The Answer to an Important Question
In the previous lecture, we discovered that we always hear the call of monotheism and theism from the bottom of our hearts, and that this is more strident at the time of danger. Under such conditions, we inevitably remember God and resort to His infinite Benevolence.
At this juncture, we might assume that this call which we have named the call of conscience is nothing more than the result of the indoctrinations to which we have been constantly exposed through our close interactions with the environment, school, and parents or through habit.
A few things need to be said prior to answering this question. Habits and customs vary constantly among nations and are always at the mercy of change. We could never come across a habit or custom which has been unchanging and constant throughout the history of a nation. That is why customs and mores are idiosyncratic features of a specific nation during a particular era.
Thus, if we find a common feature in the customs among different nations and peoples we could safely deduce that this is an innate disposition built in the very soul of man.
For instance, a mother’s affection towards her child could not be the result of indoctrination or habit formation. This is because it has never been the case among any culture for a mother to deprive her child of her love and care.
Of course, due to mental illness, a mother could destroy herself or a father could have buried his daughter alive during the period of Arab Ignorance. But such examples are rare in the history of mankind.
This introduction now sets the stage for a look at the issue of God-worship among people both in the past and in the present. Since this discussion is a little hard to follow, more attention is required on the part of the reader.
According to great sociologists, religion and faith have always existed. Throughout history, man has always had some form of religion. This is a clear indication for the innate nature of God-worship in the depths of the human mind and soul. This has not occurred through indoctrination or instruction. If it were a result of imitation or habit formation, God-worship would not have been so enduring and ever-lasting in the conscience of man.
There are even clues to the fact that man has had a form of religion even during pre-historic times. [By the pre-historic era, we refer to the time when writing was not invented and man could not transfer much of his culture to future generations.
Since primitive man could not visualize God as a super-natural Being, he would search for God in natural objects and would make idols from them to satisfy his innate need for God. With the rapid development of his mental capacities, man could gradually identify the truth and could dispense with his idols which were material beings and become familiar with the great power of The Almighty God.
2. Some famous psychologists contend that the human spirit has four dimensions or four main senses:
a) The sense of knowing which causes man to acquire types of knowledge to satisfy his curiosity. This knowledge may or may not be materially useful.
b) The sense of doing good, which is the main source for ethical and human issues.
c) The aesthetic sense, which is the source for the creation of poetry, literature and art in their true sense.
d) The religious sense, which invites man to recognize God and to carry out His commands. Thus, you can see that the religious sense is one of the most profound senses of the human soul. This sense never leaves man alone.
3. In our future discussions, we will find that most materially-oriented scholars and atheists have somehow implicitly confessed to the existence of God despite the fact that they have avoided calling Him so by name. They have preferred to use the concept of nature for His real name. However, all the features they have designated for nature coincide with those of God.
For instance, these scholars maintain that the reason why nature has provided man with two kidneys is that in the event of the failure of one kidney man could continue his existence with the other one. But is this giving in harmony with life-less nature? Or does it imply a God whose Knowledge and Power is beyond imagination no matter under what name He is referred to?
From our discussion in this chapter, we have arrived at the following conclusions:
The love for God has always and will always be in ourselves.
Belief in God is an eternal flame which will keep our hearts and minds warm forever.
In order to recognize God we do not have to go a long way. If we delve into the depths of our very being, we will find there the love for God.
The Holy Qur’¡n says:
وَنَحْنُ أَقْرَبُ إِلَيْهِ مِنْ حَبْلِ الْوَرِيدِ.
And We are nearer to him than his life-vein. [Qur’¡n, 50:16]
THINK AND ANSWER
A True Story
We have already mentioned the fact that those who deny the existence of God do so only superficially: there is faith in God deep in their very souls and consciences.
No doubt, worldly success could create false pride in shallow, superficial individuals and this pride then leads to negligence to the extent that at times man ignores his true innate nature. However, when he is faced with terrible events he puts aside his false pride and his natural monotheism and God-knowing nature comes over him.
Human history reveals to us many such examples of people one of whom is presented below:
There once lived a powerful and despotic minister who had everything under his scrutiny and control. Once he attended a great gathering of religious scholars. Addressing them, he asked them rudely, “How much longer will you claim that there is a God? I can prove the opposite of your claim in a thousand ways.”
