Evidence confirming God’s existence
One: Human nature
Human nature points to the presence of the Creator in three ways. The first is that all humans have essential prior knowledge which they neither studied in a book nor learnt at school. Such knowledge is born with them and implanted in their minds. We are speaking here of principles such as: when something occurs, someone or something must have caused it to happen. Also, each part of something is smaller than the whole of that thing. Such knowledge proves the existence of God in two ways. The first is the identification of evidence.
We look at the world around us, humans and other creation. We recognise that they occur and happen. Our essential prior knowledge tells us that since every happening must have some cause for it to happen, therefore, the universe and all creation in it must have a creator, and this creator is God. Secondly, the very existence of such prior and natural knowledge indicates that it has been placed in man by someone, since it did not come about through learning or acquisition. Again, this confirms the Creator’s existence.
The second way human nature indicates God’s existence is the innate need to worship, or the necessary acknowledgement of the need to believe in the Creator. Human nature feels this need to acknowledge the presence of a power beyond the perceptible realm and that this power can give him what is beneficial and protect him from harm. He needs to believe in such a power which he implores for help, particularly when facing difficulties.
All communities throughout human existence and in all areas established places of worship. They addressed their worship to different beings, including the sun, planets, fire and statues, hoping that their worship would bring them benefit and spare them harm. All this is due to the fact that by nature, man needs to believe in a deity who will fulfil his spiritual needs and aspirations. However, man’s environment may contribute to a blurring of his vision as to the true objective. Therefore, he will believe in deities which he will logically recognise to be false.
Different prophets were sent to various communities, but the essence of their message was not the provision of proofs confirming God’s existence, because most communities accepted this generally, even though some people needed to be reminded of that essential fact. The essence of the message of all prophets was to call on people to believe in God’s oneness and to address all worship to Him alone.
Their address was a reminder of this essential truth, so as to revive in people their innate belief, not to plant something of which they had no idea. Take for example the following verse: ‘Said the messengers sent to them: “Can there be any doubt about God, the Originator of the heavens and the earth? He calls you, so that He may forgive you your sins and grant you respite for an appointed term”.’(14: 10)
This is to remind the addressees, not to give them a concept that was unknown to them.
Some groups of people deny this natural need, but it is undoubtedly implanted in human nature. Denying its existence is due to arrogance or to the corruption of nature through some external influences. God says in the Qur’an:‘Set your face steadily towards the true faith, turning away from all that is false, in accordance with the natural disposition which God has installed into man. Nothing can change God’s creation’. (30: 30)
The Prophet said:‘Every child is born with pure nature, but its parents make it a Jew, a Zoroastrian or a Christian’Related by al-Bukhari
Ibn Taymiyyah said:‘Acknowledgement of the Creator is both natural and needful in people’s minds. Some, however, suffer what may corrupt their nature and they will need to consider and contemplate so that they will realise’Ibn Taymiyyah, Majmoo
It may be asked: Can nature be corrupted? What evidence do we have in practice to support this claim? The answer is that some people do really deny basic logical principles, believing only in the senses. This has led them to say things that were ridiculed even by children. For example, one of them was asked this question: a 20-story building has ten windows in every story. How does one window compare to the whole building: is it larger or smaller? He said that he could not tell until he had seen the building and looked at it. Only then could he give an answer.
By reference to one whose primary logical knowledge has been impaired due to some doubt or erroneous idea that corrupted his natural response, we can say that it is possible that the natural sense that confirms the Creator’s existence may suffer some impairment. Primary logical knowledge is also natural. Indeed impairment of human nature with regard to recognising God’s existence is more likely than in the case of primary logical knowledge, because of the more numerous misconceptions that affect the one than the other.
Instincts and moral values represent the third way nature indicates the existence of the Creator. In man and animal there are natural instincts that are not acquired from society or the environment. They are present in man and animal without any effort on their part. We see some animals immediately find the teat of their mothers to suckle. The mother makes no effort to guide the baby to it. Likewise, when a woman puts her newborn on the breast, the child knows how to suckle.
The same applies to other instincts, such as the attraction between man and woman, the sexual instinct, the love of one’s child, etc. Abd al-Wahhab al-Misiri wrote some beautiful thoughts about the reasons that made him abandon his materialist outlook. One of the more important factors was his observation of the great attachment between his wife and their daughter. He thought that the attachment far exceeded normal material causes. He wondered: could it all be due to enzymes?
