GOD IN ISLAM

The One true God is a reflection of the unique concept that Islam associates with God. To a Muslim, Allah is the Almighty Creator and Sustainer of the universe, Who is similar to nothing, and nothing is comparable to Him. Islam rejects characterizing God in any human form or depicting Him as favouring certain individuals or nations based on wealth, power or race. Allah says:

 

قُلْ هُوَ اللَّهُ أَحَدٌ اللَّهُ الصَّمَدُ لَمْ يَلِدْ وَلَمْ يُولَدْ وَلَمْ يَكُن لَّهُ كُفُوًا أَحَدٌ

 

“Say: He is Allah, The One and Only.”Allah, the Eternal, Absolute.”He begets not, nor is He begotten. And there is none like unto Him.” (Surah Al-Ikhlas 112:1-4)

 

The concepts that God rested on the seventh day of creation, that God wrestled with one of His soldiers, that God is an envious plotter against mankind, and that God is incarnate in any human being are considered blasphemy from the Islamic point of view. Allah created the human-beings as equals. They may distinguish themselves and get His favour through virtue and piety only. Allah says:

 

اللَّهُ خَالِقُ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَهُوَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَكِيلٌ

 

“Allah (is the) Creator (of) all things, and He (is) over all things a Guardian.” (Surah Az-Zumar 39:62)

 

The unique usage of Allah as a personal name of God is a reflection of Islam’s emphasis on the purity of the belief in God that is the essence of the message of all God’s messengers. Because of this, Islam considers associating any deity or personality with God as a deadly sin that God will never forgive, even though He may forgive all other sins.

 

Facts about Allah (God) in Islam:

  1. He is the one God, Who has no partner
  2. He is All-Powerful, absolutely Just
  3. Allah knows what is in our hearts
  4. He knows what we conceal and what we reveal
  5. Allah is very Gracious and Kind to His slaves
  6. It is only He Who is capable of granting life to anything
  7. Allah not only warned us against Satan but also his footsteps
  8. Allah does not forgive setting up partners (in worship) with Him
  9. Allah is near and he responds to the invocations of the supplicant
  10. He is the All-Knowing, and All-Merciful, the Supreme, the Sovereign
  11. He sent His Messengers (peace be upon them) to guide all of mankind
  12. Nothing is like Him. He is the Creator, not created, nor a part of His creation
  13. There is no other entity in the entire universe worthy of worship beside him
  14. Allah has sent all of His messengers to invite people to worship Him Alone
  15. Allah is with those who fear Him (keep their duty unto Him) and the good-doers
  16. He sent Muhammad (PBUH) as the last Prophet and Messenger for all mankind
  17. Allah is the Oft-Forgiving, the Most-Merciful and he is also Severe in punishment
  18. Allah promises who obey Him to enter Paradise in the hereafter and warned who disobey
  19. Allah says in the Quran, “Why should Allah punish you if you have thanked (Him) and have believed in Him.”
  20. He is First, Last, and Everlasting; He was when nothing was and will be when nothing else remains
  21. His book is the Holy Quran, the only authentic revealed book in the world that has been kept without change

God does not become a human being:

God does not take human form: Some may argue that God does not become a human being but only takes a human form. If God only takes a human form but does not become a human being, He should not possess any human qualities. We know that all the ‘God-men’, have human qualities and failings. They have all the human needs such as the need to eat, sleep, etc.

 

وَمَا مِن دَابَّةٍ فِي الْأَرْضِ إِلَّا عَلَى اللَّهِ رِزْقُهَا وَيَعْلَمُ مُسْتَقَرَّهَا وَمُسْتَوْدَعَهَا كُلٌّ فِي كِتَابٍ مُّبِينٍ

 

“And not any moving creature in the earth but on Allah (is) its provision. And He knows its dwelling place and its place of storage. All (is) in a Record clear.” (Surah Hud 11:6)

 

The worship of God in human form is, therefore, a logical fallacy and should be abhorred in all its forms and manifestations. That is the reason why the Qur’an speaks against all forms of anthropomorphism. The Glorious Qur’an says in the following verse:

 

فَاطِرُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ جَعَلَ لَكُم مِّنْ أَنفُسِكُمْ أَزْوَاجًا وَمِنَ الْأَنْعَامِ أَزْوَاجًا يَذْرَؤُكُمْ فِيهِ لَيْسَ كَمِثْلِهِ شَيْءٌ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِيرُ

 

“(The) Creator (of) the heavens and the earth. He made for you from yourselves, mates, and among the cattle mates; He multiplies you thereby. (There) is not like Him anything, and (is) the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.” (Surah Ash-Shura 42:11)

