Is Divine Unity Necessity of Creation?
You have said in many places that there is an infinite facility in Divine Unity and endless difficulties in multiplicity and associating partners with God; that there is such ease in Divine Unity that it becomes necessary and such difficulty in associating partners with God that it becomes impossible. Whereas, the difficulties and impossibilities that you demonstrate are also present with Unity. For example, you say that if particles were not officials, it would be necessary for either an all-encompassing knowledge or an absolute power or innumerable immaterial machines or printing presses to be present in every particle. This of course is completely impossible. Even if those particles were Divine officials, it would still be necessary for the particles to bear the same qualities so that they would be able to accomplish their endless orderly duties.
Could you unravel this problem for me?
We have expounded and proved many times that if all beings are attributed to a single Maker, they become as easy and effortless as a single being. If they are attributed to numerous causes and to Nature, a single fly becomes as difficult and arduous as the heavens, a flower as the spring, and fruit as a garden. Since this matter has been explained and proved in other Q & A, we refer you to them and here only explain three comparisons, by means of three indications, which will reassure the soul and set the mind at rest in the face of that truth.
For example, a tiny transparent glistening speck cannot of its own accord situate itself within a light even the size of a match-head, and neither can it be the source of it. It is able to have a light, in its own right, only like that of an insignificant particle, in accordance with its capacity and the size of its own mass. But if the speck is connected to the sun, if it opens its eyes and looks at it, it will be able to comprehend the immense sun together with its light, seven colors, heat, and even its distance; it will display a sort of greater manifestation. That is to say, if the particle remains on its own, it will only be able to perform a function to the extent of a particle, whereas if it is considered to be an official of the sun, and is connected to it and is a mirror to it, it will be able to demonstrate certain partial examples of the sun’s functioning, like the sun.
Thus, And God’s is the highest similitude, if all beings, all particles, are attributed to multiplicity, causes, Nature, themselves, or to anything other than God, then each particle, each being, must either possess an all-embracing knowledge and absolute power, or innumerable immaterial machines and printing-presses must be formed within it, so that it may carry out its wonderful duties. However, if the particles are attributed to a Single One of Unity, then each of them, each artifact, becomes connected to Him; it is as though each becomes His official. Its connection makes it display His manifestation. And through this connection and state of being a manifestation, it relies on an infinite knowledge and power. And thus, by reason of the mystery of the connection and reliance, it performs functions and duties far beyond its own power, through the power of its Creator.
For example, there were two brothers, one brave and self-reliant, the other patriotic and devoted to his country. When a war broke out, the one who relied on himself did not form any connection with the state; he wanted to perform his service on his own. He was compelled therefore to carry the sources of his power around his own neck, and to transport, as far as his strength allowed, his equipment and ammunition. In accordance with his individual and petty strength, he was only able to fight with one corporal of the enemy army; to do more was beyond him.
The other brother did not rely on himself, he knew himself to be impotent and without strength, so he formed a connection with the king and was enrolled in the army. Through this connection, a huge army became a point of support for him. And because of this support, he was plunged into war with the moral strength of an army behind him under the auspices of the king. So when he encountered an eminent field marshal of the defeated enemy army’s king, he declared in the name of his own king:
“I take you prisoner! Quick march!”
and captured him and handed him over. The meaning and wisdom of the situation is this:
Since the first man, who was independent, was compelled to carry his equipment and sources of strength himself, he was only able to perform an extremely insignificant service. Whereas the one who was an official did not have to carry his source of strength; indeed, the army and the king carried him. Just as though he was connecting his receiver to existing telegraph and telephone lines with a tiny wire, the man, through the connection he formed, connected himself to an infinite power.
Thus, And God’s is the highest similitude, if all creatures, all particles, are attributed directly to the Single One of Unity and if they are connected to Him, through the power of the connection and through of its Lord, at His command, an ant can demolish the Pharaoh’s palace; a fly can kill off Nimrod and consign him to Hell; a germ can dispatch the most iniquitous tyrant to the grave; a seed the size of a grain of wheat becomes like the workshop and machinery for the production of a pine-tree the size of a mountain; and a particle of air is able to operate efficiently and in an orderly fashion in all the different functions and structures of all flowers and fruits. All this ease and facility self-evidently arise from the connection and state of being an official. If the being in question reverts to independence, if it is left to causes, multiplicity, and to itself, if it travels the road of associating partners with God, then it will only be able to perform a service to the extent of its own physical entity and to the measure of its consciousness.
