Existence of God: Between Faith & Atheism

Existence of God: Between Faith & Atheism

By Truth Seeker Staff

We should bear in mind that abundant as the proofs may be, they are only of avail to those who honestly and sincerely search for the truth.

We should bear in mind that abundant as the proofs may be, they are only of avail to those who honestly and sincerely search for the truth.

Existence of God: Between Faith & Atheism

Mankind, in general, has maintained a belief in the existence of the Creator of the universe since time immemorial.

The duty of the prophets of Allah was not so much to inform their people of Allah’s existence as to warn them against associating others with Him, and to teach them how to serve Him:

“Their messengers said, ‘Is there any doubt concerning Allah, the originator of the Heavens and the Earth?’” (Ibrahim 14:10)

The early Muslim scholars did not even have to address the issue of the Existence of God, for it was a blatantly obvious fact, which nobody questioned. It was only around the fourth century after the Prophet’s migration to Madinah, when people’s doctrine started being infiltrated with atheism and permeated by unbelief that the scholars had to address the issue.

The existence of Allah is established by various categories of proofs, which may be conveniently classified under four categories.

Scriptural

The major religions of the world have scriptures, which teach the existence of the Creator. In particular, the Qur’an, the only revealed book which has remained totally intact and preserved, establishes the existence of Allah by compelling rational arguments, while at the same time serving as an enduring miracle testifying to His reality. It decisively establishes His uniqueness and non-resemblance to creation, and emphasizes that worship is only for Him.

“Fitrah”

As already mentioned, the human being has an inherent and inborn recognition of his Creator. This is a consequence of a pledge which Allah took from the soul of every one of us before we came into this world:

“And [remember], when your Lord took from the children of Adam, their children behind them, and made them testify over their own selves, [saying to them], ‘Am I not your Lord?’ They said, ‘Yea.’” (Al-A`raf 7:172)

Every human being is born with this natural disposition, which is called in Arabic “Fitrah“. Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, has reported that the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said:

“Every child is born upon Fitrah, then it is his parents who make him Jewish, or Christian, or Magian (Zoroastrian), just as an animal delivers a perfect baby animal; do you find it mutilated?” (Al-Bukhari)

But, this “Fitrah” sometimes becomes latent, especially when the human being is in a corrupt and spiritually degenerate environment, which is devoid of reminder and exhortation towards the Lord. The “Fitrah” surfaces, however, in times of calamity and distress. How many avowed atheists find themselves raising their hands to the skies in supplication when in affliction? And how do the staunch unbelievers cry out for deliverance when they are faced with death?

“[Allah] it is who causes you to travel over land and sea; until, when you are in the ships, and they sail with [their passengers] with a fair breeze, and they are glad therein, a tempestuous wind reaches them, waves are coming at them from everywhere, and they think that they are overwhelmed therein; [then] they call to Allah, making their faith pure for Him [alone], ‘If You save us from this, we will surely be among the thankful!’” (Yunus 10:22)

Yet, this sincerity is often short-lived:

“Then, when He saves them, behold, they rebel upon the earth wrongfully.” (Yunus 10:23)

Mankind is all too apt, during the course of his daily life of comfort and enjoyment, to forget his Lord:

“And when some trauma touches man, he calls to his Lord, turning repentant to Him. Then, when He grants him a favor from Himself, he forgets that for which he called to Him before, and sets up partners to Allah.” (Az-Zumar 39:8)

It is to awaken and alert this “Fitrah” that God, in His mercy and wisdom, sent messengers to remind people of their true religion, and to direct them towards fulfilling their commission of serving their Lord. Allah has ordered His prophet to proclaim:

“Say: O mankind! If you are in [any] doubt regarding my religion, then [know that] I do not worship those whom you worship besides Allah, but I worship Allah Who will take your souls (at death): I am commanded to be (in the ranks) of the Believers.” (Yunus 10:104)

The specific mention of death here drives home the stark reality, which even the pagans must concede to when faced with the glaring, intuitive evidence, that Allah alone causes death. The rational individual, then, should prepare for this inevitability by responding to his Lord.

Islam is merely a hearkening by man to his nature, an acceptance of that which is naturally good and intuitively right:

“So, set your face toward the religion in uprightness. That is the “Fitrah” of Allah, upon which He has created mankind. Let there be no changing of Allah’s creation.” (Ar-Rum 30:30)

There are others who stubbornly resist this truth and reject God’s message when it is presented before them, although they are well aware of its veracity. This was the attitude of Pharaoh and his supporters, and its consequences are severe, in this world and the Hereafter:

“They rejected [Our signs], although their own souls were convinced of their truth, out of iniquity and arrogance. See, then, what was the sequel for those who cause corruption!” (An-Naml 27:14)

Yet, even hardened deniers who stand in the way of truth and resist it may grab hold of it at the last moment, before it is too late, for on account of the surfacing of the “Fitrah“, a disbeliever who is faced with death on the battlefield may suddenly embrace Islam. The Muslim who fights in Jihad will similarly be exposed to death frequently, thus enhancing and sharpening his awareness of Allah.

Rational

Health and Islamic PhilosophyIt is intuitively obvious, and confirmed by science, that the universe had a beginning. Every action requires a doer, and thus the existence of creation necessarily indicates the existence of the Creator. Allah appeals to the human mind and rationality:

“Were they created from nothing, or are they [themselves] the creators?” (At-Tur 52:35)

Quite obviously, we have been created, and brought into existence after being non-existent, and it is also plain that we do not create ourselves.

A few years ago, the sands in the “Rub’ al-Khali” desert (the Empty Quarter), of the Arabian Peninsula, were blown away by a windstorm to reveal the ruins of a city that had been covered by the sands. Scientists began to examine the contents of the city to try to determine the period in which it had been built. Nobody among the archaeologists or others even suggested that this city could have appeared as a result of the natural actions of the wind, rain, heat and cold, and not by the actions of man. If anyone had suggested such a thing, people would have regarded him as crazy and would have taken pity on him. So how about if someone had said that this city was formed by the air from nothing in the far distant past, then it settled on the earth?

