The subject of the existence of Almighty God is of fundamental importance as the central point of a religion is Almighty God. Hence this is a topic which can foster inter-religious harmony and can bring together followers of various religions with the common aim of promoting belief in Almighty God which is the ultimate aim of our life. The Holy Qur’an says:
Say, ‘O People of the Book! Come to a word equal between us and you – that we worship none but Allah, and that we associate no partner with Him, and that some of us take not others for Lords beside Allah… (Ch.3:V.65)
The causes of crime and unrest in the world can be traced to the absence of firm faith in God in the hearts of the people. Thus this subject is also closely related to the establishment of peace in the world. Indeed, as the Holy Qur’an says:
…God…is the Source of Peace and the Bestower of Security… (Ch.59:V.24)
The glorious mission of our lord and master, the Holy Prophet Muhammad(saw), was to call people to God. Addressing him the Holy Qur’an says:
Say, ‘This is my way: I call unto Allah, I occupy a position of manifest knowledge and so do also those who follow me. And Holy is Allah; and I am not of those who associate gods with God.’ (Ch.12:V.109)
The Holy Prophet(saw) had stated that the important task of the Promised Messiah(as), who would appear in the Latter Age, would be restoration of faith in God. He is reported to have said that even if faith were to go away from the earth as far as the Pleiades, the Promised Messiah would surely bring it back. (Bukhari and Muslim Sharif; Hadiqatus Saliheen by Malik Saifur Rahman, p.441). We believe that the Holy Founder of the Ahmadiyya Community, Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad(as) of Qadian, is the Promised Messiah through whom the spiritual regeneration of the world in the latter days was destined. Thus the subject of the existence of God is very dear to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. This is beautifully expressed in the following words of Hadhrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih II(ra) (Second Successor of the Promised Messiah(as)):
‘Night and day, this is all I say, that this universe does have a God.’
The Holy Qur’an presents the universe as an evidence for the existence of God. It says:
Are you in doubt concerning Allah, Maker of the heavens and the earth? (Ch.14:V.11)
In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of the night and the day, there are indeed Signs for men of understanding. (Ch.3:V.191)
And among His Signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the diversity of your tongues and colours. In that surely are Signs for those who possess knowledge. (Ch.30:V23)
These verses of the Holy Qur’an clearly indicate that the study of the creation of the heavens and the earth leads to Almighty God. Seeking God’s help, I now present some aspects of science and views of scientists on this topic.
Religion and science
It is well-known that Muslims made a great contribution towards the advancement and enhancement of scientific knowledge and this in fact served to further strengthen their belief in God. For example, the renowned Arab astronomer, ‘Abdullah Muhammad ibn Jabir Al-Battani, who spent forty years of his life from 878 to 918 C.E., observing and studying heavenly bodies, says:
‘The science of the stars….tends to recognise God’s oneness and highest Divine wisdom.’ (History of Astronomy by A. Pannekoek, Interscience New York, 1961)
Later in the seventeenth century of the Christian era when scientists put forward the view that the earth is not the centre of the universe, the European clergy opposed this idea and it was generally felt that there was a dichotomy between religion and science as scientific study propounded a view that was at odds with the religious teaching of the clergy. What they failed to appreciate at that time was that scientific discoveries and scientific knowledge actually strengthened the idea of a Creator.
It was an over-emphasis of the literal aspect of the Biblical teachings (further complicated by the fact that the Biblical text had been edited over time) that created an apparent dichotomy between science and religion. Current Christian thought (with the exception of the Creationists who take a literal interpretation of the creation narrative as noted in Genesis) has moved away from this and acknowledged the contribution of science as another source of affirmation of belief in God. This is in line with the Islamic teaching as noted above. This is reflected in the increasing number of scientists who regard science as a further basis of proof for their personal beliefs in a Wise Creator.
In his remarkable book Hamara Khuda (Our God), Hadhrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad(ra) notes this trend:
‘With regard to the belief in Almighty Being, we find that many scientists believed in God. In fact there are very few among them who deny the existence of God and there are more who do not deny it.’
In my personal experience as a scientist I have also found that many scientists do believe in God. Dr. Ravada Satyanarayana, Professor of Physics and former Vice-Chancellor of Osmania University, under whom I started research, and Professor Nelson Limber, under whose supervision I worked for my PhD, firmly believed in God along with many others as I will demonstrate.
