God in Islam
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God in Islam

In Islam, God (Arabic: ?‎, translit. All?h, contraction of al-il?h, lit. "the God") is indivisible, the God, the absolute one, the all-powerful and all-knowing ruler of the universe, and the creator of everything in existence. Islam emphasizes that God is strictly singular (tawd ): unique (wid ), inherently One (a?ad ),[1] also all-merciful and omnipotent.[2] God is neither a material nor a spiritual being.[3] According to Islamic teachings, beyond the Throne[4] and according to the Quran, "No vision can grasp him, but His grasp is over all vision: He is above all comprehension, yet is acquainted with all things."[5]

Chapter 112 of the Quran, titled Al-'Ikhl?s (The Sincerity) reads: "He is God, [who is] One. God, the Eternal Refuge. He neither begets nor is born, Nor is there to Him any equivalent."[6]

In Islam, there are 99 known names of God (al-asm?' al-?usná lit. meaning: "The best names"), each of which evokes a distinct attribute of God.[7][8] All these names refer to Allah, the supreme and all-comprehensive god.[9] Among the 99 names of God, the most familiar and frequent are "the Compassionate" (Ar-Ra?m?n) and "the Merciful" (Ar-Ram).[7][8] Creation and ordering of the universe is seen as an act of prime mercy for which all creatures praise God's attributes and bear witness to God's unity.

Allah

Allah is the Arabic word referring to God in Abrahamic religions.[10][11][12] It is distinguished from il?h (Arabic: ‎), the Arabic word meaning deity, which could refer to any of the gods worshipped in pre-Islamic Arabia.[13][14][15]

Other names

God is described and referred to in the Quran and hadith by 99 names that reflect his attributes.[16] The Quran refers to the attributes of God as "most beautiful names".[17][18] According to Gerhard Böwering,

They are traditionally enumerated as 99 in number to which is added as the highest Name (al-ism al-?aam), the Supreme Name of All?h. The locus classicus for listing the Divine Names in the literature of Qurnic commentary is 17:110[19] "Call upon Allah, or call upon The Merciful; whichsoever you call upon, to Allah belong the most beautiful Names," and also 59:22-24,[20] which includes a cluster of more than a dozen Divine epithets."

-- Gerhard Böwering, God and God's Attributes[21]

Non-Arab Muslims may or may not use different names as much as Allah, for instance "God" in English, "Tanr?" in Turkish,[] "Tengri" in Mongolia,[]Yakush in Berber,[] and "Zot" in Albanian,[]Khod? in Persian.[]

Phrases and expressions

There are numerous conventional phrases and expressions invoking God.

