This post is not intended to preach Islam or anything, or to claim or presume that any other choice is invalid. Neither is it intended to say that everyone’s choice is correct either, a some postmodernists would say. This article is indeed argumentative in nature, but is not intended to argue against anything (although of course it explains how I chose something over the other). This article is simply an explanation, why I chose what I have chosen. I pray this does not offend anyone, as such is not my intentions. Infact, in Islam it is prohibited to offend other faiths (Surah Al An’am v.108).
I was born as a muslim. But it was not until recently did I start learning deeper about this, so it is no longer a given faith, but it is my choice. This is my humble opinion as to why Islam is my choice. There are three parts. First, I found that God exists. Second, that this God actively contributes to our lives. Finally, how that eventually led me to my choice towards Islam.
But before continuing, I wish to thank a few people whom I have read their work or watched their lectures, so that I could reach such conclusion and write this today. First, I would really thank Stephen Hawking. The Grand Design’s conclusion was that there is no such thing as a God. As much as I think the arguments were flawed, they have helped me strengthen my faith, as they directed to better analysis on my behalf. Second, I would thank Hamza Andreas Tzortzis and Syeikh Dzakir Naik, for many insightful lectures that helped me conceptualize. I disagree with some points, but my disagreements end up with the same conclusions anyway. Finally, to Rofi Arofah for some really interesting discussions that I really really really appreciate.
Is there a God?
This has always been among the most fundamental questions that mankind has asked. Is there any creator to all of this beautiful universe? For many people, since the ancient times, believed that there is a Supreme Being, which one refers to as a God (or, for polytheists, Gods), who created all this. Sceptics, believed that there is no such thing as a creator. Many theists would say “if there were not a God, how can all of this come into being?”, while atheists say that natural process would have brought all of those into being anyway.
I will start from the latter, because we live at an age where empiricism rules. Such perspective relies on ex post facto information, thus nothing exists until it can be proven empirically. This “empirical proof” would rely on data, obtained by observation by our five senses, long story short, we cannot prove that a God exists as we cannot observe It.
The only thing that we can prove is that a life comes from a life previously, e.g. a cat comes from a momma cat, and that goes on and on and on. This forms a long infinitive chain of causality, or also known as an infinite regress. However, an infinite regress does not make sense in a material world. In the imaginary realm of mathematics, an infinite can exist, or we can call this a qualitative infinite. But then, such a quality cannot be transported to a material world, or in other words: a quantitative infinite is impossible.
For instance, you can theoretically divide a one meter long board into an infinitive amount of parts. But then, you can also walk over that board from one end to the other. Therefore, you have managed to walk over an infinitive amount of distance. At a more relevant instance, imagine what will happen if I ask you to read this article, but you have to ask permission to your friend. But then, that friend has to ask permission to another friend, so on and so on, to an infinity. Will you ever read this article? Nope, you wont. Its a simple logic: if something never started, then this something wouldnt have ever happened.
Therefore, there has to be a prima causa, or primary cause. This primary cause has to be uncaused, or else, it is not yet the primary cause. You cannot answer the “chicken or egg” question with “it has no end”.
But then, a new theory was discovered, which was exploited by theists and atheists alike, as the moment of creation. In essence, the theory states that the universe was first a tiny dot of condensed mass, where the entire universe fit in it. Then, this dot exploded (ergo, the big bang). From that moment, time and space was created, and energy and matter was spread in all direction. From that point, natural laws begun to come into effect, and then the universe and all that comes with it begun to exist until the way we see it today.
Theists claim that this was the moment of creation, and how God created stuff, but I must admit that the theory of Big Bang does not per se indicate the existence of a God. Atheists, on the other hand, claim that this shows that creation can happen by itself without any help by a Supreme Being, and this answers the infinite regress problem. This is where I enter the fray, and I start with a question: can this Big Bang be a primary cause or causa prima?
If one were to claim that the Big Bang is the primary cause, one must be able to prove that it was uncaused. Stephen Hawking argued that the ‘dot of condensed mass’, or the primary nebula, came out of nowhere. This is due to the observation of quantum mechanics, where particles can appear out of nowhere, without any causes. Therefore it is also possible that the primary nebula came out of nowhere (or, more recently, the quantum vacuum, whatever, science keeps changing anyway). That is an empirical assumption.
This is the weakness of an empiricist point of view. While they claim that “everything must have evidence as foundations to claim that it is true” as a basic premise, that premise itself cannot be empirically proven – which is ironic. It is a philosophical statement that has no proof, which defeats the empiricist’s own standard of proof. For the same reason, it is ridiculous for people to believe in “Scientism”, who believe that “everything is explainable by science”. Even that statement cannot be explained by science. That is itself a non-scientific claim!
The nature of a scientific argument itself is to observe a set of data and to generalize it to the whole area of variables (e.g. Taking 100 samples from a 1 million population to conclude what kind of soda the population likes). There are various methods to calculate and minimize error factors, but by nature, an empirical argument is an inductive argument: when the data analysis is perfect (according to the known methods), then the conclusion is very likely to be but not necessarily true. There is always room for error.
This is not to mention that there are so many things that exist but cannot be observed with the five senses, such as conscience and a third person subjective feeling and so many others. It cannot observe morality either, as the scentism-believer Richard Dawkins put it, incest is fine as long as they wear contraception. Morality depends on consensus and changes over time, as we can see for example the change in perception towards racism and slavery throughout the ages. See works of Rupert Sheldrake, John Cottingham, Professor Elliot Sober, Sam Harris, and Professor Alex Rosenberg, that discusses to quite some detail the problems with empiricism.
I am not saying that empiricism is bad, but there are areas where empiricism cannot reach. When the scientists said that the quantum particles popping out of nowhere were uncaused, what they meant was that the cause has yet to be found. And when they say that the cause has yet to be found, it means that the trigger has not been found, but it does not in any way mean that the quantum particle literally came out of nothing.
The “nothing” that these scientists were talking about was not really nothing, but something called a “quantum vacuum”. This quantum vacuum is “nothing” in the sense that there are no particles there. However, a quantum vaccuum is a very rich structure, containing streams of fluctuating energy. A long time ago, scientists thought that matter and energy were two different things. However, the developments of quantum mechanics discovered that matter is actually made by energy. It is plainly clear these particles were formed by the energy in that quantum vacuum, therefore it is not uncaused.
