The Existence of God
Believing in God is in tune with the natural inclinations of men, but is this belief in tune with sound reasoning? Science states that the universe had a beginning. Science has discovered that the universe is expanding, and if we were to reverse this expansion, the universe would shrink down to nothing at all.
Scientists don’t know what was before the Big Bang, however one thing they do agree upon is that the universe is not eternal and had a beginning.
How did the universe come to exist? Did it come from nothing? If it comes from nothing, nothing comes.
For example, if you heard a loud bang, you would never assume it just came from nothing. Or would a pink elephant just pop out from nothing into your living room? Obviously not! So the universe could not have just come out of nothing.
Did the universe create itself? This is irrational because that would require it to be in existence and non-existence at the same time. It is like saying a mother gave birth to herself!
Or does the universe come to exist because it has a creator? This is the most logical and rational conclusion. Quran says:
أم خلقوا من غير شيء أم هم الخالقون – أم خلقوا السماوات والأرض بل لا يوقنون
“Or were they created by nothing, or were they the creators (of themselves)? Or did they create the heavens and the Earth? Rather, they are not certain.”
The creator is powerful as it created the universe. When we observe the planets, solar systems, galaxies, stars and everything else in the universe, this indicates that the creator must have an amazing amount of power and ability to be able to put the universe into existence.
Anything that is ordered indicates intelligence. Do you agree?
For example, if you were walking on a beach and saw the word ‘hello’ written in the sand, you would conclude that there is an intelligent being that wrote this because the letters are ordered. You would never assume it happened by chance.
Or if you woke up in a factory and saw all the systems and machines manufacturing jeans, you would naturally conclude that there is an intelligence that manages this factory because it has order.
Ponder upon the order in our solar system. Our solar system is highly ordered with intricate systems, laws and patterns which indicate that here is an intelligent designer.
Let’s look at some examples of our ordered and perfectly balanced solar system:
The Sun’s distance from the earth
The Sun is at a perfect distance from the earth. If the Sun was slightly further away, we would freeze and if it was any closer we would burn.
If the gravitational force was altered, this would have a massive effect on our existence.
If we did not have an ozone layer protecting us, we would be dramatically affected by the Sun’s harmful rays.
If the axis of the Earth was altered, this would create chaos and our Earth would be uninhabitable.
Size of the Sun, Earth and Moon
If the size of the Sun or Earth was different, we would either be too hot or too cold. If the Moon was a different size or did not exist, it would affect the gravitational force which stabilizes the Earth’s axis.
This would have a huge effect on our seasons and would increase the speed of the Earth’s rotation so that one day would only be a few hours long.
The order in our universe indicates the intelligence of the creator! Quran says:
إن في خلق السماوات والأرض واختلاف الليل والنهار لآيات لأولي الألباب
“Indeed, in the creation of the heavens and the Earth and the alternation of the night and the day are signs for those of understanding.”
From the arguments above we can conclude that the best explanation for our existence is that there is a creator of our universe who has an amazing amount of power and intelligence.
The Oneness of God
Is the Creator the same or different from creation?
It is evident to see that the nature of the creator is different from the creation. The creator has the power and ability to put this universe into existence, including all of the intricate laws, systems and planets. Whereas we as humans cannot even create a fly!
Also, when we make a chair or a table, we do not become the table. We are distinct and different from what we make. Similarly with the Creator, it would be irrational to say that the Creator created us and then became us or part of His creation.
However, if the Creator is within the creation, this would mean that we have more creation!
The Creator would need a creator, and then the creator of the creator would also need a creator. And you would end up with an infinite chain of creators. Quran says:
قُلْ هُوَ اللَّهُ أَحَدٌ – اللَّهُ الصَّمَدُ – لَمْ يَلِدْ وَلَمْ يُولَدْ – وَلَمْ يَكُنْ لَّهُ كُفُواً أَحَدٌ
Say: “He is God, (who is) One, God, the Eternal Refuge. He neither begets nor is born, nor is there to Him any equivalent.”
Can we have an infinite chain of creators?
Imagine you are in a car park and you hear an echo saying “HELLO… HELLO… HELLO.” Would you assume that this echo is eternal? You wouldn’t because you know it must have started somewhere. In the same way, we cannot have an infinite chain of creators, because it must have started somewhere by a creator that is uncreated.
Another example is if a man knocked on your door and said that his car has broken down and he needs you to help push the car to restart it.
And you say that you will only help if your neighbour helps because the car is heavy. But your neighbour says they will only help if their neighbour helps. And your neighbour’s, neighbour’s, neighbour says they will only help if their neighbour helps! If this neighbours asking neighbours went on forever, would you ever help the man to move his car?
No, you wouldn’t!
Now let’s apply this principle to our scenario of creators creating creators going on forever. In the same way that the man’s car would not restart or move, similarly, the universe would not have been created. So for the universe to be in existence, we could not have an infinite amount of creators and instead would need a creator who is eternal.
