Monday, June 30, 2008

Islam: The Religion of Proofs

By Jibril Ibn Anwar

"Thus do We explain the proofs in detail, so that they may turn (unto the truth)." [The Qur'an Al-Araaf 174]

Many people follow their religions blindly without proof under the justification that they “have faith.” Having faith in ideologies, belief systems, or religions that are not based upon clear proof is a source of falsehood and submission unto the conjectures and whims of men.

Islam is based upon proofs. In fact, throughout the Noble Qur’an, Allah directly addresses man’s reason, and discusses the ayaat(proofs, evidences) that would lead man to accept Islam as the religion of truth for all of mankind.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Islam is to bear witness that there is nothing worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah…”

This statement (there is nothing worthy of worship except Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah) is what separates Islam from every other belief system and way of life that exists on earth. If one bears witness to this statement, which is the first fundamental pillar of Islam, and consequently believes in all which accompany it (such as the Qur’an being the literal word of Allah, everything that the Qur’an and the Prophet reported to us about Unseen matters, etc.) , then he would be considered as a Muslim.

Now you are most likely asking yourself, how is this noble religion of Islam proven? What are the evidences to show the truthfulness of Islam? How can we authenticate this statement (there is nothing worthy of worship except Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah) which would transform our complete way of life and outlook upon the world, and our belief about God, the Unseen, and the human soul?

So, bearing this in mind, Let us examine the proofs which give evidence that there is nothing worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad is His Messenger.

The Proofs

1) The Proofs of Allah's Existence and that nothing is worthy of worship except Him

Allah, Most High, says (interpretation of meaning):

“Were they created by nothing, or were they themselves the creators?

Or did they create the heavens and the earth? Nay, but they have no firm Belief.

Or are with them the treasures of your Lord? Or are they the tyrants with the authority to do as they like?”[al-Toor 52:35-37]

Shaykh Ibn Saalih Al-Uthaymeen comments:

Man did not create himself, since before coming into this life he did not exist; and that which does not exist is nothing; and that which is nothing cannot create anything at all. Nor was it the case that his father or mother or anyone from creation created him. Nor did he randomly appear without a creator to bring him into existence, since for everything which comes into existence or occurs there must be one who brings it into existence or causes it to occur. The presence of all that exists in this creation and the amazing order found in it and its harmonious structures make it impossible that it came about randomly. This is because that which would come into existence randomly and by chance is not in principle and origin something well-ordered. This produces certain conclusion that Allah alone is the creator, and there is no creator, nor anyone who orders and commands except Allah. Allah, the Most High, says,

“Certainly creation and the Command are His.” [The Qur’an 7:54]”

Allah, the Most High, commands man throughout the Qur’an to ponder upon His creation, and to realize that it all testifies to His existence and His sovereignty over the universe. In other words, the science and workings over the universe are in fact proofs of God’s Lordship:

‘Verily! In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of night and day, there are indeed signs for men of understanding.

Those who remember Allah (always, and in prayers) standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides, and think deeply about the creation of the heavens and the earth, (saying): "Our Lord! You have not created (all) this without purpose, glory to You! (Exalted be You above all that they associate with You as partners). Give us salvation from the torment of the Fire. “ [The Qur’an 3:190-191]

“Verily, the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of night and day, and the ships which sail through the sea with that which is of use to mankind, and the water (rain) which Allaah sends down from the sky and makes the earth alive therewith after its death, and the moving (living) creatures of all kinds that He has scattered therein, and in the veering of winds and clouds which are held between the sky and the earth, are indeed proofs, evidences, and signs for people of understanding.”[The Qur’an 2:164]

“Do they not look in the dominion of the heavens and the earth and all things that Allah has created, and that it may be that the end of their lives is near. In what message after this will they then believe?” [The Qur’an 7:185]

Likewise, Allah did not create everything in the universe except with truth and for an appointed term. It would be against reason that Allah would create everything in vain. Likewise it would be against reason that He would create mankind, give us faculty and a soul, without any wisdom or purpose behind our creation. Rather:

“And I (Allah) created not the jinns and humans except they should worship Me (Alone). “ [The Qur’an 51:56]

We are here to worship our Creator and to follow His orders and abstain from His prohibitions. This is why Islam means “submission”. In other words: submission to the will of our Creator.

