A short text explaining the fundamental Islamic principle of belief in single, unique God. The author explains why this belief is both rational and scientific, and concludes with a section on Tawhid and the attributes of Islam.
To reach God and to prove that origin of existence - apart from its scientific highway and Looking at the wonders of this designed world - pure thought on the truth of encistence in also a clear original method. The philosophy of this highway is considered far better and they choose it. We will read At the beginning of this book, a summary of this phys losiphical highway and in a straight line without an intermediate directs the created towards the Creator. Then the book engaged in scientific reasoning and Presents the esteemed reader in the this field an interesting summary of the several directions of this scientific highway , especially the receptions of today's worlds notable researchers are presented.
In the filed of theology, other than debate on inherent proof, other commotion causing problems are abundantly propounded. In this book a concise and interesting summary of the following diocesans Are also presented to the esteemed reader. For eccample, where does the materialistic world originate from and how could it start? How can a living thing possessing life come from an unloving element. Drawing theory on the coming and development of evolution and to what extent this system is valuable? Whether is the principle of evolution theory agreeable with religion?
What do batter are brought forth by the theory of spontaneous and occidental creation propounded by persons . with acceptance of the truth of the self - Existent (God) and passing the artificial rocky road of that direction, again, the subject of (God) in the arena of special problems and these problems, from the beginning, caused the branching of divine religions to appear. Is the Christian trinity acceptable and agreable? Are Gods attributes as the Christians and yews say agrees with is propounded in their holy books? Comparing Islamic unity and the described God whether Common religions is the subject of the second part of the book.
Finally, we reach part three, the stage of reaping thought and theoretical benefits from the past three debates on principles, or discussions on the superior attributes and virtuous names of God as taught to man by Islam and the Quran- For this reason the Arabic and Quran text of Gods virtuous names and superior attributes, with the translation and transliteration in presented to the entombed reader at the end of the book.
This booklet was initially written for the Bilal Muslim Mission of Tanzania by the renowned Muslim scholar Sayyid Sa'eed Akhtar Rizvi as the second unit of the Islamic Correspondence Course. It deals with the first Article of Faith namely at-Tawhid or Divine Unity.
Since we found the booklet extremely interesting, and our first publication of 5,000 copies was in such great demand by interested readers, this issue was subsequently reprinted more than ten times in large quantities for mass circulation.
Now, in this reprinted edition, the author has completely revised the booklet and has added more facts and information to support his theory.
Finally, we invoke the Almighty Allah for guidance and success in our work.
World Organization for Islamic Services ( WOFIS)
(Board of Writing, Translation and Publication)
Tehran - IRAN.
Belief in God is as natural as any instinct can be. An atheist asked Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq how could he convince him about the existence of God. Coming to know that the man had gone several times on sea voyages, Imam asked him “Have you ever been caught in a fierce storm in middle of nowhere, your rudder gone, your sails torn away, trying desperately to keep your boat afloat?” The answer was `Yes'. Then Imam asked: “And sometimes perhaps even that leaking boat went down leaving you exhausted and helpless on the mercy of raging waves?”
The answer was again `Yes'.
Then Imam asked: “Was not there, in all that black despair, a glimmer of hope in your heart that some unnamed and unknown power could still save you?” When he agreed, Imam said: “That power is God.”
That atheist was intelligent. He knew the truth when he saw it.
We think about thousands and thousands of things. We imagine a horse, a man, an aeroplane, the earth, a train and a book. We see the pictures of these things displayed on the screen of our imagination.
This is called `the existence in imagination' (wujud-i dhihni)
And also a horse, a man, an aeroplane, the earth, a train or a book has its own existence outside our imagination. That is called 'existence outside imagination.' This is the real existence (wujud-i khariji)
Sometimes, we imagine such ideas which can never be found outside our imagination. We may imagine `2 + 2 = 5.' But can 2 + 2 be 5 in real existence? No. We may imagine that a thing exists and also does not exist at the same place at the same time. But can this happen in the world of reality? Certainly not.
Such imagined ideas which can never exist wujud -
Also we imagine a man walking at a certain time. Can this happen in reality? Remove all other ideas from your mind. Just look at the imagined picture of that man walking at a particular time. Now say., is it necessary that that man in reality are called `impossible' (mumtani'u'l) should be walking at that time? Or, on the other side, is it impossible of him to be walking at that time? The answer to both questions is `No'.
Why? Because it is neither essential nor impossible for any man to walk at a given time. He may be walking; he may not be walking. So far as the reason and logic is concerned both his walking and not walking are possible - possible, but not necessary.
Such imagined ideas which have equal relation called `mumkinul-wujud' -Possible, or Transient. They may exist in reality; they may not exist. There is nothing in their nature to demand this or that. So far as their nature is concerned, `To be' and `Not to be' both are equal to them.
So far we have seen two categories of relationship between an imagined idea and its existence in reality with existence and non-existence, are
1. Where that idea has equal relation with existence and non-existence. It may exist; it may not exist. There is nothing in its nature to prefer either side.
2. Where that idea can have absolutely no relation with existence. It, by its very nature is non-existence.
It will appear from above classification that there should be a third category which would be opposite of `Impossible' (mumtani`ul-wujud) mentioned in (2) above.
This third category is of the idea which can have absolutely no relation with non-existence. By its very definition, it is self-existent. Such an idea is called (wajibu'l wujud) `Essential Existence' or 'Absolute Existence'.
Now the picture is complete.
There is much conflict between the points of views of atheists and those who believe in a Supreme-Being Who created the world. Still, there is one important point where both are in complete agreement. Both agree that the basic source or cause of the universe is Eternal - has no beginning and no end; was always and will remain for ever. In other words, it is 'self-existent' or 'wajibu'l-wujud'. The reason for this idea is very simple: As every thing in this universe falls under the category of `mumkinul-wujud' ` Transient,' it has equal relation with existence and non-existence. Once these things did not exist; now they exist; sometime in future they will cease to exist. By their nature, they cannot demand to exist or to cease to exist. Therefore, there must be a source or cause to bring them to existence or to terminate their existence.
And (it is the important point) that source or cause should not itself be just a ` Transient'; otherwise it will itself need a source or cause to bring into existence. And this chain of cause and effect must stop on a cause which needs no outside source or cause for its existence. It means that the final source or cause of bringing this universe into existence must be 'self-existent.' It is interesting to note that even the atheists accept this point, because they say that nothing can come out of nothing, and, therefore, the basic source of existence must be eternal. It is from ever and will remain for ever.
Now comes the first difference. The atheists say that that eternal source of existence is `Matter.' The believers say that that eternal source of existence is God. We will discuss it afterwards. Here it is enough to establish a common ground of belief, and that is the faith that the basic source or cause of the existence of the universe is Eternal - without beginning and without end.
A) By its very definition, Eternal is Self-existent, it could never have been non-existent nor can it ever be terminated. In other words, it has no beginning - because if we suppose for it a beginning we must admit that it was non-existent before that beginning. But we already know that it could never have been non-existent. Therefore, we must accept that the Eternal has no beginning - it is ever-existent.
B) By the same reason, it can have no end. It is ever-lasting, because it can never be non-existent.
C) The Eternal must be self-sufficient. In other words it should be above all needs; it should not be in need of anything. Because, if it needs anything, it will be dependent upon that thing. But by its very definition, . the Eternal does not depend upon anything, as it is Self-existent. In other words, the Eternal must have absolute perfection.
D) The Eternal can be neither compound nor mixture. A compound or mixture depends for its existence upon its parts or components. As we accept that Eternal is Self-existent, we cannot admit that its existence depends upon its components or parts. Moreover, look at any mixture or compound. You will find that the components or parts existed before the resulting mixture or compound. As the Eternal has no beginning, we cannot say that anything preceded it in existence. Otherwise, we will have to imagine a beginning point for the Eternal which is admittedly wrong.
E) The Eternal can be neither a body nor a surface, neither a line nor a point. A body, by its very nature, needs space to be in. As we have already seen, the Eternal should not be in need of anything. It follows that the Eternal cannot be a body. In real existence, a surface needs a body; a line needs a surface; a point needs a line. Eternal needs nothing. Therefore, the Eternal is neither a surface, line nor a point.
Nor can it be anything which is found in a body, like dimension, colour, smell, position, condition or other such things which are called `incorporeal' (arad in philosophical language, because such things depend on a substance or body for their existence - they are not self-existent.
F) The Eternal should not be subject to any change, because if that change be for better, it would mean that the Eternal before that change was not perfect, that is, it was in need of something. But we have already said that the Eternal cannot need anything.
And if that change be for worse, it would mean that the Eternal is now in need of something to make it perfect. And, as just explained, it is not possible. And if that change is just to the same level of perfection, then what is the need or use of such a change?
In fact, the changes may occur either in a substance (body, matter) or in its incorporeal qualities like colour, dimension etc. But it has just been proved that the Eternal can be neither a substance nor an incorporeal quality of another substance.
G) The Eternal must be a living being. Because it is agreed that the Eternal is the source and cause of the existence of the universe. And also it is agreed that nothing can come out of nothing. Now, as we find abundance of life in the universe, we have to admit that the source of all these living things must itself be All-life. It could not bestow life if it had itself no life.
H) The Eternal source of world must be all-knowing (Omniscient). The intricate design of a single atom shows the perfect wisdom embodied in it. The elaborate system and perfect design of universe leaves no doubt that whoever or whatever is the source or cause of the universe is all-knowing.
I) By the same reasoning the Eternal source or cause of the universe must be allpoweful (Omnipotent).
The atheists maintain that the matter is the Eternal source of the universe. It needs no great intelligence to see that matter does not possess any of the qualities of the Eternal mentioned in the previous chapter. Matter has a body and as such it needs space. It is divisible and as such it is made up of several parts. It is constantly changing. But the atheists maintain that matter has no beginning and no end; and therefore, it is eternal.
But the recent theories challenge these two last stands of atheism.