A book entitled was published from USA in 1959. It consists of essays by forty famous scientists in different fields of science, who declare their affirmative views of God. The full title of this book is The Evidence of God in an Expanding Universe. This book was also printed in India in 1968. (Distributed by Pockets Distributing Co. 11 Oak Lane, Fort, Bombay 1)
Mr John Clover Monsma, the editor, writes in the introduction:
‘The basic postulate of this book, its point of departure, is that science can establish, by observed facts of Nature and intellectual argumentation, that a super-human Power exists. It cannot identify the Power to describe it, except in very general terms. For identification and more detailed description special revelation (the Bible) is needed. But by proceeding from the basic postulate I feel our scientists have struck effectively at the heart of atheism.’
Our most beloved teacher, the Holy Prophet(saw), has taught us the following principle:
‘A word of wisdom is the lost thing of a believer. He has a right over it wherever he finds it.’ (Tirmidhi)
Hence we shall take the word of wisdom from wherever we find it.
Max Planck, the world famous scientist of the twentieth century, who did fundamental work in understanding the atom, and who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1920 regarded both religion and science to be mutual helpers in leading us to Almighty God. He says:
‘Religion and Natural Science are fighting a joint battle in an incessant, never-relaxing crusade against scepticism, against dogmatism and against super-stition, and the rallying cry in this crusade has always been, and always will be: On to God.’ (Evidence p.247)
Dr. George Earl Davis, Physicist, University of Minnesota, USA writes:
‘That atheism exists in scientific circles is undeniable. But the popular belief that atheism is more prevalent among scientists than among the unscientific has never been proved and is, in fact, contrary to the expressions gained at first hand by many of the scientists themselves.’ (Evidence p.70)
Dr H. T. Stetson who was the Director of Perkins Observatory, Ohio, USA, wrote:
‘It is not without significance that many of the eminent men of sciences, have been devout followers of religion. Among such may be mentioned Galileo, Newton, Faraday, Kelvin and Pasteur.’ (Man and the Stars – by H.T.Stetson p.214 Mc Grow Hill 1930)
The Origin of the Universe:
Let us look at the universe as an example of science pointing to the existence of God. We can think of three possibilities for the origin of the universe, namely:
(a) the universe existed from eternity;
(b) the universe came into existence by chance out of nothing;
(c) the universe was created by a Wise Supreme Being Whom we call God.
The question is does science support the first two views or give evidence for the third view i.e. the existence of God?
An Eternal Universe?
In the twentieth century, astronomy had developed to such an extent that the age of the universe had been determined. No doubt in the light of new observations the estimated age may be revised to obtain a more accurate value. But the determination of the age of the universe on the basis of observations and the laws of nature, is one of the greatest achievements of the twentieth century and is an illuminating example of the fulfilment of the prophecy of the Holy Qur’an:
And when the heaven is laid bare. (Ch.81:V.12)
Science had not been able to determine precisely the age of the universe in the previous centuries. As a matter of fact, until the nineteenth century astronomers did not even know what a galaxy was. According to our present knowledge, the age of our universe is roughly fourteen billion years. The precise age is not of paramount importance here; rather it is the acceptance that the universe was born at some point in time. This means that the universe did not exist from eternity.
Our inference of the creation and age of the universe is based on observations. We have learnt that our universe is composed of innumerable galaxies, each galaxy consisting of billions of stars like our sun. In 1929, the remarkable discovery was made by Professor Edwin Hubble from a study of the spectra of galaxies that galaxies are moving away from each other with speeds proportional to their separation from each other. Hence in the remote past, the galaxies were very close to one another. According to the generally accepted view, all the matter that comprises the galaxies was confined to a space some 15 billion years ago. It was exceedingly hot and dense. Then a Big Bang occurred and the matter got broken up into many parts which receded from one another. From these parts the galaxies and the stars were formed. In 1965 Penzias and Wilson discovered a radio radiation corresponding to black body radiation of temperature of three degrees Kelvin, which supports this view.
