Challenging The Existence Of God
Channel: Nouman Ali Khan
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hamdu Lillahi Rabbil alameen wa salatu salam ala shuffle ambia even more Salli wa aalihi wa sahbihi
samama bad. The title that I have been given to share with you about in these 15 minutes is challenging the existence of God through challenging the prophethood of Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam.
Actually, I'd like to feed off of what our beloved Chief of Staff elaborated so beautifully, and kind of summarize it, because I need that to feed off of, and to actually discuss with you a few things that I have in mind, on this topic. Essentially, in my personal experiences, this is not something based on books and research. It is bought based entirely on anecdotal, personal experience, my own journey towards faith and friends and others that I've met along the way that have had conversations with me about trouble in believing in God and things like that.
Basically, atheism boils down to two issues, where people have faith in people, not a faith to see things very differently, as far as I'm concerned. And I think one of them was almost completely dealt with in Jeff AllStars talk. And that is the idea of how we view creation. The idea that a believer sees creation very differently, we're looking at the same sun, the same moon, the same Earth, the same existence, the creation of our own selves, down to the same protein. But the conclusions we're reaching are very, very different. For an atheist that is essentially chalked up to chance and order and chaos, and has no purpose of conscience in and of itself, the entire
universe is without conscience. And therefore it is easy to extrapolate from that, that human beings themselves don't possess a conscience. So the entire idea of right and wrong and morality, all of it can be washed away, because it is entirely up to us to decide what is right and wrong, etc. Right. So a consequence of believing in, you know, this, this chaos is actually it brings the chaos to human existence. In other words, we were not answerable to anyone, and we don't have to have any order in our lives. Right. So there are consequences to this, beyond just an academic exercise about the origins of the universe, they have direct impact on how we see our own lives. Okay, so that's
fine. Just just the first thing, how we view creation and the second most common discussion, and there are obviously branches that come out of these discussions. But the second major one is essentially the matter of attributes of God. And if there is a God, how is he so unfair? And this thing boils down to being again, very unacademic. As I explained this to you, it's either a personal matter, or it's an observational matter. So in a personal sense, it's if God is so awesome, how did how come I was diagnosed with cancer? How come I lost my job? What did my child ever do deserve to die? How come the tornado hit my house? Not the next door house? Basically, matters of justice God
and his relationship with justice, right? How come this injustice happened to me? So it's a some kind of a personal trauma, which was alluded to in the previous talk as psychological origins of atheism, right? There's a personal experience with some kind of, or some kind of bad experience, and you blame God for it, how come you didn't protect me from it? How come the right you know, he didn't come to my aid, I even pray to him so many times, and I still failed, and I didn't get into medical school, etc, etc. And therefore I'm having a crisis of faith. That's on a personal side, on the on the observational side is how come there is war? How come there's disease? How come there are, you
know, diseases that have no cure yet? or whatever? or How come there are catastrophes that were innocent people are dying? And all of this look around you? Where do you see justice? How can you believe in a God that lets all of these kinds of things happen? So on the one hand, is how we view creation, how we observe the universe around us, and obviously, even ourselves, and on the other hand, is matters of justice, as matters of justice, whether they have to do with personal experience, or it has to do with one's observations of the world. And that's basically of all the conversations I've may have had with people that are having trouble with faith, or just don't see it
or see, see people that believe as some kind of primitive, pre modern creature that doesn't belong in the century. When they have these conversations, it boils down to one of these two things, essentially boils down to one of these two things. Now, my subject is not where atheism comes from, but rather, one of the super superficial criticisms of people of faith is actually not a conversation about God, or about the validity of an existence of God or a god or Allah subhanho wa Taala with perfect attributes, but rather a conversation about how silly it is to believe this thing people call revelation. How can you people believe that there's a man who God's speaks to and gives
a message to and this message is supposed to be absolutely followed. And this man had no scientific you know, exploits, and he was living in pre modern times.
