Syed Iqbal Zaheer
The frequency at which we are asked the question related to God, especially from the Indian sub-continent, gives us a clear indication of the decline in the magnitude of belief in Islam. A major reason is ignorance of the Arabic language. Direct access to the Qur’an, in its language, implants faith in the deepest ravines of the heart. Few of the Arabs, even if non-practicing, ever have any doubts concerning Allah’s existence. The Qur’an is itself such a proof that the proverb “The appearance of the Sun is the proof of its existence” fits it very well. We are afraid, that further spread of ignorance of the Arabic language, forebodes ill for this area.
A Bedouin was asked this question. He replied, “When I see a camel’s dung, I know that a camel must have passed by. When I see a goat’s droppings, I realize that a goat must have passed by. Similarly, when I look at the world around me, I feel assured that someone must be behind it. That someone is God.”
His argument was clear, simple, to the point. The dung must have been brought into existence by someone. No philosopher, scientist, thinker, layman, or child will say, “The dung came into existence by itself.” How can such a huge universe then, come into existence by itself? One has to be a fanatic to imagine such a thing: for, it speaks of an assumption and an already formed opinion, in defense of which one has to take such an absurd position. But humanity is in no short-supply of such as those who say this precisely. The language changes, but same fanaticism is displayed by those who think they are knowledgeable. They are so ignorant, that they are not aware of the difference between knowledge and information. They are informed, but hopelessly poor in knowledge.
Some scientists, who have assumed the role of religious priests, issuing fatwas, exactly like religious priests, with no support from any worthy source, and who, just like the priestly class, like to keep their grip firm on the masses .. such of them say that the universe is “a free lunch,” meaning, it came into existence by itself out of no pre-existent material. When asked how, they explain it this way: “The universe is expanding. This means yesterday it was smaller; day before yesterday it was still smaller. Let us work back with the help of Super Computers the size of the universe a million years ago. Let us keep going backward in time, and work out the size and state of the universe as we go back deep in past time. We arrive at a point beyond which we cannot go, because of the Plank limits. Calculations fail beyond this point. What point is this? It is a point in time, some 15-18 billion years ago, when the universe was of size 10-32 cm, at Plank temperature 1032 K, at density 1097 kg.m-3, and at Plank Time 10-43 s. Somewhere beyond this point, beyond this density and beyond this temperature, the minute point blew up (the Big Bang) to create sub-atomic particles as it cooled, that, with further cooling and coalescing, became the stuff of which the universe is made. Galaxies, stars and planets came in time out of the lazy cosmic dust to become this dynamic universe.”
But how does the universe become a “free lunch?” That is, how can they say that it emerged out of nothing when energy of such super-high density was available as the raw material? You would think you have cornered him. But his education has not been a waste. He has a reply. And it is beautiful: “We know that everything comes with its opposite: proton with anti-proton, matter with antimatter, and so on. The huge gravitational pull that had helped contract the universe into that minuscule particle, at that huge temperature and pressure, at that point of time, (before it blew up), must have been accompanied by anti-gravity of same magnitude, but negative. So, we have positive energy and negative energy. One cancels out the other, and we get a universe out of nothing!”
Thus, on the strength of a minor assumption (and a little bit of ingenuity) a major problem is solved viz., how to explain the origin and existence of our world. It could be very satisfying to the scientists and their admirers, but to others the profound climax culminates in an abysmal anticlimax. Everything goes in pairs indeed.
The gullibility of the common people also helps. They do not know that the so-called “anti-gravity” has not been discovered, and that, if discovered, it is not going to prove anything, but rather, will destroy the Big Bang theory. In their readiness to believe, (because it is the voice of kufr), the “self-styled educated” forget to ask, “If the original pre-Big Bang positive gravitational force was canceled out by anti-gravity of equal magnitude, then we should have been left with a universe of zero mass, zero size, zero density, zero energy, at zero temperature, and no gravity: in short, no universe. But since the universe is very much here, and none of its physical property measures zero, we must once again look for where it came from.” This the disciples of the pundits fail to suggest. Actually, the educated Muslims revere the Western gurus more than their masses respect their peers, and, as blindly.
If some scientists still maintain that the universe came from nothing, then, we would like to point out that they should not deflect their “followers” by taking them to the universe as specified above: of size 10-32 cm, at Plank temp. 1032 K, at density 1097 kg.m-3, and at Plank Time 10-43 s etc. This serves only as a deflection. They must point blank state that, in the words of Hoyle, “the universe has always been there, will always be there,” and that there is no point discussing where it came from. This position, although it fails the test of intellectual integrity, at least smacks of it.
