God in Islam

God in Islam

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In Islamic theology
Islamic theology
Islamic theology is a branch of Islamic studies regarding the beliefs associated with the Islamic faith. Any religious belief system, or creed, can be considered an example of aqidah. However, this term has taken a significant technical usage in Islamic history and theology, denoting those...

, God (Arabic: Allāh
Allah
Allah is a word for God used in the context of Islam. In Arabic, the word means simply "God". It is used primarily by Muslims and Bahá'ís, and often, albeit not exclusively, used by Arabic-speaking Eastern Catholic Christians, Maltese Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox Christians, Mizrahi Jews and...

) is the all-powerful
Omnipotence
Omnipotence is unlimited power. Monotheistic religions generally attribute omnipotence to only the deity of whichever faith is being addressed...

 and all-knowing
Omniscience
Omniscience omniscient point-of-view in writing) is the capacity to know everything infinitely, or at least everything that can be known about a character including thoughts, feelings, life and the universe, etc. In Latin, omnis means "all" and sciens means "knowing"...

 creator, sustainer, ordainer, and judge of the universe. Islam puts a heavy emphasis on the conceptualization of God as strictly singular (tawhid
Tawhid
Tawhid is the concept of monotheism in Islam. It is the religion's most fundamental concept and holds God is one and unique ....

). God is unique (wahid) and inherently One (ahad), all-merciful and omnipotent. According to the Islamic teachings, God exists without a place. According to the Qur'an, "No vision can grasp Him, but His grasp is over all vision. God is above all comprehension, yet is acquainted with all things" (Qur'an 6:103)

According to Islam there are 99 Names of God
99 Names of God
The 99 Names of God, , are the Names of God by which Muslims regard God and which are described in the Qur'an, and Sunnah, amongst other places. There is, according to hadith, a special group of 99 names but no enumeration of them...

 (al-asma al-husna lit. meaning: "The best names") each of which evoke a distinct attribute of God
Attributes of God
The Attributes of God in Christian theology are those characteristics of God revealed in the Bible.-Classification:Many Reformed theologians distinguish between the communicable attributes and the incommunicable attributes...

. All these names refer to Allah, the supreme and all-comprehensive divine name. Among the 99 names of God, the most famous and most frequent of these names are "the Compassionate" (al-rahman) and "the Merciful" (al-rahim).

Creation and ordering of the universe is seen as an act of prime mercy for which all creatures sing God's glories and bear witness to God's unity and lordship. God responds to those in need or distress whenever they call. Above all, God guides humanity to the right way, “the holy ways.”

Islam teaches that God, as referenced in the Qur'an
Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

, is the only God and the same God worshipped by members of other Abrahamic religions such as Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 and Judaism
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

. .

Etymology



Allāh
Allah
Allah is a word for God used in the context of Islam. In Arabic, the word means simply "God". It is used primarily by Muslims and Bahá'ís, and often, albeit not exclusively, used by Arabic-speaking Eastern Catholic Christians, Maltese Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox Christians, Mizrahi Jews and...

is the term with no plural
Plural
In linguistics, plurality or [a] plural is a concept of quantity representing a value of more-than-one. Typically applied to nouns, a plural word or marker is used to distinguish a value other than the default quantity of a noun, which is typically one...

 or gender
Gender
Gender is a range of characteristics used to distinguish between males and females, particularly in the cases of men and women and the masculine and feminine attributes assigned to them. Depending on the context, the discriminating characteristics vary from sex to social role to gender identity...

 used by Muslims and Arabic speaking Christians and Jews meaning the one God, while is the term used for a deity or a god in general. It is related to in Aramaic
Aramaic language
Aramaic is a group of languages belonging to the Afroasiatic language phylum. The name of the language is based on the name of Aram, an ancient region in central Syria. Within this family, Aramaic belongs to the Semitic family, and more specifically, is a part of the Northwest Semitic subfamily,...

, the language of Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

 and the New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

. Other non-Arab Muslims might use different names as much as Allah, for instance "Tanrı" in Turkish
Turkish language
Turkish is a language spoken as a native language by over 83 million people worldwide, making it the most commonly spoken of the Turkic languages. Its speakers are located predominantly in Turkey and Northern Cyprus with smaller groups in Iraq, Greece, Bulgaria, the Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo,...

 or "Khodā" in Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

.

Evidence



The Islamic concept of God is formulated from the Quran and Hadith
Hadith
The term Hadīth is used to denote a saying or an act or tacit approval or criticism ascribed either validly or invalidly to the Islamic prophet Muhammad....