Name Phrase Citation
(Quran or Sunnah)
Takb?ra
all?hu ?akbaru 9:72, 29:45, 40:10
God is greater (than anything you see, hear, or do)
Tasba
subna ll?hi 23:91, 28:68, 37:159, 52:43, 59:23
?
Glory to God
Ta?m?da
al-?amdu li-ll?hi 1:2, 6:1, 29:63, 31:25, 34:1, 35:1, 35:34, 39:29, 39:74, 39:75, 40:65
? ?
Thanks be to God
Tahl?la
l? ?il?ha ?ill? ll?hu 37:38, 47:19
? ?
(There is) no god but God
Shahada
mu?ammadun ras?lu ll?hi 48:29
? ?
Muhammad is the messenger of God
Basmala
bi-smi ll?hi r-ra?m?ni r-rami 1:1
? [22]
in the name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful
Insha'Allah
?in sha ll?hu 2:70, 12:99, 18:69, 28:27, 48:27
? ?
if God is willing
Mashallah
m? sha ll?hu 6:128, 7:188, 10:49, 18:39, 87:7
?
God wills that
?Alayhi as-sal?m
?all? ll?hu ?alayhi wa-sallama
? ? ? [23]
God bless him and give him salvation
Rahimahullah
ra?imahu ll?hu / ra?imaka ll?hu
? / ?
May God have mercy upon him / you
?Astaghfiru ll?h
?asta?firu ll?hi 12:98, 19:47
?
I seek forgiveness from God
?awqala
?l? ?awla wa l? quwwata ill? bi-ll?hi Riyad as-Salihin 16:36
There is no might nor power except in God
Inna Lillahi wa inna ilaihi raji'un
?inn? li-ll?hi wa-?inn? ?ilayhi r?jina 2:156, 2:46, 2:156
? ?
Indeed, (we belong) to God and indeed to Him we shall return
Jazaka ll?h
jazaka ll?hu ?ayran Riyad as-Salihin 17:32, Tirmidhi 27:141, Bukhari 7:3
? ? ?
May God reward you well
?Adhu bi-ll?h
?au bi-ll?hi mina ?-?ayni r-raj?mi Riyad as-Salihin 1:46
?
I seek refuge with God from Satan, the accursed
F? sab?li ll?h
f? sab?li ll?hi 2:154, 2:190, 2:195, 2:218, 2:244, 2:246, etc.
? ?
in the cause (way) of God
Yar?amuka-ll?hu
yar?amuka ll?hu Bukhari 78:248, Riyad as-Salihin 6:35
? ?
May God have mercy on you
Honorifics often said or written alongside Allah
Subnahu wa-tal?
subnahu wa-tal?[24] 6:100, 10:18, 16:1, 17:43, 30:40, 39:67
May He be praised and exalted[25][26]
Jalla jal?lahu
jalla jal?lahu
[27]
May His glory be glorified
?Azza wa-jalla
?azza wa-jalla
?
the Glorified/Exalted/Mighty and Sublime

Attributes

Oneness

Islam's most fundamental concept is a strict monotheism called tawhid, affirming that God is one and incomparable (wid). The basic creed of Islam, the Shahada[28] (recited under oath to enter the religion), involves ? (l? ?il?ha ?illall?h), or, "I testify there is no god other than God."

Muslims reject the Christian doctrine of the Trinity and divinity of Jesus, who is believed to be a prophet, comparing it to polytheism.[29]

According to Vincent J. Cornell,[] the Quran also provides a monist 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: "He is the First and the Last, the Evident and the Immanent: and He has full knowledge of all things."[30]

Tawhid constitutes the foremost article of the Muslim profession.[31] The deification or worship of anyone or anything other than God (shirk) is the biggest sin in Islam. The entirety of the Islamic teaching rests on the principle of Tawhid.[32]

Creator

God is the creator of the universe and all the creatures in it.[33]

[All] praise is [due] to Allah, Creator of the heavens and the earth, [who] made the angels messengers having wings, two or three or four. He increases in creation what He wills. Indeed, Allah is over all things competent.

-- Quran 35:1 (Translated by Sahih International)

And it is We Who have constructed the heavens (universe) with might and verily, it is We Who are steadily expanding it.

-- Quran 51:47

We created man from an extract of clay. Then We made him as a drop in a place of settlement; firmly fixed (Uterus of woman). Then We made the drop into an alaqah (leech-like suspended blood clot), then We made the alaqah into a mudghah (chewed substances, little lump of flesh), then We made out of that mudghah bones, then We clothed the bones with flesh, and then We brought it forth as another creation. So blessed be Allah, the Best of creators.

-- Quran 23:12

['Iesa (Jesus) said]: "And verily Allah (God) is my Lord and your Lord. So worship Him (Alone). That is the Straight Path. (Allah's Religion of Islamic Monotheism which He did ordain for all of His Prophets)." [Tafsir At-Tabari]

-- Quran 19:36

Mercy

The most commonly used names in the primary sources are Al-Rahman, meaning "Most Compassionate" and Al-Rahim, meaning "Most Merciful".[34] The former compasses the whole creation, therefore apply to God's mercy, that gives every necessary condition to make life possible. The latter apply to God's mercy, that gives favor for good deeds. Thus Al-Rahman includes both the believers and the unbelievers, but Al-Rahim the believers.[35][36] God is said to love forgiving, with a hadith stating God would replace a sinless people with one who sinned but still asked repentance.[37] Also the word Rahman comes from the word Rahm which means the womb of the mother so it is a comparison between God's mercy to the mercy of a mother with her child.[38]

