Islam & Atheism

Islam & Atheism

God Existence

– Atheists might assert that they don’t acknowledge the existence of God. Undeniably there are times — whether during the agonising days of a lingering illness, the seemingly eternal moments of a violent and humiliating mugging, or the split second of anticipating the impact of an imminent car crash — when a person realised the dependence of mankind upon a reality far greater than our own meagre human selves. In such moments of trial, how many stress-induced appeals are made to God, complete with promises of lifelong fidelity? Yet, how few are kept?

Francis Bacon said, God never wrought miracle to convince atheism, because his ordinary works convince it.”1 The lowest elements of God’s creation, though perhaps ordinary works in His terms, are miracles in ours. Take the example of as tiny an animal as a spider. Does anybody really believe that such an extraordinarily intricate creature evolved from primordial soup? Just one of these little miracles can produce up to seven different kinds of silk, some as thin as the wavelength of visible light, but stronger than steel. Silks range from the elastic, sticky strands for entrapment to the non-adhesive drag-lines and frame threads, to the silk for wrapping prey, making the egg sac, etc. The spider can, on demand, not only manufacture its personal choice of the seven silks, but reabsorb, breakdown and remanufacture–self-recycling from the component elements. And this is only one small facet of the miracle of the spider.

Surrounded by a world of synchronous complexities, we as mankind cannot even assemble the wing of a gnat. The fact that the entire World and all the Universe exists in a state of perfect orchestration is not a product of random accidents or chance which moulded cosmic chaos into balanced perfection.

And yet, mankind elevates itself to the heights of arrogance. They look at a building and they think of the architect. They look at a sculpture and they instantly comprehends an artist. Most Atheist arguments challenge the compatibility of an all-loving God with the perceived injustices of life. The duty of man is not to question or deny the attributes or presence of God, and not to incline to arrogance through professing to be able to do a better job, but rather to accept human station in this life and do the best that can be done with what we’ve been given.

By analogy, the fact that a person does not like the way the boss does things at work, and fails to understand the decisions he makes, does not negate his existence. Rather, each person’s duty is to fulfil a job description in order to be paid and promoted. Similarly, failure to grasp or approve of the way God orders creation does not negate His existence.

The Purpose of Life

Unlike the workplace boss, who may be wrong, God by definition is of absolute perfection, always right and never wrong. Failure to understand His design on our part does not reflect error on His part. He is The Lord and Master of Creation and we are not, He knows all and we do not, He orders all affairs according to His perfect attributes, and we simply remain His subjects, along for the ride of our lives. Humankind must satisfy a duty of servitude and worship to God if hoping to receive His reward. After all, that is not only the purpose of life, it is our job description as God conveys in the Noble Qur’an,

And I have not created Jinns and men, except that they should serve (worship) Me. (Quran 51:56).

Each and every element of creation exists in this world is to either support or test mankind in the fulfilment of that duty.

The confused and sensitive souls who encounter difficulty reconciling God’s existence with a harsh and often painful life deserve sympathy and explanation. All of us were born with an innate knowledge of the presence of the Creator. Humankind may intellectualise this awareness away in search of the conveniences and pleasures of this world, but deep down, all mankind know the truth. What is more, God knows that we know, and He alone can calculate the level of individual rebellion and/or submission to Him.

Another element of dawning spiritual awareness is simply to understand that there is seldom a free lunch. God granted the favourites of His creation (i.e. the prophets) the greatest worldly gift of certainty, guidance and revelation; however, they suffered greatly in worldly terms. They were deprived of the pleasures of this world in exchange for the rewards of the hereafter.

The After Life

Should a man work for a boss whom he does not understand or with whom he does not agree, in the end he still has to do his job in order to get paid. Unlike worldly employment, a person can duck his or her responsibilities to God and be granted a grace period. However, at the end of this probationary period called life, accounts become due and payable in the after life, and such is certainly not the best time to find one’s account ‘in the red.’

Most atheists don’t believe in afterlife. What if there is after life? A survey compiled in 2014 by The Austin Institute for the Study of Family and Culture (AISFC) reveals that 32 percent of Americans who identified themselves as agnostics and atheists believe in an afterlife of some kind.2

References

1 Bacon, Francis. Atheism. p. 16.

2 SGU Science News – http://www.theskepticsguide.org/one-third-of-atheists-agnostics-believe-in-an-afterlife

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