Is Questioning Blasphemy?

-By Fadel Soliman

Is Questioning Blasphemy?

A young man once asked me – “Sometimes when I ask questions regarding the existence of God, His attributes and His actions, some elders tell me that thinking about such topics can be considered as blasphemy. And this worries me because I think about these things a lot.” If we question or think, do we become disbelievers? On the contrary, contemplation is required so that faith is not merely inherited. Prophet Mohammad, Peace be on him, contemplated the universe. Prophet Abraham contemplated the universe. And God commands us to contemplate the universe and attempt to crack the code or solve the riddle; the riddle that is: “How did creation begin?” God Almighty addresses Prophet Mohammad in the Quran and tells him: “Say, “Travel through the land and observe how He began creation.’” Quran 29:20

God Commands us to Think and Ponder

If contemplation or questioning leads to disbelief in God, would it make sense for Him to command us to do it? On the contrary, He would have ordered us not to contemplate, and rather to completely close our minds, lest we fall into disbelief. But Allah commands us to contemplate. Then, certainly, contemplating the universe and attempting to solve the riddle shall lead man to belief and not to disbelief or blasphemy.

The Quran says: “Indeed, in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of the night and the day are signs for those of understanding.” Quran 3:190 – In other words, for people who have the faculty of reason.

The Quran goes on to describe such people as those “who remember Allah while standing or sitting or (lying) on their sides and reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth.” Quran 3:191

The Quran orders us to contemplate on our own, while in solitude. And it orders us to contemplate together. 
It addresses the Prophet, telling him: “Say, ‘I only advise you of one (thing) – that you stand for God, (seeking truth) in pairs and individually, and then give thought.’” Quran 34:46

Even when it comes to the stories of the prophets, we find that God revealed them so that we should contemplate them and take heed. He tells the Prophet: 
“So relate the stories that perhaps they will give thought.” Quran 7:176

Those who have knowledge will stand in true awe of God

The more knowledge man gains, the closer he gets to Allah and the more he fears to displease Him: 
The Quran says: “It is those of His servants who have knowledge who stand in true awe of God.” Quran 35:28

The important question is: “How do I think?” “How do I ennoble my brain?” 
There are four types of consciousness:

The first is sensuous consciousness: I see something, using the sense of sight and I become conscious of it. Likewise, I hear, smell, touch or taste something and therefore become aware of it. That is sensuous consciousness.

Next is imaginative consciousness: I conjure a picture in my mind based on my knowledge of past experiences and memories. For instance, I can imagine a bag that you describe to me; I can picture in my mind the color, size texture, etc. based on my memories and experience of similar bags, colours, and textures.

The third type is illusory consciousness: It is empathy or feeling what others are feeling. I see you and I feel that you are upset or I feel that you are happy. This is called illusory consciousness.
Both humans and animals have those three types of consciousness in common.

However, the fourth type of consciousness is possessed only by humans. It is mental consciousness; that is the ability to contemplate and use reason.

Should God be seen to be believed?

Unfortunately, atheists want to eliminate mental consciousness, therefore eliminating that exclusive feature which makes man unique. Whenever we enter into debates with atheists, they reject mental proof, saying, “I want to see God”. They ask, “How can I believe if I don’t see Him?” They demand sensuous consciousness. An atheist once said to me, “I want to concoct God in the lab”. So you want the Creator to submit to his creation in a lab?!

If you want to think logically, then you must believe in the minds abilities and understand that mental proof is stronger than sensuous proof; that the mind is what sets the senses straight. The sense of sight makes you see water in the desert, but your mind is the what tells you: “Don’t waste your time. Don’t believe your sense of sight. It is only a ‘mirage’; the light reflects on the sand, making you literally see water which doesn’t actually exist.” So, your senses deceive you and lead you astray, but your mind is the one that guides you through reasoning and understanding.

Atheists reject Logical proofs and demand Material proof for God

An atheist will always reject mental proof and demand material proof; but he will sugarcoat it by using the euphemism “scientific proof”. He says “I want scientific proof” but In reality he wants material proof. But are mental and logical proofs not scientific? yes, Mental and logical proofs are also scientific proof, but they are not material. The problem lies in the person who cannot believe in anything unless he can actually see it. To illustrate this point, I like to give the following example. Let us imagine that we could time travel and speak to people who lived 500 years ago. Imagine if we told them that some illnesses are caused as a result of tiny things called “microbes”. We tell them: “There are tiny organisms that cannot be seen by the naked eye, floating around you in the air, and when you inhale them, you get sick.” No one would believe us, even though what we say is the truth.

If you disbelieve in God because he is unseen, then why believe in say dark matter which is also unseen?

Atheists deny the existence of God because He is unseen, which is a criteria for faith in Him. We know things like dark matter exists but is in a hidden dimension. May be well in future it turns out to be obvious to us via a technology break through. If only we refrain from imaging God as an object or even likeness to a human or any other thing then it makes good sense as to why He is impartial to having remained unseen for all of us since the beginning.

The promised day of judgement is the time to see facts as they will unveil before us. Demands to detect God via sight aren’t heeded to us in this life in which our faith is examined.

God has sent us guidance to overcome limitations of our mind

Then we come to another matter. So long as you’re going to think that you must believe with your mind, then you must know that the mind has its limits. It can be conscious of the existence of the Creator. Yes, the mind is capable of being conscious of the existence of the Creator. It can even be conscious of some essential characteristics of that Creator. It can become conscious of the Creator’s wisdom in certain matters, but will fail to grasp others.

I am an average person with an average mind. Can I attain Einstein’s knowledge? Can I comprehend all that which Einstein can? I cannot; I can’t think like Einstein did and I cannot encompass all of his knowledge, let alone that of God Almighty, the All-Knowing, the All-Aware. Certainly, I will be able to understand some things, but others will be too complex for me to fathom. I may be able to grasp part of God’s wisdom, but I will not be able to grasp all of it. And that is the beauty of knowledge. God’s knowledge has no limits. And the more knowledge I acquire, the more aware I become of other sciences that I need to delve into further in order to broaden my understanding, and the more aware I am that I can never master all sciences. 
God Almighty addresses the Prophet (PBUH) in the Quran, and tells him: “Say, “If the whole ocean were ink for writing the words of my Lord, it would run dry before those words were exhausted, even if We were to add another ocean to it.’” Quran 18:109. 

The “words of my Lord” here signifies knowledge.

Nonetheless, I am still required to learn and to try to understand. That is why I always say that the smartest person is the one who attempts to understand everything. And the dumbest person is the one who thinks he will actually be able to understand everything.

Conclusion

Far from being a Blasphemy, Questioning is actually a command from God as explained by the many verses of Quran cited here. Sometimes you will understand the answer to a question. Other times you will fail to understand the answer. But your lack of understanding does not mean that the answer is necessarily wrong. It would be extremely arrogant to think that just because you cannot grasp something, that means it is incorrect.

And we will further explain this in details in future episodes, but keep this in mind: 
The smartest person is the one who attempts to understand everything, and the dumbest person is the one who thinks he will actually be able to understand everything.

Click here for All Answers to Atheism

Arguments edited by Masood Ahmed in the heading "dark matter" can not be seen on Fadel's original script and video.
Courtesy- 

This article is a transcript of Islamophobia Season 2 Episode 1Subscribe to Islamophobia Series by Fadel Solimanbridges-foundation.org; Official website of Fadel Soliman fadelsoliman.com;