The Holy Qur'an's Teachings about the Creator of the World
Author: Allamah Syed Muhammad Husain Tabataba'i
"... Is there doubt about Allah, the Maker of the heavens and the earth ... (14:10)?"
Explanation: In daylight, everything is visible. We can see ourselves, others, houses, city, desert, mountains, jungle, and sea. But when the darkness of night prevails, all these bright and evident things lose their brightness. Then we realize that this brightness did not belong to them, rather it was due to the sun which illuminated them by a kind of contact. The sun is bright and, with its reflection, makes the earth and all that is on it bright and visible. If these objects had a brightness of their own, they would never lose it.
Human beings and other living beings perceive objects by their eyes, ears, and senses. They embark on activities by their hands, feet, and other internal and external organs. After a while, however, they lose their senses and motions and no longer show any movement or activity and apparently die.
By witnessing this scene, we come to the conclusion that the intellect, determination, and movement of these living beings are not due to their posture and figure, rather they spring from their soul and psyche. When their soul goes out they lose their livelihood and activity.
For example, if seeing and hearing were done only by the eyes and ears, these activities would continue so long as these two organs existed, but this is not the case at all.
In like manner, if the undoubted existence and genesis of the vast world of existence, of which we are a part and can never doubt its existence, sprang from and belonged to itself, it would never lose them. In spite of this, we see that the components of the world lose their existence vitality one after another and are incessantly in the state of change and transformation. They replace one condition by another and assume another shape.
For this reason, one must decisively judge that the existence and genesis of all living things originate from something else which is their Creator and Generator. As soon as the Creator cuts off relation of creation with something, that object plunges into annihilation and obliteration and becomes invisible.
That Infinite Existence, which is the support of the world of creation and the Preserver of people, is Allah.
There is no annihilation and obliteration for Allah; otherwise, like all other living beings, His existence would not have been from itself and would have been dependent on others.
Qur'an and Tawhid
If with a pure nature and peaceful heart, man glances at the world of existence, he will see proofs and signs for the pure existence of the Creator in its nooks and corners. He will find evidences from every place to back up this truth. In this world, everything that man faces is either a phenomenon created by Allah or possesses a characteristic endowed by Allah or is a system that runs and governs everything by Allah's command.
Man is one such being and his entire body attests this fact. Neither does man's existence belong to himself nor are the traits that he manifests based on his will. Man has neither devised the plan of life that he takes up from the beginning of his life, nor can he consider this system based on chance and accident and, therefore, cut off.
Man cannot attribute his existence and the system of his existence to the environment in which he came into being. This is because the existence of the above-mentioned environment and the system that governs it are not made by that environment and have not evolved by chance and accident.
Thus man has no choice but to prove an origin for the world of creation. This origin creates and fosters things. It gives life to every being and leads it in the path of survival to its specific perfection by a particular system.
When man sees that the creation of objects is related and a unified system exists in the world, he is forced to accept that the source of creation and manager of its system is no one except Allah.
The Holy Qur'an states: "If there had been in them any gods except Allah, they would both have certainly been in a state of disorder... (21:22)."
Explanation: If many gods governed the world and, as idolaters say, different gods ran various parts of the world, then the earth, heavens, seas, and jungles would each have a god for its own. As a result of the differences among such gods, various systems would be established in the world, so that inevitably the world would face corruption and annihilation.
However, we see that all components of the world have complete relation and harmony with one another and comprise a system. Thus, it must be said that there is no partner for the Providence and Creator of the world.
Some might assume that since the supposed gods are wise and aware that their differences lead the world toward annihilation and corruption, they never differ with each other. But this is a depraved assumption because Allah, Who governs the world of existence or a part of it and Whose activity and motion are for the system of creation, performs no mental activity like us.
From the first day that our eyes open upon the world of creation and view the system at work in it, we acquire mental impressions from this system. These constitute our knowledge. Then as we work to provide our basic needs, we coordinate our action with our mental impressions to make it correspond to the prevalent system of creation. For example, we eat to satisfy our hunger. To quench our thirst, we drink water. To be relieved from cold and heat, we wear suitable clothes, because we realize that these exigencies are satisfied by such means in the world order.
Thus our action (in this view) in contingent upon and subsequent to our thoughts and our thoughts depend upon and are subsequent to the world order. Therefore, our actions are two stages subsequent to the world order. But for Allah Who governs the world or a part of it, the external world order is an action. It is not rational to believe that His actions occur due to premeditations on the system.
The Almighty Allah Possesses All Attributes of Perfection
What is perfection? A house is perfect when it provides for all the needs of a family's living such as enough rooms to serve as a living room, a guesthouse, a kitchen for making food, a bathroom, and other rooms. If it lacks these utilities, it is proportionately deficient.