In the middle of a desert, or even those before him, you know, the other prophets that came before him. And they're supposed to have a message that's relevant to all of us, even though we're living in the age where discovery and information is now more evolved, and more, you know, more expanded than ever before in human history. How is he supposed to know better what we how we live our life, and he lived in a primitive desert where they didn't even have brick construction? How is he supposed to tell us how to live our lives? You see this, this is the kind of underlying premise of the questioning of Revelation, the argument I'm trying to present to you is, if someone's already
having a problem with the ultimate authority, Allah azza wa jal, then having a problem with his ambassador to the earth, and having a problem with his message sent to the earth, and his messengers is only a secondary issue. It's only a secondary initiative, you resolve this issue, the underlying issue is a denial of Allah Himself, that doesn't go away. So a lot of times a young Muslim people and I've seen this in my own experience when I was younger and a lot dumber. And I'm still walking, climbing out of the well of stupidity myself, but you know, I see a lot of young people still caught up in this thing, and they're really fired up fired up about their Dharma and things like that. And
an atheist comes or a, you know, a Daniel pipe come pipes comes or somebody other writers come and they say, look, the Quran has contradictions, or it has this or that, or the other argue people believe this. You know, Prophet Muhammad says this, you know, they don't call him Prophet, they don't say sallallahu Sallam we do, right. And he says, This is found in Bukhari, and this is found in Muslim, how do you explain this? And how do you explain that, and we get so fired up, and we need to answer all of those criticisms. And we feel the urge to say, No, no, there's no contradiction here. There's nothing here that you're actually looking at it the wrong way. And they would label
all of our responses as apologetics. Okay, all of our responses are basically us finding one way or the other to rationalize what is inherently flawed. That's how they view it. The problem with all of this is we're getting caught up in a game that is designed for us to lose. It's by design, the nature of this game is no matter what you come up with. Now, you know when and if that looks like we know the result, it's not a matter of rejecting revelation, it's a matter of rejecting Allah Himself. Allah Himself. Now let's turn to the Quran for some guidelines on this on atheism. On atheism, I'm I would consider myself Finally, maybe a beginner student of Quran now after maybe 15
years of trying to understand this book. And I can tell you one thing with some level of confidence, atheism is not a subject in the Quran.
is not a subject in the Quran does discuss doubt. It absolutely does. It does discuss doubt. But it discusses doubt in Revelation. It discusses doubt in messengers, it does discusses doubt in the afterlife, all the things all the aspects of our faith, that stem from believing in Allah, the conclusions you're supposed to reach. If you truly do believe in God, there are some conclusions you're supposed to reach on your own, like this, God would not have left me without guidance. This God cannot be unjust, there must be some mechanism of justice. All those conclusions people doubt and those are discussed. And when it comes to a lion doubt Allah just asks the rhetorical question,
as though it's not even a valid concern of him that he Chuck Is there even doubting Allah? And even that study, it's not even a few jeu de la he shot. It's not even is it in the existence of God, there is doubt, but rather a filler he sure can even be understood as Are you doubting His justice, His mercy, His love and His care, his guidance in what he's telling you? Are you doubting any attribute of his not his existence, his existence is not questioned in the Quran. And the answer to that the cheerful thought referred to from Sultan aarav just hands it to us because it's a natural, you know, part of our being it was instilled inside of us the belief in Allah, we have to work to
exercise it out of our system. That's our view. Our view of ourselves and our view of the universe around us is fundamentally different. It's fundamentally different. Finally, I want to talk to you about the miracle of the Quran and the miracles given to previous prophets. And these conversations have been in our tradition for a very long time, and you've heard some version of this either in a halaqa, or in a hotel or in Sunday school before you passed out. But somehow or another, you've been exposed to the idea that the Quran is a miracle. What I'd like to share with you and what, how much time do I have before I get the parking light?
time? I just keep going, Okay, all right. I'm not gonna keep going. I would rather hear from you guys. But what I want to share with you is when it comes to the miracle of the Quran, what's usually done is that it is the idea of the Quran being divine right? here's proof that it cannot be the product of the human mind. Here's conclusive evidence. It is usually presented from one dimension or another. Perhaps it's the scientific knowledge it contained. Perhaps it's linguistic perfection. Perhaps its its legal depth. You know how comprehensive lead covers issues like inheritance in such brief language, perhaps its brevity in speech. Perhaps it's it's in
imagery perhaps it's its power on human beings, its psychological effects. Perhaps it's the impact that had on human history. What other document has had that kind of impact on human history? Perhaps its its readership or the effects it has on a person individually, perhaps it's it's spiritual power, or all of these different dimensions of what makes the Koran miraculous. The problem, however, is when we phrase it incorrectly, when you phrase it incorrectly, you're saying the Quran is a miracle because of these reasons, that in my humble opinion, is phrasing it incorrectly. The Quran is miraculous in more ways than you and I can understand or perhaps even appreciate in a
lifetime. But what I find him I'm phrasing it the way I think it should be phrased, what I find particularly miraculous about the Quran is and then you fill it in what I am left dumbfounded with, is this, what captures me more than anything else is this. You see the miracle of the Quran experienced by Allah, you know, how Pablo the Allahu taala and who, when he was listening to the eye art as a disbeliever, hiding behind the veil of the Kaaba and listening to the IOP being recited by Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam that could pretty much even read his mind. He was thinking something in his mind, the prophet doesn't know he's there. He's just reciting the words. He says
some pretty beautiful recitation isn't good poetry. Well, now who will be holy Sharia he is not the word of a poet. He didn't say it out loud. But the Quran is recited being recited saying he's not sought the word of a political. read my mind when Abby kolayca hen snapped the word of a mind reader.
Whoa, read that to
you turn Zilla Mirabella. I mean, what if you were to ask him at that moment? What is the miracle of the Quran him said these are
these are the miracle of the Quran. In other words, the miraculous power of the Quran is appreciated at an individual level.
It is appreciated at an individual level, it is not one dimension or the other that is blasted across humanity and everybody will believe it or appreciate its power in the same way. It doesn't work that way. And the evidence of that I want to present to you from the Quranic perspective, and I'll sit down.
You see, belief in Allah is a composite of two things to us. It's a spiritual reality and an intellectual reality. Yes. That belief in Allah azza wa jal is on the one hand the spiritual truth, it is something that rests in the heart of the believer, but at the same time, it is something that we will call to either vasila with eyes open, there are fundamental philosophical, rational, common sensical evidence is based on which we believe in Allah azza wa jal, some of which very eloquently and very comprehensively, you heard in the last talk, okay. The same is true of the Quran, reflection on the Quran and a complete by Allah azza wa jal that reflection is not happening as it
should. The duck bore is not happening as it should, is iterated a couple of times in the Quran. And once it is mentioned as a spiritual problem, and the other time it is mentioned as an intellectual problem. It's incredible of Allah tada Bruner Quran, Allah lubing a follow.
Allah complains about the lack of reflection on the Quran and questions whether Is it the hearts that have their own locks placed on them? That's a long discussion. I'm not going to explain the IR discuss things from the ayah but what I'm going to get to is, Allah argues in the ayah he complains that people don't reflect on the Quran enough because there's a problem where in the hearts Yes, in the hearts, another place in Quran Allah azza wa jal says,
when a kind of an endearing law, he loves you to feel the love and kathira How come they don't have reflection on the Quran? And had it been from other than a lot, they would have found a lot of contradiction. Now, when you're looking for contradictions in a text, is that a spiritual exercise or an intellectual exercise? It's an intellectual exercise. The reflection on the Quran on the one hand, the less claims it doesn't happen because people their hearts aren't in it. Our hearts are not in it. But if their heart was in it, and they were seriously looking into the Quran and reflecting, then they would discover that it absolutely has no criticism, no contradiction. The question about
people who say I've read the Quran, and it's got a lot of contradictions.
Okay, I've read your Quran. I live in Texas now I can't help it.
I read the Quran, it's got a lot of contradictions. You've read it but you haven't What?
reflected, you haven't reflected. And when you reflect, you will only discover that there is no contradiction, but who is going to spend time reflecting on the Quran, except someone who is deeply genuinely from their heart looking for guidance. Otherwise, you'll do a casual read, pick out the things you'd like to criticize and move on. Koran makes its miraculous nature clear to the one who gives it a fair chance. If you give it a fair chance, it'll make itself clear to you. So the argument you're having outside of your MLS
A room with a philosophy club guy.
that argument will go on forever. It started when I was there in the MSA.
