Universe

The universe (Latin: universus) is all of space and time and their contents, including planets, stars, galaxies, and all other forms of matter and energy. While the spatial size of the entire universe is unknown, it is possible to measure the size of the observable universe, which is currently estimated to be 93 billion light-years in diameter. In various multiverse hypotheses, a universe is one of many causally disconnected constituent parts of a larger multiverse, which itself comprises all of space and time and its contents; as a consequence, ‘the universe’ and ‘the multiverse’ are synonymous in such theories.

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Mateen Charbonneau, Sheikh Mateen Joshua Charbonneau achieved a certificate from Harvard University in Islamic Studies. He undertook Howza classes under esteemed scholars since 2013 and has been teaching at Imam Mahdi... Answered 3 days ago

A good sermon to read regarding this is the 1st sermon of Nahjul Balagha 

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Amina Inloes, Amina Inloes is originally from the US and has a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter on Shi'a hadith. She is the program leader for the MA Islamic Studies program at the... Answered 1 month ago

This is one of those questions that has been asked for thousands of years and maybe it is one we are all meant to ponder on. However, here are a couple thoughts:

* The famous narration that "I [Allah] was a hidden treasure and I wished to be known, so I created the creation."

* Insofar as the attribute of the Creator (al-Khaliq) is one way of describing Allah, one might say that it is an innate tendency of Allah to create, just as a human artist often feels compelled to create. So, simply put, Allah creates because it is the divine nature to make things. Some people view creation as a perpetual matter; that is, every moment, Allah is re-creating creation, not just as something that happened once for the universe. 

* Some people also say it is part of divine mercy to create sentient beings. Even though life can be difficult, we wouldn't even be able to say it is difficult if we weren't created with intellect and senses.

It is an excellent question to explore and I wish you the best in your pondering and research!

Abbas Di Palma, Shaykh Abbas Di Palma holds a BA and an MA degree in Islamic Studies, and certifications from the Language Institute of Damascus University. He has also studied traditional Islamic sciences in... Answered 1 month ago

as salam alaikum

Allah is All-Powerful and He does whatever He wishes. Therefore He created the universe because He willed, and so it was.

With prayers for your success.

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Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answered 1 month ago

The reason of our creation by Allah is to shower on us His Mercy and bounties.

Our existence is a great bounty from our Creator Allah (SWT). All human beings know that their life is the most important for them, and it is in fact a bounty from Allah (SWT).

Wassalam.

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Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answered 1 month ago

The reality is that the universe in all its stages and forms was created by The Creator, Allah (SWT). Different forms are created and and do not change this basic fact that it was created by Allah, The Creator.

Wassalam.

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Amina Inloes, Amina Inloes is originally from the US and has a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter on Shi'a hadith. She is the program leader for the MA Islamic Studies program at the... Answer updated 8 months ago

The above answer is an excellent theological argument. Additional thoughts:

It is difficult to convince someone whose mind is already made up. If the prophets could not convince all people during their lifetimes, we can't have any hope of that! Sometimes the best thing you can do is just to try try or even just simply be an example with your faith and differing viewpoint.

It should be self-evident that the very fact that accidents can create order and beauty (such as in fractal geometry) itself requires a higher intelligence and some sort of plan.

I suspect that many astronomers/cosmologists who profess atheism and who reject religion actually don't wholly reject the idea that the universe could have a creative force, inherent meaning, or inherent purpose. I think it is near-impossible to study the heavens without having some sort of awe and sense of mystery. I think it is more common that they reject the form of organized religion they were exposed to growing up because it was unsophisticated, insufficient, or unhealthy. For instance, sometimes, in some places, children are given the mental picture of God as a bearded, angry white man. Or, they may have had negative experiences with provincialness or hypocrisy in a religious community. Religion may simply not have been discussed with a depth that was compelling. Of course this isn't everyone, but I think it happens more often than not. Otherwise, throughout most of history, science was associated with theism or some sort of religious/metaphysical belief. Certain, it was in the Islamic heritage.

Here is an interesting podcast about Jesuit astronomers. Of course, it is from a Christian perspective, but it discusses their work as a way of finding God in all things, and I am sure it is possible to compare and contrast issues with an Islamic perspective. https://onbeing.org/programs/guy-consolmagno-george-coyne-asteroids-stars-and-the-love-of-god/ Some interesting quotations from it:

* It’s only human beings that have this curiosity to understand: What’s that up in the sky? How do we fit into that? Who are we? Where do we come from? And this is a hunger that is as deep and as important as a hunger for food because if you starve a person in that sense, you’re depriving them of their humanity. And being able to feed this, being able to make a person more human or make them welcome into the great adventure of the human race for the 20th century — going to the moon, things like that — that was really important to them and really important to everybody I talked to. And suddenly — oh, that’s why we do this.

