Down With Superstitions and Myths
by Imam Mustafa ‘Umar [see his site here]
Many people think that believing in God requires a “leap of faith”. This would mean that belief in God is blind and is no different than belief in any other superstition or myth. For example, to believe that breaking a mirror will cause seven years of bad luck requires a leap of faith since there is no good reason to believe in it. This is why many people have abandoned the religion of their parents and ancestors. This is actually a very good thing because people are finally beginning to think clearly and abandon ungrounded beliefs and superstitions.
A Grave Mistake
However, there is a huge mistake here. Just because it requires a leap of faith to believe in a particular religious system does not mean that the same is true for belief in God. If God exists and wants us to believe in Him then we should be pre-programmed with a desire to believe. This means that we must be able to confidently believe in God and have good reasons for doing so. Furthermore, if God wanted everyone to believe then it must make sense to everyone regardless of where they live, when they live, or their level of education. Believing in God should come natural to a nomad in the desert, a scientist in the laboratory, and an average citizen in a city. There must be something embedded in the nature of every human being that would allow them to confidently arrive at this conclusion without any doubt or hesitation.
Check Your Facts
It’s true that people don’t always agree with one another. However, there are a number of agreed upon facts that will not be rejected by any sane individual.
The First Fact: Seeing Is Not Believing
Someone might ask: “if God exists then why can’t we see Him?” The answer is that we don’t need to because we believe in many things that we can’t directly perceive such as gravity, magnetism, infrared rays, etc. For example, you cannot see the waves emitted by a cell phone, but they are there. You can only see the signs and effects that indicate their existence. Likewise, it is the signs and effects in the world that indicate God’s existence.
The Second Fact: Something Does Not Come Out of Nothing
If a bucket of water were to fall on your head you would probably look up to find out where it came from. That is because you know that it didn’t come out of nowhere because something can’t come out of nothing. Likewise, when you look at the world around you it is natural to wonder where it came from.
The Third Fact: Examining Something Reveals Something about Its Designer
When you look at a calculator you see that it has buttons, a screen, a case, etc. If you think about how this calculator must have been designed you know, for certain, that its designer must have had knowledge of mathematics because it can perform calculations. You also know that he must have had knowledge of plastics engineering in order to make the case. Therefore, you know something about the designer without ever having met him or even seen him. Now look at yourself and the world around you. Your body has several complex systems designed to keep you alive such as the circulatory, immune, and digestive systems. The earth and other planets rotate around the sun in what is known as the solar system. Each system in the world has been set up so precisely that if there is even a minor error the entire system begins to breaks down. Whatever designed these systems must have known that each aspect of every system must be calculated precisely in order for it to work properly. This implies that the designer of the world must possess the qualities of both knowledge and wisdom.
The Fourth Fact: Believing in Coincidence Requires a Leap of Faith
Someone might claim that the car he drives wasn’t designed and built in any factory but rather was formed after an earthquake, tornado, and hurricane happened to sweep through a junkyard and assembled the entire vehicle by chance. Only someone mentally deficient would believe that story because the complexity of a motor vehicle cannot coincidentally form.Likewise, neither you nor the universe could have been designed and brought into being by coincidence. Therefore, anyone who says that the blind forces of nature created the universe and all that is in it is required to take a huge leap of faith in order to believe this. It’s not much different than believing in any other superstition or myth. Rather, it’s much wiser to attribute your existence and the existence of the world to God.
So let us all think clearly, abandon superstitions, and only believe in those things that make sense. If that means throwing the various idols and gods of your ancestors and teachers in the trash bin of history then be it. Don’t forget to dump “mother nature” as well.