The American scientist, Dr. Harry L. Shipman, of the University of Delaware, concludes his book on Black Holes, Quarks and the Universe with the following words:
‘The Big Bang Theory leaves one unanswered question. Who created the material that exploded as Big Bang? For this the astronomer has no answer. We may be able to look back to the early seconds of the evolution of the universe, but our vision stops there. This book ends by leaving the problem of creation to the philosopher and the theologian.’
(Black Holes, Quasars and the Universe by Harry L. Shipman, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, USA 1976, p.288)
The Holy Qur’an draws attention very effectively to the existence of God by referring to the creation as follows:
Do not the disbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were a closed-up (mass) then We opened them out? And We made from water every living thing. Will they not then believe? (Ch.21:V31)
(For an excellent commentary on this verse, see The Bible, the Qur’an and Science, by Monsieur Maurice Bucaille, Crescent Publishing Company, Aligarh, 1980, p.l39)
It has been inferred from an important principle of physics, namely, the law of entropy, that our universe did not exist from eternity. According to this principle, if hot and cold bodies are in contact with each other, energy would flow from the hotter bodies to the colder bodies until, at last, the temperature would be universally uniform and there would be no more useful energy; hence life itself would cease to exist. The fourth Caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad(ru), who had a particular interest and knowledge of science, has expounded on the law of entropy in his book Revelation, Rationality, Knowledge and Truth:
‘It can be mathematically proved that this universe which we occupy can never be eternal in relation to its past, nor can it be eternal in relation to its future. To elaborate this point further we need to explain the scientific definition of the term “entropy.’”
Then, explaining entropy Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad(ru) writes:
‘Entropy simply means that the material universe, in whatever form it exists, continuously loses an infinitesimal part of its mass in the form of escaped energy which can never be retrieved again. All things that exist interact with each other under certain conditions. For hydrogen and oxygen to produce water is one of the simplest examples of elemental interaction. When a molecule of water is created by mixing hydrogen and oxygen, it releases part of the energy which had gone into its making… whether one understands the mathematical jargon or not, of this one must be certain: that the universe is constantly losing something which can never be recycled. It can never be added back to the mass of the universe again’. (Revelation, Rationality, Knowledge and Truth, Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad(ru), Islam International Publications Ltd. 1998, p317-19)
The point is thus that an eternal universe becomes an impossibility as it is a constant state of decay in that it is losing energy, that indicates an endpoint of its existence. If it is not eternal then it must have been created (either by design or by chance as discussed later).
Similarly drawing attention to the law of entropy and the Big Bang origin of the universe, Dr. Edwin Luther Kessel, Professor of Biology, University of San Francisco, has made the following illuminating comment:
‘If only all scientists would consider the evidence of science here described with the same honesty and lack of prejudice with which they evaluate the results of their own research; if only they would let their intellects rule their emotions; they would be compelled to acknowledge that there is a God. This is the only conclusion that will fit the facts. To study science with an open mind will bring one to the necessity of a First Cause, whom we call God.’ (Evidence p.52)
Chemistry also opposes the view that our universe existed from eternity. Dr. John Cleveland Cothram, Professor of Chemistry, writes:
‘Chemistry discloses that matter is ceasing to exist, some varieties exceedingly slowly, others exceedingly swiftly. Therefore, the existence of matter is not eternal. Consequently matter must have a beginning.’ (Evidence p.41)
The presence of radioactive elements in the universe also indicates that the universe is not eternal. Dr. Donald Robert Carr, Geochemist, writes:
‘In a universe which had no beginning but had always existed, no radioactive elements would remain.’ (Evidence p.134)
In short, astronomy, physics, chemistry, and geology are all unanimous in rejecting the view that the universe had no beginning.
Concerning the origin of the universe, what is the view of those scientists who do not believe in God? In his book entitled The Fascinating Astronomy, Dr. V. N. Komorov, gives the following quotation from Academician Pyotr Fedoseyev, a leading Soviet philosopher:
‘A material philosophy does not recognise the idea of the creation of the physical world by consciousness, by a supreme being. If we agree that the universe being studied today originated 20 billion years ago, then it is important, from a philosophical point of view, to acknowledge the objective nature of this process as a cosmic stage in the self-evolution of matter. It is the task of concrete science to understand and describe this process in physical terms. It is possible to conceive of the existence of many universes with a complex topology. It is sensible therefore, to distinguish between the notion of the natural scientist, which defines the knowledge we have amassed by now, and the philosophical notion of the material world, which includes in a concealed form all the future achievements of natural science in their study of the universe.’ (The Fascinating Astronomy, English Translation, Mir Publishers Moscow, 1985, p.137)
It is clear from this quotation that those who deny God as creator of the universe do not have any scientific proof in support of their view. They do not know from where the earliest material came into existence and merely hope, on account of their philosophical outlook, that the science of the future will provide the answer. Even if the science of the future were to discover the source of the initial material, those who believe in God would then question: what is the origin of that source?