Having recognized the necessity of the existence of a Creator, one then realizes that there can only be one Creator:

“If there were in [the heavens and the earth] gods other than Allah, [the heavens and earth] would surely have been disordered.” (Al-Anbiya 21:22)

“Allah has not taken a son, nor is there any god with Him, for in that case, each god would assuredly have championed that which he created, and some of them would surely have overcome others. Glorified be Allah above that which they allege!” (Al-Mu’minun 23:91)

Further, this one and only Creator cannot possibly resemble creation:

“Is, then, He Who creates, like he who does not create? Do you not reflect?” (An-Nahl 16:17)

Perceptual

We witness and experience the answering of prayers, and this in itself indicates the existence of Allah:

“When you sought help of your Lord, and He answered you.” (Al-Anfal 8:9)

Al-Bukhari and Muslim, may Allah have mercy upon them, have both narrated the Prophet’s saying in which a Bedouin asked the Prophet, peace be upon him, to pray for rain, since crops were perishing and people were starving. The prophet prayed to Allah for rain, and almost immediately clouds began to gather and it began raining heavily. Also in this category of evidence are the miracles which people witness at the hands of the prophets, including the splitting of the moon by Muhammad, peace be upon him, and the enduring miracle of the Qur’an.

Finally, we should bear in mind that abundant as the proofs may be, they are only of avail to those who honestly and sincerely search for the truth. As for those obdurate ones who simply refuse to believe, they will not cease their idle disputation:

“And they say: ‘Our hearts are in a covering from that to which you call us, and in our ears is a deafness, and between us and you is a veil, so act, we [also] are acting.” (Fussilat 41:5)

“Those against whom the decree of your Lord has been verified, will not believe, although every sign should come to them, until they see the painful punishment.” (Yunus 10:96-97)

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Courtesy Islamweb.net web site – http://www.islamweb.net with slight editorial modifications.

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Book review: “Why Science Does Not Disprove God”

Book review: “Why Science Does Not Disprove God”

By Alan Lightman

Aczel discusses the mysteries of “emergent” phenomena — when a complex system exhibits a qualitative behavior that cannot be explained in terms of the workings of its individual parts.

Aczel discusses the mysteries of “emergent” phenomena — when a complex system exhibits a qualitative behavior that cannot be explained in terms of the workings of its individual parts.

“Why Science Does Not Disprove God”

In “Einstein, God, and the Big Bang,” a colorful chapter of his new book, Amir D. Aczel maintains that Albert Einstein truly believed in God. He points out that Einstein attended synagogue during his year in Prague (1913).

He repeats several famous Einstein utterances mentioning the Deity: “Subtle is the Lord, but malicious he is not” and “I want to know God’s thoughts — the rest are details.” And he quotes from a letter the great physicist wrote to a little girl in January 1936:

“Everyone who is seriously interested in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that some spirit is manifest in the laws of the universe, one that is vastly superior to that of man.”

Aczel goes on to express strong displeasure with such people as physicist Lawrence Krauss and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins (who, in his bestseller “The God Delusion,” says that Einstein “didn’t really mean it”) when they cast Einstein as an atheist in support of their diatribes against religious belief.

Dawkins; Krauss, with his bestseller “A Universe From Nothing”; and Sam Harris, with his bestseller “The End of Faith,” are prominent New Atheists, who use modern science to argue that God is not only unnecessary but unlikely to exist at all, even behind the curtains. There’s a certain religious fervor in all these books. Atheists, unite.

Aczel, trained as a mathematician, currently a research fellow in the history of science at Boston University and the author of “Fermat’s Last Theorem,” takes aim at the New Atheists in his intelligent and stimulating book “Why Science Does Not Disprove God.” He attempts to show that the New Atheists’ analyses fall far short of disproving the existence of God. In fact, he accuses these folks of staining the scientific enterprise by bending it to their dark mission.

(“The purpose of this book is to defend the integrity of science,” he writes in his introduction.) Yet Aczel has a sly mission of his own. Invoking various physical phenomena that do not (yet) have convincing scientific explanations, he sets out not only to debunk the arguments of the New Atheists but also to gently suggest that the findings of science actually point to the existence of God.

In stockpiling his arguments, Aczel quotes from his interviews with dozens of leading scientists and theologians, and interprets statements in a range of popular writings. The resulting book is part science (interesting but superficial summaries of cosmology, quantum mechanics, evolutionary biology, chaos theory), part history of religion, part philosophy, part spirituality, and a modicum of backbiting and invective. The latter applies to the writings of the New Atheists as well.

Let’s start with the origin of the universe. There is plenty of good scientific evidence that our universe began about 14 billion years ago, in a Big Bang of enormously high density and temperature, long before planets, stars and even atoms existed. But what came before? Krauss in his book discusses the current thinking of physicists that our entire universe could have emerged from a jitter in the amorphous haze of the subatomic world called the quantum foam, in which energy and matter can materialize out of nothing.

(On the level of single subatomic particles, physicists have verified in the lab that such creation from “nothing” can occur.) Krauss’s punch line is that we do not need God to create the universe. The quantum foam can do it quite nicely all on its own. Aczel asks the obvious question: But where did the quantum foam come from? Where did the quantum laws come from? Hasn’t Krauss simply passed the buck? Legitimate questions. But ones we will probably never be able to answer.

In his foray into biology, Aczel says the theory of evolution is flawed. In particular, he points out that it does not explain altruistic behavior with no apparent survival benefit to the genes of the do-gooder. He cites a recent example of a Mount Everest climbing expedition in which an Israeli climber was well on his way to the top when he discovered a fallen Turkish climber who had lost his face mask and oxygen supply. At the cost of his own fingers and toes to frostbite, and sacrificing the glory of reaching the summit, the Israeli stopped and saved the life of the Turkish fellow. Why did he do it? “Human decency and goodness,” Aczel writes, with the implication that such qualities come from religion and spirituality. (In another chapter, he explains how a code of morality developed in early religions.)

Aczel discusses the mysteries of “emergent” phenomena — when a complex system exhibits a qualitative behavior that cannot be explained in terms of the workings of its individual parts: for example, the emergence of self-replicating life from inanimate molecules or the emergence of consciousness from a collection of connected neurons. He writes, “The inexplicability of such emergent phenomena is the reason why we cannot disprove the idea of some creative power behind everything.”

I disagree. It is not the inability of science to explain some physical phenomenon that shows we cannot disprove the existence of a creative power (i.e., God). Science is a work in progress, and phenomena that science cannot explain now may be explained 100 years from now. Before the 18th century, people had no explanation for lightning. The reason that science cannot disprove the existence of God, in my opinion, is that God, as understood by all human religions, exists outside time and space. God is not part of our physical universe (although God may choose to enter the physical universe at times). God is not subject to experimental tests. Either you believe or you don’t believe.

