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November 2012 eGazette – Science: Islam, Christianity or atheism?

– Debate: Does the Universe have a purpose? – Islamic theology starts with Deism: Why all Christians and atheists should be Muslims? – Sir Isaac Newton: Rejecter of the Trinity, Believer in one True God – Dawkins’ False Papal Fatwa: ‘Einstein was a Pantheist and not a Deist?’

Al Islam eGazette

Science: Islam, Christianity or atheism?

Revelation, Rationality, Knowledge & Truth

By Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, the previous Head of the Worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community

Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad in the center

Any divide between revelation and rationality, religion and logic has to be irrational. If religion and rationality cannot proceed hand in hand, there has to be something deeply wrong with either of the two. Does revelation play any vital role in human affairs? Is not rationality sufficient to guide man in all the problems which confront him? Numerous questions such as these are examined with minute attention.

Any divide between revelation and rationality, religion and logic has to be irrational. If religion and rationality cannot proceed hand in hand, there has to be something deeply wrong with either of the two. Does revelation play any vital role in human affairs? Is not rationality sufficient to guide man in all the problems which confront him? Numerous questions such as these are examined with minute attention.

All major issues which intrigue the modern mind are attempted to be incorporated in this fascinatingly comprehensive statute. Whatever the intellectual or educational background of the reader, this book is bound to offer him something of his interest. It examines a very diverse and wide range of subjects including the concept of revelation in different religions, history of philosophy, cosmology, extraterrestrial life, the future of life on earth, natural selection and its role in evolution. It also elaborately discusses the advent of the Messiah, or other universal reformers, awaited by different religions. Likewise, many other topical issues which have been agitating the human mind since time immemorial are also incorporated.

The main emphasis is on the ability of the Quran to correctly discuss all important events of the past, present and future from the beginning of the universe to its ultimate end. Aided by strong incontrovertible logic and scientific evidence, the Quran does not shy away from presenting itself to the merciless scrutiny of rationality. It will be hard to find a reader whose queries are not satisfactorily answered. We hope that most readers will testify that this will always stand out as a book among books—perhaps the greatest literary achievement of this century.

To read the book click here

Debate: Does the Universe have a purpose?

Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD

This is a two hour debate, between three well known atheists and three theists.

First something about the big picture, Christian apologists want to make a case for Christianity based on laws of nature and science, by showing that there ought to be a Transcendent Creator of our universe. They make this case, in one breath, and in the very next, deny all of science, by insisting on Eucharist, man-God of Jesus, who is not Transcendent, resurrection and miracles that violate laws of nature.

Atheists are right in exposing the irrationality of the Christian dogma. However, the Christians are right in as far as their claim that there needs to be a Creator of this universe, Who employed natural means to do His work. However, both parties in their self-conceit are not listening to how Islam resolves their conflict; Islam as understood by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.

In a trilateral discussion between atheists, Christians and Muslims, I believe we can appreciate reality better and come up with better theology, especially if the discussion not only involves the Creator and purpose of the universe, but, also His complete Transcendence, Original Sin and evolution of life on our planet, Trinity, Mother Mary and Eucharist.

The Holy Quran says about the purpose of the universe:

And We (Allah) have not created the heaven and the earth and all that is between them without purpose. That is the view of those who disbelieve. (Al Quran 38:28)

Three well known atheists, Prof. Richard Dawkins, Michael Shermer and Matt Ridley debated two Christian and a Jewish apologist, including William Lane Craig, recently in Mexico, regarding the purpose of our universe and the human life, mainly in English.

The purpose of life was well summarized by William Lane Craig in a line, which resonates with the Quranic description, “The purpose of life is to be found in personal relationship with a Holy and Loving God! To glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.” Allah says in the Holy Quran, “I have not created the Jinn and the men but that they may worship Me.” (Al Quran 51:57)

Now let me link a collection of excerpts from the writings of the Messiah, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani, the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community about the purpose of human life.

