The First Aim: The Proof of Oneness.
THE FIRST AIM
The representative of the people of misguidance and those who assign partners to Allah fell to earth at the slap he received from a star, as was described at the end of the First Stopping-Place. So, because he could find nothing going for him anywhere from the particles to the stars, he gave up laying claim to them in that way and instead tried by means of three important questions to induce doubts in believers’ minds about Divine unity and oneness.
The First Question: He said in the manner of the atheists: “O you who believe in One God! Looking on behalf of my clients, I could find nothing, nor get anything at all out of the beings in the universe; I could not substantiate my claims. But then, how do you prove the existence of One Who is Single and Unique and possesses infinite power? Why do you not think it possible for others to interfere and to share in His power?”
The Answer: It is decisively proved in the Twenty-Second Word that every creature, every particle, every star, is an illuminating argument for the Necessarily Existent and Absolutely Powerful One. Every link in the chains of beings in the universe is a clear evidence for His unity. The All-Wise Qur’an proves this with its innumerable proofs, and mentions most frequently those proofs that are clearest in the view of people generally. For example:
If you ask them, who is it that created the heavens and the earth, they will certainly say, “Allah.”1
And among His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the variations in your languages and colours.2
With these and many verses like them, the All-Wise Qur’an presents the creation of the heavens and earth as self-evident proofs of Divine unity. And so, whether they like it or not, because of the way the heavens and earth have been created, anyone who is conscious and intelligent will be compelled to affirm the Glorious Creator. As the Qur’an says: They will certainly say, “Allah.”
In the First Stopping-Place we started with a particle and demonstrated the stamp of unity on beings as far as the stars and the heavens. With verses like these the Qur’an repels the ascribing of partners to Allah from the stars and heavens down to particles. It indicates this in the following way.
The Possessor of Absolute Power Who creates the heavens and earth with such order and balance, of course creates the solar system, which is a region of it. The solar system is self-evidently within His controlling and directing grasp.
Since that Absolutely Powerful One holds the sun and its planets within His grasp, and orders, subjugates, and directs them, certainly the earth, which is a member of the solar system and is tied to the sun, is also within His regulating and controlling grasp. Since this is so, the beings which are created and inscribed on the face of the earth and are like its aims and fruits are also within His sustaining and perfecting grasp.
And since all the creatures spread and scattered over the earth, which gild and adorn its face, are continuously renewed, coming and going, filling the earth and being emptied from it, they are all of them within the grasp of His knowledge and power; and since they are measured and ordered on the scales of justice and wisdom; and since all the species of animate beings are within the grasp of His power; certainly, all the well-ordered and faultless members of those species, which are like miniature specimens of the cosmos, balance-sheets of its species, and tiny indexes of the book of the universe, must also be within His creating, sustaining, directing, and perfecting grasp.
And since this is so, the cells, blood-corpuscles, limbs and muscles which comprise those animate creatures’ bodies are also self-evidently within the grasp of His knowledge and power.
And since every cell and corpuscle is under His command and within His grasp, and since they are in motion according to His laws, surely the particles out of which they are formed and which are like shuttles weaving the embroideries of art which clothe them, are also necessarily within the grasp of His power and the sphere of His knowledge. For they are in motion in orderly fashion faultlessly performing duties at His command, with His permission, and through His power.
And since this is so, the identifying features and distinguishing marks to be found on everyone, all the differences in faces, voices and languages, of necessity also occur through His knowledge and wisdom.
So now look again at the verse which mentions and points out the beginning and end of this chain:
And among His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the variations in your languages and your colours: indeed, in that are signs for those who know.
We therefore now say: O representative of the unbelievers! You can see, these arguments as strong as the chains of the universe prove the path of affirming Divine unity, and they demonstrate a Possessor of Absolute Power. Since the creation of the heavens and the earth demonstrates an All-Powerful Maker, and the infinite power of that All-Powerful Maker, and that His infinite power is at the point of infinite perfection, there is an absolute lack of need for any partners. That is to say, He in no way needs any associates.
Since He has no need, why do you take that dark path? Why is it you feel constrained to take it? Moreover, since both He, and beings, are in absolutely no need of partners, just as it is impossible for there to be any partners in His Divinity, so it is impossible for there to be any in His creation and sustaining of beings. Their existence is impossible. The reason for this is as follows:
We proved that the power of the Maker of the heavens and the earth is both infinite and at the point of infinite perfection. If there was any partner, it would mean that, although His power is infinite, another finite power would threaten and overcome His infinite and perfect power and would take possession of a certain areas of it. It would then be necessary, without there being any compulsion, for something finite to make something infinite finite and limited, and for itself to become infinite for a time. This is a manifold and most irrational impossibility.
