Back to Basics – Episode 03

Muhammad West


Channel: Muhammad West


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salat wa salam ala Sayyidina Muhammad Ali,

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my beloved brothers and sisters in Islam salaam aleikum wa rahmatullah wa barakatu. Thank you so much for joining us. This is episode three of our series, back to basics, understanding the essentials of Islam. In Episode One, we described what Islam means linguistically. And we said that Islam, and the religion of Islam is a submission to the Creator. Very simply put, Islam is about submitting the creation submitting to its creator. Then in Episode Two, we asked, well, who is this one that we are submitting to? Who are we making submission to, in other words, who is the God of Islam, and we explained the ayat of nebby, Ibrahim, Ibrahim looked at all the different objects of

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worship, whether the idols, the stars, the moon, the sun, and he basically said to his people, the one I worship, the one I submit to my God, is the one who created me, and in fact created all of creation, the one who I depend on for loving, the one who I know I will return to when I die, and the one I will have to be answerable to in the life after death. So that being that is the God of Islam. And we say the vast majority of the world, the vast majority of the world accepts this concept. Whether you're a Jew or a Christian, someone who is spiritual and doesn't follow an organized religion, you will agree, and you will find within yourself this innate feeling that I

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came from some higher being some higher force, some higher, all powerful designer, made everything, and I've been placed here for a reason. And ultimately, I have a connection with that creator, and I will return to that creator. And this is really as we said, the fundamental belief of most of the people of this earth. And then of course, we differ in terms of understanding the finer details in terms of the nature of that God, how he looks, how he interacts, how we worship Him, how we OBEY Him, that is a more detailed discussion, inshallah, which we will get to. But we said that in the modern day and age, we live in a time, for the first time really in human history, we have a

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movement that actually denies the existence of this higher being, that denies the existence of a of a designer for the universe. The movement of atheism is something which is has picked up momentum in the last few decades. And it's something which we have to address enlisted in sha Allah will spend some time in this episode and in the next episode or so, to discuss this issue of atheism and respond. And before we get into the details of atheism, I must mention to you that if you read the Quran cover to cover, the Quran does not discuss atheism, you can count on your one hand, the number of is that you could say a purely addressing atheism, Allah Subhan doesn't even speak about atheism.

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And why is that Allah approves and it raises the questions that they ask is this prophet to Allah? subhanaw taala answers that they ask is the Quran from Allah, Allah subhanaw taala addresses that gives evidences, but he does not give evidence and prove his own existence. Why? Because as we said, Allah subhanho wa Taala in the Quran presupposes it already makes the assumption that you already believe that there is a creator, that this is the fundamental, innate belief, and this is a part of your DNA that is so illogical, it is so irrational, it is so incorrect to even ask the question, to prove to me that there is a creator, that Allah doesn't even address this question. Allah doesn't

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even address that question in the Quran, that all of humanity and all cultures and all religions and all peoples from the east of the Earth to the west, if you go back in time, you'd find that they all believed in some form of the other, and they was an originating being some design that put us here and we did not just come here by chance. And Allah subhanaw taala, as we said, when he speaks about the existence, the evidences that there isn't Allah, Allah subhanaw taala mentioned that if some of the if he says that every single thing in creation is an evidence that He exists, everything in creation is a proof that there is a designer, it is an evidence for you to ask, Where did this come

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from? If not, by a designer waited space waited all the planets, the galaxies, the chromosomes, the DNA in your body, the mountains, all of this? Where did it come from? To believe that it came from absolutely nothing is more irrational, is more illogical, than to believe that a designer actually put that day. And also, science will tell us that we know now, without any doubt, the universe has an origin, a big bang, there was a time when the universe did not exist. About 14 billion years ago, there was no universe and all of a sudden, spontaneously, instantaneously. Creation came from nothing, you know, the universe came from nothing It was created, the universe was created. We know

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the scientifically and therefore Allah asks a very simple question. What

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They created without there being anything, did they come from nothing? Or are they the creators? Of course the third option which Allah does not ask, which is intuitive, or were they created by an external and external being, Allah subhana wa tada also draws the attention to the perfect design in nature, the perfect design within nature is undeniable that you will find that the systems that every single branch of science that we study is an evidence of a much greater system, and alive. So asking, Why do you think the system came from? Where do you think the design came if there was no designer, we know that it's illogical to believe that from chaos, from nothingness from

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lifelessness, order, and system and life will emerge, that if you have complete randomness, to think that if you leave example, as one scientist said, if you were to put a tornado in a scrapyard, and that tornado was constantly blowing and moving the metals around, you will not believe that if you live that tornado for billions and billions of years, that in time it will form a Boeing 747. It's impossible. Logically, you know, this is impossible. So the fact that these are designed Allah saying, Look at the perfection in his creation, not only the fact that it exists, but the perfection in which it exists. The systems that are there isn't evidence of intelligence isn't evidence of of

