The Creation of the Universe From Nothingness
its standard form, the big bang theory assumes that all parts of the universe
began expanding simultaneously. But how could all the different parts
of the universe synchronize the beginning of their expansion? Who gave
Andre Linde, Professor of Cosmology 2
A century ago, the creation of the universe was a concept that astronomers
as a rule ignored. The reason was the general acceptance of the idea
that the universe existed in infinite time. Examining the universe,
scientists supposed that it was just a conglomeration of matter and
imagined that it had no beginning. There was no moment of "creation"-a
moment when the universe and everything in it came into being.
This idea of "eternal existence" fit in well with European notions
stemming from the philosophy of materialism. This philosophy, originally
advanced in the world of the ancient Greeks, held that matter was the
only thing that existed in the universe and the universe existed in
infinite time and will exist endlessly. This philosophy survived in
different forms during Roman times but in the Late Roman Empire and
Middle Ages, materialism went into decline as a result of the influence
of the Catholic church and Christian philosophy. It was after Renaissance
that materialism began to gain broad acceptance among European scholars
and scientists, largely because of their devotion to ancient Greek philosophy.
The German philosopher Immanuel Kant was the first person to advance
the assertion of "the infinite universe" in the New Age. Scientific
discoveries, however, invalidated Kant's assertion.
It was Immanuel Kant who, during the European Enlightenment, reasserted
and defended materialism. Kant declared that the universe exists for
all time and that every probability, however unlikely, should be regarded
as possible. Kant's followers continued to defend his idea of an infinite
universe along with materialism. By the beginning of 19th century, the
idea that the universe had no beginning-that there was never any moment
at which it was created-became widely accepted. It was carried into
the 20th century through the works of dialectical materialists such
as Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.
This notion of an infinite universe fit in very well with atheism.
It is not hard to see why. To hold that the universe had a beginning
could imply that it was created and that, of course requires a creator-that
is, Allah. It was much more convenient and safer to circumvent the issue
by putting forward the idea that "the universe exists for eternity",
even though there was not the slightest scientific basis for making
such a claim. Georges Politzer, who espoused and defended this idea
in his books published in the early 20th century, was an ardent champion
of both Marxism and materialism.
Putting his trust in the validity of the "infinite universe" model,
Politzer opposed the idea of creation in his book Principes Fondamentaux
de Philosophie when he wrote:
The universe was not a created object, if it were, then
it would have to be created instantaneously by God and brought into existence
from nothing. To admit creation, one has to admit, in the first place,
the existence of a moment when the universe did not exist, and that something
came out of nothingness. This is something to which science can not accede.
Politzer supposed that science was on his side in his defense of the
idea of an infinite universe. In fact, science was to prove that the
universe indeed had a beginning. And just as Politzer himself declared,
if there is creation then there must also be a creator.
The Expansion of Universe and the Discovery of
the Big Bang
The 1920s were important years in the development of modern astronomy.
In 1922, the Russian physicist Alexandra Friedman produced computations
showing that the structure of the universe was not static and that even
a tiny impulse might be sufficient to cause the whole structure to expand
or contract according to Einstein's Theory of Relativity. George Lemaitre
was the first to recognize what Friedman's work meant. Based on these
computations, the Belgian astronomer Lemaitre declared that the universe
had a beginning and that it was expanding as a result of something that
had triggered it. He also stated that the rate of radiation could be
used as a measure of the aftermath of that "something".
The theoretical musings of these two scientists did not attract much
attention and probably would have been ignored except for new observational
evidence that rocked the scientific world in 1929. That year the American
astronomer Edwin Hubble, working at the California Mount Wilson observatory,
made one of the most important discoveries in the history of astronomy.
Observing a number of stars through his huge telescope, he discovered
that their light was shifted towards the red end of the spectrum and,
crucially, that this shift was directly related to the distance of the
stars from Earth. This discovery shook the very basis of the universe
model held until then.
According to the recognized rules of physics, the spectra of light
beams travelling towards the point of observation tend towards violet
while the spectra of light beams moving away from the point of observation
tend towards red. (Just like the fading of a train's whistle as it moves
away from the observer) Hubble's observation showed that according to
this law, the heavenly bodies were moving away from us. Before long,
Hubble made another important discovery; The stars weren't just racing
away from Earth; they were racing away from each other as well. The
only conclusion that could be derived from a universe where everything
moves away from everything else is that the universe constantly "expands".
