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The Concept of God in Islam

5. Oneness of GodIs there a God?

There are many rational reasons for believing in God. Three simple reasons are described below:

1. Order of the Universe

Imagine walking along the beach and finding a watch in the sand. Would you believe that the watch came together by itself? You would not conclude that the watch just happened to emerge from the sand by random chance. All the intricate working parts could not simply develop from the materials that lay buried in the earth. The watch must have a manufacturer. And if the watch tells accurate time we expect the manufacturer must be intelligent. Natural coincidences cannot produce a working watch. Consider the planet earth. Its timing is so strictly regulated around the sun that scientists can publish in advance the sunrise and sunset times. Just as a watch has an intelligent maker to keep accurate time, so too must the earth have an intelligent maker to keep accurate time around the sun. Could this occur by itself? In the same way, when we see the order, precise laws and systems within ourselves and throughout the entire universe, is it not rational that the universe has an organiser? This ‘organiser’ is best explained by the existence of God – the one who brought about the order in the universe.

2. Beginning of the Universe

Modern science concludes that the universe has a beginning. This is based on a recent discovery that the universe is expanding, and if we go back in time, the universe converges – which points to a beginning. There are three possible explanations for the beginning of the universe, either:

  • The Universe came from nothing,
  • The Universe created itself, or
  • The Universe was created.

As for the second explanation, simple logic tells us that something cannot do anything before having existed. This leaves the third point as the only rational explanation: a higher and intelligent being, God, created the universe.

Some people may ask, “Who created God”? God, The Creator, is different to His creation. If He was the same as creation, He would also need a creator, leading to an infinite amount of creators, which is impossible. He is beyond time and the physical matter of this universe. God has always existed and has no beginning; therefore the question of who created God is irrational.

3. Revelation from God

If God revealed a book of guidance to humanity, we would expect that such a book would contain clear evidence of the existence of God.

There are clear signs that the book of Islam, the Quran, is the word of God. Below is a very brief summary of reasons that support this claim:

  • The Quran was revealed over 1400 years ago and contains many scientific facts that were unknown to the people of that time which have only been discovered recently by contemporary science. Examples include: water being the origin of all living things (Quran 21:30);
  • the expanding universe (Quran 51:47); and the individual orbits of the sun and moon (Quran 21:33).
  • The Quran contains many historical facts that were unknown to the people of that time as well as numerous predictions which have both proven to be correct.
  • The Quran is free from any errors or contradictions.
  • The Quran has been preserved, word-for-word, since it was revealed in its original Arabic language, unlike other scriptures which no longer exist in their original form.
  • The simple, pure and universal message of the Quran appeals to Man’s inherent beliefs about Almighty God.
  • The Quran was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) who was known in history to be illiterate. Yet, the Quran contains a unique style of language that is universally known as the pinnacle of Arabic eloquence and linguistic beauty.

The most rational explanation for the many unique and miraculous aspects of the Quran is that it is from God.

Who is God?

And your god is One God. There is no god but He.”Quran 2:163

“Allah” is the personal name of the One True God. Nothing else can be called Allah. The term has no plural or gender unlike the English word “God” which can be made both plural and feminine (i.e. gods/goddess). The unique usage of “Allah” is a reflection of Islam’s emphasis on the purity of the belief in One God.

The main beauty of Islam is that it acknowledges the complete perfection, greatness and uniqueness of God with absolutely no compromises. This is reflected in Islam’s pure teachings of the attributes of God.

God is One & Unique

  • God has no partners, no equals and no rivals.
  • God has no father, mother, sons, daughters or wives.
  • God alone is worthy of all worship.
  • Had there been more than one God, it would reflect deficiency in His power or authority as this would involve God having rivalry, making compromises or needing agreement with other gods.

God is All-Powerful

  • God has full authority and power over all things.
  • Everything is completely subservient and dependent on Him.
  • Obedience to God does not increase His Power, nor does disobedience decrease His power in any way.

