The Quranic Challenge to the Atheists: Make a Fly, if You Can

Epigraph:

People, here is an illustration, so listen carefully: those you call on beside God could not, even if they combined all their forces, create a fly, and if a fly took something away from them, they would not be able to retrieve it. How feeble are the petitioners and how feeble are those they petition. (Al Quran 22:73)

Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times

In an era when animals have been cloned and there are genetically modified animals and plants, some atheists in their arrogance may conceive that they have met the Quranic challenge. Not so fast!

In this Quranic challenge to convince the humanity of Monotheism, given Allah’s creation and His creativity, I am afraid we cannot allow any cheating or building on God’s already present creations. No reverse engineering allowed. In the lingo of Ex President Trump, reverse engineering is for the loosers.

If self respecting atheists want to meet God’s challenge, please do not build on God’s models of life based on carbon, RNA and DNA. Please start from scratch and build it on silicone or some other element of your choosing.

And I am being very lenient and kind to the atheists. I have not even asked them to build their own silicone and have permitted use of silicone made by God, in the exploding stars.

Carl Sagan is quoted as saying, “To really make an apple pie from scratch, you must begin by inventing the universe.”

Bring it on, if you have the audacity to deny God’s creation and Monotheism.

In the mean while let me share a few important articles with the readers pertaining to God’s creation:

The anesthesia of familiarity: There should be a Creator of Our Universe

Ten Raised to Five Hundred Reasons for Our Gracious God

Reading the Quran with Sir David Attenborough

Al Quran: And We have made the heaven a roof, well-protected

Video: Richard Dawkins Tracking Back His Atheism

The Five Authors to read in Order to Comprehend the Bible and the Quran in Light of the Scientific Revolution

If there is freewill, so is Providence: Refuting the best of atheism through the latest science

Al Hakeem: The Wise, The Creator With A Purpose

A challenge for Dawkins: Where did carbon come from?

The Big Question – Is there a God? BBC Debate

The Muslim Times, Perhaps the Only Medium Presenting the Creator God of the Holy Quran

BBC Videos: Does Heaven Exist?

Epigraph:

Muhammad, when you recite the Quran, We put an invisible barrier between you and those who do not believe in the life to come. (Al Quran 17:45)

Man says, ‘What? Once I am dead, will I be brought back to life?’ but does man not remember that We created him when he
was nothing before? (Al Quran 19:66-67)

Suggested Reading
Afterlife A Dream-State or A Virtual Reality?
Stephen Hawking: ‘There is no heaven; it’s a fairy story!’
Surah Al Waqi’ah (The Event or the Resurrection)
Human Soul: The Final Frontier?
Stairway-to-heaven
According to the Qur’an, Can Jews and Christians ‘Partake in the Blessings of Heaven and Earth?’

How many teachers of the holy Quran do you need?

Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times

The holy Quran is the literal word of All Knowing God, so it has infinite treasures and finite humans cannot conceive and capture them all and should never try to monopolize them all. (Al Quran 18:109 and 31:27)

If you want to know what the most popular poet in USA has to say about the Quran: Rumi: The Quran is Like a Shy Bride!

If you want to learn the Quran from Harvard university Law School: Did you know Harvard recognizes Quran as one of the best expressions for justice?

If you like Morgan Freeman: Video of Morgan Freeman: Commentary of Surah Takathur.

If you want to learn Quran and science from the non-Muslim scientists: Are the Scientists the Better Teachers for Several of the Attributes of God? and A Slight Twist Makes David Attenborough a Great Teacher for God of the Abrahamic Faiths.

If you want to learn about the Quran from history from the Christian tradition: Video: How Science Changed Reading of the Bible and What are We Proposing for the Quran.

If you want to learn the fallacies of the Christian dogma, you could try to find the relevant videos of Mirza Tahir Ahmad, the previous Khalifa of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, as he talks about the verse: “The Originator of the heavens and the earth! How can He have a son when He has no consort, and when He has created everything and has knowledge of all things?” (Al Quran 6:101) Or, if it a difficult task for you, merely read his book: Book Review: Christianity: A Journey from Facts to Fiction.

