Insha Allah (God-So-Willing): The Metaphysics of the Future

By T.O. Shanavas, New Age Islam

In the life of devout Muslims, a day never passes without using the Arabic phrase Insha Allah (God-So-Willing) at the end of any conversation about future events. Without an understanding of the meaning of this phrase, we cannot begin to comprehend God’s relationship with His creatures, the concept of Creation, and the role of free will. Nor can we offer a rational, internally consistent argument against materialist exclusion of God in the evolution of life and the universe.

Materialists among scientists argue that biological evolution is an “inherently mindless purposeless process.”1 They preach that impersonal natural laws rule the universe and that atoms are at work in the operation of life. Biologist and atheist Richard Dawkins insists that contingency and natural selection, operating over a long period of time, account for evolution. Dawkins assumes that blind forces of physics, chemistry, and natural selection are sufficient to explain the origin and expansion of life.2&3 He claims that the unfolding of life springs from the selfish desires of genes to increase their opportunities for survival and reproduction. Similar opinions prevail among other practitioners and admirers of science who argue that there is no reason to include God in the evolution of life. One extremist states that “materialism is absolute [and] we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.”4

Such fervency stems from an unshakable, unwavering faith in the Law of Causality, which most people acknowledge and which states that a given cause always produces the same effect. Gravity always pulls an apple down to the earth; spring season melts snow; drought brings destruction of crops. Chemical reactions in any organism, amoeba or human are explainable by the same laws of physics and chemistry that govern the universe.

Based on causality, scientists maintain that the future is predetermined and can be predicted through accurate knowledge of past causes. The laws of nature, they argue, are invariant, and scientific observation reveals the past as the product of those laws. Any natural event that departs from the anticipated effect of a uniform cause is classified as an “accident.” However, scientists’ predictions are based on the observation of matter and invariant laws of nature and are limited by their own earlier conclusions and experiences.

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