Thus, no matter what scientific evidence is amassed to explain the architecture of atoms, or the ways that neurons exchange chemical and electrical signals to create the sensations in our minds, or the manner in which the universe may have been born out of the quantum foam, science cannot disprove the existence of God — any more than a fish can disprove the existence of trees. Likewise, no matter what gaps exist in current scientific knowledge, no matter what baffling good deeds people do, no matter what divine and spiritual feelings people have, theology cannot prove the existence of God. The most persuasive evidence of God, according to the great philosopher and psychologist William James in his landmark book “The Varieties of Religious Experience” (1902), is not physical or objective or provable. It is the highly personal transcendent experience.

There is one scientific conundrum that practically screams out the limitations of both science and religion. And that is the “fine tuning” problem. For the past 50 years or so, physicists have become more and more aware that various fundamental parameters of our universe appear to be fine-tuned to allow the emergence of life — not only life as we know it but life of any kind. For example, if the nuclear force were slightly stronger than it is, then all of the hydrogen atoms in the infant universe would have fused with other hydrogen atoms to make helium, and there would be no hydrogen left. No hydrogen means no water. On the other hand, if the nuclear force were substantially weaker than it is, then the complex atoms needed for biology could not hold together.

In another, even more striking example, if the cosmic “dark energy” discovered 15 years ago were a little denser than it actually is, our universe would have expanded so rapidly that matter could never have pulled itself together to form stars. And if the dark energy were a little smaller, the universe would have collapsed long before stars had time to form. Atoms are made in stars. Without stars there would be no atoms and no life.

So, the question is: Why? Why do these parameters lie in the narrow range that allows life? There are three possibilities: First, there might be some as-yet-unknown physics that requires these parameters to be what they are. But this explanation is highly questionable — why should the laws of physics care about the emergence of life? Second possibility: God created the universe, God wanted life (for whatever reasons), so God designed the universe so that it would allow life. Third possibility, and the one favored by many physicists today: Our universe is one of zillions of different universes with a huge range of parameters, including many different values for the strength of the nuclear force and the density of dark energy.

Some universes have stars and planets, some do not. Some harbor life, some do not. In this scenario, our universe is simply an accident. If our particular universe did not have the right parameters to allow the emergence of life, we wouldn’t be here to talk about it. In a similar way, Earth happens to be at the right distance from the sun to have liquid water, a nice oxygen atmosphere and so on. We can ask why our planet has all these lovely properties, amenable to life. And the explanation is that there is nothing special or designed about Earth. Other planets exist. But if we lived on Mercury, where the temperature is 800 degrees, or on Neptune, where it is 328 degrees below zero, we could not exist. Unfortunately, it is almost certain that we cannot prove the existence of these other universes. We must accept their existence as a matter of faith.

And here we come to the fascinating irony of the fine-tuning problem. Both the theological explanation and the scientific explanation require faith. To be sure, there are huge differences between science and religion. Religion knows about the transcendent experience. Science knows about the structure of DNA and the orbits of planets. Religion gathers its knowledge largely by personal testament. Science gathers its knowledge by repeated experiments and mathematical calculations, and has been enormously successful in explaining much of the physical universe. But, in the manner I have described, faith enters into both enterprises.

Several years ago, I thought that the writings and arguments of such people as Dawkins and Aczel, attempting to disprove or prove the existence of God, were a terrible waste of calories. I have changed my mind. I now believe that the discussions of science and religion, even the attempts of one side to disprove the other, are part of the continuing and restorative conversation of humanity with itself. In the end, all of our art, our science and our theological beliefs are an attempt to make sense of this fabulous and fleeting existence we find ourselves in.

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Alan Lightman is a physicist, novelist and professor of the practice of the humanities at MIT. His latest book is “The Accidental Universe.”

 

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False Eyes

False Eyes

By A. O.

False Eyes

Such a convincing pattern can be the result only of sublime Creation, not of coincidences.

False Eyes

There are some wonderful and unimaginably interesting defence methods in the animal world. One of these is false eyes.

With such false eyes, various butterflies, caterpillars and fish species convince their enemies that they are “dangerous”.

The butterflies open their wings as soon as they sense danger and display a pair of eyes on each of their wings which appear quite threatening to their enemies.

Let us take our time and think: can these extremely convincing eyes be the result of a coincidence? How does the butterfly know that a pair of scary eyes appear when it opens its wings and that the sight of them would frighten its enemy? Has the butterfly happened to see the pattern on its wings and decided that this pattern was frightening and that it could use it in a moment of danger?

Such a convincing pattern can be the result only of sublime Creation, not of coincidences. Moreover, it is by no means possible to think that the butterfly is aware of the patterns on its wings and discovered this as a defence tactic by itself. It is obvious that Allah, Who created the butterfly, bestowed on its body such a pattern and inspired in the animal the instinct to use it in moments of danger.

A Note by the Editor:

Allah the Almighty says in the Ever-Glorious Qur’an what means,

“He [Allah] hath created the heavens without supports that ye can see and hath cast into the earth firm hills so that it quake not with you, and He hath dispersed therein all kinds of beasts. And We send down water from the sky and We cause (plants) of every goodly kind to grow therein. This is the Creation of Allah. Now show me that which those (ye worship) beside Him have created. Nay, but the wrongdoers are in error manifest!” (Luqman 31: 10-11)

And,

“We shall show them Our portents on the horizons and within themselves until it will be manifest unto them that it is the Truth. Doth not thy Lord suffice since He is Witness over all things? How! Are they still in doubt about the meeting with their Lord? Lo! Is not He surrounding all things?” (Fussilat 41: 53-54)

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A. O. is a Turkish writer and author.

 

 

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From Non-Being to Being

From Non-Being to Being

By A. O.

From Non-Being to Being

Materialism is a false system of thought that holds matter to be an absolute being and denies the existence of anything but matter.

From Non-Being to Being

The questions of how the universe originated, where it leads to, and how the laws maintaining its order and balance work have always been topics of interest. Scientists and thinkers have thought about this subject endlessly and have produced quite a few theories.

The prevailing thought until the early 20th century was that the universe was of infinite size, that it had existed since eternity, and that it would continue to exist forever. According to this mistaken view, called the “static universe model”, the universe had neither a beginning nor an end.