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him, they don't last and Allah mentions this fitrah and that when man is pushed to his primal self, because you see a lie seem to you and me that there is an innate stamp on our DNA that pre assumes that pre accepts that there is a creator, we are born on this fitrah and you have to exercise it, you need to unlearn it, you need to teach yourself atheism, atheism is not innate, atheism is not something that you are born with, you have to force atheism down your throat. And only when you are really to the brink, do go back to that natural Phaedra. As Allah mentions, that when a man is sort of on as Allah speaks about when a person is on a boat, and then both is about to is blowing in the

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ocean and the wind, then he forgets all his false dieties he forgets all these false beliefs. And he turns back any please, our law helped me out a lot. I was just, I'm actually giving you this lecture in Brisbane, Alhamdulillah, Brisbane, Australia, and I was on a plane. And we know just a few days ago, and Ethiopian Airlines Flight crashed. mela make it easy for those who have lost loved ones. And a good friend of mine, he was on that aircraft on the previous flight. So he flew on the aircraft, and the next flight of that same aircraft crashed. So when something is so close to someone that you know, someone that you care about, it makes you skate, it makes you worry. And so

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surprisingly, you're sitting on this plane, and you feel the turbulence blowing, and you realize you are completely powerless. And when you are pushed to that extreme level, you know, you realize how how dependent you are on a las panatela We live in a world where we feel, you know, with a push of a button with a swipe of a card, I can get what I want, I can do what I want, I can go where I want to begin to feel ourselves greater than we are. But when we are brought to reality, you realize Subhanallah I am so so dependent in you know, on Allah subhanaw taala. And that natural fichter of even the atheist when you push him to his when the doctors tell him that there is no cure for your

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cancer, when a doctor tells you science can no longer help you. Where do you turn to at that point in time, your natural fitrah will call out to someone bigger, and SubhanAllah. Just to think that there is nothing beyond this life, that if you die that those who you love have just disappeared, it goes against something that is internal inside of yourself. So this natural fitrah this natural inclination is something which is shared across all religions and all cultures. They believe that there's a soul, they believe that there is a creator, this is just natural and soprano Love is the strength in numbers. The fact that 90 plus percent of the world is on one side, and you are in a

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tiny minority on the other side. And we're not just talking about about the people today we're talking about of all times, this is something that that we think about something that should be considered that that in itself is a proof is an evidence because the world could not have come together and conspired about this, that there is no grand conspiracy of religious people to concoct to invent this lie. This is something which is innate in felt through all cultures, through all different cultures in different times different countries. And this is a powerful evidence, a powerful evidence of something innate within us. So these are some of the basic evidences that the

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Quran speaks about improving the existence of a lot, very simple, not highly detailed, as we said, Because Allah subhanho wa Taala already pre supposes and assumes that how can you even deny my existence? You can doubt the Quran? Sure, and therefore we need evidences to prove it and that's what we will discuss that in time is the Quran to you can doubt the prophet SAW Salem is this man, Elia Is he a poet

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A profit. That is a valid question and therefore requires valid evidence, but to actually deny the existence of a law that is so illogical, irrational, that Allah subhanho wa Taala does not even address that in the Quran in reality. But now let's look at some of the arguments that modern atheists use. How do we respond to them? And as I said before, the atheists are good at asking questions. They're good at pointing holes, but I'm not good at answering questions and giving a better solution a better answer to those questions that we propose. So let's look at one of the first questions they would say, I only believe in what I can prove, which is logical. It's a valid

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it's a valid assumption. You know, if you asked me to believe in Santa Claus, you asked me to believe in the tooth fairy, the Easter Bunny, then give me evidence. So they would say, I don't believe in God, because there's no evidence I cannot see, touch, taste or smell or hear my five senses cannot, you know, I cannot taste God, I cannot give me an evidence, and I'll be leaving him. So we respond to this by saying, firstly, the absence of evidence is not in itself, a proof that something does not exist, it's a bit detailed. But let's just say 100 years ago, there was absolutely no evidence that there were such things as black holes. 1000 years ago, there was no

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scientific evidence to prove that they were germs, that there were planets and galaxies, you know, fall into space, that there were things deep inside the earth, we didn't have the scientific evidences. And the fact that we didn't have the evidence did not mean that those things did not exist. Then, our understanding of nature, our understanding of the universe is evolving constantly. And we're learning new things, and we're acquiring new evidences. And just the fact that we haven't yet reached that level of understanding, our knowledge has not evolved that level, where we can fully comprehend Allah subhanaw taala, through scientific means, does not in and of itself, prove

