CONGRATULATING AN ATHEIST
Normally, when I meet an atheist, the first thing I like to do is to congratulate him and say, " My special congratulations to you", because most of the people who believe in God are doing blind belief - he is a Christian, because his father is a Christian; he is a Hindu, because his father is a Hindu; the majority of the people in the world are blindly following the religion of their fathers. An atheist, on the other hand, even though he may belong to a religious family, uses his intellect to deny the existence of God; what ever concept or qualities of God he may have learnt in his religion may not seem to be logical to him.
My Muslim brothers may question me, "Zakir, why are you congratulating an atheist?" The reason that I am congratulating an atheist is because he agrees with the first part of the Shahada i.e. the Islamic Creed, La ilaaha - meaning there is no God. So half my job is already done; now the only part left is il lallahi.e. BUT ALLAH which I shall do Insha Allah. With others (who are not atheists) I have to first remove from their minds the wrong concept of God they may have and then put the correct concept of one true God.
LOGICAL CONCEPT OF GOD
My first question to the atheist will be: "What is the definition of God?" For a person to say there is no God, he should know what is the meaning of God. If I hold a book and say that this is a pen, for the opposite person to say, it is not a pen, he should know what is the definition of a pen, even if he does not know nor is able to recognise or identify the object I am holding in my hand. For him to say this is not a pen, he should at least know what a pen means. Similarly for an atheist to say there is no God, he should at least know the concept of God. His concept of God would be derived from the surroundings in which he lives. The god that a large number of people worship has got human qualities - therefore he does not believein such a god. Similarly a Muslim too does not and should not believe in such false gods.
If a non-Muslim believes that Islam is a merciless religion with something to do with terrorism; a religion which does not give rights to women; a religion which contradicts science; in his limited sense that non-Muslim is correct to reject such Islam. The problem is he has a wrong picture of Islam. Even I reject such a false picture of Islam, but at the same time, it becomes my duty as a Muslim to present the correct picture of Islam to that non-Muslim i.e. Islam is a merciful religion, it gives equal rights to the women, it is not incompatible with logic, reason and science; if I present the correct facts about Islam, that non-Muslim may Inshallah accept Islam.
Similarly the atheist rejects the false gods and the duty of every Muslim is to present the correct concept of God which he shall Insha Allah not refuse.
(You may refer to my article, Concept of God in Islam, for more details)
QURAN AND MODERN SCIENCE
The methods of proving the existence of God with usage of the material provided in the Concept of God in Islam to an atheist may satisfy some but not all.
Many atheists demand a scientific proof for the existence of God. I agree that today is the age of science and technology. Let us use scientific knowledge to kill two birds with one stone, i.e. to prove the existence of God and simultaneously prove that the Quran is a revelation of God.
If a new object or a machine, which no one in the world has ever seen or heard of before, is shown to an atheist or any person and then a question is asked, " Who is the first person who will be able to provide details of the mechanism of this unknown object? After little bit of thinking, he will reply, the creator of that object. Some may say the producer while others may say the manufacturer. What ever answer the person gives, keep it in your mind, the answer will always be either the creator, the producer, the manufacturer or some what of the same meaning, i.e. the person who has made it or created it. Dont grapple with words, whatever answer he gives, the meaning will be same, therefore accept it.
SCIENTIFIC FACTS MENTIONED IN THE QURAN: for details on this subject please refer to my book, THE QURAN AND MODERN SCIENCE COMPATIBLE OR INCOMPATIBLE?
THEORY OF PROBABILITY
In mathematics there is a theory known as Theory of Probability. If you have two options, out of which one is right, and one is wrong, the chances that you will chose the right one is half, i.e. one out of the two will be correct. You have 50% chances of being correct. Similarly if you toss a coin the chances that your guess will be correct is 50% (1 out of 2) i.e. 1/2. If you toss a coin the second time, the chances that you will be correct in the second toss is again 50% i.e. half. But the chances that you will be correct in both the tosses is half multiplied by half (1/2 x 1/2) which is equal to 1/4 i.e. 50% of 50% which is equal to 25%. If you toss a coin the third time, chances that you will be correct all three times is (1/2 x 1/2 x 1/2) that is 1/8 or 50% of 50% of 50% that is 12½%.
A dice has got six sides. If you throw a dice and guess any number between 1 to 6, the chances that your guess will be correct is 1/6. If you throw the dice the second time, the chances that your guess will be correct in both the throws is (1/6 x 1/6) which is equal to 1/36. If you throw the dice the third time, the chances that all your three guesses are correct is (1/6 x 1/6 x 1/6) is equal to 1/216 that is less than 0.5 %.
Let us apply this theory of probability to the Quran, and assume that a person has guessed all the information that is mentioned in the Quran which was unknown at that time. Let us discuss the probability of all the guesses being simultaneously correct.
At the time when the Quran was revealed, people thought the world was flat, there are several other options for the shape of the earth. It could be triangular, it could be quadrangular, pentagonal, hexagonal, heptagonal, octagonal, spherical, etc. Lets assume there are about 30 different options for the shape of the earth. The Quran rightly says it is spherical, if it was a guess the chances of the guess being correct is 1/30.
The light of the moon can be its own light or a reflected light. The Quran rightly says it is a reflected light. If it is a guess, the chances that it will be correct is 1/2 and the probability that both the guesses i.e the earth is spherical and the light of the moon is reflected light is 1/30 x 1/2 = 1/60.
Dr. Zakir Naik
20 ส.ค. 48 11:23:29
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