If you want to study the scientifically most pregnant verses of the Quran then your teacher is Dr. Maurice Bucaille and I have some bragging rights also by the Grace of Allah: A Century of Scholarship for Quran and Science and The Five Authors to read in Order to Comprehend the Bible and the Quran in Light of the Scientific Revolution.

If you want to read the Quran from the Shiite tradition: The Study Quran: A New Translation and Commentary, Now Available Online.

If you want to read one of the best English translations of the Quran that was published by the oxford university: One of the Best English Translations of the Quran Now Available Online.

If you want to read more than 50 different translations of the Quran, you may like: More than Fifty different simultaneous translations of the Holy Quran in English.

If you want to learn the Quran from a Catholic: Pulitzer Prize Winner, Garry Wills Talks About the Quran for 50 Minutes.

If you want to learn the Quran from a secular Jewish lady: A Wonderful Description of the First Revelation of the Prophet – by an Agnostic Biographer.

If you want to learn the Quran from converts to Islam then: 1984 Rare TV Interview With Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens) and A British Convert to Islam: ‘I found Qur’an mother of all philosophies.’

If you want to learn the Quran without becoming boxed in by one teacher into his or her organized religion, then you can find hundreds of videos by Javed Ahmad Ghamidi in YouTube, as he presents himself as a student of the Quran and not the ultimate, only and mandatory teacher of the Quran, Ghamidi: The Most Tolerant and Pluralistic Muslim Scholar of Our Times. Like all teachers he has limitations, and I know even if he stumbles on this link here, he will not be fuming with anger or self importance: Ghamdi A Wonderful Teacher, But Only in Moderation.

Likewise Hamza Yusuf, President of Zaytuna college, is a great teacher, if you want to hear English and the good news is he does not have an accent either. But, I want to set limits for him as well: Hamza Yusuf on Jinns: Powerful Men or Demons?, not to shrink him, but to prove that we need countless teachers of the Quran, not one.

If you learn from multiple teachers, you will not be stuck in sectarian divide among the Muslims, but will rise to universal compassion. Incidentally, the Muslim Times has the best collection to overcome sectarian divide.

If you wanted to make your journey into the Quran easy, non-contradictory and one that does not land you in double binding situations and not ideologically driven, you could go to articles: Surah Qamar – The Moon: The Quran has been made easy and After Monotheism, the Two Most Seminal Verses of the Quran.

Just like Ghamidi and Yusuf have limitations, I do as well. I have been told by friends and critics that I do not have charisma and for that reason I am not popular. I will leave the details in the hands of the readers as I may be in my own blind spot, but I never give up and keep trying to be a student and possibly a teacher of the Quran.

If you decide to limit your Quranic scholarship to one teacher or scholar, then what may happen: The only thing standing between you and your Quran is your own teacher and If you limit yourself to one or a few religious teachers, you may have a severe case of myopia.

I leave you today with my presentation of commentary of the holy Quran that has hundreds of articles from dozens of sources: A New Commentary of the Holy Quran Emphasizing Compassion, Justice and Human Rights Launched.

Discovery Channel Video: Moon: Does it have a purpose?

Epigraph:

He it is Who made the sun radiate a brilliant light and the moon reflect a luster, and ordained for it stages, that you might know the number of years and the reckoning of time. Allah has not created this but with truth and a purpose. He details the Signs for a people who have knowledge. (Al Quran 10:5)

He created the heavens and the earth in accordance with truth and a real purpose. He makes the night to cover the day, and He makes the day to cover the night; and He has pressed the sun and the moon into service; each pursues its course until an appointed time. Hearken, it is He alone Who is the Mighty, the Great Forgiver. (Al Quran 39:5)

A full moon rises over the skyline of New York next to One World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan, as seen from the Eagle Rock Reservation in West Orange, New Jersey, April 26, 2013. REUTERS/Gary Hershorn
A full moon rises over the skyline of New York next to One World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan, as seen from the Eagle Rock Reservation in West Orange, New Jersey, April 26, 2013. REUTERS/Gary Hershorn.  The Muslim Times has the best collection of articles on the theme of religion and science

Article written and collected by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times

If you wonder what your life would be like without the moon, the surprising answer is that you wouldn’t be here to wonder at all! Earth before the impact that created the moon for our planet was a totally different planet.