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that he does not exist. But as we said before, the fact that all of creation is an indirect evidence of Allah subhanho wa Taala. If you only went on, I only believe what I can see, touch, taste, smell or hear what my five senses can perceive, then as we said, something as simple as love, something as simple as love cannot be scientifically proven. But rather we can say, well, we can prove the absence of love the effects of love, we can prove how love impacts people. And similarly, the same with Allah subhanaw taala, we can see the effects of Allah throughout the creation. The second argument is that, as we said, very close to this, that religion, and science are at loggerheads,

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that it is unscientific to believe in the existence of a God, or that there is a contradiction between science and religion. And this comes and this really stems from a Western experience with religion. So a few 100 years ago, when the Church of the Christian church was ruling Europe, the religion suppressed science. As science grew, and the scientists became more powerful, and they overthrew the church in reality, they found that lots of what was preached as a religious fact, was actually unscientific, untrue, from a scientific perspective. And therefore, the belief is that religion is on one side and sciences on the other side, this might be true from a European or

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Christian context, but from an Islamic context we say, and the Quran affirms this, that if the Quran came from anyone other than Allah, then you'd find with it many contradictions, contradictions inside of it, you will continue to science, that if the Quran says things that are scientifically, completely incorrect, then we do have a problem. We agree with you on that. But you will not find anything in the Quran, that is completely against science, you would find in fact, many scientific facts, which which go hand in hand with the Quran and science go hand in hand and we can see how the societies the Muslim societies, actually, you know, they experienced a high level of, of scientific

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development and discovery. Once they turned to the Quran. The Quran said, look at the universe, study the creation, look at the systems in place. This will give you a greater appreciation from a lot because like the Quran, which is coming from the Creator, the universe itself is also an evidence of the Creator. So we from an Islamic perspective, we find no contradiction between science and religion. In fact, in a scientist, if you look at the word science, it is impossible to actually disprove the creator through science What do I mean science can never disprove the existence of the Creator? Why? Because Science fundamentally, what is science? Science is the study of the universe.

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It's study of the natural universe and through the we derive knowledge by testing it, based on that the scientist already believes we the you know, consciously accept this. He believes that there are certain laws in the universe, and that if I taste the universe enough, I'll begin to understand these laws.

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The is an observable set of laws in the universe there is basically this a design in place is a scientific design in place. And if I taste it, I can learn that design. Now the fact that you believe that they are these underlying laws in the universe, you believe that there is a design means you believe that there is a designer, if there was no designer, if there was no higher being, then there would be complete randomness in the universe, that what you know, when you test for an experiment today, you get one result tomorrow, you'll get a completely different result because there is no, it's completely random. So in reality, science cannot disprove the Creator. In fact,

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science already presupposes it assumes that there must be some all powerful designer that has put this universe given it a design. The next argument of the atheist is that religion is the cause of so much fighting and evil in the world, that without religion, there will be no violence, no wars, that the Christians, and the Muslims are fighting the Muslims and the Jews are fighting in Palestine, that the Muslims and the Hindus are fighting in India, that you find ISIS and all these evil groups causing harm. It's all because of religion, that ultimately if we remove religion, we would all live in peace. Now, it is true, of course, we admit. And we say that we know many people

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have done many evil things in the name of religion, people have used religion as a means for political power, as a means to abuse other groups as a means to massacre to commit genocide. They've used religion as an excuse. But similarly, people have used economic systems, communism, capitalism, to create mass genocide, people have used culture, race, apparently, based on race, nothing to do with religion, based on psychology to cause wars. In fact, most of the wars today is purely driven out of power, wealth and political ideology. And you know, if we look at the last 100 years, perhaps the most deadly in terms of the number of people that died in the last 100 years, we had World War

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One World War Two, we had massive genocide due to communism. In China. And in Russia, we had a nuclear bomb, two nuclear bombs being dropped on Japan, we asked, which, which religion? Cause this? Was it the Christian religion? The Muslim religion? No, none of these wars were based on religion. It was purely based on politics, and human greed, human desire for domination. And this instinct of human domination, the people that rule the world today, most of societies in the world, or Western societies or secular societies, they're not religious societies. But we still see this war today, America, if you ask what religion is America, what religion is the government of America, it's a

