And when it is said to them, “Believe as the people have believed,” they say, “Should we believe as the foolish have believed?” Unquestionably, it is they who are the foolish, but they know [it] not. [2:13]
Ever since society started to become secularized, atheism has grown as an intellectual movement and a cult of skepticism has emerged in modern culture. Nowadays, people tend to view themselves in a superior light thanks to the advancements made in science and technology. We now take a rational approach to life; no longer do we invent stories to explain how and why things happen, rather we only make judgements after physical evidence is presented before us.
It is true; eliminating superstitions and expecting evidence has indeed allowed us to advance as a society. Having a sense of skepticism is not bad in of itself; it is especially useful when new and untested ideas are proposed. Holding onto empiricism in this regard is important because reality serves as a powerful anchor that prevents our imaginations from running wild with speculation.
However, problems arise when we start taking things to the extreme.
Some people make the claim that we cannot know anything until it is touched or seen physically. Of course, this raises some practical questions about how we live our lives; there are many things that we regularly take on good faith. For example, most people have never seen or been to Antarctica yet they are still confident in its existence. Heck, people have never seen their brain yet they are not surprised that it’s there after an MRI. How do you know that you’re not in the Matrix and that everything is an illusion? How do you know that everyone else isn’t just a projection of your own mind and that they don’t really exist? If we were to be truly empirical, then the only thing we can be sure of is our own existence.
The point is that we don’t solely rely on empiricism, rather we also make assumptions based on patterns and probability. If our assumptions are proven correct over time, then our faith in them increases. If contrary evidence is found, then our faith decreases. In the end, we still have faith that our measurements and our logic are sound enough that the conclusion is true.
In reality, we employ faith all of the time. And there’s nothing wrong with that, because as long as reality keeps confirming our faith then we have no reason to abandon what works, even if we technically are assuming something without direct empirical evidence. Consistency becomes the evidence for accepting the assumption.
Now we come to the question at hand: Why do we exist? What is the ultimate cause of it all?
Empirical science doesn’t really have an answer to that question. Now, some would argue that eventually, science will advance to the point where this question is answered. After all, look at how much we have advanced in recent years. It makes sense to simply wait and see to find out the underlying reality of our existence, rather than making assumptions.
But there are a few wrenches thrown into the equation: first, our time on Earth is limited. We are not sure that we will live to see the day that the Master Equation is proven. Sure, we could try and put our stock in a possible cure for old age and death, but so far it doesn’t seem to be very likely.
Second, we must keep in mind our own mental limitations. We are not perfectly empirical beings; we often make decisions and reach conclusions that may be logically sound, but nevertheless are based on false premises. Science is evolving precisely because what used to be known can be proven false. How are we supposed to know that if, in the future after hypothetically finding the “answer to life,” there won’t be a theory that comes along and disproves it? It seems we would fall into the trap of having faith, no?
Finally, it is entirely possible that science is unable to answer the question at all. To delve into matters that extend beyond our ability to perceive, measure and count is to enter a wild unknown. How are you to prove a theory about things that we have no way to empirically observe? How do you measure things of the unseen beyond the universe?
So we have a dilemma. Do we hold onto empiricism staunchly even if there is no guarantee for an ultimate answer? Or do we consider all possible sources of knowledge and truth?
Ultimately, the choice is yours. But there is something to consider: What if?
What if life had a purpose that you ignored in favor of convenience? What if you were given the answer to the question, but you disregarded it because it didn’t fit your criteria for acceptable knowledge? Wouldn’t you, in this case, be somewhat blameworthy for refusing to even consider it?
In a way, the “safe” position of withholding judgment about life becomes extremely dangerous. So what will you do now?
“I will still wait. It’s God’s job to make it clear to us that He exists. Otherwise, it’s not our fault for following our intellect and being skeptical.”
Here we have the crux of the issue and the very core of disagreement between theists and atheists: Is there enough proof or not? Is there enough reason to assume God’s existence?
“No, there is nothing that proves the existence of a creator completely.”
Ah. Proof, my friend, is in the eye of the beholder.
I ask: has God not made it clear to you? Is there not already sufficient proof for His existence? What constitutes “sufficient” proof, according to you? Do you desire that God Himself comes to you in the sky to announce His existence?
Do they then wait for anything other than that Allah should come to them in the shadows of the clouds and the angels? (Then) the case would be already judged. And to Allah return all matters (for decision).
Ask the Children of Israel how many a sign of evidence We have given them. And whoever exchanges the favor of Allah [for disbelief] after it has come to him – then indeed, Allah is severe in penalty. [2:210-211]
At what point will evidence convince a person of something he refuses to accept?
The Children of Israel were given countless evidences; they were shown physical miracles that are pretty undeniable. However, that still didn’t stop them from questioning Moses and trying to find reasons to disbelieve.
And [recall] when We saved your forefathers from the people of Pharaoh, who afflicted you with the worst torment, slaughtering your [newborn] sons and keeping your females alive. And in that was a great trial from your Lord.
