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Who Is Allah SWT God In Islam Religion?

Who Is Allah SWT God In Islam Religion?

By

Muhammad Vandestra

2017

This is a work of fiction. Similarities to real people, places, or events are entirely coincidental.

WHO IS ALLAH SWT GOD IN ISLAM RELIGION?

First edition. August 29, 2017.

Copyright © 2017 Muhammad Vandestra.

Written by Muhammad Vandestra.

Table of Contents

Title Page

Copyright Page

Prestory

Who Is Allah SWT?

The Concept of God In Islam

Can We See God?

Where Is God?

The Divine Mercy of God

The Forgiveness of Sins

God Is Al-Hakeem (The Wise)

God Is Al-Malik (The King)

As-Salaam (Peace) The Name of God

Science Increasingly Makes The Case For God

God’s Being & The Limits of Human Imagination

Does God Reside Within His Creation?

Small Place In God’s Creation

Facets of God’s Generosity

My Mercy Prevails Over My Wrath

God Is Al-Awwal & Al-Akhir (The First & The Last)

Author Bio

Prestory

Some of the biggest misconceptions that many non-Muslims have about Islam have to do with the word “Allah.”  For various reasons, many people have come to believe that Muslims worship a different God than Christians and Jews.  This is totally false, since “Allah” is simply the Arabic word for “God” – and there is only One God.  Let there be no doubt – Muslims worship the God of Adam,Noah, Abraham, Moses, David and Jesus – peace be upon them all.  However, it is certainly true that Jews, Christians and Muslims all have different concepts of Almighty God. 

For example, Muslims – like Jews – reject the Christian beliefs of the Trinity and the Divine Incarnation.  This, however, does not mean that each of these three religions worships a different God – because, as we have already said, there is only One True God.  Judaism, Christianity and Islam all claim to be “Abrahamic Faiths”, and all of them are also classified as “monotheistic.”  However, Islam teaches that other religions have, in one way or another, distorted and nullified a pure and proper belief in Almighty God by neglecting His true teachings and mixing them with man-made ideas.

First of all, it is important to note that “Allah” is the same word that Arabic-speaking Christians and Jews use for God.  If you pick up an Arabic Bible, you will see the word “Allah” being used where “God” is used in English.  This is because “Allah” is a word in the Arabic language equivalent to the English word “God” with a capital “G”.  Additionally, the word “Allah” cannot be made plural, a fact which goes hand-in-hand with the Islamic concept of God.

It is interesting to note that the Aramaic word “El”, which is the word for God in the language that Jesus spoke, is certainly more similar in sound to the word “Allah” than the English word “God.”  This also holds true for the various Hebrew words for God, which are “El” and “Elah”, and the plural or glorified form “Elohim.”  The reason for these similarities is that Aramaic, Hebrew and Arabic are all Semitic languages with common origins.  It should also be noted that in translating the Bible into English, the Hebrew word “El” is translated variously as “God”, “god” and “angel”!  This imprecise language allows different translators, based on their preconceived notions, to translate the word to fit their own views.  The Arabic word “Allah” presents no such difficulty or ambiguity, since it is only used for Almighty God alone.  Additionally, in English, the only difference between “god”, meaning a false god, and “God”, meaning the One True God, is the capital “G”.  Due to the above mentioned facts, a more accurate translation of the word “Allah” into English might be “The One -and-Only God” or “The One True God.”

More importantly, it should also be noted that the Arabic word “Allah” contains a deep religious message due to its root meaning and origin.  This is because it stems from the Arabic verb ta’allaha (or alaha), which means “to be worshipped.”  Thus in Arabic, the word “Allah” means “The One who deserves all worship.”  This, in a nutshell, is the Pure Monotheistic message of Islam.

Who Is Allah SWT?

Some of the biggest misconceptions that many non-Muslims have about Islam have to do with the word “Allah.”  For various reasons, many people have come to believe that Muslims worship a different God than Christians and Jews.  This is totally false, since “Allah” is simply the Arabic word for “God” – and there is only One God.  Let there be no doubt – Muslims worship the God of Adam,Noah, Abraham, Moses, David and Jesus – peace be upon them all.  However, it is certainly true that Jews, Christians and Muslims all have different concepts of Almighty God.  For example, Muslims – like Jews – reject the Christian beliefs of the Trinity and the Divine Incarnation.  This, however, does not mean that each of these three religions worships a different God – because, as we have already said, there is only One True God.  Judaism, Christianity and Islam all claim to be “Abrahamic Faiths”, and all of them are also classified as “monotheistic.”  However, Islam teaches that other religions have, in one way or another, distorted and nullified a pure and proper belief in Almighty God by neglecting His true teachings and mixing them with man-made ideas.

First of all, it is important to note that “Allah” is the same word that Arabic-speaking Christians and Jews use for God.  If you pick up an Arabic Bible, you will see the word “Allah” being used where “God” is used in English.  This is because “Allah” is a word in the Arabic language equivalent to the English word “God” with a capital “G”.  Additionally, the word “Allah” cannot be made plural, a fact which goes hand-in-hand with the Islamic concept of God.

It is interesting to note that the Aramaic word “El”, which is the word for God in the language that Jesus spoke, is certainly more similar in sound to the word “Allah” than the English word “God.”  This also holds true for the various Hebrew words for God, which are “El” and “Elah”, and the plural or glorified form “Elohim.”  The reason for these similarities is that Aramaic, Hebrew and Arabic are all Semitic languages with common origins.  It should also be noted that in translating the Bible into English, the Hebrew word “El” is translated variously as “God”, “god” and “angel”!  This imprecise language allows different translators, based on their preconceived notions, to translate the word to fit their own views.  The Arabic word “Allah” presents no such difficulty or ambiguity, since it is only used for Almighty God alone.  Additionally, in English, the only difference between “god”, meaning a false god, and “God”, meaning the One True God, is the capital “G”.  Due to the above mentioned facts, a more accurate translation of the word “Allah” into English might be “The One -and-Only God” or “The One True God.”

More importantly, it should also be noted that the Arabic word “Allah” contains a deep religious message due to its root meaning and origin.  This is because it stems from the Arabic verb ta’allaha (or alaha), which means “to be worshipped.”  Thus in Arabic, the word “Allah” means “The One who deserves all worship.”  This, in a nutshell, is the Pure Monotheistic message of Islam.

Suffice it to say that just because someone claims to be a “monotheistic” Jew, Christian or Muslim, that does not keep them from falling into corrupt beliefs and idolatrous practices.  Many people, including some Muslims, claim belief in “One God” even though they’ve fallen into acts of idolatry.  Certainly, many Protestants accuse Roman Catholics of idolatrous practices in regards to the saints and the Virgin Mary.  Likewise, the Greek Orthodox Church is considered “idolatrous” by many other Christians because in much of their worship they use icons.  However, if you ask a Roman Catholic or a Greek Orthodox person if God is “One”, they will invariably answer: “Yes!.”  This claim, however, does not stop them from being “creature worshipping” idolaters.  The same goes for Hindus, who just consider their gods to be “manifestations” or “incarnations” of the One Supreme God.

Before concluding… there are some people out there, who are obviously not on the side of truth, that want to get people to believe that “Allah” is just some Arabian “god”, and that Islam is completely “other” – meaning that it has no common roots with the other Abrahamic religions (i.e. Christianity and Judaism).  To say that Muslims worship a different “God” because they say “Allah” is just as illogical as saying that French people worship another God because they use the word “Dieu”, that Spanish-speaking people worship a different God because they say “Dios” or that the Jews worshipp a different God because they sometimes call Him “Yahweh.”  Certainly, reasoning like this is quite ridiculous!  It should also be mentioned, that claiming that any one language uses the only the correct word for God is tantamount to denying the universality of God’s message to mankind, which was to all nations, tribes and people through various prophets who spoke different languages.

We would like to ask our readers about the motives of these people?  The reason is that the Ultimate Truth of Islam stands on solid ground and its unshakeable belief in the Unity of God is above reproach.  Due to this, Christians can’t criticize its doctrines directly, but instead fabricate things about Islam that aren’t true so that people lose the desire to learn more.  If Islam were presented in the proper way to the world, it surely might make many people reconsider and re-evaluate their own beliefs.  It is quite likely that when they find out that there is a universal religion in the world that teaches people to worship and love God, while also practicing Pure Monotheism, would at least feel that they should re-examine the basis for their own beliefs and doctrines.

The Concept of God In Islam

It is a known fact that every language has one or more terms that are used to refer to God and sometimes to lesser deities at the same time.  This is not the case with Allah.  Allah is the personal name of the One true God.  Nothing else can be called Allah.  The term has no plural or gender.  This shows its uniqueness when compared with the word “god,” which can be made plural, as in “gods,” or made feminine, as in “goddess.”  It is interesting to note that Alah is the personal name of God in Aramaic, the language of Jesus and a sister language of Arabic.

The One true God is a reflection of the unique concept that Islam associates with Allah.  To a Muslim, Allah is the Almighty Creator and Sustainer of the universe, Who is similar to nothing, and nothing is comparable to Him.  The Prophet Muhammad was asked by his contemporaries about Allah; the answer came directly from Allah Himself in the form of a short chapter of the Quran, which is considered to be the essence of the unity or the motto of monotheism.  This is chapter 112, which reads:

“In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate.”

“Say (O Muhammad), He is Allah, the One God, the Self-Sufficient, who has not begotten, nor has been begotten, and equal to Him is not anyone.”

Some non-Muslims allege that God in Islam is a stern and cruel God who demands to be obeyed fully and is, consequently, not loving and kind.  Nothing could be farther from the truth than this allegation.  It is enough to know that, with the exception of one, each of the 114 chapters of the Quran begins with the verse, “In the name of God, the Merciful; the Compassionate.”  In one of the sayings of Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, we are told that:

“God is more loving and kind than a mother to her dear child.”

On the other hand, God is also Just.  Hence, evildoers and sinners must have their share of punishment, and the virtuous must have God’s bounties and favors.  Actually, God’s attribute of Mercy has full manifestation in His attribute of Justice.  People suffering throughout their lives for His sake should not receive similar treatment from their Lord as people who oppress and exploit others their whole lives.  Expecting similar treatment for them would amount to negating the very belief in the accountability of man in the Hereafter and thereby negate all the incentives for a moral and virtuous life in this world.  The following Quranic verses are very clear and straightforward in this respect.

“Verily, for the Righteous are gardens of Delight, in the Presence of their Lord.  Shall We then treat the people of Faith like the people of Sin?  What is the matter with you?  How judge you?” (Quran 68:34-36)

Islam rejects characterizing God in any human form or depicting Him as favoring certain individuals or nations on the basis of wealth, power or race.  He created human-beings as equals.  They may distinguish themselves and get His favor through virtue and piety only.

The concepts, such as God resting on the seventh day of creation, God wrestling with one of His soldiers, God being an envious plotter against mankind, or God being incarnate in any human being, are considered blasphemy from the Islamic point of view.

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, despite the fact that He may forgive all other sins.

The Creator must be of a different nature 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, therefore, that nothing is like Him.  Furthermore, if the Maker is not temporal, then He must be eternal.  If He is eternal, however, He cannot be caused, and if nothing caused Him to come into existence, 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 own existence, then this existence can have no end, so the Creator is, therefore, eternal and everlasting. Hence we know that He is Self-sufficient or Self-subsistent, and Everlasting or, to use a Quranic term, Al-Qayyum:   “He is the First and the Last.”

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.

“God is the Creator of everything.  He is the guardian over everything.  Unto Him belong the keys of the heavens and the earth…” (Quran 39:62-63)

And God says:

“No creature is there crawling on the earth, but its provision rests on God.  He knows its lodging place and its repository…” (Quran 11:6)

God’s Attributes

If the Creator is Eternal and Everlasting, then His attributes must also be eternal and everlasting.  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 absolutely powerful Creators?  A moment’s thought shows that this is not feasible.