God is The Most High

  • There is nothing above or comparable to God.
  • The attributes of God do not resemble that of His creation.
  • No part of God is present in anyone or anything.
  • God is perfect and does not have any human limitations, such as resting on the seventh day after he created the universe, as claimed by some other religions.

God is The All-Just & All-Merciful

  • God does not need to sacrifice himself to forgive sins nor is anyone “born into sin”.
  • God judges everyone based on their own deeds and everyone is accountable for their own actions.
  • Humans may distinguish themselves and earn God’s favour through belief, virtue and piety only – not through race, wealth or social class.

The Nature of Jesus

When explaining the concept of God in Islam it is important to discuss the status of Jesus, given the widespread confusion and claims about the nature of Jesus.

Some Christians claim that “Jesus is God” – that is, he is the incarnation of God on earth and that God took on a human form. However, according to the Bible, Jesus was born, ate, slept, prayed and had limited knowledge – all attributes not befitting God. God has attributes of perfection whereas Man is the opposite and lacks such perfection. So how can anything be two complete opposites both at the same time? This is not rational.

However, some people may ask, “If God can do anything, why can’t he become a man?” By definition, God does not do ungodly acts, so if God became man and took on human attributes, he would, necessarily, no longer be God.

Furthermore, the Bible contains many verses in which Jesus speaks and behaves as if God is a separate being to himself. For example, Jesus “fell on his face and prayed” (Matthew 26:39). If Jesus was God, then would a God fall on his face and pray? And, who would he be praying to?

Some Christians also claim that “Jesus is the Son of God” but we should ask ourselves, what does this actually mean? Surely God is far removed from having a physical and literal son. Rather, we find that the term “Son of God” is symbolically used in the earliest biblical languages for a “righteous person”. It is used throughout the Old Testament for many righteous people such as David, Solomon and Israel – not exclusively for Jesus. “…Israel is my firstborn son,” (Exodus 4:22) is one such example.

The Islamic belief about Jesus explains who the real Jesus was, whilst maintaining the pure belief about God and His Greatness. Jesus was as an honourable Prophet sent by God to call to the worship of God alone.

It is not befitting for Allah to take a son; He is perfect and flawless.”Quran 19:35

God Alone is Worthy of Worship
And worship Allah and associate none with Him.”Quran 4:36
 Islam teaches that all prayer and acts of worship should be exclusively to God. Nothing else is worthy of worship: not statues, graves, the sun, the moon, animals, Prophets, saints, angels, priests or religious scholars. All of these things are created and limited, hence imperfect, whereas Allah is perfect.

God is Worshipped Directly

God does not need any partners or intermediaries. Everyone always has direct access to worship God, as He hears all who praise and call upon Him. Worshipping Allah indirectly (e.g. through idols, statues or other intermediaries) is viewed as compromising Allah’s Oneness and purity of worship that He alone, is worthy of.

All Prophets Called to the Worship of God

And We (God) certainly sent into every nation a Messenger, saying, ‘Worship Allah and avoid false gods.’ “Quran 16:36

Muslims believe in all the Prophets that Allah sent. These prophets include Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad. They all came with the same message – to call their people to the belief and worship of the One True God.

The Purpose of Life is to Worship God

The ultimate purpose of life is to acknowledge the greatness of God, establish a direct connection with him, and worship Him alone. The concept of worship in Islam is not limited to rituals such as praying and fasting, it includes all actions that are pleasing to God such as having good manners, being honest, establishing justice, being patient and helping the needy.

In conclusion, the foundation of Islam is belief in the Oneness and Uniqueness of Almighty God, who is the Creator and Lord of all, perfect in all His attributes. He alone deserves all worship. Therein lies our success in this life and the next.

