chapter  5
11 Pages

Islam

ByOLIVER LEAMAN

Proofs of the existence of God abound in Islam, and they can be seen already in the Qur’an. The Qur’an sees itself as a profoundly rational work, calling on its readers to think, reflect and consider, and it consists of many passages that it regards as demonstrating, in a sense, religious truths. The most significant of these truths of course is that there is a God who created the world, and it is claimed that we can work this out for ourselves by looking at that world. The argument here is mainly rhetorical, inviting us to look at nature and then consider how it came about. The answer that is elicited is that God created the world. In the modern Islamic world, such informal arguments have retained the popularity they enjoyed in former times. It is important to note at this stage that the more demonstrative proofs that did arise within Islamic philosophy and theology were often linked with scriptural passages not only to vouch for their religious orthodoxy but also to acknowledge the significance of understanding divine existence as more than just the conclusion of an argument. Recently there has arisen a sort of popular Islam in the works of predominantly Turkish thinkers who seek to oppose the secularism of the modern world by producing highly simplistic arguments in favor of the existence of God. While their arguments hark back to the Qur’an, they really do not represent it adequately.