God knows what we conceal and what we reveal

Atheism and Islam

God knows the future – the point is, for us to live through and experience our lives and make our own choices. The fact that God knows our choices does not make it any less voluntary. Although God wants people to believe in Him, He does not force anyone. If God willed, He could guide all of humankind, He has power over everything. But in His Wisdom, He has created us with the ability to choose and made us accountable for our choices. God is not necessarily pleased with everything that He allows to occur. Allah says:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اذْكُرُوا اللَّهَ ذِكْرًا كَثِيرًا وَسَبِّحُوهُ بُكْرَةً وَأَصِيلًا

“O you who believe, remember Allah with much remembrance and exalt Him in the morning and evening.” (Surat Al-Ahzab 33:41)

Atheism is characterized by the rejection of the existence of a higher power. According to Islam, this notion is so absurd that the Quran deals with it directly only a handful of times. Every person is being tested as to who will choose to acknowledge God and follow His guidance. Allah says:

سَنُرِيهِمْ آيَاتِنَا فِي الْآفَاقِ وَفِي أَنفُسِهِمْ حَتَّىٰ يَتَبَيَّنَ لَهُمْ أَنَّهُ الْحَقُّ أَوَلَمْ يَكْفِ بِرَبِّكَ أَنَّهُ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ شَهِيدٌ 

“We (God) will show them Our signs in the horizons and within themselves until it becomes clear to them that it is the truth.” (Surah Fussilat 41:53)

In God’s wisdom, He has chosen to make Himself known through His signs. This is part of the test of this life. He has made it our responsibility to use the abilities He has given us to acknowledge Him. This means that only those who are sincere, humble and reflect deeply will recognize and believe in Him. Allah says:

فَإِذَا عَزَمْتَ فَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُتَوَكِّلِينَ

“When you have made the decision, then rely upon Allah. Verily, Allah loves those who trust Him.” (Surah Al Imran 3:159)

Many religious theists try to argue atheists into believing in a god through the fear of what will happen after death, either going to hell or just ceasing to exist. This arguably reveals something very important about the believers themselves: they, too, must fear death as the cessation of existence and believe not because there are many good reasons to think there is an afterlife, but rather out of wishful thinking.

Here are some reasons that people give for believing in God:

  1. God tests us to purify us and wash away our sins
  2. God promises who obey Him to enter Paradise
  3. God continuously urges us to do good deeds
  4. God is very Gracious and Kind to His slaves
  5. God’s knowledge compasses all things
  6. God designs and creates our universe
  7. God is everything in His own accord
  8. God is the Supreme, the Sovereign
  9. God is First, Last, and Everlasting
  10. God knows what is in our hearts
  11. God gives us many chances
  12. God is the Creator of all things
  13. God is the Bestower of Sufficiency
  14. God is the one, Who has no partner
  15. God is All-Powerful, absolutely Just
  16. God not only warned us against Satan
  17. God is very Gracious and Kind to His slaves
  18. God is the delayer and puts things right places
  19. God knows what we conceal and what we reveal
  20. God has instilled love in us as well as a sign of Him

Many atheists demand scientific proof for the existence of God. Francis Bacon, the famous philosopher, has rightly said that a little knowledge of science makes a man an atheist, but an in-depth study of science makes him a believer in God. Scientists today are eliminating models of God, but they are not eliminating God. If you translate this into Arabic, it is La illaha illal la, There is no god, (god with a small ‘g’ that is fake god) but God (with a capital ‘G’). The Quran is the word of God and it contains scientific knowledge which is his yardstick that was discovered recently. Allah says:

إِنَّنِي أَنَا اللَّـهُ لَا إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا أَنَا فَاعْبُدْنِي وَأَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ لِذِكْرِي 

“Indeed, I am Allah. There is no other god except Me. So, worship Me and establish prayer for My remembrance.” (Surah Taha, 20: 14)

The first evidence that points to the existence of a Creator relate to understanding the origin of the universe. Human experience and simple logic tell us that something that has a beginning does not simply come from nothing, nor can something create itself. We can reason that a higher “being” created the universe. All of these attributes make up the basic concept of God, the creator of the universe. Allah says:

إِنَّا هَدَيْنَاهُ السَّبِيلَ إِمَّا شَاكِرًا وَإِمَّا كَفُورًا

“Indeed, We guided him (to) the way whether (he) be grateful and whether (he) be ungrateful.” (Surah Al-Insan 76:3)

God calls on us to acknowledge Him through His signs and has made it our responsibility to ponder and reflect in order to recognize Him. Some people are receptive to these signs and see God’s work all around them, while others dismiss everything as random and meaningless. God has placed in every person, a natural inclination to believe, but this innate predisposition to believe can either be nurtured or suppressed.

Allah Almighty says in the Holy Quran:

  •  “And Allah loves the steadfast.” (Al Imran: 146)
  • “… and He is the Highest, the Greatest.” (Quran 2:255)
  • Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly.” (Al-Maida: 42)
  • “Glorify the Name of your Lord, the Highest.” (Quran 87:1)
  • “… are signs for a people who give thought.” (Quran 13:3)
  • “And that it is He who enriches and suffices.” (Quran 53:48)
  • “God guides to Himself whoever turns to Him.” (Quran 13:27)
  • “Do you worship what you have carved yourself?” (Quran 37:95)
  • and whatever you have of favour – it is from Allah.” (An-Nahl: 53)
  • “Were they created from nothing, or did they create themselves?” (Quran 52:35-6)

Many features in the universe clearly indicate it to be specially designed to support life, such as the earth’s distance from the sun; the thickness of the earth’s crust; the speed at which the earth revolves; the percentage of oxygen in the atmosphere; and even the earth’s tilt. If these measurements were slightly different from what they currently are, life could not exist. Allah says:

وَآيَةٌ لَّهُمُ الْأَرْضُ الْمَيْتَةُ أَحْيَيْنَاهَا وَأَخْرَجْنَا مِنْهَا حَبًّا فَمِنْهُ يَأْكُلُونَ 

“And a sign for them is the dead earth. We have brought it to life and brought forth from it grain, and from it, they eat.”. (Surah Yasin 36:33)

God warns us that those who approach His signs from a position of pride and arrogance will only find justification for their disbelief. Therefore, we hope that those who are sincere, open-minded and genuinely seeking the truth can benefit from this information and that it helps present a new perspective to understanding God. Allah says:

فَاذْكُرُونِي أَذْكُرْكُمْ وَاشْكُرُوا لِي وَلَا تَكْفُرُونِ

“Remember Me and I will remember you, be grateful to Me and do not be ungrateful.” (Surat Al-Baqarah 2:152)

Islam is a practical religion that encourages a balance between hope in God’s mercy and fear of His punishment – both of which are required to lead a positive and humble life. God is the Most Merciful but also the Most Just. If there were no day of Judgement, it would contradict the perfect justice of God, and life would be unfair. Allah says:

وَلَقَدْ جِئْنَاهُم بِكِتَابٍ فَصَّلْنَاهُ عَلَىٰ عِلْمٍ هُدًى وَرَحْمَةً لِّقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ 

“[And thus,] We had certainly brought them a Book which We detailed by knowledge – as guidance and mercy to a people who believe.” (Surah Al-A’raf 7:52)

One of the main purposes of the book of Islam, the Quran, is to invite people to reflect and appreciate God’s creation as a way of believing in Him. Throughout the Quran, God calls our attention to His marvellous designs and complexities in the universe and within ourselves, which are sufficient to indicate that we are a product of design, purpose, and intelligence. Tawakkul is our belief and the attitude that we have about putting trust in Allah to take care of all affairs of our life.