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In the Name of God بسم الله

Did God Have a Choice to Not Create?

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Salam, 

For God to be known and worshipped, the presence of the knowers and worshippers is necessary. Without the created beings, God's names and attributes would either be irrelevant or useless. Without the created beings God couldn't "do" anything. Everything that God is or does is meaningful only in relation to the created beings/things. 

We often ask, why did God create. 

However, a better, more fundamental question would be, based on everything we know about God, could God not have created the cosmos and things? In other words, did God have a choice to create or not to create things? 

If He did not have a choice, then it would not make sense to ask, why He created things, because He did not have a choice to not create things.  

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3 minutes ago, SoRoUsH said:

couldn't "do" anything. Everything that God is or does is meaningful only in relation to the created beings/things. 

How can you assume so much as to say anything about the God of Noah, (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى). other than what is revealed?

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On 9/22/2020 at 8:48 AM, hasanhh said:

How can you assume so much as to say anything about the God of Noah, (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى). other than what is revealed?

I'm basing my statements on what is revealed in the Qur'an, and what is taught by the Ahlul Bayt (عليه السلام). 

I am not claiming to know the answer. However, I'd like to examine it. 

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Are not you aware that Allah has created the heavens and the earth in accordance with Truth? He can, if He so wills, do away with you and bring forth a new creation [14:19]

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13 minutes ago, SoRoUsH said:

We often ask, why did God create.

I am unsure if we can truly understand why Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) created us in the metaphysical sense, there is great wisdom behind his choosing to do so (no doubt), however, this is a question that the angels posed and not even they could conceptualize the reason behind it, except that the most merciful sought to establish a vicegerent on earth.

Remember (when) your Lord said to the angels: "I am setting on the earth a vicegerent." The angels asked: "Will you set therein one who will cause disorder and corruption on it and shed blood, while we glorify You with Your praise (proclaim that You are absolutely free from any defect and that all praise belongs to You exclusively,) and declare that You alone are all-holy and to be worshipped as God and Lord." He said: "Surely I know what you do not know." [2:30]

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4 minutes ago, Mohammad313Ali said:

Are not you aware that Allah has created the heavens and the earth in accordance with Truth? He can, if He so wills, do away with you and bring forth a new creation [14:19]

Read this verse carefully. 

First, God isn't warning that He'd remove all creations, just us.  

Second, God is warning us that He can remove us, and bring forth another new creation.

This verse serves to show the necessity of the presence of created beings. He removes and  re-creates. He doesn't only remove, implying the continuous presence of created beings in one form or another.

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3 minutes ago, SoRoUsH said:

Read this verse carefully. 

First, God isn't warning that He'd remove all creations, just us.  

Second, God is warning us that He can remove us, and bring forth another new creation.

This verse serves to show the necessity of the presence of created beings. He removes and  re-creates. He doesn't only remove, implying the continuous presence of created beings in one form or another.

One can, therefore, deduce that creation is a critical aspect in the divine plan of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى)? A key element in the reacting processes within our observed reality.

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9 minutes ago, SoRoUsH said:

Did God have a choice to not create anything at all?

There are many Hadiths, albeit some stronger then others which state that He sought to create us so that He would be known, or so that He could be merciful towards us, IMHO, I believe that Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) undoubtedly has a choice, because He is the maker of laws and in the same way he abrogates and or changes laws, he can change the necessary causality in there being a need for creation.

Like a gradual, yet set evolutionary process wherein the model is established to have creation as an important element within the overall structure of the universe/cosmos, if He so wills, then Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) could tweak the system in a manner which would uplift the need for creation to operate within His created/established framework - which occupies the most minute and intricate details to the atom.

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33 minutes ago, hasanhh said:

How can you assume so much as to say anything about the God of Noah, (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى). other than what is revealed?

Could one not infer through deductive and inductive reasoning, based on what Qu'ran and Hadith have established?

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8 minutes ago, Mohammad313Ali said:

He sought to create us so that He would be known, or so that He could be merciful towards us

This popular narration does not have acceptable isnad. If I remember correctly, it was Ibn Arabi who produced it first, without any reliable chain of transmission. So, unless you have an authentic acceptable narration that makes this claim, it's merely a hearsay amongst the sufi crowds. 