The Mercy of Allah (God)

“Limitless is your Lord in His mercy…” Qur’an 6:147

God Almighty is full of love and kindness to His creation. All blessings and goodness in this world and the next are clear proofs of His Mercy. Indeed, Islam teaches that God is more merciful toward us than our own mothers. How can it be otherwise, when some of God’s names and attributes include:

  • The Acceptor of Repentance;
  • The Compassionate;
  • The Loving;
  • The Forbearing One;
  • The Most Gracious;
  • The Most Merciful;
  • The Source of Goodness;
  • The Most Generous;
  • The Bestower

These names all indicate that God is characterised by mercy, goodness and generosity. They testify to the vastness and perfection of His Mercy, which He blesses all of His creation. This same creation is addressed by God, when He says, “O son of Adam, were you to come to Me with sins nearly as great as the earth and were you then to face Me, ascribing no partner to Me, I would bring you forgiveness nearly as great as the earth.”

Examples of Allah’s Mercy & blessings

“Then which of the Blessings of your Lord will you deny?” Qur’an 55:13

Throughout life, people continually receive Allah’s blessings, be it good health, sight, hearing, nourishment, clean air, children, wealth and countless others. Some use their God-given gifts of intelligence and reasoning to acknowledge these blessings, grasp the purpose of their existence, and thereby submit themselves to Allah. Others, however, do not appreciate the Mercy of Allah toward their own selves, even though He feeds and sustains them despite their disobedience toward Him. They are given mobility, enjoyment, freedom of thought and action, despite their outright denial of Him. Their very existence would not be, were it not for the Mercy of Allah.

Ultimately, everyone has the free will to acknowledge their blessings, use them in a manner ordained by Allah (the Lord of mankind) and worship Him alone. Below, we have outlined a glimpse of such blessings, because “… if you were to try and count the favours of Allah, you could not enumerate them. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” Qur’an 16:18

Guidance Through Divine Scriptures & Prophets

“It is He Who has sent down the Book (the Qur’an) to you (Muhammad) with truth, confirming what came before it. And He sent down the Taurah and the Injeel (the original revelations revealed to Prophets Moses and Jesus respectively).” Qur’an 3:3

From the beginning of creation, man was not left to face the struggles of life alone. Due to God’s Mercy, man received revelation through Prophets, who conveyed and taught it to their people to guide and protect them. The most perfect and merciful of revelations was the Qur’an and the last of the prophets was Muhammad (peace be upon him).The Qur’an – the final revelation – superseded and abrogated previous revelations, and is the ultimate mercy and guidance for mankind. Just as God sent Messengers in the past, He also sent mankind a living, perfect and practical example of how the Qur’an’s teachings of mercy and justice should be practically applied in our daily lives. This example was Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) – a mercy to mankind.

“And We (God) have not sent you (Muhammad) except as a mercy for mankind.” Qur’an 21:107

Following are just some of the Prophet’s sayings which are indicative of his mercy, kindness, tolerance and beautiful teachings:

  • “Kindness is not found in anything except that it adds to its beauty, and is not withdrawn from anything except that it makes it deficient.”
  • “The most perfect of believers in belief is the best of them in character.”
  • “He is not a perfect Muslim who eats his fill while his neighbour goes hungry.”
  • “Allah will not show mercy to him who does not show mercy to others.”

How desperately do we, as a society, and in these times, need such beautiful advice?

Mercy Towards The Creation

TThe creation of human beings and all their faculties is a great mercy in itself. The fact that we can get out of bed, work, eat, play and sleep should make us grateful.
“And out of His Mercy He made for you the night and the day that you may rest therein and [by day] seek from His Bounty and [that] perhaps you will be grateful.” Qur’an 28:73
A spouse is one of the greatest of mercies, a means to tranquillity and affection.
“And of His signs is that He created for you, from yourselves, mates that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought.”Qur’an 30:21

Another mercy is the fact that He created us sinless and will not hold us to account until the age of maturity and decision making. This is in stark contrast to the “Original Sin” concept in Christianity.

Forgiveness of sins is another example of Allah’s Mercy, as Allah knows we are imperfect and commit mistakes. The fact that believers commit sins does not mean that we should lose hope of Allah’s Mercy or that we have exhausted Allah’s Forgiveness.

