For an atheist to acknowledge the existence of God, he knows that he cannot go on following his desires without acknowledging the punishment of God for not submitting to Him. It can be explained to the atheist that throughout human history, man has had an uncontrollable compulsion to communicate with his Lord.
Man has been compelled to construct technological wonders for the purposes of some spiritual connection with a greater power. Without guidance, this urge manifests itself in a variety of misdirected acts of worship.
However, it is clear from artifacts and monuments from past civilizations that man has been on a constant quest of spirituality. He has expended vast amounts of energy, time, wealth, and labor to fulfill this need to worship. Also, the atheist should be asked; what is the worse that could happen to the one who believes in his Lord and worships him? If he dies doing this and there was no God, what can happen to him after his death?
It could be said that all of his worship was for nothing. However, as a result of proper worship, people can recognize honesty, generosity, good manners, chastity, etc. in this person. So even then, one who lived his life in this manner would be well respected and liked by those who knew him.
So it would be hard to argue that his worship had no benefit.
However, if the Atheist died an atheist and there is a God, who would envy the atheist? His destination is everlasting punishment in the hellfire. So which is the safest position to take?
It is at this point when most Atheists admit that they believe in God but not religion. In other words, they say that they are technically Gnostics. At this point, it is necessary to inform them that whether professed atheists or Gnostics, they still have taken a lord – their own desires. This is the basis for atheism and agnosticism. Whether they admit it or not they simply want to justify following their own lusts with reckless abandon by professing that there is no divine order and that there will not be a reckoning for what we do in our lives.
Allah describes these types of people in the Qur’an:
Have you seen him who takes his own lust (vain desires) as his god, and Allah knowing (him as such), left him astray, and sealed his hearing and his heart, and put a cover on his sight? Who then will guide him after Allah? Will you not then remember? (Al-Jathiyah 45:23)
Nay, but those who do wrong follow their own lusts without knowledge, Then who will guide him whom Allah has sent astray? And for such there will be no helpers. (Ar-Rum 30: 29)
They belied (the Verses of Allah, this Qur’an), but every matter will be settled (by God). (Al-Qamar 54:3)
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “The Hellfire is surrounded with all kinds of desires and passions while Paradise is surrounded with adversities.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
So whether they admit it or not, they have taken a lord, and whether they would like to admit it or not, they have taken a deen (a way of life), whether it is cultural, political, societal, or familial, they have taken on some or all of the various systems of thought and patterns of life made available to them in their environment. And this is deen. However, the only correct and perfect deen is Islam.
Truly, the Deen with Allah is Islam… (Aal `Imran 3:19)
Finally, all of the people, whether they be Christians, Jews, Pagans, etc. should be warned of a day when there will be no helper for them and that the punishment for disbelief is the severe torment of Hellfire:
And fear the Fire, which is prepared for the disbelievers. (Aal `Imran 3:131)
Verily, the tree of Zaqqum, Will be the food of the sinners, Like boiling oil, it will boil in the bellies, Like the boiling of scalding water. (It will be said) “Seize him and drag him into the midst of blazing Fire, “Then pour over his head the torment of boiling water, “Taste you (this)! Verily, you were (pretending to be) the mighty, the generous! “Verily! This is that whereof you used to doubt!” (Ad-Dukhan 44:43-50)
And give them the glad tidings for those who accept faith and die on faith:
Verily, the pious, will be in the midst of Gardens and Rivers (Paradise). In a seat of truth (i.e. Paradise), near the Omnipotent King (Allah). (Al-Qamar 54:54-55)
Among Gardens and Springs; Dressed in fine silk and (also) in thick silk, facing each other, So (it will be), and We shall marry them to Houris (female fair ones) with wide, lovely eyes. They will call therein for every kind of fruit in peace and security; They will never taste death therein except the first death (of this world), and He will save them from the torment of the blazing Fire, As a Bounty from your Lord! That will be the supreme success! (Ad-Dukhan 44:52-57)
The Prophet said about the Paradise and its inhabitants:
“Their utensils will be of gold. Their perspiration will smell like musk; every one of them will have two wives; the marrow of the bones of the wives’ legs will be seen through the flesh out of excessive beauty. They (people of Paradise) will neither have difference nor enmity amongst themselves; their hearts will be as one heart, and they will be glorifying Allah in the morning and in the afternoon.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
“In Paradise the believer will have a tent made of a single hollowed pearl of which the length will be sixty miles in the sky. The believer will have his wives with him and they will not be able to see one another.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
“When the dwellers of Paradise enter Paradise, an announcer will call: (You have promise from Allah that) you will live therein and you will never die; you will stay healthy therein and you will never fall ill; you will stay young and you will never become old; you will be under constant bliss and you will never feel miserable. ” (Muslim)
Jabir ibn Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated: We were sitting with Allah’s Messenger when he looked at the moon and observed: “You shall see your Lord in the Hereafter as you are seeing this moon; and you will not feel the slightest inconvenience in seeing Him.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
No other Ummah (nation) has been blessed with these descriptions of the hereafter.
The Christians’ concept of paradise is a combination of myths and speculation and in reality, offers nothing that can be considered a reward for faith in this world. They take issue with the fact that Islam describes paradise as a place of physical pleasures, yet they believe that hell is a place of physical tortures. Does it make sense that Allah would make his punishment a physical, painful torment and yet make his reward something intangible or angelic as the Christians believe? They should be asked very bluntly:
Which would you prefer, to be angel floating around the clouds forever or a physical, forever young and healthy man (or woman) enjoying the physical pleasures of paradise? The Jews have written the hereafter out of their religion and should be asked to consider the magnitude of the Islamic position of the hereafter.
Atheists and Gnostics should be made to face the depressing position that they have put themselves in. They have to struggle in toil as every other human being does; they have to work; they get sick; they lose loved ones; they hurt; they get tired; yet they believe that this is as good as it gets.
O Allah, make us to be among those who believe and who enter Jannah.
The article is an excerpt from the book “CALLING TO TAWHEED… IN THE WEST” by Abu Khalid Al-Muwahhid.