(part 1 of 3): God the Creator
In relation to God there is a … fundamental question: „Why did God create?“ This question should be asked because humanity is really not the greatest creation. God says in the Quran:
“Verily, the creation of heaven and earth is greater than the creation of man; most people alone don’t know. ” (Quran 40:57)
The structure of man is far less complicated than the structure of the universe in which he exists. However, very few people pay attention to this reality. Because of the apparent superiority of humans over all other creatures on this earth, because of human journeys through space and the continuous advancements in their technology and knowledge, mankind of every age is becoming arrogant and regards itself as the greatest in this world . It does not count that the majority of the amazing discoveries of mankind have nothing to do with humans, but with their surroundings. Because human endeavors focus more on the material world than on man himself. In this verse, God turns man’s attention back to his actual status in the world. Humanity is only a small part of existence that resulted from the wonderful act of divine creation. Therefore, to understand why God created humanity, one must first find the answer to the more fundamental question of why God created.
Creation is basically the consequence of the divine quality of being the creator. A creator who doesn’t create would be a contradiction in terms. But that doesn’t mean that God needs His creation. God is free from all needs. It is creation that needs it. But, just as the size of a writer becomes evident in his writings, the perfection of divine creativity manifests itself in creation.
Creation in the true sense is a property of God alone. Although people also attribute the ability to create to themselves, what they do is not really create. Humanity just manipulates what already exists – what has already been created by God. A table is made of wood, that comes from trees and is held together by metal nails and screws that are extracted from the ore. People didn’t make the trees or the stones. In fact, all human creations can be traced back to basic elements that humans cannot make themselves. Even an artist ‚creates‘ drawings of something based on what he saw. It is impossible to imagine something that your senses have not previously perceived. Therefore, all of the artist’s thoughts are based on reflections of what was already created. Only God creates from nothing. This basic fact was and is still incomprehensible to some people. Some ancient philosophers as well as a few modern ones who cannot understand how God could not create from non-existence claimed that the created world and its content were originally part of God. In their view, that would mean that God took part of Himself and made it into the universe. They come to this conclusion because they compare God with the man who can only ‚create‘ by changing what already exists. God, however, denies such comparisons that would give him human limitations. In the Quran he says: who can only ‚create‘ by changing what already exists. God, however, denies such comparisons that would give him human limitations. In the Quran he says: who can only ‚create‘ by changing what already exists. God, however, denies such comparisons that would give him human limitations. In the Quran he says:
“… There is nothing like it; and He is the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing. ” (Quran 42:11)
So the act of creation is a consequence of the divine quality of the Creator. God describes Himself in numerous verses in His last revelation as the Creator, to emphasize to mankind that everything belongs to Him alone.
„God is the creator of all things and He is the sustainer of all things.“ (Quran 39:62)
“… where God (yet) created you and what you did?” (Quran 37:96)
Man has to realize that nothing in the universe happens without God’s permission. Seeking protection from evil or asking for good from a source other than God is a great mistake. Out of ignorance, many people try to avert misfortune from themselves or to get lasting happiness by trying a range of good luck charms and amulets, astrology and hand line interpretation, etc.
Hence, God urges the Quran people to seek refuge from God in evil:
„Say: I take refuge with the Lord of the Early Light from the evil of what He has created.“ (Quran 113: 1-2)
Allah, God Almighty, is not evil; He is good. He created a world in which the beings to whom He gave the ability can do evil or good. However, nothing happens, be it bad or good, without God’s permission. For this reason, it is useless to ask others for help and protection than God.