He put forth his proposal with a special pride. Since those scholars knew well that he was not a man of logic and that he was under the complete influence of his own power, they remained silent and ignored him in a humiliating way.
Not long after this event, the minister was accused of some wrongdoing and was arrested and sent to jail.
One of the religious scholars who was present at the session on that day thought it was the right time to pay a visit to the imprisoned minister. He thought that since he was no longer in power, and he was no longer arrogant, and he could offer him some advice. The scholar saw the former minister involved in great contemplation, reciting the following two lines of poetry: All of us are like the pictures of lions which are drawn on flags. When the wind blows the lion on the flags moves here and there with the wind and seems to be attacking its enemies but in fact, it is not the lion which moves; rather, it is the wind which makes the movement. He was confessing that he himself was nothing in contrast with the power of the Almighty God who could take away any power He has bestowed upon us at any moment He deems appropriate.
The scholar observed that the former minister had turned into a religious, God-Fearing individual. Greeting him, the scholar asked him: Do you remember you said you had one thousand reasons not to believe in God. I have come to nullify those thousand reasons through one reason: God is the one who took away your power from you. The former minister became ashamed and did not say a word since he had realized his errors.
Concerning Pharaoh, The Holy Qur’¡n says:
حَتَّى إِذَا أَدْرَكَهُ الْغَرَقُ قَالَ آمَنتُ أَنَّهُ لا إِلِـهَ إِلاَّ الَّذِي آمَنَتْ بِهِ بَنُو إِسْرَائِيلَ.
Until when drowning overtook him, he (pharaoh) said: I believe there is no God but He in Whom the children of Israel believed. [Qur’¡n 10: 90]
THINK AND ANSWER
The Second Way to Know God
A cursory look at the world will lead us to acknowledge this fact that chaos does not reign over it; rather, every phenomenon is in motion on a specific trajectory and the system of the universe, based on special order is moving towards a definite destination, like a great army.
The following points will clarify our intention:
For the creation and existence of any organism there should be some special conditions. For instance for a tree to come into existence, the proper soil, temperature and heat are crucial. If anything goes wrong, there will be no tree. The creation of these conditions calls for wisdom and knowledge.
Each creature has its specific features. Water and fire have their unique traits which are part and parcel of their very being. These features and traits follow specific laws.
All the organs of an organism work harmoniously with one another. Take the human body as an example. All the members, limbs and organs coordinate with each other in a human body. If anything threatens our bodies, all the organs unite in defending our bodies. This coordination is another sign of the order in the universe.
A glance at the world of creation will vividly show us that all creatures work in harmony with one another. For instance, for the growth of living things, the sun shines, the clouds release rain, the wind blows, and the soil cooperates. All these show the existence of a definite organization in the existing world.
Every conscientious person would realize that order in any organization implies wisdom, thought, and planning.
This is because man looks for a source of knowledge and power wherever he notices that order and law prevails. Man does not need any reasoning to arrive at this conclusion.
Man knows that a blind or illiterate man cannot use a typewriter to write a good composition or prepare a critical essay. Neither can a two-year old child create a masterpiece just by randomly moving his pen on the paper. Rather, we would deduce the intelligence of the Creator when we come face to face with a critical essay or a good composition. At a museum, we would appreciate the talent of the creator of a masterpiece even if we did not have the chance to see the artist in person.
Thus, wherever there is an organized system, there exists intelligence and wisdom behind it.
In order to infer the existence of the intelligence as the source for any organized system, man at times uses the laws of probability and reasons in the following fashion: It will take millions of years for an illiterate man to press the right buttons on the type-writer so that he may randomly type out an essay or a piece of poetry (For more details, refer to the book entitled “The Creator of the World” or to the book entitled “In Search of God”)
The Holy Qur’¡n states:
سَنُرِيهِمْ آيَاتِنَا فِي الآفَاقِ وَفِي أَنفُسِهِمْ حَتَّى يَتَبَيَّنَ لَهُمْ أَنَّهُ الْحَقُّ أَوَلَمْ يَكْفِ بِرَبِّكَ أَنَّهُ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ شَهِيدٌ.
We will soon show them Our signs in the Universe and in their own souls, until it will become quite clear to them that it is the truth. It is not sufficient as regards your Lord that He is a witness over all things? [Qur’¡n 41: 53]
THINK AND ANSWER