Friday 14 Muḥarram 1444 - 12 August 2022
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Types of Creation in Islam

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Publication : 15-03-2022

Views : 1585

Question

My family and I were on a journey, and we were listening to the shaykh on the radio. In his talk, the shaykh said that Allah created the smartphone. I objected to that and said: The phone was manufactured by humans, piece by piece, and Allah, may He be exalted, did not create it. My mother asked me: Do you think that you are not created? And I said yes, because I think that creation refers to that which is created from nothing (like the creation of the heavens and the earth), or is creation through a miraculous process (like the creation of Adam from dust). 

As for me, I was created from a sperm and egg until I became a baby, so I think that it is formation and transformation, not creation. I gave the example of bread which is made from flour and water, and is not created. One of my proofs is that if birth is creation, when did this creation occur? So I am asking: is my argument valid? Is there any sin on me for thinking about these topics?

Summary of answer

There are two types of creation in Islam. 1- Creation may be either a direct process, as in the creation of Adam, 2- or it may be through certain means, as in the creation of the progeny of Adam from an ejected fluid.

Praise be to Allah.

Allah, may He be glorified, is the Creator , and everything other than Him is created, as He, may He be glorified, says (interpretation of the meaning):

{Allah is the Creator of all things, and He is, over all things, Disposer of affairs.} [az-Zumar 39:62]

So there is nothing that exists except the Creator, namely the Lord of the Worlds, may He be glorified, or that which is created, which is everything other than the Creator, may He be glorified. There is no third category.

Are you created?

You are definitely created , and you are not a creator. You are not a creator of yourself or of anyone else.

The problem that caused you to think in this way is that you limited the concept of creation to creation from nothing, and you did not realise that creation may be like that, or it may also mean creation from an already-created substance, which is the case of this universe that we see.

Types of creation in Islam

So creation in Islam may be either a direct process, as in the creation of Adam, or it may be through certain means, as in the creation of the progeny of Adam from an ejected fluid. Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning)

{Who perfected everything which He created and began the creation of man from clay, then He made his posterity out of the extract of a liquid disdained, then He proportioned him and breathed into him from His [created] soul and made for you hearing and vision and hearts; little are you grateful.} [as-Sajdah 32:7-9]

Adam was created from clay , and was not created from nothing, and his offspring are created from a liquid disdained, but Adam was created directly by means of the divine word, and Allah created him with His Hands.

Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):

{Indeed, the example of Jesus to Allah is like that of Adam. He created Him from dust; then He said to him, “Be,” and he was.} [Aal 'Imran 3:59]

{[Allah] said, “O Iblis, what prevented you from prostrating to that which I created with My Hands? Were you arrogant [then], or were you [already] among the haughty?”} [Sad 38:75]

So the one who was created from dust is created, and the one who was created from a sperm drop is also created.

Allah, may He be glorified, says (interpretation of the meaning):

{He created the heavens and earth in truth. High is He above what they associate with Him 

He created man from a sperm-drop; then at once, he is a clear adversary.} [an-Nahl 16:3-4]

{Recite in the name of your Lord who created, Created man from a clinging substance.} [al-‘Alaq 96:1-2]

Thus we are all created, from a clinging substance (‘alaq) and from a sperm-drop (nutfah), and our father Adam was created from dust or from clay or from clay like [that of] pottery.

Bread that is made from flour is created, because the flour originally comes from a plant and the earth, which are both created, and because it results from the actions of humans, and the actions of humans are created because they stem from the ability and will of humans, which are created.

By the same token, the smartphone is created, because it is manufactured from created materials, and by the ability of humans which is also created.

How were the heavens and the earth created?

You should understand that Allah created the heavens and the earth from materials that were already created.

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

“Allah, may He be glorified, tells us that He rose over the heaven when it was smoke, and he said to it and to the earth, “Come [into being], willingly or by compulsion.” And they said, “We have come willingly.” (Fussilat 41:11). Thus they were created from smoke. And there are reports from the early generations which say that they were created from steam, and this is the water over which the throne was which is mentioned in the verse, {And it is He who created the heavens and the earth in six days - and His Throne had been upon water} [Hud 11:6].

Allah has told us that He created the heavens and the earth within a certain period, and from a substance. The Quran does not mention the creation of anything from nothing; rather it says that He created created things after they had been nothing, as in the verse:

{for I created you before, while you were nothing} [Maryam 19:9]

Even though He says that He created him from a sperm-drop.” (Majmu‘ al-Fatawa, 18/235)

Al-Qunawi said in his commentary on Tafsir al-Baydawi (10/123): 

“The words, “Allah created Adam and the seminal matter”, serve to highlight the fact that man’s creation is from earth and creation is not limited to that. That is, what is meant by creating from it is creating through a certain means, for Allah, may He be exalted, created Adam, who is the father of humankind, from it, or he created the seminal matter from the nourishment that comes from the earth. Thus human individuals are created from the earth through various means, except Adam, who was created directly.”

And Allah knows best.

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Source: Islam Q&A