Question: Is it appropriate to use the word “creator” for people with its figurative meaning or to use the word “create” in the sense of “making something”?
Creativeness belongs to Allah alone. It is wrong to call a person creator, even if it is used with its figurative meaning. Some people say, “Edison created the electric bulb.” However, Edison, who was the first person to develop phonographs, megaphones and electric bulbs, did not create them, but caused them to be made. It is Allahu ta’âlâ who created these. As a matter of fact, it is declared in a hadîth-i sharîf:
(Allah is the Creator of every artist and his works.) (Bukhârî)
That means to say that it is Allahu ta’âlâ who created both Edison and the electric bulb. Edison, let alone creating these, did not even know anything concerning the functioning of his hands, eyes, feet and other senses; of his various cells, of his heart, lungs, kidneys and any other organs; of the construction of the various substances and tools which he used; or of the forces of atoms and protons in them, as he intermediated in the creation of new tools by gathering the existing substances together. Can such a person be said to be creative? The Creator is the One who knows the smallest and the subtlest aspects of these things and who makes all of them, and He is only Allahu ta’âlâ. (Endless Bliss)
There is no creator besides Allahu ta’âlâ. He is the Creator of the entire existence. He makes substances move. He changes their places. He takes them from one time to another. He converts them from one state into another. He creates things the minds of humankind marvel at. From a drop of semen and infinitesimally small spermatozoa He creates a mature human. From a great Prophet such as Nűh (Noah) “alaihis-salâm” He creates a disobedient, atheistic, and asinine son. From a stone-hearted and narrow-minded unbeliever like Abű Jahl He creates a faithful child, the Believer Ikrima. He creates a nuclear energy powerful enough to blow up a mountain, in the depth of the nucleus of an atom, which cannot be seen even with a microscope. He creates sugar in the beet; the power of assimilation termed photosynthesis in the leaves; honey in the bee; a living animal from the lifeless egg; fragrance from the flower; leaves, flowers, and fruits from a dry tree; animals, flowers, and trees in water; and soft water in hot water.
He creates chemical reactions and many physical and chemical properties. He converts the soil into plants, and plants into animals. He decomposes human beings and animals and converts them into earthen substances, liquids, and gasses. He creates the opposite of everything, reversible reactions, and even from them, other reversals. He creates everything in a perfectly calculated order in this factory of the universe. Day by day, it is being realized better under the lights of science that all the apparently destructive and ruinous changes are in actual fact created with very well calculated and utterly harmonious relations and in an amazingly perfect order.
Allahu ta’âlâ does not have a partner in anything He does. He alone is the Creator of every existing being. The Qur’ân al-karîm purport:
(Creating belongs to Allah.) [Sűrat-ul-A’râf, 54]
(The Creator is Your Rabb alone.) [Sűrat-ul-Hijr, 86]
(The Creator of all things is Allah.) [Sűrat-uz-Zumar, 62]
(It is Allah who creates you and what you do.) [Sűrat-us-Saffât, 96]
While Allah states that He is the only Creator and He has no partner, one cannot call a person creator.
The Creator is Allah
As human beings are creatures, so all their deeds and actions are Allahu ta’âlâ’s creatures because nobody besides Him can make or create anything. How can a creature create another, while it itself has been created? The stamp of createdness denotes little power and signifies insufficient knowledge. A person who has little knowledge and power cannot create or invent. In humans’ actions, what falls to their lots is the result of their acquiring. That is, actions have been produced through their powers and wills. It is Allahu ta’âlâ who has created their actions. It is humans who have acquired them.
The optional actions of humans, those which they do willingly, happen from their acquiring and Allah’s creating. If their acquiring or option [that is, their liking] does not take part in their actions, their actions turn into convulsions. It becomes like the movement of the heart. However, it is obvious that optional actions are not like them. The difference between optional actions and convulsions, though they are both created by Allahu ta’âlâ, is in the acquiring.
Pitying His born servants, Allahu ta’âlâ made the creation of their actions dependent upon their intention and wish. He creates their actions when they want. It is for this reason that humans are responsible. The blessing or the sin of the action is given to them. The intention, the option, which Allahu ta’âlâ has given to His born servants, is equal in doing or not doing the action. He has given His born servants as much power [energy] and option as to carry out His commands and prohibitions. He declared to His born servants which actions are good or bad to do or not to do. Humans, being free to do or not to do each of their actions, will for certain choose one of them; the action will be either good or bad, and they will receive either a blessing or a sin.
Islamic scholars state:
Allahu ta’âlâ has endowed His born slaves with a particle from each of His Attributes such as life, knowledge, hearing, seeing, will, and power. Yet three of His Attributes are peculiar to Him alone. He has not given any share from these three Attributes of His to any of His creatures. These three Attributes are Kibriyâ, being Ghanî, and Creating. Kibriyâ means greatness, superiority. Being Ghanî means not to need others and to be needed by all others. (Documents of the Right Word)
Allahu ta’âlâ’s law is such that He creates everything through causes. But causes and means do not have any effect on His creating. He is the Possessor without an intermediary. There is no creator besides Him. He created all beings from nothing. It is Allah alone who creates the actions of humans and animals, their thoughts, their illnesses, their healing, their good and evil, their benefits and harms. Humans cannot create their own actions, thoughts, or anything. Only Allah creates people’s thoughts, actions, discoveries, and findings. To call anyone other than He a creator is an ignorant, null and void statement. (Farâid-ul-fawâid)
The word create
Question: Is it permissible to use the English word create, which means making existent from nothing, for people?
Creating means making existent from nothing. In Turkish you must not use this word [that is, its Turkish equivalent yaratmak] for people, even if you intend its other meanings. Its equivalents in other languages, e.g., create in English, are also used in the senses of forming, producing, or making. Therefore, in English it is permissible out of necessity to use it with these meanings. For example, you can click create a file option to form a file on computer. When you are writing a program, if it does not work when you do not type create, it is not an inconvenience to write create. It can be used in such situations.
If the word creative appears in a brand name or in the name of a company, of a program or of such like things, it is permissible to say it as well. But you must not use it for people in the sense of making something existent from nothing.
Bringing something into being
Question: Is it permissible to use the expression bring something into being for people?
It is not permissible to use it for people in the sense of making something existent from nonexistence or creating. It is used for Allahu ta’âlâ alone. The purport of a hadîth-i sharîf is as follows:
(Allahu ta’âlâ created people. He brought me into being from the best group of people.) [Tirmudhî]
However, it can be used in the senses of developing, making, or forming. For instance, it is permissible to say, “Hadrat Imâm-i Bukhârî brought his book entitled Bukhâri-i sharîf into being in the 16th century.”