The Quran summarizes this argument in the following verses:

“God has not taken to Himself any son, nor is there any god with Him: for then each god would have taken of that which he created and some of them would have risen up over others.” (Quran 23:91)

Also,

“And why, were there gods on earth and heaven other than God, they (heaven and earth) would surely go to ruin.” (Quran 21:22)

The Oneness of God

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

“Do you worship what you have carved yourself?” (Quran 37:95)

Also,

“…Or have you taken unto yourself others beside Him to be your protectors, even such as have no power either for good or for harm to themselves?…” (Quran 13:16)

To the worshippers of heavenly bodies it cites the story of Abraham:

“When night outspread over him, he saw a star and said, ‘This is my Lord.’  But when it set, he said, ‘I love not the setters.’  When he saw the moon rising, he said, ‘This is my Lord.’  But when it set, he said, ‘If my Lord does not guide me, I shall surely be of the people gone astray.’  When he saw the sun rising, he said, ‘This is my Lord; this is greater.’  But when it set, he said, ‘O my people, surely I quit that which you associate, I have turned my face to Him who originated the heavens and the earth; a man of pure faith, I am not one of the idolaters.’” (Quran 6:76-79)

The Believer’s Attitude

In order to be a Muslim, that is, to surrender oneself to God, it is necessary to believe in the oneness of God, in the sense of His being the only Creator, Preserver, Nourisher, etc.  But this belief is not enough.  Many of the idolaters knew and believed that only the Supreme God could do all this.  But this was not enough to make them Muslims.  In addition to this belief, one must acknowledge the fact that it is God alone who deserves to be worshipped, and thus abstains from worshipping any other thing or being.

Having achieved this knowledge of the one true God, man should constantly have faith in Him, and should allow nothing to induce him to deny truth.

What this means is that, if one submits knowingly to God without reservations, and admits He is the only one worthy of your worship, one must consequently worship Him. That is, knowing we owe Him obedience means putting into practice what we acknowledge in our hearts. God asks, rhetorically:

“Did you think that We had created you in without purpose, and that you would not be brought back to Us?” (Quran 23:115)

He also states categorically:

”I did not create Mankind and Jinn except that they should worship me.” (Quran 51:56)

Hence, when faith enters a person’s heart, it causes certain mental states that result in certain actions.  Taken together, these mental states and actions are the proof for the true faith.  The Prophet, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, said:

“Faith is that which resides firmly in the heart and which is proved by deeds.”

Foremost among these mental states is the feeling of gratitude towards God, which could be said to be the essence of worship.

The feeling of gratitude is so important that a non-believer is called ‘kafir’, which means ‘one who denies a truth’ and also ‘one who is ungrateful’.

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

The Quran tries to promote this feeling of gratitude by repeating the attributes of God very frequently.  We find most of these attributes mentioned together in the following verses of the Quran:

“He is God; there is no god but He.  He is the Knower of the unseen and the visible; He is the All-Merciful, the All-Compassionate.  He is God; there is no god but He.  He is the King, the All-Holy, the All-Peace, the Guardian of the Faith, the All-Preserver, the All-Mighty, the All-Compeller, the All-Sublime.  Glory be to God, above that they associate!  He is God, the Creator, the Maker, the Shaper.  To Him belong the Names Most Beautiful.  All that is in the heavens and the earth magnifies Him; He is the Almighty, the All-Wise.” (Quran 59:22-24)

Also,

“There is no god but He, the Living, the Everlasting.  Slumber seizes Him not, nor sleep.  To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and the earth.  Who is there that shall intercede with Him save by His leave?  He knows what lies before them, and what is after them, and they comprehend not anything of His knowledge save such as He wills.  His footstool extends over the heavens and the earth.  The preserving of them oppresses Him not; He is the All-High, the All-Glorious.” (Quran 2:255)

Also,

“People of the Book, go not beyond the bounds in your religion, and say not as to God but the truth.  The Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, was only the Messenger of God, and His Word that He laded on Mary, and a Spirit from Him.  So believe in God and His Messengers, and say not “Three”.  Refrain; better it is for you.  God is only one God.  Glory be to Him – (He is) above having a son.” (Quran 4:171)

Thus we have three parts to our acknowledgement of God as the Only True God. We must believe he is the ultimate Creator, Controller and Judge of the universe and everything in it; we must refrain from the worship of anything except Him, and then actually direct our Worship to Him; and we must know that He alone has all the divine attributes and names, and we cannot apply them to any other being, no matter who they are.   If one merely acknowledges with one’s lips these necessities, even should we refrain from applying them to other gods, it is not enough. They must be sincerely directed to the One you acknowledge as well.

Can We See God?

The human mind is a true marvel, but in certain areas it is limited.  God is different from anything the human mind can think of or imagine, so the mind will become confused if it tries to picture God.  Nevertheless, it is possible to understand the attributes of God that do not require one to make any mental pictures of Him.  For example, one of God’s names is al-Ghaffar, which means He forgives all sins.  Everyone can understand this easily because that is how the human mind can think of God.  Jewish and Christian teachings on God are confused partly because of incorrect understanding of this issue.  The Jewish Torah teaches God is like man,

“Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…so God made man in His own image.’” (Genesis 1:26-27)

Moreover, certain churches contain statues or images of an old white bearded man depicting God.  Some of these were produced by the likes of Michelangelo who depicted the Face and Hand of a god – a tough looking old man – in paintings.

Rendering images of God in Islam is an impossibility, and amounts to disbelief, as God tells us in the Quran that nothing resembles Him:

“There is nothing like Him, but He is All-Hearing, All-Seeing.” (Quran 42:11)

“There is nothing comparable to Him.” (Quran 112:4)

The Request of Moses to See God

Eyes can not bear the vision of God.  He tells us in the Quran:

“Vision cannot grasp Him, but His Grasp is over all vision.” (Quran 6:103)

Moses, to whom God spoke and gave great miracles, was chosen by God to be His Prophet.  It is said that he thought that, since God used to speak to him, he might be able to actually see God.  The story is in the Quran, where God tells us what happened:

“And when Moses arrived at Our appointed time and his Lord spoke to him, he said, ‘My Lord, show me (Yourself) that I may look at You.’  (God) said, ‘You will not see Me, but look at the mountain; if it should remain in place, then you will see Me.’  But when his Lord appeared to the mountain, He rendered it level, and Moses fell unconscious.  And when he awoke, he said, ‘Exalted are You!  I have repented to You, and I am the first of the believers.’” (Quran 7:143)

God made it clear that no-one, including the great prophet Moses, can bear the sight of the divine, for God is too great to be grasped by human eyes in this life.  According to the Quran, Moses realized his request was in error; therefore, he sought forgiveness from God for having asked.

Did Prophet Muhammad See God In This Life?

Prophet Muhammad traveled in a miraculous journey through the heavens and met God.  People thought that since Prophet Muhammad spoke to God in that journey, he probably saw God too.  One of the companions, Abu Dahrr, asked him about it.  The Prophet replied:

“There was only light, how could I see Him?” (Saheeh Muslim)

What was the light he saw?  The Prophet explained:

“Surely, God does not sleep nor is it befitting for Him to sleep.  He is the one who lowers the scales and raises them.  The deeds of the night go up to Him before the deeds of the day and those of the day before those of the night, and His veil is light.” (Saheeh Muslim)

Visions of God in Spiritual Experiences

Some people, including some who claim to be Muslims, report spiritual experiences where they claim to have seen God.  Common reported experiences also include seeing light, or a magnificent being seated on a throne.  In the case of Muslims, such an experience is usually accompanied by dropping basic Islamic practices like salah and fasting, under the mistaken opinion that such practices are only for common people who had not had their type of experience.

So what does Islam teach about this?  Islam teaches us that it is Satan who pretends to be God to deceive ignorant people who believe in such experiences and go astray.  One of the fundamental foundations of Islam is that the law revealed to Prophet Muhammad cannot be changed or canceled.  God neither makes lawful for some what He has made unlawful for others, nor does He communicate His Law through such experiences to people.  Rather, divine law is revealed through the proper channel of revelation to the prophets, a channel that was closed after the advent of the prophet Muhammad, the last of God’s prophets. 

Seeing God in Afterlife

In Islamic doctrine, God cannot be seen in this life, but the believers will see God in the next life; even then, God will not be grasped in totality.  This is stated clearly in the Quran and the Sunnah.  The Prophet said,

“The Day Of Resurrection is the first day any eye will look at God, the Mighty and Exalted.”

Describing the events of Resurrection Day, God states in the Quran:

“On that day some faces will be bright, looking at their Lord.” (Quran 75:22-23)

The Prophet was asked if we will see God on the Day of resurrection.  He replied, [“Are you harmed by looking at the moon when it is full?” *]‘No,’ they replied.  Then he said, [“Surely, you will see Him likewise.” ] In another hadith the Prophet said, [“Surely, each of you will see God on the day when you shall meet Him, and there will be no veil or translator between Him and you.” *]Seeing God will be a favor that is additional to Paradise on the people who will dwell therein.  As a matter of fact, the joy of seeing God for a believer will be greater than the all the joys of Paradise combined together.  The unbelievers, on the other hand, will be deprived of seeing God, and this will be greater punishment for them than all the pain and suffering of Hell combined together.

Where Is God?

Now and again human beings are prompted to ask themselves some of life’s truly profound questions.  In the quiet darkness of the night, when far off stars twinkle in the vast, majestic sky, or in the cold, hard, light of day when life rushes past like a speeding train, people of all colours, races and creeds wonder about the meaning of their existence.  Why are we here?  What does this all mean?  Is this all there is?

On magnificent days filled with sunshine and iridescent blue skies, people turn their faces towards the sun and contemplate its beauty.  In the deepest winter or the wildest storm, they ponder the strength inherent in the forces of nature.  Somewhere in the deep recesses of the mind, the concept of God arises.  The wonders of creation are a call to the heart and the soul.  The gentle touch of a snowflake, the smell of freshly cut lawn, the soft patter of raindrops and fierce wind of a hurricane are all reminders that this world is full of wonder.

When pain and sadness threaten to engulf us, human beings are again prompted to contemplate the meaning of life.  In the midst of suffering and grief, the concept of God arises.  Even those who would consider themselves far from religion or spiritual belief find themselves looking skywards and pleading for help.  When the heart constricts and fear swamps us, we turn helplessly towards some sort of higher power.  The concept of a God then becomes real and meaningful.

In the midst of pleading and bargaining, the sheer vastness of the universe is laid bare.  The reality of life is filled with awe and wonder.  It is a rollercoaster ride.  There are moments of great joy, and periods of immense sadness.  Life can be long and monotonous or it can be carefree.  As God arises and His majesty is clear, more questions begin to take shape.  One question that inevitably comes to mind is – where is God?

Around the world and down through the ages people have struggled to come to terms with the question of where God is.  The human inclination is to search for God.  The ancient Babylonians and Egyptians built lofty towers in their search for God.  The Persians looked for Him in fire.  Still other, such as the indigenous people of North America and the Celtic people looked for God in the glorious signs of nature around them.  Buddhists find God in themselves, and in the Hindu religion, God is believed to be in every place and in everything.

The quest for God can be confusing.  When posing the question where is God, the resulting answers can also be confusing.  God is everywhere.  God is in your heart.  God is where goodness and beauty exist.  What happens however, when your heart is empty and your surroundings are dismal, dirty, and ugly?  Does God cease to exist?  No! Of course not!  Amidst this confusion, the Islamic concept of God is a beacon of light for those stumbling in the darkness.

What Muslims believe about God is clear-cut and simple.  They do not believe that God is everywhere; they believe that God is above the heavens.  The human need to turn our faces towards the sky in times of trouble and strife is an inherent answer to the question, where is God?  God tells us in the Quran that He is the Most High (Quran 2:255) and that He is above all His Creation.

“He it is Who created the heavens and the earth in six Days and then rose over the Throne (in a manner that suits His Majesty).  He knows what goes into the earth and what comes forth from it, what descends from the heaven and what ascends thereto.  And He is with you (by His Knowledge) wheresoever you may be.  And God is the All-Seer of what you do.” (Quran 57:4)

Prophet Muhammad was known to point towards the sky when referring to God.  When making supplication to God he raised his hands towards the heavens.  During his Farewell sermon, Prophet Muhammad asked the people, “Have I not conveyed the message?” and they said, “Yes!”  He asked again, “Have I not conveyed the message?” and they said, “Yes!”  He asked a third time, “Have I not conveyed the message?” and they said “Yes!”  Each time, he said, “O God, bear witness!”  - at the same time pointing up to the sky and then at the people.

God is above the heavens, above His creation.  This however does not mean that He is contained by any sort of physical dimensions.  God is close, very close, to those who believe in Him and He answers their every call.  God knows all of our secrets, dreams, and wishes, nothing is hidden from Him.  God is with His creation by His knowledge and power.  God is the Creator and the Sustainer.  Nothing comes into existence except by His will.

When Muslims marvel at the wonders of the universe they are secure in the knowledge that God, the Most High, is above the heavens, and comforted by the fact that He is with them in all their affairs.  When a Muslim is struck by loss or grief, he does not question God’s wisdom, or ask the question, ‘where was God when I was sad, or grieving or suffering?’  Humankind was created to worship God, (Quran 56:51) and God said many times that trials and tribulations would be part of our life experience.

