In Imam Ahmad period, there was a group of atheist tried to bother the faith of God existence. With a strong support of argumentation and logic, they succeeded to twist the fact. They said this universe was created by its process alone, without God’s involvement. So that human doesn’t need to worship God. They thought, God does not exist.
There were so much ulama tried to correct this thought by debating them. But their opinion had not been defeated yet. Even they were more and more arrogant with their disavowal.
Then one day a debate challenge came from an ulama, Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal. He didn’t look as an ulama with wide horizon and knowledge. However the atheist decided to accept this challenge. One condition was settled, that was this debate should be carried out openly, available for people. Then the day and place were agreed.
On the debate day, Imam Ahmad came late. Surely he was scorned by the atheist and people.
“Be patient! Give me time to explain why I came late,” Imam Ahmad said calmly.
Although they were fed up, they held down their voices.
“Listen, you have to know that I live in outskirts of city. And we are divided with a wide river. Well, when I intended to go here, I didn’t get any boat to cross. That’s why I came late.”
“So how you could come here while you didn’t get any boat?” the people asked him.
“It’s a miraculous!” Imam Ahmad said. “Suddenly a piece of board was washed away and floated in front of me then stopped alone. Then the other boards followed the first one and collected together. There’s also a rope came unexpectedly. The board and rope assembled it self alone until they became a small boat which was water resistant. Well, the small boat helped me crossed so that I could get here safely.”
The atheist laughed uproariously. One of them said sharply, “Ugh, you just made a joke. It’s impossible.”
Imam Ahmad answered calmly, “Well, if all of you deny the small boat which could assemble it self alone, then is it possible for this great and complex universe to be created it self without any role of Allah swt?”
They fell silent, speechless and sweaty. Since they didn’t have any answer, they just went out. Suddenly people were cheering and gave applause to Imam Ahmad who was modest but very intelligent. With a very simple logic, the atheist lost before debate started.