Thursday, 25 July 2013

Surah Ikhlaas

Surah al-Ikhlaas, an apparently small chapter of Quran, is quite significant one, as it presents the most important creeds of Islam - Oneness, Eternity & Uniqueness of God. It is Islamic theology, in concise, since  it defines God very precisely. It reads as follows :

1 - “(Say) He is God one and Only.”
2 - “God the Eternal and absolute”
3 - “He begets not, nor was He begotten”
4 - “And there is Nothing like him”

- Qur’an, Chapter 112

Now, let's scrutinize each verse.

The first verse says God is one and only.

a) Ockham’s Razor  :
Its a philosophical principle attributed to the 14th century logician and Franciscan friar William of Ockham. This principle enjoins “Pluralitas non est ponenda sine necessitate”,  meaning “Plurality should not be posited without necessity.”  In simple words it means that, entites shouldn't be multiplied without neccesity.

Now as I've proved earlier in series of articles that our universe began to exist and that there must be a creator. We've got two premises, there is one creator or there are multiple creators. The option of universe being created my multiple creators is irrational because it would imply that a single creator(God) isn't powerful enough to create alone which would mean that creator of this universe isn't omnipotent and possess weakness, however, this is quite contrary to the intuitively obvious attribute of God that is omnipotence.

The most common contention to my above argument is "why can't multiple semi-powerful gods create and maintain this universe together"

The problem with this premise is this could create chaos. As the Holy Qur'an presents this argument in Surah ambiya 21 : 22 :

“If there were in them gods besides God, they would both have been in disorder. So glory be to God, the Lord of the Throne, being
above what they describe.” 

Quran - Surah Al Mu’minun, Chapter 23, Verse 91:

“No son (or offspring or children) did God beget, nor is there any ilah (god) along with Him; (if there had been many gods), behold, each god would have taken away what he had created, and some wouldhave tried to overcome others! Glorified be God above all that they attribute to Him.”

Let's understand this with help of a couple of examples -

i) For instance, if all time-keeping equipments were produced by a company consisting of three independent partners, with each specializing in only one aspect of these time-keeping equipments.
Can such a company be depended on for continual supply of time-keeping equipments?
What if one partner (for some reason) decides to withhold his part, or decides to stop making it altogether–where would this leave the consumers?
Or what if each of the three partners, thinking that his part is the most important wants his name to be listed first at the top of the product–where would these wrangling leave consumers?
Or what if the partners cannot agree on a specific design?

ii)  If there were two deities and they disagreed about something, such as one wanted to move X, whereas the other did not want it to moved, or one wanted to make Y a living being, whereas the other wanted to make it lifeless, then, logically speaking, there are only three possibilities. First, the wills of the two are both carried out; second, only the will of one of them is carried out; third, the will of neither of them is carried. The first case is not possible because it requires the existence of contraries. The third possibility is also ruled out because it would imply that a body is neither moving nor not moving and this is impossible. This would also imply that both of them are incapable or carrying out their wills, which would disqualify them from being God. Finally, if the will of one is realised and not that of the other, he alone will deserve to be God and the one whose will is not realised cannot be considered God.

b) Unity of physical law :
There is order in the universe because one law pervades the whole of it, and one law clearly points to one Author and Maintainer of that law. The unity of law is a clear proof of the Oneness of the Maker.  
What I mean by one law pervading the universe is that a physical law doesn't change from one place to another. For example, law of gravity is same everywhere be it on moon or earth or anywhere else.

So, if there were many gods, they would have wrangled with each other on the feasibility of certain law.

c) concept of differentiation :

We differentiate between two entities by certain Observable characteristics, such as Colour, Shape, Size, etc. But, in absence of these certain characteristics, would you be able to perceive the two objects or any objects at all?

You could not, because these concepts are required to perceive any number of entities. Now since the creator of the universe is outside the universe, we can assert that there are no conceptual differentiators such as distance, shape, colour and size, because these concepts only make sense within the universe. hence if there are no observable differentiating characteristics we can't claim multiplicity of causes of universe.

So, all the above arguments refute the premise that there are multiple creators and proves Oneness of God because once we've ruled out the impossible whatever remains however improbable must be true.

The second verse says God is Eternal and Absolute.

God, obviously must be eternal entity since He is uncreated and He created this universe otherwise it would lead us to absurdity of infinite regress.
The Creator, must be uncreated because if the Creator itself have a Creator, and the Creator of the Creator have yet another Creator, and so on and on to infinity, the universe would’ve never existed to talk about in the first place. Think of it this way, when does C1 come into being? Only after C2 has come into being. When does C2 come into being? Only after C3 has come into being. This same problem will continue even if we go to infinity. This implies that the Creator is uncaused/uncreated and hence eternal(as-Samad).

The third verse says God begets not nor is He begotten.

As Already proved God must be an immaterial entity out of this universe, so begetting can't be attributed as a Godly act, to understand it better lets consider an example, when an entity begets, the begotten entity should be of same species as that of his parents, for example when a donkey begets her child should also be a donkey, but suppose if God begets, the begotten one should be also a GOD, but the supposed begotten God won't be uncreated and eternal, hence, God begetting isn't logically possible because one entity can't be a God if He's not eternal nor does an entity begets something unlike it.
God isn't begotten, is obvious, as we've already proved the creator of universe must be an eternal being and if God would've been  begotten it would mean that the creator isn't eternal which again will lead us to absurdity of infinite regress.

The fourth verse says God is unique.

Whatever I've discussed so far in this articles proves the uniqueness of God, none of the other entity is Eternal, absolute, omnipotent as God is. God is unique in every aspect whether it be attributes or nature, though we human could never comprehend anything about God's nature, we can only deduce about His attributes. God is also immaterial entity, as He's out of universe because he has always pre-existed universe and will post-exist universe. God must be out of this universe in order to create it else it would imply that universe created itself which isn't possible since, as per 1st law of thermodynamics, which  states “Energy cannot be created or destroyed”, (in other words matter) cannot create itself. If the God had been a  material then it would overrule this principle as it would mean matter and energy self create. Therefore, we can conclude that the cause of the universe must be immaterial and therefore unique.

And God knows the best, may He, ar-rahman forgive me if I've made any mistake and may He, guide those who seek the truth. Aameen!

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