Laying the groundwork for the materialist philosophy, this mistaken view foolishly denied the apparent existence of Allah while it maintained that the universe is a constant, stable, and unchanging collection of matter.

Materialism is a false system of thought that holds matter to be an absolute being and denies the existence of anything but matter. Having its roots in ancient Greece and gaining ever-increasing acceptance in the 19th century, this system of thought became famous in the shape of the dialectical materialism of Karl Marx.

As we have stated earlier, the static universe model of the 19th century prepared the ground for the materialist philosophy. In his book Principes Fondamentaux de Philosophie, George Politzer stated an erroneous idea concerning the basis of this unscientific universe model, i.e., that “the universe was not a created object”, and added:

If it were, then it would have to be created instantaneously by God and brought into existence from nothing. To admit Creation, one has to admit, in the first place, the existence of a moment when the universe did not exist, and that something came out of nothingness. This is something to which science cannot accede.

When Politzer asserted that the universe was not created out of nothingness, he was relying on the static universe model of the 19th century, and thinking that he was making a scientific claim. However, the 20th century’s developing science and technology demolished primitive concepts such as the static universe model that had laid the ground for the materialists. Today, in the early 21st century, modern physics has proved with many experiments, observations and calculations that the universe had a beginning and that it was created out of nothing with a big explosion.

That the universe had a beginning means that the cosmos was brought into being out of nothing, that is, that it was created. If a created thing exists (which did not exist beforehand), then it certainly should have a Creator. Being from non-being is something inconceivable to the human mind. Therefore, being from non-being is very different from bringing objects together to form a new object (such as works of art or technological inventions). It is a sign of Allah’s Creation alone that everything formed perfectly all at once and in a single moment, when the created things had no previous examples and not even time and space existed in which to create them.

The coming of the universe into being from non-being is the greatest proof possible that it has been created. Consideration of this fact will change a lot of things. It helps people understand the meaning of life and review their attitudes and purposes. This is why many scientific communities have tried to disregard the fact of Creation which they could not fully comprehend, even though its evidence was clear to them. The fact that all scientific evidence points to the existence of a Creator has compelled them to invent alternatives and thus create confusion in the minds of people. Nevertheless, the evidence of science itself puts a definite end to these theories.

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A. O. is a Turkish writer and author.

 

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The Eye of Habit

The Eye of Habit

By A. O.

For the majority of people, the same situation applies in many areas of their lives.

The Eye of Habit

When people come across certain things for the first time, they may understand the extraordinary nature of them and this may spur them to further inspect what they see. After a while, however, they develop a habitual resistance to those things and they no longer impress them. In particular, an object or happening they meet every day becomes “ordinary” for them.

For instance, it makes a great impression on some prospective doctors the first time they see a corpse, or the first time one of their patients dies. This makes them ponder deeply. It may be that all of a sudden they face the lifeless, almost stuff-like body of a person, who was, just a few minutes ago, full of life, laughing, making plans, talking, taking pleasure, eyes sparkling with life. The first time a cadaver is laid down in front of them for autopsy, they think over everything they see in that corpse: that the body decays so fast, that a repugnant smell comes out of it, that the hair once so pleasant to look at become so unpleasant that one doesn’t want to touch it, are all subjects they think about. After those they think this: the composition of everyone’s body is the same and everyone will meet the same end, that is, they too will become like this.

Yet, after seeing a couple of cadavers or losing a couple of patients, these people develop a habitual resistance to certain things. They begin to treat cadavers, and even patients, as if they are objects.

Surely, this situation does not hold true for doctors alone. For the majority of people, the same situation applies in many areas of their lives. For example, when a person who lives in difficulty is granted a pleasant life-style, he understands that everything he possesses is a blessing for him. That his bed is more comfortable, his house has a beautiful view, he can buy everything he wants, he can heat his house in winter as he wishes, he can easily move by car, and many other things are all blessings for this person. Thinking of his old state, he rejoices at each of these. Yet someone who possesses these means from birth may not think so much about their worth. So, his appreciation of these blessings does not become possible unless he thinks over them.

For a man who ponders, on the other hand, it makes no difference whether he possesses these blessings from birth or attained them afterwards. He never looks at his possessions in a habitual way. He knows that anything he owns has been created by Allah and Allah may take them back from him if He wills. For example, believers say the following prayer when they mount their riding beasts, that is, their vehicles:

“So that you might sit firmly on their backs and remember your Lord’s blessing while you are seated on them, saying, “Glory be to Him who has subjected this to us. We could never have done it by ourselves. Indeed we are returning to our Lord!”” (Al-Zukhruf: 13-14)

In another verse, it is said that when believers enter their gardens, they remember Allah and say, “It is as Allah wills, there is no strength but in Allah” (Al-Kahf: 39). Whenever they enter their gardens, they think that Allah has created and sustains this garden. On the other hand, a man who does not think maybe impressed the first time he sees a beautiful garden, but then it becomes an ordinary place for him. His admiration fades for the beauty therein. Some people do not realize these blessings at all since they do not think. They take these blessings as “usual” and “something that already had to exist”. Therefore, they cannot derive pleasure from their beauty.

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A. O. is a Turkish writer and author.

 

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God’s Infinite Greatness and Power

God’s Infinite Greatness and Power

By A. O.

God

God also possesses the power to create many other things beyond our limited imagination

God’s Infinite Greatness and Power

God created the order of the universe in superb detail to allow man to grasp His greatness. A verse referring to this order reads, “…so that you might know that God has power over all things and that God encompasses all things in His knowledge.” (At-Talaq: 12). Faced with the sublimity of the details of this order, man becomes in awe, recognizing that God’s wisdom, knowledge and might is infinite.

So expansive is God’s knowledge that what for us is “infinite” is in His sight already ended. Every event that has taken place since the creation of time, until deep into eternity, was predetermined and ended in God’s sight. This is related in the Qur’an as follows:

“We have created all things in due measure. Our command is only one word, like the blinking of an eye. We destroyed those of your kind in the past. But is there any rememberer there? Everything they did is in the Books. Everything is recorded, big or small.” (Al-Qamar: 49-53)

Man must seek to appreciate the extent of God’s knowledge, and reflect to comprehend His greatness.

