How should we understand the order "kun", that is, “be” of Allah?

Details of the Question
How should we understand the order "kun", that is, “be” of Allah?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Author: Alaaddin Başar (Prof.Dr.)

Two examples of verses regarding the order “kun”:

To Him is due the primal origin of the heavens and the earth; when He decreeth a matter, He saith to it: "Be"; and it is. (al-Baqara, 117)

The scholars explained the order “be” as the power of Allah going into action immediately. They interpreted the word hand as power in the verse, “in Whose hands is the dominion of all things”; similarly, they interpreted the order “be“ as the power and will. They said, “what is meant by it is the fact that what Allah wishes takes place at once without any obstacles.”

Another verse is as follows:

This similitude of Jesus before Allah is as that of Adam: He created him from dust, then said to him: "Be" and he was. (Aal-i Imran, 59)

In order to approach the meaning of the order “be” in the verse somewhat, it is necessary to take into consideration the following classification regarding things: the realm of creation and the realm of order. The realm of creation takes place gradually in this world of wisdom. Things are created gradually, step by step. Such a creation is not in question for the realm of order. In that realm, everything happens at once. The soul did not take its shape after passing through various phases. It was created as a soul directly. It starts to function in the body of man instantly.   

Muhyiddin  al-Arabi explains the fact that Adam was created out of dust of the earth and then the order “be” was given through that law of order:  “The divine word "Be" indicates the soul being blown. It also indicates that the blowing took place in the realm of order. There is no need for a material and time like the creation of the body earlier.

The verse we have mentioned opens a vast horizon for the mind. First, Adam (pbuh) is created out of the dust of the earth and then he is given the order “be”. The body of Adam (pbuh) created out of the dust of the earth attains the soul and life through that order. As a matter of fact, Elmalılı Hamdi Efendi, the great tafsir scholar interprets it as, “Turn to a living creature.” To order “be” to an already existing thing should mean to assume a new shape; otherwise, it will not be possible to explain that order.

Accordingly, we can say, “Man is created at once.” However, his garment is woven in nine months. It is the same for the other creatures. The formation of the divine code in the seeds is created at once, or rather timelessly, like the soul but it takes years for a seed to become a tree.   

Now, let us have a look at the endless activities around us through the window of that verse and see the order “be” on them.

Hydrogen and oxygen turn to water as a result of the order “be”. Two opposite poles come together and turn to something else. The food that has been eaten becomes the seed of man after a while as a result of the order “be”. Would it be possible to turn food to man but for that order, that is, if the divine order did not create it?   

In the uterus, the nutfah (minute quantity of liquid) receives the order, “be an alaqah (clot of blood)”. This order and similar ones are repeated continuously. The divine power and will transform that seed from one state into another and eventually, man becomes existent That is, the nutfah was not ordered “be a human being”; he was ordered, “be an alaqah”. If the order “be a human being” had been given, the baby would have formed in the uterus at that moment. Creation takes place based on causes and gradually since the world is a realm of wisdom. So many arts are exhibited through that gradual creation.

To create man at once is an art peculiar to Allah. Similarly, to create a nutfah and to transform it into different states and then eventually to turn it to man are separate divine arts. In this world of wisdom, the order “be” is not given in the form of “transform into your final stage” but as “transform into your next stage” so that the divine arts will be exhibited.

The air we breathe in is given different orders in the larynx, oral cavity and lips; thus, different letters are pronounced. That is, the air is ordered, “Be a sound” in different forms. Allah creates sounds out of air in the factory of the mouth with the order “be”.

If that sound is a holy word or if it utters a divine truth, it receives a new order, “be an angel”. An angel is created out of all holy words, that is, the glorification (tasbih), takbir and praising (hamd). The one who says to the air, “Be a sound” can say to the sound, “Be an angel”. Who can oppose this will?   

The light that enters the eye factory receives a similar order: “Be the light of the eye.” We hear a nice sentence. That sentence becomes information in our mind through the order “be”. If the heart likes that word, a new order comes “Be abundance!”, “Be awe!”, “Be love!”...

In short, the universe is full of the manifestations of the order “be”. The ground is addressed as, “Be flowers” and the cloud as “Be rain.”...

The seed receives the order of, “Be a tree!” and the egg receives the order of “Be a chick”...

The food we eat receives so many orders in our body: "Be meat", "Be marrow", "Be blood", "Be a bone", "Be a nerve", "Be hairs", "Be nails", etc...

Once, the solar system, whose matter was one single matter, received similar orders: "Be the world", "Be Mercury", "Be the moon", etc...

The lives of those who cannot realize the order be are full of the outcomes of this order.

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