Sun 4th Nov 2018
Lesson 7: Belief in Allah and the irrationality of Atheism
- We are currently on Hadith 2 (which we started in lesson 4);
- Also on the authority of `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: “While we were one day sitting with the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) there appeared before us a man dressed in extremely white clothes and with very black hair. No traces of journeying were visible on him, and none of us knew him. He sat down close by the Prophet (ﷺ) rested his knees against the knees of the Prophet (ﷺ) and placed his palms over his thighs, and said: “O Muhammad! Inform me about Islam.” The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) replied: “Islam is that you should testify that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is His Messenger (ﷺ), that you should perform salah (ritual prayer), pay the zakah, fast during Ramadan, and perform Hajj (pilgrimage) to the House (the Ka`bah at Makkah), if you can find a way to it (or find the means for making the journey to it).” He said: “You have spoken the truth.” We were astonished at his thus questioning him (ﷺ) and then telling him that he was right, but he went on to say, “Inform me about Iman (faith).” He (the Prophet) answered, “It is that you believe in Allah and His angels and His Books and His Messengers and in the Last Day, and in fate (qadar), both in its good and in its evil aspects.” He said, “You have spoken the truth.” Then he (the man) said, “Inform me about Ihsan.” He (the Prophet) answered, “It is that you should serve Allah as though you could see Him, for though you cannot see Him yet He sees you.” He said, “Inform me about the Hour.” He (the Prophet) said, “About that the one questioned knows no more than the questioner.” So he said, “Then, inform me about its signs.” He said, “They are that the slave-girl will give birth to her mistress and that you will see the barefooted ones, the naked, the destitute, the herdsmen of the sheep (competing with each other) in raising lofty buildings.” Thereupon the man went off. I waited a while, and then he (the Prophet) said, “O `Umar, do you know who that questioner was?” I replied, “Allah and His Messenger know better.” He said, “That was Jibreel. He came to teach you your religion.” [Muslim]
- We are currently on Hadith 2 (which we started in lesson 4);
- Recap of lesson 6:
- The Pillars of Eemaan (Faith)
- Why is belief in Allah the first pillar of faith?
- Belief in Allah consists of 4 matters
- What are the 4 sources which affirm and indicate to us the existence of Allah?
- 1. The fitrah (natural disposition) and sense of justice are in-built
- 2. Our intellect
- 3. Our senses and experiences in life
- 4. The religious legislation
The Fitrah (natural disposition)
- Every single human being is born with an in-built disposition which points to the existence of a creator and a sense of justice. This does not require any teaching, external influence nor any indoctrination, rather it is natural
- If a young child were to be struck by something or by another child, he would say “who hit me?”, and if you were to try to explain to this child that this striking was caused by nothing or that it did not have a cause, the child would simply not believe you. Likewise the child would not believe that the world and everything it contains had no creator. Furthermore if the child knew the culprit, and if the culprit was held accountable, then indeed the child would be settled. This shows us that we have an in-built fitrah (natural disposition) that informs us of our creator and likewise we have an in-built sense of justice
- Even the atheist, who claims that there is no creator, has this inner disposition, however they choose to cover it up and go against it
- When we observe the complexity, order, precision and beauty of the creation, we naturally arrive at the conclusion that there is a creator
- Allah, the mighty and majestic, has imbued us with the faculties of hearing, seeing, thinking to allow us to make basic observations of our surroundings
- Allah says: “Were they created by nothing, or were they themselves the creators? Or did they create the heavens and the earth? Nay, but they have no firm Belief.” [Surah At-Toor (The Mount) verses 35-36]
- What can we extrapolate from this verse?
- If we examine the two possibilities given in the verse, then we cannot accept that we just came from nothing or that the world came about from nothing. Neither can we accept that we created ourselves or that the universe created itself.Therefore we are left with only one option left, that is that we have creator
- When one looks at an object, for example a cup and you see that its exact measurements, purposeful design and choice of material, one immediately understand that it had a maker. This does not require any deep thought, rather it is an inbuilt default disposition
- Moreover, by looking at such a cup you can deduce that the maker has knowledge of making a cup, the intent to make it and the ability to do so
- Therefore when we look at the complexity of the universe, we conclude that the creator of the universe has the immense knowledge required to do so (and even beyond!), the will to do so (i.e. with purpose) and the power and ability to do so. These are the attributes of the maker which we can conclude based on our basic observations without the need for intricate knowledge or tools on the part of the creation
- Allah, may he be glorified, in his infinite justice and wisdom has allowed the creation to have the ability know their creator by way of their natural disposition and inclination. Therefore you will find that every single human being, regardless of how poor or wealthy they are, regardless of their educational level, has the ability to understand that they have a creator
The irrationality of Atheism
- However despite all of this, the atheist will attempt to explain that everything came from nothing whilst they themselves struggle to explain it.
- Atheists often refer to having “evidence” for their beliefs and throw the word “science” around, however when one asks for a step by step, clear explanation of events (e.g. how can the universe or anything for that matter come out of nothing? How did life begin? How did evolution begin? etc) you will find that atheists themselves cannot explain their ideas of “evolution” or “the big bang” when asked to clarify how these work
- Atheists often misplace definitions, when they are asked for observable scientific evidence of monkeys changing into human beings (this is called Macroevolution), they will point to changes in the features between parent to child or cows changing colour from one generation to another (this is called microevolution) which is a completely separate matter
- Ultimately atheists only rely on their beliefs, in a similar fashion to how a theist believes in his religion, however as Muslims we understand that we have belief in Allah, based on our natural disposition, intellect, senses and our religion (including believing in the truth of the many Prophets and Messengers who were sent) whereas the Atheist attempts to use sophisticated terminology and masquerades belief as fact, thereby becoming arrogant and seeking to walk over and mock others
- Atheism is a religion