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In the Name of God بسم الله

Did Allah exist all alone before creating?

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ema

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Was Allah all alone before start creating? Allah with complete, permanent, non-changing knowledge of what he is going to create would wait before creating? Time is relative concept of order or sequence, some say. Allah is a creator by nature, so Allah would create. Allah al-awwal actually describing causal relationship instead of time difference?  Since Allah will not change, Allah would not start having the will to create at some point of time? Created beings exist after Allah wills it with His power with His words based on His knowledge. 7:54 and 11:7 give impression of time frame during Allah's creating. But Allah is not operating within time frame? Please help me here. Thanks.

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Allah (SWT) was known to himself, He was never waiting, He was always there with His knowledge. However, then He Willed to share his knowledge to his creation as well. Before that He was Knowledgeable and was sufficient for himself. His being alone is unique in the sense that He never feels alone due to His being Knowledgeable nor He gets tired as Knowledgeable is always busy with His knowledge but as His knowledge is vast, His capability to deal them is vast too. He (SWT) is Hero of every ground, wherever you go, you will find Him.

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Waiting means doing nothing, Doing nothing means inactivity, inactivity means contained and Allah (SWT) is not contained but he is everywhere. When there was nothing, He was all, there was. At that time, He praised Himself and Why should not He (AWJ) praise Himself because none is like Him. He (AWJ) decided to make Himself known to what is other than Him and that is creation. For complete knowledge of Him (AWJ) brought ignorance to birth so that people may know difference between High and Low, between beauty and ugliness, between creator and the created. As you go deep, you get going, He (AWJ) is so huge and so beautiful that journey to him never comes to an end. Thousands of years have passed but none can say that I know him completely. So, He knew that and told his creation that if you feel tired of my beauty say my name and thank me. 

Edited by Irfan1214
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1 hour ago, Khadim uz Zahra said:

Your problem concerns the apparent change in His State between when He created and before. The solution is rather simple: there was no before and no after. God is not constrained by the physical world and time is simply another dimension of this universe. He is not constrained by this world and, so, He is not constrained by time. While time may seem  the most natural of concepts to us, He exists outside of it. So, there can be no change when there is no gradation  (i.e. time).

If as you say, 'there can be no change where there is no gradation' nothing can be created.

Time is a measure of change, Change is the difference between what was and what is.

To suggest that the God created anything is to appeal to time. 
To go from undecided to decided is to appeal to time.

God would have to exist without the created thing, then God would have to do something that resulted in the existence of the created thing. This takes time. 

Whether or not God exists in some extra-dimensional environment where time as we understand is other than we can imagine ...it's irrelevant.

Call it "God time" for lack of a better word. But in order for it to be true that God created something a minimum of these three states are necessary:

God exists but creation does not exist
God performs creative act
God and His creation exist

Otherwise it cannot be true that God created anything.

And when He acted to create He entered into time, of necessity, now having a past and a present. Before, During and After Creation are three moments in Time.

Can you help me understand what you mean when you say that God transcends time? 

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Well, we can argue all this but let's refer to a more pertinent matter: according to some physicists (and, this is a much debated topic so I'm not going to say this is the absolute truth but it is definitely a popular opinion), time did not exist before the Big Bang. Physically speaking, time is simply a dimension of the physical world and, as such, when the universe itself did not exist, neither did time. Now, if we do agree that God existed before the creation of the Universe and time literally did not exist, how on earth could He be constrained within time (even some sort of God-Time). And, if time does not exist, then can we truly use terms such as before and after? Of course, as humans, time is a concept that is just intrinsic to our perception of the world and, so, we cannot imagine what an existence without time actually means but just because we cannot name it does not mean it is impossible. Indeed, I find it interesting that people find the assertion that God transcends time to be problematic but will often not argue over how He can exist without being physical. If it is not hard to believe He does not exist in the three dimensions we can see, why should He exist in the fourth dimension we can't (literally) see? So, if you want me to explain exactly what form of existence God has in His transcendence of time, I cannot say but, as I've said, as a human, I really cannot imagine an existence without time and thus cannot describe it and, yet, according to actual scientists it is a possibility.

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Several of our companions from Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Khalid from Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Abi Nasr.

