REFLECTIONS ON THE EXISTENCE OF THE CREATOR
In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
All praise be to the Lord of the Worlds, and peace and blessings be upon the master of the Messengers, and upon all his family arid Companions. Let all witnesses and all the witnessed witness that I bear witness that there is no god but God, Whose necessary existence and perfect attributes, and also Whose Oneness, Unity, Singularity and being the Eternally Besought-of-All, are decisively established by the following arguments:
Now give ear to the explanation of these languages:
1. As a whole and with all its parts, the universe displays an evident order and an extraordinary solidarity among all its individual parts. This order and solidarity point to the necessary existence of Him in Whose hand of power the universe is and bears witness in the tongue of this universal order to the fact that God, there is no god but He.
2. In the universe everything is so exactly measured and proportioned that it announces that God, there is no god but He Who has set this measure and made all things in admirable proportions and exactly commensurate with one another.
3. The harmony and precise arrangement in the ‘house’ of the universe, and the regularity of its working show that it is impossible for numerous different hands to interfere in it, and announces in the language of this harmony, arrangement and regularity that God, there is no god but He.
4. The art and design exhibited in this ‘house’ of the universe point to the fact that the one who has designed and decorated the house is also its owner, and testifies in the language of this art and design that God, there is no god but He.
5. The perfection of the art which the Pen of Destiny displays in everything according to the capacity of each shows that the Pen is one and announces that God, there is no god but He.
6. The mutual relationship between all things in the universe and faultless artistry displayed in each demonstrate that the one who has inscribed the page of the sky with stars and suns is he who inscribes the pages of the honeybee and ant with their cells. In the language of all creatures in it the universe bears witness that God, there is no god but He.
7. We observe in the universe that even the inanimate objects, no matter how distant they are from one another, come to the aid of one another for wise purposes. For example, [vaporizing waters come down onto the earth to ‘revive’ it, and] corn and fruits become the sustenance of human cells. In the language of this mutual assistance the universe bears witness that God, there is no god but He.
8. As between the sun arid the planets, which are its ‘fruits’, there is a solidarity among different, distant objects in the universe. This solidarity shows that whatever is in the universe is under the command and disposition of only one being and in the language of this solidarity, the universe testifies that God, there is no god but He.
9. The resemblance among certain things, among the stars of the heavens, for example, is another language in which the universe proclaims that God, there is no god but He.
10. The proportion among certain other things, as, for example, among the flowers of the earth, demonstrates that whatever is in the universe belongs to the same Owner and is under the disposition of the same power. In the language of this proportion, the universe testifies that God, there is no god but He.
11. Every living thing in the universe receives the manifestations of numerous Names. [For example, the Names the Creator, the Shaper, the All-Seeing, the All-Hearing, the Arranger, the Provider, the Sustainer, the All-Healing and many other Names manifest on the same being.] Like the seven colours in the light of the sun, these Names have each its own beauty and imprints but they work to the same effect in each individual thing, including even cells. This shows that the One Who has these Names is the one and same being. That is, the All-Living Creator of something is also its Shaper, Provider and Sustainer, and the One Who provides something is the creator of the sources of provision, and its Creator is He Who has dominion over every thing. This reality opens a window on the necessary existence and Unity of the One called by the Names mentioned, and in the language of every living thing the universe testifies that God, there is no god but He.
12. The connection among all things, the connection between, for example, the eyes of the honeybee and ant and the sun and the solar system, shows that both are the designs of a single designer and in the language of this connection the universe bears witness that God, there is no god but He.
13. The indispensable relation among the parts of each thing and things themselves, down to that between the least and the largest, like that between the eyes of an ant or honeybee and the sun, demonstrates that everything is the work of a single maker. In the language of this relation the universe testifies that God, there is no god but He.
14. The ‘brotherhood’ between the gravitation among the minutest particles and atoms of an individual thing and the general gravitation between stars and suns is indicative of the fact that both are the ‘inscriptions’ of a single pen, the texture of a single weaver, the rays from a single ‘sun’. This shows the necessity of Divine existence and Unity and in this language the universe bears witness that God, there is no god but He.