10 minutes ago, Mohammad313Ali said:

IMHO, I believe that Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) undoubtedly has a choice

You can believe as you wish; however, that belief doesn't seem to be supported by either the Qur'an or the Ahlul Bayt (عليه السلام). If it is, please show your supportive textual evidence.

13 minutes ago, Mohammad313Ali said:

if He so wills, then Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) could tweak the system in a manner which would uplift the need for creation to operate within His created/established framework

First, the implicit claim in this sentence is that, currently, in this system, He does have a need for creation to be presence. In other words, the existence of creation is necessary. 

Second, the system itself, whatever it may be, is still a creation, a thing that God has created. So, you're skipping over the original question: Does God have a choice to not create anything at all? including the system itself?

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2 minutes ago, SoRoUsH said:

Does God have a choice to not create anything at all? including the system itself?

Yes, however, He binds himself to the system in which he creates, unless he decides to tweak it and remove mankind from being a necessary component. It is similar to the concept of, can God create a rock so heavy he himself cannot lift.

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The big-picture and main point is: 

If God didn't have a choice to not create things, then it's senseless to ponder the purpose of creation. 

Things are created because they had to be. No choice implies no purpose. 

 

It's a completely different question to ask: 

Did God have a choice to create things as they are?  The answer is, He most certainly did. He could've created things differently, in different forms and fashions. 

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1 hour ago, SoRoUsH said:

Did He have a choice to not create anything at all? Including this system that you bring up?

Abdullah Yusuf Ali: Seest thou not that to Allah bow down in worship all things that are in the heavens and on earth,- the sun, the moon, the stars; the hills, the trees, the animals; and a great number among mankind? But a great number are (also) such as are fit for Punishment: and such as Allah shall disgrace,- None can raise to honour: for Allah carries out all that He wills. [22:18]

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Yes he had a choice to not create anything...because he is the most powerfull over everything.. but also keep in mind That he is a god and he Needs to get worshipped to.. He creaties the materalistical life and the non materalistical life only that everything is worshipping him..

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On 9/22/2020 at 11:35 AM, F.M said:

he is the most powerfull over everything

Read what you wrote carefully.

For Him to be "The most powerful over everything" there must be things in existence. If there was nothing in existence, then your claim would be meaningless. 

On 9/22/2020 at 11:35 AM, F.M said:

he Needs to get worshipped

Right. He needs to be worshipped. He needs worshippers, necessarily.

Therefore, the existence of worshippers is a necessity. This implies that He has no choice but to create worshippers, for Him to be worshipped.

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1 hour ago, Mohammad313Ali said:

Abdullah Yusuf Ali: Seest thou not that to Allah bow down in worship all things that are in the heavens and on earth,- the sun, the moon, the stars; the hills, the trees, the animals; and a great number among mankind? But a great number are (also) such as are fit for Punishment: and such as Allah shall disgrace,- None can raise to honour: for Allah carries out all that He wills. [22:18]

Relevance?

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On 9/22/2020 at 8:44 AM, SoRoUsH said:

Salam, 

For God to be known and worshipped, the presence of the knowers and worshippers is necessary. Without the created beings, God's names and attributes would either be irrelevant or useless. Without the created beings God couldn't "do" anything. Everything that God is or does is meaningful only in relation to the created beings/things. 

We often ask, why did God create. 

However, a better, more fundamental question would be, based on everything we know about God, could God not have created the cosmos and things? In other words, did God have a choice to create or not to create things? 

If He did not have a choice, then it would not make sense to ask, why He created things, because He did not have a choice to not create things.  

Creation is a choice of Allah.

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On 9/22/2020 at 12:25 PM, SoRoUsH said:

Read what you wrote carefully.

For Him to be "The most powerful over everything" there must be things in existence. If there was nothing in existence, then your claim would be meaningless. 

Right. He needs to be worshipped. He needs worshippers, necessarily.

