By Saeed Qureshi: The writer is a senior journalist, former editor of Diplomatic Times and a former diplomat.
Since universe is all scientific, its origin and Creator should be explored through the scientific means and knowledge. The religious explanations about the creation of the universe and existence of the Creator or God are not plausible. Moreover, such views and beliefs drastically differ among the respective religions, faiths and sects. As such these seem to be only a guess work and merely conjecture and irrational.
All natural phenomena from the tiny and invisible sub-atomic particles to the vast galaxies follow certain basic rigid laws which testify that there is a perfect logic and order in the universe. By studying the natural laws in the universe, the inescapable conclusion is that there was an intelligent designer, creator and a great scientist behind creation of all things that exist.
One of the evidence that God is a scientist and the universe is entirely and absolutely a scientific phenomenon can be perceived from the existence of fundamental constants in the unit of electric charge on the proton, on the masses of certain fundamental particles, and from the universal constant of gravitation denoted by letter “G”.
The perfection of the universe can be judged from the fact that If the force between nucleons (protons and neutrons) was a few per cent stronger then the hydrogen, Sun and water would not exist. Much smaller changes in Gravitational Force or pull would turn all the stars into blue giants or red dwarfs. The vastness and constant expansion of the universe at a terrific speed of 70 Kilometers per second also an irrefutable evidence that there is scientific force or God behind all this mindboggling and amazing phenomenon. And that is infinity which means no beginning and no end.
While the scientists have found out the perfect laws of nature and forces, they cannot fathom when the universe came into being as the more we go back, the more the question pops up “what existed before that”. Man cannot perceive the beginning and end of the universe. However, it can be said that existence and its creation rules are constant while creation like stars, earth and other forms may change from time to time.
The Religious story of creation is given in the first chapter “Genesis” of the Bible. It narrates how God created the world or the universe in six days and on the 7th day he rests. First of all, God created heaven and earth. Then God created light, day and nights, grass, herbs, fruit, evening and morning, then light and seasons, the sea creatures, then evening and morning on the fifth day, then living creatures on earth. After all these creations, God made the man in his image and “breathed in his nostrils the breath of life” and man became a living soul. Thus, the heavens and the earth and all other creations were finished in six days. God rested on the seventh day. Thereafter God creates man in his own image. Then God created Eve from the rib of Adam. Both were lodged in the garden of Eden. God tells the couple to eat everything from the garden but not from the tree present in the middle of garden. Both remained naked for some time.
The Islamic perception is different about the creation of the universe and human beings in the form of Adam and Eve. God created the universe by saying “let it be and it became”. Before creating Adam, God told the angles and the chief angel (later Satan) that he was going to create Adam which he did from the clay. After creating Adam, God taught Adam the names of all the creatures, and then commanded all the angels to bow down before Adam. All of them bowed but Iblis( Satan) refused to obey. He argued with God that Adam was from dust while he was from fire which goes up while clay goes down. God said that what he knows they(angels) didn’t know. He cursed Satan and banished him from the paradise. He was set free to mislead the human beings till eternity. Thus, God created his own rival.
Eve and Adam started living in the garden. God told them that they could eat everything in the Garden but not the fruit of the tree in the middle. That was tree of the “Tree of knowledge”. However, at the behest of serpent (Islam says Satan) first Eve and then Adam ate the forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge. Both became knowledgeable to the extent that they saw that they were naked. As a punishment God sends them to earth to a lead life of toil and hardship which is the present world.
This Biblical and Islamic view about the creation of man depict God as not well-informed and also revengeful like humans. The narrative upholds Satan’s prediction that Adam would be sinful. It also shows that paradise, Garden, angels and Satan (then arch angel) were already in existence before the creation of Adam.
The Biblical and the Islamic accounts state that there was a snake also in the paradise who misled Adam and pursued the couple to eat the forbidden fruit. The snake seems to be more persuasive than God in prevailing on both Adam and Eve. But why a snake was there about whom God was unaware that he would mislead both Eve and Adam.
According to the scriptures God came to know about the violation of his command by Adam and Eve after he saw Adam and Eve Knowledgeable. This happened when God came walking into the Garden, to see the couple who hid themselves. They came out and through a dialogue God came to know that they had violated his command and were knowledgeable for being aware of their nakedness. God punishes both snake and the couple by banishing them from the paradise and sending them to earth. It should be noted that God who is almighty walks into the Eden garden like the human beings and talks to the couple like a human being.
According to the religious scriptures he let loose his arch enemy Satan, with all the powers to prey upon the human beings till the doomsday. Adam practically doesn’t fulfill the claims and expectations of God that he would spread his message on the earth. While God eulogizes Adam as faithful and sinless and his messenger on earth, his wife was the first to disobey the commandment of God by eating the forbidden fruit.
All these beliefs and stories mentioned in the respective holy books cannot be attributed to God who cannot make a mistake and can be unaware as to when the snake enters stealthily into the paradise and is able to mislead the spouse of Adam. Were both Adam and God almighty not aware that the snake was misleading Hava the wife of Adam? Why in the first-place, snake was present there or why God created the snake in the paradise?
It looks that the scriptures are the creation of early writers among various societies. Most of the stuff is about wars and fighting and stories of the mighty kings. Snake is poisonous on earth and that is why it has been portrayed as an enemy of Adam in the Heavens also. God could have sent Adam on earth without informing the angels and Satan. If Adam is a metaphor for the start of the human progeny then it could have been done in a normal way that being humiliated and thrown on earth.
Understandably no one has created God and therefore he is self-created. But there should be a question as to what existed before God’ self-creation. However, the creator of the magnificent universe is beyond time and space. Religions’ portrayal of God is merely confined to be being omnipotent and omni-present. If God wanted this earth to be filled with peaceful, pious and obedient people then he could have done that without the assistance of Adam or anyone else. As such the creation of Adam and Satan are the metaphors to justify the tussle between goodness and wickedness.
If it is a test for the human beings to resist and deny satanic teachings then God should have empowered the humans as he empowered the Satan. There cannot be any comparison between the power and everlasting existence given to Satan with the limited life and powers given to the humans.
Therefore, we can discard or overlook the stories given in the holy books about the creation and existence of God. Instead there should be the scientific exploration that would be truthful because the universe is based and founded on absolute scientific principles. Indeed, there is creator who created this amazing phenomenon being run on perfect principles immutable laws such as.
God or the creator has never pleaded himself to be the creator. It is through the apostles or prophets who convey to the fellow human beings that there is an absolute authority which should be worshiped, adored and feared for paradise. Even otherwise the creation of universe drives one to a creator.
In the scriptures God has been defined as a powerful king or the ruler. Depending upon their good or bad acts he would award hell or heaven at the end of the system in the hereafter. The anecdotes and events given in the scriptures are narrated by the human beings on behalf of God. God per say, has never addressed or met the worshippers and the believers himself. It should be understood that God except Hindu, Shinto or Buddhism mythologies has been mostly a male who is defined or addressed as he and never she.
In Hinduism, Shintoism and some other religions, God has been portrayed in the form of deities each having some kind of trait or features and being male or female. They are portrayed in the form of idol or statues or physical images representing various powers. It is only in the Biblical religions of Judaism and Christianity and also in Islam that God is not presented in the physical form. Islam is against idolatry and physical featuring of God. In Islam, it is absolutely forbidden and is heretic to craft an image of God, because the image restrains the nobility and grandeur and vastness of the ruler of the universe
In Biblical religions, the belief in God is unassailable and beyond inquiry or questioning. The concept of hereafter and new birth after the death is prevalent in all the religions. Judaism, Christianity and Islam believe that there will be hell or paradise to be assigned to the human beings on the day of judgment depending upon the nature of their deeds in this world. In Christianity belied in Jesus Christ as the Son of God is enough for the believers to go to the paradise. Judaism and Islam base man’s salvation upon the good deeds and pious conduct in this world.
These elucidations, teachings and beliefs have been passed on to the human beings by prophets or founders of religions during the past few thousand years. God has been there always and is not bound by time or space. It means that before the emergence of religions, God was still there and therefore the universe as well as God has no beginning and no end. He is eternal.
Notwithstanding the portrayal of God by apostles and in religious books with human traits such as being fearful and merciful, the fact is that the universe is being run on absolute scientific principles and not emotions or sentiments or likes and dislikes. The religious beliefs perceive God as hidden and with attributes of being pleased and annoyed and always focusing on the deeds of the human beings. The moral codes and precepts offered by various religions are not the sound and irrefutable criteria about the creation, existence and continuation of this magnificent order which is not confined to earth only.
Every moment, new stars, galaxies and constellations continuously come into being and older ceasing to exist. As such universe is an emerging embodiment of perfect and absolute scientific laws. The good or bad deeds or hell and heaven and reward and punishment have nothing to do with creation and the creator.
In the known history of mankind, powerful and merciless kings and individuals have been destroying their opponents and enemies. Even in the present modern and enlightened times powerful countries subdue the weaker ones. In the name of religions horrendous pogroms and devastating wars have taken place in which the victors uprooted and wiped of their rivals for land and power. But God seldom invoked his mercy for the victims and wrath for the tormenters.
It shows that human sentiments of kindness, compassion and mutual goodwill which are essential and inviolable beliefs in every religion have seldom been disregarded to attain power and pelf. As such religions portrayal of God in the scriptures, getting pleased and annoyed and maintaining an order based upon moral principles to be judged on the dooms day to be the recipients of paradise don’t seem to be valid. If it is a trial and test of humans then it is an entirely unequal tussle between a powerful Stan and weak and vulnerable humans. God shouldn’t be portrayed as a powerful lord with human habits and customs.
The fact is that God almighty is beyond human comprehension although his existence is proven by the existence of the mindboggling and amazing universe that we see and in which we live. He is beyond sentiments, emotions and feelings as the human are. He is the embodiment of unbounded wisdom and knowledge which is essentially scientific and not religious. But to claim that the moral or immoral codes and beliefs will take them to hell or heaven is subject to logical and scientific scrutiny.
More than the religious laws and do and don’t, the constitutions and regulations crafted by the civil societies create orderliness, cohabitation, peace, advancement of knowledge, civic facilities and converting the inhabitants of the earth into a global community. People follow their respective religions freely though grey spots of religious bias and faith-based conflicts are still there. Thanks to scientific innovations and spread of knowledge the present societies are more prosperous, safer and stable than in the past.