Why would God punish an Atheist for being an Atheist, according to Islam?
Some Atheists are very nice and kind and helpful. And what about those who worship other gods besides God? Why is disbelieving in God the worst sin according to Islam?
Question – I was once approached by someone who told me, ‘I am an atheist; I do not believe in God. But I am a very kind and good person. I volunteer in many charitable organizations, and I give to the poor; so, given all that, when I die, will I go to Hell? Is this the justice of you people – just because I don’t believe in God, I should enter Hell?’
Answer – In response I told him, ‘Let’s suppose that there is a large company, employing many people. Imagine that one of the employees is a very good person; he’s extremely kind and cooperative and spares no effort to help his colleagues at work. He also lends them money, and brings treats in for everyone at the office on daily basis. On the other hand, his relationship with the boss is terrible. He doesn’t read nor implement the instructions given to him by his boss, nor does he perform his work duties. His colleagues advised him that he should mend his relations with the boss and start performing his duties, since the boss pays his salary and thereby provides him with all his needs. His response to them is that the boss isn’t really there. In the presence of the boss he stands up defiantly and says that this company has no boss. All the while, the boss is extremely patient with him. He doesn’t want to fire him and, in fact, he keeps on paying him his salary regularly – but only up to a certain point. Eventually, he puts his foot down and decides to punish him and fire him.’
Now, how do we evaluate the performance of such an employee? Do we consider him to be a good employee? He is definitely very good towards his fellow employees, but not so with his boss. The same applies to someone who is good with fellow men, but ill-mannered towards God. He does not thank God for his health, for his wealth, for his mind, nor for any other blessing, for that matter. In fact, he doesn’t even believe in the existence of God. He considers himself a very good person, but is he, really? God allows him a lot of respite and delays punishing him throughout his life, as an opportunity for him to reconsider his ways. He also gave him a mind so that he could contemplate and realize the existence of God Almighty.
Another important point that an Atheist claims is that, he does all of his good deeds such as volunteering and giving to charity, for the good of mankind, not in the hope of reaching Heaven, nor out of fear of going to Hell. So what is he complaining of, then? He should be pleased that he will not be going to heaven, and not be bothered if he is going to hell. After-all, he is doing all of his good deeds for the sake of mankind, so he should feel secure in his knowledge of that and it should be sufficient for him.
Will non-muslims go to Hell?
Ok, what about those who worship other Gods besides the one and only God; and what about those who practice other religions? Don’t worry. God will not be unfair to anyone. God describes in the Quran what will happen to such people on Judgment Day. He says they will be told: ‘Call forth the partners you ascribed to God.’ Quran 7:195. So He will give them a chance to call forth their own gods, and see if they can grant them entrance into heaven. The Quran also says: ‘It will be said to them, ‘Where are those you worshiped beside God? Can they help you now or even help themselves?’ Quran 26:92-93. Elsewhere in the Quran, God tells Prophet Mohammed what to say to such people. He tells him: ‘Say, Pray to your so-called gods besides Allah.’ Quran 34:22 So God will be a fair judge between us on the Day of Judgment.
God will not be unfair to anyone. He will give them a chance to call forth their own gods, and see if they can grant them entrance into heaven.
Why is disbelieving in God the worst sin according to Islam?
Don’t you think treason or betrayal are big sins? Disbelieving in God is betraying God. If I bring you a glass of water, you thank me, right? If you didn’t thank me, it would be very ungrateful and disrespectful. What if I keep giving you water, then food, then money and you just take it and don’t show any gratitude? And what if I give you water and you turn towards someone else and say thank you to him instead of me? Then I give you something to eat and again you look towards him and thank him instead of thanking me.
That’s what disbelievers in God do; He gives them water, food, money, health, wealth, family, you name it! If they worship other gods besides the one true God, they turn to them in gratitude, rather than being thankful to the one who has given them sustenance. Or, if on the other hand, they are people of no faith, they thank themselves; claiming that they acquired these things because of their talents, personal qualities, or hard work alone. (Note from SFP – This is covered in Detail here – 8 insights of the Unforgivable Sin)
Why do Atheists fear going to Hell?
Why do atheists so often question believers as to whether they believe they will go to hell ? It can only be for one of two reasons. The first is that he does so in order to fluster a believer; not out of genuine fear of Hell, nor of hope of entering Heaven, because he does not even believe in either of them. Alternatively, he may do so because he is not completely convinced of his own Atheism and is trying to find himself a way out, just in case there does turn out to be a God, a Day of Judgment, followed by reward and punishment. And I will tell you why an Atheist thinks in such a way. What makes an atheist doubt his Atheism? From a philosophical point of view, the existence of God is subject to three possibilities. His existence may be an undeniable fact, such as Muslims believe, for example. His existence may be questionable, such as agnostics believe, or otherwise His existence may be an absolute impossibility. If you ask any Atheist to put forth an argument to support his beliefs that the existence of God is an absolute impossibility, he will never be able to do so. The closest he can get to supporting his claim is that the existence of God is a possibility: He may exist, or He may not exist. So, a person who outright denies the existence of God, saying that it is an impossibility, actually believes in something that they have no arguments to back up. Accordingly, he is being arrogantly obstinate. That is why, when he questions whether or not he will go to Hell, deep down he is scared, because he knows that there is a one in a hundred, or one in a thousand chance that there is indeed a Heaven and a Hell.
To Atheists – If God doesn’t exist then why the element of hesitancy?
Let me show you a short video of Ben Stien interviewing the most notorious Atheist, Richard Dawkins, in his documentary entitled “Expelled” , wherein he questions Dr Dawkins on the probability of the existence of God, from his point of view.
[Video Transcript given below – it is part of the main video embedded above and starts from 8th minute.]
Stien – Can you believe its liberating to tell people that there is no God?
Richard Dawkins – I think when a lot of people when they give up God feel a great sense of release and freedom.
Stien – Why do you think that? I mean what’s your data, what’s your scientists? What’s your data?
Richard Dawkins – Well….I think….I have a lot of letters saying that.
Stien – There are 8 billion people in the world Richard Dawkins, how many letters do you have?
Richard Dawkins – Yea, yea, yea I know its quite true.
Stien (commentary) – Professor Dawkins seemed so convinced that God doesn’t exist that I wondered if he would be willing to put a number on it.
Richard Dawkins – Well… Its hard to put a figure on it. But.. but.. I mean.. I put it as something like in a 99% against or something.
Stien – Why is it 99% and not let’s say 97%?
Richard Dawkins – No.. I did, you asked me to put a figure on it and I am not comfortable putting a figure on it. I think its, I just think its very unlikely.
Stien – What….but you couldn’t put a number on it.
Richard Dawkins – No
Stien – of course not, so it could be 49%
Richard Dawkins – Well it could be, I mean I, I think its unlikely, but.. but I.. but its quite far from 50%.
Stien – How do you know?
Richard Dawkins – I don’t know. I mean I.. I put an argument in the book
God understands the mindset of such people and knows that deep down they do feel -at least to some degree- there is a God, but they are merely being stubborn and arrogant. The Quran says: ‘No indeed! The idolaters promise each other only delusions.’ Quran 35:40. Staunch Atheists who are pro-active in convincing others of Atheism are often extremely arrogant, as if they have all the answers to every matter in the universe. But in reality, they behave in such a manner to cover up their own doubts and inability to put forth an intelligent, logical argument to validate Atheism. With Atheists, the real issue is not one of understanding, but rather that they have a psychological problem regarding religion. And the Quran addresses that too. It tells us that when the Atheists are being punished in Hell, they address Malik, who is the angel in charge of Hell, saying: ‘They will cry, “Malik, if only your Lord would finish us off’, but he will answer, ‘No! You are here to stay.’ We have brought you the Truth but most of you despised it.”‘ Quran 43:77-78 Note that it doesn’t say ‘But most of you didn’t understand it.’ So it is basically a psychological problem, and not a matter of inability to understand. This may either be a result of religion being presented to people in the wrong way, or perhaps done out of a desire to escape from the regulations and the do’s and don’ts imposed by religion, it could also be a superiority complex; where some people have the need to believe that they (or mankind) has no superior and are self-sufficient, or it may merely be a desire to attract attention.
In a multi-cultural multi-faith society, people must be able to live together in harmony without harbouring animosity towards each other over religious matters. However, at the same time, we should be able to have academic discussions and debates about matters of religion and belief in a friendly atmosphere.
Richard Dawkins hesitates to say God doesn’t exist 100% | Atheists are afraid of Hell | Not believing God is the worst Sin