- Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
God and the Life Hereafter
Creation is in itself a proof of its Creator
The universe is such a highly meaningful phenomenon that it is unthinkable that it could have come into existence without having been created. The truth is that the choice for us is not between the universe with God or the universe without God. No, indeed. The real choice is between the universe with God or no universe at all. If we say that God does not exist, then we are also compelled to say that the universe does not exist. But the universe is too obvious a fact for us to deny its existence. So neither can we deny the existence of God.
The Meaningful Universe
Sir James Jeans once observed that the Creator of the universe was a mathematical mind. I have to say that the very meaningfulness of the universe is a proof in itself that its Creator has a deep sense of purpose. Such a purposeful Creator could never have created a world which was imperfect—and therefore meaningless—as far as its objective was concerned. Yet despite all its meaningfulness, our world in its present state is incomplete. It requires the existence of another world for its completion. It is such a world that all of the prophets in turn have called the world of the Hereafter.
This world of the Hereafter is not just a matter of dogma. It is an entirely scientific fact. Indeed, the existence of the Hereafter can be proved academically in exactly the same way and by the same scientific standards as all other things are proved in the field of science.
First of all, we must define scientific proof. According to modern science, scientific proof does not mean that there can be any degree of absolute certainty about whatever is to be proved. This kind of undeniable certainty is not universally possible. According to the modern scientific stand, when we say that something has been scientifically proved, this statement only means that its probability has been established. In modern science, those concepts presented as established facts are generally accepted only because their probability has been established, rather than that there has been any definite knowledge of them acquired as a result of observing them. An example of this nature is the acceptance of the structure of the atom.
We can, with confidence, apply this same scientific method to belief in the world Hereafter. Indeed, employing any other method would not in principle be appropriate. From the scientific viewpoint, we cannot refuse to apply to the case of the world Hereafter a method which we hold valid in other scientific matters. As we know, in this realm, there are three stages of the scientific method—hypothesis, observation and verification.
If we apply this three-point formula to the world Hereafter, we can certainly arrive at an understanding of its probability. And as explained above, certainty is only another name for this probability.
Out of all God’s creatures, man, who is unlike any of His other creatures, is the one who has the greatest need of certainty, for he is exceptional in that the concept of ‘tomorrow’ is engrained in him. He must know what lies ahead of him. No other created entity, whether animate or inanimate, is possessed of such a concept. It is clear that the destination of all creatures, save man, is simply that of ‘today’, while man’s destination pertains to ‘tomorrow’.
Can man fulfil his desires
Every individual has desires deep within him. We would be right in saying that man is a ‘fulfillment seeking animal’. But experience shows that human desires are seldom if ever fulfilled. Every individual, driven by his desires, wants to build an ideal world for himself but, all too soon, he leaves the world without having achieved the ‘tomorrow’ of his dreams.
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