Who Created God?

 Did God had a beginning?

Wie schiep God“He is the First and the Last (#1), the Ascendant (#2) and the Intimate (#3), and He is, of all things, Knowing.” (Quran 57:3)

<<< (#1) I.e.: “When there was nothing, He was there (He existed before the Big Bang, He had no beginning); and when there will be nothing, He will be there (He is the Reason everything exists, He has no end).” >>>

<<< (#2) Nothing being above Him. Another meaning is: the Apparent, i.e., evident through His creation and revelation.>>>

<<< (#3) Nothing being nearer then Him by way of His knowledge. Another meaning is: the Unapparent, i.e., concealed from man‘s physical senses.>>>

(Taken from www.islamic-invitation.com.)

I recall having a very long debate with an atheist, and I tried my best to hear him out, so I can properly pinpoint the logic he works off of. I felt this prudent in order for me to be in position to handle the misconceptions he brings forth.

He said: If God created the Universe, then who created God?

I responded: By asking this very question, or it rather appears to be more of an objection, it is as though you are affirming that all objects must have a creator.

He said: Do not try to beat around the bush; answer my question.

I told him: I am not at all beating around the bush. You claim that the universe has no creator. That is, you believe its existence is of its own self without the need of causal intervention. So, why is it that you accept the notion that the universe is the source of its self-existence, yet you are dumbfounded by the religious conformity that God – the Creator of the universe- has no origin? Hence, the issue we are addressing is one, so why is that you submit to this fact when promoting your beliefs, yet you reject it when it is recounted by others? If you believe that a supreme being that has no creator is a folkloric figment, then according to your logic, a universe that has no creator should also be a folkloric figment.

He retorted: We live in this universe and we can actually feel its existence. Hence, we cannot reject it.

I responded: Who is asking you to reject the existence of the universe? When any of us ride in an airplanes, ships and cars that transports us over rugged terrains, our questions do not arouse around the existence of such vehicles; rather, speculations may be raised about whether it is self-piloted or steered by a captain

Thus, I return to your first question/objection to bring to your attention that the same logic can be used against you. Both of us concur on the presence of that existence; there is no logical way to deny that premise. Our difference is specifically in that you claim that the existing matter has no beginning, and I believe that the creator of that matter has no origin. So, if you want to mock the idea of an existence that has no origin, ridicule yourself first before ridiculing people of faith.

He said: So, you mean to say that both parties have the same logical supposition?

I said: I am merely following along with your logic to uncover the emptiness and the shallow claims that atheism is truly based upon. As for logical suppositions, indeed, believers cannot be equated to unbelievers. It is as though you and I are glancing at a palace, and I see that a very skillful engineer established it, and you believe that its wood, steel, stones and paint were put in place and prepared for its residents on its own. The variation between our different perspectives seem to manifest in that I witnessed satellites orbiting in space, and while you said that it functions without any supervision or direction, I said that it was put into orbit and supervised by a mastermind.

Our logical suppositions are not the same. To me, this is the irrefutable truth, and to you, this is unquestionably false. The unbelievers of modern day may be highly skillful in vilifying believers and ascribing to themselves intellectual superiority and ingenuity, but that does not change the reality of the equation. We live on a spacious earth, and there is a remarkably engineered and structured sky above us, and we have the intellect with which we can research, discuss, conclude and believe.

With this logic, we reject being senseless followers, just as we reject baseless claims. Those inclined to mock the ‘backwards’ slaves of tradition and ridicule their intellectual narrow-mindedness should also ridicule those who essentially dismiss logic in the name of intellectualism and those who trample upon the foundations of knowledge in the name of scholarship. Unfortunately, the majority of atheists seem to follow this unfair methodology.

We, as Muslims, base our faith in Allah on intellectual awareness and logical discernment. We examine the miracles of existence and leave be human thought to ponder the universe.