And [recall] when We parted the sea for you and saved you and drowned the people of Pharaoh while you were looking on.
And [recall] when We made an appointment with Moses for forty nights. Then you took [for worship] the calf after him, while you were wrongdoers.
Then We forgave you after that so perhaps you would be grateful.
And [recall] when We gave Moses the Scripture and criterion that perhaps you would be guided.
And [recall] when Moses said to his people, “O my people, indeed you have wronged yourselves by your taking of the calf [for worship]. So repent to your Creator and kill yourselves. That is best for [all of] you in the sight of your Creator.” Then He accepted your repentance; indeed, He is the Accepting of repentance, the Merciful.
And [recall] when you said, “O Moses, we will never believe you until we see Allah outright”; so the thunderbolt took you while you were looking on.
Then We revived you after your death that perhaps you would be grateful.
And We shaded you with clouds and sent down to you manna and quails, [saying], “Eat from the good things with which We have provided you.” And they wronged Us not – but they were [only] wronging themselves. [2:49-57]
Had God willed, He could have guided everyone to correct belief.
And upon Allah is the direction of the [right] way, and among the various paths are those deviating. And if He willed, He could have guided you all. [16:9]
However, allowing people to disbelieve is an intentional part of His plan.
And never think that Allah is unaware of what the wrongdoers do. He only delays them for a Day when eyes will stare [in horror]. [14:42]
To understand why God doesn’t just make us all believe in Him unquestionably, we must understand why God created us in the first place.
Assuming that God exists, then His act of creation must carry a purpose. Otherwise it would be just an act of amusement on His part. Would God create us just for fun?
And We did not create the heaven and earth and that between them in play.
Had We intended to take a diversion, We could have taken it from [what is] with Us – if [indeed] We were to do so. [21:16-17]
If God wanted amusement, then He wouldn’t need us. After all, God is self-sufficient by definition; He doesn’t require anything external to Himself. We, on the other hand, require external amusement precisely because of our inability to maintain ourselves.
So, if God exists and He created us, what is our purpose?
Blessed is He in Whose Hand is the dominion, and He is Able to do all things.
Who has created death and life, that He may test you which of you is best in deed. And He is the All-Mighty, the Oft-Forgiving; [67:1-2]
If God created us to test our deeds, then God revealing Himself plainly would remove the value of that test, thereby ending it right then and there. In order for the test to be meaningful, there needs to be some uncertainty. While we are given the correct path to follow, the actual challenge is finding it and then adhering to it despite the unseen consequences.
Such is the Test of Faith.
Beautified for those who disbelieve is the life of this world, and they ridicule those who believe. But those who fear Allah are above them on the Day of Resurrection. And Allah gives provision to whom He wills without account.
Mankind were one community and Allah sent Prophets with glad tidings and warnings, and with them He sent the Scripture in truth to judge between people in matters wherein they differed. And only those to whom (the Scripture) was given differed concerning it after clear proofs had come unto them through hatred, one to another. Then Allah by His Leave guided those who believed to the truth of that wherein they differed. And Allah guides whom He wills to a Straight Path.
Or think you that you will enter Paradise without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? They were afflicted with severe poverty and ailments and were so shaken that even the Messenger and those who believed along with him said, “When (will come) the Help of Allah?” Yes! Certainly, the Help of Allah is near! [2:212-214]
Life is a test of endurance, patience, and perseverance. Both physical, and mental; We don’t know when we will die, and we don’t know what will happen to us when we do. We are ignorant, and we all know it. So who better to trust than Whoever put us here to begin with?
Ultimately, this is the decision that matters: Do we trust in the One Who made us (whoever it is), or not?
Belief is really a kind of reliance; we trust that what we are given is true, and thus believe in it. Of all the sources and people that we choose to give our trust to, who is more worthy of it than the One who created us? Who is more consistent than the one who made Reality itself consistent?
Thus, we recognize that we exist in an inferior position in relation to our Creator. We realize that our situations are handled by a supreme authority, and so consequently we seek assistance from Him.
This reliance, this calling on for help, is the essence of what we call “worship.” It is the recognition of the Lordship of God, the nurture and growth of our relationship with Him as a deliberate decision on our part, that comprises the value of the test of life.
And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me. [51:56]
It is through willing submission to God and allowing Him to guide us that causes us to rise in the ranks of creation.
[To the righteous it will be said], “O reassured soul,
Return to your Lord, well-pleased and pleasing [to Him],
And enter among My [righteous] servants
And enter My Paradise.” [89:27-30]
Submission to God is not for God’s sake,
Indeed, those who purchase disbelief [in exchange] for faith – never will they harm Allah at all, and for them is a painful punishment. [3:177]
Rather it is for our sake, because it frees us from seeking fulfillment in things that will eventually let us down.
Whatsoever is on it (the earth) will perish.
And the Face of your Lord full of Majesty and Honour will abide forever. [55:26-27]
At this point you may wonder, why did God do all this? Why create us at all, if He doesn’t need us?
And your Lord would not have destroyed the cities unjustly while their people were reformers.
