Atheism versus Unity of God [Archives:2004/743/Community]

June 3 2004

By Sadaf Shah
[email protected]
For the Yeamen Times

I heard somewhere that you should write about what you know. Well, something I know to be the absolute truth, without a doubt, is the existence and unity of God. This belief is not necessarily stemming from my religious affiliation, although of course, Islam has played a major role in my understanding of the unity of God. However, even in Islam, Muslims are encouraged to seek God for themselves as opposed to just being told of His existence and blindly believing. Islam places much importance on the belief of an All-Knowing, Ever Present, and Perfect Being who takes interest in the lives of His creation and actively takes part. At the same time, this Al-Mighty God also encourages all to seek and walk the path towards Him. For me personally, my belief in God is something so entrenched in my whole person that I cannot help but respond to polytheism and atheism. This 'entrenchment' is a direct result of the many learning experiences of my life, and is not merely pieces of knowledge that I have gathered from books or religious figures. God has sent many prophets for the guidance of mankind, and I am not claiming to know God through my own personal experiences without the aid of divine guidance. I am simply saying that it is possible for a person to know and feel God after such guidance has been explored and understood. This brings me to the question of atheism. After the horrific aftermath of the two World Wars and the full impact of the Holocaust were realized, many people started questioning the existence of God. “If God existed, this would not have happened. He would not have allowed for such suffering.” Since then, naturalists and scientists have been hard at work trying to prove the non-existence of God. Even philosophers have joined them in their endeavors. Some ordinary people have joined the movement out of suffering that they have endured to justify their atheistic belief. From the Holy Qur'an, we understand that God did not create suffering as an independent entity in its own right, but only as an indispensable counterpart of pleasure and comfort. The absence of happiness is suffering, which is like its shadow, just as darkness is the shadow cast by the absence of light. If there is life, there has to be death; both are situated at the extreme poles of the same plane, with innumerable grades and shades in between. As we move away from death, we gradually move towards a state of life, which is happiness; as we move away from life, we move away with a sense of loss and sorrow towards death. This is the key to understanding the struggle for existence, which in turn leads to a constant improvement in the quality of life and helps it to achieve the ultimate goal of evolution. The principle of the “survival of the fittest” plays an integral role in this grand scheme of evolution.
It is the perpetual struggle between life and death that subjects the living to a constant state of trial, so that all who conduct themselves best survive and gain a higher status of existence. It is this constant struggle between the forces of life and the forces of death, which provide the thrust to the living to perpetually move away from death or towards it. Suffering could only be considered objectionable if it were created as an independent entity with no meaningful role to play in the scheme of things. But without the taste of suffering or an awareness of what it means, the feeling of relief and comfort would also vanish. Such a divine plan can only be the creation of an Omnipotent, Omnipresent, and Omniscient God.