Saturday, July 13, 2013

Creation, Perfection and Free Will

My two-bits on a discussion about Creation, Perfection and Free Will, and my comments on what someone has referred to in one of the posts as 'Why not accept instead that creation is a work in progress and evil exists for some purpose of which we are as yet unaware. That after all is rather how Samiya describes a fairly consistent Islamic view of the world.'

Creation is indeed a work in progress. Every new baby, every new star, the continual expansion of space, all bear witness to continuous creation. Consider the following verses:  
(Quran 35:1) Praise be to Allah, Who created (out of nothing) the heavens and the earth, Who made the angels, messengers with wings,- two, or three, or four (pairs): He adds to creation as He pleases: for Allah has power over all things.
(Quran 36:79)Say, "He will give them life Who created them for the first time! for He is Well-versed in every kind of creation!-
(Quran 40:57) Assuredly the creation of the heavens and the earth is a greater (matter) than the creation of men: Yet most men understand not.
(Quran 21:104) The Day that We roll up the heavens like a scroll rolled up for books (completed),- even as We produced the first creation, so shall We produce a new one: a promise We have undertaken: truly shall We fulfil it.
(Quran 27:64) Or, Who originates creation, then repeats it, and who gives you sustenance from heaven and earth? (Can there be another) god besides Allah? Say, "Bring forth your argument, if ye are telling the truth!"
(Quran 29:6) And if any strive (with might and main), they do so for their own souls: for Allah is free of all needs from all creation.
(Quran 67:3) He Who created the seven heavens one above another: No want of proportion wilt thou see in the creation of (Allah) Most Gracious. So turn thy vision again: seest thou any flaw?
(Quran 19:35) It is not Befitting to (the majesty of) Allah that He should Beget a son. Glory Be to Him! when He determines a matter, He only says to it, "Be", and it is.

As the verses above indicate, Creation is not a process of trial and error. God creates perfectly and effortlessly. The Islamic concept of God is a perfect and supreme being, omniscient and omnipresent, transcendent and immanent, nothing that we can understand or comprehend, but still begin to realize the majesty and hold in complete awe!

Free will, as I understand it, is the freedom of choice, not of outcome. Consider the following verse:

(Quran 57:22,23) No misfortune can happen on earth or in your souls but is recorded in a decree before We bring it into existence: That is truly easy for Allah:
In order that ye may not despair over matters that pass you by, nor exult over favours bestowed upon you. For Allah loveth not any vainglorious boaster,-

For those who have an idea of how softwares and computer games are coded, the programmer builds-in possible outcomes and the program proceeds as designed, while the user chooses from a limited array of choices. Now, these are but human designs. Imagine how fantastic the Creator's software is! Perhaps we do not understand Free Will completely, but the analogy of a computer software does help appreciate the simplicity, complexity, reality and illusion thereof. What happens is exactly as God has destined and planned, but our choices are recorded as we live the software of life!
Consider the following verses:

Behold! in the creation of the heavens and the earth; in the alternation of the night and the day; in the sailing of the ships through the ocean for the profit of mankind; in the rain which Allah Sends down from the skies, and the life which He gives therewith to an earth that is dead; in the beasts of all kinds that He scatters through the earth; in the change of the winds, and the clouds which they Trail like their slaves between the sky and the earth;- (Here) indeed are Signs for a people that are wise.
 (Al-Baqara, Chapter #2, Verse #164)

Behold! in the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the alternation of night and day,- there are indeed Signs for men of understanding,-
 (Aal-e-Imran, Chapter #3, Verse #190)

Men who celebrate the praises of Allah, standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides, and contemplate the (wonders of) creation in the heavens and the earth, (With the thought): "Our Lord! not for naught Hast Thou created (all) this! Glory to Thee! Give us salvation from the penalty of the Fire.
 (Aal-e-Imran, Chapter #3, Verse #191)

We have honoured the sons of Adam; provided them with transport on land and sea; given them for sustenance things good and pure; and conferred on them special favours, above a great part of our creation.
 (Al-Isra, Chapter #17, Verse #70)

Say: "Travel through the earth and see how Allah did originate creation; so will Allah produce a later creation: for Allah has power over all things.
 (Al-Ankaboot, Chapter #29, Verse #20)

And among His Signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the variations in your languages and your colours: verily in that are Signs for those who know.
 (Ar-Room, Chapter #30, Verse #22)

It is He Who begins (the process of) creation; then repeats it; and for Him it is most easy. To Him belongs the loftiest similitude (we can think of) in the heavens and the earth: for He is Exalted in Might, full of wisdom.
 (Ar-Room, Chapter #30, Verse #27)

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