From Non-Being to Being
The questions of how the universe originated, where it leads to, and
how the laws maintaining its order and balance work have always been topics
of interest. Scientists and thinkers have thought about this subject endlessly
and have produced quite a few theories.
The prevailing thought until the early 20th century was that the universe
was of infinite size, that it had existed since eternity, and that it
would continue to exist forever. According to this view, called the "static
universe model", the universe had neither a beginning nor an end.
Laying the groundwork for the materialist philosophy, this view denied
the existence of a Creator while it maintained that the universe is a
constant, stable, and unchanging collection of matter.
Materialism is a system of thought that holds matter to be an absolute
being and denies the existence of anything but matter. Having its roots
in ancient Greece and gaining ever-increasing acceptance in the 19th century,
this system of thought became famous in the shape of the dialectical materialism
of Karl Marx.
As we have stated earlier, the static universe model of the 19th century
prepared the ground for the materialist philosophy. In his book Principes
Fondamentaux de Philosophie, George Politzer stated concerning the basis
of this universe model that "the universe was not a created object", and
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 cannot accede.1
When Politzer asserted that the universe was not created out of nothingness,
he was relying on the static universe model of the 19th century, and thinking
that he was making a scientific claim. However, the 20th century's developing
science and technology demolished primitive concepts such as the static
universe model that had laid the ground for the materialists. Today, in
the early 21st century, modern physics has proved with many experiments,
observations and calculations that the universe had a beginning and that
it was created out of nothing with a big explosion.
That the universe had a beginning means that the cosmos was brought into
being out of nothing, that is, that it was created. If a created thing
exists (which did not exist beforehand), then it certainly should have
a Creator. Being from non-being is something inconceivable to the human
mind. (Man cannot practically conceive it since he has no chance of experiencing
it.) Therefore, being from non-being is very different from bringing objects
together to form a new object (such as works of art or technological inventions).
It is a sign of God's creation alone that everything formed perfectly
all at once and in a single moment, when the created things had no previous
examples and not even time and space existed in which to create them.
The coming of the universe into being from non-being is the greatest
proof possible that it has been created. Consideration of this fact will
change a lot of things. It helps people understand the meaning of life
and review their attitudes and purposes. This is why many scientific communities
have tried to disregard the fact of creation which they could not fully
comprehend, even though its evidence was clear to them. The fact that
all scientific evidence points to the existence of a Creator has compelled
them to invent alternatives and thus create confusion in the minds of
people. Nevertheless, the evidence of science itself puts a definite end
to these theories.
Now, let us take a brief look at the scientific developmental process
through which the universe came about.
THE EXPANSION OF THE UNIVERSE
In 1929, 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 had an electrifying
effect in the world of science, because 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. During Hubble's observations,
the light from stars was discovered to tend towards red. This meant that
they were constantly moving away from us.
Edwin Hubble, next to giant telescope.
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
To better understand, the universe can be thought of as the surface of
a balloon being blown up. Just as the points on the surface of a balloon
move apart from each other as the balloon is inflated, so do the objects
in space move apart from each other as the universe keeps expanding.
In fact, this had been theoretically discovered even earlier. Albert
Einstein, who is considered the greatest scientist of the century, had
concluded after the calculations he made in theoretical physics that the
universe could not be static. However, he had laid his discovery to rest
simply not to conflict with the widely recognised static universe model
of his time. Later on, Einstein was to identify his act as "the greatest
mistake of his career". Subsequently, it became definite by Hubble's observations,
that the universe expands.
What importance, then, did the fact that the universe expands have on
the existence of the universe?
The expansion of the universe implied that if it could travel backwards
in time, the universe would prove to have originated from a single point.
The calculations showed that this "single point" that harboured all the
matter of the universe should have "zero volume" and "infinite density".
The universe had come about by the explosion of this single point with
zero volume. This great explosion that marked the beginning of the universe
was named the "Big Bang" and the theory started to be so called.
Research has shown that stars and galaxies
move awayfrom us and from one another, that is, the universe expands.
This suggests that when moved backwards in time, the universe proves
to have started from a single point.
It has to be stated that "zero volume" is a theoretical expression used
for descriptive purposes. Science can define the concept of "nothingness",
which is beyond the limits of human comprehension, only by expressing
it as "a point with zero volume". In truth, "a point with no volume" means
"nothingness". The universe has come into being from nothingness. In other
words, it was created.