And if your Lord had willed, He could have made mankind one community; but they will not cease to differ.
Except whom your Lord has given mercy, and for that He created them. But the word of your Lord is to be fulfilled that, “I will surely fill Hell with jinn and men all together.” [11:117-119]
God is going beyond necessity, and acting out of His Mercy. Our existence is a gift from Him, and the test of life is an opportunity for us to seek additional mercy on top of that. In essence, we were created with potential that is unique among the creation. Observe how mankind was honored through our father Adam, peace be upon him:
And [mention] when We said to the angels, “Prostrate before Adam”; so they prostrated, except for Iblees. He refused and was arrogant and became of the disbelievers. [2:34]
The angels- beings which are perfectly obedient to God- were told to prostrate to the first Human. This indicates Man’s status in comparison to the angels; even though we are capable of evil and injustice, the fact that we choose to do good and come back to God after doing wrong is more valuable to God than mechanical acts of good. Our potential exceeds that of the angels. But it is only those who choose to live up to their potential that can reach such a position.
That’s where the variables of this life step in: they serve as a means to distinguish, to differentiate human beings from each other. It is the ultimate litmus test for true individual greatness.
But of course, God’s Knowledge is all-encompassing,
And with Him are the keys of the unseen; none knows them except Him. And He knows what is on the land and in the sea. Not a leaf falls but that He knows it. And no grain is there within the darknesses of the earth and no moist or dry [thing] but that it is [written] in a clear record. [6:59]
Since God, as the All-Knowing, knows if we will indeed live up to our potential, the question of why even have this existence remains. Why can’t God just put us where we belong, either heaven or hell?
Consider if God did do that. Would that be fair to you, when you have no way of knowing if you actually deserve your fate?
And they swear by Allah their strongest oaths, that Allah will not raise up him who dies. Yes, (He will raise them up), a promise (binding) upon Him in truth, but most of mankind know not.
In order that He may make manifest to them the truth of that wherein they differ, and that those who disbelieved (in Resurrection, and in the Oneness of Allah) may know that they were liars. [16:38-39]
We are allowed to make our choices so that there won’t be an excuse for us on the Day of Judgement that God never gave us a chance to prove ourselves. It is God’s justice and mercy that everybody knows exactly what they did or failed to do, including the criminals.
Say, “O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.”
And return [in repentance] to your Lord and submit to Him before the punishment comes upon you; then you will not be helped.
And follow the best of what was revealed to you from your Lord before the punishment comes upon you suddenly while you do not perceive,
Lest a soul should say, “Oh [how great is] my regret over what I neglected in regard to Allah and that I was among the mockers.”
Or [lest] it say, “If only Allah had guided me, I would have been among the righteous.”
Or [lest] it say when it sees the punishment, “If only I had another turn so I could be among the doers of good.”
But yes, there had come to you My verses, but you denied them and were arrogant, and you were among the disbelievers.
And on the Day of Resurrection you will see those who lied about Allah [with] their faces blackened. Is there not in Hell a residence for the arrogant?
And Allah will save those who feared Him by their attainment; no evil will touch them, nor will they grieve.
Allah is the Creator of all things, and He is, over all things, Disposer of affairs. [39:53-62]
On the Day of Judgment, the disbelievers will wish to be given another chance, but they won’t have an excuse to stand on. All of the signs that God sent them throughout their time on Earth, whether they be life-changing events or small coincidences, will stand witness against them. How could they not see God’s role in the circumstances that shaped their entire life? How could they not fathom the larger picture? Did they not see how they had desires and needs that were fulfilled that didn’t have to be? Who else can be the source of such providence? In reality, God spelled it out clearly for them. Nevertheless they chose to reject it, out of arrogance and refusal to accept an authority whose word supersedes theirs. The fact that disbelievers are left alone to their devices in this world is then seen as a both a mercy (that maybe they’ll believe eventually), and as a source of justice (they were given ample opportunity).
And if not for a word that preceded from your Lord, punishment would have been an obligation [due immediately], and [if not for] a specified term [decreed].
So be patient over what they say and exalt [ Allah ] with praise of your Lord before the rising of the sun and before its setting; and during periods of the night [exalt Him] and at the ends of the day, that you may be satisfied. [20:129-130]
From all this, we can derive that those who are cemented as “disbelievers” in the eyes of God are those who are not simply ignorant of the message, but ones who recognized the truth of the message, knew deep down it was fact, yet chose to reject it in favor of their preferred way of life. Since no one can tell what a person feels deep down, the ultimate categorization of people is only God’s. We are not qualified to label people as true disbelievers, or believers for that matter (except for those that God Himself revealed to be of their respective groups).
Remember, God is All-Just. In the end, everybody will be given their dues according to their individual circumstances.
And indeed, each [of the believers and disbelievers] – your Lord will fully compensate them for their deeds. Indeed, He is Acquainted with what they do. [11:111]
Nobody will be burdened with something he or she cannot bear.
Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity. It will have [the consequence of] what [good] it has gained, and it will bear [the consequence of] what [evil] it has earned. (…) [2:286]
And of course, those who overcome the obstacles of life, persevere and have faith, will be rewarded with an existence better than this one.
So whatever thing you have been given – it is but [for] enjoyment of the worldly life. But what is with Allah is better and more lasting for those who have believed and upon their Lord rely [42:36]
That is why God doesn’t just reveal Himself in a way that forces everyone to believe in Him. Our purpose is tied to this test of faith, choice, and submission. Our choices in times of uncertainty define who we are as people. Human Beings are molded by such trials, and it is only through struggle that the best of us emerge.
“That’s all well and good, but it still doesn’t explain how God wants me to believe in Him without evidence.”
First, ask yourself if you honestly don’t feel that there is anything out there.
And they say: “How is it that not a sign is sent down on him from his Lord?” Say: “The unseen belongs to Allah Alone, so wait you, verily I am with you among those who wait (for Allah’s Judgement).”
And when We let mankind taste of mercy after some adversity has afflicted them, behold! They take to plotting against Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.)! Say: “Allah is more Swift in planning!” Certainly, Our Messengers (angels) record all of that which you plot.
He it is Who enables you to travel through land and sea, till when you are in the ships and they sail with them with a favourable wind, and they are glad therein, then comes a stormy wind and the waves come to them from all sides, and they think that they are encircled therein, they invoke Allah, making their Faith pure for Him Alone, saying: “If You (Allah) deliver us from this, we shall truly be of the grateful.
But when He saves them, at once they commit injustice upon the earth without right. O mankind, your injustice is only against yourselves, [being merely] the enjoyment of worldly life. Then to Us is your return, and We will inform you of what you used to do.
The example of [this] worldly life is but like rain which We have sent down from the sky that the plants of the earth absorb – [those] from which men and livestock eat – until, when the earth has taken on its adornment and is beautified and its people suppose that they have capability over it, there comes to it Our command by night or by day, and We make it as a harvest, as if it had not flourished yesterday. Thus do We explain in detail the signs for a people who give thought.
And Allah invites to the Home of Peace and guides whom He wills to a straight path. [10:20-25]
Have you ever felt a time in your life when your were so helpless that you called out for help? Know this: trials in life are designed to make you feel the dependency that you have with your Creator. They are meant to wake you up and snap you back into the reality of your existence – that you are a limited creature who is not as free as you would like to think.
This life, to God, is a method of nurturing great creatures. It is a means of purifying raw potential. In the end, all of the worldly materials that we own will disappear and all that will be left is our relationship with Him. Only He can fulfill our desires, and only He can guide us.
“If God is responsible for guiding people and only He can make us see His signs and believe in Him, how can I be blamed for not believing?”
Allah will never wrong His servants.
Whoever does righteousness – it is for his [own] soul; and whoever does evil [does so] against it. And your Lord is not ever unjust to [His] servants. [41:46]
Allah only guides those who are willing to be guided.
[Theirs is] like the custom of the people of Pharaoh and of those before them. They disbelieved in the signs of Allah, so Allah seized them for their sins. Indeed, Allah is Powerful and severe in penalty.
That is so because Allah will never change a grace which He has bestowed on a people until they change what is in their ownselves. And verily, Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower.
[Theirs is] like the custom of the people of Pharaoh and of those before them. They denied the signs of their Lord, so We destroyed them for their sins, and We drowned the people of Pharaoh. And all [of them] were wrongdoers.
Indeed, the worst of living creatures in the sight of Allah are those who have disbelieved, and they will not [ever] believe – [8:52-55]
So considering the fact that God’s disbelievers are those who actively reject what they know is the truth, ask yourself: Why do you disbelieve in God? Is it truly a pure, honest, intellectual disagreement, or is it something more deeply rooted? What is the real reason behind your rejection of a higher authority?
Assuming that all options are equally plausible, then one would think that the alternative worldview – the one that paints the world as a purposeless accident doomed to fade into the same non-existence from whence it came – would be a hugely detestable belief. Yet many atheists are extremely passionate about their disbelief, to the point of ridiculing those who choose to believe. Why? Why are you so sure of your disbelief? Would not the intellectually sound position be agnosticism, if we were to practice the skepticism that many atheists cherish so much? I understand the idea of rejecting religions that can verifiably be proven false, but that doesn’t preclude all religions and certainly not the idea of a higher authority. To the staunch atheists, I ask: Have you actually exhausted all options for the possibility of a God? Have you seriously considered them? Have you researched their arguments, counter-arguments, criticisms, and rebuttals?
Now, I don’t know you, so I can’t judge. But if I were to generalize, then I’d have to say that you have not likely put in the necessary study. Maybe you’ve formulated some justification based on arguments you’ve heard or read, but it’s far from being comprehensive. So let’s be honest with ourselves and admit our ignorance on some level before we jump to conclusions.
This is the first step; it is always sincerity in intentions. Know the reasons behind your choices and the conclusions you decide to derive.
