Imam Abu Hanifa vs Atheist

Salam, What’s Happening Brother’s and Sister’s…. so an Atheist is someone who dosen’t believe in God, they have already accepted the Shahadah half way….Get it! There is no God, now we have to guide them to finish it inshallah, There is no God but Allah, and Prophet Muhammad is his last messenger. Back to the story.

The story below shows how weak an atheist feel’s after trying to battle Imam Abu Hanifa intellectually….

Imam Abu Hafina was asked by the khalifa to meet with them and an atheist so Imam Abu Hanifa could debate with him. They set a time for them to meet up. So the day and time came and left and they kept waiting for Imam Abu Hanifa until finally he came. Everyone questioned him about his being late and what happened. So he started explaining how there was river that he had to cross….and he was waiting for a boat to come and bring him on the other side of the river.

While he was waiting, the branches and leaves of the tree fell and slowly formed themselves into a boat. And he jumped in that boat crossed the river. Obviously ppl laughed at this story and the atheist asked him ‘Are you mad enough to believe that a boat was made all by itself?
Imam Abu Hanifa replied ‘Who is more mad? the one who believed that a boat was created by itself, or you who believes that the entire world is created by itself?’

Mashallah, What a great mind and hard punchline….Inshallah Allah give us all guidance, especially Atheist’s.

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29 Responses to Imam Abu Hanifa vs Atheist

  1. MR October 8, 2007 at 4:28 am #

    Word! I was at the event with you! Shaykh Abdur Rahman ibn Yusuf? Right?

  2. Saad October 8, 2007 at 9:19 am #

    Yea, Salam Wussup MR, umm i went to the provision for the seekers program at nyu, i missed the fiqh al akbar one, inshallah next program see you! whenever that will be…holla at yo brother..

  3. Fatima August 6, 2008 at 10:48 am #

    With due respect to Abu Hanifah, his argument is weak and relies heavily on a polemical tone rather than reasoned debate or logic. Atheists don't believe the world was 'created' by any Being, or even by itself. The study of the universe from a scientific perspective has brought forth much evidence that the universe came about through an evolving process, and that does not necessitate that God created it. To say that 'something can't come from nothing' is now an untrue statement, since a black hole can appear out of nothingness and at random with having no rhyme or reason to it. So, somethings do 'come from nothing'.

    I am not saying this to disprove the existence of God, but I think people need to up their arguments about why God exists instead of using ancient arguments that don't fit anymore.

    • Muhammad March 5, 2010 at 7:52 pm #

      we don't need to argue about the existence of God neither the oneness of God, not even what we should call God(Allah). Its simply a belief either u do or u dont, i have many atheist friends and the more religous examples u use the more deterred they become of religion. but then again Islam isnt a religion isnt it?

      • Unknown July 26, 2010 at 10:47 pm #

        Hi God exists. Think that man denays only that thing which exixts. the thing which exixt u can only deny that. which doesnt exixt u can not deny that because u dont know its name. Jo chez hoti ha inkar sui ka hota ha. Jo ha hi nahi mtlb ap usko janty nahi jb apky mind main kisi chez ka koi concept nahi to ap inkar kaisay kar saktay ho.

    • Rasool March 26, 2010 at 5:29 pm #

      Little knowledge is dangerous

      Sister you have to study more about the evolution and even more about Abu Hanifa

      How can you say Imam Abu Hanifa's argument is week

      He is arguing according to the person he is speaking to

      If you have some knowlwdge reg Imam Abu Hanifa you wouldnt have said his argument is week

      • Nelson October 4, 2012 at 5:50 pm #

        Rasool,

        Fatima is correct and I doubt the validity of this story. Imams punchline was weak. It was intellectually dishonest at best and blatant word trickery at worst. Here is why.

        The only thing that makes an atheist is a lack of belief in a diety. Not every atheist subscribes to TET ( the evolutionary theory). Those that do would not say, “the world created itself”. The fact that your Imam even used such a simplistic view of cosmology, evolution, geology, astronomy, quantum physics, physics, etc., shows a gross misunderstanding of the theories as they are presented. The simple fact that you can even defend it shows how intellectually stunted and perhaps dishonest you are. I would never defend an illogical argument.

