The Quranic expressions like ‘the
Best of the Creators’, ‘the Most Merciful of
the Merciful’ suggest the existence of other
creators and merciful ones
Being a book
which throughout emphasizes the Divine Unity most
strongly, the Qur’an cannot have used those phrases in
the meaning you imagine. Rather, ‘the Best of the
creators’ means the Creator is of the highest rank of
creativity’. This does not by any means suggest the
existence of other creators. Like other Attributes,
creativity has also ranks of manifestation. Therefore,
‘the Best of the Creators’ means He is a Majestic
Creator Who is of the ultimate rank of creativity.
‘the Best of the Creators’ are not to suggest
that there is a plurality of creators; rather they
relate to the species of beings and are used to mean
that He is a Creator Who creates everything in the best
and most apt fashion. Verses like He creates
everything in the best form (32:7), are of the same
‘the Best of the Creators’, ‘God is the
Greatest’, ‘the Best of the Judges’,
and ‘the Best of the Benevolent’, are not
meant to compare those acts and Attributes of God which
are manifested in the universe, with those acts and
attributes of the creatures who manifest only their
shadowy reflections. For whatever beings have is a gift
of God lent to them. We see because God is the
All-Seeing, and we hear because He is the All-Hearing.
All the perfections in the universe shared by all men,
angels and jinn are only an indistinct shadow in
relation to His, which is beyond compare.
However, people, especially the
misguided ones, are unable to measure God with due
measure and are usually forgetful of Him. For example, a
private is respectful to his corporal; in oblivion of
the king he thanks him for what he enjoys because he
takes it from his hand. A private such as that should be
warned: ‘Look, the king is greater than your corporal.
So it is the king whom you must thank’. Such a warning
is not to compare the actual, magnificent command of the
king with that of the corporal, for such a comparison is
meaningless. Although there is a comparison in the
warning, it is for the sake of the private who prefers
his corporal in gratitude and forgets the king.
Similarly, the means, nature and
causes make heedless people blind to the True Bestower
of Bounties. They attribute to nature and to causes
creativity, and tend to consider them as the actual
sources of the bounties which they receive passively.
This is one of the most important reasons leading to
associating partners with God. This is why the Quran
warns them: ‘Almighty God is much greater, and a far
better Creator and Benefactor. Regard Him and thank Him.’
between actually existent things, comparisons may be
made between possible, and even between imagined things.
People may imagine infinite grades in the essence of the
Divine Names and Attributes. Almighty God is, however,
of the highest, most perfect and most beautiful of all
the grades which His Names and Attributes are imagined
to have. The whole of the universe bears witness to
this. His description of all His Names as the best or
most beautiful as in the verse, His are the Most
Beautiful Names (20:8), points to this fact.
of apparent comparison such as those mentioned should
also be considered from the following viewpoint.
Almighty God has two kinds of Attributes
and ways of manifestations.
is that, in the form of an all-encompassing law, He
manifests all of His Names throughout the universe
from behind apparent means and causes.
is that He concentrates His manifestations on a single
being without any means or veils. His kindness,
creation and grandeur manifested in this second way
are brighter, more beautiful and more splendid than
their manifestations in the first way.
Suppose there is a saintly king who
is able to execute his authority directly without the
actual mediation of officials, commanders and
governors. That king will execute his authority in two
ways. Either he will exercise his rule through some
general laws he has established and by employing
officials and governors in every office, or he will
govern the country directly by being present
everywhere at the same time in different forms without
the means of any officials. It may be said that this
second way of his rule will be better and more
Similarly, although the Creator of
the universe, Who is the Eternal King, has made means
and causes veils to His rule and chosen this way to
demonstrate the majesty of His Lordship in this life,
He has installed a ‘private telephone’ in the
hearts of His servants so that leaving all the means
and causes behind, they could contact Him each as a
private servant and declare: ‘You alone do we
worship and from You alone do we seek help.’ Phrases
like ‘the Best of the Creators’, ‘the Most
Merciful of the Merciful’, and ‘God is the
Greatest’, are also meant to underline this fact.