In November, my column shed some light on the Islamic concept of God with the intention to clarify some misconceptions commonly associated with Allah, the Arabic name for God, which is also the name commonly used by Muslims as well as Christian and Jewish Arabs. Allah states in the 112th chapter of the Quran: “Say, O Prophet, ‘He is Allah – One and Indivisible; Allah – the Sustainer needed by all. He has never had offspring, nor was He (himself) born. And there is none comparable to Him.” I had expounded on the first two of the four verses of this chapter in my above referenced column, so now let me address the last two.
Based on the third verse, the Islamic concept of God is that He is not the father of anyone nor the son of anyone. Rather He is alone, and that is the strictest form of monotheism. With all due respect to other beliefs about God, Islam disagrees with the idea of God having any family. There are several challenges made by Allah in the Quran to those who attribute family to him. The most clear problem of attributing family to God is the division of divinity among more than one entity.
Muslims believe in the miraculous virgin birth of Jesus Christ and consider his virgin birth to be an answer from God to any who challenges the ability of God to create a human being without a father and a mother. Muslims also believe that the creation of Adam is more miraculous than that of Jesus. Allah addressed this confusion in the Quran stating; “To God the case of Jesus is as that of Adam whom He created from the earth and then said, ‘Exist,’ and Adam came into existence.” (3:59)
Lastly, Allah states in the 112th chapter, “And there is none comparable to Him.” Here Allah denies any similarity between Him, the Creator, and the rest of the creation. No attribute of God is shared by His creation in totality. The compassion and mercy a mother has for her children is like a never-ending ocean, but it is nowhere near the mercy and compassion Allah has for His creation. There is no comparison between God and his creation in form or essence. His power, His dominion, His justice, His knowledge, are all attributes that the creation may have to a small degree, but He is the one whose power has no limits, whose dominion has no end, whose justice has no hole and whose knowledge has no gap.
Thus, as mentioned in my previous article on the topic, the 112th chapter, the chapter of Sincerity, is the true definition of God in Islam. Any belief beyond these principles is an inaccurate attribution to the Islamic belief in God.
I would love to hear the thoughts and comments of my readers on their past assumptions (if any) about the concept of God in Islam that have been addressed by these two columns.