15. All the minutest particles or atoms in compounds and then compounds within one another are placed each in its exact position and according to such delicate calculations that, for example, any atom or particle in an eye is interrelated with the other atoms in the eye and all the systems and cells of the body. This necessarily demonstrates that the creator of the eye with all its atoms and the body and the eye of the world-the sun- and their positioner is the creator of all compounds in the universe. Thus, in the language of all the minutest particles and their positions and tasks, the universe bears witness that God, there is no god but He.
16. The comprehensive disposition of the power of a species and the wide distribution of certain species like angels and fish indicate that the creator of a single individual being is also the creator of the species. The pen which draws the lines of, say, Jack’s face and thus identifies or individualizes him, has to be able to see all the faces together at the same time before it so that it could determine the distinguishing features of each. Otherwise individualization would be impossible and confusions would appear. This requires that the creator of an individual should be the creator of the family and species. The universe testifies in this language that God, there is no god but He.
17. Those with defective view and reasoning may regard it as impossible for a single being to have created all things and therefore are misguided into denying the existence and Oneness of the Creator. Whereas the attribution of things to nature or to themselves or to material causes or to such notions as chance and necessity makes the existence of things infinitely improbable or impossible.
The creation of many things by a single one is much easier than the creation of a single thing by many ‘creators’. The interference of many ‘blind’ hands in the production of a thing is of no more use than increasing ‘blindness’. If, for example, a honeybee is not attributed to the power of a necessarily existent being, then whatever is in the heavens and on the earth should have participated in its existence. If the existence of a minute particle or a single hair is attributed to other than a necessarily existent being, to material causes, for example, it would be as difficult as the existence of mountains. The organization and direction of a company by a single commander is much easier than its direction by the soldiers themselves or many commanders. Also, everyone judges the shower of water sprinkled [on the flowers in a garden] to be shooting from a sprinkler. All the lines ending on the circumference of a circle originates from a single centre. Each of such results can easily be obtained with a few acts of a single being.
18. The apparent material causes, like bread and milk for satisfaction of hunger, are simple, limited in time and place and quantity subject to disappearance or death, changeable, have no consciousness and will, and most of them are subject to ‘laws’ which have only nominal, not material, existence and which are perceived only after the effects are brought about. When compared to their causes, the effects are extremely extraordinary and display splendid artistry For example, the formation of cells and their relations with one another and the whole of the body are so complex and extraordinary that they require much more knowledge, much greater skills, much more comprehensive will and much vaster power than are disposed by the whole population of the world. Therefore, they can be explained with neither the food given nor the working of the unconscious and ignorant body.
Also, with what can the human memory be explained? It is like a copy of a person’s life which the Hand of Power reproduces and gives to his hand so that he may remember all his deeds at the time of reckoning and be convinced that there is a permanent life behind the disturbances of this life. The All-Knowing One arranges things and events in it without any confusion despite their utmost intricacy and confusion. Again, human faculties like reflection, reasoning, thinking and speech and their operation can never be attributed to or explained by some systems and organs and their movements. [As is known, although created from and nourished by the same elements and formed of the same constituents, human beings are infinitely different in features, characters, desires, capacities, likes and dislikes, speech, etc.] Therefore, both these faculties or powers and the systems and organs can only be the work of one with an infinite power, knowledge and will and the real agent in the universe can only be a creator with a boundless power.
19. The wonderful works of a universal, perfect art and the utmost care shown in these works require a limitless power; not only these works but also each part of them demands this power.
This points to the fact that this universe has an All Powerful Creator, there are no limits to the manifestations to His Power. Since It is infinite, It is absolutely independent of having partners and It does not need them at all.Partnership with something infinite is inconceivable, as it means limiting It. Divinity does not accept limitation and, since being limited means being contained in time and space and defective in the capacities and qualities which divine being must necessarily have, any limited being cannot, obviously, be God. Also, absolute independence and freedom are essential to divinity. Besides, there is no room, no space and no need for partnership, and there are neither evidences nor signs for the existence of a partner. By contrast, through its parts and as a whole and in the language of all the events in it, the universe displays the stamp of Unity and shows that the agent ruling over it is One.