    • Anonymous May 1, 2010 at 6:23 am #

      You are a mad person and believe in the theory of Darwin,which ha not yet been proved and has its own flaws.You have no knowledge of science and so no right to milead people.

      • Nelson October 4, 2012 at 5:51 pm #

        Any…,

        Lol. This is why people don’t respect theist. First of all it’s the Theory of Evolution, not Darwinism. This is something that theist have come up with. Also TOE is proven sir, beyond a doubt by those who study and understand the field. Just because you cannot understand it does not make it non existent.

    • Amina October 24, 2010 at 1:12 pm #

      mashallah his words were chosen percisesly and may allah be pleased with him whereeber he goes.

  4. ashraf December 27, 2008 at 3:55 am #

    well, i think Fatima didn't get it

    i think it was a very good argument and i would like to disagree with fatima as when imam abu hanifa said the boat was created by itself same as when you say it is a none sense to have the whole universe created or made by itself or by chance it is exactly the same even according to probability it is even much more harder or impossible to have the creation process of the universe happens without the control of the creator .

    the big bang is a scientifically proven fact after which the universe started to form itself under the control of Allah and it is still expanding as God said in the Quran.but evolution is still a non proven hypothesis in the creation of living organisms on the earth millions of years till the Homo sabins "human " had been on earth 200 thousands years ago .

    i also disagree with her and i want her or any body else to correct me if i am wrong,something can not come out of nothing,the black hole came out of a dead star. HE IS THE FIRST AND THE LAST.

    "The study of the universe from a scientific perspective has brought forth much evidence that the universe came about through an evolving process"where did you get these words from?, evolved from what? you have a big problem in misunderstanding how the world has started.Read about the big bang,please fatima

    so i think this argument fits very well nowadays when arguing with an atheist. and we should know how to apply it by understanding the differences in the creation of the universe followed by the creation of the earth and all non living things in the universe followed by creation of all the living organisms evolved under God's control " created " to live on it.

    • Nelson October 4, 2012 at 6:00 pm #

      ashraf.

      I may be four years late, but I would love to show you your ignorance on TOE, the big bang and cosmology. I would even challenge you to a formal debate with moderator online. You can choose. Imams example was childish and logically immature. But let me ask you this. You state that how can the universe come from nothing. Let’s start there.

      1. Define nothing
      2. Show me nothing
      3. Prove to me that it’s nothing.

      As you are asserting that your god is a intervinist, show me your data that proves anything the universe does is guided by a “creator”

  5. ManifestationOfTruth August 8, 2009 at 6:22 pm #

    Assalamulaikum,

    I myself am a former Agnostic, and so I understand the Atheist's position. It was only through re-evaluating Islam, the nature of the universe, and pondering over the innumerous varying concepts of God, that I returned to Islam after much debate. It's important to play devils advocate in order to ensure one's position is accurate, and to understand the oppositions' positions. So, that is what I shall do here – attempt to refute the argument.

    This popular, age old argument is closely related to the "cosmological argument" for the existence of God – or a stronger variant, the "Kalam Cosmological Argument" by Imam Al-Ghazzali (who also composed his critic of it).

    1) Everything that begins to exist has a cause

    2) This current configuration began to exist with the onset of the big bang

    3) Therefore the universe has a cause

    Firstly I would like to respond to Fatima: I do agree that the tradtional argument is not extremely strong, so I must disagree with ashraf. Atheists already have many counter arguments to this. Although Fatima, I believe you are wrong when you say "something CAN come from nothing" – in fact Quantam Mechanics does not necessarily posit this. This is merely one interpretation drawn from some phenomena Quantam Mechanics deals with. Let me put it this way: In order for nothingness to exist, it must exist. However, is that truely "nothingness" – it is still something, i.e. the absence of everything else, however the concept itself exists. This is seen more clearly in this example: in order for non-existence to exist, it must exist. This is self-contradictory. The Big Bang theory does not posit that everything came from nothingness, rather in the singularity time, space and energy existed in a different form – the potential for all that is existed. To ask "what was before the universe" is a logical fallacy, as time began with the onset of the beginning OF the universe. There is no "before" without "time" (unless another time dimension exists independently of this universe). Atheists (with even an iota of intelligence) do not maintain that "something can come from nothing" – this is not necessary.