Besides, if one were to really be consistent with an empiric argument, a different conclusion should be made. On one hand, we have not found the cause of these quantum particles popping out of no where. On the other hand, we have overwhelming empirical evidence to test the claim that “everything that comes into being has a cause”. So, the empirical conclusion would be “it has a cause, but we just havent found it yet.”
Therefore, the argument that claims that the universe came out of nothing, has fallen. It is clear that there was a cause before the big bang. Let us examine what this cause is.
This cause has to be one, and uncaused. At this point, one could say that there might be more than one, but there is no reason for us to believe that there is more than one. I propose the Occum’s Razor to resolve this matter. Simply put, we do not need to raise variables out of necessity (the usual explanation of “the simplest explanation is the better one” does not really do justice to it). At this level, it does not really say that it is impossible to have many causes, but there is just no reason to believe that there is more than one primary cause.
If we do not use the Occum’s Razor, we will never reach any conclusion in anything. For example, you slap a person in their face, and then the person gets mad. Without the Occum’s Razor, you may still persist that the person is mad because of another reason. In that example, there is no necessity for us to believe that there is an ‘other reason’ why the person we slapped was mad (other than ‘because he/she was slapped).
Except if there is an indication that there is another reason for them to get angry other than because you slapped him/her. For example, you know that this person gets slapped a lot and he/she doesnt mind, but suddenly he/she gets pissed when it was you who slapped him. Now this is a necessity to expand the variables, or a necessity to believe that it was not the slap that caused the anger of the person –thus necessitating a new variable. But without this necessity, we need not to do that.
Unlike the case of the quantum particle where there is all reasons to believe that it came from something (and therefore, caused), because it was clear where it came from which is observable (i.e. the quantum particle), we cannot argue that the primary nebula came out of a quantum vacuum. This is because we have agreed on two things: first that energy and matter all came out of the big bang (and there was none of those before the big bang, thus nothing could have made the quantum vacuum), and second that an infinite regress was impossible (implying then that the big bang was not the first of events, which actually was something we have agreed upon earlier, and not lead to a start, while we have agreed that there should be a start).
When I have established that this cause is one and uncaused, I have at least established also that this cause is the causa prima.
The fact that everything came out of the big bang (energy, matter, time, etc) also has another significance. If before the big bang neither of those existed yet, then this primary cause cannot be dependant (or require) any of those things. Or else, this primary cause is still caused, and by that we fall back to the infinite regress problem. Meaning, that this primary cause is a unique one and dependant to no cause, and all depends on it.
To me, this points out another flaw of Stephen Hawking’s argument. He said that if time and space started from the big bang, then there was no time and space before the big bang, meaning that there was no time and space for creation. As appealing as it sounds, such a statement assumes that this primary cause would be dependant to time and space. However, we have established that this primary cause cannot be dependant to time and space, or else it will not be a primary cause.
Finally, the last piece of the puzzle, is “will”. This is essential, to separate a natural occurence from an actual personality. When something causes an effect, that was never a choice, because these causes also had causes, and therefore dependant. For example, the fact that a rock falls towards the earth was never a choice, but a consequence due to dependance to height and gravity and all those things. Another example that may be more contextual would be human choices. When you may think that, for instance, you choose accounting as your major being your pure choice, consider that you can only choose that because there was such a major to begin with for you to choose. Plus, you were alive to begin with to make that choice. Plus, all the experience you had to direct you to that choice. There is a long discussion on this, perhaps I will elaborate deeper on another occassion, but in essence, I believe that free will is an illusion.
If we have agreed before that this primary cause depends to none, then there is nothing that influences this primary cause to start the chain of causality. Meaning, that this primary cause creating the universe was a choice with free will –the only free will that really is free.
Wallahi. All the arguments above are were actually from the Qur’an without citing them just yet.
In the Qur’an, it is mentioned that He is The First and Last (Surah Al Hadid v.3), meaning that there is none before Him and nothing afte). There may have been an interesting argument by Ibn Taymiyya, saying: if Allah is The Creator, then why cant He create at an infinity? In my opinion, though, this argument may be true to creation in general, but the universe we live in will have an end (see the entire Surah Al Qoriah, Al Haqqoh, about the end of days. See also Surah Ibrahim v. 48, stating that there will be a new earth replacing that where we live in today, suggesting that after the end of days, there will be another earth and creation process). But in essence, the material world we have today does not have an infinite regress and will not continue to eternity.
Further in Surah Al-Ikhlas, it has been explained that Allah is One and that there is none like Him. This is infact, perhaps, the core thing of the Islamic theology: laa ilaa ha ilallah (there is none worshiped other than Allah), which according to a Shahih Muslim Hadith is a key to enter paradise. Just One: The Uniquely One. The One, which everything in this heavens and earths are subject to His Will (Al Baqarah v.255, Surah Al Imran v.189, ath-Thalaaq v.12, etc) –meaning also that He governs the laws of nature, not the other way round.
But then, why? Why does Allah have will for all of this to happen? Whats the point of creating when He does not need His creation anyway? What is the point of creating good and bad, making mankind choose and rewarding/punishing them, while actually knowing what will happen in the end? Men were created to pray and worship Allah (Az-Zaariyat v.56), but actually He does not need all that as He depends on nothing (see also Surah Faatir v.15. A Muslim Hadith mentioning that worship of all men and jinn will not add to Allah’s wealth, and neither will the evil of all of those reduce any of Allah’s wealth either), so what is the point? What is His motive? What is the point of all this?
To be honest, I have no idea. It might as well be for fun for all I care. But then, the existence of motive has not always been a requirement to prove the existence of a reality. When it can be proven that a person has infact committed murder and has the mental capacity to do such an act, we cannot say that the person is not guilty simply because we have not established a motive: the crime exists. Likewise, a person donates a large sum of money. Regardless whether his motives were noble, evil, or whether there was a motive or not, the fact remains: the person donated a large sum of money.
Besides, its just that we havent found the motive, which does not mean that the motive does not exist. One thing for sure: this motive does not involve a dependance towards this creation.
My conclusion: Allah does indeed exist, and He has a will, whatever His motive is.
Does God Actively Contribute to Our Lives?
Most of the explanations of this part would be simply a natural consequence of what we have established in the previous part.
Theists would say that “People of Sodom were punished by God!” while others would say “meh, they just so happened to be in the wrong time and place”. I would say that both of them are correct, actually. It is true that they just happened to be in the wrong time and place, but I cannot deny that such a thing happens because of Allah, The Primary Cause.
