There are lots of reasons people give for not believing in God.  Four popular reasons are voiced by the disbelieving Meccans in today’s reading.

1.  The Argument of Rationalism

Man says, “What?  Once I am dead, will I be brought back to life?” (19:66)

This argument says your beliefs are ridiculous.  Dead people brought back to life again?  You are crazy!  That doesn’t happen.  Death is the end.  When was the last time you saw someone do that?  Use your head.  Reason it out.  We are too smart, too advanced for primitive superstitions and wishful thinking. 

2.  The Argument of Materialism

The disbelievers say to the believers, “Which side is better situated [with “riches and outward glitter”]?  Which side has the better following?” (19:73)

People with this perspective respond with the claim that their life is already better than those with faith.  They say we are richer, happier, and more popular.  We have a better life than what you are offering.  I don’t need what you are offering.  I’ve got it all right now.  If anything, your religion will make me sacrifice some of these things that make me happy.       

3.  The Argument of Pragmatism

Have you seen the man who rejects Our revelation, who says, “I will certainly be given wealth and children”? (19:77)

Everything will be fine without your God, they say.  My way of living is working just fine.  God is not necessary in life.  I make money just fine without your God.  I have wonderful kids who are healthy, and your God has nothing to do with it.  Who needs God?  The proof is in the pudding.  I’ve got all I need already. 

4.  The Argument of Pluralism

The disbelievers say, “The Lord of Mercy has offspring.” (19:88)

This argument claims there are many religious options, not just your one.  You think your God is the only one, but I think my god is a daughter of your God.  Seriously, there can’t just be one way.  Sure, there is one supreme power but it takes a lot of forms.  You have your god and I have mine.  Don’t be so narrow-minded.  Let’s just coexist.  You go your way up the mountain and I’ll go mine — see you at the top! 

Allah doesn’t take on the disbelievers’ arguments in this passage. He simply says that they will see the error of their ways in the end.  This takes us back to a point we keep coming back to: belief has a whole lot to do with desire.  Do we want to believe?  Ayah 76 says it this way:

God gives more guidance to those who take guidance.

Faith: you get it when you want to get it.

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