Concept of god in islam PDF

مفهوم الإ فى الإسلام – للغة الإنجليزية
Concept of God
in Islam
WAMY Series: On Islam No.9.
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Introduction
It is a known fact that every
language has one or more terms that are
used in reference to God and sometimes to
lesser deities. 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 notice that
Allah 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 God. To a Muslim, Allah is the
Almighty Creator and Sustainer of the
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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 God Himself in the
form of a short chapter of the Qur’an,
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 God, the One
God, the Everlasting Refuge, 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 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 Qur’an
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begins with the verse ” In the name of
God, the Merciful, the Compassionate”. In
one of the sayings of Prophet Muhammad
(PBUH), 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
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this world. The following Qur’anic 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?
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 the human-beings as equals. They
may distinguish themselves and get His
favor through virtue and piety only.
The concepts that God rested on
the seventh day of creation, that God
wrestled with one of His soldiers, that God
is an envious plotter against mankind, and
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that God is 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 that nothing is like Him.
If the maker is not temporal, then he must
be eternal. But if he is eternal, he cannot be
caused, and if nothing caused Him to come
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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. The
Creator is therefore eternal and everlasting:
“He is the First and the Last”.
He is Self-sufficient or Selfsubsistent, or, to use a Qur’anic term, AlQayyum 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” (39:62-63).
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“ No creature is there crawling on
the earth, but its provision rests on God.
He knows its lodging place and its
repository” (11:16).
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God’s Attributes
If the Creator is Eternal and
Everlasting, then His attributes must also
be eternal and everlasting. He should not
lose any of His attributes nor acquire new
ones. If this is so, then his attributes are
absolute. Can there be more than one
Creator with such absolute attributes? Can
there be, for example, two absolutely
powerful Creators? A moment’s thought
shows that this is not feasible.
The Qur’an 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” (23:91).
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“ And why, were there gods in
earth and heaven other than God, they
(heaven and earth) would surely go to
ruin” (21:22).
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The Oneness of God
The Qur’an 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” (37:95). “ 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”
(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
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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
idolators” (6:76-79).
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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, later called
Tawhid Ar-Rububiyyah, is not enough.
Many of the idolators knew and believed
that only the Supreme God could do all
this. But this was not enough to make them
Muslims. To tawhid ar-rububiyyah, one
must add tawhid al-‘uluhiyyah. That is, one
acknowledges 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.
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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 said:“ Faith is
that which resides firmly in the heart and
which is proved by deeds”.
Foremost among those mental
stated is the feeling of gratitude towards
God, which could be said to be the essence
of ibada (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 bestowed upon
him, but being aware of the fact that his
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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 Qur’an 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 Qur’an:“ 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
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Guardian of the Faith, the All-Preserver,
the All-Mighty, the All-Compeller, the AllSublime. 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” (59:22-24).
“ 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
throne comprises the heavens and earth.
The preserving of them oppresses Him not;
He is the All-High, the All-Glorious”
(2:255).
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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 committed to 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” (4:171).
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Free English Book List
1-English Translation of the Holy Qur’an –
Saheeh International
2-Human Rights in Islam – ‘Abdur-Rahman
Al-Sheha
3-The true religion – Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal
Philips
4-Woman in Islam the Myth and the Reality –
Dr Sherif Abdel Azim
5-Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah –
‘Abdur-Rahman Al-Sheha
6-Stories of New Muslims – WAMY
7-The Concept of God in Islam – Hasan
Abdu’l-Hakim
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8-What is the purpose of our Life? – Abu Isa
Alshamy
9-Why I chose Islam? – M. Emery
10-The Amazing Quran – Dr Gary Miller
11-The Search for Inner Peace – Dr. Abu
Ameenah Bilal Philips
12-Priests Embracing Islam – Yusuf Estes
13-Muslim Christian dialogue – H. M. Baagil,
M.D
14-Is Trinity Doctrine Divinely Inspired! – M.
A. C. Cave
15-Is the Bible God’s word? – Ahmed Didet
16-A Brief Illustrated Guide to understanding
Islam – I. A. Ibrahim
17-Series of Prophecies in the Bible – M. A.
C. Cave
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18-The Truth about Jesus (Pbuh) – Dr Maneb
Hammad Al-Johani
19-The Story of Jesus and Mary in the Holy
Quran – Islamreligion.com
20-Just one Message – Dr Naji Arfaj
21-More than Eighty Ways to Make Da‘WahDr. Bilal Philips
22-Commentary on the Forty Hadith of AlNawawi – Dr. Jamal Badi
23-Fiqh Made Easy – Dr. Saalih ibn
Ghaanim al-Sadlaan
24-A guide for the new Muslim – Jammaal
al-Din M. Zarabozo
25-Fortress of the Muslim – Sa’id bin Ali bin
Wahaf Al-Qahtani
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26-Explaining the Fundamentals of Faith –
Shiekh Ibn Al-Uthaymeen
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