When I have a student who then became a successful diplomat, perhaps I can claim that I contributed to his success, but I cannot claim that I caused it, as there were many other variables that contributed to his success. On another approach, we cannot really say that the chance to get a 5 on a rolled dice is 1/6. There are so many other factors such as the wind, gravity, strength of the rolling, surface, friction, etc.
But when we say that Allah caused the volcano erruption that destroyed Sodom, we could also see that everything that causes a volcano erruption are also caused by Allah. There is no cause that wasnt caused by that primary cause. Everything is a harmonic chain of events that started from that primary cause, then affecting each other in such through time and space that results in the reality we face today.
How can the incident of Sodom be the cause of Allah to befall them with a volcano erruption, but at the same time that volcano erruption was also caused by natural factors that predates the Sodom society? Or: A man was given a choice between a good deed or bad deed, then due to his choice to do a bad deed, he was befallen by misfortune (lets say, suddenly the stockmarkets just crashed and he lost all of his money). How could his choice today be ‘rewarded’ by something that started from a long series of events beginning way before that choice was made?
As a matter of time and space, this does not make sense, does it? But then, I have established that Allah transcends everything and is therefore not bound by time and space.
PS: I know there will be questions regarding the reward and punishment system, which I will discuss later.
It is rhetorical, really. If Allah was the primary cause of everything, then everything was caused by Allah.
Is God good or bad? Some may say that Allah cannot exist, because if He did exist then He would not let bad things happen. That is an appealing premise, though. If He exists, nothing bad will happen. But then, did anything bad happen? I have established that Allah is not bound by anything. The concept of good and bad is something that He created.
Then, how can we presume that things that happen around us are good or bad with such a limited capacity to judge? Good or bad is always relative, depending on circumstance. Killing is bad if done to an innocent man for no good reason, but good in context of necessary and proportional self defense. Killing an innocent man can also be good if, hypothetically, such a thing is really the only way to save the entire humanity and there is really no other way out. Illness can be good, as a way to appreciate health. To be more contextual, an innocent man would seriously not mind to be killed in a natural disaster, but then being brought to heaven with all the beauty inside it inshaaAllah, wallahu’alam.
People have asked me. Why is it so confusing? People who are really good can suffer or die in natural disasters, bad people could be rich and happy, etc. A more specific question would be why did Allah kill good people in the process of punishing the bad people. This is one of the dilemmas of the reward and punishment process in Islam, which I think is not really a dilemma at all.
Allah combines punishments and rewards,. Behavioral psychology has already proven the need to combine both. He rewards bad deeds accordingly, but good deeds in ten folds (Surah Al An’am v.160), which is an awesomesauce combination. But then, here comes two dilemmas:
First dilemma, why cant we do good just for the sake of being good, and not expect anything back? As noble as it may sound, this just does not make sense. Life is always about taking and giving in a balanced proportions. Even those who claim to not expect anything back from giving, actually do expect something in return, which is at least a personal satisfaction for relieving someone of their suffering. This personal satisfaction also serves as a positive reinforcement, and this also has some egoistic motive.
But I ask all of you not to to judge “egoistic motive” as something that is per se bad, as it is natural. In the Greek philosophy of four loves (eros, philia, skorge, agape), such an altruistic love defines the word “Agape”. Agape” means to not demand anything in return for what they give out. This seems to imply that non-egoistic motive in doing things is possible.
But Max Huber, a Christian Theologian, further describes Agape in Christian teachings is the act of Godly love through the body of a human. Also, the Islamic perspective of ‘ikhlas’ (not demanding anything in return), only means not demanding rewards from fellow humans. Therefore, one must really draw a line between expecting rewards from men and from Allah. The latter does not at all imply selfishness. Afterall, researches in behavioral psychology has revealed to us that there should be a good balance between rewards and punishments anyway, to motivate a person to conduct/not conduct certain behaviors.
Second dilemma, why are good things happening to bad people, and also otherwise? I choose not to be deluded by such a question. I believe that, materially, things just happen, and they are neither good nor bad. It has been clear in the Quran and various shahih hadith, that the difference between good and bad is ‘faith’. Imaan. What does this mean? For those with imaan, no matter how much hardship they face, they believe that it is a test from Allah. When they truly believe in Allah and know that they will be rewarded later, how can they feel that this is a punishment at all? They will always be happy and grateful. While for those without imaan, they will find no purpose in all the things that happen to them. Neither will they find happiness and gratefulness, and therefore everything would be a punishment. This is the difference between two men, a mukmin and a kafiir, while experiencing the same disaster in the same room.
Even with things that may seem like a reward, I choose not to be deluded! The truth is, everything belongs to Allah, and what is given to us is nothing but tests and responsibilities. For every penny we get, every strength we have, a person with imaan will know that they will be sought accountability for these responsibilities. But those who have no faith will not see that. They will not realize until judgement day, that all those ‘rewards’ that they have are exactly what will bring them to the cursed hellfire, na’udzubillah.
PS: I know some of you are thinking “I know an atheist that does charity! I know an awful muslim!”. But I would remind you not to be deluded. Imaan has never been a legal status, and especially not an acclaimed status. Imaan is a state of mind, that will be manifested in some ways through our actions. For instance, Rasulullah (PBUH) once declared that one will not have imaan until he loves one another (Hadith Shahih Bukhary and Muslim). Neither does one have imaan when his neighbours are not safe from his mischief (Hadith Shahih Bukhary). Therefore, one can claim and live like an atheist but have some traits of imaan. Likewise, one can claim and live like a muslim, but has some traits of the kafiir. Like Syeikh Abdurraheem Green puts it “Imagine someone coming in the room screaming ‘Fire! Fire!’. If you really believe in what he said, you would run”.
And I choose not to ever be deluded. All we are seeing, feeling, smelling, touching, tasting, are not real. The only reason we see what we see, feel what we feel, smell what we smell, touch what we touch, taste what we taste, are electromagnetic waves, interfering with each other, transmitted through neurons and projected in our brains. Try play any game on your computer. I have Plants vs Zombies. You to me are as real as the Plant is to the Zombie. Is this reality really a reality?
All those tests are not real. Thats sort of the point. A test is a simulation, not intended to be real. Nothing in the dunya is real (See Surah Al Hadid v.20). What is real is in the akhirat. If one really has imaan and believes in this, certainly such imaan will guide his or her action in such a way that is very different to those without imaan. As always: the difference lies in imaan.
