Considering that almighty Allah does not need anything, why did he create the universe?
It is understood easily that the One who created those worlds do not need His creatures in any way if one thinks with an intention to know Allah and to find the truth sincerely. Such unfounded and imaginary questions arise from not knowing Allah as the Noble Quran describes Him, from considering superficially and confusing the Necessarily Existent Ones Essence and attributes with those of the creatures through a wrong comparison. We will first answer the question briefly in the light of an example and then begin explaining it.
A need cannot be considered for the suns manifestation in the mirrors, its enlightening them and giving radiance to them for neither its essence nor its heat, light and colors in lieu of its attributes. That is, whether the sun manifests in the mirrors or not, its perfection and beauty are like the ones in its essence. Its perfection will not be diminished if there are no mirrors and in the same way, the existence of the mirrors does not increase its beauty and perfection.
All of the benefits and advantages in the suns manifestation of its heat and light belong only to the mirrors. They are in need of the sun in order to attain light and get rid of darkness. Otherwise, there is no difference for the sun between their remaining in the darkness and their being enlightened. That is, as their remaining in the darkness is not a defect for the sun, their lightening does not provide an increase in its perfection, either.
If the mirrors were intelligent and conscious, what could they add to the perfection of the sun and what need of the sun could they provide by knowing, loving and praising it? Or what imperfection could they give the suns reputation by rebelling against it? For example, what benefits could the sun have by its giving light to the plants and the animals? What imperfection could be considered for the sun by not giving them? Of course, both the loss and the benefit are in question for the plants and animals.
Almighty Allah who is the Possessor of Absolute Riches did not create that universe and the beings in it, God forbid, because of His need. An increase in the perfection of His Essence and Attributes cannot be considered by His creation of those; there would be no imperfection in His boundless perfection if he had not created them, either. Yes, all of the perfections, beauties, benefits and fineness emerging by their creation are for those creatures. For example, all benefits in the constructing of the vault of heaven being gilded by countless stars and the adorning of the earth by multicolored flowers under out feet are for us, human beings.
Almighty Allah is not in need of the beings coming into existence from nonexistence, nor the praises of the angels nor worshipping and obedience of the human beings. Whether they exist or not, He is the Absolutely Worshipped One worthy of praise and not having any similar, peers and equals in His Divine Essence.
Let us discuss the details of our answer now:
Let us express right now that at the beginning of the question, although it is accepted that Almighty Allah is not in need of anything, a need is assigned to Allah by asking Why did He create the universe, then? For that reason, we will first explain that Almighty Allah is not in need of anything and He is Self-Sufficient, above any need of anything; and then we will emphasize the reasons of the creation of this universe briefly.
Allah is Self-Sufficient, both with His Divine Essence and with attributes, and is in need of nothing.
There has been no increase in His sublimity and grandeur by His creation of the creatures; if He had not created them, there would have been no decrease in His dignity and perfection.
As the verse: Certainly, Allah stands not in need of any of the Alamin (the worlds). The Quran,The Family of Imran (Aal-Imran); 97 (3: 97) states, Almighty Allah is not in need of any thing of the worlds. There is no degree, stage above his endless perfection, dignity and grandeur that he would –God forbid- attain that degree through creating the worlds.
The absolute existence and the absolute perfection belong to him in pre-eternity. As his perfection is endless in pre-eternity, then his perfection will be endless in post-eternity, too. The pre-eternal and absolute perfection cannot be considered to decrease or increase. It is certainly impossible for Him to gain a perfection from the creatures He has created and He will create and it is certainly impossible for Him to be in need of His creatures; He stands not in need of creating or not creating the being things. Every created being takes its perfection from Him. The perfection of the creatures is a pale shadow in relation to the perfection of His Essence.
As Badiuzzaman states, All the perfections of the Glorious Fashioner, the Beauteous Maker, the Perfect Creator are true perfections; they are essential and what is other than Him cannot affect Him. They can only be recipients.
Certainly, as all of the worlds come into existence by His creation, they also obtain all their needs from His inexhaustible treasure and take all their perfection from His sacred and pre-eternal perfection.
People asking that question are also unaware of the following fact:
The sacred Essence of Almighty Allah is not of the same kind as the universe. The essence of Almighty Allahs existence is necessary and essential and His non-existence is impossible. The existence of the creatures is possible; their existence or nonexistence is under possibility; they have reached to the world of existence by getting out of non-existence through His creation. Then, the entire self-sufficiency is only peculiar to Allah, and the need is for the creatures.
This truth is declared in Risale-i Nur through an eloquent and laconic style:
His existence is essential, it is pre-eternal, it is post-eternal, its non-existence is impossible, its cessation is impossible; it is the most firmly rooted, the most sound, the strongest, and the most perfect of the levels of existence. In relation to His existence, the other levels of existence are like extremely pale shadows. The degree of Necessary Existence is so stable and real, and contingent existence is so insubstantial and pale that many of those who have investigated creation, like Muhyi al-Din al-Arabi, have reduced the other levels of existence to the level of delusion and imagination; they said: There is no existent save Him. That is, it must not be said of other things that they have existence in relation to the Necessary Existence. They stated that they are not worthy of the title of existence.
Like Allahs essence, His attributes are also self-sufficient and free from all kinds of needs. His attributes are essential; they are in endless perfection and absolute. As an increase in the perfection of those attributes by creating the creatures cannot be considered, an imperfection in them cannot be regarded by not creating them.
One of Almighty Allahs attributes is life. The life of that Most Sacred Essence is perpetual, pre-eternal and post-eternal. His life at the present and in post-eternity is just like His life in the pre-eternity. All life levels emerge through the manifestation of His sacred life. Certainly, that Eternally Living and Self-Subsistent cannot be considered to be in need of the living creatures that He has created and has met all their needs and has had them attain perfection.
Another attribute of Allah is knowledge. The knowledge of that One Knowing of All Things is endless and absolute. His knowledge has not attained perfection by creating the universe. The knowledge of that All-Glorious Ruler in the post-eternity is the same of His knowledge in the pre-eternity. All of the plans and programs, wisdoms and benefits, prosperities and abundance are the manifestations of that pre-eternal knowledge. Certainly, that pre-eternal knowledge cannot be considered to be in need of those manifestations.
One of Almighty Allahs attributes is Power. The power of the One Powerful Over All Things has endless perfection. Everything is in need of that pre-eternal power to exist, continue and endure. Creating the creatures or not creating them do not cause any changes in His absolute power. All created beings are under His power and are in need of His power, and He is the ruler over all things and He has the power to do anything.
The other attributes such as Will, Hearing and Sight can be compared to those and it is understood clearly that Almighty Allah is free of all kinds of needs in terms of His attributes.
We have explained to a certain extent in our explanations up to that point that every thing is in need of Almighty Allah and Allah is in need of nothing.
Now, let us answer the question: Why did He create the universe, then?
The wisdoms and secrets in the creation of the universe are innumerable. First of all, let us explain that:
Almighty Allah is self-sufficient, in need of nothing; the existence and non-existence of the universe is equal for Him. Nevertheless, remaining in non-existence and being existent is not the same for the creatures. In other words, it is better for the possible things to come into the world of existence than remaining in non-existence in an infinite degree. Because, non-being is pure evil; and being is pure goodness, honor and perfection. Then, all of the goodness, benefits and profits in the creation of the creatures belong to them. Almighty Allah did not leave them in non-existence for those benefits and profits pertaining to the creatures and brought them into the sphere of existence by His beneficence and generosity. That is, He chose existence, which is good for them, not non-existence which is evil for them.
As for the reasons of the creation of the universe, they can be considered in two aspects:
The first pertains to Almighty Allah, and the second one pertains to the living creatures, especially to the conscious and intelligent ones.
The First Reason:
The most important reason of the creation of the universe is the wish of Allah to see His immaterial beauty and perfection Himself; in other words, His wish to see the wonders of His power, the wideness of His richness, the fruits of His benevolence, the manifestations of His compassion and clemency in the mirrors of the beings in the universe.
Yes According to the fact: It is a most basic rule that infinitely perfect beauty and infinitely beautiful perfection want to behold themselves and show and exhibit themselves, Almighty Allah wanted to behold His infinite beauty and perfection in the mirrors of the beings and wanted to manifest His infinite attributes and His Asma al-Husna (the most beautiful names) and He willed to create this world.
Whether Allahs attributes manifest or not, they are infinitely perfect. However, the perfection of His Asma al-Husna demonstrates itself through the creation of the beings.
Yes, as Almighty Allah has an infinite power, then His Pre-eternal power desires such a magnificent, mighty world for manifestation. Since that All-Glorious Essence has an infinite knowledge, that knowledge necessitates the writing of that book of universe which has thousands of wisdoms and benefits in its every letter, line and page. As all Divine attributes necessitate the creation of that universe, all of the al-Asma al-Husna also necessitate the creation of those beings having distinct beauties, different natures and separate figures. For example, the name of the Creator desires the creation of the creatures, the name of the Giver of Life desires the creation of the living beings, the name of the Provider desires giving sustenance, the name of the Generous desires generosity, and the name of the Gracious desires giving favor.
As Almighty Allah loves His infinitely perfect Essence, His sacred attributes and His Asma al-Husna, He also likes the manifestation of His names, that is, their manifestations over the beings. That necessitates the creation of the universe. As Allahs loving His own Essence, attributes and names is a reality, His desire for the manifestation of His names is also a reality. Certainly, it is more favorable His demonstrating His favor, generosity, bestowal, favor in the universe through creating it than not creating it. For example, the bestowal of a king different kinds of jewels and bounties in his treasure is better than keeping them in his treasure. Like that, it is better for a scholars having others benefit from his knowledge to the sphere of power, making benevolence and bestowals to His creatures and having them behold and observe His beauty and perfection are certainly better than His leaving His creatures in non-existence.
As it is seen, because of that wisdom Almighty Allah created the universe palace and the human species which are guests in it and the saints and the prophets which are the most perfect individuals of it, especially the Most Noble Prophet (pbuh) who fulfilled the task of prophethood in the most perfect form.
Ustad Badiuzzaman states that truth as follows:
Since all God Almightys perfections and qualities and all the degrees in His Beautiful Names are true perfections, they are loved for themselves. The Glorious One, Who is the true beloved, loves His perfections, which are true perfections, and the beauties of His attributes and Names in a manner appropriate to Himself. And He loves the good qualities of His art and creatures, which are mirrors reflecting those perfections. He loves His prophets and saints, especially the Most Noble Beloved, who is the Lord of the Prophets and Prince of the Saints. That is, with His love for His own beauty, He loves His Beloved One, who is the mirror to that beauty. With His love for His own Names, He loves His Beloved One and his brothers who are comprehensive and aware loci of those Names manifestations. With His love for His art, He loves His Beloved One and those like him who are heralds and exhibitors of that art. With His love for His artefacts, He loves His Beloved One and those who follow him who appreciate and admire those artefacts and respond to them saying: What wonders God has willed! How beautifully they have been made. And with His love for the good qualities of His creatures, He loves His Most Noble Beloved One and his followers and brothers in whom are united the finest of moral qualities.
It must not be forgotten that, the love, pleasure and mercy of Almighty Allah is suitable for its sacred Essence and befits its divinity; they are free of being similar to the love and mercy of the creatures.
The Second Reason:
The second aspect of the reasons of the universe pertains to the intelligent and conscious creatures. It can be examined in two points:
The first point is the animate creatures being the recipients of Almighty Allahs grace and bestowal, beneficence and generosity as the declaration of the Sacred Hadith meaning: I have created the creatures so that they would benefit from Me, not that I would benefit from them. He has bestowed all animate creatures a perfection, a pleasure, effulgence and He has adorned them with several instruments to continue their lives and benefit from this world. He has given them different kinds of needs, desires and appetites. He has rendered the face of the earth a table full of several bounties to satisfy them. He has both given them pleasures and provided their continuation and immortality through the bounties in that table. He has adorned the human beings with valuable tools such as intelligence, imagination and memory and He has directed all His bounties towards them.