The Big Bang theory showed that in the beginning all the objects in the
universe were of one piece and then were parted. This fact, which was
revealed by the Big Bang theory was stated in the Qur'an 14 centuries
ago, when people had a very limited knowledge about the universe:
Do not the Unbelievers see that the heavens and
the earth were joined together (as one unit of creation), before We clove
them asunder? We made from water every living thing. Will they not then
believe? (The Qur'an, 21:30)
As stated in the verse, everything, even the "heavens and the earth"
that were not yet created, were created with a Big Bang out of a single
point, and began shaping the present universe by being parted from each
When we compare the statements in the verse with the Big Bang theory,
we see that they fully agree with each other. However, the Big Bang was
introduced as a scientific theory only in the 20th century.
The expansion of the universe is one of the most important pieces of
evidence that the universe was created out of nothing. Although this fact
was not discovered by science until the 20th century, God has informed
us of this reality in the Qur'an revealed 1,400 years ago:
It is We who have built the universe with (Our
creative) power, and, verily, it is We who are steadily expanding it.
(The Qur'an, 51:47)
THE SEARCH FOR ALTERNATIVES TO THE BIG BANG THEORY
As clearly seen, the Big Bang theory proved that the
universe was 'created from nothing', in other words, that it was created
by God. For this reason, astronomers committed to the materialist philosophy
continued to hold out against the Big Bang in their struggle to uphold
a fundamental tenet of their ideology. The reason was made clear by the
leading materialist physicist Arthur Eddington, who said: "Philosophically,
the notion of an abrupt beginning to the present order of Nature is repugnant
Sir Fred Hoyle was one of those who were disturbed by the Big Bang theory.
In the middle of the century, Hoyle championed a theory called "the steady-state
theory" which was similar to the "constant universe" approach of the 19th
century. The steady-state theory argued that the universe was both infinite
in size and eternal in duration. With the sole visible aim of supporting
the materialist philosophy, this theory was totally at variance with the
'Big Bang' theory, which held that the universe had a beginning.
Those who defended the steady-state theory remained adamantly opposed
to the Big Bang for years. Science, however, was working against them.
In 1948, George Gamov came up with another 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.
Within two decades, observational proof of Gamov's conjecture was forthcoming.
MORE EVIDENCE: COSMIC BACKGROUND RADIATION
In 1965, two researchers by the name of Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson
chanced upon a form of radiation hitherto unnoticed. This radiation, called
the "cosmic background radiation", did not seem to radiate from a particular
source but rather pervaded the whole of space. It was soon realized that
this radiation was the echo of the Big Bang, still reverberating since
the first moments of that great explosion. Penzias and Wilson were awarded
a Nobel Prize for their discovery.
In 1989, NASA sent the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) satellite into
space to do research on cosmic background radiation. 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. The
COBE had found the remains of the big explosion that had taken place at
the outset of the universe.
Defined as the greatest astronomic discovery of all times, this finding
explicitly proved the Big Bang theory. The findings of the COBE 2 satellite
which was sent into space after the COBE satellite also confirmed the
calculations based on the Big Bang.
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 hydrogen-helium concentration 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.
All of this compelling evidence caused the Big Bang theory to be embraced
by the scientific community. The Big Bang model was the latest point reached
by science concerning the formation and beginning of the universe.
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.3
Prof. George Abel from the University of California also states that
currently available evidence shows that the universe originated billions
of years ago with the Big Bang. He concedes that he has no choice but
to accept the Big Bang theory.
With the Big Bang's victory, the concept of 'eternal matter' that constituted
the basis of the materialist philosophy is thrown into the trash-heap
of history. What, then, was before the Big Bang and what was the power
that brought the universe into 'being' with this big explosion when it
was "non-existent"? This question certainly implies, in Arthur Eddington's
words, the 'philosophically unfavourable' fact for the materialists, that
is, of the existence of a Creator. The renowned atheist philosopher Antony
Flew comments on the issue:
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 without 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.4
Many scientists who do not blindly condition themselves to be atheists
have admitted the role of an almighty Creator in the creation of the universe.
This Creator must be a being Who has created both matter and time, yet
Who is independent of both. Well-known astrophysicist Hugh Ross has this
If time's beginning is concurrent with the beginning
of the universe, as the space-theorem says, then the cause of the universe
must be some entity operating in a time dimension completely independent
of and preexistent to the time dimension of the cosmos. This conclusion
is powerfully important to our understanding of who God is and who or
what God isn't. It tells us that God is not the universe itself, nor is
God contained within the universe.5
Matter and time are created by the almighty Creator Who is independent
of all these notions. This Creator is God, Who is the Lord of the heavens
and the earth.
