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FAQ

al afkar 8

Question:

I learned that an individual questioned, “Who creates Allah?”. What form of answer is suitable to be given to the person?

 

Answer:

Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.

First: We would like to state that this kind of question is old-fashioned. The basis of it is doubted towards the existence of God. It has already been asked by humans hundreds of years ago. The tradition of Western society in the philosophical discussion pertaining to the existence of God has been known as early as the period of Plato [1] and Aristotle [2] which is now known as cosmology. The same goes for the era of Ibn Rushd [3] and Thomas Aquinas [4] who introduced the method of cosmology argument in their own ways to prove the existence of God according to their respective religious perspective.

Among the philosophers who brought arguments refuting the existence of God is Immanuel Kant [5], David Hume [6] and Friedrich Nietzsche [7]. Nowadays, it is repetitively said by some atheist scholars like Lawrence M. Krauss, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Daniel C. Dennet and Christopher Hitchens.

Second: We are reminded of a hadith of the Prophet Muhammad PBUH

يَأْتِي الشَّيْطَانُ أَحَدَكُمْ فَيَقُولُ مَنْ خَلَقَ كَذَا مَنْ خَلَقَ كَذَا حَتَّى يَقُولَ مَنْ خَلَقَ رَبَّكَ فَإِذَا بَلَغَهُ فَلْيَسْتَعِذْ بِاللَّهِ، وَلْيَنْتَهِ

"Satan comes to one of you and says, 'Who created so-and-so? 'till he says, 'Who has created your Lord?' So, when he inspires such a question, one should seek refuge with Allah and give up such thoughts."

Sahih al-Bukhari (3276)

When doubts are instilled by Shaytan in one’s heart and mind, then the Prophet PBUH commanded the person to seek for protection from Allah SWT to stop these doubts from his mind.

In another hadith narrated by ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abdurrahman, ‘I heard Anas bin Malik said’: ‘Allah’s messenger said:

لَنْ يَبْرَحَ النَّاسُ يَتَسَاءَلُونَ حَتَّى يَقُولُوا هَذَا اللَّهُ خَالِقُ كُلِّ شَىْءٍ فَمَنْ خَلَقَ اللَّهَ

“People will not stop asking questions till they say, 'This is Allah, the Creator of everything, then who created Allah?' 

Sahih al-Bukhari (7296)

Third: The question of who creates Allah will not be asked by an individual who is a logical person. If one answer, “There is a creator who creates Allah”. Then, the next question will be, “Then, who is the creator of Him?”. The next question definitely will be, “Then, who creates His creator?”. This kind of question will never end and lastly, a man with a sound mind will certainly acknowledge the need for the existence of a Creator Who is not created.

Why? A human with a sound mind cannot accept that Allah is created in a continuous form without an end. A simple example would be Ali who intends to apply for a new job. His boss informs him that he should have the permission of the upper management, while the upper management asked to inform those upper than the first. As long as it does not reach the highest position in the management, then Ali’s application will always be pending. Hence, this is the form of logic to think who creates Allah. This world which is one of His creation is impossible to be created by something which is also created. If it is true that Allah is created by His creator, then it is impossible for this world to exist because the “search” of the Sole Creator does not end yet according to the theory of tasalsul (infinite circle) and dawr (circular reasoning).

This issue was long discussed by the Ash’arites in dawr (circular reasoning) and tasalsul (infinite circle). For example, A is the cause of B and B is the cause for A. The same goes for A which is the cause for B, B is the cause for C, C is the cause for D and D is the cause for A.

Logically, if A is the cause for B, then B will never be the cause for A. For example, if Kasim ate, then he will feel full. ‘Feeling full’ is the cause of ‘eating’. It is totally illogical if ‘feeling full’ is the cause for Kasim eating because the cause of eating is feeling hungry. Cause and effect never go in a circle but in sequence. A causes B, B causes C and C cause D. Allah is free from all of this. At the same time, if God is understood through tasalsul, this is far from logic. God A creates God B, God B creates God C … onwards until there is no end. Clearly, through this simple logic, the theory of dawr and tasalsul brought by the group of Atheists and confused Muslims to create confusion in the minds of other Muslims is inaccurate. Citing the words of Imam al-Sanusi in Umm al-Barahin, “Evidences which prove that the existence of Allah SWT is without a beginning is if Allah SWT is newly created, then He surely in need of His creator. This will bring it forward towards the issue of dawr or tasalsul.” (Refer the full discussion by Syeikh Muhammad bin Ahmad ‘Arafah al-Dusuqi in Hasyiah al-Dusuqi ‘ala Ummi al-Barahin, pg. 202-203)

