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To believe in a Creator is perfectly rational

And He has made the night and the day and the sun and the moon subservient [to His laws,so that they be of use] to you; and all the stars are subservient to His command: in this, behold, there are messages indeed for people who use their reason! (Quran chapter 16, verse 12)

A famous incident in Islamic history took place when the notable Islamic scholar , Imam Abu Hanifa was approached by an atheist with the view to debate the existence of God. Having arranged a time and place for the debate, the Imam purposely planned to join the gathering late.

This lead the atheist to believe that the Imams absence was due to his lack of proof for the debate. When the Imam finally arrived with apologies he explained I came to cross the river and no boats were there to take me across. Then a tree fell down and formed planks of wood all by itself and I waited and the rest of the boat was formed right before my eyes, and that is why I am late.

Of course they didnt believe him and told him it couldnt just happen like that. To which the Imam replied Then how can the universe form all by itself?

Indeed, how could a universe with its remarkable order and consistency, and the laws that govern the precisions by which planets orbit in relation to each other be the result of a random occurrence? After all, it is incredible when you think that had the earths orbit shifted in either direction, water and the dependent forms of life would not have occurred. In fact the Earths axis, tipped at exactly 23 and 1/2 degrees in orbit allows for the variable seasons seen throughout the year.

We may ponder as to why living things should exist in pairs or be amazed at the way bees use sunlight for navigation when hunting for nectar to produce the sweetest of honey. And we can marvel at the complexity of a human being when one considers the surface area of the small intestine is approximately 250 sq metresthats about the same size as a tennis court!

Indeed is it possible that the very text on this page with all its meaning, grammar and structured paragraphs, just unscrambled by itself by pure chance? Or do these words testify to its author, whom you have never seen nor met, yet you know through sound wisdom and reasoning is here in this world.

In Arabia before Islam, people lived in a culture immersed in paganism and idolatry. Yet history records the remarks of a desert nomad of that time who came to The Prophet and explained how he attained Faith : "Camel droppings point to a camel's existence. Footprints on the sand tell of a traveller. The heaven with its stars, the Earth with its mountains and valleys, and the sea with its wavesdon't they point to the All-Powerful, Knowing, Wise, and Caring Maker?"

Consider our place in this vast universe. We are neither omnipotent nor self- sufficient, on the contrary, we have many weaknesses and needs. Surely when we look to the world around us with its abundance of beauty, tremendous order and the twist of fate that is not in our control, do we not see our own frailty and relative insignificance?

Surely it is in those moments of weakness and realisation that we look to something greater. Who can deny in those moments when faced with danger or when simply under pressure, people call out, Please God help me! But no sooner are these words uttered and the predicament passes them by, many of them forget and turn away.

Therefore turn your face steadfastly towards the true Faith , away from all that which is false, in accordance with the pure nature with which Allah has created people. Let there be no altering in the laws of Allahs creation. This is surely the true religion , but most do not know it. [ chapter 30:30]

So that our natural desire recognise and to turn to the Creator be more than just a passing feeling, we need to contemplate and use our rationality to convince our minds and our hearts that Allahs existence does indeed have a rational proof ... God definitely exists
1) O: Proof of God cannot lie in just observing our surroundings. The watch in the desert looks designed in relation to its surroundings, what do we look at in relation to the universe to suggest it is designed? If a universe, which is supposedly limited, can not sustain itself alone why is it easier to believe in a higher power such as God which is unlimited to not only sustain a universe but to have no beginning or end. If it is easy to accept a God with no beginning why not the universe?   (26/7/2009 at 21:43)
The Universe is part of our reality, what we sense. We cannot sense the infinate, and the Universe is merely the sum of all limited things in it. There might be a lot of things, but they are still limited in size and number, hence, the Universe itself is limited in size too. This means that an unlimited being must have caused these limited things to exist, and this is what we call Allah, who must be unlimited by definition.
2) Think!: So [you think] the universe is infinite and has no beginning and no end?? Also, [do you think that] there had been universes before us and ahead of us, and have existed because of the 'big bangs' and 'big crunches'?

However, this argument is very irrational and clearly has not been understood properly. For example, I ordered a pizza to be delivered from Domino's Pizza. But, Domino's Pizza has informed me that they have an infinte number of home deliveries to make before they could deliver mine. In other words, they had to deliver a forever number of deliveries, before they could deliver mine. I could wait an eternity and never get mine. Well I would be, wouldn't I? But, say I phone Pizza Hut and they only had say 30 deliveries before me. I'll will get mine delivered definitely after the 30th delivery. Similarly, say we've had an infinite number of universes existing before our univerese, would our universe ever exist. On the other hand, say we've had 50 universes before us, we'll definitely come into existence and be the 51st univerese. So there has to be a beginning, and for that beginning to be there, their had to be a creator - an infinite or unlimited being. As only the infinte can create, the finite can make.
  (27/7/2009 at 5:46)
3) Iain Barrie: The question of whether God or the Universe is infinite is circular and misses the point. Saying that the Universe is limited and 'believing' that God is not merely returns to the notion of faith. You believe God exists. I do not. I see no need for any higher being's influence in the creation of its random splendour. It is merely natural events over billions of years creating a Universe of incredible complexity. Inducing God only postulates on 'who' might have done it then I see no need for a Creator. Just because we do not understand and can only theorise about what happened before the 'big-bang', does not mean we have to make-up a protagonist. In fact I would say that is the easy way to answer the question rather than composed and rational enquiry based on evidence rather than the words of one who believes they spoke to God. I'm sure he did believe he spoke to God. Good for him. However I need more tangible evidence to explain the intricacies of the Universe than any one man's testimony. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Until I get such evidence I will continue to believe that our existence is no more than wonderful chance and that other life probably exists somewhere. There, they don't have our representations of higher beings, they may have others, may have not. But they will still be subject to the natural laws of the universe and no doubt be in awe at its complexity and its mysteriousness, wherein, can be found the limits of human knowledge without requiring a third party to attempt explanation of them.   (1/9/2009 at 14:47)
4) ian:
The very fact that our minds are limited and that there are natural laws of the universe begs the question 'what is limiting it?' and 'who is the lawgiver?'

It is not rational, rather it is just avoiding the question, to not ask what that limiting entity is. Our rational minds know that all limited things have something else imposing that limit upon them. So, to AVOID the circular argument, there must be an unlimited entity imposing limits on all things. Without this rational process we would never even enquire about the origins of the universe, so there would be no big bang theory even. Yet, we do enquire and we do not put our minds on the shelf in that enquiry.

If we are to stop asking about the causes of events, then we will no longer hunt for a murderer when we see a knife stuck in a body. We will not want to find a burgaler if our house is broken into and the TV is gone. We will instead console ourselves that another one of those random events happened, without a cause. We may even start to imagine that we can fly, as the natural laws are not necessarily fixed for us, so we may jump off a tall building. Clearly we do none of the above, because we are rational. So it is irrational to not follow the same ration that we live our lives by when it comes to answering questions about where we came from and where we are headed.

It is not due to faith that we say that Allah is unlimited, it is due to rational necessity. We only have our minds to understand our reality, so we are bound by its constraints. It so happens that Allah created our minds with the ability to recognise His existence, but not to understand His being.

I suspect that it has more to do with not wanting to believe in a creator, as we don't like the idea of accepting any restrictions on our free will. To deny the truth of something because I don't like it is surely irrational.
  (2/9/2009 at 3:30)

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Categories: An Invitation to Think, | Tags: proof, intellectual, Faith, rational,

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Cached: 2/9/2009 at 3:30