The Truth of Islam

godafoss-waterfall_447.jpeg

Many ask for proof of Islam in the form of arguments; when I would argue one of the greatest proofs of Islam is in experiencing it, tasting it for yourself. See; through reason alone, you may be able to convince someone that sugar is sweet but for them to truly be convinced they will have to taste sugar for themselves. In the same way, Islam has to be experienced.

Now, this is far from practicing blind faith as It all begins with acknowledging the reality of God which he has placed within our nature (fitrah) our soul. A person inclining towards their pure nature will realize that the teachings of Islam fit them like a well-tailored suit, take for example; what God tells us about him self in the 112th chapter:

“Say, He is God, the One,
God the Eternal.
He begot no one nor was he begotten.
No one is comparable to Him.”

These words will make sense to this person, they will recognize them and find them to be in line with what already exists within their heart. Their soul will bear testament to the Quran, when engaging with the Quran they will experience a joy as if meeting a long lost friend; there will be a recognition a spiritual reunion. This is expected as they are engaging with the literal words of the one that made them. From this point on it’s time to experience the truth by implementing Islam into your life, by submitting yourself to your creator and his guidance as you were created to do. If sincere; undoubtedly the truth of Islam will permeate your heart, its reality will become manifest to you. As God says in the 47th chapter of the Qur’an:

“just as for those who are [willing to be] guided, He increases their [ability to follow His] guidance and causes them to grow in God-consciousness.”

As for those who say I tried Islam but didn’t taste anything, I would ask; was it really a sincere attempt? Or did you aloofly just put the sugar in your mouth whilst at the same time pinching your nose and spit it out before any experiencing could be had.

Advertisements
The Truth of Islam

Certainty in the Age of Doubt – reflections from Surah Ikhlas

Here’s the most recent lecture I delivered on Surah Ikhlas and certainty. See how reflecting over the Quran and this Surah in particular removes doubts and instils certainty in our hearts and minds. Much of what I cover is not my work; however what I’ve tried to do is compile and share some gems from our classical & contemporary scholars, students of knowledge and duat in regards to this Surah and the topic of certainty in general. I hope you find this beneficial, make sure to share.

Certainty in the Age of Doubt – reflections from Surah Ikhlas

‘Allah is close’ Quranic reflections

img_0907

“And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me – indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided.” Quran 2:186

Recently, I have drawn really close to this ayah (sign, verse) of the Quran, just knowing that Allah is near brings comfort and assurance to the heart. Reflecting and pondering over this verse opens up some amazing insights into the relationship we were designed to have with our creator. It highlights the beautiful balance and closeness of this relationship between us and Allah.

At any moment in your life when you feel alone, and your heart seeks closeness to Allah remember that Allah is near as he says, “And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me – indeed I am near.” He is close; he sees and hears everything; he is aware of every situation and everything that goes on around us and inside us. For the believer, this is enough assurance but Allah out of his mercy continues, he tells us “I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me.” He responds to us whenever we call him, how much peace does this bring to our hearts knowing that we are not alone, that the one creator of everything the exists is with us and always there to help us! Not only is our lord close, but he responds to us and our specific requests; this knowledge envelops our hearts with comfort and divine love.

If this glorious ayah was to be split in half almost down the middle; you would see a beautiful balance highlighting the relationship between man and his creator. In the first part of the verse a need is highlighted and responded to, interestingly in the second part of this verse, a response is evoked, Allah says, “So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me” Allah is reminding us that we are in need of him, and we need to turn to him and submit ourselves to him alone. Knowing that he is the one that responds to us when we call upon him, he is the one that sustains us, even if we turn away from him, he is the one that takes care of us; even those that outright deny him, does not such a creator deserve all our love and worship?

The way this verse ends is even more beautiful, Allah says, “that they may be [rightly] guided.” Allah glory be to him reminds us that he is free of need, even this response he evokes is for us and our benefit and not for him. If this isn’t beautiful enough then think about this, the greatest thing we can ask for is to be guided, In the opening chapter of the Quran which we recite in the five daily prayers, Allah teaches us to ask for guidance “Guide us to the straight path,” Allah out of his mercy in the closing words of this ayah lets us in on the secret to guidance, just in case we forget to ask. In this ayah not only, does Allah tell us that he will give when we ask, but he gives us the greatest gift without asking! The gift of guidance.

Reflecting over and spending time with the book of Allah is one of the most beneficial things we can do for ourselves. As Allah says in the Quran “Then do they not reflect upon the Qur’an, or are there locks upon [their] hearts?.”
This is only my tadabbur (pondering) over this beautiful ayah and Allah knows best.

