Miracles are a part of historical reality. Modern Man may come up with explanations regarding these events, but he cannot categorically deny that they occurred. Some miracles were witnessed by thousands of people. However, the ‘intelligent’ man of today is unable to understand the phenomenon of miracles. This is despite the extraordinary experiences of many individuals even today that cannot be explained on the basis of reason alone. At a time when Mankind had not progressed and knowledge and understanding of the world was rudimentary, miracles were used as a proof. For an event to occur that defied all logic and explanation and that appeared to have no direct causal chain, was seen as evidence of a Being who had absolute power and control to act at will in any situation. People of the time felt compelled to accept this external force as the true originator of the miracle.
In modern times the situation is very different. The mysteries behind the most complex phenomenon are being solved and explained at an alarming rate. It was the case once, less than 200 hundred years ago, that any new discovery would produce fear and bewilderment; and it would take a long time for it to become accepted in the minds of people. Nowadays, innovation has become a passion and an obsession. The advance of science has dampened the attitude of sudden astonishment with each discovery. In fact new discoveries are so common and frequent today that they are part of normal life. Scientific objectivity may have advanced, but the boundaries of the imagination have become more limited. What was once fiction has now become reality, even galactic events appear as footnotes to our technological advances. Is the attitude and self-belief that is born from technological greatness behind the modern rejection of God?
Nothing escapes the research and scrutiny of the advanced intellect of modern Man - except God. Why is it that God is not researched and investigated in an objective and thorough manner? Is it really the case that He has not left any clues that would allow us to recognise Him? Is the Earth devoid of any signs that would definitively prove His existence or non-existence? What you will find is that the one-eyed intellect of modern Man refuses to explore the other dimension of existence. This is deception, misdirection and deluded self-worship which has made human intelligence blind to the other aspect of reality. It cannot simply be naivety or forgetfulness. It actually looks like a carefully considered conspiracy which prevents humanity from moving towards the question that is perhaps the most important question both in this life and the next, on it depends the future life of millions of years.
Does it not occur to Man that it is God who has structured the genetic code in the seed, and who has determined the laws and principles of everything: the glimmer of blossom, the scent of flowers, the flow of water-falls, the harmony of the colours of the rainbow? He oversees the growth of the foetus in the mother’s womb. It is God who has evolved the complex and intricate ‘technology’ that enabled the formation of simple cellular life. He structures and places each event along the continuum of space and time, integrating the atoms of space into the dimensions of time. Is it not intellectually justifiable that a force that plays such a fundamental part in the cosmos should not merit even a single question in the curriculum being delivered in our schools? Should students not have a textbook that objectively explores whether God exists in line with intellectual principles of enquiry, and are able to distinguish between actual facts and opinions based on scientific bigotry? Has modern thinking arrived at a definitive conclusion backed by evidence on the existence or non-existence of God? Has it established a scientific law or theory that brings finality to this issue?
Is it really true that the question of God is a private matter, and that the history of nations and civilisations is totally independent from its influence? Is the concept of God so subjective that it can never be accepted as a universal law? Perhaps God is purely a psychological state induced by the imbalanced temperaments of certain individuals. If these claims have been definitively and scientifically proven, then the absence of God from intellectual discourse is justified. If this is not the case, then why have we given the lowest priority to a question of such magnitude? Why has modern Man deceived himself in such a spectacular manner? The Quran informs us that Satan vowed to God that he would deceive all of Mankind. His claim seems to have now materialised, for he has diverted Mankind’s attention from their ultimate purpose and priority. In the past Satan adulterated the sanctified name of God with the filth of idols and statues. Today, he has achieved an even greater victory. He has made humanity lose all interest in identifying its purpose and destination. He has put them on a path that almost guarantees they will never find the direction towards their ultimate goal. On an individual basis people will always continue to focus on discovering the purpose of their existence, but is it possible for humanity as a collective to redirect its focus on the ultimate priority of existence? History tells us that the human race as a whole has experienced a tragedy that has nothing to do with physical catastrophe and disaster. It is a calamity related to modern Man’s disregard for the purpose of existence and adoption of a world view that will lead to the ultimate annihilation of Mankind.
The history of human thought has never before witnessed the sudden rate of progress that has occurred over the last hundred years. This has resulted in Mankind developing delusions of grandeur. When a weak and feeble minded man experiences a sudden surge of creativity and brain power he can easily become captive to fantasies of his own majesty and power. For thousands of years the procession of human thought advanced at a slow and steady pace; it managed to produce a handful of achievements and was engrossed with its preoccupation with a limited number of big questions. It was then gripped by intellectual progress and advancement of such intensity that it became captive to a collective delusion of greatness. This tragedy of human thought, which I shall refer to as ‘collective Schizophrenia’, opened up a new wave of human ignorance. The change in circumstances lifted the lid from a Pandora’s Box of mental illnesses. The unprecedented speed of progress led to the production of new technologies, the creation of modern jobs, skills and expertise, and alongside this society began to witness the rise of diseases unheard of before.