“And He it is Who has created the heavens and the earth in six Days …that He might try you, which of you is the best in deeds.” (Quran 11:7)

In their darkest night, or their darkest hour humankind instinctively looks towards the sky.  When their hearts beat heavily and fear threatens to overwhelm them, people turn to God.  They raise their hands and beg for mercy, forgiveness, or kindness, and God responds;  For He is the Most Merciful, the Most Forgiving and the Most Kind.  God is distinct and separate from His creation, and there is nothing like Him.  He is All Hearing and All seeing.  (Quran 42:11)  Hence when we ask the question where is God, the answer is undoubtedly, He is above the heavens and above all His creation. We also say that He is not in need of any of His creation and all of creation needs Him.

The Divine Mercy of God

If someone were to ask, ‘Who is your God?’  A Muslim response would be, ‘The Most-Merciful, the Dispenser of Mercy.’  According to Islamic sources, the prophets, while emphasizing God’s judgment, also proclaimed His mercy.  In Muslim scripture, God introduces Himself as:

“He is God, other than whom there is no deity, Knower of the unseen and the witnessed.  He is the Most-Merciful, the Dispenser of Mercy.” (Quran 59:22)

In Islamic vocabulary ar-Rahman and al-Raheem are the personal names of the Living God.  Both are derived from the noun rahmah, which signifies “mercy”, “compassion”, and “loving tenderness”. Ar-Rahman describes God’s nature of being All-Merciful, while ar-Raheem describes His acts of mercy dispensed to His creation, a subtle difference, but one which shows His all encompassing mercy.

“Say, ‘Call upon God or call upon the Most-Merciful (ar-Rahman), whichever name you call – to Him belong the most Beautiful Names….’” (Quran 17:110)

These two Names are some of the most frequently used Names of God in the Quran: ar-Rahman is used fifty seven times, while al-Raheem is used twice as much (a hundred and fourteen). One conveys a greater sense of loving-kindness, the Prophet said:

“Indeed, God is Kind, and loves kindness.  He grants with kindness what He does not grant with harshness.” (Saheeh Muslim)

Both are also divine attributes signifying God’s relationship with creation.

“Praise be to God, the Lord of All the Worlds; the Most Merciful, the Dispenser of Mercy.” (Quran 1:2-3)

In a prayer which Muslims recite at least seventeen times a day, they start with saying:

“In the Name of God, the Most Merciful, the Dispenser of Mercy.  Praise be to God, the Lord of All the Worlds; the Most Merciful, the Dispenser of Mercy.”  (Quran 1:1-3)

These powerful words evoke a divine response:

“When the servant says: ‘Praise be to God, the Lord of All the Worlds,’ I (God) say: ‘My servant has praised Me.’  When he says: ‘the Most Merciful, the Dispenser of Mercy,’ I (God) say: ‘My servant has extolled Me.’” (Saheeh Muslim)

These names continuously remind a Muslim of divine mercy surrounding him.  All but one of the chapters of Muslim scripture begins with the phrase, ‘In the Name of God, the Most-Merciful, the Dispenser of Mercy.’  Muslims begin in God’s Name to express their ultimate dependence upon Him and remind themselves of divine mercy every time they eat, drink, write a letter, or perform anything of importance.  Spirituality blossoms in the mundane.  The invocation at the beginning of every mundane act makes it important, calling down divine blessing upon this act and consecrates it.  The formula is a popular motif of decoration in manuscripts and architectural ornamentation.

Dispensing mercy requires someone to whom mercy is shown.  The one who is shown mercy must be in need of it.  Perfect mercy is caring for those in need, whereas boundless mercy stretches to those in need or not in need, extending from this world to the wonderful life after death.

In Islamic doctrine, human beings enjoy a personal relationship with the Loving, Merciful God, ever ready to forgive sins and respond to prayers, but He is not merciful in the human sense of feeling sorrow and pity for one in distress.  God does not become human to understand suffering.  Rather, God’s mercy is an attribute befitting His holiness, bringing divine aid and favors.

God’s mercy is vast:

“Say: ‘Limitless is your Lord in His mercy….’” (Quran 6:147)

Stretching to all existence:

“…but My mercy encompasses all things….” (Quran 7:156)

Creation itself is an expression of divine favor, mercy and love.  God invites us to observe the effects of His mercy around us:

“Behold, then, (O man,) these signs of God’s  mercy – how He gives life to the earth after it had been lifeless!…” (Quran 30:50)

God Loves the Compassionate

God loves compassion.  Muslims view Islam to be a religion of mercy.  To them, their Prophet is God’s gift of mercy to all humanity:

“And (thus, O Prophet) We have sent you as [an evidence of Our] mercy towards all the worlds.” (Quran 21:107)

Just as they believe Jesus was God’s mercy to people:

“And that We may make him a symbol unto mankind and an act of mercy from Us.” (Quran 19:21)

One of the daughters of Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, sent him the news of his ailing son.  He reminded her that God is the One who gives, He is the One who takes, and everyone has an appointed term.  He reminded her to be patient.  When the news of his son’s death reached him, tears of compassion ran in his eyes.  His companions were surprised.  The Prophet of Mercy said:

“This is compassion God has placed in the hearts of His servants.  Of all His slaves, God only has mercy on the compassionate.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari)

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy, as Prophet Muhammad said:

“God will not have mercy on one who is not compassionate towards people.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari)

He also said:

“The Merciful shows mercy to those merciful. Have mercy to those on earth, and the One above the heavens will have mercy upon you.” (At-Tirmidhi)

Divine mercy wraps all existence in its fold, forever enduring.  The caring Lord of mankind is merciful to them, full of compassion.  The name of God, Ar-Rahman, suggests His loving mercy is a defining aspect of His being; the fullness of His compassion is limitless; a bottomless ocean with no shores.  Ar-Razi, one of the classical Islamic scholars wrote, ‘It is unimaginable for creation to be more merciful to itself than God!’  Indeed Islam teaches that God is more merciful to a human being than his/her own mother.

In God’s abounding mercy, He sends down rain to produce fruits from orchards to provide for the human body.  The soul as well needs intense spiritual nourishment the same way the body needs food.  In His abounding mercy, God sent prophets and messengers to human beings and revealed scriptures to them to sustain the human spirit.  Divine Mercy displayed itself in the Torah of Moses:

“…In the writing whereof there was guidance and mercy for all who stood in awe of their Lord.” (Quran 7:154)

And the revelation of the Quran:

“…This [revelation] is a means of insight from your Lord, and to provide guidance and, mercy unto people who will believe.” (Quran 7:203)

Mercy is not granted to some merit of one’s ancestors.  Divine Mercy is granted for acting on the Word of God and listening to its recitation:

“And this (Quran) is a Book which We have bestowed from on high, a blessed one: follow it, then, and be conscious of God, so that you might be graced with His mercy.” (Quran 6:155)

“Hence, when the Quran is recited, listen to it, and listen in silence, so that you might be graced with [God’s] mercy.” (Quran 7:204)

Mercy is a result of obedience:

“Hence, (O believers!)  be constant in prayer, and render the purifying dues, and obey the Messenger, so that you might be graced with God’s mercy.” (Quran 24:56)

God’s mercy is man’s hope.  Consequently, the believers beseech God for His mercy:

“Affliction has befallen me: but You are the most merciful of the merciful!” (Quran 21:83)

They beseech God’s mercy for the faithful:

“O our Lord!, let not our hearts swerve from the truth after You have guided us; and bestow on us the gift of Your mercy: verily, You are the [true] Giver of Gifts.” (Quran 3:8)

And they beseech God’s mercy for their parents:

“…O my Lord!, Bestow Your mercy upon them, even as they brought me when I was a child!” (Quran 17:24)

Allotment of Divine Mercy

Divine mercy clasps in its arms the faithful and the faithless, the obedient and the rebel, but in the life to come it will be reserved for the faithful.  Ar-Rahmanis merciful to all creation in the world, but his mercy is reserved for the faithful in the life to come.  Ar-Raheem will dispense His mercy to the faithful on Judgment Day:

“…With My chastisement do I afflict whom I will – but My Mercy overspreads everything: and so I shall confer it on those who fear Me and spend in charity, and who believe in Our messages – those who shall follow the [last] Messenger, the unlettered Prophet whom they  find described in the Torah that is with them, and in the Gospel….” (Quran 7:156-157)

Divine allotment of mercy is described by the Prophet of Islam:

“God created a hundred portions of mercy.  He placed one portion between His creation due to which they have compassion on each other.  God has stored the remaining ninety nine portions for Judgment Day to grace His slaves.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim, Al-Tirmidhi, and others.)

A mere portion of divine mercy fills the heavens and the earth, humans love one another, beasts and birds drink water. Also, the divine mercy which will be manifested on Judgment Day is vaster than what we see in this life, just as divine punishment will be more intense than what we experience here.  The Prophet of Islam explained the dual extreme of these divine attributes:

“If a believer were to know what punishment God has stored, he will despair and not a single one will anticipate making it to Paradise.  If an unbeliever were to know the abounding mercy of God, not a single one will despair to make it to Paradise.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim, Al-Tirmidhi)

Yet, in Islamic doctrine, divine mercy supersedes divine anger:

“Indeed, My mercy supersedes my punishment.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim)

God’s mercy is intimately close to everyone of us, awaiting to embrace when we are ready.  Islam recognizes human propensity to sin, for God has created man weak.  The Prophet stated:

“All the children of Adam constantly err…”

At the same time, God lets us know He forgives sins.  Continuing the same hadeeth:

“…but the best of those who constantly err are those who constantly repent.” (Al-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, Ahmad, Hakim)

God says:

“Say, ‘O My servants, who have transgressed against their souls!  Despair not of the Mercy of God: for God forgives all sins, for He is Oft-Forgiving, Most-Merciful.’” (Quran 39:53)

Muhammad, the Prophet of Mercy, was charged to convey the good news to all people:

“Tell My servants that I am indeed the Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Quran 15:49)

Repentance attracts Divine Mercy:

“…Why do you not, rather, ask God to forgive you your sins, so that you might be graced with His mercy?” (Quran 27:46)

“…God’s mercy is ever near unto the doers of good!” (Quran 7:56)

Since ancient times, God’s saving mercy has rescued the faithful from pending doom:

“And so, when Our judgment came to pass, by Our mercy We saved Hud and those who shared his faith….” (Quran 11:58)

“And so, when Our judgment came to pass, by Our mercy We saved Shu’ayb and those who shared his faith….” (Quran 11:94)

Fullness of God’s compassion towards the sinner can be seen in the following:

1.       God Accepts Repentance

[* "God does wish to turn to you, but the wish of those who follow their lusts is that you should turn away (from Him), -far, far away." (Quran 4:27) *]

“Know they not that God accepts repentance from His votaries, and receives their gifts of charity, and that God is indeed He, the Oft-Forgiving, Most-Merciful.” (Quran 9:104)

2.       God Loves The Sinner Who Repents

“…For God loves those who turn to Him constantly….” (Quran 2:22)

The Prophet said:

“If mankind were not to commit sins, God would create other creatures who would commit sins, then He would forgive them, for He is Oft-Forgiving, Most-Merciful.” (Al-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, Musnad Ahmed)

3.       God is Delighted When the Sinner Repents Because He Realizes He Has a Lord Who Forgives Sins!

The Prophet said:

“God is more delighted with the repentance of His slave when he repents, than any of you would be if (he found his) camel, which he had been riding in a barren desert, after it had escaped from him carrying his food and drink.  After he despaired of it, he came to a tree and laid down in its shade.  Then while he was despairing of it, the camel came and stood by his side, and he seized its reins and cried out in joy, ‘O God, You are my servant and I am your Lord!’ – making this mistake (in wording) out of his excessive joy.” (Saheeh Muslim)

4.       Gate of Repentance is Open Day and Night

Divine mercy extends forgiveness every day and every night of the year.  The Prophet said:

“God extends His Hand at night to accept the repentance of one who has sinned during the day, and He extends His Hand during the day to accept the repentance of one who has sinned during the night – until [the day comes when] the sun rises from the West (one of the major signs of the Day of Judgment).” (Saheeh Muslim)

5.       God Accepts Repentance Even If Sins Are Repeated

Repeatedly God shows His compassion to the sinner.  God’s loving-kindness to the Children of Israel can be seen before the sin of the golden calf had been committed, God dealt with Israel according to His compassion, even after their sinning, He dealt with them in mercy.  Ar-Rahman says:

“…and when We appointed for Moses forty nights [on Mount Sinai], and in his absence you took to worshipping the [golden] calf, and thus became evildoers: yet, even after that, We blotted out this your sin, so that you might have cause to be grateful.” (Quran 2:51-52)