Billions of people have appeared on earth since time immemorial. Therefore, God created billions of pairs of eyes, billions of different fingerprints, billions of different eye tissues, billions of different types of humans… If He so willed, He could also create billions more. As stated in the Qur’an,

“…He adds to creation in any way He wills. God has power over all things.” (Fatir: 1)

God also possesses the power to create many other things beyond our limited imagination. The entire extent of the treasures God has bestowed in this world for His servants is all within His sight. He sends down to us only that which He wills, all within a measure predetermined:

“There is nothing that does not have its stores with Us and We only send it down in a known measure.” (Al-Hijr: 21)

This matter, manifested everywhere in God’s superb creation, holds true for both that which we know as well as that which we do not. To this, God draws attention in the verse, “…and He creates other things you do not know.” (Al-Nahl: 8), He creates many other things of which we are entirely unaware.

God has created many worlds and beings which we cannot see. To better understand the possibility of the existence of other worlds, we should consider the following: a picture is two dimensional—width and length. The world in which we live, however, is 3 dimensional—width, length and depth—(time can be considered as the 4th dimension). The rest is beyond our comprehension. However, in the sight of God, there are other dimensions. Angels, for instance, are beings that live in another dimension.

According to the Qur’an, angels can see and hear us from the dimension and space in which they exist. Furthermore, the two angels, seated on our either shoulder, each, and at every moment, is recording every word we speak and every deed we do. Yet, we do not see them. Jinn are also beings of another dimension, as we are informed by the Qur’an. They, like us human beings, are also tested, all through their lives, and will ultimately be brought before judgement by God. However, they are possessed of completely different attributes than humans; their existence is dependent upon an entirely different system of cause and effect.

These are all facts that deserve careful consideration in order to attain a better grasp of God’s splendid creation. It is within God’s power to create innumerable new worlds, beings and situations. Furthermore, each is He able to create with a limitless degree of differentiation. Indeed, in a nature unknown to us, God will create Paradise and Hell. While systems left to their own in this world tend to age, become corrupted, and eventually expire, in Paradise, unaffected by the passage of time, nothing will deteriorate; “rivers of milk whose taste will never change” is an example to elucidate this feature of Paradise.

The human body too will not degenerate; nor will anything ever age. According to the Qur’an, everyone in Paradise will be of like age, will live together for all eternity, in the best condition, and without growing older or losing their beauty. God also informs us in the Qur’an that in it will be bursting springs for us from which to drink. Hell, on the other hand, will be utterly different; in it, God will create unimaginable torment. No one will be able to conceive the pain of such torment until he experiences it.

On everything in this world, God has placed a limit. Everything has a finite existence. This being the case, in order to comprehend “eternity,” and God’s infinite might, we need to exercise our minds and compare these ideas with something that is familiar. We can only come to know to the extent that God permits us. God, however, is infinite in knowledge. Let us consider the following example, God has created 7 basic colors. It is impossible for us to visualize another color. (The case is similar to describing the color red to someone who is blind by birth; no description would be adequate.) However, God is able to create more than these basic colors. Although, unless He so wills, we will never be able to have a grasp that which is beyond what He has willed for us to know.

All that we have just mentioned belongs to that knowledge that God has allotted us in this world. But, one point deserves particular attention; because God’s power and might is infinite, anything can happen, and at any time, by His will. God’s Messenger, the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) also referred to the eternal power of God when he said, “The seven heavens and the seven earths are no more in God’s Hand than a mustard seed in the hand of one of you.” God explains the infiniteness of His knowledge in the Qur’an as follows:

“If all the trees on earth were pens and all the sea, with seven more seas besides, was ink God’s words still would not run dry. God is Almighty, All-Wise.” (Luqman: 27)

In brief, no matter how hard we strive to do so, we cannot possibly come to grasp the extent of God’s knowledge, because it is unlimited. We can comprehend it only as far as God permits us to do so:

“God, there is no god but Him, the Living, the Self-Sustaining. He is not subject to drowsiness or sleep. Everything in the heavens and the earth belongs to Him. Who can intercede with Him except by His permission? He knows what is before them and what is behind them but they cannot grasp any of His knowledge save what He wills. His Footstool encompasses the heavens and the earth and their preservation does not tire Him. He is the Most High, the Magnificent.” (Al-Baqarah: 255)

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A. O. is a Turkish writer and author.

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God Exists. Full Stop!

God Exists. Full Stop!

By Truth Seeker Staff

God Exists. Full Stop was created by the London Dawah Movement (LDM) under the same title.

It answers the question the following question: Do we really need anything to prove the existence of God?

Before answering or watching the answer to this question, let us look into the meaning of God in Islam.

The first and most important teaching of Islam is the oneness or uniqueness of God (Allah). This teaching is the first part of the first pillar of Islam and the first article of faith that Muslims must believe. Islam teaches a oneness of Allah that goes beyond the English term “one.”

In the 112th chapter of the Qur’an, Surah Al-Ikhlas, Allah explains to humanity how to believe in Him. This Chapter is so important that some narrations of the Prophet Mohammed (Peace and blessings be upon him) say, if the Qur’an were to be divided into three sections, the meaning of Surah Al-Ikhlas would represent 1/3 of the overall content of the Qur’an. Surah Al-Ikhlas reads as follows (in meaning),

“Say, Allah is ahad (unique/one). Allah is He on Whom all depend. He begets not, nor is He begotten. And none is like unto Him.” (Al-Ikhlas, 1-4)

Some non-Muslims allege that God in Islam is a stern and cruel one who demands to be obeyed fully and is not loving and kind. Nothing could be farther from the truth than this allegation. It is enough to know that, with the exception of one, each of the 114 chapters of the Qur’an begins with the verse ” In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate”. In one of the sayings of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), we are told that “Allah is more loving and kind than a mother to her dear child”.

On the other hand, Allah is also Just. Hence, evildoers and sinners must have their share of punishment, and the virtuous must have God’s bounties and favors. Actually, God’s attribute of Mercy has full manifestation in His attribute of Justice. People suffering throughout their lives for His sake should not receive similar treatment from their Lord as people who oppress and exploit others their whole lives. Expecting similar treatment for them would amount to negating the very belief in the accountability of man in the Hereafter and thereby negate all the incentives for a moral and virtuous life in this world.

You can also read on the concept of God in Islam under the sections: Does God Exist? and Oasis of Faith. Also, many materials on this topic can be found on The Comprehensive Muslim e-Library.

