Assalaamu alaikum[peace be to you],
This article is part of a series of articles about Allah, the God: Reminder: Here We are discussing religion, a field where people always disagree. you may disagree with what I am saying here. that's fine. I respect your opinion. but I am not opening a debate here. I am explaining Islam. and if your religion or religious opinions are opposite of what Islam says is not a reason for you to make a scene. you can just take it as 'additional information' about the Islamic faith.Who Is Allah, 'The' God?
The concept of the God in Islam is very easy to understand. even a 6 y o kid can get it. There are no mental gymnastics or complexities with grasping the concept of God in Islam. The best definition a Muslim can give you with regards to the concept of the God in Islam, is to quote to you the following chapter of the Quran. chapter 112 called, Surat-al-Ikhlaas (chapter of purity). in the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful:
1- قُلْ هُوَ اللَّهُ أَحَدٌ
Say: He is Allah, the Ahad (the One and Only);
2- اللَّهُ الصَّمَدُ
Allah, the Samad (Eternal and Absolute)
3- لَمْ يَلِدْ وَلَمْ يُولَدْ
He begets not, nor was He begotten;
4- وَلَمْ يَكُن لَّهُ كُفُوًا أَحَدٌ
And there is none comparable unto Him.
As you can see, the concept of God here is explicit and contains no ambiguities.
In verse 1, we are told that Allah is أحد "Ahad," which means: "One." This gives us the explicit understanding that Islam is a monotheistic religion, which adheres strongly to the belief in one and only one God.
the exact same statement can be read in the Bible in Deuteronomy 6:4:
Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God, the LORD is one.
שְׁמַע, יִשְׂרָאֵל: יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ, יְהוָה אֶחָד.
Shema Yisra'el YHWH Eloheinu YHWH Eḥad from [link]
the Hebrew word used here is "Ehad", the Arabic equivalent is "Ahad". it means one and only ONE. not two, not three, not ten. but ONE.
All the prophets of the God taught the same message of monotheism. Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Solomon, Jesus and Mohammed -peace be upon them-. and this is the core of Islam. it's called توحيد "TAWHEED" in Arabic, which literally means "oneness of the God." (I will talk more about Tawheed in my next articles, in sha'Allah -God willing)
So as you can see, the association of partners to God in Islam is prohibited and opposed, since the main creed of Islam is monotheism.
In verse 2, the Arabic word used is the الصمد "Samad" which may means "absolute existence", this can be attributed only to the God, since all other existence are temporal or conditional. Let us read Yusuf Ali's commentary* of Surah Ikhlas 112:2:"Samad is difficult to translate by one word. I have used two, "Eternal" and "Absolute". The latter implies: (1) that absolute existence can only be predicated of Him; all other existence is temporal or conditional; (2) that He is dependent on no person or things, but all persons or things are dependent on Him, thus negativing the idea of gods and goddesses who ate and drank, wrangled and plotted, depended on the gifts of worshippers, etc."
Hence, Allah is self sufficient and eternal which means he requires no necessities from anything, nor does existence occur except by his will alone. This verse also affirms that Allah is not the creation, since the creation is temporal and limited, which is what Allah is not.
Verse 3 makes it clear that God does not beget nor was begotten.
The Christian doctrine that God is a begotten son of himself is a doctrine strictly against Islam, and contradicts this Quranic verse. This also refutes many pagan ideologies of God having children or coming down to Earth etc. Verse 3 also implies that God is neither a man nor the son of man. he will never become a man because to beget a child is an animal act, limited to the lower function of sex, which we are not to attribute a quality to God.
Verse 4 is so stringent, is such a unique attribute that no-one except the true God can pass. Let us read Yusuf Ali's commentary of Surah Ihklas 112:4:"This sums up the whole argument and warns us specially against Anthropomorphism, the tendency to conceive of Allah after our own pattern, an insidious tendency that creeps in at all times and among all peoples."
This verse tells us that there is nothing like God, no-one can possibly pass this criteria, except the true God. God does not become a human being. 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.
The worship of God in human form is therefore rejected in Islam.
This verse clearly implies that nothing whatsoever is like God, at all. Hence, only Allah can pass this criteria, because everything else has a common similarity, that being: everything else is creation and limited. In contrast, God is uncreated and unlimited. This attribute is unlike anything else one could imagine, which shows the God is unique in Islam more than any other concept of God, in other religions.
This chapter of the Glorious Qur’an, is the touchstone of theology in Islam. ‘Theo’ in Greek means god and ‘logy’ means study. Thus Theology means study of God and to Muslims this four line definition of Almighty God serves as the touchstone of the study of God. Any candidate to divinity must be subjected to this ‘acid test’. Since the attributes of Allah given in this chapter are unique, false gods and pretenders to divinity can be easily dismissed using these verses.
in the next article, in sha'Allah [God willing] I am going to talk about the attributes of Allah almighty...from [link] and [link]
To be continued, in sha'Allah...
for more reading about Allah, please visit:God AllahKnowing AllahWho is Allah?Concept of god
I hope that was beneficial*Abdullah Yusuf Ali was a scholar who made a famous English translation of the holy Qur'an.