By: Mufti Mohammed kafeel Ahmed Director ISLAMIC HUBB
We have written two articles on the concept of atheism so far, the first “Evolution and Human” in which the arguments for the existence of a Supreme Being were established. The second article, titled “The Quest for the Creator of the Universe” in which we described the attributes of the Creator and the Sustainer, without which no entity can be a creator.
We are now presenting the third article in this series, in which we will explain how the prominent religions of the world have portrayed the nature of the Creator and Sustainer, and whose proposed theory is closer to reality.
Firstly, let’s discuss the proposed theories of the oldest Hinduism. Hinduism has a large number of Gods, and in this religion, anyone who brings harm or benefit is elevated to the status of a deity. Even today, on the extraordinary help of a simple Hindu, they can be referred to as a god or deity due to his/her extraordinary act of kindness.
Exploring Hinduism gives a sense that it wasn’t founded by a single individual; instead, it has evolved and changed over time. In this faith, there’s a distinct deity for every aspect of nature. Yet three gods are believed to be the most important ones:
1) Brahma: This god is believed to have created the world and then disengaged, which is why worship of Brahma is not common due to the absence of direct benefits. As a result, there are very few temples dedicated to Brahma in India, and even today, only one temple in Rajasthan is considered to be a Brahma temple.
2) Vishnu: This god is believed to run the system of the universe, and is the protector of the universe. Vishnu is worshipped, and numerous rituals are performed to please and appease him. Many festivals, such as Holi and others, are also celebrated in his honor.
3) Shiva: This is the god of destruction, destined to bring an end to the universe. Hindus worship him a lot and pray that he will not destroy the universe. It’s believed that he once consumed poison that threatened humanity’s early demise, symbolized by pouring milk on a symbolic oval-shaped stone (Shiva-linga). This ritual is consistently practiced to mitigate the poison’s effects.
The condition of these three great Gods of Hinduism is understood from their own narrations in terms of weakness and lack of knowledge. In Hinduism, if a devotee worships and performs asceticism for God while concealing ill intentions, God grants their wishes. However, when the God becomes aware of their malicious intentions, they begin to regret it. This signifies that knowledge, which is an essential quality for a god, is lacking in them. Just as Brahma granted a boon to Ravana and later came to regret it upon realizing Ravana’s evil motives.
Similarly, Hindu god Shiva had killed his own son Ganesha, and he wasn’t even aware that Ganesha was his son; this highlights a limitation in knowledge. The limitation in capability is that to bring Ganesha back to life, Shiva needed specific conditions. As a result, an elephant’s head was attached to him.
The mutual wars of the Hindu gods are also quite famous, in which each god displays his power. In Hinduism, it is not necessary to believe in these three great Gods, rather, every monotheist or atheist can be a Hindu here. They just need to adopt their way or create a new method similar to it to become Hindu.
The fact is that over time, in Hinduism, the sages and scholars were gradually made into gods. Eventually, in the name of love, pride, and prejudice, they attributed various powers to their ancestors. These sages and scholars certainly made many revelations, and investigations may have been presented, but it was not because they were God, but because of their knowledge. To believe them as gods based on their knowledge is analogous to elevating a present-day extraordinarily talented person into a future god due to the passage of time, despite them being human.When intellect is put aside in devotion and love, a man leaves no stone unturned to make his beloved a unique stature. Something similar has happened in Hinduism.
Buddhism and Jainism are contemporary religions. These two ideas came into being as a protest against the caste system created by Hindus about 2500 years ago. Both of these religions don’t have the concept of God at all; they are atheistic in nature. Thus, discussing the concept of God with regard to them is unnecessary. However, Hindu reformers merged these religions into Hinduism to preserve their tradition and deified the founders or leaders of these religions.
This clearly indicates the weak basis of the concept of God in Hinduism.
In our next article, we will explore the concept of God in Abrahamic religions.In sha Allah