The main message of the Discovery channel documentary is that if there were no moon, there would have been no land based life on our planet. The Earth has a large moon, making it unique in the inner solar system. The inner Solar System, that is the habitable zone of our solar system, includes the planets Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars.  Mercury and Venus have no moons, and Mars has only two small asteroid-sized objects orbiting it. There are 139 moons in our solar system, but our moon enjoys some special features. Of all the known moons in our Solar System, only three are in the inner region.

The moon manages the tilt of earth, in its rotation and hence the weather on our planet.

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Al Quran: And We have made the heaven a roof, well-protected

Epigraph

“Do not the disbelievers realize that the heavens and the earth were a solid mass, then We split them asunder, and We made from water every living thing? Will they not then believe? We have placed in the earth firm mountains lest it roll beneath them; and We have made wide pathways therein that they may thereby journey from place to place.

And We have made the heaven a roof, well-protected; yet they turn away from its Signs. He it is Who created the night and the day, and the sun and the moon each gliding freely in its orbit.” (Al Quran 21:30-33)

Allah Protector of life on earth

Source: Muslim Sunrise: Summer 2011

By Zia H Shah MD and Sardar Anees Ahmad

The Qur’an (86:5) states that angels, under God’s command, ensure that every natural law operates as designed. Again, the Qur’an (13:12) states that angels surround humans, serving as guardians. Together, the verses indicate that angels uphold various laws to protect people’s lives. Life, therefore, is the exception and death is the norm. Alluding to the precarious balance between life and death, the Qur’an (21:33; 41:13) declares that the heavens and the upper levels of Earth protect the Earth from life threatening entities. Referencing the idea of balance, the Qur’an declares, “And We have made the heaven a roof, well protected; yet they turn away from its Signs” (21:33). Here, Saqfam-mahfooza (i.e., roof, well protected) is of prime importance.

The Qur’an (55:8-10) argues that balance is universally observable in nature, therefore mankind must always behave in accordance with this principle. In Arabic, the word Meezan is employed to indicate that one entity is balancing another; in (55:8-10), the heavens are given the title of meezan. However, in relation to the earth, the Qur’an employs another word from the same root, Mauzun, which means something which is made perfectly balanced. “And the earth have We spread out, and set therein firm mountains and caused everything to grow therein in proper proportion” (15:20). So the Qur’an distinguishes between the heavens which carry out balancing and the Earth’s ground which is affected thereby.

Read further on page 55:

Kashif N Chaudhry MD entering a debate: Should religion adapt to science?

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The Muslim Times has a lot to say about the theme of this debate

The Muslim Times’ Chief Editor’s comment: Weather we know it or not, we are all consciously or unconsciously engaged in this constant debate, in this age of science.

The Holy Quran Uses the Word Taqdeer تَقْدِيرً for Laws of Nature

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Video: How Science Changed Reading of the Bible and What are We Proposing for the Quran

How science polishes our understanding of the Quran By Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times The second last verse of Surah Ha Mim Sajdah reads, “We will show […]

Are Endorphins and Neurotransmitters Angels of God?

