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In the Name of God بسم الله
Ejaz

Can your Lord fit the entire universe into an egg without making the egg any bigger and the universe any smaller?

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Salaam Alaykum,

Is the below hadith daef or fabricated? I first heard it from Sayed Ammar Nakshawani though it’s doesn’t make sense to me.

The reason I say so is that it’s rationally impossible to do what the atheist asked. It’s like speaking gibberish, like 2+2 =5, where a “property” of 2+2 in and of itself is that it cannot ever be 5 (and vice versa).

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Atheist: “can your Lord fit the entire universe into an egg without making the egg any bigger and the universe any smaller?”

Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (ع): “I would like you to look at the sky and at that bird in the sky, and at that tree and at all those people who have gathered around us and now look at me.”

Atheist: “I see them all.”

Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (ع): “If Allah can fit all of those things inside the tiny pupil of your eye, do you think he cannot fit the universe into an egg?

 

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19 minutes ago, Ejaz said:

Salaam Alaykum,

Is the below hadith daef or fabricated? I first heard it from Sayed Ammar Nakshawani though it’s doesn’t make sense to me.

The reason I say so is that it’s rationally impossible to do what the atheist asked. It’s like speaking gibberish, like 2+2 =5, where a “property” of 2+2 in and of itself is that it cannot ever be 5 (and vice versa).

 

I heard two versions of that narration one where the Imam says yes and one where he says no. Wish someone could clear up which one is the fabrication.

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Isn't the imam, in giving a very clever answer, showing one at the same time how stupid the Athisits' question is and how great and wonderful God is.

Do we have to take the Imam's answer literealy?

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This is from another thread 

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Imam Ali [a] was asked: “Does your Lord have the power to place the Earth in an egg, without making the Earth smaller or the egg any bigger?

He [a] replied: “Verily, Allah, the blessed and exalted, cannot be attributed with deficit/inability. However, what you have asked is impossible. [1]

When Imam Al-Sadiq [a] was asked a similar question and he said: “Although God’s power is infinite, nevertheless, what you are asking is a nothing. [2]

@starlight

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Well, let’s presume that the egg would be the size of a regular one that is laid by the hen, and the universe is whatever size that it is. The questioner states that the egg cannot get bigger, and the universe cannot become smaller, by those set laws, he might as well have asked the Imam if Allah can create a triangular square with consideration of what our understanding of a triangle is and what a square is. 

The eye and the sky are two separate entities existing outside of each other, if the eye were to be obliterated the sky and the trees would remain, but if the egg would be obliterated the universe would cease to exist. I believe this is why the metaphor does not give an example which is in accordance with the question, therefore the issue being a logical fallacy as the Imam stated is what I believe to be the case.

Inshallah Mr. @Muhammed Ali can share with us his beautiful thoughts and reasoning in regards to his position on this manner.

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@Mohammad313Ali my thoughts on this particular example are what I wrote in that other thread, it's pretty much what some scholars have taught. Although looking back, I may need to refine those ideas a bit.

In that text I quoted from Shaykh Jawadi Amuli's book. He says about the hadith in the OP: "The Imam, peace be with him, gives one of them a rhetorical (jadalī) answer and the other a demonstrative one." Apparently these are two different answers to two different people because of their differing intellectual capacities. I can imagine how difficult it must be for some more simple minded people to accept and understand the philosophically correct answer, but they cannot be left without an answer. So an answer which doesn't really address the question properly but makes them feel the wonder of the power of God, is a fitting one for them. There are ahadith on how the prophets {s} would speak to people at their own level.

His book: http://www.islamicmobility.com/files/pdf/pdf536.pdf

BTW this principle can answer other questions such as the creating an object which is too large to move one. 

 

Edited by Muhammed Ali

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Thank you so much for the book! And your beautiful response, there is always something to learn from your insightful inputs, JazakAllah <3

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15 hours ago, guest 2025 said:

I heard two versions of that narration one where the Imam says yes and one where he says no. Wish someone could clear up which one is the fabrication.

Neither is a fabrication.  Ayatollah  Jawadi Amuli explains that the Imam gave both answers to two different people.  One is for the person who is too rational in thinking, and the other is for one who is a more of the imaginative kind.  The Imam speaks to everyone taking into consideration the individuals capacity, his or her strength and weakness.  He speaks only what the person, will benefit from not aimlessly and uselessly to show off his knowledge.

 

Edited by eThErEaL

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2 hours ago, Muhammed Ali said:

@Mohammad313Ali my thoughts on this particular example are what I wrote in that other thread, it's pretty much what some scholars have taught. Although looking back, I may need to refine those ideas a bit.

In that text I quoted from Shaykh Jawadi Amuli's book. He says about the hadith in the OP: "The Imam, peace be with him, gives one of them a rhetorical (jadalī) answer and the other a demonstrative one." Apparently these are two different answers to two different people because of their differing intellectual capacities. I can imagine how difficult it must be for some more simple minded people to accept and understand the philosophically correct answer, but they cannot be left without an answer. So an answer which doesn't really address the question properly but makes them feel the wonder of the power of God, is a fitting one for them. There are ahadith on how the prophets {s} would speak to people at their own level.

His book: http://www.islamicmobility.com/files/pdf/pdf536.pdf

BTW this principle can answer other questions such as the creating an object which is too large to move one. 

 

You beat me to it.  
 

I however am of the perspective that the philosophical answer belongs to the person who is of lower intellectual capacity.  
 

ibn Arabi explains that there actually are realities such as the camel passing through the eye of the needle without either of them changing size, that are possible.  

Edited by eThErEaL

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19 hours ago, starlight said:

What do you mean no? That Imam (عليه السلام) said Allah can't fit the entire universe inside an egg?

I don't have the narration, but it was in a thread where people discussed "round cubes" and whether God could make things like that. The consensus was that the questions were invalid. Though it seems that with this particular question the Imam gave two different answers based on the capabilities of who asked. Please see Ethereal's response in this thread he explains this

 

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