Commenting on the Qur’anic verse: ‘And that to thy Lord do all things ultimately go’ (Ch.53:V.43), the Promised Messiah(as) has said:
‘If we observe carefully, we find that the entire universe is bound together in a system of cause and effect. This system is the root of all knowledge. No part of creation is outside the system. Some things are the roots of others and some are branches. A cause may be primary or may be the effect of another cause, and that in its turn may be the effect of still another cause, and so on. Now, it is not possible that in this finite world this pattern of cause and effect should have no limit and should be infinite. We are compelled to acknowledge that it must terminate with some ultimate cause. The ultimate cause is God. This verse (Ch.53:V.43) sets forth this argument very concisely and affirms that the system of cause and effect terminates in God.’ (The Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam, by Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, Islam International Publications Ltd., U.K. 1989, p.46)
It is apparent, therefore, that the views presented by science support the view of a created universe as described by Islam.
Did the Universe Come into Existence by Chance or Design?
The second possibility, namely, that the universe came into existence by chance is also not valid since so much order, intelligence and wisdom underlie the universe that it cannot be said that all these are accidental. In this connection, first I would like to quote an illuminating passage from the Commentary of the Holy Qur’an by Hadhrat Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad(ra) and then give the views of the scientists. The Holy Qur’an says:
Are you harder to create or the heaven that He has built? (Ch.79:V.28)
Commenting on this verse, he says:
‘Almighty Allah always puts forward the system of the universe as a proof of His existence and says that does not this magnificent system show you that the hand of a Greater [Being] is working in it? Every piece of it is dependent on another. Nothing in it is independent. Scientists say that this world resulted from the combination of atoms; through the union of the atoms this wonderful universe came into existence. We agree that various atoms united just in the right way so that our need here today is adequately fulfilled by an arrangement made miles and miles away. We do agree that the atoms united to form this world but if there were no God of this world, how did it happen that the atoms united in just the right fashion so as to satisfy the need of man and in the place that was appropriate for satis-fying his need? The encounters of the atoms could be accidental but the mutual encounters taking place in such a way as to satisfy every need of man cannot be accidental.
We have to admit that behind this universe some other Being is working. If we see leather we may say that it has come here by chance, but if see a boot made from that leather and if we see the same placed on sofas and chairs and stairway for decoration we cannot say that all this is accidental. Thus a complete system cannot be called accidental; an individual object may surely be called accidental. We also see that on one hand, Almighty God created the eye and bestowed on it the property that it cannot see without light, and on the other hand, He created the sun many millions of miles away from us so that it may enable the eye to see the things around it. The same situation holds for the other needs of man. There is no need of man which is natural for which Almighty Allah has not made arrangement for its fulfilment. Some needs are such that Almighty Allah has made arrangement for their fulfilment within the person himself; others are such that Almighty Allah has made arrangement for their fulfilment in the immediate environment, and yet others are such that Almighty Allah has made arrangement for their fulfilment at a distance of many millions of miles. In short, arrangement has been made for the fulfilment of all the needs of man in this world, and this system is so complete that no person who looks at the complete picture can think that all this happened by chance. Thus God says that you look at the system of the heaven and the earth which is even harder in creation than your own selves. You may say that any one thing is accidental, or that two things are accidental; but how can you say that the entire system is by chance?’ (Tafseer-i-Kabeer: Commentary on Chapter 79)
Let us now see how this argument for the existence of God Almighty given by the Holy Qur’an and explained in a simple way by Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih II(ra), finds resonance with the words of various scientists.
