Belief in Allah
It is worth emphasizing that among human thinkers there exists no difference of opinion on the point that this universe has a self-sustaining First Cause. At the most, materialists call it matter, while the religious philosophers call it Allah.
It is essential to acknowledge the existence of the First Cause, for a sequence of causes and effects cannot go on indefinitely and we must reach a point where we should come to a cause which is not the effect of any other cause, i.e. the ultimate cause or the Unmoved Mover, which is self-existing and which has always been and shall always be.
It is this Self-Sustaining First Cause which not only makes our intellectual life possible but also quite meaningful. Suppose for a moment that there is no such First Cause. Where does this lead us? Surely this cause and effect pursuit lands us in what is known in Philosophy as a continuum ad infinitum. This brings our investigation to a blind alley.
It marks the beginning of intellectual wilderness, a wild goose chase. You go on piling cause upon cause and effect upon effect only to find still another cause and effect staring you in the face. Of what earthly use is it to put zero after zero when the result is zero or to place nil after nil when the result is nil? Such is the deception of a certain mental activity and such is its misguidance.
It will thus be seen that the only way to get out of this mire is the acknowledgement of the Self- Sustaining First Cause.
Belief in the existence of an Eternal and First Cause is the common ground between the believers in God and the materialists. The only controversial point is whether the First Cause has knowledge and intellect or not. That is the real point of difference.
The materialists deny that the First Cause has any intellect. They hold that the first cause is matter, which lacks any intellect or knowledge; whereas the believers in God maintain that the First Source of the universe has limitless knowledge, wisdom and rationality.
Now let us cast an eye on the various phenomena of the universe to find out which one supports which of these two theories and to see whether the things existing in the universe indicate that the First Cause has intellect.
It will be better to begin with our own body. Does not the construction of the human eye and the way the lenses, retina and various layers of it have been fixed, testify that its maker is fully conversant with the physical laws concerning the reflection of light and the working of lenses and mirrors ?
Does not the composition of human blood of plasma and various types of corpuscles with such a fixed proportion that the slightest change in it disturbs the whole biological system, clearly show that the maker of the blood knew the chemical composition and properties of all the ingredients of blood fully well?
Does not the construction of the living human, animal and plant cells in such a complex and mysterious and at the same time elegant and accurate way manifest that the job has been performed by a Being who had full knowledge of all the laws connected with the human, animal and plant physiology?
Does not the special construction of the solar system and the particular proportion between the size, distance and speed of each planet of this system prove that the maker of this machine is fully aware of all the details of the law of gravitation and the effects of the rotatory motion in producing centrifugal forces?
In short, the special construction of all that exists n the universe from the smallest particles or sub atoms to the biggest galaxies and the accurate and wonderfully arranged systems of their working bear witness to the fact that the First source has full knowledge of all the connected laws and systems.
In principle all human sciences are nothing more than a partial knowledge of a minute part of the secrets and laws of the universe.
How can it ever be that we, with such a partial knowledge, should become scholars and scientists but the First Source who brought the whole universe into existence should have no knowledge and intellect? Transplantation of a human heart by Dr. Bernard r required millions of scientists for thousands of years to put in their efforts for the development of medicine and surgery. Is it conceivable that the very maker of the heart should have no knowledge?
In short, the interpretation of creation of all the well-calculated and well-conceived systems, as chance events and product of unplanned and aimless causes is as illogical as to say that the transplantation of heart performed by Dr. Bernard and his team was not the result of any knowledge and study, and it was just by chance that grafting took place.
Such an interpretation is totally unacceptable. But to say that the entire universe has come into existence just by chance is far more illogical. Hence the materialistic interpretation of the genesis of the universe and all that exists in it is totally unscientific.
Thus, every book of our natural sciences like physics, chemistry, physiology, anatomy, medicine, surgery etc. may be used as book of natural theology, for all these books discuss the secrets and laws of the marvelous systems of creation, whose logical and correct interpretation is not possible without acknowledging the existence of God.
This very line of argument has been mostly followed by the Holy Qur’an while adducing arguments for the unity of Allah.
As Kepler, the famous scientist and founder of modern Astronomy has said, "The more we know about the creation and grandeur of heavenly bodies, the deeper should be our faith."
Thus there exists a close relationship between the progress of sciences and the firmness of faith in God. The more the scientific knowledge expands, the firmer will the faith grow in the One Source of knowledge and power.