What is `matter'? It is “substance of which a physical thing is made.” Or “anything which has the property of occupying space and the attributes of gravity and inertia.” Before going further it is necessary to point out one important thing. There are, in every branch of science, certain ideas which have no existence in reality. Yet they are assumed to exist in reality just to make it easy for the beginners to understand the arguments of that subject.
Take for example geometry. They teach the children that `point' is a thing having neither length, breadth nor depth. Such a thing has no physical existence. They teach that `line' is a thing having only length, but neither breadth nor depth. This also has no physical existence. In fact, it is only by taking a body (which has all three dimensions - length, breadth and depth) and sub-dividing it in imagination that we can understand the conception of surface, line and point.
Still students of geometry are taught as though these things have real physical existence.
It is done not to deceive the student, but to make it easier for him to understand geometry.
Likewise, in chemistry, the student is taught that matter can neither be created nor destroyed. But it is just a stepping stone so that student can understand further arguments.
Also, it is for this reason that chemistry students are taught separate conservation of matter and energy.
But read the following quotation carefully: “In classical mechanics, mass and energy are considered to be conserved separately; in atomic and nuclear reactions, matter can be converted into energy and vice versa . . . So far as chemistry is concerned, the law of conservation of matter, that is, matter can neither be created nor, destroyed can be assumed to be true.” So you see, the theory that matter is eternal (it is neither created nor destroyed) is just an assumption for the purpose of simplifying the subject for chemistry students. It is a fact that matter changes into energy.
So it is not a thing ever-lasting nor is it a thing which does not change. Thus, we see that matter does not pass the test of eternity - it is not without end, and it is not without change. And as it is supposed that energy can be changed into matter, it is admitted that matter has a beginning. So it is not eternal - it is not without beginning.
It is assumed that when the matter changes into energy, it exists in that form, and, thus they try to prove that matter is ever-lasting-But what is Energy? It is “Capacity of matter to perform work as the result of its motion or its position in relation to forces acting upon it.” So, the energy is not a thing having independent existence. It is an incorporeal thing, that is, it depends upon a matter or substance for its existence. By its very definition, it cannot be found except in a matter. As energy is a dependent thing, it cannot be an eternal thing.
Now, it should be mentioned here that there are two hypotheses, that is, tentative theories, in science about the creation or beginning of the universe (Universe: All created or existing things). First there is the evolutionary theory. This theory says that all the material in the universe was formallly concentrated in a sort of `primeval' (that is, ancient) atom; that the universe was created at one particular moment and that it will eventually die. If this idea is correct then that primitive atom cannot be said to be eternal. A thing which dies, which comes to an end, cannot be said, by any stretch of imagination, to be self-existence, ever-lasting or eternal.
The second hypothesis is called `Steady state' theory. It maintains that the universe has always existed and will exist for ever, and that fresh matter is continually being created. Now the universe is a collection of matter; and they believe that matter is continually being created. In other words, the universe is a compound of created things. How can a collection of created things be called “Eternal” (without beginning) is beyond credulity.
Thus it is clear that, whatever view one takes matter cannot be proved to be eternal ( without beginning and without end). Now, that matter is believed to be constantly created afresh, is known to change into energy, is known to need a shape and a place, is subject to division and constant changes, can it be said that matter is eternal when all its qualities are those of Transient.
Five atheists had had a discussion with the Holy Prophet, at the end of which the Holy Prophet told them “This universe is of such a nature that some of its parts are dependent on some other parts; they cannot exist without those other parts, just as some parts of a structure depend upon other parts for their strength and existence.
And that whole universe is, in this respect like that building. Now, tell me, if that part (which is dependent upon other parts for its strength and existence) is eternal in spite of its dependence and need, then what would have been its quality had it been just transient (possible, not eternal)?” Yes. Let the atheists say what it would have been like if the matter were not eternal?
Now, we come to the last three qualities mentioned in chapter 4. We have already accepted the atheists' notion that nothing comes out of nothing. Now, we see in the universe a most intelligent design and pattern and a most perfect coordination in this unparalleled system. And we see it teeming with life. And, admittedly, matter has no life, and hence no power or knowledge.
Had the matter been the cause or source of the universe, the universe would have been without life; it would have been without system and coordination, because it could not give to universe what it did not possess itself. Is there still need to emphasize in so many words that matter cannot be considered as the source of universe?
Here I give the translation of the discussion of the Holy Prophet with the atheists, a part of which has been mentioned earlier: The Holy Prophet asked them: “What is the reason of your belief that the universe has neither beginning nor end and that these things are from ever and will remain for ever?” Atheists: “We believe only what we see. As we have not seen the beginning of the universe, therefore we say that it has always existed, and as we have not seen its extinction, we say that it will remain for ever.”
Holy Prophet: “Well, have you seen that the universe is without beginning and without end?”
Atheists: “No, we have not seen its being without beginning nor have we seen its being without end.”
Holy Prophet: “Then how do you believe in its eternity? And why should your view be preferred to the view of that person who believes the universe to be transient because he has not seen it being without beginning or without end?”
Then after some more arguments the Holy Prophet asked: “Can you tell me whether the days (time) which have passed on this earth were finite (limited) or infinite (limitless) ? If you say that the time which has passed so far was limitless, then how the later time came in if the former did not pass away?
“And if you say that the time is finite (limited) then you will have to admit that it is not eternal.”
Atheists: “Yes, it is finite.”
Holy Prophet: “Well, you were saying that universe is eternal, not created nor finite. Do you realize what is the implication of your admission that time is finite? What were you denying? What have you admitted? ” Atheists accepted that their belief was not correct.
Incidentally, this argument of the Holy Prophet shows that `time' has unbreakable relation with matter. Otherwise, he could not have introduced the element of time in the discussion about matter. The beauty of this can best be appreciated by only those who have studied the theory of Relativity.
The most simple arguments of ancients on this topics are still valid, in spite of all the complexity of the modern science. An old woman was spinning yarn. Someone asked her why she did believe in God. She stopped her hand and the spindle stopped. She said: “You see, a simple spindle needs a hand to make it revolve. Can you think that this sun, this moon, these stars, all this world moves without any guiding hand?”
Imam `Ali ibn Abi Talib (peace be upon him) was asked for a proof of the existence of the Almighty Designer. He replied: “The faeces of camel and of donkey lead one to conclude that such animals have passed that way. The traces of human feet indicate a man's trek. Do not this magnificent universe, with all its sublimity and this lowly point (the earth) with all its solidity point to the existence of the Almighty Allah, the Sublime and the Omniscient?” Once Abu Shakir ad-Dayasani (an atheist) came to Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (p.b.u.h.) and asked him to guide him to the recognition of “my Supreme Lord.” The Imam asked him to take his seat. There arrived a small child with an egg in his hand.
The Imam, taking the egg from him, addressed Abu Shakir ad-Dayasani: “Here is a mysterious fortress enclosed within a hard shell, underneath which is a fine wrapping which covers molten silver (the albumen of the egg) and some molten gold (the yellow yolk). The molten gold does not get alloyed with the molten silver, nor does the molten silver get mixed with the molten gold. (Yet both are semifluid and they should have mixed together on jerking.)
They retain their separate states. No artist comes out of it to say that he has made any changes therein, nor does any vitiating agent enter it to tell of any vitiation therein. Nor is it known whether it is designed to produce a male or a female. Pea-birds of florid colouration issue therefrom. Do you think it has a Designer (the Omniscient Creator)?
Who has painted all this inside it? And how did the chick come about? Who designed all these variegated hues, the feathers, the limbs, the paintings, the feet, the beak, the wings, the eyes, the ears, the nose, the 33 bowels, the crop, the joints, etc., etc. seeing that no one entered it? ”
Abu Shakir, according to the narration, was absorbed in his thoughts for sometime with his head downcast and then suddenly proclaimed, “I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, the one without peer, and I bear witness that Muhammad (peace be upon him and his progeny) is His servant and prophet, and that you are Imam and Proof of Allah for His creation, and I turn away from my erstwhile attitude.”
When Darwin first published his treatise Origin of Species in 1859, he stirred a thunderous opposition from religious groups. The religious opposition was based, mainly, upon two factors:
1. Darwin asserted - with convincing proofs - that the universe was not made in six days, as described in the Bible, but in a very very long time with so many stages between the first state and the present form; and
2. He denied - without any valid reason, of course - the need of a Supreme Being ( God) in the scheme of the universe. The Jews and Christians of that time believed in the six day-creation quite literally; they could not swallow the idea of the pro tracted creation easily. And so the conflict between Christianity and Science reached its climax in the later half of the 19th century. But what about the Muslims?
The Qur'an says that the skies and the earth were created in six “ayyam ”.The word “ayyam” has two meanings: `days' and `periods'. The Sunni commentators of Qur'an generally followed Ka'bu'l-Ahbar, a former Jew converted to Islam in the days of second Caliph. It was but natural for him to explain the verses of Qur'an in the light of his previous learning. So he imported every Jewish legend into Islam. Though the Qur'an was silent about the details, the Muslims interpreted the `ayahs' in such a way that every detail of Genesis (of the Bible) was incorporated in the commentaries of Qur'an and thus became a part of Sunni religious belief.
But the Shi'ahs commentators rejected the idea of six-days-creation right from the early days of Islam. According to them, `ayydm' in those verses meant `Periods' and not the `days'. For instance, see the commentaries of Qur'an by `Ali ibn Ibrahim al-Qummi (died sometime after 919 A. D.) and Muhsin Fayd (d. 1680 A.D.). Also see the Dictionary of Qur'an and Traditions, by ash-Shaykh Fakhru'd-Din at Tarihi (d. 1676 A. D.). According to them the Qur'an says that the skies and the earth were created in six periods. (Or should we say `in six stages''. )
Therefore, we, the Shi'ahs, have nothing against the theory of gradual Creation, which is embodied in the theory of evolution. More than that, ours is not a belated attempt of reinterpreting our religion - as Christians are doing now to cover the Christianity's defeat by the science. We were thinking on this line one thousand years before Darwin.