His mercy takes many forms from as he say in the Quran "and My Mercy embraces all things." [7:156] this is shown by a in Muslim narrated from Abu Hurairah said the Prophet said : "Allah has one hundred parts of mercy, of which He sent down one between the jinn, mankind, the animals and the insects, by means of which they are compassionate and merciful to one another, and by means of which wild animals are kind to their offspring. And Allah has kept back ninety-nine parts of mercy with which to be merciful to His slaves of the Day of Resurrection."[39][40] Also God's mercy according to Islamic theology is what gets a person into paradise. According to hadith in Sahih Al Bukhari "No one's deeds will ever admit him to Paradise." They said, "Not even you, O Messenger of Allah?" He said, "No, not even me, unless Allah showers me with His Mercy. So try to be near to perfection. And no one should wish for death; he is either doing good so he will do more of that, or he is doing wrong so he may repent."[40][41]

Omniscience

God is fully aware of everything that can be known.[42] This includes private thoughts and feelings. The Qur'an asserts that one can not hide anything from God:[original research?]

And, [O Muhammad], you are not [engaged] in any matter or recite any of the Qur'an and you [people] do not do any deed except that We are witness over you when you are involved in it. And not absent from your Lord is any [part] of an atom's weight within the earth or within the heaven or [anything] smaller than that or greater but that it is in a clear register.

-- Quran, Sura 10 (Yunus), ayat 61[43]

And indeed We have created man, and We know what his ownself whispers to him. And We are nearer to him than his jugular vein.

-- Quran, Sura Qaf: 50:16

Relationship with creation

Muslims believe that God is the only true reality and the creation including its creatures are just a derivative reality created out of love and mercy by God's command,[44] "..."Be," and it is."[2][45] and that the purpose of existence is to worship or to know God.[46][47][48] As in the other Abrahamic religions, God is believed to communicate with his creation via revelations given to prophets to remind people of God. The Quran in particular is believed by Muslims to be the verbatim word of God as revealed to Muhammad. Hadith are the records of Muhammad's sayings and example, and Hadith Qudsi is a sub-category of hadith, which Muslims regard as the words of God repeated by Muhammad. According to Ali ibn Mohammed 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".[49] There are no intermediaries, such as clergy, to contact God who states in the Quran, "It was We Who created man, and We know what dark suggestions his soul makes to him: for We are nearer to him than (his) jugular vein."[50] People may enter a particular relationship with God any time and in different circumstances through the divine names or attributes. Thus God is also a personal God who responds whenever a person in need or distress calls Him.[2][51]Muhammad al-Bukhari, in his ?a Bukh?r?, narrates a ?ad?th quds? that God says, "I am as My servant thinks (expects) I am."[52][53] When Sufis claim union with God, it is not that they become one in essence, rather the will of the Sufi is fully congruent to God.[54]

Concepts in Islamic theology

Isma'ilism - Shia

According to Isma'ilism, God is absolutely transcedent and unknownable;[55] beyond matter, energy, space, time, change, imaginings, intellect, positive as well as negative qualities. All attributes of God named in rituals, scriptures or prayers refers not to qualities God possesses, but to qualities emanated from God, thus these are the attributes God gave as the source of all qualities, but God does not consist on one of these qualities.[56] Since God is beyond all wordings, Isma'ilism also denies the concept of God as the first cause.[57]

Mu?tazila

The Mu?tazilites reject the anthropomorphic attributes of God, because an eternal being "must be unique". Accordingly, attributes would make God comparable. The descriptions of God in the Quran are considered to be allegories.[58] Nevertheless, the Mu?tazilites thought, God contains oneness (tawhid) and justice. Other characteristics like knowledge are not attributed to God; rather they describe his essence. Otherwise eternal attributes of God would give rise to multiplicity entities existing eternal besides God.[59]