Sir Isaac Newton is regarded as the greatest of all the scientists that the world has produced. According to him the universe could not be explained without belief in God. He says:
‘This most beautiful system of the sun, planets and comets could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.’ (Our Solar system and the Stellar Universe, by Charles Whyte, p.131 Charles Griffin & Co. Ltd. London 1923)
At the time of Newton, the study of the laws of nature was called ‘Natural Philosophy.’ According to Newton, the inference of the existence of God from the study of the universe, was within the realm of ‘Natural Philosophy.’ But later on, when knowledge was divided into various disciplines, the domain of the scientist was limited to the study of the material things and the problem whether God exists or not, was considered outside the real precincts of science. Nevertheless in the twentieth century, scientists have expressed their views about God.
Dr. Albert Einstein was one of the greatest scientists of the twentieth century. Dr. Infeld, who had the opportunity of working with him, wrote about Einstein as follows:
‘When he had a new idea he asked himself: Could God have created the world in this way? Or is this mathematical structure worthy of God?’ (Quest, by Leopold Infeld, p.212)
Enraptured by the beauty and grandeur of the universe and the profound wisdom which underlies it, Dr. Einstein says:
‘The most beautiful and the most profound emotion we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the sower of all true science. He to whom this emo-tion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead. To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their most primitive forms of this knowledge, this feeling is at the centre of true religiousness.’
He further says:
‘My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble minds. That deeply emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God.’ (The Universe and Dr. Einstein, by Lincoln Barnett, p.118, Mentor 1950)
The origin of the universe and the origin of life are two fundamental problems of research in science, I have referred to the origin of the universe – I shall now make some mention of the origin of life. The Holy Qur’an says:
How can you disbelieve in Allah? When you were without life, He gave you life, and then will cause you to die… (Ch.2:V29)
Let us now hear the same argument in the words of a scientist. Professor Edwin Conklin, famous biologist of the Princeton University says:
‘The probability of life originating from accident is comparable to the probability of the unabridged dictionary resulting from an explosion in a printing shop. (Evidence p.174)
Supporting this view, Dr. Edmund Carl Kornfeld, a research chemist, says:
I subscribe to that statement unreservedly. It is my firm conviction that there is a God, and that He planned, created and sustains the universe. (Evidence p.174)
In the light of his knowledge of chemistry, he expresses his views as follows:
‘We will admit that we must believe in a supreme creative intelligence in Nature, or as the only alternative to this we must believe that the universe as we find it has come about as the result of chance, and chance alone. To one who has seen marvellous complexity and yet the pervading order in organic chemistry – especially that in living systems – the idea of chance is repugnant to the extreme. The more one studies the science of molecular structure and interrelation, the more one is convinced of the necessity of a planner and designer of it all. The simplest man-made mechanism requires a planner and a maker. How a mechanism ten thousand times more involved and intricate can be conceived of as self-constructed and self-developed is completely beyond me.’ (Evidence p.176)
Scientists strive to discover the laws of nature. The very fact that laws exist shows that there is a Maker of laws.
Dr. John Cleveland Corthren, professor of Chemistry, University of Minnesota, writes:
‘The study of matter and energy consistently has shown in the past and still continues to show that the behaviour of even insensible matter is not at all haphazard but on the contrary ‘obeys’ definite natural laws.’ (Evidence p.38)
He further says:
‘Can any informed and reasoning intellect possibly believe that insensible matter just chanced to originate itself and all this system, then chanced to impose this system upon itself, where-after this system just chances to remain imposed? Surely, the answer is “No”.’ (Evidence p.41)
I visited Italy in the year 1985. On the first of October 1985, the former Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih IV(ru), visited the city of Verona in Italy and Professor Dr. Abdus Salam, the first Muslim Nobel Laureate in science and a devout Ahmadi Muslim, gave a grand reception in his honour. Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad(ru) illuminated us with his comments on science. He drew our attention to the fact that water has the property that if its temperature is decreased, its density increases until a temperature of four degrees centigrade is reached. If the temperature is further reduced, then the density decreases instead of increasing. On account of this anomalous expansion of water, in the winter season when the ocean is covered with ice, beneath the ocean there is no ice, since the density of the underlying water is greater than that of ice. Hence even in severe winter the animals are quite safe in the ocean as water is available to them. Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad(ru) said that this peculiar property of water manifests Divine wisdom and indicates that God exists.