Therefore, the existence of worshippers is a necessity. This implies that He has no choice but to create worshippers, for Him to be worshipped.

Allah doesn't need anything. He can't worship himself as that would not be logical. I he wants to be worship, he had to create so that he may be worshipped.

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On 9/22/2020 at 12:55 PM, ahlulbaytkr said:

Allah doesn't need anything. He can't worship himself as that would not be logical. I he wants to be worship, he had to create so that he may be worshipped.

You're just reframing the question. 

The question remains the same:

Could God not want to create anything at all? 

Could God not want to be worshipped? 

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I think it is better for us to not form any opinion about what choices God has/had, because these matters are neither our concern nor can we understand the secrets of Allah and His plans and how He implements his choices. Our knowledge is too deficient and weak to comprehend divine mysteries.  

We cannot ask God if he could have not wanted to create us. But he will ask everyone of us about what we did in our lives. So that should be what we need to focus on. 

Imam Jaffar as Sadiq (عليه السلام) said: 

There was a time when Allah, the Majestic, the Glorious, took the descendents of Adam from his back to establish a covenant with them to testify that He is their Lord and to believe in the prophethood of all the Prophets. The first among the Prophets whose prophethood Allah wanted them to accept through a covenant was Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Allah, recipient of divine supreme covenant. Allah, the Majestic, the Glorious, then said to Adam, “Look (to find) what you can see.” ‘The Imam then said, “Adam then looked and saw his descendents appearing as small particles that filled the sky. Adam then said, ‘Lord, how huge in number my descendents are! For what purpose have You created them and for what reason did You make them to establish a covenant with You?’” Allah, the Majestic, the Glorious, replied, “So that they worship Me and do not consider anything else as My equal and so that they believe in My messengers and follow them (for guidance).”

Adam then asked, “Lord, why is it that I see certain ones of the particles are greater, others have a great deal of lights, yet others among them have very little light and still others among them have no lights at all?” Allah, the Majestic, the Glorious, replied, “Thus, I have created them to place them to test in every condition that they will live.” Adam then asked, “My Lord, will You grant me permission to speak so I may express myself?” Allah, the Majestic the Glorious said, “Speak up; your spirit is from My spirit but your nature is different from My being.” Adam then asked, “Lord, had You created them all just like each other, by the same measure, the same nature, of likewise design, of the same color, of equal life span, of equal amount of means of living they would not act against each other. No jealousy, animosity and differences would exist among them over anything.” Allah, the Majestic, the Glorious, said, “O Adam, through My spirit you just spoke and due to the weakness of your nature you made an effort to give an opinion about that of which you have no knowledge. I Am the Creator of the world. I knowingly have created each one different from the others and through My Own way I will make My commands to take effect and they will continue existing through My plans and measures. There will be no changes in My creation. I have created the Jinn and human beings only to worship Me. I have created paradise for those who obey and worship Me and follow My messengers. I have no regrets in what I have done. I have created the fire for those who disbelieve, disobey Me and do not follow My messengers and I have no regrets in it. I have created you and your descendents not because I ever need you or your descendents in anyway or form. I have created you and created them to test you and test them to see which ones among you do good deeds in the worldly life before your deaths. For this reason I have created the world and the life thereafter, life, death, obedience, disobedience, paradise and the fire. This is how I willed in My measure and plan. Through My all-pervasive knowledge in them I have placed differences in their forms, bodies, colors, lifespan, means of living, obedience and disobedience. I, thus, have made certain ones of them to be unfortunate or very fortunate. Certain ones among them will have eyesight or be blind, others among them will be of short size or tall ones, beautiful or otherwise, knowledgeable or ignorant, wealthy or poor, obedient or disobedient, of good health or suffering from illness, of defective bodies or free of bodily defects. In this way those of perfect bodies will look at the defective ones and thank Me for the perfect body that I have given them and those with defective bodies will look at the perfect ones and will pray to Me and ask Me to grant them good health and exercise patience when and in the way I test them. Thus, I will grant them good rewards. The wealthy ones after looking to the poor ones will thank Me and appreciate My favors. When the poor ones look to the wealthy ones they pray to Me and ask Me favors. It is as such so that the believers will look to the unbelievers and thank Me for the guidance that I have granted them. For such reasons I have created them. I test them in ease and in hardships and in good health that I grant them and in the matters with which I test them, in the matters of what I grant them and in the matters that I refuse them. I am Allah, the powerful King. It is all up to Me to allow all of My measures and plans to take form or change them as I wish to the time that I wish. I may change the sequel of the timing of my measures and plans and allow, that which comes first to come last and vice versa. I am Allah, and I execute whatever I will. I am not questioned for whatever I do but I question My creatures about their deeds.”’”

