Every Phenomenon has a Cause
You move your hand and pick up the pen, but your friend does not move his hand and pick up the pen, why? It is so because you intended to pick up the pen your friend had no such intention and desire. The intention of picking up the pen is a new phenomenon which is actualized in yourself; you have brought this new phenomenon into existence. Intention is related to you and is the act of yourself, and the movement of the hand is also related to you and is your intention. You did not move your hand previously since you had no intention; you intended at a later stage and after intending, you moved your hand and picked up the pen. The phenomenon of intention is the effect of you; if you had not been there, no intention would have taken place. The intention has not come into being on its own; on the contrary it is from you. There is a special relationship between you and intention, which is called as the relationship of cause and effect. You see this special relationship in your own being with perfect clarity and are perfectly aware of it.
You have the memory of a bunch of flowers that you had previously seen; now you recall it (which is called as the imaginative form): This image of the flowers is a new phenomenon, which has come in your mind. Has it appeared automatically or you have brought it into being? Of course, you have brought it into existence. If you were not there, the form of the flowery branch would also not have been there.
This mental image is related to you; that is its existence is not independent; on the contrary it has come into existence from you. You are the cause and the mental image is the effect and this special relationship is named as the relationship of the cause and effect. You see this relationship in your own self and are perfectly familiar with it.
Therefore, we conclude that you and every person will find the causality in the self and you see it perfectly clearly.
Moreover, you will find this special relationship, ‘relationship of the cause and effect’ between yourself and your bodily and mental acts and relate them to yourself as you are their cause and say: I saw, I heard, I touched, I smelt, I tasted, I moved, I thought…you consider yourself as the cause and seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, tasting, moving and thinking as you effects and connected to you. These actions have originated from your being and if you had not been there, your actions and movements would also not have been there.
Man has named causation that is the relationship with the cause to effect as the law of cause and effect. In the beginning between his own being and spiritual and mental phenomena and verbalized his movements and actions between his own self and his mental phenomena, actions and movements; then he transmitted this law from outside his being.
Man, on the basis of that realization when he comes across a phenomenon whose existence depends on (or is related to) another phenomenon he understands that between these two phenomena also the relationship of cause and effect is present and in these circumstances he decides that the phenomena which are themselves in need of others are effects and the factor which has brought these into existence is the cause.
Man through study, research and excessive experiments has concluded that some worldly phenomenon have different types of relationships with other phenomena; such relationship which exist between himself and his mental phenomena and on the basis of this deep understanding he accepts the law of causation to be complete and universal.
It is like completing a job in anticipation of its desired result; it is the best evidence that one has accepted the law of causality as a comprehensive law, on drinking water he awaits for the quenching of thirst and on eating, waits for the satiation of his hunger. In winter, he takes the refuge of warmth of fire and in summer heat he looks for the coolness of shade. In any case, all of us in daily life and in all our movements and actions accept causality as an absolute and universal fundamental and in this way create an impression.
If the window opens and you have not seen who opened it, what will you think? Would you say that it opened automatically (without any cause)? If you heard a sound and do not see what has produced it, what will you conclude? Would you think that it came by coincidence and without any proper cause? If you heard a voice and do not see who has produced it, what will you conclude? If you feel hot or cold, would you think that it has no cause? If a stone is thrown at the window, breaking the glass and you cannot find who has thrown it, what would you conclude? Would you conclude that the stone arose from the ground automatically and without any cause and hit the glass?
Your reply to the above questions is clear. You will say: I possess reason and intellect and I know that none of the worldly phenomena are without a cause or a doer, even though I might not know what the cause is, because not knowing it is not the proof of its absence. That is why you will make as much investigation and be curious about it till you don’t find the real cause of the phenomena. And if suppose you cannot find the cause in one instance, you will not say that it has no cause, on the contrary you would say that the cause of this phenomenon is not known.
Intellectuals and inventors have fully accepted the law of causation and they try to find the cause of things in laboratories. Whenever they come across a new phenomenon, they are certain that it is having a cause and that is why they conduct fresh efforts to find it.
We know that the law of cause and effect is a fundamental, absolute and a universal law. And no phenomenon is without a cause and all the phenomena of the world have a cause. This complete law is practically accepted by everyone in the world.
