A Spiritual journey from Atheism to Miraj
Irreligion, non-religion, dualism, absence or rejection of religion, or indifference to it is called atheism. This means not believing in religion and denying the existence of Allah Almighty. The basic ideas of the people belonging to this school of thought include the idea that the world and the cosmic system came into existence by themselves. That there is no such thing as the Day of Judgement and Doomsday.
Beliefs of Atheists
Atheists only believe in things that can be perceived by our sight and for which scientific and rational arguments and evidence can be presented. People with such thinking are found in every era. However, in the present era, there has been an increase in this kind people. Above all, this situation has forced the religious community to think about the reasons that is making our young generation irreligious.
In Quran such speculations were discussed about those who disobeyed.
“And they say: ‘There is nothing (else) except our worldly life. We die and live here (only). And nothing kills us except (circumstances and occurrence of) time (i.e., they deny Allah and the Hereafter absolutely). And they simply do not have any knowledge of this (reality). They follow only their speculation and assumption.” (45:24)
Basic Reasons for atheist thinking
- The first argument an atheist makes is that the God we believe in cannot be perceived by our naked eyes. In short, it must be concluded that there is no God.
- The present age is one of materialism and scientific technology which has no room for any religious belief.
- One of the reasons for irreligion is our education system. Most colleges and universities teach books, articles and materials that promote atheism. Not only this kind of education but the kind of web series people are creating, and social media pages are being imposed on the minds of people in the name of “Rational thinking” which is corrupting the minds of our young generation.
- Islam is being associated with terrorism and extremism which is a major reason for apathy and atheistic thinking.
Islam is the religion of nature. The secret of our worldly and hereafter success is hidden in complete obedience to the outward and inward aspect of Mohammadan religion. The main reason for atheism is holding onto the exoteric aspect of religion and forgetting the esoteric aspect. If the spirit of Islam is understood, a disease like atheism can never develop in our society. However, this is only possible if the outward aspect of Islam is followed along with its esoteric requirements.
Foundation of Islam
Sultan ul Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman, the 31st Shaikh of Sarwari Qadri order and the current Imam says:
“The real foundation of religion Islam is devotion, sincerity and ardent love for Almighty Allah and His Prophet Mohammad and following all the exoteric and esoteric aspects of Prophets’ life. Contrarily, these days, people focus on following only the outward aspects of Prophet’s life. In short, if religion was based merely on physical deeds, then prayers, fasting, zakat etc. would have been made compulsory right after the sacred Companions of Prophet Mohammad accepted Islam but we see that all such physical worships became obligatory after the Holy Prophet’s migration to Madina. Before that, the religion of sacred companions was only the ardent love and loyalty for their beloved Prophet. Their prayer was to engross in the sacred vision of the Holy Prophet and their fasting was to observe patience against the oppression of the infidels.”
Lack of Spirituality
“The main reason of our depravity is that we have turned oblivious to our real esoteric self and focus only upon the superficial being. Alas! The contemporary man is lost in the external world. If he recognises his actual inner being, he would observe Divinity and the universe within himself.” (Sufism- The Soul of Islam)
A growing cause of atheism is the lack of religious and spiritual teachings, as well as the lack of satisfactory answers to those who question the reality of religion.
Lack of Guidance
It is a customary practice among us that whenever someone asks a question about God, he is declared as a disbeliever. He faces social boycott or charges of blasphemy. It cannot be imposed on anyone by force, nor can religion be imposed without removing the doubts that arise in one’s mind. For this, it is necessary to find a leader who has full knowledge of the external and internal aspects of religion.
The Holy Prophet says,
“First find a friend then follow the path.”
“Those that they worship (i.e., they prepare sculptures and images of angels, jinn, the Prophet ‘Isa [Jesus], ‘Uzayr [Ezra] and others and worship themlook for mediation to their Lord (themselves) as to who amongst them is most intimate (in the presence of Allah). And they (themselves) hope for His mercy and fear His torment. (Now say yourselves how they can be gods. They are prostrating themselves before the True God.) Indeed, the torment of your Lord is a thing to fear.” (17:57)
Evidence for the existence of Allah
Considering the natural order of the universe, a few arguments are being presented.
