Respecetd Brother Dr Badar!
Man has existed and gone through evolutionary changes (Physical and psychological ) for the time unknown to us.
The Man of primitive times was very helpless and the Nature around him was overwhelmingly powerful. He had no mean of protection, therefore, to seek favors, his primitive mind suggested to "please" the Nature. This gave rise to the rituals which exist in some form or shape even to this date. According to Dr Toynbee (A Historian's Approach to religion) this worship of Nature exists even today in the living Higher religions. Respected Dr Toynbee goes on to say,” It is also to be seen in "Mahayana" ( e.g, in the charting of the structure of the subconscious psyche in the mandala) and in Christianity (e.g, in the cult of the Mother and the Child and in the sacrament of the bread and the wine). The worship of the Nature is to be found even in Islam, which is the most rational of all the living Judaic Higher religions, and which is a match for Judaism itslef in the severity of its monotheism and in the clearness of its apprehension of the transcendent aspect of God. The Black Stone fetish embedded in the wall of the Ka'bah at Mecca may serve as a symbol of the survival of elements of Nature- Worship, not only in Islam itself but in all the living Higher religions."
Man did achieve partial control over The Nature in the upper Palaelothic age. This deterred his worship of the Nature to some extent but never could he write it off completely. The discovery of Will and Intellect exposed the dormant powers of Human Nature. This power of Human Nature fascinated the man himself which made himself as the object of worship at some point in the history.
Further evolution of psyche stimulated the advancement of Intellect and he started seeking the Absolute Reality. The journey spanned over thousands of years and replete with accomplishments pushed him to the belief of the existence of the Ultimate Super Being. He tried to modify and fine tune the concept in many different ways. Hence, the monotheistic attitude surfaced and impressed the vast majority.
Abstract values are something not uniformly understood across the Human race. Each people have their own understanding of God. The concept of God does reflect the mindset of the people. So, the concept of God is a product of their imagination and this concept might have deep impact on a certain people’s culture. Kant said that tell me what kind of God people believe in and i would tell what sort of culture they might have.
Human mind is entrapped in the limitations of time and space. It has the tendency to interpret everything in material terms for the sake of understanding. The question of God was treated with the same instrument. This resulted in the personification of God. Ibnay Taymiah in our literature is the perfect example of anthropomorphism.
On the other hand we come across the idea of immaterial God which has spiritual dimensions. Ishraqi philosophy of Shahab ud Din Suharwardi teaches that Light of the lights is the origin of every being. its ever diminishing and the more illuminated a thing is, the more defined it is and has more attributes of the Light of the lights. Shahabud Din Suharwari, Shaykhay Maqtool/Shaykhay Ishraaq based his Ishraqi philosophy on "Allah ho Noorus samawaat wa fil ardh". Allama Iqbal is worried that alone ," Allah is the NOOR of heavens and earth" has pantheistic tendencies but placing the lamp inside a niche enclosed in a glass that shines like a radiant star, makes it a monotheistic gesture.
Human mind with inherent curiosity of seeing the things in material forms finds it hard to conceive the existence of an Abstract Reality. This is the primitive way of approaching the questions. The Higher Living Religions took a leap and introduced the immaterial, non-physical and invisible God but could not persuade the man to completely disconnect the God concept from material terms. Hence, we observe physical interpretations of God.
Every time man reflected upon the question, "What is God". His thought rose, many a times, to the higher planes but inherent desire worked as gravity. Beside religious circles, we see mystics exploring the God as well. It seems, they treated the question in a much non-material way. However, fatalism theory defeated the whole purpose. Sufi started to strive to lose his personality into the personality of God which again contaminated the thought with some degree of fine materialism. This left the man at the edge of the Horizon of the Truth and restrained his journey beyond that. Nevertheless, mystic/Sufi did have some success to present God as an Energy of the Universe and now in the language of Quantum we may say Universes. Perhaps, this is the closest we could go to the Absolute Reality.
A material being's difficulty to perceive a non-material Being lead to many a complexities and confusions. Before, we enquire about God, we ought to see if we have a language to interpret our finds. Mystic's experience, says P.D Ouspansky, can not be interpreted in human terms. What he experiences is for himself. When we turn to religious scriptures we come across references made to His attributes. These attributes are in human terms which might have added difficulty to the primitive thinking and he was lead to personification.
Human mind exhausted all the thoughts to untwist this puzzle but never could succeed. Every tribe, every culture and every religion has its own interpretation of some deity who, as they believe, is responsible to direct their lives. This control they gave to this deity lead to the need of being on good terms with Him. In their every day life they experienced to win the favors of Authority by means of pleasing. The same concept they applied to the God which opened the door for the need to worship and other rituals. This worship at times took a barbaric form, Aztec sacrifices to please the God is an example of this barbarianism. Islam is no exception and we come across certain ahadith which involve violence against those who fail to comply with the ritualistic prayer. Whether this has any support from Quran or not is not the focus of this debate. We are trying to explore what religion as an institution has done and how it dealt with the question of God.
Sadly, the human history fails to show if man could ever answer this question palatable to the entire human race. This frustration and desperation might be at the helm of Atheism and Deism. When we talk about the existence of God it also brings us to the question if He does exist then whether He is indifferent to the human matters or participates in the human activity. Religion dealt with this question by giving room to the "revelation" and mystic relied on his imagination and "experience". However, the distinct difference between religion and mysticism is that former seeks a Divine Code to live by it and the later constitutes his life by placing "love" at the core.
What is God, then? Perhaps its not for the human mind to understand it but believe in Him, if its enough to tame his thought. Or perhaps, He is the energy, an invisible, unperceivable force, running through the entire system of Universes and beyond. Time and space lose existence when it comes to God. He is ever living and creator of all. He gave essence to the existence. Hence, we exist. Perhaps, our own existence is one of the argument in the favor of His existence. "وَنَحۡنُ أَقۡرَبُ إِلَيۡهِ مِنۡ حَبۡلِ ٱلۡوَرِيد" ----