There are numerous people who don’t find it easy to believe in God. Others who already believe in God, or at least that there’s a Creator of this world, may take their belief for granted. They may think there is no need to explain why they believe, because it is so natural for them. The society in which you live plays a big role in shaping the way you think about the subject. The more you are exposed to the atheistic/agnostic view that belief in God is baseless, nonsensical, or superstitious, the more likely you are to struggle to believe in God yourself.
Islam teaches that belief in God is something rational. Not only does this belief provide meaning and comfort in your life, but there are good, universally-objective reasons to believe that this world was created by a supreme intelligence. The Qur’an speaks to both the heart and the mind about why you should believe in God, in a way that would resonate with anyone open to at least considering the idea.
Arguments Why God Exists
Skeptical people often say: “Prove to me that God exists.” Everyone has their own understanding of what “proof” might be convincing for them. The basic idea of “proof” is that it should be something universal and objective, that provides a good reason for believing something, as opposed to rejecting that idea. Let’s look at the reasons the Qur’an gives for believing in God (known as ‘Allah’ in Arabic).
The First Cause Argument
Everyone knows that things have causes. This is known both from intuition and experience. The world is a giant collection of many causes and effects that we experience every day. Therefore, it is also reasonable to think that the world as a whole had an original cause that brought it into being and set things in motion. The Qur’an encouraged people who worshipped idols back then to think and reflect: “Were they created out of nothing? Were they the creators? Did they create the heavens and the earth? No! They do not believe.” (Sūrat at-Ṭūr 52:35-36)
Three logical options are presented to the reader: Either 1) the world exists without any cause 2) people created themselves and the world 3) the world was created by God, who is a supreme being with the power and knowledge to do so. Since the first two logical options don’t make sense to the average thinking person, they are asked as rhetorical questions, and dismissed. The third proposition remains: the world was created by God. This line of reasoning is sometimes referred to in philosophy as the First-Cause, the Uncaused Cause, or the Cosmological Argument for the existence of God. It is a type of deductive reasoning where you form a specific conclusion from general premises that you already believe are true.
Some people will, nonetheless, challenge this argument and say: maybe the world always existed or maybe there can be an infinite series of causes, so we don’t have to believe in a first cause. Firstly, it is counterintuitive to believe in such a thing. You would not believe that about anything else. If you saw a book on a desk and you asked how it got there, you would not believe it if someone told you it has always been there since eternity. Secondly, this response is contrary to modern science. The “big bang” theory states that the universe began at a certain point in time around 13.7 billion years ago in a massive explosion. Almost all cosmologists and theoretical physicists accept this view. Thirdly, even if, just for the sake of argument, we said the world was infinite, it probably still could have an origin that set the infinite series into effect.
Can Science Prove the Existence of God?
Some people think religion and science contradict each other. There are, and have been, many different religions. Most of them are false, so there is no need to try to defend them. When it comes to Islam, the one true religion, it does not contradict science because it came from the same creator that made everything in existence.
Islam does not preach blind faith. It encourages you to think, reflect, and ponder. The Qur’an says, “In the creation of the heavens and earth, in the alternation of night and day, in the ships that sail the seas carrying items for people, in the water which God sends down from the sky to give life to the earth when it has been dry, scattering all kinds of creatures over it, in the changing of the winds and clouds that run their appointed courses between the sky and earth: there are signs in all these for those who use their minds.” (Sūrat al-Baqarah 2:164)
The famous Muslim theologian and jurist Imam Abū Ḥanīfah (d. 767 CE) once had a debate with skeptical philosophers who questioned the existence of God. He said, “Before we discuss this subject, I have one question. If I told you there was a boat on the Tigris river (nearby) that can sail to its destination and return back by itself, then it anchors itself and unloads all the goods by itself, without anyone managing all of that, what would you say?” They responded that such a thing is impossible. So the Imam responded, “If it’s impossible for a ship, then how is it possible for the entire, massive world?” The argument was convincing and he won the debate.
There is another well-known story about an illiterate, uneducated Bedouin nomad living in the desert. He was asked why he believes in the existence of a creator. He responded, “The dung of a camel proves the existence of the camel and footprints in the sand prove the existence of someone that walked there. Look at the sky with all the stars, the land that has pathways to travel, and the sea with waves. Doesn’t that all prove the existence of a Kind and Knowledgeable God?”
Both these explanations use inductive reasoning where you use specific observations, like patterns you notice, and make a general conclusion. This type of logic is known as the Design or Teleological Argument for the existence of God. The Qur’an explains it like this, “There truly are signs in the creation of the heavens and earth, and in the alternation of the night and day, for people have intelligence…who reflect on the creation of the heavens and earth (and say): ‘Our Lord! You have not created all this without purpose…” (Sūrat ‘Āli ‘Imrān 3:190-191) When we use modern technology to view distant stars with a telescope or tiny cells with a microscope, we see the immense complexity of these things and the natural, universal laws that exist in the world. This leads us to reasonably believe that there is a purpose to each of these things. We understand and discuss the purpose of eyes, ears, a digestive system, and so many other things. Since all these things have purpose individually, we can also logically conclude that the world as a whole also has a purpose.