 

God does not perform ungodly acts: The attributes of Almighty God preclude any evil since God is the source of justice, mercy and truth. God can never be thought of as doing an ungodly act. Hence we cannot imagine God telling a lie, being unjust, making a mistake, forgetting things, or having any such human failings. Similarly, God can do injustice if He chooses to, but He will never do it because being unjust is an ungodly act. Allah says:

 

إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَظْلِمُ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ وَإِن تَكُ حَسَنَةً يُضَاعِفْهَا وَيُؤْتِ مِن لَّدُنْهُ أَجْرًا عَظِيمًا

 

“Indeed, Allah (does) not wrong (as much as) weight (of) an atom. And if there is a good He doubles it and gives from near Him a reward great.” (Surah An-Nisa` 4:40)

 

God does not make mistakes: God can make mistakes if He wants to, but He does not make mistakes because making a mistake is an ungodly act. Allah says:

 

قَالَ عِلْمُهَا عِندَ رَبِّي فِي كِتَابٍ لَّا يَضِلُّ رَبِّي وَلَا يَنسَى

 

He said, “Its knowledge (is) with my Lord, in a Record. Not errs my Lord and not forgets.” (Surah Ta-Ha 20:52)

 

God does not forget: God can forget if He wants to. But God does not forget anything because forgetting is an ungodly act, which reeks of human limitations and failings.

 

God only performs Godly acts: The Islamic concept of God is that God has power over all things. The Quran says in several places (Al -Qur’an 2:106; 2:109; 2:284; 3:29; 16:77; and 35:1):

 

For verily Allah has power over all things: We must keep in mind that Allah intends only Godly acts and not ungodly acts.

 

 “Allah is the doer of all that He intends.” (Quran 85:16)

 

Allah chooses Messengers:

Allah (SWT) need not come down personally for giving the instruction manual. He chooses a man amongst men to deliver the message and communicates with him at a higher level through the medium of revelations. Such chosen men are called messengers and prophets of God.

 

Some people are ‘blind’ and ‘deaf’:

Despite the absurdity of the philosophy of anthropomorphism, followers of many religions believe in and preach it to others. Is it not an insult to human intelligence and to the Creator who gave us this intelligence? Such people are truly ‘deaf’ and ‘blind’ despite the faculty of hearing and sight gave to them by Allah. The Quran says:

 

صُمٌّ بُكْمٌ عُمْيٌ فَهُمْ لَا يَرْجِعُونَ

 

“Deaf, dumb, blind, so they not [they] will not return.” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:18)

 

The Bible gives a similar message in the Gospel of Matthew:

 

“Seeing they see not, and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.” (The Bible, Matthew 13:13)

 

A similar message is also given in the Hindu Scriptures in the Rigveda.

 

“There may be someone who sees the words and yet indeed does not see them; maybe another one who hears these words but indeed does not hear them.” (Rigveda 10:71:4)

 

All these scriptures are telling their readers that though the things are made so clear yet many people divert away from the truth.

 

To Allah belong the most beautiful names:

The Quran says:

 

قُلِ ادْعُوا اللَّهَ أَوِ ادْعُوا الرَّحْمَٰنَ أَيًّا مَّا تَدْعُوا فَلَهُ الْأَسْمَاءُ الْحُسْنَىٰ وَلَا تَجْهَرْ بِصَلَاتِكَ وَلَا تُخَافِتْ بِهَا وَابْتَغِ بَيْنَ ذَٰلِكَ سَبِيلًا

 

Say, “Invoke Allah or invoke the Most Gracious. By whatever (name) you invoke, to Him (belongs) the Most Beautiful Names. And (do) not be loud in your prayers and not be silent therein, but seek between that away.” (Surah Al-Isra` 17:110)

 

God’s Attributes

If the Creator is Eternal and Everlasting, then His attributes must also be eternal and everlasting. He should not lose any of His attributes nor acquire new ones. If this is so, then his attributes are absolute. Can there be more than one Creator with such absolute attributes? Can there be, for example, two powerful Creators?

 

The Oneness of God: The Quran reminds us of the falsity of all alleged gods. To the worshippers of man-made objects, it asks:

 

قَالَ أَتَعْبُدُونَ مَا تَنْحِتُونَ

 

“He said, “Do you worship what you carve.” (Surah As-Saffat 37:95)

 

A believer loves and is grateful to God for the bounties He bestowed upon him, but being aware of the fact that his good deeds, whether mental or physical, are far from being commensurate with Divine favours, he is always anxious lest God should punish him, here or in the Hereafter.

