Ted Thornton
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A Muslim Proof for the Existence of God

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Egyptian Muslim cleric, Sheikh Mutwali al-Sharawi, was renowned throughout the Arab world  for many years until his death in June, 1998 at the age of 87.  He appeared on Egyptian television daily. His sermons were distributed widely in cassette tapes and in tracts which are still in great demand and sold on nearly every street corner in the larger cities of the Arab world.  Here is an excerpt from one such pamphlet, al-Wujood wa-l Shak (Existence and Doubt) , an Islamic version of the ontological proof for the existence of God.

"Doubt Proves Existence"

With respect to those who would deny the existence of God, the attempt to deny it only proves the case. For, there is no need for me to deny that which does not exist. Take the earth, for example. Some people say it is round. Others say it is flat. Would a dispute have broken out had not some observed the earth moving out away from them along a flat plane? If previous knowledge had not confirmed for them that the earth is round, for what reason would the dispute have arisen? The dispute broke out, however, because there is actual knowledge which is at variance with what the eye actually sees. Therefore, before the refutation and before the dispute, there was a pre-existing truth. For, if we wish to deny a scientific theory which requires its existence as a precondition, how then can it be refuted? The differences here between denial and existence necessarily presuppose the fact.

Therefore, the attempt to deny the existence of God presupposes the truth that God exists. Otherwise, why would any disbeliever make the attempt to advance such denials? An attempt to deny a thing and argue about it is impossible to put forth apart from the existence of the thing. If there were no basis for asserting the existence of a thing, why argue about it? Who would attempt to refute its existence?

Doubt in the existence of God (may He be praised and exalted) only confirms His existence. Those who attempt to validate doubt in God's existence serve only to confirm the existence of something which requires no need of proof. For, the proof of the existence of God is the very demand for such a proof. Efforts to make understandable such concepts only serve to prove that God has been with us since creation.

al-Imam Muhammad Mutwali al-Sharawi, al -Wujood wa-l Shak (Existence and Doubt) , (Alexandria, Egypt: Dar al Nadwa, 1990, pp. 55-56).  Translated by Ted Thornton, NMH Religious Studies.

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