Eternity Has Already Begun
In the section related to timelessness, we mentioned that all our information is in the memory. All the details pertaining to one's life, everything one sees, hears, knows or feels are bits of memorized information. So are our sensations about time. Now, we will deal with the concept of memory more fully.
The Limited Memory of Man and the Endless Memory of Allah
As mentioned in the preceding pages, we rely on our five senses to live. We perceive only what our senses allow and we can never succeed in stepping out of the boundaries of our senses. The time and space we live in is similarly perceived. If our brain cannot detect a being through our five senses, we simply say that that being has "disappeared." Accordingly, for us, events, images or sensations, which are stored in our memory, exist, i.e., they are alive, while those that are forgotten no longer exist. To put it another way, beings and events, which are not in our memory, become past events for us; they are simply dead and non-existent.
Yet, this holds true only for human beings; that is because it is only human beings who have a limited memory. The memory of Allah, on the other hand, is superior to everything. It is boundless and eternal. Yet one point deserves mention here: the concept "the memory of Allah" is used only for clarification purposes. It is definitely unlikely that any comparison or similarity could be drawn between the memory of Allah and the memory of a man. Allah is surely the One Who creates everything from nothingness and Who knows everything down to the last detail.
Allah introduces Himself in His book through His attributes. One of them is al- Hafiz (The Preserver), "He Who preserves all things in detail". Behind this attribute, there are very important hidden mysteries.
"The Source Book"
In the Sight of Allah, everything has taken place and finished in a moment. Since the beginning of time, everything has taken place at this single moment. In the Sight of Allah, all information pertaining to this moment is kept in a "Book." This "Main Book", or as the Qur'an calls it, "The Mother of the Book", holds every bit of information about everything:
It is in the Source Book with Us, high-exalted, full of wisdom. (Surat az-Zukhruf: 4)
The Master Copy of the Book is in His Hands. (Surat ar-Ra'd: 39)
We possess an all-preserving Book. (Surah Qaf: 4)
Certainly there is no hidden thing in either heaven or earth which is not in a Clear Book. (Surat An-Naml: 75)
The Book will be set in place and you will see the evildoers fearful of what is in it. They will say, 'Alas for us! What is this Book which does not pass over any action, small or great, without recording it?' They will find there everything they did and your Lord will not wrong anyone at all. (Surat al-Kahf: 49)
In other verses, too, Allah declares that all the events one experiences, all the thoughts one considers, and everything that befalls one are included in this Book:
Nothing occurs, either in the earth or in yourselves,without its being in a Book before We make it happen.That is something easy for Allah. (Surat al-Hadid: 22)
Allah has created everything, living or non-living, which has existed since the beginning of the universe and all events, which have happened. Consequently, Allah is cognizant of them all. To put it in another way, "They all exist in the memory of Allah." In this sense, the Mother of the Book is a manifestation of Allah's attribute, the al-Hafiz.
Every moment pertaining to the collapse of these buildings is kept in the Sight of Allah.
At this point, we come upon a striking fact: because the memory of Allah is infinite, nothing existent in Him becomes lost. In other words, no living being created by Allah vanishes, no flower fades, no drink finishes, no period comes to an end, and no food is consumed. Every moment Allah creates and every exact detail of everything are created in eternity and it is "destined to eternity."
What then does this phrase "destined to eternity" mean?
Let us put this explanation in the following way: eternity has begun for a being or an event by the time it is created. For instance, when a flower is created, it is, in reality, destined not to disappear. That this being ceases to become a part of one's sensations and is erased from one's memory does not actually mean that it has vanished or died. Its state in the Sight of Allah is what actually matters. Furthermore, all states of this being, be it its Creation, all moments throughout its life or death, do exist in the memory of Allah.
Upon all that is created, Allah bestows eternity. In other words, existing things have attained eternity by the time they are created. To have a thorough grasp of this notion, however, one needs to reflect on all beings and events individually. But, before proceeding with this subject, it would be useful to stress the following fact: what has been stated so far, together with the following, is no doubt the most important information one can ever acquire in one's lifetime. Most probably, many people are hearing and reflecting on these facts about timelessness for the first time in their lives. However, here is something important to keep in mind: Allah, in the Qur'an, draws our attention to the fact that "only those who sincerely turn to Allah" take heed. In other words, only those who truly seek the guidance of our Lord and endeavor to appreciate His infinite might and His greatness will heed these explanations and have a grasp of these facts.
