So said the Messiah: Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani
The Messiah: Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani, the Founder of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community said about God of nature and Islam:
“The God of Islam is the same God Who is visible in the reflection of the laws of nature and is discernible in the book of nature. Islam has not presented a new God but has presented the same God Who is presented by the light of man’s heart, by the conscience of man, and by heaven and earth.” [Majmu’a Ishtiharat, Vol. II, pp. 310-311]
“As man cannot perceive with his physical eyes the Imperceptible Being Who is latent in everyone like fire and yet is hidden from everyone, nor can he find Him through the exercise of his imperfect reason, he has been subject to many errors in his understanding of Him and through his errors he renders to others that which is His due. God Almighty has mentioned an excellent illustration in the Holy Qur’an that the world is like a great hall paved smooth with slabs of glass and a current of water flows underneath them which runs very fast. A person looking at the slabs of glass wrongly imagines them to be water also and is afraid of walking upon them as he would be afraid of walking upon water, though in reality they are only glass but very clear and transparent. Thus, these great objects in heaven like the sun and the moon etc. are transparent like glass and are worshipped by mistake. Behind them, there is a Higher Power at work which is flowing swiftly like water. It is the mistake of those who worship created things that they attribute to the glass all this activity which is being manifested by the Power behind it. This is the explanation of the verse:
Solomon said, ‘It is a palace paved smooth with slabs of glass.’ (Al Surah An-Naml 27:45)
As the Being of God Almighty, despite its brightness, is hidden beyond sight, the physical universe is not adequate for its true recognition. This is the reason why those who depended upon the physical system despite their careful consideration of its perfect orderliness which comprehends hundreds of wonders within itself, and despite their pursuit of astronomy and physics and philosophy to a degree which shows that they had penetrated through heaven and earth, could not get rid of their doubts and suspicions and became involved in all types of errors and wandered far afield in their absurd fantasies. If they thought of the Being of the Creator, they proceeded only thus far that observing the great orderliness of the wise system they imagined that it should have a Creator.”
[The Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam, Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 10, pp. 363-367]
Islam and Science
By Khalifatul Masih II, Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad
Here is a lecture by Hazrat ‘Musleh Maoud’ on the subject of Religion and Science, given at Islamia College Science Union meeting in Lahore on 3rd March 1927. This lecture’s usefulness cannot be over-stated. Original article in Urdu can be found by clicking here
A small portion of the lecture is translated for the benefit of those who are not well versed with Urdu:
The Holy Quran directs attention towards science, time and again, rather than evoking prejudice against it. The Quran has never advised against studying science, lest the reader should become a non-believer; because it has no such fear or concern. The Holy Quran is not worried that if people will learn the laws of nature its spell will break. The Quran has not prevented people from science, rather it states, “Say, ‘Reflect on what is happening in the heavens and the earth.’” (Al Surah Yunus 10:102) By heavens is meant the study of astronomy and by earth is meant the study of geology, biology and archeology. If God considered that the result of such study will create prejudice and hatred against religion, the Holy Quran would have advised not to ever study these branches of knowledge. But in contrast to that it advises believers emphatically to study these sciences and investigate, as it knows that as the knowledge progresses in these fields, its truth will be testified. (This is exactly what is predicted in the second verse of Sura Saba, this is editor’s inclusion) The following verses of the Holy Quran also draw attention towards science:
“In the creation of the heavens and the earth and in the alternation of the night and the day there are indeed Signs for men of understanding; Those who remember Allah while standing, sitting, and lying on their sides, and ponder over the creation of the heavens and the earth: ‘Our Lord, Thou hast not created this in vain; nay, Holy art Thou; save us, then, from the punishment of the Fire.’” (Al Surah Ale-Imran 3:191-192)
By Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad, M.A.