He said: A man came to Abu’l Hasan ar-Rida عليه السلام from beyond the Balkh river and said: I will ask you a question, if your answer to me is the same as that which is with me [I will accept your cause]. So Abu’l Hasan عليه السلام said: Ask whatever you wish. So he said: Inform me about your Lord, when did He come into being? And how is His state? And upon what thing does He rely? So Abu’l Hasan عليه السلام said: Allah تبارك وتعالى was there before there was a “there”, and He was being before there was a “how”, and His reliance is upon His power. So the man rose to him and kissed his head, and said: I bear witness that there is no god except Allah, and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and that `Ali is the deputy of the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله and the succeeding upholder of what the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله established, and that you are the righteous Imams and the successors after them. (al-Kafi hadith 233)

(sahih) (صحيح)

http://www.imamiyya.com/hadith/usul-kafi/book-3/chapter-6

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1 hour ago, Khadim uz Zahra said:

Your problem concerns the apparent change in His State between when He created and before.

Surah Al-Rahman, Verse 29:

 كُلَّ يَوْمٍ هُوَ فِي شَأْنٍ

18 minutes ago, Quisant said:

Time is a measure of change, Change is the difference between what was and what is.

How can a thing which itself changing continuously (time) be considered as a measure when there is no "was"?

What is the measure of change for "time"?

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2 hours ago, ema said:

Was Allah all alone before start creating? Allah with complete, permanent, non-changing knowledge of what he is going to create would wait before creating? Time is relative concept of order or sequence, some say. Allah is a creator by nature, so Allah would create. Allah al-awwal actually describing causal relationship instead of time difference?  Since Allah will not change, Allah would not start having the will to create at some point of time? Created beings exist after Allah wills it with His power with His words based on His knowledge. 7:54 and 11:7 give impression of time frame during Allah's creating. But Allah is not operating within time frame? Please help me here. Thanks.

Allah (SWT) was creator even though there was none except him. Before creation of creature, He was praising himself and since there is not end to his praise therefore there is no end to his creativity. He kept praising and praising. Even today we are his "Remembrance" He has been praising himself eternally and every time he makes new creation or destroy previous one. So, whatever he does is a creation even if it be the actions or the words that praises him.

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Every moment, He (AWJ) unveils a new "Zikr" a new name of Him. All of his names are known to HIm and He (AWJ) is unlimited, what we know today is nothing more than may be infinitely small fraction of the drop from the sea of His knowledge. Human brain is too insignificant to understand one who contains times under his beats. He is so huge do not try we get mad. hahahahaha. But he is all-good and all merciful and everlasting beauty.

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39 minutes ago, Khadim uz Zahra said:

Well, we can argue all this but let's refer to a more pertinent matter: according to some physicists (and, this is a much debated topic so I'm not going to say this is the absolute truth but it is definitely a popular opinion), time did not exist before the Big Bang. Physically speaking, time is simply a dimension of the physical world and, as such, when the universe itself did not exist, neither did time. Now, if we do agree that God existed before the creation of the Universe and time literally did not exist, how on earth could He be constrained within time (even some sort of God-Time). And, if time does not exist, then can we truly use terms such as before and after? Of course, as humans, time is a concept that is just intrinsic to our perception of the world and, so, we cannot imagine what an existence without time actually means but just because we cannot name it does not mean it is impossible. Indeed, I find it interesting that people find the assertion that God transcends time to be problematic but will often not argue over how He can exist without being physical. If it is not hard to believe He does not exist in the three dimensions we can see, why should He exist in the fourth dimension we can't (literally) see? So, if you want me to explain exactly what form of existence God has in His transcendence of time, I cannot say but, as I've said, as a human, I really cannot imagine an existence without time and thus cannot describe it and, yet, according to actual scientists it is a possibility.

Fair enough, if you are saying we don't know, I agree with your answer. Thank you.

But if you are proposing a God existing in no time 'and then' bringing time into existence, that implies time existing. 

Especially the words 'and then' signify that God bought time into existence within the framework of a bigger concept of time.

As far as I can see, it is logically impossible for anything to cause time to exist. 

If time has been caused to exist, then it must have passed from a state of nonexistence into existence. But changes in state occur within time, so if there was no time when time didn't exist, then it could not possibly change its state and come into existence.
(In the absence of time nothing can change.) 
 

