Channel: Bilal Philips
Topics: Comparative Religion
Most commonly asked questions by athiest about God. Explained by Dr.Bilal Philips.
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Wa Salatu was Salam ala rasulillah.
All praise is due to ally and realize Peace and blessings beyond the last messenger of Allah.
Who is your Lord?
In Arabic manga book
the question the first question, which will be asked of the soul
it addresses the trials of the grave, the beginning of the trials of the grave.
Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam used to teach his companions they do,
the way he used to teach a surah from the Quran, that
which was to be said that the end of Salah began Allahumma inni hours will become in
copper, while I seek refuge in You, from the trials of the grave.
It refers to
a part of Muslim belief in the last day
of the Six Pillars of Islam.
Allah requires of us that we believe in the last day, the last day includes
the science which lead up to it,
the period of death and the period between death and resurrection, which is referred to as the barossa.
The body is off the interval,
and the resurrection, the judgment and then the distribution of people between heaven and hell.
man, Rob book,
who is your Lord represents the first of the abodes of the Hereafter, the first stage that we go through,
in a Hadith,
which is considered mutawatir, meaning that it has been narrated by so many companions of the Prophet sallahu wa sallam, on all of the different levels of its narration, that it would be impossible for them to have agreed upon a lie.
This is the highest level of certainty of the Hadith narrations in it. Prophet Mohammed Al salam, as described by Al Bara, even as an A Sydney, Malik, Abu huraira, and a number of other companions, that after the person has been placed in the grave,
the soul is brought back to that person.
And they hear the footsteps of those who had accompanied
the caffeine, the janazah, to the point of burial, after they begin to walk away.
And this is a part of the trial.
Why, what is to come?
At this point,
Jet Black with blue eyes.
We'll set that person up
and ask them three questions.
Man or book
Oh man, maybe?
Who is your Lord?
What was your religion?
And who was your prophet?
Knowing who our Lord is,
is essential for us to have the correct faith.
Of course as a Muslim,
somebody says Who is your Lord
with seeming ease we can say Allah.
Allah is our Lord.
Allah pointed out in the Quran
that it is not so simple as that.
In surah, Yusuf, verse 104, when my you may know at 31, biLlahi, in lava, whom machico
most of those who believe in a law
Most of those who claim to believe in God,
worship others, besides God.
So, that tells us that
knowing who our Lord is, is not quite as simple as that.
There are issues that we have to be clear about, because of course, if a person doesn't know who his Lord is, then the likelihood of him worshiping who is Lord isn't, is very big.
And that is why so much of the Quran is dedicated to informing us about Allah,
that we would know who he is.
So we could fulfill the very purpose of our creation.
Now, if we want to determine
who knows who their Lord is,
or to what degree we know who our Lord is,
we can look at these questions, I'm going to
mention a few questions. And you can reflect on these and see where you stand with regards to them.
And these questions are common questions raised by those
the existence of God in one way, shape,
The first of the questions
raised or stated by atheists.
This is the question to you now, where do you stand with regards to this question? Do you agree with those who say that belief is a matter of blind faith?
Do you agree with those who say that belief is a matter of blind faith?
And these have
four sub questions.
Are you stumped? by any or all of the following
sub questions? One?
If everything has a creator,
who created God?
if God can do anything?
Why can't he have a son?
if God is all powerful?
Can he create a stone which is too heavy for him to lift?
For? If God is all good,
and Able to do all things?
Then where did evil come from?
These questions? What answers do we have for them?
If our answers for these questions were as follows.
If everything has a creator who created God, if our answer was, he created himself,
then we don't know who our Lord is.
For the second question, if God can do anything, why can't he have a son?
The Quest The answer is, he could. But he chose
then you don't know your Lord.
Third, if God is all powerful,
can you create a stone too heavy for him to lift? Yes. Then you don't know your Lord.
if God is all good and Able to do all things, then where did evil come from?
Satan or man made evil?