It would be against the intellect, that you would recognize that there is a Creator who provided everything for you and all of creation, but then you would still live life according to other than His commands, or that you would worship something other than Him. It would be against intellect to say that He created the universe and that He manages its affairs, yet that you would turn away from submitting to Him (and noone else).

“And if you ask them who created them, they will surely say: "Allah". How then are they turned away (from the worship of Allah, Who created them)?” [The Qur’an 43:87]

"Say: "Verily, Allah's Guidance is the only guidance, and we have been commanded to submit (ourselves) to the Lord of all Creation" [The Qur'an 6:71]

So if we are here to worship our Creator and submit to His Will, how do we know what His Will is? How do we know what His Nature is? How do we know what ideology, way of life, or belief system He would be pleased with us to follow?

These subjects, and other such things (such as what happens after death, and other unseen matters) are out of the range of human intelligence, scientific experiment, and human reason. Likewise, subjects such as philosophy are insufficient, for they are simply the conjectures of the human being of what is the true nature of the universe (without clear proof). But indeed, conjectures can never take the place of the truth.

It is only rational that we are informed of our Creator’s Will, matters of the unseen, and how our Creator would want us to worship Him, by way of report. In other words: by way of Divine Revelation. No human being can know any of these things by mere conjecture; no matter how much he ponders and how much information he thinks he has from his own knowledge.

2) Proofs that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah

Muslims believe that the Qur’an is the literal word of God and that it is the greatest miracle that Allah has set forth for mankind. Every Prophet before Muhammad (peace be upon him) had miracles (such as the parting of the red sea by Moses) which were particular to their own peoples in order to establish proof against them. Muhammad, 1400 years ago, was given the Noble Qur’an, the greatest miracle of all, which will last as proof of the Message of Islam (submission to the will of the Creator) for every time and every place and every people.

The Challenge of the Qur’an

“And if you (non-muslims) are in doubt concerning that which We have sent down (i.e. the Qur'an) to Our slave (Muhammad Peace be upon him ), then produce a Surah (chapter) of the like thereof and call your witnesses (supporters and helpers) besides Allah, if you are truthful. “ [The Qur’an 2:23]

In the second chapter of the Qur’an, Allah addresses every non-muslim who has doubts about the divine origins of the Qur’an. Allah states that the Qur’an is a book inimitable, unmatched, unique, and without comparison. He challenges every individual who has doubts that it is a divinely revealed book to produce a single chapter that is similar to it. Till this day, many disbelievers have attempted at this but have only proved their attempts to be vain and meaningless.

One of the attributes of the miraculous nature of the Qur’an, is that its verses and text completely conform with the scientific discoveries of today. More amazingly is that the Qur’an is full of verses which reveal things about the science which have never been even comprehended until the past 100 years.

Here is an excerpt from Gary Miller’s article: “the Amazing Qur’an” which outlines some of these facts:

."The citations included in this pamphlet appeared in the Qur’an during the 7th century CE. The Prophet Muhammad was himself illiterate and was living among illiterate people. The Arabs at that time worshipped idols and believed in horoscope and magic and were superstitious. The Arabs very actively opposed the teachings advanced by the Prophet through his revelations.This short article is for you to read and to consider. Because the subject matter is so vast, we have space to mention only a few brief facts from the Amazing Qur’an.