In the Chapter of “Az-Zumar”, we find the Qur’an expressing the role of the mind in three progressive scenes: The first of these scenes conveys the merit of knowledge and the lowliness of those who are ignorant: {Say, “Are those who know equal to those who do not know?” Only they will remember [who are] people of understanding.} (Quran 39:9)

Then, the second scene describes that a Muslim is not the slave of an unquestionable concept or a habit that controls his path. Rather, a Muslim is an individual who examines what is presented to him and selects what is most reliable and most sound: {So give good tidings to My servants. Who listen to speech and follow the best of it. Those are the ones Allah has guided, and those are people of understanding.} (Quran 39:17-18)

Then, “the people of understanding” are mentioned once again in the same context as individuals who contemplate the realms of Allah’s creation; they study the story of life in its various facets so that they may redirect themselves from the creation to the Creator: {Do you not see that Allah sends down rain from the sky and makes it flow as springs [and rivers] in the earth; then He produces thereby crops of varying colors; then they dry and you see them turned yellow; then He makes them [scattered] debris. Indeed in that is a reminder for those of understanding.} (Quran 39:21)

It is quite apparent from these three scenes from the seal of revelations that true faith is totally disconnected from blindly following or shallow reflection.

A believer recognizes the innovativeness of the Creator in the Earth’s vegetation: How does the plentiful bounties and the tranquility of nature blossom from the dullness of mud and dirt surrounding its beautiful stems and leaves? How is it that the harvest of this vegetation, in turn, produces the nourishment and garments of both mankind and animals alike? Then, how is it that from the decayed remains of that vegetation blossoms life that adorns the gardens of nature? Who has created this all?!

My friend responded as though in a state of hallucination: The Earth created all of this!!

I questioned: So, did the Earth commanded the sky to pour down rain and the Sun to shine and the leaves of the trees to withhold Carbon Dioxide and release Oxygen, and the seeds to fill with oil, sugar, perfume and starch??

He retorted: I mean to say that all of nature is in the Earth and the sky.

I said: Did the Earth and sky cooperate in the production of every grain of rice in your dinner plate? If so, what is the role of every element in existence? Who is responsible for making apple’s sweet and peppers spicy? Are the masterminds behind all of this the dirt of the ground and the rain of the sky?

He emotionally responded: I don’t know, and there is no value in such knowledge!!

I replied: Do you not know that all of this requires impeccable brilliance in planning and a forthcoming will in categorizing? Where do you presume to be the mind that constructed and the will that distinguished between the piles of manure and the beams of sun rays?

He persisted: The universe came into existence and progressed according to the laws formation and development; we do not know the origin nor do we know the details!

I explained: Allow me to reiterate your logic: In ancient times at the dawn of the universe, a group of unknown elements were in continuous unrest in space, and with the passage of time and frequent friction, a never to be repeated occurrence happened. Thus, the first living particles came into existence in its most basic form. Then, these living atoms continued to increase until it led to the formation of all of what we now see.

This is the sheer ignorance that you have named knowledge; you were not ashamed to present your stubbornness to the world! You claim that highly complex equations were resolved spontaneously and perfectly designed beings came into existence by an occurrence of mere chance. This is all a guise used to flee from belief in God, the Supreme.

He angrily sneered: If there really was a lord as you say, the world wouldn’t be filled with tragedies and pains. The reality of life is that large amounts of wealth are used to meet the pleasures of the utterly incompetent, and that the most brilliant are many a times the most unprivileged; children grow ill and die and the disabled are forced to live miserable lives.

I replied: My presumption of the source of your atheism was correct. Your atheism stems from psychological and social problems more than actually being fundamental intellectual issues.

Since long ago, there always existed people who based their belief upon issues in their personal lives, whether it is difficulty or ease: {And of the people is he who worships Allah on an edge. If he is touched by good, he is reassured by it; but if he is struck by trial, he turns on his face [to the other direction]. He has lost [this] world and the Hereafter.} (Quran 22:11)

He said: We are not selfish, as you are making us out to be. We are not people who merely get angry or pleased for their own personal interests. We presented the conditions of humanity as a whole and then issued our conclusions that you reject.

I responded: Your problem is that you do not realize the nature of this life and the role of humanity in it. This life is merely a temporary passage to an eternal abode.

In order for an individual to cross this passage to one of two possible fates, he must be tested in a way that should cleanse him and refine his nature. These tests com in many different forms, and when the believers succeed in overcoming the obstacles that have filled their path and maintain a strong relationship with Allah, no matter how immense the hardships and ailments that have befallen them are, that they shall return to their lord after that very difficult journey, and he will say to them: {[To whom Allah will say], “O My servants, no fear will there be concerning you this Day, nor will you grieve,} (Quran 43:68)

He asked: What makes these trials so necessary?

I replied: People are so willing to stay awake in the late hours of the night to earn an education and are willing to exhaust their bodies to attain material comfort.

