your own will and intellect? Did you force yourself into your mother’s womb? Did you choose your own mother? Was it you who fetched the midwife to attend to your delivery? Were you then created from nothingness and without a creator?” Of course this is impossible. Was man created by those things which were in existence before him, such as the mountains, the sun and the stars? The French philosopher Descartes evolved the ‘Theory of Doubt’. He doubted everything, even his own self, yet when he thought of it he could have no doubt of its existence. And since there is no doubt without a doubter he made the famous statement “I think, therefore I exist”. Of course he existed, but who brought him into that existence? It goes without saying that material objects are inanimate and devoid of the power of reasoning. But can an irrational being create a rational being? How could a person who does not possess something give it to others? This was the stand taken by the eminent Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) against his father. His father was a sculptor who used to carve idols of gods out of stone. These idols, made by human hands, were worshipped by his people.
Abraham (peace be upon him) was puzzled and began to question himself asking; “How could I make a god and then pray to him and ask him to grant me what I want? My reasoning can’t accept that!” Then he began to think and to enquire. When he saw stars he mistook them for gods because they were not formed from the earth, like the stone from which the idols had been carved. But then when he saw the moon rising in the sky and giving more light than the stars, he considered the moon to be his god. But when the moon disappeared and the sun rose and shone in full blaze, he couldn’t help but consider the sun as his god. Alas, the existence of this god was also short-lived. How could a god abandon his kingdom and vanish out of sight? So there must be a supreme God beyond all these inanimate beings. It is He Who has created me and all these beings. The above argument is dealt with very clearly in the Holy Qur’an: “Or were they created out of naught? Or are they creators?”(Qur’an;52:36). This verse, a proof of Divine eloquence must come as a great blow to the rationalist who denies the existence of God by clinging on to the power of intellect as the source of all action.
When we grew up and became mature we asked “What is nature?” In Arabic, etymologically, the word means ‘something which is made natural.’ Who then, made it natural? Many unbelievers hold that “nature is coincidence – the law of possibilities”. We say that this description of nature can be compared to the story of two men who lost their way in the desert and came across a palace. It was an excellent example of architecture, furnished with exotic carpets, clocks, chandeliers and so on. The two men, spellbound by the sight of it, had the following conversation:
First Man: Somebody must have built this palace and famished it.
Second Man: What conservative and old fashioned comment! This whole place is the work of nature
First Man: How could nature have built such a palace?
Second Man: Well, the stones and rubbish that were originally here were formed into walls and partitions as a result of floods, winds and climatic change.
First Man: But what about the carpets?
Second Man: Oh – They were made from the wool that fell off sheep and dyed by mixtures of colored metals. Then the wool was interwoven and the end product is these carpets.
First Man: How about the clocks?
Second Man: Due to certain climatic conditions, iron corroded and formed small round and flat pieces which became clocks.
Wouldn’t you think someone giving such answers was crazy? : Is it a matter of sheer coincidence that the invisible cells in human liver carry out extremely difficult functions? They convert excess sugar in the blood into glycogen, which is later turned into glucose as and when required. These cells also produce bile, and maintain the cholesterol level in the blood, as well as producing red corpuscles and performing several other functions. Is it also just coincidence that the human tongue has nine thousand small buds on it which enable us to enjoy the sense of taste? The human ear has one hundred thousand cells that carry out the function of hearing, and the human eye has one hundred and thirty million cells which pick up rays of light.
Furthermore, consider the wonders and mysteries of the earth itself. The air that blows round it, the creatures living on it and the wonderful shapes of snowflakes. What beauty and precision! And many of the discoveries have only recently come to our knowledge. Look at the minerals found on earth and the flora and f fauna; the vast deserts, oceans, high mountains and deep valleys. Compared with the sun, you will find the earth is a very small and negligible entity. As for the sun, it too is like a particle of sand when compared with other stars, even though it is one million times bigger than the earth. In terms of speed of light, the sun is only eight minutes away from the earth, the speed of light being three hundred thousand kilometers per second. So, in eight minutes light travels more than the two million kilometers that separate the sun from the earth.
And what about the stars whose light reaches us in a duration of a million light years, very light year being equal to ten thousand billion kilometers! Astronomers have little information about these stars, including the galaxy, apart from the fact that it is a spot of illumination containing many stars which we human beings know nothing about. Only God knows. These stars whose size is beyond the scope of our imagination move at great speed and never bump into each other. How can that be explained? I once read an article by an astronomer who stated that the possibility of stars colliding is as slight as that of six bees colliding if they were flying in the earth’s atmosphere. The vastness of this atmosphere is for the bees similar to the space for the stars. The tremendous space in its entirety exists in the midst of a huge globe – the sky. This globe has a definite body. It is neither air nor atmosphere, nor the imaginary line that some scholars and commentators of the Holy Qur’an claim exists between the stars as a line of orbit. This globe surrounds the space containing all the stars, great and small. And, as God Almighty says in the Holy Qur’an: “We have set up the sky, a roof well guarded”.(Qur’an;21: 32). Beyond this space is yet another space, the vastness of which is known only to God. It may be like the space in this globe, or even bigger. It is surrounded by another globe, still larger, beyond which may be a third space and a third globe, larger in size, then a fourth space with a fourth globe and a fifth, sixth and seventh space, each surrounded by a globe Then there are huge and magnificent celestial bodies: The Throne, the Seat of Power and all the creation that God has informed us about.
