By Syed Sharfuddin
Allah’s status as the Creator of the universe and possessor of all knowledge and power that ever was or will be has hardly been disputed by human beings, except for a few who have even gone beyond Shaitan in denying the existence of God. What has been in dispute however, is Allah’s oneness.
Throughout human history the task of Allah’s messengers has been to reinforce the belief that there is only one God, not many. These messengers were up against history, mythology and fable which gave God a family and associates to help Him carryout the function of running the universe. Part of this myth was invented by the rulers of previous civilisations who used gods and their patronage to give legitimacy to their rule. The Pharaoh of Moses in Egypt went a step further. He cut out the priests of the high temple who supposedly interceded between the gods and the king and declared himself as Pharaoh the god.
In Surah Al-Akhlas (Chapter 112) the Muslim concept of God is very clearly presented in four simple to understand verses.
Allah is only one [112:1]
He is eternal and absolute [112:2]
He begets not, nor was He born [112:3]
And there is none equal or comparable unto Him. [112:4]
In the holy Quran the attributes of Allah are mentioned as a negation of deities. Some of the clear signs of Allah are his power to create and recreate, award life and death and cause the functioning of the heavenly bodies in the universe in which man is only a very tiny and mostly insignificant spec.
Allah challenges those who deny his existence or associate partners with Him to bring forward their argument in response to the challenge sets forth for them in numerous verses of the holy Quran. For example, in Surah Naml (Chapter 27) he advances some basic questions about the creation of universe and in Surah Al-Rum (Chapter 30), he provides clear signs of His might and excellence.
“Who has created the heavens and the earth, and Who sends down rain from the sky? Yes, with it (the rain) We cause to grow well-planted orchards full of beauty and delight. It is not in your power to cause the growth of the trees in them. (Can there be another) god besides Allah? No, they are a people who swerve from justice.” [Surah Al-Naml 27:60]
“Who has made the earth firm to live in; made rivers in its midst; set thereon stable mountains; and made a separating bar between the two bodies of flowing water? (can there be another) god besides Allah? No, most of them know not.” [Surah Al-Naml 27:61]
“Who listens to the desperate (soul) when it calls Him, and Who relieves its suffering, and makes you (mankind) inheritors of the earth? (Can there be another) god besides Allah? But you heed very little.” [Surah Al-Naml 27:62]
“Who guides you through the depths of darkness on land and sea, and Who sends the winds as heralds of glad tidings, as a sign of His Mercy. (Can there be another) god besides Allah? Allah is higher and above what they associate with Him.” [Surah Al-Naml 27:63]
“Who originates creation, then repeats it, and who gives you sustenance from heaven and earth? (Can there be another) god besides Allah? Bring forth (prove) your argument, if you are telling the truth”. [Surah Al-Naml 27:64]
“Say: None in the heavens or on earth, except Allah, knows what is hidden; nor can they perceive when they shall be resurrected (for Judgment).” [Surah Al-Naml 27:65]
“(Allah) brings the living out of the dead and brings the dead out of the living and brings to life the earth after its lifelessness. And thus will you be resurrected.” [Surah Al-Rum 30: 19]
“And of His signs is that He created you from dust. Then (He) dispersed you as human beings (throughout the earth).” [Surah Al-Rum 30: 20]
“And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquillity in them; and He placed between you (and your mate) affection and mercy. Indeed, in that are signs for people who reflect. [Surah Al-Rum 30: 21]
“And of His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth and the diversity of your languages and your (races and) colours. Indeed, in that are signs for those who seek knowledge. [Surah Al-Rum 30: 22]
“And of His signs is your sleep by night and day and your seeking of His bounty. Indeed, in that are signs for a people who listen.” [Surah Al-Rum 30: 23]
“And of His signs is [that] He shows you the lightening (causing) fear and aspiration, and He sends down rain from the sky by which He brings to life the earth after it has become (dry and) lifeless. Indeed, in that are signs for a people who use reason. [Surah Al-Rum 30: 24]
