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May 15th, 2010

Dilemma of a Modern Muslim Mind

Submitted by Rashid Jahangiri


Modern Muslims living in free societies of Europe and Americas are coming up with questions that were at least asked over 100 years ago. Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad sahib and his companions answered it then.

On Pakistan Tea House blog, an article ‘The Journey of a Pakistani Muslim’ by Omar K (based in United Kingdom) writes:

“It was “If God created the world then who created God?” and “Why does he need to be worshiped for doing acts which occur to him naturally?” This was really the start of a very doubtful journey through Islam which would eventually make me into the person I am today. I would ask the “naive” question about who created God and was always told to remember Surah Ikhlas and Ayat-ul-Kursi. This would apparently answer my query. From what I could recall I was told that the question was the wrong type of question to ask and that I had to re-adjust my perspective. That question was never answered.”

“What I also did was in the disguise of this relative I would email questions to very well known and respected Muslim scholars in the west. So in a way I was trying to alleviate my doubts in a covert way. Sometimes they would respond and sometimes they wouldn’t. I even went out to see the scholars thinking that if I saw the best of them my doubts would be resolved. What I did find in the answering technique was that I was either told that the premise of the question was incorrect and that I was using the wrong terminology such as being “objective” or that my questioning had no basis in reality and that the questions that I was posing were really questions to which “I” knew there were no answers to, or better still my questions were circumvented and instead rather than answering the question directly, I was answered with a question to go back and ask my relative. I would humbly go away feeling numb and empty thinking that I’d been snubbed but nevertheless giving the scholar the benefit of the doubt. I also started reading and listening to scholars such as Hamza Yusuf and others like him hoping that my answers would be in their writing and talks. I did realise soon enough that their writing and talks were fairly much preaching to the choir.”

“The mistake I made at this time was shutting out material evolution and all the arguments and books against the existence of God because I didn’t want anymore doubt to penetrate and do more damage. I wanted to resolve the issue and be able to believe. I concentrated on Islamic sources and it was there that I found that Islam was not as water tight as what I was led to believe. There were two things I found and it was the scholars were always doing apologetics and squaring the circle to justify the absurdities written in the hadith and the events in the sura.”

“There were also issues of abrogation and technicalities which for a religion that was claiming to be the “final” and unalterable word of God was posing more questions for me than it was answering. There were many other things regarding Islam that were simply left unanswered. My friends thought that I was barking up the wrong tree and that I should “trust” the scholars’ hard work and piety. This just didn’t answer the question and I immediately thought that this is the same excuse that the Christians use, so why should I take this excuse from the Muslims? Using excuses like Imam Bukhari prayed before adding the hadith into his collection was simply begging the question and thinking along those lines didn’t cut it in the academic world.”

“I eventually realised that my real problem was the existence of God…”

“I still read works like this and other ideas now that I have freed myself from Islam.”

Read at this link.

3 Responses to “Dilemma of a Modern Muslim Mind”

  1. @ Rashid: Please forward the following to Omar K. above.
     
    Man vs God (WSJ) – “Where does evolution leave God”  –  Independent comments by Karen Armstrong and Richard Dawkins.
     
    Also read the comment by “Jay” on Pak Tea House under “Islam’s Darwin Problem” where he makes a case for Darwinian evolution as outlined in Quran.


  2. Old product in new packaging 

    In Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad sahib’s time Christian missionaries were successful in luring Muslims away from Islam.  Thousands of Muslims including many from Syed families converted to Christianity, and became outspoken critics of Islam. Now efforts are made to achieve same mission, by offering it in new packaging:
    NYC bus ads asking ‘Leaving Islam?’ cause a stir

    Thursday, 27 May, 2010
    Dawn News
     


  3. May 17th, 2011 at 3:14 pm
    From Himangsu Sekhar Pal:

    WHO CREATED GOD?

    Earlier it was impossible for us to give any satisfactory answer to this question. But modern science, rather we should say that Einstein, has made it an easy task for us. And Stephen Hawking has provided us with the clue necessary for solving this riddle. Actually scientists in their infinite wisdom have already kept the ground well-prepared for us believers so that one day we can give a most plausible and logically sound answer to this age-old question. Let us first see how Hawking has helped us by providing the necessary clue. In his book “A Brief History of Time” (Chapter: The origin and fate of the universe) he informs us that there are 1080 particles in the region of the observable universe. Then he raised the question regarding the origin of these particles, and gave the answer himself. According to quantum theory particles can be created out of energy in the form of particle/antiparticle pairs. But there the question does not stop. Another question pops up regarding the origin of that energy. But when it is said that total energy of the universe is exactly zero, then all is said and done. So this is the clue: if we can somehow arrive at zero, then no further question will be raised, and there will be no infinite regression. What I intend to do here is something similar to that. I want to show that our God is a bunch of several zeroes, and that therefore no further question need be raised about His origin. And here comes Einstein with his special theory of relativity for giving us the necessary empirical support to our project.
                              God is a Being. Therefore God will have existence as well as essence. So I will have to show that both from the point of view of existence as well as from the point of view of essence God is zero. It is almost a common saying that God is spaceless, timeless, changeless, immortal, and all-pervading. Here we are getting three zeroes; space is zero, time is zero, change is zero. But how to prove that if there is a God, then that God will be spaceless, timeless, and changeless? From special theory of relativity we come to know that for light both distance and time become unreal. For light even an infinite distance is infinitely contracted to zero. The volume of an infinite universe full of light only will be simply zero due to this property of light. A universe with zero volume is a spaceless universe. Again at the speed of light time totally stops. So a universe full of light only is a spaceless, timeless universe. But these are the properties of light only! How do we come to know that God is also having the same properties of light so that God can also be spaceless, timeless? Scientists have shown that if there is a God, then that God can only be light, and nothing else, and that therefore He will have all the properties of light. Here is the proof.
                              Scientists have shown that total energy of the universe is always zero. If total energy is zero, then total mass will also be zero due to energy-mass equivalence. Now if there is a God, then scientists have calculated the total energy and mass of the universe by taking that God into consideration. In other words, if there is a God, then this total energy-mass calculation by the scientists is God-inclusive, not God-exclusive. This is due to two reasons. First of all, even if there is a God, they are not aware of the fact that there is a God. Secondly, they do not believe that there is a God. So, if there is a God, then they have not been able to keep that God aside before making this calculation, because they do not know that there is a God. They cannot say that they have kept Him aside and then made this calculation, because by saying so they will admit that there is a God. They cannot say that the behind-the-picture God has always remained behind the picture, and that He has in no way come into the picture when they have made this calculation, because by saying so they will again admit that there is a God. At most they can say that there is no God. But we are not going to accept that statement as the final verdict on God-issue, because we are disputing that statement. So the matter of the fact is this: if God is really there, then total mass and total energy of the universe including that God are both zero. Therefore mass and energy of God will also be zero. God is without any mass, without any energy. And Einstein has already shown that anything having zero rest-mass will have the speed of light. In other words, it will be some sort of light. So, if God is there, then God will also be light, and therefore He will be spaceless, timeless. So from the point of view of existence God is zero, because he is spaceless, timeless, without any mass, without any energy.                      
       Now we will have to show that from the point of view of essence also God is zero. If there is only one being in the universe, and if there is no second being other than that being, then that being cannot have any such property as love, hate, cruelty, compassion, benevolence, etc. Let us say that God is cruel. Now to whom can He be cruel if there is no other being other than God Himself? So, if God is cruel, then is He cruel to Himself? Therefore if we say that God is all-loving, merciful, benevolent, etc., then we are also admitting that God is not alone, that there is another being co-eternal with God to whom He can show His love, benevolence, goodness, mercy, compassion, etc. If we say that God is all-loving, then we are also saying that this “all” is co-eternal with God. Thus we are admitting that God has not created the universe at all, and that therefore we need not have to revere Him, for the simple reason that He is not our creator!
                           It is usually said that God is good. But Bertrand Russell has shown that God cannot be good for the simple reason that if God is good, then there is a standard of goodness which is independent of God’s will. (Book: A History of Western Philosophy, Ch: Plato’s Utopia). Therefore, if God is the ultimate Being, then that God cannot be good. But neither can He be evil. God is beyond good and evil. Like Hindu’s Brahma, a real God can only be nirguna, nirupadhik; without any name, without any quality. From the point of view of essence also, a real God is a zero. Mystics usually say that their God is a no-thing. This is the real God, not the God of the scriptures.
                         So, why should there be any need of creation here, if God is existentially, as well as essentially, zero?
                        But if there is someone who is intelligent and clever enough, then he will not stop raising question here. He will point out to another infinite regression. If God is light, then He will no doubt be spaceless, timeless, etc. Therefore one infinite regression is thus stopped. But what about the second regression? How, and from whom, does light get its own peculiar properties by means of which we have successfully stopped the first regression? So, here is another infinite regression. But we need not have to worry much about this regression, because this problem has already been solved. A whole thing, by virtue of its being the whole thing, will have all the properties of spacelessness, timelessness, changelessness, deathlessness. It need not have to depend on any other external source for getting these properties. Thus no further infinite regression will be there.        
     
     
     
     
     


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