Since living creatures are manifestations of God’s names, can we not think that the mixture of all things is God? In that case, does God resemble anything?

Details of the Question
Since living creatures are manifestations of God’s names, can we not think that the mixture of all things is God? In that case, does God resemble anything?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Considering God as being in the universe or in some of the living things is seen both in some religions and philosophical movements. For example; Pantheism considers God as a thing in the matter, Christianity considers God as an emanation of Jesus, Christ.

However, a work of art shows its creator but it is necessary not to search that doer in that work of art. In every transparent thing, the sun is seen with its manifestation but the sun is not present in any of those things with itself.

When a work of art and its artist are considered as the same, there will be an endless cause and effect series. If the book authors the book then that book is authored by another book and that one is authored by another one; thus, there will a long series which is meaningless and illogical. However, if the book is written by an external living creature but not a type of book, that is, a human, then this time it will be both easy and we will no longer face such long and meaningless series of ideas. A letter of the book cannot write itself or become a doer. However, somebody from outside can easily invent and write it.

How can the letter of “A” create itself while it does not exist? Is this not an inconsistent and illogical approach? If the universe is a book, then the author of it cannot be itself or a matter inside of it. The author of the book of the universe must be someone who is independent and not a type of it. This can only be God, who is free from time and place. The artist and his art cannot be the same being.
 
“If the creator of something exists in its creation, then there must be a total uniformity between them.” (Nursi, Mesnev-i Nuriye, Habbe) That is, if the artist exists in its art then the artist and the art must be alike. It should have the qualities of its art. The art and the artist must be same and equal. The art is passive and it is the subject of the work; similarly, the artist has a relation with the art; then it must be both passive and the subject of its work.

For example, a carpenter who is the maker of a table is thought to be inside it, then the carpenter must be like wood and have the qualities of wood. If God is considered to be inside of the universe, He should have qualities of the universe. The table is a product which displays the art and mastery of its carpenter.

For instance, God must be dependent on time and place. Death and decaying would apply to Him too.

For this reason, the artist can never be inside of his art or a type of to it. Being in it and being a type of it means that He is also an art.

The biggest error of man is that he compares God and His infinite attributes with himself and his types. However, neither God nor His attributes can be compared with anything among living things or non-living things. Comparison is something which can be made among the same types and species. Since God is outside of the realm of living things, comparing Him with these things is impossible. This is a void and wrong comparison which diverts man from tawhid (oneness of God) to personification and embodying. (Comparing God to matter) As it is stated in a verse of the Qur’an, “there is nothing whatever like unto Him” (Ash-Shura, 42/11), we should consider God as pure and glorious and attribute qualities which are suitable for Him. Otherwise -God forbid- there is a danger of polytheism and unbelief.
 
A honeybee is an art of God. Many names and attributes of God display themselves on this work of art.However, all of the divine attributes of God does not have to be present in the honeybee with all their grandeur. For instance, the endless knowledge and power of God is not seen in the bee as it is; it is an illness to expect something like that. If the divinity aspect of God had been fully present in all of His arts, each art would have had to be a deity. Mountains, stones and all of the beings would have had endless knowledge, will and power like a deity, which is sophistry. 

When the sun becomes manifest in a drop of water, it does not come and enter that drop; it becomes manifest in the drop in accordance with the nature and capacity of the drop. Similarly, when God becomes manifest it His art, He becomes manifest in accordance with the nature and capacity of that art. He Himself does not come and enter that art. This state describes the fact when people do not see the oneness that becomes manifest in things that they generally consider as unimportant and simple. For instance, when a person looks at a small fly, he tends to attribute the creation of the fly to causes and nature because he cannot see the grandeur of the sun and stars in that fly. As a matter of fact, the grandeur of the fly is hidden in its fine art and life. Many names that are manifest in the fly do not exist in the sun and stars. A person who has an ill view does not pay attention to them and unfortunately he refuses and denies God. 

To sum up, the power of God becomes manifest in the universe without touching or entering it, commanding it directly, without any intermediaries. The power of God does not have to enter man when He creates man. A carpenter makes hundreds of tables but the power and knowledge of the carpenter does not enter the table. That is, the table is not elevated to the level of humanity. Similarly, God creates the universe with His knowledge and power but the universe and all of the things in it do not and cannot receive the power and knowledge hereditarily.                            

Questions on Islam

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