Why Doesn't Man Accept This Truth At Times?
This fact is evident for man without the least speculation and there is no doubt in it, but that at times man becomes so entangled with the conflicts of life that he uses all the power of his wisdom for vital struggles. He spends all his time probing life, therefore, he has no time to spend on these kinds of thoughts. As a result, he becomes heedless of this fact or enchanted by nature's charming outward appearances and indulges in voluptuousness and pleasure. Since adherence to these facts precludes materialistic unrestrainedness, such a man naturally refuses to accept this fact and it’s like and is intolerant of it.
The Holy Qur'an has paid greater attention, in different ways, and has presented evidences for the creation of the creatures and the system prevalent and dominant among them. This is because most people, especially those who are infatuated by nature's charming appearances and who find prosperity in voluptuousness and worldly pleasures, are unable to think philosophically and to investigate subtle logical theories due to their fondness of material and perceptible things.
In any case, man is a part of the world of creation and is not free from want of its other components and the general and particular systems that govern it. He can consider the world of creation and the system prevalent in it at any time to find out the existence of the Creator and Lord of the world.
The Almighty Allah states: "Most surely in the heavens and the earth there are signs for the believers. And in your (own) creation and in what He spreads abroad of animals there are signs for a people that are sure, and (in) the variation of the night and the day, and (in) what Allah sends down of sustenance from the cloud, then gives life thereby to the earth after its death, and (in) the changing of the winds, there are signs for a people who understand (45:3-5)."
Explanation: In the Holy Qur'an, many verses invite people to think about the creation of the heavens, the sun, the moon, the stars, the earth, mountains, seas, plants, animals, and human beings. The Qur'an also mentions the astonishing system that governs each of these kinds. Truly, the mechanism of creation and the system that leads different activities of the world towards the goals of creation and the causes for existence are very astonishing and wonderful.
The seed of wheat or the kernel of almond, planted on the earth, respectively turn into a clustered shrub or a fruit-bearing tree. From the moment they are planted deeply in the heart of the earth, they rip up, produce green tips, and strike their white roots into the heart of the earth. To attain their final goal, vast and enormous systems, whose magnitude and vastness astound the intellect, begin to operate.
The stars in the skies, the bright sun, the luminous moon, and the earth all with their rotation, movement, and potential power along with the mysterious powers in the seed or kernel, the four seasons of the year, the atmospheric conditions, the clouds, rains, winds, and days and nights all contribute to the growing of a seed into a shrub of wheat. Like nurses, these factors foster this new phenomenon and turn it from one hand to another until it reaches the last stage of its growth and development.
Likewise, the coming into existence of a human infant is much more complex than the bud of a plant or other phenomena, because it is the product of millions or rather billions of years of complex and systematic activity of the mechanism of creation.
Man's daily life, in addition to external connections with the world of creation, springs from an astonishing system within his being which has amused the perceptive minds of the scientists of the world engaged for many centuries in observation of its outward things. Each day another layer is removed from its secrets, but still their knowledge about the unknown is rather insignificant.
If a human being possesses what is needful in the system of being of a normal man, he is perfect. But if he lacks one of them, for instance, if he does not have a hand, foot, or an eye, he is deficient in that respect.
From what has been said, the attribute of perfection is that which meets some of the needs of existence and obviates deficiency. For example, the epithet of knowledge obviates the darkness of ignorance and elucidates what is known to the scholar. Also power enables a powerful person to attain his ends and satisfy his demands and makes him competent to do so. Other epithets are life, comprehension, etc.
Our conscience judges that the Creator of the world (He, from whom the existence of the world and creatures originate and who meets any need that could be conceived and grants every blessing and perfection) possesses all attributes of perfection, because from a realistic point of view, it can never be assumed that anyone possessing an attribute can prevent others from having it.
The Almighty Allah names all attributes of His perfection and declares Himself Immaculate and Pure from any fault and deficiency: "And your Lord is the Self-sufficient One, the Lord of Mercy... (6:133)."
Allah states: "Allah-there is no god but He; His are the very best names (20:8)."
(Allah is Living, Wise, Clear-sighted, Hearing, Mighty, Creator, and Free from want.) Thus the Almighty Allah possesses all epithets of perfection and His Holy Presence is Pure and Immaculate. Because if He had deficiency, He would be dependent in that respect and a superior god would have to provide His needs.
"...Glory be to Him and exalted be He above what they associate (with Him) (30:40)."