If you said any of those, or you thought any of those answers, then you don't know who your Lord is.
A fourth big question,
which also points to a lack of knowledge of who God is.
Do you accept that God created the world and left it to run by itself.
God created the world
and left it to run by itself.
If that sounds reasonable to you, then you definitely don't know who your God is. And that is the general conception of most people
who would call themselves or came from Christian tradition today?
looking at Christianity,
looking at various other religions
come to this conclusion.
Believing that, yes, there must be a god.
But these religions are all manmade. So therefore, God obviously created the world and left it to run on its own. Everybody has to find their own way.
But one who holds that belief doesn't understand or know who God is.
So, if we do want to know who God is, then definitely
we have to be able to get past these basic questions. So let's go back to question number one.
Do you agree with those who say that belief is a matter of blind faith?
One says, Yeah, it's a matter of blind faith, a matter of faith. Basically, we have accepted the atheist claim that their disbelief in God is logical. And our belief in God is illogical. It's just based on blind faith.
It is not provable.
There's their approach is logical, based on the other questions that we mentioned.
the truth is,
that belief in God is logical. And this belief in God is illogical. It's the complete opposite.
And we should have no doubts in our hearts, that this is true.
If we know our Lord, then we have no doubt about this.
We can start by saying,
If atheism was really logical,
then the fathers of logic should have been atheists.
logic is traced back to the Greeks
and the leading philosophers amongst the Greeks, Plato and Aristotle, both of them believed in God.
And they argued for the necessity of belief in God logically, because, as philosophers, logic was held on the highest
position, highest status, to be able to logically present things.
Plato's argument was the argument from design.
That design indicates a designer
That is logical.
That's what we see around us all the time.
When we walk
on the beach, and we see a footprint in the sand, we don't stop and reflect
how amazing it was that the sea washed ashore, sank into the sand and made a footprint
for the atheists, that's what they say, as possible, the sea could sink in the sand
and create what would appear to us to be a footprint.
But that is not logical. Yes, it could. It is not impossible. But the greatest likelihood is that when we see that footprint, we know that somebody another human being stepped there. That's what we conclude.
Sir Isaac Newton,
on one occasion,
a, an instrument,
was a lie a means of demonstrating the movement of the planets around the sun, the sun in the middle, the different planets. And when you turn this crank, then the planets moved around the sun, you know, at different paces, etc.
And one of his atheist friends stopped by to visit him. And he asked him, you know, when he saw it, he was really amazed. This is a wonderful
He said to him,
Who made it?
Isaac Newton responded to him saying, nobody.
I just accidentally fell into that shape.
The man looked at him and said, so be silly.
Don't be silly.
You know, Who made it? He said, is what I said. Any more silly than what you say about the real world?
of the planets going around? You said it's all by accident. Isn't that even more foolish?
As you wouldn't accept it on that small scale, which is so obvious. How are you going to accept it on that huge scale?
So the concept that design indicates a designer, this is a natural concept. Human beings function, according to it all the time. But atheists say no, design doesn't necessarily indicate indicated designer. So if you take a bucket of paint, and you throw it on the wall, it might splatter on the wall. And it might look like a hand or a foot or a head. You know,
it can take
forms, which looks similar to just like sometimes you look at the clouds in the sky, and sometimes the cloud seems to take the shape of a head, or a hand or a foot.
So let's see.
So we say to them, well,
if we put in all of the colors in a bucket,
then we throw that bucket of colors against the wall. Do you think it is possible that we could come out with a Mona Lisa?
There we say Yeah.
Yes, it's possible.
Common Sense. For people who live in the real world common sense tells us No.
No way. No matter how many times you throw this bucket of colors against the wall, you are not going to come out with a Mona Lisa. It's not going to ever happen.
The first time you throw it will be no different from the billionth time that you throw it but according to them know, if you keep throwing, keep mixing and throwing them mixing and throw one time. It can happen.
But as I said, Come
sense says no.
