This is the most important of all those quintessentially 50-50 questions that God himself has chosen to leave in our lap, tossing the ball in the court of every individual human being as it were, asking every human being to do their own research and thinking and then finally to make up their own individual minds based on whatever evidence they are able to glean and whatever fabric of logic and reasoning they are able to piece together.
Thus, the burden is on ach one of us as individuals to arrive at our own unique answers and conclusions, in the solitude of our own mind and soul, standing alone in front of God, for whom our minds constantly search and our souls inexorably hunger.
To me there can be no fairer, better or more equitable approach, or a more logical or scientific one, to the solving of this problem than this.
Laa Ilaaha Illa Allah: A Paraphrase Based on Qur’an and Sunnah
You look at the universe – the creation as a whole – and everything cries out it has a creator and he is and can only be one.
Qur’an: Laa Ilaaha Illa Allah!
Now kindly allow me to paraphrase this miraculous amalgam of these four immortal words based on the Qur’an and Sunnah.
Sunnah, as we know, is the full documented life and teachings of Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam!
Here is some of what this most beautiful expression – Kalimah Tayyibah – then says and implies:
- God Almighty exists.
- God Almighty is and can only be one.
- He is your maker, owner and master.
- He is the one who gave you life and continues to sustain you throughout your lifespan on earth.
- He is the one who placed you in a family and placed that family in the thick of a societal and cultural nexus and bolstered it with a framework of all kinds of overlapping and interlocking associated social and institutional structures.
- He is the one who made earth and the whole universe as a place of work and play for you. It is therefore to him and him alone that you should submit yourself and your entire life.
- It is therefore from him and from his book the Qur’an and from Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, his prophet and messenger to you and to the entire universe, that you should seek guidance and practical instructions for all your affairs in every aspect and department of your life in this world as well as on how to prepare for life in the next world.
- It is therefore to his service and to the service of his creation that you should devote all your talents, energies and resources in every aspect of your entire life.
- If you did that then you will turn this world into a paradise for yourself as well as for all others.
- Not only that, Paradise itself will be waiting to embrace you after your death in a life of joyous eternity with all its blissful glory, purity and perfection.
- And the key to all that is the belief and assertion and practical affirmation that God Almighty is one, and he is your maker and master, and it is his will, mandate and directives on which you must base your life, both private and public, and invite everyone else to do the same.
This then is some of what the four miracle-words of Laa Ilaaha Illa Allah connote and convey.
And that is what every micro and macro aspect and element of this universe cries out: God exists and he is one and only he could have made this world and everything in it the way it is.
The Other Side of the Coin: Maybe there Really Is No God
But God is fair and just. And he wants humans to play on what the Americans call a level playing field. He does not want to skew the data. He does not want to tilt the balance in favor of one or the other group of human beings – all of them his slaves and all of them children of Adam whom he made with his own two hands.
As a result, the coin of belief or faith comes with a second side attached to it – the side that advocates a theory of autogenesis of the universe. This theory states that everything in the world came into being on its own without any help from a designer or creator.
This other side takes the same evidence that led in the first instance to the affirmation of belief in one god and to the discovery of Laa Ilaaha Illa Allah and argues for a spontaneous birth and generation of the universe without a creator, without a beginning, without an end and without any visible purpose.
It says maybe everything in the world came into being on its own, maybe one from the other, and after all there is really no God. It says in effect take the world and put it in a test tube and give it 15 or 20 billion years and then watch what happens: the world will turn out more or less the way it is – or maybe a very different way from the one you have on your hands.
If this argument sounds absurd to some of you, then the other argument using the same data and proof from the universe for the existence of God sounds no less problematic or preposterous to those who are not only not persuaded by it but also consider it patently absurd and false.
So, we are back exactly where we started. We are back to the question: Does or does not God really exist – what evidence can we find and what arguments can we make?
And that is where God Almighty wants to leave us. He wants us to take the next step by ourselves and make up our own mind as to what each one of us thinks the answer to this question should be.
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