This evidence looks to what happens. When something occurs, the mind naturally looks for the one who caused its occurrence. The evidence takes the following order: 1) The universe happened, and everything around us came into being after they were not there; 2) Whatever occurs is caused by something; 3) Therefore, the universe and all it contains are the work of a Creator who brought them into existence.
The principle that ‘whatever occurs has someone or something that causes its occurrence’ is practically recognised by all people, even though some may say that they do not. We always look for the cause of anything that has newly happened. Doctors search for the causes of a disease that was unknown, and they spend a lifetime researching the causes, acknowledging the logical principle of causality. Psychologists and sociologists undertake research to find out the causes of psychological and sociological problems.
You see a very young child turn when it hears some sound, looking for its source. Ibn Taymiyyah said: ‘It is essentially known that whatever occurs must have someone or something that causes its occurrence. This is naturally known even to children. A child who is hit by someone it cannot see will say:‘Who has hit me’? If this child is told that no one has hit it, its mind will not accept that the hit came about by itself, without someone doing it’.Ibn Taymiyyah, ibid,
In view of all this, if we listen to our own nature, we will not need more than looking at the world around us and the different types of creation and let our reason make its natural and necessary conclusion of acknowledging God as the Creator of all. God says:‘Were they created out of nothing? Were they the creators?’(52: 35)
‘Does not man remember that We earlier created him, when he was nothing?’(19: 67)
That the universe came into existence at one time is no longer a difficult issue. In scientific circles few, if any, continue to think that the universe was always there and did not come into existence. Atheist scientists no longer deny this as a consequence of their denial of God. They tend to explain the origin of the universe differently from the religious explanation.
A detailed discussion of the scientific evidence that the universe came into existence at some time is beyond the scope of this book. It may be studied in any relevant book of science under the heading of the expansion of the universe, or the second law of heat dynamics.
Abdullah al-Ujayri’s book, Shumoo‘ al-Nahar, is an important book work that discusses God’s existence and the evidence of human nature and reason.
So far, the human mind has confirmed the existence of the Creator on the basis of the evidence that creation occurs and all created beings have come into existence. There is now another evidence that makes things absolutely clear and puts an end to all doubt. These beings do not just merely come into existence; they are made in the best of forms. Indeed, their perfection is beyond human ability and cannot be emulated. The human mind will then cry out that such perfection cannot come about by mere chance, or in a haphazard way. It must be the work of God, the wise who knows all and is able to accomplish what He wills.
Aspects of perfection and fine balance in the different species are too numerous to reckon. To explain them would take a great voluminous work. The more we reflect on man, animal, the earth and what it contains, and the wider world, the more convinced we are that such perfection could never have come about by chance.
One of the best ways of strengthening one’s belief in God is to reflect on His creation and the perfection they demonstrate. Documentary programmes give us a rare chance for better reflection and contemplation.
We can also benefit by scientific books that speak about the functions of each part of our bodies, the cell and its components, DNA, etc. All these show that miraculous perfection appears in all God’s creation. God says in the Qur’an:‘We shall show them Our signs in the wide horizons [of the universe] and within themselves, so that it will become clear to them that this [revelation] is indeed the truth’.(41: 53)
He also says:‘On earth there are signs for those with sure faith, and in yourselves too: can you not see?’(51: 20-1)
One very useful book in appreciating the perfection of creation is The Evidence of God in an Expanding Universe compiled by forty American scientists.
This evidence strengthens the two previous ones, namely, creation and perfection. It reasserts the existence of the Creator, who is Wise, All-Knowing and bestows abounding grace on His servants. Although this evidence may be considered as part of the perfection of God’s creation, it deserves to be treated separately, as it concerns the relation between man who is created in the best form and other creatures which are perfectly created. Although they all demonstrate such perfection, they are made to benefit man who uses them to get what he needs of food, medicine, transport, grazing, fighting, building and in various industries.
Care is taken of man in a planned way, starting with the provision of a suitable place for him when he is a mere pregnancy. When a child is born, its needs of nourishment are provided in its mother’s breast. Further care is provided through the love of its mother. After that, plants and animals are made subservient to him in a way that meets his needs. The earth is made suitable for him to live on, and the sea to travel through. Minerals are placed in the earth and made possible to extract. The world around him, including the sun, the moon and planets are made suitable to man’s needs, as also the succession of day and night. Furthermore, man is given the ability to understand the world around him and to build life on earth. Aspects of care go far beyond all this, and they can be appreciated through contemplation and reflection.
Written by: Ahmed Alsayed