Dîn al-Islâm, the religion of Islam, is the belief in Allâhu ta’âlâ, in His Oneness and in all His prophets (’alaihimu ’s-salâm).
Allah is the Being who creates everything, whose existence has no end or limit and whose state cannot be comprehended with mind, but whose attributes forming His Divinity and Creativeness only are known. He exists by Himself and is One. Nothing besides Him can exist by itself. He alone is the One who creates and keeps everything in existence.
‘He exists by Himself’ does not mean ‘He has come into existence from Himself.’ If it meant so, He would have come into existence later. On the contrary, His existence is necessary, and He was never nonexistent. To exist by Himself means that His existence does not need anything. His existence is necessary for the existence of all beings. He has the perfect attributes for creating and keeping everything in such an orderly state. Deficiency, fault or defect cannot exist in Him.
If there were not a single being creating all creatures, everything would come into existence by itself or nothing would exist. It is not reasonable that everything exists by itself; for existing by itself requires being existent before itself, that is, to have existed always; everything had to be wâjib al-wujûd (indispensable being). If it were so, it would not come into being out of nonexistence, nor would it cease from existence. Indeed, every creature comes into existence after it has been nonexistent, and it later ceases to exist. Then, it is obvious that no creature is wâjib al-wujûd. Besides, coming into existence by oneself is not easily understandable to reason. Wâjib al-wujûb has to be single. The Single Being who creates all beings except Himself is necessary. If the existence of the single wâjib al-wujûd were not necessary for the existence of creatures, we would not accept His existence by Himself, either.
Existence of every creature by itself is so far from being scientific that even the naturalists say, “Nature made so,” or “Natural forces made it.” Thus, inadvertently, they explain that creatures do not come into existence by themselves, but there is One Maker. However, they refrain from acknowledging this Maker’s Names and Attributes worthy of Him. They adhere to a concept of nature which is without knowledge or will. We do not see any physical or chemical event occur by itself. We say that certainly some force affects an object to start moving or to change its motion or stop moving. To suppose that all creatures have suddenly come into existence in such an order and regularity would be to deny physical and chemical events. Nothing can be as ignorant as denying the One Creator who possesses Knowledge, Power and Will and creates everything from the atom to the ’Arsh out of nothing, and supposing that every event happens by chance, which is a concept incompatible with the laws of physics and chemistry.
It is not reasonable to say that there is not a creator creating these creatures out of nothing or that everything comes into being by itself, for some work must be done to come into existence from nonexistence and, according to laws of physics and chemistry, every work is done by a force. That is, according to scientific point of view, a source of force certainly has to exist beforehand. If the existence of a preceding being were necessary to create every being, beings’ creating one another would have to go on continuously from eternal past to eternal future. If the case were so, nothing would exist. For, beings which have no beginning and all of which have been born from one another mean nonexistence. This can be explained with an example; I have a dollar which I have borrowed from you. And you borrowed it from a friend of yours. And he had borrowed it from someone else. Now, if this succession of lending goes round to all the people in the world, if it does not have a beginning, that is, if it does not begin with the last person on the world who initially possessed it not by borrowing but in some other way, the dollar which I say I have, does not exist. That is, it belongs to nobody, for if we suppose that it belonged to someone, he must have taken it from someone else, who does not exist on the earth to give it to him. How can it pass from hand to hand while there is not someone to lend it first? If someone had lent it first, someone else would now posses this dollar. The existence of the dollar indicates that it has been given not from eternity but from someone first. In other words, if such a chain of dependence were supposed to begin from eternity, every being depending upon another being for its existence without reaching a being whose existence did not depend upon another, nothing would exist. As long as the existence of a being needed another, which needed another and another, and thus one needed another endlessly, nothing could be thought of existing; everything which we see in existence would have to be nonexistent, for it would also need something else which would have to exist before itself, but which in reality did not exist, for it would also need something else to exist before itself. It is the same with the third, the forth, the fifth… it is always the same.
The existence of Hadrat Âdam can easily be understood after this reasoning. If Hadrat Âdam had not existed and men’s fathers had been infinite, there would have been no man on the earth; for, if the number of fathers had been infinite, there would have been neither the first father nor his children, that is, mankind. Since men exist, the first father has to have existed.
It is very important to believe in the next world, like believing in Allâhu ta’âlâ. If the next world did not exist, the good deeds which have not been rewarded and the evils and wrongs that have not been punished in this world would never be recompensed, which would be a very great defect for this world which, as we see, has the most delicately artistic and orderly characteristics. While the smallest state or any society has a court of justice, this tremendous world, which we call the Universe, will definitely have a court of justice. The need in the next world for giving men their rights is so important that men of idea in Europe, though they cannot understand the existence of Allâhu ta’âlâ through science, think over morals and accept His existence unanimously. To comprehend the existence of Allâhu ta’âlâ by thinking over morals means that, since it is seen that the conscience, which may always go wrong and cannot control the spiritual responsibilities and is not equally powerful in every person, is not able to protect the morals and since it is also seen that virtues are not appreciated and many an evil are common and cherished although everything in the world has been created very orderly and beautifully, men’s wrongdoings have to be recompensed in the next world.
It is very surprising that Europeans do not comprehend Allah’s existence through science, even though scientific knowledge, which discovers the dumbfounding regularity in, relations between and laws concerning all living and lifeless beings from the atom to the ’Arsh, shows Allah’s existence obviously. As it is understood that a world called the hereafter is necessary for the retribution of the wrongs done in the world and hence it is thought that these worlds should have a creator, so it is easier to see the orderly, delicate constructions of beings and the well-calculated relations, interactions and laws between them and to believe in Him who creates them. In other words, while the existence of the next world, and hence the existence of Allâhu ta’âlâ creating it, is concluded from the need to recompense the defects and baseness in men’s morals, it is surprising that the Creator’s existence is not understood by seeing the beauties and regularities in beings. It indicates that men are evil-natured; they acknowledge Allâhu ta’âlâ when they think they need Him, and they pay no attention to Him and ignore His blessings when they think they do not need Him.
The one who creates the beings out of nothing must be one. If there were two creators, for instance, they would not agree on doing something and their wishes would not happen together; if neither wish happened, both of them would be impotent; if the wish of one of them happened, the other would be impotent. The impotent cannot be creative. If what the wishes of both were alike, they would again be impotent, because they would be forced to come to a mutual agreement.
When Islam came, people in Arabia had been worshipping idols and statues. Their thoughts were fixed into the existence of many gods. For this reason, Islam laid much emphasis on the evils of polytheism, and Muslims’ belief began with kalimat at-tawhîd. Men possess religious feelings naturally. For this reason, he who does not believe in Allah is spiritually sick, psychopathic. Such defective people are deprived of a great spiritual support and are in a very deplorable condition. As one of the European men of idea has said, “Piousness is great happiness, but I could not attain this happiness,” so Tevfîk Fikret, one of the religion reformers in our country, ridiculed Islam and Muslims in his poem “Târîkh-i qadîm”, but he could not help expressing the need of having îmân gushing out from his poetic spirit in his following lines:
“This loneliness is a loneliness like the loneliness in the grave,
To believe! That is the spiritual embrace in that loneliness.”
The Oneness of the Creator whose existence is necessary can also be explained in this way: if there were more than one creators, their combination would not be wâjib al-wujûd (the necessary, indispensable, being), because the existence of a combination needs the existence of each of its parts, and the being whose existence is necessary should not need anything. Then, no combination can be wâjib al-wujûd. The combination of the parts whose existence is necessary would be neither indispensable (wâjib) nor dispensable (mumkin), for the dispensable being would not exist by itself and needs a creator. Accepting the existence of this creator distinct from the combination would be contrary to the combination’s being wâjib, while considering this creator to be in this combination would come to mean that something would create itself, which is impossible. For example, if the combination of two indispensable parts were indispensable, this combination would also be dispensable because it needs the existence of both its parts, which is illogical. If the combination of the two were dispensable, it would have to be nonexistent.
This explanation, that wâjîb al-wujûd (the Indispensable Being) cannot be more than one, rebuts the naturalists who say that everything exists by itself and is wâjib al-wujûd. Indeed, as explained above, let alone that everything exists by itself as a wâjib al-wujûd, it is impossible even for a creature to be a wâjib al-wujûd.