Also, since there is no need for partners, and, since their existence is impossible, to claim otherwise is purely arbitrary. That is, since there is no cause that could induce such a claim, rationally or logically, it would be meaningless. According to the science of jurisprudence, such a claim is designated ‘arbitrary’. That is, it is a meaningless ‘abstract claim’.
A principle of the sciences of theology and jurisprudence is this, that a probability not originating from any indication or sign has no importance; it cannot induce doubt in a matter that is definite. It cannot shake the certainty that is based on sound judgement.
For example, it is possible that Barla or Egridir Lake consists of grape-molasses or that it has been transformed into oil. But since that possibility does not originate from any indication, it does not affect our certain knowledge, or induce doubt in the fact, that it consists of water.
Therefore, we questioned every sort of creature from every corner of the cosmos and whatever was questioned, from the particles to the stars in the First Stopping-Place, and from the creation of the heavens and the earth to the individual features in faces in the Second Stopping-Place, everything demonstrated through the tongue of its being the seal of unity; everything testified that Allah is One.
You saw this for yourself. There is, then, nothing in any of the creatures in the universe on which the possibility of Allah having any partners could be constructed. That is to say, since to claim that Allah does have partners is purely arbitrary and meaningless and is an ‘abstract claim’, it is pure ignorance and unqualified stupidity.
Thus, nothing remained for the representative of the people of misguidance to say in the face of this. The only thing he could say was: “What indicates that Allah has partners is the configuration of causes in the cosmos. It is that everything is tied to a cause. So that means that causes have an actual effect, and if they have an effect, are not they able to be Allah’s partners?”
The Answer: Effects have been tied to causes because Divine will and wisdom require them to be so, and so that great numbers of the Divine Names may be manifested. Everything has been tied to a cause, but we have decisively proved in numerous places, including many of the Words, that “causes have no actual power with which to create their effects.” So, for now we shall just say this:
Among causes human beings are self-evidently the most superior, and have the greatest power of choice and the most extensive ability to control and direct other causes. And among the most obvious of man’s actions over which he exercises choice are eating and the powers of speech and thought. Furthermore, all these faculties are extremely well-ordered, wonderful, and purposeful chains. But of the hundred links in these chains only one is subject to man’s power of choice.
For example, in the chain of actions concerning food, which stretches from the nourishment of the body’s cells to the forming of fruit, only moving the jaw and chewing the food is subject to man’s choice. And in the chain of speech, only exhaling air and blowing it into the mould of articulated letters. And while a word in the mouth is a seed, it becomes like a tree; in the air it yields the fruits of millions of the same word and enters the ears of listeners along with millions of others. Man’s imagination can barely reach this metaphorical shoot, so how should the short arm of choice reach it?
Since among causes man is the most superior and has the greatest power of choice and yet his hands are thus tied from real creation, how should other causes, such as inanimate creatures, animals, the elements, and nature have any real power of disposal over other causes? Each of those causes is only a container; a cover for the dominical works; a tray-bearer for the gifts of the Compassionate One.
Of course, the receptacle for a king’s gift, or the handkerchief in which it is wrapped, or the individual who brings the gift, which is placed in his hand, can in no way be partners in the king’s sovereignty. Anyone who supposes that they are partners is imagining nonsensical absurdities. In the same way, apparent causes and intermediaries can have absolutely no share in Allah’s sustaining of His creatures. Their lot is only to perform a service of worship.
1. Qur'an, 31:25; 39;38.
2. Qur'an, 30:22.
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- First Stopping-Place: The proof of the Wahdaniyyah (Oneness) of Almighty Allah.
- The Thirty-Third Word: It explains that there is a window opening to Almighty Allah in everything with thirty-three examples.
- Second Point of Eloquence: The Qur'an depicts Divine work of arts and summarizes them with Divine names.
- Third Ray: While everything is infinitely distant from Allah, Allah is infinitely close to everything.
- Second Aim: The duties of atoms and molecules in forming various matters.
- Fourth Point: It explains why the style in the spiritual miraculousness of the Quran cannot be translated.
- The Fourteenth Word: Some verses and Hadiths which are difficult to understand: The creation of heavens and the earth in six days.
- Third Glow: The conciseness of the Qur'an which is at the degree of miracle.
- The Addendum to the Tenth Phrase of the Twentieth Letter: It shows that there is an infinite facility in divine unity and endless difficulties in multiplicity and associating partners with Allah.
- Second Station: It is a summary about the proof of oneness from the point of the Greatest Name.