Why Did He Not Create Universe Sooner?
What does mean by ‘sooner’? If one wishes to say ‘sooner’ in the period of eternity before the creation of time, then the word ‘sooner’ has no meaning. Any span of time, whether 100 billion or 1000 billion years, has no meaning in relation to eternity. Time cannot be conceived within the span of eternity. Only God is eternal. His Essence and His Being are eternal. Eternity cannot pertain to any thing or any being except God. If ‘sooner’ in the question refers to eternity itself, that means being under no limits of time, which is a necessary prerogative of only His Being, His Names and Attributes. That is to say, God cannot belong to anything else but Himself; and eternity is not true of anything except Himself.
Every creation has an unconditioned reality as knowledge within the All-Encompassing, All-Comprehending knowledge of God. We may think of them as potentialities, like a plan or project. To impute eternity to them is an error of judgment. Indeed to meddle in such matters is impertinence on our part. If we try to say anything with our limited criteria about the beings, or souls, which have become embodied in creation, and to expand on questions that are almost considered as a part of the Unseen it is, in a sense, a failure to realize that we are being impertinent.
The whole universe is as the likeness of a little ring thrown onto the desert in comparison to God’s Seat of Honor. God’s Seat of Honor is as the little ring thrown onto the desert in comparison to His Throne. So how is it possible for one to know the Owner of this Mighty Throne, to attempt to say anything about His nature and essence?
There are many things, which serve as a mirror to His Being and His deeds. But God knew Himself before the existence of such things, before He created the universe; without feeling any need for anything He knows Himself, His Names and His deeds. He sees His Being and deeds in every realm, whether in the realms of His Names or in the physical creation, from the least individual particles of an atom to the largest and most complex combination of them. He knows and He makes Himself known to His conscious servants through the manifestation of His Names.
He knows Himself in a different way in all realms as a result of His eternal knowledge but nothing to do with Him or about Him changes, for among His attributes are those described as the negative attributes, such as that He never eats or drinks, and never has any constraints of time on Him; He never alters, and is free of all things.
We know and see, within the limits of our present, what He decrees and puts onto the stage for us. But we do not know what happened in the distant past and cannot reckon what will happen in the future. In the same way, we do not know such matters as the existence of beings in knowledge, the original hidden realities, and realms of spirits. Even with all the scientific advancement of our day we do not and cannot comprehend the depth or extent of the universe, or the physical creation in it, such as the spiral shapes of nebulae, what they signify, their weight in the universal order, and what they shed light on in the dark points of the whole creation. As we do not know much about such things, so we also do not know much about the Hereafter.
By M. Fethullah Gulen