Avoiding Disappointment is Good

The Concept of Allah (God) in Islam

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. To Allah belong the endowments, befitting perfection, and commendations. We ask Allah to raise the rank of Prophet Muhammad and to protect his nation from what he fears for it. Allah is the personal name of the One true God. Nothing else can be called Allah. Man must seek to appreciate the extent of Allah’s knowledge, and reflect to comprehend His greatness. Allah also possesses the power to create many other things beyond our limited imagination. Allah says:

اللَّهُ الَّذِي خَلَقَ سَبْعَ سَمَاوَاتٍ وَمِنَ الْأَرْضِ مِثْلَهُنَّ يَتَنَزَّلُ الْأَمْرُ بَيْنَهُنَّ لِتَعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ قَدْ أَحَاطَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عِلْمًا

”Allah (is) He Who created seven heavens and of the earth, (the) like of them. Descends the command between them that you may know that Allah (is) on everything All-Powerful. And that, Allah indeed, encompasses all things (in) knowledge.” (Surah At-Talaq 65:12)

Allah is the One Who can help man drive away any harm for it cannot occur without His Will and His Power. There is nothing in existence but beauty, for God created the cosmos only in His image, that is, in the image of His infinite beauty. Hence all cosmos with all its objects and events is beautiful. Allah says:

وَلَوْ أَنَّمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ مِن شَجَرَةٍ أَقْلَامٌ وَالْبَحْرُ يَمُدُّهُ مِن بَعْدِهِ سَبْعَةُ أَبْحُرٍ مَّا نَفِدَتْ كَلِمَاتُ اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ

“And if whatever (is) in the earth of (the) trees (were) pens and the sea, (to) add to it after it seven seas, not would be exhausted (the) Words (of) Allah. Indeed, Allah (is) All-Mighty, All-Wise.” (Surah Luqman 31:27)

The One true God is a reflection of the unique concept that Islam associates with Allah. To a Muslim, Allah is the Almighty Creator and Sustainer of the universe, Who is similar to nothing, and nothing is comparable to Him. Man can bring harm to himself if he seeks other than Allah for help. Allah says:

الَّذِي أَحْسَنَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ خَلَقَهُ وَبَدَأَ خَلْقَ الْإِنسَانِ مِن طِينٍ

“The One Who made good everything He created, and He began (the) creation (of) man from clay.” (Surah al-Sajdah 32:7)

Islam rejects characterizing God in any human form or depicting Him as favouring certain individuals or nations on the basis of wealth, power or race.  He created human-beings as equals. They may distinguish themselves and get His favour through virtue and piety only.

Here are some facts about Allah (God) in Islam:

  1. Allah is the Creator, not created, nor a part of His creation
  2. Allah sent His Messengers to guide all of mankind
  3. Allah knows what we conceal and what we reveal
  4. Allah warned who disobey Him against the Hell
  5. Allah is capable of granting life to anything
  6. Allah is the All-Knowing, and All-Merciful
  7. Allah is the one, Who has no partner
  8. Allah is First, Last, and Everlasting
  9. Allah’s book is the Holy Quran
  10. Allah is the Oft-Forgiving
  11. Allah the Most-Merciful
  12. Allah is very Gracious
  13. Allah is kind to His slaves
  14. Allah knows what is in our hearts
  15. Allah is also Severe in punishment
  16. Allah is the Supreme, the Sovereign
  17. Allah is All-Powerful, absolutely Just
  18. Allah sent  Messenger for all mankind
  19. Allah is near and He responds to the invocations
  20. Allah sent Muhammad (PBUH) as the last Prophet
  21. Allah has sent all of His messengers to worship Him Alone
  22. Allah not only warned us against Satan but also his footsteps
  23. Allah promises who obey Him to enter Paradise in the hereafter

The concepts, such as God resting on the seventh day of creation, God wrestling with one of His soldiers, God is an envious plotter against mankind, or God is incarnate in any human being, are considered blasphemy from the Islamic point of view. Allah says:

إِن يَنصُرْكُمُ اللَّهُ فَلَا غَالِبَ لَكُمْ وَإِن يَخْذُلْكُمْ فَمَن ذَا الَّذِي يَنصُرُكُم مِّن بَعْدِهِ وَعَلَى اللَّهِ فَلْيَتَوَكَّلِ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ

“If Allah helps you, then not (can) overcome [for] you, and if He forsakes you, then who (is) the one who can help you after Him? And on Allah – let the believers put (their).” (Surah Al-Imran 3:160)

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. Allah says:

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ أَنتُمُ الْفُقَرَاءُ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَاللَّهُ هُوَ الْغَنِيُّ الْحَمِيدُ

