Atheism

Atheism is, in the broadest sense, the absence of belief in the existence of deities. Less broadly, atheism is the rejection of belief that any deities exist. In an even narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities.

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Zoheir Ali Esmail, Shaykh Zoheir Ali Esmail has a Bsc in Accounting and Finance from the LSE in London, and an MA in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University. He studied Arabic at Damascus University and holds a PhD... Answered 2 weeks ago

Bismillah

Thank you for your question. The general principle in calling towards good and forbidding evil is that it is only applicable if you are sure someone will listen to you. So your duty is dependent on that assessment.

Usually, there is no need to proactively try and convert classmates, but perhaps with your good conduct a person may ask you some questions about your religion and at that point, you may consider the best way to guide them.

May you always be successful

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Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answer updated 1 month ago

1. Many persons who claim to be atheist do so with out real thinking but just for psychological  reasons like to oppose the family or the atmosphere or to look like different or to show that they are modern ,etc.

We should not take their claim as a studied intellectual decision, unless we discuss with them in neutral atmosphere with out any challenge or instigation.

2. If you are sure that a person has become an atheist, you should look at the reasons and try to understand the background of the situation. 
3. We need to see and assess his arguments and the authority which he believes in, e,g. Intellect or reason, or science etc. We must talk to him in the language which he understands. Those who claim believing in logic and reason, should be given evidence based on logic and reason. We as followers of the Real Islam of the Prophet (SAWA) and Ahlul Bayt (AS) have the richest treasure of intellectual and logical evidence.

4. Invite them for dialogue and debate based on what they claim to believe in and be patient and tolerant.

5. Never expect them to accept your evidence right away. They might reject it verbally but keep thinking about it for sometime. Give them the time which they require and keep on presenting the evidence now and then in a polite and respectable way.

6. If an atheist invites other to be like him, you can keep logical principles and rational thinking as your weapon to easily refute his claims and proof him wrong. Never insult nor attack him but counter his argument with logical and rational evidence with etiquette and respect.

7. If the person respects noble personalities like the Prophet Muhammad (S) or Imam Ali (A) or Imam Husain (A), you can remind him with life and sayings of these great leaders who had the maximum level of intellect.

8. Always keep the doors open for dialogue and never lose hope. No one knows when the heart and mind will open and becomes able to see the truth.

Wassalam.

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Zoheir Ali Esmail, Shaykh Zoheir Ali Esmail has a Bsc in Accounting and Finance from the LSE in London, and an MA in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University. He studied Arabic at Damascus University and holds a PhD... Answered 1 month ago

Bismillah

Thank you for your question. This is traditionally answered by the using the principle of cause and effect and so for the universe or part of it to exist it would have needed an external cause. As for the hypothesis that the universe created itself, it is completely opposed to the presuppositions of Islamic philosophy and so an argument is not even required to reject it. Rather, the onus of proof is on the person asserting the claim and of course this is something outside of the realm of proof. As a presupposition in itself it therefore can simply be rejected.

May you always be successful 

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Amina Inloes, Amina Inloes is originally from the US and has a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter on Shi'a hadith. She is the program leader for the MA Islamic Studies program at the... Answer updated 1 month ago

In theory, atheism is different from shirk.

In practice, it is often the same. Atheism usually leads to replacing theism with some sort of -ism such as nationalism, tribalism, communism, scienceism, secularism, etc, and this results in something else being treated as a partner of God (for instance, as something to appeal to in a time of need, as the height of perfection to try to attain, as what you live your life for). 

It is hard to say which is worse. On a social level, both atheism and degenerate polytheism cause harm. Places where there has been a push towards atheism often have a lot of problems such as totalitarianism, dictatorship, or corruption, as well as a sense of nihilsm or despair. Atheism as a state ideology has not brought happiness, justice, or a healthy and sustainable prosperity anywhere. 

Similarly, although secularism is not inherently atheist, secular social service organizations and interventions can provide functional help, but generally don't have the same ability to spread compassion and build community that religious institutions often do. That is, they can take care of some material problems in society, such as providing housing services, but they largely have not yet been able to deal with the human aspect of building community, bringing peace in a neighbourhood, encouraging love and forgiveness, uplifting people, and eradicating misery.

On the other hand, historically, degenerate polytheism has also tended to reinforce social injustice - for instance, reinforcing unhealthy taboos, wastage of money for unnecessary religious ceremonies or priesthoods while people are in poverty, injustice towards women, superstition, or privileging the elite. 

In fact, one can say that some of the problems in the Muslim world are due to various forms of lesser shirk - for instance, people worshipping traditions or national/tribal identity instead of God. 

On a personal and spiritual level, it really depends. I think that the biggest personal challenge of atheism is the loss of meaning and greater purpose in life. Some atheists also do unethical things to other people because they don't see anything wrong with it. (Yes, you do not need to be a theist to be ethical, but, statistically speaking, it seems to help.)

Of course people who are atheists may have other life purposes, for instance, a dedication to family or the arts; but, even in those cases, something greater than themselves is taking the place of God as a focal point.

Today, atheism is sometimes confused with lack of adherence to organized religion. However, there is an increasing number of people who do not feel fulfilled by organized religion and are unaffiliated, but who do believe in things like heaven or life after death.

And, atheists come in all types. Some are seekers and just haven't been sold on theism or have been put off by some ways that theism has been co-opted (for instance, how Fox News in the US treats Jesus these days), or else had bad experiences with organized religion. In fact I have met some rather spiritually minded atheists.