“O My servants who have transgressed against their souls! Do not despair of the Mercy of God: for God forgives all sins: for He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” Qur’an 39:53
Even animals are not exempt from Allah’s Mercy. They have faculties of hearing and sight, are provided with sustenance and offspring, and are granted many other blessings. Allah’s Mercy envelops them to the point that because of one single portion of Allah’s Mercy sent to earth, “…His creatures are merciful to each other, so that even the mare lifts up its hoof away from its baby animal, lest it should trample on it.”
The Merciful Creator ensures that every creation is looked after – from the fish in the depths of the ocean, to the insects in the earth, and the birds in the skies – all are sustained by Him.

How to increase Allah’s Mercy upon us

“Indeed, the mercy of Allah is near to the doers of good.” Qur’an 7:56

Due to God’s Mercy, He has promised to forgive and pardon whosoever follows the appropriate means as mentioned in the following verse:

“And surely, I am indeed forgiving to him who repents, believes (in My Oneness, and associates none in worship with Me) and does righteous good deeds, and then remains constant in doing them.” Qur’an 20:82

Part and parcel of having the correct belief is believing and obeying the final Messenger, Muhammad (peace be upon him).In short, the people who receive more of Allah’s Mercy are those who have acknowledged His blessings and favours; used them in a way which pleases God; spent their God-given wealth in charity and to look after the needy; employed their hands to care for orphans; utilised their gift of speech to speak good; and performed other honourable acts ordained by God.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Allah will show mercy to those who show mercy to people. Show mercy to those who are on earth – the One Who is in Heaven will show mercy to you.”

Below, are some ways to attain God’s Mercy.

“Obey Allah and the Messenger that you may obtain mercy.”Qur’an 3:132
By following the teachings of mercy and justice found in the Qur’an: “And this is a blessed Book We have revealed; therefore follow it and protect yourself (against evil), that mercy may be shown to you.”Qur’an 6:155
“Keep up prayer and pay the compulsory charity (to the needy) and obey the Messenger, so that mercy may be shown to you.”Qur’an 24:56
Sincerely asking for Mercy from God. “Our Lord! Make not our hearts to deviate after you have guided us aright, and grant us mercy from Yourself; surely You are The Bestower.”Qur’an 3:8

Mercy & Accountability

Alongside Allah’s attribute of Mercy is His attribute of Justice.
“Verily, for the Righteous, are Gardens of Delight, in the Presence of their Lord. Shall We then treat the People of Faith like those who do not believe? What is the matter with you? How do you judge? ”Qur’an 68:34-36
Allah is the Most-Merciful, however, He is also Swift in Reckoning. One cannot try to deceive Allah and take advantage of His Mercy by constantly committing the same sins without sincere repentance or resolving never to go back to the sin again.
“And of no effect is the repentance of those who continue to do evil deeds until death faces one of them and he says: ‘Now I repent;’ nor of those who die while they are disbelievers.” Qur’an 4:18
Muslims are encouraged to have hope of reward for good deeds, while being concerned about sins they may perform. When they commit sins, they repent sincerely, and are hopeful of being forgiven.
And finally, they feel content with the words of their Creator, and keep it close to their heart:
“Surely Allah is Most Gentle, Ever Compassionate to people.”Qur’an 22:6

The True Life

Life should be seen as an eternal process of joyous spiritual discovery and growth: in the beginning stages of earthly life, the individual undergoes a period of training and education which, if it is successful, gives him or her the basic intellectual and spiritual tools necessary for continued growth. When individuals attain physical maturity in adulthood, they become responsible for their further progress, which now depends entirely on the efforts they themselves make. Through the daily struggles of material existence, people gradually deepen their understanding of the spiritual principles underlying reality, and this understanding enables them to relate more effectively to themselves, to others, and to Creator. After physical death, the individual continues to grow and develop in the spiritual world, which is greater than the physical world, just as the physical world is greater than the world we inhabit while in our mother’s womb.