But it must be mentioned here that the acceptance of gradual creation does not mean that we endorse the hypothesis of evolution. Evolutionists claim that
1. Living things change from generation to generation producing descendants with new characteristics;
2. This process has produced all the groups and kind of things now living as well as others now extinct;
3. All these different living things are related to each other.
But, as was mentioned in Need of Religion there is not a single fossil-evidence to show that a member of lower species developed into a higher species. It is for this reason that Dr. T. N. Tahmisian (a physiologist for the Atomic Energy Commission) said: “Scientists who go about teaching that evolution is a fact of life are great con men, and the story they are telling may be the greatest hoax ever. In explaining evolution we do not have one iota of fact. ” It is one thing to say, as we say (and the fossils and scientific data support us) that God created this universe in stages and created the things and living beings on earth one after an other with time gaps in between; and quite another, as the Darwinisms or neo-Darwinisms say (and have no evidence to prove it) that the living things on this earth developed from non-living matter and that unicellular organisms developed stage by stage to become a human being.
So much about the first ground of the conflict between religion and science. Now we come to the second ground of the conflict, that is, the denial of God. Here we, the Shi`ahs, as well as other religious (and many scientists of the present generation) are totally against the Darwinism.
The whole deliberation on `evolution' attempts to answer the question “How the universe came into being?” But it does not touch the other big question: “By whom was it created?” But Darwin and his followers said that as they could explain the sequence of the creation and its working method, so it was automatically proved that there was no God. It is just like saying, “As I can explain the working of an automobile and can guess the sequence of its manufacturing, so it is automatically proved that there is no manufacturer of that car.” It may seem absurd as I have put it on paper here. But the more you read their denial of God the more you will be reminded of this fallacy in their arguments.
Now let us look at one more fallacy of atheism. It has already been mentioned in previous chapters. But here it is repeated to com plete the picture. They assert that `thing' cannot come out of `nothing'. Therefore, according to them, it is wrong to say that God created the universe out of nothing. There must be a source of every thing. So, they believe that the Matter is eternal; and every thing is a development of the eternal Matter.
This line of argument goes straight until it reaches the stage where begins the phenomenon called life'. Nobody has ever succeeded in solving the mysteries of life. Nobody knows where the life came from. Having rejected the belief in God, the atheists are compelled to say “We do not know; but the life must have come from the Matter.” Now, Matter is lifeless. If `thing' cannot come from `nothing', how can the `life' come from `lifeless'?
Not only this. Let us proceed further. As they say, there must be a source for everything. And as everybody knows, the Matter is a `thing'. What was the source of `Matter'? These phenomena of the universe cannot be explained without stopping at a certain point and believing that the universe began from it. The atheist say that the Matter is that beginning point. But the Matter is lifeless. So, the existence of life cannot be explained by this theory. And the Matter is senseless. The existence of Sense and Wisdom in the animals and human beings cannot be explained by it.
Therefore, if we are to have a satisfactory theory for the existence of the universe as a whole, we have to accept that there is an Eternal Being Who is the Source of Existence, the Source of Life and the Source of Wisdom. That Being is God.
Why I Am Not A Christian is a collection of Bertrand Russell's essays and papers “on religion and related subjects.” Professor Paul Edwards, the editor of the book, says that these essays are “perhaps the most moving and the most graceful presentation of the free-thinker's position since the days of Hume and Voltaire.” This statement, coupled with the name of Russell, was enough to compel one to study the book with high expectation of scholarly and logical discourses on the subject of religion. Whether those expectations were justified will be seen from a few comments appended below:- The first thing which comes before the eyes is the inconsistency of the arguments. Russell called himself a free-thinker, and during a debate with Rev. F. C. Copleston he said that he was not an atheist but an agnostic.
The position of atheists is that non-existence of God can be proved. The agnostics, on the other hand, say that “man does not and can not in the nature of things know anything about a spiritual existence, either of God or man or of any after-death state.” They assert that “man's only cognition can be of the phenomenal world (that is, the world which may be perceived by one of the five senses)”. According to them, it does not mean that there may not be a noumenal entity (that is, an entity known through intellectual institution only) or soul behind the phenomenal world.
The agnostics repudiate even atheism or materialism on the ground that these theories are dogmatic. They say that if you cannot know a thing, you have no right to reject it. An agnostic's one and only answer to all questions concerning soul, God or spiritual existence is that “we do not know and there are so far no reasonable grounds for believing that we shall ever know. In other words, man, being finite, can never comprehend Infinite.”
Rev. Copleston had asked Russell at the beginning of their debate (in 1948): “Perhaps you would tell me if your position is that of agnosticism or of atheism. I mean, would you say that the non-existence of God can be proved?” Russell replied: “No, I should not say that; my position is agnostic.”
If Russell believed in agnosticism, then his only answer about all questions concerning God, or life after death should have been “I do not know.” Instead, he declares right on the jacket of the book, “I believe that when I die I shall rot, and nothing of my ego will survive.” Another example: Russell says at the beginning of the preface: “I think all the great religions of the world -Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Islam and Communism - both untrue and harmful.
It is evident as a matter of logic that, since they disagree, not more than one of them can be true.” After this statement, one would expect him to look at each of the above religions in turn to prove why even one of them was not true. But he did not feel obliged in any of his essays to bring this argument to its logical end. He just said that, “since they disagree, not more than one of them can be true,” and then arbitrarily concluded that not even one of them was true!
This type of inconsistency goes on from essay to essay; and one finishes the book with a feeling that if these essays would have been written by a lesser being than Russell, the publishers would not have designed to publish them.
The first article Why I Am Not A Christian was delivered as a lecture in 1927; Russell has tried in this lecture to repudiate the arguments of Church for the existence of God. He says: “Perhaps the simplest and easiest to understand is the argument of the First Cause. (It is maintained that every thing we see in this world has a cause, and as you go back in the chain of causes further and further you must come to a First Cause, and to that First Cause you give the name of God.)…
I may say that when I was a young man and was debating these questions very seriously in my mind, I for a long time accepted the argument of the First Cause, until one day, at the age of 18, I read John Stuart Mill's Autobiography and I there found this sentence: `My father taught me that the question, `Who made me?' cannot be answered since it immediately suggests the further question, `Who made God?' That very simple sentence showed me, as I still think, the fallacy in the argument of the First Cause.”
Now, Russell has, perhaps unwittingly, misquoted the arguments of believers. To refresh the memory, the reader is advised to read again Chapter 2 and 3 of this book. There he will find, inter alia, the following sentences: “As every thing in this universe falls under the category of `mumkinu'l-wujud' (Transient), it has equal relation with existence and non-existence. Once these things did not exist; now they exist; sometime in future they will cease to exist. By their nature, they cannot demand to exist or to cease to exist. Therefore, there must be a source or cause to bring them to existence or to terminate their existence.”
And then comes the important point which Russell has missed. The point is that that source or cause should not itself be just Transient. Otherwise it will itself need a source or cause to bring it into existence. And this chain of cause and effect must stop on a cause which needs no outside source or cause for its existence. It means that the final source or cause of this universe must be 'Self-existent'. If one compares the Islamic version of the argument of `The First Cause' (as given in this book) with the version of the Church as pre sented by Russell at the beginning, one finds two important differences.
He said: “Everything we see in this world has a cause.” But he should have said: “Everything we see in this world is transient and as such must have a cause for its existence.” Again, he said: “As you go back in the chain of causes further and further you must come to a First Cause.” But he should have said:” You must come to a Cause which is not transient, which is Self-existent (whose very essence is the existence itself).” Read his version with these amendments, and see how his objections loose every weight. Russell thought it sufficient to scoff at this argument off-handedly. “I can illustrate what seems to me (the believers') fallacy. Every man who exists has a mother and it seems to me (their) argument is that therefore the human race must have a mother, but obviously the human race hasn't a mother.”
It seems to me that it is Russell who is indulging in fallacy. He has failed to note that the believers do not say that `every transient thing has a transient cause, therefore, the whole universe should have a transient cause.' Our argument is that, as all the components of the universe are transient, and as a collection of billions of transient things is still transient, the whole universe is still transient, and as such must have an external cause to bring it into existence. And that cause must be Selfexistent. And as He is Self-existent, the question, `Who made God?' doesn't arise.
Russel further wrote: “If there can be anything without a cause it may just as well be the world as God.”
The reason why the world could not have existed or come into being without a Cause, is that its components some times exist and some times cease to exist. So there is nothing in their essence, in their nature, to demand existence. If they exist, it must be because of a hand which tilted the scale in favour of existence; if they cease to exist it must be because that hand has now tipped the scale towards nonexistence. Russell: “Nor there is any reason why it (the world) should not have always existed.” The claim that the world may have always existed is refuted by all prevalant theories of science: This is quite apart from the fact that a collection of transient things could not exist ” always”.
The reader should read Chapter 7 again, where he will find that whatever view one takes, matter cannot be proved to be eternal (without beginning and without end).
Again he says: “There is no reason why the world could not have come into being without a cause.”
Before commenting further on this sentence, let me quote his words (from the same article) where he refutes the idea that there is any “natural law”.
He writes: “There is, as we all know, a law that if you throw dice you will get double sixes only once in thirty six times, and we do not regard that as evidence that the fall of dice is regulated by design; on the contrary, if the double sixes came every time, we should think that there was design.”
Here Russell admits that if events appeared in the same sequence again and again it would be a proof that there was design. Now, one wonders why he did not spare a few moments looking at the well-planned and superbly-executed movements of the galaxies, stars, planets and moons? Let us suppose that there is someone in outer space who has never heard about earth or human beings. Then one day he sees a space-ship streaking past and after some time another one, and then another one. Of course, their paths are not the same, and the gap between their appearances is not systematic so that it might be measured and estimated in advance. But he knows that each space-ship contains thousands of parts which are well connected to each other and together they form a superbly effecient apparatus.
