Book: Looking for God? Get Reasonable! (56pp.)
Author: Syed Iqbal Zaheer
Reviewer: Biju Abdul Qadir
Publisher: Dar Abul Qasim Publications
Year: 2011; Price: Rs. 50/-
This booklet, Looking for God? Get Reasonable!, produced on popular demand from an entry on ‘God’ written by the author in his An Educational Encylopedia of Islam has its immediate purpose in presenting the public with a pleasantly readable work on a topic of lasting significance. Briefly, but convincingly, the booklet presents evidences in favour of God’s existence while refuting arguments against it from a rational point of view.
It goes on to correct many erroneous concepts concerning Him, which have served over time to weaken people’s faith. Starting from the origin of matter, universe, and life, the author takes us through the laws of outer nature to the very structure of the DNA within all life forms – all in a convincing journey towards the need for a Creator whom the atheists are hard put to refute.
The myriad problems and difficulties of the atheists at each stage of this journey of discovery is explained in as succinct and plain language as is possible in such a brief treatise. The old argument of atheists that life originated in chance combinations of necessary elements is put away with deserving contempt and finesse by positing, among other things, the fact that the odds against a chance assembly of a single protein is 1 in 10|160 and the time required for this chance occurrence is 10|243 years which is actually longer than the period that the universe existed!
Another key pointer in the author’s arguments – often supported by excellent colour illustrations throughout the booklet – is the intricate design and function of the cell and its various organelles. The precision and inner coherence required for constituent atoms so ordered to perform complex functions makes it impossible that they should have arranged themselves to do so.
In addition, the author poses before the atheist the age-old issues of human morality, consciousness, awareness and the need for design and beauty as issues for which an order without God can find no meaning. But the fact that even the atheists find each of these aspects as being indispensable takes the life out of their own argument against a Creator and Sustainer of the Universe.
The author’s analysis pinpoints the defining problem of the atheist as being his inability to go beyond the purely materialistic aspect of his thinking. Rather than an inability to think, therefore, the atheist’s crisis is in his warped thinking that allows him but a superficial idea of reality. As against this, the author puts forward Islam’s own prescription towards recognizing and accepting God: a seeking mind and an open heart.
Moderately priced, this small book is expected to become a handy reference for Muslims and people of other faiths alike who are engaged in efforts to revive firm belief in God.