One Creator or Many?


In one of his articles[1] Mr. Jochen Katz has pointed out a contradiction in Al-Mu'minoon 23: 14, Al-Saaffaat 37: 125 and Al-Zumar 39: 62.

In the first two verses, the Qur'an has used the phrase 'the best of creators', which, according to Mr. Katz, obviously implies the existence of other creators as well, while in the latter verse, the Qur'an clearly declares that everything is created by God alone (the same has also been stated in Ghaafir 40: 62, Al-An`aam 6: 102 and Al-Raa`d 13: 16). These two stipulations, according to Mr. Katz clearly amount to a contradiction.

The first point that should be kept in mind is that the Qur'an does not say that no one else, besides God, can 'create' anything. We know that man creates pictures; he creates designs; he has created boats and ships; he has created airplanes; he has created computers and so on. The list of man's creations can be quite a lengthy one indeed. Although man's ability to create, itself, is in turn, one of God's creations and can thus be attributed to God, yet even so, because all these things ultimately come into existence through man, therefore, it would not be incorrect to say that man created[2] all these things utilizing the abilities that God had bestowed upon him.

The second point that should be kept in mind is that barring all those things, which is obviously created by man, every thing in the heavens and the earth was created by God alone. In other words, according to the Qur'an, the heavens and the earth and all that naturally exists between them is created by God alone.

It is, in fact, this second point, which has been referred to in Al-Zumar 39: 62 and other similar verses of the Qur'an[3]. The stress in all these verses is not on the refutation of the quality of 'creation' that God has bestowed upon man (and jinn?), but on the contrary, the stress in these verses is on the refutation of a contribution of other 'gods' in the creation of the heavens and the earth. Al-Zumar 39: 62 - 64 reads as:

God is the creator of everything and He is the protector over everything. His are the keys to everything in the heavens and the earth [controlling everything] and [, therefore,] those, who reject God's signs, they indeed are going to be the losers. Ask [them]: 'Do you still direct me to worship others besides God, you ignorant ones?'

It is quite clear from the above verses that the point of stress, as stated earlier, is the fact that when no one besides God is either the creator or the controller of all that exists between the heavens and the earth, then why should anyone believe in other gods[4]? 'Everything' in this context does not refer to things, which have obviously been fabricated, developed, assembled or created by human beings, but refers only to such things, the creation of which is ascribed to gods.

Thus, in the referred verse as well as in other related verses, the Qur'an has not negated the creator in man, but has only made the point that the heavens, the earth, the laws, which govern them and all the natural phenomena is the creation of the One God only.

© Copyright April 2001. All Rights Reserved with the Author


[1] The complete article may be accessed at: http://www.answering-islam.org/Quran/Contra/qi037.html

[2] However, one of the significant differences between man's creations and that of God is that man can only create material things by discovering, manipulating, utilizing or imitating the already existent matter around him. While God is not only the creator of things but is also the originator of these things. Unlike man, God does not need any raw materials for creating any thing. Thus, for instance, man creates a house by utilizing the already existent material scattered in the earth, while God, on the other hand, did not require any pre-existing material to create the vast universe and whatever lies in it. This is precisely what the Qur'an has implied by the words (Al-Baqarah 2: 117):

He is the Originator of the heavens and the earth, when He decides a matter, He only says to it: "Be', and it happens.

Thus, the Qur'an has, in fact, not refuted the existence of any other creator, but that of any other originator. God alone is the originator of all that enjoys existence.

[3] In Ghaafir 40: 62, Al-An`aam 6: 102 and Al-Raa`d 13: 16.

[4] It is exactly the same point which has been stressed in Ghaafir 40: 62, Al-An`aam 6: 102 and Al-Raa`d 13: 16.