Arif Anwary (Head of Bournemouth University ISOC), kindly invited iERA to give a series of talks during Islamic Awareness Week. The first talk they requested was entitled “Why Allah deserves our Worship”. This was presented by Outreach Specialist Murtaza Chaudhary.
Murtaza broke down his explanation into six focal points :
- He is the One to be worshipped
- All of His names and attributes are maximally perfect
- It is our purpose in life and in line with our nature
- He created and sustains the universe and everything in it
- Allah’s favours & provisions
- If we love ourselves, we must love Allah
To touch on a couple of these in detail, we can look at the second point “Allah’s Names and Attributes”. Murtaza explained that these are of maximum perfection. Allah has no flaws in his names or attributes. There is absolutely no deficiency in any sense. So for example, when we say Allah is the “The All-Seeing”, we do not say that Allah sees with an eye like the eye of a human being. His sight is beyond our total comprehension. However, we know He sees everything in the universe. That is all things, instantaneously and simultaneously. Nothing is hidden from Him. He witnesses the past, present and future, and even possible futures e.g. if something had happened rather than something else happening in the present. Likewise when we say Allah is “Al-Hakeem” – The Most Wise, that wisdom is perfect and flaw free. In this world, there are wise people who have learnt wisdom over years through trial and error. Allah had no need to learn anything – He has no teacher. The wise man may incorrectly apply his wisdom due to the many weaknesses of humans, for example, forgetfulness. Allah is free from this entirely. So from these realities, Murtaza explained that if God is perfect, and we certainly are not, then it is one clear reason that He alone deserves our worship. Allah is “The All-Powerful” – humans are weak and needy. We need nourishment for strength and life. We need sleep for rest and repair. We need shelter to protect our bodies. Allah has no needs such is his greatness.
The fourth point was explained by Murtaza through an analysis and breakdown of Surah Tur (52 35:36):
Or were they created by nothing, or were they the creators [of themselves]?. Or did they create the heavens and the earth? Rather, they are not certain.
Murtaza gave a detailed breakdown and explanation of a rational proof of God. Nothing comes from nothing, so the universe could not have come from nothing. Self-creation indicates a paradox — something would have to be in existence and not in existence at the same instance. A being creating the universe such as, super advanced alien life forms, opens up the question to be asked: “Who created those aliens?” Further, who created the aliens, that created the aliens? If this questioning went on ad infinitum, we have the problem of the ‘infinite regress’, which means there would be no creation at all. Something created could not have created the cosmos — Allah is the only answer!
The day ended with thought-provoking questions and some deep discussions. One was the question of ‘Who created God?’. As Murtaza had already explained the problem of infinite regress, he was able to apply the same logic to this question and show the impossibility of God being created, even by another God. Murtaza also touched upon how this is a logical fallacy and is like saying “Where is the ‘square circle’?” because the questioner is saying ‘who created the uncreated creator’ and God, by definition in Islamic theology, is the uncreated creator.
One discussion was around evil, and whether this comes from Satan. One of the attendees thought that evil is from Satan. Murtaza explained that, yes Satan propagates evil, but ultimately Allah is the creator of evil as a test for us, and even then Allah did not create absolute or ‘pure’ evil because of who He is — which is Ar-Rahman, the Most Merciful.