The cure for Schizophrenia is well known. The traditional method was to suspend the patient from the ceiling and force him to take in the vapour of burning chillies. The modern approach, in the recent past, was to give the patient electric shock treatment. Both these methods involve an element of shock and pain. Humanity is becoming weary of such rapid change and advancement. Some people have chosen to withdraw their support for this progress; others are gripped by its fear; and those at its forefront suffer from an absolute crisis of the intellect. The only cure for this disease seems to be a social catastrophe involving intense shock and pain. The whole of the human race will be dangled upside down and made to inhale the fumes of hot chillies! If we are to avert total annihilation and destruction, the only other cure is to return to God. In his psychotic obsession with greatness, modern Man cannot accept a God other than himself. Is this not a quality of Dajjaal? How intelligent and yet how stupid is modern Man! However, not everybody can recognise this distinction between intelligence and insanity. It is only those whose intelligence allows them to see modern progress in the broader context of cosmic existence. Even in these tumultuous times they have found a tower of strength to hold on to, a being that lifts the veil of fear and anxiety, and amidst the collective ‘arthritis’ of society gives the power of movement to those who depend on Him.
Modern Man insists that there is no evidence of God and not a shred of data exists to even hint at His existence. There is no way we can believe in Him. I sometimes wonder whether God gets annoyed with the flawed logic of these intellectual dwarves. His glory derided and ridiculed by intellects which have traded their integrity for a few scraps. Can there be anyone more forbearing than God? He is the possessor of absolute power and discretion and for centuries He has reprieved those who continue to reject Him. How sublime is He, and how insignificant are we! How many of us have trampled over the sanctity of His Lordship; insults which would have justified Him in seeking vengeance in protection of His honour. Generation after generation of human beings have cast aspersions and accusations on Him based on their limited, short sighted and conceited intellects. All of this did not make God rush to take decisive action against Mankind. Instead He gave them signs and warnings to show them the consequences of their choices: desolate landscapes, abandoned dwellings, dried up wells. None of these were enough to make Mankind return to God. We cannot regard modern Man as naïve and simple. In fact he is not human at all. Imprisoned in the illusions of Satan, he is no more than a confused and bewildered shell that resembles the body of a human being. He has sold his dreams to the Devil, and has bartered the mercy of God for a life of self-doubt and ignorance.
Is it really the case that there is no concrete evidence and data on God?
Here I am not referring to the philosophical arguments that have become standard in the debate on the existence or non-existence of God. These debates will continue to occur, but neither party is able to convince the other. This is because those against the existence of God do not have a definitive proof or argument for their rejection and those who are for the existence of God have nothing but assumptions based on logic and reason. The argument presented by one side is refuted by a counter-argument from the opposing view. The intellectual proofs of God’s existence that the philosophers and scholastic theologians laid down have not stood the test of time and now indicate weakness of intelligence. It seems like only yesterday that the Poet and Philosopher Iqbal (d. 1938) presented an intellectual defence of Godhood, which has in a matter of years become subject to fresh rejection and doubt.
In contrast, personal conviction in God can be based on a variety of reasons. God is found through prayers in times of hardship and distress and His reply becomes a powerful proof of His existence. The occurrence of a tragic event can provide the impetus to follow the path of God. Disaffection with the rat-race of life and the fear of death are both major factors that make people turn to God. The beauty and splendour of the natural world can leave a trace of the Creator of the cosmos in one’s mind. By reflecting and pondering on the Macrocosm and on the Self in a similar manner, some intellectuals have developed ‘theories’ that attempt to prove the existence of a Designer and Creator. However, the truth is that all of this does not constitute definitive and objective proof of God. This is not the type of evidence that a scientist would present in defence of a theory or hypothesis relating to the physical world. In reality these are just personal feelings about God that we are committed to, but have now found tenuous and superficial ‘evidence’ to support them.
Many personal convictions and beliefs are held on the basis of blind-following and unquestioning acceptance (Taqleed). The human brain just listens to others and prefers not to suffer the inconvenience of verifying the truth for itself. What we believe to be certain largely depends on the group we belong to, those in authority, and social pressure to conform. The scholars of religion may have answers for those who criticise the teachings of their faith, but they cannot provide a convincing reply to the basic question posed by secularism on the existence of God, the basis of all religion. The result of this is that many people have become plagued by doubt. This is not a surprise since the ‘Scholars of doubt’ in fact display some level of intelligence and reason, in contrast to the religious response which is usually defensive, driven by fear and not credible at all. This incapacity of the religious scholars has helped secularism to gain domination over religion at the intellectual level. However, we must ask again: is there really no credible, intellectual and irrefutable proof of God?
An English Edition of Muqaddama-tul-Quran (pp.160-165)
An English Edition of Muqaddama-tul-Quran by Prof.Ahmad Rafique Akhtar