The Prophet said:

“A man committed a sin, and then said, ‘O my Lord, forgive my sin,’ so God said, ‘My slave has sinned, then he realized that he has a Lord who can forgive sins and can punish him for it.’  Then the man repeated the sin, then said, ‘O my Lord, forgive my sin.’  God said, ‘My slave has sinned, then he realized that he has a Lord who can forgive sins and can punish him for it.’  The man repeated the sin (the third time), then he said, ‘O my Lord, forgive my sin,’ and God said, ‘My slave has sinned, then he realized that he has a Lord who can forgive sins and can punish him for it.  Do what you wish, for I have forgiven you.’” (Saheeh Muslim)

6.       Entering Islam Erases All Previous Sins

The Prophet has explained that accepting Islam wipes off all previous sins of the new Muslim, no matter how serious they were with one condition: the new Muslim accepts Islam purely for God.  Some people asked God’s Messenger, ‘O Messenger of God!  Will we be held responsible for what we did during the days of ignorance before accepting Islam?’  He replied:

“Whoever accepts Islam purely for God will not be held to account, but one who does so for some other reason will be accountable for the time before Islam and after.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim)

Although God’s mercy is sufficient to cover any sin, it does not free man from his responsibility to behave rightly.  Discipline and hard work is required along the path to salvation.  The Law of Salvation in Islam takes into account faith and keeping to the Law, not mere belief in God.  We are imperfect and weak and God created us this way.  When we fall short in keeping to the sacred Law, the Loving God is ready to forgive.  Forgiveness is received simply through confessing one’s sins to God alone and begging of His mercy, having a firm intention not to return to it..  But one should always remember that Paradise is not earned by virtue of one’s deeds alone, but is awarded by divine mercy.  The Prophet of Mercy made this fact clear:

“Not one of you will enter Paradise by his deeds alone.’  They asked, ‘Not even you, O Messenger of God?’  He said, ‘Not even me, unless God covers me with His grace and mercy.” (Saheeh Muslim)

Belief in God, keeping to His Law, and good works, are considered the reasonnot the price for admission into Paradise.

The Forgiveness of Sins

“O My slaves who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)!  Despair not of the Mercy of God: verily, God forgives all sins. Truly He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Quran 39:53)

God did not create humankind for any purpose other than to worship Him.  However being human makes us frail and forgetful while at the same time our humanity often causes us to become full of our own importance; proud and arrogant.  Arrogance in turn often causes us to commit sins, and our forgetfulness often causes us to make mistakes that can easily lead to sinful behavior.  God knows us well, He is our Creator.  He has not abandoned us to our own imperfect nature; He has provided us with innumerable opportunities to turn to Him for forgiveness.  In fact God loves that we feel remorse, and turn to Him seeking His forgiveness and comfort. Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, said to his companions, and to all those who follow them in righteousness,  “If you did not commit sins, God would replace you with other people [_ who would commit sins, and ] [_ask for God’s forgiveness, and He would forgive them.”] This is not an encouragement to sin, but demonstrates the infinite Mercy of God.

The door to forgiveness is always open

God, in His infinite wisdom has made seeking forgiveness easy. If we were not able to seek and obtain God’s forgiveness we would indeed be miserable people, full of despair and self-loathing. It is for this reason that there are no transgressions too big or sins too small that God will not forgive. All sins are forgivable and the door to forgiveness is wide open almost until the Day of Judgement is upon us.

“And turn in repentance and in obedience with true Faith to your Lord and submit to Him, before the torment comes upon you, then you will not be helped.” (Quran 39:54)

When God sees the sincere repentance from one of the believers – a person who truly turns God with both fear and hope – He not only forgives the sin, but He replaces the sins with rewardable good deeds. This is from God’s infinite mercy.

“Except those who repent and believe and do righteous deeds; for those, God will change their sins into good deeds, and God is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Quran 25:70)

God also forgives us our sins through the difficulties that we face in our lives. When we are stricken with illness or suffering from unfavourable circumstances, we will earn forgiveness if we bear our difficulties patiently, all the time seeking a reward from God.

Major and minor sins

Disobeying God is always a serious matter; however the scholars of Islam have divided sins into major and minor categories.  Major sins are those sins that entail Allah’s curse or incur His wrath or are tied with the threat of punishment of Hell, which includes the sin of worshipping something other than God, which is the most grievous act a human being can commit. Other major sins include murder, sorcery and adultery.  Minor sins are defined as acts that are displeasing to God but have no defined punishment mentioned in either the Quran or the authentic traditions.  However they are not to be taken lightly because minor sins can easily lead on to major sins and God warned us to take minor sins seriously when He says, “…you counted it a little thing, while with God it was very great.” (Quran24:15) 

Prophet Muhammad advised us that, “Righteousness is in good character and morality, and wrongdoing is that which wavers in your soul, and which you dislike people finding out about.”

Obtaining God’s forgiveness is easy

As mentioned before, sincere repentance is able to wipe out a person’s sins, forever and completely. It involves showing genuine remorse, praying for God’s mercy and forgiveness, and avoiding that sin in the future. In addition to this, God has also given us other ways in which to wipe the slate clean so that a person may begin again in the eyes of God, as if he or she was a new born baby.

These acts include a nonbeliever embracing Islam, and a person performing an accepted pilgrimage (Hajj) to the House of God in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

“Say to those who have disbelieved [that] if they cease, what has previously occurred will be forgiven for them…” (Quran 8:38)

Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, said, “Do you not know that accepting Islam destroys all sins which come before it?”

“Whoever performs Hajj for God’s pleasure and does not have sexual relations with his wife, and does not do evil or sins then he will return (after Hajj free from all sins) as if he were born anew”.

As for minor sins, God mercy is so complete that he forgives us our sins even as we perform obligatory acts.  From the traditions of Prophet Muhammad we find several sayings that attest to this fact.

“He who performs ablution well, his sins will come out from his body, even from under his nails”.

“When the time for a prescribed prayer comes, if any believer performs ablution well and offers his prayer with humility and bowing, it will be an expiation for his past sins, so long as he has not committed a major sin; and this applies for all times”.

“… if he performs ablution completely and then goes to the mosque with the sole intention of performing the prayer, and nothing urges him to proceed to the mosque except the prayer, then, on every step which he takes towards the mosque, he will be raised one degree or one of his sins will be forgiven…”

“Whoever fasted the month of Ramadan out of sincere Faith (i.e. belief) hoping for a reward from God, then all his past sins will be forgiven”.

Sins can also be forgiven by performing good deeds, again though we must strive to do these deeds completely for the sake of God not for some worldly reward.  “…Verily, the good deeds remove the evil deeds (small sins). *] [*This is a reminder for the mindful .” (Quran 11:114)

God has made it easy for us to seek and obtain His forgiveness however it does not come automatically; one must seek God’s forgiveness sincerely, knowing that it is only through God’s supreme mercy that anyone will enter Paradise. Prophet Muhammad said, “Do good deeds properly, sincerely and moderately, and rejoice, for no one’s good deeds will put him in Paradise.” His companions asked, “Not even you, O Messenger of God?” He replied, “Not even me, unless God bestows His pardon and mercy upon me.”

God Is Al-Hakeem (The Wise)

The Quran mentions two names for God that are closely related linguistically.  The first is al-Hakeem (the Wise) and the second is al-Haakim (the Judge).  God is referred to in the Quran as “the Wise” 93 times and as “the Judge” six times.

For instance, God says:

“Indeed You are the All-Knowing, the Wise.” (Quran 2:32) and “…the Mighty, the Wise” (Quran 2:129).

[*“He is the Wise, the All-Aware.” (Quran 6:18) *]

[*“God is ever All-Embracing, Wise.” (Quran 4:130) *]

[*God refers to Himself as the Judge when He says: “Shall I then seek a Judge other than God? And He it is Who has revealed to you the Book (which is) made plain?” (Quran 6:114) *]

[*And: “He is the Best of Judges.” (Quran 7:87) *]

[*And where He says: “And Noah called upon his Lord, and said: ‘O my Lord! Surely my son is of my family! And Your promise is true, and You are the Most Just of Judges!’” (Quran 11:45) *]

[*And: “Is not God the Best of Judges?” (Quran 95:8) *]

God’s Wisdom

To be wise means to know things as they are, act towards them accordingly, and afford everything in its proper place and function.  God says about His creation: “You see the mountains and think them firmly fixed, but they shall pass away as the clouds pass away. [* (Such is) the handiwork of God, who carries out all things with utmost proficiency.”*] (Quran 27:88) 

God’s wisdom can be witnessed in His creation, and especially in the creation of the human being, with its mind and soul.  God tells us that He created the human being in the best of forms:

“Indeed, We have created the human being upon the best of forms.  Then we reduced him to the lowest of the low, except those who believe and do good, for they shall have an unending reward.  So who henceforth will give the lie to you about the judgment? Is not God the Best of Judges?” (Quran 95:4-8)

Human Wisdom

God is the Wise who bestows wisdom upon those of His servants He deems fit.  God says: “He grants wisdom to whom He pleases, and whoever is granted wisdom is indeed given a great good, but none perceive this except those of understanding.” (Quran 2:269) 

God grants some people an exceptional ability to look into problems and come up with workable solutions, who when faced with a crisis or difficulty can weigh every consideration in a proper and balanced way.  These are the people others consult with and rely upon in various aspects of their lives.  Some people have wisdom regarding social issues.  Others possess wisdom when it comes to interpersonal relations.  There are those who are wise when it comes to economic issues. 

The field of consultancy is a vital and important one today.  Many successful consultants are people whom God has blessed with wisdom in their field to complement their knowledge, insight, and experience. 

We must realize that wisdom can be specialized.  A person may have profound wisdom in one or more aspects of life, without being wise in every way.  A person may be wise in worldly matters without being wise in matters of faith, indeed without even being a believer. 

[*God: the Sovereign Judge *]

God has sovereignty over all matters in creation.  This is conveyed by the name al-Hakam, which appears in the following verse: “Shall I then seek a Judge other than God? And He it is Who has revealed to you the Book (which is) made plain?” (Quran 6:114) 

Furthermore, nothing occurs in creation except by His authority and decree.  God says: “All those who are in the heavens and the Earth ask of Him; every moment He is in a state (of glory).” (Quran 55:29) 

Likewise, His decree can be of a legislative nature.  God makes certain deeds lawful and other deeds sinful.  He commands us to do certain things and prohibits us from doing others.  His decree cannot be revoked or overturned by anyone.  God says: “His is the creation and His is the command.” (Quran 7:54) 

The Quran describes God as the “Best of Judges.” This is an affirmation of His perfect justice and immense mercy.  God never wrongs anyone and is never oppressive.  What He legislates for His servants is never burdensome and never unfair.  Rather, the genuine teachings of Islam uphold the rights of all people without bias: the ruler and the ruled, the strong and the weak, the male and the female, the righteous and the sinner, the believer and the unbeliever.  It upholds their rights in times of peace and times of war, and under all circumstances without exception. 

This is why Muslims should refer to the Quran and the Sunnah (teachings) of the Prophet, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, for guidance in all matters.  They should do so as individuals to guide them in their personal lives, and they should do so as communities, societies, and nations for guidance in their political, social, and economic affairs. 

God is Wise and He is the just Judge.  In Islamic beliefs, no one is ever understood to bear the sin of another.  No one is ever wronged by God.  No sinner is ever punished for more than the magnitude of the sin committed and no good deed ever goes without a reward. 

God says: “Indeed, those who have believed and done righteous deeds – indeed, We will not allow to be lost the reward of any who did well in deeds.” (Quran 18:30)

God Is Al-Malik (The King)

God is referred to as “King” five times in the Quran.

“He is Allah (God), besides Whom there is no god; the King…” (Quran 59:23)

“So exalted be Allah (God), the True King!” (Quran 20:114)

“…the King of humanity, the God of humanity.” (Quran 114:2)

“Lo! the righteous will dwell among gardens and rivers, in the seat of honor with a Mighty King.” (Quran 54:54-55)

In Arabic, the word for “owner” (mālik) is closely related to the word “king” (malik), the only difference being that “owner” is pronounced with an added stress on the letter a.  God is referred to by this related name “Owner” in other verses, including:

“Owner of Judgment Day.” (Quran 1:4)

(Indeed, in some modes of reciting the Qur’an, the word is pronounced with an unstressed a so the verse reads: “King of Judgment Day.”)

Also: “Say: O Allah (God)! Owner of Sovereignty!” (Quran 3:26)

God is “the owner of sovereignty”.  Indeed, he is the King of Kings, since the lives and destinies of all earthly kings are in His hands.  It is as God says: “Blessed is He for whom sovereignty is in His hand.” (Quran 67:1)  And thus He is the “True King” who has “sovereignty of the heavens and the Earth”.

