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Islam is a way of life and of belief revealed by God, and that way requires submission to God. How can this be in accord with sense and reason, as is claimed?
Islam does mean submission to God and Islam is indeed accord with sense and
reason. This is so because such submission does not contradict sense or reason.
Let us explain and, as we try to do so, let us do so according to sense and
It is sensible and reasonable that the principles of the din (the Muslim way of life), which we are required to understand and observe in our lives, should be set forth in the Qur’an. How else would we know them? The Qur’an is a revelation of reality. The demonstrations therein presented concerning Divinity require prophethood since our knowing about Divinity can not be separated from prophethood. Indeed, it is by the prophets that the Divine is made known to mankind.
As the demonstrations concerning Divinity and prophethood appeal to reason and sense, so also do those concerning death and resurrection. The intuition of etern-ity possessed by mankind actually arises from the eternal life itself. If it were not so, no such intuition could exist within the bounds of human experience or conception.
As for the Divine Books: they are the Words of God. Of these, the Qur’an is the last and only one that has come down to us uncorrupted. If all the jinn and mankind were together to attempt to produce a verse comparable to the verses of the Qur’an, they could not do it. The Torah, the Psalms, and the Gospel are the words of God, but not in their present, corrupted forms.
We do not intend here to discuss how all the branches of the principles of the din are in accord with sense and reason. Our aim is only to argue that all matters related to faith in Islam can be demonstrated by reason. Yet such demonstration means little or nothing at the level of truly profound human perception.
Every act of God is by definition in accord with sense and reason since He is the All-Wise and the All-Knowing Whose works are purposeful, not in vain. We are bound to conclude that, compared to the works of God, the works of the most skilled of men are almost of no significance. The world given to us within which we live exceeds, always and by far, all that our living adds to that world; and even what we add is only by God. We can derive from this a clearer realisation that God has a definite purpose in His every act. That is a realisation wholly pleasing to sense and reason.
We cannot but believe in God, the All-Mighty, such is His Majesty which we apprehend through, on the one hand, contemplation of the Divine laws that operate in the world about us, and through, on the other hand, inward personal conviction.
That believing in God, that sense of His Being, whether in the outer world or within ourselves, inevitably leads to submission to God. In this way a path moving from sense and reason has ended in submission. And submission means a willing, intended obedience to God in all His commands and prohibitions-by observance of prayer, fasting, alms-giving, and pilgrimage, and by avoidance of usury, bribery, intoxicating drinks, adultery and the like evils.
God has sure reasons for His commands and prohibitions, some of which we can understand. One reason for them is, to give an example, the benefits that we derive, individually as well as collectively, from abiding by them. There are many reasons why each of the five prayers must be done in its own time (self-discipline and order, stability of faith and community, for example). The manner of praying is also prescribed for definite reasons. The great value of the washing of certain parts of the body in preparation for worship (wudu) is obvious. Congregational prayer plays a great part in enabling and sustaining the life of a believing community. Zakat, the alms-tax, contributes significantly to preserving responsibility and balance between the rich and the poor in society. Fasting is of undeniable benefit in respect of man’s health. As a further example, let us add that the Islamic penal code (in a social context created by the Islamic community abiding by the Divine commands) will also, if studied in the light of sense and reason, lead to submission to the All-Wise and All-Mighty.
Regarding hajj, the Qur’an says: ‘Pilgrimage to the House is a duty to God for all who are able to make the journey (Al-’Imran, 3.97). That is a clear command. If we hear and obey it without question, we make the pilgrimage, and this constitutes an act of submission. To what does this act of submission lead? To the experience of hajj which, in turn, leads us to contemplate its benefits. We see that the hajj operates as a world-wide conference for Muslims, an occasion for them to be together for the sake of God without discrimination of race or sex or colour or level of education.
Whether we start from an act of submission and the use of our sense and reason, or we use our sense and reason and are thereby led to submission, Islam is confirmed. For this din is grounded both in sense and reason and in submission. It is a system put into operation by God and it could not have been ordered otherwise.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Is the Qur’an, as some people say, the work of the Prophet Muhammad? If not, how can it be proved that it is not?
- How should we respond when modern science and scientific facts are mentioned to show that they are in agreement with the Qur’an?
- Islam is a way of life and of belief revealed by God, and that way
requires submission to God. How can this be in accord with sense and reason,
as is claimed?
click Is it true that the Qur’an mentions everything of benefit to man? If so, does it make reference to some of the questions that science and technology work on today?
- What was the Divine Wisdom in the Qur’an’s being revealed in stages over a period of 23 years?
- Why did the revelation of the Qur’an open with the command iqra’ or read?
- What does it mean to say ‘as time grows older, the Qur’an gets younger’?
- What is prophethood? What does it mean for people? Did all the prophets
appear in the Arabian Peninsula? Were there people among whom a prophet was
not raised? If so, can those to whom prophets were not sent be held
responsible for their beliefs and actions?
click How many prophets have been sent to mankind?
- Why was no prophet raised from among women?
click Was the Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace, the Prophet solely for the Arabs? Or for all nations and all times?
- What were the reasons behind the several marriages of the Prophet, upon him be peace?
- A hadith says: ‘There is a reward as much as that of one hundred
martyrdoms for one who adheres to my Sunna when my ummah are spoilt.’ What is
the importance of understanding Sunna today? How should we apply it to our
lives in this age?
click God certainly knows how we act and live in this world, whether we obey His commands or not. So, what is the meaning of being sent to this world to be tested?
- Five prayers a day are compulsory in Islam. However, in the extreme polar
regions a day or a night lasts six months each, in the sense that the sun is
always visible or always invisible. So, how does one pray there?
As God does not need our worship, why need we do so, and if we do, why not do it in whatever way we wish?
Is man’s intention enough to save him?
How should a disbeliever be approached and addressed, and what should he or she be be told first?
What is jihad? And what are its greater and lesser aspects?
God has bestowed material wealth and comfort, status and prestige, upon some people, but poverty, misery and affliction upon others. Does this mean that God has preferred those who are wealthy, or that those who are poor are really worse off or that they are somehow evil? What is the meaning behind such differences?
Why did God not endow His servants equally? Why did He create some of them blind, disabled, or afflicted in other ways?
Can Islam by itself deal with every problem?
If the manner and moment of every death is predestined wherein lies the guilt of a killer?
The people of Sodom, Gomorrah and some other civilizations were destroyed for their abominable sins. There are more sinners today and many more acts of unprecedented indecency committed everywhere. Why does God not send a punishment, a scourge from heaven or a total destruction to the nations?
The Qur’an says: God lets go astray whoever He wills and guides aright whoever He wills (al-Muddasir, 74.31). However, we also know from the Qur’an that God bestows reason, intellect and free will upon man, and leaves him the choice of the way of good or evil. How can we reconcile these?
What will become in the hereafter of those who were born and live in non-Islamic countries?
Why is ilhad, atheism, so widespread?
What is tenasukh (reincarnation)? Does it conform in any way to the teachings of Islam?
Some say that Muslims invaded and occupied territories for the sake of conquest and exploitation, as Western imperialist powers did. Was this so?
How is it that Islam, a religion inspired by God for the good of humanity, allows slavery?
They say religion is a means contrived (by mankind) to cover up problems that man could not solve but which, with further advances in civilization, will one day be solved-and so, they ask, will religion no longer be needed?
What is the difference between the words Allah and God?
Why did God create the universe? Did He need to? Why did He not do so sooner rather than later?
What are the Essence and Attributes of God? Can we describe Him? How can we respond to those who ask, ‘Why can’t we see God?’, and ‘Given that God created everything, who created God?’
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