Are the excited people who tell us that there does exist a God deceiving us, or do they have ground to stand upon?
Is there a way to know with certainty that there does exist a being who created this world and has a role to play in our lives, in our joys and sorrows, in our triumphs and failures?
Existence of God is a very important question because if there does exist such a being then we can suffer by standing against him and we can garner ease by standing by him.
Over millennia, both sides of the question have argued with their tongues, pens and even with their fists, swords and guns. Both sides have reaped their rewards or have lost their opportunities by pursuing diverse paths to or away from certainty.
By observing the world around us we can reach one of the two conclusions: everything is a result of natural phenomena or there possibly is or was an intelligent being who created it.
When we study religious history, we find stories of miracles and fulfilment of prophecies but how can we ascertain that they really happened unless similar feats can be repeated?
Fortunately for us, the Providence has some doors perpetually open for humans to seek and gain certainty.
One of the open doors is, “And your Lord says: ‘Pray unto Me; I will answer your prayer” (Holy Quran 40:60/61).
Everyone prays directly or indirectly; directly by addressing a deity and indirectly by wishing without addressing a deity.
When we expect someone to be in a room or in a house, we knock at the door expecting the person inside to answer. If someone is awake and alert in there, they will answer the knock. If no one answers a few knocks, we assume that there is no one inside and we walk away.
If we pray for a sick person and the person gets well, did the sick really get well because of the prayer? Or was the sick going to get well anyhow, as many people ordinarily get well even without a treatment.
If a pregnant woman prays for a son or a daughter, her prayer has a 50% chance of acceptance anyhow.
The only way to certainty is that the praying person is intimated with the result before it takes place through a dream, a vision, a revelation or through another similar means.
This is a door open for everyone to try with an earnest and sincere desire and longing to know and find out whether there does exist such a being who listens and puts the appropriate means in motion for a response to a call from one of his creations.
Not everyone may experience a dream, a vision, or a revelation, but experience another means as it is up to the Providence how he deems fit to respond.
“Eyes cannot reach Him, but He reaches the eyes. And He is the Most Kind, the All-Aware” (Holy Quran 6:103/104).
Ahmad is a regular contributor to The Forum’s opinion pages. He has translated, compiled and co-authored “A Gift for the Queen,” “Points to Ponder,” “Why Islam is my choice” and “Words of Wisdom.” He lives in Jamestown, N.D., and can be reached at email@example.com
This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.