God’s sovereignty is absolute.  It has no limit.  “Human beings can be described as possessing “sovereignty”, but theirs is transient and it is limited in scope.  We say that someone is king of a particular country.  We likewise say that someone is the owner of a field or a vehicle.  These types of sovereignty and ownership are limited in their timeframe – the duration of a person’s lifetime at most, often less – as well as in the scope of what is being possessed or being ruled.

All over the world, we can see artifacts and monuments left behind by past civilizations: mighty castles, great estates, the ruins of Egypt, Greece and Rome.  They attest to those who once possessed great power but then passed on into the annals of history.  They held sway for a period of time over a part of the globe.  Then God decreed that their rule would come to an end.  Thus it becomes clear to us that true sovereignty belongs to God alone, whereas human sovereignty is fleeting and capricious, restricted and incomplete. 

Ahmad Zaky has written a series of moving articles entitled Civilizations which Have Come and Gone.  How true this title is. 

Who has ever possessed the entire world? People talk about people like Pharaoh, Nimrod, and Alexander the Great, but none of them were able to take possession of the whole world, or bring all of humanity under their sway.  All who rule do so over a limited domain for a limited time.  God has made it the norm throughout the ages that nations, kings, and powers would contended with one another.  He says: “And if not God did not check one set of people by means of another, the Earth would indeed be full of mischief: But God is full of bounty to all the worlds.” (Quran 2:251)

No human being has ever possessed the whole of the Earth or has been able to govern all of its affairs.  Consider, then, how small a part the Earth is of God’s vast universe.

God, indeed, is the True King in every way.  He gives to His servants when they beseech Him, and Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, informs us that in Paradise, God will bestow “what no eye has yet seen, no ear ever heard, and no mind ever imagined.”

Moreover, God says: “And no soul knows what delights of the eye have been kept hidden in store from them as a reward for what they used to do.” (Quran 32:17)

The people with the least reward in Paradise will abide for eternity in palatial splendor, dwelling in beauty and delight beyond all imagining.  “The lowliest denizen of Paradise will have what is equal to all the world and ten times more.”

Prophet Muhammad said: “The denizens of Paradise look up at the denizens of the levels above them the way they would look upon a twinkling planet moving from East to West across the sky.  This is the disparity between them.”

When the people heard this, they asked: “Messenger of God, are those higher levels the levels of the Prophets, not to be attained by anyone else?”

He replied: “Indeed not.  I swear by Him in whose hand is my soul, they are just people who believed in God and believed the Messengers.”

These are but some of God’s bounties that He shall bestow upon some of His worshipers.  How far more glorious, then, must Firdaws be, the highest domain of Paradise, directly below the Throne of the Beneficent. 

God gives and bestows without measure, and the bounty He gives to His servants does not decrease what He possesses in the least.  The Prophet, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, relates to us that God says:

O My servants! If the first of you and the last of you, human of you and jinn of you, were as the most God-fearing heart of any single man among you, this would not increase My dominion in the least. 

O My servants! If the first of you and the last of you, human of you and jinn of you, were as the most sinful heart of any single man among you, this would not decrease My dominion in the least. 

O My servants! If the first of you and the last of you, human of you and jinn of you, were to stand as one and ask of Me and I were to give each person what he asked for, it would not diminish what I have, any more than the ocean would be diminished if a needle were dipped into it.

Also, God tells us in the Qur’an: “Say: O Allah (God)! Owner of Sovereignty! You give sovereignty unto whom You will, and You snatch sovereignty from whom You will. [* You exalt whom You will, and You abase whom You will.] [ In Your hand is the good.] [ Lo! You are able to do all things.] [ You cause the night to pass into the day, and You cause the day to pass into the night.] [ And You bring forth the living from the dead, and You bring forth the dead from the living.] [ And You give sustenance to whom You choose, without measure.”*] (Quran 3:26-27)

Consider the choice of word “snatch” here.  This is because when a human being possesses something of value, he or she is very reluctant to part with it.  It is not parted with peacefully. 

We as human beings may comb the Earth for our sustenance.  We may work with might and main to our utmost strength, producing, stretching our creativity and our intellects to the limit.  Nevertheless, we will forever be the subjects of our Lord, the possessions of the one who created us.  We should know that this servitude to our Creator is the greatest station of liberty there is, for the servant of God acts from free conviction and free desire. 

Our belief that God is King benefits us.  It increases our desire to turn to God and seek from His bounty.  We increase our supplications to the one whom we know is the true Owner of all things.  This belief also frees us from the thrall of what we see other people possessing.  We do not debase ourselves before those people or compromise our human dignity in hopes of their favor.  Instead, we apply our own energies and God-given talents to aspire to be the best we can be, placing our reliance and trust in God alone.

As-Salaam (Peace) The Name of God

Al-Salaam (Peace) is one of God’s names.  God says: “He is Allah (God), besides whom there is no God, the King, the Holy One, Peace, the Giver of Security…” (Quran 59:23)

Allah is the bringer of peace who spreads peace throughout creation.  Since life was first created, it has been predominated by long stretches of peacefulness, security, tranquility, and contentment.  God is Peace and from Him emanates all peace.  It is as the Prophet, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, said: “O God! You are Peace and from You is peace.  Blessed be You, possessor of glory and honor.”

It is astonishing that some people who invoke God by this noble name live their lives in contention and hostility towards the world.  Every aspect of their lives is full of strife, from within themselves, to their outward behavior, in their thinking, and with their families.  How can such a person find peace with the Lord?

Al-Salaam as “Soundness”

The name al-Salaam also connotes “soundness”, the idea of being free from blemish.  It conveys the meaning that God is free from every shortcoming and deficiency, like fatigue, sleep, sickness, or death.  God’s existence is one of absolute perfection.  God says: “Allah (God), there is no God but He, the living and self-subsisting. [* Neither slumber nor sleep overtake him.”*](Quran 59:255)

God is free from anything that would contradict with his absolute self-sufficiency.  Nothing can fatigue Him or elude Him.  Nothing is beyond his reach. 

The People of the Scripture attribute such a deficiency to Him when they claim that He rested on the seventh day, after creating the heavens and the Earth.  This is why God says: “Indeed We created the heavens and Earth and everything between them in six days, and We were not touched by any fatigue.” (Quran 50:38)

If God wills anything to happen, He just says “Be!” and it is. (Quran 36:28)

This same connotation of the name al-Salaam applies to God’s knowledge.  God is free from ignorance, doubt, and indecision.  Nothing is hidden from His knowledge.  His knowledge is not acquired through learning.  It is absolute, complete, and wholly accurate, comprehending everything in the past, present, and future without exception. 

[* "Do you not see that God knows all that is in the heavens and on Earth? There is not a secret consultation between three, but He makes the fourth among them, - nor between five but He makes the sixth,- nor between fewer nor more, but He is in their midst, wheresoever they be." (Quran 58:7) *]

“It is the same (to Him) whether any of you conceals his speech or declares it openly; whether he lurks by night or walks forth freely by day.” (Quran 13:10)

Likewise, His speech is free from all falsehood and injustice.  God says: “Perfected is the Word of your Lord in truth and justice.” (Quran 6:115)

His pronouncements are true and His decrees are just.  His Law and every expression of His will are perfect.  God’s Law is full of wisdom and knowledge, as is the Quran which He revealed to His Prophet.  The Quran is rich in meaning, multilayered, guiding humanity in every way to what assures their welfare in this world and the next.  It is unfortunate that so many people who read the Quran are content to neglect this richness and blindly follow traditions and rote knowledge.  They have become incapable of creative thinking and renewal, and as a consequence wallow in the backwardness, ignorance, and cultural decline that we witness today. 

God is free from having any contender, rival, or partner in His dominion.  He alone holds sovereignty over Creation, both in this world and the next. 

His decree and His command are free from tyranny and injustice.  Prophet Muhammad relates to us that God says: “O my servants! I have forbidden Myself to act unjustly and have made it forbidden for you among yourselves, so do not oppress one another.”

From the perfection of God’s justice, He forbids Himself to ever act unjustly and makes it forbidden for us to oppress one another.  He says: “And your Lord is not in the least unjust to His servants.” (Quran 41:46)

God commands us to cultivate this quality within ourselves and never act unjustly towards one another.  By acting justly, we are engaged in an act of devotion to our Lord, since God is not only just, but He loves justice and those who act justly.  In the same way, He is All-Knowing, and He loves knowledge and those who possess knowledge.  He is beautiful.  He loves beauty and those who cultivate beauty within themselves.  He is generous, and He loves generosity and charitable people.  These are all among the attributes of our Lord. 

This connotation of soundness, this freedom from blemish, extends to His actions: to what He gives and to what He withholds.  When God keeps something from us, it is not due to stinginess or scarcity.  Glory be to God above that! It is from His infinite wisdom that He withholds what He withholds from his servants.  Some people are better off wealthy while others are better off poor.  “God enlarges the livelihood of whom He will, and straitens (it for whom He will); and they rejoice in the life of the world, whereas the life of the world is but brief comfort as compared with the Hereafter.” (Quran 13:26) Likewise, some people benefit more by being healthy while others benefit more from experiencing illness.  God knows what each of us needs and what is ultimately in our best interests. 

All of God’s attributes share in this perfection, this freedom from deficiency.  God’s attributes do not resemble to created things.  He is incomparable.  It is from God’s wisdom that we, as created beings, are subject to the limitations and shortcomings inherent to our nature and to the tribulations of living in the world.  God on the other hand is al-Salaam, the one who is free from all shortcomings. 

God’s name al-Salaam is truly great in its meaning in that it articulates the perfection that all of God’s names possess – that each and every one of God’s attributes is free from shortcomings. 

When we greet each other with peace by saying: “Al-Salaam `alaykum”, we are invoking this name of God, and in doing so, we are communicating this connotation of God’s perfection as well as the idea of peace. 

And indeed God has made “peace” the salutation of the believers: “Their salutation on the Day they meet Him will be ‘Peace!’” (Quran 33:44)

He has commanded us to use this salutation: “So when you enter houses, greet yourselves with a salutation from God.” (Quran 24:61) Therefore, a believer invokes peace upon himself and upon others with this salutation. 

God is the Bestower of Peace

Indeed, God greets his creatures in this world with the salutation of peace. 

“Peace be upon Noah in all the worlds.” (Quran 37:79)  “Peace be upon Abraham.” (Quran 37:109)  “Peace be upon Moses and Aaron.” (Quran 37:120) “Peace be upon Elias.” (Quran 37:130) “Peace be upon the Messengers.” (Quran 37:181)  “Say: Praise be to God, and peace be upon the servants He has chosen.” (Quran 27:59)  “Peace be upon those who follow guidance.” (Quran 20:47)

God’s salutation upon His servants is His decree that they will be safeguarded in this world and the next.  Though they are subject to the trials and tribulations that others experience in the world, God bestows upon their hearts contentment and certainty of faith which transforms their difficulties into a boon and a rewarding experience.  Theirs are contented hearts, at peace with whatever God decrees for them.   

The eminent Companion Saad ibn Abi Waqqas was blessed in that his prayers were always answered.  When he became blind, people would ask him: “Why don’t you beseech God to restore your sight?”  

He would reply: “By God! My being content with God’s decree is dearer to me than what else I desire.”

O God! You are Peace and from You is peace.  Blessed be You, possessor of glory and honor.

Science Increasingly Makes The Case For God

In 1966 Time magazine ran a cover story asking: Is God Dead? Many have accepted the cultural narrative that he’s obsolete—that as science progresses, there is less need for a “God” to explain the universe.  Yet it turns out that the rumors of God’s death were premature.  More amazing is that the relatively recent case for his existence comes from a surprising place—science itself.

Here’s the story: The same year Time featured the now-famous headline, the astronomer Carl Sagan announced that there were two important criteria for a planet to support life: The right kind of star, and a planet the right distance from that star.  Given the roughly octillion—1 followed by 27 zeros—planets in the universe, there should have been about septillion—1 followed by 24 zeros—planets capable of supporting life.

With such spectacular odds, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, a large, expensive collection of private and publicly funded projects launched in the 1960s, was sure to turn up something soon.  Scientists listened with a vast radio telescopic network for signals that resembled coded intelligence and were not merely random.  But as years passed, the silence from the rest of the universe was deafening.  Congress defunded SETI in 1993, but the search continues with private funds.  As of 2014, researchers have discovered precisely bubkis—0 followed by nothing.

