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In Christianity, one of the most common reasons Christians appeal to to justify their belief in Christianity is the so-called "inner witness of the Holy Spirit". William Lane Craig, a renowned Christian apologist, puts it this way (emphasis mine):

[...] These bothers and sisters endured horrible oppression and atheistic indoctrination by the Marxist regime and yet did not abandon Christ. As I emphasized in my answer to Question #13, evidence varies from generation to generation and from place to place and is accessible only to those privileged few who have the education, leisure time, and resources to explore it. God has provided a more secure basis for our faith than the shifting sands of evidence and argument, namely, the indwelling Holy Spirit.

Moreover, this conclusion seems in line with New Testament teaching on the witness of the Holy Spirit. While non-believers reject New Testament teaching, Christians should take it seriously. Ponder, then, John's words:

And the Spirit is the witness, because the Spirit is the truth. . . . If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater; for this is the testimony of God that he has borne witness to his Son. He who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. He who does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne to his Son (1 John 5:6-10).

As Christian believers we have the testimony of God living within us, the Holy Spirit, whose testimony exceeds in force all human testimony.

So in answer to your question, Kyle, I think that in fact God will not allow someone to be in a position in which the rational thing for him to do is to reject God and Christ and separate himself from God. Given that God is essentially all-loving, I'm inclined to say that such a thing will not only never happen, but that it is, indeed, impossible. It follows that Christians who have apostatized have done so in defiance of the Holy Spirit's work by quenching or grieving the Spirit, so that what they did was in the end irrational.

Does that imply, Adam, as your sceptic says, that I think "evidence is unimportant when compared with faith?" No, because he's drawing a false contrast, comparing apples with oranges. Faith is not the issue here, but the ground for faith. Must the ground for faith be evidence? That is the question. We've already seen that evidentialism is bankrupt. Many of the things we know are not based on evidence. So why must belief in God be so based? Belief in God and the great truths of the Gospel is not a blind exercise of faith, a groundless leap in the dark. Rather, as Plantinga emphasizes, Christian belief is part of the deliverances of reason, grounded in the inner witness of the Holy Spirit, which is an objective reality mediated to me from God.

What is true is that evidence, as it is defined in these discussions, plays a secondary role compared to the role God Himself plays in warranting Christian belief. Should we, then, ignore strong evidence if it shows that our faith is probably false? Of course not! My work as a philosopher exemplifies the effort to confront objections to Christian belief squarely and to answer them. But most Christians in the world don't have that luxury. For them they may have to hold to their Christian belief even though they lack an answer to the alleged defeater. What I insist on is that, given the witness of the Holy Spirit within them, they are entirely rational in so doing.

Question: Is there an equivalent to the "inner witness of the Holy Spirit" in Islam? Does Allah provide a supernatural means for Muslims to reach 100% epistemological certainty that Islam is true, without having to be an expert in Islam apologetics, in a manner equivalent or similar to the "inner witness of the Holy Spirit" of Christianity?

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  • I would like to know your definition of supernatural?. Please provide an example. I am asking this after reading your comments with @The Z and to me it seems like that there are limits and boundaries to your supernatural, when mentioned in context with a higher power (God). Dec 11, 2021 at 1:11
  • @ahmadnazeem - I use it in a similar way to the word 'miracle', of which I like the definition from Christianity.SE: Actions of God not explained by normal laws of physics, chemistry, biology, or the natural sciences. Another way to look at it is to think in terms of "usual" and "unusual". Supernatural can be considered "unusual" interventions of God that do not follow patterns understood by the natural sciences. A supernatural intervention of God cannot be explained away with Physics equations under my definition. Dec 11, 2021 at 1:23

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There is no inherent need for people to know apologetics to rationally know Islam is true, as Islamic theology is not complicated nor are there things that are contradictory at face value which a person needs to appeal to an inner spirit for the sake of ignoring.

The evidence can be understood by normal people and it itself leads to certainty, and the Quran is full of arguments to convince people of the truth.

Even if someone's level of detail in the evidence is not as detailed as another, it is still understandable. For example, one person may simply say "my existence proves God's existence" and another might present highly sophisticated proofs. That does not change that both know and understand based on the evidence that God exists.

That being said, these are two related concepts:

Fitrah

The Fitrah is considered by many scholars to be an inherent belief in one God that is embedded in our souls and a propensity to recognize the message of God.

The Prophet (SAW) said: "Every child is born upon fitrah, then his parents make him a Jew or a Christian."

Allah's Guidance

This is not a cause for anyone to know the truth per se, but it is the fact that the effect of guidance comes from God Himself.

Two people can hear the same rational argument, but one may believe and the other disbelieves. This is because of Allah's decision to guide one and leave another misguided as he knows their inner sincerity.

Whoever Allah guides - he is the [rightly] guided; and whoever He sends astray - it is those who are the losers. (7:178)

After Allah puts true guidance into someone's heart, that person will not be deviated even by frivolous objections others may bring.

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  • So belief in Islam comes from evidence and rational certainty, not from a supernatural "special revelation" like the "inner witness" of a supernatural "Holy Spirit"? Dec 10, 2021 at 16:01
  • @SpiritRealmInvestigator One could say that, although the line may be a bit blurry. 1) Evidence is the cause for belief, but Allah is the one who actually puts belief in people's hearts. 2) One cause of belief may simply be the inherent fitrah Allah put in people. 3) It would not be incorrect to say that many people can personally experience miracles. But, I would say that is after they already believe to increase their belief. It wouldn't be evidence standing by itself.
    – The Z
    Dec 10, 2021 at 16:06
  • Evidence is the cause for belief, but Allah is the one who actually puts belief in people's hearts - But isn't this essentially a supernatural intervention by Allah creating belief in a person's heart? Sounds quite similar to the "inner witness of the Holy Spirit" Christians talk about. Dec 10, 2021 at 16:09
  • @SpiritRealmInvestigator Not exactly, as we would say it to everything in the world. Fire is the cause of the house burning, but Allah is the one who actually makes the house burn. This is something that goes into divine decree (qadr).
    – The Z
    Dec 10, 2021 at 16:18
  • Fire is the cause of the house burning, but Allah is the one who actually makes the house burn - I still don't get it. In your example of a house burning, at what point does Allah intervene supernaturally? If I pick up a rock and let it fall on the ground in accordance with the law of gravity, is Allah supernaturally involved in that process at any point? Dec 10, 2021 at 16:41

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