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Essence of Monotheism (4)
Amin Ahsan Islahi
(Tr. by:Nikhat Sattar)


Spiritual Arguments for Monotheism


Arguments in line with those accepted by addressees

In the two previous chapters, we have explained the arguments of divinity and monotheism that may be considered to be general ones. Their foundations are the rules and principles of the universe and the certainties of human nature. Because of this, although their first addressees are Arabs, their relevance is the same and common for all progeny of Adam (sws), regardless of Arabs or non-Arabs, believers or non-believers. This book of the universe is an open one for all persons and the evidence of nature speaks from within all true hearts. Only those who have blinded their eyes and deafened their ears can dare to defy these realities. Such people cannot be convinced by anything on earth.

Now we shall discuss the arguments that are based on the facts accepted by the addressees who were its opponents. These arguments are specific ones, in that the Qur’an has adopted the principles that these opponents have accepted and, based on these, after explaining their requirements and needs, asks the addressee to accept them. Concomitantly, It demands that the statements that negate these principles be refuted. Such a style of argument is both natural and rational. Raising objections to this to say that the argument has been left without proof is nonsense. The way to argue a position is not to waste time on proving and authenticating a principle that is already accepted without doubt by an opponent. Because of such arguments, some of our scholastic philosophers are under the misperception that all arguments in the Qur’an are of the accusatory type and that it is empty of all proofs which could be applied to humankind as a whole. Such a view is based on ignorance of the Qur’an. This is merely a particular form of Qur’anic arguments, the basis of which is, on the one hand, acceptance of the addressee and on the other, the proofs which have been explained in the earlier chapters. Now we shall try to clarify this specific form of argument.


1. There is no argument for associates

In this, the Qur’an has established the most important argument for the Arabs that they had no argument for the existence of those whom they considered to be associates of God. The question of God is not under discussion because they believed in Him and evidence for this is also available from the heavens and from within the human soul. But it was their responsibility to bring proof of the existence of those they had accepted as their deities as well. It is against human nature to accept anything without proof, however insignificant it might be, let alone declare someone the active arm of God. Hence if there was any rational argument for this, they should present it and if there was a fake argument, they should also demonstrate it. As far as the point that they had observed their forefathers worship these deities, this was not a legitimate argument. Only this point was not enough proof of such a big claim.


وَ مَنۡ یَّدۡعُ مَعَ اللّٰهِ اِلٰـهًا اٰخَرَ لَا بُرۡهَانَ لَهُ بِهِ فَاِنَّمَا حِسَابُهُ عِنۡدَ رَبِّهِ . (117:23)

If anyone invokes, besides God, any other god, he has no authority therefore; and his reckoning will be only with his Lord! And verily the unbelievers will fail to win through! (23:117)


مَا تَعۡبُدُوۡنَ مِنۡ دُوۡنِهِ اِلَّاۤ اَسۡمَآءً سَمَّیۡتُمُوۡهَاۤ اَنۡتُمۡ وَ اٰبَآؤُکُمۡ مَّاۤ اَنۡزَلَ اللّٰهُ بِهَا مِنۡ سُلۡطٰنٍ. (40:12)

If not Him, you worship nothing but names which you have named- you and your fathers- for which God has sent down no authority. (12:40)


اَمْ اَنْزَلْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ سُلْطٰنًا فَهُوَ يَتَكَلَّمُ بِمَا كَانُوْا بِهِ يُشْرِكُوْنَ. (35:30)

Or have We sent down authority to them, which points out to them the things to which they pay part-worship. (30:35)


In response to this, the people of Arabia said that if their forefathers adopted polytheism, it was with the concurrence of God and that this was what had been taught by Abraham (sws). The Qur’an answered that this was a libel upon God because He had never instructed humans to worship multiple gods. If they (the Arabs) were right in their claim, they should bring a book from a time before the Qur’an or present a proof that was based on knowledge.