Everything in the universe is working under the system of relationship of cause and effect. When we know about this universal system, we are forced to think that this universal system also had a first start, because of which this universe came into existence. If the universe is the result of a particular act, then there will be a cause for the effect. For example, if this universe is the result of the explosion, then there must be a cause for this effect. The system of continuity of cause and effect can end only when it stops at a “first cause” which is God. If this universe started from a substance or matter, then that matter must have been created by someone. Therefore, the concept of God (Creator) is indispensable here, otherwise this complex mystery of the universe can never be solved. (36 Arguments for the Existence of God)
If we look at the natural order of the universe, it is obvious that each person is working under a plan for a purpose. The existence of a plan or purpose in the system of the universe is evidence that there is an expert planner who has determined everything with great balance. Whose order and power prevails over everything. That is, the system of the universe is the proof that there is an external entity that is the cause of life and discipline of everything. (36 Arguments for the Existence of God)
Below are the thoughts and opinions of some scientists looking at the system of the universe. To them the wonderful order, discipline, moderation, and purpose in the universe compelled them to believe in the existence of God.
Scientists point of view
Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626), the founder of the scientific method, says that it is quite right to say that a little philosophy does not make a person, but a depth of philosophy results in a connection with religion. (Wajood e Bari Tala Falsafa Science aur Mazhab ki Roshni Mein)
Rene Descarte (1596-1650) says, “I see clearly that whatever truth and certainty there is in science depends on the knowledge of the one true God, without knowing such a God I cannot have complete knowledge of anything.” (Wajood e Bari Tala Falsafa Science aur Mazhab ki Roshni Mein)
Sir Isaac Newton of modern science (1642-1727) says, “Denial of God is foolishness. When I consider the solar system, I see that our earth exists at a certain distance from the sun to receive the heat and light it needs, and all this cannot be the result of an accident.” (Wajood e Bari Tala Falsafa Science aur Mazhab ki Roshni Mein)
Are we naturally capable of accepting religious beliefs?
Let us discuss this point in the light of three types of natural abilities found in man.
We humans have a tremendous ability to create a complex interaction within our minds with an unseen person, boss, wife, friend, freed from the constraints of time and space. You argued with someone and were at fault and want to apologize now, but you must plan. We have to mentally rehearse it and try to predict how the opponent will react. All this happens while you are busy with your daily activities. This process is Decouple Cognition. In short, it is the key to religious belief. (Khudakyun)
A child naturally has promiscuous teleology. It is a fundamental preference that seeks to understand the world in terms of its purpose. This helps us to understand children’s ideas. Children automatically develop concepts of God and the created world. Even when adults don’t tell them. Deep down we are all born believers in the creative world. Likewise, disbelief requires effort. Adults are also not very logical as they also need to find purpose behind everything. In fact, there is an element of purpose in the very definition of religion. (Khudakyun)
Hyperactive agency detection device
There is a tendency in man to attribute everything to the action of some agent without any evidence. It is hyperactive agency detection device. This device contributes to the promotion of religious views as it not only allows acceptance of unseen God but also encourages it. (Khudakyun)
Human mind and religion
Above three capacities are naturally present in man. But there is a part in the human mind that is responsible for ideas, feelings and beliefs and the search for God. Also, to know the reality of his existence in this universal system. The dedication to recognition can never end.
It is also mentioned, “There is a circuit for clairvoyance in the front part of brain just behind the eyes. This contains awareness of non-physical properties and our emotional states, desires and wishes. It is also part of the brain that helps us think about abstract things such as other people’s minds, their intentions, beliefs, desires, and feelings. Every child is born with it even if it is not visible.” (Khudakyun)
(You may be interested in reading Aura And Human Thinking)
The Perfect and complete religion is only Islam
Islam is the only religion which presents a complete code of life. It contains the essence of our worldly and final success. The golden principle that Allah, the Highest, has clearly stated for believing in the religion of Islam with a sincere heart is faith in the unseen. This is the principle by which one can get rid of all arguments and submit oneself purely to the will and pleasure of Allah. In short, to inscribe the seal of Islam on one’s chest, it is necessary to believe in the unseen. Surely, that is to believe in the Quran, the last Holy book revealed to the Holy Prophet and the Holy books revealed before it.
Allah says, “Alif, Lam, Meem. (Only Allah and the Messenger [pbuh] know the real meaning.) (This is) the Glorious Book in which there is no chance of doubt. (It is) a guide for those who guard against evil and fear Allah: Those who believe in the unseen, establish Prayer (fulfilling all its requisites) and spend (in Our way) and out of what We have given them; And those who believe in (all) that which has been revealed to you, and that which was revealed before you, and also have (perfect) faith in the Hereafter. It is they who follow guidance from their Lord, and it is they who shall achieve real success.” (2:1-5)
Religions in the world
There are three major religions in the world: Islam, Christianity and Judaism. The belief of these three religions includes belief in divine books. Allah Almighty has blessed man with the power to believe in the unseen as mentioned in the above three abilities that there is a part of our brain that can accept such beliefs. If Allah had not blessed the human mind with this ability, He would not have inspired us to believe in the unseen.