‘Are you in doubt concerning Allah (God), Maker of the Heavens and the Earth?’ (The Holy Quran)
I have long wanted to write a book on the subject of the existence of God, for the benefit of young people in particular. I wanted to set out in a brief and simple manner the arguments which prove the existence of God—Who is our Master and Creator—and to describe His attributes and the advantages and means of establishing communion with Him. For a number of reasons, I have, until now, been unable to fulfil this desire. A few days ago, however, someone asked me about the existence of God in his own peculiar manner, thus rekindling my old desire. I took this to be an appeal from beyond and embarked upon writing this book. No one has any capacity to undertake anything without Allah and I place my trust in Him alone.
It would be incorrect to think that I have prepared myself for this task, or that I wish to shed any light upon it from a purely intellectual point of view. The only purpose I have in mind is to share my existing knowledge on the subject with the young and ordinary people in a simple and concise manner. If God so wills, it might grant guidance to some lost soul, or refresh someone’s stagnating faith, or serve to comfort some anxious and restless heart, or, perchance, our dearly beloved might come to realise that the true aim and purpose of our lives is to recognise our Lord, Whose love is greater than any other.
Before I begin I pray to the Almighty: ‘O my Lord, You are aware of all my shortcomings and my knowledge and deeds are not hidden from You. Grant me, through Your grace, the strength to complete this book in accordance with that which pleases You. Grant power to my words and lead my pen along the path of righteousness and truth, so that people may recognise You and attain the goal of their lives. O my Helper and Guide, though I consider myself true in my intentions, You know me better than I know myself. If You are aware of any ill-intentions on my part, do have mercy on me and purify me so that this book may not be deprived of the blessings which You send down in support of the truth. Be it so, O God. Amen.’
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We Dream, Therefore God Is!
Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD
Cogito ergo sum (French: “Je pense donc je suis“; English: “I think, therefore I am“) is a philosophical Latin statement proposed by René Descartes. The simple meaning of the phrase is that someone wondering whether or not he or she exists is, in and of itself, proof that something, an “I”, exists to do the thinking. However, this “I” is not the more or less permanent person we call “I”. It may be that the something that thinks is purely momentary, and not the same as the something which has a different thought the next moment.
The phrase became a fundamental element of Western philosophy, as it was perceived to form a foundation for all knowledge. While other knowledge could be a figment of imagination, deception or mistake, the very act of doubting one’s own existence serves to some people as proof of the reality of one’s own existence, or at least that of one’s thought.
The statement is sometimes given as Dubito, ergo cogito, ergo sum (English: “I doubt, therefore I think, therefore I am”).
A common mistake is that people take the statement as proof that they, as a human person, exist. However, it is a severely limited conclusion that does nothing to prove that one’s own body exists, let alone anything else that is perceived in the physical universe. It only proves that one’s consciousness exists (that part of an individual that observes oneself doing the doubting). It does not rule out other possibilities, such as waking up to find oneself to be a butterfly who had dreamed of having lived a human life.
Descartes’s original statement was “Je pense donc je suis”, from his Discourse on Method (1637). He wrote it in French, not in Latin and thereby reached a wider audience in his country than that of scholars. He uses the Latin “Cogito ergo sum” in the later Principles of Philosophy (1644), Part 1, article 7:
Ac proinde hæc cognitio, ego cogito, ergo sum, est omnium prima & certissima, quæ cuilibet ordine philosophanti occurrat.
English: This proposition, I think, therefore I am, is the first and the most certain which presents itself to whoever conducts his thoughts in order.
At that time, the argument had become popularly known in the English speaking world as “the ‘Cogito Ergo Sum’ argument,” which is usually shortened to “Cogito” when referring to the principle virtually everywhere else.
Human knowledge needs to be somehow well grounded in reality to distinguish it from myth, superstition and prejudice. Even though the Greek, the Chinese, the Arabs, the Muslims and many others practiced science before the Western civilization in Europe, Rene Descartes perhaps best articulated the foundation of our scientific tradition, in “I think, therefore I am.” It would be a reasonable speculation that others may have provided similar articulations before him, but his expression has gained broad acceptance in the Western civilization. So, it is helpful to understand our scientific tradition grounded in reproducible human observations, which in turn are grounded in “I think, therefore I am!”
But, do not forget that in addition to thinking while awake, we all also dream when sleeping. What does that mean for us or what ramifications it has on a larger scale? “Dreaming, a common and distinctive phenomenon of sleep, has throughout human history given rise to myriad beliefs, fears, and conjectures,” says Encyclopedia Britannica, “both imaginative and experimental, regarding its mysterious nature. While any effort toward classification must be subject to inadequacies, beliefs about dreams nonetheless fall into various classifications depending upon whether dreams are held to be reflections of reality, sources of divination, curative experiences, or evidence of unconscious activity.”
Cave of Hira Where Revelation of the Holy Quran started
By providing a faculty of dreaming to almost every human on planet earth, God has provided a metaphor for True dreams and Revelations. Every human can easily understand and conceptualize, the idea of True dreams, because of his or her own limited experience with dreams, in at least healing of emotional wounds and new insights and intuitions every so often. The very first verses of the Holy Quran, revealed to the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace be on him, served as grounding the truth of Islam in Revelation and human observation at the same time.
To read further click here
The anesthesia of familiarity: There should be a Creator for this universe
By Zia H Shah MD
When any honest scientist studies nature, he feels, like Albert Einstein, the presence of superior reasoning power, revealed in the incomprehensible universe. However, as the novelty of any new discovery in nature wears off, we begin to take the beauty, complexity, organization and co-ordination that we see every day around us for granted and many among us become vulnerable to think that it may have come into existence purely by chance. However, when we come across the newly discovered organization in nature our prior inferences are challenged. We are flabbergasted and astounded for a brief period of time and truly applause the beauty of the creation of God for a little while, until we are duped by the secular propaganda of neo-Darwinism again and begin to take things for granted. Anesthesia of familiarity takes over! This article examines the splendid interior decorations arranged by the bower birds and a lot more.
He is Allah, the Creator, the Maker, the Fashioner. His are the most beautiful names. All that is in the heavens and the earth glorifies Him, and He is the Mighty, the Wise. (Al Quran 59:25)
The seven heavens and the earth and those that are therein extol His glory; and there is not a thing but glorifies Him with His praise; but you understand not their glorification. Indeed, He is Forbearing, Most Merciful. (Al Quran 17:45)
Try and penetrate with our limited means the secrets of nature and you will find that, behind all the discernible concatenations, there remains something subtle, intangible and inexplicable. Veneration for this force beyond anything that we can comprehend is my religion. To that extent I am, in point of fact, religious. Albert Einstein
Two things fill the mind with ever-increasing wonder and awe, the more often and the more intensely the mind of thought is drawn to them: the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me. Immanuel Kant
And He (Allah) revealed to it (conscience) the ways of evil and the ways of righteousness – He, indeed, prospers who purifies it (conscience), And he is ruined who corrupts it. (Al Quran 91:9-11)
The characters in Shakespeare drama Macbeth are based on real life historical figures. Macbeth thought that if he could be the king he would be really happy. But, when he had killed the king who had been kind and generous to him, he was filled with horror. It was not the horror of one who fears discovery. When he heard one of the men awaken from sleep and say, “God bless us,” he could not say “Amen;” for his vivid imagination presented to him the dryness and choking of his throat as an immediate judgment from heaven. He heard a voice that first cried “Macbeth has murdered sleep,” then, a minute later, denounced him in his three names, as if the three names gave him three personalities to suffer in the doom of sleeplessness:
Glamis had murdered sleep, and therefore Cawdor
Shall sleep no more, Macbeth shall sleep no more.
