Developing an intense knowledge of our faiths

Sister Anisah David

Sister Anisah David

Living in a campus environment tends to draw people into the process of questioning everything.

One of the most important questions a person can ask, however, is one that is often asked privately or inwardly.

The question is one that has been asked through the ages by people of all walks of life and from all cultures.

How can human beings recognize the existence of this transcendent Reality, the invisible God, all-pervasive truth?

Although the vast philosophical literature dealing with proofs for God’s existence is beyond the scope of this article, there are certain arguments which are put forth in scripture.

Although God is invisible, the Creator has left evidence of God’s reality by which people can know God, if they only look.

These include:

– The doorway of contemplation by which God is sensed by the inner self.

– The universality of the moral law, which mirrors the law of nature.

– The evidence of God’s handiwork in the glories of creation.

– The testimony of the founders of religions.

By these means and traces, the Ultimate Reality can be ascertained in the midst of this relative existence.

Many faith traditions of the world speak of the issue of the transcendent Reality of the Creator.

They not only speak of the Creator, but also speak to the issue of the signs of the Creature on earth.

We find in the Islamic religious scriptures:

“And of His signs is that he created you from the dust; now behold you are human beings, ranging widely.

“And of His signs is that He created for you, of yourselves, spouses that you might find repose in them, and He has planted love and kindness in your hearts.

“Surely there are signs in this for people who reflect.

“And of His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth and the variety of your tongues and hues, surely there are signs in this for people who have knowledge.

“And of His signs is your slumber by night and day, and your which He shows you for fear and hope is yet another of His signs; He sends down water from the sky, thereby reviving the earth after it is dead.

“Surely in this there are signs for people who understand.

“And of His signs is that space and the earth stand firm by His command; then when He calls you, suddenly, from the earth you shall emerge.” (Quran 30. 20-25)

This verse not only addresses the doorway of contemplation, but also directs the worshipper to go further and observe those things around him or her within nature that are signs of the Divine.

Islam is not alone in directing it’s followers to be observant of nature, as a sign of the Creator, through creation.

For we also find in Christian scriptures:

“The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims His handiwork.

“Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares knowledge.

“There is no speech, no are there words, neither is their voice heard; Yet their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.” (Psalm 19, 1-4)

What ever your faith choice, I encourage everyone to develop a strong understanding of the fundamental teachings of the faith, through their scriptures, whatever they may be.

Grounding yourself in faith can often provide you with a cornerstone to build a greater awareness of your role in family, community and the world.

Sister Anisah David is the director of Human Interaction for Religious Understanding. She can be reached at [email protected].