Dr. Frank Allen, Professor of Biophysics, University of Manitoba, Canada, has drawn attention to the same point in his essay entitled; ‘The Origin of the World – by Chance or Design?’ He has drawn attention to the properties of water in support of the view that God exists. He says:
‘Four remarkable properties of water: its power of absorbing vast quantities of oxygen at low temperatures, its maximum density at 4 degrees C above freezing whereby lakes and rivers remain in liquid, the lesser density of ice than water so that it remains on the surface, and the power of releasing great quantities of heat as it freezes, preserve life in oceans, lakes and rivers throughout the long winters.’ (Evidence p.21)
Likewise another scientist, Dr. Thomas Davis Parks, an expert in chemistry, says:
‘Water is the only known substance which becomes lighter as it freezes. This is tremendously important to life.’ (Evidence p.75)
Let us ponder and think: water is the only substance which has the exceptional property that its density decreases on freezing and by virtue of this property life in the ocean is preserved. Does not one see deep wisdom behind this?
We find that not merely for the fishes of the sea but for all animals there is appropriate arrangement. Hadhrat Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad(ra), has said so eloquently [in Urdu verse, and translated here – Editor]:
The fishes of the ocean and the birds in the air,
Domestic animals and the wild beasts of the forests,
To all He is providing food.
His treasures are never diminished.
He is Living and He bestows life
He is Self-Subsisting and He supports every being.
Our universe has come to the present state after a long evolutionary development. Extremely subtle particles formed electrons and protons and these subsequently formed atoms and molecules. Amino acids were then produced and life originated. Finally intelligent man came into being.
Dr. Irving William Knobloch, professor of Natural Sciences, Michigan State University, USA says:
‘I believe in God…because I do not think that the mere chance could account for the emergence of the first electrons or protons, or for the first atoms, or for the first amino acids, or for the first protoplasm, or for the first seed, or for the first brain. I believe in God, because to me His Divine Existence is the only logical explanation for the things as they are.’ (Evidence p.89)
If we do not accept that this universe has been created by a Supreme Being Who possesses knowledge and wisdom, we will have to believe that lifeless particles are considerably more intelligent than us since through their mutual interaction and co-operation, the sun and the moon, the mountains and the oceans, could be formed but we human beings even by collaborating with one another in this age of advanced science are yet incapable of making even a leg of an insect.
In short, this universe clearly points towards a Mighty and All-Knowing Being. The Holy Qur’an says:
And if thou ask them: Who created the heavens and the earth? They will, surely, say: The Mighty, the All-Knowing God created them. (Ch.43:V.10)
Wisdom in nature
The Holy Qur’an has emphasised that there is no flaw in God’s creation. Thus it says:
[God] has created seven heavens in harmony. No incongruity canst thou see in the creation of the Gracious God. Then look again: Seest thou any flaw? Aye, look again, and yet again, your sight will only return to you frustrated and fatigued. (Ch.67:Vs.4-5)
The Holy Qur’an thus draws attention to the impeccable wisdom which nature displays. This bears eloquent testimony to the fact that the universe is not an outcome of chance but is a result of creation by a Wise Being.
