Thirtieth Window

If there were in the heavens and the earth other gods besides God, there surely would have been confusion in both.1 Everything will perish save His countenance; His is the command, and to Him shall you return.2

This is the Window of the scholars of theology (kalam), based on contingency and createdness, and their highway for proving the Necessarily Existent One. For all the details, we refer you to the scholars’ great books like Sharh al-Mawaqif and Sharh al-Maqasid, and here only demonstrate one or two rays which spill on the spirit from the effulgence of the Qur’an and this Window. It is as follows:

It is the requirement of dominion and rulership not to accept rivals; they reject partnership; they repudiate interference. It is because of this that if there are two headmen in a village, they will destroy its tranquillity and order. Or if there are two chief officials in a district, or two governors in a province, they will cause chaos. Or if there are two kings in a country, they will cause complete and stormy confusion. Since a pale shadow and petty example of dominion and rulership in impotent human beings needy for assistance does not accept the interference of rivals, opponents, or peers, then you may compare how fully a rulership which is in the form of absolute sovereignty and a dominion at the degree of dominicality will enforce that law of the rejection of interference in One Possessing Absolute Power. That is to say, the most definite and constant necessity of Godhead and dominicality are unity and singleness. The clear proof and certain testimony to this are the perfect order and beautiful harmony in the universe. There is such an order from the wing of a fly to the lamps in the heavens that the intellect prostrates before it in wonder and appreciation, declaring: “Glory be to God! What wonders God has willed! How great are God’s blessings!” Had there been an iota of space for partners to God, and had there been interference, as the verse,

If there were in the heavens and the earth other gods besides God, there would have been confusion in both1

indicates, the order would have been destroyed, the form changed, and signs of disorder would have appeared. But as the verses,

So turn your vision again: do you see any flaw? Then turn your vision a second time; your vision will come back to you in a state dazzled and truly defeated2

state and point out, however much the human gaze tries to find faults, it can find none anywhere, and returns worn out to its dwelling, the eye, and says to the fault-finding mind who sent it: “I am worn out for nothing; there are no faults.” This shows that the order and regularity are most perfect. That is to say, the order in the universe is a definitive witness to Divine unity.

Come now, let us consider ‘createdness’. The scholars of theology stated:

“The world is subject to change. And everything which is subject to change is created. Every created thing has a creator, a maker. In which case, the universe has a pre-eternal creator.”

And we say, yes, the universe is created. For we see that every century, indeed, every year and every season one universe, one world, goes and another comes. This means that there is an All-Powerful One of Glory Who, creating the universe anew, creates a universe every year, indeed, every season, and every day, and shows it to the aware and conscious. Then He takes it back and puts another in its place. He attaches one universe after the other like the links of a chain, and hangs them on the string of time. For sure, the universes which appear from nothing and disappear before our eyes every spring, each a new universe the same as this world, are miracles of the power of the Omnipotent One Who creates them. The One Who continuously creates and changes the worlds within the world most definitely created the world too. And He made the world and the face of the earth a guest-house for those great visitors.

Now let us come to the discussion of ‘contingency’. The scholars of theology said:

“Contingency is equal in regard to both existence and non-existence.” That is, if existence and non-existence are both equally possible, one who will specify, prefer, and create is necessary. For contingent beings cannot create one another in uninterrupted and never-ending chains of cause and effect. Neither can one create another, and that the next, in the form of causation. In which case there is a Necessarily Existent One Who creates them. They rendered null and void the never-ending causal sequences with the famous twelve categorical proofs called ‘the ladder argument,’ and demonstrated causality to be impossible. They cut the chains of causes and proved the existence of the Necessarily Existent One.

And we say this: it is more certain and easier to demonstrate a stamp peculiar to the Creator of All Things on everything than causes being cut at the extremities of the world with the proofs refuting causality. Through the effulgence of the Qur’an, all the Windows and all the Words are based on this principle. Nevertheless, the point of contingency possesses an infinite breadth. It demonstrates the existence of the Necessarily Existent One in innumerable respects. It is not restricted to the way of the scholars of theology – cutting the chains of causes, which in truth is a mighty and broad highway; it opens a path to knowledge of the Necessarily Existent One by ways beyond count. It is as follows:

We see that in its existence, its attributes, and its lifetime, while hesitant among innumerable possibilities, that is, among truly numerous ways and aspects, each thing follows a well-ordered way in regard to its being in innumerable respects. Its attributes also are given it in a particular way. All the attributes and states which it changes throughout its life are specified in the same fashion. This means it is impelled on a wise way amid innumerable ways through the will of one who specifies, the choice of one who chooses, and the creation of a wise creator. He clothes it with well-ordered attributes and states. Then it is taken out of isolation and made part of a compound body, and the possibilities increase, for they may be found in that body in thousands of ways. Whereas among those fruitless possibilities, it is given a particular, fruitful state, whereby important results and benefits are obtained from that body, and it is made to carry out important functions. Then the body is made a component of another body. Again the possibilities increase, for it could exist in thousands of ways. Thus, it is given one state among those thousands of ways. And through that state it is made to perform important functions; and so on. It progressively demonstrates more certainly the necessary existence of an All-Wise Planner. It makes known that it is being impelled by the command of an All-Knowing Commander. Body within body, each has a function, a well-ordered duty, in all the compounds that one within the other themselves become components of larger compounds, and has relationships particular to each, in the same way that a soldier has a function and well-ordered duty in his squad, his company, his battalion, his regiment, his division, and his army, and a relationship particular to each of these sections, one within the other. A cell from the pupil of your eye has a duty in your eye and a relationship with it, and has wise functions and duties in your head as a whole and a relationship with it. If it confuses these the tiniest jot, the health and organization of the body will be spoilt. It has particular functions with regard to each of the veins, the sensory and motor nerves, and even the body as a whole, and wise relations with them. That specified state has been given it within thousands of possibilities through the wisdom of an All-Wise Maker.

In just the same way, each of the creatures in the universe testifies to the Necessarily Existent One through the particular being, the wise form, the beneficial attributes given it among numerous possibilities. So too when they enter compounds, those creatures proclaim their Maker with a different tongue in each compound. Step by step till the greatest compound, through their relations, functions, and duties, they testify to the necessary existence, choice, and will of their All-Wise Maker. Because the one who situates a thing in all the compounds while preserving its wise relations, must be the Creator of all the compounds. That is to say, it is as though one single thing testifies to Him with thousands of tongues. Thus, from the point of view of contingency, the testimony to the existence of the Necessarily Existent One is as numerous, not as the number of beings in the universe, but as the attributes of beings and the compounds they form.

O heedless one! One who does not hear this testimony, these voices which fill the universe, must be dead and unreasoning, is that not so? Come on, you say...