Anything that is created from non-existence to existence needs planning and evaluation, then creation, then shape- formation. Allah is the CREATOR as far as planning and evaluation are concerned, He is the MAKER Who brings to existence and He is the BESTOWER of Forms Who gives a definite form to the created being so that it exactly suits the aim of its creation.
Divine attributes are either related to the Divine Acts or to the Exalted Self of Allah; examples of the former kind of attributes are (the CREATOR, the MAKER and the BESTOWER of Forms). The accuracy and exactitude of Allah’s Creating Power can not be perceived exceptby contemplating the universe as an entity then as fragmented sections andminute details.
The entire universe can be compared to a body composed of organs co-existing to attain a certain function; these organs are the heavens, the stars and the earth with all that they contain. All these things are organized in such an exact way that any defect in organization or management will lead to the total collapse of the whole universe. Therefore, the first thing they need is planning and evaluation, then the making from non-existence, then the shape-formation, that is, arrangement of the parts, their forms andthe links that bind all things together.
As the universe with its great parts needs the system of creation, making, and shape-formation, then the most minute parts need them as well; for example the ant, the bee, and even the atom with the exact linkage between the nucleus and its particles.
The form of things, their general appearance, the construction of the different parts, the linkage between these parts, the need of thewhole to its fractions and the mutual relationship between one fractionand another are scenes that can be conspicuously observed in the celestialbodies and the terrestrial creatures: the animal, the plant, and the humanbeing not to mention earth and its constituents.
If we explore matters carefully, we will find that knowledge isbut an image of that which is known in one’s mentality; learning is theconveyance of the acknowledged from the instructor’s mind to the receiver’smentality and this is the Divine Act of the BESTOWER of Forms Who endowsthe human being with memory and imagination.
These attributes, as aforementioned, pertain to Divine Acts; some people said that Allah has been described as the CREATOR beforeHe created anything; others said that He cannot be described as the CREATOR before creation because He had been existing while nothing existed.
The most acceptable viewpoint is that the attribute derives existence from the existence of the Exalted Self and this had been taking placesince eternity, for Allah had been the CREATOR even before He created. The attribute had been deriving existence from His Existence, so when He created He created in accord with this attribute and He does create what He likes for He is the CREATOR, the MAKER and the BESTOWER of Forms eternally and permanently.
Someone may ask: how would He be described as the CREATOR before He created the universe? We would say that water quenches thirst and this is the potential action of water before you drink it, so when you drink water it really quenches your thirst; hence it bears the ability of quenching thirst when it is in a jar, then on drinking it your thirst is really quenched. Furthermore, the sword is sharp and cutting even when it is sheathed;so when you use it, its sharp and cutting quality is proved. Similarly,a grain of weed is, from one aspect, a tree, because if it is thrown ona piece of land a tree will emerge, then the quality of the grain of weedis proved.
Allah, Glory be to Him, had been the CREATOR even beforeHe created the universe, He is the CREATOR after creating, and He willbe for ever the CREATOR, the MAKER and the BESTOWER of Forms eternally and permanently. Praise and Glory be to Him, He is Allah.