Fatwas about atheists

Just for fun, excerpts from two conservative Muslim fatwas (scholarly/legal opinions) about atheists.

Why an atheist being a good person does not make sense:

Whoever denies the Creator or refuses to worship Him, or joins others in worship with Him, deserves the most severe punishment, because for a man to deny his Creator, or refuse to worship Him, or join others in worship with Him, is the most serious of human sins, the most abhorrent of beliefs and the worst deviation. If a person is like this, there is no value in any good deed that he does. The atheist who does deeds that are good in his own eyes, and does whatever good deeds he can for his society, is like a man who kills his father and mother and takes good care of dogs. Does it not make sense that he should be punished and that his good treatment of dogs should not count for anything? The most important rights are the rights of Allaah, which are that He should be acknowledged and worshipped. The one who neglects this most important right will not benefit from anything he does with regard to people’s rights. Therefore if the atheist does not believe in Allaah and does not worship Allaah, there cannot be any good in the actions that he does for people’s benefit. But this atheist or mushrik who treats people well is still better than the atheist or mushrik who oppresses and mistreats people, and denies them their rights. He may be rewarded for his good deeds by being granted provision of food and drink in this world, but he will have no share in the Hereafter.

Why atheists are (possibly) not real:

Atheism, in modern terminology, means denying the Creator altogether, denying that He exists and not acknowledging Him, may He be glorified and exalted. The universe and everything in it, according to their claims, came about purely by chance. This is a strange view which is contrary to sound human nature, reason and logic, and is contrary to simple logic and indisputable facts. . .

Nevertheless, the atheist who denies the existence of Allah and rejects His Messengers and disbelieves in the Last Day, is in a greater state of kufr and his beliefs are more reprehensible than the one who believes in Allah and the Hereafter, but he associates something of His creation with Him. The former is stubborn and arrogant to an extent that can not be imagined or accepted by sound human nature. Such a person would transgress every sacred limit and fall into every sin; his worldview would be distorted to an inconceivable level. Yet many scholars who discussed the issue of atheism doubted that this has deep roots in the hearts of the atheists, and they affirmed that the atheist is only professing atheism outwardly; deep down he believes in one God.

There. That should settle things.

About Taner Edis

Professor of physics at Truman State University

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11675274701818800632 Chris

    Switch "Allah" with "God" and I guarantee you could pass this off as a Christian sermon.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03034292023591747601 PersonalFailure

    So . . . worshipping God is more important than anything, including saving that infant from being hit by the train?

    So God is basically Paris Hilton and is extremely pouty when someone isn't paying attention to him, and tsunamis are his attention-seeking sex tapes?

    Nice.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15575410885851841473 Baconsbud

    I have to agree with Chris on his statement. It is almost the same thing many of the right wing radio nuts say. Of course when you bring this up you hear them say we are nothing like them.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04400237110430495915 Zoltán

    Microsoft word, ctrl+f!

    Why an atheist being a good person does not make sense:

    Whoever denies the Creator or refuses to worship Him, or joins others in worship with Him, deserves the most severe punishment, because for a man to deny his Creator, or refuse to worship Him, or join others in worship with Him, is the most serious of human sins, the most abhorrent of beliefs and the worst deviation. If a person is like this, there is no value in any good deed that he does. The atheist who does deeds that are good in his own eyes, and does whatever good deeds he can for his society, is like a man who kills his father and mother and takes good care of dogs. Does it not make sense that he should be punished and that his good treatment of dogs should not count for anything? The most important rights are the rights of God, which are that He should be acknowledged and worshipped. The one who neglects this most important right will not benefit from anything he does with regard to people’s rights. Therefore if the atheist does not believe in God and does not worship God, there cannot be any good in the actions that he does for people’s benefit. But this atheist or non-christian who treats people well is still better than the atheist or non-christian who oppresses and mistreats people, and denies them their rights. He may be rewarded for his good deeds by being granted provision of food and drink in this world, but he will have no share in the Hereafter.

    Why atheists are (possibly) not real:

    Atheism, in modern terminology, means denying the Creator altogether, denying that He exists and not acknowledging Him, may He be glorified and exalted. The universe and everything in it, according to their claims, came about purely by chance. This is a strange view which is contrary to sound human nature, reason and logic, and is contrary to simple logic and indisputable facts. . .

    Nevertheless, the atheist who denies the existence of God and rejects His Messengers and disbelieves in the Last Day, is in a greater state of kufr and his beliefs are more reprehensible than the one who believes in God and the Hereafter, but he associates something of His creation with Him. The former is stubborn and arrogant to an extent that can not be imagined or accepted by sound human nature. Such a person would transgress every sacred limit and fall into every sin; his worldview would be distorted to an inconceivable level. Yet many scholars who discussed the issue of atheism doubted that this has deep roots in the hearts of the atheists, and they affirmed that the atheist is only professing atheism outwardly; deep down he believes in one God.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03180227979456654479 Ken Jacobs

    Plenty of atheists have long suspected the true nature of the relationship believers have with their God — namely that God is actually a projection of the believer. Recently this has been supported by a bit of science. (See http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2009/12/01/0908374106.abstract)

    Extrapolating a bit further, I've also suspected that God worship is virtual self-worship, along with the expectation of others to worship the God/ego of the believer. Of course, I don't think this is true of all believers. I think some are genuinely and reasonably humble, both before their God-idea and other humans, and perhaps atheism merely represents the anxiety of doubt to them. That may be reason enough to hate atheism, I suppose.

    But for people who obviously show a lot of arrogance as in these fatwas, I think God sockpuppetry explains a lot. Atheism is a thorn in their inflated, God-sized ego and they obviously can't tolerate that. Atheism doesn't cause anxiety so much as insult. The greatest crime to an religious egomaniac is that non-believers don't bow down to the arrogant believer and his cosmological opinions.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17657181850461892857 archaeopteryx

    All of us have a friend, a relative, a co-worker, or some other association with a person who has to be right all of the time. Who takes credit for every accomplishment, regardless of magnitude, and who essentially demands that everyone acknowledge him and his great works.

    Most of us would call this person an egomaniac, but the more enlightened of us would know that the ego, and hence the self-image, of such a person is actually very small, and that that is the reason he demands, in fact, requires a regular "fix" of praise. I know of no one who has any respect for this type of person.

    Many of us have also known those who do great things, often anonymously, and quietly go their way, expecting nothing in return. These are people we can all respect and admire.

    What kind of personality traits would a god have to have, in order to require, actually DEMAND that his creations praise and worship him?

    If in fact, he created us, he did so willingly – under no coersion.

    If he did so because he was bored and needed entertainment, he certainly made a wise move – we Humans do enough stupid pet tricks to keep any number of gods in stitches.

    But if he did so in order to create for himself a legion of bootlickers, what does that say about him? How can anyone respect a god who demands that we prostrate ourselves to him?

    Gene ("Star Trek") Roddenberry once wrote:
    "We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing all-powerful God, who creates faulty Humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes."

    archaeopteryx
    http://in-his-own-image.com


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