In this section, we present philosophical arguments demonstrating the logical need for the existence of God.
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad
PEACE BE UPON HIM
The evidence of design in life on Earth
At one place it [the Qur’an] has said:
“Our Lord is He Who gave unto everything its (proper) form and then guided it (to its proper function).”
(The Holy Qur’an, 20:51)
That is, our Lord is He Who has bestowed upon everything its appropriate faculties, and has then guided it to the achievement of its appropriate purposes. If we keep in mind the purport of this verse and then reflect upon the shape and form of man and all the animals on land and in the sea, and the birds, we are impressed with the power of God Who has bestowed its appropriate form on everything. This is a vast subject and we would urge our listeners to reflect deeply upon it.
The cause of all causes
The second proof of the existence of God that the Holy Quran has set forth is that God is the ultimate cause of all causes:
“And that to your Lord do all things ultimately go,”
(The Holy Qur’an, 53:43)
That is, if we observe carefully we find that the entire universe is bound together in a system of cause and effect. This system is at the root of all knowledge. No part of creation is outside this 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.”
The maintenance of the laws of nature
“It is not for the sun to overtake the moon, nor can the night outstrip the day. All of them float in an orbit.”
(The Holy Qur’an, 36:41)
Were there not a Regulator of the whole of this system behind the scenes, the system would fall into chaos. This proof is very striking in the estimation of astronomers. There are so many grand heavenly bodies that are gliding through space that the slightest disorder in their movements would bring about the ruin of the whole world. What a manifestation of Divine power is it that these bodies neither collide nor change their speed, nor alter their courses in the slightest degree, nor have they been worn out by their circulation during such a long period, nor has their machinery suffered any disorder. If they are not under the supervision of a Guardian, how is it that such a grand organisation continues to carry on through numberless years entirely on its own?”
Scientific arguments for the existence of God
The need for an Eternal Being underpinning all mortal creation
“All that is on it (earth) will pass away.
And there will remain only the Person of your Lord, Master of Glory and Honour.”
(The Holy Qur’an, 55:27-28)
“That is, all that is on the earth will perish and only the countenance of thy Lord, Master of Glory and Honour, will survive. If we assume that the earth might be reduced into particles and the heavenly bodies might be broken down and everything might be overtaken by a blast that would wipe out every sign of these bodies, yet reason acknowledges and right conscience deems it necessary that after all this destruction there should survive One, Who is not subject to destruction, and can undergo no change and Who should continue in His pristine state. That One is God, Who has created everything mortal and is Himself immune from mortality.”
All souls testify to the need of a Creator indirectly
Am I not your Lord?’ They say, ‘Yea,’
(The Holy Qur’an, 7:173)
“God Almighty sets forth, in the form of question and answer, the characteristic with which He has invested the souls, and that is that by its very nature no soul can deny the existence of God. Those who deny God do so because they can find no proof of His existence according to their own fancy. Yet they acknowledge that for everything that is created there must be a creator. There is no one in the world so stupid that if he falls ill he would insist that there is no cause for his illness. If the system of the universe had not been made up of cause and effect, it would not have been possible to predict the time of a tornado, or of the eclipse of the sun or the moon, or that a patient would die at a certain time, or that a disease would be reinforced by another disease at a certain stage. Thus, a research scholar who does not acknowledge the existence of God, in effect does so indirectly, for he too, like us, searches for the causes of effects. This is an acknowledgment of a sort, though it is not perfect.”
-Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam, pages 90-95
Design evident in latent potentialities of elementary particles
“The point is that the peculiarity of God’s power that makes Him Divine, is the uniqueness of His ability to create spiritual and physical powers. Take for example the fact that He has given eyes to the bodies of living creatures: the real miracle is not that He has created eyes; the actual miracle is that He has placed the pre-existing hidden potential in the atoms of the body so that they are able to produce the faculty of sight. If this potential exists in and of itself, then there is no God…Thus, clearly, the whole edifice of divinity rests upon the fact that He is the One Who has created the potential of the souls and atoms of the universe.” -Naseem e Da’wat, pages 383-384
Mirza Bashir-ud-din Mahmood Ahmad
MAY ALLAH BE PLEASED WITH HIM
Testimony of Prophets is universal
“Verily, he, indeed, will prosper who purifies himself,
And remembers the name of his Lord and offers Prayers.
