Islamic Perspective & Hymn (31st WRC)
Introduction to Islam (5 minute Opening Speech)
Who is God? Nature and Characteristics
Muhammad Afzal Mirza
by Islamic Missionary
Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama`at Canada
Abstract of Theme Speech
Say `He is ALLAH, the One! ALLAH the Independent and Besought of all. HE begets not, nor, is HE begotten, and there is none like unto HIM (Holy Qur’an 112:1-5)
He is Allah, the Originator, the Creator, the Designer. His are the most beautiful names. All that is in the Heavens and the earth glorifies Him. And He is the Mighty, the Wise. (Holy Qur’an 59:25)
HIS is the Kingdom of the heavens and the earth; HE gives life and HE causes death, and HE has power over all things, He is Compassionate and Merciful. He is Kind, Loving, and Wise. He is the Creator, the Sustainer, and the Healer. He is the One who Guides, the One who Protects, the One who Forgives. (Holy Qur’an 57: 3)
The founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian said: “It is His work to bring a thing into existence from nothingness.For example, in the visions of dream you see how He creates a world without matter and shows you every mortal and nonexistent being as having existence. Thus are all His Powers.” (The Will, p.12-15)
It is interesting to note that a majority of world’s population are believers in the Existence of God and that approximately three fourths of world’s population believe In some form of deity. From amongst those who are unsure about this issue or even Those who do not believe, there appears to be an ongoing expression of a quest for a Better understanding of this issue. All this may not be conclusive in its own right but Neither is it insignificant in any manner and puts the debate in some context. We can Also infer from this that proof of non-existence of God should at least be as much Required if not more than the proof of existence of God. The non-believer is after all Claiming what is at odds with the belief of majority of world population. One of the primary arguments given by a non-believer is that since God cannot be seen, heard or touched, this is strong enough a reason to believe in non-existence.
However, we have definite scientific evidence about many things that exist but we cannot perceive them with our primary senses. For example an empty room is not actually devoid of any existence. In fact it is filled with air along with the composing mixture of gases, although we cannot see, hear, smell, taste or touch any of this. We also know that certain birds and animals communicate with each other at frequencies that they can well perceive but which are beyond our perception. Thus inability to perceive something by basic human senses is hardly a proof for its non-existence.
God says: "I was a hidden treasure; I loved to be known. Hence I created Adam so that I could be known. It has always been God's practice to communicate to people of every age.
Why should we try to find out about God?
Let us answer the question as to whether we need to inquire into the existence of God. If it is proven that God does exist, then: (1) Is there any benefit for us to believe in Him? (2) Do we disadvantage ourselves in any way by denying Him? Now, the answer to these questions would depend on how the question is put before us. If it is presented to us in such a way that it makes little difference to us whether we believe in God or not, then it would merely be a hypothetical question, and everyone, with the exception of those who are interested in such hypothesis would be justified in refusing to go into this research.
When we return to the question of God, we find that that there are three sources which put the question before us:
1. Human Nature; 2. Reason; 3. Religion
I shall first of all take up human nature. Everyone who has a mind prone to analysis and whose true nature is not covered by veils of darkness and ignorance, does occasionally feel in his heart of hearts that there is likely to be a God Who has created him and Who governs this universe.
The same is true of human reason, which, even though it might eventually come to the conclusion that there is no God, poses these questions to us very forcefully. In fact, it presents these questions much more clearly and elaborately than human nature does. It warns us to reflect and consider lest there be a God Who has sent us to this world for a particular purpose and lest we should die without knowing Him and being unaware of the purpose of our creation. We must therefore wake up and try to find Him!
Our Last, but not least, this question is also raised by religion. All religions in the world invariably raise the question of God Almighty before us. God and His attributes form the very core of the teachings of every religion and billions of their followers believe their religions to have originated from God and to be based upon the Divine Word which has been revealed throughout the ages and has kept the world illuminated. Though some teachings of these religions have been interpolated and corrupted, they were originally based on Divine Revelation. Hence, religions provide much more detailed, clear, and definite descriptions of the Being of God, than human nature or human reason.
In other words, the brief message contained in human nature and reason has been elaborated by revelation. Human nature and reason only hint at the possibility of the existence of God, but religion tells us as a matter of absolute certainty that we do have a God, Who is our Creator and Master and Who has sent us to this world for a special purpose. The different religions may differ on many of their teachings, but they are in total agreement on the basic points.
Hence we conclude that the search for God is so important that no sensible person can afford to ignore it for an instant. After discussing the unanimous testimony of religions, I would like to say something in particular about the teachings of Islam. Islam tells us that we have One God, Who is our Creator and Master, and that He has brought us into existence from nothingness and it is He Who controls our lives. He wants us to achieve a higher status. He has made all kinds of provisions for our welfare Islam says that we have One God Who is Gracious.
All I say is that these are the attributes of our God as proclaimed by Islam. Islam goes further and proclaims that we can find this God if we seek and strive for Him. Do you now consider this search and investigation to be useless and irrelevant? If you have a mind that ponders and a sensitive heart, you will never consider this quest futile.