What would Russel think of him if he were to declare that those space-ships had come into being without a creator?
And how strongly would he have condemned the arrogance of that inhabitant of outer space, if all the space-ships would have been well regulated in their paths and frequency? And, remember that those space-ships have no connection with each other. Compare that with this universe of uncounted millions of galaxies, each having millions of solar systems, each system containing numerous planets, and the planets having their various moons etc. And all of them “bound” together in the chain of gravity, each influencing its neighbour, and in turn being influenced by it. And then think that Mr. Russell says that it was not proof of any design.
Frank Allen, former professor of Biophysics in University of Manitoba, Canada, writes in his articles: The Origin of the World: By Chance of Design: “If in the origin of life there was no design, then living matter must have arisen by chance. Now chance, or probability as it is termed, is a highly developed mathematical theory which applies to that vast range of knowledge that are beyond absolute certainty. This theory puts us in possession of the soundest principles on which to discriminate truth from error, and to calculate the likelihood of the occurrence of and particular form of an event.
“Proteins are the essential constituents of all living cells, and they consist of the five elements, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen and sulphur, with possibly 40,000 atoms in the ponderous molecule. As there are 92 chemical elements in Nature, all distributed at random, the chance that these five elements may come together to form the molecule, the quantity of matter that must be continually shaken up, and the length of time necessary to finish this task, can all be calculated. A Swiss mathematician, Charles Eugen Guye1, has made the computation and finds that the odds against such an occurence are 10 ^ 160 to 1, or only one chance in 10 160, that is, 10 miltiplied by itself 160 times, a number far too large to be expressed in words2.
The amount of matter to be shaken together to produce a single molecule of protein would be millions of times greater than that in the whole universe. For it to occur on the earth alone would require many, almost endless billions ( 10 243 ) of years3.
“Proteins are made from long chains called amino acids. The way those are put together matters enormously. If in the wrong way they will not sustain life and may be poisons. Professor J. B. Leathes (England) has calculated that the links in the chain of quite a simple protein could be put together in millions of ways (10 48 ).4
It is impossible for all these chances to have coincided to build one molecule of protein.” But there are incalculable billions of molecules of protein in only one human body, let alone the whole earth. They are created systematically and still Russell clings to his theory of chance Frank Allen goes on to say: “But proteins as chemicals are without life. It is only where the mysterious life comes into them that they live. Only Infinite Mind, that is God, could have foreseen that such a molecule could be the abode of life, could have constructed it, and made it live.”
Russell has endeavoured to challenge this argument in these words: “You all know the argument from design: everything in the world is made just so that we can manage to live in the world, and if the world was ever so little different we could not manage to live in it. That is the argument from design. It sometimes takes a rather curious form; for instance, it is argued that rabbits have white tails in order to be easy to shoot. I do not know how rabbits would view that application. It is an easy argument to parody. You all know Voltaire's remark, that obviously the nose was designed to be such as to fit spectacles. That sort of parody has turned out to be not nearly so wide of the mark as it might have seemed in the eighteenth century, because since the time of Darwin we understand much better why living creatures are adapted to their environment. It is not that their environment was made to be suitable to them, but they grew to be suitable to it, and that is the basis of adaption. There is no evidence of design about it. ”
Let us suppose, for the time being, that the living creatures adapted themselves to their environment. But was Russell really blind to the fact that long long before the “living creatures” came on this earth, this earth, its atmosphere, its whole structure, together with its relations with sun and other planets and moon had been “made” in such a way that the life became possible at all. Does he want us to believe that the living things, that is, the animals and man, before their own existence, influenced the whole system of universe in general, and that of this earth in particular, so that they might be born here untold millions of year in future?
Frank Allen writes in the same article: “The adjustments of the earth for life are far too numerous to be accounted for by chance. First, the earth is a sphere freely poised in space in daily rotation on its polar axis, giving the alternation of day and night, and in yearly revolution around the sun. These motions give stability to its orientation in space, and, coupled with the inclination (23 degrees) of the polar axis to the place of its revolution (the ecliptic), affords regularity to the seasons, thus doubling the habitable area of the earth and providing a greater diversity of plant life than a stationary globe could sustain.
Secondly, the atmosphere of life-supporting gases is sufficiently high (about 500 miles) and dense to blanket the earth against the dead ly impact of twenty million meteors that daily enter it at speeds of about thirty miles per second. Among many other functions the atmosphere also maintains the temperature within safe limits for life; and carries the vital supply of fresh water-vapour far inland from the oceans to irrigate the earth, without which it would become a lifeless desert. Thus the oceans, with the atmosphere, are the balancewheel of Nature.
“Four remarkable properties of water, its power of absorbing vast quantities of oxygen at low temperatures, its maximum density at 4 degrees `C' above freezing whereby lakes and rivers remain liquid, the lesser density of ice than water so that it remains on the surface, and the power of releasing great quantities of heat as it freezes, preserve life in oceans, lakes and rivers throughout the long winters. “The dry land is a stable platform for much terrestrial life. The soil provides the minerals which plant life assimilates and trans forms into needful foods for animals. The presence of metals near the surface renders the arts of civilization possible.
“The diminutive size of the earth compared with the immensity of space is sometimes disparagingly referred to. If the earth were as small as the moon, if one-fourth its present diameter, the force of gravity (one sixth that of the earth) would fail to hold both atmosphere and water, and temperatures would be fatally extreme. If double its present diameter, the enlarged earth would have four times its present surface and twice its force of gravity, the atmosphere would be dangerously reduced in height, and its pressure would be increased from 15 to 30 pounds per square inch, with serious repercussions upon life. The winter areas would be greatly increased and the regions of habitability would be seriously diminished. Communities of people would be isolated, travel and communication rendered difficult or almost impossible.
“If our earth were of the size of the sun, but retaining its density, gravity would be 150 times as great, the atmosphere diminished to about four miles in height, evaporation of water rendered imposssible, and pressures increased to over a ton per square inch. A one-pound ani- mal would weigh 150 pounds, and human beings reduced in size to that of say, a squirrel. Intellectual life would be impossible to such creatures. “If the earth were removed to double its present distance from the sun, the heat received would be reduced to one-fourth of its present amount, the orbital velocity would be only onehalf, the winter season would be doubled in length and life would be frozen out. If its solar distance were halved, the heat received would be four times as great, the orbital velocity would be doubled, seasons would be halved in length, if changes could even be effected, and the planet would be too parched to sustain life. In size and distance from the sun, and in orbital velocity, the earth is able to sustain life, so that mankind can enjoy physical, intellectual and spiritual life as it now prevails.”
As was mentioned earlier, Russell claimed to be an agnostic. If we take that claim on its face-value, then the best and safest course for him would have been to believe in a Creator and Day of Judgement.
Here is a tradition of Imam Ja'far as- Sadiq (p. b. u. h.)
Ibn Abi al-`Awja' and Ibn al-Mugaffa` were sitting in Masjidu'l-haram at the time of pilgrimage, with some of their fellow atheists. (They pretended to be Muslims just to save their skins; but were always openly arguing against the belief in God.) Ibn al-Mugaffa` said pointing towards the space around Ka'bah: “Do you see this mob? There is none among them who may be called human being except that old man (that is, Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq - p.b.u.h.). As for the others, they are just tattles and animals.” Ibn Abi al-`Awja' asked how could he say such a thing?
Ibn al-Mugaffa` said: “Because I found with him (the virtues and knowledge) which I did not find anywhere else.”
Ibn Abi al-`Awja' said: “Now it is necessary to test whether what you say is true.” Ibn al-Mugaffa` tried to dissuade him from it. But Ibn Abi al-`Awja' went to the Imam. lie came back after sometime and said: “O' Ibn al Mugaffa`, he is not just human being. If there were in this world a spiritual thing . . . which becomes a body if wishes so, and turns into a spirit if wants so, then it is he.”
Ibn al-Mugaffa` said: “How-come?” Ibn Abi al-`Awja' said: “I sat near him. When all others went away, he started talking ( without my asking anything) and said ` If the fact is as they believe and it is as they (that is, the pilgrims) say, then they would be saved and you would be in trouble. And if the fact is as you (atheists) say, and not as they say, then you and they both would be equal (and no harm would come to anybody)' “I said: `May Allah have mercy on you, what is it which we say and what is it which they say? My belief and their belief is but one.' “Imam said: `How could your belief and their belief be the same ? They say that there is to be resurrection, and reward and punishment; and they believe that there is a God.' ” (And you do not believe it).
Imam meant that if there was in reality no God and no Day of Judgement, as Ibn Abi al-`Awja' said, then the believers and non believers will be in the same position after death. Both will perish for ever and nobody would suffer for his belief or dis-belief. On the other hand, if there is a God and a Day of Judgement, as the believers say, then after death the believers would be saved and would be blessed, while the atheists and non-believers would have to suffer. Therefore, it is the dictate of wisdom to have Faith and Belief in God and Day of Judgement, to save oneself from the possibility of disgrace and eternal punishment. The reader should also see the chapter “Pascal's Bet” in Need of Religion.
A unique pattern of the universe is emerging with the advent of science. There was a time when the earth was considered to be the centre of the universe; and the universe was confined within nine skies. Our fifth Imam, Muhammad al-Baqir (p.b.u.h.) explained to his companions that there were inumerable worlds besides what they knew about. But, strangely, the Muslims ignored his teachings and followed the pagan philosophers, like Ptolemy, who thought and taught that the earth was stationary and the heavenly bodies revolved around it. Consequently, the gate of knowledge remained shut against them for more than one thousand years. Then came a time when the people explored the Solar system by the help of telescopes. So, they gave the Sun the pride of place. Now we know that our Solar system is but an insignificant family of Planets placed at the edge of the huge galaxy which we call Milky Way.
