How Do You Know God Exists?
Yasir Qadhi

René Descartes, the Father of Modern Philosophy, famously said “I think therefore I am.” In answering those who demand proofs for the existence of God, Muslims have a new twist on the old classic. How do we know God exists?

From an Islamic perspective, we can flip the question around and ask, ""what other type of proof do you need other than every proof out there?""

Shaykh Yasir Qadhi explains and answers the question

TRANSCRIPTION

Assalamu 'alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh. A lot of times, young Muslims come to me and they say that either they themselves or their colleagues and acquaintances have come to them and asked them some very, very deep and profound questions. How do you know God exists? How do you know that there really is a Creator out there? They will come and they will say, "Prove to me, give me some scientific proof that there is some Creator out there."


Now this is of course a very deep and philosophical question, goes back millennia from the very beginning of times. Of course, in a three minute YouTube clip, there's only so much that we can talk about. Nonetheless, from an Islamic perspective, we can flip the question around and say that in fact, what type of proof do you need other than each and every proof out there? From the Islamic perspective and paradigm, the proofs for the existence of a Creator are so numerous that to begin to enumerate them is in fact nonsensical. This leads us to a very interesting point and that is that the same information can be digested and understood differently depending on the paradigm, depending on the lenses that you wear, depending on the tools and utensils that you have. So the one who sees will look at things in a manner that the one who cannot see cannot look at because he has the benefit of eyesight.

There's something called the fitrah. There's something called the purity of the soul, the conscience. There's something called basically the spiritual DNA that Allah created each and every human being upon. When that fitrah is pure, when the person is sincere, then the fact of the matter is that fitrah is like a faculty that is more powerful than hearing and seeing and thinking combined. The fitrah can then examine everything around and the proofs for the existence of Allah are the very fact that we exist and the creation exists.

The famous Western philosopher said, "I think, therefore I am." We as Muslims, this is of course Descartes speaking, "Cogito, ergo sum." We as Muslims can modify that and say, "I think, therefore God is." The very fact that we exist and the creation exists is enough of an indication that there is someone who created and designed this.

Now, this argument is called the teleological argument, it's called the watchmaker's argument. It is a standard argument of philosophy. It is also dismissed by modern philosophers in a very, very dismissive and contemptuous way but the fact of the matter is we are ingrained to know that every single effect must have had a cause that caused it. This is the way we work our lives, everything around our lives centers around the fact that we understand the causal relationships between things that take place around us. To suggest that everything around us simply came to be without any predetermination, without any knowledgeable, powerful entity that was able to create it is so ludicrous that it is literally like Ibn Taymiyyah said, the famous scholar of medieval Islam, like Ibn Taymiyyah said, "How do you expect me to go around finding the proofs of God when each and every thing around me is screaming His existence? What do you want me to find out that Allah exists? What logical and rational proof that you need that is more than the fact that you are a logical, irrational creation? That you can see, you can hear, that the creation around you is there?"

Allah says in the Qur'an, "We will continue to show them our miracles and signs in the creation around and even in themselves." So the creation and ourselves are all evidences that there is a Creator. In fact, Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) says, "How many are the miracles and signs; they keep on passing by them and they do not pay heed to them. They do not acknowledge those signs."

Allah is saying the signs are there, but your perception to recognize them has been blinded by your own arrogance. Therefore, a rejection of a loss of Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) does not come from a logical and rational argument. It comes from an emotional problem and that is a problem of arrogance. In fact, the fact of the matter is flip the question around and ask a person who denies the existence of a Creator, "What will possibly convince you that there is a Creator out there? What more evidence do you need?" And whatever they say, whatever they say, the fact of the matter is that that itself would not live up to their expectations. If they were to say, "I want God himself to speak to me," and there are people that have said this and in the Qur'an itself, they said, "Why doesn't God speak to us?" If they were to say this, simply ask them a very honest question. "If you genuinely heard a voice and a noise came out and said, 'I am God, believe in me,' would you, oh atheist, actually believe in a higher entity or would you simply say, 'Well, I must be delusional. I must be hearing voices.'" This is exactly what the Qur'an says, that Allah says in the Qur'an, these people that are asking for miracles: If we were to open up a door from the heavens and they would rise in front of us and they could see the heavens, what would they say? They would say that our eyes have been bedazzled by witchery and magic; rather, you have cast a spell over us. In other words, any evidence that they think they want, if they were to have been presented with it, they would reject that evidence.

In the end of the day, the evidence is everywhere. It's the internal perception. Do you recognize that the beauty around you, that the creation around you, that life itself must have had a higher purpose and a higher being that created it? That recognition is internal. It is not external and that is what our religion teaches us.

Therefore, brothers and sisters, anybody who comes asking you proofs for the existence of Allah, you tell him, "Everything is a proof for His existence," and then move on to more productive dialogues. In the end of the day, you cannot argue with somebody who insists on closing his eyes and shutting his ears and covering every single evidence from approaching his heart.

As the story of Iblis itself tells us that there is a level of arrogance that takes place. When you want to reject, you will end up rejecting. Rationalizing cannot be used with somebody who has decided the answer already.

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