But you prefer the life of this world, Whereas the Hereafter is better and more lasting.
This, indeed, is (what is taught) in the former Scripture of Abraham and Moses.”
(Holy Qur’an; Ch. 87:15-20)
“…[O]ne of the chief arguments of the existence of God given by the Holy Quran is this that all the religions of the world concur in holding that there is a Being Who created the whole universe. Changes do occur in the beliefs and doctrines of a people owing to changed circumstances and conditions, yet notwithstanding this, all historical religions of the world agree in believing in the existence of God, though there may be some difference of opinion to His attributes. The religions that are extant, such as Islam, Christianity, Judaism and Buddhism, Sikhism, Hinduism and Zoroastrianism, all believe in God Who is known as Allah, Elohim, Parmeshwar, Parmatma, Sat Guru or Yazdan, and as regards to the religions that have now become extinct whether they appeared in the isolated land of America, or in Rome, or the deserts of Africa, or England, Java, Sumatra, Japan, China, Siberia, or Manchuria, the traces that we still find of these religions all point to a belief in the Supreme Being.
How did this agreement of religions come about and who it was who informed the natives of China of the belief of the negroes of the Sahara of Africa, and the natives of America of the beliefs of the Indian people? In ancient times the people of the world did not possess these means of communication which they possess now, and the intercourse that the inhabitants of distant lands now have with one another was non-existent in days gone by. There were large tracts of land that were unexplored and large continents that were yet undiscovered. Then how did it come to pass that peoples who were so far apart from one another, and who were so different in their habits, customs and tastes, all agreed on this belief? It is difficult even for two men to agree on a self-invented fiction. Is not then the occurrence of so many different peoples who had no means of communicating their thoughts to one another on the belief in the Supreme Being a conclusive evidence of the existence of God being a fact? All historians agree in holding that a question on which all the historians of different nations concur must be taken as a fact. Now when thousands of people are of one mind as to the existence of God, why should we not conclude that the existence of God is a fact?”
Testimony of the most virtuous cannot be discounted
“And that is Our argument We gave to Abraham against his people, We exalt in degree of rank whomso We please. Thy Lord is indeed Wise, All-Knowing.
And We gave him Isaac and Jacob, each did We guide aright, and Noah did We guide aright aforetime, and of his progeny, David and Solomon and Job and Joseph and Moses and Aaron. Thus do We reward those who do good.
And We (guided) Zachariah and John and Jesus and Elias; each of them was of the righteous.
And We also guided Ishmael and Elisha and Jonah and Lot, and each one of them did We exalt above the people.
And We exalted some of their fathers and their children and their brethren, and We chose them and We guided them in the straight path… These it is whom Allah guided aright, so follow thou their guidance.”
(Holy Qur’an; 6:84-89)
In these verses God requires us to consider whether we should follow that which so many good and pious persons bear witness to, or that which is said by other ignorant persons whose character cannot stand comparison with that of the personages named. It is clear that more weight must be attached to the testimony of those persons who proved their virtue, purity, abstinence from sin, and truthfulness by their conduct and practice. Thus it is the duty of every person to follow them in preference to others. And we see all those who propagate virtue and morality, and whose righteousness was universally acknowledged on account of their good deeds, bear witness to the existence of a Divine Being, whether they be called Zoroaster in ancient Persia, Moses in Egypt, Jesus at Nazareth, Nanak in the Punjab and the chief of the righteous, the Holy Prophet of Arabia, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, who when still young won the title of Al-Amin (the Truthful), and whose adversaries failed to cast a slur on his conduct when he referred them to his unsullied character by saying, “I dwelt among you for a long time before this, will you not then understand?” (10:17). These and thousands of other righteous men who have lived on this Earth all declare with one voice that there is a God, nay, they even claim to have seen Him and to have talked with Him.
The greatest philosopher that has ever lived on this earth cannot claim to have accomplished even a thousandth part of the work done by the least of this holy band. On comparing the lives of the holy Messengers of God with those of the philosophers, it is more words than deeds that we come across in the lives of the latter.