This answers the common question of who created God.
The order in the creation is evidence of God’s oneness. This is because more than one creator would cause chaos within the creation. For example, if there are two CEOs of a company, they will both disagree on decisions, which will bring the company into chaos.
When we look at the stories of the ancient Greek gods, they would often go into war with each other.
However, as the universe is in order, this is evidence that the creator is one. As God says in the Quran:
لو كان فيهما آلهة إلا الله لفسدتا فسبحان الله رب العرش عما يصفون
“Had there been within the heavens and earth gods besides God, they both would have been ruined. So exalted is God, Lord of the Throne, above what they describe.”
The Creator is uncreated because we are not able to have an infinite chain of creators. Due to this, we can conclude that the creator is unique, different from creation, self-sufficient and one.
Another proof of the oneness of God is the order within the creation. If there were more than one god, we would have seen disorder within the creation. As we have order within the creation, the creator must be one.
The need for revelation
The Creator has sent manuals to mankind to announce His presence and provide guidance. The final manual sent by the Creator was the Quran, which was sent around 1400 years ago.
The Quran serves as a compass for life. It offer us direction and allows us to understand why we exist. The guidance contained in the Quran enables us to live in a way that God loves and is pleased with.
As the Creator, God knows us best and is therefore best placed to guide us on how to function optimally. It is a bit like when you buy a mobile phone with a manual describing its functions. The Quran is therefore a handbook, from the Creator to the created, and is not something written by man.
However, anyone can write a book and claim it is from the Creator. So a book that is truly from the Creator would have some evidence to show it is from the Creator and not from man.
We will now look at some of the compelling evidence that shows the Quran must be from the Creator and not merely written by a human being.
The amazing Quran:
Preservation of Quran
إنا نحن نزلنا الذكر وإنا له لحافظون
“Verily, it is We who have sent down the Quran and surely, We will guard it (from corruption)”
One of the miraculous aspects of the Quran is that it has been preserved through oral tradition. The original texts of the most former divine books were lost altogether, however, the Quran exists exactly as it was revealed to the Prophet (peace be upon him).
The Quran was memorised by the companions of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) who taught it to their students, who then taught it to their students, and this has gone on until today.
Science – Cosmology
والسماء بنيناها بأيد وإنا لموسعون
“And the heaven We constructed with strength, and indeed, We are (its) expander.”
The Quran talks about the expansion of the universe which was discovered in 1929 by Edwin Hubble. How did a book 1400 years old have this information? It must have been from the Creator of the universe.
Origin of life
وجعلنا من الماء كل شيء حيّ أفلا يؤمنون
“We made every living thing from water. Will they not believe?”
The first thing scientists look for when trying to find life on another planet is water. This is because water is essential for all living things. Living things are made of cells and the majority of a cell is made from water.
Muhammad (peace be upon him) did not have a microscope or any form of technology to know this. Therefore, this is another proof to show the Quran must be from the Creator.
أَلَمْ نَجْعَلِ الاٌّرْضَ مِهَـداً – وَالْجِبَالَ أَوْتَاداً
“Have We not made the earth a resting place? And the mountains as stakes?”
The Quran describes mountains as stakes, in other words having deep roots. Using modern technology, we have been able to confirm that mountains have large deep roots.
As we can see, the Quran contains an amazing amount of information which could not have been known or available to Muhammad (peace be upon him). The only conclusion is that it must have been from the Creator of the universe.
The Creator chose Messengers to announce the presence of the Creator and to be an example for how we should live our lives. All the Messengers including Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad, peace be upon them all, had the same message.
Muhammad (peace be upon him) was known for having an amazing character even before claiming prophethood. In a time where corruption was widespread, Muhammad (peace be upon him) would not engage with the evils that the society was immersed in.
He would look after the orphans and elderly and would help to improve the society. The people knew him as someone who was trustworthy and honest.
Was Muhammad (peace be upon him) a real Messenger?
His enemies considered him to be honest and trustworthy and he had the nickname of Al-Ameen (the Trustworthy).
A liar normally lies to get some worldly gain. Muhammad (peace be upon him) was offered power, wealth and women by the chiefs of Makkah, but refused them all for the message he brought and as a result suffered great hardships.
Does this sound like the profile of someone who is a liar to you?
Some could claim that he actually thought he was a Messenger but in reality he was not.
This is very problematic because a deluded person could not have produced something as miraculous as the Quran.
In conclusion, Muhammad (peace be upon him) did not have the psychological profile of someone who was a liar or deluded. Therefore, he was telling the truth and he is the Messenger of God.
iERA (Islamic Education and Research Academy)
Parts of this article
Come Now, Let Us Reason Together (Part 1 of 4): The Existence of God
Come Now, Let Us Reason Together (Part 2 of 4): The Oneness of God
Come Now, Let Us Reason Together (Part 3 of 4): Revelation
Come Now, Let Us Reason Together (Part 4 of 4): Prophethood
View all parts together