Mr. McCombs, a biologist, who has been the head of the Academy of Sciences, Florida, says that every new discovery in the world of science increases the firmness of our faith hundreds of times, dispels the hidden doubts which more or less lurk inside our hearts, and replaces them with the nobler ideas of the acknowledgement of God and His unity.
Science of Physics tells us that if the lifeless matter is static, it tends to remain static unless it is moved by some external force, and if it is in motion it continues to move unless it is stopped by some external factor.
Yet another scientific law tells us that the matter forming the universe tends to disintegrate and assume simpler form with the passage of time. Mechanized matter changes into simpler matter; atoms if they remain as they are, automatically disintegrate; bright stars tend to lose their brightness.
Thus within the lifeless matter there exists no factor which may push it forward to evolution. On the other hand, it tends to disintegrate automatically.
In such circumstances, it must be admitted that evolution and life have come from outside, for, within the matter, there exists no such tendency.
A philosopher says that you cannot think of that attraction to life which pervades from simple ameoba to human beings (like Einstein, Edison and Anatole France) without seeing the world in a divine garb. In other words it is not possible to interpret attraction to life and inclination to evolution except through a belief in God.
Science tells us that in accordance with the second law of thermodynamics, all the energy available in the world is proceeding towards uniformity and neutrality, and a day will come when it, having become uniform, will be neutralized.
And then a state of indifference will prevail in the whole world. This is just like the case of interconnected vessels of the liquid, we observe motion, but this state does not continue forever. Sooner or later all the levels become uniform and everything becomes motionless and quiet.
According to this law, the universe must have a history .It cannot be eternal. Had it always existed, it would have become uniform and neutral long, long ago.
On this ground, we must admit that this material world has not always existed. It is not eternal and must have a history.
Now the big question is what the origin of the universe is. What event disturbed the first day tranquility and became the source of the creation of all the phenomena?
The first explosion or the Big Bang? Then what was the source of the explosion of the uniform atoms of primary matter? How is it possible that in a state of complete tranquility and indifference such an explosion should occur automatically?
Here it must be admitted that some outside factor was the source of the disturbance of the first indifference, emergence of a wave in the uniform of lifeless matter and the subsequent creation of the diverse phenomena of the world. We call this supernatural factor, Allah.
The above mentioned three ways of proving the existence of Allah are the subject of detailed books compiled by philosophers of divinity. We have given only a brief summary.
It is interesting that in our sacred book, the Holy Qur’an, a large number of whose verses are meant to strengthen the belief in Allah, reliance has invariably been put on scientific arguments.
The Holy Qur’an in most of its verses concerning the unity of Allah refers to the first method, i.e. the study of the system of the universe. It calls upon all to study this marvelous system. Sometimes it refers to the secrets of the creation of the heavens. It says: "In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alteration of night and day, there are many signs for the people of good sense."
Sometimes it refers to other methods. It cites the Champion of Unity, Prophet Abraham (A) as saying:
"My Lord is He who causes life and who causes death." (Surah al-Baarah, 2:258)
Here reference has been made to life and death for they definitely indicate the existence of the Creator. This is the second way of proving the existence of Allah as mentioned earlier. In the Holy Qur’an there are hundreds of verses on the subject of divine unity and acknowledgement of Allah, in which attention has been drawn to the marvels of creation and grandeur of the universe. Study of these verses can be the subject of an independent book, in which wonders of science and secrets of the Holy Qur’an can be discussed side by side.
In view of the scientific arguments mentioned above to prove the existence of Allah, it may be asked why most of the scientists and founders of physical sciences still adhere to atheism. The answer to this question is simple. There is hardly any scientist who does not explicitly or implicitly profess the existence of the First Cause or the Source of Knowledge and Power.
It does not make any difference if he does use the word, God or Allah. In the words of a well-known philosopher there exists no atheism. Everybody thinks of Him and acknowledges Him in his own way.
If anybody, in the course of discussion on heart, states that Nature has put up a septum between the right and left chambers of the heart so that the pure and the impure blood may not be mixed, does it not mean that he concedes that Nature has aim, intention, program and intellect ? In this case is it possible to say that by Nature he means factors lacking consciousness? Obviously he means Allah though he uses the word, Nature.
Such expressions which are an evidence of faith in the existence of a First Cause are found in the discourses of most scientists. That shows that they all hold that Nature has aim, will, intention and program. Evidently by the word. 'Nature' they do not mean factors having no consciousness or will. Hence, obviously they use this word as a name for Allah.