Assuming that our intentions are purely for the sake of truth and our willingness to comply to whatever it calls to, the next logical step would be to simply ask God Himself for guidance.
After all, if God exists as Lord of the Worlds, complete in His Mercy and Justice, then He is completely aware of our struggles and mental turmoil. So, the simplest test for the atheist is to just ask God for guidance while being sincere and humble.
God does not turn down sincere supplications for guidance.
And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me – indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided. [2:186]
Of course, only the individual can tell what he knows deep down. So really this test is only provable to the individual himself. But as far as God is concerned, this simple “check” on intentions is all that matters.
As with all tests, some takers will fail. It is our belief that it only fails when the individual wants it to fail; when a person desires and insists on disbelief. Those who actively refuse to believe in God will receive the conviction that they desire. However, know that cementing disbelief in your heart is in part your choice. As with all choices, they have consequences.
In their hearts is disease, so Allah has increased their disease; and for them is a painful punishment because they [habitually] used to lie. [2:10]
Remember, all God asks of you is for you to be sincere with yourself.
Indeed, Allah is not timid to present an example – that of a mosquito or what is smaller than it. And those who have believed know that it is the truth from their Lord. But as for those who disbelieve, they say, “What did Allah intend by this as an example?” He misleads many thereby and guides many thereby. And He misleads not except the defiantly disobedient,
Who break the covenant of Allah after contracting it and sever that which Allah has ordered to be joined and cause corruption on earth. It is those who are the losers.
How can you disbelieve in Allah when you were lifeless and He brought you to life; then He will cause you to die, then He will bring you [back] to life, and then to Him you will be returned.
It is He who created for you all of that which is on the earth. Then He directed Himself to the heaven, [His being above all creation], and made them seven heavens, and He is Knowing of all things. [2:26-29]
Having said that, consider what God points to as evidence for His existence, and reflect on the existence of all things…
What is [the matter] with you that you do not attribute to Allah [due] grandeur
While He has created you in stages?
Do you not consider how Allah has created seven heavens in layers
And made the moon therein a [reflected] light and made the sun a burning lamp?
And Allah has caused you to grow from the earth a [progressive] growth.
Then He will return you into it and extract you [another] extraction.
And Allah has made for you the earth an expanse
That you may follow therein roads of passage.’ ” [71:13-21]
Think of everything that allows us to live comfortable lives on Earth. The Sun, the Moon, the plants, the animals, the land, the sea…
It is Allah who erected the heavens without pillars that you [can] see; then He established Himself above the Throne and made subject the sun and the moon, each running [its course] for a specified term. He arranges [each] matter; He details the signs that you may, of the meeting with your Lord, be certain.
And it is He who spread the earth and placed therein firmly set mountains and rivers; and from all of the fruits He made therein two mates; He causes the night to cover the day. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought.
And within the land are neighboring plots and gardens of grapevines and crops and palm trees, [growing] several from a root or otherwise, watered with one water; but We make some of them exceed others in [quality of] fruit. Indeed in that are signs for a people who reason. [13:2-4]
Remember all of the food and sustenance that is provided for you.
If you are to feel grateful, to whom is the feeling directed?
Think of the intricate systems that run their courses perfectly, without conflict, for our benefit. Ponder over how we live in such a balanced world. Reflect over how everything is so well coordinated.
Indeed, in the creation of the heavens and earth, and the alternation of the night and the day, and the [great] ships which sail through the sea with that which benefits people, and what Allah has sent down from the heavens of rain, giving life thereby to the earth after its lifelessness and dispersing therein every [kind of] moving creature, and [His] directing of the winds and the clouds controlled between the heaven and the earth are signs for a people who use reason. [2:164]
Do you see any faults in the creation?
[It is God] Who has created the seven heavens one above another, you can see no fault in the creations of the Most Beneficent. Then look again: “Can you see any rifts?”
Then look again and yet again, your sight will return to you in a state of humiliation and worn out. [67:3-4]
What brought you into existence?
Does man not remember that We created him before, while he was nothing? [19:67]
What is the cause of it all?
Or were they created by nothing, or were they the creators [of themselves]?
Or did they create the heavens and the earth? Rather, they are not certain. [52:35-35]
Can nothing cause anything?
Or did the universe order itself in such a perfect manner?
What aligned everything so that you can be born?
Does not man see that We have created him from Nutfah (mixed male and female discharge semen drops). Yet behold! He (stands forth) as an open opponent.
And he puts forth for Us a parable, and forgets his own creation. He says: “Who will give life to these bones when they have rotted away and became dust?”
Say, “He will give them life who produced them the first time; and He is, of all creation, Knowing.”
[It is] He who made for you from the green tree, fire, and then from it you ignite.
Is not He who created the heavens and the earth Able to create the likes of them? Yes, [it is so]; and He is the Knowing Creator.
His command is only when He intends a thing that He says to it, “Be,” and it is. [36:77-82]
Is resurrection so supernatural, yet our first birth is so ordinary?
