PROVING THE EXISTENCE OF ALLAH (SWT)TO AN ATHEIST
by Dr. Zakir Naik
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 lallah’ i.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 believe in 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)
QUR’AN 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 Qur’an 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. Don’t grapple with words, whatever answer he gives, the meaning will be same, therefore accept it.
SCIENTIFIC FACTS MENTIONED IN THE QUR’AN: for details on this subject please refer to my book, ‘THE QUR’AN 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 Qur’an, and assume that a person has guessed all the information that is mentioned in the Qur’an which was unknown at that time. Let us discuss the probability of all the guesses being simultaneously correct.
At the time when the Qur’an 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 Qur’an 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 Qur’an 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.
Further, the Qur’an also mentions every living thing is made of water. Every living thing can be made up of either wood, stone, copper, aluminum, steel, silver, gold, oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, oil, water, cement, concrete, etc. The options are say about 10,000. The Qur’an rightly says that everything is made up of water. If it is a guess, the chances that it will be correct is 1/10,000 and the probability of all the three guesses i.e. the earth is spherical, light of moon is reflected light and everything is created from water being correct is 1/30 x 1/2 x 1/10,000 = 1/60,000 which is equal to about .0017%.
The Qur’an speaks about hundreds of things that were not known to men at the time of its revelation. Only in three options the result is .0017%. I leave it upto you, to work out the probability if all the hundreds of the unknown facts were guesses, the chances of all of them being correct guesses simultaneously and there being not a single wrong guess. It is beyond human capacity to make all correct guesses without a single mistake, which itself is sufficient to prove to a logical person that the origin of the Qur’an is Divine.
CREATOR IS THE AUTHOR OF THE QUR’AN
The only logical answer to the question as to who could have mentioned all these scientific facts 1400 years ago before they were discovered, is exactly the same answer initially given by the atheist or any person, to the question who will be the first person who will be able to tell the mechanism of the unknown object. It is the ‘CREATOR’, the producer, the Manufacturer of the whole universe and its contents. In the English language He is ‘God’, or more appropriate in the Arabic language, ‘ALLAH’.
QUR’AN IS A BOOK OF SIGNS AND NOT SCIENCE
Let me remind you that the Qur’an is not a book of Science, ‘S-C-I-E-N-C-E’ but a book of Signs ‘S-I-G-N-S’ i.e. a book of ayaats. The Qur’an contains more than 6,000 ayaats, i.e. ‘signs’, out of which more than a thousand speak about Science. I am not trying to prove that the Qur’an is the word of God using scientific knowledge as a yard stick because any yardstick is supposed to be more superior than what is being checked or verified. For us Muslims the Qur’an is the Furqan i.e. criteria to judge right from wrong and the ultimate yardstick which is more superior to scientific knowledge.
But for an educated man who is an atheist, scientific knowledge is the ultimate test which he believes in. We do know that science many a times takes ‘U’ turns, therefore I have restricted the examples only to scientific facts which have sufficient proof and evidence and not scientific theories based on assumptions. Using the ultimate yardstick of the atheist, I am trying to prove to him that the Qur’an is the word of God and it contains the scientific knowledge which is his yardstick which was discovered recently, while the Qur’an was revealed 1400 year ago. At the end of the discussion, we both come to the same conclusion that God though superior to science, is not incompatible with it.
SCIENCE IS ELIMINATING MODELS OF GOD BUT NOT GOD
Francis Bacon, the famous philosopher, has rightly said that a little knowledge of science makes man an atheist, but an in-depth study of science makes him a believer in God. Scientists today are eliminating models of God, but they are not eliminating God. If you translate this into Arabic, it is La illaha illal la, There is no god, (god with a small ‘g’ that is fake god) but God (with a capital ‘G’).
“Soon We will show them our signs in the (farthest) 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 doth witness all things?”
Does God Exist? Proof of the Existence of God
Believe in God is the most important thing in faith. If someone does not believe that God exists then he is in deep astray.
Does God exist? We have never seen God. We have never talked with God. That is why the Atheists believe God does not exist. It is just a fantasy or a made up thing!
The Story of a Scholar and an Atheist
There is one story of a Scholar and an Atheist. Long ago an Atheist did not believe the existence of God. He asked a scholar for a debate about the existence of God. Among the questions are: “Does God exist?” and “If God exists then where is God?”
Then they decided when and where the debate takes place.
The Atheist and the villagers were waiting for the scholar, but the scholar did not come right on time. When the Atheist and the villagers thought that the scholar will not come for the debate, then the scholar showed up.
“I am sorry to keep you waiting for so long. But the rain is so heavy so the river floods. The bridge drifted away so I could not cross it. Thank God suddenly there was a big tree fell down. Then the branches cut out by themselves so the trunk was branchless. After that the trunk was cut and a hole was created so it became a boat. So I used the boat and crossed the river,” said the scholar.
The Atheist and the villagers were laughing. The Atheist said to the villagers, “This scholar is mad. How can a tree became a boat by itself with no one made it? How can a boat exist with no maker who made it?”
The villagers were laughing out loud.
After the people calmed down, the scholar said, “If you believe that the boat could not exist without its maker, then how could you believe the earth, sky, and its contents exist without its creator? Which is the most difficult to make? Making a boat or creating the earth, sky, and its contents?
Hearing that, they realized that they trapped with their own statement.
“Then answer my second question,” said the Atheist. “If God exists, why can’t He be seen? Where is God?” The Atheist thought since he cannot see God then God does not exist.
The scholar slapped the Atheist’s cheek hardly so the Atheist felt so much pain.