Edwin Hubble discovered that the universe was expanding. Eventually
he found evidence of the "the Big Bang", a cataclysmic event whose
discovery forced scientists to abandon the notion of an infinite and
Hubble had found observational evidence for something that George Lemaitre
had "prophesized" a short while ago and one of the greatest minds of
our age had recognized almost fifteen years earlier. In 1915, Albert
Einstein had concluded that the universe could not be static because
of calculations based on his recently-discovered theory of relativity
(thus anticipating the conclusions of Friedman and Lemaitre). Shocked
by his findings, Einstein added a "cosmological constant" to his equations
in order to "make the answer come out right" because astronomers assured
him that the universe was static and there was no other way to make
his equations match such a model. Years later, Einstein was to admit
that his cosmological constant was the biggest mistake of his career.
Hubble's discovery that the universe was expanding led to the emergence
of another model that needed no fiddling around with to make the equations
work right. If the universe was getting bigger as time advanced, going
back in time meant that it was getting smaller; and if one went back
far enough, everything would shrink and converge at a single point.
The conclusion to be derived from this model was that at some time,
all the matter in the universe was compacted in a single point-mass
that had "zero volume" because of its immense gravitational force. Our
universe came into being as the result of the explosion of this point-mass
that had zero volume. This explosion has come to be called the "the
Big Bang" and its existence has repeatedly been confirmed by observational
There was another truth that the Big Bang pointed to. To say that something
has zero volume is tantamount to saying that it is "nothing". The whole
universe was created from this "nothing". And furthermore this universe
had a beginning, contrary to the view of materialism, which holds that
"the universe has existed for eternity".
The "Steady-state" Hypothesis
The Big Bang theory quickly gained wide acceptance in
the scientific world due to the clear-cut evidence for it. Nevertheless
astronomers who favored materialism and adhered to the idea of an infinite
universe that materialism seemingly demanded held out against the Big
Bang in their struggle to uphold a fundamental tenet of their ideology.
The reason was made clear by the English astronomer Arthur Eddington,
who said "Philosophically, the notion of an abrupt beginning to the present
order of Nature is repugnant to me".4
Another astronomer who opposed the Big Bang theory was Fred Hoyle.
Around the middle of the 20th century he came up with a new model, which
he called "steady-state", that was an extension of the 19th century's
idea of an infinite universe. Accepting the incontrovertible evidence
that the universe was expanding, he proposed that the universe was infinite
in both dimension and time. According to this model, as the universe
expanded new matter was continuously coming into existence by itself
in just the right amount to keep the universe in a "steady state". With
the sole visible aim of supporting the dogma of "matter existed in infinite
time", which is the basis of the materialist philosophy, this theory
was totally at variance with the "Big Bang theory", which defends that
the universe had a beginning. Supporters of Hoyle's steady state theory
remained adamantly opposed to the Big Bang for years. Science, however,
was working against them.
The Triumph of the Big Bang
In 1948, George Gamov carried George Lemaitre's calculations several
steps further and came up with a new idea concerning the Big Bang. If
the universe was formed in a sudden, cataclysmic explosion, there ought
to be a definite amount of radiation left over from that explosion.
This radiation should be detectable and, furthermore, it should be uniform
throughout the universe.
Sir Arthur Eddington's statement that "the notion of an abrupt beginning
to the present order of nature was repugnant to him" was an admission
of the discomfort that the Big Bang caused for materialists.
Within two decades, observational proof of Gamov's conjecture was forthcoming.
In 1965, two researchers by the name of Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson
chanced upon a form of radiation hitherto unnoticed. Called "cosmic
background radiation", it was unlike anything coming from anywhere else
in the universe for it was extraordinarily uniform. It was neither localized
nor did it have a definite source; instead, it was distributed equally
everywhere. It was soon realized that this radiation was the echo of
the Big Bang, still reverberating since the first moments of that great
explosion. Gamov had been spot-on for the frequency of the radiation
was nearly the same value that scientists had predicted it would be.
Penzias and Wilson were awarded a Nobel prize for their discovery.
In 1989, George Smoot and his NASA team sent a satellite into space.
Called the "Cosmic Background Emission Explorer" (COBE), it took only
eight minutes for the sensitive instruments on board the satellite to
detect and confirm the levels of radiation reported by Penzias and Wilson.
These results conclusively demonstrated the existence of the hot, dense
form remaining from the explosion out of which the universe came into
being. Most scientists acknowledged that COBE had successfully captured
the remnants of the Big Bang.
cosmic background radiation discovered by Penzias and Wilson is regarded
as incontrovertible evidence of the Big Bang by the scientific world.
