The Belief that God is the Sole Creator and Sustainer of all Creation
There is one thing that definitively stands out when one reads the Quran: Allah instructs humankind to ponder over the creation with all its subtleties and magnificence. At no time do the teachings of the Quran shy away from reflection and rational thought. Indeed, these foundations of knowledge have been invoked over and over in the Quran as a path that will lead to only one conclusion: That there is no way that this creation as one can witness and
appreciate it today could have possibly come into being except through the intent and creation of a great, divine and masterful creator.
In fact, in one verse, Allah has given a powerful argument that was convincing to humankind for hundreds of years: “Were they created by nothing, or were they themselves the creators? Or did they create the heavens and the earth? Nay, but they have no firm belief” (52:35-36). This has been clear to many, many people: They obviously did not come here by means of nothing nor did they create themselves. Hence, they are the result of the act of a Creator—a Creator who is in himself self-subsistent and not himself a created being.
Although this belief is innate and clear, doubts and misconceptions repeatedly come to humans from all sorts of different sources. In different eras, different forms of confusion may come to people. Today many people are confused over the question of creationism and evolution. In fact, some even argue that “creationism” is not sound science while “evolution” is.
Currently, a popular explanation for the existence of the cosmos is the big bang theory. In fact, the Microsoft Encarta refers to it as the “currently accepted explanation of the beginning of the universe.” It is quite good of them to refer to it in that manner because “science” keeps changing its “facts” and explanations. It is exactly as Allah has described in the above-quoted verse, “Nay, but they have no firm belief” (52:36). Those who have turned away from God have to admit that they do not truly know what they believe and tomorrow their belief may be completely different from what it is today because, in reality, it is not built upon something firm.
It seems though that the dispute between the big bang theory and creationism is more hype than it is substance. The big bang theory, as the Encarta explains, “proposes that the universe was once extremely compact, dense, and hot. Some original event, a cosmic explosion called the big bang, occurred about 10 billion to 20 billion years ago, and the universe has since been expanding and cooling.” But this begs the question of who created the matter that was
involved in that big-bang? If that matter still requires a creator, is there any proof that the same creator did not create new types of creatures later in this cosmos?
Of course, there is a much bigger problem in relation to the big bang theory: How could such a random explosion lead to the consistency, excellence and beauty that one sees in this universe? What, for example, was the beauty and organized cosmos that was set into motion after Nagasaki and Hiroshima were bombed?
Amazingly, atheists and materialists still refuse to see what is obvious to their very souls and make statements that are ludicrous to say the least. For example, the famed atheist Huxley once actually stated, “If six monkeys sat at typewriters and banged on the keys for billions of years, it is not unlikely that in the last pages they wrote we would find one of the sonnets of Shakespeare. This is the case with the universe that exists now. It came about as the result of random forces which played with matter for billions of years.” Waheed Uddeen Khan, using “materialistic” kind of reasoning has replied to such a statement quite well: “Mathematics, which has given us the concept of probability, itself states that it is mathematically impossible for this universe to have come into existence by accident.”
In addition to the realization that this existence must have had a creator, one can also notice the equilibrium and balance that exists throughout the universe. The order is so precise that it is sometimes referred to as “the delicate balance of nature.” It is truly amazing how everything works together—even within one’s own body. Without such cooperation between the different organs of the body, for example, there would be no possibility of continual life. This observed phenomenon leads to a number of other important conclusions.
First, the order and cooperation between the various inanimate elements of the universe—which have not been trained or taught—is a sign that they are still under the control and regulation of the creator. The different objects of this creation have no power, ability or goal of their own, as otherwise they would most likely go against the universal laws and order. They have only what has been granted to them by the overall Creator and Master of all of the different component parts of the universe. Their level of inter-working and cooperation is such that it points to their being all under the authority of one Being, who must have both full knowledge and complete power to sustain and guide them. If this were not the case, only chaos could be rationally expected, especially given the large number of atoms and other particles that make up everything that is in the universe.
Second, there is a clear sign that the Creator and Master of the Universe is one and only one—there cannot possibly be more than one Creator of this balanced and unified cosmos. This follows from the previous point. If there were more than one creator, each having a will and power, then it would not be expected that the cosmos would have the unity, balance and equilibrium that it currently exhibits. This is known as “the argument of exclusion” and is an issue that has been discussed by philosophers in detail in the past. For example, in The Commentary on the Creed of at-Tahawi, one can find,
“This argument [of exclusion] runs like this: If there were two creators and they disagreed about something, such as one wanted to move X whereas the other did not want it to be moved, or one liked to make Y a living being whereas the other liked to make it lifeless, then, logically speaking, there are only three possibilities. First, the wills of the two are both carried out; second, only the will of one of them is carried out; third, the will of neither of them is carried out. The first case is not possible because it requires the existence of contraries. The third possibility is also ruled out because it would imply that a body is neither moving nor not moving and this is impossible. This would also imply that both of them are incapable of carrying out their wills, which would disqualify them for being God. Finally, if the will of one is realized and not of the other, he alone will deserve to be God and the one whose will is not realized could not be considered God.”
Thus, the premise that there is only one original and unique Creator, Sustainer and Ultimate Power over this universe is something that is both innate in humans and concluded easily and logically. In fact, it can be said that Islamic scholars are so convinced of the obvious truth of this point that, according to the famed Islamic scholar ibn Uthaimeen, all of mankind except the most arrogant and haughty accepts and recognizes this aspect of monotheism, namely, that there is no Lord and Creator but the One Lord and Creator. This is so because this belief is ingrained in the nature of humankind. Humankind recognizes and realizes that this creation must have had a Creator. Humankind also realizes that this Creator must only be One.
Although in the previous paragraphs there was something of a digression into other topics that are of interest today, one can summarize the Islamic view on Allah being the sole Creator and Sustainer of the creation by allowing the Quran to speak for itself and express the essential truths:
“Certainly, Allah has power over all things” (2:20).
“He is the Originator of the heavens and the earth. How can He have children when He has no consort? He created all things and He is the All-Knower of everything. Such is Allah, your Lord! None has the right to be worshipped but He, the Creator of all things. So worship Him (Alone), and He is the Guardian over all things. No vision can encompass Him, but His Grasp is over all vision. He is the Most Subtle and Courteous, Well-Acquainted with all things” (6:101-103).
“Do they seek other than the religion of Allah, while to Him submitted all creatures in the heavens and the earth, willingly or unwillingly. And to Him shall they all be returned” (3:23).
“And unto Allah (Alone) falls in prostration whoever is in the heavens and the earth, willingly or unwillingly, and so do their shadows in the mornings and in the afternoons” (13:15).
Once that it is concluded that Allah is the only Creator and Sustainer of the universe, many corollaries fall into place. In addition, perhaps the most important question a person can ask himself is: What should be one’s relationship with that one creator? This leads directly into the next topic of Allah being the only one worthy and deserving of worship.