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The following excerpt is from The Muslim Theist Blog. Click here for the full original article.

 



بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم 
 

Before we can answer the question “how can I know that God exists?” we must first ask the question “how do I know anything at all.” Or perhaps more appropriately, since God is not a “thing,” we should ask “how do I come to know?”  As we shall see, all knowledge is ultimately grounded in what is unfortunately called “intuition” in English, but which is more appropriately called “immediate knowledge” or “knowledge by presence” in Islamic philosophy.

I will nevertheless sometimes use the word intuition, but it should not be mistaken for the ordinary usage of simply having a “hunch” about something or the vain, amorphous imaginings of artists and poets. From intuition, in its proper sense, descends pure reason, with its capacity to give completely certainty based on deductive proofs. After that descends inductive reason, which allows us to make probabilistic arguments that reach a different kind of certainty. Lastly, we have sense perception, which contrary to popular belief is actually the lowest and least reliable form of knowledge. Sense perception, quite obviously, cannot on its own lead one to belief in God, since God is immaterial. It must be combined with either reasoning or intuition in order to yield fruit, at least as far as we’re interested in the question of God and meaning.  

Now the question for you, my dear reader, is what are you looking for? Are you looking to know God directly, unmitigated by any long-winded, tedious discourse involving minute reasoning? Are you looking for absolute proof of the existence of God, one that considers all objections and involves very precise reasoning? Would you be satisfied with a very compelling probabilistic argument, based on solid evidence, for the existence of God? Or perhaps, more darkly, you are here simply to “refute” any attempts to show that God is, in fact, Reality. Perhaps you have already made up your mind and are here simply to edify your ego, without the slightest intention to actually listen to what is being said and to make a genuine attempt at understanding.  Perhaps if you were to hear something that might otherwise change your perspective, you would miss it simply because you are subconsciously committed to an uncharitable reading and fault finding rather than sincerity. If so, realize there is nothing to be gained in this world by proving that you are right, other than the momentary satisfaction of having domination over another soul, but everything to be gained through sincerity. 

With that reminder at hand, I shall assume going forwards that you are entirely sincere in seeking to know the truth, whatever it might be, and that you are entirely prepared to hear this humble author’s perspective. As to the previous concern, what will ultimately satisfy all human beings is the direct knowledge of God, which is acquired intuitively. When a person experiences God, by definition certainty is attained – light fills the heart and one’s phenomenological experience of Being radically alters. It might be wise then, to simply prescribe steps for how one might achieve this meeting with the Divine, so that one might see the Truth for themselves rather than merely hear of it second hand. Indeed within each religion, there is a mystical path that is aimed at precisely that, and if one wishes they are entirely free to embark upon such a path.  

However, a problem arises in that a person who is not already on this path wants to know with certainty that the object of the journey, namely God, does in fact exist and so such efforts would not be in vain. It seems to be asking a little much to tell a person they must completely change their lifestyle, values, and temporarily suspend their established beliefs about the nature of reality simply to experiment and see, perhaps, if God is indeed Real and as Glorious as He is made out to be – a highly dubious supposition to begin with if one is already entrenched in the atheist camp.   


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