All men and women are born with the concept of God.
Many different kinds of studies: anthropological, psychological, historical, religious... have shown that, since time immemorial, the concept of God has been deeply interwoven in human nature. Indeed, the concept of God is quite indispensable to man. Consciously or unconsciously, he is compelled to give this concept the central position in his life. Even apparent atheists, when faced with some crisis, spontaneously call out to God. In this matter, there is no known exception.
Man requires a proper goal for his activities in order that he may continue his journey through life with satisfaction and a sense of fulfillment. At the same time, being an explanation-seeking animal, he seeks to explain his existence and the world around him. But, owing to his limitations, he feels helpless. Unaided, he can neither set himself the correct goals, nor can he fathom the meaning of human life. It is only by accepting a limitless Being such as God that this feeling of helplessness can be overcome. As experience has shown, most men and women live lives of largely unfulfilled desires. It is God alone who can give any ray of hope for their fulfillment, just as it is God alone who can give man the correct objectives. Perhaps the most important thing that God gives man is conviction. Man, owing to his peculiar nature, wants to lead his life with the courage of conviction and there is no other source of this conviction save God.
In God We Trust
As studies have shown, all men and women believe in God in one way or the other. Now the question arises as to why these believers in God do not arrive at the result they expect from their ‘belief’. Why even ‘so-called’ believers in God are deprived of divine inspiration? Why are people who put up plaques in their houses saying, “In God we Trust”, deprived of God’s blessings? Why do people who seemingly trust in God not receive His blessings in the real sense? This is because these ‘so-called’ believers in God have not been able to establish a genuine ‘communion’ with Him. Therefore, despite their belief in God, people’s lives are sadly lacking in divine blessings.
This is the problem facing all men and women. Every man and woman believes, ideologically, in one god or the other. But so far as the result of such belief is concerned, it is not forthcoming. Every individual, from his own personal experience can understand that this problem is not one of lack of belief but rather of an absence of any outcome of belief in God. This is a universal truth, which anyone can understand just by taking stock of the events of his own life.
There could be only one possible reason for this gap between faith and the result of faith. And that is, the so-called believer may be worshipping some non-god in the name of God. In such a case it is but natural that, in spite of believing in some god, he or she will not receive the result of belief.
The reason for this is that people usually associate themselves with some non-God or the other. Although they utter such words as, ‘We believe in God”, in practice they have made themselves subservient to some non-deity. There are times, when some living or dead human being is placed upon the pedestal of divinity, while at other times the concepts of a sun-god or a moon-god become prevalent. Some, under the influence of humanism, have accorded the seat of God to man — what is called ‘transfer of the seat from God to man’. Others have placed the ‘law of nature’ as an alternative to God, while yet others believe that God is in everything including man and that we just have to make contact with our inner personality to receive God’s blessings. Still others believe in the monistic concept of God, according to which God is a vague spirit, rather than a Being with whom contact may be established.
How do We Make Contact with God?
The solution to this problem is that everyone should re-examine this entire issue. If he is serious about it, he will certainly reach the conclusion that he has to discover the system of thought in which he may find the concept of God in its pure form — that there is only one God, one Truth and one message of God.
A number of scholars, in quest of a solution to this issue, have carried out considerable research on this subject. One of these was a highly educated Bengali doctor, Nishi Kant Chattopadhyaye, who gave the answer at great length in one of his lectures delivered in Hyderabad (Daccan) in 1904. (This lecture has now been published in booklet form: Titled ‘A Case of Discovery’.) He stated that in this matter, the actual problem is that all the religions revealed before the 7th century A.D., enshrined the concept of one God but, as time went on, it was not possible for their original scriptures to be preserved by their followers. In every religion the concept of God became subject to human interpolations. Hence the original teaching on the concept of God was no longer to be found in its pristine form.
It was in the seventh century AD that Islam came to the world. Although Islam is a religion like other religions, its distinctive quality is that its original text has been fully preserved due to the availability of paper (papyrus) in its crude form at the time and with the invention of the printing press in times to come. That is why, now, for later generations (after the emergence of Islam) the greatest and the only source of knowledge of the right concept of God, in its pristine form, is Islam. Anyone who seriously wants to grasp the true concept of God has no choice but to turn to the Quran.
Quran: An Abiding Wonder
According to the Quran, the Sacred Book of God, God is One. He alone is the Creator and Lord of man and the universe: He is, moreover, the Sustainer of the entire universe. God is a living being. He sees and hears. At all times and in every place, it is possible for man to contact God directly, without any intermediary. God Almighty can compensate for all shortcomings in man. God will come to man’s rescue in both the pre-death and post-death period. God is a limitless source of solace and peace. God in all matters provides guidance to man through His prophets.
God, being the Creator and Sustainer of man, is thoroughly familiar with his constitution. He is likewise aware to the fullest possible extent of human aspirations. That is why God alone can understand and provide for all the needs of human beings. Only such a God as this One God can be the God of man. No other ‘supposed’ divine being has the ability to fulfill human requirements.
Millions and millions of human beings have testified to the fact that it was only when they studied the Quran that they received that introduction to God, which their nature had been seeking all along. They have freely admitted that other concepts of God did not respond to the cravings of their inner nature. It was only when they were introduced to the concept of God in the Quran that their hearts cried out in acceptance. This was the God who could give them total fulfillment.
Now anybody who is desirous of building his life along the right lines can discover God by studying the Quran. Without this, no one can build his future, neither in this world nor in the next eternal world.
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan