How Can a Science-Lover Believe in God?

22 September, 2016
Q First of all, thank you for taking your time to read this. I've actually wanted to ask this for a week now. I am a science lover. As you can see where I'm going with this, God is a hard to believe thing. However, I do believe in Him. I've had my faith restored when I was at a library reading about a book on the Theory of Evolution just being a theory and that God did create us. That's about all I can believe unfortunately. Just Allah created us. That's it. His power of changing future events, deciding who goes to heaven or hell (Let alone if heaven or hell even exists), sending angels(???) etc. I've been a Muslim ever since I was born, I prayed ever since I learnt how to. However it's been a week since I prayed. I just don't have faith any more. You could conclude this with the Quran is something I can't fully believe. On the other hand, facts on the world leading to the existence of Allah is something I can believe. (Talking about the book I spoke about recently) I really need something to convince myself to be religious again.

Answer

Salam Dear Brother,

Thank you for your question and for contacting Ask About Islam.

I would like you to ponder over this line from Shakespeare’s Hamlet who tells his philosopher friend: “There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy..”

Philosophy is a branch of human knowledge whereby people have been trying to understand and explain the mystery of the universe and the intricacies of life, chiefly through the exercise of rational thinking.

On the other hand Science helps us by way of observation, analysis and inference, as to how we can come to our own conclusions about the nature of the phenomena around us as well as how things work out.

Today, based on scientific research and investigations we “think” or take it for granted that we have arrived at the roots of the mystery of the world and life, so that we know it all.

But I appeal to you to pause a little while and consider whether the claims made by some scientists that science on its own can answer the questions about the origin of the universe as well as of the human predicament in the world. [i]

Man is the only animal that asks questions. In fact he asks eternal questions, to which the answers are difficult to find, such as: “Who am I?” “Where did I come from?” and “Where am I going?”

Seeking answers to these questions, he scaled mountains, traversed the deserts and crossed the seas, but to no avail. Eventually God revealed to him the answers; and that is how religion came into existence.

Indeed, Man as he became enlightened has found certain answers to these questions without reference to God; but they were really terrifying answers: “You are accidentally thrown into this world as the result of a fortuitous concourse of atoms. You are as inconsequential as any other part of nature and all you face is annihilation.”

Modern man got rid of God, thinking that he would thereby attain freedom. But instead he found that without God man loses his humanity as it were, as well as the meaning of his life.

Those who tried to formulate an ethics without God have failed miserably; because, reason does not need a moral point of view, and even practical reason supported by a knowledge of facts does not lead us to an ethical way of life.
Certainly, the idea of morality loses all meaning in a universe without God. William Lane Craig writes:

“In a world without God, there can be no objective right and wrong, only our culturally and personally relative, subjective judgments.

This means that it is impossible to condemn war, oppression, or crime as evil. Nor can one praise brotherhood, equality, and love as good. For in a universe without God, good and evil do not exist—there is only the bare valueless fact of existence, and there is no one to say you are right and I am wrong.” [ii]

The foregoing considerations must convince a thinking human of the existence of God. And you have no doubt that God exists. But you are not convinced of the Guidance of God – whether God has really sent down such Guidance or whether humans need such Guidance.

This means that you have a very wrong concept of God. If God created the whole universe, He created the laws of the universe, the laws of nature or what we call the laws of science. When we say that Allah Almighty is the Creator and Sustainer of the heavens and earth and what is in between, He is in full charge.

None has any power or authority except for what He Himself has given them. No one can do anything except what Allah has permitted them to do. He is the Master and Sovereign Ruler of the whole of creation, and everything else depends on Him for their existence:

{…He is God, save whom there is no deity. Unto Him all praise is due, at the beginning and at the end [of time]; and with Him rests all judgment; and unto Him shall you all be brought back.} (Quran 28:70)

{God is the Creator of everything. He is the guardian over everything. Unto Him belong the keys of the heavens and the earth.} (Quran 39:62, 63)

{Allah is He, than Whom there is no other god;- Who knows (all things) both secret and open; He, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

{Allah is He, than Whom there is no other god;- the Sovereign, the Holy One, the Source of Peace (and Perfection), the Guardian of Faith, the Preserver of Safety, the Exalted in Might, the Irresistible, the Supreme: Glory to Allah. (High is He) above the partners they attribute to Him.

