The Existence of God

Allah The Exalted

Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as), The Promised Messiah & Imam Mahdi

The Promised Messiah (as) wrote over 80 books in Arabic, Urdu, and Persian. Excerpts of his collected works have been translated into English and organised by topic.

The Review of Religions is pleased to present these excerpts as part of a monthly feature. The Promised Messiah (as) expounds upon the various aspects to God Almighty’s oneness, and how He is free from defect.

Extracts from The Essence of Islam – Vol. I, 82-92.

This is the fifth part of a multi-part series.

It is well established that of the objects that are visible in the universe, none is indispensable. For instance, the earth is spherical and according to the estimate of some, its diameter is approximately eight thousand miles, but there is no firm reason why this shape and this bulk should be essential for it, and why is it not permissible that it should be of greater or lesser bulk or should have a different shape. From this it follows that this shape and bulk, the combination of which constitutes existence, are not essential for the earth.

In the same way, the existence and continuation of all things is dispensable. Besides, in many cases circumstances come into operation which threaten the continuation of certain things and yet they are not wiped out. For instance, despite severe famines and epidemics from the very beginning, all through the seed of everything has always survived, while reason permits, indeed it demands, that on account of thousands of hardships and calamities which have afflicted the world from the beginning, it should have happened sometime that in consequence of severe famines, corn which provides sustenance for humanity should have become non-available, or through the severity of epidemics the human species should have disappeared, or some species of animals should have been wiped out, or the machinery of the sun or the moon might have gone out of order, or of numberless other things which are necessary for the proper working of the universe, something might have got out of order. It is contrary to expectation that millions of things should escape disorder and disruption and should not become victims of calamity.

In conclusion, such things whose existence and continuation is not essential in their own right, and whose going out of order is more of a possibility than their continuation, and their suffering no decline and their coming into being and continuing in an orderly way, and the continued availability of billions of things needed in the universe, are a clear proof that for all of them there is a Bestower of life, Protector and Sustainer, Who combines the perfect attributes in Himself. That is to say, He is the Controller, the Wise, the Gracious, the Compassionate, Eternal and Ever-Living, free from every defect, not subject to death or destruction and even free from slumber and sleep which have a resemblance to death.

He is the Being Who combines in Himself all perfect attributes, Who brought into being the universe with perfect wisdom and appropriateness and chose its existence in preference to non-existence. He alone, on account of His perfection, His creation, His Rububiyyat, and His Self-Existence, is worthy of worship.

This above is the translation of this part of the verse:

ٱللَّهُ لَآ إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ ٱلۡحَيُّ ٱلۡقَيُّومُ ۚ لَا تَأۡخُذُهُۥ سِنَةٌ وَلَا نَوۡمٌ ۚ لَّهُۥ مَا فِي ٱلسَّمَٰوَٰتِ وَمَا فِي ٱلۡأَرۡضِ [1] 

It should be observed with what nicety, dignity, and wisdom has the Holy Qur’an in this verse put forth the reasoning in support of the existence of the Creator of the universe and in how few words vast meanings and wise points have been comprehended. For ‘everything in the heavens and earth’ has established by firm reasoning the existence of a Creator possessing perfect attributes in words whose excellence and comprehensiveness have not been equalled by anything said by a philosopher.

The philosophers of defective intelligence have not been able to appreciate that souls and bodies were created and are not eternal, and have remained unaware that true life, and true existence and true sustenance belong only to God. This deep understanding can only be learnt from the verse in which it is stated that true life and eternal existence belong only to Allah Who combines all perfect attributes in Himself. Except Him, nothing else enjoys true existence and true sustenance. This very thing has been presented as an argument for the need of a Creator of the universe and it is affirmed:

لَّهُۥ مَا فِي ٱلسَّمَٰوَٰتِ وَمَا فِي ٱلۡأَرۡضِ[2]

That is to say: As the universe is neither really self-existing, nor self-subsisting, it does necessarily need an efficient cause through which it obtained life and continuation. It is also necessary that that such an efficient cause should comprehend all perfect attributes and should control the universe by His will. It should be Wise and should know the unseen. Verily that is Allah.

In the idiom of the Holy Qur’an, Allah is the name of the Being Who is comprehensive of all perfect excellences. That is why in the Holy Qur’an the name Allah is described as comprehensive of all perfect attributes and at various places it is stated that Allah is He Who is Lord of the worlds, is Gracious and Merciful, controls the universe by His will, is Wise, Knower of the unseen and All-Powerful, and is Eternal and Ever-Existing, etc. It is well established that in the idiom of the Holy Qur’an, Allah is the name of the Being Who is comprehensive of all perfect attributes. That is why this verse begins with the name of Allah and proceeds:

ٱللَّهُ لَآ إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ ٱلۡحَيُّ ٱلۡقَيُّومُ [3] 

That is to say, the Sustainer of this transitory world is a Being Who encompasses all excellences.

This is an indication that it is a wrong notion that in this universe, which exhibits such perfect orderliness, some things can be the originating cause of others. On the contrary, for this wise project, a Creator is needed Who should exercise control by His will and should be Wise, All-Knowing, Ever-Merciful, Immortal and encompass the perfect attributes. It is Allah alone Who possesses perfection in His Being.

After establishing the existence of the Creator of the universe, it was necessary to impress upon a seeker after truth that that Creator is free from every kind of association. This was indicated by: [4]

…قُلۡ هُوَ ٱللَّهُ أَحَدٌ* ٱللَّهُ ٱلصَّمَدُ

It should be observed how concisely in this brief statement the Being of the Creator has been shown to be free from every kind of association. Association can be of four types. It could be in respect of number, rank, descent, or action and effect. In this Surah, it has been declared that God is free from association of all these types. It has been made clear that He is the One in number and is not two or three; He is the Besought of all; He alone is Self-Existing while everything else is contingent and mortal and is ever dependent upon Him; and He is لَمۡ يَلِدۡ which means that He has no son who can claim to be His partner; and He isلَمۡ يُولَدۡ  which means that he has no father to share His power; and He is لَمۡ يَكُن لَّهُۥ كُفُوًا أَحَدُۢ  which means that no one can be His equal in His works to claim partnership with Him on this account. Thus, it has been made clear that God Almighty is free from associates of any of the four types and is One, without associate.

Then the Holy Qur’an sets forth an argument in support of His being One, without associate, by stating:

لَوۡ كَانَ فِيهِمَآ ءَالِهَةٌ إِلَّا ٱللَّهُ لَفَسَدَتَا  [5]

مَا كَانَ مَعَهُۥ مِنۡ إِلَٰهٍ [6]

That is, had there been any other god beside the One Who combines in Himself all perfect attributes, both heaven and earth would have been corrupted. Since it was inevitable that at times this plurality of gods would have acted against one another, and their differences would have resulted plunging the universe into chaos, each one of them would have worked for the welfare of his own creation; for whose comfort, he would have considered it permissible to destroy others. This too would have led to chaos.

Then it is stated:

قُلِ ٱدۡعُواْ ٱلَّذِينَ زَعَمۡتُم مِّن دُونِهِۦ فَلَا يَمۡلِكُونَ كَشۡفَ ٱلضُّرِّ عَنكُمۡ وَلَا تَحۡوِيلًا [7]

This means that those who deny the existence of God are told that now that they are being pressed hard by the arguments in support of Islam and its glory and power, they should call for help on those whom they claim to be the associates of God. They will then know that they will not be able to remove any affliction from them, nor to bring about any change favourable to them.

‘Tell these pagans, O Prophet: Call those whom you worship besides Allah, to help you against me. Do whatever you can to defeat me and give me no respite. Bear in mind that my Supporter and Helper is the God Who has revealed the Holy Qur’an. He alone is the help and succour of His true and righteous Messengers. Those from whom you seek help are neither able to help you nor can they help themselves.

Then the Holy Qur’an proceeds to establish through the law of nature that God is free from every defect and shortcoming:

تُسَبِّحُ لَهُ ٱلسَّمَٰوَٰتُ ٱلسَّبۡعُ وَٱلۡأَرۡضُ وَمَن فِيهِنَّ  [8]

The seven heavens and the earth and those that are therein celebrate His praise; and there is not a thing but glorifies Him with His praise, but you do not understand their glorification. This means that reflection upon the heavens and the earth would show that God is Perfect and Holy and is without sons or associates, but that this would be realised only by those who possess understanding. It is also stated:

قَالُواْ ٱتَّخَذَ ٱللَّهُ وَلَدٗا ۗ سُبۡحَٰنَهُۥ ۖ هُوَ ٱلۡغَنِيُّ …[9]

This means that: Some people say that God has taken unto Himself a son whereas to be dependent upon a son is a deficiency and God is free from every deficiency. He is Self-Sufficient and Independent, Who needs no one. To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and the earth. Do you charge Him with something of which you have no knowledge? Why should He be dependent upon sons? He is Perfect and is alone Sufficient to carry out the obligations of Godhead and needs no other instrument.

Some people say God has daughters whereas He is free from all these deficiencies. Do you claim sons for yourselves and assign daughters to Him? This is not a fair division.[10]

O People! Worship God, the One without associate, Who created you and your forebears. You should fear the Powerful and Mighty One Who has spread out the earth for you as a bed and raised the heaven for you as a canopy, and by sending water from the heaven created all types of fruits for your sustenance. So do not deliberately appoint associates for God those things which have been created for your benefit.[11]

God is One, Who has no associate. He is God in heaven and God on earth.[12] 

He is the First and the Last and He is the Manifest and the Hidden.[13] 

Eyes are not able to probe into His reality and He knows the reality of the eyes.[14] 

He is the Creator of everything and nothing is like unto Him. It is a clear argument in support of His being the Creator, that He has created everything according to a measure and has fixed its parameter limits[15], which proves the existence of the Measurer and Limiter. He is proved worthy of all praise and is the only true Benefactor in this world and the next. All command belongs to Him and everything returns to Him.