The severity of his crime, jolted Macbeth in a dramatic fashion. However, more often than not, when we cheat someone or lie for some reason, we are invariably able to rationalize it, so the short coming generally gets unnoticed by our conscience and consciousness. However, when someone else double crosses or cheats us we get upset, angry and even mad at times. We think that it was wrong for anyone to cheat or deceive us. Why should we get mad if everyone is working to advance oneself one way or the other? When on the receiving end we clearly feel that humans are supposed to be moral. We are not supposed to cheat, lie or say things which we do not mean! What is the basis of our intuition about morality and human ethics?
To argue against the slippery slope of relativism, apologists for theism, have lately precisely defined objective moral values. What are the objective moral values? Neil Shenvi has encapsulated it for us, borrowing from different philosophers, especially Prof. William Lane Craig:
Objective moral values are moral values that are true independent of the belief of human beings. For this reason, philosophers who affirm the existence of objective moral values sometimes speak about them as moral facts. A purported fact can either be true or false, but it is qualitatively different than an opinion, which is a matter of personal preference. So when we say that objective moral values exist, we mean that a statement like, “Murder is evil,” is making a claim about some objective moral reality in precisely the same way that the statement, “There is a chair in my kitchen,” is making a claim about objective physical reality. In contrast, a moral relativist claims that a statement like, “murder is evil,” is a subjective claim about our (or our society’s) preference. The statement, “murder is evil,” expresses a subjective preference similar to the statements, “curry is tasty,” or, “bluegrass is the best musical genre.” If objective moral values exist, then statements like, “the Holocaust was evil,” can be objectively true. If objective moral values exist, then this statement would be true even if the Nazis had won World War II and had convinced every human being in the entire world that the Holocaust was good. In contrast, the position of moral relativism commits one to the proposition that moral statements like, “the Holocaust was evil,” are subjective. If some person or some society, like Nazi Germany, believes that the Holocaust was good, then the Holocaust would indeed be good “for them”. There would be no objective moral standard to which their assessment could be compared.
Because we all feel a strong abhorrence against rape, incest, holocaust and even against smaller crimes when we personally are the victims, there are objective moral values and therefore there is a Law-Giver, a God. If there is no God and we accidentally arose out of animals similar to chimpanzees, then there is no clear cut reason to believe that the jungle law is not the ultimate reality. As a believer in both evolution as well as revelation, I think that our conscience has roots both in our evolution as well as revelations over the millennia to the prophets of God by All-Knowing Allah. Our conscience cannot be explained if we take revelation out of the picture and try to explain it purely on the basis of naturalism or scientific materialism.
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Is God the Father the Creator, the Trinity as a whole or are there three Creators?
By Zia H Shah MD
Let me start this presentation with a few verses of the Holy Quran, which are a lighthouse on the issue of there being One Creator, God the Father or Allah:
To Him (Allah) belongs whosoever is in the heavens and the earth. And those who are in His presence do not disdain to worship Him, nor do they weary;they glorify Him night and day; and they flag not. Have they taken gods from the earth who raise the dead or create animal and plant life? (All life forms existed before Jesus was born). If there had been in them (the heavens and the earth) other gods besides Allah, then surely both would have gone to ruin (there would have been no consistency in laws of nature). Glorified then be Allah, the Lord of the Throne, above what they attribute. He cannot be questioned as to what He does, but they will be questioned. Have they taken gods besides Him? Say, ‘Bring forth your proof. Here is the Book of those with me, and the Book of those before me.’ Nay, most of them know not the truth, and so they turn away. (Al Quran 21:20-25)