Maturidi and Ash'ari - Sunnism

Ash'ari and Maturidi are in agreement about God's attributes are eternal but neither hold to be metaphorically (unlike Mu'tazilla) nor literally.[60] Therefore, God has hands but they do not resemble humans hands.[61] Although God's existence is considered to be possibly known by reason, human mind can not fully understand God's attributes. For example, when humans in paradise see God, they do not see God in the way humans are able to see on Earth.[61]Ash?ari asserts, since God is the creator of everything that exists and creation does not affect nor alter God, the Throne of God is not a dwelling place for God.[62] Accordingly, God is above his Throne means, God exist unattached of any place.

Sufism

Since God in Islam is transcendental and sovereign but also immanent and omnipresent, the Sufi view holds that in reality, only God exists. Thus everything in creation is reflecting an attribute of God's names. Yet these forms are not God themselves.[63] The Sufi Saint Ibn Arabi stated: There is nothing but God. This statement was mistakenly equalizied to Pantheism by critics, however Ibn Arabi always made a clear distinction between the creation and the creator.[64] Since God is the Absolute Reality,[65] the created worlds and their inhabitants are merely illusions. They just exist because of Gods command Kun, but everything that would be, was already known by God.[66]

Salafism and Wahhabism - Sunnism

Salafism and Wahhabism refuse interpretations on Quran to avoid altering of its message, thus taking the descriptions of God literally and oppose widespread theological concepts including the Ash'ari view.[67] Therefore, God's hands must be taken literally and is sitting on or above his throne.[68]

