Do We Have Good Reasons to Believe?

Do We Have Good Reasons to Believe?

Do We Have Good Reasons to Believe?

Do We Have Good Reasons to Believe?

Why is the universe the way it is?

One of the most important questions that almost all thinkers, philosophers and people like you and I have asked is “Why does the universe exist at all? And why is it the way it is?” In response to this question there are those who say that the universe is uncaused, in other words it is eternal, meaning it has no beginning and no end. If this is true, there should be an infinite history of past events. However, the infinite in the real world is not possible as it implies a quantity that is limitless.

Let’s take the following examples into consideration: if there were an infinite number of books in a room and two were taken away, how many would be left? The response may be “infinity” or for those who are logically inclined “infinity minus two”. In any case, the responses don’t make sense because although two have been taken away from infinity there still remains infinity! Consequently, we’re not able to count the remaining books left in the room. Therefore the infinite leads to contradictions and simply doesn’t exist in the real world (although it exists in mathematical discourse; however it is based upon certain axioms and conventions). Therefore, it logically follows that the universe must have a finite history of past events, which indicates that it must have begun to exist at some point in time.

The above may sound too philosophical, but it is also supported by scientific evidence, for instance, Stephen Hawking, in his lecture The Beginning of Time states, “The conclusion of this lecture is that the universe has not existed forever. Rather, the universe, and time itself, had a beginning in the Big Bang, about 15 billion years ago.”i According to contemporary cosmologists, the universe began at time zero with the event commonly called the

“Big Bang”. The theory postulates that the universe began as a “singularity”, an extremely hot and dense entity that expanded and subsequently cooled, going from something incredibly small and hot to the current size and temperature of our universe. In light of these facts, it is interesting to note that there is no scientific explanation as to what happened before time zero. In addition to this, the Big Bang theory can only postulate what happened

1 x 10-34 seconds after the Big Bang but not anytime before it. What happened before this particular point in time is unknown.

In the context of the above discussion, it can be concluded that generally physicists agree that as a result of the Big Bang, physical time and space were created as were energy and matter. So two premises can be drawn from all the above: 1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause 2. The universe began to exist -Therefore the universe has a cause. How do we get to this conclusion? Well, if everything we know and see that begins to exist has a

cause, for example a noise in the room or the pyramids at Giza, then the universe -which also began to exist must also have a cause.

The Cause for the Universe = God?

Our discussion so far has provided good reasons to believe that there must have been a cause for the universe. However, this doesn’t tell us much about what the cause is, but if we think deeply about the nature of the cause also known as conceptual analysis -we can conclude that it must be very powerful as it brought into existence the entire universe, and it must be:

One…

The cause for the universe must be a single cause for several reasons. An attractive argument to substantiate this claim includes the use of the rational principle called Occam’s razor. This principle is commonly summarised as “the simplest explanation is the best explanation”. In philosophical terms the principle enjoins that we should not multiply entities beyond necessity. What this basically means is that we should stick to explanations that do not

create more questions than it answers. In the case of the cause for the universe we have no evidence to claim multiplicity, in other words more than one, and if we did it would create more questions than it answers.

Uncaused & Eternal…

This cause must also be uncaused due to the absurdity of an infinite regress, in other words an indefinite chain of causes. To illustrate this better, if the cause of the universe had a cause and that cause had a cause ad infinitum, then there wouldn’t be a universe to talk about in the first place. For example, imagine if a Stock Trader on a trading floor at the Stock Exchange was not able to buy or sell his stocks or bonds before asking permission from

the investor, and then this investor had to check with his, and this went on forever, would the Stock Trader ever buy or sell his stocks or bonds? The answer is no. In similar light, if we apply this to the universe we would have to posit an uncaused cause due to this rational necessity.

However, some philosophers and scientists claim that “why doesn’t the cause be the universe itself?” and “why can’t the cause stop at the universe?” Well, the problem with these claims is that they would imply the universe created itself, which is absurd because how can anything exist and not exist at the same time? Finally, it would be irrational to claim that whatever begins to exist causes itself!

Immaterial…

The cause has to be immaterial since it created everything. If you were to take any state of physical existence, you would come to the conclusion that, that state of physical existence owes itself to another state of physical existence. And that state of physical existence, owes itself to another state of physical existence. But you can’t go back states of physical existences ad infinitum. There has to be a beginning to the entire state of physical

existences. Therefore, the logical conclusion is that the origin of all creation has to be a non-physical state.

After thinking about the nature of the cause for the universe we come to the remarkable realisation that it has all the basic attributes of the traditional monotheistic God, namely that He is one, eternal and immaterial. But what reasons do we have to start claiming that a particular religion is true? This leads us to discuss the Qur’an, the book of the Muslims.

The Qur’an

The Qur’an is no ordinary book. It has been described by many, who engage with the book, as an imposing text, but the way it imposes itself on the reader is not negative, rather it is positive. This is because it seeks to positively engage with your mind and your emotions, and it achieves this by asking profound questions, such as “So where are you people going? This is a message for all people; for those who wish to take the straight path.”ii

and “Have they not thought about their own selves?”

However, the Qur’an doesn’t stop there, it actually challenges the whole of mankind with regards to its divine authorship, it boldly states “If you have doubts about the revelation we have sent down to Our servant, then produce a single chapter like it – enlist whatever supporters you have other than God – if you truly think you can.

If you cannot do this – and you never will – then beware of the fire prepared for the disbelievers, whose fuel is men and stones.”

This challenge refers to the various wonders in the Qur’an, even within its smallest chapter, that give us good reasons to believe it is from God. Some of these reasons are historical and scientific.

Historical…

There are many historical statements in the Qur’an that show us good reasons that it is from God. One of them is that the Qur’an is the only religious text to use different titles for the rulers of Egypt at different times. For instance while addressing the Egyptian ruler, at the time of Prophet Yusuf (Joseph), the word “Al-Malik” is used which refers to a king (note: that during the middle old kingdom Hyksos Asiatic families were governing Egypt and

they did not use the title Pharaoh, as the Qur’an mentions “The King said, ‘Bring him to me straight away!'”).

In contrast, the ruler of Egypt at the time of the Prophet Musa (Moses) is referred to as Pharaoh, in Arabic “Firaown”. This particular title began to be employed in the 14th century B.C., during the reign of Amenhotep. This is confirmed by the Encyclopaedia Britannica which states that the word Pharaoh was a title of respect used from the New Kingdom (beginning with the 18th dynasty; B.C. 1539-1292) until the 22nd dynasty (B.C. 945-730).

So the Qur’an is historically accurate as the Prophet Yusuf lived at least 200 years before that time, and the word “King” was used for the Hyksos kings, not Pharaoh.

In light of this, how could have the Prophet Muhammad known such a minute historical detail? Especially when all the other religious texts, such as the Bible, just mention Pharaoh as a title for all times? Also, since people at the time of the revelation did not know this information and hieroglyphs were a dead language, what does this say about the authorship of the Qur’an? There is no naturalistic explanation.

Scientific…

The Qur’an always mentions nature as a sign for God’s existence, power and majesty. Every time these are mentioned, they are expressed with a great accuracy, and they also give us information that could have never been known at the time of the Prophet Muhammad. One of these signs includes the function and structure of mountains. The Qur’an mentions that mountains have “peg” like structures and that they have been embedded

into earth to stabilise it, a concept known in Geology as isostasy. The Qur’an mentions: “We placed firmly embedded mountains on the earth, so it would not move under them…”vi and “Have We not made the earth as a bed and the mountains its pegs?”

The Qur’an’s eloquent renderings of the facts mentioned above are confirmed by modern science which only came to be understood by the end of the 20th Century. In the book Earth, by Dr. Frank Press, former president of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, states that mountains are like stakes, and are buried deep under the surface of Earth.

With regards to the vital role of mountains, it was formerly understood that mountains were merely protrusions rising above the surface of Earth. However, scientists realised that this was not actually the case, and that the parts known as the mountain roots extended down as far as 10 to 15 times their own height. With these features, mountains play a similar role to a nail or peg firmly holding down a tent, which has been discovered by modern

geological and seismic research, a concept known as isostasy.ix

In conclusion, how can we explain this in the light of the fact that this is relatively recent science (with no one at the time of the revelation knowing this information)? What does this tell you about the author? Again, there is no naturalistic explanation.

Is Life Absurd without God?