God will forgive every sin for whomsoever He wills, but He will not forgive shirk – associating anything with Him.[16]

Let him who hopes to meet his Lord work righteousness and let him associate no one in the worship of his Lord.[17] 

Associate not anything with God. It is a great sin.[18] 

Do not ask any favours from anyone except God. Everything will perish except Him. His is the command and to Him is your return.[19] 

—Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya, Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 1, pp. 515-521, sub-footnote 3

God’s Beauty and Beneficence

God’s law of nature and the book of nature, which have been in existence since the creation of man, teach us that to establish a strong relationship with God it is necessary to have experienced His beneficence and His beauty. As pointed out before, by beneficence is meant instances of the moral qualities of God Almighty which a man might have personally experienced in his own being. For instance, God may have become his Guardian when he was helpless and weak and an orphan. Or God may have fulfilled his need at a time of want; or God may have helped him at a time of great sorrow; or God may have guided him without the intervention of a preceptor or guide in his search after God.

By His beauty are also meant His attributes which appear in the guise of beneficence, for instance, His perfect power or His tenderness or His kindness or His Rububiyyat or His compassion, or His general Rububiyyat and those common bounties which are available in large numbers for the comfort of man. There is also His knowledge which a person obtains through prophets and thereby saves himself from death and ruin. Also His attribute that He hears the supplications of the restless and fatigued ones. Also His excellence that He inclines towards those who incline towards Him, even more so. All this is comprised in God’s Beauty. The very same attributes when they are experienced by a person become His beneficence with reference to him, though they are only His beauty with reference to others.

When a person experiences in the shape of beneficence those divine attributes which constitute His beauty his faith is strengthened beyond measure and he is drawn towards God as iron is drawn towards a magnet. His love for God increases manifold and his trust in God becomes very strong. Having experienced that all his good is in God, his hopes in God are strengthened. He continues to incline towards God naturally, without pretence and affectation, and finds himself dependent upon God’s help every moment and believes firmly through the contemplation of divine attributes that he will be successful, because he has experienced in his own person many instances of God’s grace, favour and generosity. Therefore, his supplications proceed from the fountain of power and certainty and his resolve becomes extremely firm and unshakable.

In the end, having observed divine favours and bounties, the light of certainty enters with great force into him and his ego is altogether consumed. On account of the frequent contemplation of the greatness and power of God, his heart becomes the house of God. As the human soul never leaves his body while a person is alive, in the same way, the certainty that enters into him from God, the Mighty and Glorious, never leaves him. The holy spirit surges inside him all the time and he speaks under the instruction of this very spirit. Verities and insights flow out of him and the tent of the Lord of Honour and Majesty is ever set in his heart. The delight of certainty, sincerity and love flows through him like water whereby every limb of his is nourished. His eyes exhibit the brightness of nourishment and his forehead reveals its light. His countenance appears as if it had been washed by the rain of divine love and his tongue partakes fully of this freshness. All his limbs exhibit a brightness, as after a spring shower an attractive freshness is revealed in the branches, leaves, flowers and fruits of trees.

The body of a person on whom this spirit has not descended and who has not been refreshed by it is like a corpse. This freshness and joyousness cannot be described in words and can never be acquired by the dead heart which has not been refreshed by the fountain of the light of certainty. On the contrary, it stinks. But the one who has been bestowed this light, and inside whom this fountain has burst forth, exhibits as one of his signs that all the time and in everything, in every word and in every action, he receives power from God. This is his delight and his comfort and he cannot live without it.

The Review of Religions – Urdu, Vol. I, pp. 186-187


[1] ‘Allah – there is no God but He, the Living, the Self-Subsisting and All-Sustaining. Slumber seizes Him not, nor sleep. To Him belongs whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth.’ – The Holy Qur’an, 2:256.

[2] ‘To Him belongs whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth.’ – The Holy Qur’an, 2:256.

[3] The Holy Qur’an, 2:256.

[4] ‘Say, He is Allah, the One; Allah, the Independent and Besought of all…’ –The Holy Qur’an, 112:2-5.

[5] The Holy Qur’an, 21:23.

[6] The Holy Qur’an, 23:92.

[7] The Holy Qur’an, 17:57.

[8] The Holy Qur’an, 17:45.

[9] The Holy Qur’an, 10:69.

[10] The Holy Qur’an, 53:22-23.

[11] The Holy Qur’an, 2:22-23.

[12] The Holy Qur’an, 43:85.

[13] The Holy Qur’an, 57:4.

[14] The Holy Qur’an, 6:104.

[15] The Holy Qur’an, 25:3.

[16] The Holy Qur’an, 4:49.

[17] The Holy Qur’an, 18:111.

[18] The Holy Qur’an, 31:14.

[19] The Holy Qur’an, 28:89.