Who is God in Islam?

Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all acknowledge God as the one God, whom no one is like unto, and whom is absolutely perfect: Merciful, Wise, Magnificent, Strong, et cetera. So, we know God’s attributes.

Now, as for who God is:

Judaism teaches that God is the Father. He is the Father because He created the world, He protects the poor and needy, He teaches and helps the rulers of the world, and He has a father-son relationship with Israel in the sense that He has made a covenant with Israel.

Christianity teaches that God is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. He is the Father because He created the world, protects the poor and needy, teaches and helps rulers, and has made a covenant with His People and because He has a Son; He is the Son because the Son is the Word of God, which is begotten of God and through which God acts; and He is the Holy Spirit because the Spirit is the Breath of God, which proceeds from God and in which God acts.

Islam teaches that God isn’t a father. So who is God in Islam?

nature of God in islam is very close to judaism
The One true God is a reflection of the unique concept that Islam associates with God. To a Muslim, Allah is the Almighty Creator and Sustainer of the universe, Who is similar to nothing, and nothing is comparable to Him. The Prophet Muhammad was asked by his contemporaries about Allah; the answer came directly from God Himself in the form of a short chapter of the Qur’an, which is considered to be the essence of the unity or the motto of monotheism. This is chapter 112, which reads
Qur’an 112:1-4
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."

father_son relationship is differes in islam , allah said in quran responding to them

5-18 - (both) the Jews and the Christians say: we are sons of God, and his beloved. say (to them) : why then doth he punish you for your sins? nay, ye are but men, of the men he created: he forgiveth whom he pleaseth, and he punisheth whom he pleaseth,: and to god belongeth the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and all that is between: and unto him is the final goal (of all)

5-19 - O people of the book now hath come unto you our apostle , making (things) clear unto you, after the break in (the series of) our apostles, lest ye should say: there come unto us no bringer of glad tidings and no warner (from evil): but now hath come unto you a bringer of glad tiding and a warner (from evil). and God hath power over all things.

Oneness, Eternity, Absolute-ness, Creator, and Sustainer are all attributes of God: they are not who God is in Islam.

Furthermore, Judaism believes God is the Father; Islam believes God is not a father. That is nothing close to similar beliefs about God’s Nature.

So, again I ask, who is God in Islam?

In the name of Allah , Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Creator of Adam , Moses , Jesus , Muhammed & other Prophets (peace be upon them all). He created all things in heaven & hell & earth & between all these.

As already posted by elwill , this chapter is a very good answer to all questions like who is God etc.

Al-Ikhlas | 4 verses | Absoluteness | Tafsir سورة الإخلاص

Sura #112 | Makkah

1 Say (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم): "He is Allah, (the) One.

2 "Allah-us-Samad (السيد الذي يصمد إليه في الحاجات) [Allah the Self-Sufficient Master, Whom all creatures need, (He neither eats nor drinks)].

3 "He begets not, nor was He begotten.

4 “And there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him.”

Creator of Adam , Moses , Jesus , Muhammed & other Prophets (peace be upon them all). He created all things in heaven & hell & earth & between all these.

What do you believe about how God created man?

So let me get this straight…In Islam, God is the One, Eternal, Absolute Creator and Sustainer of all things? That is who God is?

So God is His attributes? He is, in His Essense, the Creator and the Sustainer, both of which are His attributes?

But according to Islam, that’s not true, because the attributes (names) of God are different from the Essence of God. So the attributes of God cannot be the Essence of God.

Once again, I ask, who is God is Islam?

You have just broached one of my favorite topics :smiley:

Allah, whom Moslems associate with the God of Judaism and Christianity is quite different from God.

We know that as Christians, God is Love (1 John 4:8). God remains wholly beyond human comprehension and knowledge. Love is the closest human word we can use to describe God’s nature.

In Islam, there is a huge problem as to who Allah is because the Koran precisely doesn’t say what Allah’s nature is.

As the Moslem posters have pointed out, they associate Allah with his names. The names they give are the “99 names of Allah.” However, the term “names” is misleading because these are not actual names, but they are adjective which describe Allah. Indeed the word used for names in the Arabic is “Sifat,” which literally means “adjectives.”

If we look at the 99 “names” of Allah, it becomes very apparent that some of these names are potentially and indeed, ARE contradictory. For instance, #24 is “the honorer” (al-Mu’izz) and #25 is “the disgracer” (al-mudhill). There are more examples of such. In addition, you will also notice that these names are merely descriptions of Allah- they talk ABOUT his nature, but they do not say what his nature IS.