The Creation of the Universe

"Do not the unbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were joined together, then We clove them asunder? And We made from water every living thing. Will they not then believe?" (21:30) This verse is specifically addressed to non-believers, and touches upon the creation of the universe and the origins of all life. The Qur’an mentions the existence of a gaseous mass (dukhan,41:11) which is unique and whose elements, although at first fused together (ratq) subsequently became separated (fatq). The separation process resulted in the formation of multiple worlds, a notion which crops up dozens of times in the Qur’an (1:1): "Praise be to God, Lord of the Worlds." [1,2]

The Origins of Life

"And We made from water every living thing. Will they not then believe?" (21:30)

The building blocks of all living things are called cells. They are the basic units of life.

Protoplasm (cytoplasm + nucleus) is the substance of all living things. Cytoplasm is a jelly-like material consisting of water and dissolved substances. The constitution of protoplasm is about 80-85% water. Without water life is not possible. [2]

None of the myths on the origins of life that abounded at the time of the Qur’an are present in the text. Furthermore, the fact that all life originated from water would not have been a very easy thing to convince people of 1400 years ago, especially in the desert!

The Expansion of the Universe

The expansion of the universe is the most imposing discovery of modern science. Today it is a firmly established concept and the only debate centres around the way this is taking place.

"The heaven, We have built it with power. Verily, We are expanding it." (51:47)‘We are expanding it’ is the translation of the plural present particle musi’una of the verb ausa’a meaning "to make wider, more spacious, to extend, to expand." Some translators were unable to grasp the meaning and provided mistaken translations. Others sense the meaning, but were afraid to commit themselves eg. Hamidullah talks of the widening of the heavens and space, but he includes a question mark. Zidan & Zidan, and The Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs refer to the expansion of the universe in totally unambiguous terms. [1,2]

The Mountains

Mountains have always been looked upon as conspicuous landforms, characterized by lofty protrusions above their surroundings, high peaks and steep sides.However, the Qur’an accurately describes mountains as stabilizers for the Earth that hold its outer surface firmly, lest it should shake with us, and as pickets (or pegs) which hold that surface downwardly as a means of fixation."Have we not made the earth an expanse, and the mountains stakes (awtad)?" (78:6-7) and "And God cast into the ground mountains standing so that it does not shake with you." (31:10). [1,3]

The Developing Human Embryo

Statements referring to human reproduction and development are scattered throughout the Qur’an. It is only recently that the scientific meaning of some of these verses has been fully appreciated. The Qur’an determines that human development passes through stages (39:6). The realization that the human embryo develops in stages was not discussed and illustrated until the 15th century. The staging of human embryos was not described until the 20th century. Streeter (1941) developed the first system of staging which has now been replaced by a more accurate system proposed by O’Rahilly (1972). However, the Qur’an was the first source to mention the (23:12-16). The Qur’an and Hadith also state that both parents share in the origins of the offspring: "O mankind! We created you from male and female." (49:13) and "We created mankind from a mixed drop (nutfah-amshaj)." (76:2)The mixed drop refers to the mixture and convergence of a small quantity of sperms with the ovum (and its associated follicular fluid) to form the zygote. It has the form of a drop and consists of a mixture of male and female secretions."Then we made the drop into a leech-like structure (‘alaqah)." (23:14) ‘alaqah in Arabic means (i) to cling and stick to a thing; (ii) a leech or bloodsucker; (iii) a suspended thing; and (iv) a blood clot. Amazingly, each of the meanings for ‘alaqah can be applied to human prenatal development.For example, taking ‘alaqah to mean a leech we find that the embryo is surrounded by amniotic fluid just as a leech is surrounded by water. The human embryo clings to the mothers womb, in the same way that a leech clings to the skin. A leech is a pear shaped organism and thrives on bloodsucking. The diagram above clearly indicates that the shape of the embryo does in fact resemble a leech! At this stage the cardiovascular system has started appearing and the embryo is now dependant on the maternal blood for its nutrition like a leech! As there were no microscopes or lenses available in the 7th century, people could not have known that the embryo has this leech-like appearance."Then out of that leech-like structure We made a chewed lump (mudghah)." This statement is from Surah 23:14. The Arabic word mudghah means "chewed substance or chewed lump." Towards the end of the 4th week, the human embryo looks somewhat like a chewed lump of flesh. The chewed appearance results from the somites which resemble teeth marks. The somites represent the beginnings of the vertebrae (backbone). (For a detailed discussion concerning the Qur’an and modern embryology see 1,2,4,5,6).

