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The Way to God: How & From Where?

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The marvelous wonders of our world and the secrets of life are too great to be but the product of random accident or mere chance.

Knowledge of God and belief in Him constitute the very foundation of Islam. The question of God’ s existence has preoccupied the great minds for many centuries.

Those who believe in God seem to agree that the limited finite human intelligence cannot prove the existence of the infinite boundless God Who is. It can only illustrate or demonstrate His existence to the satisfaction of the curious human mind.

Those who deny God claim to rely on science, philosophy, or special theories of knowledge. Their arguments are sometimes inapplicable, sometimes irrelevant, always complex, and often incomprehensible.

However, the developed free mind will find its way to God. Failure to find the way does not mean that there is no way. Denial of reality does not make it unreal. The subject is so vital that it calls for a thorough and clear discussion. For the purpose of clarity some simple demonstration will be used.

This may sound boring or too simple for those who already know something about the subject. Such informed persons are invited to have patience and show appreciation of the importance of the matter.

There are individuals who like to doubt the concept of God in the name of science, or because of a lack of experience and understanding. The attitude of such people reflects an uneasy mentality, although they claim to be learned intellectuals. My concern will not be with their claim; rather it will be with their true position. This will explain why a great deal of the discussion is designed in a simple shape as if it were directed mainly to children, and not to adults.

On the other hand, a major objective of this work is to convey the true concept of God in Islam to the young Muslims.

Another consideration here is that the concept of God in Islam is distorted in the minds of many non-Muslims who are so-called believers in God and advocates of religion.

For these reasons some simple and perhaps elementary demonstrations are used in this presentation. Yet the simplicity of some arguments here may provoke profound thinking in many adults. If it does so, it will prove to be a desirable and creative simplicity, which itself is a distinct characteristic of Islam.

Undeniable Reality

As we look around in our environments, we see that every family has a head; every school has a principal; every city or town has a mayor; every province state has a premier governor; and every nation has a head of state.

Moreover, we know beyond doubt that every product is the work of a certain producer, and that every beautiful art is the creation of some great artist. All this is obvious, yet it does not satisfy the hunger for knowledge and the curiosity of man about the great things in the world.

One often wonders at the beauties of nature with its scenic charms and marvels; the almost endless horizon in the sky and their far-reaching expansions; the ceaseless succession of day and night in the most orderly manner; the course of the sun, the moon, and the great stars; the world of animate and inanimate objects, the continuous process and evolution of man generation after generation. One often wonders because one would like to know the maker and maintainer of all these things with which we live and which we immensely enjoy.

Can we find an explanation of the great universe? Is there any convincing interpretation of the secret of existence?

We realize that no family can function properly without a responsible head, that no city can prosperously exist without sound administration, and that no state can survive without a chief of some kind. We also realize that nothing comes into being on its own.

Moreover, we observe that the universe exists and functions in the most orderly manner, and that it has survived for hundreds of thousands of years. Can we, then, say that all this is accidental and haphazard? Or can we attribute the existence of man and the whole world to mere chance?

If man were to come into being by accident or by sheer chance, his entire life would be based on chance, and his whole existence would be meaningless. But no sensible man can conceive of his life as meaningless, and no rational being would leave his existence at the mercy of fluctuating chance.

Meaningfulness

Every reasonable human being tries to make his life as meaningful as possible and set for himself a model of conduct according to some design. Individuals, groups and nations do plan their course of action, and every careful plan produces some desired effects. The fact of the matter is that man does engage in planning of one sort or another, and can appreciate the merits of good planning.

Yet man represents only a very small portion of the great universe. And if he can make plans and appreciate the merits of planning, then his own existence and the survival of the universe must also be based on a planned policy.

This means that there is a Designing Will behind our material existence, and that there is a Unique Mind in the world to bring things into being and keep them moving in order. The marvelous wonders of our world and the secrets of life are too great to be but the product of random accident or mere chance.

In the world, then, there must be a Great Force in action to keep everything in order. In the beautiful nature there must be a Great Artist who creates the most charming pieces of art and produces everything for a special purpose in life.

This Force is the strongest of all forces, and this Artist is the greatest of all artists. The true believers and deeply enlightened people recognize this Artist and call Him Allah or God. They call Him God because He is the Creator and the Chief Architect of the world, the Originator of life and the Provider of all things in existence.

He is not a man because no man can create or make another man. He is not an animal, nor is He a plant. He is neither an idol nor is He a statue of any kind because none of these things can make itself or create anything else. He is not a machine. He is neither the sun nor is He the moon or any other star, because these things are controlled by a great system, and are themselves made by someone else. He is different from all these things, because He is the Maker and Keeper of them all.

The Unique Creator

The maker of anything must be different from and greater than the thing which he makes. We also know that nothing can come to life on its own, and that the marvelous world did not create itself or come into existence by accident. The continuous changes in the world prove that it is made, and everything which is made must have a maker of some sort.

The Maker and Sustainer of the world, the Creator of and Provider for man, the active force and effective power in nature are all one and the same, and that is known to be Allah or God. This is the secret of all secrets and the Most Supreme of all beings. The Holy Qur’an, the true Book of God says:

It is God Who has made the night for you, that you may rest therein, and the day to see. Verily God is full of Grace and Bounty to men. Yet most men give no thanks. Such is God, your Lord, the Creator of all things. There is no god but He; why then do you turn away from Him. Thus are turned away those who deny the signs of God. It is God Who has made for you the earth as a resting place and the sky as a shelter, and has given you shape and made your shapes beautiful, and has provided for you sustenance of things good and pure; such is God your Lord. So glory to God, the Lord of the worlds! He is the living (One); There is no god but He: call upon Him, giving Him sincere devotion. Praise be to God, Lord of the Worlds. (Ghafir 40:61-65)

It is God Who has subjected the sea to you, that ships may sail through it by His command, that you may seek of His Bounty, and that you may be grateful. And He has subjected to you, as from Him, all that is in the heavens and on earth, Behold; in that there are Signs indeed for those who reflect. (Al-Jathiyah 45:12, 13)

The Supreme Master of the whole world and the Creator of everything is Allah (God). Because He is so Great and different from the other beings, man can know Him only by reflection and through meditation. He exists at all times, and His great power is in action everywhere in the world. Man has to believe in His existence because everything in the world proves that He exists.

Belief in God and His great power alone can provide mankind with the best possible explanation of many mysterious things in life. This is the safest way to true knowledge and spiritual insight, the right path to good behavior and sound morals, the surest guide to happiness and prosperity.

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The article is excerpted from Dr. Hammudah’s well-known book “Islam in Focus”.

Dr. Hammudah Abd Al-Ati graduated from Al-Azhar University of Egypt. He received an MA in Islamic studies from McGill University and a PhD in Sociology from Princeton University. He was appointed in 1960 the first full-time director of the Canadian Islamic Center of Edmonton, Aberta. From 1967 till he passed away in 1976. Dr. Abdalati was associate professor of sociology at Utica College of Syracuse University. He was well known to the Muslim communities of North America as well as other intercultural groups and audiences. For years he lectured on Islam, attended Islamic conventions, wrote articles in Arabic and English, and responded to inquiries. Of his significant books in English are: \"Islam in Focus\" and \"Family structure in Islam\".

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