The First Cause
A town is about to
be invaded. It has to be captured. The invader troop has taken
its final position in the outskirts of the town. No one knows
the exact number of soldiers in the troop. It might be many,
even close to infinity.
Soldiers have lined up neatly by their commander in one single
line. It seems that everything is set for an easy conquer. Only
a major move by the soldiers is needed. They seem to be waiting
for their commander's signal to start moving toward the town.
The commander gives the signal. But there is no move from the
troops. Not even one soldier puts one step forward toward the
target. The commander thinks no one saw the order so he repeats
the signal. But no one moves. Frustrated by his troops, the
commander goes to the first soldier in the line, Soldier No. 1,
- Soldier 1! What's wrong with you? Didn't I order you to
make a move and attack the town?
Sir! I saw your signal and I am fully aware of my duties. I
will start moving but only when the soldier on my left,
Soldier No. 2, makes a move. If he does I will immediately
follow his steps and attack the town.
So the commander goes to Soldier No.2 and shouts:
So the commander turns to Soldier No.3 and shouts:
And this goes on. Every soldier has the same condition:
"First the soldier on my left should make a move then I
will make a move."
What if there is no soldier who does not have this condition?
Then the town cannot be captured, because no one makes a move,
because every one is conditioned to the movement of the person
to his left.
But after a while you see that the troops have started moving
toward the town. A very organized progress, from left to the
And finally the troops managed to capture the town.
So what is the conclusion?
There was one soldier in the army, Soldier No. X, whom when the
commander reached and ordered him to start moving, he did not
have the condition of the other soldiers. He did not say "First
the left soldier and then me". On the contrary he said" Yes Sir,
I move right away with no conditions." So when he moved the
right soldier moved and then the soldier to his right moves and
so on, until finally Soldier No. 1 makes his move. No one left
The "Cause and Effect" argument
example explains how Cause and Effect works. Soldier No.2 made
Soldier No.1 move. For that case, No. 2 is the cause and No. 1
is the effect. Without a cause there is no effect. And this a
fundamental rule of the universe. If a flower is dried there is
a cause: it did not receive enough water. If the mirror has
round shape there is a cause: someone made the mirror round in
shape. If you see a car parked near your house there was a
cause: someone (or something!) parked the car near your house.
Every event is the effect of a cause. Without a cause an event
does not take place.
If you see that event A exists then there was (or is) a cause
for its existence. Now the cause can be A itself (this means A
has created itself) or something or someone else like B caused
the existence of A. It is against wisdom to accept that the
total existence of A was caused by A itself. Imagine something
is not there and a few seconds later it is there, created by
itself. This means A has to exert the force of will to go ahead
with the action of creation (of itself). This means that A has
to be there before it is there! Sounds contradictory. So there
is no doubt that the total cause of existence of creature A
comes from something other than itself.
The First Cause
the classic arguments for the existence of God is known as the
"First Cause" argument. It works from the premise that in the
universe every event is the effect of a cause. Thus the events
that caused today's events must have had causes for themselves,
and those causes in turn must have had their own causes, and so
forth, creating a chain.
Now, there are 2 possibilities regarding the chain:
1- The chain never ends.
2- The chain ends.
To examine these two possibilities, let's apply our example of
the troop invading the town to the creation of the universe.
"A" is supposed to be an object and part of the universe. You
tell A: "Please exist!"
He says: "I can't unless B causes me."
You turn to B and say: "B! Please cause A so it can exist."
B replies: "How can I cause A when I do not exist? You should
ask C to cause me. Then I can cause A."
You turn to C and it gives the same answer: "Go to D so when it
causes me I will cause B, then B can cause A."
So this goes on and on. If everyone has the same condition of
"First something has to cause me then I can cause another thing"
then nothing can come into existence. But if you see A exists
(let's say A is a stone on a beach and you see it with your own
eyes) then you conclude:
"Finally there is a cause in the chain that did not have a
cause. The chain is broken. Otherwise if the chain is not broken
you should not see A existing."
The chain does end with a cause that does not have cause, and
this cause is the one we call God.
The First Cause should have no
Remember the universal rule: There is a cause for every event.
So any deficiency is an effect of a cause as well. If humans
cannot live forever, then there is a cause for that. If he does
not have limitless power, that is also because of a cause.
For the very same reason that we have been discussing, the First
Cause, whom we call God, should have no deficiency, because the
First Cause is not an effect of another cause. This means if
some one thinks God has a figure and looks like an old wise man
it is contrary to this logic. If some one believes that God has
a child it is a deficiency and against this logic. For the same
reason, we understand that God does not make mistakes or forget.
He is just and has limitless wisdom and power.
Concept of God in Islam
It is a known fact that every language has one or more terms
that are used in reference to God and sometimes to lesser
deities. This is not the case with Allah. Allah is the personal
name of the One True God. Nothing else can be called Allah. The
term has no plural or gender. This shows its uniqueness when
compared with the word "god," which can be made plural, as in
"gods," or made feminine, as in "goddess." It is interesting to
notice that Allah is also the personal name of God in Aramaic,
the language of Jesus and a sister language of Arabic.
The One True God is a reflection of the unique concept that
Islam associates with God. To a Muslim, Allah is the Almighty
Creator and Sustainer of the universe, Who is like no created
thing, and nothing is comparable to Him. The Prophet Mohammad
was asked by his contemporaries about Allah; the answer came
directly from God Himself in the form of a short chapter of the
Qur'an, which is considered to be the essence of the unity, or
the motto of monotheism. This is surah 112, which reads: "In the
name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate. Say (O
Muhammad), He is God, the One God, the Everlasting Refuge, who
has not begotten, nor has been begotten, and equal to Him is not
Islam rejects characterizing God in any human form or depicting
Him as favoring certain individuals or nations on the basis of
wealth, power or race. The Creator must be of a different nature
from the things created because if He is of the same nature as
they are, He will be temporal and will therefore need a maker.
It follows that nothing is like Him. If the maker is not
temporal, then He must be eternal. But if He is eternal, He
cannot be caused, and if nothing caused Him to come into
existence, nothing outside Him causes Him to continue to exist,
which means that He must be self-sufficient. And if He does not
depend on anything for the continuance of His own existence,
then this existence can have no end. The Creator is therefore
eternal and everlasting: "He is the First and the Last".
He is Self-sufficient and Self-subsistent. The Creator does not
create only in the sense of bringing things into being, He also
preserves them and takes them out of existence and is the
ultimate cause of whatever happens to them.
"God is the Creator of everything. He is the guardian over
everything. Unto Him belong the keys of the heavens and the
"No creature is there crawling on the earth, but its provision
rests on God. He knows its lodging place and its repository"
If the Creator is Eternal and Everlasting, then His attributes
must also be eternal and everlasting. He should not lose any of
His attributes nor acquire new ones. If this is so, then His
attributes are absolute. Can there be more than one Creator with
such absolute attributes? Can there be, for example, two
absolutely powerful Creators? A moment's thought shows that this
is not feasible.
The Qur'an summarizes this argument in the following verses:
"God has not taken to Himself any son, nor is there any god with
Him: for then each god would have taken of that which He created
and some of them would have risen up over others" (23:91).
"And why, were there gods in earth and heaven other than God,
they (heaven and earth) would surely go to ruin" (21:22).
1) Cause and Effect argument's two main contributors are Farabi
and Ibn-e-Sina, two great philosophers in 10 and 11th century.