Word 14: Whoever denies God denies its existence
Word 14: Whoever denies God denies its existence
This is a sentence, but it needs a lot of explanation. Today we want to talk about monotheism and theology. Proving the existence of God is one thing and knowing the existence of God is another.
Of course, knowing the existence of God does not mean knowing the essence of God because this knowledge is not possible. God is the only one who knows Himself. Rather, knowledge of God means knowing the relationship between the Creator and the creatures. Most people have some reasons for proving the existence of God for themselves, but knowledge of the Almighty God or the monotheism that the Quran speaks of is one of the most important issues in life.
The one who denies God is in fact denying his existence. Without God, the earth, the sky, the sun, and all beings would not exist. The infidels also believed in the existence of God. Here are few examples mentioned in the holy Quran.
“Surely, the religion is for Allah only. And those who take protectors besides Him (say): “We worship them only that they may bring us near to Allah.” Verily, Allah will judge between them concerning that wherein they differ. Truly, Allah guides not him who is a liar, and a disbeliever” (Az-Zumar:3).
“They said: “Swear one to another by Allah that we shall make a secret night attack on him and his household, and thereafter we will surely say to his near relatives: `We witnessed not the destruction of his household, and verily, we are telling the truth” (An-Naml:49).
“And if you were to ask them: “Who has created the heavens and the earth and subjected the sun and the moon” They will surely reply: “Allah.” How then are they deviating” (Al-Ankabut:61)
So, as you noticed, infidels are also believed in Allah but what is the different between our point of view and them? If we only believe in God as much as they believe, what would be the difference between us? They had intellect and knew that their idols that worshiped were not God. They only deviated from the right path. They also believed that God created the sky, the Earth, and all the stars. One of the principles in Islam is to say and witness “La Ilahe Illallah” (لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا ٱللَّٰهُ) meaning “There is no god except Allah”. We need to understand deeply the meaning of the key pillar of Islam (What is the meaning of “La Ilahe Illallah”).
Everyone has a god in their mind and the important point is that god is made by their minds and is not a real God. It is mentioned in the Quran that infidels did not accept the Name of “Ar-Rahman” meaning the Merciful. “And (all) the Most Beautiful Names belong to Allah, so call on Him by them, and leave the company of those who deny His Names” (Al-A’raf:180). They denied the Names of God because they did not know attributes of God. If we look closely, we see that most people are “Mushrik” (those who worshipped others along with Allah). “And most of them believe not in Allah except that they attribute partners unto Him” (Yusuf:106). We need to understand true monotheism (Quranic monotheism). We must know monotheism well to be able to distance ourselves from polytheism. I’ll briefly explain monotheism in this essay.
In a rational classification, things can be divided into three categories:
- “Mumtane’al-Wojud”- Impossible Existence
- “Wajib al-Wojud” – Essential Existence
- “Mumkin al-Wojud” – Possible Existence
1-“Mumtane’al-Wojud”- Impossible Existence
Impossible Existence is a thing that non-existence is necessary for its essence. Meaning that its essence requires not to be. Meaning it is impossible to be. For example, it is impossible to have a circle that its radius is longer than its perimeter, or it is impossible to have a triangle that its angles’ summation equal to 100. If all people get together to convince us in which that triangle exist, our intellect will not accept it. Impossible Existence is the one that is unimaginable.
2- “Wajib al-Wojud” – Essential Existence
Essential Existence is a thing that existence is necessary for its essence. Meaning that existence can not be removed from its essence. Meaning that, it must exist. It is not possible to imagine its non-existence. Our intellect does not accept if someone says it is not existing. It is very clear in which it is impossible to deny its existence. Do we have such a thing as essential existence? This is what we call God. This needs to be proven.
3- “Mumkin al-Wojud” – Possible Existence
Possible Existence is a thing that its essence is equal to be or not to be. Meaning that its essence does not have the necessity to exist or not exist. If its essence must exist, then it becomes Essential Existence and if its essence must not exist then it becomes Impossible Existence. So, it is a possible thing. If there is a cause that give it an existence, then it becomes otherwise it will not exist.
All creations are Possible Existences. For example, it is possible for human to be or not to be, it is possible for the Earth, the sky, the sun to be or not to be, it is possible for heaven and hell to be or not to be, it is possible for the Universe to be or not to be, and it is possible for angels to be or not to be. Everything that we can imagine its existence and non-existence will be in this category.