Do they not contemplate within themselves? Allah has not created the heavens and the earth and what is between them except in truth and for a specified term. And indeed, many of the people, in [the matter of] the meeting with their Lord, are disbelievers. [30:8]
Have they not traveled through the earth and observed how was the end of those before them? They were greater than them in power, and they plowed the earth and built it up more than they have built it up, and their messengers came to them with clear evidences. And Allah would not ever have wronged them, but they were wronging themselves. [30:9]
Does belief in our Creator not amount to anything more than belief in the power, consistency, and purposefulness of our current creation?
Indeed, those who dispute concerning the signs of Allah without [any] authority having come to them – there is not within their breasts except pride, [the extent of] which they cannot reach. So seek refuge in Allah . Indeed, it is He who is the Hearing, the Seeing.
The creation of the heavens and earth is greater than the creation of mankind, but most of the people do not know. [40:56-57]
What if your disbelief does not actually stem from honest disagreements, but rather pride and rebellion?
Man is not weary of supplication for good [things], but if evil touches him, he is hopeless and despairing.
And if We let him taste mercy from Us after an adversity which has touched him, he will surely say, “This is [due] to me, and I do not think the Hour will occur; and [even] if I should be returned to my Lord, indeed, for me there will be with Him the best.” But We will surely inform those who disbelieved about what they did, and We will surely make them taste a massive punishment.
And when We bestow favor upon man, he turns away and distances himself; but when evil touches him, then he is full of extensive supplication.
Say, “Have you considered: if the Qur’an is from Allah and you disbelieved in it, who would be more astray than one who is in extreme dissension?”
We will show them Our signs in the horizons and within themselves until it becomes clear to them that it is the truth. But is it not sufficient concerning your Lord that He is, over all things, a Witness?
Unquestionably, they are in doubt about the meeting with their Lord. Unquestionably He is, of all things, encompassing. [41:49-54]
When in desperate times, people instinctively call on God for help. Intuitively, they know that He is in command of their lives. This is because belief in God is something innate; it is something children grasp immediately and something that all cultures have in common. The human race has a majority consensus on the existence of God. If it truly was as preposterous as atheists would have you believe, then it wouldn’t be such a staple of the human experience. Belief in God runs deep in our veins.
That is because recognition of our Lord was a prerequisite for our existence here on Earth to begin with. We just forgot it on the way here.
And [mention] when your Lord took from the children of Adam – from their loins – their descendants and made them testify of themselves, [saying to them], “Am I not your Lord?” They said, “Yes, we have testified.” [This] – lest you should say on the day of Resurrection, “Indeed, we were of this unaware.” [7:172]
Everybody, deep down, acknowledges God in one way or another whether they realize it or not.
And We did not create the heaven and the earth and that between them aimlessly. That is the assumption of those who disbelieve, so woe to those who disbelieve from the Fire.
Or should we treat those who believe and do righteous deeds like corrupters in the land? Or should We treat those who fear Allah like the wicked? [38:26-27]
People believe in social justice. Do you believe that good people will be left unrewarded, and that evil people will be left unpunished?
Shall We then treat the (submitting) Muslims like the Mujrimun (criminals, polytheists and disbelievers, etc.)?
What is the matter with you? How judge you? [68:35-36]
If we are all going to end up dead anyway, then our actions are ultimately irrelevant.
Yet we all believe in justice, at least in regards to our own rights. We feel entitled to some things. We understand people when they are wronged. We feel empathy.
Is this not but an acknowledgement of a Giver of Honor and Utterly Just Creator?
Is this feeling not but a hint at a Day when people will be given what is owed to them?
Woe to those who give less [than due],
Who, when they take a measure from people, take in full.
But if they give by measure or by weight to them, they cause loss.
Do they not think that they will be resurrected
For a tremendous Day –
The Day when mankind will stand before the Lord of the worlds?
No! Indeed, the record of the wicked is in sijjeen.
And what can make you know what is sijjeen?
It is [their destination recorded in] a register inscribed.
Woe, that Day, to the deniers,
Who deny the Day of Recompense.
And none deny it except every sinful transgressor.
When Our Verses (of the Quran) are recited to him he says: “Tales of the ancients!”
Nay! But on their hearts is the Ran (covering of sins and evil deeds) which they used to earn.
Nay! Surely, they (evil-doers) will be veiled from seeing their Lord that Day.
Then, verily they will indeed enter and taste the burning flame of Hell.
Then, it will be said to them: “This is what you used to deny!”
No! Indeed, the record of the righteous is in ‘illiyyun.
And what can make you know what is ‘illiyyun?
It is [their destination recorded in] a register inscribed
Which is witnessed by those brought near [to Allah ].
Indeed, the righteous will be in pleasure
On adorned couches, observing.
You will recognize in their faces the radiance of pleasure.
They will be given to drink [pure] wine [which was] sealed.
The last of it is musk. So for this let the competitors compete.
And its mixture is of Tasneem,
A spring from which those near [to Allah ] drink.
Indeed, those who committed crimes used to laugh at those who believed.
And when they passed by them, they would exchange derisive glances.
