On 10 September Hamza Andreas Tzortzis spoke at the Cambridge Islamic Centre on “Abraham: The Rational Sceptic”. The lecture took inspiration from the life of Abraham. Three key lessons were drawn. The first was that God’s existence is a self-event truth. The second, that the dependency of the universe can only be explained by an eternal and independent, eternal and necessary being, which is best explained by God. The final lesson was that God is worthy of our worship.
Abraham was a messenger of God, and like all the messengers, they affirmed the self-evident nature of God; the creator of everything that exists. The Qur’an presents this affirmation in the following rhetorical question:
“Their messengers said, ‘Can there be doubt about Allah, Creator of the heavens and earth?’”
The Qur’an, Chapter 14, Verse 10
Notwithstanding the self-evident nature of God’s existence, Abraham also engaged in intellectual arguments to make a case for God. He rhetorically presented the following argument:
“So when the night covered him [with darkness], he saw a star. He said, ‘This is my lord.’ But when it set, he said, ‘I like not those that disappear.’ And when he saw the moon rising, he said, ‘This is my lord.’ But when it set, he said, ‘Unless my Lord guides me, I will surely be among the people gone astray.’ And when he saw the sun rising, he said, ‘This is my lord; this is greater.’ But when it set, he said, ‘O my people, indeed I am free from what you associate with Allah. Indeed, I have turned my face toward He who created the heavens and the earth, inclining toward truth, and I am not of those who associate others with Allah.’” The Qur’an, Chapter 6, Verse 76 to 80
In summary, Abraham argued that the star, moon and sun cannot be the creator because they set. In other words, they are dependent and contingent. The universe and everything within it is contingent, and the universe and all that we perceive can only be explained by an independent, eternal and necessary being.
Abraham called humanity back to their creator. To reconnect their hearts to God and affirm that He deserves to be worshipped.
“Remember Abraham said: ‘O my Lord! make this city one of peace and security: and preserve me and my sons from worshipping idols.’” The Qur’an, Chapter 14, verse 35
God deserves worship by virtue of His own existence. In other words, He deserves worship because of who He is. God also deserves worship because He created us and the blessing we receive.