How can the philosophers show that truthfulness and sincerity which has been shown by the prophets? The former preach truth but do not practise it. On the other hand, the holy personages whose names I have mentioned above suffered thousands of hardships merely for their loyalty to truth but they were never thrown off their balance…
In short, we can by no means reject the testimony of thousands of upright and righteous persons who claim to be eye-witnesses to the existence of the Divine Being. It is strange that those who have devoted themselves to the acquisition of knowledge of things spiritual declare that there is a God while those who are quite strangers to spirituality say, “Do not believe the prophets, but believe us”. Even if there are two equally trustworthy witnesses, preference will of course be given to the testimony of him who says he has seen such and such a thing and not to that of the other who says he has not seen it, for it is possible that the eye of the latter may have not fallen on the object in question, but it is inconceivable that one may have not seen a thing and may have fancied he was seeing it. Thus we are bound to give preference to the testimony of those who claim to have seen God.
AMSA: Is God Dead?
Moral nature of man testifies to belief in accountability
The third argument for the existence of God to which the Holy Qur’an points is that the very nature of the man provides evidence for God’s existence, as there are certain sins from which the very nature of man recoils. For instance, even the most irreverent atheists will abstain from incest and falsehood and will have nothing to do with excrement, urine and other filths. Why is this so? If there is no God, why does he distinguish between his mother, sister, daughter, and other women? Why does he hate lying? What are the reasons for which the foregoing deeds appear loathsome in his eyes? If he does not stand in awe of some Higher Power, why does he shun these deeds? Lying and truthfulness, justice and injustice should be the same to him. Everything should depend on his pleasure and he should be at liberty to do whatever his heart desires. What law is there that is controlling his passion? It is God that is governing him. His throne lies on the heart. An atheist may pretend to have out-stepped the bounds of the kingdom of God, but it is impossible for him to out-leap the bounds of his God-made nature. His abstinence from sin or his reluctance to disclose his sin shows that his heart is possessed of the fear of being called to account by a King, though he may pretend to deny His sovereignty.
Argument from Causality
“And that with they Lord is the final judgment (i.e. the whole system of cause and effect ends with God).
And that it is He who makes people laugh and makes them weep;
And that it is He who causes death and gives life;
And that He creates the pairs male and female, From a sperm-drop when it is emitted.”
(Holy Qur’an: 53:43-47)
“In these verses God draws the attention of man to the fact that every action must have an agent and therefore if we ponder over the whole universe, we shall be led to the conclusion that God is the end of all things and that it is He Who is directing the universe. Directing our attention to our initial condition, He reminds us that it is from mere seed that we are created and that the further backward we travel, the more and more insignificant we find ourselves. How can we then under these circumstances be our own creators? There can be no creation without a creator and man cannot be his own creator, for, when we consider his condition, we find that it is a very humble and lowly state from which he rises upwards. When he is unable to create in his advanced state, how could he create when he was such an insignificant thing? Thus we are forced to the conclusion that he has been created by someone else whose powers are unlimited and unbounded.”
Mirza Bashir Ahmad
MAY ALLAH BE PLEASED WITH HIM
Directionality in the universe points to a Guiding Intelligence
“People generally do not understand that the system of cause and effect itself requires an Architect and a Controller. Cause and effect are like tools which prove the existence of the craftsman. The system of cause and effect cannot, therefore, disprove the existence of God. On the contrary the very existence of cause and effect, and how they result in the progress of the universe in a particular direction is a clear proof of the existence of a Higher Being.” –Our God, page 180
Testimony of human conscience
“This sense of good and evil inherent in every man serves as a wonderful proof that man has not come into existence by chance, rather he has been made for a particular purpose by a Conscious, All knowing, Wise Being… Consider, for a moment whether this sense of good and evil rooted in every man’s nature, and this hidden fountain of light which has its source in the breast of every son of Adam, can ever be the result of a blind chance or mere evolution?…
For instance, we find that respect for the dead is universal and found among every people and in every age, but it is not something that can be shown to have originated from experience, and therefore cannot be attributed to anything other than the voice of human nature.” –Our God, pages 97