The writer Loren Eiseley said that man is a cosmic orphan. This is quite profound, as man is the only creature in the universe who asks: why? Other animals have instincts to guide them, but man has learned to ask questions. If many of these questions raised by man exclude God then the conclusion is simple: we are the accidental by-products of nature, a result of matter plus time plus chance. There is no reason for your existence and all we

face is death. Modern man thought that when he had got rid of God, he had freed himself from all that repressed and stifled him. Instead, he discovered that in killing God, he had also killed himself.

If there is no God, then man and the universe are doomed. Like prisoners condemned to death we await our unavoidable execution. What is the consequence of this? It means that life itself is absurd. It means that the life we have is without ultimate significance, value, or purpose. For example, according to the atheist worldview this life is purposeless, or at best, just assembled to propagate our DNA. The way some atheists get out of this is by saying we can create purpose for ourselves, however this is a self-delusion as we try and find some purpose by attributing purpose to the things we do in life, but remove purpose from our very own lives. Also, without God our lives do not have any ultimate meaning. If our ends are the same, in that we just pass out of existence, what meaning does that give our lives? Does it even matter if we existed at all? If the universe was never in existence what difference would it make?

Existentialists such as Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus understood the meaningless reality of life in absence of acknowledging the purpose of our existence. This is why Sartre wrote of the “nausea” of existence and Camus saw life as absurd, indicating that the universe has no meaning at all. The German Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche argued in clear concise pronouncements that the world and human history do not have any meaning, any rational order or aim. Nietzsche argued that there is only a mindless chaos, a directionless world tending towards no end. It is not wonder the philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer said he would have wished the world never existed. All of these views on the world are absurd conclusions carved by the atheist world view.

From http://www.onereason.info

Ex-Christian Preacher & Former Catholic Priest Enter Islam

Ex-Christian Preacher & Former Catholic Priest Enter Islam

Complete story of Sheik Yusuf Estes, his wife and minister father and a Catholic priest all entering Islam

My ethnic background is English-Native American, Irish and German. I was what they called a “WASP” (white, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant). My family moved to Texas in 1949 while I was still in grade school, so my accent changed from “Yankee” to “Texan” real quick. We learned how to say “Ya’ll” instead of “youse guys” and “Howz ever thaang?” instead of “Waz up?” We also learned how to eat “Corn bread ‘n bains” instead of “Johnny cakes and beans.”

I was born in Ohio, raised and educated in Texas and was a successful marketing entrepreneur and preacher of Christianity. I grew up in a religious home. My parents and their relatives were all ‘good Christians.’ Basically that means that you never drink alcohol, except on very special occasions and never gamble expect Bingo at the church. Religion was a real part of my life. I believed very much in God and the Bible as His Word. While other children were playing ‘school’ and ‘cops and robbers’ I would sometimes play the ‘Preacher.’ I can still remember my first sermon, standing on the ground in Doug Hideman’s backyard: “We must learn the Way of God! And then stay on that Way.” (That’s all I said. I couldn’t think of anything else)

My whole family on both my mother’s and father’s sides were very active members of the same denomination of Protestant Christianity. We all loved to go to church on Sunday mornings for Sunday school and sermon (well maybe we didn’t all love the long sermons). Then of course, special activities and holidays such as Easter, Christmas, Halloween and parties were always a part of our lives in my early years. Our church was originally called only “Christian Church.” It wasn’t until I turned 10 or 12 years old that the church ‘split’ into two different groups that we started calling ourselves “Disciples of Christ.”

My father was an ordained minister and also very active in church work, as a Sunday school minister and fund raiser for Christian schools. He was the ‘expert’ in the Bible and its translations. It was through my father that I came to know about the various versions, translations and editions of the Bible as well as the introduction of pagan worship to Christianity about the time of the Emperor Constantine (325 C.E.). He, like many preachers would answer the question: “Did God actually write the Bible?” by saying: “The Bible is the Inspired Word of Man FROM GOD.” Basically, it means that humans (inspired humans, but humans just the same) wrote the Bible. That quickly explains the errors, mistakes, deletions and additions which have crept in and fell out over the years. He would add: “But it is still the Word of God, as inspired to man.”

God was always on my mind. I was ‘baptized’ into the ‘Spirit’ at age 12 and surprised even the minister (an ex-Jew who accepted Jesus) by my seriousness and intent on being a ‘full real follower of Christ.” I would think about Him and what He wanted us to do and why He created us in the first place, very often. Many times I would be caught ‘day dreaming’ about God when I was supposed to be paying attention to other things, like watching the pots boil over on the stove or not listen to the teachers at school. Sometimes I would rest my head on my arms on the top of my desk and try to imagine: “What will happen when we die?” and “What will Heaven be like?” or “Can we ever see God’s angels or the devil?”

My mind was frequently preoccupied with these types of thoughts as a child. But then as with most youth, I became distracted from my pursuit and began to be influenced by my peers. Other children would make fun of me if I talked about these questions and thoughts, so it seemed like a good idea to keep it to myself. No problem. I like to be alone with my thoughts of God anyway.

After growing up and owning many business, I realized that I did not want to be a ‘preacher.’ I was too afraid that I might be a hypocrite or call people to something that I myself didn’t truly understand. After all, I had ‘accepted the Lord’ and considered myself a true Christian, but at the same time I could not resolve the idea of God being One and at the same time He is ‘Three.’ And if He is the ‘Father’, how could He also be the ‘Son?’ And then what about the ‘Holy Ghost?’ (later they changed that to ‘Spirit’). But my big question was always the same: “How does three equal one?”

Over the years I had tried to ‘find’ God in many different ways. I checked out Buddhism, Hinduism, metaphysics, Taoism, different forms of Christianity and Judaism. The one most attractive to me was a combination of Gnosticism (Christian mysticism) and Cabalism (Jewish mysticism) and metaphysics. This actually is a form of pantheism (God being throughout His creation) and is similar to some of the ‘Sufi’ mystics of today. But this concept in its entirety repulsed me because I did not want to imagine myself as being a ‘part of God.’

God is Pure! God is Perfect! God is All Knowing and All Aware of all things! So, how can I come along and say things like I was hearing from the other preachers: “In a way, we are all gods.” Read the Bible:
“You are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you; nevertheless, you shall die like men, and fall like any prince.” (quoted from the Old Testament; Psalms [82:6]) & “I said, you are gods.” (New Testament John 10:34)

The rationalization which comes about in the books attributed to the Apostle Saul (changed his name to Paul), are full of statements which basically cancel the Torah or Law of the Old Testament. He makes it a matter of how you ‘understand’ something that makes it ‘permissible’ or ‘forbidden.’ As an example in the English Revised Standard Version which I have carried with me since 1953, it says in Paul’s letter to the Romans:
“I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but it is unclean for any one who thinks it unclean.”
[Rom 14:14]
And again, in the same letter:
“So do not let what is good to you be spoken of as evil. For the kingdom of God does not mean food and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”
[Rom 14:16]

By these types of statements, Paul pretty much destroys the entire Old Testament Commandments. Yet at the same time, in the same English version of the Bible in the first book of the New Testament, we are told that Jesus preached a message which was exactly the opposite of St. Paul:
“Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth shall pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
[Mt. 5:17-20]

So according the St. Paul’s own testimony in his letter to the new Roman Christians, he is relaxing not just the least of these commandments, but basically all of these commandments. And he justifies everything with his rationalization that if you don’t think it’s bad, then it’s not!

I just felt that something was wrong in this message and decided to try to uphold the Commandments according to the Old Testament as much as I could. That would mean: No Pork; circumcision; no sex outside of marriage; no adultery; worship on Saturday (not Sunday) and most important of all: No worship of anything which is in the creation. This is in direct line with the verse which says:
“You shall have no other gods before (besides) me. You shall not make yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands who love me and keep my commandments.”
[Ex 20:3-6]

It seemed reasonable to me, that there should only be One God. He should be All in Charge and without any partners. Reason also would demand that only He should be given any worship because He Alone deserves it. And as God, He should be the One to set the rules and give the orders. Then it would be clear who really loved Him and who was following His Commandments.

I had tried not to deal with these issues for many years. But now I was getting close to fifty years old and needed to do something for the Lord. After all, had done everything for me. So, it was time for me to get serious about my religion and make some head way for the Lord. I decided to join in with some of my friends who were evangelists and preachers who preached in various parts of the country and even in Mexico. We traveled together and praised the Lord together and shared in ‘the spirit’ and went where the ‘spirit lead us.’ One of them use to carry a huge cross on his shoulders and drag it down the highway and give out little ‘mini-Bibles’ to those who cared to stop and visit. It was enjoyable to go to those who had given up hope or had no money or jobs and give them food, money, assistance and at the same time call them to the message of Christianity. I took my Bible everywhere and was very fast to whip it out and begin to ‘preach the message.’