What happened? As our knowledge of the universe increased, it became clear that there were far more factors necessary for life than Sagan supposed.  His two parameters grew to 10 and then 20 and then 50, and so the number of potentially life-supporting planets decreased accordingly.  The number dropped to a few thousand planets and kept on plummeting.

Even SETI proponents acknowledged the problem.  Peter Schenkelwrote in a 2006 piece for Skeptical Inquirer magazine: “In light of new findings and insights, it seems appropriate to put excessive euphoria to rest .  .  .  .  We should quietly admit that the early estimates .  .  .  may no longer be tenable.”

As factors continued to be discovered, the number of possible planets hit zero, and kept going.  In other words, the odds turned against any planet in the universe supporting life, including this one.  Probability said that even we shouldn’t be here.

Today there are more than 200 known parameters necessary for a planet to support life—every single one of which must be perfectly met, or the whole thing falls apart.  Without a massive planet like Jupiter nearby, whose gravity will draw away asteroids, a thousand times as many would hit Earth’s surface.  The odds against life in the universe are simply astonishing.

Yet here we are, not only existing, but talking about existing.  What can account for it? Can every one of those many parameters have been perfect by accident?  At what point is it fair to admit that science suggests that we cannot be the result of random forces? Doesn’t assuming that an intelligence created these perfect conditions require far less faith than believing that a life-sustaining Earth just happened to beat the inconceivable odds to come into being?

There’s more.  The fine-tuning necessary for life to exist on a planet is nothing compared with the fine-tuning required for the universe to exist at all.  For example, astrophysicists now know that the values of the four fundamental forces—gravity, the electromagnetic force, and the “strong” and “weak” nuclear forces—were determined less than one millionth of a second after the big bang.  Alter any one value and the universe could not exist.  For instance, if the ratio between the nuclear strong force and the electromagnetic force had been off by the tiniest fraction of the tiniest fraction—by even one part in 100,000,000,000,000,000—then no stars could have ever formed at all.  Feel free to gulp.

Multiply that single parameter by all the other necessary conditions, and the odds against the universe existing are so heart-stoppingly astronomical that the notion that it all “just happened” defies common sense.  It would be like tossing a coin and having it come up heads 10 quintillion times in a row.  Really?

Fred Hoyle, the astronomer who coined the term “big bang,” said that his atheism was “greatly shaken” at these developments.  He later wrote that “a common-sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a super-intellect has monkeyed with the physics, as well as with chemistry and biology .  .  .  .  The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question.”

Theoretical physicist Paul Davies has said that “the appearance of design is overwhelming” and Oxford professor Dr.  John Lennox has said “the more we get to know about our universe, the more the hypothesis that there is a Creator .  .  .  gains in credibility as the best explanation of why we are here.”

The greatest miracle of all time, without any close seconds, is the universe.  It is the miracle of all miracles, one that ineluctably points with the combined brightness of every star to something—or Someone—beyond itself.

God’s Being & The Limits of Human Imagination

Everything in our limited experience must have a beginning and end.  We ourselves are born and we ultimately die.  This is the case with our parents and forefathers as well as with our children and descendants.  Such relationships permeate creation. 

Some people, due to intellectual weakness or simplicity, assume that everything must be comparable to their own past experience.  They rely on the imagination, which is really only capable of visualizing that which has in one way or another already been experienced.  This is why the imagination is incapable of grappling with absolutes and with universal concepts. 

Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, was referring to the limits of human reason when he said:

“People will keep asking questions until they come to asking: ‘God created the universe, but who created God?’ Whoever has thoughts like this should simply declare: ‘I believe in God.’ Seek God’s help and desist from such thoughts.”

The human mind has limitations, and our human perspective is deficient.  Because of this, some people fall into misgivings with respect to God’s pre-existence.  We need to realize that we are dealing here with a matter of faith; in other words, a matter which transcends the limitations of human reason. 

After making the statement quoted above, it is mentioned that Prophet Muhammad advised reciting the chapter of the Qur’an entitled “Purity of Faith” (Chapter al-Ikhlas):

“Say: He is Allah (God), the One.  Allah (God), the Self-Subsisting.  He begets not, nor is He begotten, and there is none like unto Him.” (Quran 112:1-4)

The crucial verse here is “He begets not, nor is He begotten”.  It shows that God’s perfection and Self-Subsistence defy human experience and transcend the limits of the human imagination. 

So God says: “Allah (God), the Self-Subsisting. [* He begets not, nor is He begotten“] and immediately follows it with: [“and there is none like unto Him.“]We cannot compare God with anything in our experience.  Likewise, we find that God commands us: [“Do not give likenesses to God.”*] (Quran 16:74) This is the way our faith in God should be. 

Prophet Muhammad advised those who were plagued with doubts like “Who created God?” to: “Seek God’s help and desist from such thoughts.” Nothing can be gained from pursuing the line of thinking as to “Who created God?” God’s nature cannot be compared to created existence, nor can it be compassed by the limitations of human reason.  The human mind, however, can conceive of God’s existence and acknowledge that He is the Creator of all things.  In fact, the human mind resists any attempt to compel it to deny God’s existence. 

Communist regimes of the 20th century tried to compel their subjects to embrace atheism.  They employed every forceful means at their disposal, but the people refused to deny God.  They resisted the most authoritarian attempts to crush their belief in God’s existence. 

The human mind acknowledges the existence of a Creator.  Reason cannot escape from such an acknowledgment.  The mind, consequently brings us to seek guidance about God and gives us a natural inclination to worship Him.  We are receptive to God’s Messengers, and God would not leave His creatures without guiding them to the wisdom as to why they were created.  Indeed, God says: “I have only created humanity and the Jinn to worship Me.” (Quran 51:56)

The intellect certainly recognizes God, but it is not capable of comprehending all of His attributes.  The role of God’s Prophets and Messengers is to teach people what they need to know about their Lord and how God wishes them to worship Him.  This protects people from concocting all sorts of rituals and rites from their own imaginings that have no basis in revelation from God. 

Prophet Muhammad said, addressing God in supplication: “You are the First, so nothing precedes You.  You are the Last, so nothing comes after You.  You are the Manifest, so nothing comes above You.  You are the Hidden, so nothing comes below you.  Fulfill our debts for us and enrich us so we will not be poor.”

God is the First who is not preceded by anything else.  This is a concept that cannot be fully grasped by the imagination, but it can certainly be accepted by the mind and heart.  Our awareness of the limitations that our minds have is a crucial awareness. 

Likewise, God is the Last, whose existence persists without end.  As such, God is truly the Inheritor: “And remember Zechariah, when he cried unto his Lord: ‘My Lord! Leave me not childless, though You are the Best of inheritors.’” (Quran 21:89)

God is timeless and eternal, without beginning or end.  By contrast, all created things have a beginning and end. 

God says about the Sun: “And the Sun runs its course to a point determined.” (Quran 36:38) The Sun and other celestial bodies are far older than the living things on Earth.  But just like the fleeting lives of terrestrial beings, the stars are born and they die.  All things in the universe must come to an end. 

God cannot be understood according to the terms of material existence.  He is not bound by the laws of physics which are themselves part of the nature of what He created.  It is no surprise that the mind cannot fully grasp the Creator, since the mind is itself created and subject to the limitations of its created nature.  The mind can only fall into confusion and self-deception if it tries to rationalize that which is beyond its powers. 

Rather, we should apply our mental efforts to matters our minds are capable of engaging with – the universe that God created and the vast horizons of knowledge that it presents.  God has given us the rational ability and the imaginative power to uncover and conceptualize the physical laws of nature.  We can harness such knowledge to benefit humanity in ways that please God.

Does God Reside Within His Creation?

This motif has been reiterated by all Muslims theologians to confirm that there is no place in Islam for belief in God being inherent in His own creation,  a concept known as God’s omnipresence, ubiquity, or pantheism (from pan- “all” + Greek theos “god”).  This concept underlies almost all famous world religions and mythologies.  It simply makes the creation, or part of it, a manifestation of God.  Anthropomorphic theologies – those that give human attributes to God – adopt pantheism as their bedrock belief.  Hindu Lord Krishna is quoted to say:

I exist in all creatures,

So the disciplined man devoted to me

Grasps the oneness of life,

Wherever he is, he is in me

Indigenous pagan religion of Japan known as Shinto (literally ways of the gods) confesses belief in Kami [which] refers to the divinity, or sacred essence, that manifests in multiple forms. [_ Rocks, trees, rivers, animals, places, and even people can be said to possess the nature of Kami.] [ Kami and people exist within the same world and share its interrelated complexity_].

Why is Islam so unwaveringly pitted against this unanimously welcomed notion? Muslim scholars quote more than a thousand proofs from the Quran alone that God is in the highest status of supremacy above the heavens (above all creation):

“Exalt the name of your Lord, the Most High” (Quran 87:1)

“They fear their Lord above them, and they do what they are commanded.” (Quran 16:50)

This however does not preclude the fact that God has complete knowledge of His creation (without being part of it).  He is the Creator and the Sustainer of everything and nothing comes into existence except by His will. He has complete power and authority over all that exists.

This does not mean much to those who do not believe the Quran to be the word of God.  However, there are gross conceptual inaccuracies resulting from holding a belief that God is physically and literally permeating his creation.  The offshoots of this concept are against logic, religion and morality. 

1-   Pantheism is a form of atheism enlivened with emotions of reverence of the creation, or as Richard Dawkins puts, it’s a sexed-up atheism.  It’s a rejection of God as an independent being, intertwined with channeling religious emotions to the physical world.  Atheism simply aims at a God-less interpretation of life, whereas pantheism appeals to scientists who can’t do without a flavour of spirituality when they see symmetry and order in creation.  In one of his letters, Albert Einstein, a professed pantheist, writes “We followers of Spinoza see our God in the wonderful order and lawfulness of all that exists and in its soul [“_Beseeltheit_”] as it reveals itself in man and animal.” God becomes testable and researchable and scientists can be their own clergy!! 

2-   The questions of “Did God and the Universe start to exist together in this case?” and “Is God the Creator of the Universe?” become redundant in this context; the answer is God could not have existed before a thing He cannot be envisaged without, and because He cannot have created a thing without being distinct from it, He cannot be a Creator of a creation He is enmeshed in.  In short, this theological approach has fully decapacitated God and made him unable to subsist autonomously for a second.  In his Bezels of Wisdom, Ibn Arabi, the pantheist Sufi, explains the mystery of how God (who is Infinite) is inseparably captured within the finite creation in a striking yet hardly comprehensible metaphor: The universe is the [_ food of God and God is the food of the universe; as deity swallows up the cosmos, so the cosmos swallows up deity._]  God and the world have therefore to have started being together.

3-   Needless to say, all classical acts of worship become superfluous: If God permeates me and I permeate Him, how and why should I pray to anything when I have God inside me as well, in other words – God is being prayed to by God?!!  Actually, abstaining from all forms of worship would be more understandable than doing any in view of this leveling immanentism; the spiritual hierarchy of all creation, which is supposed to have God on top of it, collapses into a demotivating spiritual lethargy.   Instead, one hears nebulous terms like revering and celebrating nature, which are only a priori attendants of any belief in God as a distinct Creator who created nature without being identical with it.

4-   Why certain objects or animals are worshipped can now be easily understood, especially if aiding myths speak of the divine sparks in them.  Intensely based on animal-worship and idolization of nature, Hinduism sees animals and elements of nature as manifestations of the Divine Power.  This elevation of nature however can’t be without a simultaneous denigration of Divinity that has always been synonymous with sacredness and majesty.  God has become so indiscriminately mundane that He can be inherent in putrefaction and in as many filths and inappropriate places as one can enumerate.  The pantheist Sufi Ibn Arabi, as do all expounders of this theory, leaves out carrions of dead animals, stagnant, odorous and putrid marshes, and all slovenly places God is implied to be inherent in, and poetically selects where he believes God to be:

My heart can take on

any form:

a meadow for gazelles,

a cloister for monks,

For the idols, sacred ground,

Ka’ba for the circling pilgrim,

the tables of the Torah,

the scrolls of the Quran.

Sufis are also understandably  known for their pursuit of Fanaa’ (Literally self-annihilation) which aims at spiritually losing oneself into God, again a conceptual deviation utterly shrouded in mystery.  As in all parallel paradigms, the revered incomprehensibility orders believers to just have faith and never to give up being mystified when thinking of God, rather than try to understand.

6-   Having intently departed from the concept of a transcendent awe-inspiring God, pantheism can hardly furnish any bedding for conceivable and applicable ethics.  A transcendent Deity is essential for the long cherished norms of sin and evil, and morality has to find motivators other than reward and punishment, a thing that no human set of laws has ever proved able to do without. 