For example, there were two friends who wanted to write a geographical and statistical work on a country they had never seen. One of them formed a connection with the king and entered the telegraph and telephone office. With a piece of wire worth a few cents, he connected his own telephone receiver to the state lines and was able to converse and communicate with everywhere and receive information. He wrote a most well composed, well-arranged and perfect work of geography and statistics. As for the other man, either he would have had to travel continuously for fifty years and see everywhere and learn of every event with great difficulty, or else, spending millions of liras he would have had to become the owner, like the king, of a telegraph and telephone system as extensive as that of the state so that he could write a perfect work like his friend.
Similarly, And God’s is the highest similitude, if innumerable things and creatures are attributed to a Single One of Unity, then through the connection, each thing becomes a place of manifestation. Through displaying the manifestation of the Pre-Eternal Sun, it acquires a connection with the laws of His wisdom, the principles of his knowledge, and the laws of His power. Then, through the Divine strength and power, it displays a manifestation of its Sustainer by which it has an eye, which sees all things, a face which looks to all places, and words which have weight in all matters. If the connection is severed, the thing will also be cut off from all other things; it will be squeezed into the smallness of its own bulk. In which case, it would have to possess an absolute Divinity so that it might perform the functions described above.
In Short: In the way of Divine Unity and belief there is such an easiness and facility that it becomes necessary, while in the way of causes and assigning partners to God are such difficulties that it becomes impossible. For one person may, without trouble, accord one situation to numerous objects and obtain one result. If the taking of the situation and obtaining of the one result are referred to those numerous objects, it would only be with great trouble and much activity that the situation could be brought about and the result achieved.
For example, every night, every year, a glittering expedition and passage glorifying God is accomplished through setting in motion the army of the stars in the field of the heavens under the command of the sun and the moon. This is the alluring and captivating situation of the heavens. And the change and alternation of the seasons and other momentous affairs are brought about; and this is the exalted and purposeful result of the motion of the earth. If the situation of the heavens and result of the revolving earth are ascribed to Divine Unity, then the Pre-Eternal Monarch may easily appoint a soldier like the globe of the earth as commander of the heavenly bodies for the situation and the result to be achieved. After it has received its order, the earth will rise up with joy at its appointment to whirl and mention God’s Names. With slight expense that graceful situation will be obtained and the significant result come about.
However, if it is said to the earth:
“You stop where you are, do not interfere!”
and if to obtain the result and situation, it is referred to the heavens; and if the road of multiplicity and associating partners with God is taken rather than that of Divine Unity, it would then be necessary, every day and every year, to set in motion millions of stars which are thousands of times larger than the globe of the earth and to cut the distance of millions of years into that of twenty-four hours and of a year.
The Holy Book and the believers ascribe limitless creatures to One Maker. They attribute every matter directly to Him. They travel a road so easy it is necessary, and urge all towards it. While the people of rebellion, who ascribe partners to God, by attributing a single creature to innumerable causes, travel a road so beset with difficulties as to be impossible. In which case, those on the way of the Holy Book are together with all creatures and those on the way of misguidance, with a single creature. Or to put it another way, the issuing of all things out of one is infinitely easier than the issuing of one thing out of many. In the same way that an officer commands a thousand soldiers as easily as one soldier, if the command of one soldier was to be assigned to a thousand officers, it would become as difficult as that of commanding a thousand soldiers, it would cause chaos.
Thus, this mighty verse hurls this truth at those who assign partners to God, shattering their unbelief:
“God sets forth a parable: A man belonging to many partners [all of them] at variance with one another, and a man belonging wholly to one person: can the two be deemed equal as regards their condition? [Nay] all praise is due to God [alone]; but most of them do not understand this (39:29).”
By Bediuzzaman Said Nursi