Lesson 8: Allah the Self-sufficient
The world we see with our eyes is a material world composed of atoms. Every object has a special place and special properties, which vary from situation to situation and according to their orientation. Distance plays a role in the actions of these properties and the nearer the cause is to the effect the stronger the effect is; the further away it is, the weaker the effect, until a distance is reached where the cause has no action at all. To elucidate this point consider the following.
1. The power of a magnet is not the same at all distances: the nearer the metal is to the magnet, the stronger the power of attraction. If a nail is placed at a distance of two centimeters from a magnet, the attraction will be stronger than if it is placed at a distance of ten centimetres.
2. The heat of the sun on the surface of the planet Venus is not the same as it is on the surface of the Earth. Since Venus is nearer the sun it receives more heat and is therefore hotter than the Earth.
3. The light of a lamp may reach a hundred meters but within this distance the intensity is not uniform. The nearer to the lamp we are the greater the intensity of its light.
4. The voice of a public speaker may reach fifty meters but like the light it is not uniform within this distance. The nearer to him we are the louder his voice, the further away we are, the more difficult it is to hear.
5. If a leader wishes to exert his influence without using agents or modern methods of communication, he cannot succeed, because his own efforts have an effect in a certain place and cannot influence those who are far from him. On the other hand, by using modern methods he can exert his influence on all people. Of course, this depends not only on his own activity, but also on the power of his supporters and, in the same way, his power varies in relation to the distance he is from his supporters.
These examples show that all things, which are situated in a certain place, do not have an equal effect at all distances, the nearer we are to the centre of something, the greater its effect will be and vice versa.
Some people may possibly think that like the sun and other material things God has a place, and that He has a seat from which He exerts His influence over His Creation. However, this is not the case, because His influence on creation, which is His work, is the same in every place, from the depths of the oceans to the furthest parts of the universe. There is no place to which His influence does not reach in sufficiency.
This influence is not such as has a centre, such that the further we go from it the weaker it becomes, until we reach a point where there is no trace of His influence and chaos reigns. For if God had a place like other material things, His influence would vary throughout the universe. Therefore we can deduce from this that the creator of this world has no location and no centre. Indeed, God is the creator of “place” and it is impossible that the creator should be dependent on what He has created.
God cannot be compared with an inventor, because, as we explained previously, an inventor is not a creator. His only genius is that he understands the properties of things and is successful in bringing together certain elements to make something, which, in some cases, he is himself in need of. But God, Who is the creator of all creation, is not in need of what He has created.
Now, since we have seen that God has no place, it is clear that he has no body either. Because a body needs a place, and there can be no body which has no place. Since God has no body, He cannot be seen, because our eyes can see only bodies.
Since God is the creator of nourishment and other necessities of life of all existents, we must agree that He needs none of these things.
God therefore, is the entire Truth Who does not need the creatures. Unlike human beings, He does not need shelter nourishment, and the other necessities of life. Rather all people and things are in need of Him. You may ask: “If God has no body, occupies no space and cannot be seen then what is He and how can we say that He exists?”
To understand this, take the following example. Electricity is neither solid, nor liquid, nor gas. These negations do not deny the existence of electricity. And it could never be true to say that because electricity is none of these things, therefore it does not exist. We have to admit that electricity is a fact, which cannot be describable by any of the afore-mentioned conditions.
God who is Self-sufficient and has neither body, nor place, nor can He be seen, nor He needs any of the creatures is perfect and free of these imperfections. The unlimited Being, God is the source of all existence, Perfect and Self-sufficient.
These properties distinguish His Being from other beings, and in God we must believe. Intelligence and human nature acknowledge the existence of God. Wise and honest person does not deny His Existence. Comparing this with the belief that God is on a level with man, having a body, children and other such attributes and appendages, shows the supremacy of Islamic thinking.
In fact, many materialists reject God because the true God (i.e. Allah as He is understood through Islam) has not been made known to them, and what they have considered is not the real God.
The greatness of the universe is a clear evidence of the existence of the Self-sufficient creator.
One who would need something, anything could never guard and control this huge creature, the whole universe.
“Allah, God is Self-sufficient and Almighty.” Ch. 112:2.
1. Can the force of a piece of magnate be the same on a piece of iron from one and four inches apart?
2. Can the intensity of heat remain the same passing through space and objects?
3. Can the intensity of light passing through space and objects remain the same?
4. Can the intensity of sound passing through space and objects remain the same?
5. Does a ruler close to his subjects and centre have greater control or one far away from them?
6. Does God have a centre to control His creatures?
7. Can space stop the power of its creator?
8. Can any obstacle like that in Question one through seven become a problem for the Creator?
9. Can the eyes see the creator?
10. Does the creator need any body or anything?
11. What the phenomenon that is neither solid, nor liquid and nor gas is called?
12. In what way the Islamic guidance leads to the real creator?