I was ‘born again.’ I needed to ‘be in the light of Christ.’ I needed to share the ‘message.’ There was only one problem:

“What is the message?”

Oh sure, I know what some of the ‘born again’s are saying as they read this:
“The message of salvation of Jesus Christ!” – “He died for your sins!” – “He paid the price of redemption.” – “He is the Risen Son of God!” – “Jesus is LORD!”

Right. – I got that.

I preached that message myself and thought I understood it as well as anyone else did. The problem is that one time I heard another preacher say: “Don’t leave your brain in the parking lot with your car.”

Then it hit me to start thinking about the very serious problems and real facts about my religion. Then came:
THE QUESTIONS NOBODY WANTS TO ANSWER –

——————————————————————————–
What about the Bible? Who actually wrote it?

What was the original language of the Bible? (Hebrew? Aramaic? Koine Greek?)
NOTE: – The Bible was never in English during the time of any prophet (not even Muhammad) – because English did not exist until after 1066 AD!

Does the Bible exist in the original form anywhere on earth? (No)

Why does the Catholic Bible has seven (7) more books than the Protestant Bible?

Why do these two Bibles have different versions of the same books?

Why are there so many mistakes and errors are from the very first verse right up to the very last verse?

Why do ‘Born Again Christians’ teach concepts that are not from the Bible?

There is no word “Trinity” in the Bible in any version of any language

The oldest forms of Christianity do not support the ‘born again’ beliefs

Jesus of the English Bible complains about the ‘crucifixion’
(“Eli! Eli! Lama sabachthani? – My God! My God! Why have You forsaken me?”) [Mk 15:34]

How can Jesus be the “Only Begotten Son” of John 3:16? When in Psalms 2:7 David is God’s “Begotten Son?”

Would a ‘Just’ God, a ‘Fair’ God, a ‘Loving’ God — punish Jesus for the sins of the people that he called to follow him?

What happens to people who died before Jesus came?

What happens to those who never hear this message?

What about innocent children who die although their parents are not Christian?

Didn’t God create Adam from dirt? — So, why does he need Mary to make Jesus?

And what about God?
How can God create Himself?
How can God be a man?
How can a man be a God?
How can God have a son?
The Bible says “Seth (is) the son of Adam” and that”Adam is the son of God.” [Lk 3:36]
Can’t God just forgive us and not have to kill Jesus?
And what about Jesus?
Jesus did not even carry the cross — Simon Cyre’ne, a passerby did! [Mk 15:21]
Jesus of the Bible was NOT on the cross for longer than six (6) hours — NOT three days — (from the 3rd to the 9th hour) [Mk 15:25 & 15:33]
Jesus of the Bible did not spend three days and nights in the tomb — Friday night – until Sunday before dawn — is not 3 days and nights!
Jesus DID NOT claim to be God – or even equal to God!

——————————————————————————–

My friend with the huge cross became tired of trying to answer all of my questions and in desperation one day, he told me to read the story of Abraham in Genesis in the Old Testament. Especially the part of sacrificing his son for the sake of God. He seemed to feel that this was going to explain the whole concept of sacrifice and obedience to God.

I read it.

But instead of convincing me that this was the meaning of punishing the good so the bad do not have to suffer, I saw a totally different message here.

Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son on the alter for the sake of Almighty God, if that was what God wanted from him. But God did not really want to take the life of an innocent boy for sins that Abraham committed. That was not even the story here. And as far as replacing his son with the ram for sacrifice, this also does not match the story of Jesus on the cross.

Stop. Think.

Abraham was asked by God to sacrifice his son to test the loyalty of Abraham. He did not withhold his son from God, so God’s angels ordered him to offer a ram in place of his son. God was pleased with his total submission and as a result, God Blessed him and his offspring.
[Gen. 22:9-18]

Now think about the New Testament story of ‘salvation.’
Jesus asked God NOT to put him through this ordeal.
“Father, if thou art willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless not my will, but Yours, be done.” [Luke 22:42]

Notice in the next verse, an angel from heaven also appears to Jesus to “strengthen him.”
Abraham’s angel comes to offer a ram as a sacrifice instead of the son.

The next verse [22:44] Jesus is in AGONY as he prays “more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down upon the ground.”

Then I looked to the account of the story in the Book of Mark [14:32-39].

Jesus goes to the garden of Gethsemane and his soul is “very sorrowful, even to death.” And “… going a little farther, he fell on the ground prayer that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him.” Meaning that somehow when the time came for the event to take place he could escape it. This is NOT the submissive attitude of Abraham.

Next I noticed in verse 36, Jesus says: “Abba, Father, all things are possible to thee; remove this cup from me; yet not what I will, but what thou wilt.” And then he goes to his disciples and wakes them up and then returns to pray “… saying the same words.”

This whole concept was so totally different than the one from Genesis talking about Abraham and his son.

I asked questions and delved into ‘those kind of stories’ the more I would like to facilitate the truth. Many strange things began to happen. Very strange.

Things began to happen in my life. Things that would change many concepts and beliefs that I had been burdened with for many years. Solutions and answers started coming in very strange and wonder ways.

First, my father started doing business with a man from Egypt. After introducing me to him, my father noticed right away that I was trying to convert the man to Christianity and asked me not to do so in a rude manner. I heard the man say he was ready to come to my religion if my religion was better than his religion. But there was a condition, he said he wanted proof. I told him religion is not about proof. It is about faith. He then said something that really made me think. He told me in his religion there was both faith and proof. Strange, I thought. How could there be any proof about God or religion?

Next, I was to meet a Catholic priest who would enlighten us all on the true history of the church and what was really going on in the cathedrals and the Vatican. His name was Father Peter Jacobs. His experiences throughout Central and South America, Mexico and the United States would prove to be very enlightening. But most of all was his deep understanding of the Bible and the scrolls. He brought to the table many interesting and amazing facts about Christianity and the organized religion of Catholicism.

Both the priest and the Muslim from Egypt came to live with us in our home in the country near Dallas, Texas. Then things really started getting strange.

A true story of how a christian preacher embraced Islam

A true story of how a christian preacher embraced Islam

As a former minister and elder of the Christian church, it has become incumbent upon me to enlighten those that continue to walk in darkness. After embracing Islam I felt a dire need to help those who have not yet been blessed to experience the light of Islam.

I thank Almighty God, Allah, for having mercy upon me, causing me to come to know the beauty of Islam as taught by Prophet Muhammad and his rightly guided followers. It is only by the mercy of Allah that we receive true guidance and the ability to follow the straight path, which leads to success in this life and the Hereafter.
Praise be to Allah for the kindness shown to me by Shaykh ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abdul-‘Azeez bin Baz upon my embracing Islam. I cherish and will pass on the knowledge gained from each meeting with him. There are many others who have helped me by means of encouragement and knowledge, but for fear of missing anyone, I will refrain from attempting to list them. Sufficient it is to say that I thank Almighty God, Allah, for each and every brother and sister that He has allowed to play a role in my growth and development as a Muslim.
I pray that this short work will be of benefit to all. I hope that Christians will find that there is yet i hope for the wayward conditions that prevail over the bulk of Christendom. The answers to Christian problems are not to be found with the Christians themselves, for they are, in most instances, the root of their own problems. Rather, Islam is the solution to the problems plaguing the world of Christianity,as well as the problems facing the so-called worldof religion as a whole. May Allah guide us all and reward us according to the very best of our deeds and intent
Abdullah Muhammad al-Faruque at-Ta’if, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Beginnings

As a young boy I was raised with a deep fear of God. Having been partially raised by a grandmother who was a Pentecostal fundamentalist, the church became an integral part of my life at a very early age. By the time I had reached the age of six, I knew all too well the benefits awaiting me in Heaven for being a good little boy and the punishment awaiting in Hell for little boys who are naughty. I was taught by my grandmother that all liars were doomed to go to the Hellfire, where they would burn forever and ever.

