IS THE DAY OF JUDGMENT A STORY?
CAN WE RATIONALLY PROVE THE EXISTENCE OF GOD?
There are so many interesting and IMPORTANT things happening in our lives and the world around us: the state of emergency in Pakistan with all its idiosyncrasies and now the Democracy!; LUMUN with all its glam and splitz; LAS trips full of adventure and fun so why am I writing about “The Day of Judgment”?!?!? Well for starters this is something you and me have been made to believe in, something which should govern our entire lives and its outcomes, since we were children. But it really irks me to just blindly believe in something and organize my whole life around it. Living a life without understanding one’s own believes is not worthwhile in my opinion. Therefore I believe it is of immense significance that we should be able to rationally justify things which govern our lives or which form the very fundamentals of our belief system. As for those who don’t believe in the Day of Judgment you guys might be in for a surprise: so please read on.
We live our lives as if there is no tomorrow let alone a Day of Reckoning when we would be resurrected again. For us this life is the be all and end all and therefore we live it accordingly. If this life was the only one we had it makes a lot of sense to follow our whims all the time and enjoy every bit of it; I’m with you there. Then, what about the relentless warnings in the book that we open rarely; the Quran? That which lies snuggly somewhere in our houses perched on top of drawers and cupboards out of reach of children: actually out of reach of all and sundry. For starters let’s examine what this book has to say about the Day of Judgment:
“O mankind! Fear your Lord and be dutiful to Him! Verily, the earth quake of the Hour (of Judgment) is a terrible thing.” (Surah Al Hajj, Part 17, Verse 1)
“The Day you shall see it, every nursing mother will forget her nursling and every pregnant one will drop her load, and you shall see mankind as in a drunken state, yet they will not be drunken, but severe will be the Torment of Allah.” (Surah Al Hajj, Part 17, Verse 2)
Interesting! I have seen enough movies and read enough books to know that a lot of people in the past had such mythical beliefs of dooms day and such vague theories about life on this world and a resurrection and I also know that they were misguided. So what really makes the Quran authentic? Why should I pay heed to Its words of warning? Besides I live in a “rational” age if you want me to believe in something you’ve got to prove it to me! It’s actually a little uncanny how Quran, in an All Knowing way, already knows that we would be thinking along these lines and what’s more it actually answers such queries:
“And among mankind is he who disputes concerning Allah, without knowledge, and follows every rebellious (disobedient to Allah) Shaitan (devil). For him (the devil) it is decreed that whosoever follows him, he will mislead him, and will drive him to the torment of the Fire. O mankind! If you are in doubt about the Resurrection, then verily, We have created you from dust, then from a nutfah, then from a clot then from a little lump of flesh—some formed and some unformed—that We may make (it) clear to you. And We cause whom We will to remain in the wombs for an appointed term, then We bring you as infants, then (give you growth) that you may reach your age of full strength. And among you there is he who dies (young), and among you there is he who is brought back to the miserable old age, so that he knows nothing after having known. And you see the earth barren, but when We send down water (rain) on it, it is stirred (to life), and it swells and puts forth every lovely kind (of growth).That is because Allah: He is the Truth and it is He Who gives life to the dead, and it is He Who is Able to do all things. And surely the Hour is coming there is no doubt about it and certainly Allah will resurrect those who are in the graves.” (Surah Al Hajj, Part 17, Verses 3 to 7)
Ok so like any well thought out book Quran looks at the picture from every angle and answers any critique which will come its way; some of the critiques being that how can we be resurrected again after we’ve died? And what’s the reality of the Day of Judgment when our present lives seem to be the only truth? The Quran answers this by throwing the question back at us and then urging us to THINK and ponder on the signs of Allah. Human beings indeed like to jump to conclusions without really pondering over the cause of things. Quran asks us:
“Who has created the heavens and the earth and subjected the sun and the moon?” (Surah Al Ankabut, Part 21, Verse 61)
“Who sends down water (rain) from the sky, and gives life therewith to the earth after its death?” (Surah Al Ankabut, Part 21, Verse 63)
“Do they not think deeply about themselves (how Allah created them from nothing and similarly He will resurrect them)?” (Surah Ar Rum, Part 21, Verse 8)
“Did you think that We had created you in play (without any purpose), and that you would not be brought back to Us?” (Surah Al Muminun, Part 18, Verse 115)
In short Quran raises all those philosophical queries which mankind has been trying to find answers to since time immemorial. How was the universe created? How does the universe work? What does being a human being mean? What’s our purpose in this world? And it makes sense to ask these questions: for if we were given a new, really hi tech machine to work with and we had no idea who made it; how it works; what is its purpose then we will just end up experimenting with it blindly trying to feel our way around it and in the process we might discover some of its useful facets or by doing something wrong, due to our ignorance, might cause the machine to malfunction and render it useless. In such a situation, without knowledge of who created it, we wont even know whom to take it to in order to get it repaired and then again we will blindly go on trying to fix it with our limited knowledge: and we might not succeed in that because only the creator of that machine would know exactly how it works and how to fix it. The example of human beings fits quite well to this new really hi tech machine, hence if we refuse to ask the aforementioned questions we would be doing ourselves a grave injustice. So where do we go to for search of the Truth, for answering all these important fundamental questions?
Well for starters the Quran, which claims to be a divine revelation from the Creator of the universe and mankind, answers these questions for us. So lets critically examine the answers the Quran gives by rationally and scientifically seeing if they are true or not. And if it turns out to be true then we would also have to accept that Allah in fact is the Creator of the universe; Quran, the Word of Allah, in fact is divine revelation/guidance and the questions in the Quran which it has answered but remain unanswered by science up until now, because science has not advanced to that level, are in fact the Truth. One argument which can be raised is that if something is true it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is divine guidance: well that’s true if some book claims to be divine guidance and reiterates things science has already discovered then of course its silly to believe that no human being has written it however if there is a book which claims to be divine guidance and then tells us facts which no human being has discovered up until now and in fact no human being can scientifically prove those facts until 1300 years in the future than we would have to accept that the source of that book is divine. This article will go on to show that indeed 14oo years ago Quran claimed certain things about the universe which mankind discovered in the past 100 years to be true. However due to lack of space this article wont expound on all the scientific facts contained in the Quran just a couple, related to the aforementioned questions, to prove that in fact Quran is God’s word and no human being could’ve written it.
Origin of the universe:
Every day, every week, every year brings more and more evidence that the Quran is a force to be contended with – that its authenticity is no longer to be challenged! For example, one verse in the Quran (Surah al-Anbiya, Part 17, Verse30) reads:
“Do not the unbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were joined together, then We clove them asunder, and made from water every living thing? Will they not then believe?”
Ironically, this very information is exactly what they awarded the 1973 Noble Prize for – to a couple of unbelievers.
The Quran reveals the origin of the universe – how it began from one piece – and mankind continues to verify this revelation, even up to now. Additionally, the fact that all life originated from water would not have been an easy thing to convince people of fourteen centuries ago. Indeed, if 1400 years ago you had stood in the desert (Arabia, where the Quran was revealed and from where Prophet Muhammad PBUH preached It, was a desert) and told someone, “All of this, you see (pointing to yourself), is made up of mostly water,” no one would have believed you. Proof of that was not available until the invention of the microscope. They had to wait to find out that cytoplasm, the basic substance of the cell, is made-up of80 % water. Nonetheless, the evidence did come, and once again time proved the facts in the Quran.
The Quran discusses the sun and the manner in which it travels through space. The Quran states that it moves as a result of its own motion (Surah al-Anbiya, Part 17, Verse 33). To do such, the Quran uses a form of the word sa-ba-ha to describe the sun’s movement through space. The actual word used is yasbahoon and it shares the same root word (parent word) in Arabic as Sabaha does). In order to properly provide the reader with a comprehensive understanding of the implications of this Arabic verb, the following example is given.
If a man is in water and the verb sabaha is applied in reference to his movement, it can be understood that he is swimming, moving of his own accord and not as a result of a direct force applied to him. Thus when this verb is used in reference to the sun’s movement through space, it in no way implies that the sun is flying uncontrollably through space as a result of being hurled or the like. It simply means that the sun is turning and rotating as it travels. Now, this is what the Quran affirms, but was it an easy thing to discover? Can any common man tell that the sun is turning? Only in modern times was the equipment made available to project the image of the sun onto a tabletop so that one could look at it without being blinded. And through this process it was discovered that not only are there spots on the sun but that these spots move once every 25 days. This movement is referred to as the rotation of the sun around its axis and conclusively proves that, as the Quran stated 1400 years ago, the sun does, indeed, turn as it travels through space.
