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Doubting God's Existence

Question and answer details
Perplexed
2012/09/30
Recently I have doubts about my faith that Allah doesn't exist. I have recurring thoughts that all the religions are myths. They were made by man himself because Hindus ask their idols for things and they say they get them. How? Please give me explanations that would guide me back to the way of Allah. How can I prove to myself that Allah exists?
Shahul Hameed
Answer

Salam sister,

Thank you for your question.


First of all, please understand that as we are all thinking humans, there are moments when even the most pious persons are tormented by doubts and questions about their convictions. But that is no reason to conclude that their tested and tried beliefs are false.


Nature of Allah's Existence


Consider the existence of an All-Powerful Creator-Sustainer. One important point about Allah Almighty is that we cannot prove His existence in the same way we can prove the existence of a physical being. This is because Allah is not a physical being that is subject to our five senses.


We can see, hear, smell, touch or even taste a physical being. This is not possible in the case of Allah, as He is a Transcendental Being, a Being existing on a level beyond our sensual perception.


There are people who argue that the only form of knowledge available to humans is experiential (empirical) knowledge gained primarily by the use of outer senses.


This means that the actual knowledge of Reality (the Reality behind appearances) is not accessible to us; and so any attempt to seek such knowledge is doomed to failure.


This view leads to the idea that the only object of human concern is the knowledge of here and now.


The foregoing positivist view rules out the possibility of all forms of transcendental existence as well as any spiritual endeavors on the part of humans motivated by belief in a world beyond this world.


But as thinking beings we ought to be conscious of the limitations of our own capabilities and the defects of our senses. The claim that something does not exist simply because we have not seen it or heard it is untenable.


An Irrelevant Question


When we ponder the shortcomings of our sensual perception and the limits of our reasoning powers, it is not necessary that we understand everything and can speak meaningfully about everything simply on the basis of our perception. So to speak of "proof" with regard to a Transcendental Being becomes irrelevant.


What we can do is to point out facts that bolster in us a constant and inescapable awareness of the presence of God; that is, if we are not prepared to take into consideration revealed knowledge.


It is clear that logically we cannot rule out the possibility of more things existing that can be perceived by our senses or can be arrived at by our reasoning. And it is obvious that there are two dimensions to human existence: one of matter, and the other of spirit.


Matter or Spirit?


Reduced merely to the level of material existence, humans become machines, or mere animals at best. But think of a machine that rebels against being a machine; or of an animal that struggles to rise above mere animal existence. That is what humans are.


What is it that makes them rebellious, angry, disappointed, frightened or hopeful? What are the dimensions that give them their imaginations, their artistic genius, their creative urges? Why do they have nightmares and sweet dreams?


It is not matter that does this. Rather, it is their spirits that make them so different from animals. So to base our knowledge of the world and our philosophy of life simply on the material side of our existence to the complete exclusion of the spiritual dimension, is undoubtedly faulty.


The strength of Islam as a philosophy and as a way of life is that it does not separate material life from spiritual life, and that it seeks a balance between the two dimensions of human existence.


Reflect on the Universe


We should understand that the human spirit is a reality incommensurable with material realities. If we ponder over the phenomena of the world around us and over the complexities of our own existence, we are bound to conclude that there is a powerful presence from which all that exists derives its form, direction and movement.


This is the reality behind all appearances. The Quran says what means:

*{Behold! in the creation of the heavens and the earth; in the alternation of the night and the day; in the sailing of the ships through the ocean for the profit of mankind; in the rain which God sends down from the skies, and the life which He gives therewith to an earth that is dead; in the beasts of all kinds that He scatters through the earth; in the change of the winds, and the clouds which they trail like their slaves between the sky and the earth; here indeed are signs for a people that are wise.}* (Al-Baqarah 2: 164)


That is to say, the external signs we see in the universe should necessarily lead a wise person to the Ultimate Reality behind it all. And that is how we arrive at the realization that Allah Almighty is the Moving Spirit behind all life and all existence.


Being Convinced


One way of being convinced of Divine existence is to read the book of Allah. Approach the noble Quran with a desire to know the truth and to be guided by it. Seek refuge with Allah Almighty from devilish impulses and start reading the Quran; and your doubts will be cleared.


While reading the Quran, imagine that Allah is talking to you personally. Feel His presence with you. Get closer to Allah by performing extra Prayers, giving out to the poor and the needy, and doing a lot of supplication to Him.


Look at yourself and see how miraculously you are created. Look around you and see how things are beautifully arranged. All this leads to one conclusion: that there is one Creator who manages all affairs on the heaven and the earth at one time.


May Allah the All-Merciful guide us and help us all along the Straight Path.


I hope this answers your question. Please keep in touch.


Salam.


Useful Links:


Does God Exist?


Man in His Essential Nature Proclaims One God


Where Is God?


Where Is God? Another answer


Does God Have a Spirit?


He... a Pronoun of Divine Entity?


God… or Allah?


Allah… God of Monotheism


Allah in Pre-Islamic History


Quibbling About Monotheism


Quibbling About Monotheism (Another Answer)

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