“And of His signs is that the heaven and earth remain by His command. Then when He will summon you with a [single] call from the earth, you will immediately come forth (from your graves).” [Surah Al-Rum 30: 25]
“And to Him belongs whoever is in the heavens and earth. All are devoutly obedient to Him.” [Surah Al-Rum 30: 26]
“And it is He who begins creation; then He repeats it, and that is [even] easier for Him. To Him belongs the highest attribute in the heavens and earth. And He is the exalted in might, the wise.” [Surah Al-Rum 30: 17-27]
“Indeed (mounts) Safa and Marwa are among the signs of Allah. So there is no sin on anyone who performs Haj or Umra to walk around them. And if any one obeys his own impulse to do good, he should know that Allah is responsive to gratitude and He is all-knowing.” (Surah Al-Baqrah 2:158]
“And it is He who gives life and causes death, and His (Will causes) the alternation of the night and the day.” [Surah Al-Mominoon 23:80]
“To (Him) belong the earth and all beings therein.” [Surah Al-Mominoon 23:84]
“(He) is the Lord of the seven heavens and Lord of the great throne.” [Surah Al-Mominoon 23:86]
“In (His) hand is the dominion of everything. He gives protection (to everyone), and He is not given protection (by anyone).” [Surah Al-Mominoon 23:88]
Some of the strongest verses against associating partners to Allah are found in Surah Maryam (Chapter 19). The gist of the divine message is that Allah is alone and the only one who is worthy of praise and worship. He will forgive every sin except the act of associating a son or partner with Him.
“And (people) have taken (for worship) gods other than Allah to give them honour and glory. But these (so-called gods) will deny their worship of them, and become their opponents (on the Day of Resurrection). Don’t you see that We have sent the Shayatin (devils) against the disbelievers to push them to do evil. So make no haste against them, for We have set aside a finite number of days (for them to live). And (then) We shall drive the sinners to Hell like thirsty cattle driven down to water. No one will have [permission for] intercession (with Allah) except he who had taken from the most merciful a covenant (to interdecde)).” [Surah Maryam 19:81 to 86].
The concluding verses in Surah Maryam (Chapter 19) are the strongest in the Quran against shirk. “They say: “(Allah) the most gracious has begotten a son, Indeed, you have brought forth (you have said) a terrible thing. For this saying, the skies are ready to burst forth, the earth is ready to split asunder and the mountains are ready to fall down in utter ruin. This is because they have attributed to the most merciful a son. And it is not appropriate for (Allah) the most glorious and the most merciful that He should take a son. There is none in the heavens and the earth but who comes to the most beneficent (Allah) as a slave. Verily, Allah knows each one of them and has kept a full count of them (and count of what they have done). And all of them will be coming up to Him upon the day of resurrection, everyone single-handedly. Verily, those who believe [in the oneness of Allah and in His messenger (Muhammad peace and blessing of Allah be on him) and work righteous deeds, the most beneficent (Allah) will bestow love for them in the hearts of the believers. [Surah Maryam 19:88 to 96].
And [beware the Day] when Allah will say, “O Jesus, Son of Mary, did you say to the people, ‘Take me and my mother as deities besides Allah? Jesus will reply: “Exalted are You! It was not for me to say that to which I have no right. If I had said it, You would have known it. You know what is within myself, and I do not know what is within Yourself. Indeed, it is You who is the Knower of the unseen. I said not to the people except what You commanded me – to worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord. And I was a witness over them as long as I was among them; but when You took me up, You were the Observer over them, and You are a witness to all things. If You cause them to suffer – verily, they are Your servants; and if You forgive them – verily, You alone art almighty, truly wise!” Allah will respond to this as follows: “This is the Day when the truthful will benefit from their truthfulness. For them are gardens [in Paradise] beneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide forever, Allah being pleased with them, and they with Him. That is the great attainment.” [Surah Al-Maidah 5:116 to 119]