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2 Proofs of God - Allah ﷻ

How can He be proven…

…although no proof is needed.


By Omar K Neusser



@OmarKN

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Allah Is the One Who - by His Magnificence - is veiled from the perception of the eyes and above the attainments of thoughts, and does not resemble the essences of created beings.[1]


1. Intro

Of course there are proofs of God - Allah سبحانه و تعالى (may His Majesty be exalted) even if not everyone will take these proofs to heart.

The fact that the mind is surpassed “does not mean that God cannot be known, but it means that God must be known through means.” [3]

So when we speak of proofs in matters of the divine realities, it is always only by way of approximation, similitudes, metaphors, because we know that we can never ever rationally ’explain’ and even less ’define’ the divine Being or Ultimate Reality, the Real. We are veiled from Him.

But we have been gifted with reason or a rational mind, so we can say something about It and (potentially) with an intellectual intuition, so we can know.[19]

So there are two kinds of proofs for the existence of God - Allah, this chapter is for the 1st. set of proofs.[2]
From the outset, we took from The Humble I blog Pilgrimage of Reason: Proofs for God’s Existence [1/2], then expanded with additional explanations. Anyone interested in the rational defense of the religion of Islam should study this issue seriously.

This succinct article presents the basic arguments for how God - Allah can be proven. It is based on the first article by Shaykh Surkheel Abu Aaliyah on the Humble I blog.
This text is meant as a short, non-exhaustive presentation of the main Kalām-arguments.


2. What He Is Not

Our intellect is capable of understanding what God or Allah is not. This is ’the negative viewpoint’. In short He is not what the human mind will imagine Him to be - He is beyond all that.[4] It seems to be more difficult to understand what (if anything) we can know of what God or Allah is.[19]


3. Faith in God and the Place of Kalām in Islam

Faith in God is neither irrational nor infantile, as sometimes alleged.
One way to explain the proofs for God’s existence is through the Kalām-cosmological argument.
Kalām (Arabic for word, speech) is about the discursive theology which uses reason-based proofs and rational arguments.[5]

There is consensus in Islam[6] that Kalām is permitted, provided it will be used as support for the conclusions of Revelation and the consensus of the Salāf (the early pious Muslims)[7].
Kalām is often employed to respond to the arguments of the ill-informed by clear logical statements of truth, that is by correct, theoretical reasoning. Other times logical arguments can provide a better understanding, though man is essentially guided by Allah (may His Majesty be exalted)!


4. Entities Are Contingent

Everything created, i.e. all entities are contingent, i.e. they are originated in time and will sooner or later vanish into non-existence.
For contingent entities the Kalām theology uses the concept of atoms, but in a broad sense as indivisible particles.[8]

All of these entities endure - not because of themselves - but because of God through each moment of their existence.
NB: Also time and space themselves do not endure eternally, they are - as everything - created by God - Allah (may His Majesty be exalted).


5. Kalām Rooted in Both Reason and Revelation

”The basis of Kalām atomism is that it is rooted in both reason and revelation. It has one chief goal: God’s omnipotence." [thehumblei]

The rational argument for the worldview of a finite universe has to be cleared, so we will ask:

- Can any sequence of events stretch back in time infinitely, or can it go on in future forever?[9]
- In our human experience in this world, we have yet to find ’anything’ that exists without a cause.

An infinity of events is irrational, and an increase or decrease is infinity is also irrational.[9]


6. The Temporal Existence of All Things

Affirmation of the temporal existence of everything and their finite number is stated in the Revelation:

25_2
{He has created all things and ordered them in due proportions(or: measure)}
25–2

72-28
{He keeps count of all things}
72–28

”In Kalām theology everything is either qadīm - eternal or hadīth - contingent, or coming into existence after non-existence. ”[thehumblei]

All that comes into existence after non-existence must have a cause for its existence. Only God necessarily exists, because God exists by Himself, ’through’ His own essence and nature. God doesn’t have a cause, instead He is the Cause of everything.


7. The Cause and the Causer

The Kalām-cosmological argument goes like this:

(1) Everything that begins to exist must have a cause for its existence and (also) (2)
(2) the universe began to exist,[10] so => (3)
(3) the universe has a cause for its existence.
(4) The one and only cause for its existence (of the universe) is God, because this cause has to be ’something’, which itself is not caused by anything else. So it is the Causer or Originator of all & everything - which we call God or Allah (may His Majesty be exalted!). This can be known by rational thinking and by Revelation.