Now, coming to our previous question, Do we really need anything to prove the existence of God? The answer is that we do not as this is clearly evident from many various perspectives.

Join us to see and learn more about this vital question and its answer.

 

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This video was taken with due reference from the London Dawah Movement (LDM).

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Understanding the Nature of God: A King Like Other Kings?

Understanding the Nature of God: A King Like Other Kings?

By Shahul Hameed

Question:

When used about Allah, the word king means the Source of all Power, the Ultimate Authority, the Unquestionable Ruler, the Law-Giver, etc.

When used about Allah, the word king means the Source of all Power, the Ultimate Authority, the Unquestionable Ruler, the Law-Giver, etc.

Koran says: “there is nothing in existence like unto Him.” But (I’ll cite just one name here, Big Brother has 99 names), Allah’s name is “the King.” So… either He is like a king or not. If so, then Surat Al-Ikhlas is invalid, for He IS like something. If not, why call Him King in the first place?

Answer:

To understand this concept, we need to understand that Muslims believe that in the noble Qur’an it is Allah Almighty Who addresses humans. And Muslims also believe that Allah is the All-Powerful, All-Knowing, Sovereign God of everything in existence.

Allah is Transcendent (that is, existing beyond our mundane world of space and time), and it is He Who created humans having a body and soul, and placed them on earth as His vicegerents or ambassadors.

Humanity’s Progress… or Not

As humans have been appointed as Allah’s vicegerents on earth, He bestowed on them special powers and capabilities like reason, imagination, memory, inquisitiveness, etc.

It is these powers of humans that have enabled them to make huge progress in the fields of science, technology, and art.

Yet, humanity’s achievements as moral and spiritual beings are quite dismal. Muslims believe that this is because of their negligence of the divine guidance Allah Almighty has given them.

In the noble Qur’an, we find the Transcendent God of the universe addressing temporal humans through revelation. Revelation of the divine message takes place in human language, whether it is Hebrew, Aramaic, or Arabic.

Language: A Part of History and Culture

We know that a language used by a people is part and parcel of the history and culture of that people. And for this reason, the best medium of expression for a particular people is their own language. So we do not have verbal equivalents in one language for certain ideas easily expressed in another language.

For instance, the Eskimo language has a wide range of words to describe the subtle changes in snowfall.

The Arabic language may not have equivalents for all those words. But Arabic has words for different kinds of desert winds, which the Eskimos cannot imagine.

The foregoing means that people in one culture do not understand aspects of life in another culture. If so, how can we humans who are confined within the narrow bounds of this world clearly understand the nature of God whose existence transcends our world of space and time?

Conveying Ideas through Similes and Metaphors

The only possibility is to use similes and metaphors based on our life experiences to convey some ideas of the transcendent reality. That is what we see in the noble Qur’an, when God speaks about Himself.

God has no beginning, no end; while humans have a beginning and an end; so humans have difficulty in conceiving a Being so entirely different from them, while the truth is that there is nothing in the world like God.

As part of the divine guidance in the Qur’an, God teaches us what our role in the world is. To put the whole subject in perspective, He tells us about Himself in the first place, as far as we humans can understand His transcendent nature, which is unique and so unlike anything we know of.

If people have a good idea of the many styles and devices writers adopt to convey abstruse and difficult ideas, they can easily find an answer to the question you raised.

In fact, creative writers employ many literary devices to drive home their ideas or to appeal to people’s aesthetic sense. For instance, there are figures of speech like similes and metaphors commonly used in language for effective expression.

A simile is used for comparison highlighting some point of similarity in essentially different things. Here is the definition of “simile” as given in the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition:

n. A figure of speech in which two essentially unlike things are compared, often in a phrase introduced by like or as, as in “How like the winter hath my absence been” or “So are you to my thoughts as food to life” (Shakespeare).

Look at the two examples of simile quoted from Shakespeare: In both cases, the comparison is between essentially unlike things, but the word “like” is used for suggesting some comparable aspect between the things being compared.

There is another figure of speech called “metaphor” which is defined by the American Heritage Dictionary:

n. A figure of speech in which a word or phrase that ordinarily designates one thing is used to designate another, thus making an implicit comparison, as in “a sea of troubles” or “All the world’s a stage” (Shakespeare).

In the first example above, troubles in large number are compared to a sea, and in the second example, the world is called a stage (that is, a stage for dramatic performances). We know the differences between numerousness and the sea; as well as between the world and a stage. But we do not take those expressions literally.

The Apparent Contradiction in Question

In the light of the foregoing, let us look at the way the comparison you mentioned is used in the glorious Qur’an. Here is a translation of Surat Al-Ikhlas:

“Say: He is Allah, the One and Only; Allah, the Eternal, Absolute; He begets not, nor is He begotten; And there is none like unto Him.” (Al-Ikhlas 112:1-4)

But in Surat An-Nas, we see that Allah calls Himself:

“The King (or Ruler) of Humankind.” ( An-Nas 114:2)

You pointed out that there is a contradiction between the verse “there is none like unto Him” and the verse, “the King of humankind.”

But let us see how expressions of that kind work. For instance, see the following pair of sentences:

1. There has never been a poet like Kalidasa.

2. Kalidasa was the Shakespeare of India.

By way of explanation we can say: Kalidasa was the greatest poet of India as Shakespeare was the greatest poet of England.

We do not see any incompatibility between the above two statements.

Now see the following:

1. There is no one like Allah.

2. Allah is the King of Humankind.

By way of explanation we can say:

There is no one like Allah.

There is no king like Allah.

And there is no king like the King of Humankind, that is, Allah.

What Does God’s Being a King Mean?

And when we say that Allah is the King of Humankind, we do not mean that Allah has the same limitations as a king on earth has. It is clear as crystal (another simile!) that Allah is the King without any limits, Whose throne encompasses everything in creation.

When used about Allah, the word king means the Source of all Power, the Ultimate Authority, the Unquestionable Ruler, the Law-Giver, etc.

In all these senses, He is a king, but He is so different from all human kings. Thus it is true that He is a king in this special sense. The word king is used because it conveys a concept that we can understand and is useful to give us some idea of God.

This is the way Allah can be described in a human language, as far as He can be described. So there is no contradiction between Surat Al-Ikhlas and Surat An-Nas. That is to say, both surahs convey ideas that are perfectly valid.

