- Religion and Philosophy
I stopped while pronouncing the Islamic declaration of faith, which is “ I bear witness that there is no deity other than The One God, - I bear witness that Muhammad is His Messenger” and I asked myself: why don’t we use the word “I believe” instead of using the word “I bear witness”? I assume the word “I believe” is much more suitable for the unseen, for I haven’t explicitly seen “God” and I haven’t seen the stages of creation. I also haven’t seen the Prophet of Islam, I haven’t been with him while he was delivering his message, so how could I bear witness to what I haven’t really seen?
God is Everywhere
However, when pondering on the question, I found myself truly seeing God in everything around me, in His Laws that never change, in His wisdom that is manifested in His creations, in the living Conscience that dwells inside us, in every sense of beauty we experience; the breaking of waves near the seashore glorifies His Greatness, the magnificent chanting of the birds at dawn praises His amazing grace, the colorful flowers that bloom in spring glorify His beauty. Everything shouts “God is everywhere” and praises His glory. How would I ever deny Him? The famous Islamic scholar Dr. Hassan Hathout once said: “If I see a book without a cover, I would never deny the author!!”
In fact, I see God not only in things around me, but I also see Him in the unfolding events, in an answered prayer or a question.
Experience with God
Years ago, I was watching a movie, where the protagonist murdered his wife and burned her body. He took her ashes and hurled it in the sea; I felt very sad and was so absorbed in the movie when suddenly a terrifying question struck my mind: is it possible that life would come back to the murdered wife? Is it conceivable that these ashes that were spread and disappeared in the middle of the sea will be resurrected in the Hereafter? As a believer I started to fight this irresistible thought, as this was against all my religious beliefs. But in vain (I failed)!
In the next day, I scratched my finger which was vigorously injured; I said to myself this must be God’s punishment for being skeptical about the Day of Judgment. My husband as a doctor dealt with the wound and I remembered how he skillfully removed a part of the surface layer of the skin completely, as it was dead.
Days flew by then I started to realize a newly born delicate skin covering my wound day after day. Amazingly, I remembered the verse in the Quran that stated:
“Does man think that We cannot assemble his bones? Nay, We are able to put together in perfect order the very tips of his fingers “ (75- 2-3)
Now I knew from the bottom of my heart that God meant to give me a clue to understand practically that He is capable of bringing us all back to life. The wound definitely was not a punishment as I wrongly interpreted. It was His magnificent Mercy to give me a hint to answer the question that haunted me for a while. The question of life and death was finally answered!
Learning by experience is the most effective. Everything around us is a message, and it is easy to decipher the code and see God in everything. God says in the Noble Quran:
“In the creation of the heavens and the earth, in the alternation of the night and the day, in the sailing of ships through the ocean for the profit of mankind; in the rain which God sends down from the skies and the life He gives therewith to a land that is dead; in the beasts of all kinds that He scatters around the earth; in the change of the winds and the clouds which they trail like their slaves between the sky and the earth—in all of these matters, there are for the wise, clear proofs of the knowledge and power of the Creator. " (2:164)
Then I pondered upon the statement (I bear witness that Muhammad is His Messenger). And I drowned in confusion once again; how would I ever bear witness for the prophet while he died 1400 years before my birth? With contemplation, it was easy to overcome confusion, as I’m holding in my hands the revelations he has transmitted to us.
When reading the Quran in its original language, I found it a solid proof of Muhammad’s prophethood. The Quran is miraculous in every aspect. It bears intelligent messages and achieves an unrivaled literary eloquence never known before. Also, some verses foretell a future event at the time of the prophet and it did happen later, address a current concern, or teach a scientific fact that had not been known until the advent of the twenty and the twenty-first century. Throughout human history, there was no other genius book that transformed a people, from a disorganized primitive group of warring tribes into an organized international community and laid the foundation of a great civilization that led the West out of the dark ages and gave rise to its Renaissance.
Also, the Quran is written in a way that would let tens of millions of people with different tongues around the world memorize each and every word of it by heart with the exact dialect and keep it in their hearts and minds generation after generation for 1400 years or more.
And because I touch the visible and the hidden miracles of the Quran whenever I read it, it is obvious to me that the Quran is God’s revelation upon his messenger for guidance to all humanity.
I Bear Witness
And whenever I think of both the universe and the Quran, and I see how they are really aligned, I find myself bearing witness with my tongue and heart “that there is no God but the one God and prophet Muhammad is His messenger.”