How to address the phenomenon of atheism?
Muslim communities have recently been subjected to successive campaigns challenging their constants and seeking to distract them from building their future –through plunging Muslims into issues of identity, thought, and philosophical clashes, in continued attempts to destroy Islam from within at the hands of its own sons.
However, Muslims have always confronted those fierce campaigns throughout history at the hands of multiple remarkable men and honest scholars who dedicated their lives to defending Islam and devoted their time to countering atheism and protecting Muslim children from falling into its clutches – through Dawa (Islamic advocacy), dialogue, criticism, and refuting all suspicions raised by atheists.
In this study, the researcher Khalid bin Mohammed Al-Shehri addresses the causes, characteristics, and social evils of atheism, as well as the factors that led to its emergence, and how to address it.
Causes of atheism
- Growing up in a family that does not know or follow the teachings of Islam, where kids receive no religious guidance of any kind.
- Sometimes, a young Muslim communicates with an atheist who happens to be having stronger personality and more eloquent in argument, using attractive words that take his victim ingeniously to atheism.
- To read books in atheism that use flowery language mixed with falsehood, where these attractive words fascinate some young people, control their minds and distract them from realizing the deviant meanings behind them.
- When the worldly desires control one's heart, he or she (wrongfully) looks at them as useful matters that should be permissible (halal), and that their prohibition by Islamic Sharia lacks wisdom; which ultimately leads them to falling into pornography and ingratitude.
- The open space world, both in satellite channels and in the Internet, stimulate lusts and spread anti-Islam suspicions, which badly affects Muslim youth in the absence of a campaign to raise their awareness and immunize them against such evil effects.
- Some regimes are behind tempting people away from their religion: some governments promote atheism through establishing educational institutions and allowing activities that promote and spread it among the Muslim youth; and others claim to take care of religion, but their institutions - inadvertently - are a bad example of religion, which causes a backlash against religion and those committed to its teachings!
- Educational and academic institutions, including schools, institutes and universities do little to stop the new wave of atheism; and their response to global developments and social mobilization is extremely slow.
- Some publishing houses spread atheist fiction, deviant experiences, and intellectual and philosophical books that contradict and violate the constants of Islam; which led to dissemination of atheist ideas and suspicions, and badly affected the contemporary generation.
- Under the pretext of supporting the oppressed, suspicious websites supported by senior atheists spread their atheist ideas among the Muslim youth.
- Some societal categories confused religion with customs and offended religion through their uncontrolled enthusiasm and broad ignorance of the teachings of religion, which turned religion into mere formal manifestations that are void of any real action.
- There are some problems related to culture and identity that prevail among young people, in the absence of convincing educational incubators that adopt practice and conduct together with thought and faith.
Characteristics of atheists (nature of atheism)
- Atheists often feel highly delighted at attracting many people to atheism; because only that outcome can support their position.
- Mocking religion in their closed meetings, unless they suspect being watched or followed up.
- They are so deeply sucked into debauchery and dumping in lusts, that they do not hesitate to do anything (with respect to vices).
- Discrepancy of their statements.
- Denial of miracles related to the universe.
- Promotion of wrong and fake concepts to appear as part of religion while they contradict the Shari’a wisdom, such as promotion of fabricated (mawdou’) Hadiths.
- Rejection of the Prophet’s Hadiths, and allegedly recognizing the Quran alone (as source of Shari’a).
- Interpretation of the Quran according to their whims and fancies.
- They are close friends with those who openly declare disbelief.
- Maintaining urgency in calling for ‘freedom of opinion in religion’.
- Criticising, mocking, and abusing Muslim scholars and preachers.
- Calling for atheism using all possible means and spreading suspicions.
The social vices of atheism
Imagine a society of atheists that do not recognize what is Halal (permissible) to do or Haram (prohibited) to avoid, you will see many vices that an atheist will never avoid unless there is a penalty to be applied.
Factors that led to emergence of atheism
- Laws adopted by some governments have been drafted in a way that does not restrict atheism or even prevent atheists from declaring or advocating it.
- Some Sharia scholars have neglected their duty of defending the right; instead, they cordially get closer to atheists, praise and pamper them, and even testify that they are sincere Muslims.
- Some governments appoint atheists in senior positions, which makes them more influential in spreading their ideas.
- Some atheists integrated into some national movements; and moreover, they have been given titles like “leaders” by those deceived by them, which helps promote atheism among young Muslims.
How to address atheism?
- Governments should enable Sharia scholars to play their genuine role in educating young people and raising their awareness on the dangers of such ideas.
- Schools should return to performing their educational role of providing good education to children and young people.
- Families should understand the nature of the challenges facing them and work hard to protect their children and positively address their problems through constructive dialogue within the family so that they (our kids) would not be prompted to resort to strangers.
- Boycotting all media outlets that pave the way for secularist and atheistic ideas and encouraging media outlets that are committed to the values of the Muslim society.