The True Life based on the concept of the soul (also called the spirit the Ruoh in Arabic) and of life after physical death. According to the Creator teachings, the true nature of human beings is spiritual. Beyond the physical body, each human being has a rational soul, created by God. This soul is a nonmaterial entity, which does not depend on the body. Rather, the body serves as its vehicle in the physical world. The soul of an individual comes into being at the moment the physical body is conceived and continues to exist after the death of the physical body. The soul (also called the spirit the Ruoh in Arabic) of the individual is the seat or locus of his or her personality, self, and consciousness.

“They say: There is nothing but our present life; we die, and we live, and nothing but time destroys us. Of that they have no knowledge; they merely conjecture. And when our revelations are recited to them, their only argument is that they say: Bring us our fathers, if you speak truly.” [Al-Qur’an 45:24]

The evolution or development of the soul and its capacities is the basic purpose of human existence. This evolution is towards God and its motive force is knowledge of Creator and love for Him. As we learn about Creator, our love for Him increases; and this, in turn, enables us to attain a closer communion with our Creator. Also, as we draw closer to Creator, our character becomes more refined and our actions reflect more and more the attributes and qualities of God.

“To the righteous soul will be said: O (thou) soul, in (complete) rest and satisfaction! Come back to your Lord,well pleased (yourself), and well pleasing unto Him! Enter you, then, among my devotees! And enter you My Heaven!” [Al-Qur’an 89:27]

God created people and made them responsible for their actions. In this world, we notice that the virtuous often live in a wretched state while the wicked often seem to have the good things in life. Innocent people often suffer at the hands of exploiters and criminals, who seem to gain rather than suffer by their crimes in this world. If there were no future life in which the virtuous are rewarded and the vicious are punished, there would be no justice. There would be no point in creating people with a conscience and in sending Prophets to remind them of their responsibility.

“We shall set up scales of justice for the day of Judgment, so that not a soul will be dealt with unjustly in the least. And if there be (no more than) the weight of a mustard seed, We will bring it (to account): And enough are We to take account.” [Al-Qur’an: 21:47]

God is the Most Just; He will establish justice among all His creatures and no one can escape from God. Islam, therefore, places great emphasis on having absolute assurance of the Hereafter This assurance should be similar to the certainty we have in death (which can overcome us at any time).

Therefore, striving to earn the pleasure of God becomes the objective of life.

FIRST, there are those who do not believe in the Hereafter and regard life on this earth as the only life and nothing destroys them except time. Naturally, they judge something to be good if it produces desirable results and evil if it brings about undesirable results.

SECOND, there are those who do not deny the Hereafter, but they depend on the intercession or atonement of someone to absolve them of their sins. Among them are some who regard themselves as God’s chosen people, who will receive only nominal punishment, however grave their sins may be. This deprives them of the moral advantage, which they could have derived from their belief in the Hereafter. As a result their behavior becomes very much like that of those who deny the Hereafter.

THIRD, are those who believe in the Hereafter and do not delude themselves that they have any special relationship with God or that anyone can intercede on their behalf. They hold themselves accountable for their actions and their belief in the Hereafter becomes a great moral force. As a result they find a permanent guard, stationed within them, which cautions and admonishes them whenever they deviate from the right path. There may be no court to summon them, no policemen to apprehend them and no public opinion to pressure them. Instead the guard within them is ever alert and ready to remind them when they transgress. The consciousness of this inner presence makes them fear doing anything that is prohibited. Should they succumb to temptation and violate the law of God, they are ever ready to offer sincere regrets and to enter a firm contract with God not to repeat the same mistake in the future.

