Methods of Fighting Against The Religion of Irreligion
The total eradication of disbelief from the face of the earth is essential for the salvation of all people, both in this world and the Hereafter. As stressed throughout this book, it is the responsibility of all believers to eliminate disbelief by communicating the message of the Qur’an. To say, "I have faith but others have to take care of themselves" is not the conscientious attitude of a true believer. The following verse lays responsibility directly upon all believers as a divinely ordered duty, and Allah holds every believer responsible for safeguarding himself, his close relatives, and humanity in general from the torment of Hell:
O you who have believed, protect yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is people and stones, over which are [appointed] angels, harsh and severe; they do not disobey Allah in what he commands them but do what they are commanded. 65
Some people belittle themselves by thinking, "Am I strong enough to oppose disbelief?" This is but a negative suggestion from Satan to make people lose time and hinder the spread of the Qur’an's message. As already explained, fighting irreligion requires exposing the invalidity of irreligious philosophies and ideologies by providing actual scientific evidence to the contrary. In such an important endeavor some service may be rendered by every person. Those unable to participate actively must at least support and aid people who have committed themselves to this kind of work. For example, finding ways to distribute books or articles about the struggle against irreligion, explaining the ideas expressed in these books, and spreading the facts that will demolish disbelief worldwide are in themselves ways to oppose disbelief.
It should be remembered that, as stated by Bediüzzaman, "the consent given to ignorance is no different than ignorance; the consent given to error, ignorance and cruelty is erroneous, ignorant and cruel."66Hence, those who remain silent, those who do not strive against disbelief although they have the means, and those who obstruct the efforts of others who fight disbelief instead of providing support to them are either knowingly or unknowingly supporting disbelief themselves and facilitating the accomplishment of evil goals.67 No person of sound conscience can ignore the dismal facts, and all Muslims must work together to remove the tyranny of disbelief over mankind as Prophet Muhammad (saas) stated:
The following subjects pertain to this important duty and the method to be followed in the light of Qur’anic verses.
Breaking the Idols of Irreligion
The most effective method in fighting disbelief is, without doubt, that employed by Prophet Abraham. People at the time of Abraham worshipped idols they made with their own hands and then expected help from these so-called deities. (The same has been practiced by various communities throughout history.) Prophet Abraham reminded the people that these "deities" before which they prostrated were inanimate beings lacking ability to do a single thing. Just like those who idolized lifeless statues at that time, the disbelievers of our day take lifeless atoms, unconscious nature, and coincidence as deities. They believe that unconscious atoms came together by themselves and organized themselves into a flawless and perfect system.
The method used by Abraham to save his tribe from their erroneous beliefs and to awaken them is related in the Qur’an as follows:
When he said to his father and his people, 'What are these statues to which you are devoted?' they said, 'We found our fathers worshipping them.' He said, 'You were certainly, you and your fathers, in manifest error.'69
“…‘And [I swear] by Allah, I will surely plan against idols after you have turned and gone away.' So he made them into fragments, except a large one among them, that they might return to it [and question].” 70
When Abraham saw that his father and tribe were completely blinded to reality, he plotted a scheme for their idols as indicated in the verse above. When his people were away, he broke the idols they worshipped and showed them the obvious fact that these lifeless statues were incapable of doing anything at all, much less creating something.
Upon the people's return they questioned Prophet Abraham. His response is quite significant because it demonstrates their inconsistent attitude:
“They said, 'Have you done this to our gods, O Abraham?' He said, 'Rather, this- the largest of them- did it, so ask them, if they should be able to speak' So they returned [blaming] themselves and said [to each other], 'Indeed, you are the wrongdoers.' Then they reversed themselves, [saying], ‘You have already known that these do not speak.'” 71
Abraham's people admitted awareness of the reality: “You have already known that these do not speak.” They well knew that the idols were incapable of any act or giving life to an inanimate being and that they could not have created the flawless order sustaining the whole universe. But they continued to accept those lifeless beings as deities solely because of their commitment to the beliefs of their ancestors and rejection of Allah.