The example I like to give for this is that if you put 100 monkeys in a cage, and you give them all typewriters, and pieces of paper, and I let them beat away at the keys with their heads and their feet and elbows and jump up and down, one of them will type out for you. The whole Koran, given them of course, Arabic typewriters, not English ones, right? They will type out for you the whole Quran, from Fatiha to NASS from beginning to end, or the Bible, from Genesis to revelations,
one of them will give you an unlimited amount of time, if they just keep at it, one of them is gonna do it.
And they'll even put some numbers to it, they'll tell you, it is the chances of it occurring is one to the minus.
But still one.
But common sense. logic and reason tells us No, it's not going to happen.
So that's why we say they are the ones who are illogical.
They are calling on something which the human mind does not accept. It goes against all reason, all human experience, it goes against it. But that's what they hold on to.
Aristotle, on the other hand,
his argument was that the infinite regression of the cause and effect chain cannot possibly be meaning,
that question, if
everything has a creator, then who created God,
meaning, you go back, this was created by that one that was created by the other one that was pretty bad, the other one keep going back and back to infinity.
Or this God created and then another god created that God and another god created that God and back to infinity, he said no,
that cannot be there has to be a beginning point. Because saying that, there is no beginning point. In other words is back to infinity mean there is no beginning point
is the same as saying it never started.
Reality is that we are here now, our existence is proof that there had to be a beginning point.
And for that beginning point to take place, then the one that precipitated cause, that beginning to take place,
had to himself or itself be without creation, otherwise it just falls back in that chain.
There had to be one who was uncreated to start the process going otherwise, no beginning.
So that was
Aristotle's argument. The Quran uses both arguments.
The most common argument of course, is the the argument from design
of Allah fly on Luna La Bella kafer Hola. Well, you're not reflect on how the camels were created.
And the whole of creation around us
just reflecting on how it's each the each element of creation, the complexity that is found there, when scientists go and look on the most microscopic level
what do they find? As they take things apart and look inside, take things apart and look inside keeps getting smaller and smaller and smaller, what do they find? They find Order.
Order all the way.
If they go to the macroscopic go the other way out towards the sun, the planets, the universe. What do they find? Order, everywhere. Order.
It is not the price of the product of chaos.
So the claim that
everything was a product of accident, the Big Bang boom.
And here we are.
This is like saying,
somebody drops an atomic bomb
on a junkyard, in a junkyard where they have all the bits and pieces of cars, you can go down and get us pieces. junkyard full of bits and pieces, you drop an atomic bomb in the junkyard and out rolls, a Rolls Royce.
Engine humming door open, you just have to get in and drive away.
This is what they're saying. Reality is that these bombs create chaos, they break things apart, they don't create things.
So the logic that
this world and its contents were created by God is so strong.
It is so obvious that the vast majority of human beings believe in God. That's reality. Wherever you go in the world, whenever whenever you go back in history,
you find people's believing in God.
Those who don't believe in God, they are very small number.
They are exceptions. And even in the countries where we know that atheism, for example, became the order of the day like Russia,
where atheism was taught, it became the state religion.
The denial of God's existence was a requirement for you to be promoted to have any position of not.
Yet, once the Soviet Union fell apart,
of Europe with regards to the percentages in different countries that believe in God put Russia right up at the top. Some 80% of Russians believe in God's existence.
What happened? They had been indoctrinated from the time of, you know, Lenin Stalin all those years.
A century. Yet, as soon as the state apparatus was dismantled, the people reverted.
Naturally back to belief in God, I remember speaking to a Chinese
who had converted to Islam, from communism, and I asked
the person how, when you were indoctrinated, Mao's thought, read book, cultural revolution, all this stuff? How can you come to Islam? What happened?
She said, Actually,
I always believed there was a god. But I just kept it inside. You just you want to get ahead, you want to do anything, get into university to study whatever these things you just don't express.
So once there was relaxation, then I could go and explore and find for myself what was in fact, the religion of God.
