Friday, 14 May 2010

I Have Reason to Believe

Asalamu aliakuam wa rahmat Allah wa barkatoo and HellOoo!

Recently a friend's blog was rudely 'interrupted' by an atheist. I personally have no problems with atheism and with any other belief/religion-

 Say, "O disbelievers, (1) I
do not worship what you worship. (2)  
Nor are you worshippers of what I worship. (3) 
Nor will I be a worshipper of what you worship. (4)  
Nor will you be worshippers of what I worship. (5)
 For you is your religion, and for me is my religion." (The Qur'an)

But to interrupt a friend's blog rudely.....Now that is not acceptable! Not to me! What I found very 'silly' as well was the whole  "It's scientifically embarrassing to believe in God".

I for one...I have reason to believe...

[This an article I wrote and published in the website Muslimas Oasis, for those who think it sounds familiar and are worried that I'm 'plagiarizing', lol.]

I Have Reason to Believe



“That’s what I said,” she said.
“No, you said, B, like boot. Notice what I am saying: P, pa, park.
“Ba-rk,” she replied a little defensively.
“No, no, no, no. Look at me. Park…”

They call it blind perception . A seemingly oxymoronish name, the term refers to the strange, almost “blind” perception learners/speakers of a foreign language may experience when hearing sounds, rhythms, intonations, etc. considered ‘meaning distinguishable’ in the foreign language but not in the speaker’s native language. Sounds complicated? It really isn’t. If we take the beginning “story’ as an example, we notice that the the first girl insisted that was she saying the same thing as her English teacher was saying (yes, I am taking these two characters way too seriously). She couldn’t hear the difference between the English letter “P” (which her teacher was saying) and the English sound ‘B” (which she was saying) because in Arabic, there is no distinction between these two sounds; pronouncing one as the other in Arabic, doesn’t really cause a difference in meaning . For example, pronouncing the Arabic word for Saturday, Sabt, as “Sabt” or as “Sapt”, with a light p, wouldn’t really change the meaning of the word. And that’s why Arabic speakers learning English, who have no hearing problems at all, often cannot hear the difference between the two sounds!

But, it’s not only in language that we humans sometimes perceive things incorrectly. Just the other day, I heard a little kid telling his mom, “Oh, mom, look! The moon is chasing us”. How many of us, as children, were also convinced that the moon was running after us or following our cars? We looked out the window and that’s what we saw….and we believed what we saw.

We believed it, not realizing how limited human perception (including sight, touch, hearing, etc.) really is. Did you know that if you stood next to an elephant, this giant creature, SubhanAllah, you would hear only a third of its growl? Yup, the BBC recently featured an article on this. What about dog whistles? We can’t hear the sounds but dogs obviously can! Not only that, but if you looked at a flower, in many cases, you would be seeing something very different from what bees see. That’s because it turns out that many flowers have ultraviolet patterned petals; these patterns, which can be seen by bees but not by the human eye, help the bees identify the flower’s store of nectar. And what about touch? Have you ever touched something that was so hot, your body mistakenly felt it was cold or vice versa? Like an ice-cube?

The simple truth is that what we sense is only a fraction of what is all around us. It’s a well known fact that many animals start running for cover from earthquakes long before we do; the fact that we cannot, without our modern technology, sense this gigantic catastrophe, this overwhelmingly massive destructive force as fast as they can, should make us realize that our perception really is… unreliable. 


It should also humble us.

And it should also strengthen our belief in all that Allah has informed us about….all that He has promised us…and all that He has, from His Mercy, warned us about.

Yes, knowing that there are things right now, at this very moment, right next to me that I cannot see or hear…well, it proves to me that right now, though I cannot see them, there are, on my shoulders, two angels recording every single one of my deeds.

And yes, around me, there are shayateen (devils) who see me, but who I do not see, and who are trying to lure me from Allah’s path.

And far far above, far beyond human sight, is the Throne of the Magnificent. And underneath His Throne, is a paradise with things no human eye has ever seen, waiting for its dwellers.

Dwellers who come right here from Earth- dwellers who dare to believe in the Unseen.



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P.S. Have you ever perceived something completely incorrect? For example, you heard someone say something but really they said the exact opposite? (You missed the contraction part/not/etc.)

13 comments:

  1. Hey Sarira,
    This is a great article. I really appreciated it.
    Also, did you think about maybe telling the atheist that we have a lot of scientific evidence backing up verses in the Qur’an? Islam and the Qur’an are not in disagreement!
    For instance:
    1) " He [i.e., Allah] is aware of an atom's weight in the heavens and on the earth and even anything smaller than that..."

