God has not taken to Himself any son, nor is there any god with Him

Who is Allah?

The most fundamental belief that a Muslim has is that “There is only One God,” the Creator, the Sustainer. The fundamental pillar of faith in Islam is to declare that “there is no deity worthy of worship except the One True Almighty God” (in Arabic: “La Ilaha Ill Allah”).In the Quran, we read that Allah is Compassionate and Merciful. He is Kind, Loving and Wise. He is the Creator, the Sustainer, the Healer. He is the One who Guides, the One who Protects, the One Who Forgives. There are traditionally 99 names, or attributes, that Muslims use to describe Allah’s nature. Allah says:

لَّهُ مَقَالِيدُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا بِآيَاتِ اللَّهِ أُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْخَاسِرُونَ

“God is the Creator of everything. He is the guardian over everything. Unto Him belong the keys of the heavens and the earth.” (Surah Az-Zumar 39:63)

Allah means literally the one God. It is pretty easy to understand how different languages give the same thing different names. He is Self-Sufficient or Self-Subsistent or, to use a Quranic term, Al-Qayyum. The Creator does not create only in the sense of bringing things into being, He also preserves them and takes them out of existence and is the ultimate cause of whatever happens to them. Allah says:

وَمَا مِن دَابَّةٍ فِي الْأَرْضِ إِلَّا عَلَى اللَّهِ رِزْقُهَا وَيَعْلَمُ مُسْتَقَرَّهَا وَمُسْتَوْدَعَهَا كُلٌّ فِي كِتَابٍ مُّبِينٍ

“And not any moving creature in the earth but on Allah (is) its provision. And He knows its dwelling place and its place of storage. All (is) in a Record clear.” (Surah Hud 11:6 )

Islam is based on the concept of Tawhid, or Unity of God. Muslims are strictly monotheistic and fiercely reject any attempt to make God visible or human. Islam rejects any form of idol worship, even if its intention is to get “closer” to God, and rejects the Trinity or any attempt to make God-human. Allah says:

وَلَقَدْ خَلَقْنَا الْإِنسَانَ وَنَعْلَمُ مَا تُوَسْوِسُ بِهِ نَفْسُهُ وَنَحْنُ أَقْرَبُ إِلَيْهِ مِنْ حَبْلِ الْوَرِيدِ

“And certainly We created man and We know what whispers to him his soul, and We (are) nearer to him than (his) jugular vein.” (Surah Qaf 50:16)

In Muslim understanding, God is beyond our sight and understanding, yet at the same time.

The Quran summarizes this argument in the following verses:

  • “… Allah knows well the secrets of your hearts” (Quran 5:7)
  • “Do you worship what you have carved yourself?” (Quran, 37:95)
  • “…(Such is) the artistry of Allah, Who disposes of all things in perfect order…” (Al-Naml 27:88)
  • “Say, ‘He is Allah, the One; Allah, the Eternal, Absolute; He begets not, and neither is He begotten; And there is nothing that can be compared to Him.” (Quran 112:1-4 )
  • “Or have you taken unto you others beside Him to be your protectors, even such as have no power either for good or for harm to themselves?” (Quran, 13:16)
  • “This is the Scripture in which there is no doubt, containing guidance for those who are mindful of God, who believe in the unseen…” (Quran, 2:2-3)
  • “…Our Lord not for nought hast thou created (all) this! Glory to Thee! Give us Salvation from the Chastisement of the Fire.” (Alu ‘Imran 3:191).
  • “And Why, were their gods in earth and heaven other than God, they (heaven and earth) would surely go to ruin.” (Quran, 21:22)
  • “Say, ‘He is God the One, God the eternal. He begot no one nor was He begotten. No one is comparable to Him”(Quran, 112:1-4)
  • “We have, without doubt, sent down the Message; and We will assuredly Guard it (from corruption)”(Quran, 15:9)
  • “Such is the Creation of Allah: now show Me what is there that others besides Him have created…” (Luqman 31:11)
  • “God has not taken to Himself any son, nor is there any god with Him: For then each god would have taken of that which he created and some of them would have risen up over others.” (Quran, 23:91Quran,
  • “People of the Book, go not beyond the bounds in your religion and say not as to God but the truth. The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was only the Messenger of God, and His Word that He committed to Mary, and a Spirit from Him. So believe in God and His Messengers, and say not, ‘Three.’ Refrain; better is it for you. God is only one God. Glory be to Him – (He is) above having a son.” (Quran, 4:171)
  • “He Who created all things in the best way and He began the creation of man from clay” (Al-Sajdah 32:7)

Islam is a natural faith, a religion of responsibility, purpose, balance, discipline, and simplicity. To be a Muslim is to live your life remembering Allah and striving to follow His merciful guidance. Muslims pray directly to God, with no intermediary, and seek guidance from Him alone. Allah says:

وَلَا تُجَادِلُوا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ إِلَّا بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ إِلَّا الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا مِنْهُمْ وَقُولُوا آمَنَّا بِالَّذِي أُنزِلَ إِلَيْنَا وَأُنزِلَ إِلَيْكُمْ وَإِلَٰهُنَا وَإِلَٰهُكُمْ وَاحِدٌ وَنَحْنُ لَهُ مُسْلِمُونَ

“And do not debate with the People of the Book, unless in the best of manners, but not with those who are unjust, and say: “We believe in the Revelation that has come down to us and in that which has come down to you; Our God and your God is One, and to Him do we wholly give ourselves.” (Surah Al-`Ankabut 29:46)

The Islamic concept of God is that He is loving, merciful and compassionate. Islam also teaches that He is all-knowing and the perfect judge of affairs, and will punish (or forgive) accordingly. However, Allah once said to Muhammad, “My mercy prevails over my wrath”. So Islam teaches a balance between fear and hope, protecting one from both complacency and despair. Allah says:

هُوَ اللَّهُ الَّذِي لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ عَالِمُ الْغَيْبِ وَالشَّهَادَةِ هُوَ الرَّحْمَٰنُ الرَّحِيمُ

“He (is) Allah, the One Who, (there is) no god but He, (the) All-Knower (of) the unseen and the witnessed. He (is) the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.” (Surah Al-Hashr 59:22)

The Quranic message is relevant to every nation and era – another proof that the Quran is truly the Word of God. Intending for this Book to remain a source of guidance, inspiration, wisdom, and healing for all of humanity, God designed its message to transcend the bounds of time.