Existence of Allah 8

here is a short translated excerpt of Imam al-Ghazali’s own writings about this topic in his famous Ihya’ al-`Ulum al-Din:
First Proof (Existence of Allah):

“It is a natural impulse that the intellect dictates that no thing which has a beginning in time could be free of a preceding external cause to have brought it into existence. And the universe has a beginning
in time and thus must necessarily need an external cause to have brought it into existence.

As for our statement that something which had a start in time must necessarily have a preceding external cause, it is obvious [that it is true]. This is because every thing that starts in time has a specific
time [in which it becomes existent]. And rationally speaking, it is possible for it to have come into existence before the specific time it came into existence or after this specific time. Thus, its occurrence
being singled out for that specific time rather than a time before it or after it necessarily points to Someone that chose [this time of occurrence for it].

As for our statement that the universe had a beginning in time, its proof is that the physical bodies of the universe must either be in motion or stillness. And these two things [i.e. motion and stillness]
are created in time. And that [essence] which cannot be without [attributes] which begin in time must also have a beginning in time. But, in this above proof, we are making three claims:

The first claim is that physical essences must either be in motion or in stillness. And this is known [to humans] by second nature and necessarily. This fact does not require multi-step thinking and
thought. So, whoever can imagine a physical body which is not moving or standing still [at the same time] is riding in ignorance and away from the way of the intellect.

The second claim is that [the attributes of] motion and stillness have  beginnings in time. The proof for this is that one of these attributes follows the other in time – one at a time. And this can be seen in all
physical essences, the ones we can see and the ones we cannot see.

So there is not a physical object in stillness except that the intellect accepts that it can be in motion instead. And there is not a physical  object in motion except that the intellect accepts that it can stand still.
Thus, the attribute that came into existence [replacing the other one] has a beginning in time for the fact that we saw it come  into existence. And the previous replaced attribute has a beginning
in time because its going out of existence has been seen. This is because if the previous attribute never began in time, it could never end in time as we will explain later when giving the proof for the
endlessness of the Creator High and Holy be He.

The third claim is that if an essence is described by attributes that have beginnings in time, that essence must also have a beginning in time. The proof for this is that if this were not true, every  occurrence [of motion or stillness] would have an occurrence before it [which replaced it] without having any first ultimate  primary state. If that were true, than the number of occurrences up to our present time would be infinite… And also the number
of rotations/revolutions that a celestial body has completed [up to our time] has to be either odd or even. This is because, [if  the number of occurrences were infinite], they would be either both odd and even or neither odd nor even; but these are two mutually exclusive concepts [i.e. oddness and evenness] one of  which must [always] be true [for any number]. … And the upshot of this is since the universe is described by attributes
that begin in time, it must also begin in time. Now if we know  that it had a beginning in time, then it is necessarily known that  it must have had a Creator to have brought it into existence.”

Imam al-Ghazali continues:

Second Proof: (Allah’s beginninglessness)

“The second fundamental principle is that Allah Most High never had a beginning in time. He existed in pre-eternity without His existence ever having a start. Rather, He is the first of everything else and before every dead and living being.The proof for this is that if He had a beginning in time, He would also need someone to bring Him into existence. And His creator would also need someone to bring him into existence.

 

And this would lead to an infinite regress. And all infinite regresses never come up with anything. Or if we say that this regress ended  at an ultimate Creator, He then must have been the First One  [we were looking for]. And this First One is Whom we were seeking and we could call Him the Creator of the universe…

References:
[IU: volume 1: page(s) 183-184: line(s) 5-23, 1-10: {ihya’, qawa`id al-`aqa’id, section 3, beginning of
explanation of ten fundamental principles of belief in Allah}]

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