The cosmos -meaning by this all that which is other than God¬ is the creation of God, and it has not been nor ever will be independent of God, even for a single instant. In saying that the world is the creation of God, we mean that the world has been brought into being by His will. However, the relation between the world and God is not a generative relationship of the father-son type, as it is said:
He begetteth not, nor is He begotten. (Sura al-Ikhlas, 3)
The present order of our universe is not eternal and everlasting. Rather, after a period of time, the extent of which is known only to God, this order will collapse and another order will arise, an order that pertains to the Resurrection in the Hereafter. As God says:
On the day when the earth will be transformed into another earth, and the heavens [also will be transformed], and. [all] will come forth unto God, the One, the Almighty. (Sura Ibrahim, 48)
Elsewhere it is said, in allusion to this same hidden reality:
Truly we belong to God and truly unto Him we are returning. (Sura al¬Baqara, 11:156)
The law of cause and effect
The order of the world is based on cause and effect, all existential phenomena being established according to this relationship. The effect of one phenomenon upon another is contingent, however, upon the authority of the divine will. The wisdom of God's will manifests itself through this order, such that the effusion of His grace shines through the very nature of things, being manifested by the observable relationships between cause and effect.
The order of the world is based on cause and effect, all existential phenomena being established according to this relationship. The effect of one phenomenon upon another is contingent, however, upon the authority of the divine will.
The Holy Qur'an has expressed these two points, that natural phenomena are governed by causal relationships; and that the effective influence of each cause in the world is derived from the authority of the universal divine will. As regards the first point, it is sufficient to refer to this verse from the Holy Qur'an:
He hath appointed the sky as a canopy, and sent down rain from the sky causing therewith fruits to arise [from the earth] as sustenance for you. (Suraal-Baqara, 11:22)
Regarding the second point, the following verse suffices:
As for the good land, its vegetation comes forth, with the permission of its Lord. (Sura al-A'raf, 58)
The dimensions of existence
Existence is not equivalent to material nature; rather, what we call 'nature' is but the formal expression of a dimension of the created order, an order of things which goes infinitely beyond the realm of nature; the Qur'an gives this infinite 'beyond' the name 'the world of the unseen'('alam al-ghayb).As all material phenomena mutually affect each other, according to the will of God, just so do the things of the unseen world influence the world of nature. To put this differently, they are means by which the grace of God is manifested.
As all material phenomena mutually affect each other, according to the will of God, just so do the things of the unseen world influence the world of nature. To put this differently, they are means by which the grace of God is manifested.
The Holy Qur'an has mentioned the effective influence of God's angels upon events in the natural world, where it says, for example: · · ·
... and those who implement the Command. (Sura al-Nazi'at, LxxIx.5) He is the Omnipotent over His slaves; He sendeth guardians over you. (Sura al-An'am, 61)
From these dear verses we can conclude that the created order-whether natural or supernatural-by virtue of being governed by the law of cause and effect, subsists by the will of God, upon which it depends absolutely.
The world is a guided reality; all its particles, at whatever degree of existence, benefit from the light of divine guidance according to the measure of their receptivity. The degrees of this universal guidance are found as follows: natural guidance, instinctive guidance and creative guidance.
The Holy Qur'an mentions in different verses this creative, universal guidance; for example:
Our Lord is He Who gave unto everything its nature and then guided it aright. (Sura Ta Ha, 50)
The order of creation is perfect
The order of creation is complete and possesses innate excellence. The structure of existence has been fashioned to the highest level of perfection, such that a better or more complete order is inconceivable. The Holy Qur'an states: ·
... the Knower of the invisible and the visible, the Mighty, the Merciful, Who made excellent all things which He created. (Sura al-Sajda, 67)
Blessed be God, the best of Creators! (Sura al-Mu'rninun, 14)
It is self-evident that the excellence of the Creator has as its concomitant the excellence of the creature. The intellectual argument that arises from this principle is that the action of any agent is proportioned to the qualities and the perfection of the agent; thus, if the agent is devoid of any ontological imperfection, it follows naturally that his actions will, likewise, be free from any imperfection or deficiency. Insofar as God Most High is the possessor of ontological perfection, in infinite modes, it follows that His act must be the most perfect and complete of all acts.
The action of any agent is proportioned to the qualities and the perfection of the agent; thus, if the agent is devoid of any ontological imperfection, it follows naturally that his actions will, likewise, be free from any imperfection or deficiency. Insofar as God Most High is the possessor of ontological perfection, in infinite modes, it follows that His act must be the most perfect and complete of all acts.
This having been said, the necessity of God's being wise is proven by the fact that, despite the [apparently negative] possibilities inherent in the creation of an excellent world, nothing other than excellence was in fact brought about by God. It is worth mentioning here that nothing in the realm of nature that is referred to as 'evil' contradicts in the least the excellence of the order of nature.
Insofar as the world is the creation and the act of God, and He is the absolute Truth, the world itself is true and wisely ordered, devoid of futility and vanity. The Holy Qur'an refers to this principle in numerous verses, of which the following may be cited:
We created not the heaven and earth and all that is between them save with truth, and for a term appointed. (Sura al-Ahqaf, 3)
The ultimate end of man and the world alike is consummated in the Resurrection. Thus, Imam 'Ali states:
'Verily, the end (al¬ghaya) is the Resurrection. '
1. See also, in this connection, Sura al-Baqara, II: 102 and 249, and Sura Al 'Imran, III: 49 and 166; for further information, see the books of Qur'anic commentary and theology, such as 'Allama Tabataba'i, al-Miziin (Beirut,-1393/-1973.).,-vol.-1,-p.-72.
2. Nahjal-baliigha, compiled by al-Sharif'al-Radl (Qom, 1395/1975), Saying no. 190.