We see the moon rotating around the earth, like a happy child dancing brightly around its mother. There are eight other planets, besides our earth, in the solar family; and five of them have got satellites of their own. Mars and Neptune have two moons each; Jupitor has twelve moons and satellites; Saturn has nine and Uranus five moons. All the moons and satellites rotate round their planets. And all these planets, in turn, rotate round the sun, which may be called the Head of Family.
Now, let us trace back our steps, before going further.
All these stars, planets and satellites are made of atoms. And atom itself is just a miniature solar system. Formerly it was believed that atoms were immutable entities, that is, they could not be divided. Now the atoms are known to have so many particles; the belief in their indestructibility has been shattered away. Atoms consist of a nucleus and a number of electrons. The nucleus is built from simple particles: neutrons and protons. The nucleus is located at the centre of the atom and is surrounded by electrons.
It should be mentioned here, to make the picture more clear, that the nucleus of an atom is a particle of very small radius, but of exceedingly great density. In plain words, all the atomic mass (except a negligible fraction) is concentrated in the nucleus, while the size of the nucleus is less than one hundred thousandth of the size of atom. And don't forget that more than 100,000,000 atoms can be put side by side in one centimetre. Now, as we have stated earlier, the atom is a world in itself. The Protons and Neutrons behave as though they were rotating around their own axis, like rotating tops. Their spin suggests the idea of an internal rotation.
Thus, we see that there is a single pattern of operation, right from the smallest sub-atomic particles to the mighty solar system. But this is not the end of the story. As we have known, the sun, together with its family, is placed on the brink of the Milky Way. “If we could view the Milky Way from a vast distance and see it as a whole, we should observe a rather flat wheel of stars with spiral arms -something like the sparks of a Catherine wheel.” It consists of many millions separate stars like our sun. This system of stars is physically connected by gravitational forces and moves through space as a whole. It is called a Galaxy. If we think that our solar system is a family of stars, a galaxy may be called a very big tribe consisting of millions and millions of such families.
The multitude of galaxies were unknown in the past. By about 1920 it was thought that there were at least 500,000 galaxies. Now, with the advent of the powerful telescopes this number rose to 100,000,000, and is being increased further day by day. So far as the eyes of cameras and telescopes can see, there are clusters and clusters of galaxies.
Human knowledge, at present, is in its infancy. Nobody knows what is beyond these galaxies. Nor we know much about the nature of their movement. Qur'an says that
“Allah has decorated the nearest sky with these lamps” (that is, the stars) (67: 5).
So we know that until now, we have not seen the end of even the first sky. And who knows what wonders are hidden beyond the first sky!
“You have not been given knowledge but a little” ( Qur'an, 17:85)
So, let us confine our talks to the little we know about. We know that the particles of atoms are rotating around their axis; satellites are ro tating around their planets; planets are rotating around their stars; and stars along with their dependant families, are rotating in the galaxies. Our faith in the Unity of God is the purest in the world. We have given countless proofs I'm our belief in the last fourteen centuries. Now the science has opened a new path, which, also, leads to the belief in the Unity of God. It may be described briefly, in these words: “The uniform pattern of the universe is an indisputable proof that all this has been made by one, and only one, Creator.”
When we see two identical watches, we need not be told that they are made in the same factory. On the same ground, when we see all the universe woven into a single entity; all its components governed by the same laws, all its parts operated on the same pattern, our natural instinct guides us to believe that it is created, made and controlled by One and only One Creator.
And there is a great difference between the watches and the universe. Watches may be imitated or duplicated by imposters and forgerers. But, as the scientists say, “by definition there is only one universe. One cannot repeat it or do experiments with it.” So, we need not bother ourselves with thought of any imitation-gods. If the universe - the thing made -cannot be more than one, how Allah - the Maker - can be more than One?
Now we should have a look at living things. There also we see the same uniformity of design in bone-structure. It is quite amusing to see the atheists use this uniformity to prove that there is no God. They say that “Because all the living beings are developed systematically and because, for instance, the skeletons of Gibbons, Orange, Chimpanzee, Gorilla, and man are quite similar in construction, it is proved that they have not been made by any Creator.”
Suppose there had been no system in the universe nor in the structure of living beings and they had used that lack of method against the existence of any Creator, it could have made sense. But astonishingly enough, they are using the unique and perfect system of the universe and the living beings against the Omniscient and Omnipotent God. Any body can see the absurdity of this argument. Because the perfectness of the universe is an irrefutable proof that it has not been made by a blind and senseless nature. Ironically enough, they are using an argument which is basically against their claim.
Darwinists may use this single and uniform pattern of Creation against those who believe that different things were created by different gods. They may use it against those who say that, for instance, cow was created by a good-natured creator and snake was made by another badnatured god. But how can they use it against the belief of One Creator Who created all the things according to His own systematic plan? It is quite obvious that Darwin failed in drawing the conclusion. He could not see the Eternal Truth, which his evidence was pointing at. The evidence, gathered by him, is crying out loudly that all the universe, living or without life, has been created by One and only One, Allah, Who is Omnipotent and Omniscient.
(This article of Mr. A. Cressy Morrison, former President of the New York Academy of Sciences, first appeared in the Reader's Digest [January 19481 ; then on recommendation of Professor C. A. Coulson, F.R.S., Professor of Mathematics at Oxford University, was republished in the Reader's Digest [ Novermber, 1960]. It shows how the science compels the scientists to admit the essential need of a Supreme Creator.)
We are still in the dawn of the scientific age and every increase of light reveals more brightly the handiwork of an intelligent Creator. In the ninety years since Darwin we have made stupendous discoveries; with a spirit of scientific humility and of faith grounded in knowledge we are approaching even nearer to an awareness of God.
For myself, I count seven reasons for my faith:
First: By unwavering mathematical law we can prove that our universe was designed and executed by a great engineering Intelligence. Suppose you put ten coins, marked from one to ten, into your pocket and give them a good shuffle. Now try to take them out in sequence from one to ten, putting back the coin each time and shaking them all again. Mathematically we know that your chance of first drawing number is one in ten; of drawing one and two in succession, one in hundred; of drawing one, two and three in succession, one in a thousand, and so on; your chance of drawing them all, from one to number ten in succession, would reach the unbelievable figure of one chance in ten thousand million. By the same reasoning, so many exacting conditions are necessary for life on earth that they could not possibly exist in proper relation ship by chance.
The earth rotates on its axis at one thousand miles an hour; if it turned at one hundred miles an hour, our days and nights would be ten times as long as now, and the hot sun would then burn up our vegetation during each long day while in the long night any surviving sprout would freeze.
Again, the sun, source of our life, has a surface temperature of 12,000 degrees Fahrenheit, and our earth is just far enough away so that this “eternal fire” warms us just enough and not too much! If the sun gave off only one half its present radiation, we would freeze, and if it gave half as much more, we would roast. The slant of the earth, tilted at an angle of 23 degrees, gives us our seasons; if it had not been so tilted, vapours from the ocean would move north and south, piling up for us continents of ice. If our moon was, say, only fifty thousand miles away instead of its actual distance our tides would be so enormous that twice a day all continents would be submerged; even the mountains would soon be eroded away. If the crust of the earth had been only ten feet thicker, there would be no oxygen without which animal life must die. Had the ocean been a few feet deeper, carbon dioxide and oxygen would have been absorbed and no vegetable life could exist. Or if our atmosphere had been thinner, some of the meteors, now burned in space by the million every day, would be striking all parts of the earth, starting fires everywhere.
Because of these, and host of other examples, there is not one chance in millions that life on our planet is an accident.
Second: The resourcefulness of life to accomplish its purpose is a manifestation of all-pervading intelligence. What life itself is no man has fathomed. It has neither weight nor dimensions, but it does have force; a growing root will crack a rock. Life has conquered water, land and air, mastering the elements, compelling them to dissolve and reform their combinations.
Life, the sculptor, shapes all living things; an artist, it designs every leaf of every tree, and colours every flower. Life is a musician and has each bird sing its love songs, the insects to call each other in the music of their multitudinous sounds. Life is a sublime chemist, giving taste to fruits and spices, and perfume to the rose changing water and carbonic acid into sugar and wood and, in so doing, releasing oxygen that animals may have the breath of life. Behold an almost invisible drop of protoplasm, transparent and jelly-like, capable of motion, drawing energy from the sun. This single cell, this transparent mistlike droplet, holds within itself the germ of life, and has the power to distribute this life to every living thing, great and small. The powers of this droplet are greater than our vegetation and animals and people, for all life came from it. Nature did not create life; fire-blistered rocks and a saltless sea could not meet the necessary requirements. “Who, then, has put it here?”
Third: Animal wisdom speaks irresistibly of a good Creator who infused instinct into otherwise helpless little creatures. The young salmon spends years at sea, then comes back to his own river, and travels up the very side of the river into which flows the tributary where he was born. What brings him back so precisely? If you transfer him to another tributary he will know at once that he is off his course and he will fight his way down and back to the main stream and then turn up against the current to finish his destiny more accurately.
Even more difficult to solve is the mystery of eels. These amazing creatures migrate at maturity from all ponds and rivers everywhere those from Europe across thousands of miles of ocean - all bound for the same abysmal deeps near Bermuda. There they breed and die. The little ones, with no apparent means of knowing anything except that they are in a wilderness of water, nevertheless find their way back not only to the very shore from which their parents came but thence to the rivers, lakes or little ponds so that each body of water is always populated with eels. No American eel has ever been caught in Europe, no European eel in American waters.
Nature has even delayed the maturity of the European eel by a year or more to make up for its l onger journey. Where does the directing impulse originate ?
A wasp overpower a grasshopper, dig a hole in the earth, sting the grasshopper in exactly the right place so that he does not die but becomes unconscious and lives on as a form of preserved meat. Then the wasp will lay her eggs handily so that her children when they hatch can nibble without killing the insect on which they feed; to them dead meat would be fatal. The mother then flies away and dies; she never sees her young. Surely the wasp must have done all this right the first time and every time, or else there would be no wasp. Such mysterious techniques cannot be explained by adaption; they were bestowed.