That's the reality.
the fact that the vast majority of human beings believe in God is itself
evidence for the existence of God.
in 1997, in California,
University in California,
two researchers, neither of whom were Muslims
on patients who had brain disorders,
whether it was included schizophrenics and others are people with epilepsy and other other brain disorders. They were probing different parts of the brain trying to assess where this was coming from how they could possibly control it. What they found was that at the front part of the brain, when they probe this area,
people who had it done had these massive religious experience
Some a presence of God who is this from the Muslim perspective, this is what a lot tells us in Surah, Al are off
the seventh chapter of the Quran, verse 172, or it states there that a lot created all of human beings, all human beings, at the time of the creation of Adam took from Adam all of his descendants,
and made them bear witness
that he was the Lord.
And all human beings bore witness,
they remained in that state in the barossa
until the time for their birth on Earth,
the spirit was then put into human beings they grew up and then the environment around them, would affect them.
As the processor limit said, koulamallah Odin, you will lead to Alan fitrah. Every
newborn is born in a natural state of belief in God, this is the natural way, but it is the family, the environment, etc, around him or her, that turns them into a Christian, a Jew, Zoroastrian, or whatever.
to our other group of questions,
if everything has a creator, who created God, we looked at that already. And the answer given by Aristotle, infinite regression going back without having a creator, is not possible. There has to be a creator, who was himself on created.
The second question, if God can do anything, why can't he have a son?
That one can be included with the other question? If God is all powerful? Can you create a storm which is too heavy for him to lift these questions and ones like them? We put under the general heading of the ludicrous,
the ludicrous questions, ludicrous, meaning that they are illogical, and they are unreasonable questions from two perspectives.
Or we could say really, from one perspective, explain it in two different ways. Basically,
to ask, Can God do anything which will make him no longer God?
That is a ludicrous question.
To ask, Can God do anything which is, which will make him in doing it make him no longer God?
That is illogical, and unreasonable. So when we define God, as one without beginning to then ask, Can God be born? That is illogical. If we define God, as one without and then to ask, Can God die? That is illogical.
So the issue of God doing ungodly things, is not
an issue of discussion. It is outside the realm of reasonable and logical discussion.
So both of those questions we say, are asking whether God will do ungodly things.
For God to have a son.
One of his descriptions is that he is one and only.
Here, O Israel, the Lord your God is one God.
There's only one God. So to say, Can God have a son, meaning, if he had a son, what is that son going to be? Another God.
Maybe a little God.
But we have sons, they're little humans.
cows have calves, cats and kittens.
Little versions. So when God has a son, we have a little version of God.
Or is it a full blown version like himself?
If he's a full blown version, you have clearly two gods.
So for God to have a son is to no longer be
True God, who is only one? So it is a nonsensical question.
It is a nonsensical question.
The other question,
which is one which usually messes up people,
where they are not aware of how God works,
when something happens in their lives,
which they cannot find an explanation for,
then their only conclusion is, there can't be a god.
So many times we talk to atheists, you ask, how did you get here? You know, your parents were both
Christians or Muslims or whatever. And
you are now an atheist. How did you get there? The person will tell you something like, I had this aunt,
who was a wonderful woman, she was even nicer than my own parents.
And one day,
when she was taking me to the store, a big car came and just ran over and killed her. Why?
She was a good person.
So many bad people around why did it hit them? Why her?
Of course, he doesn't have? Or she doesn't have an answer, no way to explain why her and not anybody else. So the only conclusion, not understanding how God operates, is to say, There couldn't be a god.
And this one is similar
to the concept,
we can say is that if God is all good, and Able to do all things, where did evil come from? It's the same question. Where did evil come from?
reality is that everything which takes place in the world
is a part of God's creation.
It is by God's permission.
Nothing takes place without
his permission for it to take place.
What we do know
is that, from our personal experience, there are many things, which we might look at as being bad at one point in time, and later on, look at it as being good. at another point in time. It appeared bad to us. But later on, we turned out to be something really good.