‘Allah is close’ Quranic reflections

Designed TO Discover

universe-hd-photo19-JPG_20150426223147927

“But then with me the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would anyone trust in the convictions of a monkey’s mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?”[1]

This is an excerpt from a letter written in 1881 by Charles Darwin. What troubled him was the notion of trusting the human mind; if we evolved from lower life forms; if we can be reduced down to random, non-rational physical processes, how can our minds be rational?

Indeed, questions such as, “Can we trust our minds?”, “Can we reason to the truth?”, and, “Why and how have we acquired the ability to understand the universe?” have captured the minds of great thinkers throughout the ages. Our minds are truly fascinating; we have mental faculties which outshine all other creatures, and we seem to have cognitive abilities which surpass the requirements of natural selection.

Natural selection is not concerned with truth value but rather survival value. Both true, as well as false beliefs, can adequately result in survival. Take this as an analogy: John and Mark are asked to run across a busy highway blindfolded. John’s cognitive faculties are functioning perfectly; when he is asked to do this, he reasons to the conclusion that this would be extremely dangerous and declines the offer. On the other hand, Mark’s cognitive faculties are impaired, which result in him believing that there is no traffic. At the same time, he holds the belief that someone has just glued his feet to the ground, which results in him not running across the road. This simple example illustrates that survival is not contingent on truth.

It isn’t only our minds which are amazing, we also live in a rational universe.

Again, if everything was simply a by-product of non-rational, blind, random physical processes, how have we ended up with a rationally ineligible universe? A universe governed by distinctive laws and one which is mathematically coherent. Many have been mesmerized by the rational nature and order of the universe; this is captured in the statement of Einstein, when he said, “What is inconceivable about the universe is that it is at all conceivable.”[2] We live in an ordered rational universe! Order does not come from disorder; we wouldn’t expect scrabble pieces thrown into the air at random to land spelling a concise sentence. Rationality does not come from non-rationality,; believing such a thing would be absurd. It would be the equivalent of claiming that something could arise from nothing.

As a race, humans have progressed in leaps and bounds in the sciences, yet the two fundamental requirements to do science—a rational mind and a rational universe—have gone unaccounted for. Having one without the other would render science non-existent. Both need to work uniquely together in a complementary way to make science possible. An analogy which comes to mind is of a lock and a key: the rational mind being the key which has the potential to unlock the rational universe.

Here arises another problem for atheism: how is it that we have a mind which can comprehend the order and rationality of the universe? Keys do not just fit locks by chance, they are designed to fit. This makes sense of God’s existence. If rationality cannot come from non-rationality, and since we cannot trust our minds if they are just a result of blind, non-rational forces, then what best explains the fact that we do trust our minds and that rationality can only come from rationality? An All-Knowing and All-Wise being (God) that created the universe with the ability for sentient beings to have rational faculties is the best explanation for this.

In the Qur’an, seldom does God engage humanity in attempting to prove His existence. Instead, He takes us from His existence, which is self evidently true, to His worship. One way God does this is by directing us towards His creation; encouraging us to look into creation wherein lie His signs. It is through pondering and reflecting over these signs that we can appreciate His majesty and creative power, which naturally leads us to knowing and affirming that He deserves to be worshipped.

God says in the Qur’an, “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.”[3] We can draw a beautiful conclusion from this: God gave us a rational mind and a rational universe so we can reflect over this creation and through this, fulfil our purpose which is to worship God: the One who made us and gave us everything. Indeed, the One who made everything and gave us everything deserves to be worshipped.

[1] Darwin, C. R. to Graham, William. 3 July 1881.

[2] Santillana, Giorgio de and Hertha von Dechend. Hamlet’s Mill: an Essay on Myth and the Frame of Time. Boston: Godine, 1977.

[3] The Qur’an, Chapter 3, Verse 19.

Originally published on onereason.org

Designed TO Discover

A Muslim Sisters’ Response to the Campaign of Dr Taj Hargey to Ban the Burka in Britain

niqab

As a British female revert to Islam, I am yet again offended by a man trying to impose his beliefs about what he thinks is best for me, what I should wear and how I should practice my chosen faith.