Fourth: Man has something more than animal instinct – the power of reason. No other animal has ever left a record of its ability to count ten or even to understand the meaning of ten. Where instinct is like a single note of a flute, beautiful but limited, the human brain contains all the notes of all the instruments in the orchestra. No need to belabour this fourth point; thanks to the human reason we can contemplate the possibility that we are what we are only because we have received a spark of universe intelligence.
Fifth: Provision for all living is revealed in phenomena which we know today but which Darwin did not know - such as the wonders of genes. So unspeakably tiny are these genes that, if all of them responsible for all living people in the world could be put in one place, there would be less than a thimbleful. Yet these ultramicroscopic genes and their companions, the chromosomes, inhabit every living cell and are the absolute keys to all human, animal and vegetable characteristics. A thimble is a small place in which to put all the individual characteristics of two thousand million human beings. However, the facts are beyond question. Well then, how do genes lock up all the normal heredity of a multitude of ancestors and preserve the psychology of each in such an infinitely small place? Here evolution really begins - at the cell, the entity which holds and carries genes. How a few million atoms, locked up as an ultramicroscopic gene, can absolutely rule all on earth is an example of profound cunning and provision that could emanate only from a Creative Intelligence – no other hypothesis will serve.
Sixth: By the economy of nature, we are forced to realize that only infinite wisdom could have foreseen and prepared with such astute husbandry.
Many years ago a species of cactus was planted in Australia as a protective fence. Having no insect enemies in Australia the cactus soon begun a prodigious growth; the alarming abundance persisted until the plants covered an area as long and wide as England, crowding inhabitants out of the towns and villages, and destroying their farms. Seeking a defence, the entomologists scoured the world; finally they turned up an insect which exclusively feeds on cactus, and would eat nothing else.
It would breed freely too; and it had no enemies in Australia. So animal soon conquered vegetable and today the cactus pest has retreated, and with it all but a small protective residue of the insects enough to hold the cactus in check for ever. Such checks and balances have been universelly provided. Why have not fast-breeding insects dominated the earth? Because they have no lungs such as man possesses; they breathe through tubes. But when insects grow large, their tubes do not grow in ratio to the increasing size of the body. Hence there has never been an insect of great size; this limitation on growth has held them all in check.
If this physical check had not been provided, man could not exist. Imagine meeting a hornet as big as a lion!
Seventh: The fact that man conceive the idea of God is in itself a unique proof. The conception of god rises from a divine faculty of man, unshared with the rest of our world - the faculty we call imagination. By its power, man and man alone can find the evidence of things unseen. The vista that power opens up is unbounded; indeed, as man is perfected imagination becomes a spiritual reality. He may discern in all the evidence of design and purpose the great truth that heaven is wherever and whatever is; that God is everywhere and in everything, but nowhere so close as in our hearts. It is scientifically as well as imaginatively true; in the words of the psalmist: “The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament sheweth His handiwork.”
Now that our talk is going to be centered on the theme “God is One,” let us clarify what we mean by “One” in this sentence.
The word “one” in our daily conversation conveys any of the following meanings:
1. “Man” and “Horse” are one (because both are mammals). Here `one' describes that both man and horse belong to the same genus.
2. “Bakr” and “Smith” are one. `One' here shows that both are of the same species.
3. You say pointing to two carpenters that they are one. Here `one' means that both have the same profession, or the same adjective can be used for both.
4. Churchill was an orator, writer, soldier and statesman. You may say that his oratory, penmanship, soldiership and statesmanship were one, because they were combined in one person.
5. One pint milk and one pint water are ` one', because both have the same quantity.
6. Hot milk and hot water are `one', because both are in the same condition.
7. John and Smith are standing. You may say `They are one', because both are in the same position.
8. Khalid has two sons, Bakr and `Umar. Bakr and `Umar are one, because they have the same relation with Khalid.
9. A human-body or a chair is one because its components or parts are joined together. (But if the parts are disjoined or disintegrated, this `one' will become millions.)
10. The beginning of counting is called ` one', as the beginning of theoretical line is called point. This `one' is followed by countless numbers.
11. A matchless or unique person or thing is called one, as, for example, we may say that the sun within our solar system is ` one' because it has no equal within this system.
But all these meanings of `Unity' carry the idea of `duality' or `plurality', because meanings nos. 1 to 9 show that `two' or `more' things are `one' in some respect. So `two' or ` more' are always present in these meanings. ` One' as beginning of number or count presupposes more than one thing.
A unique thing may be called one, but it is just a metaphorical use which has no relation with reality, because that unique thing, being made of matter, has millions of parts - is not one. When we say `God is One', we take none of these meanings in consideration. Unity of God means that He has no parts, no body; He is not divisible even in imagination.
God cannot be more than one. Why this bold assertion? There are various reasons. In addition to some of the proofs given earlier, here are two more: -
First Proof: It has been proved earlier that God is Eternal. And also it has been proved that Eternal cannot be a compound, mixture or mixed thing.
Now suppose there are two identical pens. They are similar in shape, size, colour and all qualities. Still, they are two, each having a separate identity. So, each pen has two kinds of qualities: first, the common qualities which make one pen similar to the other; second, the distinguishing qualities which give each pen its separate entity and identity. In other words, each pen of the set is a compound of mixed lot of two separate properties. This happens in all examples where two similar things exist side by side. It would surely happen if two Eternals were to exist side by side.
It means that if there were two Eternals they would both be compound. Each would have a common quality, that is, Eternity; and a distinguishing quality which would give it a separate personality. This would mean that' Eternal would be a compound, which we already have proved to be impossible. Therefore, God being Eternal cannot be more than one.
Second Proof: Suppose there were two gods. Could one of them over-ride the decision of the other? If yes, then the second one is weaker than the first, and therefore is not omnipotent, not a god at all. If `No', then the first one is weaker than the second, and therefore not omnipotent, not a god at all. And if both think and act exactly on similar lines, then what is the need to suppose two gods at all? One god is enough to run this universe!
'Shirk' literally means `partnership'. In Islamic terminology, it is used for the belief of ` polytheism' (believing in more than one god) and `pantheism', (believing that everything in the world is a part of god).
Polytheism is found in a variety of disguises. Some details are given here mostly from the Urdu book Tawhid awr `adl (Unity and Justice of God) of Mawlana Muhammad Mustafa Jawhar of Karachi: “There is some difference of opinion about `oneness' of God. For example:
“1. Some say that God is not alone in Eternity. He has some colleagues in His Eternity. As, for instance, Christians believe that Jesus Christ and Holy Ghost are partners of God in godship - and it is evident that they could not be said to be partners in godship unless they themselves were believed to be eternal. “And the believers in -transmigration of soul believe that matter and soul both were eternal like God. If they discard the belief of the eternity of matter and soul, they will have to discard the belief of the transmigration of soul also.
“2. Resulting from the above belief, is the belief that there are partners in the attributes and qualities of God, as Christians believe about Jesus Christ. Because if Jesus Christ was not sharing the attributes and qualities of godhead, he could not be called a god.
“3. Some groups believe that there were partners in the actions of God, i.e., they were his helpers or partners in creation and control of the universe, as the Greek philosophers believed in `ten intellects' who created the whole universe.
“4. Some people believe and say that God has no partner in his eternity, qualities and actions, but he has partners in worship. Such people are mainly called “mushrik ” in the Qur'anic terminology.
“Such mushriks were the idol-worshippers of Arabia and their ideology is shared by the idol-worshippers in India and other places.
“5. The last group is of those people who thought that God has no partner in his Eternity, attributes, actions and worship; but they believed themselves to be independent of Allah in their actions. Such was the case of ` al-Qadiriyyah' (Qadirites) in Islam, who said that Allah had no power over man's actions. Such belief means that man is not dependent upon Allah; rather he shares in the authority of Allah concerning his own activities. ”
Thus there are five types of shirk:
(1) shirk in the person and Eternity of God,
(2) shirk in the Attributes of God,
(3) shirk in the Action of God,
(4) shirk in the worship of God, and
(5) shirk in the Authority of God.
All such beliefs are vehemently and clearly rejected and refuted in the Qur'an.
Chapter 7 and 9 contain a discussion of the Holy Prophet with atheists. It was a part of a great discussion in which thirty-five rep resentatives of five religions (Jews, Christians, Atheists, Dualists that is Parsecs, and Polytheists that is mushrikin) came to him' and held discussions with him. In the ,end all accepted the truth of Islam and became Muslims. It is the ;beauty of the arguments put forward by the Holy Prophet that he explained highly philosophical subjects in such a simple language that even a layman could easily understand it. It is a master-piece of “Wisdom and good preaching.”
By the way, there are people who assert day in day out that the Holy Prophet learned from Judaism and Christianity. This discussion is a challenge to them. Let them produce such irrefutable argument from Jewish and Christian literature of early centuries before Islam. It will not be out of place to mention that these apparently simple arguments hold their ground even today and they are as much valid today as they were 1,400 years ago.
The discussion is narrated by Imam al-Hasan ibn `Ali al` Askari (p.b.u.h.) in his tafsir, (commentary), and al-`Allamah at-Tabarsi has copied it in his famous al-Ihtijaj (vol.I); it has been translated ( with short comments) into Urdu by Mawlana Muhammad Mustafa `Jawhar' of Karachi and published twice. All three books are in my library.
The Holy Prophet had started his talks with Jews, then went on conversing with Christians, atheists, dualists and lastly_ with idolworshippers. Because of the arrangement of this booklet the arguments against atheists were given in the first part. Now the remaining four discussions are given here.
Jews of Arabia in the days of Holy Prophet had lost their original beliefs. Being in touch with idol-worshippers and Christians, they also had started the dogma of God having a son. As `Uzayr1 had re-written Torah after it had been 1.
The Holy Prophet: “Why `Uzayr was son of God and Moses was not, as Moses brought Torah from God for the first time and bringing it first time is far more important than rewriting it?
“Moreover, Moses showed many miracles which `Uzayr did not show. Therefore, if `Uzayr was son of God because God gave him the honour of re-writing Torah, Moses is far more deserving to be the son of God.
“Also, I take it that by sonship you do not mean that relationship which is established when a child is born from the womb of his mother after his parents establish sexual intercourse.”
Jews confirmed it, saying that when they said that `Uzayr was son of God, they did not mean sonship by birth, but because of his honour with God. It has the same meaning as many teachers call their favourite pupil “my son ”.
The Holy Prophet said that he already had answered that argument when he said that by that standard Moses was more deserving to be called the son of God.
And so far as the example of an elder calling some unrelated youth as “my son” is concerned, let us look at such uses a bit further.
You must have seen that the same elder, while showing respect to some great scholar, calls him “my brother” or “my elder” or “my chief” or even “my father”.
Basing on such usage, will you say that Moses (who was more honoured than `Uzayr before God) should be called “Brother of God” or “Elder of God” or “Chief of God?” The Jews could not answer it and after some deliberation accepted Islam.
Christians had expressed their belief that God is one with Jesus and that Jesus was son of God.
The Holy Prophet asked them what they meant by saying that eternal God is one with his son Jesus?
“Do you mean that the eternal (that is, God) became mortal as Jesus was?
“If you say so, it is impossible that eternal which has neither beginning nor end should become mortal, which has both beginning and end. Or do you mean that mortal (Jesus) became eternal as God is ?
“But this also is impossible, because how can a thing which was created after non-existence be eternal ?
“Or do you mean by this sentence (God is one with Jesus) that God gave Jesus honour which was not given to anyone else?
“If so, then you will have to accept that Jesus was not eternal, as he was created; and that his quality of getting honour from God is also not eternal, because he got it after his being created. And in that case, Jesus cannot be one with God because eternal and transient cannot combine together.”
Christians: “When God showed many wonderful miracles on the hand of Jesus, He made him His son as an honour.”
The Holy Prophet drew their attention to what he had already told Jews on the subject of ` Uzayr and sonship of God, and repeated that argument. The Christians could not answer the arguments.
Then after some deliberation one of them said that the scriptures have reported Jesus as saying, “I am going to my father.” (This argument is based on the understanding that Jesus himself claimed that God was his father, and as the Holy Prophet accepted Jesus as a true prophet, his claim could not be wrong).
The Holy Prophet said that the wording They said: “We find two kinds of things in this world - good and evil. These are opposites and we believe that the creator of good cannot be the creator of evil, and vice versa. These two opposites cannot be found together. “Don't you see that snow cannot give warmth and fire cannot make cool? That is why we believe two separate creators for good and evil and they are represented by light and darkness and both are eternal.”
The Holy Prophet said: “Pray tell me, have not you found in this world different colours-black, white, red, yellow, green and blue? Is it not a fact that none of these colours can be found with another colour in same place at same time?”
Dualists: “Yes. No two of these colours can be found in one place at same time.” The Holy Prophet said: Then, according to your thinking, you must believe that there is a separate creator for each one of these colours.” The Dualists could not give any answer to that argument.
Then the Holy Prophet asked them that light and darkness being opposites, how did it happen that both joined hands in creation and their creatures (good and evil) are together in this world? Doesn't it mean that there is a Superior power who has brought these opposites together?
They took time pondering upon these points and finally accepted Islam.
Then the Holy Prophet asked the idol worshippers why they worshipped the idols instead of the one Almighty God.
They said: “We seek to be nearer to God through these idols.”
The Holy Prophet: “Do these idols hear? Are they pious and obedient servants of God? How can you seek nearness to God through them ? ”
Idol-worshippers: “No. They do not hear.” Holy Prophet: “And the fact is that you have carved these idols by your own hands. So, if these had ability to worship, it was incumbent upon them to worship you (because you are their creator) not that you should worship them. “Moreover, God has never allowed you to worship idols (so how can you be nearer to God through these idols, without any authority from God?).”
On hearing this argument, the idol-worshippers split into three groups:-
One group said: “These are the images of those persons in whom God was incarnated. Thus we worship God by worshipping the im ages of those persons who were incarnation of God. ”
The Holy Prophet said:
1. ” Your belief that God was incarnated in anybody is absolutely wrong because you have made the Creator like His creatures. Don't you see that God cannot be incarnated in anything unless that thing surrounds God. (But how can anything surround God?)
2. “Also what will be the difference between God and other things which are found in a body (like colour, taste, smell, hardness or softness, heaviness or lightness). All these things are found in other things, and have no independent existence. Is God also like this?
3. “Lastly, when you attribute to God a quality (incarnation) which is the quality of a transient (of a thing which was created after non-existence), then why not believe that all qualities of a transient are found in Him. I mean, you must also believe that God changes and deteriorates and dies, because the body of His supposed incarnation changes and deteriorates and dies. It is impossible for the content not to change with the changes of the receptacle!
“All these considerations prove that it is impossible for God to be incarnated in any body. “And when incarnation is wrong, there remains no basis for your belief that God was incarnated in some of His creatures and that these idols are the image of such persons.” The second group said that those idols were the images of those of past generations who were very obedient to God. “He carved their images and worship them with a view to glorify God through their worship.”
The Holy Prophet asked them: “Pray tell me what kind of worship have you saved for Almighty God, when you are worshipping these images by prostrating before them, praying to them, and putting your head before them? “Don't you know that it is the right of God that He should not be thought equal to His servant? If you honour a King in the same way as you honour his servant, will not it be an insult to the King? ”
Idol-worshippers: “Yes. It is true.”
The Holy Prophet: “Then, don't you realize that by worshipping the images of the. creatures, you are insulting the Creator ? ” the last group said: “God created Adam and ordered the angels to prostrate before him. We are more deserving to prostrate before Adam (because we are his children). As Adam is not alive today, we have carved his image to prostrate before it and to seek nearness to God through that worship.”
the Holy Prophet told them: “Accepted that God ordered the angels to prostrate before Adam. But has He ordered you to prostrate before the image of Adam? Adam and his image are not one and same thing. How are you sure that God is riot displeased with your prostration before Adam's image?
“Look at it in this way. If a man allows you to enter his house one day, do you have any right to enter that house next day? Or to enter his other house the same day ? “If a man gives you a gift of one of his clothes, or one of his horses, arc you justified in taking it?”
Idol-worshippers: “Yes, we will take it.” The Holy Prophet: “If you don't accept that cloth or horse, do you halve any right to take his other cloth or horse without his permission ? ”
Idol-worshippers: “No. Because he had gifted the first cloth or horse, but not the other.”
The Holy Prophet: “Who has more right that his property should not be used without his permission: God or His creatures?” Idol-worshippers: “God has more right that His property should not be infringed upon.”
The Holy Prophet: “Then why are you contravening this principle? When and where has God allowed you to worship the idols?” After some consideration, all of them became Muslim.
It will be seen from above-mentioned discussion how Islam, for the first time in history of religions, explained “at-tawhid” (Oneness of God) in such a way that there was no misunderstanding afterwards.
The Jews believed in one God, but theirs was not the universal but tribal god. And even then, they had fallen in the pitfall of giving ` Uzayr the title of `son of God.'
It is the direct result of the teaching of Islam that Jews left calling a man `son of God'. Christians are trying to re-interprete the dogma of Trinity; Hindus were compelled to rediscover that Vedas teach Unity of God and that idolworship was wrong.
The surah of at-Tawhid is one of the shortest chapters of the Holy Qur'an. It establishes the pure belief in the Oneness of God, rejecting all types of 'shirk' in these words:
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
قُلْ هُوَ اللَّهُ أَحَدٌ
لَمْ يَلِدْ وَلَمْ يُولَدْ
وَلَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُ كُفُوًا أَحَدٌ
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
“Say: He is Allah, The One and Only:
Allah, the Eternal, Absolute;
He begetteth not, Nor is He begotten;
And there is none like unto Him.” (Chapter Al-Ikhlaas, n. 112)
The first sentence of the Islamic kalimah, t hat is, “There is no god except Allah” leads a Muslim throughout his life not only in religious matters but in social behaviour also. “There is no god” shows a Muslim that nothing in the universe is superior to Him. It is observed in Qur'an that “He it is Who created for you all that is in the earth.” So a Muslim knows that nothing in this world is to be worshipped. Neither stone nor trees, neither animals nor human beings; neither the Sun, the Moon nor the Stars can be worshipped, because everthing is created and created for his benefit.
When a Muslim thus has rejected every falsehood and every idea of nature-worship, idol-worship and human-worship, he is ready to believe in the positive truth of the Unity of God. Believing in a Supreme being gives an aim to our life and provides a purpose for our actions. Had a man been left with the wrong impression that there was no God at all, his life would have been aimless, and an aimless life is dangerous. So it is added that there is no god “except Allah”. This sentence has a negative as well as a positive aspect. Both are instrumental in creating the belief that every man is equal to every other person. When nobody is superior, nobody is inferior. Thus, the belief in the Unity of God promotes the sense of brotherhood and equality and equity which is another feature of Islam.
Now time has come to explain in short what is our belief concerning God. In preceding chapters almost all the aspects of our belief have been explained. It should be apparent by now that there are many attributes which are a must for God, while there are others which are beneath His dignity and cannot be found in Him. Therefore, in our faith, the attributes of Allah have been grouped as `positive' and `negative'.
The positive attributes which are befitting Allah are called as-Sifat ath-thubutiyyah. They are many in number, but only eight of them are usually mentioned. They are:
1. al-Qadim: It means that Allah is Eternal, that is, He has neither beginning nor end. Nothing except Allah is eternal.
2. al-Qadir: It means that Allah is Omnipotent, that is, He has power over everything and every affair.