More evidence for the Big Bang was forthcoming. One piece had to do
with the relative amounts of hydrogen and helium in the universe. Observations
indicated that the mix of these two elements in the universe was in
accord with theoretical calculations of what should have been remained
after the Big Bang. That drove another stake into the heart of the steady
state theory because if the universe had existed for eternity and never
had a beginning, all of its hydrogen should have been burned into helium.
Confronted by such evidence, the Big Bang gained the near-complete
approval of the scientific world. In an article in its October 1994
issue, Scientific American noted that the Big Bang model was the only
one that could account for the constant expansion of the universe and
for other observational results.
Defending the steady-state theory alongside Fred Hoyle
for years, Dennis Sciama described the final position they had reached
after all the evidence for the Big Bang theory was revealed:
There was at that time a somewhat acrimonious debate between
some of the proponents of the steady state theory and observers who were
testing it and, I think, hoping to disprove it. I played a very minor
part at that time because I was a supporter of the steady state theory,
not in the sense that I believed that it had to be true, but in that I
found it so attractive I wanted it to be true. When hostile observational
evidence became to come in, Fred Hoyle took a leading part in trying to
counter this evidence, and I played a small part at the side, also making
suggestions as to how the hostile evidence could be answered. But as that
evidence piled up, it became more and more evident that the game was up,
and that one had to abandon the steady state theory.5
Who Created the Universe From Nothing?
With this triumph of the Big Bang, the thesis of an "infinite universe",
which forms the basis of materialist dogma, was tossed onto the scrap-heap
of history. But for materialists it also raised a couple of inconvenient
questions: What existed before the Big Bang? And what force could have
caused the great explosion that resulted in a universe that did not
Materialists like Arthur Eddington recognized that the answers to these
questions could point to the existence of a supreme creator and that
they did not like. The atheist philosopher Anthony Flew commented on
Notoriously, confession is good for the
soul. I will therefore begin by confessing that the Stratonician atheist
has to be embarrassed by the contemporary cosmological consensus. For
it seems that the cosmologists are providing a scientific proof of what
St. Thomas contended could not be proved philosophically; namely, that
the universe had a beginning. So long as the universe can be comfortably
thought of as being not only without end but also beginning, it remains
easy to urge that its brute existence, and whatever are found to be its
most fundamental features, should be accepted as the explanatory ultimates.
Although I believe that it remains still correct, it certainly is neither
easy nor comfortable to maintain this position in the face of the Big
Bang story. 6
Many scientists who do not force themselves to be atheists accept and
favor the existence of a creator having an infinite power. For instance,
the American astrophysicist Hugh Ross proposes a Creator of universe,
Who is above all physical dimensions as:
By definition, time is that dimension
in which cause-and-effect phenomena take place. No time, no cause and
effect. If time's beginning is concurrent with the beginning of the universe,
as the space-time theorem says, then the cause of the universe must be
some entity operating in a time dimension completely independent of and
pre-existent to the time dimension of the cosmos. …It tells us that the
Creator is transcendent, operating beyond the dimensional limits of the
universe. It tells us that God is not the universe itself, nor is God
contained within the universe.7
Objections to Creation and Why They are Flawed
It is patently obvious that the Big Bang means the creation of the
universe out of nothing and this is surely evidence of willful creation.
Regarding this fact, some materialist astronomers and physicists have
tried to advance alternative explanations to oppose this reality. Mention
has already been made of the steady state theory and it was pointed
out it was clung to, by those who were uncomfortable with the notion
of "creation from nothingness", despite all the evidence to the contrary
in an attempt to shore up their philosophy.
There are also a number of models that have been advanced by materialists
who accept the Big Bang theory but try to exorcise it of the notion
of creation. One of these is the "oscillating" universe model; another
is the "quantum model of universe". Let us examine these theories and
see why they are invalid.
The oscillating universe model was advanced by the astronomers who
disliked the idea the Big Bang was the beginning of the universe. In
this model, it is claimed that the present expansion of the universe
will eventually be reversed at some point and begin to contract. This
contraction will cause everything to collapse into a single point that
will then explode again, initiating a new round of expansion. This process,
they say, is repeated infinitely in time. This model also holds that
the universe has experienced this transformation an infinite number
of times already and that it will continue to do so forever. In other
words, the universe exists for eternity but it expands and collapses
at different intervals with a huge explosion punctuating each cycle.