————

This article is based on a question and its answer that was published on onislam.net in 2012 by Professor Shahul Hameed.

Professor Shahul Hameed is a consultant to Ask About Islam. He was previously the Head of the Department of English, Farook College, Calicut University, India. He also held the position of president of the Kerala Islamic Mission, Calicut, India. He is the author of three books on Islam published in the Malayalam language. His books are on comparative religion, the status of women, and science and human values. Professor Hameed has published poems and articles in various magazines. He has also presented papers and given talks on topics related to Islam in several conferences and seminars.

 

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Where Is God?

Where Is God?

By Aisha Stacey

where is God

Around the world and down through the ages people have struggled to come to terms with the question of where God is.

Where Is God?

Now and again human beings are prompted to ask themselves some of life’s truly profound questions. In the quiet darkness of the night, when far off stars twinkle in the vast, majestic sky, or in the cold, hard, light of day when life rushes past like a speeding train, people of all colors, races, and creeds wonder about the meaning of their existence. Why are we here? What does this all mean? Is this all there is?

On magnificent days filled with sunshine and iridescent blue skies, people turn their faces towards the sun and contemplate its beauty. In the deepest winter or the wildest storm, they ponder the strength inherent in the forces of nature. Somewhere in the deep recesses of the mind, the concept of God arises. The wonders of creation are a call to the heart and the soul. The gentle touch of a snowflake, the smell of freshly cut lawn, the soft patter of raindrops and fierce wind of a hurricane are all reminders that this world is full of wonder.

When pain and sadness threaten to engulf us, human beings are again prompted to contemplate the meaning of life. In the midst of suffering and grief, the concept of God arises. Even those who would consider themselves far from religion or spiritual belief find themselves looking skywards and pleading for help. When the heart constricts and fear swamps us, we turn helplessly towards some sort of higher power. The concept of a God then becomes real and meaningful.

In the midst of pleading and bargaining, the sheer vastness of the universe is laid bare. The reality of life is filled with awe and wonder. It is a rollercoaster ride. There are moments of great joy and periods of immense sadness. Life can be long and monotonous or it can be carefree. As God arises and His majesty is clear, more questions begin to take shape. One question that inevitably comes to mind is – where is God?

Around the world and down through the ages people have struggled to come to terms with the question of where God is. The human inclination is to search for God. The ancient Babylonians and Egyptians built lofty towers in their search for God. The Persians looked for Him in the fire. Still others, such as the indigenous people of North America and the Celtic people looked for God in the glorious signs of nature around them. Buddhists find God in themselves, and in the Hindu religion, God is believed to be in every place and in everything.

The quest for God can be confusing. When posing the question where is God, the resulting answers can also be confusing. God is everywhere. God is in your heart. God is where goodness and beauty exist. What happens, however, when your heart is empty and your surroundings are dismal, dirty, and ugly? Does God cease to exist? No! Of course not! Amidst this confusion, the Islamic concept of God is a beacon of light for those stumbling in the darkness.

What Muslims believe about God is clear-cut and simple. They do not believe that God is everywhere; they believe that God is above the heavens. The human need to turn our faces towards the sky in times of trouble and strife is an inherent answer to the question, where is God? God tells us in the Quran that He is the Most High (Al-Baqarah 2:255) and that He is above all His Creation.

“He it is Who created the heavens and the earth in six Days and then rose over the Throne (in a manner that suits His Majesty). He knows what goes into the earth and what comes forth from it, what descends from the heaven and what ascends thereto. And He is with you (by His Knowledge) whosesoever you may be. And God is the All-Seer of what you do.” (Al-Hadid 57:4)

Prophet Muhammad was known to point towards the sky when referring to God. When making supplication to God he raised his hands towards the heavens. During his Farewell sermon, Prophet Muhammad asked the people, “Have I not conveyed the message?” and they said, “Yes!” He asked again, “Have I not conveyed the message?” and they said, “Yes!” He asked a third time, “Have I not conveyed the message?” and they said “Yes!” Each time, he said, “O God, bear witness!” – at the same time pointing up to the sky and then at the people.[1]

God is above the heavens, above His creation. This, however, does not mean that He is contained by any sort of physical dimensions. God is close, very close, to those who believe in Him and He answers their every call. God knows all of our secrets, dreams, and wishes, nothing is hidden from Him. God is with His creation by His knowledge and power. God is the Creator and the Sustainer. Nothing comes into existence except by His will.

When Muslims marvel at the wonders of the universe they are secure in the knowledge that God, the Most High, is above the heavens, and comforted by the fact that He is with them in all their affairs. When a Muslim is struck by loss or grief, he does not question God’s wisdom, or ask the question, ‘where was God when I was sad or grieving or suffering?’ Humankind was created to worship God, (Al-Waqi`ah 56:51) and God said many times that trials and tribulations would be part of our life experience.

“And He it is Who has created the heavens and the earth in six Days …that He might try you, which of you is the best in deeds.” (Hud 11:7)

In their darkest night, or their darkest hour humankind instinctively looks towards the sky. When their hearts beat heavily and fear threatens to overwhelm them, people turn to God. They raise their hands and beg for mercy, forgiveness, or kindness, and God responds; For He is the Most Merciful, the Most Forgiving and the Most Kind. God is distinct and separate from His creation, and there is nothing like Him. He is All-Hearing and All-Seeing. (Ash-Shura 42:11) Hence when we ask the question where is God, the answer is undoubtedly, He is above the heavens and above all His creation. We also say that He is not in need of any of His creation and all of creation needs Him.

 

Footnotes:

[1] The text of the Farewell Sermon can be found in Saheeh Bukhari and Saheeh Muslim, and in the books of At Tirmidhi and Imam Ahmad.

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Taken with slight editorial modifications from www.islamreligion.com

Aisha Stacey is an Australian revert to Islam. She currently spends her time between Australia and Qatar. Aisha works as a writer at the Fanar Cultural Islamic Centre in Doha, Qatar while studying for an Arts/Psychology degree.

 

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How Do We Know God Exists?

How Do We Know God Exists?

By Dr. Jamal Badawi

God Exists

Everything is put together to sustain human life.