3. al- Alim: It means that Allah is Omniscient, that is, He knows everything. Even our unspoken intentions and desires are not hidden from Him.
4. al-Hayy: It means that Allah was always alive and will remain alive for ever. 5. al-Murid: It means that Allah has His own will and discretion in all affairs. He does not do anything under compulsion.
6. al-Mudrik: It means that He is All-perceiving, as as-Sami' ` (All-hearing), al-Basir (All-seeing). Allah sees and hears everything without any need of eyes or ears.
7. al-Mutakallim: It means that Allah is the Master of the word, that is, lie can create speech in anything, as He did in a tree for Prophet Musa (Moses - p.b.u.h.) and in the “Curtain of Light” for our Holy Prophet (p. b. u. h. a. h. p.).
8. as-Sadiq: It means that Allah is true in his words and promises.
It is impossible to fix any limit to His attributes. This list is not exhaustive but it is essential to understand the Glory of Allah. These attributes are not acquired but are inherent in the conception of Divinity.
The Negative Attributes which cannot be found in Allah because they are below His dignity are called “as-Sifdt as-salbiyyah ”. They are many, but like “as-Sifat ath-thubutiyyah ” only eight are listed here. They are:
1. ash-Sharik: The word “ash-sharik” means a colleague or partner. Allah has neither a colleague nor a partner in His Divinity.
2. al-Murakkab: This word means “Compound” or “Mixed”. Allah is neither made, nor composed, of any material. He cannot be divided even in imagination.
3. al-Makan: It means “Place”. Allah is not in a place because He has no body and He is everywhere because His power and knowledge is manificently apparent everywhere.
4. al-Hulul: It means “Entering”. Nothing enters into Allah nor does He enter into anything or anybody. Therefore, the belief of Incarnation in any form is abhorrent to the conception of Divinity.
5. Mahal al-hawadith: This means “Subject to Changes”. Allah cannot change.
6. al-Mar'i: It means “Visible”. Allah is not visible. He has not been seen, is not seen and will never be seen.
7. Ihtiydj: It means “Dependence” or “Need”. Allah is not deficient in any virtue, so he does not need anything. He is All-perfect.
8. as-Sifat az-zaidah: This means “Added Qualification”. The attributes of Alldh are not separate from His Being. When we say God is Omnipotent and Merciful, we do not mean that His power and Mercy are something different from His Person. We see that a child is born without any power, and then he acquires stength day by day. It is so because power is not his person.
God is not like this. He is Power Himself; Mercy Himself; Knowledge Himself; Justice Himself; Virtue Himself; Truth Himself and so on.
It will thus be seen that according to Islam Allah is the name of God as perceived in the light of the above Positive and Negative Attributes. In other words, Allah is the Creator of the universe, Self-existent, the source of all perfection and free from all defects.
The proper name which Islam uses for God is “Allah”. “Allah” means “One who deserves to be loved ” and “Into Whom everyone seeks refuge.” This word, grammatically speaking, is unique. It has no plural and no feminine. So this name itself reflects light upon the fact that Allah is one and only one; He has neither any partner nor any equal. This name cannot properly be translated by the word “God” because God can be transformed in `gods' and `goddess'.
Two more frequently used names are ar-Rahman and ar-Rahim.
ar-Rahman signifies that AllAh is Merciful and that His Mercy encompasses each and everything in the universe without any dis tinction on account of faith or belief. He makes, creates and sustains everything and every man whether he be a Muslim or kafir (unbeliever). ar-Rahim signifies that the Mercy of Allah on the Day of Judgement will surround the true believers only, and that unblievers and hypocrites will be left out.
It is apparent that both of these names signify a distinct aspect of God's Mercy. His Mercy in this world, as signified by `ar-Rahman' is general; and the one in the life-hereafter, as signified by `ar-Rahim' is special.
It will be of interest to note that the word ` ar-Rahman' cannot be used except for Allah, while `ar-Rahim' can be used for others also. That is why it has been told by Imam that “ar-Rahman is a reserved name which denotes unreserved Mercy, and ar-Rahim is an unreserved name which denotes Reserved Mercy. ”
Here is a list of 99 names used for Allah in Islam, together with their meanings:
No. NAMES OF ALLAH MEANING
1. Allah Proper Name of the One and Only God
2. ar-Rahman The Merciful
3. ar-Rahim The Compassionate
4. al-Malik The Ruler
5. al-Quddus The Holy
6. as-Salam The Safety
7. al-Mu'min The Trusted
8. al-Muhaymin The Protector
9. al- 'Aziz The Powerful
10. al-Jabbar The Most Powerful
11. al-Mutakabbir The Magnificent
12. al-Khalik The Creator
13. al-Bari The Creator (from nothing)
14. al-Musawwir The Designer
15. al-Ghaffar The Forgiver
16. al-Qahhar The Almighty, The Subduer
17. al-Wahhab The Giver
18. ar-Razzaq The Provider; The Sustainer
19. al-Fattah The Opener
20. al-Alim The Omniscient; The All-Knowing
21. al-Qabid The Gatherer
22. al-Basit The Expander
23. al-Khafid The Humbler
24. ar-Rafi The Raiser
25. al-Mudhill The Subduer
26. al-Mu'izz The Exalter
27. as-Sami The All-Hearing
28. al-Basir The All-Seeing
29. al-Hakam The Arbitrator
30. al- 'Adl The Justice; The Just
31. al-Latif The Kind
32. al-Khabir The All-Knowing
33. al-Halim The Clement
34. al- 'Azzim The Great
35. al-Ghafur The Forgiver
36. ash-Shakur The Thankful
37. al- 'Ali The High
38. al-Kabir The Great
39. al-Hafiz The Protector
40. al-Muqit The Nourisher
41. al-Hasib The Reckoner
42. al-Jalil The Honorable
43. al-Karim The Generous
44. ar-Raqib The Guard
45. al-Mujib The One Who answers (the prayers)
46. al-Wasi The Enricher
47. al-Hakim The Wise
48. al-Wadud The Affectionate
49. al-Majeed The Glorious
50. al-Majid The Honorable
51. al-Ba'ith The Resurrector
52. ash-Shahid The Witness
53. al-Haqq The Truth
54. al-Wakil The Trustee
55. al-Qawi The Powerful
56. al-Matin The Strong
57. al-Wali The Guardian
58. al-Hamid The Praiseworthy
59. al-Muhsi The Reckoner
60. al-Mubdi The Beginner; The Creator
61. al-Mu 'id The Returner; The Resurrector
62. al-Muhyi The Bestower of Life
63. al-Mumit The Bringer of Death
64. al-Hayy The Living
65. al-Qayyum The Self-existing
66. al-Wahid The One
67. al-Ahad The Only; The Unique
68. as-Samad The Perfect; The Eternal
69. al- Qadir The Omnipotent
70. al-Muqtadir The All-Powerful
71. al-Muqaddim The Advancer
72. al-Mu 'akhir The Keeper Behind
73. al-Awwal The First
74. al-Akhir The Last
75. az-Zahir The Apparent
76. al-Batin The Hidden
77. al-Mawla The Master
78. al-Muta 'ali The Most High
79. al-Barr The Beneficent
80. al-Tawwab The Forgiver
81. al-Muntaqim The Avenger
82. al- 'Afuww The Forgiver
83. ar-Ra'uf The Compassionate
84. Malik'ul Mulk The Sovereign of the Kingdom (Universe)
85. Dhu'l-Jalal The Owner of Glory wa'l-Ikram and Honor
86. al-Muqsit The Just
87. al-Jami The One Who brings together; The Comprehensive
88. al-Ghaniyy The Rich; The Self-Sufficient
89. al-Mughni The Bestower of Richness
90. al-Mani The Prohibitor
91. ad-Darr The Bringer of Adversity
92. an-Nafi' The Beneficial
93. an-Nur The Light
94. al-Hadi The Guide
95. al-Badi The Maker(with previous example)
96. al-Baqi The Everlasting
97. al-Warith The Inheritor
98. ar-Rashid The Guide
99. as-Sabur The Patient
Question: One of the names of Allah is al-Khaliq that is, Creator. As Allah was Creator from ever, does it not follow that the created things, that is, the universe is from ever?
Answer: Allah was not creating from ever. If you study carefully you will find that the attributes of God, as mentioned in the above chapter, may easily be divided into two groups:- First, there are those attributes which can never be separated from the conception of divinity. For example, we say that God is al Qddir (Omnipotent) al-Alim ( Omniscient) and al-Hayy (Everliving). These are such attributes which can never be separated from the conception of God, because there never was a time when God was not Omnipotent, Omniscient or Living. He was al-Qadir, al- Alim and al-Hayy for ever, and will remain al-Qadir, al- Alim and al-Hayy for ever.
Such attributes refer to the person of Allah, and are, therefore, called as-Sifatu'dhatiyyah (Attributes of Person of Allah).
Second, there are the attributes which describe the actions of Allah. For example, we say that Allah is al-Khaliq (Creator), ar-Razzaq (Sustainer) etc. These are the Attributes which describe the actions of Allah, and are, therefore, called as-Sifatu'l fi'liyyah (Attributes of Actions of Allah).
These actions were not from ever, and therefore these attributes were not used for Allah, from ever. You know that Allah is al Murid. He acts according to His own plan and His own Will. He is not like fire which burns without any intention or will of its own. Nor is He like the sun which goes on giving light and warmth without intention and will of its own.
Allah works according to His own plan. He created when He wished, and not before that. It does not mean that God had no power to create. The power to create was there for ever; because the `Power' is not separate from His person. But the appearance of that power, and bringing it into effect, was not from ever. In short, Allah had power to create from ever, but He did not create from ever. And when He created, He was called al-Khaliq; but not before that.
Likewise, when he sustained, He was called ar-Razzaq; when He forgave, He was called al-Ghaffar; when He avenged, He was called al-Qahhar; when He gave life, He was called al-Muhyi; when He gave death, lie was called al-Mumit.