20. Although some of the Divine Names like the All- Knowing encompass all things, the Divine Names manifested in the universe co-ordinate in the creation, life and working of all its parts down to the minutest particles, and, like the seven colours in the light of the sun, work to the same effect. [For example, although the Names and attributes manifested on a man, like Knowledge, Will and Power and the All-Seeing, the All-Hearing, the All- Shaping, the Provider, the Sustainer, etc. have their own manifestations and produce effects particular to themselves, the result they ultimately produce is an integral entity.] This evidently demonstrates that the Being called by these Names is one, and in the language of the co-ordination and solidarity among the Names manifested in it, the universe testifies that God, there is no god but He.
21. A universal wisdom is apparent in the whole of the universe, both as a whole and in parts. This wisdom, which includes a purpose, consciousness, will and preference, points to the necessary existence of an All-Wise One, as it is impossible for an act to be without a doer and thing done or a part of it cannot be the doer.
22. The purposeful and gracious, all-encompassing favouring apparent throughout the universe necessarily testifies to the necessary existence of an All-Munificent Creator, as any favouring cannot be without a favourer.
23. The extensive mercy encompassing the whole of the universe, which contains wisdom, favouring, benevolence, munificence, kindness, gratifying, love and recognition, indicates the necessary existence of an All-Merciful, All-Compassionate One, as any quality cannot be the one qualified by it and the earth and heavens can have been ‘clothed’ by none other than that All-Merciful One.
24. The satisfaction of infinitely diverse needs of living creatures from the universal provision, which contains wisdom, favouring, mercy, protection, engagement [to provide them], intention, love and recognition, evidently points to the necessary existence of a Compassionate Provider.
25. The life and vigour widespread throughout the universe, which contain wisdom, favouring, mercy provision, delicate artistry, elegant design, firmness, and care, and which are brought about by the manifestations of a purpose, consciousness, knowledge and will, indicate the necessary existence of an All-Powerful, Self-Subsistent, All-Sustaining One, Who gives life and takes it.
26. The grace observed throughout the universe making everything graceful indicates the necessary existence of the One to Whom grace is essential.
27. The innocent beauty on the cheeks of the universe signifies the necessary existence of the One with an absolute beauty.
28. The true love felt by the universe deeply in the heart is a sign of the True Beloved One.
29. The attraction and ecstasy felt by the universe demonstrate most profoundly the centre of attraction towards which everything is attracted.
30. What we hear from all perfected people who describe their observations to us is that the whole of the creation is but a shadow of the light of the Single Being of Unity.
The five truths mentioned so far from the article 26, necessarily point to the fact that the universe has a Lord, necessarily existent and qualified by the attributes of majesty, beauty and perfection. In the language of these five truths, the universe testifies that God, there is no god but He.
31. Besides the species as a whole, we see each member of the species specifically disposed for certain benefits and purposes. This evidently points to the necessary existence of an all-wise disposer or agent, as an act cannot be without its doer nor can the thing done or a part of it be the doer of it.
32. Continuous changes are observed in the lives of plants and animals for certain benefits, which indicates the necessary existence of a master who directs them.
33. Again, continuous purposeful transformations are observed in the lives of plants and animals, either of each member of them or their species as a whole. This also points to the necessary existence of a wise master.
34. The alternation of day and night in the sphere of the earth for many purposes and benefits is another sign of the necessary existence of an agent who does whatever he wills.
35. Since an act of ordering cannot be without an orderer and the thing ordered and he order itself cannot be the doer of this act which requires consciousness, the order and arrangement made throughout the universe to make each thing attain its particular level of perfection, and to make the creation as a whole attain to its final point of perfection, testify to the necessary existence of an all-powerful one, self-subsistent and sustaining. Is it possible that a nightingale has clothed itself in its elegant, ornamented body? Is it conceivable that the earth itself has woven its so richly decorated dress?
Like the colours in the light of the sun or concentric circles, these five acts of disposing, changing, transforming, alternating, and ordering obviously show that this urn- verse has a master who disposes it, who is wise, efficient, powerful, self-subsistent and sustaining, one who does whatever he wills and is possessed of attributes of perfection. In the language of these acts, as if by five mouths, the universe announces that God, there is no god but He.