Similarly, the bipolarity of good and evil cannot be hosted in such a context; God who is believed to be all good and perfect cannot emanate evil.  Hence all manifestations of evil that we see should consequently be classified as good. Such a theory is unjustifiably inhospitable to the basic values that characterize human life and clashes with simple logic.  Where ethical deterrents and stimuli are both missing, anarchy prevails and the urge for evil cannot be held in check.  “If God includes everything and God is perfect or good, then everything which exists ought to be perfect or good; a conclusion which seems wholly counter to our common experience that much in the world is very far from being so.”

Small Place In God’s Creation

People sometimes fancy themselves as being all-important, looking disdainfully from side to side, holding their noses high in the air.  But if they would only regard these great and awe-inspiring creations around them, it would give them a sense of humility and they would become humble before their Lord. 

Things to Consider

1.    At the time of conception, between five and six hundred million sperm cells pass through the vaginal tract, each of them capable of fertilizing the egg and becoming a human being.  But God in His wisdom selects one from all of those millions to fertilize the egg, and this one will develop into the fully-formed human being God chooses to create, a being that by God’s grace possesses the capacity to reason and to dispose of its affairs.

This is how we were all created, so we should feel humility in recognition of the greatness and grandeur of our Lord.  We should remember our humble beginnings so we can appreciate the vast difference between that little drop of mixed fluid from which we were conceived and the fully formed human beings we are today.  This should compel us to glorify God, remain aware of Him at all times, and thank Him. 

2.    There are over one hundred trillion cells in the human body.  Inside each of these cells are organelles, systems, complex processes, and vast stores of information.  Each and every detail of the cell glorifies its Lord while carrying out its role in the cell in an exemplary manner. 

The nucleus of each cell contains roughly 31 billion nucleotides – the four molecular “letters” on the DNA molecule that spell out the genetic traits of the living organism and regulate its functioning.  It is this information that an organism inherits from its father and mother. 

This vast number of molecular “letters” that make up our DNA are duplicated in every one of the hundred trillion cells of our bodies.  Each one of these letters attests to the greatness of God who created them. 

3.    When we look up at the night sky, we stare off into the vastness of space and the billions of galaxies that are over our heads.  Each galaxy is in turn a conglomeration of billions of stars, and these stars are all at various stages in their life-cycles.  Some are in the process of being formed.  Some are young, others mature, while others are in the throes of death.  Each of these stars glorifies God in space the vastness of which boggles the mind.  God alone knows the full extent of the universe.  If we imagine a space ship capable of travelling at the speed of light, 186 thousand miles per second, it would take thousands of years for that spaceship to cross a single galaxy, let alone what is beyond it. 

God says:

“But nay! I swear by all that you see, and by all that you do not see.” (Quran 69:38-39)

God also says:

“Nay, I swear by the places of the stars, and verily that is a tremendous oath, if you but knew.” (Quran 56:75-76)

A given galaxy might contain from 100 million to a billion stars, and every day scientists are discovering something new about outer space.  The means of observation presently available to science are still quite limited.  We, as created beings, should see the greatness of God in His creation and view ourselves with humility.

The natural world is an open book that extols the praises of God. 

“The seven heavens and the Earth and all that is therein praise Him, and there is not a thing but hymns His praise; but you do not understand their praise.” (Quran 17:44)

God also says:

“Do you not see that all things that are in the heavens and on Earth bow down in worship to God – the Sun, the Moon, the stars; the hills, the trees, the animals, and a great number of human beings? But a great number are (also) such as are fit for punishment.  And those whom God shall disgrace none can raise to honor, for God carries out all that He wills.” (Quran 22:18)

All the beauty and splendor of the universe that we can see is but a small glimpse of the Creator’s ingenuity.

When a believer reflects on God’s creation, it reveals something of the greatness of God and His immense wisdom.  It brings peace to the believing heart and fortifies a believer’s faith. 

God says:

“Behold! In the creation of the heavens and the Earth, and the alternation of night and day are indeed Signs for people of understanding – those who remember God standing and sitting and lying on their sides and reflect on the creation of the heavens and the Earth, saying: Our Lord! You have not created this in vain! Glory be to You.  Save us then from the chastisement of the fire:” (Quran 3:190-191)

Facets of God’s Generosity

God says:

“O human being! What has beguiled you from your generous Lord, who created you, then fashioned, then proportioned you? In whatever form He pleased He constituted you.” (Quran 82:6-8)

The question in this verse is rhetorical.  Its sense is: “Should you not thank God and extol His praises for these blessings?”

Prophet Solomon (peace be upon him) said about God’s great favor upon him: “This is of the grace of my Lord that He may try me whether I am grateful or ungrateful; and whoever is grateful, he is grateful only for his own soul, and whoever is ungrateful, then surely my Lord is Self-Sufficient, Generous.” (Quran 27:40)

God’s name al-Karīm Karim has numerous connotations, among which are the following:

1.  One Who is Giving and Munificent Bountiful

In the same way, a human being is described as generous if he or she gives to others freely and with a cheerful heart.  Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, was an exemplar of human generosity, as were all of the prophets. 

Prophet Muhammad was once asked: “Who was the most generous of all people?”

He replied: “A generous man who was the son of a generous man, who in turn was the son of a generous man, who again was the son of a generous man: Joseph the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham.”

God is generous, giving without measure to His servants.  He gave us life, though beforehand we did not exist.  He gave us our faculties of hearing and sight, our hearts and limbs, our strengths and abilities.  Truly: “If you were to count God’s favors, you would not be able to number them.” (Quran 16:34)

He gives all this to us without our asking for it or giving thanks.  Indeed, we usually do not even realize that we have been given anything.  God’s generosity encompasses those who believe in Him as well as those who deny His existence.  It embraces the saint and the sinner, the learned and the ignorant. 

2.  One Who Gives and Praises

God alone is perfect.  He is also absolute in His independence, whereas all of creation depends upon Him.  Every atom of the human body is in need of God for its existence.  In spite of all of that, God not only gives to His servants, but He praises them and speaks well of them. 

For instance, God says about Job (peace be upon him): “We found him patient; a most excellent servant! Surely he was frequent in returning (to God).” (Quran 38:44)

After trying Prophet Job (peace be upon him) by taking away some of what He had formerly given him, He praises Prophet Job for his patience and constancy, though whatever God gives and withholds is only God’s to begin with.  Nevertheless, when Prophet Job’s ordeal was over, God restored to him what he had formerly enjoyed of His blessings, and He praised him. 

When one of the Pious Predecessors read this verse, he was moved to say: “Blessed be God who gives and praises those He gives to.”

Likewise, we read in the Quran where God praises His prophets and other righteous people, referring to them as believers, God-fearing, patient, pious, penitent, and pure.  It is a manifestation of true generosity to not only give to those in need, but to commend them and speak highly of them. 

God said to Prophet Solomon (peace be upon him) after granting him the kingdom unlike any other: “Such are Our bounties: whether you bestow them (on others) or withhold them, no account will be asked.” (Quran 38:39)

3.  One Who Gives Before Being Asked

It is true generosity to give without being asked.  Indeed, we consider a person generous who gives freely to those who ask.  Doing so beforehand is all the more generous. 

Most of the blessings that God bestows upon His servants are given without ever being asked for, or without us even being aware of how much we are given.  Indeed, God is the Most-Generous and MunificentBountiful. 

4.  One Who Fulfils All Promises but Waives what is Due from Others

God has promised the believers good in this world and a vast reward in the Hereafter.  God never breaks His promise.  At the same time, God has warned those who sin of a great of His punishment.   for those who deserve it by incurring sin and vice.  However, He has made this a matter of His discretion.  He will punish those sinners He deems to punish and pardon those He deems to forgive. 

A generous human being is someone who always fulfills a promise for something good, but does not carry through with threats.  God’s generosity is incomparably greater than any human generosity we can conceive of, and He is Forgiving and Merciful. 

5.  One Who Never Turns Down a Supplicant

Prophet Muhammad said: “Your Lord God is the Possessor of Modesty and He is Generous. [* When His servant reaches out to Him with outstretched hands, He feels ashamed to leave that servant with nothing.”*]

God rewards His servants for their very act of beseeching Him.  This is because our asking of God is a form of worship.  Indeed, Prophet Muhammad said:“Supplication is worship.”

God, therefore, always answers those who beseech Him with sincerity. 

6.  One Who Rewards a Mere Good Intention, but Never Punishes a Bad Intention Unless Followed by a Bad Deed

Prophet Muhammad said:

[*God has set forth all that which are good deeds and all that which are evil deeds and He then made it clear (to His servants) which are which.  So whoever intends to do a good deed but does not carry it out, God will record it as one full good deed recorded to his credit. *]

[*If he intends to do it and follows through with it, God will record it to his credit as anything from ten to seven-hundred times the value of that deed. *]

[*If He intends to do an evil deed but does not go through with it, God will record it as one full good deed recorded to his credit. *]

If he intends to do it and follows through with it, God will only record a single evil deed against his account.”

Finally, it is from God’s generosity that He honors people in this world and the Hereafter, and made our piety a cause for honor.  God says: “Indeed, the most honored of you with God are the most God-fearing,” (Quran 49:13)

It is God who blesses us with our God-consciousness and piety.  This is also from His immense generosity.

My Mercy Prevails Over My Wrath

“The willingness to forgive and not to punish” is a definition frequently used for the word mercy, but what is mercy in Islam?

With Islam, mercy was given a deeper meaning that created a vital aspect in the life of every Muslim, which he is rewarded by God for showing.

God’s mercy, which is bestowed on all His creatures, is seen in everything we lay eyes on: in the sun that provides light and heat, and in the air and water that are essential for all the living.

An entire chapter in the Quran is named after God’s divine attribute Ar-Rahmanor “The Most Gracious.”  Also two of God’s attributes are derived from the word for mercy.  They are Ar-Rahman and Ar-Rahim, which mean “The Most Gracious” and “The Most Merciful.”  These two attributes are mentioned in the phrase recited at the beginning of 113 chapters of the Quran: “In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.”  This phrase is a continuous reminder for the reader of God’s endless mercy and great bounties.

God assures us that whoever commits a sin will be forgiven if he repents and ceases this act, where He says:

“Your Lord hath inscribed for Himself (the rule of) mercy: verily, if any of you did evil in ignorance, and thereafter repented, and amend (his conduct), lo!  He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful” (Quran 6:54)

This verse is affirmed by the narration of Prophet Muhammad, in which he said that God said:

“My mercy prevails over My wrath.”

Reward for kindness and compassion was also assured by the Prophet Muhammad:

“The merciful are shown mercy by the All-Merciful.   Show mercy to those on earth, and He Who is in heaven will show mercy unto you” (As-Suyuti).

A Prophet’s Mercy

Concerning Prophet Muhammad’s mercy, it is best to mention first what God Himself has said about him:

“We have not sent thee save as a mercy to the worlds.” (Quran 21:107)

…which assures that Islam is founded on mercy, and that God sent Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, as mercy to all creatures with no exception.

God also says in the Quran:

“Now hath come to you an Apostle from amongst yourselves: it grieves him that ye should receive any injury or difficulty: ardently anxious is he over you: to the believers is he most kind and merciful” (Quran 9:128)

These verses were clearly manifested in the Prophet’s manners and dealings, for he bore many hardships for the sake of conveying God’s message.  The Prophet was also most gentle in guiding his people, and whenever they used to harm him he always asked God to pardon them for their ignorance and cruelty.

The Prophet’s Companions

When describing the Companions God says in the Quran:

“Muhammad is the Apostle of God; and those who are with him are strong against unbelievers, but compassionate amongst each other” (Quran 48:29).

Some people may think it obvious for Muhammad to be moral, because he is a prophet, but the Companions were ordinary people who devoted their lives to the obedience of God and His Prophet.  For instance Abu Bakr As-Siddiq dedicated all his wealth for buying slaves from their brutal masters and then he set them free for the sake of God.

When once clarifying the right concept of mercy to his Companions, the Prophet said that it is not by one’s kindness to family and friends, but it is by showing mercy and compassion to the general public, whether you know them or not.

A “Little” Mercy

Some of the heartless pre-Islamic traditions were the offering of one’s child as sacrifice for deities and the burial of girls alive.  These acts against children were strictly prohibited by the Quran and Prophetic Sunnah many times.

As for the Prophet’s mercy towards children, he was once leading the prayer and his grandsons, Al-Hasan and Al-Husain, were still young boys playing and climbing over his back, so in the fear of hurting them if he should stand, the Prophet prolonged his prostration.  Another time, the Prophet performed his prayer while carrying Umamah, his granddaughter.This kindness of the Prophet was not only bestowed on his own children but also extended to children playing on the street.  As soon as seeing the Prophet, they would run to him, and he would receive them all with a warm smile and open arms.