And when they returned to their people, they would return jesting.
And when they saw them, they would say, “Indeed, those are truly lost.”
But they had not been sent as guardians over them.
So Today those who believed are laughing at the disbelievers,
On adorned couches, observing.
Have the disbelievers [not] been rewarded [this Day] for what they used to do? [83:1-36]
“How am I supposed to come to this conclusion on my own?”
You don’t have to:
And We had already sent among them warners. [37:72]
Ignorance is not an excuse.
And never would your Lord have destroyed the cities until He had sent to their mother a messenger reciting to them Our verses. And We would not destroy the cities except while their people were wrongdoers. [28:59]
Every civilization was sent messengers, even if we do not know them specifically.
And We have already sent messengers before you. Among them are those [whose stories] We have related to you, and among them are those [whose stories] We have not related to you. And it was not for any messenger to bring a sign [or verse] except by permission of Allah . So when the command of Allah comes, it will be concluded in truth, and the falsifiers will thereupon lose [all]. [40:78]
Our messenger is Muhammad ﷺ, the prophet of the gentiles descended from the line of Ishmael as foretold in biblical scripture. His theology was no different than the theology of the prophets of old.
Indeed, We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], as We revealed to Noah and the prophets after him. And we revealed to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, the Descendants, Jesus, Job, Jonah, Aaron, and Solomon, and to David We gave the book [of Psalms].
And [We sent] messengers about whom We have related [their stories] to you before and messengers about whom We have not related to you. And Allah spoke to Moses with [direct] speech.
[We sent] messengers as bringers of good tidings and warners so that mankind will have no argument against Allah after the messengers. And ever is Allah Exalted in Might and Wise. [4:163-165]
And he is the last of the prophets and messengers.
Muhammad is not the father of [any] one of your men, but [he is] the Messenger of Allah and last of the prophets. And ever is Allah , of all things, Knowing. [33:40]
But most people are willfully ignorant of such obligations to God, even if they believe in His existence.
And if you asked them, “Who created the heavens and earth?” they would surely say, ” Allah .” Say, “[All] praise is [due] to Allah “; but most of them do not know. [31:25]
They assume that they will be on good relations with God due to their material wealth.
And We did not send into a city any warner except that its affluent said, “Indeed we, in that with which you were sent, are disbelievers.”
And they said, “We are more [than the believers] in wealth and children, and we are not to be punished.”
Say, “Indeed, my Lord extends provision for whom He wills and restricts [it], but most of the people do not know.”
And it is not your wealth or your children that bring you nearer to Us in position, but it is [by being] one who has believed and done righteousness. For them there will be the double reward for what they did, and they will be in the upper chambers [of Paradise], safe [and secure]. [34:34-37]
And they insist on following traditions.
And similarly, We did not send before you any warner into a city except that its affluent said, “Indeed, we found our fathers upon a religion, and we are, in their footsteps, following.”
[Each warner] said, “Even if I brought you better guidance than that [religion] upon which you found your fathers?” They said, “Indeed we, in that with which you were sent, are disbelievers.” [43:23-24]
They think that they know about the scriptures, but in reality they don’t.
And among them are unlettered ones who do not know the Scripture except in wishful thinking, but they are only assuming. [2:78]
And a severe warning on those who forge scripture and claim it is from the Divine.
So woe to those who write the “scripture” with their own hands, then say, “This is from Allah ,” in order to exchange it for a small price. Woe to them for what their hands have written and woe to them for what they earn. [2:79]
Allah will not shy away from punishing them even if they hold the appearance of religiosity.
And they say, “Never will the Fire touch us, except for a few days.” Say, “Have you taken a covenant with Allah ? For Allah will never break His covenant. Or do you say about Allah that which you do not know?”
Yes, whoever earns evil and his sin has encompassed him – those are the companions of the Fire; they will abide therein eternally. [2:80-81]
To those who reject it all, I only repeat what the previous messengers said.
Say, “Observe what is in the heavens and earth.” But of no avail will be signs or warners to a people who do not believe [10:101]
The warning has come to you. Know that the excuse of ignorance will no longer hold when you are questioned on that Day.
Allah only asks you to reflect within yourself and in the creation, to consider The Book, and to remember all of the blessings you were given. Who can disbelieve in The Bestower, The Nourisher, after acknowledging their own needy status, except those who feel no gratitude towards Him?
If you insist on your previous belief, then that is your prerogative. But know the foretold consequences.
And for those who disbelieved in their Lord is the punishment of Hell, and wretched is the destination.
When they are thrown into it, they hear from it a [dreadful] inhaling while it boils up.
It almost bursts with rage. Every time a company is thrown into it, its keepers ask them, “Did there not come to you a warner?”
They will say,” Yes, a warner had come to us, but we denied and said, ‘ Allah has not sent down anything. You are not but in great error.’ ”
And they will say, “If only we had been listening or reasoning, we would not be among the companions of the Blaze.”
And they will admit their sin, so [it is] alienation for the companions of the Blaze.
