Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
Who is God? Why do we pray to Him?
God is the Creator. When I see my existence, it is but natural for me to think how this existence came into being. The renowned French philosopher Rene Descartes said, ‘I think, therefore, I exist.’ Following this dictum, I would say, ‘I exist, therefore, God also exists.’ Because when there is a creation, a Creator is also bound to exist. Modern science tells us that our universe is vast, proportional and continuously expanding. It is an intelligent universe, but a right approach would be to say that the universe is the work of an Intelligent Creator.
In order to better understand the idea of creation, let us also reflect on the development of human knowledge. Human knowledge has two different phases—the pre-Einstein period and the post-Einstein period. In the pre-Einstein period, knowledge was confined to the macro world, which was observable and measurable. It was believed that matter was eternal and had not been created. But, in the post-Einstein period, with the development of quantum physics and discovery of the phenomenon of the Big Bang, this thinking changed.
When the atom was split, the world of logic underwent a colossal change. Splitting of the atom revealed the micro world. It came to be known that subatomic particles, which constitute matter at the most fundamental level, cannot be observed even by the most powerful microscope. The question is when we cannot see then, how do we believe that they exist? They cannot be visually seen, but every scientist believes in their existence, for the reason that although we cannot see these things directly, we can measure their effects. We believe in the existence of all of these things, not by observation but by the effects they produce. In other words, the existence of these un-observable particles of the micro world can be proved by way inferential argument – they cannot be seen, but can be known by way of their effects. And if inferential argument is valid with regard to the unseen elements of the micro world, it is also valid with regard to the existence of God or the Creator.
Moreover, scientific studies of today tell us that about 13 billion years ago there occurred a big bang in space. After this, our universe came into existence. Scientists have found evidence to believe that in the beginning there was what they call a cosmic ball. All the particles now present in the universe were tightly bound to each other in this cosmic ball in a highly compressed and dense state. Then, according to astronomical studies, this cosmic ball suddenly exploded. The compact particles scattered outwardly and as they were moving away they started interacting and the present universe as we see it (galaxies, stars, etc.) came into existence. This was the beginning of matter, but the question was which external source caused the intervention so that the compact particles scattered outwardly?
Worship means acknowledgement. It is inherent in human nature to acknowledge the Benefactor. Our Creator is our biggest benefactor who brought into existence the entire universe, which is custom-made to human needs and has a life support system to ensure our sustenance. How can we then not acknowledge the greatest of all Benefactors? Man, as a creation, has his limitations; no human being is all-powerful. When a person seeks to do something, he often finds out that he has limitations. It is this helplessness which leads him to pray to and seek help from God