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
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
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 added:
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
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
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 "expands".
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 other.
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
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 to me."2
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
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
MORE EVIDENCE: COSMIC BACKGROUND
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 to say:
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 controlled way.
This quotation from Sir Fred Hoyle, who accepted his
mistake after many years of opposition to the Big Bang Theory, expresses
the situation very well:
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 controlled.
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 formed:
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 arranged magnitude.7
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 design.9
In relation to the same conclusion, an American professor
of Astronomy, George Greenstein, writes in his book The Symbiotic
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 creation thus:
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
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 creation.
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 between.
All the evidence shows us how the claims of the materialist
philosophy, which is simply a 19th century dogma, are invalidated
by 20th century science.
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.
1. George Politzer, Principes
Fondamentaux de Philosophie, Editions Sociales, Paris, 1954, p. 84
2. Recounted in Jaki, S. (1980) Cosmos and Creator,
Regnery Gateway, Chicago
3. Sephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time: A Reader's
Companion, edited by Gene Stone, 1993, p. 63
4. Henry Margenau and Roy Abraham Varghese, eds.,
Cosmos, Bios, Theos, La Salle, IL: Open Court Publishing, 1992, p.
5. Hugh Ross, Ph.D., The Creator and the Cosmos, Navpress,
1995, p. 76
6. W.R. Bird, The Origin of Species Revisited , Nashville:
Thomas Nelson, 1991; originally published by Philosophical Library
in 1987, p. 462
7. W.R. Bird, The Origin of Species Revisited , Nashville:
Thomas Nelson, 1991; originally published by Philosophical Library
in 1987, pp. 405-406
8. Stephen W. Hawking, A Brief History of Time , Bantam
Books, April, 1988, p. 121
9. Paul Davies, God and the New Physics, New York:
Simon & Schuster, 1983, p. 189
10. Hugh Ross, The Fingerprint of God, 2nd. Ed.,
Orange, CA: Promise Publishing Co., 1991, pp. 114-115
11. A Dorling Kindersley Book - The Science, published
in the United States by Dorling Kindersley Inc., p. 24
12. Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time: A Reader's
Companion, edited by Gene Stone, 1993, p. 142