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Al Kafi-The Book of Belief and Disbelief H 1449, CH 1c, h 2

Muhammad ibn Yahya has narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad and Ali ibn
Ibrahim has narrated from his father from al-Hassan ibn Mahbub from Hisham
ibn Salim from Habib al-Sajistani who has said the following...


http://www.holybooks.com/al-kafi-shia-divine-text/

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52 minutes ago, Anonymous-Male said:

I have created you and your descendents not because I ever need you or your descendents in anyway or form.

The question isn't, why did God create us, or could God not create us. Rather it is, could God not have created anything at all. 

As I said in my first post:

Quote

For God to be known and worshipped, the presence of the knowers and worshippers is necessary. Without the created beings, God's names and attributes would either be irrelevant or useless. Without the created beings God couldn't "do" anything. Everything that God is or does is meaningful only in relation to the created beings/things.

 

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11 minutes ago, SoRoUsH said:

could God not have created anything at all. 

I think we have no knowledge about this. Maybe if we had the opportunity to ask this question to God directly, He might reply as He replied to Adam (as):

"Due to the weakness of your nature you made an effort to give an opinion about that of which you have no knowledge."

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I have issues with these questions because they're just so odd. It makes me think at times that people with God is some kind of person, like any regular individual who just has this awesome power to create and destroy things, so we can safely figure out the reasons (if any) He even created the universe in the first place! 

Quote

He is a Being, but not through phenomenon of coming into being. He exists but not from non-existence. He is with everything but not in physical nearness. He is different from everything but not in physical separation. He acts but without connotation of movements and instruments. He sees even when there is none to be looked at from among His creation. He is only One, such that there is none with whom He may keep company or whom He may miss in his absence.

Nahjul Balagha, Sermon 1, Imam Ali (عليه السلام)

We can't really imagine Him, and yet we think we can decipher His inner motivations.

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2 hours ago, SoRoUsH said:

Relevance?

Considering that Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) carries out all that he wills, you can conclude that He wills for his creation to occupy a necessary role in his distinct universal framework, there are of course many dimensions we are unaware of and they also share their own rules and set principles that cannot be altered or the functionality of our reality would collapse. I believe I’ve already alluded to this in previous points, I understand where you’re coming from, however, it is mere semantics and the answer is clear from the Quran and from necessary logic, for Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) is not subject except to an external will, it is he who establishes his will. 

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6 hours ago, Mohammad313Ali said:

Could one not infer through deductive and inductive reasoning,

Ayat 5:17, exempli gratia: The 3rd person, singular masculine imperfect verb yashau, "He -(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى). wills."

Such a thing cannot be 'infer'ed  because "will" is not incorporated into logic.

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49 minutes ago, Mohammad313Ali said:

you can conclude that He wills for his creation to occupy a necessary role

You're, again, circumventing the actual question. The question isn't about the role, the form, or the shape of creations. 

The question is about the very existence of things. 

Could God choose to not have created things?

Everything that we know about or from God is in relation to things that exist. 

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On 9/22/2020 at 4:27 PM, SoRoUsH said:

Could God choose to not have created things?

If he has the choice to replace beings, or bring being into existence, then he can also do the the inverse. 

When the angels questioned why Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) was creating Adam, had they knew it was incumbent upon Allah they wouldn’t have questioned it, however, they knew that Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) has absolute Will and dominion and it is he who establishes any form of jurisdiction/restriction, therefore, they inquired as to why He seeks to create another humanoid species. 

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