God: Leap of Faith?


Down With Superstitions and Myths

by Imam Mustafa ‘Umar [see his site here]

Many people think that believing in God requires a “leap of faith”. This would mean that belief in God is blind and is no different than belief in any other superstition or myth. For example, to believe that breaking a mirror will cause seven years of bad luck requires a leap of faith since there is no good reason to believe in it. This is why many people have abandoned the religion of their parents and ancestors. This is actually a very good thing because people are finally beginning to think clearly and abandon ungrounded beliefs and superstitions.

A Grave Mistake

However, there is a huge mistake here. Just because it requires a leap of faith to believe in a particular religious system does not mean that the same is true for belief in God. If God exists and wants us to believe in Him then we should be pre-programmed with a desire to believe. This means that we must be able to confidently believe in God and have good reasons for doing so. Furthermore, if God wanted everyone to believe then it must make sense to everyone regardless of where they live, when they live, or their level of education. Believing in God should come natural to a nomad in the desert, a scientist in the laboratory, and an average citizen in a city. There must be something embedded in the nature of every human being that would allow them to confidently arrive at this conclusion without any doubt or hesitation.

Check Your Facts

It’s true that people don’t always agree with one another. However, there are a number of agreed upon facts that will not be rejected by any sane individual.

The First Fact: Seeing Is Not Believing

Someone might ask: “if God exists then why can’t we see Him?” The answer is that we don’t need to because we believe in many things that we can’t directly perceive such as gravity, magnetism, infrared rays, etc. For example, you cannot see the waves emitted by a cell phone, but they are there. You can only see the signs and effects that indicate their existence. Likewise, it is the signs and effects in the world that indicate God’s existence.

The Second Fact: Something Does Not Come Out of Nothing

If a bucket of water were to fall on your head you would probably look up to find out where it came from. That is because you know that it didn’t come out of nowhere because something can’t come out of nothing. Likewise, when you look at the world around you it is natural to wonder where it came from.

The Third Fact: Examining Something Reveals Something about Its Designer

When you look at a calculator you see that it has buttons, a screen, a case, etc. If you think about how this calculator must have been designed you know, for certain, that its designer must have had knowledge of mathematics because it can perform calculations. You also know that he must have had knowledge of plastics engineering in order to make the case. Therefore, you know something about the designer without ever having met him or even seen him. Now look at yourself and the world around you. Your body has several complex systems designed to keep you alive such as the circulatory, immune, and digestive systems. The earth and other planets rotate around the sun in what is known as the solar system. Each system in the world has been set up so precisely that if there is even a minor error the entire system begins to breaks down. Whatever designed these systems must have known that each aspect of every system must be calculated precisely in order for it to work properly. This implies that the designer of the world must possess the qualities of both knowledge and wisdom.

The Fourth Fact: Believing in Coincidence Requires a Leap of Faith

Someone might claim that the car he drives wasn’t designed and built in any factory but rather was formed after an earthquake, tornado, and hurricane happened to sweep through a junkyard and assembled the entire vehicle by chance. Only someone mentally deficient would believe that story because the complexity of a motor vehicle cannot coincidentally form.Likewise, neither you nor the universe could have been designed and brought into being by coincidence. Therefore, anyone who says that the blind forces of nature created the universe and all that is in it is required to take a huge leap of faith in order to believe this. It’s not much different than believing in any other superstition or myth. Rather, it’s much wiser to attribute your existence and the existence of the world to God.

Conclusion

So let us all think clearly, abandon superstitions, and only believe in those things that make sense. If that means throwing the various idols and gods of your ancestors and teachers in the trash bin of history then be it. Don’t forget to dump “mother nature” as well.

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7 Comments

  1. h. ahmed says:

    jazakallah khair for sharing!

    This is where the evolution/scienticsm vs. religion debate comes down to – what you want to have ‘faith’ in – randomness & chance or The Divine.

    Lets not confuse this with arguing against microevolution and the type of ‘science’ advocated by the likes of Harun Yahya – which is not only flawed but at times very embarassing.

  2. Mustafa Umar says:

    I could not agree more. While Harun Yahya has some good research, arguing against microevolution is definitely not a good thing to do. I just gave another presentation on evolution tonight and made sure to emphasize this point.

  3. T.S. says:

    One of TJ Winter’s contentions:

    Belief in God begins when we cease to believe in ourselves.

    Much denial of the existence of God has to do with the certainty and confidence we have in the power of our abilities. When we begin to become skeptical of ourselves, we begin to hit at the core of our nafs, and then we begin to see beyond ourselves and notice the attributes of God around us.

  4. Yousuf Haq says:

    I cannot agree with you.

    I do to believe in God(SWT) but i believe it DOES require large amounts of faith. For the kafr (non-believers) this may be coined “leap” because they lack the understanding and thus feel far from belief. Thus if we were to quantify faith (virtually impossible) we can say that they have little. In relation to a believer who has a great amount.

    Perhaps a more accurate statement would be: an unbeliever requires 1 step towards a belief in God. A small morsel, an atoms weight, or a notion of a belief. God takes 10 forward.

    The problem with kafrs is that God(SWT) doesn’t make sense. So you can’t ask them to believe that or even state that they should do what make sense. For what is sense? Is it the duality of the mind? Rapid Intuition working in tandem with a logical reasoning mind? Perhaps a definition of “sense” is needed.

    Rather kafiroon might rely on other alternative paradigms (belief system).

    1. Science as an explainer of cause/effect and predictor of behavior.
    2. Another diety
    3. all other forms of religion that are non-Islamic.

    Arguing the existence of God is a futile and deadly jihad. Its what Philosophy is fundamentally about.

    The real question we should be asking ourselves is: How do we Spark Belief?
    because there are:
    1. believers.
    2. non-believers
    3. believers with potential to change
    4. non-believers with potential to change

    Jazakhalla khair everyone

  5. faisal says:

    I also think belief in Islam/religion requires faith…it’s not a purely logical thing. Why else would Allah (SWT) guide “those who believe in the unseen”? Clearly the implication is that that is of value, worth the reward of guidance. I am not saying faith in God is illogical, but that it is not as simple as 2 + 2…if it was, we would not need Messengers.

    On the other hand, I can understand your argument if you say believing in Allah is rational, while the things that require faith (and are thus worth reward/guidance) are things like the akhirah, yawm al qiyamah etc., and it is for that reason that the Books/Messengers were sent.

    Nonetheless, good article. JAK for it.

  6. h. ahmed says:

    as salaam alaikum

    Yusuf, I believe you making gross generalizations. Arguing the existence of God is not futile. Our deen is vast – and people’s hearts open up in different ways. For some people, as the likes of Dr. Zakir Naik and the late Ahmed Deedat have attracted thousands of people to The Truth via these methods.

    Belief is sparked only through the hearts. Allah (swt) guides and misguides whomsoever he wills. And I sincerely believe – that all people – once they are able to purify and clean their darkened, stained hearts – and sincerely turn to The Divine, can and will become believers.

  7. Naim Hussain says:

    The idea is that if you do not think clearly, God will not make sense to you. And I think that is what the author tried to emphasize here. Jazakallah khayr.

    P.S: The last line was just too good!

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