Now that we’ve established that the Universe had to have come into being by the will of some transcendent, supreme, intelligent being, we must now take a moment to explain the Islamic concept of God.
The first thing to clear up is the name, Allah. There is a common misconception out there that Allah and God are two separate deities. This is not the case. “Allah” is simply the Arabic name for God.
In the Arabic language, the word “Allah” is a combination of two smaller words:
“Al” – the definitive article in Arabic. This is most similar to the word “the” in English
“Illah” – a simple translation of this word would be “god”, but a more precise translation would be “that which is worshiped”
Therefore, “Al” + “Illah” = “Allah”, meaning the One and only thing that is worshiped, or that is worthy of worship. A simpler translation would be “The God”.
The Islamic concept of God can be summarized by one word: Monotheism. In Arabic, this is known as “Tawheed”.
Allah is One. There is nothing similar or equal to Him. He is above and beyond any and all comparison and association.
Say, “He is Allah , [who is] One,
Allah , the Eternal Refuge.
He neither begets nor is born,
Nor is there to Him any equivalent.”Qur’an, Chapter 112
Allah has no parents, no wife, and no children. He is entirely self sufficient. Everything that exists depends on Him, while He depends on nothing.
[He is] Originator of the heavens and the earth. How could He have a son when He does not have a companion and He created all things? And He is, of all things, Knowing.Qur’an 6:101
Allah is the only One worthy of worship. To worship anyone or anything instead of or in partnership to Allah is called shirk, also known as polytheism or paganism.
Worship Allah and associate nothing with Him, and to parents do good, and to relatives, orphans, the needy, the near neighbor, the neighbor farther away, the companion at your side, the traveler, and those whom your right hands possess. Indeed, Allah does not like those who are self-deluding and boastful.Qur’an 4:36
Allah is the absolute Creator. Everything that exists belongs to Him and is under His control, and Allah has power over all things.
Allah – there is no deity except Him, the Ever-Living, the Sustainer of [all] existence. Neither drowsiness overtakes Him nor sleep. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. Who is it that can intercede with Him except by His permission? He knows what is before them and what will be after them, and they encompass not a thing of His knowledge except for what He wills. His Kursi extends over the heavens and the earth, and their preservation tires Him not. And He is the Most High, the Most Great.Qur’an 2:255
What about Christianity and Judaism, aren’t they monotheistic, “Abrahamic” religions too?
We must first agree on what is defined as “monotheistic”. For any belief to be considered monotheistic, it must meet the following requirements:
- God exists
- God is One, meaning that there is not more than one God.
- He shares His power and authority with no one, and there is nothing like Him or similar to Him
- He alone is to be worshiped
- Because He alone is the Creator, and He alone is to be worshiped, then He alone is the only One that can decide what is good or bad, allowed or forbidden, mandatory or optional.
A reasonable person would agree that these are necessary characteristics a religion must have in order to truly be considered monotheistic. If you look at Christianity or Judaism, or any other religion for that matter, they all break at least one of these five rules in one way or another, and can therefore no longer be considered monotheistic. Islam is the only religion that fits all of these monotheistic requirements.
Christianity is a prime example of this. Most Christian denominations teach that God exists in a Trinity, and that each part is separate yet at the same time part of the whole. Depending on which denomination of Christianity you look at, the Prophet Jesus is taught to be either the literal son of God, God in human form, or both at the same time. This clearly violates the simplest and most important rule of monotheism; God is one.
The idea of God begetting literal children is a common pagan idea that has surfaced in just about every polytheistic, pagan religion through history. Compare Christianity to any other pagan religion, and you will notice striking similarities (like the concept of the Trinity, for example). To say that God has a Son is to say that there is something similar to God, which is to ascribe or associate partners with God, which is the clear textbook definition of polytheism or paganism.
If you are a Christian, we propose a very important question that requires contemplation. You, as a Christian, believe that the Prophet Jesus is the literal son of God, because he was born only of a mother and no father, correct? If your answer is yes, then what does that make Prophet Adam, the first of mankind? He was created without a mother or a father. If anyone was truly a “Son of God”, wouldn’t it be Adam?
It is not [befitting] for Allah to take a son; exalted is He! When He decrees an affair, He only says to it, “Be,” and it is.Qur’an 19:35
The Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) brought the exact same message as the Prophets before him and the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon them all) after him: Worship God and God alone. Unfortunately, due to pagan influence, the Christians began to over-praise the Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) and associate Him as the Son of God or as God in human form. This is a clear cut example of shirk, or polytheism.
The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.The Bible, Mark 12:29
“Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good, except God alone.”The Bible, Luke 18:19
God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? Or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?The Bible, Numbers 23:19
If you carefully examine the statements of the Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) in the Bible, you will find that Jesus never once says anything to the effect of “I am God, worship me.” There are many sayings of Jesus where he specifically states that only God is to be worshiped, i.e. Jesus taught monotheism.
By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but Him who sent me.The Bible, John 5:30
Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ “The Bible, John 20:17
Let’s think about this last verse for a moment. If we’re in an office building on the first floor, and I say I’m going to see my and your boss (our boss) on the 5th floor, how could ‘my boss’ and ‘me’ be the same person? It doesn’t make sense. Jesus taught the exact same message that all the Prophets before him (Adam, Noah, Abraham, David, Moses, etc.) and the Prophet Muhammad after him, taught: to worship and obey God alone.