O my senseless soul! You say that verses like,
Indeed, His command when He wills a thing is, ‘Be!’, and it is,1
It will be no more than a single blast, when lo! they will all be brought up before Us!2
show that the existence of things is instantaneous and merely through a command, and that verses like,
[Such is] the artistry of God, Who disposes of all things in perfect order,3
Who has created everything in the best way4
show that existence of things is gradual, through a vast power within knowledge, and a fine art within wisdom. What is the point of agreement between them?
The Answer: Relying on the effulgence of the Qur’an, we say:
Firstly: There is no contradiction. Some are like the former, like primary creation. And some are like the latter, like the repetition of creation...
Secondly: The infinite order and extreme skill, fine art, and perfect creation together with the ease, speed, multiplicity, and extensiveness which are observed in beings testify decisively to the existence of the truths of these two sorts of verses. Since this is so, proving it to be true outside this and making that the point of discussion, is unnecessary. It should rather be asked: ‘What is the wisdom in them? What is their meaning and purpose?’ Thus, we shall point to this wisdom with an analogy in the form of a comparison.
For example, a craftsman like a tailor creates something artistic with much difficulty and employing many skills, and makes a model for it. Then he can make others similar to it quickly and without difficulty. Sometimes, even, it becomes so easy they are as though made at a command, and they acquire a powerful order in that way; like a clock, they function and work as though at the touch of a command.
In just the same way, after making this palace of the world and all its contents originally, the All-Wise Maker and All-Knowing Inscriber gave everything, particular and universal, the whole and the parts, a specified measure