DELICATE BALANCES IN SPACE
In truth, the Big Bang caused much greater trouble for the materialists
than the above confessions of the atheist philosopher, Antony Flew. For
the Big Bang not only proves that the universe was created out of nothing,
but also that it was brought into being in a very planned, systematic
and controlled manner.
The Big Bang took place with the explosion of the point which contained
all the matter and energy of the universe and its dispersion into space
in all directions with a terrifying speed. Out of this matter and energy,
there came about a great balance containing galaxies, stars, the sun,
the earth and all other heavenly bodies. Moreover, laws were formed called
the 'laws of physics', which are uniform throughout the whole universe
and do not change. All these indicate that a perfect order arose after
the Big Bang.
Explosions, however, do not bring about order. All of the observable
explosions tend to harm, disintegrate, and destroy what is present. For
example, the atom and hydrogen bomb explosions, fire-damp explosions,
volcanic explosions, natural gas explosions, solar explosions: they all
have destructive effects.
If we were to be introduced to a very detailed order after an explosion
- for instance, if an explosion under the ground gave rise to perfect
works of art, huge palaces, or imposing houses - we might conclude that
there was a "supernatural" intervention behind this explosion and that
all the pieces dispersed by the explosion had been made to move in a very
This quotation from Sir Fred Hoyle, who accepted his mistake after many
years of opposition to the Big Bang Theory, expresses the situation very
The big bang theory holds that the universe began with
a single explosion. Yet as can be seen below, an explosion merely throws
matter apart, while the big bang has mysteriously produced the opposite
effect - with matter clumping together in the form of galaxies.6
While stating that the Big Bang's giving way to order is contradictory,
he surely interprets the Big Bang with a materialistic bias and assumes
that this was an "uncontrolled explosion". He, however, was in reality
the one who became self-contradictory by making such a statement simply
to dismiss the existence of a Creator. For if a great order arose with
an explosion, then the concept of an "uncontrolled explosion" should have
been set aside and it should be accepted that the explosion was extraordinarily
Another aspect of this extraordinary order formed in the universe following
the Big Bang is the creation of a "habitable universe". The conditions
for the formation of a habitable planet are so many and so complex that
it is almost impossible to think that this formation is coincidental.
Paul Davies, a renowned professor of theoretical physics, calculated
how "fine tuned" the pace of expansion after the Big Bang was, and he
reached an incredible conclusion. According to Davies, if the rate of
expansion after the Big Bang had been different even by the ratio of one
over a billion times a billion, no habitable star type would have been
Careful measurement puts the rate of expansion very
close to a critical value at which the universe will just escape its own
gravity and expand forever. A little slower and the cosmos would collapse,
a little faster and the cosmic material would have long ago completely
dispersed. It is interesting to ask precisely how delicately the rate
of expansion has been 'fine-tuned' to fall on this narrow dividing line
between two catastrophes. If at time I S (by which time the pattern of
expansion was already firmly established) the expansion rate had differed
from its actual value by more than 10-18, it would have been sufficient
to throw the delicate balance out. The explosive vigour of the universe
is thus matched with almost unbelievable accuracy to its gravitating power.
The big bang was not, evidently, any old bang, but an explosion of exquisitely
The laws of physics that emerged together with the Big Bang have not
change at all over a period of 15 billion years. Furthermore, these laws
stand on calculations so scrupulous that even a millimetre's variation
from their current values can result in the destruction of the whole structure
and configuration of the universe.
The famous physicist Prof. Stephen Hawking states in his book A Brief
History of Time, that the universe is set on calculations and balances
more finely tuned than we can conceive. Hawking states with reference
to the rate of expansion of the universe:
Why did the universe start out with so nearly the critical
rate of expansion that separates models that recollapse from those that
go on expanding forever, so that even now, ten thousand million years
later, it is still expanding at nearly the critical rate? If the rate
of expansion one second after the big bang had been smaller by even one
part in a hundred thousand million million, the universe would have recollapsed
before it ever reached its present size.8
Paul Davies also explains the unavoidable consequence to be derived from
these incredibly precise balances and calculations:
It is hard to resist the impression that the present
structure of the universe, apparently so sensitive to minor alterations
in the numbers, has been rather carefully thought out… The seemingly miraculous
concurrence of numerical values that nature has assigned to her fundamental
constants must remain the most compelling evidence for an element of cosmic
In relation to the same conclusion, an American professor of Astronomy,
George Greenstein, writes in his book The Symbiotic Universe:
As we survey all the evidence, the thought insistently
arises that some supernatural agency - or, rather Agency - must be involved.10
THE CREATION OF MATTER
The atom, the building-block of matter, came into being after the Big
Bang. These atoms then came together to make up the universe with its
stars, earth and sun. Afterwards, the same atoms established life on the
earth, everything you see around you: your body, the chair you sit on,
the book you hold in your hand, the sky seen through the window, the soil,
the concrete, the fruits, the plants, all living things and everything
that you can imagine have come to life with the gathering of atoms.