Epigraph: “As for those who say, ‘Our Lord is God,’ and take the straight path towards Him, the angels come down to them and say, ‘Have no fear or grief, […]

The Five Authors to read in Order to Comprehend the Bible and the Quran in Light of the Scientific Revolution

Epigraph: We will show them Our Signs in the universe and also among their own selves, until it becomes manifest to them that the Quran is the Truth. (Al Quran […]

Science in the Service of the Scriptures

Source: Muslim Sunrise 2015 winter volume Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times Are science and religion at odds with each other? Cary […]

Fasting and Prayers above the Arctic Circle, in Alaska, Russia, Norway and Sweden

Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times The sun sets for the last time over Barrow, Alaska. On the 18th of November, 2016 at […]

Urdu video: Mirza Tahir Ahmad explaining apartheid and racism in the light of the Quran

The Muslim Times’ Chief Editor’s comment

On a side note, during this commentary of some of the verses of Sura Hujjarat, Mirza Tahir Ahmad also says that the reason for the downfall of the Muslim civilization was that they followed conjecture, rather than the fundamental truths of society or science.

I agree and echo his sentiment that this is still true. Laws of nature have not changed. If the Muslims, regardless of sect or their beliefs of theology, if follow conjecture rather than than the fundamental truths of society or science, history will repeat itself. You have been warned.

The holy Quran says:

“And most of them follow nothing but conjecture. Surely, conjecture avails nothing against truth. Indeed, Allah is well aware of what they do.” (Al Quran 10:36)

And:

“But they have no knowledge thereof. They follow nothing but conjecture; and conjecture avails naught against truth.” (Al Quran 53:28)

We have the best collection of articles about the Holy Quran

The Quranic Verses About Successful Households And Generational Blessings

What do Morgan Freeman, Robin Williams, Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain teach us about purpose of life?

A Ted Talk As Commentary of A Verse of the Quran

Video: How Science Changed Reading of the Bible and What are We Proposing for the Quran

What do Morgan Freeman, Robin Williams, Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain teach us about purpose of life?

Epigraph

We certainly did not create men or women, powerful and weak, but to worship Me. (Al Quran 51:56)

Morgan Freeman. Suggested reading: Video of Morgan Freeman: Commentary of Surah Takathur

Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times

Whatever goals we achieve in life, those become relatively less important and sometimes meaningless and our horizons of desire expand further and we seek more. Be it money, power, reputation, skills, accolades, beauty, whatever may be your obsession at a given time.

This is the nature of human desire and psychology.

Can we be happy without an Infinite God and an eternal and infinite paradise? In the short and in the long run?

“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy,” CS Lewis a famous Christian theologian said, “the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”

Morgan Freeman[2] (born June 1, 1937) is an American actor, director, and narrator. He is known for his distinctive deep voice and various roles in a wide variety of film genres. Throughout his career spanning over five decades, he has received multiple accolades, including an Academy Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and a Golden Globe Award.

Born in Memphis, Tennessee, Freeman was raised in Mississippi where he began acting in school plays. He studied theatre arts in Los Angeles and appeared in stage productions in his early career. He rose to fame in the 1970s for his role in the children’s television series The Electric Company. Freeman then appeared in the Shakespearean plays Coriolanus and Julius Caesar, the former of which earned him an Obie Award. His breakout role was in Street Smart (1987), playing a hustler, which earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. He achieved further stardom in Glory (1989), the biographical drama Lean on Me (1989), and comedy-drama Driving Miss Daisy (1989), the latter of which garnered him his first Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.

He had the following to say about the purpose of life in a few minutes after achieving that which 8 billion of us desire:

Robin McLaurin Williams (July 21, 1951 – August 11, 2014) was an American actor and comedian. Known for his improvisational skills[1][2] and the wide variety of characters he created on the spur of the moment and portrayed on film, in dramas and comedies alike,[3][4] he is regarded as one of the greatest comedians of all time.[5][6][7]

Williams began performing stand-up comedy in San Francisco and Los Angeles during the mid-1970s,[8] and rose to fame playing the alien Mork in the ABC sitcom Mork & Mindy (1978–1982).[9] After his first leading film role in Popeye (1980), he starred in several critically and commercially successful films, including The World According to Garp (1982), Moscow on the Hudson (1984), Good Morning, Vietnam (1987), Dead Poets Society (1989), Awakenings (1990), The Fisher King (1991), Patch Adams (1998), One Hour Photo (2002), and World’s Greatest Dad (2009). He also starred in box office successes such as Hook (1991), Aladdin (1992), Mrs. Doubtfire (1993), Jumanji (1995), The Birdcage (1996), Good Will Hunting (1997), and the Night at the Museum trilogy (2006–2014). He was nominated for four Academy Awards, winning Best Supporting Actor for Good Will Hunting. He also received two Primetime Emmy Awards, six Golden Globe Awards, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, and five Grammy Awards.

