One of the greatest features about Islamic religion is that it do respect the mind. It follows the route of logical conviction, the way of providing evidences that any normal free mind would simply accept. Unlike other faiths that would ignore the logical conviction depending on unapproachable secrets, and only the love towards some person, or concepts that deeply contradict the logical thinking, Islamic religion is so different.
One of the most verses that I like too much in the Qur'an is in the 2nd Chapter (The Cow). It's about an argument between prophet Abraham and a king that claims to be a god..
"Hast thou not Turned thy vision to one who disputed with Abraham About his Lord, because Allah had granted him power? Abraham said: "My Lord is He Who Giveth life and death." He said: "I give life and death". "
That man was a king claiming to be a god, when he argued with prophet Abraham about that, the prophet was trying to refute his claims, so he said that it's only Allah that can give life and death. The king answered that he too can give life and death, he said; "If I have two captives that will face the penalty of death, I'll execute the first, and gave amnesty to the other. That's how I can give death and life."
The prophet didn't argue with him that it's not what he meant by giving life and death, but he moved immediately to the next evidence..
Said Abraham: "But it is Allah that causeth the sun to rise from the east: Do thou then cause him to rise from the West." "
Every time I read this verse, I admire prophet Abraham and say; "How great are you, prophet Abraham!". He shut him up so simply! He revealed the truth to him by a very strong logical evidence. I wonder how the fellows of that king felt at that moment. It was a challenge for their minds, an invitation for them to stop and think for a moment; "If he is truly a god, so how he couldn't win that challenge!" I'm sure their minds were awakened up by hearing that argument.
"Thus was he confounded who (in arrogance) rejected faith. Nor doth Allah Give guidance to a people unjust."
Reading Chapter 21 (The Prophets) in Qur'an few days ago, I read great verses about the story of prophet Abraham trying to invite his people to abandon polytheism to worshiping the One God..
The verses start by;
"We bestowed aforetime on Abraham his rectitude of conduct, and well were We acquainted with him. * Behold! he said to his father and his people, "What are these images, to which ye are (so assiduously) devoted? * They said, "We found our fathers worshipping them." * He said, "Indeed ye have been in manifest error - ye and your fathers." * They said, "Have you brought us the Truth, or are you one of those who jest?" * He said, "Nay, your Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth, He Who created them (from nothing): and I am a witness to this (Truth). "
His people was worshiping idols, kneeling to them and providing sacrifices to them! An act that is obviously contradicting the mind and logical thinking. At first he argued with them, he said and they said too, when he found out that the argument is not revealing the mist away from their minds, and that the words are not enough, he decided to execute a plan, a plan that will make their eyes see a physical convincing evidence..
" "And by Allah, I have a plan for your idols - after ye go away and turn your backs". * So he broke them to pieces, (all) but the biggest of them, that they might turn (and address themselves) to it. "
The plan was about putting them face to face with the fact that; They Are Worshiping Stones! He broke all the idols using an ax, then he left the biggest idol untouched, and put the ax on the statue's shoulder..
"They said, "Who has done this to our gods? He must indeed be some man of impiety!" * They said, "We heard a youth talk of them: He is called Abraham." * They said, "Then bring him before the eyes of the people, that they may bear witness." * They said, "Art thou the one that did this with our gods, O Abraham?" * He said: "Nay, this was done by - this is their biggest one! ask them, if they can speak intelligently!" "
The scene for the people of Abraham was the next; Broken Idols, The Biggest One Is Unbroken With An Ax On Its Shoulder, and The Doer Is Unknown. They brought the one who might have did it i.e. Abraham and asked him; "Did you do it?" He simply pointed at the biggest statue saying; "He did it!".. "Ask them if they can speak!"
Prophet Abraham was saying to them; "That big statue that can't move and can't see is the one who broke your "gods"" He was challenging their minds. "Those idols that you found your fathers worshiping, kneeling and submitting to them, praying for them and providing sacrifices are just stones that cannot speak or feel. Where are your minds when you kneel to a stone?!! Or how you're thinking when you worship and provide sacrifices to a stone that cannot feel your worshiping and won't see or feel your sacrifices or even your presence?" By this plan, he was screaming at them; "WALK UP!"
He provided a very convincing evidence for their minds to make them think, to stop for a moment and let their minds see the truth. "Ask them, if they can speak intelligently!" A very short statement, but a very convincing evidence..
"So they turned to themselves and said, "Surely ye are the ones in the wrong!" * Then were they confounded with shame: (they said), "Thou knowest full well that these (idols) do not speak!" * (Abraham) said, "Do ye then worship, besides Allah, things that can neither be of any good to you nor do you harm? * "Fie upon you, and upon the things that ye worship besides Allah. Have ye no sense?".. "
Other great verse that clearly prove that faith isn't accepted from a Muslim if that faith didn't came from a strong conviction..
"Behold! in the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the alternation of night and day,- there are indeed Signs for men of understanding,- * Men who celebrate the praises of Allah, standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides, and contemplate the (wonders of) creation in the heavens and the earth, (With the thought): "Our Lord! not for naught Hast Thou created (all) this! Glory to Thee! Give us salvation from the penalty of the Fire. * "Our Lord! any whom Thou dost admit to the Fire, Truly Thou coverest with shame, and never will wrong-doers Find any helpers! * "Our Lord! we have heard the call of one calling (Us) to Faith, 'Believe ye in the Lord,' and we have believed. Our Lord! Forgive us our sins, blot out from us our iniquities, and take to Thyself our souls in the company of the righteous. * "Our Lord! Grant us what Thou didst promise unto us through Thine apostles, and save us from shame on the Day of Judgment: For Thou never breakest Thy promise." "
The message of these verses in Surah 3 (The Family Of 'Imran) is clear. Human must contemplate in the wonders of God's creation, and reach the truth of the faith and the truth of creation through that contemplation, through his own mind.