The universe we live in is just one of those infinite universes going
through the same cycle.
This is nothing but a feeble attempt to accommodate
the fact of the Big Bang to notions about an infinite universe. The proposed
scenario is unsupported by the results of scientific research over the
last 15-20 years, which show that it is impossible for such an "oscillating"
universe idea to come into being. Furthermore the laws of physics offer
no reason why a contracting universe should explode again after collapsing
into a single point: it ought to stay just as it is. Nor do they offer
a reason why an expanding universe should ever begin to contract in the
Even if we allow that there
is some mechanism by which this cycle of contraction-explosion-expansion
does take place, the crucial point is that this cycle cannot go on for
ever, as is claimed. Calculations for this model show that each universe
will transfer an amount of entropy to its successor. In other words, the
amount of useful energy available becomes less each time and every "opening"
universe will open more slowly and have a larger diameter. This will cause
a much smaller universe to form the next time around and so on, eventually
petering out into nothing. Even if "open and close" universes can exist,
they cannot endure for eternity. At some point it becomes necessary for
"something" to be created from "nothing".9
Put briefly, the "oscillating" universe model is a hopeless fantasy
whose physical reality is impossible.
The "quantum model of universe" is another attempt to purge the Big
Bang of its creationist implications. Supporters of this model base
it on the observations of quantum (subatomic) physics. In quantum physics,
it is to be observed that subatomic particles appear and disappear spontaneously
in a vacuum. Interpreting this observation as "matter can originate
at quantum level, this is a property pertaining to matter", some physicists
try to explain the origination of matter from non-existence during the
creation of the universe as a "property pertaining to matter" and present
it as a part of laws of nature. In this model, our universe is interpreted
as a subatomic particle in a bigger one.
However this syllogism is definitely out of question and in any case
cannot explain how the universe came into being. William Lane Craig,
the author of The Big Bang: Theism and Atheism explains why:
A quantum mechanical vacuum spawning
material particles is far from the ordinary idea of a "vacuum" (meaning
nothing). Rather, a quantum vacuum is a sea of continually forming and
dissolving particles, which borrow energy from the vacuum for their brief
existence. This is not "nothing," and hence, material particles do not
come into being out of nothing.10
So in quantum physics, matter "does not exist when it was not before".
What happens is that ambient energy suddenly becomes matter and just
as suddenly disappears becoming energy again. In short, there is no
condition of "existence from nothingness" as is claimed.
In physics, no less than in other branches of the sciences, there are
atheist scientists who do not hesitate to disguise the truth by overlooking
critical points and details in their attempt to support the materialist
view and achieve their ends. For them, it is much more important to
defend materialism and atheism than to reveal scientific facts and realities.
In the face of the reality mentioned
above, most scientists dismiss the quantum universe model. C. J. Isham
explains that "this model is not accepted widely because of the inherent
difficulties that it poses."11
Even some of the originators of this idea, such as Brout and Spindel,
have abandoned it.12
A recent and much-publicized version of the quantum universe model
was advanced by the physicist Stephen Hawking. In his book A Brief History
of Time, Hawking states that the Big Bang doesn't necessarily mean existence
from nothingness. Instead of "no time" before the Big Bang, Hawking
proposed the concept of "imaginary time". According to Hawking, there
was only a 10-43 second "imaginary" time interval before the Big Bang
took place and "real" time was formed after that. Hawking's hope was
just to ignore the reality of "timelessness" before the Big Bang by
means of this "imaginary" time.
Stephen Hawking also tries to advance different explanations for the
Big Bang other than Creation just as other Materialist scientists
do by relying upon contradictions and false concepts.
As a concept, "imaginary time" is tantamount to zero or non-existence-like
the imaginary number of people in a room or the imaginary number of
cars on a road. Here Hawking is just playing with words. He claims that
equations are right when they are related to an imaginary time but in
fact this has no meaning. The mathematician Sir Herbert Dingle refers
to the possibility of faking imaginary things as real in math as:
In the language of mathematics we can tell lies as
well as truths, and within the scope of mathematics itself there is no
possible way of telling one from the other. We can distinguish them only
by experience or by reasoning outside the mathematics, applied to the
possible relation between the mathematical solution and its physical correlate.13
To put it briefly, a mathematically imaginary or theoretical
solution need not have a true or a real consequence. Using a property
exclusive to mathematics, Hawking produces hypotheses that are unrelated
to reality. But what reason could he have for doing this? It's easy to
find the answer to that question in his own words. Hawking admits that
he prefers alternative universe models to the Big Bang because the latter
"hints at divine creation", which such models are designed to oppose.14
What all this shows is that alternative models to the Big Bang such
as steady-state, the open and close universe model, and quantum universe
models in fact spring from the philosophical prejudices of materialists.