The materialists and evolutionists of our day possess a very similar mentality. When considered with an open mind, any evolutionist would have to agree that life is much too complex and perfect to have been formed by mere coincidence. These scientists would also agree to the fact that life must have had a beginning, that is, it was not eternally existent. But despite these realizations they keep their bigoted attitude, like the idolaters at the time of Prophet Abraham, and deem it impossible to abandon their false deities and place faith in Allah. To understand this point it is sufficient to consider a few of the evolutionists' confessions:
Richard Lewontin, an evolutionist and materialist geneticist from Harvard University, explains his own and other materialists' prejudiced attitudes as follows:
D.M.S. Watson, the famous British zoologist and evolutionist, also explains why evolutionists still defend this theory despite the lack of any scientific evidence in support of it:
Chandra Wickramasinghe, a famous British scientist, explains how people are conditioned to denial of Allah:
The examples above clearly illustrate that evolutionist scientists must believe in the theory of evolution based on materialism in order to be able to reject Allah, although they know the theory is false. And these individuals are but a few of the leading materialist evolutionists of our day.
The answer to these people is the same as that given by Abraham to his tribe, described in the Qur’an. His response was intended to shock them and invite them to reason:
He said, 'Then do you worship instead of Allah that which does not benefit you at all or harm you? “Woe” to you and to what you worship instead of Allah. Then will you not use reason?'75
Just as Prophet Abraham broke the idols of the idolaters and removed the basis of disbelief by exposing their foolishness, believers of today must break the idol of today and render disbelief ineffective. The methods can be listed as follows:
1. Being knowledgeable about the ideas and ideologies advocated by irreligious movements
It is very important for everyone to know about irreligious movements that destroy moral values, about the ideologies of those movements, and the concepts they advocate. That enables one to expose the flawed logic and perverted rationale contrary to both science and reason which are damaging to countries and nations. The feeble grounds upon which these ideologies are based along with their inconsistencies can easily be displayed, and people of conscience who acquire profound knowledge about irreligious ideologies can predict the possible harms they will bring to nations and take the preventative measures which are of support and help to the nation.
2. Proving the invalidity of materialism and evolution with scientific evidences
Earlier in this book materialism was cited as the most dangerous religion of irreligion. What makes it distinctive and more effective than other false ideologies is its presentation under a "veil of science." While idolatry has been labeled as primitive, materialism and the evolution theory (although basically no different) have acquired a fake "scientific" aura. Accordingly, it is imperative to disclose that materialism and the theory of evolution actually contradict science and logic.
It is essential to examine each of the assertions stemming from the theory of evolution and to show that the arguments put forth are actually designed to manipulate public opinion. To accomplish this one must follow closely the findings of recent scientific research and to refute scientifically the assertions based on the theory of evolution in every corner of the world, providing ample evidence. The final sections of this book present examples of such evidence.
In reality there are a limited number of arguments that evolutionists claim as their "evidence," and these are refutable from the very outset. Because they are often elaborated with scientific terminology by authors or speakers and presented to the public under the guise of "science," they might seem to be new evidences. But all these papers, filled with incomprehensible expressions and Latin terms, basically provide not a single scientific proof. Since a majority in the world today cannot see the irrationality of Darwinism and assume it to be scientific fact, it is an important service to inform, educate and warn people against this threat. Obviously, this task demands serious effort; one should strive to shoulder his share of this historic responsibility.
3. Communicating the true religion related in the Qur'an
While materialist circles impose their ideologies upon society, they assume an aggressive attitude towards religion. In order to discredit it, they make use of distorted and deviant understandings, which they pass off as Islam. These are far removed from the original teachings, bigotry and superstition having been incorporated into them.
The Qur’an is a revealed scripture containing no contradictions whatsoever, a fact that must be conveyed to people explicitly and with evidence. It is also essential that people acquire knowledge about the events connected with revelations of the Qur’an. Said Nursi emphasized on numerous occasions that the most effective way of refuting the philosophies of materialism and naturalism is to explain the realities of the Qur’an:
4. Explaining evidences pointing to the existence of Allah
The existence of Allah is obvious to anyone who employs his intellect. In every created being Allah displays signs of His infinite wisdom and power. However, for many years most people have been indoctrinated toward the denial of Allah, and many harbor doubts. Hence, it is vitally important to point out the signs of Allah's existence to people in order to remove ingrained prejudices. When each living being is individually examined down to its tiniest components, people can witness therein the glorious creation of Allah. Every effort should be made to show that such precisely calculated designs in living beings could not have come into existence by chance. This can be done through publications and visual means.