. The Quran is believed by Muslims to be the verbatim word of God as revealed to the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Hadith are the records of Muhammad's sayings and example. Hadith Qudsi is a sub-category of hadith, which Muslims regard as the words of God repeated by Muhammad. According to as-Sayyid ash-Sharif al-Jurjani, the Hadith Qudsi differ from the Quran in that the former are "expressed in Muhammad's words", whereas the latter are the "direct words of God
Revelation
In religion and theology, revelation is the revealing or disclosing, through active or passive communication with a supernatural or a divine entity...

".

Oneness



Islam's most fundamental concept is a strict monotheism called tawhīd
Tawhid
Tawhid is the concept of monotheism in Islam. It is the religion's most fundamental concept and holds God is one and unique ....

, affirming that God
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

 (Arabic: Allah
Allah
Allah is a word for God used in the context of Islam. In Arabic, the word means simply "God". It is used primarily by Muslims and Bahá'ís, and often, albeit not exclusively, used by Arabic-speaking Eastern Catholic Christians, Maltese Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox Christians, Mizrahi Jews and...

) is one and incomparable(). The basic creed of Islam, the Shahadah, (recited under oath
Oath
An oath is either a statement of fact or a promise calling upon something or someone that the oath maker considers sacred, usually God, as a witness to the binding nature of the promise or the truth of the statement of fact. To swear is to take an oath, to make a solemn vow...

 to enter the religion) involves , or "I testify there are no deities other than God alone." The Qur'an asserts the existence of a single and absolute truth that transcends the world; a unique and indivisible being who is independent of the entire creation.

"Say: He is God, the One and Only; God, the Eternal, Absolute; He begetteth not, nor is He begotten; And there is none like unto Him." (Sura , Yusuf Ali)
Thy Lord is self-sufficient, full of Mercy: if it were God's will, God could destroy you, and in your place appoint whom God will as your successors, even as God raised you up from the posterity of other people." (Sura , Yusuf Ali)


Muslims deny the Christian doctrine of the Trinity
Trinity
The Christian doctrine of the Trinity defines God as three divine persons : the Father, the Son , and the Holy Spirit. The three persons are distinct yet coexist in unity, and are co-equal, co-eternal and consubstantial . Put another way, the three persons of the Trinity are of one being...

 and divinity of Jesus
Islamic view of Jesus
In Islam, Jesus is considered to be a Messenger of God and the Masih who was sent to guide the Children of Israel with a new scripture, the Injīl or Gospel. The belief in Jesus is required in Islam, and a requirement of being a Muslim. The Qur'an mentions Jesus twenty-five times, more often, by...

, comparing it to polytheism
Polytheism
Polytheism is the belief of multiple deities also usually assembled into a pantheon of gods and goddesses, along with their own mythologies and rituals....

. In Islam, God is beyond all comprehension or equal and does not to resemble any of his creations in any way. Thus, Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

s are not iconodules
Iconodules
An iconodule is someone who espouses iconodulism, i.e. who supports or is in favor of religious images or icons and their veneration, and is in opposition to an iconoclast, someone against the use of religious images...

 are not expected to visualize God.

According to Vincent J. Cornell, the Qur'an also provides a monist
Monism
Monism is any philosophical view which holds that there is unity in a given field of inquiry. Accordingly, some philosophers may hold that the universe is one rather than dualistic or pluralistic...

 image of God by describing the reality as a unified whole, with God being a single concept that would describe or ascribe all existing things:"God is the First and the Last, the Outward and the Inward; God is the Knower of everything (Sura )" Some Muslims have however vigorously criticized interpretations that would lead to a monist view of God for what they see as blurring the distinction between the creator and the creature, and its incompatibility with the monotheism of Islam.

The indivisibility of God implies the indivisibility of God's sovereignty which in turn leads to the conception of universe as a just and coherent moral universe rather than an existential and moral chaos (as in polytheism). Similarly the Qur'an rejects the binary modes of thinking such as the idea of duality of God by arguing that both good and evil
Goodness and evil
In religion, ethics, and philosophy, the dichotomy "good and evil" refers to the location on a linear spectrum of objects, desires, or behaviors, the good direction being morally positive, and the evil direction morally negative. Good is a broad concept but it typically deals with an association...

 generate from God's creative act and that the evil forces have no power to create anything. God in Islam is a universal god rather than a local, tribal or parochial one; an absolute who integrates all affirmative values and brooks no evil.

Tawhid constitutes the foremost article of the Muslim profession. To attribute divinity to a created entity is the only unpardonable sin mentioned in the Qur'an. Muslims believe that the entirety of the Islamic teaching rests on the principle of Tawhid.

