The case for Allah’s existence
Is Allah real? How do we know God exists? Belief in God and the quest for existential truth is not always easy, especially in a social environment where faith is derided as superstition, wishful thinking, or even a dangerous fantasy. This unit begins by challenging this mindset before exploring a number of arguments that establish the existence of God in a way that speaks to both the heart and mind.
Unit overview, learning objectives and content standards
Lesson 1: Science, the heart, and the mind
In today’s world, the scientific method is upheld as the only way to ascertain truth. This first lesson begins with a critique of our contemporary worldview and turns to the more holistic Qur’anic point of view to explore the question: does God exist?
1.1 Worksheet: The scientific revolution
1.2 Worksheet: The reality of God
1.3 Worksheet: The Qur’anic approach
Lesson 2: Fitrah: Our primordial nature
Every culture across time and space has attempted to connect with a transcendent being. This is because of our human fitrah, or primordial nature to seek God. In this lesson, students will reflect on their fitrah and recognize that nurturing it will lead to a life-long journey towards God, while neglecting it will lead to its corruption.
2.1 Worksheet: Gallery walk images
2.2 Worksheet: Gallery walk questions
2.3 Worksheet: The human fitra
2.4 Worksheet: Allegory of the fitra
Lesson 3: The rational proof of God
In the final lesson of this unit, students will explore two mind-based ways of establishing the existence of God: the teleological argument and the kalam cosmological argument. Through the exploration of these two arguments, students will be able to logically conclude that God most certainly exists.
3.1 Worksheet: Lab report
3.2 Worksheet: Guided notes
3.3 Worksheet: Kalam cosmological argument
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Why we worship God
When we think of our obligation as Muslims to worship God, some of us may express confusion at the idea that God “needs” or “wants” us to worship Him. Some may even perceive God as being egotistical to demand devotional service. This is neither common sense nor sound logic–rather, it results from a faulty image of God. Islamic theology steers clear of connecting human needs and motivations to God. Instead, Islam provides a grounded and honest answer to the question “Why does God ask to be worshiped?” Guide students through the answer with this unit.
The proofs of prophethood
Believing in prophets and messengers is a key pillar of faith in Islam. This unit unpacks the nature and necessity of these individuals by first exploring the ethical need for guidance facilitated by prophets. Students then go on to examine two types of proofs of prophethood in detail: mind-based or cognitive proofs (e.g., miracles) and heart-based proofs (e.g., prophetic character traits).
Qur’an: The living literary miracle
The greatest miracle in Islam is the Qur’an. It is divine in nature and irreplicable, having been preserved over millennia. This unit will guide students through some major concepts that illustrate the Qur’an’s miraculous nature and why it is the word of God. By the end of the unit, students will find that the Qur’an’s revelation and compilation fit the highest markers of historical accuracy.
Conscious or coerced: Divine decree in Islam
This unit explores a difficult question brought up by Muslim youth and adults alike: if God has knowledge of all things and we are subject to His will and power, then how do we have free will? Students will explore the Qur’anic discourse on predestination and free will to equip them with the tools to navigate and resolve this apparent paradox.
How can evil coexist with a merciful God?
The ‘problem of evil’ is a major point of contention in philosophical and religious circles. To address the topic, this unit first clarifies the terms of the debate by explaining that human knowledge can never encompass the reality of ‘goodness’ or ‘evil.’ It then surveys how Islamic theodicies have responded to the problem of evil. The unit concludes by inviting students to explore how the prophetic model allows them to find meaning and be inspired to act positively in a world where ‘evil’ exists.