Understanding The Prophet's Life
From Issue: 476 [Read full issue]
Who Created God?
People with no inner spiritual life sometimes ask: If God created everything, who created God? The Prophet, peace be upon him, said that some people would ask this very question: "A day will certainly come when some people will sit with their legs crossed and ask: 'If God created everything, who created God?'" [Bukhari, I'tisam, 3]
At best, the question is based on perceived "cause and effect" relationships. Everything can be thought of as an effect and attributed to a prior cause that, in turn, is attributed to a prior cause, and so on. However, we must remember that cause is only a hypothesis, for it has no objective existence. All that objectively exists is a particular sequence of circumstances that is often (but not always) repeated. If such a hypothesis is applied to existence, we cannot find a creator of the first cause, because each creator must have had a prior creator. The end result is a never-ending chain of creators.
The Creator must be Self-Subsistent and One, without like or equal. If any created being "causes" anything, that capacity was created within that being, for only the Creator is Self-Existent and Self-Subsistent. Only the Creator truly creates and determines possible causes and effects for His creation. Therefore, we speak of God as the Sustainer, who holds and gives life to all of His Creation. All causes begin in Him, and all effects end in Him. In truth, created things are "0"s that will never add up to anything, unless God bestows real value or existence by placing a positive "1" before the "0".
In the sphere of existence, what we call causes and effects have no direct or independent influence. We may have to use such words to understand how a part of creation is made intelligible to us and available for our use. But even this confirms our dependence upon God and our answerability before Him. God does not need causes and effects to create; rather, we need them to understand what He has created.
“Who Created God?” – Fethullah Gulen