I would like to categorically assert that I did not accept the religion of Islam to have Muslim reformists try to chase me away from it, or deter me from following its normative tradition. Especially by someone who is clearly untrained and lacking in scholarly credence. [1]

The first baseless accusation I’d like to address, made by Dr Taj Hargey, who doesn’t deserve a formal introduction, is that the face veil poses a security risk.  Despite there being no evidence to support that veiled women are prone to committing criminal or terrorist acts, I do not know of any Muslim woman who has the slightest objection to removing the face veil to confirm their identity, thus adhering to much needed security measures in airports and other places that require heightened security.

In 2001, having being a Muslim for seven years, I deliberated and studied the issue of adorning the face veil and willingly adopted it for myself. That choice and the way I choose to dress have never prevented me from being a compassionate, positive and active citizen of Britain. Neither has it restricted me in volunteering for activities to promote health and fitness in my city. I have delivered presentations on Islam at schools, fed the homeless in my local area, and even taken part in parent’s races on Sports Day! Rather it is counter productive and negative campaigns by Dr Hargey which encourage unrest and distrust, whilst proposing a dangerous totalitarian law on dress code that threatens all of our liberties, whatever our faith and beliefs.

Another groundless assertion that Dr Hargey makes in ‘support’ of his campaign against the ‘burka’ is that the veil does not have a place in Islam and is that it is completely against Islamic thought and tradition. This claim is riddled with inaccuracies and misinformation. History documents that amongst the vast majority of Muslim scholars since the early days of Islam, there has always been a healthy culture of debating religious issues. These topics would include the best way to offer prayer, whether shellfish is a permitted for consumption and if the face veil is obligatory or just an extra act of worship. Within all schools of thought the face veil has always been considered, at the very least, to be an honored act of obedience to The Creator.

Dr Hargey also feebly attempts at a claim that the veil cannot be Islamic because other ancient cultures encouraged it prior to the advent of Islam. This is like saying the turban cannot be part of Sikhism, because the Arabs wore it before they did! In fact the claim that the face veil stems from deep roots in Persian tradition doesn’t wash either. Ancient Greek texts speak of the veiling, and the seclusion of women being practiced among the Persians as a means to separate the ‘elite’ from the commoners. Historically, the veil was an article of apparel that was a means of denoting social distinction. It was not a widespread phenomenon, but was restricted to a certain social class of women. [2]

In contrast the face veil, or ‘niqab’ adopted by Muslim women, is considered an act of obedience and commitment to The Creator, because as the Qur’an states,

“Indeed, the noblest among you near Allah, is the one who is most conscious of Allah.”[3]

Dr Hargey also dismisses the veil by arguing that it is a backward cultural practice. He usually cites the Pakistani community, and argues that it is just a primitive tradition of elderly Pakistani women. This pseudo-argument does not hold water. Modern Islamist feminists and contemporary scholars are infact trying to educate much of the developing world that many of their customs, including honour killings, the caste system and preference of boys over girls are not connected to Islam. They argue that these customs are antithetical to Islamic values and are rooted in ignorance.Pakistan is no model for the most practising Islamic society. The irony is, many of these Islamist feminists who struggle against backward cultural practices – wear the face veil themselves! Thus, the veil is a symbol for revival and progress.

It must be said that Dr Taj Hargey will not understand why women choose to wear the niqab without acknowledging the revolution that occurred amongst women at the time of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). The women during the early period of Islam enthusiastically adhered to the Quranic instruction of the veil as part of an uprising against the ignorant practices of those times.

Just as western history celebrates the burning of bras of the 1960’s, so does the Islamic world cheer the women of the Arabian deserts who tore their sheets in two so that they may cover their heads and faces.  This was their revolution, with The Creator as their Liberator and Protector, freeing them from sexual deprivation, degradation based on gender,and empowering them against a culture of immorality – Common practices in the age of ignorance included marriages that had more in common with prostitution than a contract of love and compassion. Islam emancipated women.

Five years after the Prophet’s migration to Medina, the fifty-ninth verse of Surah Al-Ahzab, was revealed,

O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to bring down over themselves [part] of their outer garments. That is more suitable that they will be known and not be abused. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful. [4]

The Prophet (pbuh) was commanded to tell his wives, daughters and the women of the believers to ‘bring their outer garments close to them’ so that they can be recognized as noble women and not be harmed. In response to the verse, the women of Madina were reported to have come out with their faces covered in different ways. [5]

Whilst Dr Hargey mentions verse thirty in Surah Al-Noor,where Allah Almighty commands believing men and women to lower their gaze and guard their chastity, he fails to follow it up with the mention of the following verse, verse thirty-one, where Allah then tells women to not expose their beauty except that which is normally apparent. [6] There are two interpretations for the ‘normally apparent’. Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) says it means the face and hands, however, Ibn Mas’ud (may Allah be pleased with him) interprets it as whatever is apparent after the face is covered.