8. Everything That Begins

”The Kalām-cosmological argument states: Everything that begins to exist must have a cause. God, however, is beginningless; and so has no cause. ‘As He was in pre-existence possessed of His attributes, so shall He remain throughout all eternity.’" [thehumblei]


9. Kalām Cosmology

The Kalām-cosmological argument responds to the arguments of the agnostics and atheists

They are asking for example: What (if anything) caused God?

This is one of those questions which have been posed since times immemorial. When people had become enamoured by their own achievements, veiled by their lusts and confused about the reality of this existence, let alone ignorant about the divine realities, Allah sent prophets to mankind, peace be upon all of them.

The islamic tradition stresses ”that God is musabib al-asbab – “the [Uncaused] Causer of all things.” Even conventional notions of time and space simply do not apply to God, for - as stated clearly in the Qur’an:

{There is nothing whatever like unto Him, and He is the One that hears and sees (all things).}
42–11

And
‘He is preexistent without beginning, eternal without ending,’"[11]

God is the (uncaused) cause of all things:

{(He is) the Creator of the heavens and the earth.}
42–11

God - Allah has no cause, He necessarily exists (wajib al-wujud). Though God is the author of time and space, He is distinct and beyond both.

He is transcendent beyond limits, ends, supports, components, or instruments. The six directions do not contain Him as they do contain created things.[12]

And Allah knows best and most!


11. Who?

This question still remains:
Who created the law of gravity and the laws of physics and mathematics and who set the universal and physical constants in this universe?

..


  1. The Doctrine of the Sufis, Kitab al-Ta’arruf li-madhhab ahl al-tasawwuf; Abu Bakr al-Kalābādhī  ↩

  2. For the 2nd set of proofs, which is about the signs of God or Allah in the horizons and in our souls (tashbīh), or the Self-Disclosure of God, there are several texts f. ex.
    - The Self-Disclosure of God, Shaykh Muhyi al-Din Ibn `Arabi and others.
    - At the HumbleI: Pilgrimage of Reason: Proofs for God’s Existence [2/2], explained as ”proof for God’s existence via the teleological argument and the Quran’s insistance to reflect on the signs of God.”
     ↩

  3. Here follows the longer quote:
    The divine Reality is intuited by the human spirit as Real; but It surpasses analysis by the mind.
    Antinomy[13] is the recognition that this is so. It does not mean that God cannot be known, but it means that God must be known through means. One can grasp immediately what a triangle is by apprehending that it has three sides. A figure with 943 sides cannot be grasped in the same way as a triangle, but it can be known through a name. It is because God cannot be grasped directly, that man is save through faith [and good action]. And this is because God has a revealed name, that man can know Him. [14]
     ↩

  4. This is called tanzīh, the assertion of Allah’s incomparability. The Quran constantly affirms that Allah has no equal and that nothing is like Allah.[17]

    On the other hand, Allah also commanded the faithful believers - via His Prophet Muhammad ( sallAllahu `aleihi wa sallam ) - to worship Him as if they see Him, thus opening the windows of tashbīh.
    - On Wahdat-ul Wujūd, by OmarKN +
    - SDG92, The Self-Disclosure of God; W C Chittick; p.92
    - On tashbīh acc. to Imam al-Tahawi
    - On tanzīh & tashbīh acc. to Muhyiddīn Ibn ’Arabi
    - See also above fn2

    Tashbīh: the durability of stone reflects the Divine Name al-Bāqī ("The Enduring") and the fire's power of reducing forms to nothing reflects the Divine Name al-Jalīl ("The Majestic").

    → Thus creation points to Allah, and Allah resembles nothing. [18]

    This ’polarity’ of He/ not He can be described like this: [4b]

    Usually ”we dwell in the situation of seeing the Not He in all things.” [We usually abstract everything from Allah - we make tanzīh, thinking Allah or God is not this - which is correct in one way affirming tawhīd (the One Unity of God). But we need at the same time ask ourselves] ”how can we also perceive the universe as He?” [Is there something in this world reminding us of God or Allah - and yes there is!]