    What is so significant about this verse? Only recently did scientists discover that atoms can be split into smaller parts. And yet this aya has existed for more than a thousand years!

    2. He has created both sexes, male and female from a drop of semen which has been ejected.) (The Qur'an, 53:45-46)

    Scientists used to think a baby’s gender was determined by his or her mother. It was only in the twentieth century that scientists found a baby’s sex is determined by his or her father. And yet the Quran clearly states that.

    3) Also what about all the verses that we have that speak of the embryonic development?
    Those are all miracles and ‘scientific proof’, don’t you think?

    Like how the Qur’an clearly relates that man is created in a three-stage process in the mother's womb. (... He creates you stage by stage in your mothers' wombs in a threefold darkness. That is God, your Lord. Sovereignty is His. There is no god but Him. So what has made you deviate?) ( 39:6)

    In fact, contemporary biology has exposed that the baby's embryological development does takes place in three marked regions in the mother's womb: the pre-embryonic stage, embryonic stage, and fetal stage. Each one of these stages has a specific time period and its own distinctive characteristics. Really, could Prophet Mohammed have known this?!

    Also, like how the Qur’an describes a human embryo as being like “a leech-like clot”(alaqah).

    And indeed We created man [Adam] out of an extract of clay. Thereafter We made him as a Nutfah [mixed drops of the male and female sexual discharge] [and lodged it] in a safe lodging [woman¡¯s womb]. Then We made the Nutfah into a leech [or leech-like structure] then We made the leech into a chewed lump, then We made out of the chewed lump bones, then We clothed the bones with flesh, and then We brought it forth as another creation. So blessed be Allah, the Best of creators. [Qur¡¯an, 23:12-14; Al-Mu¡¯minun, ¡°The Believers¡±]

    Dr. Keith Moore, Ph.D., F.I.A.C. The Department of Anatomy, University of Toronto, Canada, was intrigued about this and decided to check it out. He went to a zoology department and got a picture of a leech. He found that it really did resemble a human embryo. How could have the Prophet have known this centuries before when they didn’t even have microscopes? Also, how could the Qur’an relate the embryonic development so clearly?

    ((We) then formed the drop into a clot and formed the clot into a lump and formed the lump into bones and clothed the bones in flesh; and then brought him into being as another creature. Blessed be God, the Best of Creators!) (The Qur'an, 23:14)
    This is a very modern breakthrough. Before, embryologists thought that both the bones and muscles in an embryo were formed simultaneously. However, after more advanced microscopic research was performed, it was determined that the Quran was actually right and each step follows the way Allah recorded

    The only explanation is Dr. Moore’s, “It [the Qur’an] could only have been divinely revealed!”

    ReplyDelete
  2. But let’s take a different approach right now. What if the atheist person says that the Quran just guessed all of these facts? Let’s think about this using probability:

    -If a person has two different choices and just picks one randomly, he has a one in two chance of being right and a one in two chance of being wrong.

    -If a person has that happen again, so that he has two situations with two random choices, he has only a one in four chance to be right, which is if he was able to guess the correct one in both situations. In contrast, he has a three in four chance of being wrong.

    -Now let’s say another situation comes up and again there are two choices to choose from. (There are three situations all together.) Now, the person only has a one in eighth chance of being right. His odds of picking the right one in each situation has decreased dramatically.

    How is this related to the Quran? The Quran has made countless of statements and facts. How could each one just be a lucky guess? It’s impossible. The chances of getting a hundred guesses right is extremely improbable and only goes to prove the person isn’t guessing...

    Now, not believing, is scientifically embarrassing!

    ReplyDelete
  3. hehe I just noticed your note under the 'post comment' heading. lol its so cute! :)

    I really like the article, thanks for posting it up!! I love talking about animals, espcially in relation to Islam. I love how animals and other things like wind all make zikrullah. & That we should be like animals in the sense that we should fear getting hurt or being harmed. For instance, when an animal knows its being hunted as prey, it runs for its life...it's cautious of its life, but we humans take it for granted.

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  4. This is a fantastic post! You need to be a teacher! It's cute how people think they are saying the right sound, but aren't according to native speakers. I have this exact problem when Samer tries to get me to say Arabic sounds and words! Too bad he's already mastered the English "p." :-P

    You are so right about our inabilities to perceive things correctly. What a wonderful reminder of the awesome Creator we have!