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24 minutes ago, Engineer73 said:

How can a thing which itself changing continuously (time) be considered as a measure when there is no "was"?

Time happens because changes happen, time is a measure of change. No changes=no time, everything static.

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Again, you're looking at time as some sort of philosophical or metaphysical construct when, in fact, it is a physical entity. This may have been how time was perceived over the millennia but with advances in physics, that is no longer the case. As such, the statement "it is logically impossible for anything to cause time to exist" is fallacious as it subjects the laws of nature to logic - it's as absurd as saying it's illogical for gravity to exist. Whether your sense of logic agrees or not has no bearing on the physical reality.

Once again, as I've said, we are intrinsically bound by time and therefore, you and I cannot understand the relation between time and change and what happens to one when the other is lacking but since it is physically possible, then we must leave ourselves open to correction and, thus, your absolute statements are incorrect.

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I would also like to point to a thought experiment I just did. Let us assume, for the sake of simplicity, of the existence of a universe comprising of only two moments. In the first moment, John has no ball and in the second John has a ball. These are states 1 and 2. Now, imagine we give John a time machine and let the John from the second moment, travel back to Moment 1, where he gives the time machine to John 1, who travels to Moment 2. Now, in this scenario, does change exist? In both Moments 1 and 2, John exists in both States 1 and 2. (This is basically a complicated way of expressing a common trope in science fiction where a time traveller encounters their own self from a different time and, in doing so, exists in both states simultaneously.) As you can probably guess, in my analogy, the 'ball' is time. So, perhaps there is no 'and then' as God's existence may not be removed from time but, rather, piercing time, that of simultaneity. As such, there is no state in which He existed without time and then created time but, rather, He exists simultaneously in both states. 

But, again, this is where we must remember the limitation of the human mind in comprehending He who is incomprehensible. The Imams warned their followers to acknowledge God through His Signs but not to delve too deeply on the manner of His Existence as that is not possible for a human to do.

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7 hours ago, Quisant said:

As far as I can see, it is logically impossible for anything to cause time to exist. 

Why it is logically impossible for you? Time doesn't exist before big bang, while the singularity was there.

7 hours ago, Quisant said:

If time has been caused to exist, then it must have passed from a state of nonexistence into existence. But changes in state occur within time, so if there was no time when time didn't exist, then it could not possibly change its state and come into existence.

Time is a component quantity of various measurements used to sequence events, to compare the duration of events or the intervals between them, and to quantify rates of change of quantities in material reality or in the conscious experience.

So your point is absurd in the sense that time is not necessary for "change". We observe change irrespective of time too. 

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On 30/12/2016 at 11:38 AM, ema said:

Was Allah all alone before start creating? Allah with complete, permanent, non-changing knowledge of what he is going to create would wait before creating? Time is relative concept of order or sequence, some say. Allah is a creator by nature, so Allah would create. Allah al-awwal actually describing causal relationship instead of time difference?  Since Allah will not change, Allah would not start having the will to create at some point of time? Created beings exist after Allah wills it with His power with His words based on His knowledge. 7:54 and 11:7 give impression of time frame during Allah's creating. But Allah is not operating within time frame? Please help me here. Thanks.

A lot of scholars claim that before humans were other 'creations' of some sort. This is backed up by the following verse:

وَإِذْ قَالَ رَبُّكَ لِلْمَلَائِكَةِ إِنِّي جَاعِلٌ فِي الْأَرْضِ خَلِيفَةً ۖ قَالُوا أَتَجْعَلُ فِيهَا مَن يُفْسِدُ فِيهَا

And if your Lord said to the angels I am appointing a vicegerent on Earth, they said are you going to create who spread corruption in it?

And since they do not know ahead of time, Ullama argue that prior to this point were people who spread corruption, murdered and destroyed on Earth.

My 2 cents are that this a slip-up in the Quran and the Ullama came up with a cop-out.