High positions are usually given to someone who trained and experienced and who was exposed to difficulties. If this is the general law of a very brief life that we live upon this Earth, what is so strange about this being the proper struggle for the awaited eternity?

He ridiculed: Is this your philosophy in justifying tragedies that fill the lives of humanity? Is this what you compel the general public to give into?

I told him: I will explain to you in more evident detail the essence of what causes you anguish. Pains are of two types:

The first type is pains that are from God’s will in this life; Life cannot persist without it, and an integral part of the role of humanity cannot be achieved except with its presence.

Dr. ‘Abbas Mahmud al-‘Aqqad eloquently explained: “There is a sort of mutuality between the elements of existence; courage has no meaning without danger; generosity is useless if there is no need; patience has no value if there aren’t any difficulties. In fact, all good qualities are meaningless if there isn’t a deficiency that counters and misbalances it.

This logic can also be consistently noticed in our material pleasures, just as it is consist in our personal qualities and our intellectual needs. We would not be able to sense the pleasure of satiation without the pain of hunger, just as we would not feel the pleasure of quenching our thirst if we did not feel prior to it the desperation of thirst. Beautiful images will cease to grab our attention, if it is not of our nature to be displeased with awful sights.”

In addition to this explanation of the nature of life in general, Allah, Glorified and Exalted, tests every individual with what is appropriate with his nature and surroundings. There are large discrepancies between individuals. Something that may cause one individual to cry of distress may be something not even worth paying attention to for another, and God has divine purpose in His creation. Most importantly, there is no doubt that the incidents in one’s personal or public life are dictated by a comprehensive framework of divine justice.

It should be noted that this divine justice, as Dr. ‘Aqqad puts it: “Cannot be encompassed by one outlook on one particular issue. One must comprehend many different situations before he can notice the prospects of justice in the actions of Allah’s divine will. A black stain may very well be one of the essential colors of a larger image, and it even may be used to bring unique beauty to that image. In day-to-day life, we may initially feel sorrow from a certain incident that faces us, and in retrospect, it may remain as an amusing memory or a situation that we take pride in the stance we took after everything is said and done.”

This is the correct outlook on the challenges that befall us that are beyond our intervention.

The second type of harms that you complain of, my dear friend, revolve around your own flaws and deviants similar to you.

He responded in denial: Those who share my beliefs and I have nothing to do with the unruliness that leads the world! How can you make such an accusation?

I responded: Rather, you are the ones responsible. Indeed, God has placed a system that is capable of ensuring the prosperity of the world. This system entails making those of power a source of support for the weak, and it demands of the wealthy to be benevolent to the poor. Its guidelines arouse caution within its adherents from indulging in their desires or committing acts of oppression or transgressing the limits. For the adherence to this divine law, Allah has promised the best of this life and the hereafter: {Whoever does righteousness, whether male or female, while he is a believer – We will surely cause him to live a good life, and We will surely give them their reward [in the Hereafter] according to the best of what they used to do.} (Quran 16:97)

So, when people wrongfully cut off what God has commanded to remain intact (i.e. bonds of kinship and relationships in general) and they assist one another in transgression, rather than doing so in acts of benevolence, how can they possibly complain to their Lord when they have reaped the bitterness of their deeds?

Most of the evils that have plagued the world are due to humanity’s tendency to flee from the upright path, and Allah addresses this unfaithfulness: {And whatever strikes you of disaster – it is for what your hands have earned; but He pardons much.} (Quran 42:30)

Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (may God be pleased with him) [one of the greatest companions of Muhammad (PBUH) who was given the title “as-Siddiq” for his high degree of faithfulness] prepared an army to fight the Muslims who refused to pay zakah (an annual mandatory payment from able Muslims who have met its minimal savings requirement to be paid to the less fortunate factions of society), and by following this blessed path, he has preserved the rights of the weaker factions of society and weakened the rule of selfishness; in essence, he instituted the teachings of Islam. So, if someone else came to power after him and did not follow his example, should critics blame divine will for creating such an unpleasant and depressing reality?!

He questioned: What are you trying to say?

I responded: I mean to say that the teachings of Allah are enough to bring comfort to the general public. Instead of blaming the individuals who neglected its application, you had the audacity to challenge God and accuse His religion and actions! It is of the lowliness of man to damn the heavens for the corruption of the earth. Rather than feeling a sense of responsibility to inflict positive change and establish justice, some choose to arrogantly speak against religion and the Creator.

 

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