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In the Name of God بسم الله
ema

Did Allah exist all alone before creating?

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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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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).

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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.

Edited by Khadim uz Zahra

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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.

Edited by Irfan1214

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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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