Presented below is an answer to a question that was raised in a session held in London on 23rd April 1997.
QUESTIONER: Is religion not just an excuse created by man to explain his own existence?
Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad:
If we remove this so-called deceptive reason, will man cease to exist? Certainly not! Whether religion is right or wrong, man still exists. This so-called reason has no relationship with the realities of life. Religion was created very soon after man was created because prior to the creation of man we do not find the evidence of any religion in the subhuman forms of life. The creation of human beings goes hand in hand with religion and it is not the work of philosophers or sociologists that the concept of God exists. It is a universal concept that existed independently of any knowledge of what people believed in other parts of the world. It was this universal presence of belief in the whole world that convinced many an atheist, at least to a degree, that this is a very strong and potent reason why we must respect the possibility of the existence of God.
Those who have not been fully convinced, still believe that if any one argument can reasonably convince us to ponder over the question seriously, this is the argument: Why should the idea of God be found all over the world in all ages?
Turn to the continent of Australia where the Aborigines are known to have the longest, continuous civilisation since times immemorial. The knowledge or evidence we have of their beginnings leads some scholars to date the origin of their civilisation to some forty-thousand years — others place it at some sixty-thousand years, and there are some who push it even further beyond. The evidence from their civilisation of the belief in God is so baffling, so amazing that the so-called sociologists who thought that God is the creation of human imagination, as the question suggests, have no answer to the evidence presented by Australia.
The Australian Aborigines are divided into six hundred independent tribes – some say more, others say a little less, but generally speaking the overall consensus is that they are divided into six-hundred independent tribes. Each of the independent tribes has its own language that is not known to its neighbours. Historically, they did not relate to each other except for occasional encounters at the borders of their territories where they only met briefly with one another. The question here arises as to why the idea of one Supreme Creator should exist in all these independent tribes?
Some Christian scholars who were strong believers in Christianity and were also sociologists suggested that this was so because of the arrival of Christianity — when it reached Australia, so did the idea of God. However, other Christian scholars have exposed this idea to be totally wrong and without foundation. They state that there is positive evidence that long before Christianity reached the shores of Australia and before western civilisation reached there, the belief in a Supreme Creator existed.
There is such a host of evidence available on this issue that no sane person can reject or deny it. This should be enough reason for the gentleman who asked this question to revise his opinion about the existence of God and the role that religion has played in it. Hence, there are only two options available to us — either there is a God Who created human beings as well as religion or there is no God and it is human beings who have created their so-called creator.
The whole issue of creation can be re-examined from this perspective, beginning with the origins of life, ending our journey with the consummation of life into human beings. Each step that was advanced in the direction of the evolvement of human beings was an organised step. Life is not eternal and this has been proved beyond a shadow of doubt.
The possibility of life began with the “big bang” which occurred around twenty-billion years ago and ever since then life has emerged out of nothing. This issue has been discussed in detail in one of my books which is about to be published (Revelation, Rationality, Knowledge and Truth), where I have proved with scientific evidence that even the most firm believers in blind evolution have to admit repeatedly that for this they cannot find any answer. Upon contemplation of the wonders of evolution created or packed in a small space of one billion years, even those who are atheists begin to calculate through mathematics of large numbers the time it should have required for evolution to take place and to reach its consummation, by blind chance.
The figure they have worked out is not only mind-boggling, it is also impossible for an ordinary person to conceive. The figure they have reached is ten raised to the power of 249 which means that one needs to place 249 zeros to the right of the number one. Whatever figure that is, that is what would be needed, not for the completion of the whole evolution, but just for the creation of the first brick of life, the proteins that are needed for building DNAs and iron. The rest is still to be calculated.
In short, if you do not believe in philosophies, you can turn to the scientists. Find out how man could have been created, how could the very first organism of life have been created without the existence of a preceding conscious Being, an All-Knowledgeable Being Who is eternal!
Issues like these and many others that compel a fair-minded scientist to believe in God have been discussed in my book that I have just referred to and when it is published, I hope it will be made available to you.