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BY DR. MUHAMMAD FAZL-UR-RAHMAN AL-ANSARI The Holy Qur’aan says: “Is there any doubt in the existence of God? The Creator of the heavens and earth!” (Al-Qur’aan 14:10). Yet people have doubted this eternal truth. The malady of scepticism is not peculiar to our time alone, for there have lived in all ages such unfortunate beings who suffered the same psychological disease, unconscious of the loss of the contentment, satisfaction and trust they could have enjoyed as believers. The Holy Qur’aan describes their state of mind as follows: “And they say: What is there but our life in this world? We shall die and we live, and nothing but time can destroy us.” But of that they have no knowledge: they merely conjecture.” (Al-Qur’aan 45:24). These unfortunate sceptics of the past ages were sophisticated blockheads. Their vanity and irresponsibility had driven them to adopt the so-called philosophical outlook to deny the very existence of God and be free from all moral obligations and restrictions. Affected philosophers as they were, they lacked the simple wisdom and commonsense of the Arab gentleman who had set out in the wide desert in search of his lost camel. During the heated quest, he discovered the dung of a camel at certain spot and exclaimed: “The camel-dung indicates the existence of the camel.” He followed the track with a renewed zeal and found his camel at last. When he sat contentedly pondering over the details of his quest, a bright idea suddenly flashed through his mind: if the camel dung indicated the existence of the camel does not the entire universe indicate the existence of a Creator? The sceptics during the past were few in number and exercised virtually no influence at all over the masses. The human society in general followed certain moral principles and trusted in the Providence of God. As a result, there was peace and satisfaction despite poverty and scarcity. But scepticism or atheism has grown up to an abnormally gigantic form in our modern times in almost all parts of the world. As a result the world is beset with threats of war. Our present century has seen the two greatest and most destructive wars every fought in the history. Conditions have continued to worsen and the entire human population now stands under the threat of total extinction. Religion has lately been accused of dividing mankind into groups and inciting them to wage wars. Was it then religion which caused the two great world wars of the current century? Is it religion
which had divided the free world and the Communist world into hostile camps? As a matter of fact, man has not been created with everything good in his nature, he also contains certain evils. Religions aim at purifying man of evils so that he attains the highest degree of moral and spiritual perfection. Ferocity is one of the evils inherent in man while religion aims at moderation and peace. The wars which were fought in the past centuries were due in fact to the inherent ferocity of one or both of the parties. The influence of religion has, however, restricted the bloodshed to the minimum. Devoid of the solitary influence of religion, our modern warfare has degenerated into loathsome brutality – cities and towns set aflame, peaceful citizens burnt alive including women and children and patients in hospitals, villages machine-gunned, etc. As for peace of mind, it is lacking. There is no satisfaction despite abundance and affluence. Without faith in God man naturally finds himself suspending between the heaven and earth yearning desperately to feel solid ground under his feet but always plunging deeper into the abyss of despondency. “What is my fate,” we hear him shout in agony.” “……I’m like a tiny flame kindled in the dark, to burn and extinguish and never to come into being again!” This state of mind plunges man into an unfathomable ocean of dismay and despondency which has resulted into the bulging figures of suicidal cases even among the richest living in the most prosperous countries of the world. It would be unfair to assume anything about the world behind the iron curtain. The printed material which came from that part of the world presents to the readers nothing but peace, satisfaction, joy, progress and prosperity. We cannot deny it nor would it be prudent to accept it: the idea which torments the mind of a sincere seeker of truth is, what the iron curtain is meant for? Can it be that there is something ugly behind? We have earlier stated that belief in God inspires man with peace, satisfaction, contentment and confidence. Is then our belief in God a mere assumption for the sake of the attainment of the aforesaid qualities or is it based on sound reasoning? Our brief answer would be that it is both. Every animal instinct is originally based on wisdom and truth. The new-born chicken, for instance, pecks at the food grains instinctively. Nature makes him do so though he does not know the reason why, in spite of his ignorance, he performs the right thing because eating is essential for life. One can fool with the natural incentives only to one’s own peril. Similarly, belief in God and submission to Him is a natural instinct which requires no proof. It is not the outcome of sophistication as can be evidenced from the shabby temples and images of the primitive bushmen and the mosques and churches of the civilized world. Man, as a child of nature, has always and everywhere bowed to his instinct of belief in and submission to God. Similar with other instincts, which human instinct should also have its base in wisdom and truth. A disregard of this instinct must surely lead to dire consequence both in this state of life and in the life Hereafter. In our modern times almost one-third of the world population – the communist world – has rejected God. How many of them have done it out of conviction and what a lot of them have committed the deadly sin in imitation, out of fashion or out of political pressure is not our immediate concern. Suffice it to note that religion exists today even in that part of the world; it could not be totally wiped out and it can now be safely predicted that religion will ultimately triumph over atheism. In the meanwhile, religious persecution might continue behind the iron curtains. (This article was written before 1968 AC). Instincts can not be totally wiped out: they can, however, be hideously, disfigured. The human instinct to believe in and adore the supreme Creator is now being distorted and remoulded to assume the form of Hero worship. Russia has seen several national heroes whom the masses had worshipped as demi-gods, but one by one they were dismantled to reveal their hideous forms. China
is still fresh in her zeal, but sooner or later the Communist world will come to know that no mortal can be a substitute to God. The world will soon realize the truth of the fundamental principle of Islam: “There is none worthy to be worshipped (adored) except Allaah.” (Al-Qur’aan 47:19) In the meanwhile, let us try to probe into the causes which have led a considerable portion of humanity in the modern times to deny the existence of God. Is this denial based on conviction resulting from sound reasoning? No, for it is harder to disprove God than to prove His existence. Then what it is based on? The answer can be no other than ‘Wishful Thinking.’ The following is the admission of a celebrated writer Aldous Huxley in his book ‘Ends and Means’. “I had motives for not wanting the world to have a meaning; consequently assumed that it had none and was able without any difficulty to find satisfying reasons for this assumption.” “For myself as, no doubt, for most of my contemporaries, the philosophy of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation… a certain system of morality. We objected to the morality because it interferes with our sexual freedom; we objected to the political and economical system because it was unjust… there was one admirably simple method of… justifying ourselves in our political and erotic revolt; we could deny that the world had any meaning whatsoever. Similar tactics had been adopted during the eighteenth century and for the same reasons… the chief reason for being philosophical was that one might be free from prejudices… above all prejudices of a sexual nature.” Here lies the secret behind the greatest lie of all times.
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