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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Allah: The One True God

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In Islam, Allah is the unique, omnipotent and only deity and creator of the universe and is equivalent to God in other Abrahamic religions. Allah is usually seen as the personal name of God.

According to Islamic belief, Allah is the most common word to represent God, and humble submission to His will, divine ordinances and commandments is the pivot of the Muslim faith: “He is the only God, Creator of the universe, and the Judge of humankind. He is Unique (w??id) and inherently One (a?ad), All-Merciful and Omnipotent.”

The Qur’an declares “the reality of Allah, His inaccessible mystery, His various names, and His actions on behalf of His creatures”.

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Allah doesn’t depend on any thing. Allah is not a part of the Christian Trinity. Allah has no parents and no children.

The concept correlates to the Tawhid. Chapter 112 of the Qur’an (Al-‘Ikhl?s, The Sincerity) reads: “Say, God is one God; the eternal God: He begetteth not, neither is He begotten: and there is not any one like unto Him.

Ayat ul-Kursi (Verse of the Throne) which is the 255th verse and the powerful verse in Al-Baqarah (The Cow), the longest chapter of the Qur’an, states: “Allah! There is no deity but Him, the Alive, the Eternal. Neither slumber nor sleep overtaketh Him. Unto Him belongeth whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth. Who could intercede in His presence without His permission? He knoweth that which is in front of them and that which is behind them, while they encompass nothing of His knowledge except what He wills. His throne includeth the heavens and the earth, and He is never weary of preserving them.

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He is the Sublime, the Tremendous.”

‘The Most Beautiful Names’

In Islamic tradition, there are 99 Names of God (al-asm?’ al-?usná) literarily meaning ‘the best names’ or ‘the most beautiful names’, each of which evoke a distinct characteristic of Allah.

All these names refer to Allah, the supreme and all-comprehensive divine name. Among the 99 names of God, the most famous and most frequent of these names are the Merciful (ar-Ra?m?n) and the Compassionate (ar-Ra??m), including the forementioned above al-A?ad (the One, the Indivisible) and al-W??id (the Unique, the Single).

Most Muslims use the untranslated Arabic phrase in sh?’a ll?h (meaning if God wills) after references to future events. In Islam it is encouraged to begin things with the invocation of bi-smi ll?h (meaning In the name of God). There are certain phrases in praise of God that are favoured by Muslims, including Sub??na ll?h (Glory be to God), al-?amdu li-ll?h (Praise be to God), l? il?ha ill? ll?h (There is no deity but God) or sometimes l? il?ha ill? inta/ huwa (There is no deity but You/Him) and All?hu Akbar (God is the Most Great) as a devotional exercise of remembering God.

In a sufi practice known as dhikr Allah (remembrance of God), the sufi repeats and contemplates the name Allah or other associated divine names to Him.

Allah is referred to in the second person pronoun in Arabic as Inta like the English “You”, or commonly in the third person pronoun Huwa like the English “He” and uniquely in the case pronoun of the oblique form Hu like the English “Him” which rhythmically resonates and is chanted as considered a sacred sound or echo referring Allah as the Absolute Breath or Soul of Life – Al-Nafs al-Hayyah – notably among the 99 names of God, the Giver of Life (al-Mu?y?) and the Bringer of Death (al-Mumiyt).

Allah is neither male or female (no gender). He is the Omnipotent, Selfless, Absolute Soul (an-Nafs) and Holy Spirit (ar-R??) and notable among the 99 names are the All-Holy, All-Pure and All-Sacred (al-Quddus).

Allah is the originator of both before and beyond the cycle of creation, destruction and time and notable among the 99 names are the First, Beginning-less (al-Awwal), the End/Beyond [the Final Abode], Endless (al-Akhir/al-?khir) and the Timeless (a?-?ab?r).

According to Gerhard Böwering, a German academic and Professor of Islamic Studies at Yale University, in contrast with pre-Islamic Arabian polytheism, God in Islam does not have associates and companions, nor is there any kinship between God and jinn. Pre-Islamic pagan Arabs believed in a blind, powerful, inexorable and insensible fate over which man had no control. This was replaced with the Islamic notion of a powerful but provident and merciful God.

According to Francis Edward Peters, Professor Emeritus of History, Religion and Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at New York University, “The Qur’?n insists, Muslims believe, and historians affirm that Muhammad and his followers worship the same God as the Jews. The Qur’an’s Allah is the same Creator God who covenanted with Abraham”.

Peters states that the Qur’an portrays Allah as both more powerful and more remote than Yahweh, and as a universal deity, unlike Yahweh who closely follows Israelites.

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