    Now here is an intersting counter argument:

    Then what caused God? Now, since this does not address the above argument, as a Theist will respond with: God does not have a beginning. However, the Atheist can simply respond with: If God can be eternal, why not the Universe? Perhaps this current configeration cannot explain itself, however we know that energy is itself eternal – it can be spread over a greater area i.e. the Multiverse, why must we draw an external, completely seperate cause? Using Occams razor, we can eliminate all unnecessary causes and simply leave it at the Multiverse. To make things more interesting: If God created the universe, and exists beyond time – HOW did He create the universe? The act of creation is a process that involves change – this requires time. Would the act of creation occur in some sequential order? If so, than God is not absolute and is bound by time, and one can therefore question: Who created God? Why is this God necessary? If God is beyond time, then how can God even think? The process of changing thoughts requires time as well. An Atheist can also object: Even if you demonstrate that this current configeration has a beginning, justify that 1) it needs an orign (as from our 3 dimensional flawed perspective, we assume all things have beginnings and ends – comparing a boat making itself to the universe is fallacious, as they cannot be equated) 2) Even if it has a cause, why must this cause be a God? Why must it be something Personal – something Conscious? Evolution does indeed explain the apparently complex structures in the universe, what's more is that one can simply say that it is imbedded into the nature of this all encompassing structure (the Universe – that which contains ALL possible universes) to enable such complex structures from developing. Why cannot these structures develope by themselves? Etc. I apologize for my babbling, but Muslims need to recognize that this argument (as used in the tradtional sense) will not work very well. Yes, I have indeed found undeniable evidence for Allah's existence – and here's my hint: I only found such profound evidence AFTER reviewing my concept of God. Many Atheists believe God must be an anthropomorpic Being (ex. a magical giant bearded man outside of this universe, the "man up in the sky" concept). True, the Big Bang must have had a cause, but why could this cause not be some greater universe (ex. the multiverse), the potential for this universe to be – all already existed, it did not come into existence out of nothingness. What's more is that, black holes may indeed encompass a singularity point that may give rise to a universe. Here's the thing: when a Muslim says "Allah created this universe" often the Atheist pictures a magical invisible man who popped this universe into existence. We of course do NOT mean this, yet many Muslims are unaware of this. This must be clarified. Oh, and yes Evolution does indeed have overwhelming evidence. Sure, certain components are fallacious as understood in the popular sense, however please do not borrow fundamental Christian mentalities and fear that evolution is a threat to Islam – truth cannot be a threat to truth. I will agree that their are some problems, however in general the theory is well supported. First, one needs to understand what a theory is in the scientific sense.

    Assalamulaikum

    • Ali August 15, 2012 at 6:00 pm #

      Assalaamualaikum brother, would it be possible to get in touch with you via FB or MAIL?

      I have a similar argument and have looked in to the depths relating to such, and would like some advice if you may find some time, thanks.

    • Nelson October 4, 2012 at 6:08 pm #

      ManifestationOfTruth,

      Impressive sir. I thank you. The only thing that I would change is that fact that all atheist ( although you didn’t write it, it seems that the “all” is implied), picture a “sky daddy” Even when talking about a immaterial conciousness the cosmological argument fails simply because none if it directly points to a creator and it never points to a particular creator.

      Those that use the “concious mind” approach forget one major fact. Everything that humans deal with are based on physical properties. Many times people try to use love and emotions when dealing with the cosmological arugment along with the transcedental argument. As humans we have not concept and no examples of a disembodied mind that exist without a physical brain.

      Using the premise that you put forward, you would still have to show how this exists. Kudos on explaining Krauss’s theory of “nothingness.”

  6. ManifestationOfTruth August 8, 2009 at 6:48 pm #

    cont: One more thing: The Big Bang Theory does not seek to explain the universe's existence, rather it aims at demonstrating the universe's development as far as we can detect it. This universe has simply changed form, not that it has been "created." That is to say, this current configeration – Energy has always existed.

