Are there any Quranic verse or Hadith that says Allah can create things out of nothing?

If you site this verse:

Originator of the heavens and the earth. When He decrees a matter, He only says to it, "Be," and it is. (2:117)

Please explain how it conveys creation from nothingness? May be it is obvious from the verse and I am unable to understand it!

3 Answers 3


Creation According to Theory of Emanationism

The verse in question doesn't suggest anything in regards with creation from nothingness. In fact, creation from absolute nothingness is a logical impossibility, unless we believe that God creates things from His own existence.

This view is elaborated in the theory of Emanationism. The theory holds that there exists various levels of creation. Each level of creation is derived from a higher degree level which is more intense, more perfect and purer than the lower. The highest level of existence is God who is the most intense, the most perfect and the most pure from whom all lower-degree levels emanate. In each level of emanation the higher levels are present but are less manifest. Thus God is omnipresent in all levels yet He is less and less manifest as levels descend. This theory explains creation without assuming creation from nothingness which is a logical impossibility. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emanationism for historical origins and more.

Quranic Evidence for the Theory [Post-Scripted]

While I believe reason alone is sufficient to establish the theory, yet an insightful revision of many Quranic concepts and doctrines have strong Emanationist implications. For example the very concept of "tanzeel" or "descent" can be reasonably interpreted as pointing to the process of emanation. This is particularly evident in the verse:

There is not a thing but with Us are its stores, and We send it down only in precise measure. (15:21)

This verse is remarkable because it suggests that everything in the material world (which is deemed as the lowest level in the emanationist existential hierarchy) exists in Allah's "stores" (higher levels of existence) in a more perfect form and that which exists here is a descended form of that which is higher.

I actually believe Emanationism can effectively and consistently explain and substantiate various theological doctrines -- such as Divine excellence, omnipresence, omniscience and creation hierarchy -- that are common to world major religions.

  • What are your evidences from the Qur'an and Hadith?
    – Seeker
    May 25, 2014 at 9:33
  • 1
    @Seeker, please notice my added post-script.
    – infatuated
    May 25, 2014 at 17:17

It's hard to me to answer this in English but i'll try my best.

First we have to answer one thing. Does ALLAH need anything to survive or to be a God?!!!

Of course NO. Then we have to say that ALLAH doesn't in need for anybody and anything. This will be the rule that will guide us.

Now When ALLAH want to make a thing He just says Be and it will be, otherwise if he needs another matter to be then He is going to be in need for other things or other one and this is contradictory with our rule and since ALLAH is in no need for others then He just say to Be and it will be.

Another consequence, if everything needs a predecessor or raw materials or whatever you want to name it, this is also recursively needs other raw materials and recursively you are going to at least one initial raw material. Then how this is found?!!! and since we already know and see things in our life then we know that this initial has been found from nothing... and that's the point ALLAH can create things from nothing and If He did it once then He is able to did it always as logic says.

  • 2
    The solutions is very simple: God created universe neither from something else nor from nothingness but from His own existence. The former two theories are both absurd and impossible.
    – infatuated
    Mar 25, 2014 at 9:31

Just an addition:

In the verse that you quoted, the word "بديع (Badi'u)" is used. The word is translated as "Originator".

In the verse, the word "بديع" is used. That is translated as originator

The word also means "To create existence from non-existence". See Lane's Lexicon.

The meaning of the word "بديع" in Lane's lexicon

I think that's why the verse is used as an evidence to show that Allah created the Universe from nothing.

And Allah knows best.

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