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Muslim God – Is He outside of the World?
God and Monotheism
Jhangeer Hanif


Is the Muslim God a god outside of the world? Is He the Rock that we need most in dire circumstances to take refuge under yet despair to see Him nowhere in this world? Did He create us and then walked out on us that we may face interminable problems unleashed from within the Pandora’s Box? Bah! I feel quite appalled to read through such a notion presented in a well known contemporary pontifical writing Crossing the Threshold of Hope. Regrettably, it is a mere reflection of a superficial knowledge of the Qur’an and the general Muslim understanding of their God. The deceased Pope, John Paul II, observes:

Some of the most beautiful names in the human language are given to the God of the Qur’an, but He is ultimately a God outside of the world, a God who is only Majesty, never Emmanuel, God-with-us1.

I am afraid the Muslim God is a not a god outside of the world. He is there, everywhere! He is nearer to us than the jugular vein2. He is the light of the earth and heavens3. You take Him out, the world is but a dark vicious circle of life where, at each step, we may stagger and fall, and where every new effort to fashion a utopia may bring more disappointment to mankind than ever.

Having created the world, He is not observing utmost aloofness to mankind. Everything that goes on around us takes effect only as per the leave of Allah4. He tells us that He has created the world and He it is who administers it5. In His hand is the dominion and He has absolute power over all things6. The circle of life is not for the sake of His amusement. It has a significant meaning – the trial of life7. From the day first, He told our progenitors that He would definitely send them His guidance – the light that would shine on their path and let them see the right from the wrong8. He would not leave them in darkness and then hold them accountable for sins which they never committed or had knowledge of 9. A series of apostles that He sent were meant to show the stray lambs their true destination, and help them resolve their differences in the light of the divine guidance10.

He is al-Khaliq (the Creator), al-Rahman (the Compassionate), al-Rahim (the Merciful), al-Hakim (the Wise), al-Aziz (the Mighty), al-Qadir (the Omnipotent), and al-‘Alim (the Omniscient). He does not have good names only to make an impression. With these names, He actually has portrayed Himself in the eyes of men. Obviously, it is not for us to understand the Lord on our own. This is why He has so mercifully revealed Himself to us through these names. To succumb to the notion of being deserted by God is to deny obstinately the Truth that He has revealed in His holy book, the Qur’an. This truth insists that we accept Him as a God-with-us, Who not only pours out on us innumerable bounties but also provides us with spiritual food. To surrender before Him is to embrace His throne – the throne from which only mercy flows that washes away all sins11. There is none that can provide for us if He were to withhold His sustenance and there is none who can bring us fresh water once it were to disappear in the deep layers of earth12.

He has not turned a blind eye to disbelievers either. It is utterly wrong that people who deliberately deny the truth revealed by Him should feel secure. He has sent them clear signs yet they deny in the face of utmost clarity13. The duties entailed by the Word must always be fulfilled. They should not feel that they will be allowed to go scot-free despite their blatant denial and the horrible sins they perpetrated14. The Lord indeed has decided a Day of al-fasl15 for mankind – the day on which the bad will be separated from the good like the farmer separates the chaff from the wheat16. He has very wisely spread them all on earth like seeds, and He will of surety reap the harvest on the Day of Judgment 17. Every single soul will be presented with his record file. He is indeed having everything noted down in this world18. He who does as small a good deed as an atom’s weight will see it19. Likewise, all mistakes, whether major or minor, will not be overlooked20. Those who deserve remission will be generously forgiven21. They will be allowed to tread the threshold of Heaven. Those who rebelled against God will be first given the charge sheet in their left hand and then handed over to the guardians of hell. They would cry for death as a last resort but of no avail22.

Allah also expounds upon the intricate balance of power that He has maintained in this world23. He it is who brings destruction to any ruthless force that has ambitious plans to fetter the helpless in a never ending chain of slavery. The thin balance between the stronger and the weaker does not break down beyond repair for the wise and sagacious scheme of the Almighty. On the basis of the perfect functioning of the universe, He draws our attention to the fact that there is no God except for Him24. When the evil lets loose their cruel tentacles, He calls upon the believers to efface them from the face of earth25. In any case, He brings the despondent against the tyrant to ruin their strength and bring peace to the world. He says that if it were not for His perfect scheming, the synagogues, churches, oratories and mosques would have been razed to the ground – holy places wherein the name of God is mentioned26.

This is just a gist of how the Holy Qur’an describes the god Muslims believe in. A student of the Qur’an cannot refute that Muslims believe in a god who has and will remain attached intimately with His creation. I appreciate that the deceased Pope forwarded generously very friendly notes to the Muslim community in the book. We are grateful for this and wish to respond with warmer and more cordial expressions.

However, it is of cardinal importance that we state others’ views exactly as they are.




1. John Paul II, Crossing the Threshold of Paradise, 3rd ed. (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1994), 92.

2. The Qur’an, 50:16

3. The Qur’an, 24:35

4. The Qur’an, 2:249, 3:145, 7:58, 10:100, and 14:25

5. The Qur’an, 7:54

6. The Qur’an, 67:1

7. The Qur’an, 67:2

8. The Qur’an, 2:38

9. The Qur’an, 3:3

10. The Qur’an, 2:213

11. The Qur’an, 3:135-136

12. The Qur’an, 67:21,30

13. The Qur’an, 98:1-5

14. The Qur’an, 75:36

15. al-fasl literally means separation.

16. The Qur’an, 78:17

17. The Qur’an, 67:24

18. The Qur’an, 78:29

19. The Qur’an, 99:7

20. The Qur’an, 99:8

21. The Qur’an, 25:70

22. The Qur’an, 69:25-32

23. The Qur’an, 2:251

24. The Qur’an, 21:22

25. The Qur’an, 4:75

26. The Qur’an, 22:40

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