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, and shouts:

  • 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:

  • Soldier 2! Didn't I order you to make a move and attack the town?

    Sir! I will start moving if the soldier on my left, Soldier No. 3, makes a move before me. If he does I will immediately follow his steps and attack the town.

So the commander turns to Soldier No.3 and shouts:

  • Soldier 3! Make a move toward the town.

    Sir! I will start moving after the soldier on my left, Soldier No. 4. If he moves I will immediately follow his steps and attack the town.

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 right.

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 behind.

The "Cause and Effect" argument   (1)

The above 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

One of 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 deficiency

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 anyone."

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 earth" (39:62-63).

"No creature is there crawling on the earth, but its provision rests on God. He knows its lodging place and its repository" (11:16).

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.

2) Source:


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