Feb 1, 2013

The Logical Reasoning and Evidence Behind God’s Existence (Part 1)

by Melody

Yes and a thousand times, yes. God’s existence can be reasoned logically. However, when living in a society where emphasis is repeatedly being placed on fulfilling one’s own desires and the need for religion is disregarded, doubts are more likely to arise amongst both the believers and the non-believers naturally. I attended a “Mission Dawah[i]” workshop where the principles of religion were laid down in a rational manner via a logical succession of points that lead to the conclusion that God’s existence is absolute, and what I learnt from that workshop is what I wish to share below.

The existence of God
How did we get here? This is a very common question that we all have asked at some point. There are, broadly speaking, two suggestions - either we came here via a different source or we came here out of nothing. If we were to reflect on which was the most plausible out of the two, it becomes apparent that the concept of everything coming out of nothing is not probable. Yes, even a science man agrees to it, hence the Big Bang theory that beautifully explains the birth of Universe and galaxies and within them planets and stars. Could they exist without that bang? No. This is because nothing can only produce “no-thing”. 

There are no examples in life where something came out of vapidity. In fact, our intelligence will not let us accept it. If you left your room in chaos and clutter, and you came back to see that not only was it now tidy and immaculate, but that your room had also had a makeover, the possibility of it happening “like that” is out of the question. Sure, you may be delighted at your new room, but your intelligence will rapidly question the scenario before your eyes. Your logical mind will certainly not accept that this occurred through no external source. In fact, to consider the possibility of even the wind being responsible for such an organised and immaculate scene is absurd. So naturally you would think either (a) you have landed in the wrong room or, after establishing that it is indeed your room, you would deduce that; (b) oh! it must have been the result of careful planning and effort, on part, of an external (human) hand or intellect.

Similarly when, in our day-to-day lives, we see anything before us, we appreciate that there must have been a cause. Particularly in science, we are constantly questioning why things are the way they are and this questioning has lead to many great discoveries.Yet, I must dare say, even in science there are no other examples of how the theory of "it happened out of nothing" is accepted... except when it comes to the origin of the Universe. The theory of the Big Bang is not the issue, but the issue however is, what initiated the Big Bang? Could it really have happened on its own?

It is true that there is perhaps a chance that the Universe did occur from nothing, since we were not there to witness it. But there is a chance of anything happening, and in our day to day lives, chance is not taken as a principle or basis of how we make decisions. We make decisions based on logic, reasoning and past experiences. For example, if a postman was outside my door, I would identify him by using my past experiences to deduce that the clothes he is wearing are synonymous with the attire of a postman and through reasoning of him holding a bag of letters to conclude that the man outside the door is the postman even if he does not tell me directly.

The most plausible explanation, therefore, is that a force, definitely most engineered and wise created all this intelligence in the Universe. Yes, this makes sense. We must have originated from a source, i.e. a Creator, that is out of this time zone and extremely powerful beyond our calculations to create all of what we see before us and feel within us. This is a more reasonable explanation than the other option which is that we essentially originated from nothing. It does not make sense and simply kills the wonder at who that mighty Creator is.

God’s Oneness
Now that we have deduced that there must be a Creator, how do we know that the Creator is One? This too is based on logic and reasoning. The Creator cannot be like the creation. In order for the Creator to create the creation, it must be unique. So unique and capable of comprehension that it actually creates a meaning of its existence. Immortality is the uniqueness of God. For us , being a mortal is a great gift. So if the creation is flawed, the Creator must be flawless. If the creation is mortal, God must be eternal. If the creation is common, there must be a single unique Lord to unite them all. Furthermore, if there were more than one God, there may be much conflict among them and the Universe would not be in the order that it is. Again, using rationality and logic, the Oneness of the Creator is the simplest and most credible deduction.

You may wonder however - if God created us, then who created God? This may similarly lead us to the question of- who created the thing that created God? Who created the thing that created the thing that created God? ....and so on. There must be a point where it ends, otherwise it will go on and on forever. (It is like instructions being passed down to carry out a task in an army. If all the soldiers pass on the message but nobody actually carries it out, it will go on without end, until someone starts it off.) Since we are created, it makes sense that the Creator is not like the creation and hence is not created and it stops there.

If there really is a God and He indeed created us, then it follows that we should have a purpose to our life since it is flawed logic for an All-Powerful Lord, who is able to create me, you and everything else around us, to create this universe with such intricacy, without reason. The intelligent humans have a purpose for everything they do, and if we acknowledge that for humans, then is not the One who is able to create the Universe far beyond that? For instance, if I am good at something, how Great is my Master who taught me all this? Just ponder.

Once establishing this, we must think further - if there is a purpose to life, the next logical question would be, what is it? There must be some way this Creator would want to communicate this to His creation, right? It does not make sense for the Creator who created with reason to leave His creation to wander blindly without communicating it somehow and expecting them to figure it out themselves. Consequently, the source of communication must be external, not internal, since if it was internal, all of us would have different views, with guidelines not being clear, and the approach being largely subjective. Although we can use logic to deduce that some sort of Creator must exist, the purpose however needs to be communicated. We need an external source, presenting a unified purpose with specific guidelines that all can adhere to. The words and message of the Creator must be communicated to us somehow, and a reasonable way would be through divine inspirations, in simple words, revelations from God Himself in the form of scriptures. 