A person who is focused on successes or failures in this world alone will be concerned with the benefits and harms that come to him in this life only. He may be reluctant to do good deeds that have no worldly benefit. Similarly, he may not be prepared to stop doing a wrong act that will not harm him in this world. On the other hand, a person who believes in life after death would look upon all worldly gains and losses as temporary and would not put at stake eternal bliss for a transitory gain. Belief in the next world instills in one the desire to do well and avoid the wrong, however costly it may be in terms of worldly sacrifices.

“What! Do those who seek after evil ways think that We shall hold them equal with those who believe and do righteous deeds, – that equal with their life and their death? Ill is the judgment that they make. God created the heavens and the earth for just ends, and in order that each soul may find the recompense of what it has earned, and none of them be wronged.”[Al-Qur’an 45:21]

There is a big difference in the way of life of the two types of people. For one, the idea of a good act may be limited to its value in this temporary life: for example gains in money, property, public recognition or similar things which give one position, power, reputation or worldly happiness. Such things become the objectives of life and they may not deter one from pursuing cruel and unjust means in their achievement. In contrast, for a believer, all that pleases God is good and all that invokes His displeasure and wrath is evil. A good act for a believer will remain good even if it brings no personal benefit in this world.

A believer will be confident that God will reward him in the eternal life and that would be the real success. Similarly, they would not fall a prey to evil deeds merely for some worldly gain, for they would know that even if they escape punishment in this short worldly life, they would still have to answer to God.

“They say: There is nothing but our present life; we die, and we live, and nothing but time destroys us. Of that they have no knowledge; they merely conjecture. And when our revelations are recited to them, their only argument is that they say: Bring us our fathers, if you speak truly.” [Al-Qur’an 45:24]

Beyond this life — the hereafter

What happens after death? Does a world exist beyond this life? Is there such a place as heaven or hell? These are common questions we ask from time to time.

After all, the enigma of death stumps us. We’ve devised various ways of killing other humans. Yet, despite innumerable technological and medical advances, we still cannot prevent an individual from dying. Furthermore, unlike life which we experience daily, we really don’t have firsthand knowledge of life after death. Aside from some near-death incidents, no one has come back from the dead to tell us what they encountered.

Due to their faith in the One God who created this universe and sustains it, Muslims rely on divine guidance for glimpses of a reality invisible to human eyes. Divine guidance comprises prophetic examples and scriptural revelations. God sent prophets to guide humanity, such as Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad, the final prophet of God, peace be upon all of them. Moreover, He also revealed holy books, including the Torah, the Gospel and the Quran. In keeping with the universal message of God, every prophet warned of the certainty of the afterlife and each of the divine books speaks of the existence of the soul. In the Quran, God promises, 

“Every soul will taste death. Then to Us will you be returned”(29:57).

On the Day of Judgment, every individual will be resurrected to account for their lives. God describes this event in the Quran,“On that Day, people will come forward in separate groups to be shown their deeds: whoever has done an atom’s weight of good will see it, but whoever has done an atom’s weight of evil will see that.

God will weigh everyone’s good and bad actions according to His Mercy and His Justice, forgiving many sins and multiplying the reward for many noble deeds. One who excels in goodness will be rewarded generously, but one whose evils and wrongs outweigh his virtues will be punished.

Those who fulfilled their purpose in life and lived righteously will enter an eternal paradise of pure bliss. The people of heaven will reside in beautiful mansions, no longer suffering from fatigue, disease and old age. God will remove animosity and pain from people’s hearts, providing supreme healing in a world of abundance and luxury, of lush gardens and flowing rivers.

In contrast, those who die in a state of transgression against God or oppress others will be led to Hellfire. Despite all of God’s blessings, they neglected their ultimate purpose of leading their lives in accordance with His Will and Guidance. The Quran describes Hell as a place filled with immense suffering, with extreme temperatures, unquenchable thirst and blazing flames.