People in Eternity
Allah, the al-Khalig (the Creator), is the One Who creates everything from nothing and Who creates all things with the knowledge of what will happen to them. As a manifestation of this attribute of Allah, by the time He creates man in his mother's womb, eternity has begun for him. Surely, man does not recall the stages of his own development in the womb. However, every moment of this progress is present in the Sight of Allah and they quite definitely never disappear. Similarly, it is unlikely that those initial phases and developmental stages of a human being remain in his memory. Unless informed by Allah, man never manages to see these moments. Some moments, however, remain only as memories. The moments we experience are purely sensations presented to our soul. Yet, in the infinite memory of Allah, everything remains as it is. Allah created everything people encounter in life, all details pertaining to one's experiences, and they never disappear. As stated in the following verse, everything down to its last detail remains in the Sight of Allah.
".... That is so you will know that Allah knows what is in the heavens and in the earth and that Allah has knowledge of all things." (Surat al-Ma'ida: 97)
For example; all the details pertaining to the Prophet Adam's (pbuh) Creation in Paradise before he was sent to earth, and the way he was tested in Paradise are all present in the Main Book. Adam's initial Creation from clay, the angels' prostration to him, as well as the moment he was sent to earth and all the events he experienced are all vivid and existing right now. None of them has disappeared, they all exist right now in the Sight of Allah, right down to their finest details.
As another example, let's think of someone who is sorry for the death of his cat. In fact, the moment the cat died and the period that that same cat was still a kitten, in fact, its entire development from the moment of its birth are kept vivid in the memory of Allah. Besides, the moments the owner of this cat when he was at work or all the moments he did not spend with the cat are vividly stored in the Sight of Allah. Consequently, death does not put an end to the existence of a being. For all eternity, everything exists in the Sight of Allah.
Likewise, the moment the Prophet Solomon (pbuh) caressed the legs of his horse remains forever. The disappearance of these horses behind a curtain, the letter the Prophet Solomon (pbuh) sent to the Queen of Saba, the moment this letter is read by the Queen and her soldiers, how the Queen is welcomed to the palace of Solomon, the moment she thought the ground of the palace to be a lake and the words of the Queen, as mentioned in the Qur'an: "I have submitted with Solomon to the Lord of all the worlds." (Surat an-Naml: 44) currently exist and will continue to exist for all eternity.
These examples deserve a deeper and more detailed reflection. Assume that in the time of the Prophet Noah (pbuh), a man's shirt became unraveled and that after sometime a tailor sewed it up. This shirt, the loom on which it was initially woven, the state of the shirt before it became unraveled and the state in which it was sewed, and even every second the tailor spent on using the needle to sew this shirt, the process by which this shirt became utterly unusable, in brief, every stage, every second, every moment the shirt went through are retained in the Sight of Allah. Right at this moment, this shirt is being woven, it is still sewn and it is still worn by its owner who lived in the time of the Prophet Noah (pbuh).
Let's also think about the antique clock in your home. All the stages of manufacturing which took place 200 years ago along with the manufacturing stages of a single wire in the clock, the moment its hour and minute hand were placed in it, the time this clock was sold to a shop and a customer purchased it, then the moment the clock went out of order and was given to a rag-and-bone man, the moment your grand-grandfather purchased it from him and the time this clock was inherited first by your grand father and then your father, and then you, the way you placed the clock in your living room and watched it with admiration, briefly, every second in the history of the clock still remain in the Sight of Allah. In absolute terms, this clock is working right at this moment, it has stopped again right now, it is being placed by you in your living room and it is purchased by your grandfather at this moment. All these happenings are present in the memory of Allah. Furthermore, not only what the clock went through in the past but also its every future-related moment — surely this is the "future" for you — is known by Allah and is preserved in His Sight. The way this clock will be placed in your son's home in forty years' time and the collapse of the clock in three hundred years' time is also included in the Mother of the Book.
In the verse "He knows what is in front of them and what is behind them. But their knowledge does not encompass Him." (Surah Ta Ha: 110) it is referred to this knowledge of Allah. (Surely Allah knows the truth). That is because Allah knows every being moment by moment. He knows their previous states as well as their latter states, that is, in the words of the Qur'an, "what is in front of them and what is behind them", at all stages. In another verse, Allah once again reminds us of the fact that everything is within His Knowledge;
Allah—Him from Whom nothing is hidden, either on earth or in heaven. (Surah Al 'Imran: 5)
All Events Are Happening Right At This Moment!
