Allah's entity and human perception

Q27 :I have been thinking of a scientific explanation of God's existence and I would be grateful for your comments. Time is eternal. It has neither a beginning nor an end. When there was nothing in the universe, there was time, which will still remain when there will be nothing as well. This is the universal time, not the one which we know, because our time is relative. Space is also eternal, without any end line. From time immemorial, there was space and after the destruction of the material universe, there will be at least space. Energy can neither be enacted nor destroyed, but it can change from one form to another. According to scientists, mass can be converted into energy, and energy into mass. All forms of energy, whether in gravitational, electromagnetic, nuclear form, etc. are derived from God Himself who remains the only source of energy.


A27 : I am not a scientist to be able to make any critical judgment of this approach, although it sounds to me much too simplistic. What we have here is a statement of certain scientific facts in order to assert or prove God's existence. But there is a big question mark that arises. The conclusion where it leads actually makes a definition of God in terms of time, space and energy, or indeed a combination of all three. From the Islamic point of view, such a definition is not particularly appealing, because we believe that God cannot be limited or confined within any particular framework. I realize that the framework which we have here is eternal in all its three dimensions of time, space and energy. But then, how do you account for God's other attributes such as absolute knowledge, compassion, provision of sustenance, etc.? Scientists tell us that a source of energy need not have a will of its own. How can a combination of all three dimensions explain God's will which works according to His elaborate planning and faultless designs? I am only asking these questions to show that we cannot think of God's nature except in terms that are familiar to us. We have to perceive things in order to create an image or define a particular identity. But God's nature, and indeed His existence, are not limited to what is familiar to us in our small corner of the universe. It is for this reason that the Prophet has ordered us not to think about God's entity. Such a pursuit will lead us nowhere. The explanation that my reader has presented seems to be appropriate, and it may, when elaborated, appear to many people as both convincing and conclusive. However, some scientists who prefer an agnostic or atheistic approach may have some counter arguments which may appeal to other people as also convincing. Where will we stand then? If we are to require a scientific explanation for God's existence and, consequently, a scientific argument in support of faith, then we are likely to put ourselves in a very difficult position. One reason for that is the fact that science is in a continuous process of development. It proves today what it used to deny, and may reject tomorrow what it accepts today. Hence scientific arguments are not to be taken as final in matters which relate to God, His existence, power, will, etc. It is far simpler and more appropriate to say that the entity and nature of God are questions that relate to what lies beyond the reach of human perception. Therefore, we do not involve ourselves in discussing them in terms that relate to our own world. That is simply not possible. As an English poet puts it: "How can finite reach infinity." Our own minds have a finite scope, but God is infinite in His attributes. Hence, our minds cannot truly perceive the exact nature of God or His entity. That, however, does not make believing in God difficult at all. There are numerous signs and pointers in the universe around us that indicate not only God's existence but many of His attributes as well. God says in the Qur'an: "We will show them our signs in all fields and within themselves until they come to realize that it is the truth." Numerous are the phenomena which cannot be explained except by saying that God has willed them to exist and to function in their particular ways. Within ourselves, and how we exist and function in our own world, there are numerous aspects testifying to the greatness of the Creator. These must be studied and we can immensely benefit from understanding them to confirm our belief in God's existence and His overpowering will. But we do not take these as indicative of His nature or assume they point out His entity. These are matters that we will not be able to perceive. Why, then, indulge in such an idle pursuit? There need not be any scientific theory or argument to prove or indicate God's entity. We accept the fact of His existence and the fact that He is in absolute and free control of the whole universe without questioning. That is all that is required for us to have peace with ourselves, our world and the universe around us. Hence we stop at this.


Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )