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December 7, 2004
Burden of Proof

by Faisal Akhtar

I was surfing an atheist discussion board recently and I observed something peculiar. I saw that most atheists are like Muslims in the sense that they are skeptical and demand proof for people’s claims. The conviction that atheists have in logic, reason and proof is so similar to the Muslim belief system that I had to ask myself this question “Why don’t they believe in God?”

I posed this question to them and challenged them to prove that God didn’t exist. One guy retorted that the burden of proof is upon those claiming God’s existence and not upon atheists. If it were so, then it would be required of every sane and rational person to disprove every absurdity that is believed in this world. Similarly, the burden of proof would land upon every Muslim to prove that every deity that mankind has invented throughout history doesn’t exist. Such a world would be an “epistemological madhouse” in which every theory would have to be believed until proven false.

I thought about his response and he was right. Absence of proof is not proof of absence but it is not proof of presence either. Had God not sent messengers with clear proofs, the absence of biding proofs would have rendered the idea of a judgment day null and void. If God is about faith and not proof, then judgment cannot be executed on disbelievers. If the faculties of logic, reason, science, and sensual perception are all given to us by God and at the same time, we can't even make sense of him through them, how can he hold us accountable for disbelieving in him?

Accountability requires proof so next I asked them the question “What proof do you desire?” Some of the atheists demanded miracles such as the miracles of Jesus but I doubt miracles would suffice. Science has made it so that what was considered a miracle many centuries ago would never be considered a miracle today thus any prophetic miracle can be rejected by reasonable doubt of its authenticity. Those claiming that it is foolish to believe in books of old are being equally foolish by demanding miracles of old.

God reveals himself according to the times. Moses lived in the time of magicians and thus was given miracles even the best of magicians couldn’t explain. Jesus lived in times of medical advancement and he was given miracles that doctor could not dare replicate. Muhammad lived in times of literature and the spoken word and the Quran was a miracle that no poet could ever reproduce. However, these are the times of science and the pattern is consistent. The present miracle is such that no scientist can explain it or replicate it. It is verifiable and falsifiable according to the norms of science.

Here are a few ways in which it can be checked whether or not the Quran is from God.

1) The Quran is verifiable. Unlike the Bible, there are no differing versions of the Quran and anyone can check this fact. It can also be easily proven that the Quran, as we see it today, was the exact same Quran that was taught by Muhammad to his followers. However this may lead some to erroneously conclude that the Quran must have been authored by Muhammad. If anyone has such a doubt, let him try to produce a book like the Quran. Let him gather all the brilliant minds in the world and produce a book, a chapter or even a verse like it.

2) The Quran is falsifiable. The Quran never contradicts itself and it claims to be truth cover to cover. Anyone who has doubts about the authenticity of the Quran, let him find one statement in it that is false in itself or contradictory to the rest of the Quran There are lots of statements of science in the Quran so let him try to disprove one.

3) The Quran is unalterable unlike the Bible or any other book. The Bible has been proven inconsistent by science many times. Not because the original Bible was, but because the Christian churches kept changing it until there was very little left of the original message. There spawned so many different versions of the Bible, it became impossible to determine which is the right Bible. In order for one to be sure something is God's word, one also has to be sure that all of it is Gods word. Otherwise, it would put the entire word in question. Unlike the Bible, the Quran remains unaltered. . If anyone has any doubt about that fact then let him try to add/subtract a verse, a single word or even a single pronunciation mark in the Quran.

In the end I ask this question to Muslims and non-Muslims. Can the Quran withstand scientific scrutiny? I say let the test begin. Like Moses presented the magicians with his Miracles, Islam presents Quran as a miracle to mankind so let the trials begin. Let mankind try to replicate, falsify or alter the Quran. However, if it can’t, then God has satisfied his burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt and it is now incumbent upon mankind to submit to his will or face judgment.

of and relating to...
Humayun said


The atheists have to realize that 'atheism' itself itself a religion with an underlying philosophy, and not a 'default' worldview.

What atheists call nature, we call Allah (swt), what atheists call coincidence, we call Intelligent Design. As one wise person said "It takes greater faith to be an atheist."

Even with all the proof and logic we can provide many atheists just wont budge, because they are deaf, dumb and blind. Unfortunately, many people and some Muslims have started to think and view the world through atheist/secularistic/materialistic/evolutionist eyes without even realizing it.

How many of us when doing a good deed (like praying, reading Quraan, being active in ISRU) think about the Hereafter while doing it? When we wake up, is the first thing on our mind Allah (swt) and the Hereafter? -Just something to thnk about


on December 7, 2004 5:59 PM
asif said

Excellent topic you have chosen for your article...Bro Faisal.

To prove if ALLAH exists or not. I think this is more of a rhetorical question and not one with real significance.

For instance, the word "proof" as claimed by these Atheist means an empirical, quantifiable, logical and measurable results with known assumption and variables.

We believe that ALLAH is beyond all this "cause and effect" implications.

See, if ALLAH can be quantified, measured, and explained to the nth degree beyond doubt (again and again) with multiple tests and or unique concepts like string theory or Chaos Theory then that answer, that result, that conclusion CANNOT be ALLAH (SWT).

How can I call someone GOD, the Ominpotent if he can be explained by my tests and theories that may be proven inconsistent. Because it is quiet possible that my theories and results can be nullified 20 years after my death when someone else found that I had wrong assumptions or calculations...It would mean then that my GOD is not the real GOD just because I screwd up in my analysis and calculations.

But here is the catch for the Atheist; they are not looking for just any god, they are actually looking for the real GOD (ALLAH) with all HIS majesty and Glory. For them any other GOD will not suffice...They know in their heart exactly what they are seeking or looking for, yet they are stubborn and relentless in pursuing half baked theories about GOD.

Unfortunately, many people before them had similar attitude; Allah is the Noor of the Samawat & Ardh, yet these folks "refuse" to see HIS light!

on December 7, 2004 6:52 PM
Justoju said


I think that you should do a series on athiest/hindu/ahl-e-kitab refutations for Hidaya's public.

I have a lot to say regarding this article of yours, but sadly, I have much too much work to do tonight.

InshaAllah later.


on December 7, 2004 9:40 PM
Faisal Akhtar said

JazakAllah Kahir everyone. I would like to see an atheist response to this. It would be interesting to have a non-muslim on here don't you think?

on December 7, 2004 10:57 PM
Nadia said

Mashallah, this article was quite thought-provoking. As for atheists, there goes my all-time-favorite quote out to them: "If you are living like there's no God, YOU BETTER BE RIGHT"!!

on December 8, 2004 7:29 PM
jinnzaman said


Assalamu alaikum

I think the situation is a little more complicated than the author makes it out to be. Our Ummah for too long has become satisfied with a simplistic understanding of our opponent's ideologies and arguments. Most athiest arguments against the existence of god do not revolve around philosophical proofs, but scientific proofs. Not in that they request 'scientific evidence' of the existence of god, but rather, they have scientific evidence (or claim that they have scientific evidence) that the universe's creation is accountable through certain theories that can be backed up by empirical evidence.

Although classical physics affirms causal relationships, modern physics, especially theoretical physics, places traditional views of causality into question. They claim that causality, and the very laws of physics themselves, wouldn't apply prior to the big bang.

We need Muslims who are extremely proficient in modern physics to expose some of the fallacies.

For a general explanation of the problem, I would recommend people read the end of the article written by Shaykh Nuh Ha Meem Keller entitled "Kalam and Islam".

For a general critique of science, I would recommend people listen to the following lectures by Shaykh Nuh entitled "The Coherence of Islam"


on October 22, 2005 5:04 AM
Rami said

Asalaam Aleikum Warahmatullah Wabarkatu,



btw, as was said to me before...
it takes more faith to be an atheist than to believe in God.

on October 22, 2005 5:32 AM
jinnzaman said


Assalamu alaikum,

I would also like to add one more point:

The Quran is not a proof of the existence of God, it is a proof of the veracity of the messenger.

Also, allow me to add a further point. If we think about it, initimitability (the lack of the ability to reproduce a certain thing) is the true essence of a mu'ajiza. Thus, most of us think that writing a book is something that is rather easy, it is something that can be done by an individual or a group of individuals. In modern society, we are extremely literate and can produce thousands of books per year on a vareity of topics. At first glance, this may seem to diminish the miracle of the Quran, but in reality, it enhances it since, unlike in the past, we are more literate today, it should be easier for modern man to imitate the style of the Quran by simply producing one surah. The fact that with all of our technology such as human genome mapping, our free-style artists, our great linguists, our academians, the miracle of the Quran still stands in contrast to the achievements of contemporary society. If Islam is truly as backwards as some people claim, than it should be all the more easier to imitate the Quran. But the fact that they cannot, nor will they ever even if they were to assemble all of mankind and the jinn to work together, elevates the status of the Quran more and more.

Again, when discussing with athiests, I think the safest route to go is to get them to concede that the existence of God is at least a possibility and not a necessary existence (even though this is concept that the Ashari and Maturidi madhabs have accepted).


on October 22, 2005 5:59 AM
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