Sunday, October 26, 2014

152. TWO BOOKS ON GOD (part one) 


I have recently read two books on God. One is ‘Tlash, (means Search)’ by Uxi Mufti, and the other ‘Why science does not disprove God’ by Amir Aczel. Here are my impressions. First about Tlash.  

This book is written in Urdu language, and is actually a translation of the original book, "Measuring the Intangible”. Mr Mufti is a psychologist and a Pakistani folklorist. He is also the author of many books and winner of many awards. The author must have been studying God for decades, because when he was studying in Prague in late sixties, the title of his thesis was ‘a scientific hypothesis of God’. At that time he did not complete the development of a scientific hypothesis, but now, in this book he claims that he has. So what is the hypothesis?

             The hypothesis is that God can be proven by His ninety-nine names. These names are mentioned in Quran, the holy book which, according to Muslim belief, is the word of God Himself, and revealed to His prophet, in pieces, over years. Each name denotes a quality of God. For instance the name AL-Raheem, means, the Compassionate; Al-Jabbar means, the Almighty; Al-Muntaqim means the Avenger; and so on.

In the book, is there any proof or evidence regarding the truth of this hypothesis? 


The author supports his hypothesis by the following arguments: 

1. Since these names of God are taken from Quran, and Quran is the word of God, therefore there has to be a God.

This argument has of no value to the Non-Muslims

2. The premise is based on two very authentic traditions; one is of Imam Tirmidhi, a famous ninth century Islamic scholar, and the other a prayer called Ganj-ul-arsh (I had great trouble understanding what was meant by Ganj-ul-arsh. The book itself does not explain it. First I thought it was a book.). If his hypothesis was authenticated by these two, he should have at least provided a text of the documents; there is none. Unfortunately, the book lacks an index, which would have helped the reader to find out if the author had explained them somewhere else in the book. 

Again, this argument has of no value to Non-Muslims, and even to many Muslim. Just because someone says that God can be scientifically supported by His names, does not make it so. All Muslims and followers of other religions (except Buddhists) believe in God, just by faith. 

3. In the “introduction” the author states, that some experimental support of this hypothesis will be provided in the second part of this book. I searched diligently, because that would have been the clincher, but there was none.   

A great part of the book is spent on explaining the properties of the ninety nine names of God. The entity of God possesses these ninety nine qualities, amongst hundreds of other qualities, because He has hundreds of other names also. Thus He emerges as a possessor of enormous powers and qualities. Some of the properties are opposite to each other, but the author claims, that it is the nature of God, and of the whole universe, like the positive and negative poles of electricity. He is Restrainer as well as Extender; the Humiliator and Downgrader as well as the Exalter, the Upgrader. 

Even if we accept at face value all the qualities of God, as accorded to Him by the ninety nine names, it tells us what God would look like, if there was a God. It does not prove or attempts to prove that there is a God. 

It is as if there was a myth that somewhere there exists a building which holds all the treasures of the world. The building has ninety-nine doors. Each door has a name (ruby, sapphire, diamond, gold, etc) and leads to a room which contains the treasure mentioned by the name of the door. Nobody has seen this building and nobody knows its location. If somebody claims that the knowledge of the names proves that there is such a building, we will not accept his claim, unless he provides some proof. Mere saying is not evidence. One of the famous scientists of all times, Charles Darwin claimed that species change and evolve. His grandfather, Erasmus Darwin said the same thing and wrote a book named Zoonomia . Nobody paid him any mind, because he was an armchair theoretician, with no data. Whereas Charles, undertook an almost five years voyage around the world and collected specimens of plants, animal and rocks. He collected more data for another twenty years. He then published his theory, which was substantiated with immense data. 

The book deals with quantum physics and spirituality. When I review the second book I will discuss how quantum physics has been used as an alternative hypothesis to the theory of creationism (that the universe was created by God). Its mention in this book points towards the erudition of the author, but adds nothing (rather subtracts) to his central hypothesis 

The best part of this book, which I heartily support, is his advocacy of Sufism (mysticism) as a way of experiencing Reality. He admonishes science not to disregard mysticism. Just as science is based on experiments, so is mysticism. Mystics experiment every day, in the form of hours of meditation for decades. What he/she sees and experiences cannot be demonstrated to others, but it can be replicated. As we know replication is a necessity for validation of any theory. The techniques have been passed from teachers to disciples for over 2-3 thousand years. 

The book is difficult to read and understand. But it is a noble and sincere effort. It fails in its objective because God cannot be proven by science. God also cannot be proven by religion or philosophy. Ordinary knowledge in the form of scholarly pursuits is useless. God can only be realized by practicing mysticism. The path is open to all creeds, even to a secular humanist like me.

Author;, Uxi Mufti's comment about this blog:

I have read your interesting comments. The book niether seeks nor attempts to prove Allah though it explains the scientific and philosophic significance of Divine Names that are revealed.

The book shows that science though factual is an INVERTED VIEW of reality and reality can only be experienced.

Kindly print my views to your blog as comment


To be continued

1 comment:

Naffew said...

The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao.
The name that can be named is not the eternal name.

The nameless is the beginning of heaven and Earth.
The named is the mother of the ten thousand things.

Ever desireless, one can see the mystery.
Ever desiring, one sees the manifestations.

These two springs from the same source but differ in name; this appears as darkness.
Darkness within darkness.
The gate to all mystery.

(A quote by ancient Chines philosopher: TAO TE CHING)