Why is this relevant in this subchapter? As I explained before, what we have is nothing but an illusion of free will. Nobody chooses to have imaan. It is Allah who chooses who to guide or not (Surah Al Qashaash v.56). Pick your own explanation: a miracle touch of faith from Allah to the hearts of certain selected men with a divine ray of light, or a more sceptical explanation of “faith through experience”, while this experience is built from a long chain of causality of events that started from Allah as the primary cause. They come to the same conclusion: Allah contributes to everything.
Then why does He punish those who are kafiir, while they are kafiir because of His leads anyway? At least, well, He is the boss. Even if He does so for the heck of it, its not like we could avoid it anyway, so we might as well follow. But He is the Most Compassionate. Certainly not for the heck of it. The concept of Good and Bad is also His creation, to which He is independent from. Just like how pluralists claim that you cannot judge someone else’s faith from the eyes of your own faith, you can not impose the Good and Bad concept on Allah. The only way you can claim to transcend the pluralist view is to claim that certain Good and Bad concepts are universal. But the word ‘universal’ comes from the word ‘universe’, and we have established that He is independent from the universe.
The truth is, just like His Will, I do not really know. Nobody does, I guess. But as I have explained previously, a motive is not required to prove the existence of a reality.
I found that, to me, it is just logical that Allah participates in every aspect of our life. Whether it is good or bad, that is beyond this discussion (for now), but yes, He does. But it was not until some events occured to my life that it actually hit me.
The story is excruciatingly too long for me to elaborate here as a sub-part, perhaps another day. But in essence, during the end of 2012, so many life turning things happened to my life. Each of these things were bizzarely coincidental, so much that I just cannot say that it was merely coincidental, and not to mention that all of those happenings were in a long series of events, which made it so much more impossibly coincidental.
The chaos theory says that there is no particular pattern or harmony within all these series of events. It is just one long line of coincidences and accidents without any purpose. But then, I find that this is a matter of perspective. Towards a man tripping over a rock, one could say that it was an accident where both the rock and person just had to be in the wrong time and place. Another could say that it was the man’s fault, as recklessness is also a fault (though not as faulty as direct intent). Yet another could say that that was already fated, because the reason why the man and rock just had to be there was part of a long series of causalities tracing back to the big bang.
A coincidence usually involves chance. I do not believe in chance. As I said before, the only reason that mathematical probability claims that there is a 1/6 chance for a dice to be rolled and show a 5, is because all other relevant and determining variables are being eliminated and assumed to not exist. While I have established earlier that the primary cause, which is Allah, has a will, then consequently I cannot choose to accept the chaos theory.
In the Life of Pi, Pi asked the Novelist “In both stories, the ship sinks and I end up suffering. Neither of them explains why the ship sunk. One involves a Bengal tiger, and the other one does not. Which story do you like?” and the Novelist answered “I like the one with the tiger” to which Pi replied “So it is with God.”
(although, of course, I find that creation is indeed explained)
There are many ways to take and believe in, of course, that is very true. But then: ‘eena deena indallahi Islam’ (the only way acceptable in the side of Allah is Islam – Surah Al Imran v.19).
And the deen of islam tells us that Allah controls everything, as all are subjected to His commands and laws (Al Baqarah v.255, Surah Al Imran v.189, ath-Thalaaq v.12, etc), not to mention the divine revelations that have been sent to the people through prophets (which will be explained in the next part).
InshaaAllah, this deen is my choice.
Why Islam: Redundancy of Terminology
The thing about certain words is that we cannot translate them to also one word. The word ‘Islam’ is one of these words. By definition, it could mean many words: to be sincere and to be at peace and find safety by obeying and submitting your will to Allah”. One can now see obviously, the word ‘Islam’ is a verb. In Arabic language, when one highlights a subject by indicating that they are doing a certain verb, then that subject is named by the verb but given a suffix of mu- (those who do ajlis are mu-ajlis or majlis. Those who do jihad are mu-jihad or mujahid etc). A muslim is therefore a person who does Islam.
I would like to highlight the ‘submission’ meaning of Islam. Islam means to submit one’s will to Allah. Therefore, Surah Al Imran v.19 would be somewhat redundant, now meaning: the only way acceptable in the side of Allah is to submit to Allah. To submit, literally meaning to be a slave of some sort.
It is very hard for us, especially in days like this, to want to be a slave of anything. In the new regime of human rights, every man is a free man. Slavery could not be acceptable in this world. So then, why could I accept this submission to Allah? I had to go deep to the roots of the human rights concept of freedom.
According to the foundations of human rights, slavery is wrong because it justifies a man claiming ownership over another man. While the man taken into slavery cannot belong to another person, as he belongs to himself and his own will. The slavemaster will have full control over the slave, making the slave not having control his/her own will except those permitted by the slave master. One can easily observe the basic premise of this perspective, which is that a man’s body, soul, and will, belongs to him/herself. So since the premise is that a man owns himself, then it is okay for a man to be a slave of his/her own will.
Islam shares a similar foundation: if X owns Y, then it is correct for Y to be a slave of X. People with imaan, or muslims, believe that we are all owned by Allah. Accepting that premise, then it is perfectly correct for us to be a slave of Allah. Following the logic of the previous paragraph, the only reason for one to object the concept of submission to Allah is when one does not believe that Allah owns everything. This is the difference of those with and without imaan.
For me it then becomes a simple logic. I have established that Allah does exist, He has a Will, and that He contributes actively to our lives including by creating the concept of good, bad, reward, and punishment. I have established that nobody really has free will and that everyone is subject to an interdependent chain of causality and therefore there is already a grand scheme, but I dont know what this grand scheme is. What I do have is a delusion of free will and therefore I must make my choice.
It is always a very simple logic: when you cant be the big power, then you must follow the big power.
Maybe you dont like it. Postmoderns would say that you always have a choice, as I said previously. But then, also like I have said previously, eena deena indallahi Islam (Surah Al Imran v.19). When I have established that Allah does exist and contributes to our lives, then I have to say this to the postmodern advice that come to me:
You can sit on a railway and choose not to believe in the train that is coming towards you. You have full rights to believe the train is imaginary, or that you exist in a different form of reality, whatever, but the train will hit you anyways.
But then how do I know which concept of good or bad is correct? How do I know what to follow?
A rational mind and the ability to analyze has always been a strong weapon of mankind. But then it has always been proven that, no matter how much we have advanced from the dark ages until today, human intelligence has erred so much more than it has actually achieved. I am not saying that a rational mind cannot be trusted at all, but that we cannot be too confident with it. We must use the rational mind to the fullest extent, being mindful of our limits, including one very basic academic logic: referencing.
