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"Who Created God Then?"

by Shaykh Mohammad Yasir al-Hanafi
 
 
Who created God then? This is the outdated cliché of an atheist. Many classical scholars have addressed this question. In the books of creed, the concept is known as ‘Burhān al-Tatbīq’, where the question of Allāh’s existence is discussed. For example, the famous creed of Imām al-Taftāzānī *Sharh al-’Aqā’id al-Nasafiyyah* - that is taught in the Islamic institutes - also discusses this concept. From the English books, Hamza Tzortzis’s book, which I encouraged people to read yesterday, elucidates the answer to this question using the famous Quranic verse.
 
I’ll briefly adumbrate the main key points of this Quranic argument. The whole two verses are in Surāh al-Tūr (35/36): 
 
أَمْ خُلِقُوا مِنْ غَيْرِ شَيْءٍ أَمْ هُمُ الْخَالِقُونَ ۰أَمْ خَلَقُوا السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ بَل لَّا يُوقِنُونَ 
 
“Were they created from nothing, or are they creators themselves? Or [if as they say, Allāh did not create everything, then] did they [themselves] create the heavens and the earth? The fact is that they have no conviction”. 
 
From the aforementioned verse, four scenarios - explicit and implicit - can be inferred: 
1. Creation was created from nothing. ‘من غير شيء’ can have a few interpretations: created without any purpose, created without a creator or created from nothing, as mentioned by Imām al-Rāzī. The translation is based on the latter interpretation; 
2. Creation are creators of themselves; 
3. Everything being created by a created being; 
4. And, finally, everything being created by an uncreated being. 
 
Now, let’s discuss the first scenario: everything created from nothing, as many atheists say, including the contemporary scientist, Richard Dawkins. There was a video where he mentioned this and the public began to laugh at him. Anyway, this post is not about him. Why is this scenario void and nonsensical? Well, it’s pretty obvious because *nothing* by definition is non-existence, which never has and never will produce existence. From nothing comes nothing. Let me give you an example: you are in a completely locked room - nothing can enter it nor exit from it- and you decide to sleep; after an hour you wake up and you see a brand new bicycle, and next to it you find a note saying, “I came from nothing”. What will your initial reaction be? Will anyone actually believe that the bicycle came into that looked room from nothing? Of course not. So, can the entire universe and cosmos, which are beautifully designed, come from nothing?! 
 
The second scenario, creation being creators of themselves, is void because it necessitates a contradiction: existence and non-existence exactly at the same time, like the profound example brother Hamza gives: can a mother give birth to herself? I believe this scenario is Zāhir al-Butlān (explicitly void) as the first scenario. 
The third scenario, creation coming into existence by a created force or being, is also void, as this necessitates infinite regress of causes. For example, in the scenario of an atheist, when he asks: who created God? He has inevitably pictured a God to be a created entity in his finite and feeble mind. Thus, leading to a sequence of questions: who created God number two that created God number one, and who created God number three that created God number two, etc. This infinite regress will continue forever; hence, nothing will come into existence, as God number one’s existence is dependent on number two, and number two is dependent on number three, etc. So, number one will never come into existence; thus, there will be no creation. The example that can be given to explain this further is of a person who is about to hunt an animal, but, before he shoots the animal, he needs permission from person number two, and person number two needs permission from person number three, etc. Now, if this carries on forever, will the first person ever shoot the animal? The answer is obviously no. In the same manner, infinite regress of causes, in the God scenario, will necessitate the denial of the initial creation. In order words, questioning who created God is denying your own existence. 
 
This finally leads us onto the only sound and true scenario: everything is created by an uncreated being. The Muslims, based on Divine evidence, believe this being to be Allāh, the Almighty, who is transcendent from all weaknesses, flaws and contingencies. He, the All-Knowing, is unmitigatedly free from being created. The word created doesn’t apply to the ultimate Creator, rather it applies to the creation.  
 
“It is He Who originated the [initial] creation and will repeat [the act of creation], and this [reviving the creation] will be easier for Him” (Sūrah al-Rūm, verse 27).
 

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