Comparative theology

Islamic theology identifies God as described in the Quran as the same God of Israel who covenanted with Abraham.[69] It rejects previous Meccan Religion's belief that God has daughters. Islam and Judaism alike reject the Trinity of Christianity. However the Islamic concept of God is less personal[how?] than his Judeo-Christian aspect.[47]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ John L. Esposito, Islam: The Straight Path, Oxford University Press, 1998, p.88
  2. ^ a b c "Allah." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2007. Encyclopædia Britannica
  3. ^ Benjamin W. McCraw, Robert Arp Philosophical Approaches to Demonology Taylor & Francis 2017 ISBN 9781315466767 page 138
  4. ^ Britannica Encyclopedia, Islam, p. 3
  5. ^ Quran 6:103 (Translated by Yusuf Ali)
  6. ^ "The Noble Qur'an".
  7. ^ a b Bentley, David (September 1999). The 99 Beautiful Names for God for All the People of the Book. William Carey Library. ISBN 0-87808-299-9.
  8. ^ a b Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa, Allah
  9. ^ Annemarie Schimmel,The Tao of Islam: A Sourcebook on Gender Relationships in Islamic, SUNY Press, p.206
  10. ^ "God". Islam: Empire of Faith. PBS. Archived from the original on 2014-03-27. Retrieved 2010.
  11. ^ "Islam and Christianity", Encyclopedia of Christianity (2001): Arabic-speaking Christians and Jews also refer to God as All?h.
  12. ^ Gardet, L. "Allah". In Bearman, P.; Bianquis, Th.; Bosworth, C.E.; van Donzel, E.; Heinrichs, W.P. Encyclopaedia of Islam Online. Brill Online. Retrieved 2007.
  13. ^ "God". Islam: Empire of Faith. PBS. Retrieved .
  14. ^ "Islam and Christianity", Encyclopedia of Christianity (2001): Arabic-speaking Christians and Jews also refer to God as All?h.
  15. ^ L. Gardet. "Allah". Encyclopaedia of Islam Online.
  16. ^ Bentley, David (September 1999). The 99 Beautiful Names for God for All the People of the Book. William Carey Library. ISBN 0-87808-299-9.
  17. ^ Quran 7:180, Quran 17:110, Quran 20:8, Quran 59:24
  18. ^ "Names of God - Oxford Islamic Studies Online". www.oxfordislamicstudies.com. Retrieved . Encouraged by the Quran (7:180; 17:110; 20:8), Muslims selected ninety-nine attributes of God, describing His perfection, from the Quran and traditions. Referred to as "the most beautiful names of God," they describe a range of characteristics that balances the power of God (the Creator, the Sovereign, and the All-Knowing) with His love and mercy (the All-Loving, the Most Gracious, and the All-Forgiving). The names are frequently memorized and used in supplications. Preceded by the words Abd or Amat (male or female servant), they are often used in proper names (e.g., Abd al-Rahman, "servant of the Merciful").
  19. ^ Quran 17:110
  20. ^ Quran 59:22-24
  21. ^ Böwering, Gerhard. "God and God Attributes". Encyclopaedia of the Qurn.
  22. ^ The phrase is encoded at Unicode code point U+FDFD ?
  23. ^ The phrase is encoded as a ligature at Unicode code point FDFA ?
  24. ^ Often abbreviated "SWT" or "swt".
  25. ^ Grob, Eva Mira (2010). Documentary Arabic private and business letters on papyrus: form and function, content and context. New York, N.Y.: De Gruyter. p. 26. ISBN 3110247046.
  26. ^ Reynolds, Gabriel Said, ed. (2011). New perspectives on the Qur'an: The Qur'an in its historical context 2. London: Routledge. p. 259. ISBN 1136700781.
  27. ^ The phrase is encoded as a ligature at Unicode code point U+FDFB ?
  28. ^ Hossein Nasr The Heart of Islam, Enduring Values for Humanity (April., 2003), pp 3, 39, 85, 27-272
  29. ^ The concise Oxford dictionary of world religions. Bowker, John, 1935-, Oxford University Press. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2000. ISBN 9780191727221. OCLC 49508601.
  30. ^ Quran 57:3 (Translated by Yusuf Ali)
  31. ^ D. Gimaret, Tawhid, Encyclopaedia of Islam
  32. ^ Tariq Ramadan (2005), p.203
  33. ^ "Islam: An Overview - Oxford Islamic Studies Online". www.oxfordislamicstudies.com. Retrieved . Allah is believed to be the transcendent, all-powerful, and all-knowing creator, sustainer, ordainer, and judge of the universe.
  34. ^ Bentley, David (September 1999). The 99 Beautiful Names for God for All the People of the Book. William Carey Library. ISBN 0-87808-299-9.