An example will lead us to a better understanding of the fact that, in the Sight of Allah, every incident takes place in a single moment. Assume that you have the picture of a big city spread in front of you. Streets, vehicles, buildings lined up side by side and people are clearly seen in this picture. Let's also imagine that there is a man trying to reach the other end of this city. From the point of view of this man, there is a certain distance to be crossed from one end of this city to another in a definite time. It surely takes some time for this man to reach his destination. It is unlikely that he can be present at two distinct places at the same time. Yet, this is not the case for a person like you who looks at this picture from the outside. At a first glance, you can see all the details of the city in a single moment. Moreover, you do not even need a specific time in which to do this.
This state outlined in the above example also holds true for people like us confined to a specific dimension. For us, reaching a destination becomes possible only with the passage of time and by expending some energy. However, for Allah, the Creator of all dimensions, and above all, Who is beyond all deficiencies, it takes only a single moment for all events to occur.
For someone who crosses the street from one side to the other, there is a certain distance to be crossed. A person, however, who looks at this street from a bird's eye view, feels no difficulty in seeing every point in this street from one end to another.
The second important fact is the simultaneity of these events. As stated earlier, in the Sight of Allah, it is not possible to talk about the notion of time; everything takes place and ends in a single instant.
The Prophet Adam (pbuh) is created from clay right at this moment, angels are prostrating themselves before the Prophet Adam (pbuh) right now. Likewise, he is now being sent to earth. Furthermore, the "moment" we are talking about is the "moment" you are reading these lines.
Another example will further clarify this explanation. Let's think about the Prophet Moses (pbuh). The moment his mother decided to place the baby Moses in a box and set him adrift on the water is still present; that moment never disappeared and will continue to exist forever. The moment the Prophet Moses (pbuh) went to Pharaoh (Fir'awn) and conveyed the message of Allah to him still exists. In reality, just at this moment, the Prophet Moses (pbuh) is inviting Pharaoh to accept the religion of truth. It is a fact that this is also the moment the Prophet Moses (pbuh) is receiving the revelations of Allah in the sacred valley of Tuwa. It is also this instant the Prophet Moses (pbuh) is running away from Pharaoh with his people, and at this moment the Red sea opens a way for the Prophet Moses (pbuh) and his people to walk across. For all eternity, this moment when the sea opens will remain and exist in Allah's memory.
The moment Maryam became pregnant, the moment she gave birth to Prophet Jesus (pbuh) under a date palm, the moment she returned to her people, the moment the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) talked to them while he was still in his cradle, as well as the moment he asked the question "Who will be my helpers to Allah?" to his disciples, and was resurrected by Allah, are all happening right at this moment. Indeed, not only the past events we are familiar with, but also the ones of which we have no idea because they will happen in the future are, in reality, happening just at this moment. Every second the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) spent in this world, his communication of the message of Allah to his disciples, his return to the earth, every speech he delivered to call people to the path of Allah, his death and his resurrection on the Day of Judgment as well as the moments he will be greeted by angels in his entrance to Heaven are actually happening at this moment.
The same also holds true for someone who lived 3,000 years ago. A man who sat under a tree at noontime in 3000 BC, reflecting on a ladybird perched on his finger and who therefore glorified the Creation of Allah, is actually performing these actions right at this moment. Moreover, the moment the ladybird returned to its nest, as well as all the phases the ladybird went through, from the moment it was in its egg to its death, are all kept in the memory of Allah. Consequently, all these happen in a single moment, at the very moment you are reading this passage.
Moment by moment, every picture above shows an image of the vehicle crossing the bridge. A person traveling by this vehicle supposes that a particular period of time is spent in crossing the bridge. However, we can see all of these pictures at a single moment.
All these examples indicate, once again, an important fact: None of the moments, none of the events, none of the living beings which existed in the past ceased to exist and they will never disappear. A film we watch on television is recorded on a filmstrip and the moving pictures composing the film are not lost, whether we watch them or not. The same thing also holds true for each and everything which has to do with life relating to the past or future.