I briefly touched on it above- How can contradictory descriptions about the same being exist in his names? The answer is simple, and can be found in the Koran at 14:27 (I believe this is the passage): Verily Allah does what he wills.

This is the essence and problem of Allah- that Allah does what he wills, when he wills it, for the mere fact that it’s his will. The Koran is clear about this- Allah can do whatever he wants for anything because it’s his choice.

Thus in Islam, while something is known about Allah through the “names,” Allah’s true nature is what he wills, thus making Allah a god of will.

This is in comparision to God (not Allah) who makes himself know through Jesus the Christ, as love and mercy incarnate and, in the closest way we can describe it, Love itself.

I hope this helps.

Oh, thank you :slight_smile: I don’t entirely agree with this, but, it dose bring up something about God in Islam that I’ve always wondered: His inconsistency. For example, He says Jesus is the Messiah, but He dosen’t say Jesus fulfilled the messianic prophecies. This is a big problem for an Omniscient God, because this same Omniscience God was the One who told the Jews about the Messiah, what the Messiah would do, etc. So, it seems that God in Islam is not only ignorant of the prophecies He Himself gave to His People, but He is also ignorant of what a Messiah is. So, since He’s ignorant, He can’t be Omniscient, and if He is not Omniscient, than He can’t be God.

But, I do know of a few Muslim apologists who attempt to make sense of the inconsistency by either saying that God’s Omniscience is limited, that the Jews made up the prophecies in the Bible, or that Jesus fulfilled the prophecies spiritually. Of course, omniscience cannot be limited, or else it wouldn’t be omniscience; biblical verses being made up by Jews would defeat the sacred doctrine of Divine Inspiration in both Judaism and Christianity (and, consequently, Islam as well, given that in the Qu’ran God says the Bible is inspired by Him); and the spiritual fulfillment of the Messiahship would be something like the way in which Jesus fulfilled the messianic prophecies in Christianity, except Islam’s version would have to be completely different, given that Christianity includes the crucifixion of Jesus.

Call upon God howsoever you will: “to God belong all the Beautiful Names” (59.24)

God is God’s Essence: ultimately beyond all knowledge (a claim that one could also find in Jewish thinkers like Maimonides or Christian mystics). There God is beyond all differentiation. The Divine Names are God as differentiated, and can be understood as analogous to the Divine Names in Eastern Christian theology (i.e., the distinction between essence and energies); or the distinction between the One and the henads in late Neoplatonism. They represent the limits of what human discursive-knowledge can achieve, and offer a path to achieving union with God who is beyond all plurality. We are not capable of discursively describing/knowing God the One, because we are always building off of our limited concepts. So I can recognize that God is Infinite and Good; and that in God the Infinite is absolutely identical with the Good (each are completely and totally the essence), but I still have to use those concepts and those two concepts unavoidably mean distinct things to me. So part of what one must do to know God in God’s own essence is transcend those distinctions and rest perfectly in Allah, who is the One.

Perhaps you can answer this because Sister Amy did not in another thread - I don’t know if she even saw the question.

Is God’s name as given to Moses (“I AM”) in the Quran? I’ve been led to believe it is not, so if not, why is this not significant to Muslims as it is the only name that could have been included that would have confirmed the Quran as being from God.

(Sister Amy indicated that it is not in the Quran and that she doesn’t really care that it isn’t - I’m wondering if all Muslims hold this position, and if so, why it doesn’t matter since God said that is His name for all time.)

Thank you. :slight_smile:

Thank you! This is the answer I was looking for.

Excellent post. Thanks for the input. :slight_smile:

The highlighted part is cause for concern. Though we know some important God’s will, too often I hear Muslims, “it’s God will, it’s fated …”, as if they abdicate their responsiblity to correct or make an effort to overcome misfortune and unexpected things that happen in their lives. The mentality allows Muslims to resign to many things which in reality they can imporve if they desire to do so. Can it be the reason why they are relatively backward today?

Probably not, just like it’s probably not the fault of Catholicism that Latin America is poorer than Anglo-America. That’s cultural determinism.

I don’t think so. “It’s fated / it’s God’s will” that being exclaimed by Muslims on almost anything do has religous doctrine to it.

I agree it’s cultural if poeple are lazy , lacksidal, no incentive or indifference.