Seeing as back fourteen centuries ago people probably did not understand much about time zones, the Quran’s statements about this subject are considerably surprising. The concept that one family is having breakfast as the sun comes up while another family is enjoying the brisk night air is truly something to be marveled at, even in modern time. Indeed, fourteen centuries ago, a man could not travel more than thirty miles in one day, and thus it took him literally months to travel from India to Morocco, for example. And probably, when he was having supper in Morocco, he thought to himself, “Back home in India they are having supper right now.” This is because he did not realize that, in the process of traveling, he moved across a time zone. Yet, because it is the words of Allah, the All-Knowing, the Quran recognizes and acknowledges such a phenomenon.
In an interesting verse it states that when history comes to an end and the Day of Judgment arrives, it will all occur in an instant; and this very instant will catch some people in the daytime and some people at night. This clearly illustrates that Quran is the book containing Allah’s Divine Wisdom and His Knowledge of the existence of time zones, even though such a discovery was non-existent back fourteen centuries ago. Certainly, this phenomenon is not something which is obvious to one’s eyes or a result of one’s experience, and this fact, in itself, suffices as proof of the Quran’s authenticity.
The Female Bee:
In the 16th chapter (Surah an-Nahl, Part 14, Verses 68-69) the Quran mentions that the female bee leaves its home to gather food. However most people living at the time when the Quran was revealed believed that it was the male bee. Can you tell the difference between a male and a female bee? Well, it takes a specialist to do that, but it has been discovered that the male bee never leaves his home to gather food. However, in Shakespeare’s play, Henry the Fourth, some of the characters discuss bees and mention that the bees are soldiers and have a king. That is what people thought in Shakespeare’s time – that the bees that one sees flying around are male bees and that they go home and answer to a king. However, that is not true at all. The fact is that they are females, and they answer to a queen. Yet it took modern scientific investigations in the last300 years to discover that this is the case.
A few years ago, a group of men in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia collected all of the verses in the Quran which discuss embryology – the growth of the human being in the womb. They said, “Here is what the Quran says. Is it the truth?” In essence, they took the advice of the Quran: “Ask the men who know.” They chose, as it happened, a non-Muslim who is a professor of embryology at the University of Toronto. His name is Keith Moore, and he is the author of textbooks on embryology – a world expert on the subject. They invited him to Riyadh and said, “This is what the Quran says about your subject. Is it true? What can you tell us?”
He mentioned that some of the things that the Quran states about the growth of the human being were not known until thirty years ago. In fact, he said that one item in particular – the Quran ‘s description of the human being as a “leech-like clot” (‘alaqah) at one stage (Surahs al-Hajj, Part 17, Verse 5; al-Mu’minun, Part 18, Verse14) – was new to him; but when he checked on it, he found that it was true, and so he added it to his book.
Undoubtedly, if one said to someone upon entering a foreign land, “I know your father. I have met him,” probably the man from that land would doubt the newcomer’s word, saying, “You have just come here. How could you know my father?” As a result, he would question him, “Tell me, is my father tall, short, dark, fair? What is he like?” Of course, if the visitor continued answering all of the questions correctly, the skeptic would have no choice but to say, “I guess you do know my father. I don’t know how you know him, but I guess you do!” The situation is the same with the Quran. It states that it originates from the One who created everything. So if someone thinks that they have the right to say, “Convince me! If the author of this book really originated life and everything in the heavens and on the earth, then He should know about this, about that, and so on.” And inevitably, after researching the Quran, everyone will discover the same truths.”
