Why has God created this universe as it is? --part I
Apparently studying the way things can be created and exist (i.e., answering “whats” and “hows”) is the subject matter of what now we call science, and the reason why they exist (i.e., answering “whys”) would on the other hand be a subject matter of religion and philosophy (although philosophy as yet work with reasons and is based on rationalism is usually accounted for as to bridge an apparent gap between science and religion). However, to me this is not very interesting a classification. Actually, as much as I have understood and with the aids of God I would discuss it further below, religion is everything and contains everything itself, it discusses every question and not only “whys”; however, as “whys” are always more important than “whats” and “hows” (since knowing the answers to “whys” can depict a suitable final goal --and thus a set of suitable intermediate goals-- for us, and a suitable direction from our present position towards our aiming position; it is only after this that one should exploit the answers to “hows” and “whats” in order to become able to move in the direction already determined by “whys”, trying to reach his intermediate and eventually his final goal), religion insists on “whys” more frequently, otherwise we have, e.g., Islamic philosophy, and also Islamic science (from medicine to engineering, from art to laws and etc.)!
But why has God created this universe? Actually if one asks why has God created the creatures in this universe we simply answer because they were existable according to the logic of this universe and he creates them originally as soon as they find a cause for their existence. But if one asks why had God originated such a specific logic that our universe is based upon, to me it seems like he has originated all the possible logics that could exist, and what logic could exist returns to the definition of “logic”: I guess logic, as is meant within these discussions, consists of any set of rules that based upon which no created universe would be self-contradicted. Maybe the number of logics that God has created things upon tends to infinity but in Shia Islam there is a statement from Imam Sadegh (pbuh) that there exist maybe infinitely many universes (actually he said only God knows their numbers, ref. “مغز متفکر جهان شیعه” written by a number of western scientists, translated by “ذبیح الله منصوری”, the section on Imam Sadegh's Definition of Science) with different logics, so that maybe this number is the total number of logics that can exist!?!
Well, according to Shia Islam but the above reasoning is just the answer to the question “why has God created this universe?” in one aspect. A complete answer may have several aspects when is given by a limited creatures as me! In Shia Islam there is a quotation quoted from God by the great prophet Muhammad (pbuh) that reads:
(یا احمد!) لَو لاک، ما خَلَقتُ الأفلاک ...
[(O Ahmad!) If you were not I would have never created the heavens ...]
In this statement it is suggested that the great prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is the main reason for why God has created this universe: for him! In some other statements it is suggested that the universe is created for the 14 innocents, and even in some others (including the surah AlBaghareh, 29, in Quran) it is suggested to be created for the human being. All of these can be true and of course there is no contradiction either. But is it rational or even meaningful for us to assume that the creation of, say, one creature is the reason for the whole creation? It may appear unreasonable in the first sight but let ask a question first to later clarify the situation better: according to our first discussion God creates here everything that is existable and has a cause for its existence, and the causes for the next existences are set to be some existences in some previous instants of this universe (causality), but what would have been the cause for the first existences in this universe? Certainly God has created the time and he is not limited to or confined by any of his creations, so he himself has no beginning, but all his creations in any of the universes to which the concept of time is introduced should have a beginning, a zero instant! What is created as the initial condition for a universe can have no cause within the same universe, that is to say, they have came to existence only because they were existable and had a cause for existence beyond the logic of that universe. This cause may be the direct will of God, the creator, and these initial conditions would then serve as causes for the rest of creations in their corresponding universe. If the above stated quotation introduces the great prophet Muhammad (pbuh), or all the 14 innocents (pbut), as the main reason of this universe being created, that is, the cause for the whole creation of the rest of this universe, then they should also be the very “initial conditions” for this universe as well, and surprisingly this also has some witnesses in Shia Islam! According to a statement of the great prophet Muhammad (pbuh) the 14 innocents are the first creatures that God has created in this universe, even before angels, and the earth and heavens (ref. “علل الشرایع” written by “شیخ صدوق”, the section 7). Of course they were not created as humans with material bodies to need spatial extensions and etc., but maybe pure spirits with no even initial or transitional bodies, as they were depending only on God in those initial instants of this universe and not any other creature of God in the same universe! Then their needs to God were perhaps guided into many different channels in the course of time and the universe started to evolve this way and to exist in a more complex fashion. For example it is stated in Shia Islam that it was them, the 14 innocents (pbut), that taught the angels what to do or what to say as praying of God just after they were created, and etc.. Well, to know why God has chosen such a specific initial condition for this universe, why 14 entities, and …, one should understand that God is not an insensible creating machine, as he is the one who has created our minds, our imaginations, our senses, and etc., albeit it is true that he never exploits any of his creations for doing his jobs but he is also beyond these things, and this height that he is maybe he intends to create the universe from a starting point and has a reason for this but we cannot understand this reason, even maybe someone tells us the true reason and we think this cannot be a reason for that, only because we do not understand a line relating this reason to that starting point. By the way, maybe this way that he has started this universe he has also defined the background logic of this universe, that is to say maybe other initial conditions and the way they could cause the next creations would define other logics yielding to universes different than ours!?! If someone could answer these questions he should be one of the 14 innocents (pbut): the last of them now alive on earth living through his material body, Imam Mahdi (pbuh).