Science cannot exist without perceiving and establishing universal patterns in the world. Gravity, for example, applies to any object with mass in the same way, whether on earth or in space. It is both irrational and unscientific to believe that the laws in the world exist for no reason at all. Physicist Paul Davies explained this phenomenon: “The most refined expression of the rational intelligibility of the cosmos is found in the laws of physics, the fundamental rules on which nature runs. The laws of gravitation and electromagnetism, the laws that regulate the world within the atom, the laws of motion—all are expressed as tidy mathematical relationships. But where do these laws come from? And why do they have the form that they do? . . . Over the years I have often asked my physicist colleagues why the laws of physics are what they are. The answers vary from ‘that’s not a scientific question’ to ‘nobody knows.’ The favorite reply is, ‘There is no reason they are what they are—they just are.’ The idea that the laws exist without reason is deeply anti-rational. After all, the very essence of a scientific explanation of some phenomenon is that the world is ordered logically and that there are reasons things are as they are. If one traces these reasons all the way down to the bedrock of reality—the laws of physics—only to find that reason then deserts us, it makes a mockery of science.”
People have a natural tendency to believe in a higher being, and modern studies have further shown this to be true. It is the same way that it is natural to desire food and make the decision to eat due to the inner urge of hunger. Children, even when unaided by religious education, naturally form certain beliefs as their minds develop. They are internally programmed to see a creator at work all around them. It is something hardwired into the human psyche, and its denial is an acquired position which requires additional force and energy. Dr. Justin Barrett of the University of Oxford’s Centre for Anthropology and Mind says: “The preponderance of scientific evidence for the past ten years or so has shown…a predisposition to see the natural world as designed and purposeful and that some kind of intelligent being is behind that purpose. If we threw a handful [of people] on an island and they raised themselves, I think they would believe in God.” Professor Pascal Boyer, an anthropologist at Washington University, says “Religious thinking seems to be the path of least resistance for our cognitive systems. By contrast, disbelief is generally the work of deliberate, effortful work against our natural cognitive dispositions — hardly the easiest ideology to propagate.”
This natural instinct is found throughout history in almost all cultures, and there is no indication that they influenced each other. The Qur’an explained that even idol worshippers believed in a greater God over all the other gods they prayed to, “If you [Prophet Muhammad] ask them who created them they are sure to say, ‘God,’ so why are they deluded?” (Sūrat al-Zukhruf 43:87) Furthermore, people naturally ask questions about the world like: Why am I here? Why is there a world and not nothing? What is my purpose? The Qur’an encourages people to reflect on these instinctive questions that arise and not dismiss them, “Have they not thought about their own selves? God did not create the heavens and earth and everything between them without a serious purpose and an appointed time, yet many people deny that they will meet their Lord.” (Sūrat al-Rūm 30:8)
Rejecting belief in God, or at least belief in a higher power, ultimately leads to rejecting a predetermined purpose in life. Disbelief in God has always been a minority position throughout humanity because belief is hardwired into people. It may disappear for a while but can easily come back upon reflection and proper thought. There are good reasons to believe in God, and they are backed by modern psychology and science. Believing in God and understanding the purpose of life not only is rational, but it also brings peace in one’s life. The Qur’an explains it this way: “Truly, it is in the remembrance of God that hearts find peace.” (Sūrat al-Ra’d 13:28)
[Shaykh] Mustafa Umar | Aug 3, 2022 – Irvine, CA
 See https://www.space.com/13347-big-bang-origins-universe-birth.html
 Ibn Abī al-‘Izz, and Aḥmad al-Ṭaḥāwī. Sharḥ al-‘Aqīdah al-Ṭaḥāwīyah. (Bayrūt: Muʼassasat al-Risālah, 1997), 1:36.
 Ibn Kathīr. Tafsīr al-Qurān al-‘Aẓīm, 106.
 A study conducted in 2011 by the secular University of Oxford involving fifty-seven researchers who conducted over forty separate studies in twenty different countries representing a diverse range of cultures indicated that belief is natural. See http://ibnlive.in.com/news/its-natural-to-believe-in-god-oxford-study/152066-19.html, last accessed Sep 7, 2013.
 Justin L. Barrett, “Born Believers,” New Scientist March 17-23 2012, 39.
 http://www.theage.com.au/national/infants-have-natural-belief-in-god-20080725-3l3b.html, last accessed Sep 7, 2013.
 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/3512686/Children-are-born-believers-in-God-academic-claims.html, last accessed Sep 7, 2013.
 http://www.evolutionnews.org/2008/11/pascal_boyer_disects_religion012851.html, last accessed Sep 7, 2013.