When the Professor Abdus Salam, who won the Nobel prize in physics in 1979, visited India in 1981, the Illustrated Weekly of India, in its issue of February 1-7,1981), described him as a ‘Nobel Laureate with profound faith in God. Referring to the verses of the Holy Qur’an just quoted, he says:
‘This in effect is the faith of all physicists, the faith which fires and sustains us, the deeper we seek, the more is our wonder excited the more is the dazzlement for gaze.’ (Review of Religions Vol.76, p.139 June 1981)
The Nobel Laureate Professor S. Chandrashekhar, one of the topmost astrophysicists, has expressed his views on nature as follows:
‘Nature has shown over and over again that the kinds of truths which underlie nature transcend the most powerful minds. I think that one could say that a certain modesty toward understanding nature is a precondition to the continued pursuit of science.’ (Span, February 1953)
Through science to the Almighty
Dr. Albert McCombs Winchester, an expert in biology, has expressed his views as follows:
‘…after many years of study and work in the fields of science, my faith in God, rather than being shaken, has become much stronger and acquired a firmer foundation than heretofore. Science brings about an insight into majesty and omnipotence of the Supreme Being which grows stronger with each discovery.’ (Evidence p.165)
When the great scientist Galileo looked through the telescope and discovered multitudes of new stars in the Milky Way, the four moons of the planet Jupiter, the phases of the planet Venus, the details of the moon and other celestial phenomena, he wrote as follows:
‘I am quite beside myself with wonder and infinitely grateful to God that it has pleased Him to permit me to discover such great marvels. (The Growth of Physical Science by Sir James Jeans p.173, Cambridge 1951)
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan of the Islamic Centre, Delhi, has written a book entitled God Arises in which he has collected the evidence of science and the sayings of the scientists on the existence of the Almighty God. He has narrated an inspiring incident in this book, which I shall relate. Allama Inayatullah Mashriqi had visited England in the year 1909. On a Sunday when it was raining hard, he met Sir James Jeans, the famous astronomer of the Cambridge University, going to a church with a Bible clutched under his arm. Mr Inayatullah Khan expressed his astonishment that a person of such a universal fame like him was going to pray in a church. Sir James Jeans asked Mr Inayatullah Khan to come to his house and have tea with him in the evening. Accordingly, Mr Inayatullah Khan went to his house in the evening.
Sir James Jeans was lost in his thoughts; he asked: What was your question? But without waiting for an answer, he gave an inspiring description of the creation of the celestial bodies, their motions and the astonishing order to which they adhere. His voice and his movements clearly showed that he was deeply impressed by the Power and Majesty of God. He said: You know, Inayatullah Khan, when I behold God’s marvellous feats of creation, my whole being trembles in awe at His majesty. When I go to church I bow my head and say, ‘Lord, how great you are,’ and not only my lips, but every particle of my body joins in uttering these words. I obtain incredible peace and joy from my prayer. Compared to others, I receive a thousand times more fulfilment from my prayers. So tell me, Inayatullah Khan, now do you understand why I go to Church?
Hearing this Mr Inayatullah Khan told Sir James Jeans that his words reminded him of a verse of the Holy Qur’an which he would like to quote if permitted. Sir James Jeans replied: Of course. Mr Inayatullah Khan then quoted the following verse:
…and among the mountains are streaks, white and red, of diverse hues and others raven black; and of men and beasts and cattle in a like manner there are of various colours. Only those of His servants who possess knowledge fear Allah… (Ch.35:Vs.28-29)
Sir James Jeans was deeply impressed by these words of the Holy Qur’an. He exclaimed:
What was that? It is those alone who have knowledge who fear God. Wonderful! How extraordinary! It has taken me fifty years of continual study and observation to realise this fact. Who taught it to (Hadhrat) Muhammad(saw)?Is this really in the Qur’an? If so, you can record my testimony that the Qur’an is an inspired Book. (Hadhrat) Muhammad(saw) was illiterate. He could not have learnt this immensely important fact on his own. God must have taught it to him. Incredible! How extraordinary!’
(‘God Arises’ by Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, p.215, The Islamic Centre 1987, Published by: Maktaba Al Risala. C-29 Nizamuddin west, New Delhi – with reference to Nuqoosh Shakhsiyat, i.e. Impressions of Personalities – p.1208-1209)
Hadhrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad(ra) has highlighted this:
‘The study of the system of the universe emphatically leads man to the conclusion that this world has not come into existence by itself; on the contrary it has come into being with the will of a Supreme Being and through His Power.’ (Hamara Khuda p.65)
This has been further expressed by the Promised Messiah(as) who wrote so beautifully:
‘Wonderful indeed is the manifestation of Thy power, my Dear, in every direction.
No matter in which direction we look, we get a vision of Thee!’
In short, the words ‘Only those of His servants who possess knowledge fear Allah’ present a profound truth. The study of the universe not only leads us to the conclusion that God exists but also inculcates the love of God (Holy Qur’an, Ch.2: Vs.164-166) and the fear of God.
In a very inspiring poem, the Promised Messiah(as) has described the marvels of God’s creation and has then expressed the yearning of his heart for Almighty God as follows:
‘There is a vehement fervour in our heart for that resplendent Beauty.
Make no mention to us of the charms of the Turks or the Tartars.’