Every phenomenon has a cause, if the cause of that is a phenomenon it also has a cause, therefore since the whole created world is a phenomenon and needful and does not have independent existence – it is in need of someone or something superior; basically being in need of another is the first quality of a phenomenon, every big and small phenomenon is – needful and related to someone or something else, its existence is not on its own, if it had existed independently, it would have endured forever and had also not been needful. The world of phenomena is needful of existence and being, that is why it is in need of a being that is higher and needful – which is the source of bestowing existence to all the phenomena and the existing beings are needful and limited.
That being which is higher and that incomparable and unlimited entity, which is the source of existence and which does not have any defect and need, is the Almighty God. He is the one who created this world, is always controlling it through his blessings and nurtures it. If His blessing and favor is cut off for even a moment, all would be destroyed.
You said that every phenomenon is in need of a cause; therefore God also is in need of a cause, what is the cause of God? In other words: God has created every existing thing, so who has created God?
Yes, we said that every phenomenon is needful of a cause, but I did not say that every entity is needful of a cause; therefore every phenomenon and every existing thing, which is needful and limited, is in need of a cause, but not the Almighty Allah who is Self-sufficient and a perfect entity. He does not have need of a cause. Existence is His very being. He does not have any need that others may fulfill His need.
In other words, the criteria of needfulness of cause is need and limitation; and generosity and personal poverty; and there is no defect and limitation in God Almighty that He should have need of cause; on the contrary he is absolutely Self-sufficient and there is nothing higher than Him that He should be need of it; if he had been the effect of another, He would have been in need of that other and in that case he would not be God. He is there by Himself and by His own being and others endure because of Him; God is higher and superior.
In the Holy Quran, He says:
يَآ أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ أَنتُمُ الْفُقَرَآءُ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَاللَّهُ هُوَ الْغَنِىُّ الْحَمِيدُ
“O men! you are they who stand in need of Allah, and Allah is He Who is the Self-sufficient, the Praised One.” (35:15)
Man is intelligent and he is having foresight. He can understand the realities of the world through contemplation and making logical reasonings. So far we have learnt about two reasonings of Knowing God: proof of order and proof of causation. We have also discussed these two topics in some details:
With regard to the reasoning of order, we said: The created world is based on order, system and coordination and perfect relationship; every order, system and coordination and determination is created by a wise and powerful creator; thus this world is also the creation of a wise and a powerful creator.
In this reasoning (reasoning of order) we first pay attention to the order, coordination, precision and determination that is present between parts of the world and at that time with reference to this belief that ‘every system and determination has an aware and a powerful coordinator and determiner’, we conclude that this great order and coordination in this world also has a wise and a powerful creator.
But in the evidence of cause, we don’t see other than order and compatibility between the phenomena of this world; on the contrary, we looked at the being and the existence of phenomena and noted the need and special need which every phenomenon has for cause – that every person has profound belief in it – we present the matter in this manner:
Every phenomenon that comes into existence, its existence is not independent; on the contrary it is related and dependant on something else, which is called as the cause.
This world is also composed of various phenomena; therefore it has to have a cause.
With regard to the reasoning of causality it can be said that every phenomenon that comes into being, its existence is dependant and needful. And its being is not on its own, on the contrary it is dependent on a cause and the world and everything present in it on one side is a phenomenon and all are created – so they must have come into being from the source of creation and we call that unlimited power as God.
Both the reasonings of order and causality are to remove the dust of ignorance and carelessness from the eyes of foresight and nature of man, so that he may see the reality with a clean nature and an awakened intellect. And that he sees the brightest of the bright and strengthens his faith in the High and the Mighty Lord.
But the pure natures of man are aware of his great and powerful creator in such a way and this matter is so clear to them that they require the least reasonings. These pure natures and aware persons consider everything to be relying on the power and invincible determination of Almighty Allah and in all hardships and difficulties, he takes refuge in Him and is never afflicted with despair and hopelessness, since he knows no matter how powerful the phenomena may be they are in need of Almighty God and they are under His control. These pure natures and these aware persons – since they saw that everything was in need of God – they do not submit to anything other than the Almighty Allah and they do not accept any command and guardianship except His – and join the life of the world with respect and success with everlasting happiness of the hereafter.
Ultimately, we consider it necessary to mention that in order to prove the existence of the creator of the world we also depend on evidences in books of philosophy and scholasticism for numerous and profound reasonings; but for the sake of brevity, we shall be content with this much.
It is mentioned in the Holy Quran:
قَالَ بَل رَّبُّكُمْ رَبُّ السَّمَوَتِ وَالْأَرْضِ الَّذِى فَطَرَهُنَّ
“…your Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth, Who brought them into existence…” (21:56)