It is essential that this point should be well grasped. None of these occurrences are similar to a memory, reminiscence or an image. They are all vivid, everything being preserved as it is, and are just like the moment we experience right now. We perceive them as incidents of the past simply because Allah does not present these perceptions to us. However, whenever He wills, Allah may display these images to us, making us believe that we truly experience them.
Past, Present and Future; They are All the Same
As has already been clarified, in the Sight of Allah, all events, which have occurred on earth so far, take place at a single moment. What the Prophets Moses, Abraham, Noah, Solomon, and Muhammad, together with all the other prophets (peace be upon them all), went through is experienced in the time we actually live in. Likewise, the experiences of our grandsons, of their grandsons, as well as of all the people who will live until the Day of Judgment take place at one and the same moment. Among these people those who believe are now in heaven, while the disbelievers are in Hell, suffering agonies.
What our Prophet went through, too, will remain in the Sight of Allah forever. These events are presented to our sensations as if they happened 1400 years ago. However, the truth is, right at this moment, our Prophet Muhammad is ascending to heaven, right now, he is taking refuge in the cave with his friend. Again, this is the moment our Prophet is communicating the message of Allah to disbelievers. Actually these are not events, which occurred in the past. On the contrary, they are incidents doomed to exist for all eternity. The reason why we do not see, witness or experience these events is simply because they are not present in our memory.
The same thing holds true for all the events that took place and the people who appeared on earth throughout history. Philosophers in ancient Greece, those Sumerian people who invented cuneiform writing, Cleopatra, the Egyptian Queen, artists of the renaissance period, scientists of the 19th century, dictators of the 20th century and all other people, even your grandfather, his grandgrandfather and you are, in reality, living at the same moment.
None of these events disappear; they continue to exist without changing. The Crusades, the great migration, World Wars I and II, though seemingly distinct historical events, are actually events happening right at this moment and they will continue to do so for all eternity. Likewise, Egyptian, ancient Mexican, Greek and Anatolian civilizations all existed at the same moment.
The rain, which watered the field of a man who earned his living as a farmer in 1000 BC in Mesopotamia, and the very moment this farmer got wet in this rain are also present in the Sight of Allah. A spider which wove a net in the branches of a willow in the Akkadian period is, likewise, weaving this net just now. The same spider, in a corner of this net, is also waiting for its prey right at this moment. Furthermore, the very same moment you try to visualize this spider in your mind, it is laying its eggs, collecting them on its back, and also taking care of them. Also, at this very moment, the eggs are cracking and its many offspring are hatching.
All construction stages of these buildings as well as their current state are in the Sight of Allah. Every deed engaged in by the former dwellers of these buildings is kept "right now" in the Sight of Allah.
Nothing is left out or forgotten; Allah created everything with the various reasons. So, nothing disappears, vanishes or is wasted. That people do not see, know or experience these various occurrences does not mean that they are not happening right now. As Allah is unbounded by time, everything has already taken place and finished in His Sight. However, being bound by time, the experiences of an individual appear to be arranged in a series of events the order of which is apparently based on the criterion of the past, the present and the future. However, as also mentioned earlier, "events not yet experienced" are not "yet experienced" for us. Past, future and present are all the same to Allah. That is why Allah knows everything. This fact is also stated in the following verse:
"My son!" (said Luqman), "Even if something weighs as little as a mustard-seed and is inside a rock or anywhere else in the heavens or earth, Allah will bring it out. Allah is All-Pervading, All-Aware." (Surah Luqman: 16)
Your Life is Also a Single Moment
To comprehend this fact, there is no reason to ponder merely upon events or wander in the realms of history. One's life, which he assumes to be long, too, is nothing but a moment. That first moment you were born, and the moment your mother embraced you for the first time still exist. That single square or that event will continue to exist for all eternity because it is stored in the memory of Allah. Yet, as stated earlier, because all the information that you have about the world is conveyed to you by your five senses, and because you have such a dependency on your senses and no information pertaining to this image is kept in your memory, you do not see such a scene. This is true of everything you experience in life. The day you enrolled in primary school, one of the birthdays you celebrated, an event you experienced, the day you graduated from high school, your wedding day and similar other "turning points" in your life are each, in the Sight of Allah, merely a moment. None of these events disappeared; they will exist forever.