Anyway, now we have a sound answer to the question that why God has created this universe in the way that it exists. But let clarify a point here. The initial conditions for this universe are introduced as the most absolute and immaterial existences, having the pure will of God as the only cause for their existences, but how they could cause the creation of new species and entities in the next instants of this universe? For example how they could cause the angels to exist, the earth and heavens to exist, the water to exist, the animals to exist, their own bodies to exist, this world to exist, heaven and hell and the judging day to exist, and …? It's not an easy question to answer at least in the first sight! Well, let bring another statement of themselves here to mention their importance in the hierarchy of creations of God: (I don't remember the exact words)
Any great that you think of us, as much as you can even imagine, yet we are greater, so say anything good that you can but only mention that God has created us and we are his creatures.
These great creatures never disobey God's orders, they like anything that he likes and dislike anything that he dislikes, so that their will is a restriction of God's will onto the set of creatures, they can rule the universe under the will of God, make the dead persons alive, make the alive persons dead, and any other thing that goes well with the logic of this universe. Remind when Jesus (pbuh) created a pigeon from dust and blew in it and it got alive and flew away. The 14 innocent can also become an origin for creation of the new species on behalf of God, they are not creator but can sign on behalf of the unique creator in his universe! They are the creator's representatives, and vicegerents, in his universe and, of course, they do all such things in the lines of God will and not for their own caprice and dalliance. In Shia Islam almost any kind of species (mule and some others being exceptions) has a unique origin different than others, so that we do not think like how Darwinians think, e.g., we believe in that the first parents of the present human being were Adam and Eve (pbut) created some 7 thousands year ago in their bodies and some thousands year before that in an original way before to descent into their material bodies; the first dog parent were created for Adam and Eve to keep him safe having a scary loud sound more scary than it really was dangerous (ref. “علل الشرایع” written by “شیخ صدوق”, the section 250); the first pigs and cats were also created in the Noah (pbuh)'s ship --if my memory helps-- when they were needed to keep the ship clean and the mice population under control (ref. “علل الشرایع” written by “شیخ صدوق”, the section 248); also humans were existed on earth before that Adam and Eve (pbut) were created from other parents we do not know; and etc. Not all of these were created by the 14 innocent (pbut), but maybe God has created them as their and the next creature's needs were growing (e.g., recall the reason for creation of dogs, cats and pigs when they were required directly by human being). So right now we have found another answer to the question that “why God has created this universe this way”, this time yet from another aspect, the “needs” of the God's creatures. This will guide us to the next topic that we will discuss if God would let us do so!
توضیح جالبتر و شاید کاملتر از حدیث قدسی «لولاک ما خلقت الافلاک، و لو لا علی ما خلقتک، و لو لا فاطمة ما خلقتکما» ظاهراً در «مقتل الزهرا، تألیف سید علی موسوی ده سرخی» آمده است:
این حدیث قدسی بیانگر این نیست که مقام حضرت زهرا (س) بالاتر از مقام پیامبر اسلام (ص) و حضرت علی (ع) است. بلکه مراد چیز دیگری است که بیان خواهد شد.
لولاک ما خلقت الافلاک:ای پیامبر اگر تو نبودی افلاک را خلق نمی کردم. یعنی همة کرات و آسمانها و زمین را به خاطر وجود تو آفریدم و اینکه می گویند انسان اشرف مخلوقات است و همة مخلوقات بخاطر انسان خلق شده است برای اینکه این انسان کامل (پیامبر اسلام (ص)) لیاقت شناخت و معرفت کامل حق را دارد.
لولا علی ما خلقتک:اگر علی نبود تو را خلق نمی کردم چون تمام ارزش خلقت پیامبر (ص) به مقام نبوت اوست که باید این رسالت استمرار داشته باشد و اگر بعد از پیامبر (ص) رسالت باقی نماند، نبوت لغو و بی معنی می شود و علت بقاء رسالت پیامبر (ص) حضرت علی (ع) می باشد. لذا اگر علی (ع) نباشد تا رسالت را ادامه دهد، خلقت پیامبر و مبعوث شدن او به پیامبری ارزشی نداشته و بیهوده است.
لو لا فاطمه ما خلقتکما:اگر فاطمه نبود هر آینه شما را خلق نمی کردم، چون فاطمه (س) ظرف امامت امت و همة معصومین از نسل او هستند و اگر فاطمه نبود، امامت استمرار پیدا نمی کرد و ولایت ناقص بود، اگر ولایت نباشد، رسالت ناقص می ماند. لذا اگر فاطمه نباشد و به خاطر آن امامت و رسالت استمرار نداشته باشد خلقت پیامبر (ص) و علی (ع) چه فایده ای خواهد داشت.