When thinking about their faith, Muslims typically focus their attention exclusively on the events of the last 1400 years (since the prophet Muhammad) and get picky about really trivial details, rather than considering the wider picture.
Here is another challenge to Muslims: Consider the vast ages of time prior to Muhammad. The chart below shows geological ages dating back billions of years. (High-definition versions can be downloaded from Stratigraphy.org)
It may be easier to visualise this massive timeline compressed into a single 24-hour day. On this scale, it can be seen that Humans have been around for only just over one second of that day. In the previous few ‘hours’, billions of species have evolved and already become extinct. The time period since the prophets is obviously a tiny fraction of that final second and we Humans have the temerity to think that this great universe was created for us?
So doesn’t it seem a little odd, that an almighty creator should leave things to their own devices for a few billion years; allowing all life on Earth (including humans) to evolve from a common ancestor; 99% of species to evolve, flourish and become extinct; and then suddenly in the last infinitesimally tiny fraction of time suddenly get all picky about us worshipping him in the correct manner?
These are the questions that Muslims should be considering rather than worrying about whether their women’s hair is covered, or that their food might contain traces of an animal killed in the wrong manner.
Yes, there are stock-standard answers to these questions that Muslims trot out without thought. Many of these are are the same standard answers that Christian young-earth-creationist (YEC) trot out. They are all factually incorrect, and they don’t even stand up to internal cross-referencing within the context of religious belief.
The challenge to Muslims is to make some effort – you owe it to yourself. Go and do some diligent research in the fields of Geology and Astronomy. Try and put aside your prejudices and approach this with an open mind. Make sure you really do understand the science and then carefully consider the implications.
Take a look around outside and have a closer look at the rocks in your neighbourhood. With earthquakes a part of daily life here in NZ, you should know a little about geology. How many quakes have we had today and what causes them? GNS Science publishes geological maps of NZ, with an interactive online version and regional maps. How old is the rock your home is built on? Is it igneous, metamorphic or sedimentary rock, and how old is it?
The CEMNZ mission is to sow the seeds of doubt. The ‘certainty’ derived from ignorance leads to extremism – there is room for doubt.