  7. ManifestationOfTruth August 8, 2009 at 6:49 pm #

    Feel free to debunk my points, as a few specific things should be refutable (I deliberately stated some questionable things). Don't be afraid to question my scienfitic claims – try and pick my points a part. It was only through doing this myself that I returned to Islam.

    Assalamulaikum

  8. Truthhurts October 20, 2009 at 1:55 am #

    Assalamu aleykum wa rahma tullah

    Some interesting points made by many on this blog, in particular reference to manifestation. Im elated with the fact you came back to the true religion of Allah and His Messenger (Allahs peace be on him). May he guide all of us and keep us on the siraatul mustakeen.

    There is no “before” without “time” (unless another time dimension exists independently of this universe)… Time didn't have no meaning before the creation of the universe and its a distinct property of this physical universe we know of. We cannot comprehend Allah's time, so depending upon the 'aqeeda of the individual, the concept of time will differ. For example when Allahs Messenger (PBUH) ascended to the heavens, he was up there for earths time of approx 40 years, but when he came back he was only gone for a few hours.

    If God created the universe, and exists beyond time – HOW did He create the universe?… There are questions that we as MUSLIMS should not ask, pleasing Shaiytaan can be quite easy and this is one of the ways. Many Muslims through deep reflection have gone out the folds of Islaam and landed in the hands of kufr. A famous scholar has said "leave your intellect to yourself" for a specific reason. Human intellect in incapable of realising and grasping certain things. Allah has explicitly stated (I did not make them witnesses of the creation of the heavens and the earth, nor of the creation of their own selves; and I would not have taken the misguiders as assistants.) (18:51)

    So there are certain things you should watch out for, AND WHO CARES ABOUT PEOPLE WHO WANT CONJECTURE, ATHEIST RHETORIC BORES ME TO PIECES, IF they don't want to believe thats their choice, but when the dust of their grave fills their mouth, the truth will manifest right infront of their eyes.

    Leave the debates to the scholars, learn the spiritual path to enlightenment, the trodden path, Here lies the success of an individual////

    Love and salaams

    S

    • ManifestationOfTruth June 12, 2010 at 4:02 pm #

      Assalamulaikum,

      It's been awhile, but it seems I've had some interesting responses. Thanks everyone.

      I'd just like to take the time to respond to Truthhurts, and I think you for taking the time to comment on my points.

      "Time didn’t have no meaning before the creation of the universe and its a distinct property of this physical universe we know of. We cannot comprehend Allah’s time, so depending upon the ‘aqeeda of the individual, the concept of time will differ. For example when Allahs Messenger (PBUH) ascended to the heavens, he was up there for earths time of approx 40 years, but when he came back he was only gone for a few hours."

      This is very true, and I'm glad to see you've picked up on the fallacious method of thinking (i.e. equating our perception of time, which is very subjective and relative, to how it operates on a macro-scale, on the scale of the universe). Basic 11th grade physics is enough to show how time can be very different depending on one's frame of reference.

      "There are questions that we as MUSLIMS should not ask, pleasing Shaiytaan can be quite easy and this is one of the ways. Many Muslims through deep reflection have gone out the folds of Islaam and landed in the hands of kufr. A famous scholar has said “leave your intellect to yourself” for a specific reason. Human intellect in incapable of realising and grasping certain things. Allah has explicitly stated (I did not make them witnesses of the creation of the heavens and the earth, nor of the creation of their own selves; and I would not have taken the misguiders as assistants.) (18:51)"

      True, there are questions beyond the scope of human comprehension. However, I must say my question was misunderstood here. When I say "how did Allah…" I mean not the exact methodology employed by Allah (swt), as Allah alone knows best. Rather, it is a question that seeks an explanation of causation outside of time. In other words, explaining how things can be caused without time.

      This is a valid question, and does not involve applying limited logic to the unlimited (i.e. the Divine). What it involves is merely exposing the false assumptions associated with the question. The false assumptions are:

      That the Kalam cosmological argument's premises are physical premises. They are, however, metaphysical premises.