Even on a very fundamental level, we find that throughout history there is a very strange phenomenon that people of different backgrounds, living in so many different parts of the world at different points in time, have always had this strong urge within themselves to look and to yearn for the Creator. They see that there is some power, a magnificent and merciful power that is sometimes interpreted in a mistaken way by materializing that in some form or other (i.e. idols). The basic yearning has always been there. Even in places where there is no recorded history of a particular prophet, people have yearned for a Creator. That’s what I’m referring to as an innate nature. The Arabic term is ‘fitra.’ Fitra literally translates to something that one is created with or created in accordance with this innate nature.

Is the intellect an enemy to faith?

All human faculties such as the senses including also the intellect are part and parcel of the whole process of seeking the truth. None of these by themselves will be sufficient, but as a whole, they are not really in contradiction. In fact, I would say, even more positively, that from a Muslim point of view one of the main things that make the human being distinct, one of the basic blessings that he is given by God to make him different from animals since animals can think as well, is intellect. So the intellect is a God-given gift or blessing. How could we interpret that as a challenge or antithesis of faith? This doesn’t really stand.

On the personal or individual level, one doesn’t have to venture far to realize that God does exist. Just look into yourself, you don’t have to be a scientist but if you are then you’ll appreciate more the construction of the body; how it is made up of many cells. One cell becomes a cell for sight and the other for hearing; it’s amazing. How does the brain operate? The circulatory system? The digestive system? The nervous system? Such coordination and beauty [is shown through their functioning]. This shows that these things didn’t come to be in a haphazard way, there must have been a deliberate design behind them. So if you want to find God then look into yourself. The Qur’an says, “By looking into yourselves, you will find evidence to the presence and powers of God.

In another verse it even says, “Do they not reflect in their own minds?” (Al-Rum 30:8) In fact, if one really divorces himself from any prejudice caused by societal pressures one way or the other, or the worship of science as the ultimate thing, if one utilizes science in the proper way, you wouldn’t have to look at the body as a whole, just start analyzing one single organ and see how it works. Like some scientists would tell you that in order to duplicate the digestive system you’d need a huge laboratory and still it wouldn’t operate as efficiently as a naturally created organ would such as the stomach. We have acids in our stomachs that can erode metal but it doesn’t hurt us.  How could that be haphazard? If one aspect of that was developed by chance would everything else falling in line and falling together also happen by chance?

The Environment and Cosmic Order

Let’s move on to beyond ourselves, to find further evidence, the Qur’an also implores people to consider and to think. Take one aspect that many people think about today as very fashionable, like the ecological balance for example. Many people would take that as very clear evidence again that there is a design in this universe; vegetation as it relates to animal life and to human life; and the various atmospheric layers that we have. Everything is put together to sustain human life. If you look into the Qur’an, you find this mentioned. In one verse, in the Qur’an, it says, “God created everything in exact proportion.” (Al-Nahl 16:25) This is a very important term “in exact proportion” it’s not just that He created but that there is a deliberate design behind putting all of these things together.

In another verse, when people look at the whole scheme of creation, it says, “Were they created from nothing or are they themselves the creators?” No one claims that he’s created from nothing nor can he claim that he is the creator [of the heavens and earth]. Then the verse continues, “Or did they create the heavens and earth?” No one claims that. Then it says, “Nay but they see not.” (Al-Tur 52: 35-36) So the science is there. It’s whether we apply it in the right place and in the proper way or not that makes the difference.

Finally, if you move into what I would call the third circle, not just looking into ourselves or the environment around us but looking into the whole cosmic order, again there is a design. The planets. The solar system. The way everything is coordinated. The distance between the sun and the earth, which if decreased may burn everything and if decreased everything would freeze. This is all deliberate. The succession of day and night, the circulation or changes of seasons, which has very important relevance to the lives of the people, to vegetation, and to animal life; all of these beautiful things that we are in awe at in the universe, we look at them with great admiration, definitely show that there is a design behind them and as is obvious any design needs a designer or creator it.

One verse in the Qur’an implores us in particular to this area and says, “Have they not reflected on the domain of the heavens and earth and what God created therein?

In another verse it also says, in the general sense of the meaning: in the creation of the heavens and earth and in the succession of day and night there are certainly signs for those who reflect. Those who remember God while standing, sitting, and laying down and ponder on the creation of the heavens and the earth, saying: Our Lord you have not created this in vain. Glory be to You. Give us salvation from the penalty of the Fire. (Aal `Imran 3: 190-191)

Our Own Limitations

In talking about the senses and the intellect or knowledge, I think anyone, even a person who does not believe in God, would admit readily that our senses are limited. Our perceptions are limited. Our sight, hearing, etc- we know that. Also, we know that our perceptions could also be deceived or they can deceive us. If you put a spoon in a glass of water, it looks crooked. A very well known phenomenon is of people traveling in the desert or in hot areas and would see in front of them a lake or a puddle of water- the mirage- but it actually does not exist. At the time it’s seen it is a reality to the person seeing it. So our perception is very useful, but it still falls short of getting to know everything.

On the other hand, science is fine. Science can resolve many issues and problems that are purely scientific- that are purely technical. Science can tell you for sure how to use technology for example to communicate sounds and pictures; this can be determined fully by science. However, there are many aspects of lives of people that are beyond science also. There is the moral aspect, there are the ethical standards, and there is the application of the fundamental principle of good and bad. As we said the [principle of good and bad] is instinctive but still needs some modifications and limitations. And we know throughout history that people have always had differences as to what exactly defines the proper ethical or moral standards. In order to resolve that problem, there must be a higher authority, God, Himself, telling us and providing us with stable standards of ethics and morality within which you can interpret various details.

Finally, and perhaps this is in my mind the most important reason, is that we know that knowledge is not only limited to science or books or perception. We know that there are certain aspects of knowledge, legitimate knowledge, which does not lend itself to any of those tools. For example, take the knowledge of the unseen. What happened in the past before history was recorded? If you wanted to get any information on that there is no recorded history. Or at least there is dispute about the recorded history. Revelation can tell you what, for example, the stories of previous prophets and what they said and what their message was.

There are issues that no matter how much you use your mind you will not be able to arrive at a final conclusion. An example of that would be the knowledge about God. You can’t feel the presence of God. You can feel the attributes of God but you can’t have full knowledge without having a prophet or messenger in receiving that revelation from God and the communication from Him to us. So, in essence, I don’t see the contradiction. Actually, they all supplement each other. They have to be simply used in the proper context.

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Dr. Jamal Badawi is a professor at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Canada, where he currently teaches in the areas of management and religious studies. He is the author of several works on various aspects of Islam.

 

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