Scholars have always done their work either by continuing or correcting the best works of someone else before them as reference. This reference is expected to contain the best of knowledge of what has already been known. If that previous work is good, then it should be continued to expand more. If it was found to be incorrect, it could be corrected for future scholars to have better reference, but even in its imperfection, that incorrect work is important. The main point is: we need the best reference.
Now, consider this. Imagine if Allah Himself descended a reference. A message of truth through the mouths of specially selected people, and some codified in very special books. Given all that Allah is and all that He could possibly know. I think even for atheists, they could agree with the theists in one thing: if God really does exist, and has a will, and descends a message of directions towards the truth of what is good and punishments for disbelievers, if it is really so, then we should follow it. Theists would believe this by heart, and atheists would agree with it in a hypothetical realm.
That is why the Jews are commanded to follow Allah (refer to the entire Book of Genesis on creation, also the Book of Deuteronomy, etc). This is also why Jesus tells his people that he submits his will to Allah (John 5: 30), which in Arabic is Islam, and to follow his way of Allah (John 10: 40), which in Arabic is deenul Islam. If they really are the words of Allah, certainly I should follow it. And, they all make prophecy of a final messenger who will bring the truth (Song of Solomons 5: 1-16, John 16: 6-7, 12-14 vide 1 John 4: 1).
How can someone in the 7th century know that in the times of Joseph the Ruler of Egypt was called not yet called Pharaoh, but at the time of Moses was named Pharaoh? At that time, hieroglyph was a dead language. Until the discovery of the Rosetta Stone in 1799 did we manage to find a tablet to convert hieroglyph to Greek, so that only then did we know of the real history of Ancient Egypt. How did someone in the 7th century know that a zygote was formed by a combination of “something in the semen” of men and women (nutfatan min maniyyin)? At the time, the only source of knowledge in this field was the works of Galean and Aristotles, thinking that a zygote was made by the male semen mixing with menstrual blood.
How can someone in the 7th century know in detail the phases of human embryo development? While it took a thousand years for mankind to actually develop the technology to discover that. How can someone in the 7th century be able to make a simple illustration from which one can deduce the speed of light? That took thousands of years of physics and mathematics to then discover at the turn of the 19th to 20th century.
I could go on and on and on with things that could not have possibly been known by someone in the 7th century: cycle of water, a natural water barrier between two types of water, shape of the earth, mountain foundations and its functions, neurology and brain part functions, etc, and this is merely looking from the perspective of science that by the way is imperfect, but one can still find neverending miracles.
How could this person, named Muhammad (PBUH) possibly know all this? They could possibly read it somewhere or asked someone who knew, but this is impossible: the literature at the time does not indicate any such knowledge, and if any person knew it then they would have made such literature. Could Muhammad figure them out himself? One could only figure them out with proper prior knowlegde and methodology, which he had neither.
Muhammad did not get it from another man, or literature, or figure it out himself, and certainly he didnt know it from animals. There is only one possible explanation. He got it from Allah, and spoke out not what he knows but what he heard (John 16: 13) from Allah, into a book that has no doubts upon it and is guidance for those who believe (Surah Al Baqarah v.2).
How can I not follow this book? How can I not follow the words of this man?
Islam provides so much more than a mere theology concept (in Islam, its Tauhid or The One-ness). When secularists believe that we should separate our belief in God and our actions in life, Islam believes that our belief in God must definitely be manifested in actions of some sort. Some examples have been showed before, where faith will always come with compassion (Hadith Shahih Bukhary and Muslim), and cannot come with mischief to your neighbours (Hadith Shahih Bukhary) and cannot come with even a notch of arrogance (Hadith Shahih Muslim), and so much more.
Islam is a deen, or way of life. When scholars in economic science declares “there is a limited amount of resources, but an unlimited need of men”, the liberalists took it as to justify unhealthy competition and the bankruptcy of those who ‘fail to compete’, and the socialists took it as to spread out wealth thin so that everyone has only a little, but at least everyone has something. Islam, on the other hand, declares that we are given an abundance, so that we should pray and sacrifice (Surah Al Kauthar v.1-2).
From the basic premises that everything belongs to Allah, that there is an abundance of resources, that good deeds are rewarded, that what is in this dunya is nothing compared to akhirah, until very detailed rules that riba (loan interests) are prohibited and so much more, the sharia economic system was established. The sharia economic system has never seen any flaw in providing social welfare for literally everyone, except if it was deliberately corrupted or not implemented fully. This is unlike other systems where some people will loose and get destroyed (liberalist economy system), or everyone survives but just enough to survive (socialist economy system). Even through modern economic crises in 1997 and 2008 where numerous economies collapsed, Sharia banks and economic systems have always stood tall.
In the field of social life, Islam declares that all men and women are equal. Yet this equality does not mean that men and women are exactly the same. They are equal, but have different roles. The different physical and hormonal compositions between men and women would naturally designate them for different roles, but not suggesting a hierarchy. The Quran does mention that men are leaders for women (Surah An Nisa v.34), but this does not suggest that women are second class. In a democratic concept, for instance, the citizens (in representation) are positioned higher than their leaders. In Islam, being a leader does not mean they are higher, but they are given greater burdens and responsibilities (Hadith Shahih Bukhary, Ahmad, At Tirmidzi, and Muslim, seen together with Surah Al Hujaraat v.13, Surah Asy-Syuraa v.42, Surah Al Maidah v.72 etc). Does this mean that women are weaker than men?
Definitely not. They are given a sacred mission as the toughest soldiers to ensure the continuity of the human race. Bearing and caring for a child is something that women can do that men cannot. In the case of caring for a child, women are equipped with so much more hormonal and physical features to perform much better than men. This is why Rasulullah Muhammad (PBUH) mentions that heaven is at the feet of our mother (Hadith Shahih Ahmad and Nasai), and that the first, second, and third persons that most deserves our compassion are all the same person which is our mother, and then our father in the fourth place (Hadith Shahih Bukhary and Muslim).
Islam safeguards this process by making sure that only couples that are physically and mentally ready can get married, ensuring the clarity of rights and responsibilities in making and building the family, and being a reference of a perfect human character as a good example for the child. Face it. The first education comes from home. The future generation is built one man at a time. We must make sure that that future generation is strong, one man at a time. One child at a time.
This is different from the trend in (or from) the west of not wanting to have a children because of this and that, or even worse, certain feminists believe that children are merely nuisance. Women are insisting to work and put career first, while the child finds comfort in television and equally stupid friends, resulting a very large number of teenage pregnancy, depression, alcoholism and drug abuse etc. I am not saying that women cannot work. But when there is a child in the family, certainly, sacrifices must be made. For instance, not working for a period of time, then adjusting work hours to school hours, then a full time job when the kid is older.
