Why did God create the universe?

Firstly, it should be noted that as human beings we perceive everything from a human perspective and formulate our views accordingly. To take one example, human beings act out of necessity or desire. We set out to do things because we have certain needs or are compelled. Through some infatuation in ill thinking, or ourselves we foolishly presume to compare God to ourselves and suppose that God acts as we do. Therefore, in asking the above questions, it is of the utmost importance to remember that God is independent of all wants or needs, and far beyond our inadequate conceptions.

Who is distressed by the creation of the universe? Who does not desire the benefit from gathering in the crops at harvest time? Who does not seek happiness by using the provisions of the world in the best possible way? Very few indeed are those and in a most distressful situation who, thinking hastily and carelessly, would express sorrow at being in this world. In their distress some few have committed suicide, but such people are negligible in number. The overwhelming majority are grateful rather than regretful, to be alive, to have come into this world and to be human. Who complains of being cared for in the arms of his parents and being nourished by that love in childhood? Who complains of being a youth during which time the exhilaration of life is felt in the very bones? And who complains, as a mature adult, of having family, children, and leading a harmonious life with them? How would we begin to measure the happiness of believers who, even as they are cultivating the seed for the next world are also ensuring success in this world? The believers are discovering the keys to the gates of ultimate happiness, so they are contented and feel no reason for distress.

We truly experience with full consciousness all these diverse kinds of happiness, and give heartfelt thanks to the Creator who brought us into being.

The universe has been ornamented with every sort of art, animate and inanimate, in every scale; it is like an endless parade or exhibition of works of art, designed to attract all people and cause them to reflect. Beauty of landscape, its extraordinary diversity and magnificent adornment, the sheer abundance and flow of events constitute a reality, definite and present, to our senses and minds. The reality argues the existence of an agent who brings it into being. Through the reality of His works and deeds we come to know the Doer, and so His Name or Names.

Through these Names, manifested in objects and beings, we try to know His Attributes, through the channels and prayers opened to our hearts we yearn, we strive to know Him in Himself, Exalted is He. This raising up of our being is inspired across a wide domain of reality-things, events, the vast realm of man’s stewardship in the universe; the relation or connection between man and the universe and the realm of God’s Names and Attributes.

Now let us try to express the Creator’s purpose by a simple analogy. Let us think of an expert craftsman or artist. Say that this artist is an extraordinary sculptor who with a few strokes of hammer and chisel can produce life-like subjects from the hardest stone, expressive of the most delicate feelings. Or a skillful worker in wood who can, as it were, pour his soul into walnut or beech or bring (as the expression is) a piece of ebony to life. Or an excellent painter whose brushstrokes can produce the most exquisite combination of colors, which stir the beholders with their beauty.

And to these kinds of skills, we might add many more. It is impossible to know the artist as an artist if he does not show his abilities. We may come to know him and deduce his abilities either from his works of art or from the process through which he produces them. Every potentiality wishes to reveal the reality hidden within itself, to demonstrate what it knows by clothing itself in an outward form, by putting on an external body. Seeds strive to sprout; sperms strive to join the egg in the womb; and bubbles floating in the air strive to reach ground as droplets of water. They all endure the effort necessary simply because of the desire to show in reality the potentiality within themselves. The urge to show our potentialities, and thus to be seen and known by others is in fact an expression of weakness or defect, as all beings and their wishes are merely the shadow of the original essence. However, the skillful Creator is absolutely free from such defects or weaknesses. It must never be forgotten that neither any single nor composite manifestation of the essence is similar to the essence.

All artistry, which fills the universe, informs us of the thousands of the Names of God. Each of the Names, manifested in diverse memorials of the art of creation, illuminates our way and guides us to know the Attributes of that Being, the One Creator; they stimulate and awaken our hearts by the signs, messages, of that hidden Creator present, carried to our senses.

The Creator wants to introduce Himself to us thoroughly without leaving anything unclear. Through the variety and beauty of the Creation, He wants to show His Splendor; through the magnificent order and harmony in the universe He wants to show His Will and Might; and through the fact that He bestows everything upon us, including the secret wishes and desires of our hearts and minds, He wants to show His Mercy, Compassion, and Grace. And He has many more Names and Attributes through which He wants to make Himself known.

In other words, He places objects, which He knows in His all-encompassing knowledge, into this world in order to manifest His Might and Will. In this way, by passing all things through the prism of the intellect and understanding of conscious beings, He arouses wonder, admiration, and appreciation in the earthly and heavenly domains.

Just as a skillful artist manifests his talents through his works of art, in the elevated sense, so the Owner of this universe, simply to manifest the Might and Omnipotence of His Creativity, created the universe.

By Dr. Eren Tatari

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