By Hafiz Mahmut, Edited and modified by the MuslimAnswers.net Team
Question: After reading your previous article, I wanted to mentioned that from what I know, Muslim scholars present the sophisticated proofs [such as their versions of the Kalam Cosmological Argument] as a ‘defense’ mechanism rather than for pure Da’wah, given that many questions come from Muslims who have no formal training in Islamic theology yet are confused about the Existence of Allah. So can one still say that sophisticated arguments should be avoided, or what can be said about the Islamic Kalam arguments?
بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيم
I still believe that philosophically and scientifically sophisticated arguments should be avoided as much as possible, but I will try nonetheless to give a brief argument for the Existence of Allah, keeping in mind simple points and getting into deeper matters only when needed.
First, it is plainly obvious to all that everything we see around us is limited and dependent. This is something that we can verify through simple means, such as noting that objects have a limited size and shape, that the processes on Earth and in the Universe have a set duration and are dependent on something other than themselves. No one needs to be a physics or mathematics major to understand this truth.
Second, we need to differentiate between certainty and doubt. Doubt as here defined is whenever there is a possibility for multiple alternatives to have taken place; in certainty, there is only one possibility, and alternatives cannot be conceived of. There are many examples we can provide for this, but a simple one is: If a box contains red and blue balls, it is obvious that one might draw out a red ball or one might draw out a blue ball (there is doubt about the color of the ball that was drawn out); but if the box contains only blue balls, then there is no chance of red balls being drawn out – this is a simple example connected with various possibilities (and doubt) versus one possibility (and certainty).
Third, we need to keep in mind the issue of the certainty of our observations; the previous information that we have needs to match with reality. For example, if I tell you that there is no hot water in the bathroom, and after checking you conclude that indeed, there is no hot water in the bathroom, then the (previous) information has matched with reality.
Keeping these three points in mind, we have only three scenarios for the Existence of the Universe:
One: That everything was already here eternally or infinitely, for an unlimited number of days, amassing an unlimited number of events. But we already mentioned in the previous article that infinity does not exist in our Universe and it does not match with reality. No one has experienced infinity nor has anyone observed it. Physicists avoid infinities and if they arise in their equations, this is taken as a sign that the theoretical model they have devised has failed. So this ‘alternative’ is in fact impossible, and we can say so with certainty.
Two: That the Universe came from nothing, due to a ‘limited cause’. As we mentioned before, if it is limited, then it is dependent – and this leads to the ‘infinite regression’ problem that was hinted to above, and also in the previous article. So this is again impossible, and we can have certainty about this.
Three: That the Universe came from nothing due to the act of an ‘unlimited Being’. After eliminating the previous two scenarios with absolute certainty, we see that the Universe has arisen due to the creative act of an unlimited, independent Creator. And this is something that we can declare with certainty.
But there is one issue that needs to be touched on briefly: With regards to the second possibility above, some people talk about vacuum fluctuations or particles popping out of a vacuum. There are actually ‘philosophical’ refutations to this, but I prefer to ask them questions based on the science behind their assumptions, such as: What is the definition of this vacuum? And further, what is the temperature, density, or time of this vacuum? You will see that there is no absolute vacuum obtainable in the real Universe. Again, it is not observed, and it does not match with reality.
Above, I have tried to break down the Islamic argument as easily as I can, without getting into deep philosophical discussions or mathematical models which almost no one understands, and which would make the crucial question of Allah’s Existence something beyond almost everyone’s mental capacity – which it is clearly not meant to be.
If there are further questions of comments after this, they can be addressed, but the basic explanation should be sufficient for everyone. We supplicate to Allah to grant guidance to the hearts of people, as this is more important than any ‘proof’ we may devise. And may Allah bless and grant peace to the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, his Family and Companions. Ameen.