By Mohammed Hijab
Imagine going to sleep on your bed and waking up on a boat.
What are the first questions you are going to ask those around you?
How did I get here?
What am I doing here?
Where am I going?
These are important questions to ask because you have been thrown onto the boat. The boat is moving forward, and you want to know where it is going. Your curiosity in this regard is valid.
You have been thrown into life. How did you get here? What are you doing here? Where are you going?
You are a child of your mother. She is a child of her mother. There cannot be an infinite regress of parents, otherwise there would be no children. Humans, like all animals, came from the earth. All life came from the earth. The earth is part of the universe. The universe had a beginning.
There could not have previously been an infinite number of causes preceding the universe, otherwise it would not have come into existence. Even if the universe did not have a ‘beginning’, it must have been dependent on something. There cannot be an infinite regress of dependent things, otherwise everything would depend on something else; an infinite number of dominoes all falling on one another.
Imagine a castle. A castle cannot float on thin air. If you saw a castle, you would assume it had a foundation. Existence is like the castle – it needs a foundation.
Imagine looking at a sea. You see water in the distance. You know it is being supported by the sea floor. You haven’t seen the sea floor, but you know it exists.
Unlike the base of the castle or the floor of the sea, the ultimate foundation of all reality cannot be dependent. Dependent things (like castle bases and sea floors) only exist because something else causes and sustains them.
Therefore, there is a requirement for an eternal uncaused first cause – a beginner of everything that exists, one which had no beginning in itself. An entity which all things depend on, which is itself not dependent. This is the only way to explain the existence of anything. You were ultimately caused by this independent and eternal entity.
This independent thing could not be the universe itself. Things that are made up of parts which can be broken up are dependent. The universe is made up of parts. Therefore, the universe is dependent.
You may be reading these words on a laptop or a phone. Consider the following: your device is not exploding. Why do you take this proposition for granted? Many things need to be in place in order for your device not to explode. The first and most important is the uniformity of nature. Nature must act in the same way in the present as it has in the past in order for us to predict anything ‘scientific’ or even do science. Nature needs to be stable.
Water boils at 100 degrees. This was the case yesterday, it is the case today, and will be the case tomorrow. Imagine a world where water boils at -100 degrees yesterday, 1 degree today, and a thousand degrees tomorrow. Could any science be done in such a world? Why is the universe not blowing up? Why is it staying stable and regulated? What is the explanation for this? Do laws of nature exist in the universe without a law-maker?
Not only is there uniformity of nature, but the universe is organised to the extent that it continues to exist and allows life to exist within it. Had the parameters of the universe been much different to the way they are, no life would exist in this universe. Imagine I have a bag of letters. I unload the letters out of the bag and they organise themselves into Shakespeare’s Macbeth. What are the chances this could happen without intelligent direction?
If the independent law-maker we have mentioned is responsible for this, then the independent one must have knowledge and will. The universe is one way and not another. This is evidence that there was a choice that was made on how the universe should be. Thus, the first cause must have will.
There are laws of nature. The first cause is ultimately responsible for them being in place, since without the first cause, nothing would exist.
So now you know where you came from. You came from the independent first cause who initiated everything and who is ultimately responsible for all things that exist. You did not come from ‘nothing’, because that is impossible. You did not create yourself, because that it also impossible.
There was no infinite regress of created or dependent things because that, too, is impossible.
Where are you going?
You are going to die. But what happens after that? When you lose consciousness, you have dreams.
You may be asleep, but you still experience a reality in your unconscious state. If this is the case, why do we assume that all realities will end when consciousness is ultimately lost? There can never be scientific evidence that disproves the continuation of experiences when consciousness is lost. In fact, all evidence points to the opposite. One thing is for sure, though: you will die.
What are you doing here?
You should be doing what everything else in nature is forced to do: comply with the rules of nature.
Unlike everything else in creation, you have a choice of whether to do so or not.
How do you comply with the rules of nature?
You must first know what they are and be given evidence that they are from the independent first cause who brought you into existence.
The first cause can only be one. The first cause must be independent and self-sufficient. This would negate the existence of two independents. Trinitarian and polytheistic notions are therefore invalid because they assume the existence of more than one independent. In the trinity, the Father is almighty, the Son is almighty, and the Holy Spirit is almighty. Yet there are not three ‘almighties’ – the faulty theory goes – but one almighty. This is logically and linguistically impossible and contradictory. By definition, there cannot be many ‘almighties’. For the same reason, there cannot be more than one ultimate cause or creator. There cannot be more than one ultimate will, otherwise there would be cosmic chaos and no organisation. What if these ‘almighties’ compromise? If they do, it means that they are weak and not almighty, because an almighty entity does not need to compromise.
Many humans have claimed to receive divine guidance from the law-maker. These include Abraham, David, Solomon, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad. Extra-Biblical historical evidence is present for many of these humans, such as David, Solomon, Jesus, and Muhammad. These prophets all claimed to be inspired by God and all worshipped one God. All of these prophets, according to the Bible and the Quran, claimed to be prophets for their time and people. The Prophet Muhammad claimed to be a messenger for all times and all people. What evidence is there of this?
At the age of 40, the Prophet Muhammad spent time in a cave in Mecca and claimed that an angel (Angel Gabriel) spoke to him. He claimed that the angel had told him: “Read in the name of your Lord who created; created the human from a clot. Read – your Lord is Most generous. He who taught the human being with the pen; taught him what he knew not” (Quran 96:1-5). The Prophet Muhammad claimed to be the final messenger for all of humankind. He affirmed the prophethood of Abraham, Noah, Moses, and Jesus the Messiah. He called people to worship one God; the independent one, the one who is “one and only, the self-sufficient, the one who has no children and is not a child of anyone, and who nothing is comparable to” (Quran 112:1-4).
The Quran, which the Prophet Muhammad claimed is the final word of God, defines success and the ultimate purpose of life in the following way: “By Time, surely man is in a state of loss, except for those who believe and do good deeds and advise one another towards truth and advice one another towards patience” (Quran 103:1-3). But what evidence did Prophet Muhammad have for his prophethood?
The Divine Reality, Hamza Tzortzis
Kalam Cosmological Arguments, Mohammed Hijab
How Reason Can Lead to God, Joshua Rasmussen
Shumū‘ Al-Nahār – Sh. Abdullah al-Ujayri
Barāhīn Wujūd Allāh – Dr. Sami Amiri