Lost Civilizations

In the 89th chapter of the Qur’an, the city of "Iram" is mentioned: "Have you not seen how your Lord dealt with Aad, of the city of Iram, with lofty pillars the like of which was never created in any land?" Iram has been unknown to history, so much so that it apparently became an embarrassment to some Muslim commentators of the Holy Qur’an. In 1975, in North-Western Syria the ancient city of Ebla was excavated.Ebla is over 4500 years old. In the ruins of the Palace Library they found the largest collection of cuneiform clay tablets ever discovered - around 15,000. Written in the oldest Semitic language yet identified, the tablets reveal that Ebla rivalled Egypt and Mesopotamia as a major power of the ancient world. They found in there a record of all the cities that Ebla used to do business with including one IRAM! [7,8,9]

What happened to the body of Pharaoh of the Exodus?

The Biblical version of Pharaoh’s story states that he was drowned in the pursuit of Prophet Moses (Exodus 14:28-29). Unknown to the world till only of late, the Holy Qur’an made a definite prediction about the preservation of the body of that same Pharaoh of Moses’ time 10:90-92:"This day We shall save you in your body so that you may be a sign for those that come after you". The body was discovered in the tomb of Amenhotep II in 1898. [2,12]

The resting place of Noah’s Ark

The Bible states that "And the Ark rested... upon the mountains of Ararat." Genesis 8:4. According to the Holy Qur’an (11:44): "The Ark came to rest upon Al-Judi." According to recent evidence from an archaeological find in Eastern Turkey, experts believe they may have discovered the remains of an ancient vessel whose dimensions mirror those of Noah’s Ark as told in the Bible. However, the discovery was made on Al-Judi! [10,11]

The Holy Qur’an:- God’s final Guidance to Mankind

"How could a man, from being illiterate, become the most important author in terms of literary merits in the whole of Arabic literature? How could he the pronounce facts of a scientific nature that no other human being could have possibly known at that time, and all this, without once making the slightest error in his pronouncement on the subject?" (Dr. Maurice Bucaille).

In light of this, many scientists and intellectuals who have discovered Islam readily embraced it due to the scientific miracles which they found abundant throughout its texts.

Likewise, the Qur’an is the only Book that claims to be Divinely Revealed that has been preserved in its original form. It has a supernatural eloquence and language which has been unmatched by any poet or writer in the history of mankind. It is free from any inconsistencies or contradictions. Its wisdom of its rulings and laws makes it impossible for it to be the invention of any man, whether he is an illiterate Arab, or a knowledgeable scholar of the 7th century. Indeed:

“(This is) the truth from your Lord. So be you not one of those who doubt.” [The Qur’an 2:147]


And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam (submission to God), it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers. [The Qur’an 3:85]

The matter is a serious one. Are you going to live your life in accordance with the will of your Creator? Or are you going to live your life aimlessly, constantly pursuing your desires and heedless of your overall purpose? It is a matter of Paradise and Hell-Fire.

“Truly, the religion with Allah is Islam. Those who were given the Scripture (Jews and Christians) did not differ except, out of mutual jealousy, after knowledge had come to them. And whoever disbelieves in the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, signs, revelations, etc.) of Allah, then surely, Allah is Swift in calling to account.” [The Qur’an 3:19]

And All Praise and Thanks is due to Allaah, the Lord of all creation. And Peace and blessings be upon His Slave and Messenger Muhammad.

1: Allaah is the Arabic word for God.

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