Such a hustle, eh? But then, this is for the sake of humanity, really. One kid at a time. Because of one’s selfishness, a child becomes abandoned and will grow into God knows what. Or on the other side, we will face the idiocracy dilemma. Think of the current global demographics, where countries with rich and educated citizens have problems of minus population growth, while poor countries are breeding like rats. One day, smart people might go extinct, and the dumb-er people will rule the world.
Of course this sounds hyperbolic. But we are living in a world where countries with high averages in welfare and education having low, zero, to minus population growth. While those that are impoverished and lack in education are breeding like rats. Wallahu’alam, but I do not want to be part of that problem.
Such a modern view roots from individualism and human rights combined together, where people may claim that everything is up to them without thinking about moral responsibilities. This is totally contradictive to the Islamic perspective, where the advancement of the society is everyone’s responsibility.
I argue that Islam sees human rights in an interesting way.While some say that Islam is totally for human rights (as it acknowledges the rights to life in Surah Al Maidah v.32, freedom of religion in Surah Al Baqarah 256, etc etc), I would have an opinion that is more in line with the fatwa of the Egyptian Ulema sometimes in the 1990s that led to the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam. In their opinion, if I may repackage it in my own way, is that as a matter of axiology yes Islam is in line with human rights (but having some contentions in interpretation), but as a matter of ontology we defer. The source of truth in Islam is different with human rights, as has been explained previously.
But Islam brings things further. To my opinion, Islam doesnt really approach it in a “you have certain rights, and by the way just make sure you dont violate others” kind of way like international law does. Islam sees it in a “human responsibilities” kind of way. This is why Islam, at a glance, gives so many responsibilities. And in almost everything muslims do, they always say “we do that because Allah and His Prophet tells us to do so”.
Now, this may not seem too nice at the start, I understand. I thought so too, like, dude, why are you demanding so many things to us? Why is everything ‘because Allah tells us so’, and nothing for me? But then, this is why one must understand Islam holistically, or kaffah. For starters, as has been explained, He could do whatever He wills to you. But thats not really the point I wish to convey.
Islam sees that the fulfillment of these responsibilities are also the fulfillment of rights. There is only one difference, which Rasulullah Muhammad PBUH declared in Hadith Shahih Bukhary “the only thing that will save you from hellfire is imaan”. I have already explained how deep the word imaan means, along with its consequences. When one really has imaan, everything will be beautiful. Very, very, beautiful.
One may see the command to read the Quran as an obligation. One may see Shalat as a hindrance: 5 times a day, and not including the sunnahs? But a person with imaan will find guidance, peace, and an increase in imaan. One may see that fasting is torture, not eating or drinking for such long hours. But then to practice restraining one’s self at a different level like this (not only restraining from meals and drinks, but nafs in general) with imaan will help rebuild our character and makes us a better person, and increases our imaan. That is not to mention yet what we are promised in jannah or heaven!
In Surah Ar-Rahman, there is a beautiful description of the blessings and gifts both given in the earth and heavens, but also shoots out the same reflective-rhetorical question 31 times: “then which of the favors of The Lord will you deny?!” People with imaan will realize all this, that there really is so much blessings in this world and the thereafter, too much for us to deny. Which is why they will also do their best to achieve these blessings in the name of Allah, which are infinitely abundant (Surah Al Hadid v.21).
Even when we make mistakes, there is always a way to repent. Taubah, we call it in Arabic. It is always important to make that U-turn from one’s sinful habits, so that Allah may forgive such sins (Surah Al Baqarah v.222, Surah Az Zumar v.54, Surah An Nisa v.26, etc). I remember having an interesting dialogue with an atheist friend. She claimed that taubah makes people easily make sins, as they could easily repent afterwards. Even at an interpersonal level where you dont involve Allah yet. Can you really forgive a person that is not sincere in apologizing? To my opinion, she is thinking about a human kind of legal system, where if you dont mind serving some administrative or jail punishment, then you can just do any crimes. As the Quran provides in various places (e.g. Surah Al Maidah v.39, Surah Al An’am v.54, Surah An-Nahl v.119, etc), repenting must come with the commitment and action of being better –which naturally comes with not re-committing the sin.
Remember that He knows all, so you cant lie to Him (Surah Lukman v.16, Surah At Taghabun v.4, Surah ath-Thalaaq v.12, etc, and compare also, just for fun, to Psalms 139: 4)! So He will know whether you are sincere or not. And then, here is the beautiful paradox. You cannot be sincere in apologizing to Allah without really having Imaan. But then if you do indeed have imaan, you would have tried your best to avoid making that mistake in the first place (Surah At Taubah v112), or at least not to ever repeat it again!
Seen in conjunction with the reward – punishment system and taubah, having imaan will create a very good human character that transcends any legal system. The legal positivistic era today is presented with a challenge. The intentions to make everything strict and written has its flaws: you just cannot write and rule on everything due to the positivistic legal construction system (het recht hink achter de feiten aan). There is always room for interpretation and legal loopholes for one to cheat the legal system. Believe me, corporate lawyers do this all the time to claim that “this is legal according to the applicable law” despite such actions really harm the people. This is not yet to mention issues of bribery in the legal enforcement.
Imagine having A Supervisor who knows all, who can give rewards as awesome as heaven and punishments as awful as hell, and can only be bribed by a sincere taubah? If one really has imaan, they will know that they cannot cheat the legal system. Allah knows your heart. This is why Islam provides a very interesting legal system that makes a perfect combination between legal positivism (waaay before positivism was brought up) and natural law perspectives, combining both contending legal schools and completed with the best reward and punishment system. Holistically, this is a perfect legal system.
But then, Islamic laws has always been criticized for lack of humane-ness. In my opinion, it is by those who lack knowledge. The first attack is usually to death penalty by beheading. While death penalty is still somewhat acceptable (though against the current majority state practice), beheading is actually the fastest and most painless method.
Second attack is to the cutting of hands for thieves. One cannot see this matter in parts, but has to be holistic. In a Sharia system, a man is not punished for stealing when they do so out of hunger, in which case it is the surrounding community that is punished. Also, you will find in pure Sharia systems, people competing to do charity and to feed the poor to be rewarded by Allah, rather than the poor competing to get food. You just dont get hungry in a Sharia system without someone else accountable for it. Why would anyone steal anymore, if not for immense greed?