The Power and Knowledge of Allah
Observation of the interconnected components of this magnificent world, it’s astonishing usual revolution, its dazzling minute and interrelated systems which are at work here and there, as a result of which various phenomena move in an utmost orderly manner towards a specific goal and a particular destination, informs any wise man that the existence and survival of the world of existence and all that is associated with it originate from an Immortal One and Power.
This Immortal One has created the world and all its inhabitants with His Boundless Might and Infinite Knowledge. Having placed His creatures in the cradle of nurturing, He leads them to an ideal perfection by His blessing. He has an immortal life and is Omnipotent and Omniscient.
The Almighty Allah states: "His is the kingdom of the heavens and the earth; He gives life and causes death; and He has power over all things. He is the First and the Last and the Ascendant (over all) and the Knower of hidden things, and He is Cognizant of all things (57:2-3)."
Allah also states: "...And Allah's is the kingdom of the heavens and the earth and what is between them; He creates what He pleases; and Allah has power over all things (5:17)."
Explanation: When we say that such and such a person has the ability to purchase a car, we mean that he has whatever is needed (enough money) to do so. If we say that such and such a person is able to lift a weight of about 60 kilograms, we mean that he has the strength to lift a weight of 60 kilograms.
On the whole, possessing capability and power over some matter is contingent upon the availability of its requirements. Since the requirements of any phenomenon in the world of existence can be met through the Divine power of the Almighty Allah, it can be said that He is Mighty and Powerful over all things and His Holy Existence is the main source of existence.
He also states: "Does He not know who He created...(67:14)?"
That is to say, since in his creation and existence, each creature relies upon the Infinite Entity of the Almighty Allah there can never be any barrier and isolation between that creature and Allah. Nor can that creature be concealed from Him because He is Knowledgeable and Aware of ins and outs of everything.
The Almighty Allah is Just and Righteous, for justice is one of the attributes of perfection. Allah possesses all attributes of perfection. He, in His words, has repeatedly praised justice and has reproached injustice and cruelty. He commands people to do justice and prohibits them from injustice. How would it be possible for Allah to possess attributes that He considers indecent or to lack whatever He considers good and decent?
The Almighty Allah states: "Surely Allah does not do injustice to the weight of a particle...(4:40)."
He also states: "...And your Lord does not deal unjustly with any one (18:49)."
Allah states: "...And Allah does not desire injustice for (His) servants (40:31)."
He also states: "Whatever benefit comes to you (O man
, it is from Allah, and whatever misfortune befalls you, it is from yourself..(4:79)."
Allah also states: "Who made good everything that He has created...(32:7)."
Thus, any phenomenon, in itself, has been created in an extremely proper manner. Any hideousness, injustice, deficiencies, or shortcomings that are seen in some creatures can only be experienced by way of comparison and in relationship with other beings. F or example, snakes and scorpions are evil and unjust in their relation to man. When compared with flowers, thorns are not so beautiful, but they are all, in their own right, wonderful and thoroughly beautiful creatures.
Indeed the Almighty Allah declares some of man's voluntary deeds religiously bad and evil and orders man to refrain from doing them. They include sins such as polytheism, disobedience of parents, killing the innocent, drinking alcoholic beverages, gambling, and any other acts which are against religious obligations.
These kinds of actions, which are called sins, are evil acts and are not attributed to Allah because they bear the title of opposition to and rejection of obligation (title of negation). If these acts are willingly performed by religiously obligated people, then they will be attributed to these people, thus making them responsible and subject to punishment.
When we see an enfeebled needy, we try to meet his demands to the best of our ability. We help a desperately poverty-stricken man or take a blind man's hand in our own and lead him to his destination. We consider these acts as compassion and blessing and thus regard them as praiseworthy deeds.
Actions performed by the Capable and Independent Allah can be nothing but blessings. By granting His innumerable graces, He lets everyone enjoy them. Without being dependent upon anyone else, Allah provides part of the needs of the creatures. Allah states: "...And if you count Allah's favors, you will not be able to number them...(14:34)."
He also states: "...My mercy encompasses all things...(7:156)."
Other Attributes of Perfection
"And Your Lord is the Self-sufficient one, the Lord of mercy...(6:133)."
Explanation: Any goodness and beauty existing in the world and any attribute of perfection that can be conceived are favors that the Almighty Allah has bestowed upon His creatures, and through this means satisfied one of the needs of creation. Certainly, if He lacked that perfection, He would be unable to grant favors to others and would have a share in the needs of people.
Thus, Allah possesses all attributes of perfection and is endowed with all attributes of perfection, such as, life, knowledge, might, etc, without having received a single aspect of perfection from others and without asking them for help. Attributes of imperfection and causes for need and indigence, such as weakness, ignorance, death, difficulty, etc, will not find a way to His Holy Presence.