Going back to the debate, it seemed, at least to me that the theists carried the day, the atheists were superficial, contradictory and adamant. They seemed to agree that the universe and life do not have an objective purpose; there is no overall purpose for human life, but in the mean while each individual can assign his or her own purpose for his or her own life, on the basis of his or her desires. The theists built their case on the hypothesis that there is a Creator, Who has made the Universe, made it biophyllic by fine tuning several physical constants and parameters, He has a purpose in His mind, He has made the Natural Law that has done His work since the Big Bang, including the creation of life, suggesting theistic evolution.

What was not said, however, as there was no Muslim theist there, that an Omniscient and Omnipotent God, after having created such harmonious Natural Laws had no need to then quickly violate them with phenomena like resurrection or Christian style miracles, which are alleged to be supernatural and suspend the laws of nature. If an Omniscient God has created the universe, then one can be certain that in keeping with His infinite entity, He would have left innumerable ways to influence the universe, so that His divinity is not suspended in any way at any time. Science is possible only because the Law Giver honors the Law, otherwise there will be total chaos and anarchy.

If Muslim speakers from Ahmadiyya Muslim Community had been included, then the atheists would have at least gotten rid of theology with resurrection of dead and miracles that are in violation of the natural order and harmony and would have been left with a much more sublime theology!

To read more and watch the debate on the Muslim Times click here

Islamic theology starts with Deism: Why all Christians and atheists should be Muslims?

Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD

The Holy Quran urges us to reflect on the Laws of Nature. It draws examples from cosmology, physics, biology and medicine, as signs for all men of understanding. For example the Quran says:

Do they not then look at the camel, how it is created? And at the heaven, how it is raised high? And at the mountains how they are rooted, and at the earth how it is outspread? (Al Quran 88:18-21)

Seven hundred and fifty verses of the Quran (almost one eighth of the Book) exhort believers to study Nature, to reflect, to make the best use of reason in the search of the Ultimate, the Creator, the Almighty Allah. This contrasts with 250 verses in the Holy Quran in regards to different legislation.

When the Qur’an describes the origins of life on a very broad basis, it is extremely concise. It does so in a verse that also men¬tions the process of the formation of the Universe. The verse is in Sura or chapter Anbiyya:

Do not the Unbelievers realize that the heavens and the earth were a solid mass, then We split them asunder and We made every living thing out of water. Will they then not believe? (Al Quran 21:31)

In this verse Allah makes some far reaching and profound claims. The precision of the claims and their accuracy in light of modern science is a proof of the truth of these claims. Allah then asks a rhetoric question that should not these accomplishments and His sharing of this information with the mankind; make them believe in His existence. Allah starts the description of onset of life with the mention of starting of the Universe with the phenomenon of the Big Bang. After the creation of the universe and the solar system through the natural mechanisms, God directed His attention to the creation of Life, and as always is the case with His creativity, the Omniscient and the Omnipotent resorted to the natural mechanisms. He utilized Laws of Nature for the creation of life on this planet earth.

To read further click here

Sir Isaac Newton: Rejecter of the Trinity, Believer in one True God

Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD

Alexander Pope’s couplet: “Nature and nature’s laws lay hid in Night. God said, ‘Let Newton be!’ and all was light!”

The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History is a 1978 book by Michael H. Hart, reprinted in 1992 with revisions. It is a ranking of the 100 people who, according to Hart, most influenced human history.

“The 100″ is perhaps one of the greatest books on the analysis of history ever written. He has sold more than 500,000 copies and the book has been translated into 15 languages.

The first person on Hart’s list is the Prophet of Islam Muhammad. Hart asserted that Muhammad was “supremely successful” in both the religious and secular realms. He also believed that Muhammad’s role in the development of Islam was far more influential than Jesus’ collaboration in the development of Christianity. He attributes the development of Christianity to St. Paul, who played a pivotal role in its dissemination.