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1 minute ago, Fish said:

A lot of scholars claim that before humans were other 'creations' of some sort. This is backed up by the following verse:

وَإِذْ قَالَ رَبُّكَ لِلْمَلَائِكَةِ إِنِّي جَاعِلٌ فِي الْأَرْضِ خَلِيفَةً ۖ قَالُوا أَتَجْعَلُ فِيهَا مَن يُفْسِدُ فِيهَا

And if your Lord said to the angels I am appointing a vicegerent on Earth, they said are you going to create who spread corruption in it?

And since they do not know ahead of time, Ullama argue that prior to this point were people who spread corruption, murdered and destroyed on Earth.

My 2 cents are that this a slip-up in the Quran and the Ullama came up with a cop-out.

Not necessarily. Indeed, from what I've heard of scholars' opinions on the verse, they often simply interpret it to mean that the angels understood the people were capable of being terribly evil. I'm sure that there may also be those who espouse the opinion you share but, regardless, I don't see how this has any bearing on the discussion we're actually having, which is not what happened before the creation of humans but, rather, before creation itself - so, if there were some proto-humans who spread corruption, before them, and before the creation of the universe.

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5 minutes ago, Khadim uz Zahra said:

Not necessarily. Indeed, from what I've heard of scholars' opinions on the verse, they often simply interpret it to mean that the angels understood the people were capable of being terribly evil. I'm sure that there may also be those who espouse the opinion you share but, regardless, I don't see how this has any bearing on the discussion we're actually having, which is not what happened before the creation of humans but, rather, before creation itself - so, if there were some proto-humans who spread corruption, before them, and before the creation of the universe.

Ah, I understood it as before us. But can't we argue that this is a seritiam within creation? A test every time and Allah changes variables or something to see in x years what each community would reach if this were to change or if I removed this, added this etc.

 

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Just now, Fish said:

Ah, I understood it as before us. But can't we argue that this is a seritiam within creation? A test every time and Allah changes variables or something to see in x years what each community would reach if this were to change or if I removed this, added this etc.

 

God is not an experimenter or a scientist. He does not change variable in order to see what will happen if He does so but, instead, He already knows what will be. But, again, you seem to be going off on a tangent from the purpose of this discussion, which is whether somehow changed due to the act of creation.

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6 minutes ago, Khadim uz Zahra said:

God is not an experimenter or a scientist. He does not change variable in order to see what will happen if He does so but, instead, He already knows what will be. But, again, you seem to be going off on a tangent from the purpose of this discussion, which is whether somehow changed due to the act of creation.

To be fair, I only now read the OP, in my defense, I expected it to be the cliche 'was there anything before us' question. You can remove my comments if you believe necessary.

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20 minutes ago, Khadim uz Zahra said:

Not necessarily. Indeed, from what I've heard of scholars' opinions on the verse, they often simply interpret it to mean that the angels understood the people were capable of being terribly evil. I'm sure that there may also be those who espouse the opinion you share but, regardless, I don't see how this has any bearing on the discussion we're actually having, which is not what happened before the creation of humans but, rather, before creation itself - so, if there were some proto-humans who spread corruption, before them, and before the creation of the universe.

It could also have been from experience with the jinn, who had free will and were capable of evil.

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3 minutes ago, Fish said:

To be fair, I only now read the OP, in my defense, I expected it to be the cliche 'was there anything before us' question. You can remove my comments if you believe necessary.

You talk about cliches a lot. Do you ever consider whether you might come out with cliches?

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29 minutes ago, Haydar Husayn said:

You talk about cliches a lot. Do you ever consider whether you might come out with cliches?

A cliche is something that's been hackneyed to the point that it is stale. I think my arguments, whether old or not, still stand as there is no fully compelling answer I have found. If you, as I am sure you do, believe that my arguments are cliche, please answer them, they are always genuine.

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14 minutes ago, Fish said:

A cliche is something that's been hackneyed to the point that it is stale. I think my arguments, whether old or not, still stand as there is no fully compelling answer I have found. If you, as I am sure you do, believe that my arguments are cliche, please answer them, they are always genuine.

You are a walking cliche.

Genuine people don't go around giving answers about things they don't believe (or aren't sure if they believe). Neither do they state things they don't know anything about as facts. You aren't asking too many questions. Instead, you are presenting arguments against Islam as facts. Since you seem so convinced of your own positions I'm not even sure why you still classify yourself as any kind of Muslim.

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