 

لَوْ كَانَ فِيهِمَا آلِهَةٌ إِلَّا اللَّهُ لَفَسَدَتَا فَسُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَرْشِ عَمَّا يَصِفُونَ

 

“If (there) were in both of them gods besides Allah, surely they (would) have been So glorified (is) Allah, Lord (of) the Throne (above) what they attribute.” (Surah Al-Anbiya` 21:22)

 

He, therefore, fears Him, surrenders himself to Him and serves Him with great humility. One cannot be in such a mental state without being almost all the time mindful of God. Remembering God is thus the life force of faith, without which it fades and withers away.

 

If the Creator is Eternal and Everlasting, then His attributes must also be eternal and everlasting. He should not lose any of His attributes nor acquire new ones. If this is so, then His attributes are absolute. Can there be more than one Creator with such absolute attributes? Can there be, for example, two powerful Creators? A moment’s thought shows that this is not feasible.

 

مَا اتَّخَذَ اللَّهُ مِن وَلَدٍ وَمَا كَانَ مَعَهُ مِنْ إِلَٰهٍ إِذًا لَّذَهَبَ كُلُّ إِلَٰهٍ بِمَا خَلَقَ وَلَعَلَا بَعْضُهُمْ عَلَىٰ بَعْضٍ سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ عَمَّا يَصِفُونَ

 

“Not Allah has taken any son and not is with Him any god. Then surely (would have) taken away each god what he created, and surely would have overpowered some of them [on] others. Glory be (too) Allah above what they attribute!” (Surah Al-Muminun 23:91)

 

The Creator must be different from the things created because if he is of the same nature as they are, He will be temporal and will, therefore, need a maker. It follows that nothing is like Him. If the maker is not temporal, then He must be eternal. But if He is eternal, He cannot be caused, and if nothing outside Him causes Him to continue to exist, which means that He must be self-sufficient. And if He does not depend on anything for the continuance of His existence, then this existence can have no end.

 

إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَغْفِرُ أَن يُشْرَكَ بِهِ وَيَغْفِرُ مَا دُونَ ذَٰلِكَ لِمَن يَشَاءُ وَمَن يُشْرِكْ بِاللَّهِ فَقَدِ افْتَرَىٰ إِثْمًا عَظِيمًا

 

“Indeed, Allah (does) not forgive that partners be associated with Him, but He forgives other than that for whom He wills. And whoever associates partners with Allah, then surely he has fabricated a sin – tremendous.” (Surah An-Nisa 4:48)

 

He is Self-Sufficient or Self-Subsistent or, to use a Quranic term, Al-Qayyum. The Creator does not create only in the sense of bringing things into being, He also preserves them and takes them out of existence and is the ultimate cause of whatever happens to them.

 

لَّهُ مَقَالِيدُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا بِآيَاتِ اللَّهِ أُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْخَاسِرُونَ

 

“For Him (are the) keys (of) the heavens and the earth. And those who disbelieve in (the) Verses (of) Allah, those – they (are) the losers.” (Surah Az-Zumar 39:63)

 

SHIRK:

A.Definition: The omission of any of the above-mentioned categories of Tawheed or deficiency in the fulfilment of any criteria of Tawheed is referred to as ‘shirk’.(Please note that the Arabic word ‘Shirk’ has the same sound as in the English word ‘ship’ and not as in the English word ‘shirk’, which means ‘to evade’
‘Shirk’ literally means sharing or associating partners. In Islamic terms, it means associating partners with Allah and is equivalent to idolatry.

 

B. Shirk is the greatest sin that Allah will never forgive:

 

إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَغْفِرُ أَن يُشْرَكَ بِهِ وَيَغْفِرُ مَا دُونَ ذَٰلِكَ لِمَن يَشَاءُ وَمَن يُشْرِكْ بِاللَّهِ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ ضَلَالًا بَعِيدًا

 

“Indeed, Allah does not forgive that partners be associated with Him, but He forgives [what] other than that for whom He wills. And whoever associates partners with Allah then surely he lost (the) way, straying far away.(Surah An-Nisa` 4:116)

 

The basis of religion is the acceptance of Divine guidance. A rejection of this guidance has serious implications for society. While we have made great strides in science and technology, true peace still eludes us. All ‘isms’ have failed to provide the much-vaunted deliverance. The scriptures of all major religions exhort mankind to follow that which is good and eschew that which is evil. All scriptures remind mankind that good will not go unrewarded and evil will not go unpunished!

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