Another person, who supersedes Jesus, may peace be on him, in influence over the world, is none other than Sir Isaac Newton. If we study the life and religious thought of Muhammad, may peace be on him and Sir Isaac Newton, side be side, we can better understand the pure teachings of Jesus, may peace be on him, who was later hijacked by St. Paul, for his idea of vicarious atonement, a dogma that Jesus died for the sins of humanity, on the cross. In this sense Newton’s importance, cannot be overemphasized, as he is the arbiter between the Living God of Islam and the Triune God of Trinitarian Christianity.

Sir Isaac Newton at 46 in Godfrey Kneller’s 1689 portrait

Encyclopedia Britannica says about Newton and Trinity:

Newton found time now to explore other interests, such as religion and theology. In the early 1690s he had sent Locke a copy of a manuscript attempting to prove that Trinitarian passages in the Bible were latter-day corruptions of the original text. When Locke made moves to publish it, Newton withdrew in fear that his anti-Trinitarian views would become known. Reference.

The Trinitarian Christian apologists often want to claim Newton’s scientific achievements, as the Christian foundation for European renaissance and scientific development, without telling naive masses that he was firmly against Trinity. To make my case further, I am borrowing some text from Wikipedia, from the page about Sir Isaac Newton:

He was appointed Lucasian Professor of Mathematics in 1669 on Barrow’s recommendation. In that day, any fellow of Cambridge or Oxford was required to become an ordained Anglican priest. However, the terms of the Lucasian professorship required that the holder not be active in the church (presumably so as to have more time for science). Newton argued that this should exempt him from the ordination requirement, and Charles II, whose permission was needed, accepted this argument. Thus a conflict between Newton’s religious views and Anglican orthodoxy was averted.

According to most scholars, Newton was a monotheist who believed in biblical prophecies but was Antitrinitarian. ‘In Newton’s eyes, worshiping Christ as God was idolatry, to him the fundamental sin’. Historian Stephen D. Snobelen says of Newton, ‘Isaac Newton was a heretic. But … he never made a public declaration of his private faith—which the orthodox would have deemed extremely radical. He hid his faith so well that scholars are still unravelling his personal beliefs.’ Snobelen concludes that Newton was at least a Socinian sympathiser (he owned and had thoroughly read at least eight Socinian books), possibly an Arian and almost certainly an anti-trinitarian. In an age notable for its religious intolerance, there are few public expressions of Newton’s radical views, most notably his refusal to receive holy orders and his refusal, on his death bed, to receive the sacramentwhen it was offered to him.

In a view disputed by Snobelen, T.C. Pfizenmaier argues that Newton held the Arian view of the Trinity rather than the Western one held by Roman Catholics, Anglicans and most Protestants. Although the laws of motion and universal gravitation became Newton’s best-known discoveries, he warned against using them to view the Universe as a mere machine, as if akin to a great clock. He said, “Gravity explains the motions of the planets, but it cannot explain who set the planets in motion. God governs all things and knows all that is or can be done.”

To read further click here

November 2012

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Previous Alislam-eGazette about religion and science

September 2012 eGazette – The Indispensable God Hypothesis

May 2012 eGazette – Human Soul: The Final Frontier?

February 2011 Alislam-eGazette: Metaphysics, Religion and Science

Al Islam eGazette July 2009 – The Bible, The Quran and Science

November 2008 Al Islam eGazette – Elephant in the room!

May 2008

Dawkins’ False Papal Fatwa: ‘Einstein was a Pantheist and not a Deist?’

Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD

Epigraph: We (Allah) have created you. Why, then, do you not accept the truth? What think ye of the sperm-drop that you emit? Is it you who have created it or are We the Creator? We have ordained death for all of you; and We cannot be prevented from bringing in your place others like you, and from developing you into a form which at present you know not. And you have certainly known the first creation. Why, then, do you not reflect? Do you see what you sow? Is it you who grow it or are We the Grower? If We so pleased, We could reduce it all to broken pieces, then you would keep lamenting: ‘We are ruined! Nay, we are deprived of everything.’ Do you see the water which you drink? Is it you who send it down from the clouds, or are We the Sender? If We so pleased, We could make it bitter. Why, then, are you not grateful? Do you see the fire which you kindle? Is it you who produce the tree for it, or are We the Producer? (Al Quran 56: 58-73)

Prof. Richard Dawkins given a Papal disguise, so, he can issue Fatwas!

Prof. Richard Dawkins is a loud apologist for atheism and for all practical purposes can be considered to be Pope of atheism, for this decade. He is a vice president of the British Humanist Association, and a supporter of the Brights movement. He is well known for his criticism of creationism and intelligent design. In his 1986 book the Blind Watchmaker, he argues against the watchmaker analogy, an argument for the existence of a supernatural creator based upon the complexity of living organisms. Instead, he describes evolutionary processes as analogous to a blind watchmaker. He has since written several popular science books, and makes regular television and radio appearances, predominantly discussing these topics. In his 2006 book the God Delusion, Dawkins contends that a supernatural creator almost certainly does not exist and that religious faith is a delusion—”a fixed false belief.” As of January 2010, the English-language version had sold more than two million copies and had been translated into 31 languages. Apologists for theism certainly need to take him on and the Muslim Times is taking a lead in this endeavor.

The video clip embedded from Youtube, is titled: Albert Einstein on god, the god delusion and would reveal Dawkins’ Papal Fatwa, which he has issued on more than one occasion, here and elsewhere:

To read more click here

Maria: Pope Benedict XVI on the Mother of God

Written by Pope Benedict XVI

Reviewed and refuted by Khaula Rehman MD

To set the stage for this discussion, let us first review, what the Holy Quran has to say on this issue:

The Originator of the heavens and the earth! How can He have a son when He has no consort, and when He has created everything and has knowledge of all things? Such is Allah, your Lord. There is no God but He, the Creator of all things, so worship Him. And He is Guardian over everything. Eyes cannot reach Him but He reaches the eyes. And He is the Incomprehensible, the All-Aware. (Al Quran 6:102-104)


And relate the story of Mary as mentioned in the Book. When she withdrew from her people to a place to the east, and screened herself off from them, then We sent Our angel to her, and he appeared to her in the form of a perfect man. She said, ‘I seek refuge with the Gracious God from thee if indeed thou dost fear Him.’ He replied, ‘I am only a Messenger of thy Lord, that I may bestow on thee a righteous son.’ She said, ‘How can I have a son when no man has touched me, neither have I been unchaste?’ He replied, ‘Thus it is.’ But says thy Lord, ‘It is easy for Me; and We shall do so that We may make him a Sign unto men, and a mercy from Us, and it is a matter decreed.’ (Al Quran 19:17-22)

There is a chapter named after Mother Mary in the Holy Quran, not because she was Mother of God, divine in some fashion, but as a role model for all Muslim women and men, a human role model of piety and chastity.

Michio Kaku is an Japanese American scientist and science communicator who is Professor of Theoretical Physics specializing in string field theory at the City University of New York. He writes:

“One day in Sunday school we studied Genesis. To read about God thundering from the heavens, ‘Let there be Light!’ sounded so much more dramatic than silently meditating about Nirvana. Out of naive curiosity, I asked my Sunday school teacher, ‘Did God have a mother?’ She usually had a snappy answer, as well as a deep moral lesson to offer. This time, however, she was taken aback. No, she replied hesitantly, God probably did not have a mother. ‘But then where did God come from?’ She mumbled that she would have to consult with the minister about that question.”

If we bring the sincerity of the questioner and the teacher in examining the question of the mother of Jesus, considered to be god by the Trinitarian Christians, we will be ready for enlightenment.

To read more click here

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