Some scientists have “discovered” another lane by which reason and logic can be circumvented. They maintain that: “It has been observed during laboratory experiments that some unidentified, sub-atomic particles seem to pop up from nowhere, for a brief moment, and disappear. This explains that matter can come into existence by itself.”
This explains that cracking jokes is everybody’s right, including modern-day priestly class. That in everyday life nothing appears from nowhere, and that sudden appearance does not explain the need for an originator, does not disturb the stalwarts. To put it plainly, why ‘sudden appearance’ rules out an originator? There are two issues involved now – because of the adjective – which require two explanations: the appearance requires one explanation and the ‘suddenness of it’ requires another.
We Muslims reach God through another route: the Qur’anic. Its origin and existence is as much of an enigma as the appearance of the physical world. Its unique qualities demand explanation. We ask ourselves, “Where did the Qur’an come from? Could the Prophet have written it? Could any man have written it? Why has it remained unadulterated?” And so on. We investigate and conclude that except to admit Divine Hand in its appearance, there is no way out of the enigma. No explanation works.
The impossibility of adulteration is a big challenge. An unbeliever, or a believer weak in faith, might be a little adamant. He may ask, “Why it cannot be adulterated or imitated? Probably no one tried hard enough.” We say in reply, “No problem. Try hard enough. Time is on your side. Let someone take it upon himself now to adulterate the Qur’an. He may insert a sentence into it.
What will happen after he has done it is that almost any Arabic-knowing person will point out what the insertion is, and why it cannot be part of the Qur’an.
And, it is not the written Qur’an which will be brought forth to check whether any sentence has been added. Nor it is the memorizers who will be called to service. That is, to check whether their memorized Qur’an agrees with the modified one. But rather, any Arabic knowing person of moderate language abilities will read through and will be able to place his finger on the sentence added. Then the identified sentence will be given over to an Arabic linguist, (a non-Muslim, if so required). He will point out the reasons why the added sentence cannot be placed on a par with the Qur’anic text.
The unbeliever and the skeptic have now before them a simple project. They have their life-time. They could decrease the project time by getting together a few like-minded persons to work on the project. The more the members of their “Qur’an Denying” association, the shorter will perhaps the project-time. If they could enlist the help of the American Evangelists, who abuse the Prophet morning and evening on TV and Radio, and the Orientalists of every qualification, they could achieve the objective perhaps in months. With the two classes with them, they will the money and the skill.
There is another way out for the antagonist. Let him take up the Qur’an and prove that a human “could have” written it. Remember, not, “Someone wrote it”, but how “a human” could have written it. There is a huge difference between the two statements. One is made by the Jewish and Christian writers on Islam. The second statement is a challenge to them, which they do not like to hear.
To elaborate, let him who attemptsto prove how “someone” could have written the Qur’an, explain – as the first exercise – the source of scientific statements in the Qur’an. Where did he – the human who he thinks wrote it – get the information from? He may address such scientific statements as are geological, physical, biological, or belonging to other disciplines, regardless of whether such statements first came to be discovered by scientists a few hundred years after the Prophet, or in the 20th century. Let him take up the Qur’anic scientific statements and show when was it for the first time that any human wrote about any of them.
But, if that sounds tough, and it is so, then, let him take those statements of the Qur’an that are also found in Jewish and Christian literatures such as the Torah, the Gospels, the Barnabas Bible, the Talmud, and some other ancient writings. Let him demonstrate how the Prophet got his hands on what is not available to public – such as, e.g., the Talmud – even today.
No, Talmud is not a bird. It is a massive collection of Jewish religious materials. Ah! Amazon.com! Forget it. The book is not there. The book is nowhere. The huge writing has never been published, and will never be published. You can only get some excerpts, stolen out and published in odd volumes. Let him demonstrate how the Prophet got not one or two but dozens of statements from not merely Talmud, but various other religious literatures that no ordinary Jew will ever cast his eye on, until he demonstrates commitment to the Jewish religion for several decades in Jewish seminaries learning the Torah. How did the Prophet, peace be upon him, manage to access the literature that is in Hebrew, of which not a single copy existed in the Arab world 1500 years ago, of which not a single copy exists in the Arab world today, and of which not a single copy exists in the library of the cities of those who assume that a human could have produced the Qur’an?
Proof of the existence of God, through the Qur’anic route is in fact the easier way to solving this perpetual riddle.
Source: Young Muslim Digest, Editorial, April 2006.