Some circles put a question saying, Can God create an object greater than Himself. How are we supposed to respond to this question?
The question is a contradictory mind game and demagogy in its full sense. The expressions such as “Greater than God” and “Creation” have been offered together and a question, which has no result whatsoever, has been put forward. We recall so many things when it comes to the greatness of God. For example, one of them is “pre-eternity.” God (SWT) is pre-eternal; His existence has no beginning. Thus, the question becomes like this: Can God (SWT) create a creature, which preceded Him in existence?The question is a contradictory mind game and demagogy in its full sense. The expressions such as Greater than God and Creation have been offered together and a question, which has no result whatsoever, has been put forward. We recall so many things when it comes to the greatness of God. For example, one of them is pre-eternity. God (SWT) is pre-eternal; His existence has no beginning. Thus, the question becomes like this: Can God (SWT) create a creature, which preceded Him in existence?
One of the aspects of greatness is the infinite power. Accordingly, the question is supposed to suggest this: Can God (SWT) create a creature which has more power when compared to His infinite power? Since creatures existed at some time in the past, just as one cannot evaluate them within pre-eternity, so too it is impossible for such powers to be infinite since the powers of the creatures were created at some time in the past along with themselves. So the question is asked not to get a satisfactory answer but to make people confused and suspicious. Those who ask this question also do know that this question could have no answer at all.
It is possible to examine this question from several aspects.
First of all, there is a contradiction in the question. Those who ask this question expect God (SWT), who is the Creator and only, to create a partner whose existence is impossible. Then, deeming it likely that this creature will be greater than the One who created it; they exhibit a clear contradiction.
It is a clear truth that the one created and the one Creator by no means resembles each other. Just as someone would not resemble the works, he wrote and a master would not look like the works he made, so too God (SWT) would not look like His creatures by no manner of means.
Second, in this question, imagination and reality have been confused. Whereas through imagination it is possible to put the colossal sun into our pocket, this is not likely to happen in reality.
Thirdly, it is agreed that the creature, which is fancied to be created does not exist at the present time. God (SWT) is expected to create this imaginary creature, thus it is accepted that God (SWT) is the Creator and that imaginary object is a creature; just as the creation of that imaginary creature is expected from God (SWT), so too are its greatness, power, and grandiosity.
Although one can infer from the previous proofs that have been mentioned that God (SWT) is infinitely Great, the only Creator, Pre-Eternal and Post-Eternal All-Powerful One, and that imaginary creature is in need of being created, impotent, and helpless; it is asked if that imaginary creature would be greater than God Himself.
The comparison, which is wanted to be made, has been based on contradictory judgments. Therefore, this question has no quality of being a claim. For example, the question, Can a number bigger than infinite be written? is similarly based upon such a supposition. Hence, it has no scientific value. For there is no number bigger than infinite so that it might be asked. If infinity is a symbol of greatness, then no number could be compared with infinity. If a number bigger than infinite should be contemplated, then the reality of infinity would disappear. There would appear a contradiction and impossibility of a numbers, which has an end, being bigger than infinite. Since this question is also among the contradictory comparisons, it has no logical and scientific value.
In this question, there is an impossible demand, which follows that an author should add more information in a book than he could, the sun should give its light to a drop of water more than it has got. The question, Can God creates an object greater than Himself? would suggest these questions: Can God give more perfection to a creature more than He has got?, and, Can the thing He created be more perfect while He is less of it? Religious scholars speak of three levels of existence: Wajib (Necessarily existent ones), mumkin (ones whose probability to exist or not is the same), mumtani (ones whose existence are impossible).
For instance, let us consider a sculpture and its maker. When we consider the sculpture, the existence of a sculptor is necessary. Namely, no sculpture could come into existence without a sculpture (just as a needle without a master, and a letter without a scribe). Before this sculptor was made, it is possible for the sculptor to do it or not to. In other words, it is up to him to do it or not to. When compared to the sculptor, the sculpture is impossible to be made more perfect, more powerful, or more knowledgeable.
If we consider the levels of existence by taking the question above into consideration, the existence of God (SWT) is necessarily existent one, the existence of those which were created and yet-to-be created is possible to exist, and His having a partner and a match is impossible. Those who ask this question expect this imaginary creature to be necessarily existent one, even at a level of existence further than this, while this creature is inevitably doomed to be mumkin.
Those who ask this question also misinterpret the concept of greatness. The greatness of God (SWT) is not such of a kind, which shows itself when compared to His creatures. Just as the Person of God, Whose all names and actions are infinite, so too His greatness does not resemble the greatness of His creature; and would not be measured, described nor known through contemplation. The greatness of the creatures is considered in accordance with each other whereas the greatness of God (SWT) is infinite and unfailing.