Truly, God wants each one of us to be salvaged in the afterlife. He has sent guidance and left signs for those who seek Him and reflect. At the same time, He has given us the choice to freely indulge in the world around us or to abide by His laws. In the Quran, God declares, 


“Why should God make you suffer torment if you are thankful and believe in Him? God always rewards gratitude and He knows everything” 

Life Hereafter

Death is one of the few indisputable facts of life. Regardless of faith, race, status or age, we will all die. While the certainty of death is universally accepted, the question of what happens afterwards has been debated throughout history. Islam teaches that one’s life doesn’t end on earth; rather, it is followed by the eternal life of the hereafter. This pamphlet explains how this belief has a major impact on our earthly lives, while instilling hope for healing in a perfect world where God’s ultimate justice will prevail. 

Despite its inevitability, we get so absorbed in living that we forget about death. Our daily routines, the comfort of our homes and our relationships keep us so busy that we have little time left to ponder over the fleeting nature of this world.

Then, suddenly, we are forced to face the reality of our existence when a loved one is afflicted with a debilitating disease or we experience a shocking loss. Helpless, we are jolted by the frailty of life, leading us to question our priorities and reevaluate our lifestyles.

According to Islam, when confronted with a calamity, one should say,“To God we belong and to Him we shall return” (Quran 2:156). This invocation is also recited when someone dies. Reminding us of our origin and our ultimate destiny, it puts the purpose of our lives in perspective. God clearly states in the Quran, the divinely revealed message from God to all humanity, that He has created humankind to worship Him. Since worship is a comprehensive concept in Islam, consisting of specific rituals as well as general actions that promote good, it encourages people to conduct every aspect of their lives with God-consciousness.

Muslims believe they will return to God (Allah in Arabic) when they die. Therefore, instead of the end, death becomes part of a continuum which stretches into eternity.

God Alone Is Entitled To Worship

Islam lays much greater emphasis on how belief in God translates into righteous, obedient life and good morals rather than proving His existence through theological intricacies.  Hence, the Islamic motto is that the primary message preached by the prophets was surrender to God’s will and His worship and not so much the proof of God’s existence:

 

“And We never sent any Messenger before you (O Muhammad) without having revealed to Him: none has the right to be worshipped but I, therefore you shall worship Me (Alone).” (Quran 21:25)

God has the exclusive right to be worshipped inwardly and outwardly, by one’s heart and limbs.  Not only can no one be worshipped apart from Him, absolutely no one else can be worshipped along with Him.  He has no partners or associates in worship.  Worship, in its comprehensive sense and in all its aspects, is for Him alone.

“There is no true god worthy of worship but He, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate.” (Quran 2:163)

God’s right to be worshipped can not be over emphasized.  It is the essential meaning of Islam’s testimony of faith: La ilah illa Allah.  A person becomes Muslim by testifying to the divine right to worship.  It is the crux of Islamic belief in God, even all of Islam.  It

 

“And We never sent any Messenger before you (O Muhammad) without having revealed to Him: none has the right to be worshipped but I, therefore you shall worship Me (Alone).” (Quran 21:25)

God has the exclusive right to be worshipped inwardly and outwardly, by one’s heart and limbs.  Not only can no one be worshipped apart from Him, absolutely no one else can be worshipped along with Him.  He has no partners or associates in worship.  Worship, in its comprehensive sense and in all its aspects, is for Him alone.

“There is no true god worthy of worship but He, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate.” (Quran 2:163)

God’s right to be worshipped can not be over emphasized.  It is the essential meaning of Islam’s testimony of faith: La ilah illa Allah.  A person becomes Muslim by testifying to the divine right to worship.  It is the crux of Islamic belief in God, even all of Islam.  It was the central message of all prophets and messengers sent by God – the message of Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael, Moses, the Hebrew prophets, Jesus, and Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him. For instance, Moses declared:

“Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord.” (Deuteronomy 6:4)

Jesus repeated the same message 1500 years later when he said:

“The first of all the commandments is, ‘Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord.’” (Mark 12:29)

And reminded Satan:

“Away from me, Satan!  For it is written: Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.” (Matthew 4:10)

Finally, the call of Muhammad some 600 years after Jesus reverberated across the hills of Mecca:

“And your God is One God: there is no god but He…” (Quran 2:163)

They all declared clearly:

“…Worship God!  You have no other god but Him…” (Quran 7:59, 7:65, 7:73, 7:85; 11:50, 11:61, 11:84; 23:23)

What Is Worship?

