Last week, I had a brief Twitter exchange with a gentleman who politely defended the right to practice faith, but said faith to him was “simply a nice name”. In his view, proving something to be true is more challenging than having faith in something you cannot see. He mentioned how pharmaceutical companies produce verified, replicable data which prove drugs do what they claim. People, by contrast, place faith in beliefs even though they do not have the same type of proof. In most cases, they believe, according to him, only because even if they turn out to be wrong in the end, it would not matter after death.
I agree that one should not blindly accept any ideology and we are, all too often, complacent about our beliefs. To be honest, I did not know how to respond other than to say that faith appeals to my rationality as well as my spirituality. My Islam (submission to God) came after a process of questioning, reading, thinking and discovering the truth.
While I did not respond adequately to this man’s curiosity and queries, his comments brought two things to mind. My three-and-a-half year old nephew Kareem sparked the first thought. Kareem adores documentaries about insects, his favourite topic in the world at the moment. When I was visiting Kareem in December, he had borrowed two documentaries from the library, one about bees and the other on ants. They were constantly playing on the family room television.
|Photo from Alex Wild Photography|
|Pacific Ocean meets Tasman Sea, courtesy Picasa web albums|
This brings me to the second thought that came to mind: a video that my sister, a PhD-holding scientist who conducts research on stem cell trafficking, had sent me a number of months ago. It is a short speech by a scientist who, after 35 years of being an atheist, came to the realisation through his scientific research that everything in science and the universe is so perfectly formed that there must be a God – and only one God.
He superbly describes in the video below how, in the process of reading the Holy Quran, he discovered a scientific fact that he knew had only been discovered in the 20th century, and he realised that Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was a messenger chosen by God to bring His message to the world. God appealed to this individual through science – through proven facts – which opened his mind to the possibilities in belief.
There are many references to the scientific miracles of the Quran, including on this website. In one example here, the Quranic verse about Iron is analysed to show how it contains information about many of the chemical elements that make up the Periodic Table.
I don’t think God leaves us without clues to how we can uncover the truth, but we must look for them and we have to, very importantly, have an open mind to the certainty of His existence to be able to begin to grasp these truths. The pharmaceutical-company-type seal of approval in favour of belief in God is something I now witness every day in everything, and I often find myself saying “Subhan’Allah/سبحان الله, an Arabic phrase that roughly means “Glorious is God”.