It represents in minuscule form, all that exists in the space. And the human mind is unable to perceive its intricacies in just the same way as it cannot imagine the vastness and enormity of the space. All this is indomitable proof, therefore, of the fact that God exists. In the past, scientists and philosophers described the atom as “the unique particle that cannot be split”. It cannot be seen except through an electronic microscope. According to scientists, the atom is so small that if you were to arrange forty million atoms side by side, their total length would be no more than one centimeter. In the middle of every atom is a space containing the Nucleus around which small bodies known as electrons are in orbit, just like planets in space. This nucleus, when compared to the atom, is like a grain of wheat compared to a huge palace. And a nucleus by itself weighs more than one thousand eight hundred electrons. Is all that an act of sheer coincidence? All the writings based on high-flown theories regarding ‘Nature’, “Laws of Coincidence’, etc. are, to say the least, illusive and illogical. But to the pleasure of sincere believers such words are no longer valid in scientific circles and are usually only used by pseudo scientists.
The second dogma of faith is that in God alone created everything – plants, animals, planets and all that we can see as well as all that exists in the unseen. He has created all this from nothingness, and what’s more, has laid down marvelous rules and regulation for everything. Very few of them have been discovered in the realms of physics, chemistry, medicine and astronomy. Only God possesses knowledge of all the major and minor aspects of everything in existence. It is He who knows the number of leaves on every tree and the shape of each leaf and its position. He knows how many insects exist in this world, their length, breadth and each part of their anatomy. He alone knows how many electrons, mobile and immobile, there are in an atom, and the mutations and permutations, progress and change which take place in them. All this knowledge is recorded in a book in His custody.
God is the Lord of all the worlds. It is He Who has brought them into existence, and it is He Who protects them changing them from one condition to another. And it is He Who has placed the guidance for wise and intelligent people in every particle. This second issue regarding faith in God is essential and inevitable. But is it enough for someone to simply profess faith in this concept in order to become a believer? If someone tells you that God is the Creator and the Lord, does this mean he is a believer? Of course not. It is not enough to declare faith, as most nations in the past have done. Even the unbelievers of the Quraysh tribe professed faith. This was the tribe of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), he exposed the falsehood of their belief in polytheism and tried to make them believe that the creed they believed in was inferior and unacceptable. The Prophet (peace be upon him) even had to wage wars against them for this cause. Even Satan (Iblis), the evilest of all creatures, did not deny the fact that God was his Lord: (Iblis) said “Oh my Lord! Because thou hast send me astray” (Qur’an;15:39) and Iblis said “Oh my Lord! Reprieve me (Qur’an;15:36).
The third issue concerns God being the Lord of the universe. He has the absolute right of disposal in it, just like the rights of a property owner. He bestows life and deals death. Can you protect yourself from death? And can you grant yourself immortality in this world? It is He Who causes illness and gives health. Is it possible, therefore, for you to heal a person whom God has deemed incurable? God alone bestows wealth and causes poverty. It is He who brings about floods and droughts. There, were once terrible floods n Italy that devastated cities. During the same period we heard about frightening droughts in parts of India; crops dried out, cattle died, and water was so scarce it had to be rationed. So who causes water to overflow in one area and to dry out totally in another? Who bestows daughters on some couples and sons on others? and can anyone who has been bestowed with a girl turn her into a boy? Can a sterile woman conceive a child? It is He Who causes people to die when they are infants and grants longevity to others who live to a ripe old age. He causes cold spells and snowfalls on some countries, and heat waves and earthquakes in others. And man remains helpless amidst all these phenomena.
As we said before, most people agree that God is the Lord of the universe and the Absolute Power. But does this suffice for a person to be a believer? Of course not. There is yet another issue, the fourth, which concerns this question of faith: that only God is to be worshipped. If you really believe that God exists and that He is the Lord of all the Worlds and the Lord of Sovereignty, you should not worship anyone except Him. This means that you should not associate anyone else with Him in any form of worship. The chapter in the Holy Qur’an entitled Annaas (Mankind) is a clear refutation to those who do not accept the Oneness of God, even though they believe in His existence, and that He is Lord of all Dominions. I have arrived at a conclusion regarding this chapter, which, as far as I know, no other commentator has reached. I hope my opinion is correct. God almighty says: “Say, I seek refuge with the Lord and Cherisher of Mankind, the God (or Judge) of mankind” (Qur’an;114:1-2). Why has the word ‘mankind‘ been repeated in these verses when the possessive pronoun ‘their’ could easily have been substituted? I believe – though God knows best – that there are three separate but interconnected issues here. Namely, Our Lord is the Lord of mankind; He is their Creator; and He is their Protector: Our Lord is the Ruler of mankind. In other words, He is Absolute Disposer of their affairs. And our Lord is The God of mankind, which means that He alone is to be worshipped. No partner should be set up to be worshipped as an equal to Him. One has to either totally accept or totally reject these three issues. How could you differentiate between three identical issues accepting some while rejecting the others? All three are essential and inseparable.