„No misfortune happens unless with God’s permission.“ (Quran 64:11)
The last Prophet Muhammad, God’s blessings and peace be upon him, shed more light on this concept than he said:
“Know that even if all of humanity came together to help you in one thing, they could only do what God had already prescribed for you. And if all of humanity came together to harm you, it could only harm you in one thing that God had already prescribed for you. ” (Al-Tirmidhi)
(part 2 of 3): Divine Mercy and Justice
he Merciful, the Forgiver
The divine characteristics of forgiveness, grace and generosity are also revealed in the creation of mankind. Humans were created well and pure and with a natural awareness of good and evil. The Almighty also created desires in people and gave them the ability to control these desires according to the divine law or to give them free rein and to follow them blindly. God created humanity knowing that they would not obey Him. That is why He taught people from Adam how to repent and cleanse yourself from your sins. Adam and Eve embodied a pattern that humanity follows. They forgot God’s command and Satan played with their desires. After disobeying God, they turned to Him again in repentance, and He forgave them. In the disobedience of mankind and the repentant return to God, the divine characteristics of absolute forgiveness and infinite mercy are revealed. The last prophet, God’s blessings and peace be upon him, shared this reality with his followers by saying:
„If you did not commit sins and turn to God to ask His forgiveness, then He would replace you with another people who sin, asking for God’s forgiveness and He would forgive them.“ (Sahieh Muslim)
Every one of the 114 chapters of the last Revelation except one begins with prayer: „In the name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful“. God’s attributes of mercy and forgiveness are emphasized to encourage people not to despair. No matter how great the sins of people may be, God can forgive them if people turn to Him with genuine repentance. It is reported that the Messenger, God’s blessing and peace be upon him, said:
“When God created the universe, He made Himself his duty and [noted] in a document with Himself: ‚My grace outweighs my anger.’” (Sahieh Al-Bukhari)
He is also said to have said :
“[God created] grace in one hundred parts, one of which was sent down to the Jinn, men and other living beings. For this one part they love each other, are friendly and even the animals treat their offspring with affection. God has reserved the remaining ninety-nine parts for the true servants on the day of revival. ” (Sahieh Muslim)
If God had wanted, he could have created humanity like angels unable to commit sins. However, that was not his concern, because He had already created angels. Humans were created with the ability to make mistakes, and when they become aware of their mistake, repent, and ask God for forgiveness, the divine qualities of mercy and forgiveness are revealed.
When judging humanity at the end of this world, God’s qualities of the highest righteousness and legality are also revealed. Based on His infinite knowledge, God could have created all the people who were to live on earth at the same time, leading some of them to paradise and the rest to hell. Before he created man, God already knew what choice he would make in this life, what care and what good opportunities he would give him and what state of belief or unbelief he would die. Therefore, one could say that some people were created for paradise and others for hell. Aisha, a wife of the Prophet Muhammad, God’s blessings and peace be upon him, reported that he had said:
„Don’t you know that God created paradise and hell and He created for every inhabitant?“ (Abu Dawud, An-Nasai)
If God had put those who strive for paradise straight into paradise, they would not doubt God’s decision. Those in paradise would have happily accepted their eternal life in bliss and would be grateful that they did not go to hell. However, those who would have gone to hell would ask why. They would feel treated unfairly because they do not know what they would have done if they had lived on earth. The hell dwellers would adamantly argue that if they had been given the chance to live their lives on earth, they would have believed and done righteous deeds. This is why God allows people to live their lives on earth and make the choices they would have made so that anyone who enters hell will know that he chose hell himself. They will recognize God’s grace in their lives and admit their sin that they have rejected His signs and guidance. And they will accept His judgment as just and appropriate. However, they will still ask for a second chance to do good in this world, as God says in the Quran:
„If only you could see how the guilty will hang their heads in front of their Lord:“ Our Lord, now we have seen and heard, send us back so that we may do good; because now we have certainty. ‚”( Quran 32:12)
But if God had sent them back to this world, if they had forgotten what they got to see from hell, they would make the bad choice again and end up in hell as before Quran:
„But if they were brought back, they would certainly return to what was forbidden to them very soon. And they are certainly liars.“ (Quran 6:28)
(part 3 of 3): Divine Love and Grace
God’s love is revealed in the beings He brought to existence, whether believers or unbelievers, that they can enjoy life – even if only for a short moment. It is also realized in the creation of paradise for those who prefer righteousness over evil. God states in His last revelation that He loves those who do good (Quran 5:13), those who are just (Quran 5:42), those who are pious (Quran 9: 4), those who are patient (Quran 3: 146), those who trust God (Quran 3: 159), those who often turn to Him in repentance and those who purify themselves (Quran 2: 222). But it is He who has explained exactly what is good, just and pious to man in His writings and through His prophets. Accordingly, those who follow the prophets, the most popular. In the Quran, God instructed Prophet Muhammad that God’s blessings and peace be upon him to say the following to believers:
“If you love God, follow me. Love you and God will forgive you and your sins… ”(Quran 3:31)
The prophets should be followed not only in the obligations that God has imposed on us, but also in their efforts to do voluntary worship.