      In other words, the argument never says that all sorts of causation have to be in the physical sense, nor do they have to involve some sort of physical sequence. As Hamza Andreas Tzortis says:

      "However I argued that God's act of creation can act as a simultaneous asymmetric type of cause, which is not temporally, but causally prior to the moment of creation. His act of creation is thus simultaneous with the creation of the universe. So the universe is an effect produced by a cause in time, in other words the act of creation enters time and causes the universe to come into existence at the same moment, and there are no good philosophical reasons why this can’t be true.

      I ended my response by concluding that there is no Philosophical consensus on the definition of causality (not to mention time itself!). Therefore, in the absence of a consensus the most basic definition should be used, and this definition doesn’t include time as a necessary factor. The basic definition is 'something which produces an effect'."

      I understand where you are coming from. Faulty thinking regarding matters of Aqeedah in the absence of scholarly knowledge is very dangerous. It in fact led many "Muslim philosophers" astray, by incorporating Greek philosophy into their understanding of Aqeedah.

      I stay away from such matters, and will do so until I gain a much clearer understanding of Aqeedah after finishing my studies under a prominent Scholar, Inshallah.

      Finally, you're right, a lot of the Atheists' conjecture is irrelevant. If the existence of God and the validity of the Qur'an are established, all else becomes far less relevant. Specific arguments directed at some detail of Islam or of Islamic theology are easily addressed, and if they cannot be through human reason, no harm is done (as its already been established that God exists + the Qur'an is His word). It simply means the matter lies outside of our logic.

      I believe that individuals should gain as much knowledge as they can, and debate only if they have the knowledge. It is important for Muslims to improve their debating skills, however, in the absence of knowledge, more harm is done than good.

      Thank you, may Allah (swt) grant us enlightenment.

      • ManifestationOfTruth June 12, 2010 at 4:02 pm #

        Edit: and I THANK you for taking the time to comment on my points.

  9. Student January 18, 2010 at 3:09 pm #

    Salam brothers,

    I was glad to see manifestations answer cause most of my colleges are either agnostic or atheist

    Before i used to have the misconception that if i prove intelligent design a person will see the truth…

    as an example the watchman analogy that Muslims and our scholars use are always shot down online and by people with there counter arguments….i made the mistake of saying evolution is completely false, and was criticized with the same counter argument to which i had no reply

    What i feel is that one should try there best efforts to convey the msg of Islam to the target audience they are speaking to and adapt there reasoning accordingly..

    I think the Brother is showing us, the way to talk to approach these sort of people, most people of a certain theism are more easier to convey to Islam then a person who rejects it completely (own observation, could be wrong) and I find most of the scholars are able to address the theists well, but lack the understanding of the arguments used by an atheist.

    So we as Muslims should take the responsibility to educate ourselves on Islam and the world, to better address those people under span of influence.

    May Allah (s) give us all the oppurtunity to spread his word.

  10. muslim girl October 25, 2010 at 7:39 am #

    Yes,an thats Allah who makes us to believe Him and His presence,so we hope Allah grants us the awareness.

    • Ayah February 15, 2014 at 6:37 am #

      I’m impressed by your writing. Are you a professional or just very knewbedgeallo?

  11. Abdullah October 26, 2010 at 8:13 am #

    Amin ya rabbal alamin sister.

    Assalmualaikum,

    It's a blessing to have a revert amongst us who is a former Agnostic. Allah has given us the opportunity to da'wa with better points to counter to the atheists.

    That being said, w.r.t Imam Abu Hanifah's argument, we may have taken for granted that era and now. During the time of Tabi‘in, I sincerely believe that such an argument is valid. Those were simpler times. We are now nearing the end of times, the age of fitnah and dajjal.

    It was narrated in 'Syarah Aqidah At-Tahawiyah’, that there was once a group of people who did not believe in God, decided to meet up with Imam Abu Hanifah, with the intention of debating with him on the nature of the existence of God. An example similar to the above was given and in the end after reflection, they repented and returned to the monotheism of Allah s.w.t. MasyaAllah, the intelligence given to our ulama'.

    At this day and age, we have been bombarded with secularism that it is difficult to counteract with similar arguments. It's good to know more substantial arguments, such as the ones given by our brother, as part of our da'wa but as long as we don't resort too much on logical and scientific reasoning that may cloud our own tawheed due to our own lacking in knowledge. Cos that's a battle I'm fighting every day. May Allah guide us to the right path and make our iman everlasting.

