Hi there again,
I’m enjoying this conversation by the way. I think through civilised discourse you can get to understand and appreciate different perspectives.
“O mankind, indeed We have… made you into peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of ALLAH is the most righteous of you. Indeed, ALLAH is Knowing and Acquainted.” (Qur’an 49:13)
1. The Mission: A Very Important Choice
I fully agree with you that “one must first establish the validity of the text as a source of knowledge.” (See point 6, below.) Firstly, what I like about Islam is that our mission is to spread the word about Islam but not to compel anyone to it.
“There shall be no compulsion in [acceptance of] the deen (way of life, religion). The right course has become clear from the wrong. So whoever disbelieves in Taghut (corruption, evil) and believes in ALLAH has grasped the most trustworthy handhold with no break in it. And ALLAH is Hearing and Knowing.” (Qur’an 2:256)
“So if they argue with you [O Muhammad] , say, “I have submitted myself to ALLAH [in Islam], and [so have] those who follow me.”… “Have you submitted yourselves?”… but if they turn away – *then upon you is only the [duty of] notification*. And ALLAH is Seeing of [His] servants.” (Qur’an 3:20)
This is because the rapport each one of us has (or the lack thereof) with The Creator is something between us (individually) and Him, at the end of the day (i.e. the Last Day – i.e. the Day of Judgement).
In which case, consider the adage: ‘Don’t shoot the Messenger.’
The atheists talk (in this video) about the need for evidence(s) for God, which is a good and reasonable point. And because of a supposition that, “there is none”, they conclude: there is no God.
(See God Focussed or Self Focussed to see how Evidences for (or against) God can be (or can’t be) gleaned based on our perspectives. How can we be conclusive about the answer to this question? (See a later post, pending.) But the point that must be acknowledged is that there are evidences being proposed; not that there are no evidences for God.
ALLAH, Most Exalted, says:
“And on the earth are signs for the certain [in faith]
And in yourselves. Then will you not see?
And in the heaven is your provision and whatever you are promised.
Then by the Lord of the heaven and earth, indeed, it is truth – just as [sure as] it is that you are speaking.” (Qur’an, Adh-Dhariyat 51: 20-23)
There seems to be some issues with the Theory of Evolution. Let us use this opportunity to identify what they might be – if any… Please ensure you’ve at least read the Conclusion before you go. Thanks.
God Questions – Part 1
There was an article entitled ‘Functioning ‘Mechanical Gears’ seen in Nature for the First Time’. It began as follows:
“This image shows cog wheels connecting the hind legs of the plant hopper, a plant-hopping insect found in gardens across Europe – has hind-leg joints with curved cog-like strips of opposing ‘teeth’ that intermesh, rotating like mechanical gears to synchronise the animal’s legs when it launches into a jump.
The finding demonstrates that gear mechanisms previously thought to be solely man-made have an evolutionary precedent. Scientists say this is the “first observation of mechanical gearing in a biological structure“.
Through a combination of anatomical analysis and high-speed video capture of normal Issus movements, scientists from the University of Cambridge have been able to reveal these functioning natural gears for the first time. The findings are reported in the latest issue of the journal Science…” CONTINUED >
I commented: “These gears are not designed; they are evolved” … Or rather- “These gears are ‘evolved’… by The Designer…”
An interesting phenomenon that I’ve noticed keeps occurring is how there are Islamic injunctions that Muslims are pretty familiar with. And then lo and behold, some extraneous discovery occurs in the secular world that ends up supplying further proofs of the benefits of the practice of Qu’ran, Sunnah from the Traditional Islamic milieu.
The historian and former banker, Benedikt Koehler, in his lecture on ‘Early Islam and the Birth of Capitalism’ appears at a loss to explain what happened to the critical inquiry and dynamic underpinning that was the distinctive feature of the Early Islamic zeitgeist (watch from 49.05).
A young Hamza Yusuf once remarked bitterly in an old lecture that he was trying to calculate the exact day when all the Muslims collectively got together and – crank! – ‘switched their brains off ‘. (I will try and locate the exact lecture in due course.) Despite his frustrations in the joke, this notion – the implication – posits the ‘Closing of the Gates of Ijtihad’ scenario. We will explore this train of thought in due course (see below).
But what is being probed is the issue that where once the Muslim world was in a position of power, leading the world in sciences, economics and culture, now the same world has fallen to an all-time low. So what happened?
“And He has subjected for you the night and day and the sun and moon, and the stars are subjected by His command. Indeed in that are signs for a people who reason.” Qur’an (16:12)
When the God-focussed people observe phenomena, God’s integral role as its Master/Controller (in recognition of His mighty handiwork) is evidential-clear even via our man-made (finite) parameters of Science – to be confirmed (in either case) by revelation (which are His words about Himself to us).
When the Self-focussed people observe phenomena (impressed by the ‘might’ of their personal conjectures – and some possible angst), God’s apparent absence is presumed, assumed and “deduced” by implication – to be confirmed by what our man-made (finite) parameters of Science can ever possibly reveal about The Infinite via such interpretation.
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