Worship in Islam consists of every act, belief, statement, or sentiment of the heart which God approves and loves; everything that brings a person closer to His Creator.  It includes ‘external’ worship like the daily ritual prayers, fasting, charity, and pilgrimage as well as ‘internal’ worship such as faith in the six articles of faith, reverence, adoration, love, gratitude, and reliance.  God is entitled to worship by the body, soul, and heart, and this worship remains incomplete unless it is done out of four essential elements: reverential fear of God, divine love and adoration, hope in divine reward, and extreme humility.

One of the greatest acts of worship is prayer, invoking the Divine Being for aid.  Islam specifies that prayer should only be directed to God.  He is deemed in total control of every man’s destiny and able to grant his needs and remove distress.  God, in Islam, reserves the right of prayer for Himself:

“And do not invoke, along with God, anything that can neither benefit you nor harm you, for behold, if you do it, you will surely be among the evildoers!” (Quran 10:106)

Giving anyone else – prophets, angels, Jesus, Mary, idols, or nature- a portion of one’s worship, which is essentially due only to God, such as  prayer, is called Shirk and is the most enormous of sins in Islam.  Shirk is the only unforgivable sin if not repented from, and it denies the very purpose of creation.

(IV) God Is Known By His Most Beautiful Names and Attributes

God is known in Islam by His beautiful Names and Attributes as they appear in revealed Islamic texts without the corruption or denial of their obvious meanings, picturing them, or thinking of them in human terms.

“And the Most Beautiful Names belong to God, so call on Him by them…” (Quran 7:180)

Therefore, it is inappropriate to use First Cause, Author, Substance, Pure Ego, Absolute, Pure Idea, Logical Concept, Unknown, Unconscious, Ego, Idea, or Big Guy as divine Names.  They simply lack beauty and that’s not how God has described Himself.  Instead, Names of God indicate His majestic beauty and perfection.  God does not forget, sleep, or get tired.  He is not unjust, and has no son, mother, father, brother, associate, or helper.  He was not born, and does not give birth.  He stands in need of none as He is perfect.  He does not become human to “understand” our suffering.  God is The Almighty (Al-Qawee), The One Incomparable (Al-‘Ahad), The Acceptor of Repentance (At-Tawwaab), The Compassionate (Ar-Raheem), The Ever-Living (Al-Hayy), The All-Sustaining (Al-Qayyum), The All-Knowing (Al-‘Aleem), The All-Hearing (As-Samee’), The All-Seeing (al-Baseer), The Pardoner (al-‘Afuw), The Helper (al-Naseer), The Healer of the Sick (al-Shaafee).

The two most frequently invoked Names are “The Compassionate” and “The Merciful.”  All but one of the chapters of Muslim scripture begin with the phrase, “In the Name of God, the Most-Merciful, the Most Gracious.” The phrase is used, one might say, by Muslims more commonly than the namesFather, Son, and Holy Spirit are heard in Christian invocations.  Muslims begin in the Name of God and remind themselves of God’s Compassion and Mercy every time they eat, drink, write a letter, or perform anything of importance.

Forgiveness is an important dimension of human relationship with God.  Human beings are realized to be weak and prone to sin, but God in His tender mercy is willing to forgive.  The Prophet Muhammad said:

“God’s mercy outweighs His wrath.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari)

Along with the divine names “The Compassionate” and “The Merciful,” the names “The Forgiver” (Al-Ghafur), “The Oft-Forgiving” (Al-Ghaf-faar), “The Acceptor of Repentance ” (At-Tawwaab) and “The Pardoner” (Al-‘Afuw) are among the most used in Muslim prayer.

 

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