Similarly, the sweet taste you discovered in chocolate when you were only a five year old, the anxiety you felt when you woke up to the first day of the primary school, the boredom you felt in one of the classes in high school, the difficult equations your maths teacher wrote on the blackboard, the pain you felt when you lost a close a friend in a traffic accident, the pride you took in your academic accomplishments, the glow of happiness you felt when you succeeded in having something you had dreamed of for years, in brief, all your experiences and feelings remain just as they were; they are not simply kept in your memory. You perceive what is kept in your memory simply as memory or the past. Though they exist right now, the brain does not perceive these scenes, since this is the way man is being tested on earth. Believing they are bound by a steady, unvarying time flow, streaming from the past to the future, people assume their lives are divided into distinct sections, namely, past, present and future. This actually poses a major hindrance to their grasp of particular events like the existence of the hereafter, when and where Paradise, Hell and the Day of Judgment will take place. They cannot relate the concept of time in the Sight of Allah to the concept of time people are bound by. However, knowing that every living being, every event and everything is created eternally square by square just like the squares making up a film roll and brought into being simultaneously will make it easier to comprehend this issue.
The human being in the picture is being born "right now"; he is fishing, he is receiving his diploma, getting married and even having children and grandchildren "right at this moment." Furthermore, he is dying now and likewise, he is being judged in the Sight of Allah.
In the Sight of Allah, everything has already taken place and finished. Some people hold the superstitious belief that Allah created the universe and granted man a certain lifetime and waits for them to be tested (Surely Allah is beyond all that). And He will wait until the end of the universe. Yet, this is surely impossible. Waiting is a weakness peculiar to man and Allah is surely not bound by such weakness. Allah's attribute, the al-Quddus (The Holy), with which Allah presents Himself to us in the Qur'an, means "free from all error, incapability and from any kind of defect". That is why Allah knows the past and future of all people, as well as their experiences, in great detail. But man, in this life, the arena of this test, assumes time to be linear with a beginning and an end. Yet, as stated earlier in this section, it is not possible to talk of the concepts of past and present. Everything, all people, all living beings live simultaneously. All ages, minutes, seconds and even all days, hours and moments occur at the same time. Though man is unable to see this due to the limited capacity of his sensations, this fact is evident. In the section "Relativity of the Qur'an", many examples were given to explain the difference between the time man is bound by and time in the Sight of Allah. Allah draws our attention to this issue in the following verse:
A day with your Lord is equivalent to a thousand years in the way you count. (Surat Al-Hajj: 47)
Allah, the al-Hasib, knows in detail the account of things people do throughout their lives. If one remembers that nothing that is experienced and that exists ever disappears, one will have a better grasp of this attribute of Allah. That Allah knows everything, every detail of every event that is experienced is stressed in the following verse:
Truly Allah has knowledge of the Hour and sends down abundant rain and knows what is in the womb. And no self knows what it will earn tomorrow and no self knows in what land it will die. Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware. (Surah Luqman: 34)
This is the main reason why believers appreciate the glory of Allah, submit to Him and put their trust in Him. His Majesty simply reminds one how prone one is to weakness and how one is in need of Him. They are aware how weak they are next to His might. This superior moral attribute displayed by believers is referred to in the Qur'an:
Say: 'Nothing can happen to us except what Allah has ordained for us. He is Our Master. It is in Allah that the believers should put their trust.' (Surat at-Tawba: 51)
Say: "I possess no power to harm or help myself except as Allah wills." (Surah Yunus: 49)
Believers who are informed in the Qur'an are the ones who can conceive of Allah's attributes. That is why they wholeheartedly submit to Allah.
Death is Not Extinction
Death is also one of the issues about which people have misconceptions. Someone who dies is regarded as simply perishing. Because they have inadequate information regarding the hereafter, the eternal life, Paradise and Hell, people commonly either never believe in resurrection after death or harbor vague convictions about it. Consequently, the majority surmise they lose someone for ever when he or she dies. This is surely a completely bigoted stance. By the time one is born (once Allah brings him into the realm of existence by Allah), one's eternal life has begun. Like all other moments composing one's lifetime, death is merely a single moment that one experiences, but, in reality, that person is still alive. All moments before and after death and everything pertaining to one's life are preserved without changing. For instance, after the death of someone some people, out of their ignorant views, mourn and say, "It is a pity that he died; he was so young." However, all the details of one's life, memories of childhood, birth and family still exist. They do not fade or become extinct. All experiences are preserved. As a requisite of the test in this world, these memories are simply wiped from one's memory; however, this, is by no means, the equivalent of their not existing.