    ”The mystery of He/ not He begins in the Divine Self and extends down for every level of existence. In clarifying the manner in which God is found - in affirming the "He" in all things - Ibn al-'Arabi also affirms the Not He and explains the nature of everything that fits into that category, i.e. "everything other than God" (mā siwā Allah), which is how Muslims thinkers define "the world" (al-'ālam). SPK4

    And ”regarding the question where to find God; the answer is wherever He is present, which is everywhere, since all things are His acts. But no act is identical with God, who encompasses all things and all acts, all worlds and all presences. Though He can be found everywhere, He is also nowhere to be found. He/ not He.[19] SPK6

    4b SPK: The Sufi Path Of Knowledge, Ibn Arabi's Metaphysics of Imagination; W C Chittick, pp.4, 6
     ↩

  5. Kalām in Greek usage is logos, “word” or logic. Islamic scholastic theologians were called the people of Kalām (al-mutakallimūn).  ↩

  6. consensus among the scholars of Islam  ↩

  7. meaning it has to be in agreement with the revealed Scripture (Quran) and the Sunnah.  ↩

  8. Atoms or other entities here understood as indivisible particles. Today’s ‘atoms’ in Kalām would be equivalent to ’quarks’ or even smaller one-dimensional entities.
    There are several classical philosophical concepts quoted in the [thehumblei] : bodies, accidents … all of which are contingent, meaning they are originated in time and they endure only because of God.  ↩

  9. Reason, and a fair amount of mental theorising, show that the universe has to be finite. The argument runs like this: If you have a sequence of events, each one caused by the event preceding it, stretching way back in time – can such a sequence be infinite; can it go on forever? An infinity may seem straightforward, but it throws up all sorts of problems. For instance, infinity plus one is still infinity, even though you have added to it. Or, for example, when you take today’s events and combine it with past events, these will increase; without today’s events, they’ll decrease. But increase or decrease in what is infinity is incoherent; irrational, even. So this would seem to suggest that infinities do not exist and that the series of events are finite, temporal, having a beginning. Undoubtedly, mathematical (some call them ‘potential’) infinities do indeed exist.[15] However, physical (or ‘actual’) infinities do not.  ↩
    [thehumblei]

  10. What if (it is held) that the universe is beginningless?
    Well, the preamble to the Kalām argument may be presented as follows:
    [1] An actual infinite number does not exist;
    [2] therefore the series of causes for the cosmos to be as it is now cannot be infinite in sequence: that is, it must be finite;
    [3] therefore the cosmos was brought into existence at some point in the past.
    The final conclusion in the above argument (that the universe came into existence at some point in the past) follows logically from the initial two premises. [thehumblei]

    For numbers, especially the first two, to have a special metaphysical significance did not escape Leibnitz, the German polymath:

    leibnitz-numbers-zero-one
     ↩

  11. The Creed of Imam al-Tahawi; transl. Hamza Yusuf,Zaytuna Institute, 2007, Pronouncement no. 5:
     ↩

  12. Op.cit; Pronouncement no. 47
     ↩

  13. Antinomy: There are many examples of antinomy. A self-contradictory phrase such as "There is no absolute truth" can be considered an antinomy because this statement is suggesting in itself to be an absolute truth, and therefore denies itself any truth in its statement.

  14. The Concise Encyclopaedia of Islam; Glassé, Cyril 1989; p. 218; CEI218

  15. Mathematical infinities are *potential* infinities, physical or actual infinities do not exist.
    Compare with this article:

    Potential Infinite v. Actual Infinite
    One of the most important contributions that Aristotle had made to to study of infinity is identifying a dichotomy between what Aristotle calls the “potential infinite” and the “actual infinite”.

    The potential infinite is a group of numbers or group of “things” that continues without terminating, going on or repeating itself over and over again with no recognizable ending point. What distinguishes the potential infinite and gives it the characteristic of being “potential” is the idea that if one were to take a sliver, or examine just one isolated portion of that infinite set of numbers, one would be able to capture or observe a finite set of numbers.

    The obvious example is the grouping of natural numbers. No matter where you are while listing or counting out natural numbers, there always exists another number to proceed the one before. Also, a geometric line with a starting point could extend on without end, but could still be potentially infinite because all one would have to do is add on more length to a finite length to allow it to extend. The word ’potential’ is being used in a technical sense. [middlebury.edu-mathematical-work]

  16. The Concise Encyclopaedia of Islam; Glassé, Cyril 1989; p. 219; CEI219

  17. Op.cit; p. 396

  18. Op.cit; p. 399

  19. The ’making of Oneness’ tawhīd ” is an action that arises from a nonconceptualization:
    ’The inability to perceice God is perception,’ as expressed by the caliph, Abū Bakr al-Siddīq. Laa ilāha illa.llāh comprises a simple negation, ’no god,’ and a powerful affirmation, ’only God.’” The Creed of Imam al-Tahawi; op.cit. p.14



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