Allah of Mighty Stature cannot be considered to be in need of His creatures He has created them out of non-existence. If it is considered, such questions should be answered: What profits, workings or ideas of the creatures is He in need of? That is, which task of the Possessor of Absolute Riches do those animate creatures fulfill? Is Almighty Allah in need of their eating or drinking? Is He in need of their birth or death? Which deficiency of the universe do fishes complete by their swimming, birds by their flying, animals by their growing and increasing, humans by their scientific discoveries and progression and which -God forbid!- need of Almighty Allah do they meet? In fact, all living creatures live in His property and receive His beneficence every moment.
The second aspect of the creation of that world pertaining to the living beings and intelligent creatures is conscious creatures knowing of Allah and worshipping Him as the verse I created not jinn and mankind except that they might worship me. the Quran, The Winds that Scatter (Az-Zariyat); 56 (51:56) states.
Human beings acquire closeness to the only One Truly Deserving of Worship and the eternal bliss by fulfilling their duty of worshipping through glorification, exaltation, praise and thanks. Badiuzzaman states that truth as follows:
Be certain of this, that the highest aim of creation and its most important result are belief in God. The most exalted rank in humanity and its highest degree are the knowledge of God contained within belief in God. The most radiant happiness and sweetest bounty for jinn and human beings are the love of God contained within the knowledge of God. And the purest joy for the human spirit and the sheerest delight for mans heart are the rapture of the spirit contained within the love of God. Indeed, all true happiness, pure joy, sweet bounties, and untroubled pleasure lie in knowledge of God and love of God; they cannot exist without them. One who knows and loves God Almighty is potentially able to receive endless bounties, happiness, lights, and mysteries.
As it is seen from those expressions clearly, the sheerest joy and delight can only be obtained through the knowledge and love of Allah. Spiritual closeness to Allah can only be obtained through those. The honor, delight, perfection and benefit obtained by those pertain only to the servants. It is clear that Allah of Mighty Stature is not in need of His servants glorification, exaltation, worship and obedience.
If all beings worshipped Him, His perfection would not increase even the slightest degree and if they rebelled Him, His dignity and perfection would not decrease even a bit.
Let us complete the subject by the great Quranic commentator scholar Elmalili Hamdi Yazirs expression which is a signboard of contemplation and lesson:
Suppose that there are no humans on the earth as there are no humans on the moon. What would decrease from the presence of His sublimity because of that?
Light and heat spread out of His sun, moonlight reflects from his moon, He creates moon-faced beauties from dust, breaths giving roominess to our breasts spill out of His winds, He showers light from stars millions of year far away from the soils you have come from and you will be buried in, He rouses effects in the minute particles by several vibrations, He prepares sustenance from the plants growing at the top of the mountains; He opens chemistry laboratories in your breasts and wisdom sections in your minds, He lets rivers flow through your veins, He weaves several road networks surprising your minds, He hides riches in your muscles, He adorns your bodies by such and such wonders, He establishes the totality of the universe as an orderly machine with a unique harmony and He places power of excite inside you, He depicts necessary plans on your spirits and conscious, He bestows a treasure called mind, a reagent called intelligence, a tool called thought, a key called volition and He also gives you some kinds of sweet and bitter warnings, signs, tendencies, lusts in order to facilitate your using each of them in their proper places in accordance with their creation aims; as a greater blessing of His mercy, He sends instructions by the honest, confirmed, reliable guides openly and finally by operating the machines and showing His tests to you, He delivers the machines in your hands as a trust so that you use it in accordance with their creation aims and benefit from them.
Allah does all of those not because that He needs you, your wills, your assistance but in order to give you endurance by giving you a distinguished position and a particular authority among His creatures.
Do you ever consider your periods and stages of your bodies before you were born and after you were born? Do you ever conceive where you were, what you were in while that globe- where you take shelter, eat and drink, wander and walk around, enjoy yourself and find things which are remedies for your troubles, refuges to your fears, and find means which protect you against hot and cold, hunger and thirst, attacking and tormenting of wild animals and insects- was being built, its stones and earths were being heat-treated in the ovens of creation, its water and air were being distilled from stills in the chemistry laboratories of Power?
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