Science and rationality are the benchmarks for the professed modernism, but anyone who has read about the philosophy and history of science would know that it rests on very flimsy grounds; anytime new evidence can come up which would invalidate all our previously held beliefs, the mechanistic Newtonian science being replaced by Einstein’s theory of relativity is a prime example. So the facts science and rationality gives us are potential truths not absolute truths, since they can be invalidated. However the facts that Quran contains have been proven and no one has been able to invalidate them up until now. I have a strong urge here to say that hence Quran contains absolute truths but that would just be contradicting my stance that all our knowledge is potential truth and not absolute truth: instead I would say that Quran also contains test to which the falsification test can be applied; hence it is also scientific but up until now no one has been able to falsify them. Furthermore if you have two alternatives (a) the knowledge provided by the dominant paradigm of science/rationality, which has been subjected to numerous revisions and has been changed multitudes of times and is still unable to explain all the facets of our lives; (b)The Quran which gives us knowledge about things which have been proven over times, repeatedly science/rationality has proved them correct, and also explains all the facets of our lives and gives us a fool proof system to organize our lives by, which one would your “rationality” choose to accept? In the question I wrote the dominant paradigm of science/rationality and not science/rationality per say because there is no contradiction or bifurcation between Quran/Islam and science/rationality. In fact Quran/Islam endorses science/rationality for repeatedly It asks mankind to think and rationalize about things.
But the question remains what about the Day of Judgment? Well up until now we have proven that Quran talks about certain things which science discovered 1400 years later and there are NO facts in the Quran which science has been able to prove wrong: this challenge for science has been given clearly in the Quran:
“Do they not consider the Quran carefully? Had it been from any other than Allah, they would surely have found therein many a contradiction.” (Surah An Nisa, Part 5, Verse 82)
Therefore from logical deduction we can say with certainty that the things which Quran talks about, but science hasn’t proven to be either right or wrong will in fact come true. One such fact is the Day of Judgment! So ladies and gentlemen rest assured the Day of Judgment is on its way whether we choose to believe in it or not. However those who believe in it and organize their lives accordingly, great Reward is promised for them, and those who choose to remain disbelievers or even believe in the Day of Judgment but not live their lives according to the way prescribed by Allah and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) great punishment is in store for them. Here’s what the Quran, the most knowledgeable and advanced book known to the history of mankind, has to say about the Day of Judgment:
“And surely the Hour is coming there is no doubt about it and certainly Allah will resurrect those who are in the graves;
And among men is he who disputes about Allah without knowledge or guidance or a Book giving light (from Allah);
Bending his neck in pride (far astray from the path of Allah) and leading (others) too (far) astray from the path of Allah. For him there is disgrace in this worldly life and on the Day of Resurrection We shall make him taste the torment of burning Fire;
That is because of what your hands have sent forth and verily Allah is not unjust to (His) slaves;
And among mankind is he who worships Allah as it were upon the edge (i.e. in doubt): if good befalls him he is content therewith but if a trial befalls him he turns back on his face. He loses both this world and the Hereafter. That is the evident loss;
He calls besides Allah unto that which can neither harm him nor profit him. That is a straying far away;
He calls unto him whose harm is nearer that his profit; certainly an evil maula (patron) and certainly an evil friend;
Truly Allah will admit those who believe and do righteous good deeds to Gardens underneath which rivers flow (in Paradise). Verily Allah does what He wills.” (Surah Al Hajj, Part 17, Verses 7 to 14)
“Then those whose scales (of good deeds) are heavy, they are the successful;
And those whose scales (of good deeds) are lights, they are those who lose their own selves in Hell they will abide;
The Fire will burn their faces, and therein they will grin, with displaced lips (disfigured);
“Were not My Verses (this Quran) recited to you, and they you used to deny them?
They will say: “Our Lord! Our wretchedness overcame us, and we were (an) erring people;
“Our Lord! Bring us out of this. If ever we return (to evil) then indeed we shall be Zalimun;
He (Allah) will say: “Remain you in it with ignominy! And speak you not to Me!” (Surah Al Muminun, Part 18, Verses 102 to 108)
So ladies and gentlemen if you would like to get burnt up over and over again for the rest of eternity, instead of living peacefully and getting everything you want, you can disbelieve in the Quran, the Last Day of Judgment, the Verses of the Quran and not follow the lessons Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alihe Wasallam taught us. But if you decide to do that be warned of a Great Punishment and torment as promised by Allah in, the most scientific text of all, the Quran:
“And those who disbelieved and belied Our Verses for them will be a humiliating torment.” (Surah Al Hajj, Part 17, Verse 57)
May Allah guide us all to the Straight Path and make us steadfast on it!
 Miller Gary, “The Amazing Quran.”
Note: This article has been edited.