These revelations and traditions are where the deep rooted Islamic view of face veil stems from and where I myself derive my belief that my niqab is as an additional act of obedience to my Creator. My interpretation, which is in line with the Shafi’, Hanbali and later Hanafi jurists has encouraged myself to emulate the women closest in affection and time to the Prophet of Islam, namely his wives and daughters. These women are my role models. Obviously Dr Hargey doesn’t consider them as people we should look up to. Perhaps Dr Hargey’s demeaning behaviour
towards the adherents of mainstream Islam is due to an inferiority complex?

Dr Hargey also says that the face veil is not permitted in Islam’s Holy City of Makkah during the Annual Pilgrimage. Having performed the Annual Pilgrimage once and the lesser ‘Umrah’ Pilgrimage twice, I can tell you it is a frequent sight to witness the Saudi security guards reminding the womenfolk, who do not wear veil, of its importance in such a mixed and crowded environment. Those who choose to keep their faces uncovered, when normally they would wear veil elsewhere, do so only due to adopting the ruling of Hanafi school which states that no cloth should touch the face during ‘Ihram.’ [7] When not taking part in the rites of the pilgrim, female visitors to Makkah are often seen wearing the face veil- a practice in line with normative Islam

Taking into account all Dr Hargey’s false claims, I conclude that either he is very ignorant about the religion he claims to follow, or like asserted previously he seeks attention due to inner feelings of inferiority when surrounded by strong Muslim women. Either way his campaign is yet another attempt of a man trying to dictate what a woman should wear.  Dr Hargey seems to be imposing his sexist views on women by telling them what attire they should adorn themselves with. He has joined the likes of fashion designers, men’s magazines and politicians such as Jack Straw, in attempting to forcefully impose the sexist ideology that a man has the right to entice women to undress against her own honour and free will. It is sad to witness that this form of sexual harassment remains unchallenged. Despite all of the sacrifices women have made throughout history, this hidden patriarchy continues unabated.  Dr Hargey’s proposal is a threat to Civil liberties whilst stunting the promotion of community and social cohesion that he claims to defend.

It is not an exaggeration to postulate that Hargey’s campaign is tantamount to sexual harassment.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission of  Britain states that the following criteria equate to sexual harassment, and urge victims not to be fooled into thinking it is reasonable to tolerate such behavior;

  1. Comments about the way you look which you find demeaning.
  2. Indecent remarks –(this would include comments such as “get it off,” “take it off”)
  3. Sexual demands by a member of your own or the opposite sex (this would include demands for you to reveal a part of your body which you consider to be private)
  4. Unwanted conduct on the grounds of your sex [8]

Since the private parts of a person is a place on the human body is that which is customarily kept covered by clothing in public venues and conventional settings, as a matter of decency, decorum, and respectfulness, [9] it then it follows that Hargey should be accused of sexual harassment. The idea of what is ‘private’ from one person to the next differs, but in no way should be enforced by others on the individual.

Although the above forms of sexual harassment can be inflicted by either gender, in all honesty I have only ever heard, “Show us your face/legs/hair,” and “Get it off,” from men, never women. These experiences have strengthened my determination to never let a man dictate to me how much flesh I should expose.

The unfortunate fact is that despite our claims of advancement in the fields of science and academics,the world we live in today is just as rife with prejudices and pressures to fit into what is ‘normal,’ as it ever has been.It doesn’t matter if an individual is white, black, yellow, fat, thin, covered or not- there will always be a section of the community who will frown upon our appearance and choices and aim to take away our freedoms. Even more consequential is that we are ‘thrown’ into this life as slaves to our circumstance, not able to control our place of birth, our parents or lineage, our DNA or our social condition. Infact there are psychologists who deliberate quite rightly, that we never even chose to exist at all. [10]

This state of bondage is magnified when we are pressured to fit into the social norms of our communities, taking the form of a suffocating cultural slavery. Sometimes our participation in following changing fashions and trends is willing- we quite like those maxi dresses that are now ‘in vogue’ or we don’t mind paying ridiculous prices for the new smart phone which has only one additional feature different to the previous model- but most times we un-wittingly and un-willingly succumb to societal pressure.