Some people are just occupied with other things in life.

And then there are some atheists who are genuinely evil and end up using atheism as a front for something worse, such as dictatorship, or starting a cult (obviously, non-theistic cults). But, again, one could classify that as a form of shirk, in the same way that the Pharaoh in the Qur'an deified himself and was not merely an atheist.

So, basically, it's not easy to answer which is worse, atheism or shirk, except that I would go back to what I said in the beginning; and that is, that they tend to go together. 

In any case, the Qur'an addresses both atheism and shirk with the main message that God exists and is present and involved in our lives, that the universe is meaningful, that our existences are meaningful, that we are part of a broader picture, and that theism is part of the road to success.

Mateen Charbonneau, Sheikh Mateen Joshua Charbonneau achieved a certificate from Harvard University in Islamic Studies. He undertook Howza classes under esteemed scholars since 2013 and has been teaching at Imam Mahdi... Answered 2 months ago

Atheism is denial of Allah as the Creator, while shirk is associating partners with the Creator. 

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Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answered 3 months ago

Allah (SWT),The Most Merciful, The Most Just,  knows who is entitled to be in the Hellfire. We are read in Quran that the enemies of Allah will remain in the Hellfire as they were insisting on doing wrong forever.

We should not waste our time in searching what will happen to others, rather trying our best to save ourselves from bad deeds and sincerely doing good in faith and practice to be with the Righteous in the Paradise.

Hadeeth says: The Paradise in the ultimate place of the believers in Allah الجنة للموحدين 

Wassalam.

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Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answered 3 months ago

The reason of our creation by Allah is to shower on us His Mercy and bounties.

Our existence is a great bounty from our Creator Allah (SWT). All human beings know that their life is the most important for them, and it is in fact a bounty from Allah (SWT).

Wassalam.

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Zoheir Ali Esmail, Shaykh Zoheir Ali Esmail has a Bsc in Accounting and Finance from the LSE in London, and an MA in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University. He studied Arabic at Damascus University and holds a PhD... Answered 4 months ago

Bismillah

Thank you for your question. Although such broad questions would require a series of discussions rather than an online answer, the question of knowing largely comes down to a number of presumptions about how things are known. Most people do not actually know what they have presumed or the nature of how presumptions are evaluated and that is how they can get into intellectual predicaments as our presumptions can simply arise from those that dominate the intellectual environment that we live in and digest through the arts.

For example, if we have presumed that all that can be reliably known must be known by the five senses, then with that presumption it is impossible to know that God exists. But why should someone take that presumption over the presumption that a human can know more than what their physical sense perception accounts for? If we presume that we can know through other than our physical sense, then we can know God through our other senses and trust those senses in the way that we can trust what we already know to be limited physical senses. So once the issue of presumptions is solved a person can rationally move towards establishing the existence of God and answering the other questions you have posed.

God is also known through a deep connection and feeling within the soul. 

If you would like to discuss your questions further please feel free to reach out on social media via my Facebook account.

May you always be successful

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Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answered 7 months ago

Allah is The Most Merciful, The Most companionate and The best Forgiver.

When Allah knows your sincere repenting feelings, He will grant His mercy on you.

You need to make up (Qadha) all the missed worships.

Wassalam. 

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Zoheir Ali Esmail, Shaykh Zoheir Ali Esmail has a Bsc in Accounting and Finance from the LSE in London, and an MA in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University. He studied Arabic at Damascus University and holds a PhD... Answered 8 months ago

Bismillah

Thank you for your question. Both sides of the God debate have their own arguments and rebuttals and so if a certain argument has caused confusion you should seek its response from those who have been well trained in the intellectual sciences. It is also important to consider the role of religious experience when forming the presumptions to your intellectual framework and to realize that atheists also recognize the validity of theist arguments based on the presuppositions of theists. 

May you always be successful.

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Seyed Ali Shobayri, Seyed Ali Shobayri is of mixed Iranian and Scottish descent who found the path of the Ahlul Bayt (a) by his own research. He holds a BA in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University through the... Answered 8 months ago

Bismillah, 

Asalamu Alaykom, 

If this woman you are getting to know says that she will accept Islam, then you can marry her. If she chooses to stay atheist, then all types of marriage (temporary and permanent) are not allowed with her. 

So before marrying her, she must accept Islam and sincerely utter the testimony of faith. 

May Allah grant you success

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Zoheir Ali Esmail, Shaykh Zoheir Ali Esmail has a Bsc in Accounting and Finance from the LSE in London, and an MA in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University. He studied Arabic at Damascus University and holds a PhD... Answered 8 months ago

Bismillah

Thank you for your question. We need God as without Him a human cannot reach their spiritual and material perfection. Wealth and position are not perfections for a human, but wisdom, knowledge and purity are. Our need for Him is based on an internal yearning, which is not always sensed, but a person will feel that yearning within them at certain times strongly. That yearning stems from the natural connection we have with Him as His creatures. Without God life loses purpose and meaning. We need Him because without Him we live a life of falsehood and we will bear the consequences of that falsehood when we leave the blindness of the material realm and the overwhelming truth of God is manifest.

As for why this should be God rather than any other creator, it is because God possesses every beautiful attribute. We worship and serve Him because He is worthy of that, and His Unlimited nature doesn't leave room for glory to belong to anything else. Any perfection that you see attributed to any person or being belongs to God. He is the origin of all and unlimited in His perfection. Therefore, it stops at God because in truth God encompasses all. All created beings finally need a creator who is not created, and that is God.

May you always be successful