By Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
06 December 2019
In January 1975, a French actress, Gina Lollobrigida, came to India. At a press conference, a newspaper reporter asked her a question about whether she believed in God. She replied, “I believe in God, I believe in God, more when I am on an aeroplane.” (The Times of India, 3rd January, 1975)
When one travels in an aeroplane, one is at the mercy of external forces. If there is even a minor change in these forces, it could lead to certain death. One faces the same helplessness while travelling on a ship. The Quran says:
Have you not seen how the ships sail on the sea by God's grace so that He may show you some of His signs? Surely therein are signs for every steadfast, thankful person. When the waves engulf them like shadows [of death], they call to God, sincere [at that moment] in their faith in Him alone: but as soon as He has brought them safe ashore, only some of them take the right course. And none denies Ouran signs save the perfidious and ungrateful person. (31:31-32)
No matter how rebellious a man may be, no matter how much he may deny God, in times of extreme difficulty, and he cries out to God in complete helplessness. This is evidence that God is the voice of human nature.
Russia witnessed a Communist takeover in 1917—the so-called ‘Russian Revolution’. The communist regime stayed in power for several decades, till it collapsed, in 1991. In this long period, the communists tried every means to wipe out religion and make people atheist. They claimed that religion was a mere appendix of capitalism and that after the overthrow of capitalism, religion would naturally wither away. But this did not happen, and today religion is well and alive in Russia. In fact, there is a major revival of religion among many youth there.
An interesting incident is related about the Soviet communist dictator Stalin (1879-1964). Stalin denied God, but his own life proved that in times of immense difficulty man becomes completely helpless and remembers God. In 1942, during the Second World War, the British leader Winston Churchill (1874-1965) travelled to Moscow to talk with Russian leaders for opening a second front against Hitler. Churchill placed before Stalin the Allies’ military plan—it was given the secret name of ‘Torch’. Because Stalin was himself against Hitler’s growing influence, he took a deep interest in this plan. Churchill relates that when the plan was being explained to Stalin, the latter remarked, “May God prosper this undertaking!” (Winston S. Churchill, The Second World War (Abridgment), London, 1965, p.603)
Svetlana Alliluyeva (1926-2011) was the daughter of the atheist Soviet dictator Stalin. She later went on to adopt Christianity. Explaining her search for truth, in her book Only One Year, she talks about her dissatisfaction, her search for something to comfort her heart and how she found what she was searching for in the following words of the Bible:
The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?
When the wicked advance against me
to devour me,
it is my enemies and my foes
who will stumble and fall.
Though an army besiege me,
my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
even then I will be confident.