The third attack is on religious discrimination. This is a misled claim posed by those who lack knowledge, by the fault of states claiming to apply Sharia while they only do so minimally or partially. The last state that applied pure Sharia was Islamic Spain which was centuries ago. There, everyone was so happy that even there were special courts for different religions, Jews and Christians would prefer to go to the Islamic Court for better solutions for their disputes.
Rasulullah PBUH even permitted Christian missions to do their Sunday mass in Masjid Nabawi, and signed the Hudaibyah peace treaty which clearly shows religious tolerance. In real Sharia systems, non-muslims are given taxes that are not given to muslims, which may seem like a discrimination. But that is exactly the oposite. They are given such a special tax because they cannot be forced to pay zakaat (an somewhat tax system with a complete different character under Islamic laws), or to fight if under attack. If these non-muslims choose to participate in war to defend the area, they will be exempt from this tax.
Even in the laws of war. To begin with, Islamic laws of war also acknowledges similar principles to modern International Humanitarian Law (IHL), such as the principle of distinction, proportionality, military necessity, etc. But then there is more. When IHL requires you to provide an “adequate standard of living” for prisoners of war, and we all know that “adequate” has an international standard but has been broken a lot, especially by cheating the terminologies. But in Islamic traditions dating back to the days of Rasulullah PBUH and the Khulafaur Rasyidin, we witness something different that some may see as excessive. Food, drinks, warm clothings for night, blanquets, are provided to the prisoners first. If there are any left, then the guards can have it. Plus, it is the prisoners that get to be transported on top of the horses or camels, while the guards walk on foot.
Then why do we today witness so many acts of violence and terror committed by people who scream out the name of Allah? Why do they always incite hatred and terror?
It has been explained that the act of love and compassion is one of the signs of imaan. One thing that many people doesnt know yet, is that the word “Islam” also means “peace”. Surah Al Maidah v.32 also explains the value of human life so much more than how other people usually describe it: if you kill one innocent life, you might as well have killed the entire humanity. If you save one innocent life, you might as well have saved the entire humanity. If you have at extra abilities in mathematics, you will notice the infinitive multiplication. Then why?
If your spouse claims to be loyal, but ends up cheating every other day with another man/woman, would you say “oh, so loyal people cheat”? That is a riddiculous oxymoron claim made out of awfully bad logic. Any sane person would say “the person claims to be loyal, but the truth is that they are not loyal”. I really want to apply the same standard: if a person claims to be muslim, but acts in contrary to numerous rules prescribed in Islam, then one should question the truth of his claim!
But all and all, as a summary to all the explanation in this part, consider this.
With all the humility and honesty that I could muster to myself, I cannot deny that as far as men can explore and invent, that is nothing compared to a guide sent by Allah Himself. Allah knows everything, like, literally, everything (Surah Lukman v.16, Surah At Taghabun v.4, Surah ath-Thalaaq v.12, etc). While on the other hand, there is only so little that men know and could ever know (Surah Al Baqarah v.255, Surah Al Israa v.85, Surah Al Kahfi v109, etc).
Bearing in mind that: there is so little that men can ever know (and there are so much limitations to what science could ever reach, and even there, it always changes anyway), that Allah Knows All, and that if one were to really believe in Allah then they would submit themselves to the Will of Allah, then reflect on the following question.
When we meet an event where there is a dispute between the Qur’an/authentic hadith against our common sense/science/people’s consensus etc, which one should be put in higher esteem? Which one should take precedence?
Are we too arrogant that we deny such a simple answer to that question?
I feel that I am very lucky. I was born from a very compassionate Mother who is an expert in developmental psychology, plus some occurrences in life made me interact a lot with the field of psychology, thus I have not much but a least some knowledge on that field. From my genious Father, I inherited the love for mathematics and physics, which I harnessed a little bit further for two years in the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Science, UGM, Major of Physics. I may not be proficient in maths and physics, but I have some strong basics.
English debating further harnessed my way of thinking and love for philosophy. Combined with my basics in mathematics, the way I philosophized was directed in such a way that when I entered the Faculty of Law, I learned the origins of laws, and how to interpret them.
They werent much, really. What I know is still shallow. However, it was enough for me to find out what I found out. It was enough for me to understand what I understand. I am always learning, and the more I do, all I find is stronger evidence for the same conclusion.
This way, I have established that Allah does exist. Many say that even if He exists, He only pushed the button for creation then left (or died), but I have found otherwise. Then I have found that the only way of life acceptable to His side is to submit our will to Him. In that aim, He has descended upon us a number of holy books to certain peoples to direct their lives, namely: the Torah, Zabuur, the Injiil, and perhaps many others that we dont know yet. And finaly, He revealed to a final messenger who has been prophesized in all previous books, the final message. The Holy Quran.
Maybe many of you will not agree with many of my points, certainly. Everyone certainly has their own experiences and way of thinking. But if you put yourselves in my shoes for a moment, and imagine if you have found and experienced what I had, I hope you would understand why I concluded what I concluded.
Wallahu’alam. Allah Knows, while what I know is nothing but an insignificant notch. Drop a needle to the ocean then lift it, and the knowledge of the entire human race is only worth the amount of water left on that needle, while there is still an entire unlimited ocean of knowledge. As much as we are amazed by the results of human invention, history has proven that the truth is we have been mistaken so much more than we have been right. Even when we thought we were right, on many occassions we witness that someone else will come and correct us, the way Newton thought that time is absolute, which was later corrected by Einstein.
Not that I am suggesting us to stop using our minds, as Allah hates those who do not use their sense (Surah Yunus v.100). But we must never be arrogant. Rasulullah PBUH mentioned that a person with arrogance, even just a speck of it, cannot enter heaven (Hadith Shahih Muslim). May Allah always grant us protection from arrogance and bless us with humility.
This is my experience, hopefully it could be of some use for you. If there are any mistakes, they are mine. If there is any truth in it, it is from Allah. In the end, all I can say is that Allah only guides whom He wishes to guide, for He knows best about guidance (Surah Al Qashaash v.56).
“To Allah belongeth the dominions of the heavens and the earth; and Allah hath power over all things. Behold, in the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the alteration of Night and Day, there are indeed signs for men of understanding.”
Surah Al Imran v.189-190
Assalaamu’alaykum warahmatullaahi wabarakaatuh
Thank you very much for the appreciation and feedback towards this article, I pray this article can be a source of knowledge, hidayah, and repentance –whichever applicable to your situation).
