T ALL BEGAN in Zurich in 1987 with a suggestion by the late Masud Jhelumi, the then Missionary in charge of the Ahmadiyya Mission Switzerland, to Professor Dr. Karl Henking, Professor of Ethnology, University of Zurich. He requested the Professor to invite the Head of the Worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community to deliver a lecture on Islam—a topic on which no religious scholar had ever addressed the University.
The first response by the Professor was rather negative. In his opinion the students of the University were least interested in religion. In fact most took pride in being atheists with scant respect for any religion. After a few days however, the Professor himself suggested to Masud that if the title were changed to Rationality as the main theme, while Revelation could also be added by way of comparison, to show how the two play a role severally in leading to Knowledge and Eternal Truth, perhaps such a topic could attract students. He was proved right by subsequent events.
On Thursday, the 14 June 1987 at 8.15 p.m., the proposed lecture was delivered under the title Rationality, Revelation, Knowledge, Eternal Truth. The students, evidently intrigued by the title, thronged Oule (the great auditorium) which became filled to capacity so that additional arrangements had to be made in another hall with provisions for relaying the proceedings through television screens and loudspeakers.
Incidentally, this was the same auditorium where Sir Winston Churchill had delivered his historic address on 9 September 1946 entitled Let Europe Arise. It was this lecture, in fact, which created the blueprint for the present-day European Common Market. At that time he was no longer the Prime Minister of Great Britain, but his greatness did not lie in the office he had occupied, it was the office which was made greater when he occupied it. His lecture was epoch-making.
When the time for my address started on the fixed date, I began with a few introductory remarks in English. They were followed by the main address, originally written by me in Urdu and rendered into excellent German by Sheikh Nasir Ahmad. He took some seventy-five minutes to deliver the written speech. Finally the audience were invited to ask questions. As the questions were addressed to me, Sheikh Nasir Ahmad began to perform the role of interpreter. It was altogether a very refreshing experience. The session had advanced to two and a half hours, yet the interest of the students was still alive until the session had to be closed at 10.45 p.m. because the hall had to be vacated according to the University schedule.
That was how the seed of this book was first sown. It was a mere seed, in the first place, because most of the points covered by my notes could not be incorporated in the article from which the translation was made. Again the translation which Sheikh Nasir Ahmad had prepared could not be read to the end, because of the shortage of time.
Many attempts were made during the subsequent years to translate the full Urdu manuscript, which had been much enlarged by me later, into English. It took some years for these attempts to be exhausted and abandoned at last. The topic was so varied that no single scholar could translate all the subjects covered by it even to his own satisfaction. Some groups of scholars also tried their hand together but to no avail.
Finally, despite my heavy engagements, it was considered essential that I should myself dictate most of the book anew. Basit Ahmad, currently on the Board of Editors of the Review of Religions, volunteered his services for the task. He managed to prepare many generations of dictated material on his laptop computer, but none could satisfy us because the time lapse between our meetings was often too long so that a coherent work without repetitions could not be produced. Moreover, every time a new dictation was given, new ideas were inserted and quite a few amendments were also made which required relevant changes in other chapters as well. He had put in so much labour continuously for two years, without complaint, that it began to hurt me to see him suffer pointlessly. He had to be relieved yet his highly precious service immensely helped to advance the cause further. Every version displayed a definite improvement on the previous one.
After Basit, a group of ladies opted for the resumption of the work. Thus it continued to progress bit by bit but could not develop into a coherent work with uninterrupted flow.
I was left in the end with no option but to rewrite most of the manuscript in my own hand, a task which took me the better part of last year with many intervening breaks because of other pressing engagements. In the end, all it needed was a competent person to scrutinize it from the beginning to the end in search of such lapses and repetitions as may have remained undetected. This laborious but highly essential task was excellently performed by Mrs. Farina Qureshi, assisted by a team of dedicated workers with varied experience in literary work. With their combined effort, under her exacting supervision, they pointed out to me some discrepancies which had escaped my notice. Thus I was in a position to remove the wrinkles and press the manuscript into its final shape.
The team consisted of Mrs. Farida Ghazi, Mrs. Mansoora Hyder, Professor Amatul Majid Chaudhary, Mrs. Saleha Safi, Mr. Munir-ud-Din Shams, Mr. Mahmood Ahmad Malik - the computer typist and Mr. Munir Ahmad Javed. These names have also been included in the long list of extremely dedicated honorary workers to whom I owe my most sincere gratitude.
HE BOOK was finally ready for publication after a seemingly interminable long wait of ten years since its initial beginning at Zurich. But for Professor Dawkins, an eminent British zoologist who authored the famous book entitled The Blind Watchmaker this work could have been published long ago. In his outstanding work he has actually rewritten Darwin, overly advocating his theories to disprove the existence of any deity other than the blind principle of natural selection.
Unfortunately, my attention was drawn to this book rather late, only after I had almost completed the task of the final retouching of my book. All the same, I was compelled by this information to delay its publication until such time as I could read this book and examine his arguments in depth. Having done so, I have now added a full new chapter in this book on Professor Dawkins' fantastic theory of creation without a creator. Evidently, every creation requires a creator. You cannot believe in the Mona Lisa and deny Leonardo da Vinci. Yet this exactly is the blunder which Professor Dawkins has committed. While believing in creation he denies the existence of a Creator, clumsily trying to replace Him with Darwin's natural selection. That is what is least expected of him as an eminent biologist. He should have known that the Darwinian principles are not creative principles.