Many individuals have become so spiritually weak that they fail to see even the most obvious facts. But they can be awakened from their unawareness through serious efforts. A person who is made to realize that the flawless beings surrounding him could not have evolved by chance is no longer in danger of disbelief; and once he believes in Allah, he comprehends that he is responsible to Him and that he should live his life in such a way as to earn His acceptance and approval.
In many verses throughout the Qur’an, Allah summons man to contemplate created beings and derive lessons from them:
Have they not looked at the heaven above them- how We structured it and adorned it and [how] it has no rifts? And the earth- We spread it out and cast therein firmly set mountains and made grow therein [something] of every beautiful kind, giving insight and a reminder for every servant who turns [to Allah]. And We have sent down blessed rain from the sky and made grow thereby gardens and grain from the harvest and lofty palms trees having fruit arranged in layers- as provision for the servants, and We have given life thereby to a dead land. Thus is the emergence [i.e., resurrection].80
A most effective method of fighting the religion of irreligion is to enable people to see the innumerable signs of Allah's glory and might around them. In the Qur’an, Allah commands:
But as for the favor of your Lord, report [it]. 81
In compliance with this verse believers should continuously explain the favors granted by Allah to humankind through the most effective methods of communication. Prophet Muhammad (saas) encouraged Muslims to carry out this important duty by saying, "Allah and the angels invoke blessings on those who instruct people in beneficial knowledge."82
5. Explaining the kind of life and morality taught in the Qur'an
Throughout the Qur’an man is urged to have values: to be just, to have kindness, affection and mercy for others, to consider the needs of others rather than his own wishes, to respect, love and hold allegiance to his country, to maintain peace and security, to settle conflicts among people, to protect the poor and disadvantaged, to be hardworking, and to serve in order to earn the pleasure of Allah. The superior welfare and security apparent in any society guided by these virtues is obvious.
Because the majority are unaware of the true religion taught in the Qur’an, they need to be shown the adornment it gives to life. Believers must inform people that living by the true religion is the easiest way and that it is the lifestyle most suitable to man's natural tendencies. Subsequently, they will see that the Qur’an presents solutions to all the problems of the world. Allah has stated why the Qur’an was revealed:
And We have sent down to you the Book as clarification for all things and as guidance and mercy and good tidings for the Muslims.”83
6. Uniting men of conscience
Believers must not only devote effort to the struggle against disbelief but unite to protect their countries and peoples from its danger. The more of them committed to serve this cause, the faster disbelief will be eradicated, as well as discord and dissension on earth.
Unity brings both material and spiritual benefits to people of faith. In numerous verses Allah commands believers to unite and not dispute:
And obey Allah and His Messenger, and do not dispute and [thus] lose courage and [then] your strength would depart; and be patient. Indeed, Allah is with the patient.84
In another verse Allah warns believers that the world will be corrupted when there is discord among them:
And those who disbelieved are allies of one another. If you do not do so [i.e., ally yourselves with other believers], there will be be fitnah [i.e., disbelief and oppression] on earth and great corruption.85
As noted in this verse, Muslims can be held accountable for engaging in conflicts among themselves and thereby hindering others from good deeds instead of struggling against the arrogant who deny Allah's religion and lead societies to destruction. Prophet Muhammad (saas) drew attention to the importance of unity in many hadiths such as the following:
When supporting one another, believers should motivate other believers to do good deeds and appreciate beneficial services rendered. Bediüzzaman pointed out that believers should encourage one another with feelings of brotherhood:
The Method Advised by Bediüzzaman for Opposing Disbelief
In many of his works Bediüzzaman Said Nursi informed believers about the methods that should be employed in their struggle with disbelief. In one he states:
Against the first enemy, ignorance, it is important to ensure that people become aware of the threats surrounding them. In an Islamic society the majority of people are religious, i.e., they believe in Allah and His religion. However, many Muslims are unaware of the threats posed against religion and spiritual values. For instance, some are so ignorant about the theory of evolution and its objectives that they do not hesitate to say, "I am religious and also believe in the theory of evolution." There are other people who believe that superstitious beliefs such as reincarnation can be reconciled with Islam. Such fallacies have to be eliminated and the lack of knowledge compensated in the shortest time possible.