On August 11, 2014, at age 63, Williams died by suicide at his home in Paradise Cay, California. His autopsy revealed undiagnosed Lewy body disease.[10][11]

In 2020, 45,979 Americans died by suicide. Suicide is the 12th leading cause of death in the U.S. Every day, approximately 125 Americans die by suicide.

Katherine Noel Valentine Brosnahan Spade (born Katherine Noel Brosnahan; December 24, 1962 – June 5, 2018)[1][2] was an American fashion designer and entrepreneur. She was the founder and co-owner of the designer brand Kate Spade New York.

After graduating from St. Teresa’s Academy, an all-female Catholic high school, Spade attended the University of Kansas. She later transferred to Arizona State University. She joined the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority and graduated with a journalism degree in 1985, thinking she would go into television production. While in college, she worked in sales at Carter’s Men Shop, a men’s clothing store in Phoenix; her co-worker was Andy Spade, who later became her husband and business partner.[5][4][6]

Spade married Andy Spade, the brother of actor/comedian David Spade, in 1994. While not legally separated, the couple had begun living apart a few months before her death.[23]

The couple’s only child, a daughter, was born in 2005.[24]

A housekeeper found Spade dead in her Manhattan apartment on June 5, 2018. Her death was ruled a suicide by hanging.[26] Police reported that she had left a note which was addressed to her daughter.[27] The day after his wife’s death, Andy Spade released a statement:

Kate suffered from depression and anxiety for many years. She was actively seeking help and working closely with doctors to treat her disease, one that takes far too many lives. We were in touch with her the night before and she sounded happy. There was no indication and no warning that she would do this. It was a complete shock. And it clearly wasn’t her. There were personal demons she was battling.[23]

Within a week of her death, the flagship Kate Spade New York store in Manhattan (and soon other stores nationwide) displayed a sign in its front window reading:

Kate Spade, the visionary founder of our brand, has passed. Our thoughts are with her family at this incredibly heartbreaking time. We honor all the beauty she brought into this world.[28][29]

Anthony Michael Bourdain (/bɔːrˈdeɪn/; June 25, 1956 – June 8, 2018) was an American celebrity chefauthor, and travel documentarian[1][2][3] who starred in programs focusing on the exploration of international culture, cuisine, and the human condition.[4] Bourdain was a 1978 graduate of The Culinary Institute of America and a veteran of many professional kitchens during his career, which included several years spent as an executive chef at Brasserie Les Halles in Manhattan. He first became known for his bestselling book Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly (2000).

Bourdain’s first food and world-travel television show A Cook’s Tour ran for 35 episodes on the Food Network in 2002 and 2003. In 2005, he began hosting the Travel Channel‘s culinary and cultural adventure programs Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations (2005–2012) and The Layover (2011–2013). In 2013, he began a three-season run as a judge on The Taste and consequently switched his travelogue programming to CNN to host Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown. Although best known for his culinary writings and television presentations, along with several books on food and cooking and travel adventures, Bourdain also wrote both fiction and historical nonfiction. On June 8, 2018, Bourdain died by suicide while on location in France, filming for Parts Unknown.[5]

Morgan Freeman is in search of meaning of life. He has made a National Geographic series about God. You may be able to watch his 18 hours of program online in National Geographic website.

It seems that his answer to the question of purpose of life is that we need God. We cannot be always happy without an Infinite God and an eternal and infinite paradise.

CNN’s Anthony Bourdain dead at 61 | CNN. How can we get to a happy ending to our life?