” CAN GOD CREATE A ROCK SO HEAVY HE CAN’T LIFT IT? “
In the Name of God, The Most Beneficent, The Most Merciful.
Question : A Question from the Philosophers of the School of Scepticism : Can God create a rock so heavy he can’t lift it?
Firstly : God does not go around and carry things, because God is not a human being and nothing resembles God, and God does not exist in time, room, place or space. God has no appearance nor any limbs to reach his aims, because God is not the creation, he is the creator:
لَيْسَ كَمِثْلِهِ شَيْءٌ
There is not anything like Him..
وَلَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُ كُفُوًا أَحَدٌ
And there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him
Secondly: Now that we know that God does not resemble anything or anyone, we absolutely cannot draw a comparison between the creator and the creation, even within these paradoxical questions where the Philosophers of Scepticism are trying to compare the capacity and the limbs of the human (to carry/lift) with God (who is free from any limb and human imagination) and then question God’s infinite omnipotence.
Thirdly: The question : ” Can God create a rock so heavy he can’t lift? ” is is in itself invalid. God does not carry or lift with the human limbs and human body parts which the scholars of scepticism are trying to imagine and portray to us. God wills (ارادة الله). If God wants to do something, he can do it. But God does not need any limb or body part in order to actualize his will :
إِنَّمَا أَمْرُهُ إِذَا أَرَادَ شَيْئًا أَن يَقُولَ لَهُ كُن فَيَكُونُ فَسُبْحَانَ الَّذِي بِيَدِهِ مَلَكُوتُ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَإِلَيْهِ تُرْجَعُونَ
Surely His Command, if He wills a thing, is only to say to it, “Be!” and it is. So exalted is He in whose hand is the realm of all things, and to Him you will be returned. [36:82-83]
وَإِذَا قَضَىٰ أَمْرًا فَإِنَّمَا يَقُولُ لَهُ كُن فَيَكُونُ
and when He has decreed a Command, then surely it is only (that) He says to it, “Be!” so it is. [2:117]
It’s also like you’re asking me: Can God do something that goes against His own will?
Invalid question again, and yes, God can do whatever he wants, but God would never corrupt himself by doing something that goes against His own Omnipotence, Justice, Majesty, Glory and Wisdom.
Fourthly: Yes, by the will and the permission of God, God raised the heavens without pillars, but he did not do it in our human way where we as humans with our hands raise and lift things up. These verses are metaphors where God is describing his majesty and how beautifully he created the heavens and the earth with his might. God doesn’t need and God doesn’t have limbs to execute his will :
اللَّهُ الَّذِي رَفَعَ السَّمَاوَاتِ بِغَيْرِ عَمَدٍ تَرَوْنَهَا
God is He Who raised up the heavens without pillars you (can) see.. [13:2]
بَل رَّفَعَهُ اللَّهُ إِلَيْهِ ۚ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَزِيزًا حَكِيمًا
Rather, God raised him (Jesus) to Himself. And ever is God Exalted in Might and Wise. [4:158]
Remember that God is not the creatures nor the creations, and God does not need limbs to lift his objects in order to achieve his aim.
I would like to ask this question to the philosophers of scepticism:
Why would God have the will to order and command anything or something which goes against his own infinite Omnipotence, Justice, Majesty, Glory and Wisdom?
God has the capacity to do everything. God has the capacity to be an oppressor [God forbid], but why would God with his own will commit the acts of oppression and injustice which do not befit His Omnipotence, Justice, Majesty, Glory and Wisdom.
God can, but would never do anything or something that goes against His own Omnipotence, Justice, Majesty, Glory and Wisdom.
Fourthly : If God chose to limit himself by “creating a stone he can not lift”, then this in itself will cause God to be limited [God forbid] and God is unlimited in his power. So, why would God go against his own power when he is the “All-Powerful”? (It doesn’t make sense)
Fifthly : God is able to do all things :
God is (عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ):
وَهُوَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ
..and He is Able to do all things. [57:2]
And everything God does, he does in a way that befits His Omnipotence, Justice, Majesty, Glory and Wisdom.
Yes, God is able to do all things. Yes, God can become a human being and limit himself if he wants to. Yes, God can do all the restrictions that me and you can fantasize and dream about, but why would God do these things?
When God is the “All-Just” (العدل) and the “All-Powerful” (القادر), why would God then commit acts of injustice against himself and lock himself up in a situation of injustice, weakness and limitations/restrictions when God has promised the creatures and humanity that he will never perform an atom of injustice :
إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَظْلِمُ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ
Indeed, God does not do injustice, [even] as much as an atom’s weight.. [4:40]
So why would God be unjust to himself and his creatures?
The philosophers of scepticism are also more or less asking this question: “Can God be unjust to himself or to the creatures?”
Answer : God can and God is able to be unjust, but why would he be unjust and why would he limit himself when he is the “All-Just” and the “All-Powerful”?
A God must be unlimited in all aspects, whether it comes to Justice, Mercy, Love, Forgiveness etc and this is who God is, because God is God.
If God is almighty, can he make himself not almighty?
Answer : It is not a part of God’s omnipotence and mightiness if God would choose to limit himself.
Peace and Blessings be upon Prophet Muhammad (saw) and his Progeny (as)
| Amir Zabidi