“Why did you slap me? It’s very painful”
The scholar asked, “There is no pain. I cannot see pain. Where is pain?”
“The pain is here,” the Atheist pointed his cheek.
“No, I cannot see pain. Do you see the pain?” asked the scholar to the villagers.
The villagers said, “No!”
“So, though we cannot see the pain does not mean that the pain does not exist. So is the God. Just because we cannot see the God does not mean that God does not exist. Though we cannot see Him, but we can see His creations.” Said the scholar.
The argument of the scholar is very simple. Yet, the argument that God does not exist just because human’s sense could not sense the existence of God is very wrong.
How many things that could not be seen or heard by people but exist?
We cannot see the Wind but the Wind exists. We cannot see electricity (what you can see is wire) but electricity exist.
How many things in the sky that billions light years away, even trillions light years away that could not be seen by people yet the things exist?
How many molecular things even nucleus (hair divided in millions) that cannot be seen by people yet exist? People could only see those things by using a very powerful microscope.
How many waves (radio, electromagnetic, electricity, etc) that cannot be seen yet exist?
Those things exist, yet the human sense is very limited so it cannot sense their existence.
The human ability to see colors limited to certain frequencies. People only could hear limited frequencies. Sometimes the light not only very dazzling but also could make people blind. So is the sound. Certain sound could not be heard by human sense while other sound which is very loud could destroy human‘s hearing.
If to sense the creatures of God, sometimes people could not do it, even more to sense the Creator: God!
The Universe, Who is its Creator?
It is hard to proof that God exists. But if we take a look to the planes, cars, TVs, etc, it would be irrational if we say that all exist by themselves. There must be people who make them!
If the simple thing such as the match has its makers, then the universe that far more complex than that must be has its creator.
The Earth where 8 billion people live has circumference 40,000 km. The circumference of the Sun is 4.3 million km. The Sun and its 8 planets along with 100 billion stars are in the Milky Way galaxy whose length is 100,000 light years away.
Milky Way is only a galaxy among thousands galaxies that form a Cluster. This cluster with thousands clusters form 1 Super Cluster. And thousands of Super Clusters form the Universe whose length is 30 billion light years away! Remember, the number 30 billion light years away only current estimation since the strongest telescope today only could reach 15 billion light years away.
Imagine if the distance between Earth and the Sun is 150 million km and passed by the light in just 8 minute, then the whole Universe passed by the light in 30 billion years. That is equal to 285 billion trillion km away. If a man could run 40 km/hour without stopping, he would pass the distance in 810,000 trillion years!
That is the greatness of Allah’s creation! If we believe in the magnificence of Allah’s creation, then we should believe in the magnificence of Allah.
In the Quran Allah explains that He is the creator of Heaven, Star, Sun, Moon, and others:
“Blessed be He Who hath placed in the heaven mansions of the stars, and hath placed therein a great lamp and a moon giving light!” [Quran 25:61]
Is there a Controller of the Universe?
There are millions of people controlling the traffic on road, sea, and air. Beacons are built. People also build traffic light and radar. Air Traffic Control is built to prevent accident. All vehicles have drivers. Even on airplane there are pilot and co-pilot to make the flight safer. On the ships there are Captain, navigator, and engineers. Yet thousands of accidents happen every year on land, sea, and air. Even though there are many controllers, the accidents still happen.
On the contrary, the Earth, Sun, Moon, Stars, and others always revolve for billions of years without single crash. Most scientists believe that the Earth, Sun, and all of the other planets and moons in the solar system formed about 4.6 billion years ago. For billions of years until now the Earth never bump into the Sun, and the Sun never collides with the Moon. There is no mark, police, nor pilots to drive them. Without God, the Controller of the Universe, none of these would happen. Everything is in order because there is God who controls everything. Allah has put orbit for each of those things. If we really think about it then we will know that God exist.
“He it is who appointed the sun a splendor and the moon stages, that ye might know the number of the years, and the reckoning. Allah created not (all) that save in truth. He detaileth the revelations for people who have knowledge” [Quran 10:5]
“It is not for the sun to overtake the moon, nor doth the night outstrip the day. They float each in an orbit” [Quran:40]
People who think a lot about universe insha Allah will believe that there is a God!
“Allah it is who raised up the heavens without visible supports, then mounted the Throne, and compelled the sun and the moon to be of service, each runneth unto an appointed term; He ordereth the course; He detaileth the revelations, that haply ye may be certain of the meeting with your Lord.” [Quran 13:2]
“Such as remember Allah, standing, sitting, and reclining, and consider the creation of the heavens and the earth, (and say): Our Lord! Thou createdst not this in vain. Glory be to Thee! Preserve us from the doom of Fire” [Quran 3:191]
Who is the Creator of People and Plants?
To those arrogant people who deny the existence of God, Allah questions them about His creatures. Who is the creator of sperm and plant? People or God the All Wise Creator?
“Have ye seen that which ye emit?
Do ye create it or are We the creator?” [Quran 56:58-59]
“Have ye seen that which ye cultivate?
Is it ye who foster it, or are We the Fosterer?” [Quran 56:63-64]
“Was it ye who made the tree thereof to grow, or were We the grower?” [Quran 56:72]
Can Men Create a Fly?
In another verse, Allah challenges others to create a fly if they could do it. Men may be could make robots from things that created by Allah. Yet, none could make a fly from nothing nor thing that could reproduce except Allah:
“…Lo! Those on whom ye call beside Allah will never create a fly though they combine together for the purpose. And if the fly took something from them, they could not rescue it from him. So weak are (both) the seeker and the sought!” [Quran 22:73]
There are many other Quran verses that describe the existence of God and God is the All Wise Creator.