* Those classic scientists believed that understanding the natural world was the best way to understand the mind of its maker.

Abbas Di Palma, Shaykh Abbas Di Palma holds a BA and an MA degree in Islamic Studies, and certifications from the Language Institute of Damascus University. He has also studied traditional Islamic sciences in... Answered 8 months ago

as salam alaikum

the order present in the universe is an empirical fact that no sound mind can dispute. The earth, the sky, the clouds, the rain, the sun, the moon, etc., and all the living beings on the planet, all interact with each others and works according to specific sets of rules and criterions. This indicates, at least indirectly, the presence of a Creator who created and sustains the world.

Also, if the world was just the product of accidents we may ask ourselves: who/what created those accidents?  Who/what put them into motion? A thing cannot be created by itself because it would imply its existence before its existence which is an impossibility. We cannot also suppose that physical matter always existed with no cause because corporeality depends on temporary qualities such place, color, movement, stasis, etc. that need to be caused by some external agent (otherwise they would be already attached to their subjects). We conclude therefore that there is one Creator for the whole universe upon Whom the whole creation depends.

With prayers for your success.

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Zoheir Ali Esmail, Shaykh Zoheir Ali Esmail has a Bsc in Accounting and Finance from the LSE in London, and an MA in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University. He studied Arabic at Damascus University and holds a PhD... Answered 10 months ago

Bismillah 

Thank you for your question. While the enactment God's Will is not limited by time, in His dealing with creation He chooses to work through processes and physical laws such as cause and effect. So while He can do whatever He wants in an instant, He chooses not to do that in every instance.

May you always be successful 

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Amina Inloes, Amina Inloes is originally from the US and has a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter on Shi'a hadith. She is the program leader for the MA Islamic Studies program at the... Answer updated 10 months ago

It is possible that Allah created the entire universe just for humanity; however, there are some hints that there are other creations out there and we simply don't know them. For instance the Qur'an speaks of the things that we do not know. A narration from Imam Ali (A) mentions that the other stars in the sky are cities or civilizations (mada'in) like the cities on earth. I think it is reasonable to assume that in the vast universe there are other beings, whether or not we will ever know of them during the span of existence of humanity, God knows best. However, what can be said is that what we have on earth is comfortable for us - especially if we consider the conditions of other planets like Jupiter - and that part of the miracle of creation is that we can look out at the sky and stars from our own vantage point and see it perfect for ourselves, in terms of timekeeping, light, heat, etc, and yet it can still host many other creations. 

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Zoheir Ali Esmail, Shaykh Zoheir Ali Esmail has a Bsc in Accounting and Finance from the LSE in London, and an MA in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University. He studied Arabic at Damascus University and holds a PhD... Answered 11 months ago

Bismillah

Thank you for your question. The scriptural sources are clear in the fact that God cannot be known in His entirety with the faculties that humans possess. This is because a being limited to time and space cannot expect to understand a Being who is unlimited in every way. The system of creation is perfect in the sense that there is no imperfection in the way it functions and that indicates towards the Attributes of God, but those Attributes are only comprehended to the extent of our ability. The further one is able to explore the creation the better they will comprehend the Attributes from that perspective. The level of that investigation depends also on the epistemological tools that they are using. There is no way to fully understand the mind of God, especially through a process of induction from His creation.

May you always be successful

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Zoheir Ali Esmail, Shaykh Zoheir Ali Esmail has a Bsc in Accounting and Finance from the LSE in London, and an MA in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University. He studied Arabic at Damascus University and holds a PhD... Answered 1 year ago

Bismillah

Thank you for your question. This is a scientific issue not specifically directly discussed in any scriptural sources that i know of. It is interesting as it would mean that energy is metaphysical, but it would have to be proven before any type of research into its implications would be carried out.

May you always be successful. 

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Amina Inloes, Amina Inloes is originally from the US and has a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter on Shi'a hadith. She is the program leader for the MA Islamic Studies program at the... Answered 1 year ago

The idea that the Ka'ba is the "House of God" is metaphorical. It is called the "House of God" because it is an ancient center of worship and a sacred land with special spiritual characteristics that people can physically go to to have a stronger sense of God or the spiritual world. Also, according to narrations, angels frequently visit it.

However, according to mainstream Islamic belief, God does not exist in any physical place or time. This is because the universe is created, and God is not material or confined by space or time. God is aware of everything in the universe and in control of it but not actually in it. (That is, a refutation of pantheism)

Some might say that the universe is a manifestation of God or Gods' attributes, or that material creation is dependent on God for its continued existence, but God is not actually inhabiting the universe. Indeed, in the Qur'an, God introduces the possibility of multiple universes (since "God of all the worlds" can also mean "God of all the universes") and speaks of the creation and destruction of the universe. Of course, sometimes mystics and others have their own ideas about the nature of the divine.