    Thank you!

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  5. Sundus! How is everything? It's been a long time! Jazaki Allah for writing such a long detailed answers of the scientific evidence of the Qur'an. Amazing, isn't it?

    Oh and I did at first try to talk to the dude but I just gave it up when I realized just how arrogant he was ....

    heart and soul: "I love how animals and other things like wind all make zikrullah". Me, too! Me, too! SubhanAllah <3

    and thank you for saying the thing above the comment box is cute- i was starting to think it was really annoying! :D

    Susanne, my imaginary class would be very proud of me, don't you think? Hahahha. When I was a kid, I used to really 'teach' imaginary classes and I'd write down the kids' names and their grades....yeah, I took it seriously, hehehe. I really wanted to be a teacher. :D

    LOL @ Samer already mastering the 'p'. Hmmmm, how about consonant clusters? For example, 'text'?

    When we write that word phonetically, we actually come up with t/e/k/s/t, (the 'e' is actually represented by the mathematical 'e' sign if you know what I mean). Anyways, the consonant cluster here would be 'kst". In Arabic, we NEVER have 'two' consonants right after each other- we have a rule against that- 'man3 iltiqaa as sakinayn, for my arabic readers. That's why clusters like that prove to be very hard for arabic speakers and they often 'break' it up by inserting a small vowel, like 'texit'

    Let's see if that will get him, hahah. I'm kidding.

    And I know some arabic sounds are really hard ;)

    Yes, our Creator is the GREATEST :D and Thank YOU <3

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  6. Such an incredibly excellent post, i dont understand how people refuse to beleive in god because they cant see God, but have no problem beleiving in other "scientific" forces yet to be seen
    salaamz
    naz
    x

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  7. mashaAllah! sis, you should write a book! i'm sure you've thought of that, right? i remember this article and i love it!

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  8. It is rude when someone does that. Everyone is entitled to believe their own thing. We shouldn't have to worry what we say or do. It's simple; if you don't like something, just turn away!

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  9. Are you a language teacher? I really enjoyed your reply to me! I hope to remember what you asked and oh-so-innocently get Samer to say "text" for me tomorrow. ;) I'll be listening for that little vowel. I didn't know you all didn't have 2 consonants together - cool to know! :D

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  10. As Salaam Alaikum, MashaAllah, you know every time I read something from you I am always learning something new or it comes at just that moment when I need a iman booster.

    I always love to read articles that will point out [b]"Then which of these favors of your Lord will you deny?"[/b] Surah Ar-Rahman and reading this post reminded me of that ayah/verse which repeats itself after giving us multiple examples of Allah's creation and mercy for us.

    SubhanAllah.

    How can anyone deny Allah's existence?

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  11. Naz, I know! Right!

    Oldie goldie- that's so kind of you to say!! And kind of you to read it again, lol. You must have suffered enough the first time, lol!

    Jaimie- exactly! It's not like you're forced to read a person's blog! Thank you for being on my side, hehe!

    Susanne, I am supposed to be an English teacher. I graduated with a degree in English Language and Literature- I found the language courses to be very interesting, learning phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, contrastive analysis :D In my degree, I also took some teaching courses which were also interesting :D The only problem is I just haven't gotten a job, yet. Hey, I've applied to places...just waiting for a response ;)

    Miss Mish mish - you have really flattered me!! all blushing here. Yes, SubhanAllah! Surah ArRahman is so powerful!!

    Jazakum Allah koli khair and thank you :D

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  12. assalamu alaikum!


    awww mashAllah I loved this post!!! I couldn't help but think of a "frog in a well" while reading about the atheist who interrupted your friend's blog :)) as for your question, LOL yes I do hear things incorrectly or misunderstand what someone said, and in my defense I would say "Oh I'm a human being, I'm prone to make a fool of myself." That is until I started to think about the way I really should be talking/listening/communicating. To thoroughly think before speaking, listen intently without interrupting, analyzing what others are communicating...well to be in no rush when speaking to someone (which I would need to work hard on, since I lack patience). I would say, if we all slowed down when we communicated, we would be less prone to make mistakes, misunderstand, or offend someone.

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  13. I love your input, pancake. I know I need to work on this! There's this famous saying- there's a reason we've been created with two ears and only one mouth! SubhanAllah! WE should listen more and slowwwww down! Jazaki Allah!

    Great insight!

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Hey :D So am I talking to myself or...? Tell me what you think :D