This is what is concluded by Allah SWT in His saying:

أَمْ خُلِقُوا مِنْ غَيْرِ شَيْءٍ أَمْ هُمُ الْخَالِقُونَ

Or were they created by nothing, or were they the creators [of themselves]?

Surah al-Thur (35)

Fourth: Stating that there is something else who creates Allah SWT contradicts with the attribute of al-Khaliq (the Creator) existed in Allah SWT. Almighty Allah SWT state in the Quran:

هُوَ اللَّـهُ الْخَالِقُ الْبَارِئُ الْمُصَوِّرُ ۖ لَهُ الْأَسْمَاءُ الْحُسْنَىٰ ۚ يُسَبِّحُ لَهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۖ وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ

He is Allah, the Creator, the Inventor, the Fashioner; to Him belong the best names. Whatever is in the heavens and earth is exalting Him. And He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.

Surah al-Hasyr (24)

To close, we would like to call upon all Muslims in Malaysia not to get involve in these kinds of ideologies. It does not bring a person closer to Allah SWT or incrreases one’s faith (imaan), but drowned a person in philosophical questions after questions which drives people away from the truth itself. May we all be able to ponder upon the limitation of our minds in comprehending the essence of the existence of Allah SWT while always striving to increase our understanding in the related knowledge.

[i]

 

[i][1] Plato was born approximately on 427 CE and passed away approximately on 347 CE. He is a Greek philosopher and the founder of Plato Academy in Athens, the first high school in Western world. He is a student of Socrates.

[2] Aristotle who was born approximately in 384 CE and passed away on 7th March 322 CE is a Greek philosopher. He studied from Plato and a teacher of Alexander the Great.

[3] Ibn Rushd who was born in 1126 and passed away in 1198 is an expert in philosophy, medic, theology, astronomy, geography, science and a jurist of madhab Malik.

[4] Thomas Aquinas was born on 1225 and passed away on 1247. He is a renown philosopher and theologian in Italy.

[5] Immanuel Kant is a German philosopher in the 18th century who has great influence in the intellectual world. His thoughts and ideas expand from metaphysics to political ethics and from esthetic to theology.

[6] David Hume was born on 26th April 1711 and passed away on 25th August 1776. He is a philosopher, historian and economic expert in Scotland.

[7] Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche was born in 15th October 1844 and passed away on 25th August 1900. He is a German philosopher and philological expert who studies classical texts, philosophy, culture and others. He wrote some critical texts on religion, morality, culture and philosophy.

 

Endnotes:

[1][1] Plato was born approximately 427 CE and passed away approximately 347 CE. He is a Greek philosopher and the founder of Plato Academy in Athens, the first high school in the Western world. He is a student of Socrates.

[2] Aristotle who was born approximately in 384 CE and passed away on 7th March 322 CE is a Greek philosopher. He studied from Plato and a teacher of Alexander the Great.

[3] Ibn Rushd who was born in 1126 and passed away in 1198 is an expert in philosophy, medic, theology, astronomy, geography, science and a jurist of madhab Malik.

[4] Thomas Aquinas was born in 1225 and passed away in 1247. He is a renown philosopher and theologian in Italy.

[5] Immanuel Kant is a German philosopher in the 18th century who has great influence in the intellectual world. His thoughts and ideas expand from metaphysics to political ethics and from esthetic to theology.

[6] David Hume was born on 26th April 1711 and passed away on 25th August 1776. He is a philosopher, historian and economic expert in Scotland.

[7] Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche was born in 15th October 1844 and passed away on 25th August 1900. He is a German philosopher and philological expert who studies classical texts, philosophy, culture and others. He wrote some critical texts on religion, morality, culture and philosophy.