Abu Hanifa on God: Abu Hanifa stumps the atheist

Ibn Abi al-‘Izz reported: It is said that Abu Hanifa, may Allah have mercy on him, was approached by some philosphers who intended to discuss with him the oneness of Allah’s Lordship. Abu Hanifa said, “Before we discuss this question, tell me what you think about a boat in the Euphrates, which goes to shore, loads itself with food and other things, then returns, anchors and unloads all by itself, without anyone sailing or controlling it?” They said, “This is impossible.” Abu Hanifa said, “If it is impossible with a boat, then how is it possible for the world, in all its vastness, to move by itself?”

Source: Sharḥ al-‘Aqīdah al-Ṭaḥāwīyah 1/35

عن ابن أبي العز الحنفي وَيُحْكَى عَنْ أَبِي حَنِيفَةَ رَحِمَهُ اللَّهُ أَنَّ قَوْمًا مِنْ أَهْلِ الْكَلَامِ أَرَادُوا الْبَحْثَ مَعَهُ فِي تَقْرِيرِ تَوْحِيدِ الرُّبُوبِيَّةِ فَقَالَ لَهُمْ أَخْبِرُونِي قَبْلَ أَنْ نَتَكَلَّمَ فِي هَذِهِ الْمَسْأَلَةِ عَنْ سَفِينَةٍ فِي دِجْلَةَ تَذْهَبُ فَتَمْتَلِئُ مِنَ الطَّعَامِ وَالْمَتَاعِ وَغَيْرِهِ بِنَفْسِهَا وَتَعُودُ بِنَفْسِهَا فَتُرْسِي بِنَفْسِهَا وَتَتَفَرَّغُ وَتَرْجِعُ كُلُّ ذَلِكَ مِنْ غَيْرِ أَنْ يُدَبِّرَهَا أَحَدٌ فَقَالُوا هَذَا مُحَالٌ لَا يُمْكِنُ أَبَدًا فَقَالَ لَهُمْ إِذَا كَانَ هَذَا مُحَالًا فِي سَفِينَةٍ فَكَيْفَ فِي هَذَا الْعَالَمِ كُلِّهِ عُلْوِهِ وَسُفْلِهِ

1/35 شرح العقيدة الطحاوية