“O mankind! You (are) those in need of Allah, while Allah, He (is) Free of need the Praiseworthy.” (Surah Fatir 35:15)

Allah created the order of the universe in superb detail to allow a man to grasp His greatness. Faced with the sublimity of the details of this order, man becomes in awe, recognizing that Allah’s wisdom, knowledge, and might is infinite. So expansive is Allah’s knowledge that what for us is “infinite” is in His Sight already ended. Allah says:

وَقُلِ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ سَيُرِيكُمْ آيَاتِهِ فَتَعْرِفُونَهَا وَمَا رَبُّكَ بِغَافِلٍ عَمَّا تَعْمَلُونَ

“And say, “All praise (be) to Allah, He will show you His Signs, and you will recognize them. And your Lord is not unaware of what you do.” (Surah An-Naml 27:93)

Here are some signs of Allah, we can better understand the different schemes of life:

  • Signs of there are so many different kinds of animals and plant
  • Signs to create the earth with its mountains, rivers and seas
  • Signs of the tiny grains of pollen on a flower
  • Signs to create magnificent stars in the sky
  • Signs of heavy ships to float on water
  • Signs of clouds are made of water
  • Signs of water gets up into the sky
  • Signs of bringing seeds to life
  • Signs of the earth has so much water
  • Signs of causes the wind to change and blow
  • Signs of all plants have their characteristics
  • Signs of two-thirds of the earth is covered by water (the sea)
  • Signs of the clouds to coming and going between different seasons

Some may argue that God does not become a human being but only takes a human form. If God only takes a human form but does not become a human being, He should not possess any human qualities. The worship of God in human form is, therefore, a logical fallacy and should be abhorred in all its forms and manifestations. Allah says:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اذْكُرُوا اللَّهَ ذِكْرًا كَثِيرًا وَسَبِّحُوهُ بُكْرَةً وَأَصِيلًا

“O you who believe, remember Allah with much remembrance and exalt Him in the morning and evening.” (Surah Al-Ahzab 33:41)

Therefore the Muslims prefer using the Arabic word ‘Allah’ for the Almighty. Sometimes, however, while speaking to the non-Muslims we may have to use the inappropriate word, God, for Allah. Since the intended in nature, consisting of both Muslims as well as non-Muslims, we use the word God instead of Allah in several places in this article.

Here is the reason why the Quran speaks, the Glorious Quran says in the following verses:

  • “Allah is the doer of all that He intends.” (Quran 85:16)
  • “There is nothing whatever like unto Him.” (Quran 42:11)
  • “Allah is never unjust In the least degree.” (Al-Quran 4:40)
  •  “And that it is He who enriches and suffices.” (Quran 53:48)
  • “Deaf, dumb, and blind, They will not return (to the path).” (Quran 2:18)
  • “Allah – there is no deity except Him. To Him belong the best names.” (Quran 20:8)
  • “And Allah is most knowing of your enemies, and sufficient is Allah as an ally, and sufficient is Allah as a helper.” (Quran 4:45)
  • “Unquestionably, [for] the allies of Allah there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve.” (Quran 10:62)
  • “Whatever is in the heavens and on the earth exalts Allah and He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.” (Quran 61:1)
  • “And indeed, it is We who give life and cause death, and We are the Inheritor.” (Quran 15:23)

The knowledge about Allah leads man to know that he is created to live according to Allah’s way as revealed to the last Messenger Muhammad. This Revelation contains a complete code of life. Everything that is beneficial or harmful is established so that man can centre his life around this Revelation. If a man commits wrong and knows that Allah is Oft-Forgiving he would turn to Him and to Him alone seeking His forgiveness.

Here are some facts about Allah Almighty that all Muslims should know:

  • God does not make mistakes: God can make mistakes if He wants to, but He does not make mistakes because making a mistake is an ungodly act.
  • God does not forget: God can forget if He wants to. But God does not forget anything because forgetting is an ungodly act, which reeks of human limitations and failings.
  • God only performs Godly acts: The Islamic concept of God is that God has power over all things. The Qur’an says in several places (Al -Quran 2:106; 2:109; 2:284; 3:29; 16:77; and 35:1): “For verily Allah has power over all things.” We must keep in mind that Allah intends only Godly acts and not ungodly acts.
  • Allah chooses Messengers: Allah chooses a man amongst men to deliver the message and communicates with him at a higher level through the medium of revelations. Such chosen men are called messengers and prophets of God.
  • Allah is the Impartial Judge:
  • Some people are ‘blind’ and ‘deaf’:
  • Shirk is the greatest sin that Allah will never forgive:
  • Allah is Unique: This means that He has no family and He is everything in His own accord and there is none like Him.
  • Allah is the Only Creator: The Quran is full of verses which talk about Allah as “The Creator” and the word of Allah is the Absolute Truth.
  • Allah is the Most Merciful: Allah Almighty is known to Muslims as the Most Merciful Being, it is only because of His mercy that even when we commit sins, He lets them go and gives us many chances.
  • Allah is All-Knowing: It is true that Allah knows all that is in our hearts. Allah’s knowledge compasses all things, as does His mercy and wisdom.
  • Allah is the Loving One: It is well known to us that Allah Almighty loves His creation 70 times more than a mother loves her child. He has instilled love in us as well as a sign of Him
  • Allah is the Delayer: Allah is the delayer and the One who puts things in their right places. He makes ahead what He wills and delays what He wills.
  • Allah is the Bestower of Sufficiency: Allah is the One who satisfies the necessities of His creations.
  • Allah is the Maintainer of life: He is the Giver of life and it is only through His grace that we breathe as we do and are able to function in our daily lives.
  • Allah is a Friend: Allah is true “Al-Waliyy” which means a protecting friend and supporter.

The Quran, therefore, leads man to true liberation from any false attachment. It brings peace to the heart. It helps the believer against hypocrisy and all forms of dishonesty. Allah says:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَظْلِمُ النَّاسَ شَيْئًا وَلَٰكِنَّ النَّاسَ أَنفُسَهُمْ يَظْلِمُونَ

“Indeed, Allah (does) not wrong the people (in) anything, but the people wrong themselves.” (Surah Yunus 10:44)

Our purpose of existence on earth is more meaningful than being slaves to worldly gains. There can be no meaningful life better than that prescribed by our Creator Allah. Every act done according to Allah’s way is an act of worship. Man is the beneficiary and Allah is in no need: Allah says:

Here are some facts about Allah (God) in Islam:
  1. He sent Muhammad (PBUH) as the last Prophet and Messenger for all mankind
  2. Allah is with those who fear Him (keep their duty unto Him) and the good-doers
  3. There is no other entity in the entire universe worthy of worship besides Him
  4. Nothing is like Him. He is the Creator, not created, nor a part of His creation
  5. He is the All-Knowing, and All-Merciful, the Supreme, the Sovereign
  6. Allah is near and he responds to the invocations of the supplicants
  7. He was when nothing was and will be when nothing else remains
  8. Allah does not forgive setting up partners (in worship) with Him
  9. He knows what we conceal and what we reveal
  10. Allah is very Gracious and Kind to His slaves
  11. He is the one God, Who has no partner
  12. He is All-Powerful, absolutely Just
  13. He is First, Last, and Everlasting
  14. Allah knows what is in our hearts
  15. Allah not only warned us against Satan but also his footsteps
  16. He sent His Messengers (peace be upon them) to guide all of mankind
  17. Allah has sent all of His messengers to invite people to worship Him Alone
  18. Allah is the Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful and He is also severe in punishment
  19. Allah promises who obey Him to enter Paradise in the hereafter and warned who disobey Him against the Hell
  20. His book is the Holy Qur’an, the only authentic revealed book in the world that has been kept without change

فَاعْلَمْ أَنَّهُ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ وَاسْتَغْفِرْ لِذَنبِكَ وَلِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ مُتَقَلَّبَكُمْ وَمَثْوَاكُمْ

“So know that [He] – (there is) no god but Allah and ask forgiveness for your sin and for the believing men and the believing women. And Allah knows your movement and your resting places.” (Surah Muhammad 47:19)

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, therefore, that nothing is like Him. Allah says:

وَاذْكُر رَّبَّكَ فِي نَفْسِكَ تَضَرُّعًا وَخِيفَةً وَدُونَ الْجَهْرِ مِنَ الْقَوْلِ بِالْغُدُوِّ وَالْآصَالِ وَلَا تَكُن مِّنَ الْغَافِلِينَ

“Remember your Lord in yourselves with humility and in private without announcing it in the mornings and evenings, and do not be among the heedless.” (Surat Al-A’raf 7:205)

Islam rejects associating partners with God like depicting Him like humans or considering that humans can help us like God. All the concepts like God can incarnate in any idol or human being are completely rejected by Islam. Considering human being as partners in matters and decisions of Allah is blasphemous in Islam. Allah says:

وَاذْكُرُوا اللَّهَ كَثِيرًا لَّعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ

“Remember Allah often that you may succeed.” (Surah Al-Jumuah 62:10)

Hence, the best way to know Allah and to understand His actuality is through His ‘best’ names and attributes His Being comprises of – these attributes find perfection solely through and in His Being.