The second enemy identified by Bediüzzaman, stipulation, is the imposition of some non-faith-related thoughts and lifestyles upon people as obligations. For example, the theory of evolution is imposed through television, textbooks and schools and is presented as a statement with no alternative. As Bediüzzaman shows, the theory of evolution has been adopted on the basis of a dangerous stipulation, justified by the misleading phrase, "Evolution is science." Indoctrination has worked so well that denial of evolution is perceived as the denial of science. In the face of this assertion by evolutionist and materialist circles, it is essential that people be informed of the invalidity of this dangerous ideology. This can be realized through the publication of books and various communication and media tools presenting the harms of the theory of evolution and materialist philosophy.
The last enemy addressed by Said Nursi is disagreement, which is no less of a threat today when so many issues among people are in controversy. When people fail to reach a consensus, many issues lapse into disputes and conflicts. Against the dangers posed by chaos and conflict, the truth must be stated clearly in the light of scientific evidence. Regarding the origins of life, the facts have to be explained explicitly. This can lead many materialists and evolutionists to turn to their consciences and proceed towards the truth and the straight path.
While advocating measures against these threats, Bediüzzaman also stresses some factors contributing to success. The first of these is ingenuity, which plays an important role in the struggle with disbelief. In this context the word "ingenuity" has various connotations. Making known the precision in Allah's creation is among the most important issues, so explicitness and simplicity of style as well as the use of pictures in various publications are important and reveal the highly refined taste of believers. Wisdom in oral explanations is also a manifestation of artistry. Words, examples and effective usage of one's language are essential to influence people. Contrary to evolutionists, who employ highly complicated and ambiguous terminology in describing the so-called "scientific" theory of evolution, simplicity in language renders it possible for people to easily understand faith related issues. The skillful conveyance mentioned by Bediüzzaman is an attribute Allah grants to His sincere servants, and their sincerity and honesty is manifested in the way they speak. Identifying subjects that should be explained to people according to their needs and the methods to inform them are all noble concerns peculiar to people of conscience.
The last measure advocated by Bediüzzaman is unification, necessary to secure welfare and security in one's homeland. It is vitally important that believers unite against those who deny the existence of Allah and strive to demolish spiritual values. Various attempts made to destroy this unity will reduce its effect. Negative excuses such as "Darwinism has already become ineffective" or "Is there still a need to refute Darwinism?" actually harm the ideological struggle against it, unwittingly creating disputes.
Sincere people who consider the good of their country and its citizens must continue their struggle until Darwinism is completely eradicated because it has not yet been entirely defeated. Even though the evolutionists are putting forth their last arguments in a state of great anxiety, there is still much to be done. When terror, anarchy and enmity against religion no longer exist, one can then conclude that those erroneous beliefs have been completely eliminated. In the Qur’an, Allah commands believers to fight disbelief “until there is no more dissension and the religion, all of for Allah”89
65. Surah at-Tahreem, 66:6.
66. The Risale-i-Nur Collection II, Emirdag Letters, Nesil Yayinlari, p. 1183.
67. For detailed information refer to Solution: The Values of the Qur’an by Harun Yahya.
68. Narrated by al-Bukhari¸ and Muslim.
69. Surah al-Anbiya’, 21:52-54.
70. Surah al-Anbiya’, 21:57-58.
71. Surah al-Anbiya’, 21:62-65.
72. Richard Lewontin, "Billions and Billions of Demons," review of The Demon-Haunted World: Science As a Candle in the Dark by Carl Sagan, The New York Review of Books, January 9, 1997, p. 31.
73. D.M.S. Watson, "Adaptation," Nature, Issue 124, p. 233.
74. Chandra Wickramasinghe, interview in London Daily Express, August 14, 1981.
75. Surah al-Anbiya’, 21:66-67.
76. Narrated by al-Bukhari¸ and Muslim.
77. The Risale-i-Nur Collection II, Emirdag Letters, Nesil Yayinlari, p. 54.
78. The Risale-i-Nur Collection, The Rays, Fifteenth Ray, p. 599.
79. Beyanat ve Tenvirler (Declarations and Illuminations), p. 21.
80. Surah Qaf, 50:6-11.
81. Surah adh-Dhuha, 93:11.
82. Narrated by at-Tirmidhi – saheeh
83. Surah an-Nahl, 16:89.
84. Surah al-Anfal, 8:46.
85. Surah al-Anfal, 8:73.
86. Narrated by Muslim.
87. The Risale-i-Nur Collection, Letters, The Twenty-Second Letter, p. 270.
88. The Risale-i-Nur Collection II, Divan-i-Harbirfi, Nesil Yayinlari, p. 1921
89. Surah al-Anfal, 8:39.