36. The universe has a beginning; whether as a whole or in parts, it came into existence within time. While there were probabilities of infinite number as to how and of what properties it might be, it took its present form, which is one of perfect order, harmony and balance. This obviously demonstrates the necessary existence of one with free choice, one who is all-knowing, all-wise and all-powerful.
37. Everything in the universe, whether big or small or a whole or a part, is in endless needs with respect to sustenance and survival, and if it is a conscious living being, it has also spiritual and intellectual needs. Despite the inability of each to satisfy even the most insignificant of its needs, the needs of everything are gratified just on time and from whence it did not reckon. This necessarily points to the existence of a lord, sustaining, providing, munificent, merciful and compassionate.
38. Everything in the universe, big or small, a whole or a part, is in infinite destitution and unable to procure the necessities of its life. However, everything is provided in exact measures with whatever it needs to survive. This necessarily indicates the existence of one compassionate, munificent, giving freely, all-loving and all-aware [of even the least needs of the least creature].
39. Despite their essential and extreme poverty and helplessness, things like trees and the earth, while appearing utterly dead and dried up in winter, display signs of absolute riches and power in spring. This indicates the necessary existence of one absolutely powerful, in relation to whose power the minutest particles and the largest suns are equal.
40. The dried, unconscious earth becomes the source of infinite provision for living creatures all of a sudden, at just the time when they need provision. This points to the necessary existence of one absolutely rich. The sun and trees are only some ‘cells’ of His treasures of mercy and water and light are only two ‘streams’ originating in His ocean of compassion.
41. Everything in the universe is essentially dead. The ‘lights’ of life which all living creatures disseminate demonstrate the necessary existence of one all-living and self-subsistent, one who gives life and takes it.
42. Nothing in the universe has consciousness of its own. [Consider a human embryo, while a lump of flesh and bones, how it enters a stage of development in which it will acquire life and consciousness. It would be ridiculous to claim that it is the embryo itself or nature or certain biological laws with nominal existence only, which are all ignorant, unconscious and powerless, that equip the embryo with life and consciousness.] Together with the powers of seeing and hearing, the encompassing consciousness which conscious living beings display shows the necessary existence of one all-knowing and all-aware of everything.
43. The continuous, orderly changes and decay which everything, especially every living thing suffers, point to the necessary existence of one making changes but himself permanent and not changing.
44. We observe that those living, conscious beings who perform their duties of worship get the precisely weighed reward of worship and, attaining higher spiritual ranks, can get in some sort of touch with the inhabitants of invisible realms. The imprints of their worship are to be discerned in their lives, their manners and even on their faces. This indicates the necessary existence of one who alone deserves worship.
45. The glorifications of the universe, whether in words or in acts, point to the necessary existence of one whom whatever is in the heavens and on earth glorifies. The testimony of ‘natural disposition’ or actions is irrefutable. Therefore, how can the testimony of all beings through their dispositions, functions, lives and physical compositions to the necessary existence of him whom whatever is in the heavens and on earth glorifies, be refuted?
46. The prayers and supplications that living creatures do [verbally or actually or in the language of neediness and helplessness] are answered or accepted and usually yield desired results. This indicates the necessary existence of one who answers the supplication of the helpless when they supplicate to him.
47. The afflicted seek refuge consciously or unconsciously in their ‘unknown’ protector or their Creator. This testifies to the necessary existence of the refuge of the afflicted and fearful, the helper of those who seek help.
48. Perfected people who penetrate the inner reality of existence and are based on their intuitions, spiritual experiences and observations, are all agreed that whatever exists contained in time and space is but a shadow of the lights of the ‘eternal sun’ and testifies to its necessary existence.
49. [Despite their lifelessness, ignorance and unconsciousness, inanimate objects, especially atoms and particles smaller than atoms serve such comprehensive, conscious and universal purposes that] it is as obvious as if seen with the naked eye that the comprehensive movements or acts exhibited by them as the result of the manifestations of the Names on them originate from the rank of the necessary existence and unity not from the rank of contingency. This bears witness to the necessary existence of a holy one who employs all things and is called by the Names manifested on them.