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secular government, England, the same Europe the same, you get these countries are constantly engaged in war, they're still fighting. So to say that the war is because of religion is really incorrect, logically, and factually, it's factually incorrect, that war will continue. Unfortunately, in spite of religion, rather, it's human nature, that good people, whether they are religious, whether they are atheists, they will know that there are basic models and ethics and they won't, they won't be violent and harmful to others, and you find people that are evil, whether they are religious, in spite of the religion, they will still pursue means of further political

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accumulation of wealth, they will harm others. It's got nothing to do with religion, it's more a human, a human problem. Another common question that atheists would ask is that we live in a world where there's so much evil, there's so much suffering, war disease, if there was an all powerful creator. And furthermore, we believe is created to be all good, a good, good creator, then why does he allow these things to happen? Why does he allow these things to happen? Our responses, we say, whether you believe in God or you don't believe in God, if we were all atheists tomorrow, last time, I love this, this was the case the world was full of atheists. All we stopped believing we all

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stopped believing Allah instantly, this would not change the fact that there is still poverty, that they are still was happening, that they are still earthquakes happening, that disasters, natural events happen, these terrible events happen, whether you believe whether you don't believe, but there's two forms of reality. The one reality says that whatever happens happens by design, it happens for a greater reason, that there is an afterlife where the appraiser will be will be punished, the appraiser will be held accountable for his actions, the priest will be will be will be compensated for the loss that those who lost something now isn't the end of the story. But it is

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another chapter within which is last will be replaced. versus the other reality, the reality of the atheist. He basically says Hitler got away with genocide, nothing happens to him, he died and that was it. He's not held accountable for it. The person who died, the person who has suffered in this life, it was just purely luck of the draw indifference. There was no greater purpose. There was no compensation for that. That everything that happens is purely random. You know, a person was at the wrong time, the wrong place, whereas Islam or other religion and the belief in an order

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powerful God and the fact that there's an afterlife, it necessitates that there will be justice. Now, again, intuitively, naturally within ourselves, we know we cannot accept that all of our existence is purely by chance that there is no higher meaning to life, that there is no ultimate justice that will prevail. And at the end of the day, this is something which you said, it's intuitive. There is no way I can prove to you scientifically that there is an afterlife, and there's no way someone can disprove the afterlife. Rather, we ask what makes more sense logically, using our mind? What makes more sense, logically or psychologically? And in really in reality, which world

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would you like to live? If you ask the people that are being oppressed today? If you ask the person that is suffering that has gone through a life of hardship, what would you rather prefer to believe that this all happened due to randomness, that there was no meaning to your suffering, or to say that your suffering will ultimately be compensated in the future in a life either in this life, or in the life of today? This is something which, you know, it's something that you have to understand something which you have to comprehend, that the, the atheist by not believing in Allah does not mean it goes away. On the other side, the other side to it many times, it's not the fact that an

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atheist this believes in Allah, it's not that they don't believe in Allah. It's rather they don't want to believe in Allah. What do I mean by this, atheists will say, I cannot accept that God will allow these things to happen. Or I cannot submit myself to a God that allows us now it's a very different thing. not believing Allah exists, or God exists, versus not wanting to believe or hating God, you cannot hate something which doesn't exist. And evil, if you find a natural hatred or dislike for Allah, for God for the concept of God, then that in itself is actually an evidence that He exists, because you cannot hate something which does not exist. For example, someone you know,

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she was mentioning that someone said, you know, your religion is so evil. I don't believe in your religion, because it speaks about a hell and it speaks about this evil place that people are going to go to. And we say to him, why would you be angry with me, you don't even believe in hell to begin with. You're an atheist, you don't believe in hell to begin with. So there's no reason for you to get so upset about something which in your mind is a fairy tale, the fact that you are so emotional about this thing that you're so angry about? It is evidence that you actually believe it is evidence that you believe in it. The last argument, and which is perhaps the weakest of these arguments, is

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the moral question. How can I believe and this is more a question about religion, I can't believe in religion, because morally, most of the world's religions, they have within themselves things which I cannot accept. So maybe, you know, in the modern day and age, same sex marriage, we know, for example, Islam does not permit this. So I cannot believe in your religion because it is immoral. Or, in my mind, women are abused, or women are based within Islam. So Islam is immoral, therefore I cannot believe it. What we intend to do is to try and take all these accusations of Islam being immortal, and try to respond and try to make up a reason why it isn't immortal. And the wisdom

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behind it the wisdom, why, you know, you can have four wives the wisdom behind the hijab. And while this is a good thing to do, we actually should step back and ask a more fundamental question that is asking this question. He assumes that his morality, or he's biased in terms of what is truth is correct, that my way of thinking, my understanding of what is right and wrong, is the ultimate truth. And you will know and we will know that this kind of do that every single person on earth will have their own biased, they will have their own ways of believing what is correct or incorrect. If we take religion out of the equation, if we see that there was no,

