Who or What is "God" - an Islamic Perspective

Assalaamu 'alaikum! (May peace and God's blessings be upon you)

Let us investigate, What does Qur'an & Islam speak on the nature of God and How God is defined in Islamic text and context.

For the case of existence/non-existence of God first one must conclude upon 'What is the definition of God', then comes the second stage of investigating - whether can that 'God' as defined can exist or not.

Nature of God is best described in the following chapter of Qur'an

Chapter 112 - Surah Al Ikhlas

In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

1. Say: He is God, the One and Only; ( The architect of everything Known and Unknown to man, including the Universe and everything within)
2. God, the Eternal, Absolute; ( We know that the Universe wasn't eternal, It had a beginning, something which started the universe must be preexisting, intelligent and not bound by universal-laws)
3. He does not beget, nor is He begotten; (one such example are some sects of Christianity, the Messenger Jesus (Isa ibn Maryam) was taken to be God's begotten son)
4. And there is none comparable to Him. (Idols, man, woman, animals, trees or sun anything physical - No created thing can ever match God in any of His qualities.)

The belief in God does not comes on scientific grounds but on contemplations and exploration of self and the ones surrounding us.

God is defined as being ever-living and eternal, without end, and dying would mean “coming to an end.” Consequently, to ask if God can die is actually an absurd question. It is self-contradictory.

Similarly, to ask whether God can be born, is also absurd because God has already been defined as eternal, having no beginning. Being born means having a beginning, coming into existence after not existing.

According to the Qur'an, God speaks to us that He is the only creator and sustainer of all that exists and that nothing and no-one exists alongside Him, nor does He have any partners, meaning there is no "Team of God(s)" or "Family of God(s)".

Qur'an addresses God by a number of attributes
and names (99 of them) and three of them are essential for stating God's eternal existence:

A) The First - (Al' Awal)
B) The Last - (Al' Akhir)
C) The Eternal - (As' Samad)

God it is who is sought after by His creations, while God has no need or dependency upon the creations, never at all.
He always has existed and He never was created, as He is not like His creation, nor similar to it, in any way.

Creation is a finite being, like a Man, he is born, and he dies. These are characteristics which cannot be attributed to God because they equate God with His creation.

'The existing' term below has to be equated to anything that is 'physical created existence': It can be 'the universe', or 'the sun', or 'the earth', or 'a man' or even 'an atom' or 'a quark'.

  • 'The existing' cannot become its own originator.
  • 'The existing' at one point of time did not exist previously.
  • Hence, what was/is nonexistent cannot make itself exist.
  • 'The existing' came into existence by the action of "The Initial"(The One God) which always existed.

There is a rather interesting question that Atheists and Agnostics put forth to disprove God, and the question has to be appreciated for the genius behind the thinking, but any Muslim would be able to point out that there is a flaw in the question - read,

Atheists and Philosophers enjoy asking : “Can God create a stone too heavy for Him to lift?” If the theist says yes, it means that God can create something greater than Himself. And if he says no, it means that God is unable to do all things.

But the flaw is that while putting forward the question, the questioner unknowingly (or by deliberate trick) brings 'God' into a physical frame of reference, and applying the general laws of physical-universe to 'God'.

So, in order to answer the question, you must be knowing God's weight, God's strength, and put God through all other relative measures like height of God, size of God, etc., which is a definite flaw and an absurdity of assumption and calculations.

Similarly most Christians and people of other Faiths put forward this question, which is equally enlightening.

If God is 'all-powerful', can He not have a Son, and can He not become a Human ?

But it needs to be considered that there are certain material-things that cannot be applied to 'God, all-powerful', as 'The One God' can never go against His nature.Read on,

  • Can God speak a lie, Isn't God all-powerful ?
  • Can God stop existing, Isn't God all-powerful ?
  • If God can become Man, can He also become other things ?
  • If the above is acceptable, Can God also become: a Woman, a Tree, a Cow, a Snake, a Peacock, a River, the Sun, a Planet ?
This is the same absurdity that some Christians and people of Other Faiths fall into the concept that the God can be "measured", that 'He' can be put into Physical frame of reference. Thereby making God being assumed to do all material-things that 'He' with His pure and holy stature can never be attributed with.

Simply put across: A Muslim, as addressed by Qur'an has the relationship with God with His attributes, There are
99 attributes for God in Islam, and the miracle is that attributes like: 'Father' and 'Mother' are not the ones to be found.

These 99 attributes speak about the nature of God, thereby giving a Truth-Table for 'what God is' and 'what God is not'.

Thereby Qur'an and Islam makes it clear that "God is the necessary existence" and "all other things, including humans as dependent or relative existence".


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