The beautiful poem ends with the very touching words:
‘How loud are the cries in Thy lane? Attend to me soon, lest a mortal, mad in Thy love, may lose his life.’ (Durre-Sameen)
God Himself says that He is the Creator
The rational proof which we get for the existence of Almighty God by pondering over the universe is strongly supported by the spiritual proof provided by the fact that Almighty God has been speaking to His messengers through the ages and informing the world through them that He alone is our Creator. On the one hand science points towards God; and on the other hand, God Himself announces that He exists.
In the book Evidence, some scientists have also made mention of Divine revelation in their articles. For example, the American mathematician and astronomer, Dr. Merlin Grant Smith, writes:
‘God could talk with man. Man could even talk with God. And the first great thing that God told man was that it was He Who had made him and the marvellous, limitless universe around him.’ (Evidence p. 150)
The very first revelation which our most revered master, the Holy Prophet(saw) received also contains the message that God is our Creator,
‘Recite in the name of your Lord Who created, created man from an adhesive clot.’ (Ch.96:Vs-2,3).
In the present age, Almighty God has spoken abundantly with the Promised Messiah(as) who says:
‘Certainty in God is attained through God Himself. By talking with us He makes us understand His Being.’ (Sat Bachan Page 41, Printed 1895, Roohani Khazain Vol.10 p.161)
The spiritual experiences of the righteous people with whom God speaks, provide empirical foundation to the belief that God exists. The Promised Messiah(as) laid great stress on the fact that God speaks now as He did in the past (See for example the book, The Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam).
‘We call thousands of blessings and peace and mercy on the Holy prophet Muhammad, the chosen one, through whom we have found the Living God Who gives us proof of His existence through His Word. He demonstrates to us through extraordinary signs His shining countenance which possesses eternal and perfect power.’ (The Essence of Islam, Vol.1 p.28, London: The London Mosque 1979)
Our lord and master, most truthful and honest, the Holy Prophet Muhammad(saw) was informed again and again by Almighty God in most majestic and sublime words, teeming with profound love and deepest affection, that He created the universe and all of us. The Holy Qur’an says:
O ye men, worship your Lord Who created you and those who were before you…(Ch.2:V.22)
Allah it is Who created the heavens and the earth and that which is between them…(Ch.32:V.5)
Allah is He Who created the seven heavens, and of the earth the like thereof… (Ch.65:V.13)
Allah is He Who raised up the heavens without any pillars that you can see… (Ch.13:V.3)
Allah created the heavens and the earth with truth. In that surely is a Sign for the believers. (Ch.29:V.45)
…Say ‘Allah (alone) is the Creator of all things, and He is the One, the Most Supreme.’ (Ch.13:V17)
Allah is the Creator of all things, and He is Guardian over all things. (Ch.39:V.63)
…Is there any creator other than Allah Who provides for you from the heaven and the earth?… (Ch.35:V.4)
He is Allah, the Creator, the Maker, the Fashioner. His are the most beautiful names… (Ch.59:V.25)
Holy is He Who created all things in pairs… (Ch.36:V.37)
All praise belongs to Allah Who created the heavens and the earth and brought into being every kind of darkness and light… (Ch.6:V.2)
Blessed is He Who has made constellations (of stars) in the heavens and has placed the sun and the moon both luminous. (Ch.25:V.62)
So blessed is Allah, the Best of Creators. (Ch.23:V.15)
Verily, it is thy Lord Who is the Great Creator, the All-Knowing. (Ch.15:V.87)
Our Lord is He Who gave unto everything its (proper) form (and) then guided (it to its proper function). (Ch.20:V.51)
And We did create you and then We gave you shape; then We said to the angels, ‘Submit to Adam;’…. (Ch.7:V.12)
We have created you. Why, then, do you not acknowledge it? What think ye of (the sperm-drop) that you emit? Is it you who have created it or are We the Creator? (Ch.56:Vs.58-60)
Glorify the name of thy Lord, the Most High, Who creates and perfects, and Who designs and guides. (Ch.87:Vs.2-4)
Recite in the name of your Lord Who created, created man from an adhesive clot. Recite! And your Lord is Noblest, Who taught by the pen, taught man what he knew not. (Ch.96:Vs.2-6)
…Are you in doubt concerning Allah, Maker of the heavens and the earth?… (Ch.14:V.11)