Now, lets start to prove that Essential Existence exist:
Let’s gather all the Possible Existences in one place. Something is the cause of their existence otherwise they would be non-existence. Their cause is Essential Existence.
Someone may say, “Yes, I accept something gave existence to a “Possible Existence” (A), but that thing is another possible existence (B)”. We will ask who gave existence to B? It is proven by philosophical reasons and also for our intellect that this process cannot continue forever.
Someone may also say, “Yes, I accept something gave existence to a “Possible Existence” (A), but that thing is another possible existence (B)”. We will ask who gave existence to B? It is not possible to say B gave existence to A. It is also proven by philosophical reasons and also for our intellect that this process invalid.
It is obvious that we can not give existence to things in the physical world. When we say we make this tool, basically meaning we change the shape of matters to something else. So, “Essential Existence” which we call it God, exists. It is obligatory to have “Essential Existence”, if it did not exist, nothing would exist. How is it possible for someone to say that God does not exist, but I exist?
Let’s discuss a little more. We proved that “Possible Existences” need to have a cause to give them existence. Is it just for one time only, or the cause of “Possible Existences” must be there all the time? It means, God who our existence belongs to Him must give us existence forever. Because if we remove the cause of a Possible Existence, it becomes non-existent. A “Possible Existence” does not have anything from itself. A “Possible Existence” (like us) have intrinsic poverty. For example, the light of a lamp is not from itself. The lamp must have electricity to shine. If there is no electricity, there would not be light for the lamp because light was not necessary essence of that lamp. Possible Existence is like this, it does not have existence from itself, someone must give existence all the time otherwise it becomes “Non-existence”.
Now we realize that God is closer to us than whatever you think. “He is with you wherever you are. Allah sees the things you do” (Al-Hadid:4). So, rationally it is impossible to imagine a world (physical and metaphysical) without God (because their existence is from God).
Most people think that God is sitting on the highest level of heavens and commands to his angels to do this or that. Some people think, there is a time for creation of this world, they believe, it was a particle that exploded, and this universe came into being and its explosion was God’s will. These words are very cheap. In order to prove God, some people say that this world is happened from a time, and therefore it is god who created it in the beginning. If we understand the above discussion well, we will realize that the God that people make in their minds is not the real God, but they are made by their minds and in fact, they are the god of what they made. Imam Sadiq (A) said, “Maybe the little ant also imagines God like oneself, but with bigger horns”. The Holy Quran has a key verse which says, “There is nothing like Him. He is the Hearing, the Seeing” (Ash-Shura:11). “Exaltations to Allah above what they describe, except for the sincere worshipers of Allah (Who purified by Him)” (As-Saffat:15-16). There is a very important tradition from Prophet Muhammad (S). Someone asked him, “With what did you know God?” Prophet (S) replied, “I knew things with God”. Meaning I know God, not because of His creations, but know His creations by Him Almighty. For example, you see things by light. “Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth” (An-Nur:35).
Now we understand the following verse from the Holy Quran, “Is there any doubt about Allah, the Fast Bloomer (the One who blooms fast) of the heavens and the earth?” (Ibrahim:10). All Creations are bloomed of God. “The power altogether belongs to Allah” (Al-Baqara:165). “O People, it is you who are poor, in need of Allah. He is the only Rich, the only Praised” (Fatir:15). Because Possible Existence does not have anything from himself except his need. Since our existence belongs to God so our power and knowledge also belongs to Him. We now understand that the one who denies the existence of God, actually denies existence of himself. “Ayah” (a verse in the Holy Quran) means a sign that show something. Earth, Sun, Moon, and whole universe are signs of God. So, why do we not see God? Someone asked Amir Al-Mu’minin Ali (A), “Have seen your God?” Imam (A) replied, “I would not worship the God that I do not see”. The key point is that seeing here is different than what we think.
Existence of Possible Existences must be given moment by moment, meaning God is creating His creations moment by moment. “What, were We wearied by the first creation? No, indeed; yet they are in doubt about a new creation” (Qaf:15). For example, when you see your reflection in a river, you think the reflection is constant on the water. In fact, the water is moving, but because you see the reflection as before, you think it is still same reflection. The creation of objects moment by moment is called “substance motion” (Harakat Juhari) in Islamic philosophy and “Similar Renewal” (Tajadud al-Amsal) in Islamic mysticism. An Islamic mystic believe that moment by moment He is creating the Universe constantly.
