What would the best answers in a discussion to this question? Is it even a Valid question?
In the name of Allah, the entirely Merciful , the Especially merciful :
But they have taken besides Him gods which create nothing, while they are created, and possess not for themselves any harm or benefit and possess not [power to cause] death or life or resurrection.[Al-Furqaan-25:3]
From the above verse, it can be interpreted that Allah is distinguished from the attributed Gods of pagans like fire, Sun, Stars etc which are themselves created. Hence, Allah is un-created.
"Nothing" in a strict sense means nothing , which also denies existence of Allah and is incompatible with Islam. What Allah says is that he made us from nothing—which means that we were earlier nothing and he created us, while him being ever-eternal.
Does Man not remember that we created him before, while he was nothing ? [Maryam 19:67]
Hence, in a strict sense, there wasn't "nothing" ever, because there was always Allah.
The question itself is the problem. Because it ends up in an infinite regress where there are an endless number of creators and you get nowhere.
There are only two ways to look at the existence of the universe in the context of eternity:
- There is a God who has always been there.
- There is a multiverse that has always been there.
Regardless if an atheist (I assume they bring up this discussion) believes in God, they still acknowledge that the multiverse is eternal (most atheists believe in something of this sort IMO). So then they can't bring any objection on God being eternal since they already believe in eternity. Islam teaches the logical route there is a Living God who is eternal and the fountainhead of all existence.
This is on the basis that most atheists believe in some sort of multiverse theory that there is an infinite cycle of universes. Any atheist who believes that this universe is the only (or first?) universe and that nothing existed before the Big Bang has no merit since they have literally no reason why the universe would therefore have existed in the first place. And if there was an infinite amount of time before the Big Bang then the universe should never exist anyway. Anyway these types of discussion hurt the brain and lead nowhere.
Only God is entirely unique:
"...There is nothing whatever like unto Him; and He is the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing." (42:11)
"‘And there is none like unto Him.’" 112:4
Since there is nothing like God, naturally we would have a hard time understanding His eternal nature if we ponder too much. But regardless, we still have to acknowledge that something is eternal – either the multiverse, or God. And we believe only God is truly eternal.