Keep in mind, though, that historically the Islamic world was vey dynamic, not only militarily but scientifically and artistically (and they were perhaps more Islamic then, or at least there was no modernity to compete with the Islamic mindset). When we were the Rest, they were the Best.

I don’t know why the Islamic world is so behind now, in so many areas, but I’m skeptical of cultural explanations, especially of the “it’s their religion” variety, partly because such explanations have been used against us.

At one time yes, as a result of a vast empire when thing was stable. It was not like that in the beginning – wars of conquest and earlier on, raids and robberies were the order of the day.

The renaissance would always happen when there is political stability so that people can concentrate more on improving themselves and academic excellence. This phenomenon did not happen to Islamic empire only. The Chinese, Egyptians, Incas and the Europeans underwent this experience too.

I don’t actually attribute the “it’s their religion” variety but I believe this play a part in the mind of Muslims and so translate to their action in some cases.

No this is not one of the Divine Names according to Islam.

To understand it as a positive name, in the manner you are suggesting here, is on an Islamic reading, inaccurate. Reading the story, God’s answer to Moses (pbuh) seems to be, I am what I am…who are you to ask me for a name…You think I can be named? It is a way of telling the reader that they misunderstand the purpose of the “name” if they think it somehow names God.

What Judaism does with this is brilliant. How do you speak of what is beyond our knowledge and thus beyond every name. You (anti-)name it and never speak it. You make a mark that deflects speech and knowledge at the very instant where you crave it above all else.

I am not claiming exhaustive knowledge of Judaism here. But I do know for instance that Maimonides treats the import of the tetragrammaton as entirely negative: it is a way of resisting naming God, because God cannot be named. The tetragrammaton is largely absent in a major twentieth century Jewish thinker like Rosenzweig (I can’t remember an instance of it in The Star, that doesn’t mean it isn’t there, but if it is, the idea doesn’t play much of a role one way or the other) … and Levinas again, not surprisingly, uses it as a negative non-naming: a way of gesturing at the transcendence and unknowability of the divine essence.

(You can see a different tradition in Buber who uses the Tetragrammaton to emphasize that God is always near; but in order to do this Buber has to attack the Jewish tradition of not pronouncing the “name”. I am sure there probably are precedents for Buber’s interpretation. But I have no idea what they are. I take his read to be a departure from the mainstream of the Jewish intellectual tradition on this point…Rosenzweig snarkily refers to Buber’s early work as “Atheistic Theology”).

You are right. It is not a name. But that’s because he did not quote his specific name and therefore he is only known by that - “I AM”. So holy is his name that he is known by as “I AM” because “YHWH” could not even be uttered.

If he cannot be named as is the Islamic understanding, then why was he being named “Allah”? If “Allah” is for “God”, then why do you say, “there is no god but Allah”? Why don’t you say “there is no god(s) but God” in English?

In any case, “I AM” was mentioned in the scripture and the Hebrews knew this to meant God. This understanding persisted even during Jesus’ time. When he mentioned “I AM”, the understanding of that word was pretty obvious and his hearers knew whom he referred to.

Mohammad or his advisers must have missed this understanding or they were of the opinion that “I AM” is only the beginning of a sentence. Either way if the Quran recognized the older prophets who understood “I AM” as referring to God, it had missed this completely or Allah is not the God that was referred to as the “I AM”. In that case then Moses did not worship the same God whom Islam knows as Allah.

allah is derived from **al_ilah **which means The_God

when arabs says allah , they actually refere to significant God , the unseen one who created the universe and who created them , not those other Gods whom they worshipped as idoles to bring them near to unseen one who have no image and no statue , this one who was known by the name al_ilah or allah

allah isn’t a name , if you asked about the meaning of allah , you will find out that it means “the_ God”
so that we say
“there is no god but " the God " .

In adding to this, Sister Amy said that “Allah”, in addition to just being translated to “God” is also the proper name for God (i.e. Bob, Sue, Jim etc.). That God specifically told us that this is His name and we are to use it. I’m just confused because this doesn’t reconcile with Exodus where God says:

13Then Moses said to God, “Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I will say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you.’ Now they may say to me, ‘What is His name?’ What shall I say to them?”

14God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”

15God, furthermore, said to Moses, "Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, 'The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you ’ This is My name forever, and this is My memorial-name to all generations.

Sister Amy suggested that Exodus might be corrupted, but she’s not sure and has no proof, so I’m just confused as to why God’s name as given to Moses does not appear in the Quran, at least in some form, so as to confirm that it is from God. (Unless it obviously is not :wink: )

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