• Q and A

    Questions and Answers from the Risale-i Nur Collection
  • 1

How About the Affirmations: “Things Are Formed By Themselves”; “Causes Have Brought It About”, And “Nature Requires It to Be So.”?


Those who say: “things are formed by themselves,” “causes have brought it about,” or “nature requires it [to be so]” cause much confusion, for such statements are false. You exist. So, according to the first statement, you are your own creature. According to the second one, [material] causes have brought you about. According to the last one, some unconscious, deaf and blind laws or forces [attributed to nature] or lifeless things called “nature” required your existence. But the truth is that you are a creature of God, the Almighty.

Things cannot be formed by themselves.

As for the first statement: Things cannot be formed by themselves, because each particle or atom forming your body would have to have an eye to see your whole body and all of creation, as well as consciousness [to be aware of all requirements of life and existence]. This is what your perfect composition, the perfection of art in you, requires, for all particles of existence are in vital and substantial relations with each other and with all creation.

To print a book, a printing house must have as many iron letters or keys as required to print it. If you made yourself, you must contain as many molds as the number of atoms in you, for they are in conscious relation and communication with each other. Your composition is uniform, meaning that all parts are in close interrelation with each other. Therefore, like the stones forming an arch or a dome, all your atoms or building blocks should be both dominant over and dominated by each other. They also should be like the manifestations of the Names and Attributes of the One Who rolls up the heavens like a scroll rolled up for books, both opposite and complementary to each other.

Causes cannot create anything by themselves.

Causes cannot create anything by themselves. For example, if bottles containing medical ingredients fall off the shelf and mix together on the floor, would the desired medicine be produced? Using the same analogy, could you be formed by chance or random causes? How could innumerable deaf, blind, and unconscious causes come together and create something that has perfect order? By coming together they only increase in deafness and blindness. Each human being is a perfect work of art [intelligent, conscious, and equipped with endless and extremely complex feelings, senses, and faculties, and feeling infinite need]. How can that which is deaf, blind, and unconscious bestow hearing, sight, and consciousness on something else?

Assume that innumerable causes come together in a most orderly fashion and in exact measure to create a cell in your eye. With the same amount of effort, then, the universe’s basic parts or elements, including huge heavenly objects, should be able to assemble themselves in your palm or in each of your cells. Why? Because if one works in a house, this means the house contains him. All parts and contents of the universe are related to humanity. So if causes created you, the entire universe should be able to operate within each part of your body and be contained by one of your cells. This is a most inconceivable sophistry.

Again, all parts of the universe should know you with all the particles of your body in their relations with one another be able to co-operate to give existence to you. If one affirms this, then that one must be the most stupid of people. Unfortunately, this is what those known as scientists claim.

Nature cannot create

Nature cannot create because it is something supposed to exist, a name bestowed by those who do not know the real facts of the matter. However, in its true meaning, it is a Divine art, a painting by the All-Merciful.

“Natural forces” are only manifestations of the Power of the All-Merciful, All-Knowing, All-Aware, All-Willing. “Chance” is only a mistaken supposition put forward by those who are unaware of or deny the Single Maker. This wonderful art [that constitutes the essence of what they call nature] is really the work of the Power of All-Aware, All-Seeing, having all the attributes of Perfection.

Could something restricted, solid, inanimate, whose existence or non-existence is equally possible (meaning that it needs one who prefers its existence and so creates it), have woven the garment of the universe? Could a gnat have participated in weaving these perfectly designed and adorned garments in which those words are dressed? The only explanation for your existence and that of creation is that everything that has been created is a creature of an Eternal Maker, and that they all testify to this fact. Among these witnesses is the visible, corporeal universe, with all its particles and compounds, that testifies to Him in many tongues.

There are other witnesses: the Koran and all other revealed books; the writings of saints and believers in God’s existence and Unity; all that exists and happens in the universe; the lord of creation and all other Prophets, saints, and angels; Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings; humanity and jinn with all their “natural” needs, and God—all of these testify that there is no god but He (3:18).

The falsehood of attributing creation to things themselves, nature, or causes can be explained through the example of a fruit-bearing tree.

The falsehood of attributing creation to things themselves, nature, or causes can be explained through the example of a fruit-bearing tree. If you attribute this tree to God, the One and Single, you attribute it to its seed, and to the laws of germination, creation, and growth issuing from the Necessarily Existent Being, the One and Single, and on which that seed depends. The tree is dependent on the laws issuing from a Single Creator, All-Knowing, All-Willing and All-Powerful, because of the ease coming from the Oneness of Him Who governs its germination, growth, and life. It is just as easy for that Single Creator to grow that seed into a large coconut palm bearing countless fruits or into a very small one with only a few fruits. If you attribute a tree to itself, causes, or nature, then each fruit, blossom, leaf, branch, and twig on it would need whatever the whole tree does, for each part is an epitome of a whole. Thus, whatever is needed by the whole is needed by each part.

Consider these two alternatives. The first one, which is done by God with perfect ease, makes creation necessary and inevitable, whereas the second one is so unbelievably difficult that it renders the creation of anything inconceivable.

In short: If you attribute creation to things themselves, you must accept that every cell of your body can encompass the universe. If you attribute creation to material causes, you must affirm that every cell is like a room where all causes operating in the universe are included, for all cells are the same and display the same structure. This uniformity leads you to unity in diversity, to the interrelatedness seen in the universe, and therefore to the Maker’s unity. Something unified, displaying uniformity, composed of countless interrelated parts in basic relationship with each other cannot have been created by more than One Creator. How can a cell in which even a gnat’s two wings cannot be included contain the many material, bodily causes needed for it to function?

Solid, material, and corporeal things are acted on and affected by immaterial things or things of light. Look at sunlight and a mountain. The former comes from the sky and operates on the earth freely, while the latter, despite its huge size, can do nothing and has no effect on its environment. The subtler and more composed of light something is, the more effective and active it is; the more material and solid something is, the more susceptible it is to being acted upon and affected. We can conclude from this that the Creator of causes and effects is He Who is the Light of Lights: Nothing is like Him, He is All-Hearing, All-Seeing. (42:11) Vision comprehends Him not, but He comprehends all vision. He is All-Subtle, All-Aware. (6:103)


This article has been adapted from Risale- i Nur Collection.