The love of God is also revealed in His mercy and in the blessings He gives to those who have earned them and also to those who have not earned them. But it is particularly revealed in His willingness to forgive the sins of anyone who turns to Him in earnest repentance. Since Adam and Eve were created, repentance has been granted to wipe out their sins as an example to all people who should follow them in this world. No matter how huge people’s sins become, the door of sincere repentance remains open until the last day in this world. Anas quoted God’s Messenger that God’s blessings and peace be upon him who said:
“God Almighty said: O son of Adam, as long as you call and ask me, I will forgive what you have done and it does not matter to me. O son of Adam, even if your sins reached the clouds and you would ask for my forgiveness, I would forgive you. O son of Adam, if you came to me with sins, almost as big as the earth, and you will meet me without having set aside partners for me, I will offer you a corresponding amount of forgiveness. ”
As for the inhabitants of paradise, they will not only come to paradise because of their good deeds. It is God’s grace that will bring them in there. The last prophet of God, God’s blessings and peace be upon him, said:
“Try your best to do right and be happy. Because nobody will enter paradise just because of their deeds. ” His companions said, „O Messenger of God, not even you?“ He replied, “Not even me, if God does not surround me with His grace and mercy. And remember that the most popular act with God is the one that is done regularly, even if it is minor. ”
However, God’s grace is not arbitrary either. It is based on both sincere beliefs and righteous deeds. In the Quran, God says:
“He who does a good deed should be paid ten times; but the one who commits an evil deed shall only receive the same as reward, and they shall not suffer injustice. ” (Quran 6: 160)
If God were to hold humanity accountable, then no one would do good deeds outweigh bad ones. However, God shows us His mercy by multiplying the value of good deeds, whereas bad deeds retain their simple value. By the grace of God, believers come to paradise. However, this does not mean that the deeds are irrelevant. Actions are important, but they are not the deciding factor. God’s grace outweighs them.
Hence, the creation of human beings, the mistakes they make, and the good that they do, all constitute circumstances for revealing God’s attributes of mercy and forgiveness, His attributes of justice and His attributes of grace. Humanity should don’t ask why God chose to show His qualities in this way. It can only be assumed that this is the best way, because God describes Himself as the all-wise and the all-knowing. Human beings can only understand what God wants to reveal to them:
„… but they don’t understand His knowledge unless what He wants …“ (Quran 2: 255)
Therefore, they shouldn’t try to consider themselves equal to Him. If He told people why He chose to do something, it is not for them to ask why He chose to choose. Such questions are endless and therefore beyond human comprehension. It is they who are asked about their deeds and intentions on the day of judgment and not He. In the Quran, God said:
“He is not asked what he is doing; but they are asked (what they are doing). ” (Quran 21:23)
In this regard, Ibn Abbaas reports that the Prophet Muhammad, blessings and peace be upon him, said:
„Think about God’s creation, but do not think about God.“
Contemplating the reality of God is contemplation to infinity. And just as we shudder when we think about the boundaries of the finite universe and the galaxies and the stars in it, it is even worse when we try to grasp the un-created. The prophet that God’s blessings and peace were upon him warned us of the satanic forces that are trying to bring doubt into the hearts of believers by evoking unanswered questions about God. Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of God, God’s blessings and peace were upon him, said:
“Satan will come to each of you and ask: Who created this or that? – until he asks: Who created your Lord? If this happens, seek refuge in God [and say, I affirm my belief in God and His prophets] and avoid [such thoughts]. ”