What to tell a pantheist?

My older brother who’s 18 years old just left Islam. Now he’s a pantheist. Would you please help me to give a beautiful explanation, so he’ll think of Islam again? What should I say to him? What would YOU say to him if you were my parent? I don’t understand his philosophy very well, except that he believes in impersonal god and everything occurs in the universe has always been a mere mechanical process (not God’s will). He’s trying to convert me, my sisters, and my mother, a few days ago older sister’s starting to believe his conversion was making sense.

Sorry to hear that. I know you must be feeling terrible.

God is not a person, but He is not impersonal either! These terms apply to creatures only. He is above and beyond everything that we can imagine or conceive of. Everything in the universe did develop in a mechanical way, but it was God who created the mechanical and physical laws, right? God says in the holy Quran,

“[Pharaoh asking Moses and Aaron] saying, “Who then is your Lord, O Moses?” He said, “My Lord is He who gave everything its form and then guided [it]” (20:49-50)

The main question that no atheist has been able to answer is: who created the laws that operate everything? They say they don’t know how any law evolved and may never know. God tells us in the Quran that it is He and no one else who created all, including the laws by which all operate.

Why do these laws operate so orderly and so consistently? Has your brother ever been wounded? Did he ever reflect on how the wound heals? What tells scar tissue to form, just above new skin cells that are too ripe still to be exposed to air?! How does scar tissue know that new skin cells are ready and thus it drops off having served its purpose?! Isn’t this a sign of God, the Healer?

Atheists may think that they are intellectuals, but they really are irrational. Their motivation, IMHO, is one or more of three things: (a) Resentment of God for His Power over them, (b) resentment of God for allowing imperfections in this world, or (c) evasion of religious obligations. All three reasons are ill conceived. God’s power over us is a good thing, because we tend to abuse our powers while God never does, so He is the Balance in the universe. Imperfections in this world is the result of the exercise of the free will. Without the free will, no atheist would have been able to reject God! Finally, religious obligations are for our own benefit. They are our connection to God and the food for our souls.

Remain a good brother to your brother, and pray for him, but educate yourself and him. I suspect that the main reason he veered from Islam is that he knew little or knew wrong about Islam. Yes, many Muslims are ignorant about their religion, I’m sad to say.

One Response to “What to tell a pantheist?”

  1. Aapa says:

    I was particularly struck by the sentence and it is beginning to make sense to your sister.
    Every philosophy has some sense to it; however it is always an incomplete system. The more one delves into a philosophy/religion there become glaring holes in it.
    On the surface it looks like a gift box: decorated with gold wrapping paper and three inch red ribbon. Once you open the box it is empty.

    True faith is just the opposite. The more you familiarize yourself with it the more you can not stay away from it. In Islam all questions are answered. You are reading the Quran and you start to shake because it is speaking directly to you. You listen to a kutbah and it is a reinforcement of your thoughts.

    There is a wonderful mechanical process. The Creator created out of Love and it is His Universe functioning under His Law.

    As a parent, I would let it alone. When a child is a toddler they explore the world and find out the pain of falling down; they discover the discomfort of eating an earthworm. Allow your brother to discover the emptiness of his philosophy. Do not discuss it with him. You have the choice to walk away.

    Always let him see the joy that you have. The blessings of Allah.

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