However, there are a few items here that do not represent my views anymore. It is my position that while one must be consistent with their views, they must maintain academic integrity and honesty in a higher esteem. If, in the course of your life, you realize that you were wrong, then you must change your position.
Of course this is different from a person who changes his sides due to certain interests (see my most recent article in Bahasa Indonesia about this). I am rather talking about the likes of Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas r.a. who initially maintained that Nikah Mut’ah was halal, but then when Ali bin Abi Thalib r.a. reminded him of a hadeeth which he has not heard, he then changed his position. Just like Imam Shafi’i who used to follow the Maliki madzhab, then learned from Imam Shawkani from the Hanafi madzhab, then the Laythee madzhab, and then eventually made his own madzhab. Just like how Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal used to be from the Shafi’i madzhab then made his own madzhab. Just like how Shaykh al-Islam Nassir ud-Deen Al-Bani used to be a Hanafi, then changed position. May Allah Bless all these people. All of these scholars did so because they learned something new.
By all means I may -arguably- be a scholar of international law, but in no way am I a scholar of Islam. But of course, I should follow the same position as them in updating my stance on issues when I find better knowledge. So here are some change of views or clarifications that I thought I need to make.
FIRST: A QUESTION OF FREE WILL
I mentioned that there is an illusion of free will, that it actually does not exist, rather we are all under control of Will of Allah. Actually I had a dilemma in my mind regarding this. On one hand, the logical approach I took (as shown in the article) resulted in men having no choice. But on the other hand, is it fair to punish/reward us for things that we have no real control over ourselves? However, back then I chose to go in favor of the first statement which I then ended up writing. The reason was because it seemed objectively logical, and the laws of logic are universal (I will explain later). Not to mention, it seemed to be supported by daleel from the Qur’an (see the ayat that I cited at the end of the article). While the second statement was a mere subjective view. While logic is universal, virtue may be understood by one but not by the other. We are so small, yet Allah is Al-Hakeem. So I hope you understood why I concluded what I concluded in the article.
But then I learned more. I knew that interpreting the Qur’an is not easy, and it should be mindful of so many things including the Arabic wording, other ayats of the Qur’an, the Hadeeth, knowledge of abrogation, etc. It was this that I lack, as a very weak and imperfect human being. Months later, I read this very good article by Shaykh Al-Uthaymeen, rahimahullah.
In essence, it explains how there are two deviant beliefs on this question. The first is that we have no free will (which I held), and the second is that Allah has no control over us. However, the path of the ahlus sunnah wal jamaah is always the middle way and never the extreme. You can read the article for yourself, but essentially it says that we have (or, rather, granted by Allah) a free choice to make but we cannot escape Allah’s Will.
SECOND: UNIVERSALITY OF THE LAWS OF LOGIC
Now this is not exactly a change of perspective, rather it is just a clarification of framework of thought since I might have been very unclear in constructing my train of thought in inductive vs deductive reasoning. Basically I have explained the weakness of the inductive or empirical argument. Yet I have not explained why I then resorted to a deductive argument. In fact, I did not even mention the word ‘deductive argument’, while it was the backbone of my argument to prove God’s existence. So perhaps I should explain it now.
So a deductive argument is an argument that stems from logic (unlike science, which relies on statistics, generalization, etc), which corresponds to very basic mathematical rules. These logical laws are universal. For example: the laws of contradiction. You cannot exist and not exist at the same time (except if you define a different sense of existence, such as ‘I am in class physically, but not mentally’ or ‘I am not in class physically, but I am there virtually through skype’. This is of course different. In this context: you cant be physically inside the class and not inside the class at the same time).
Which is why Stephen Hawking’s argument is either illogical or misleading: “the universe created itself”. Its illogical if he means that the universe literally creates itself, because it implies that the universe exists and does not exist at the same time (because to create itself, it has to exist first to do that. But then if it has already existed, then how did it exist in the first place to create itself? Imagine your mother giving birth to herself). It could be misleading if he means that the universe was first a quantum vacuum and then the big bang happened there. I have refuted this argument in the article. But for the context of logic, this is misleading because the “universe that created” (the quantum vacuum) is not the same “universe that was created” (the actual universe), so the label “the universe created itself” is incorrect.
Basically the deductive reasoning dictates that If 3 + x = 7, then there is no other possible answer other than 4. If we accept that “Smart people are handsome”, then we find a fact that “Ahmed is smart”, then we can conclude that “Ahmed is handsome”.
So in a deductive reasoning: If the premises are true, then the conclusion is consequently and automatically true. Compare this to the inductive argument: if the premises are true, then the conclusion is very likely but not necessarily certainly true.
PS: usually people get mixed up between science and logic. They think that if its scientific then its logical. Thats not actually true. It is not uncommon for people make social uses of certain words which are actually incorrect, and then it becomes incoherent.
Now in such deductive reasoning method, how do we conclude that God exists? Because there is creation. What are the possible causes of creation? Its either: it came out of nothing, it created itself, or it was created. There is no other possibility (or if you can think of any, lets talk about it. But if you cant think of any other possibility, we cannot say “I dont know other possibilities, but there must be”). In the article we have refuted the first and second possibility. So, by deduction, the only possible result is that the universe was created by a God.
Well, I have already explained the logic of God’s existence in the article. I just wish to explain the framework of deductive reasoning that I used.
THIRD: BIG BANG AS THE MOMENT OF CREATION
Now I do understand that a majority of scientists believe that the Big Bang is the moment of creation. I actually easily bought this as well at the start, simply because I have been taught this since I was a little boy. Especially with ‘cocoklogi’ approach, it is very tempting to associate this with Surah Anbiya ayat 30 which, to some extent, may sound like a big bang thingy, and then say that this surah is a conclusive daleel that proves the big bang. Then some scientists start to find evidences that there might be something before the big bang or even that there is no such thing as a big bang, whatever, then as consequence some people will defend the big bang because the Qur’an says so, and we end up in a murky debate which nobody really knows the answer.
However, Im sure you understand that the Qur’an has muhkamat and mutashabihat ayats. Just look at Surah Anbiya ayat 30: it screams mutashabihat.
So then my stance on the Big Bang is that there may be overwhelming evidence to suggest that it was the start of this particular universe, but it cannot be concluded that there is nothing (or anything) before the Big Bang, although by virtue of Occum’s Razor perhaps we can assume that there is nothing. However, the universe is created and the big bang may or may not have been that point of creation, and I guess we will never really know for certain, but it does not matter.
If anything else comes up I will follow it up again, inshaaAllah.
Barakallaahu feek 🙂