My mother worked two full-time jobs and continued to remind me of the teachings given to me by her mother. My younger brother and older sister did not seem to take our grandmother’s warnings of the Hereafter as seriously as I did. I recall seeing the full moon when it would take on a deep reddish hue, and I would begin to weep because I was taught that one of the signs of the end of the world would be that the moon would become red like blood. As an eight year old child I began to develop such a fear at what I thought were signs in the heavens and on earth of Doomsday that I actually had nightmares of what the Day of Judgment would be like. Our house was close to a set of railroad tracks, and trains passed by on a frequent basis. I can remember being awakened out of sleep by the horrendous sound of the locomotive’s horn and thinking that I had died and was being resurrected after hearing the sound of the trumpet. These teachings were ingrained in my young mind through a combination of oral teachings and the reading of a set of children’s books known as the Bible Story.

Every Sunday we would go to church dressed in all of our finery. My grandfather was our means of transportation. Church would last for what seemed to me like hours. We would arrive at around eleven in the morning and not leave until sometimes three in the afternoon. I remember falling asleep in my grandmother’s lap on many occasions. For a time my brother and I were permitted to leave church in between the conclusion of Sunday school and morning worship service to sit with our grandfather at the railway yard and watch the trains pass. He was not a churchgoer, but he saw to it that my family made it there every Sunday. Sometime later he suffered a stroke, which left him partially paralyzed, and as a result, we were unable to attend church od a regular basis. This period of time would be one of the most crucial stages of my development.

Rededication

I was relieved, in a sense, at no longer being able to attend church, but I would feel the urge to go on my own every now and then. At age sixteen I began attending the church of a friend whose father was the pastor. It was a small store front building with only my friend’s family, myself, and another schoolmate as members. This went on for only several months before -the church closed down. After graduating from high school and entering the university I rediscovered my religious commitment and became fully immersed in Pentecostal teachings. I was baptized and “filled with the Holy Ghost,” as the experience was then called. As a college student, I quickly became the pride of the church. Everyone had high hopes for me, and I was happy to once again be “on the road to salvation. ”
I attended church every time its doors would open. I studied the Bible for days and weeks at a time. I attended lectures given by the Christian scholars of my day, and I acknowledged my call to the ministry at the age of 20. I began preaching and became well known very quickly. I was extremely dogmatic and believed that no one could receive salvation unless they were of my church group. I categorically condemned everyone who had not come to know God the way I had come to know Him. I was taught that Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) and God Almighty were one and the same thing. I was taught that our church did not believe in the trinity but that Jesus (peace be upon him) was indeed the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. I tried to make myself understand it even though I had to admit that I really did not fully understand it. As far as I was concerned, it was the only doctrine that made sense to me. I admired the holy dress of the women and the pious behavior of the men. I enjoyed practicing a doctrine where women were required to dress in garments covering themselves completely, not painting their faces with makeup, and carrying themselves as true ambassadors of Christ. I was convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that I had finally found the true path to eternal bliss. Iwould debate with anyone from a different church with different beliefs and would totally silence them with my knowledge of the Bible. I memorized hundreds of Biblical passages, and this became a trademark of my preaching. Yet, even though I felt assured of being on the right path, a part of me was still searching. I felt that there was an even higher truth to be attained.

I would meditate while alone and pray to God to lead me to the correct religion and to forgive me if what I was doing was wrong. I had never had any contact with Muslims. The only people I knew that claimed Islam as their religion were the followers of Elijah Muhammad, who were referred to by many as the “Black Muslims” or the “Lost-Found Nation.” It was during this period in the late seventies that Minister Louis Farrakhan was well into rebuilding what was called “The Nation of Islam.” Iwentto hear Minister Farrakhan speak at the invitation of a coworker and found it to be an experience that would change my life dramatically. I had never in my life heard another black man speak the way that he spoke. I immediately wanted to arrange a meeting with him to try to convert him to my religion. I enjoyed evangelizing, hoping to find lost souls to save from the Hellfire – no matter who they were.

After graduating from college I began to work on a full-time basis. As I was reaching the pinnacle of my ministry, the followers of Elijah Muhammad became more visible, and I appreciated their efforts in attempting to rid the black community of the evils that were destroying it from within. I began to support them, in a sense, by buying their literature and even meeting with them for dialogue. I attended their study circles to find out exactly what they believed. As sincere as I knew many of them were, I could not buy the idea of God being a black man. I disagreed with their use of the Bible to support their position on certain issues. Here was a book that I knew very well, and I was deeply disturbed at whatI deemed was their misinterpretation of it. I had attended locally supported Bible schools and had become quite knowledgeable in various fields of Bible study.

After about six years I moved to Texas and became affiliated with two churches. The first church was led by a young pastor who was inexperienced and not very learned. My knowledge of the Christian scriptures had by this time developed into something abnormal. I was obsessed with Biblical teachings. I began to look deeper into the scriptures and realized that I knew more than the present leader. As a show of respect, I left and joined another church in a different city where I felt that I could learn more. The pastor of this particular church was very scholarly. He was an excellent teacher but had some ideas that were not the norm in our church organization. He held somewhat liberal views, but I still enjoyed his indoctrination. I was soon to learn the most valuable lesson of my Christian life, which was “all that glitters is not gold.” Despite its outward appearance , there were evils taking place that I never thought were possible in the Church. These evils caused me to reflect deeply, and I began questioning the teaching to which I was so dedicated.

Welcome to the Real Church World

I soon discovered that there was a great deal of jealousy prevalent in the ministerial hierarchy. Things had changed from that to which I was accustomed. Women wore clothing that I thought was shameful. People dressed in order to attract attention, usually from the opposite sex. I discovered just how great a part money and greed play in the operation of church activities. There were many small churches struggling, and they called upon us to hold meetings to help raise money for them. I wa stold that if a church did not have a certain number of members, then I was not to waste my time preaching there because I would not receive ample financial compensation. I then explained that I was not in it for the money and that I would preach even if there was only one member present… and I’d do it for free! This caused a disturbance. I started questioning those whom I thought had wisdom, only to find that they had been putting on a show. I learned that money, power and position were more important than teaching the truth about the Bible. As a Bible student, I knew full well that there were mistakes, contradictions and fabrications. I thought that people should be exposed to the truth about the Bible. The idea of exposing the people to such aspects of the Bible was a thought supposedly attributable to Satan. But I began to publicly ask my teachers questions during Bible classes, which none of them could answer. Not a single one could explain how iesus was supposedly God, and how, at the same time, he was supposedly the Father, Son and Holy Ghost wrapped up into one and yet was not apart of the trinity. Several preachers finally had to concede that they did not understand it but that we were simply required to believe it.

Cases of adultery and fornication went unpunished. Some preachers were hooked on drugs and had destroyed their lives and the lives of their families. Leaders of some churches were found to be homosexuals. There were pastors even guilty of committing adultery with the young daughters of other church members. All of this coupled with a failure to receive answers to what I thought were valid questions was enough to make me seek a change. That change came when I accepted a job in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

A New Beginning

It was not long after arriving in Saudi Arabia that I saw an immediate difference in the life style of the Muslim people. They were different from the followers of Elijah Muhammad and Minister Louis Farrakhan in that they were of all nationalities, colors and languages. I immediately expressed a desire to learn more about this peculiar brand of religion. I was amazed with the life of Prophet Muhammad and wanted to know more. I requested books from one of the brothers who was active in calling people to Islam. I was supplied with all of the books that I could possibly want. I read each and every one. I was then given the Holy Qur’an and read it completely several times within four months. I asked question after question and received satisfactory answers. What appealed to me was that the brothers were not keen on impressing me with their knowledge. If a brother did not know how to answer a question, he would tell me that he simply did not know and would have to check with someone who did. The next day he would always bring the answer. I noticed how humility played such a great role in the lives of these mysterious people of the Middle East.

I was amazed to see the women covering themselves from face to foot. I did not see any religious hierarchy. No one was competing for any religious position. All of this was wonderful, but how could I entertain the thought of abandoning a teaching that had followed me since childhood? What about the Bible? I knew that there is some truth in it even though it had been changed and revised countless numbers of times. I was then given a video cassette of a debate between Shaykh Ahmed Deedat and Reverend Jimmy Swaggart. After seeing the debate I immediately became a Muslim.
I was taken to the office of Shaykh ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abdul-‘Azeez bin Baz to officially declare my acceptance of Islam. It was there that I was given sound advice on how to prepare myself for the long journey ahead. It was truly a birth from darkness into light. I wondered what my peers from the Church would think when they heard that I had embraced Islam. It was not long before I found out. I went back to the United States for vacation and was severely criticized for my “lack of faith.” I was stamped with many labels – from renegade to reprobate. People were told by so-called church leaders not to even remember me in prayer. As strange as it may seem, I was not bothered in the least. I was so happy that Almighty God, Allah, had chosen to guide me aright that nothing else mattered.

