Julian Huxley, (1887-1975) the well-known British writer, did not believe in God. He believed that man did not need God, a concept explained in his aptly titled book: Man Stands Alone.
It is noteworthy that a reputed American scientist, Cressy Morrison, countered Huxley’s thesis with a book titled: Man Does Not Stand Alone.
Even more so today, many people express the view that they do not need God; that success can be theirs without their believing in the Almighty. But if you conduct a survey, you will find that their views do not reflect mature perception. In fact, such remarks are spawned by immature minds mostly belonging to the under forty-age group. Psychological and biological studies show that human beings attain maturity only after reaching middle age. Prior to this, they are not in a position to form any sound opinions on the realities of life. Surveys show, indeed, that superficial remarks about God are made mostly by those who are as yet immature. But with the transition from immaturity to maturity, which comes with the acquisition of experience and knowledge, a great number of people, including atheists and apostates, become serious in their approach to the subject of God. A thinker has aptly said:
A smattering of knowledge turns people away from God. Greater knowledge brings them back to Him.
Here are a few examples to illustrate this point.
Let us take the case of an ambitious businessman who starts a business. His business goes on expanding until a time comes when it becomes unmanageable. Now he realizes that certain personal limitations bar him from fulfilling his desires and ambitions. He comes to feel that he needs a vaster world in order to realize his dreams.He feels that there exists a far greater power than himself and that, without the cooperation of this power; he cannot carry his plans into effect.
One’s Goal in Life
Most young people enter life with great ambitions. But again and again they undergo such experiences as remind them of their helplessness. Disease, accidents, losses, and disadvantages—all these repeatedly remind them that their lot in life is one of unfulfilled desires. Then they see that, however great one’s material success, one inevitably dies within the span of 100 years, leaving all one’s wealth behind. Such bitter reflection shows that all the sweet dreams of childhood and youth stemmed from ignorance. For it is impossible to have complete fulfillment in this present imperfect world.
One’s goal in life—whether it be the making of money, the acquisition of fame or power, or anything else of this nature—proves less than ideal. After the individual manages to achieve these things, he again suffers from the feeling that whatever he has achieved falls far below his expectations. Thus he remains as unsatisfied as ever. Finding success becomes as meaningless as not finding it.
In this way, in the course of daily life, a feeling of helplessness comes over man. This helplessness can be compared with the kind of helplessness that he experiences after the observation of the universe through a telescope.
God: A Source of Conviction
If you have a super-telescope that can view the entire Universe, you will first of all see the rare planet called Earth. You will observe that, amidst the totally lifeless universe, this tiny planet has an abundance of life and all kinds of life-supporting elements. This rare, exceptional sight is so overwhelming that you will be wonder-struck.
You will also see that—the Earth, along with its moon and the other planets, is continuously in motion, i.e. it rotates on its axis, and orbits around the sun. Then this entire solar system revolves in the wider circle of the galaxy. And this galaxy rotates in the much wider circle of the other galaxies.
The movement of the stars and planets in this vast endless space will appear astonishingly strange to your sight. You will then see an unbelievable number of vast balls of fire, called stars, which rotate with great speed. Amidst all these astral bodies, our Earth appears hardly bigger than a grain of sand. And this sight will be so strange to you that your own existence will appear to be totally insignificant and valueless. This experience will lead you to the discovery of two things at the same time. Firstly, there is a powerful God in this universe, who is its Creator as well as its Sustainer. If you can recall this sight of the universe to your mind, your heart will automatically call out that the universe itself is a clear proof of its Creator. Secondly, you will feel that you are a helpless and an insignificant creature in this universe, and that without God, your very existence is not possible. This is the most important reality of life. When one comprehends this reality, one will voluntarily turn towards God. With one’s whole being, one will call out: “O God, help me! For, without Your help everything will go wrong.”
God: the Captain of Life
In this vast universe, man’s only source of support is God. It is by God’s guidance that man’s ship is brought safely to the shore. Belief in God is the most important thing for man. Man is nothing without this belief.
The nature of every human being constantly urges him or her to recognize the need for God. Without God, our lives cannot be complete. Without the help of God, we cannot succeed in life.
Man’s position is further illustrated by this beautiful example:
A hundred years ago, a ship sailed from the coast of America to Africa. When the ship was far out to the deep sea, a severe storm broke out. The ship began to shake and jolt. All the passengers were in a state of great fear and anxiety. At this time of crisis, one of the passengers saw a little girl sitting in a corner of the deck. She was playing with her dolls, quite undisturbed by the storm. On seeing this, he became curious and asked her, “Do you know what is happening to our ship?” She asked, “What is the matter?” The passenger told her that the ship was caught in a dangerous storm. The girl calmly replied: “You know, my father is the captain of this ship. He is not going to let it sink.”
The girl’s faith in her father saved her from being a victim of fear at this crucial moment. The same is true of a religious person. He has the same childlike faith in his Creator, God Almighty. But his is a faith of far greater intensity. When catastrophe threatens, he can say with much stronger conviction that God Almighty is the captain of the ship of his life: He will never let it sink at any time or in any situation.
This is the type of conviction that man needs in his life and God is the only source of tsuch conviction.
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan