Recap: We observe various “casual agents” in this universe. How can we reconcile this matter with the message that Muhammad, the Messenger brings to us?
The Reasonings (page 141)-
“For this reason, supposing if someone had attempted to teach ten centuries ago a science or its established facts which have only recently been formed, they would not have escaped the commission of many errors or from leading their students into fallacies and confusion. If, for example, the students had been informed that it is the earth that revolves around the sun, not the other way round, and that there are more than one million living organisms in one drop of water, giving us a glimpse of the Creator’s Grandeur, the majority would have denied their teacher and defied the truth. For they could not have perceived the existence of more than one million of living organisms in a drop of water, and would have had to suffer self-contradiction when their eyes were plainly seeing the earth stable and the sun moving. Confusing minds for many centuries would have been a grave error in and an obstacle to guiding people.”
People who study science subjects, draw “facts” from observations of the universe. Our minds are conditioned by studying the universe and explaining how the mechanisms (order or natural laws) are happening in the universe. We do not realize that every explanation of the physical event as far as the way things come into existence is a “philosophy”, not a physical reality. Example: when I study a laptop, there are two approaches:
- I do not care about whether the laptop has an Engineer or not. I am busy studying its endless functionalities.
- I conclude that the laptop must have an Engineer because the functionalities cannot make themselves work by themselves.
Unfortunately, we are in an education system where the opposite view is not allowed to raise its voice. Example: Scientific research never mentions the Source of Existence of anything. The moment someone tackles it, they are tabooed or restrained. What is the point of discoveries then if it is not to get the meaning and purpose in the existence of things, the universe (including you and I in it)?
The restrains does not help the educated intellect to even consider that there may be an opposite idea to explain things. The issue is all about how things are interpreted i.e. assigning the cause of existence of things either within the universe itself or without, i.e. an agent outside the nature of the universe.
- The battle is really about how to assign an agent, either an agent within the universe or an external agent.
We are really swimming in the ocean of “shirk” or “assigning the quality to give existence to physical things or laws.” Example: You drop the pen and noise is created. Does the pen have the ability to create the noise? No, within the order in creation, if two objects clash, noise is created. Does the order itself generate the noise? No, the order is given existence within the universe. If we think of the absence of the order we cannot talk about the presence of the universe; other way around thinking is the same. If we think of the absence of the universe then we cannot talk about the presence of the order observed within the universe. If we think of the absence of the walls we cannot talk about the presence of a house. If we talk about the absence of the house we cannot talk about the presence of the walls. The order is totally dependent on an external agent to give it existence. Are the air waves in charge of such phenomenon? No. How can something that is created and being given qualities give existence to the noise?
Quran emphatically also teaches that the agent cannot be found within the universe. We are all made with the ability to inquire and explore how things are happening in the universe and utilize the universe for our physical needs in the universe. That is, we must hunt to learn and feed ourselves and benefit from the universe. While I am engaging with the physical activities going on in the universe, I must come to the conclusion that the physical parts cannot come into existence and cannot function by themselves as I explore or witness. Through the physical world, I can make sense of the necessity of the Existence of an External Agent. If I do not interact with the universe, then I cannot reach the conclusion that this universe needs for an external agent to exists. That is how we are made as a human being. Is there anyone not physically interacting with the universe? The purpose for our interaction with the universe is to confirm whether the universe needs an external agent to give existence to things or can come into existence by itself?
We all must study the universe and there is no problem in doing so. Even to study the universe is necessary for human beings to understand the meaning of their existence, so that they can enjoy their lives. Science discipline is all about studying the universe. The facts that science derive from its studies are the result of human endeavor. But to interpret these “facts” is a human “philosophy”. As a matter of fact, any human interpretation of the universe is a philosophy. Example: the keyboard on the laptop is making the connection with the hardware. Then the concluding sentence is that the “keyboard” itself starts the electric current going to the hardware. Isn’t this philosophy?
The message that the Messenger brings (or the Quran i.e. the Speech of the Creator of the universe by definition) also encourages its addressee to study the universe and then come to a sound conclusion based on logical reasoning. The Quran uses a simple language such as: “If you assign a cause as the responsible agent for the effect it is related to, think about it. Should this cause need to be created, i.e. given existence, or there is no need for a creator of this cause because the “cause” has power, knowledge, will etc. to give existence to the effect? Think about it. Or, does it need to be put in this position by an external agent? We rationally understand that there is no such thing which has these qualities necessary to be the agent in the existence of the effect within this universe. Everything, whether we call it cause or effect, needs to be given existence and needs to be appointed for a job by an Agent. Furthermore, cause and effect both are made to obey the order in creation.” We cannot assign agency to a thing which itself needs to be given existence. Therefore, we conclude that everything in the universe must be put into a specific position to function in a certain way by its agent. We have to question: Can anything function independently within the universe without being bound to the already existing order? Put it in other words: Can anything be its own authority?”
- The Quranic message and human endeavors to research are correlated.
Again, it is a virtue to discover how things are working. But we must be careful about any bias interpretation of our findings. We need to use our human capacities with a free mind while try to make sense of our interpretation of the “facts” we observe in the universe without being bias against “religion” just because we may not be happy with certain religious institutions.
The battle is not about how things are working, rather, how humans are interpreting their findings.
Followers of traditional religion claim to believe in an external agent causing things to come into existence, however, they may also fall into the pit of mistake without realizing it. Example: The lap top has an Engineer, but the keyboard is the cause of the communication between the hard-drive.
If you miss a prayer, then you can always go back and repent. However, when some people assign power to a thing itself, then it means that they are denying the authority of the Creator of that thing. In other words, they cannot return and repent because there is no Creator of that thing in the eye of them, so that they will apologize from the Creator of that thing. Because by its own nature, “assigning deity qualities to things” does not allow to repent or ask for forgiveness from the Creator of that thing. Example: if you do not accept that the state has power and when you deny the existence of state, can you ask the state to forgive you when you do something wrong? It is contradictory because by definition you are saying that there is no state. That is why “shirk” (assigning deity qualities to things) is unforgiveable.
We must be watchful with the language. Example: Universe exists. The subject here is the universe and the cause of existence of things is also the universe. Rather, “the universe is given existence” is such a sound logical conclusion.
Tags: Arguments for Messengership Series, Belief in Messengership of Muhammad, Institution of Messengership, Justice, Messengership, Sharia