50. [Those who refuse to admit the existence of a Divine Being as the sole creator of all things, have all differed in explaining the origin of existence and life.] Only those who have acknowledged the truth of the Divine proclamations such as Flee to God and Assuredly in the remembrance of God do hearts find peace and tranquility, and Unto God all things are brought back, have been able to find relief from the difficulties, bewilderment and insoluble problems arising from attributing existence to itself or to nature or to material causes. It is only by attributing existence to His Power that all difficulties and problems are easily solved, and that minds and hearts find peace. There is no creative agent other than God.
51. In the universe everything is measured in exact proportions. [Also, most simply, as almost everyone has had some glimpses or clues of the future in dreams, a universal Destiny, which pre-determined everything, prevails in the whole of the universe, a fact which negates chance completely. Again, all seeds or fruit stones including the fully-grown state of plants or trees also point to that universal Destiny.] Because of the all-inclusive Destiny, every thing is perfectly ordered and serves pre-determined and evident purposes in accordance with which it has been given form and characteristics and endowed with necessary capacities. If you need an example, look at your body with all its lines and your hands with all their fingers. They tell you that they have been built and shaped according to the purposes they must serve and therefore signify the Destiny which has determined those purposes and their structure. According to the plan of Destiny, the Power puts into ‘writing’ the meanings established and kept by Divine Knowledge. The Destiny which has preplanned all things and the Destiny which records the life- histories of all things indicate the necessary existence of him the pen of whose destiny and decree have drawn the outlines of all things.
52. The comprehensive capacities with which man is endowed suggest that man is the fruit of the tree of creation and therefore the most perfect of creation. On account of one aspect of his nature, he is inclined or turned to non-existence, which is the dark face of the world. However, man’s comprehensive capacity to offer worship implies that he has not been created to go into eternal non-existence. Rather, he must turn himself from darkness to light, from non-existence or eternal extinction to existence, from ephemerality to permanence, from the created to the Creator. Worship is like a chain connecting the beginning to the end in creation. The ‘natural’ disposition of man thus bears witness to the necessary existence of him who has created the universe with whatever is in it to make himself known, who has created men and jinn so that they should worship him.
53. In creation there are the stations of contingency, multiplication and being effected. [That is, whatever is created is contingent, its existence is not necessary and absolute; it is not unique or peerless, and it is something acted upon.] This certainly requires that there must be one whose existence is absolutely necessary, who is himself unique, peerless and unitary, and who is active.
54. We observe in the universe that all things are in continuous movement each toward its particular point of perfection, and when they reach perfection, they stop moving and acquire stability and steadiness. Perfection requires stability and constancy. The existence of existence is by perfection and the perfection of perfection is by constancy. [That is, a thing exists truly only after attaining perfection and the true perfection of a thing lies in its continuing to be perfect.] So, the One Who is necessarily existent is absolutely perfect and all the perfections shared by contingent beings are but a shadow of the manifestations of the lights of His perfection. This testifies that surely God is the Absolutely Perfect One both in His Divine Essence and His attributes and acts.
55. The interior of something is much more subtle and displays much greater artistry than its exterior. This points to the fact that its Maker is not distant from it. Also, the maintenance of the exact balance and proportions between it and other things indicates that its Maker is not contained in it. When we view a thing in respect of itself, its very being, we conclude that its Maker is all-knowing and all-wise. When we view it with respect to its relations with other things, we judge that its Maker is all-hearing and all-seeing, One Who sees all things from above and fashions them and regulates their relationships for certain purposes. This truth indicates the necessary existence of the Maker Who is not contained in the universe, nor distant or excluded from it. [By His Essence or Divine Being, He is not contained either in time or space, but through the manifestations of His Names and attributes, He is everywhere, nearer to everything than itself, as the sun places itself in the pupils of your eyes and penetrates your body through its light and heat.] He is the Most Inward of the inward, as He is the Most Above of the above. He sees one thing at the same time as He sees all things.
From Mathnawi al-Nuriya by Said Nursi