Question 44: What is the position of a person, in terms of faith, who accepts that matter is pre-eternal and that galaxies and living beings came into being after Allah shaped matter? Did previous prophets tell their ummahs about Big Bang?
Submitted by on Tue, 29/09/2020 - 15:24
Dear Brother / Sister,
Answer: Matter is not pre-eternal. It is only Allah, who is pre-eternal and post-eternal. He created all creatures. He was not created. Whatever has been created is a creature; a creature cannot be a deity. Matter’s being pre-eternal means accepting matter as a separate deity as equal to or a partner of Him along with Allah’s pre-eternity.
Why should matter be pre-eternal? Matter’s being pre-eternal means its being outside Allah’s decree. A deity other than Allah will create matter or matter will exist spontaneously without any external power as if it is a deity. The understanding of deity in Islam does not accept such a belief. A person who has such an approach and belief exits the religion of Islam
However, imagining that matter can be eternal, or thinking about it does not make a person exit Islam because, imagination, contemplation, meditation and thinking are not decrees. Likewise, thinking about unbelief does not make a person an unbeliever. In other words, if someone who believes in Allah puts himself in the place of a person who accepts the pre-eternality of matter but does not accept the existence of Allah in order to understand his state and world of thought, he will not be held responsible for it. However, it is a decree to accept or approve that opinion or thought; it makes man responsible.
In short, it is one thing to know something and it is another thing to accept and believe it. You can know the view that accepts matter as pre-eternal and its rationale. If you are a teacher, you can tell that some philosophers accept the pre-eternality of matter. Knowing a matter scientifically is one thing and believing that it is true is another thing. A Muslim’s approving and accepting the pre-eternality of matter makes him exit from the religion of Islam.
It is unknown to us whether the previous prophets told their ummahs about the issue of Big Bang. What is the Big Bang? The Big Bang is a way of thinking that tries to explain how the universe was created for the first time and what phases it underwent. The basic principles that the prophets wanted to convey both to the people before us, the people of this era and the people after us, have always been the same. There might be some change in explanation according to the understanding of the addressee only. However, the basic principles are always the same.
Allah, who has infinite knowledge, will and power created everything from atoms to galaxies. The world is a place of testing. After death, everyone will be resurrected and called to account for what they did in the world and what they did not do though they should have done. Those who obey Allah’s orders in the world will be rewarded in Paradise and those who do not obey will be punished in Hell. The other events are details compared to them and people are interested in them and value them to the extent that they clarify and support those basic principles. That is, it is not important for a person who knows Allah and obeys Him whether the universe is shaped in three minutes or in thirteen minutes in terms of the basic principles listed above because that person accepts and approves that everything is created by Allah. It does not matter for that person how the shape and nature of creation is. That incident is a pointin the agenda of only the scientists who are concerned with this issue.
It is necessary to evaluate what all the prophets reported to their ummahs from this point of view. Therefore, it is not a deficiency in the belief and faith of the people of the past, if they did not know, for example, the atom and the cell.
Today’s man knows the structure and functions of the atom and the cell, but if he attributes it to chance and nature, he exits the religion; if he attributes it to Allah and regards it as His work of art, his spiritual rank will rise.
In the past, the knowledge of peoplewas simple. However, if the faith of those people was proper, there is no problem. The knowledge of today’s people about the environment and the universe is quite extensive. If he easily finds the existence of Allah with that knowledge, there is no problem. However, if this knowledge distances him from the creator, the real problem begins there. Unfortunately, many people today believe in science like a religion, and the existence of the creator does not occupy much room in his world. On the other hand, malicious people who want to benefit from this weak spot of some people present their philosophical thoughts and opinions based on unbelief as scientific knowledge and distance today’s people from Allah more than the people in the past.
In this respect, it is important for someone how much he knows about the universe, but it is important whether he knows Allah or not because the main purpose of the life and creation of man is to know Allah truly and obey and worship Him. The more knowledgeable a person who looks at the universe through such a window of faith, the better he will know and understand Allah. It is called the knowledge of Allah or marifatullah.
Criticism of the pre-eternity of matter
Atoms form the basis of matter. There are about 114 atoms with their isotopes that are known. The issue of how these atoms emerged or by whom they were created has been a matter of debate throughout human history. For a certain time, philosophers argued that matter did not have a creator and that it had always existed since pre-eternity.
Atoms consist of nuclei and electrons around it as the basic structure. Besides, each atom has a structure peculiar to it. There are electromagnetic forces and gravitational forces that keep the electrons around the atom and the protons in the nucleus in balance. There are also smaller particles such as neutrons, quarks and neutrinos in the structure of the atom. Both electrons and protons rotate in certain orbits.
In short, the subatomic particles forming the structure of each atom coming together to form the atom and showing a certain character necessitates infinite knowledge, will and power. However, these properties do not exist in atoms or subatomic particles. It is not possible for them to emerge without a creator who has knowledge, will and power, and who can see and know creator who will take the atoms from the world of non-existence and give each of them their unique characteristics. Therefore, atoms and matter made up of them cannot be pre-eternal. It is created by a creator who knows and sees and has power over everything.
Questions on Islam
- What does Allah’s being Pre-Eternal mean?
- What are Allah's attributes? How many groups are they divided into?
- What are the possibilities about the reality of “existence”?
- Why isn’t the matter pre-eternal? How can God be pre-eternal?
- “Allah created everything. Who created Allah then?”
- What are the attributes of Allah? How many types of attributes are there?
- Does qadar (destiny) change?
- What are the reasons for the mistakes of atheists and materialists?
- Can we say that Allah knew that unbelievers will live in unbelief and that hence He created them in non-Muslim countries?
- Is marriage qadar (destiny)?