Even during prayer the Prophet’s innate kindness was clear, as he once said:

“(It happens that) I start the prayer intending to prolong it, but on hearing the cries of a child, I shorten the prayer because I know that the cries of the child will incite its mother’s passions” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari)

In many situations the Prophet taught us how children should be brought up in a kind and loving atmosphere, and that they should not be beaten, or hit across the face, to avoid their humiliation.  When a man once saw the Prophet kissing his grandson, he was astonished at the Prophet’s leniency and said, “I have ten children but I have never kissed any one of them.”  the Prophet replied,

“He who does not show mercy, no mercy would be shown to him” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari)

Just a Stroke of Hair

When God mentioned orphans in the Quran He said what means:

“Therefore, treat not the orphans with harshness” (Quran 93:9)

In accordance with this verse came the manners of the Prophet towards orphans, for he said:

“I and the person who looks after an orphan and provides for him, will be in Paradise like this,” putting his index and middle fingers together. (Abu Dawud)

In order to make the orphan feel appreciated and that if he has lost the affection of his parents there are still people who are willing to love and care for him, the Prophet encouraged kindness by saying that a person is rewarded by good deeds for each hair he strokes on an orphan’s head.

The protection of the orphan’s property was clearly confirmed by God and His Prophet.  For instance, God says what means:

“Those who unjustly eat up the property of orphans, eat up a fire into their own bodies: they will soon be enduring a blazing fire!” (Quran 4:10)

A Prophetic saying also informs us that one of the seven most grievous sins is the devouring of the orphan’s property.

Could This Be War?

Mercy in Islam also extends to enemies, in times of war and peace, as Prophet Muhammad used to urge his Companions to maintain family ties with relatives who were still disbelievers by calling on them and giving them gifts. As for times of war, God commands Muslims to grant refuge to enemies if they should ask for it, and forbids anyone to harm them.  This is stated in the Quran, where God says what means:

“If one amongst the pagans ask thee for asylum, grant it to him, so that he may hear the word of God; and then escort him to where he can be secure.  That is because they are men without knowledge” (Quran 9:6)

As for the Prophet, he forbade his Companions to harm the elderly, injured, women, children, and people in places of worship.  Also, destroying fields was forbidden.  Defacing the corpses of enemies was strictly banned and giving them rapid burial was commanded out of respect.The Prophet’s orders regarding captives were strictly obeyed by his Companions.  In one of the stories about a battle related to us by a captive, he says that he was staying with a Muslim family after being captured.  Whenever they had their meals, they used to give him preference by offering him bread while they would eat only dates.

When the Prophet, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, victoriously entered Makkah after defeating the Quraish, he approached them and asked[*:*]

“How do you expect me to treat you?”

They replied, “You are a noble brother and the son of a noble brother! We expect nothing but goodness from you.”

Then the Prophet announced, “I speak to you in the same words as Yusuf (the Prophet Joseph) spoke unto his brothers:

“No reproach on you this day, God will forgive you, He is the Most Merciful of the Merciful” (Quran 12:92)

Go, for verily you are free.”

On this day, when tolerance and forgiveness were least expected, the Prophet set an example of mercy and forgiveness by releasing all the captives without ransom, and forgiving them for the persecution and brutal torture of the Muslims, which was continuous during the first 13 years of conveying the message of Islam.

All of God’s Creatures

Animals were not ignored and were given many rights in Islam.  For instance, when the Prophet saw a donkey with a branded face, he said: “Have you not heard that I have cursed anyone who brands an animal on its face or who hits it on its face?” (Saheeh Muslim).

The Prophet once said that a woman was sent to Hell because of a cat that she imprisoned, neither feeding it nor setting it free to hunt for its own food.  On the other hand, the Prophet said, a man went to Paradise for giving water to a dog in the desert that was panting out of thirst. The Prophet forbade that knives should be sharpened in front of animals before slaughtering.  In addition, the slaughtering of an animal before another was prohibited.  This is clear in one of the Prophetic sayings:

“God calls for mercy in everything, so be merciful when you kill and when you slaughter: sharpen your blade to relieve its pain” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari).

One of the Companions related this incident: When they were traveling with the Prophet, they found a bird with its young ones, so they took them from their mother.  The bird came and started flapping its wings, so the Prophet asked:

“Who has distressed this bird by taking its young? Return them to it at once” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari).

Animal rights were affirmed by the Prophet when he said that anyone who took a living thing as a target is cursed.  Forcing animals to fight till one gores the other was also strictly banned, for animals have feelings and this would be definite torture for them. The Islamic concept of mercy is holistic and stresses the interconnectedness of all of creation with itself and with the Creator.  Mercy starts with God and is bestowed by Him to every living creature.  Animals and humans alike show each other mercy, to live harmoniously with one another, and in turn, by showing this mercy, they themselves are shown even more mercy from God.  This vision of Islam encourages the breaking down of barriers between peoples and is the underlying foundation upon which both life and civilization are built.

God Is Al-Awwal & Al-Akhir (The First & The Last)

God is the First and nothing precedes Him and He is the Last whose existence persists without end.  This is a belief which humbles us and reminds us of the inevitable end of ourselves and this world.

[_od says: “He is the First and the Last, the Manifest and the Hidden, and He is the Knower of all things.” (Quran 57:3) _]

God precedes all things; He has no beginning.  He abides after all things without ever coming to an end. 

Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, said, addressing God in supplication: “You are the First, so nothing precedes You.  You are the Last, so nothing comes after You.  You are the Manifest, so nothing comes above You.  You are the Hidden, so nothing comes below you.  Fulfill our debts for us and enrich us so we will not be poor.”

[_God says: “Say: He is God, the One. [* God, the Self-Subsisting.] [ He begets not, nor is He begotten, and there is none like unto Him.” (Quran 112:1-4)*] _]

“He begets not, nor is He begotten” expresses a fundamental aspect of God’s perfection.  Everything in our limited human experience must have a beginning and end.  We ourselves are born and we ultimately die.  This is the case with our parents and forefathers as well as with our children and descendants.  Such relationships permeate creation. 

So God says: “God, the Self-Subsisting.  He begets not, nor is He begotten” and immediately follows it with: “and there is none like unto Him.”  We cannot compare God with anything in our experience.  Likewise, we find that God commands us: “Do not give likenesses to God.” (Quran 16:74)  This is the way our faith in God should be. 

God is the First who is not preceded by anything else.  Though our imaginations cannot grasp this idea of something that is not preceded by something else, our hearts and minds easily accept it.  Likewise, God is the Last, whose existence persists without end.  As such, God is truly the Inheritor: “And remember Zechariah, when he cried unto his Lord: ‘My Lord! Leave me not childless, though You are the Best of inheritors.” (Quran 21:89) 

God is timeless and eternal, without beginning or end.  By contrast, all created things have a beginning and end. 

God says about the Sun: “And the Sun runs its course to a point determined.” (Quran 36:38) The Sun and other celestial bodies are far older than the living things on Earth.  But just like the fleeting lives of terrestrial beings, the stars are born and they die.  All things in the universe must come to an end. 

God cannot be understood according to the terms of material existence.  He is not bound by the laws of physics which are themselves part of the nature of what He created. 

It is no surprise that the mind cannot fully grasp the Creator, since the mind is itself created and subject to the limitations of its created nature.  The mind can only fall into confusion and self-deception if it tries to rationalize that which is beyond its powers.  Rather, we should apply our mental efforts to matters our minds are capable of engaging with – like the universe that God created and the vast horizons of knowledge that it presents.  God has given us the ability to uncover the physical laws of nature, and we can harness such knowledge to benefit humanity in ways that please God. 

Benefits of Knowing these Names

Knowing that God is the First and the Last, we realize that the best things we can invest in for ourselves in this world and the next is that which pleases God.  What we do for God’s sake of is what shall endure.  God says: “All that is on Earth will perish: and there shall remain the countenance of your Lord, the Lord of Bounty and Honor.” (Quran 55:26-27) 

This world will come to an end.  However, we shall return to our Lord, and the deeds we did in our worldly lives seeking His pleasure will avail us at that time.  This is one of the points the verse makes when it says “and there shall remain the countenance of your Lord, the Lord of Bounty and Honor.” Our words and deeds that God will reward us for, in His infinite bounty, will remain for us when everything else is gone. 

We should endeavor to keep God’s pleasure in the forefront of our minds and be mindful of the Hereafter as we go about our daily lives.  We should not simply strive for material gain, but make the Hereafter our priority.  God says: “Nay, they prefer the life of this world, when the Hereafter is better and more enduring.” (Quran 87:16-17) 

Knowing that God is the First and the Last also helps us to face up to our own demise, and also that every state that we experience in life will come to an end.  We enjoy a period of youth.  If we do not die while we are young, then we will certainly suffer the loss of our youth.  We will grow old, and then we will die.  There is no escape from death in either case.  This is the end that God has ordained for all people.  He alone never dies.  He alone is eternal, without beginning or end. 

However, in His infinite grace, He has promised the believers who are sincere and true an eternal life in Paradise that He will bestow: “Lo! the righteous will dwell among gardens and rivers, in the seat of honor with a Mighty King.”(Quran 54: 54-55) 

May God bless us to be among the righteous.

Author Bio

Muhammad Vandestra has been a columnist, health writer, soil scientist, magazine editor, web designer & kendo instructor. A writer by day and reader by night, he write fiction and non-fiction book for adult and children. He lives in West Jakarta City.

Muhammad Vandestra merupakan seorang kolumnis, editor majalah, perancang web & instruktur kendo. Seorang penulis pada siang hari dan pembaca di malam hari, Ia menulis buku fiksi dan non-fiksi untuk anak-anak dan dewasa. Dia tinggal di Kota Jakarta Barat.


Who Is Allah SWT God In Islam Religion?

Some of the biggest misconceptions that many non-Muslims have about Islam have to do with the word “Allah.” For various reasons, many people have come to believe that Muslims worship a different God than Christians and Jews. This is totally false, since “Allah” is simply the Arabic word for “God” - and there is only One God. Let there be no doubt - Muslims worship the God of Adam,Noah, Abraham, Moses, David and Jesus - peace be upon them all. However, it is certainly true that Jews, Christians and Muslims all have different concepts of Almighty God. For example, Muslims - like Jews - reject the Christian beliefs of the Trinity and the Divine Incarnation. This, however, does not mean that each of these three religions worships a different God - because, as we have already said, there is only One True God. Judaism, Christianity and Islam all claim to be “Abrahamic Faiths”, and all of them are also classified as “monotheistic.” However, Islam teaches that other religions have, in one way or another, distorted and nullified a pure and proper belief in Almighty God by neglecting His true teachings and mixing them with man-made ideas. First of all, it is important to note that “Allah” is the same word that Arabic-speaking Christians and Jews use for God. If you pick up an Arabic Bible, you will see the word “Allah” being used where “God” is used in English. This is because “Allah” is a word in the Arabic language equivalent to the English word “God” with a capital “G”. Additionally, the word “Allah” cannot be made plural, a fact which goes hand-in-hand with the Islamic concept of God. It is interesting to note that the Aramaic word “El”, which is the word for God in the language that Jesus spoke, is certainly more similar in sound to the word “Allah” than the English word “God.” This also holds true for the various Hebrew words for God, which are “El” and “Elah”, and the plural or glorified form “Elohim.” The reason for these similarities is that Aramaic, Hebrew and Arabic are all Semitic languages with common origins. It should also be noted that in translating the Bible into English, the Hebrew word “El” is translated variously as “God”, “god” and “angel”! This imprecise language allows different translators, based on their preconceived notions, to translate the word to fit their own views. The Arabic word “Allah” presents no such difficulty or ambiguity, since it is only used for Almighty God alone. Additionally, in English, the only difference between “god”, meaning a false god, and “God”, meaning the One True God, is the capital “G”. Due to the above mentioned facts, a more accurate translation of the word “Allah” into English might be “The One -and-Only God” or “The One True God.” More importantly, it should also be noted that the Arabic word “Allah” contains a deep religious message due to its root meaning and origin. This is because it stems from the Arabic verb ta’allaha (or alaha), which means “to be worshipped.” Thus in Arabic, the word “Allah” means “The One who deserves all worship.” This, in a nutshell, is the Pure Monotheistic message of Islam.

  • ISBN: 9781370356959
  • Author: Dragon Promedia
  • Published: 2017-08-30 05:20:17
  • Words: 20908
Who Is Allah SWT God In Islam Religion? Who Is Allah SWT God In Islam Religion?