Scientific discoveries have demonstrated the reality of the Big Bang
and can even explain "existence from nothingness". And this is very
strong evidence that the universe is created by Allah, a point that
materialists utterly reject.
An example of this opposition to the Big Bang is to
be found in an essay by John Maddox, the editor of Nature (a materialist
magazine), that appeared in 1989. In "Down with the Big Bang", Maddox
declares the Big Bang to be philosophically unacceptable because it helps
theologists by providing them with strong support for their ideas. The
author also predicted that the Big Bang would be disproved and that support
for it would disappear within a decade.15Maddox
can only have been even more discomforted by the subsequent discoveries
during the next ten years that have provided further evidence of the existence
of the Big Bang.
Some materialists do act with more common sense on this subject. The
British Materialist H. P. Lipson accepts the truth of creation, albeit
"unpleasantly", when he says:
If living matter is not, then caused
by the interplay of atoms, natural forces, and radiation, how has it come
into being?…I think, however, that we must…admit that the only acceptable
explanation is creation. I know that this is anathema to physicists, as
indeed it is to me, but we must not reject that we do not like if the
experimental evidence supports it.16
In conclusion, the truth disclosed by science is this: Matter and time
have been brought into being by an independent possessor of immense
power, by a Creator. Allah, the Possessor of almighty power, knowledge
and intelligence, has created the universe we live in.
The Signs of the Qur'an
In addition to explaining the universe, the Big Bang model has another
important implication. As the quotation from Anthony Flew cited above
points out, science has proven an assertion hitherto supported only
by religious sources.
The truth that is defended by religious sources is the reality of creation
from nothingness. This has been declared in the holy books that have
served as guides for mankind for thousands of years. In all holy books
such as the Old Testament, New Testament, and the Qur'an, it is declared
that the universe and everything in it were created from nothingness
In the only book revealed by Allah that has survived completely intact,
the Qur'an, there are statements about the creation of the universe
from nothing as well as how this came about that are parallel to 20th-century
knowledge and yet were revealed fourteen centuries ago.
First of all, the creation of this universe from nothingness is revealed
in the Qur'an as follows:
He(Allah) is the Originator of the heavens and the
earth…(Surat al-Anam: 101)
Another important aspect revealed in the Qur'an fourteen centuries
before the modern discovery of the Big Bang and findings related to
it is that when it was created, the universe occupied a very tiny volume:
Do those who are disbelievers not see that the heavens
and the earth were sewn together and then We unstitched them and that
We made from water every living thing? So will they not have faith?
(Surat al-Anbiya': 30)
There is a very important choice of words in the original Arabic whose
translation is given above. The word ratk translated as "sewn to" means
"mixed in each, blended" in Arabic dictionaries. It is used to refer
to two different substances that make up a whole. The phrase "we unstitched"
is the verb fatk in Arabic and implies that something comes into being
by tearing apart or destroying the structure of ratk. The sprouting
of a seed from the soil is one of the actions to which this verb is
Let us take a look at the verse again with this knowledge in mind.
In the verse, sky and earth are at first subject to the status of ratk.
They are separated (fatk) with one coming out of the other. Intriguingly,
cosmologists speak of a "cosmic egg" that consisted of all the matter
in the universe prior to the Big Bang. In other words, all the heavens
and earth were included in this egg in a condition of ratk. This cosmic
egg exploded violently causing its matter to fatk and in the process
created the structure of the whole universe.
Another truth revealed in the Qur'an is the expansion of the universe
that was discovered in the late 1920s. Hubble's discovery of the red
shift in the spectrum of starlight is revealed in the Qur'an as :
It is We Who have built the universe with (Our creative)
power, and, verily, it is We Who are steadily expanding it. (Surat adh-Dhariyat:
In short, the findings of modern science support the truth that is revealed
in the Qur'an and not materialist dogma. Materialists may claim this all
to be "coincidence" but the plain fact is that the universe came into
being as a result of an act of creation on the part of Allah and the only
true knowledge about the origin of universe is to be found in the word
of Allah as revealed to us.