By Dr. Zakir Naik
The Creator prepares the instruction manual
Allah (SWT) has endowed us humans with reason and intelligence. We invent and manufacture appliances for specific purposes. Tape recorders for instance are manufactured in large numbers. It has never been suggested that in order to understand what is good for the tape recorder the manufacturer should become a tape recorder himself. One simply assumes that the manufacturer will publish an instruction manual, since he has complete knowledge of his product. In short the instruction manual gives the dos and don’ts for the machine.
Human beings are a complex creation of Allah (SWT). Moreover, Allah will call this creation to account on the Day of Judgement. It therefore stands to reason, that the Creator informs us about the dos and don’ts of life. The Holy Qur’an is the instruction manual for human beings.
Thus our Lord and Creator Allah (SWT) need not come in the form of a human being to know what is good or bad for the human being. He only has to reveal the instruction manual to mankind. Allah chooses Messengers:
Allah (SWT) need not come down personally for writing the instruction manual. Over the ages Allah has chosen men in every nation to deliver the Divine message. Such chosen men are called as messengers and prophets of God.
Some people are 'blind' and 'deaf'
Despite the absurdity of the philosophy of anthropomorphism, followers of many religions believe in and preach it to others. Is it not an insult to human intelligence and to the Creator who gave us this intelligence? Such people are truly ‘deaf’ and ‘blind’ despite the faculty of hearing and sight given to them by Allah. The Holy Qur’an says:
“Deaf, dumb, and blind, They will not return (to the path).” [Holy Qur’an 2:18] The Bible gives a similar message in the Gospel of Mathew: “Seeing they see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.” [Matthew 13:13]
A similar message is also given in the Hindu Scriptures in the Rigveda book 10 hymn 71 verse 4: “There maybe someone who sees the words and yet indeed do not see them; may be another one who hears these words but indeed does not hear them” [Rigveda R.V. 10:71:4] (Rigveda Samhiti volume XII pg. 4309 by Swami Satyaprakash Saraswati and Satyakam Vidhyalank).
All these Scriptures are telling its reader that though the things are made so clear yet they divert away from the truth.
Attributes of God: To Allah belong the most beautiful names: The Holy Qur’an says: “Say: Call upon Allah, or Call upon Rahman: By whatever name you call Upon Him, (it is well): For to Him belong The Most Beautiful Names.” [Holy Qur’an 17:110]
A similar message regarding the beautiful names of Allah is repeated in the Holy Qur’an in Surah Al-Aaraf (7:180), in Surah Taha (20:8) and in Surah Al-Hashr (59:23-24)
The Qur’an gives no less than 99 different attributes to Almighty God and the crowning one is Allah. The Qur’an refers to Allah as Ar-Rahman (Most Gracious), Ar-Raheem (Most Merciful) and Al-Hakeem (All Wise) among many other names. You can call Allah by any name but that name should be beautiful and should not conjure up a mental picture.
Each attribute of God is unique and possessed by Him alone: Not only does God possess unique attributes, but also each attribute of Almighty God is sufficient to identify Him. I shall clarify this point in detail. Suppose we take the example of a famous personality, say astronaut Neil Armstrong. If someone says Neil Armstrong is an American it is correct. But there are millions of other Americans in this world. The attribute of being American possessed by Neil Armstrong is correct but not sufficient to identify him. Similarly Neil Armstrong is an astronaut. But there are several other astronauts. Thus the attribute of being an astronaut is not unique to Neil Armstrong. To identify the person uniquely
we must look for a unique attribute. For example, Neil Armstrong was the first human to set foot on the moon. So when one asks, who was the first man to set foot on the moon, the answer is only one, i.e. Neil Armstrong. Similarly the attribute of Almighty God should be unique e.g. Creator of the Universe. If I say creator of the building, it may be possible and true but it is not unique. Thousands of people can make a building, so there would be no difference between man and God. But each attribute of Allah points to none but Allah. For example:
“Ar-Raheem”, the Most Merciful
“Ar-Rahman”, the Most Gracious
“Al-Hakeem”, the Most Wise
So when one asks, who is “Ar-Raheem”, the Most Merciful, there can be only one answer, i.e. Almighty Allah.
One attribute of God should not contradict with other attributes:
To continue with the earlier example, if somebody says Neil Armstrong is an American astronaut who is only four feet tall, the attribute (American astronaut) is correct but its associated quality (only four feet tall) is false. Similarly if someone says that God is the Creator of the Universe with one head, two hands, two feet, etc. the attribute (Creator of the Universe) is correct but the associated quality (in the form of human being) is wrong and false.
All Attributes should point to the one and same God
Since there is only one God all the attributes should point to one and the same God. To say that it was an American astronaut who first set foot on the moon, but his name was Edwin Aldrin is wrong. Similarly to say that the Creator is one God and the Cherisher is another God is absurd because there is only one God with all these attributes combined together.
Unity of God
Some polytheists argue by saying that the existence of more than one God is not illogical. Let us point out to them that if there were more than one God, they would dispute with one another, each god trying to fulfill his will against the will of the other gods. This can be seen in the mythology of the polytheistic and pantheistic religions. If a ‘God’ is defeated or unable to defeat others, he is surely not the one true God. Also popular among polytheistic religions is the idea of many gods, each having different responsibilities. Each one would be responsible for a part of man’s existence e.g. a sun god, a rain god, etc. This indicates that one ‘God’ is incompetent of certain acts and moreover he is also ignorant of the other gods’ duties and responsibilities. There cannot be an ignorant and incapable god. If there were more than one God it would surely lead to confusion, disorder, chaos and destruction in the Universe. But the universe is in complete harmony. The Holy Qur’an says: “If there were, in the heavens And the earth, other gods Besides Allah, there would Have been confusion in both! But glory to Allah, The Lord of the Throne: (High is He) above What they attribute to Him!” [Holy Qur’an 21:22]
If there were more than one God, they would have taken away what they created. The Holy Qur’an says: “No son did Allah beget, Nor is there any god Along with Him: (if there were Many gods), behold, each god Would have taken away
What he had created, And some would have Lorded it over others! Glory to Allah! (He is free) From the (sort of) things
They attribute to Him!"
[Holy Qur’an (23:91)] Thus the existence of one True, Supreme Almighty God, is the only logical concept of God.
There are a few religions like Buddhism and Confucianism, which are agnostic religions. They do not comment on God. They neither confirm nor deny the existence of God. There are other religions like Jainism, which are atheistic religions and which do not believe in the existence of God. (Inshallah I shall be publishing a book “Is the Qur’an God’s Word?” Which can Alhamdulillah prove the existence of Allah (SWT) to an atheist or an agnostic by means of reason, logic and science on the basis of the Holy Qur’an.
(To be continued)