Back when when I could barely grow beard here and I was discussing God with a guy across from the other room. And now it's another guy who's barely growing his beard here and he's arguing with another guy. And the arguments haven't actually changed. They haven't actually changed the size of our cell phones have. But you know, we're, it's cyclical, we're caught in this cycle, we have to understand there's something more and that that if we present the miraculous power of the Quran in a blanket way, the final issue with this is going to be it creates a problem like if I'm for example, I'm a student of language. One of the things that things that fascinates me about the Quran more
than anything else is the incredible language of the Quran.
It's just mind boggling how how intricate the language of the Quran is, as a student of language as a student of linguistics, and then a student of Quran you are left just dumbfound you're just left dumbfound you know the IRS about shaytaan what he will what directions he will attack from and you will know even if you don't know the Arabic what directions will he attack from
from the right and the left. Okay. Now, the thing is
I gotta finish this talk because this is too interesting. Haven't seen everybody.
So shaitaan attacks from how many directions the devil attacks from honeyeater emin directions for
from in front mabini at him, min bat him from behind main hall for him.
But then, I'm
not mean he changes the preposition. Now the in the English language says from in front from behind from the right from the left, but the kind of from used when the right and the left are mentioned has changed.
The kind of from using the Arabic for the front and the back is the same and the right and the left has been altered. Zion does not mean which again in translation will come across as from you would notice a difference, except that I'm the linguistically alludes to further distance. It alludes to more distance, Minh is actually immediate mubasher its immediate, direct, and and is more distant. On the right and the left there are angels of us. Yes.
And he has to get through them. So this is a little bit more of a distance
of the many explanations of the han Hindi higher.
Just down to the prepositions. Personally, I am fascinated by this stuff. I am Mind blown by this stuff. But I will not go out and say here's the reason why the Quran is a miracle. I will say here is why here is what impacts me from the miracles of the Quran. Here's what makes the Quran beautiful to me overwhelming to me, I'd like I'd like to share some of that with you. I'm not interested in a debate. And that's the last thing here. I know when Muslims think believers, atheists, then it's in your mind, you see like a boxing ring.
You know, in a showdown, that's not a showdown, it's not a match. debate is the probably the worst kind of exercise you can do. When it comes to this this issue. debating is is kind of like a fight. Nobody goes into a match,
ready to lose. You don't go into a match ready to lose, you go into a match to take the other one out. And if they tell you something that stumps you, meaning you prepared your arguments, and the other came with arguments, and it seems like they overwhelmed your arguments. It's not like you're gonna say, Oh, you win. I'm a believer now or you win. I'm an atheist now. No, no, no, I'm gonna go back to the drawing board. And I'm going to come up with a way to punch you right back.
In other words, the attitude in a debate is not one of accepting the other, it is one of crushing the other. Right? So if you're already getting into a debate that no, you're not heading down a productive road, you're just not heading down a productive road. We can have discussion, we can have an exchange of ideas, but you should have the common sense to know when it's turning into a debate and stop yourself. Because it's just not productive. It doesn't bring any good. It doesn't have any good galarza which will help us understand this topic and its roots. And I pray that those the youth among us that are that are kind of taken in sometimes with these kinds of arguments. It's not just
our faith. By the way such Islam is the easy target nowadays, as far as you know, being criticized. But people young people across faiths are actually losing faith. And that is not just a their that's their problem. I'm worried about the Muslim kids actually, that's a universal problem. Because Islam, if you look at the Quran, it actually called people that already had some kind of faith, which Islam considered in need of adjustment in need of refinement and then purified it even the machete category.
Have faith didn't he? He had some kind of faith it just needed to be cleansed. It just needed this gear
for to have that premise to work with that baseline to work with. That is where the the invitation of Islam begins. So it is a problem across the board that people are losing faith not just Muslims. And it is something that we have to try and address from its intellectual roots from its social roots from its psychological roots. Thank you very much.