THE ISLAMIC PERSPECTIVE
BELIEF IN GOD
Everyone inside has a natural inclination to worship Allah. Take for example when one is in danger. We find that in such a situation, people pray to Allah for help. Islam teaches that it is part of human nature to acknowledge the existence of Allah. Even the self-professed Athiest will cry out to Allah in times of extreme despair. Allah tells us in the Quran:-
"When trouble touches man, he cries out to Us, (in all postures) - lying down on his side, or sitting, or standing. But when We have remove his affliction, he passes on as if he had never cried out to Us for the affliction that touched him! Thus do the deeds of the transgressors seem fair in their eyes!" (Yunus 10:12)
When Allah created the first man, Adam (PBUH), Allah caused all of Adams (PBUH) descendants to come into existence and took a pledge from them saying, "Am I not your Lord?", to which they all replied, "Yes, we testify to it". Allah then explained why He had all of mankind bear witness that He is their Creator and only true God worthy of worship. He said, "That was in case you (mankind) should say on the day of Judgement "Verily we were unaware of this" (Al-A'raf 7:172-173).
Thus every child is born with a natural belief in Allah i.e. a 'Muslim' ('Islam' means 'Submission to God' and the one who submits to the will of God is termed a 'Muslim') and an inborn inclination to worship Him alone, called in Arabic the 'Fitrah'. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) once said regarding this 'Fitrah' that:-
"Each child is born in a state of 'Fitrah', then his parents make him a Jew, Christian or a Zoroastrian, the way an animal gives birth to a normal offspring. Have you noticed any that were born mutilated?"
THE CREATION OF THE UNIVERSE
The process of creation can be summarised as follows - All matter in the universe was compacted together in one place. Then Allah gave the command and it blew apart scattering molecules and gases in all directions (known as the 'Big Bang Theory'). The force of this initial explosion keeps the universe expanding. Space was filled with matter, anti-matter and gases which eventually grew into asteriods, planets, stars and moons etc. Allah says in the Quran:-
"Do not the Unbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were joined together (as one unit of Creation), before We clove them asunder (seperated them)?" (Al-Anbiyaa 21:30)
Allah also says in the Quran:-
"Behold! In the creation of the heavens (space) and the earth and in the alternation of night and day, there are indeed signs for men of understanding. Those who remember Allah standing, sitting and lying down on their sides, and contemplate the (wonders of) creation in the heavens and the earth, (saying): 'Our Lord! You have not created (all) this without purpose, Glory to You! Give us salvation from the punishment of the Fire."
Therefore, Allah does not create anything without reason and purpose. As Allah says in the Quran:-
"And We created not the heaven and the earth and all that is between them without purpose! That is the consideration of those who disbelieve!" (Sad 38:27)
The entire universe is filled with sign upon sign that remind us of the power, the beauty and the creativity of the Creator. For example, rain without which life is viable, is a sign from Allah:-
"Allah is He Who sends the winds, so that they raise clouds, and spread them along the sky as He wills, and then break them into fragments, until you see rain drops come forth from their midst!"(Ar-Rum 30:48).
Other creatures that we share the earth with are further signs of Allah:-
"Allah has created every (living) creature from water. Some of them crawl on their bellies, some walk on two legs, and some walk on four. Allah creates what He wills. Indeed, Allah is able to do all things." (An-Nur 24:45)
Birds are also among the signs of Allah:-
"Do they not look at the birds, held poised in the midst of (the air and) the sky? Nothing holds them up but (the power of) Allah. Verily in this are Signs for those who believe.
Further signs also include:-
"And among His Signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the differences in your languages and colours. Indeed, there are signs in them for men of sound knowledge. And among His Signs is your sleep by night and by day, and your seeking of His Bounty. Verily in that are Signs for people who listen." (Ar-Rum 30:22-23)
We have also come to discover that the Earth existed long before humans. Allah says in the Quran:-
"Has there not been over Man a long period of Time, when he was nothing - (not even) mentioned?" (Al-Insan or Ad-Dahr 76:1)
Scientists have estimated the age of the Earth to be about 4.5 billion years old. So, the whole universe is filled with signs reminding us of Allah and all these created things are there for a reason and with purpose, as Allah has told us in the Quran.
Human beings are the highest creation of Allah. Each being has a distinct individual soul. It is the soul, and not the body that the soul lives in, that is the real person.
We are all descended from an original couple created by God, Adam (PBUH) and Eve, and the world is a place of trial and we are being judged in it. Our purpose is to worship and obey Allah. As Allah states in the Quran:-
"And I (Allah) created not the Jinn and mankind except that they should worship Me (Alone)." (Adh-Dhariyat 51:56)
As such, God has given us the free will to either believe in Him or disbelieve in Him. It is our choice. Those who believe in Him and obey Him will be successful in the Hereafter i.e. life after death (by being rewarded with Paradise), whereas those who disbelieve in Him will be unsuccessful in the Hereafter (by being punished in the Hellfire). Thus, life is a temporary testing place for the life to come, and we are all going to be judged on the Day of Judgement as to how we lived our lives in the life of this world.