Human beings by their very nature seek a higher meaning and purpose to their own existence and that of the universe around them. Monotheism as an ideological framework shapes our worldview, gives a meaning and purpose to our existence and provides a moral code to live by. God is an absolutely perfect Being, who exists by Himself - completely independent of everything else. All things in existence manifest God’s existence and His attributes according to its share and capacity, and any limitation and deficiency is that of the creation not of the Creator. Each one of us including those who deny the existence of God are seeking nothing but God as there is nothing else to seek - though they may be seeking Him in different objects and goals. We are programmed to seek nothing except Almighty God.
Reason - which is our main guide in this world also points towards the existence of one God. There is no rational explanation for the existence of universe without an eternal self-existing Being i.e. God. It is ironic that some claim to base their world view on reason alone but fail to provide sound rational argument for the existence of the universe without a self-existing God. To believe in God is not a matter of blind faith or imitation, but it is actually a conclusion based on pure reason. To reject the existence of God is irrational.
In addition to reason, authentic revelation is our other main guide. The Qur’an delivered to us through Prophet Muhammad (S) 1,400 years ago is the preserved word of God, available to us today without any mutation. Not only is the Qur’an preserved, but its language (Arabic) is also preserved not undergoing significant change over the past 1,400 years. The Qur’an despite being a very old text, can be easily understood today by modern day native Arab speakers as well as millions of non-Arabs. The message of this Divinely-sent Book remains relevant to mankind today, despite tremendous advancement in human thought and understanding of the natural world; and it remains one of the most important signs of God.
The likeness of reason is that of an eye and revelation is that of light. When applied together they can help one see further into the reality of existence. Those who want to dispense with one or the other either have a myopic view of the reality or are unable to comprehend what they are looking at.
The conduct of Prophet Muhammad (S) and his true successors, the twelve Imams and their teachings are also as relevant to us today as they were in their lifetime. An unbiased reflection on their lifestyle and conduct forces one to turn towards God. They embody the ideology of monotheism in their beings to the fullest and are His biggest signs.
Monotheism is not only for philosophical discussions and academic debates, but it is actually an ideology to live by. Through His acts of creation and command God is manifest in the entire universe as well as in our own personal lives. Monotheism shapes our personal goals, perspectives, conduct and the very meaning of our existence. The peak of embodiment of monotheism is to put our trust in God alone and to realize the inadequacy of anything to benefit or harm us except with the permission of God, and to be satisfied with the outcome of our affairs which is always good for the believers. The world which we live in and its occurrences in our lives make better sense when viewed through the lens of monotheism.
A life lived by the ideology of monotheism prepares us for a higher level of existence which starts after death. Free will and the resulting responsibility that we have been given in this material realm of existence, prepares us for our stay in the higher non-material realms of existence. What we experience after death is nothing other than how we conducted ourselves in this life. We are responsible for our own actions and there is no escape from them.
In addition to pure reason and revelation, scientific method is another important way of acquiring knowledge about the reality of existence. Scientific method relies on studying and experimenting with analyzable factors to draw conclusions about the working of natural phenomenon in a systematic way. Some have wrongly concluded that atheism or secularism is a premise for conducting scientific inquiry. The rise of Islam in the 7th Century Arabia ushered the birth of Islamic/Arab civilization which propelled human thought to the next level. Muslims scientists and philosophers made valuable contributions to rational and empirical sciences. Islamic/Arab civilization was one of the main factors that led to renaissance and scientific revolution in Europe. Over the past several centuries the application of scientific methods has transformed the face of earth, as well as our understanding of the universe.
For some this greater understanding of nature through science has led to self-conceit and contemptuous rejection of God and religion, though science in no way rejects or disproves the existence of God. Scientific theories like the “Big Bang Theory” and the “Evolution of Species by Natural Selection” are presented as an alternative to monotheistic worldview and are worshiped like false idols. To suggest that the universe came into existence from non-existence through the initial process of “big bang” or “quantum fluctuations” is irrational and absurd, as the follow up question will be how can non-existence give rise to singularity or quantum fluctuations or the laws of physics? Similarly, though micro-evolution in biology is a self-evident reality, there is paucity of scientific evidence about abiogenesis and macro-evolution. When this theory is subjected to critical scientific analysis and viewed through the prism of philosophy and spirituality it appears impossible to be true.
Humanism is an increasingly popular world view and has a slightly positive connotation to it as opposed to the dry and uninspiring atheism. In the table below a comparison is presented between monotheism and atheism/humanism.
|Sources of knowledge||Reason, revelation, empirical method, intuitive knowledge||Reason, empirical method|
|Origin of the universe||Self-existing Being (God)||Non-existence|
|Extent of existence||Physical and meta-physical realms of existence||Only physical realm of existence|
|Human being||Multi-dimensional being with body and soul||Physical body only|
|Status of mankind||Vicegerent of God manifesting His attributes||Evolved primate closely related to chimpanzee|
|Goal of life||Spiritual development, perfection of morals and God’s attributes in our beings||No real purpose, defend human rights, enjoy life as one wishes|
|What happens after death?||Real life starts. Outcome depends on acts during this life and the degree of one’s spiritual development||Nothing|
It is clear that atheism/humanism has a much narrower and myopic perspective of the reality as opposed to monotheism. In atheism/humanism there is no rational explanation for the origin of the universe; and the limit of reality is as far as our five senses and empirical methods can detect. Human beings are only physical bodies and have come from other animals, so human psychology must be studied in the context of animal behavior. There is no real goal or purpose to our existence; and when we die we just cease to exist. It is a rather depressing and uninspiring ideology. Atheists are not missing the elephant in the room, but in fact they are missing the entire room.
While humanism is presented as a progressive forward looking world view, it is actually a major obstacle to further human development and perfection. Rejection of God disconnects us from our origin and source of all perfection, and denying the afterlife shifts our focus away from the real purpose and goal of our lives. Relegating mankind to an evolved primate seriously limits the fulfilment of mankind’s potential. There is no bigger injustice done to mankind than through adopting atheism/humanism.
In this book I have attempted to answer many questions from the perspective of monotheism that cross the minds of almost all of us during some point in our lives. I hope everyone who reads this book ponders and reflects on these questions further. Some may find these views convincing and satisfactory, while others will out rightly reject them. Your response to this book depends on your level of preparation to receive it. You now know whether your heart is ready to accept it or reject it!
وَمَا عَلَيْنَا إِلَّا الْبَلَاغُ الْمُبِينُ
And our duty is only to proclaim the clear message. (Qur’an, Surah Yasin, 36:17).
وَآخِرُ دَعْوَاهُمْ أَنِ الْحَمْدُ لِلّٰهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ
And the conclusion of their prayer will be: Praise be to God, Lord of the Worlds! (Qur’an, Surah Yunus, 10:10).