The Challenge before Atheism
If the Qur’an is unique and inimitable – and the Hadith is unique, but imitable – then the Qur’an has to be from God, as the Prophet claimed and pronounced, writes SYED IQBAL ZAHEER
Atheism carries various aspects in its definition. But when, at our end, we deal with the question, we mean those who ascertain that God does not exist.
For an educated person to be an atheist is, according to us, to reveal signs either of the capacity to think logically (if the brain is not given an adieu), or simply ignorance of what is dear most to common man.
Apart from the world being in existence, even if is explained as something always in existence, from eternity, the laws which operate it have no explanation for their existence. A scientist has remarked that if God exists, he must be a mathematician. True. To offer a simple explanation, we can look into the tiniest part of the material world: Atom.
A single atom discloses properties and physical laws, to understand which requires knowledge of higher mathematics. A quick example is, the simply-stated formula:
Hundreds of scientists, since 1905, have been working on the mathematical equation to discover its implications, and have been using the implications for discovering more laws of nature. To attempt the same, a common man will have to learn higher mathematics.
Take water: two parts of hydrogen and one part of oxygen make it. Both are gases. But the resultant is liquid. This liquid, consisting of two combustibles, puts out fire. Further, can you place hydrogen in a jar and add to it oxygen in half the quantity, will you get water? No. Experiments show that you need to mix the two in exactly the proportion of 2:1.
If, by some magic, you succeed to bring together the two gases in proportion of 2:1, what happens? Do you get water? No. You will only get an explosion. Yes, better be careful before you experiment. If you succeed in getting the two together. It is going to explode in your face. There is good amount of mathematics involved in this, apart from difficulties of proportion.
There are thousands upon thousands of laws that are being applied to nature, and run the universe every millisecond. Where did these laws come from? They must have been stored in some place before nature’s creation could be attempted. With the ‘Big Bang’ these thousands of laws would have been applied to create whatever is in the cosmos: quarks, gases, dust, neutrons, nebulas, stars, galaxies, planets and the Earth. So, where were the laws hiding to be drawn from for use by the developing, evolving universe?
An Indian scholar has well said: Supposing a sheet of paper is abruptly torn to pieces, one of the pieces kept back, and the rest handed over to someone to re-assemble the shredded pieces to create the original sheet matching the script written on it. He finds that there is one piece missing to complete the assembly to the original sheet’s shape and the script on it. Nothing else fits in the resultant gap, except the piece held back. When given to him, he is able to create the shape of the original with the script that was on it. That piece fits exactly to complete the assembly. That piece is God. Without Him, the assembly is never complete. Thus, we arrive at the fact that without the concept of God, the universe cannot exist. And, you cannot explain the universe by simply saying that it has existed, through supposition that it has been in existence, throughout time.
Thus, instead of resorting to faith and Revelation, we are applying reason and logic to provide reasons for believing in God’s existence.
Our another evidence concerns Prophet Muhammad, on him be peace. He appeared in full light of history, making his claim before a hundred thousand men and women. And, as details of history show us, they were pretty intelligent. Some of them were extra-ordinary people, to take the Islamic cause forward, and to impose their will on the otherwise unruly, fiercely independent-minded people who hated to be ordered.
The Prophet never claimed ownership of the Qur’an. He consistently denied its ownership. Now, the Qur’an is so different in its linguistic expression that it has been declared inimitable down to our age.
The Prophet was adored for several reasons. And obviously so, his statements, talks, speeches and commandments were lovingly re-quoted, committed to memory, and recorded by thousands. For his contemporaries, it was Law. It is known now as ‘Hadith Literature.’ It amounts to about 100,000 statements, or more.
Now, an intelligent person of today faces a conundrum – if the mind is not on holiday – if the credit for the Qur’an is given to the Prophet – since no God exists – to whom goes the credit for the 100,000 Hadith statements? We know that every man expresses himself (and writes) in a language uniquely his: in choice of words, phrases, style and syntax. These characters of language are so completely different from the Hadith literature and the Qur’an, that both cannot be by the same person.Every human product is different from another’s. It ‘can’ be better than another’s, but not the same. Further the two cannot be the same in literary qualities, and never the same over decades.
There are people who study Hadith literature so much, that when told of a particular hadith, they will immediately pronounce that this hadith is a fabrication. They offer several literary and religious reasons.
Now, if the Qur’an is unique and inimitable, and the Hadith is unique but imitable, then the Qur’an has to from God, as the Prophet claimed and pronounced.