This discussion will be carried out in full in the chapter The 'Blind Watchmaker' who is also Deaf and Dumb. Here we only consider it appropriate to point out that the title Professor Dawkins has given to his book would perhaps be more relevant if it were changed into Mr Bat, the Watchmaker par Excellence. The blind watchmaker of Professor Dawkins' book is evidently not a man but only an idea. Mere ideas cannot make things, particularly a clock. But bats, as described by Professor Dawkins, are more worthy of and better equipped for constructing clocks. They have minds, they can hear sounds and voices in a manner which no other animal can. They can virtually see in total darkness. They can distinguish between infinitesimal sonar variations which even the most sophisticated and advanced man-made sonar systems cannot. A bat can hear the slightest movement of the cogs and springs of a watch which even the keenest ear of a human watchmaker cannot.
NOUGH OF TITLES. We find ourselves at pains to strongly disagree with him, but we should be pardoned to describe his theory as absolutely devoid of substance. All the same Professor Dawkins enjoys wide fame all over the world. It is so because most of his fans are drawn from a new generation of scientists who are atheists first and scientists after. They must have always been perplexed at the colossal mysteries of nature and wondered how they could have been created without a conscious, intricate designer. In Professor Dawkins they must have found their champion who twisted the issues so dextrously that even some advanced students of natural science were also deceived into believing that their problem was solved. But he deceived only those who wanted to be deceived deep within. Had they examined Professor Dawkins' presentation of natural selection with unprejudiced open minds, they could have most certainly discovered the flaws, the discrepancies and the contradictions which his thesis contained. Perhaps they wanted to take refuge in the obscurities created by him because in God they shall not believe.
We have had some experience of those who are predetermined in their dogmas in all fields of faith and belief. The present work is in fact not directly addressed to them nor could we entertain a genuine hope in their conversion. The address is to the general reader who is not already committed to any scientific or unscientific dogma. Professor Dawkins' bit by bit theory is in fact no surprise because even Darwin, as early as 1859, in his great work The Origin of Species, mentioned this theory himself during his discussion on the intricacies of an eye as an organ. There he clearly confesses that the intricate mechanism of an eye can in no way be explained by his own theory of natural selection. Following is the confession of Darwin in his own words:
'To suppose that the eye, with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest possible degree.'I
Having said that he carves a path of retreat by building his bit by bit theory which has now become the mainstay of Professor Dawkins' arguments in favour of natural selection being the only creator. However, Darwin's bit by bit theory was based on such conjectures as have already been proved absolutely wrong. If anything, they are positively counter-productive. Thus Darwin continues after his honest confession mentioned above:
'Yet reason tells me, that if numerous gradations from a perfect and complex eye to one very imperfect and simple, each grade being useful to its possessor, can be shown to exist; if further, the eye does vary ever so slightly, and the variations be inherited, which is certainly the case; and if any variation or modification in the organ be ever useful to an animal under changing conditions of life, then the difficulty of believing that a perfect and complex eye could be formed by natural selection, though insuperable by our imagination, can hardly be considered real. 'I
Thus the much exaggerated bit by bit theory was primarily suggested by Darwin himself, and that too, specifically in relation to the eye. But how false he is proved in the light of the most modem researches which have revealed a highly advanced mechanism in the most rudimentary and ancient specimens of eyes.
Their deep sea studies have revealed that the most ancient specimens of eyes as found in the earliest species of marine life are highly developed masterpieces of such visionary systems as perplex the most modem manufacturer of optical instruments. This is no place to go into another detailed discussion but we refer the reader to the article Animal Eyes with Mirror Optics2 by Michael F. Land which appeared in Scientific American about twenty years before the publication of this book. We specifically draw the readers' attention to page 93 of that article which describes the eye of the Gigantocypris. The miracle of the creation of its two unique eyes with two absolutely precision-made reflectors, instead of the customary spherical eyes which need lenses for focusing, is a marvel of the highest degree. This is exactly what was needed in the dark world of oceans at such depths where this animal dwells. It has to put to maximum advantage the extremely dim light bordering upon total darkness. This could not have been made possible but for the pre-existence of a most sophisticated designer with perfect know-how who could conceive and manufacture this rudimentary yet absolutely precise optical instrument. The entire article covers so many real examples of some of the most ancient eyes which are fascinatingly purpose-built. Each of these shatters to bits and pieces the so-called bit by bit theories of Professor Dawkins and those of his great master Charles Darwin. We did not mention all this in our book which is already packed with similar examples, but having referred here to Darwin's speculative argument in favour of his bit by bit theory concerning the construction of an eye, this reference becomes essentially contradictory to what he speculated. A perusal of that article should convince even the most sceptical of naturalists that there is more to the making of an eye than actually meets the eye. But if scepticism is based on a predetermined bias, nothing can be done for it! We hope our chapter on Professor Dawkins' much celebrated book will help those who did not agree with him yet were overawed by his image.
We beg the scientist as well as the non-scientist to read not only the chapter on Professor Dawkins but our entire work which was written before it. The reader would discover that even without mentioning his book, our work provided enough satisfactory answers to all the questions specifically raised by the Professor. The main theme of the book however, is far wider than the limited discussions we have referred to above. It relates to the Quranic treatment of all the various issues the book contains - a treatment so fascinating yet so rational that it dazzles the human intellect. It is to this that the reader should concentrate his attention. On his way he may also encounter the mysteries of life and the solution to those mysteries which the Quran offers.
We promise the reader that he will be amply rewarded and that his study will assist him by ushering him into the majestic presence of his Lord—the Creator, the Master of the universe.
- DARWIN, C. (1985) The Origin of Species. Introduction by Burrow, J.W. Penguin Classics, England, p.217
- LAND, M.F. (December, 1978) Animal Eyes with Mirror Optics. Scientific American, p.93