Love of Allah and Faith in the unseen
The path of divine love leads to belief in the unseen with a sincere heart. One cannot believe in the Unseen without the love of Allah, the yearning for Divine Vision and Union. As the passion of love is the power that removes all the questions from within the human being and leads him to eternal path of Divine nearness and Vision.
Allah says in Quran,
“But those who believe, love Allah the most (far more intensely than anyone else).” (2:165)
اگر ہو عشق تو ہے کفر بھی مسلمانی
نہ ہو تو مردِ مسلمان بھی کافر و زندیق
Argument of Purpose in the light of Quran
Allah is the One, Creator and Owner of the entire universe. His Glory is evident in everything. The discipline and objectivity present in all federal systems is due to His Divine command, “Be”. As, Allah says:
Allah has created the heavens and the earth with a decreed celestial order. Surely, there is in this (creation) a sign (of His Oneness and Might) for those who believe. (29:44)
He who has created seven (or numerous) heavenly spheres corresponding to one another (layer upon layer). You will not find any irregularity and disproportion in the system of the creation of the Most Kind (Lord). So, have a (meditative and thoughtful) look around: do you find in this (creation) any incongruity or disharmony (I.e., degeneration or falling apart)? Look around time and again with (an inquisitive) vision (from different angles and with scientific methods. Every time) your sight will return to you fatigued and frustrated (in finding any shortcoming or imperfection). (67:3, 4)
The journey from Atheism to Miraj is only possible by purification of innerself
As mentioned above, the main cause of atheism is forgetting the inner teachings of Islam. Above all, religion is not only the name of Sharia (Islamic laws). Specifically, it will not be wrong to say that the religion Islam is the name of inner self. During his time, the Holy Prophet used to purify the souls of the Companions and give them the ability to continue steadfastly on the religion of truth. Similarly, before the preaching of Islam ignorance was prevalent everywhere in Arabia. Nevertheless, what evil was not present in them? In short, it was the perfection of the outward and inward teachings of the beloved Prophet that within a short period of time the Arab nation immersed in ignorance, emerged as the most religious nation in the world.
How to get rid of Atheism?
In the present era, if our nation wants to be free from disease of atheism then we must turn our attention towards purification of innerself. The company of a perfect spiritual guide who knows all the evils, tricks and diseases of the inner self (nafs) is necessary for the purification of inner self. He who takes the seekers through all the inward levels and takes them to Allah. If someone keeps away from religion due to not knowing or recognizing Allah, then in such case the perfect spiritual guide is the means to take him to the presence of Allah Almighty.
Perfect Spiritual Guide
The perfect spiritual guide is the one who removes all doubts from the inward and gives strength to believe in the unseen. He is the one who lights the candle of Divine love in the inward. The perfect spiritual guide enlightens the reality of contemplating the universal system. He is the one who crosses the limit of intellect and takes one to the station of no station (Divine world). The same perfect being who by nurturing the self takes it from inciting inner self, then repenting, from repenting to inspiring and eventually inner self at peace.
Significance of Perfect Spiritual Guide
Sultan ul Faqr VI Sultan Mohammad Asghar Ali says, “The only way to kill inciting inner self is the contemplation and invocation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat and the glance of the perfect spiritual guide. (Sufism- The Soul of Islam)
The present perfect spiritual guide is Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman. He fulfills all the dispositions mentioned above in all respects. He protects the seekers of Allah from all internal diseases by showering countless blessings on them. His perfect existence is a great blessing for all seekers. The spiritual sight leads to the inner and spiritual ascension. He who comes to him with sincere intentions becomes enriched with all outward and inward perfections. Whoever comes the door is open for them. Although, whoever does not come Allah is indifferent.
نگاہِ ولی میں وہ تاثیر دیکھی
بدلتی ہزاروں کی تقدیر دیکھی
Explanation: The perfect spiritual guide’s Divine sight is very powerful. It has the effect of cleansing and purifying the soul and inward from each and everything, completely changing one’s personality. It can change one’s destiny. Most importantly, the effective sight has cure to the disease of the soul e.g. jealousy, rancour, greed, lust, backbiting, slander etc. Basically, filling the inward with the ardent love for Allah. Moreover, it can perish one’s existence in the Oneness of Allah. Above all, it can make one immortal with Allah after annihilation in Him. —Allama Iqbal—
This is English translation of Urdu article لادینیت سے معراجِ دین کا روحانی سفر that appeared in November 2022 issue of monthly Sultan ul Faqr Magazine. Mrs. Fatima Burhan Sarwari Qadri authored the original article. Abeeha Malik Sarwari Qadri has translated it in English.