Indeed, those who fear their Lord unseen will have forgiveness and great reward. [67:6-12]
“How can you be so sure of your belief? What about the countless other religions and ideas of God and gods?”
Because this belief is the original belief. It is humanity’s first religion.
And We said, “O Adam, dwell, you and your wife, in Paradise and eat therefrom in [ease and] abundance from wherever you will. But do not approach this tree, lest you be among the wrongdoers.”
But Satan caused them to slip out of it and removed them from that [condition] in which they had been. And We said, “Go down, [all of you], as enemies to one another, and you will have upon the earth a place of settlement and provision for a time.”
Then Adam received from his Lord [some] words, and He accepted his repentance. Indeed, it is He who is the Accepting of repentance, the Merciful.
We said, “Go down from it, all of you. And when guidance comes to you from Me, whoever follows My guidance – there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve. [2:35-38]
This religion aligns with man’s reason and internal nature. It is quite simply monotheism, without any compromise of man-made theology. Every other religion has deviated from this middle path.
This basic belief is something that anybody can come to conclude, even if they have never formally heard the message. As Abraham, peace be upon him, argued with his people: it only makes sense to worship that which everything else depends upon.
And thus did We show Abraham the realm of the heavens and the earth that he would be among the certain [in faith]
So when the night covered him [with darkness], he saw a star. He said, “This is my lord.” But when it set, he said, “I like not those that disappear.”
And when he saw the moon rising, he said, “This is my lord.” But when it set, he said, “Unless my Lord guides me, I will surely be among the people gone astray.”
And when he saw the sun rising, he said, “This is my lord; this is greater.” But when it set, he said, “O my people, indeed I am free from what you associate with Allah .
Indeed, I have turned my face toward He who created the heavens and the earth, inclining toward truth, and I am not of those who associate others with Allah .”
And his people argued with him. He said, “Do you argue with me concerning Allah while He has guided me? And I fear not what you associate with Him [and will not be harmed] unless my Lord should will something. My Lord encompasses all things in knowledge; then will you not remember?
And how should I fear what you associate while you do not fear that you have associated with Allah that for which He has not sent down to you any authority? So which of the two parties has more right to security, if you should know?
They who believe and do not mix their belief with injustice – those will have security, and they are [rightly] guided.
And that was Our [conclusive] argument which We gave Abraham against his people. We raise by degrees whom We will. Indeed, your Lord is Wise and Knowing. [6:75-83]
Polytheism is nothing more than an attempt to set intermediaries between us and God. If you look at pagan traditions, there is always a central “god.” But people started deviating when they stopped seeking God directly; they invented partners so they could pray to them instead of God in an attempt to subvert ultimate accountability.
But only the uncreated can be God. Everything else is false idols and unworthy of our worship, for they themselves depend on a higher being. In fact, no other being can be of help in the face of God’s power, be they “gods,” saints, or the “son of God” himself.
We are accountable to God alone, not anything else. Nothing deserves our worship except Him.
Is He [not best] who begins creation and then repeats it and who provides for you from the heaven and earth? Is there a deity with Allah? Say, “Produce your proof, if you should be truthful.” [27:64]
Is there not but a single entity upon which everything else depends on? What reason do we have to postulate other deities when it can be boiled down to one ultimate cause?
Allah has not taken any son, nor has there ever been with Him any deity. [If there had been], then each deity would have taken what it created, and some of them would have sought to overcome others. Exalted is Allah above what they describe [concerning Him]. [23:91]
If there were more than one all-powerful deities, then they would limit each other by their very existence. By definition, God can only exist in the singular.
Had there been within the heavens and earth gods besides Allah, they both would have been ruined. So exalted is Allah , Lord of the Throne, above what they describe. [21:22]
This is the purest religion: God does not beget children, for reproduction is a function of mortal creatures who cannot self-sustain. God does not reproduce for God is eternal and self-sufficient. Neither does God become man, for man is a limited creature and God is the opposite of that. God only does that which is befitting of Him as the Eternal Sustainer, the Wise and the Just.
He is Allah- The Only Deity Worthy of Worship
The Most Merciful
Taught the Qur’an,
[And] taught him eloquence.
The sun and the moon [move] by precise calculation,
And the stars and trees prostrate.
And the heaven He raised and imposed the balance
That you not transgress within the balance.
And establish weight in justice and do not make deficient the balance.
And the earth He laid [out] for the creatures.
Therein is fruit and palm trees having sheaths [of dates]
And grain having husks and scented plants.
So which of the favors of your Lord would you deny? [55:1-13]
So direct your face toward the religion, inclining to truth. [Adhere to] the fitrah of Allah upon which He has created [all] people. No change should there be in the creation of Allah. That is the correct religion, but most of the people do not know. [30:30]
And if you are in doubt about what We have sent down upon Our Servant [Muhammad], then produce a surah the like thereof and call upon your witnesses other than Allah , if you should be truthful.
But if you do not – and you will never be able to – then fear the Fire, whose fuel is men and stones, prepared for the disbelievers. [2:23-24]