(Arab. Khaliqa, Turk. Yaratma)
The concept of creation is the answer to the question of the entity to which all beings, with the exception of God, owe their existence. God’s existence is necessary and has no beginning or end, i.e. He cannot begin or cease to exist. Creatures, on the other hand, are finite. It would also be conceivable that they did not exist at all. They potentially occupy the same distance to existence and non-existence, and their existence requires a cause that lies outside of themselves. The Qur’an contains many terms that express God’s act of creation and point to a variety of levels of meaning. Uppermost is the notion of beginning (ibda), a term that expresses the fact that God is incomparable in the manner in which He creates from nothing.
While Islamic philosophers and theologians are agreed that God is the absolute Creator, there are differences of view as to whether the act of creation is a necessary one or a result of Divine will. For the philosophers and mystics, the act of creation is an eternal one. For them, as a complete, necessary and absolutely good (khair al-mahd) and generous Being, God incessantly creates the world. In this sense, the world owes its existence to God, who is its Author.
According to Islamic theologians, on the other hand, the act of creation is an outcome of Divine intention: God would not have created the world if He had not wished to. Prior to creation, God alone exists; the world is in evidence only later, as a result of Divine intention. Under this view, the world is subsequent to God not only existentially but temporally as well.
As emerges from both points of view, the act of creation works an essential change, not upon God but only upon His creatures, in that they enter into being from nothingness. The act of creation also implies not only creation from nothingness but also the preservation and outlasting of the world. In this sense, creation is ongoing (55:29). All that has been created would crumble to nothing if left to its own devices; God, as the one who is absolutely necessary, keeps His creation in being. Among the creatures, humankind alone is in a position to realise that it has been created and is finite. The expressions found in the Qur’an for the creation and preservation of the world remind humankind of its ontological position, of its ethical responsibility, and of the omnipotence of God.
This post is also available in Turkish.