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there is no divine set of rules of right and wrong, then everyone can just make it up as we go along. That today, people will say, same sex marriages, okay. 50 years ago, those same people would say it's immoral. 50 years ago, people would say interracial marriages were wrong. A few years before that people would have said that for a woman to uncover he was in Western society. For example, in 1920, you'd find the law in France prohibited women from going to the beach, and having any part of the body from her neck to her knees. This is in the French law, any part of a body from a neck to a nice being uncovered, you would have been arrested. If you went to the beach like that

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today, it's the opposite. So we asked which modality is correct, whether people have 1920? Was the concept of models correct? Or is today? Correct? Because we know in 20 years time, it will change again. So how many things and how quickly is morality changing? It's always fluctuate it is purely subjective, will be realized. People make up the models and they determine what is right and wrong based on what they feel. And you need to ask your own self you and I need to ask what informed our morality. What gave us our compass to point what is right or wrong.

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Many times it's simply if it wasn't your religion, it wasn't your upbringing, your house, it is what Hollywood taught you. It's what you saw on TV. It's what you saw on social media. Now, is that really a valid barometer for what is right or wrong. Rather, the fact that we say that humans cannot derive an ultimate morality on the own is a need, it's an evidence that they should be a higher being that they should be an all knowing, being. That is above all cultures, above all countries, above all people and say, these are the laws that you as men you need to live by. These are the sets of laws that you should live by. And also from a logical perspective, we know there are certain

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rules, which is universally accepted as model killing, for example, every culture knows it's wrong, stealing, right, oppression line, these things are universally accepted as being immoral. And therefore any true religion would have these in place. And in fact, all religions on earth have this level of morality built inside of them. But the finer details in terms of how much inheritance a woman should get, in terms of what clothing to weigh these finer details, you cannot discuss those things. If you don't believe in the fundamentals of the religion, for example, someone that says I don't believe in trees, and then he wants to debate the finer details of a leaf. That's not

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possible. So from an Islamic perspective, we say that either as an atheist, you should then be if you if you're truly an atheist, per your mind, there should be no different morality, morality is something we make up as we go along that today, same sex marriage is okay. Tomorrow, gender changes the day after that polygamy is okay. Even polygamy is not okay, whatever society decides what it once it goes, that is what morality is in terms of a completely secular society, whereas Islam, and those who have believed in a God, we believe that there must be a set of laws, that is a model. That is true, that is correct. Throughout all ages, that there is a highest set of rules and the right

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and wrong, that must be in place, no matter whether you are living 1400 years ago, 10,000 years ago, or 10,000 years in the future, that there is a set of rules that is ultimately it is truth with a capital T. That is basically what we're saying it has to come if there is a truth like that, it can only come from a being above humanity, someone that is above humans, that understands humans, and both humans that created them. Only this being can actually dictate what is ultimate morality. The Quran says Allah does not ever, he never ever legislate immorality, Allah never encourages that which is that which is evil, Allah never calls to that. And in fact, if you look at the, the society

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that the Quran came into the society, the Arab society, pre Islam, je Yeah. And you asked just as a human, even as an atheist, you look at the the morality of that society, versus the morality of the coming of the Quran, you have to be free and you if you're truly free, you'll say without a doubt, Islam came and improve the morality, the social status of that society, improved through Islam, while having a lot to do with the last thing. It really, it is illogical to believe in atheism, it is illogical to deny the existence of a lot. Why? Because we say to the atheist, that if tomorrow I die, if I die as a Muslim, and I find out that you will correct all atheists, you are correct, that

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there is no God, the Islam generally is no heaven, there is no hell, all of this was just by chance. It's luck, it's random. It has no greater meaning. If I die, and that's the truth, then there's no implications. I won't even exist of the death to regret it. I won't feel anything wrong. But if you are atheist, you die. And I am right, the ether God, the either heaven or hell, well, then you're in big trouble. So really, you put yourself on an international basis, there's no real valid reason, no valid evidence to prove or disprove God, per Yo, from the atheist perspective. He can't disprove Allah. So while he says there's no evidence to prove a law, there is no evidence he can give to

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disprove a law. He's taking a chance, and that chance is illogical. That chance is irrational. And that chance is something which you know, as we said, I won't regret but you might regret it. So on that we live in sha Allah and we continue in our next episode, we'll talk about agnosticism the concept of I believe in a God but not in a religion will ask what are the benefits of believing in a creator and inshallah We'll then go into detail to say, Well, why is Islam have all these religions? What makes Islam true and correct? insha Allah, Allah hi Salam Alaikum library cattle