Creature is the emergence of the Creator. Creatures are all manifestations of God. Creatures are not separate from God. It is not the case that God the Almighty is somewhere in the universe and His creatures are elsewhere. The relationship between the Creator and the creature is of the type of mutual relationship.
We have two types of relationship, one of which is two-sided relationship such as father and son. We have another type of relationship, which is called one-way relationship. In this case, we do not have two independent beings that have been connected to each other, but there is only one being that has manifested. Like the sun and sunlight. Sunlight is not separate from the sun, and the existence of sunlight is completely dependent on the sun. Another example is that a wave rises from the sea and is not independent of the sea. The wave is the appearance or manifestation of the sea but does not have the rules of the sea, so we cannot say a wave is sea. “And to Allah belong the east and the west, so wherever you turn yourselves or your faces there is the Face of Allah”(Al-Baqara:115). When you interpret this verse always keep it beside this that “There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer” (Ash-Shura:11).
We have different type of ownership as followed:
Example 1: I am the owner of this house; This is not real ownership because real ownership must be with the owner all times. I am the owner of this house now but 5 years later, it might belong to someone else.
Example 2: I am the owner of my hand; this ownership is stronger than example 1 but still is a fake ownership because I might not have my hand later.
Example 3: I am the owner of my knowledge; this ownership is the real ownership because my knowledge and what I perceived cannot be separated from me.
“To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on earth” (Al-Baqara:256). Ownership of God is the real ownership, and He is the real owner of creatures, and the relationship is one-way between God and His creations.
“Everyone knows God, but they do not realize it; They know God because they know their existence”. Animals also know God as much as they know themselves. Famous tradition says, “Everyone knew oneself, knew his Lord”. “And be not like those who forgot Allah and He caused them to forget their own selves” (Al-Hashr:19). The way to know God is through self-knowledge. As much as you know yourself, you know your God.
So far, we proved God by His creations. “Proof of the righteous” is a proof that there is no intermediary, Meaning, we do not prove God by anything else, but the reason for proving God is God Himself.
Allameh Hassanzadeh said, “Existence equal and united with God” or in simple translation, “Existence and God are exactly the same” their meaning is the same but two different words. There is no difference if we say God or Existence”.
Existence is called “Wojud” in Arabic and “Hasti” in Persian. Non-existence is called “A’dam” in Arabic and “Nisti” in Persian. We all understand “Existence”, it is very obvious. We can not describe “Existence” because everything else is described with Existence. When we explain or describe something we would like to make it clear, but the clearest thing is “Existence”, and we always describe things with “Existence”.
Do we have “Non-existence” opposite to “Existence”? No, because if Non-existence exist it becomes “Existence”. So, Non-existence does not exist, and only have “Existence”. It is impossible to have something intermediary between “Existence” and “Non-existence”. Meaning it is impossible to have a thing that exist and non-exist. A thing either exists or non-exists. Whatever we see exist, even whatever we imagine also exists in our mind.
If we extend “Existence” in space, for example, one hundred billion light years, will we reach “Non-existence”? No, because “Non-existence” does not exist, so wherever we go, there is just “Existence”. Existence is infinite and there is no opposition exist for “Existence”. Sometimes when we think, we consider “Non-existence” while it also exists in our mind and is not absolute “Non-existence”.
If we go to 100 billion years back or forward in time, will we reach nothing (“Non-existence”)? No, because “Non-existence” does not exist to reach it. So, “Existence” is eternal, and “Existence” exists forever.
Do we have partner for “Existence”? No, because whatever we think that exist is belongs to “Existence” so there is no opposite and partner for “Existence”.
Can we say that there was a time when “Existence” did not exist? No, because it will be “Non-existence” and we know that “Non-existence does not exist, then “Existence” has always existed and will be exist. Time exists with “Existence”.
Is there a place that “Existence” does not exist? No, because it will be “Non-existence” and “Non-existence does not exist. So, “Existence” is everywhere.
Did anyone create “Existence”? No, because a thing needs to be existed before creating. So, in fact, it proved it exist because of “Existence. “Say (O Muhammad (Peace be upon him)): “He is Allah, (the) One; “Allah-us-Samad (The Self-Sufficient Master and needless” (“Ikhlas:1-2).
Can we say that there is Existence similar to other things? No, because that thing needs to be existed before being similar. So, there is no one similar to “Existence”. “There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer” (Ash-Shura:11).