He is Allah, the Creator, the Evolver, the Bestower of Forms (or Colors). To Him belong the Most Beautiful Names: whatever is in the heavens and on earth, doth declare His Praises and Glory: and He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.} (Quran 59:22-24)

Your acceptance of Allah as the Creator is a positive step you have taken. But you need to understand that such a step must necessarily take you further, as to how you are going to reckon with the Creator.

That is to say, you need to consider how your acceptance of God as Creator is going to impact your life. In fact, how does God deal with us? Is He completely indifferent to what we do with the world He created or what we do with the blessings He has bestowed on us?

Now consider: If God created us and gave us all our faculties and talents, He must have the same faculties and talents in their perfection. Hence He must know the strengths and weaknesses of man, as well as his needs.

It follows then that He knows man’s need for Guidance in order to fulfill the trust of his humanity, which in Islamic terms is expressed in the idea that man is God’s khalifah (i.e. ambassador or deputy) on earth.

That is to say, all the great creative qualities of man as well as the freedom he enjoys in this life, which make him superior to other creatures, certainly entail the responsibility that he will use them only in keeping with the Law of God as given in His Guidance.

However, man is arrogant and he misuses the freedom given to him: He challenges God, denies even His existence, ignores His Guidance, breaks His commandments and brazenly violates the trust placed in him. He turns away from God’s Guidance given to mankind through revelation to His chosen prophets.

The Quran is the Final and Perfect Guidance of God to man. It is not enough that you say you don’t know what the Quran says. You need to study it; because, it is a matter of life and death; it is of the highest significance to your entire life on earth and beyond.

We should realize: Science deals only with matter, with the body, or this world. But there is a world beyond this one, which is not accessible to us now, nor is it perceptible in any way to our five senses even if we use the most ingenious instruments of technology man can invent. It is part of the Ghayb, the Unseen World, of which the Quran informs us.

Man is not just a physical being, he is spirit too. That is to say, beyond the physical dimension of his existence, there is a spiritual dimension.

Our spiritual life is fulfilled in the world of the Ghayb, where science is helpless. Allah in the Quran admonishes us to see how this world will come to an end when each soul will be resurrected and made to know what it has sent forth and what it has left behind:

{When the Sky is cleft asunder; When the Stars are scattered; When the Oceans are suffered to burst forth; And when the Graves are turned upside down; (Then) shall each soul know what it hath sent forward and (what it hath) kept back.

O man! What has seduced thee from thy Lord Most Beneficent? From Him Who created thee. Fashioned thee in due proportion, and gave thee a just bias.} (Quran 82:1-7)

You may listen to Dr Jeffrey Lang on YouTube: My Journey to Islam

May Allah guide you to the truth of His Guidance.

I hope this helps answer your question.

Salam and please keep in touch.

References:

[i] The human predicament: Man cannot live consistently and happily as though life were ultimately without meaning, value, or purpose. If we try to live consistently within the purely scientific or materialistic worldview, we shall find ourselves profoundly unhappy.” (http://www.debate.org/debates/The-Human-Predicament/1/)

[ii] William Lane Craig: “The Absurdity of Life without God” : http://www.reasonablefaith.org/the-absurdity-of-life-without-god

About Professor Shahul Hameed
Professor Shahul Hameed is an Islamic consultant. He also held the position of the President of the Kerala Islamic Mission, Calicut, India. He is the author of three books on Islam published in the Malayalam language. His books are on comparative religion, the status of women, and science and human values.