Another form of enslavement is the servitude to our desires, many of which are harmful to our psychological state, our loyalties to others and our spiritual well-being. Examples include the urge to pursue that unobtainable man or woman at the expense of our pride and dignity,the drive to follow our dreams no matter who gets trampled upon and the desire to fulfil every filthy fantasy thus degrading our very being.

This is where Muslims like myself prefer to rid ourselves of all these forms of subjugation and find solace and purpose in submitting to the Creator becoming ‘His’ slave alone. This may be interpreted and adhered to slightly differently from one striving Muslim to the next, but the intention and willingness is the same and should be respected equally.  Islam is not monolithic, and Hargey cannot force his views on the mainstream Muslim community. This bigotry must stop.

I could easily fit into todays ‘norm’ of dressing to impress. As a white woman living in England it would barely raise an eyebrow. And if our lives just conclude in the grave, ultimately us all finishing up as worm buffet, as some would have us believe- what difference does it make if I lived a life as a Devil and you as an Angel? I however believe to have found the only logical purpose of life,choosing to please my Lord thus removing the chains of societal pressures. If we are not permitted to do this, or have not discovered the true freedom that comes from it, I believe we may as well just keel over and die.

My journey to hijab, and later, the face veil, was a spiritual endeavor and a religious choice. Wearing hijab for me once adopting Islam was a no brainier. The images I was brought up with of a pious chaste Mary (Allah be pleased with her) covering her beauty for her Lord, had a huge influence in this. Despite some reservations within my close circle of friends and family, once I decided to wear the face veil it was due to my own convictions;I had no doubts about my decision. Even my husband did not believe it was necessary at that time, but after listening to my reasons, he supported my assessment. He eventually was persuaded and agreed there was a strong case for it within the Islamic tradition. Yes, surprising as it sounds, I, the woman, got a man to agree with the veil.

It does make me wonder what Dr Taj Hargey would do if his wife or daughter decided they wanted to adopt the face veil? Would he force them to go against their values and beliefs? If so, wouldn’t he turn into that dominating male figure he claims to vehemently oppose? Actually, isn’t he doing that already?

By Ruqayyah Dawood

[1] https://coolnessofhind.wordpress.com/2014/05/17/taj-hargey-devout-scholar-or-devious-swindler/

[2] https://suite.io/paula-i-nielson/2sxe2dq

[3] Al-Qur’an [49:13]

[4] Al-Qur’an [33:59]

[5] Sahih al-Bukhari, no. 4481

[6]Al Qur’an [24;30-31]

[7] Ihram is the sacred state of the pilgrim which includes two unsewn pieces of cloth for the men and other rules such as not killing a creature or trimming the nails.

[8] http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/your-rights/equal-rights/gender/sex-discrimination-your-rights-at-work/sexual-harassment/sexual-harassment-your-rights

[9] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intimate_part

[10]Thrownness”, according to Heidegger and Binswanger, is a psychological term referring to the circumstances that characterize a person’s existence that are beyond the person’s control.

A Muslim Sisters’ Response to the Campaign of Dr Taj Hargey to Ban the Burka in Britain

IS GOD RELEVANT IN THE 21ST CENTURY

rt

As much as some would love to divorce God from reality, the reality is that God is a necessary truth. Life without God is absurd, life without God raises more questions than it can answer. In this lecture I try to present a few reasons as to why Allah (the deity) is not only necessary but an absolute reality. 

So it will be, because it is God alone who is the Truth, and whatever else they invoke is sheer falsehood: it is God who is the Most High, the Most Great.

Quran 22:62

 

IS GOD RELEVANT IN THE 21ST CENTURY

CONSCIOUSNESS, ACCEPTING THE BEST EXPLANATION

cv101

Hamza Andreas Tzortzis recently published an essay on consciousness, in which he aptly demonstrated that materialism cannot explain the phenomenon we know as consciousness in particular the hard problem of consciousness. He concluded his paper by inferring that God as the best explanation for conscious states. Furthermore Hamza explained why God was the best explanation by providing a five point breakdown which I have shared at the bottom of this post.

However some people have completely dismissed his explanation, claiming it does not explain anything, that this is the “GOD OF THE GAPS!” fallacy and so on, which is quite absurd. His inference quite clearly provides a cogent answer with great explanatory power, no one is trying to squeeze God into a gap. It seems to me that the problem is not that God is the best explanation; rather the problem seems to be well why should we accept this explanation since we don’t have an explanation for God? I believe there are good reasons to believe in God however this is a vast topic in and of itself and I will save it for future posts (God willingly). What people seem to be overlooking is the fact that the best explanation does not require an explanation.

In other words you cannot or should not reject God as an inference to the best explanation for consciousness on the basis that you may not have an explanation for God. The first thing that needs to be addressed is does God explain consciousness adequately? I believe he does, once you accept this then we can ask further questions.

Here’s an analogy to put things into perspective, imagine if there is a group of archaeologists digging on the moon; they find pieces of pottery, arrow heads, pieces of parchment and so on. Looking at these findings they conclude or infer that there must have been a civilization here. Now along comes Dr. Daniel Dennett and says “How dare you infer such a thing?! Who put this civilization here?! Unless we know who put this civilization here we cannot conclude that there was a civilization!”

This illustrates the point, you cannot reject the best explanation based on the fact that you may not have an explanation for that explanation because otherwise you may never have an explanation.

Now going back to the essay the question we need to ask is did Hamza provide an explanation and explain why it is the best explanation? I believe the answer is yes and quite evidently so. Therefore  the most rational thing to do is accept the best explanation or at the very least consider it. The following is an excerpt from the essay for you to judge for yourself.

In conclusion I would like to say that as human beings we need to put aside our intellectual and emotional baggage sometimes and look at things objectively to truly get closer to the truth, just because we may not like a particular notion does not render it false.

Excerpt from Consciousness and the New ScientistMagazine: Reflections on False Materialist Assumptionshttp://www.iera.org/research/blog/consciousness-and-the-new-scientist-magazine-reflections-on-false-materialist-assumptions-hamza-tzortzis

“In light of this, how do we explain consciousness in light of the failed materialist attempts to comprehensively explain our subjective personal experiences. Here is a summary of five main reasons why God is the best explanation:

1. Firstly it answers a question that none of the existing views have answered: where did consciousness come from? Professor J.P. Moreland explains how it could not have been via natural physical processes:

“Our knowledge of the natural world would give us positive reasons for not believing that irreducible consciousness would appear in it, e.g. the geometrical rearrangement of inert physical entities into different spatial structures hardly seems sufficient to explain the appearance of consciousness.”[17]

If matter and consciousness are distinct, it follows that consciousness could not have emerged from matter. In order to explain the fact that subjective conscious experiences exist, God must have created consciousness. Moreland summarises this point:

“The truth is that naturalism has no plausible way to explain the appearance of irreducible, genuine mental properties/events in the cosmos…when compared to the rich explanatory resources for theism…”[18]

2. Secondly, theism answers how consciousness could have entered the physical world. God’s comprehensive will and Divine activity ensure a world-the physical and non-physical. Charles Taliaferro explains:

“But in a theistic view of consciousness, there is no parlor trick or discrete miraculous act of God behind the emergence of consciousness. Consciousness emerges from the physical cosmos through an abiding comprehensive will of God that there be a world of physical and non-physical objects, properties, and relations. The relation between matter, energy, consciousness, the laws of space-time, tout court, all stem from an overwhelming, divine, activity.”[19]

3. Thirdly, theism has greater explanatory power. According to a materialist’s view, consciousness seems to have miraculously popped in to existence without any adequate physical explanation. However, theism doesn’t face this problem, as the emergence of consciousness is viewed as part of reality. Since God is conscious, alive and All-Aware, it is not implausible that the world that He created contains beings with conscious awareness of themselves. Taliaferro similarly concludes:

“From the vantage point of a fundamentally materialist cosmology, the emergence of consciousness seems strange; it is likened to claiming ‘then a miracle happens.’ But from the vantage point of theism, the emergence of consciousness may be seen as something deeply rooted in the very nature of reality. The creation of animal and human consciousness is not some isolated miracle, but a reflection of the underlying structure of reality.”[20]

4. Fourthly, theism explains the interaction between nonphysical mental and physical brain states. God’s will and power has enabled such interaction to take place, as this interaction is part and parcel of reality that God has created. Simply, if in the beginning of the cosmos all you had was matter then you would never get consciousness. However, if in the beginning there was a type of consciousness that created the physical world then it follows the interaction between the nonphysical mental states and physical brain states.

5. Fifthly, theism explains our ability to have subjective conscious states and the fact that we have an awareness of what it is to be like ourselves, experiencing tastes, sounds and textures. Since the universe was created by an Ever-Living, Alive, All-Aware being, it follows that we have been given this capacity to be aware of our inner subjective states:

“God, there is no god except Him, the Ever Living.”[21]

“And He is the All-subtle, the All-aware.”[22]

 

 

CONSCIOUSNESS, ACCEPTING THE BEST EXPLANATION