In the Sight of Allah, the birth, life and death of a man take place and finish simultaneously. The same reasoning applies to all human beings. All human beings are coming into existence and dying right at this moment. All are being resurrected and being sent to Paradise or Hell. Thus, no one dies and nobody is reduced to insignificance; all individuals are alive for all eternity. Within eternity, man spends only a portion of his time in the world, and during this period where he is doomed to go—either Paradise or Hell—is known. Just at this moment, some of the people currently living in this world are in Paradise while others are in Hell. This fact is stressed in the Qur'an; in many verses relating to Paradise and Hell, the life in the Hereafter is referred to in the simple present or past tense, which draws one's attention to the fact that all these incidents are taking place at a single moment:
The Companions of the Garden are busy enjoying themselves today, they and their wives reclining on couches in the shade. (Surah Ya Sin: 55-56)
And those who fear [and respect] their Lord will be driven to the Garden in companies and when they arrive there, finding its gates open, its custodians will say to them, 'Peace be upon you! You have done well so enter it timelessly, for ever.' They will say, 'Praise be to Allah Who has fulfilled His promise to us and made us the inheritors of this land, letting us settle in the Garden wherever we want. How excellent is the wage of those who work!' You will see the angels circling round the Throne, glorifying their Lord with praise. It will be decided between them with truth. And it will be said: 'Praise be to Allah, the Lord of all the worlds.' (Surat az-Zumar: 73-75)
The evildoers will see the Fire and realize they are going to fall into it and find no way of escaping from it. (Surat al-Kahf: 53)
People are born in timelessness. Likewise, they die in timelessness, they are resurrected in timelessness and, as a matter of fact, just at this moment, they are alive. By the moment Allah creates man, he becomes an eternal being. To put it another way, he starts his endless life, becoming alive for all eternity. Meanwhile, he also witnesses his own death as a single square. Just as he sees himself alive all through his life, he witnesses his death, but only on one occasion.
An example will further clarify this subject. In the Qur'an, Allah informs us that sleep is also created as a form of death. Thus, every night one witnesses his death when he goes to sleep and witnesses his resurrection when he wakes up in the morning. This fact is manifested in the following verse:
Allah takes back people's selves when their death arrives and those who have not yet died, while they are asleep. He keeps hold of those whose death has been decreed and sends the others back for a specified term. There are certainly Signs in that for people who reflect. (Surat az-Zumar: 42)
Hence, man unceasingly witnesses his death and resurrection all through his life. Similarly, he will also see his real death. Consequently, his birth, death and resurrection as well as his eternal abode are all known and man is forever alive in the Sight of Allah. All these incidents have taken place and finished in the Sight of Allah. That is why, death, in the sense that it is commonly understood, is not a termination or extinction.
Considering these facts, mourning for someone who dies and feeling sorry for his death sound simply irrational. A young man, a child or a healthy person who dies does not, after all, perish; each exists in his best state. In the Sight of Allah, each is alive. This is a clear indication of Allah's greatness, which is also stated in the Qur'an:
Allah, there is no god but Him, the Living, the Self-Sustaining. He is not subject to drowsiness or sleep. Everything in the heavens and the earth belongs to Him. Who can intercede with Him except by His permission? He knows what is before them and what is behind them but they cannot grasp any of His knowledge save what He wills. His Footstool encompasses the heavens and the earth and their preservation does not tire Him. He is the Most High, the Magnificent. (Surat al-Baqara: 255)
ALLAH IS UNFETTERED BY TIME AND SPACE
Look, you have just heard a click. I have now made another click. A belief arose in your brain when you compared the two. That belief is known as time. There is no time in free space. Look at Einstein or Max Planck, they all set it out, but people generally fail to understand since they use complicated scientific terminology. But it is very clear, not complicated at all. Time needs to exist in order to be able to ask "What existed before Allah?" People sometimes find themselves in a quandary since time was created subsequently. An entity confined to time and space can talk about "before" or "after." But there is no before or after for Almighty Allah, Who is unfettered by time and space. In other words, there is one single moment. That is why people must bear that in mind when thinking about things concerning the existence of Allah. That is the answer to the question "Who created Allah?" We can say this since time was created afterward. But if we were to step outside time we would immediately grasp the answer. But we cannot understand since we are fettered by time. (From Mr. Adnan Oktar's interview on Dem TV, October 30, 2009)