Other attributes




God is described and referred in the Quran and hadith
Hadith
The term Hadīth is used to denote a saying or an act or tacit approval or criticism ascribed either validly or invalidly to the Islamic prophet Muhammad....

 by certain names or attributes, the most common being Al-Rahman, meaning "Most Compassionate" and Al-Rahim, meaning "Most Merciful" (See Names of God in Islam). The Qur'an refers to the attributes of God as God's “most beautiful names” (see , , ). According to Gerhard Böwering, "They are traditionally enumerated as 99 in number to which is added as the highest name (al-ism al-aʿẓam), the supreme name of God, Allāh. The locus classicus for listing the divine names in the literature of qurʾānic commentary is , “Call him Allah (the God), or call him Ar-Rahman (the Gracious); whichsoever you call upon, to him belong the most beautiful names,” and also , which includes a cluster of more than a dozen divine epithets." The most commonly used names for god in Islam are:
  • The Most High (al-Ala)
  • The Most Glorious (al-Aziz)
  • The Ever Forgiving (al-Ghaffar)
  • The Ever Providing (ar-Razzaq)
  • The Ever Living (al-Hayy)
  • The Self-Subsisting by Whom all Subsist (al-Qayyum)
  • The Lord and Cherisher of the Worlds (Rabb al-Alameen)
  • The Ultimate Truth (al-Haqq)
  • The Eternal Lord (al-Baqi)
  • The Sustainer (al-Muqsith)
  • The Source of Peace (As-Salaam)


Islamic theology makes a distinction between the attributes of God and the divine essence.

Furthermore, it is one of the fundamentals in Islam that God exists without a place and has no resemblance to his creations. For instance, God is not a body and there is nothing like him. In the Quran it says what mean "Nothing is like him in any way," [see Quran 42:11]. Allah is not limited to Dimensions.

Omniscience


The Qur'an describes God as being fully aware
Omniscience
Omniscience omniscient point-of-view in writing) is the capacity to know everything infinitely, or at least everything that can be known about a character including thoughts, feelings, life and the universe, etc. In Latin, omnis means "all" and sciens means "knowing"...

 of everything that happens in the universe, including private thoughts and feelings, and asserts that one can not hide anything from God:

Relationship with creation



Muslims believe that creation of everything in the universe is brought into being by God’s sheer command “‘Be’ and so it is.” and that the purpose of existence is to worship
Worship
Worship is an act of religious devotion usually directed towards a deity. The word is derived from the Old English worthscipe, meaning worthiness or worth-ship — to give, at its simplest, worth to something, for example, Christian worship.Evelyn Underhill defines worship thus: "The absolute...

 God. He is viewed as a personal God who responds whenever a person in need or distress calls Him. There are no intermediaries, such as clergy
Clergy
Clergy is the generic term used to describe the formal religious leadership within a given religion. A clergyman, churchman or cleric is a member of the clergy, especially one who is a priest, preacher, pastor, or other religious professional....

, to contact God who states “We are nearer to him than (his) jugular vein
Jugular vein
The jugular veins are veins that bring deoxygenated blood from the head back to the heart via the superior vena cava.-Internal and external:There are two sets of jugular veins: external and internal....


Comparative theology


Islamic theology identifies God as described in the Qur'an
Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

 as the same God of Israel who covenated with Abraham
Abraham
Abraham , whose birth name was Abram, is the eponym of the Abrahamic religions, among which are Judaism, Christianity and Islam...

. Islam and Judaism alike reject the Trinity
Trinity
The Christian doctrine of the Trinity defines God as three divine persons : the Father, the Son , and the Holy Spirit. The three persons are distinct yet coexist in unity, and are co-equal, co-eternal and consubstantial . Put another way, the three persons of the Trinity are of one being...

 of Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

, instead teaching that God is a singular entity beside whom no one else should be worshiped. However, the identification of God both in Islam and in Christianity with the God of Abraham led to a limited amount of mutual recognition among the Abrahamic religions
Abrahamic religions
Abrahamic religions are the monotheistic faiths emphasizing and tracing their common origin to Abraham or recognizing a spiritual tradition identified with him...

.

See also


  • God
    God
    God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

  • Conceptions of God
    Conceptions of God
    The God of monotheism, pantheism or panentheism, or the supreme deity of henotheistic religions, may be conceived of in various degrees of abstraction:...

  • Existence of God
    Existence of God
    Arguments for and against the existence of God have been proposed by philosophers, theologians, scientists, and others. In philosophical terms, arguments for and against the existence of God involve primarily the sub-disciplines of epistemology and ontology , but also of the theory of value, since...

  • Monotheism
    Monotheism
    Monotheism is the belief in the existence of one and only one god. Monotheism is characteristic of the Baha'i Faith, Christianity, Druzism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Samaritanism, Sikhism and Zoroastrianism.While they profess the existence of only one deity, monotheistic religions may still...


External links