It is not surprising that it is easy to prove the existence of Allah, but it is difficult fully to understand His real Being and His attributes. First of all we must know that Allah is Ever-existing and Limitless.
He is limitless in respect of knowledge, power, time and space, whereas our knowledge and power, howsoever vast they may be, are still limited and have an end. As such, how can a limited being completely grasp the very essence of an Unlimited Being? It is not possible for a chick which has grown inside the shell of an egg to know what happens inside the limitless space of the far-off galaxies.
But that does not mean that we cannot understand the attributes of Allah to the extent of our powers of thinking, knowing and understanding.
From the study of the phenomena of the universe we can find out that He is :
All-Knowing and All-wise: This is evidenced by the extra-ordinarily marvelous diversity of life and all that exists on the earth and in the heavens.
Ever-living : Life in the real sense is nothing but a combination of knowledge and power. Allah is All-knowing and All-powerful. Hence He is All-living.
For the same reason, He has will and comprehension also. He sees everything and hears every sound and every voice. He is All-pervading and All-aware. He is Eternal and Ever-existing. He has always existed and shall always exist.
These are some of His attributes, known as Positive Attributes. for they have positive aspects. There are Negative Attributes also, which have a negative aspect.
Being Limitless and Perfect in every sense, He is free from ignorance, inability, need and defect.
He can have no associate and none can be like Him. It is not possible to imagine the existence of two beings, limitless in every respect, for each of them will be lacking in the essence of the other
From this it is also evident that Allah has no physical body, for all bodies sooner or later disintegrate. As such, an ever existing Being cannot have a body, which is liable to disintegration, decomposition and every sort of change.
Divine unity is the Infrastructure of all religious Teachings. The question of divine unity has supreme importance in Islam. In one way or the other it forms a part of all Islamic tenets and teachings. Islam rejects every kind of polytheism, dualism and trinity. According to it, Allah is one. He has no components and none is like Him. This stage is known as Unity of Being.
A number of qualities like knowledge, power, eternity and ever-existence are attributed to Allah. They all are the very essence of His Being and are in no way separate from Him. He is a Limitless Being and a limitless being can be nothing but a Reality. All His attributes turn to one attribute, viz. limitlessness. This stage is called Unity of Attributes.
Further, according to the teachings of Islam, only Allah is Adorable. Islam does not allow in any form the worship of anyone or anything else. Neither the sun or the stars nor any human being is adorable, because all things have been created by Him and He has sovereign control over all of them. Hence only He is adorable. This stage is called Unity of Worship.
A careful study of all that happens in the world will show that Allah is the Creator and the real source of all power. If we accomplish any job, it is He who provides the necessary power. In view of this, it may be said that all our actions are accomplished with His help. Nobody has power independent of His power. Absolute and independent power pertains only to him. This is called Unity of Actions.
Anyhow, this should not be misconstrued to mean that we have no free will or responsibility. He himself has bestowed freedom on us. He wants us freely to choose our way to better life in this world and hereafter. He has done us a favor and put at our disposal all the necessary means to reach this goal.
Our freedom is a gift from Him and because we have free will we are held responsible for our actions.
Let us discuss the subject of free will a little further.
We can dearly see that we are not predestined in our actions. We have liberty of action and freedom of will. A simple proof of human volition is that we blame the offenders for their offences. We lodge complaints with the courts against transgressors and ask for their trial and punishment.
Even those who claim to believe in predestination take the action in their practical life. If man has no free will and every- thing is appointed and foreordained by Allah or if man is really helpless in the face of his physical or spiritual up-bringing and environment, then prosecution trial, courts and punishment have no meaning.
Neither a good and dutiful worker deserves any appreciation nor is an evil-doer liable to any prosecution and punishment, because both of them are helpless in their action. Prosecution of a person who has no choice of action is far from justice. The way we and all reasonable persons behave in our daily life testifies that our conscience recognizes that man possesses freedom of will. Hence belief in predestination has no basis.
Allah has granted us freedom, but it is our duty not to misuse it and to direct all our energies to the achievement of our own happiness as well as that of society.
We are neither allowed to follow any false ideas or doctrines nor to take any incorrect action in the name of freedom of thought or freedom of action, for that will amount to chaos and anarchy, and not freedom.