What then is the atom, the building block of everything, made of and
what kind of a structure does it have?
When we examine the structure of atoms, we see that
all of them have an outstanding design and order. Every atom has a nucleus
in which there are certain numbers of protons and neutrons. In addition
to these, there are electrons which move around the nucleus in a constant
orbit with a speed of 1,000 kms per second.11 Electrons
and protons of an atom are equal in number, because positively charged
protons and negatively charged electrons always balance each other. If
one of these numbers were different, there would be no atom, since its
electromagnetic balance would be disturbed. An atom's nucleus, the protons
and the neutrons in it, and the electrons around it are always in motion.
These revolve both around themselves and each other unerringly at certain
speeds. These speeds are always proportionate to each other and provide
the subsistence of the atom. No disorder, disparity, or change ever occurs.
It is very remarkable that such highly ordered and determined entities
could come into being after a great explosion that took place in non-being.
If the Big Bang were an uncontrolled, coincidental explosion, then it
ought to have been followed by random events and everything that formed
subsequently ought to have been dispersed in a great chaos.
In fact, a flawless order has prevailed at every point since the beginning
of the existence of the universe. For example, although atoms are formed
at different places and times, they are so organised that they seem as
though they were produced from a single factory with an awareness of each
kind. First, electrons find themselves a nucleus and start to turn around
it. Later, atoms come together to form matter and all these bring about
meaningful, purposeful and reasonable objects. Ambiguous, useless, abnormal
and purposeless things never occur. Everything from the smallest unit
to the biggest component is organised and has manifold purposes.
All of this is solid evidence of the existence of the Creator, Who is
exalted in power, and indicate the fact that everything comes into existence
however He wants and whenever He wills. In the Qur'an, God refers to His
He it is Who has created the heavens and the earth
with truth, and on the day He says: Be, it is. His word is the truth.
(The Qur'an, 6:73)
AFTER THE BIG BANG
There is a certain sense in which I would say that
the universe has a purpose. It's not just there by chance. Some people
take the view that the universe is simply there and it runs along - it's
a bit as though it just sort of computes, and we happen by accident to
find ourselves in this thing. I don't think that's a very fruitful or
helpful way of looking at the universe. I think that there is something
much deeper about it, about its existence, which we have very little inkling
of at the moment.12
The above words of Roger Penrose are indeed good food for thought. As
his words imply, many people wrongly entertain thoughts that the universe
with all its perfect harmony exists for nothing and that they live in
this universe for no particular reason or purpose.
However, it can by no means be considered as ordinary that a quite perfect
and wondrous order came about after a Big Bang, which is considered by
the scientific community to be the means of the formation of the universe.
The order in the structure of the atom rules
the whole universe. With the atom and its particles moving in a
certain order, the mountains are not scattered, lands do not break
apart, the sky is not split asunder and, in short, matter is held
together and is constant.
Briefly, when we examine the glorious system in the universe, we see
that the existence of the universe and its workings rest on extremely
delicate balances and an order too complex to be explained away by coincidental
causes. As is evident, it is by no means possible for this delicate balance
and order to have been formed on its own and by coincidence after a great
explosion. The formation of such an order following an explosion such
as the Big Bang could only have been possible as a result of a supernatural
This matchless plan and order in the universe certainly proves the existence
of a Creator with infinite knowledge, might and wisdom, Who has created
matter from nothing and Who controls and manages it incessantly. This
Creator is God, the Lord of the heavens, the earth and all that is in
All the evidence shows us how the claims of the materialist philosophy,
which is simply a 19th century dogma, are invalidated by 20th century
By revealing the great plan, design and order prevalent in the universe,
modern science has proved the existence of a Creator Who has created and
continually rules all beings: that is, God.
Holding sway over a great number of people for centuries and having even
disguised itself with the mask of "science", materialism, by deeming everything
to consist of nothing but matter, has made a great mistake and denied
the existence of God, Who created and ordered matter from nothing. One
day, materialism will be remembered in history as a primitive and superstitious
belief opposed to both reason and science.