Now I only wanted to become as dedicated a Muslim as I was a Christian. This, of course, meant study. I realized that a person could grow as much as they wanted to in Islam. There is no monopoly of knowledge – it is free to all who wish to avail themselves of the opportunities to learn. I was given a set of Saheeh Muslim as a gift from my Qur’an teacher. It was then that I realized the need to learn about the life, sayings and practices of Prophet Muhammad . I read and studied as many of the hadlth collections available in English as possible. I realized that my knowledge of the Bible was an asset that is now quite useful in dealing with those of Christian backgrounds. Life for me has taken on an entirely new meaning. One of the most profound attitude changes is a result of knowing that this life must actually be spent in preparation for life in the Hereafter. It was also a new experience to know that we are rewarded even for our intentions. If you intend to do good, then you are rewarded. It was quite different in the Church. The attitude was that “the path to Hell is paved with good intentions.” There was no way to win. If you sinned, then you had to confess to the pastor, especially if the sin was a great sin, such as adultery. You were judged strictly by your actions.

The Present and Future

After an interview by the Al-Madinah newspaper I was asked about my present-day activities and plans for the future. At present, my goal is to learn Arabic and continue studying to gain greater knowledge about Islam. I am presently engaged in the field-of da’wah and am called upon to lecture to non-Muslims who come from Christian backgrounds. If Allah, Almighty, spares my life, I hope to write more on the subject of comparative religion.
It is the duty of Muslims throughout the world to work to spread the knowledge of Islam. As one who has spent such a long time as a Bible teacher, I feel a special sense of duty in educating people about the errors, contradictions and fabricated tales of a book believed in by millions of people. One of the greatest joys is knowing that I do not have to engage in a great deal of dispute with Christians, because I was a teacher who taught most of the dispute techniques used by them. I also learned how to argue using the Bible to defend Christianity. And at the same time I know the counter arguments for each argument which we, as ministers, were forbidden by our leaders to discuss or divulge.
It is my prayer that Allah will forgive us all of our ignorance and guide us to the path leading to Paradise. All praise is due to Allah. May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon His last messenger, Prophet Muhammad, his family, companions, and those following true guidance.

by Abdullah M. al-Faruque (Kenneth L. Jenkins)

The Benefits of Islam

The Benefits of Islam

The following items are some of the benefits to be earned and enjoyed by those who wish to become Muslim:

1. As far as the Creator (whose proper name is Allah) is concerned, you will be able to identify Him and get to know Him, His role and your relationship to His names, you will be able to communicate with Him any time, 24 hours a day, throughout the whole year. As a result of this category, you will be able to know your origin, your roots and the wisdom as to why you are on this planet. You will be able to have good answers to the questions why, how, when, where, what and other philisophical questions.

2. As a result of the first benefit, your loyalty, allegiance, and obedience will be to the Creator himself. You will transcend yourself from all types of allegiance for this world. This means that if there is a conflict of interest between your boss, your job, your government, your system or any worldly relationship with the Creator, you will undoubtedly put your trust in Allah, the Creator of the universe. You will follow Him before you follow anyone else.

3. As a result of the second benefit, you will be able to acquire peace, harmony, tranquillity and happiness within yourself, with your family, with people of the world, with the environment and with the universe. One has to remember that the source of peace is Allah, and one of his beautiful names is that He is The Peace.

4. As an endorsement to the third benefit, you will get rid of the extra electrostatic charges from your brain and the central nervous system by performing the daily Salah. Through Salah, you are to prostrate by putting your forehead to the floor; and as such are grounding yourself, and you are discharging these extra charges into the ground. As a result of this act, you will get rid of many of the neurological diseases from your body.

5. As a result of the fourth benefit, you will acquire a pleasant personality. You will be friendly and amicable. You would not need to drink alcohol, to use drugs or to get involved in vulgarity or immorality.

6. Through the experience of fasting in Islam, you will be able to have self-control, self-restraint, self-discipline, self-education, self-evaluation, and self-obedience to Allah the Creator. You undoubtedly will be able to improve health, personality, character, and behavior.

7. As a result of the sixth benefit, you will be able to control your lusts, selfishness, desires, greed, ego, and conceitedness.

8. Another side reaction of the sixth and seventh benefits is that you will be generous and hospitable; you will try to purify yourself and your mistakes by sharing your happiness and your wealth with those who are less fortunate than you. Your rewards will manifold, compounded daily until the Day of Judgement.

9. By performing pilgrimage to Makkah, you will transcend yourself from being nationalistic, sectarian, or denominational into being universal. You will be part and an essential constituent of the rainbow of Islam. You will be also part of the brotherhood of Islam with those who already submitted themselves to the Creator. At the same time, you will get rid of any inferiority or superiority complexes. You will also find yourself in synchrony and harmony with all the prophets and messengers of Allah since the creation of Adam and Eve until the last final messenger to mankind, prophet Muhammad (pbuh). While in makkah, you will be able to visit the places of revelation of the Qu`ran as well as the places visited by prophet Abraham and members of his family such as Hagar and Ishmael. You will visit the place where the first astronauts, Adam and Eve landed on earth.

10. In becoming a Muslim, you will do your best to stop all types of exploitations in all their forms: economic, biological, mental, spiritual, psychological, political, etc.. You will also work to liberate people and give them freedom of worship, freedom of speech, and freedom of expresssion. You will be a leader and help lead people to peace, tranquillity and happiness.

11. In accepting Islam, you will help to reduce all types of social ills in the society: juvenile delinquency, child abuse, domestic abuse, incest, homosexuality, sexual promiscuity, premarital relationships, extramarital relationships, and other vices.

12. As a result of the eleventh benefit, you will reduce and eliminate venereal diseases, AIDS, and other diseases of similar nature in the society.

13. Finally, when you die, you will die at peace. You will have a happy life in the grave and later, eternal happiness. Angels at the time of death will comfort you. They will also show you your place in paradise. On the Day of Judgment, you will be able to see and meet all the prophets and messengers of God to mankind including Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad. You will be able to see and meet any and all of your friends and relatives. You will live an eternal life of bliss in paradise.

Reflections:

The benefits mentioned above and many more cannot be purchased with money anywhere in the world. No one is to sell them to you or to advertise them on TV. You have to take the initiative yourself and try to acquire them by accepting Islam first and then by practicing its teachings. You should be honest with yourself, sincere, and truthful to the Creator. You should try wholeheartedly to practice what you believe, regardless of whether someone else is good or not While seeking happiness is a must, it should not be measured with other people’s standards or with material gains. Happiness is from its potential to its kinetic forms. People around you should feel your happiness as well as benefit from you.

Are you ready to accept this challenge today? Remember, tomorrow may not come, and it will be too late.

Islam and Science

Islam and Science

Western thought today is in the midst of a raging battle between religion and science. It is almost impossible for a western thinker today to accept the fact that there may be a meeting ground between religion and science. The Bible, in which the Christians believe, states that the tree from which the Prophet Adam (peace be upon him) was forbidden to eat was the tree of knowledge. Thus, after he ate from it, he gained certain knowledge that he had not had before. For this reason, Europe spent two centuries arguing whether or not to accept scientific knowledge coming from Muslims.

The Church ruled that the pursuit of such scientific knowledge was the cause for the original sin. The bishops drew their evidence from the Old Testament, where it is mentioned that when Adam ate of the tree and gained some knowledge, Allah was displeased with him and denied him mercy. Scientific knowledge was therefore rejected entirely by the Church as a taboo.

Finally, when the free thinkers and scientists of the West were able to overcome the power of the Church, they took revenge by going in the opposite direction and suppressing any power of the religion. They went to all possible extremes in order to overcome the power of the Church and reduce its influence into a narrow and a confined corner.