Can objects be seen if there is no “Existence”? For example, if I do not exist, can you see me? In fact, objects can be seen and heard by “Existence”.
Is it possible to imagine that “Existence” does not exist at all? No, because it is very clear and must exist. So, it is not possible to imagine God does not exist and He must exist. Now, with the above explanations, we realize how clear God is. He does not need to be proven. “Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth” (An-Nur:35). He is very close to us. Many people are blind and do not see God. God is closer to us than we are to ourselves, but we do not see Him. “Is there any doubt about Allah, the Fast Bloomer (the One who bloom fast) of the heavens and the earth?” (Ibrahim:10).
I am a manifestation of God, Earth, Sun, Angel, Prophets, and basically all creations are manifestations of God. “And to Allah belong the east and the west, so wherever you turn yourselves or your faces there is the Face of Allah” (Al-Baqara:115). When you interpret this verse, always keep it beside this that “There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer” (Ash-Shura:11).
So, it is impossible to imagine a world without God. It is important to note that “Truth of God” is hidden for all except Himself, and it is impossible to find out about God’s essence. Someone asked Imam Sadiq (A), “What is the meaning of “Allah o Akbar””? Imam replied, “What do you think it is?”, the person replied, “He is greater than everything”. Imam replied, “you limited God”, The person asked, “What is the meaning?” Imam replied, “God is greater than what people describe”.
Whatever you see is the truth, but you cannot say it is God. God is infinite truth. This is called “Unity of Existence” or “Wahdat-e-Wojud” in Arabic. Someone came to a great Islamic mystic and said, “I cannot accept you lunch offer”, mystic replied, “why is that?” the person said, “you believe in “Unity of Existence” Meaning that you believe everything is God. We believe, whoever believe in “Unity of Existence” is infidel”. Mystic replied, “You misunderstood the “Unity of Existence” because you are also one of the everything which I do not accept you as much as a donkey, let alone say you are God”.
God is infinite and anything else is His manifestation. He cannot be limited to any limit. “He is the First and the Last, the Clear and the Hidden. He has knowledge of all things” (Al-Hadid:3). If someone says, “I am God, he is infidel and idolator”. Idolator says “this is God”, but “Muwahid” (monotheist) says there is nothing other than God. For example, wave is a manifestation of sea. Wave is not sea, but it is not also independent of sea. “If you know yourself, you know God”.
God is the Creator of things moment by moment. It is not such that God created the heavens and the earth at one time and left them alone. The creation of the heavens and the earth is not like the building and builder, because a building will be standing and may not need a builder anymore. Worlds cannot be imagined for a moment without a cause (God). God creates constantly. The reflection of the moon is not fixed on the river water and is being created moment by moment, but because it is in its previous form, we consider it the same reflection. “Possible Existence” such as Earth, Sky, and all beings do not exist independently of God. The relationship between God and creatures is one-way like the sunlight and sun example. We are not God, but we are not separate from God. When we say “La ilaha illa Allah“, we must know that there is no independent being other than God. “Allah—there is no god except Him—is the Living One, the All-sustainer” (Al-Imran:2).
It is God who creates man moment by moment. It is God who creates the devil moment by moment. God’s creation is based on His wisdom and knowledge. If there is no devil, the system of the universe will collapse. Keep in mind that, evil in this world is relative. Stool is bad for us but good for beetles. Snake venom is bad for us, but it is good for the snake. Understand this secret which is very valuable. These were the secrets of mystics who told their students in the ear, so know the value of these things. Not everyone understands these things. Man wants a master in this way, and he must study and purify himself in order to see the truth of the world. Man must first understand things rationally and then think with himself in solitude so that his heart will accept it. Be pure friends and think about these things so that we can become heavenly little by little, God willing.
All praise is to God to the extent that He deserves it.
Tag: God, Allah, Quran, Prophet Muhammad (S), Amir Al-M’uminin Ali (A), Imam Sadiq (A), La ilaha illa Allah, Allah o Akbar, Existence, Non-existence, Nafs, Soul, Mystic, Day of Judgement, Heaven, Hell, Knowledge, Self-Knowledge, Angels, Devil, Substance Motion, Harikat Johari, Similar Renewal, Tajadod al-Amthal, Wahdat-e-Wojud, Unity of Existence, Mumtane’al-Wojud, Impossible Existence, Wajib al-Wojud, Essential Existence, Mumkin al-Wojud, Possible Existence, Muwahid, Monotheist, Idolator, Believer, Infidel.