  12. Blake January 27, 2011 at 11:36 pm #

    I am a Christian, but am gratified to see my Muslim brothers confronting atheism. I enjoy very much showing unbelievers the evidence in science supporting belief in God. In that we (Christians and Muslims and Jews) are pretty much in lock-step.

    1. The universe exists.

    The universe had a beginning.

    Everything with a beginning has a cause.

    Therefore, the universe had a cause.

    2. The statistical improbability of life arising from non-life. Formation of DNA alone defies any possibility of accidental creation.

    3. Humans have objective moral values, something that only our creator could instill within us. Nowhere else in the natural world do we see any such code.

    If God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist.

    Objective moral values do exist.

    Therefore, God exists.

    4. The universe is fine-tuned to support intelligent life (us). The odds of it being so are greater than 1 in 10E10E123.

    The fine-tuning of the universe is due to either physical necessity, chance, or design.

    It is not due to physical necessity or chance.

    Therefore, it is due to design.

    Too summarize:

    1. God makes sense of the origin of the universe.

    2. God makes sense of the origin of life.

    3. God makes sense of objective moral values in the world.

    4. God makes sense of the fine-tuning of the universe for intelligent life.

    I borrowed some of the above from Dr. William Craig's excellent web site at http://www.reasonablefaith.org/site/PageServer?pa

    May peace be with you.

  13. norhana February 10, 2011 at 3:15 am #

    Assalamualaikum,,I heard this story before but with a different characters,,the characters where a philosopher and a religious scholar,it is mashaAllah an amazing story,but I just wonder who were really the characters,though we muslims are no need of proofs of the existing of Allah,i just want a confirmation i think!!

  14. M.Adam December 20, 2012 at 10:57 am #

    What do you believe?
    Let me simplify it

    1)mortal is opposite of immortal
    2) Everything has birthdate but only one doesnt have
    3) Everything begins then it ends. God dont have any beginning nor end
    4) If there is a footprint in sand then there is something that walking or causing the foot print. God left a GIANT, massive foot print called the universe. YOU CANNOT see god. You cannot even see your neighbour since theres a wall. But you still know he/she is there
    5) God dont have any form so he is indestructible
    6) If there are many gods then the world will be in chaos. There can be only one
    7) The miracle of the Quran the most important miracle sent down from god to his last messenger
    8) There are many prophets that were send down when man didnt believe in god anymore to restore their faith
    9) Knowledge can be learned but there must be a teacher(GOD)
    10) No one can explain the blue sky , how can you explain god?
    11) People having faith in god will be reaping more profits than the unbeliever .You will lose nothing if you have faith but you will be severely punished if you dont have any faith.( Punishment of the grave, Day of Judgment , Final Abode)
    12) God didnt create the whole whole without purpose. Mankind has its purposes. We will have to be accountable of all our actions in the end
    13) Faith can only enter the heart if god wills it(hidayah)
    14) There are many proofs already in this world why not believe?
    15) Unbeliever ask for god to talk to them so that their hearts believe that god exists. You cant even stand the sun can you stand god? A puny weak little being made from clay couldnt possible call god to show in his eyes
    16) Some people can only believe in something if they can see or hear it
    17) Look at these opposites

    a) Exist – Dont exist
    b)Creator – Creation
    c) Powerful -Weak
    d) The will to order – No will to order
    e) Allknowing – Fool
    f) ALive – dead

    Who made god? God is the creator he cannot be created. Look in the opposites..a lot of things have it opposite. Even in + – charges of basic electrical laws.
    If you cannot see, hear god you cannot chose to deny god..because when you meet HIM in the end it is too late(dead)

    Salam

  15. Thoran April 8, 2017 at 8:59 am #

    First of all, the Atheist would most likely roll his eyes thinking “heeere we go” in the middle of the imam’s story.
    Second, that’s not even close to how Science works.
    Third, and this is very important, the Imam lied and intentionally wasted everyone’s time in the name of Islam. Does Islam/religion in general make the Imam think dishonesty is OK? Does Islam encourage dishonesty?

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