Therefore, if you discuss the issue of religion and science with a westerner, he readily goes into sheer wonderment. They do not know Islam. They do not know that Islam accords a very high status to knowledge and men of knowledge, regarding them as witnesses, after the angels, to the fact that there is no god worthy of worship in truth but Allah, as Allah Himself has told us in the Quran:

There is no Allah but He: That is the witness of Allah, His angels and those endued with knowledge. (Quran 3:18)

And Allah, may He be exalted and Glorified has also told us:
Know, therefore, that there is no true deity but Allah. (Quran 47:19)

It is known from the Quran that Adam (peace be upon him) was favored over the angels by virtue of the knowledge given to him by Allah. The Quranic story contradicts that of the Bible which Muslims hold to have been distorted. According to the Quran, the fact that Adam was given knowledge is a mark of honor, and not the cause of his expulsion from Paradise. Hence, if one discusses Islam and science with Western thinkers, they tend to expect an argument similar to what they have in their own religious and cultural context. That is why they react with surprise when they are presented with the crystal clear facts of the Quran and Sunnah.

Among those who were taken by surprise is Dr. Joe Leigh Simpson, Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Professor of Molecular and Human Genetics at the Baylor College of Medicine, Houston. When we first met him, Professor Simpson insisted on verifying the Quran and the Sunnah. We were able, however, to remove his suspicion. We presented to him the text outlining the development of the embryo. We proved to him that the Quran informs us that the hereditary and the chromosomal make-up of the new being take place only after a successful union between the sperm and the ovum. As we know, these chromosomes contain all the characteristics which the new human being will have such as the color of the eyes, skin, hair, etc.

Hence, many of the details in the human beings make-up are determined in his chromosomes. These chromosomes begin to form during the early nutfah stage of embryonic development. In other words, the distinguishing features of the new human being are determined from the very beginning at the nutfah stage. Allah, the Most Exalted, the Most Glorified, has stated this fact in the Quran:

Woe to man! What has made him reject Allah? From what stuff has He created him? From a sperm-drop: He has created him, and then molded him in due proportion. (Quran 80:17-19)

During the first 40 days of gestation, all the body parts and organs are completely, though consecutively formed. The organs begin to be formed, assembled, and the fetus appears twisted.

The Prophet Muhammad, (peace be upon him), has informed us in a hadeeth that: In every one of you, all components of your creation are gathered together in your mothers womb by 40 days. (Narrated in Saheeh Muslim and Al-Bukhaari).

In another Hadeeth, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: When forty-two nights have passed over the drop (nutfah), Allah sends an angel to it, who shapes it and makes its ears, eyes, skin, flesh and bones. Then he says, O Lord, is it male or female? and your Lord decides what he wishes. (Muslim).

Professor Simpson studied these two hadeeths extensively, noting that the first 40 days constitute a clearly distinguishable stage of embryo genesis. He was particularly impressed by the absolute precision and accuracy of those hadeeths. Then during one of the conferences which he attended he gave the following opinion: “So that the two hadeeths that have been noted can provide us with a specific time table for the main embryological development before 40 days. Again, the point had been made repeatedly by other speakers this morning that these hadeeths could not have been obtained on the basis of the scientific knowledge that was available at the time of their recording.”

Professor Simpson says that religion can successfully guide the pursuit of knowledge. The West, as we said, has rejected this. Here is an American scientist who says that religion, namely Islam, can achieve this with success. By analogy, if you go to a factory and have with you the operation manual of the factory, then you will be able to easily understand the kind of operation that goes on in that factory, thanks to that manual by the factory designer and builder. If you do not have this manual with you, chances are much less that you will have good understanding of the various processes there.

Professor Simpson said: “It follows, I think, that not only is there no conflict between genetics and religion, but in fact religion can guide science by adding revelation to some traditional scientific approaches. That there exist statements in the Quran shown by science to be valid, which supports knowledge in the Quran having been derived from Allah.”

This is true. Certainly, the Muslims can lead the way in the pursuit of knowledge and that they can accord knowledge in its proper status. Moreover, Muslims know how to use knowledge as a proof of the existence of Allah, May Allah be Exalted and Glorified, and to affirm the Messenger ship of Muhammad (peace be upon him).

Allah said in the Quran:

Soon will we show them our signs in the (furthest) regions (of the earth), and in their own souls, until it becomes manifest to them that this is the truth. Is it not enough that thy Lord does witness all things? (Quran 41:53).

After having realized through examples of scientific miracles in the Quran as well as knowing the related comments of the objective scientists on them, let us ask ourselves these questions:
Could it be a coincidence that all this recently discovered scientific information from different fields was mentioned in the Quran which was revealed 14 centuries ago? Could this Quran have been authored by Muhammad (peace be upon him) or by any other human being?

The only possible answer to that is that the Quran must be the literal word of God (Allah) revealed by Him. The Quran is the literal word of Allah which He revealed to His Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) through the Angel Jibreel (Gabriel). It was memorized by Muhammad (peace be upon him) who then dictated it to his companions. They in turn memorized it, wrote it down, and reviewed it with the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

Moreover, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) reviewed the Quran with the Angel Jibreel once every Ramadhan (the month of fasting) and twice in the last year of his life in the same Islamic calendar. Since the Quran was revealed, up until today, there has always been a huge number of Muslims who have memorized all of the Quran, letter by letter. Some of them have been able to memorize all of the Quran by the age of ten. Thus, it is not surprising to note that not one letter of the Quran has been changed for centuries up to now.

The Quran which was revealed 14 centuries ago mentioned facts that are only recently discovered by proven scientists. This proves without doubt that the Quran must be the literal word of Allah, revealed by Him to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and it also proves that Muhammad (peace be upon him) is truly a Messenger and Prophet sent by Allah. It is beyond reason that anyone fourteen hundred years ago would have known these facts discovered or proven very recently with advanced equipment and sophisticated methods.

The Islamic Origins of Modern Science

The Islamic Origins of Modern Science

Fourteen centuries ago, God sent down the Quran as a guide to all humanity. At the time the  Arab society was in a state of complete degeneration, chaos and ignorance. They were a barbarous people who worshipped idols of their own making, believed warfare and bloodshed to be virtuous and were even capable of killing their own children. They had little interest in intellectual matters, let alone a scientific outlook to the natural world. However, through Islam they learned humanity and civilization. Not only the Arabs but all the communities which accepted Islam escaped the darkness of the age of ignorance and were illuminated by the divine wisdom of the Quran. Amongst the faculties the Quran brought to humanity was scientific thinking.

The Scientific Paradigm Given in the Quran

The genesis of scientific thought is the sense of curiosity. Because people wonder how the universe and nature work, they investigate and become interested in science. But most people lack this curiosity. For them, the important things are not the secrets of the universe and nature but their own small worldly profits and pleasures. In communities where people who think in this way are in charge, science does not develop. Idleness and ignorance rule.

  • Have they not looked at the camel-how it was created?

  • And at the sky-how it was raised up?

  • And at the mountains-how they were embedded?

  • And at the earth-how it is spread out?

  • So remind them! You are only a reminder. (Quran, 88: 17-21)

In many other verses of the Quran, people are instructed to examine nature and learn from it because people can know God only by examining His creations. Because of this, in one verse of the Quran Muslims are defined as people who think about the creation of the heavens and the earth:

Those who remember God, standing, sitting and lying on their sides, and reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth (saying): “Our Lord, You have not created this for nothing. Glory be to You! So safeguard us from the punishment of the Fire.” (Quran, 3: 191)

An early manuscript of the Quran

As a result of this, for a Muslim, taking an interest in science is a very important form of worship. In many verses of the Quran, God instructs Muslims to investigate the heavens, the earth, living things or their own existence and think about them. When we look at the verses, we find indications of all the main branches of science in the Quran. For example, in the Quran, God encourages the science of astronomy:

He who created the seven heavens in layers. You will not find any flaw in the creation of the All-Merciful. Look again-do you see any gaps? (Quran, 67: 3)

In another verse of the Quran, God encourages the investigation of astronomy and the composition of the earth that is the science of geology:

Do they not look at the sky above them? How We have made it and adorned it, and there are no flaws in it? And the earth- We have spread it out, and set thereon mountains standing firm, and produced therein every kind of beautiful growth (in pairs)-To be observed and commemorated by every devotee turning (to God). (Quran, 50: 6-8)

In the Quran, God also encourages the study of botany:

It is He Who sends down water from the sky from which We bring forth growth of every kind, and from that We bring forth the green shoots and from them We bring forth close-packed seeds, and from the spathes of the date palm date clusters hanging down, and gardens of grapes and olives and pomegranates, both similar and dissimilar. Look at their fruits as they bear fruit and ripen. There are Signs in that for people who believe. (Quran, 6:99)

In another verse of the Quran, God draws attention to zoology:

You have a lesson in livestock… (Quran, 16:66)

Here is a Quranic verse about the sciences of archaeology and anthropology:

Have they not traveled in the earth and seen the final fate of those before them? (Quran, 30: 9)

In another verse of the Quran, God draws attention to the proof of God in a person’s own body and spirit:

There are certainly Signs in the earth for people with certainty; and in yourselves as well. Do you not then see? (Quran, 51: 20-21)

As we can see, God recommends all the sciences to Muslims in the Quran. Because of this the growth of Islam in history meant at the same time the growth of scientific knowledge.

The Scientific Renaissance of the Middle East

As we have mentioned, when the Prophet Mohammed (pbh) began to preach Islam, the Arabs were a community of ignorant, superstitious tribes. However, thanks to the light of the Quran they were rescued from superstition and began to follow the path of reason. As a result of this, one of the most astonishing developments in world history took place and in a few decades Islam, which emerged from the small town of Medina, spread from Africa to Central Asia. The Arabs, who previously could not even rule a single city in harmony, came to be rulers of a world empire.

One of the most important facets of this empire was that it provided the stage for a scientific development previously unmatched in history. At a time when Europe was living through the Dark Ages, the Islamic world created the greatest legacy of scientific knowledge seen in history to that date. The sciences of medicine, geometry, algebra, astronomy and even sociology were developed systematically for the first time.

Great centers of religious learning were also centers of knowledge and scientific development. Such formal centers began during the Abbasid period (750-1258 A.D.) when thousands of mosque schools were established. In the tenth century Baghdad had some 300 schools. Alexandria in the fourteenth century had 12,000 students. It was in the tenth century that the formal concept of the Madrassah (school) was developed in Baghdad. The Madrassah had a curriculum and full-time and part-time teachers, many of whom were women. Rich and poor alike received free education. From there Maktabat (libraries) were developed and foreign books acquired. The two most famous are Bait al-Hikmah in Baghdad (ca. 820) and Dar al-Ilm in Cairo (ca. 998). Universities such as Al-Azhar (969 A.D.) were also established long before those in Europe. The Islamic world created the first universities – and even hospitals – in the world.

This fact may be very surprising to modern Westerners, who generally have a different kind of picture about Islam in their minds. But this picture emerges from ignorance about the origins and history of the Islamic civilization. Those who get rid of this ignorance – and several prejudices – acknowledge the true nature of Islam. One example of these is a recent documentary film by PBS, titled Islam: The Empire of Faith, in which the commentator rightly states that:
In the unfolding of history, Islamic civilization has been one of humanity’s grandest achievements… For the West, much of the history of Islam has been obscured behind a veil of fear and misunderstanding. Yet Islam’s hidden history in deeply and surprisingly interwoven with Western civilization… It was they (Muslim scholars) who sewed the seeds of the Renaissance, 600 years before the birth of Leonardo da Vinci. From the way we heal the sick to the numerals we use for counting, cultures across the globe have been shaped by the Islamic civilization. 1

In an article published in Salon.com, a prominent voice of the liberal American media, author George Rafael writes in an article titled “A Is For Arabs” that; From algebra and coffee to guitars, optics and universities… the West owes to the People of the Crescent Moon… A millennium ago, while the West was shrouded in darkness, Islam enjoyed a golden age. Lighting in the streets of Cordoba when London was a barbarous pit; religious tolerance in Toledo while pogroms raged from York to Vienna. As custodians of our classical legacy, Arabs were midwives to our Renaissance. Their influence, however alien it might seem, has always been with us, whether it’s a cup of steaming hot Joe or the algorithms in computer programs. 2

The Open-Mindedness of Islam

What allowed Muslims to create such an advanced scientific culture was derived from the faculties of the Islamic understanding. One of them was, as we have noted, the motive to learn about the universe and nature according to the Quranic principles. Another one was open-mindedness. Both the Quranic wisdom and the Prophetic teaching gave Muslims a global outlook to the world, overcoming all cultural barriers. In the Quran, God states:

Mankind! We created you from a male and female, and made you into peoples and tribes so that you might come to know each other…” (Quran, 49:13)

This verse clearly encourages cultural relationships between different nations and communities. In another verse of the Quran is it stated that “Both East and West belong to Allah” (2:115), thus Muslims should see the world in a universalist and cosmopolitan vision.

The hadiths, or sayings, of the Prophet also encourage this vision. In a popular hadith, the Prophet tells Muslims that “wisdom is the lost property of the Muslims; he takes it from wherever he finds”. This means that Muslims should be very pragmatic and broadminded in adapting and using the cultural and scientific achievements of non-Muslims; those non-Muslims are also creatures and servants of God, even they might not recognize so. The “People of The Book”, i.e. Christians and Jews, are even much more compatible, since they believe in God and stick to moral code He revealed to man.

In the rise of Islamic science, the role of this open-mindedness is very clear to see. John Esposito of the Georgetown University, one of the most prominent Western experts on Islam, makes the following comment:

The genesis of Islamic civilization was indeed a collaborative effort, incorporating the learning and wisdom of many cultures and languages. As in government administration, Christians and Jews, who had been the intellectual and bureaucratic backbone of the Persian and Byzantine empires, participated in the process as well as Muslims. This “ecumenical” effort was evident at the Caliph al-Mamun’s (reigned 813-33) House of Wisdom and at the translation center headed by the renowned scholar Hunayn ibn Isaq, a Nestorian Christian. This period of translation and assimilation was followed by one of Muslim intellectual and artistic creativity. Muslims ceased to be disciples and became masters, in process producing Islamic civilization, dominated by the Arabic language and Islam’s view of life… Major contributions were made in many fields: literature and philosophy, algebra and geometry, science and medicine, art and architecture… Great urban cultural centers in Cordoba, Baghdad, Cairo, Nishapur, and Palermo emerged and eclipsed Christian Europe, mired in Dark Ages. 3

According to one of the great Muslim scholars of our time, Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Islamic science was “the first science of a truly international nature in human history”. 4

Yet Muslims did not only incorporate other cultures, but developed their own. Some commentators neglect this and try to link the Islamic scientific development solely to the influence of the Ancient Greece or Far East. But the real source of Islamic science was the experimentation and observations of Muslim scientists. In his book The Middle East, Professor Bernard Lewis, an undoubted expert in Middle Eastern history, explains it as follows:
The achievement of medieval Islamic science is not limited to the preservation of Greek learning, nor to the incorporation in the corpus of elements from the more ancient and more distant East. This heritage which medieval Islamic scientists handed on to the modern world was immensely enriched by their own efforts and contributions. Greek science, on the whole rather tended to be theoretical. Medieval Middle Eastern science was much more practical, and in such fields as medicine, chemistry, astronomy and agronomy, the classical heritage was clarified and supplemented by the experiments and observations of the medieval Middle East. 5

As noted by Westerners, this advanced scientific culture of the Islamic world paved the way for the Western Renaissance. Muslim scientists acted in the knowledge that their investigation of God’s creation was a path through which they could get to know Him. Esposito stresses that “Muslim scientists, who were often philosophers of mystics as well, viewed physical universe from within their Islamic worldview and context as a manifestation of the presence of God, the Creator and the source and unity and harmony in nature.” 6 With the transfer of this paradigm and its accumulation of knowledge to the Western world, the advance of the West began.

The Theist Origins of Western Science

Medieval Europe was ruled by the dogmatic regime of the Catholic Church. The Church opposed freedom of thought and pressured scientists. People could be punished by the Inquisition simply for holding different beliefs or ideas. Their books were burned and they themselves were executed. The pressure on research in the Middle Ages is often referred to in history books, but some interpret the situation wrongly and claim that the scientists who clashed with the Church were against religion.

The truth is the exact opposite-the scientists who opposed the bigotry of the church were religious believers. They were not against religion, but against the harsh clericalism of the time.
For example, the famous astronomer Galileo, whom the Church wanted to punish because he stated that the world rotated, said, “I render infinite thanks to God for being so kind as to make me alone the first observer of marvels kept hidden in obscurity for all previous centuries.” 7

The other scientists who established modern science were all religious. Kepler, regarded as the founder of modern astronomy, told those who asked him why he busied himself with science, “I had the intention of becoming a theologian… but now I see how God is, by my endeavors, also glorified in astronomy, for ‘heavens declare the glory of God'”. 8

As for Newton, one of the greatest scientists in history, he explained the reason underlying his zeal for scientific endeavor by saying:

“…He (God) is eternal and infinite, omnipotent and omniscient; that is, his duration reaches from eternity to eternity; his presence from infinity to infinity; he governs all things, and knows all things that are or can be done. …We know him only by his most wise and excellent contrivances of things… [W]e revere and adore him as his servants…” 9

The great genius Pascal, the father of modern mathematics, said that: “But by faith we know His (God’s) existence; in glory we shall know His nature.” 10

Many other founders of modern Western science were also strong believers. For example:

” Von Helmont, one of the leading figures in modern chemistry and the inventor of the thermometer, declared that science was a part of faith.