  35. ^ Prince Sorie Conteh Traditionalists, Muslims, and Christians in Africa: Interreligious Encounters and Dialogue Cambria Press 2009 ISBN 978-1-604-97596-3 page 80
  36. ^ Mahmoud Ayoub The Qur'an and Its Interpreters, Volume 1 SUNY Press 1984 ISBN 978-0-873-95727-4 page 43
  37. ^ "Allah would replace you with a people who sin". islamtoday.net. Archived from the original on October 14, 2013. Retrieved 2012.
  38. ^ Lessons From Surah Ar Rahman - Nouman Ali Khan, retrieved
  39. ^ "My Mercy Prevails Over My Wrath". www.onislam.net. Retrieved .
  40. ^ a b "The Mercy of Allah Towards His slaves - islamqa.info". islamqa.info. Retrieved .
  41. ^ "The Spiritual Season Part 3: Ramadan | Al-Madina Institute Blog". Retrieved .
  42. ^ "BBC - Religions - Islam: Basic articles of faith". Archived from the original on 13 August 2018. Retrieved .
  43. ^ "Surah Yunus - The Noble Qur'an - ". quran.com.
  44. ^ Sachiko Murata The Tao of Islam: A Sourcebook on Gender Relationships in Islamic Thought SUNY Press 1992 ISBN 978-0-791-40913-8 page 77
  45. ^ Quran 2:117
  46. ^ "Human Nature and the Purpose of Existence". Patheos.com. Retrieved .
  47. ^ a b David Leeming The Oxford Companion to World Mythology Oxford University Press 2005 ISBN 978-0-195-15669-0 page 209
  48. ^ Quran 51:56
  49. ^ [1], 3rd paragraph, October 2015
  50. ^ Quran 50:16
  51. ^ Quran 2:186
  52. ^ "I am as My Servant Thinks (expects) I am". hadithaday.org. Retrieved .
  53. ^ "Center for Muslim-Jewish Engagement". usc.edu.
  54. ^ Maha Elkaisy-Friemuth God and Humans in Islamic Thought: Abd Al-Jabbar, Ibn Sina and Al-Ghazali Routledge 2006 ISBN 978-1-134-14676-5 page 146
  55. ^ Farhad Daftary Ismaili History and Intellectual Traditions Routledge 2017 ISBN 978-1-351-97503-2
  56. ^ https://ismailignosis.com/2016/01/22/ismaili-teachings-on-the-oneness-of-god-tawhid-beyond-personalist-theism-and-modern-atheism/
  57. ^ Arzina R. Lalani Degrees of Excellence: A Fatimid Treatise on Leadership in Islam I.B.Tauris 2009 ISBN 978-0-857-71202-8 page 3
  58. ^ John Renard Islamic Theological Themes: A Primary Source Reader Univ of California Press 2014 ISBN 978-0-520-95771-8 page 138
  59. ^ Patrick Hughes, Thomas Patrick Hughes Dictionary of Islam Asian Educational Services, 1995 ISBN 978-8-120-60672-2 page 425
  60. ^ Abdullah Saeed Islamic Thought: An IntroductionRoutledge 2006 ISBN 978-1-134-22564-4 chapter legal thought
  61. ^ a b Andrew Rippin Muslims: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices Psychology Press 2005 ISBN 978-0-415-34888-1 page 86
  62. ^ Imam Al-Bayhaqi Allah's Names and Attributes ISCA 1999 ISBN 978-1-930-40903-3 page 19
  63. ^ Karin Jironet The Image of Spiritual Liberty in the Western Sufi Movement Following Hazrat Inayat Khan Peeters Publishers 2002 ISBN 978-9-042-91205-2 page 32
  64. ^ J. I. Laliwala Islamic Philosophy of Religion: Synthesis of Science Religion and Philosophy Sarup & Sons 2005 ISBN 978-8-176-25476-2 page 39
  65. ^ Jean-Louis Michon, Roger Gaetani Sufism: Love & Wisdom World Wisdom, Inc, 2006 ISBN 978-0-941-53275-4 page 207
  66. ^ William C. Chittick Ibn 'Arabi: Heir to the Prophets Oneworld Publications 2012 ISBN 978-1-780-74193-2
  67. ^ Alexander Thurston Salafism in Nigeria Cambridge University Press 2016 ISBN 978-1-107-15743-9 page 6
  68. ^ Quintan Wiktorowicz The Management of Islamic Activism: Salafis, the Muslim Brotherhood, and State Power in Jordan SUNY Press 2001 ISBN 978-0-791-44835-9 page 115
  69. ^ According to Francis Edward Peters, "The Quran insists, Muslims believe, and historians affirm that Muhammad and his followers worship the same God as the Jews [see Quran 29:46]. The Quran's Allah is the same Creator God who covenanted with Abraham".

Bibliography

  • Al-Bayhaqi (1999), Allah's Names and Attributes, ISCA, ISBN 1-930409-03-6
  • Hulusi, Ahmed (1999), "Allah" as introduced by Mohammed, Kitsan, 10th ed., ISBN 975-7557-41-2
  • Muhaiyaddeen, M. R. Bawa (1976), Asm?'ul-Husn?: the 99 beautiful names of Allah, The Bawa Muhaiyaddeen Fellowship, ISBN 0-914390-13-9
  • Netton, Ian Richard (1994), Allah Transcendent: Studies in the Structure and Semiotics of Islamic Philosophy, Theology and Cosmology, Routledge, ISBN 0-7007-0287-3

External links


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