Bait and switch is commonly employed consciously or unconsciously by the Christian apologists to defend all their dogma. They present the proofs and need of One God and then sell to the naive three persons in one being of Trinity, without offering any proof for the Triune God. Christianity cannot make up its mind. One moment Jesus is subordinate to God; in the next Christian story he is co-equal to God (trinity), and finally he is God and then God incarnate. If Jesus is co-equal to God, how come he did not create anything and God the Father had to do all the creative work, according to most verses of the Old and the New Testament? However, if we look at all the verses in the New Testament on this issue a confusing picture emerges. Unlike the contradictory account of Christianity and the Bible, the Holy Quran presents a clear understanding of One God who is the Creator of everything around us: “He is Allah, the Creator, the Maker, the Fashioner. His are the most beautiful names. All that is in the heavens and the earth glorifies Him, and He is the Mighty, the Wise.” (Al Quran 59:25) And: He (Allah) has created the heavens without any pillars that you can see, and He has placed in the earth firm mountains that it may not quake with you, and He has scattered therein all kinds of creatures; and We have sent down water from the clouds, and caused to grow therein every noble species. This is the creation of Allah. Now show me what others besides Him have created. Nay, but the wrongdoers are in manifest error. (Al Quran 31:11-12) According to Trinitarian Christianity, Jesus is co-equal, co-existent and co-eternal with God the Father; this is what the Holy Quran has refuted in the verses quoted above. The challenge and logic is simple and very lucid, if Jesus is co-equal to God, show us what did he create? The Holy Quran states:
“Blessed is He (Allah) Who has sent down the Discrimination to His servant, that he may be a Warner to all the worlds — He to Whom belongs the kingdom of the heavens and the earth. And He has taken unto Himself no son, and has no partner in the kingdom, and has created everything, and has ordained for it its proper measure. Yet they have taken besides Him gods, who create nothing but are themselves created, and who have no power to harm or benefit themselves and they control not death nor life nor resurrection.” (Al Quran 25:2-4)
The Christian apologists present evidence for a Creator and assume the necessity of the Christian God. But, the Triune Christian God does not exist. Christianity is sandwiched between Judaism and Islam and both are Unitarian. The tradition of Deism developed by the Founding Fathers of USA would also point to one God who is not Triune. The scientific tradition if properly understood would also suggest one Creator with one will as understood by Deism.
To read more click here
The Indispensible God Hypothesis
In the three great monotheistic religions, Islam, Christianity and Judaism, God is viewed as a supreme, transcendent being, beyond matter space and time, and yet the foundation of all that meets our senses that is described in terms of matter, space, and time. That is the Al Batin or the Hidden God of monotheism. Furthermore, this God is not the god of deism, who created the world and then left it alone, or the god of pantheism, who is equated with all of existence. The Islamic and the Judeo-Christian God is a nanosecond-by-nanosecond participant in each event that takes place in every cubic nanometer of the universe. He has full knowledge of all things. God listens to every thought and participates in each action of his very special creation, a minute bit of organized matter called humanity that moves around on the surface of a tiny pebble in a vast universe. The Holy Quran declares:
Allah’s is the Kingdom of the heavens and the earth; and to Allah are all affairs returned for final judgment. (Al Quran 57:6)
Whereas the nineteenth century physics was about to frame God out of physical understanding of the universe, the twentieth century physics has turned the tables in favor of Monotheism.
To the atheists design in the universe is apparent but not real. For the theists, enlightened in science, the converse is true, the self sufficiency of the universe based on the laws of nature is apparent and perceived only and is not real. God is the Law Giver and sustainer of the universe. Both positions may be argued to some degree from modern science. However, only theism can offer a holistic approach, not only explaining our universe, but also human morality and ethics, our history and personal experience.
When we approach science from this theistic perspective we find that our religion and science become one and our psyche finds unification.
If there is a ‘Personal God’ that hears human prayers then there has to be a way for the deity to influence the physical world without breaking the laws of nature and making the study of science futile. Quantum physics may be the magical wand, whereby Personal God can influence our world, without breaking the laws of nature. In His infinite wisdom, the Omniscient God provided for infinite means to maintain His divinity!
The article, the Indispensible God Hypothesis can be reviewed in the fall, 2008 volume of Muslim Sunrise, by clicking here
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