But what we have before us today are books and scriptures from different religions, so how do we decide? If a book was indeed to be claimed as the words of God, in order for one to be convinced, you would expect it to be flawless, like the Creator. You would expect it to be clear, concise, compatible with all and miraculous that even after you cross check it 1000 times, you cannot point out a single error in its perfection and authenticity. It cannot have flaws, because imperfection is the characteristic of the creation.

This is where the Qur'an comes in. To date, no contradictions or imperfections have been noted and no one has ever been able to produce anything like it. What is more remarkable is that Qur’an itself gives a challenge that was set more than 1400 years ago when the words of the Qur’an were first revealed:

"and if you are in doubt about what We have sent down upon Our Servant (Muhammad), then produce a surah (chapter) like thereof and call upon your witnesses other than Allah, if you should be truthful. But if you do not – and you will never be able to – then fear the Fire, whose fuel is men and stones, prepared for the disbelievers."
Surah Al-Baqarah 2:23-24

This statement is openly inviting all to confirm the truth of these words. We have established that the Words of God must not be similar to human speech, for our Creator cannot resemble us in our imperfections, and this verse is reiterating this concept. In order for us to confirm the authenticity of this book, no human could possibly recreate anything like it, and this is what we expect. But the challenge presented here is not even to produce a complete book like it, but rather to produce only a chapter of it. The smallest chapter in the Quran being Surah Al Kawthar (Chapter of ‘Abundance’), with just three verses, is the simplest task to begin with, however no one has yet been able to fulfil this challenge. In fact, if you were to read the commentary on simply this one chapter, you will find volumes upon volumes upon volumes of material written by scholars who delved into the deep interpretations of such a small chapter! Ponder also at the time in which this book was revealed. It was revealed to the Pagan Arabs who were renowned for their talent in Arabic literature and poetry, yet even they were mesmerised and could not fulfil this challenge. And the challenge is still open!

Another verse in the Qur'an that tests the authenticity is the following:

“Then do they not reflect upon the Qur’an? If it had been from [any] other than Allah, they would have found therein it much contradiction.”
Surah Al-Nisaa 4:82

This is the Qur'an’s very own falsification test. If this statement can be proven wrong, i.e. that there are contradictions in the Qur’an, then it follows that it was not revealed by God Himself. Not only are there no contradictions in the Qur’an, hence this verse is true in a literal sense, but even linguistically this statement is true as the word “contradiction” only appears in the Qur’an in this one verse. The claims made concerning contradictions in the Qur’an are all explained in the commentaries (Tafseer) where the origin of verses and the themes of chapters are explained, with no contradictions evident.

Similar bold statements can be picked up elsewhere in the Qur'an. These bold statements really take me back and make me think: these words can only belong to that of the Creator, with this confidence. And I end up reading more and more, trying to take in all the words and deducing whether this really is from God. And the more I read, the more I feel like the words are piercing right through my heart and my inner soul, allowing the hairs on the back of my neck to stand on end. I come across verses that so accurately target my thoughts, or particularly at times when I consult the Qur’an for guidance, I find verses so suited to my situation. And the most exceptional part is that everyone who reads it and their heart is opened to it, feels exactly the same way. I have read and heard about people's experiences with different verses in the Qur'an and it blows my mind away every time.

How...? Just How can it be that this book of only thirty chapters is so eloquently and perfectly written that it is a guide and is suited to each and every one of us? We will all find verses in there, or aspects of it that interest us, and even as we go through experiences, the Qur'an acts as your guide, where you will come across verses so perfectly written for your situation almost as if it was revealed directly to you, for you... Although it was revealed more than 1400 years ago. But that is the beauty of the Qur’an; it is a unique book that is compatible with all times and to all people – with their varied interests, personalities, concerns and situations – and acts as a guide and a healing for our souls.

...But do not take my word for it - have a look at the message of God yourself. Pick up the Qur’an, start from anywhere you fancy and have a read. See what you think. The best part is when you experience it for yourself and have your own story to tell.

The points presented above were taken from Mission Dawah’s “GO RAP” technique that stands for: God’s Existence, Oneness, Revelation And Prophethood; a useful technique that can be used in Dawah under the response to a question given about religion. It outlines the principles of Islam and so forms a good foundation. The content here can also be useful for developing conviction in both the believer and non-believer’s heart, and it is important to note that it is through successive reflection that conviction in the heart (yaqeen) can be achieved.

1. For more information: www.missiondawah.com

I'd love to hear your views on this topic. Please post in the comments section below!


Asalamu alykum wAwb! :)

MASHA'ALLAH! VERY very well written! Jazaki Allah Khair for taking on the initiative to write about this topic. Amazingly well done, mashaAllah! :)

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