| This Universe, indeed displays a remarkable vista of order and consistency.
We can observe, for example, the great regularity with which the celestial
bodies follow precise orbits, and marvel at the way in which water from the seas
is brought to the land by wind-driven clouds, which are in turn formed by the
evaporation of water: without this replenishment, life would be impossible. We
are also amazed by the migration patterns of many species, including newborn
eels, that trek through thousands of miles of ocean, to nestle in their own
local streams, and of bees, who use sunlight for navigation in their quest for
nectar. We may ponder as to why all living things exist in pairs, and
contemplate on the optimality of the processes which comprise the whole
universe. Even incredibly minute changes would disrupt the balances in nature:
after all, had the earth's orbit been slightly offset in either direction, water
and the resulting forms of life would not have emerged. In fact, we observe
great unity in the laws of the cosmos; through the spectrum of life and non-life
ranging from the microcosmic subatomic particles to the macrocosmic expanse of
the universe itself, integration is manifested on every level. |
Reflection may lead us to pertinent questions: Could such encompassing order
have arisen purely by unintentioned accident? Or could there be an intelligent
originator to this spectacular array of living and non-living forms —a designer
that may have developed them through processes which have yet to be fully
determined? What conclusions are evidential?
Is it probable that all the letters on this page unscrambled themselves by
chance to form these meaningful and structured sentences? How then, could a
human being - with ears, eyes and a mind - have been formed by chance? Is it
credible that such a vast universe with an inestimable billions of galaxies
could have evolved by accident? Does not the integration and complexity of a
single cell far exceed that of a mere piece of paper with some intelligible
writing on it, let alone this universe and all that it contains? (Especially
since the universe also contains this piece of paper . . .!)
We know that we are not the cause of ourselves, for embryonic development is
organized and directed in stages under natural laws. But directed by what and by
whose laws? Chance? Or Intelligence?
What about a multiplicity of infinite beings? Could such have been responsible
for this cosmological fabrication? Would not the resulting state of this
universe have then been disordered and chaotic due to the conflicting commands
of these infinitely powerful entities, who would have been trying to accede to
the throne of authority in rivalry? Indeed, in such a regime, we would expect to
see inconsistency in the universe as opposed to consistency. Instead of rain, we
might conceivably have received a heavy downpour of elephants from the skies.
(An umbrella would certainly not be terribly useful in such a universe!) Such a
scenario would also give rise to the question: which of the infinite beings came
first? And why? On the other hand, if such a multiplicity of infinite beings
were in perfect agreement for all time, then there would not be any need for
more than one - nor is there any evidence.
If our response to the chance (unintentioned creation) and multiplicity
(creation by two or more beings) hypotheses is negative, then our answer has to
lie between zero and two. In other words, there can only be one unique governing
intelligence - unique by the virtue of having no demigods, intermediaries,
mystical incarnate beings, or any other human or nonhuman associates. This vast
singular intelligence, then, must have created and developed all living and
non-living things, as well as space-time itself, and must therefore be
independent of it.
If this is our conclusion, then it means that the myriad forms of matter and
energy as well as the physiological structure of the human being must be subject
to the natural laws of this singular and independent governing intelligence.
In addition to this involuntary physiological dependence of human beings to the
prescribed natural laws, we are also endowed with a mind which has the capacity
to voluntarily question and reason. A reasoning person would be naturally drawn
to the logical conclusion of the existence of a unique originator, and therefore
of a meaningful purpose to this existence. Such a person would live with this
awareness, in peace with himself or herself and the rest of nature.
Indeed reasoning people live, and have been living throughout the ages in all
parts of the world. They can be found dwelling in the midst of exuberant jungles
or in our large, populous and crowded cities. What would distinguish such
individuals would be the employment of reason as a foundation for life. If such
a people are to be given a name which linguistically denotes 'voluntary peaceful
submission' to this unique Intelligence, and which includes all of these
attributes, a suitable term in one language would be the word Muslim.
For further correspondence, you may write to:
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University of Toronto
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