” George Cuvier, the founder of modern paleontology, regarded fossils as surviving proofs of the Creation and taught that living species had been created by God.

” Carl Linnaeus, who first systematized scientific classification, believed in the Creation and stated that the natural order was a significant proof of God’s existence.

” Gregor Mendel, the founder of genetics, and also a monk, believed in Creation and opposed the evolutionary theories of his time, such as Darwinism and Lamarckism.

” Louis Pasteur, the greatest name in the history of microbiology, proved that life could not be created in inert matter and taught that life was a miracle of God.

” The famous German physicist Max Planck said that the Creator of the universe was God and stressed that faith was a necessary quality of scientists.

” Albert Einstein, regarded as the most important scientist of the twentieth century, believed that science could not be godless and said, “science without religion is lame.”
A large number of other scientists who guided modern scientific progress were religious people who believed in God. These scientists served science with the intention of discovering the universe that God had created – a paradigm that was first developed and implemented in the Islamic world and then incorporated into the West. All these theist scientists thought about the creation of the heavens and the earth and investigated in the awareness of God – as God decreed in the Quran and the Bible. The birth of science and its development were the result of this awareness.
During the nineteenth century, however, this awareness was replaced by a misconception called materialism.

The Rise and Fall of the Materialist Deviation

The nineteenth century was a period that witnessed the greatest errors in human history. These errors began with the imposition on European thought of materialist philosophy, an ancient Greek teaching.

The greatest error of this period was Darwin’s theory of evolution. Before the birth of Darwinism, biology was accepted as a branch of science that provided evidence of the existence of God. In his book Natural Theology, the famous author William Paley maintained that, to the extent that every clock proves the existence of a clockmaker, natural designs prove the existence of God.

However, Darwin rejected this truth in his theory of evolution. By distorting the truth to fit materialist philosophy, he claimed that all living things were the result of blind natural causes. In this way he created an artificial antagonism between religion and science.
In their book The Messianic Legacy, English authors Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln have this to say on the subject:

For Isaac Newton, a century and a half before Darwin, science was not separate from religion but, on the contrary, an aspect of religion, and ultimately subservient to it. …But the science of Darwin’s time became precisely that, divorcing itself from the context in which it had previously existed and establishing itself as a rival absolute, an alternative repository of meaning. As a result, religion and science were no longer working in concert, but rather stood opposed to each other, and humanity was increasingly forced to choose between them. 11

Not only biology, but also branches of sciences such as psychology and sociology were twisted according to materialist philosophy. Astronomy was distorted according to the materialist dogmas of ancient pagan Greece; a metaphysical faith in an “eternal cosmos” came to be the norm. The new aim of science was to confirm materialist philosophy.

These incorrect ideas have dragged the scientific world into a dead end for the past 150 years. Tens of thousands of scientists from different branches worked in the hope of being able to prove Darwinism or other materialist theories.

But they were disappointed.
The scientific evidence showed the exact opposite of the conclusion they wanted to reach. That is, it confirmed the truth of Creation. Today the world of science is astonished by this truth. When nature is examined it emerges that there is a complex plan and design in every detail and this has cut away the foundations of materialist philosophy.

For example, the extraordinary structure of DNA shows scientists that it is not the result of blind chance or natural laws. The DNA in a single human cell contains enough information to fill a whole 900-volume encyclopedia. Gene Myers, a scientist from the Celera Company which administers the Human Genome Project, says this:

What really astounds me is the architecture of life… The system is extremely complex. It’s like it was designed… There’s a huge intelligence there. 12

This astonishment affects the whole scientific world. Scientists are viewing with surprise the invalidity of the materialist philosophy and Darwinism which they were taught as truth, and some of them are declaring this openly. In his book Darwin’s Black Box, biochemist Michael Behe, one of the leading critics of Darwinism, describes the situation of the scientific world as follows:

Over the past four decades modern biochemistry has uncovered the secrets of the cell. The progress has been hard won. It has required tens of thousands of people to dedicate the better parts of their lives to the tedious work of the laboratory…

The result of these cumulative efforts to investigate the cell-to investigate life at the molecular level-is a loud, clear, piercing cry of “design!” The result is so unambiguous and so significant that it must be ranked as one of the greatest achievements in the history of science…

But, no bottles have been uncorked, no hands clapped. Why does the scientific community not greedily embrace its startling discovery? The dilemma is that while one side of the [issue] is labeled intelligent design, the other side must be labeled God. 13

The same situation exists in astronomy. The astronomy of the twentieth century has demolished the materialist theories of the nineteenth. First with the Big Bang theory, it emerged that the universe had a beginning, the moment of Creation. Since then it has been realized that in the universe there is an extraordinarily delicate balance which protects human life – a concept known as the anthropic principle.

For these reasons, in the world of physics and astronomy atheism is in rapid decline. As American physicist Robert Griffiths jokingly remarks: “If we need an atheist for a debate, I go to the philosophy department. The physics department isn’t much use.” 14

In short, in our day and age materialist philosophy is collapsing. Science is rediscovering certain very important facts rejected by materialist philosophy and in this way a new concept of science is being born. The “Intelligent Design” theory, which has been on a successful rise in the United States during the past 10 years, is a leading part of this new scientific concept. Those who accept this theory stress that Darwinism was the greatest error in the history of science and that there is an intelligent design in nature that gives evidence of Creation.

Conclusion

God created the entire universe, and the whole of creation shows humanity the signs of God. Science is the method of investigating what has been created, so conflict between religion and science – provided that religion is guided only by Divine revelation – is out of the question.

On the contrary, history shows that theism has been the main motive and paradigm for scientific progress. The two greatest scientific achievements in world history – the Islamic scientific endeavor of the Medieval Age and the Christian scientific leap of the modern era – stemmed from faith in God. Moreover, the latter borrowed a great deal of knowledge, method and vision from the former. The wisdom of the Quran first enlightened the Islamic world and then shed light even to the non-Muslim Europe. If something went wrong in the Islamic world, this was because Muslims turned away from the sincerity, wisdom and open-mindedness God teaches in the Quran.

The materialist paradigm is a deviation from this pattern. It arose in the 19th century, reached its peak in the mid-20th century and is on the brink of collapse today. No matter how arrogant and seemingly self-confident its supporters are, the materialist dogma and its main pillar, Darwinism, will inevitably perish in the upcoming decades.

And science will return to its authentic and true paradigm: A search for the discovery and definition of the great design and harmony in the natural world, the artifact of God.

___________________________________________

  1. Jonathan Grupper (series writer), Islam: Empire of Faith, A Documentary by Gardner Films, in association with PBS, 2001
  2. George Rafael “A is for Arabs”, http://www.Salon.com, Jan. 8, 2002; http://www.salon.com/books/feature/2002/01/08/alphabet/
  3. John L. Esposito, Islam: The Straight Path, Oxford University Press, 1991, s. 52-53
  4. Quoted in Weiss and Green, p. 187
  5. Bernard Lewis, The Middle East, 1998, p. 266
  6. John L. Esposito, Islam: The Straight Path, s. 54
  7. Galileo Galilei, quoted in: Mike Wilson, “The Foolishness of the Cross,” Focus Magazine)
  8. Johannes Kepler, quoted in: J.H. Tiner, Johannes Kepler-Giant of Faith and Science (Milford, Michigan: Mott Media, 1977), p. 197
  9. Sir Isaac Newton, Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy, Translated by Andrew Motte, Revised by Florian Cajore, Great Books of the Western World 34, Robert Maynard Hutchins, Editor in chief, William Benton, Chicago, 1952:273-74
  10. Blaise Pascal, Pensees, No. 233
  11. Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, Henry Lincoln, The Messianic Legacy, Gorgi Books, London: 1991, p.177-178
  12. San Francisco Chronicle, 19 February, 2001
  13. Michael J.Behe, Darwin’s Black Box, New York: Free Press, 1996, p.231-232
  14. Hugh Ross, The Creator and the Cosmos, p. 123