Some people claim that the need to believe originates from the fact that man is a weak being and that he feels the need to take shelter; and they deny divine religions through a wrong evaluation. How will you answer that claim?
In fact, that claim belongs to a philosopher. I will not mention his name and list his thoughts here. I will only evaluate the issue because it may blur some simple minds.
The person who asks the question bases his claim on the fact that man is a weak being. Let us stop here a bit and change the word is as is created and then go on. If creation had belonged to man, instead of a weak being, he would have preferred being a creature as strong as a lion and a creature that could fly high like birds and would have made a mistake. Since man was not given the right of preference, he did not come into being on his own; he was created.
Let us go to the past imaginatively and think about the phases of the creation of the universe in order to understand the divine wisdom behind the feeble and weak creation of man, who is the most honorable and superior being among more than 1,5 million species of living beings.
The construction of the palace of the world starts. A substance like vapor spreads everywhere, expands, ascends, cools and starts to harden.
The world of angels starts to watch those strange activities wondering what will happen in the end.
As a result of those activities, a sun appears. A magnificent piece of lava has broken off from the sun changes its direction after moving away from the sun a certain distance. Although it is expected to move away gradually, it starts to rotate around the sun. After a while, most of that piece of fire turns to oceans, seas and rivers.
The world of angels watches that terrifying piece of fire turn to magnificent oceans astonishingly.
Suddenly, some part of that fire turns to land; plants emerge, and forests form there. The fact that flammable forests emerge from the burning fire is watched as a divine miracle.
Then, the animal kingdom appears on the earth. All of the animals are introduced with the miracle of seeing thanks to the pairs of eyes attached to them. The sunlight penetrates into all eyes and enables them to see.
Eventually, man as a being who is in need of everything is created so that everything will help him and serve him, so that that distinguished being will know his Lord through everything, so that he will know His wisdom, mercy and power, and so that he will praise and thank Him for everything.
None of the millions of the species of the living beings could know their eyes nor the sun nor the relationship between those two things; they were contented with seeing their ways and finding their food. Man knew about the miracle of seeing thanks to the mind that was granted to him. That knowing was a privilege for him and it would make him superior to other living beings and make him vicegerent (caliph) on the earth.
Man started to thank his Lord for that great grant with all his spirit and heart.
What made him thank his Lord was not only the mercy of seeing. All of the living beings around him breathed without knowing, What is air?, What is atmosphere? They were ignorant of the fact that the air they breathed in went to their lungs and cleaned their blood. They did not know about the blood, lungs and air. Man knew all of the three, contemplated the divine mercy in them and increased his thanks.
We can add many more to those two examples. Man knew all of the organs in his body, their duties and benefits, all of the feelings attached to his spirit, imagination, memory and conscience, and he felt the joy of having them in the depths of his heart. In addition, he could perceive all of the beings and events around him from day and night to seasons, from flowers to stars and from atoms to systems, and that ability led him to thanking and admiration.
What was the duty of him among all of those things? Each conscience looked for the answer to that question; each mind thought and wondered about it.
That wondering was removed by sending prophets, the loyal messengers of Allah, and sending down divine books. The real reason why man was created was stated in this verse:
And I created not the jinn and mankind except that they should worship Me (Alone).. (adh-Dhariyat, 56)
In many tafseers (interpretations), worshipping is also interpreted as knowing. According to that interpretation, the first duty of men and jinn is to know their Creator, to believe in Him and to live in accordance with His consent.
Men felt the need for belief and worshipping thanks to their creation and the impulsion of their conscience; those who did not reach a prophet met their need through their own minds and they started to worship the idols that they made themselves.
Contrary to what is claimed, the only source of the need for belief is not the fact that man felt his weakness and looked for something to take shelter.
The following is stated in Risale-i Nur Collection: Included in human nature is love of beauty, worship of perfection, and love of bestowal. (Lemalar: Flashes)
We can see the manifestation of beauty, perfection and bestowal in the whole universe also in our own being clearly.
In the beginning, we mentioned the sun and the eyes. Let us give another example about the eye.
The eye is very beautiful; it is a perfect work of art and a great bestowal for man. When we use the example of the eye also with our other organs and the world of our spirit, we will see that the being of man is full of the manifestation of beauty, perfection and bestowal.
The real source of worshipping is not as it is thought only fear but the fact that man is aware of those divine activities, that he contemplates them and feels the deed for thanking in the depths of his spirit.
Fear also has a part but not everything can be attributed to fear.
The greatest event man fears is death. Among all species of living beings, man is the only being that knows the journey of life will end in death. That knowledge and fear are also proof that man is a candidate for a life beyond death. And the feeling of fear is a great capital that makes man prepare for the eternal world.
In this word the manifestation of beauty and majesty are side by side and one within the other like night and day.
To love beauty and to fear majesty is a great truth. That is, man will love beauty and fear the manifestation of majesty and power. That fear is an important essential of living without disobedience to Allah and attaining the eternal happiness.
As it is known, the first duty of man is belief; then comes good deeds and taqwa (fearing Allah). A person who believes in Allah acts in accordance with His orders, that is, he commits good deeds and heads toward paradise; he moves away from hell through taqwa, that is, by avoiding sins.
The feeling of fear was given due to that fact and it should be evaluated accordingly.
The considerations other than those are the products of mans dim mind and a search for consolation originating from the fear of being called to account.
Is the need to believe inborn?
- How Muslims started believing in Allah?
- Could you please give me information about the Oneness of Allah? What does Burhan al-Tamanu (Reductio ad Impossible) mean?
- Why does Allah not accept all our requests?
- Considering the command of the verse;`they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty.` Could you please give advices about protecting the eyes from harams?
- About the Prophethood of Muhammad (PBUH)
- Why was Man Created? What Should Be His Purpose and Goal?
- The First Addendum to the Miracles of Muhammad (PBUH): The Nineteenth Word is about the messengership of Muhammad (pbuh) and the miracle of the splitting of the moon.
- What is shukr (thanking Allah)? How should the duty of thanking be fulfilled?
- Our Purpose of Creation