We can see it on the simple level of our children. When you have to take your child to the dentist first time, and you gear him up or her up to go see the dentist. Tell him how the dentist is the nice man
is going to do nice things for you.
And even when you come into the
dental office, maybe the dentist will give
the child a lollipop or something.
But once the kid is in the chair,
and business begins.
There is another situation happening here. needles are going in the gum and the drill is going and
the kid is screaming
laughter you take that kid home.
You cannot convince the kid that the dentist was a good man.
You can't convince him or if you want to take them back to the dentist again. Whoa, boy. You know, you have to trick them. You don't tell him I'm taking you there because otherwise they're gonna ruin closing the door now coming out.
No way. Not going back to that man. Again. He's a bad man.
That's how the child perceives it.
It can only see the harm, the pain, the suffering that it had. It can't see as we do when we look ahead. We say no this pain is to prevent a greater pain.
We can't see that. Those children can't see it.
And that is what is demonstrated in the story of al Qaeda.
Al Qaeda and Prophet Moses in the Quran Surah Al Kahf.
Where al Qaeda
There are certain acts, which
Prophet Moses could not understand
the long term, or to or to know the long term consequences.
Until al Qaeda explained it to him,
he could only see a hitter taking the axe and breaking the hole in the boat, after these people had so kindly taken them across the river,
and see him grab an innocent child and take off its head
for no apparent reason,
until al Qaeda, explained to him that the boat
was saved by the hole put in it.
Because there was a ruler coming down a tyrant King coming down the river, and he was grabbing everybody's boat. So when it came to the boat with the hole in it, he left it, no need for that one.
So the man's boat was saved by the hole that was putting it and the boy whose life was taken, parents were righteous, that child was going to grow up and become such a fitness such a trial for the parents, that would would drive them into a state of disbelief. So to protect the parents from the evil of the child, its life was taken. And allow replace the child with another a girl. And that girl treated the parents well.
And that's about the realities of life. We say it as every cloud has a silver lining.
This is reality, we see it. Now, of course, what happens with people is they say, okay,
we can see that. But
where is the good in the tsunami?
And the tsunami? Two? How many 1000s of lives? Where's the good and not one? Tell us the good?
The fact that I cannot explain to you where the good is? Does it mean there is no good? All it says is I don't know where.
But reality is that how God operates is that he does not permit anything to happen, except that there is some good in it.
But it doesn't mean that the evil that is done by those who do it. If it's done by people, as opposed to quote unquote, nature. It doesn't mean that those people are excuse saying, oh, they're only doing God's Will those who are murdering people stealing.
Now, we don't say they're doing God's Will Yeah, yes, what they've done is in accordance with the will of God, meaning God has permitted them to do it. But that's not what God wants them to do.
Because they will be punished for what they do.
So that's how
In our day to day life,
we easily recognize the need for instructions.
We need the need for instructions is well known.
If a businessman set up a business, hire people to work in his business, brought them to the company, and then didn't tell them what they're supposed to do in the company. What do you think's gonna happen?
The company is gonna run well and be successful and
he has to tell them what to do.
He had a reason for which he hired them, or has to be open explain to them, one who does something like that where he doesn't inform people, which is unwise,
children going to school, if they're not informed as to what they're going to school for.
what they're supposed to do in school, you think they're just gonna march into school and march into the classrooms and sit down and wait for the teacher know, they're gonna go to the playground, swing on the swings slide on the slides, have a good time. I'm not gonna go into classrooms.
You must tell them. So we recognize very easily that for anything to function properly,
it must be in accordance with plans which are explained to those involved.
information has to be
Otherwise, we say that person is foolish.
We have a variety of different titles.
And one of the basic characteristics of God is that he is all wise
This is one of the basic characteristics, we prize and respect wisdom. Surely God
is more wise than we are.
This is common sense. So one who knows God knows automatically that God revealed his will, to human beings in this world.
The messages revelation happened, it's real.
And he revealed it through messengers,
prophets, who would carry those messages to human beings.
That is a necessity.
Knowing God, knowing who God is, necessitates that conclusion. One who doesn't know God, who would assign to God idiocy, yes, they can say, Yes, God created the world left it to run on its own.
But knowing God removes these doubts,
and takes us to the ultimate conclusion
that God revealed his word, sent messengers, and we need to know
what was his word, we need to know who were his messengers.
And we need to find out the very purpose of our existence. Why are we here?
What were we created for? And this is something each and every Muslim is supposed to know.
It is clearly explained in the Quran.
Maybe if you ask a Christian and others, why were you created?
They may have difficulty finding an answer for it. Why? Because if you go through the Bible, there's no answer. You're not find anywhere in the Bible. It says, human beings were created for this purpose. Specifically, no. People say, well, maybe it was for this, maybe it was for that some of this and some of that, mix it together, come up with something, but to say, in the Scripture, in the Gita, or the Vedas, or the Gospels, or the Old Testament, find a verse where it says, God created human beings for this purpose. You don't find it. But in the Quran, you find it.
And so each and every Muslim, has that clarity, available for himself and for herself. Now,
though, the clarity is there,
that doesn't necessarily mean that all Muslims know, what is the purpose.
In fact, on one occasion in Doha, Qatar,
brother from India,
Muslim, brought in a Hindu
who he had been giving, you know, some explanations about Islam.
And he wanted me to give him further clarity and explanation. He brought him into the office, we sat down.
And I asked the Hindu young man, you know, what is the purpose of your creation?
I said, I don't know.
First of all, see, that's the difference between your religion
and mine. in mind, it is absolutely clear.
Every Muslim knows, turn to the brother, right brother.
He was looking at me with this blank stare.
I said, oh,
Well, I won't get caught in that one again.
actually, the reason is there in the Quran, you know, it's in a chapter known as daddy out the 59th chapter, verse 56. Or Mahalo to Genoa. olalia, Buddha did not create the genuine human beings except to worship me. Purpose of creation is to worship God
Worship God, not meaning merely to raise up one's hands and to call on Him in time of need.
But to live a life, a complete life, in accordance with the commandments of God. This is worship, submission to God in all aspects of life, this is the totality of the message.
Knowing who our Lord is, gives us that or should give us that understanding of the religion,
that it is not a religion, as is typically understood by about religions where you have set rituals done at a certain point in time, you know, this is when you are religious, you do your religious thing, then the rest of time you do your life thing
for Muslim, religion covers all aspects of life, from the time you wake up in the morning, till the time you go to sleep at night, it is the duty of every Muslim, to know what God has commanded.
What instructions God has given for himself or herself,
for every minute of every day.
It doesn't mean we were we don't have the will. And the ability to choose and decide to do things of course we do. But when we choose and decide to do things, we should do them in accordance with what God has taught us.
That is the totality of religion, which is summed up in the verse image of God says,
to the prophet to human beings call in solidarity, or Natsuki, Amaya Amati lillahi Rabbil aalameen. Say, indeed, my prayers, my sacrifices, my living and my dying are for a law, the Lord of all the worlds.
This is what we have been instructed.
And this is the conclusion
of knowing who is your Lord?
So, inshallah, we will walk away from this session
with some clarity.
If those questions that I raised earlier, left doubts in your mind, and I didn't ask people to put up their hands who understood and who didn't, I didn't want to embarrass anybody.
I just went through it, assuming everybody knew. And this was only a reminder.
But those issues we should be clear about. If we have read the Quran, and we continue to read the Koran, the clarity of this will be obvious to us. If we read the Sunnah, the way of the Prophet what he said what he did, the guidance he gave, this will all be clear to us. And this is what we need to have
as a living system that we follow throughout our lives. So that the end of this life when the time comes in the grave,
and we are question, man, Rob book, will be able to say or be a law. My lord is a la vida koloff he was Salam aleikum wa