قُلۡ اَرَءَیۡتُمۡ مَّا تَدۡعُوۡنَ مِنۡ دُوۡنِ اللّٰهِ اَرُوۡنِیۡ مَاذَا خَلَقُوۡا مِنَ الۡاَرۡضِ اَمۡ لَهُمۡ شِرۡكٌ فِی السَّمٰوٰتِ اِیۡتُوۡنِیۡ بِكِتٰبٍ مِّنۡ قَبۡلِ هٰذَاۤ اَوۡ اَثٰرةٍ مِّنۡ عِلۡمٍ اِنۡ کُنۡتُمۡ صٰدِقِیۡنَ. (4:46)

Say: “Do you see what it is you invoke besides God. Show me what it is they have created on earth, or have they a share in the heavens bring me a book (revealed) before this, or any remnant of knowledge (you may have), if you are telling the truth!” (46:4)


As for the point that this was the teaching of their forefather Abraham (sws), it is a lie and false allegation. A significant event of his life was his migration in which he gave up his family and motherland for the sake of one God and a practice based upon his parting comment still exists in the Israelites, one of the branches of his progeny and that could act as a lighting lamp for all his descendants for all time to come. The entire detail of this argument and the response of the Qur’an is given in Surah Zukhruf.


وَ قَالُوۡا لَوۡ شَآءَ الرَّحۡمٰنُ مَا عَبَدۡنٰهُمۡ  مَا لَهُمۡ بِذٰلِكَ مِنۡ عِلۡمٍ  اِنۡ هُمۡ اِلَّا یَخۡرُصُوۡنَ. اَمۡ اٰتَیۡنٰهُمۡ کِتٰبًا مِّنۡ قَبۡلِهِ فَهُمۡ بِهِ مُسۡتَمۡسِکُوۡنَ. بَلۡ قَالُوۡۤا اِنَّا وَجَدۡنَاۤ اٰبَآءَنَا عَلٰۤی اُمَّةٍ وَّ اِنَّا عَلٰۤی اٰثٰرِهِمۡ مُّهۡتَدُوۡنَ. وَ کَذٰلِكَ مَاۤ اَرۡسَلۡنَا مِنۡ قَبۡلِكَ فِیۡ قَرۡیَةٍ مِّنۡ نَّذِیۡرٍ اِلَّا قَالَ مُتۡرَفُوۡهَاۤ اِنَّا وَجَدۡنَاۤ اٰبَآءَنَا عَلٰۤی اُمَّةٍ وَّ اِنَّا عَلٰۤی اٰثٰرِهِمۡ مُّقۡتَدُوۡنَ. قٰلَ اَوَ لَوۡ جِئۡتُکُمۡ بِاَهۡدٰی مِمَّا وَجَدۡتُّمۡ عَلَیۡهِ اٰبَآءَکُمۡ قَالُوۡا اِنَّا بِمَاۤ اُرۡسِلۡتُمۡ بِهِ کٰفِرُوۡنَ. فَانۡتَقَمۡنَا مِنۡهُمۡ فَانۡظُرۡ کَیۡفَ کَانَ عَاقِبَةُ الۡمُکَذِّبِیۡنَ. وَ اِذۡ قَالَ اِبۡرٰهِیۡمُ لِاَبِیۡهِ وَ قَوۡمِهِ اِنَّنِیۡ بَرَآءٌ مِّمَّا تَعۡبُدُوۡنَ. اِلَّا الَّذِیۡ فَطَرَنِیۡ فَاِنَّهُ سَیَهۡدِیۡنِ. وَ جَعَلَهَا کَلِمَةً بَاقِیَةً فِیۡ عَقِبِهِ لَعَلَّهُمۡ یَرۡجِعُوۡنَ. (43: 20۔28)

 (“Ah!”) They say, “If it had been the will of ((God)) Most Gracious, we should not have worshipped such (deities)!” Of that they have no knowledge! They do nothing but lie! What! Have We given them a Book before this, to which they are holding fast? No! They say: “We found our fathers following a certain religion, and we do guide ourselves by their footsteps.” Just in the same way, whenever We sent a Warner before you to any people, the wealthy ones among them said: “We found our fathers following a certain religion, and we will certainly follow in their footsteps.” He said: “What! Even if I brought you better guidance than that which you found your fathers following?” They said: “For us, we deny that you (prophets) are sent (on a mission at all).” So We exacted retribution from them: now see what was the end of those who rejected (Truth)! Behold! Abraham said to his father and his people: “I do indeed clear myself of what you worship: “(I worship) only Him Who made me, and He will certainly guide me.” And he left it as a Word to endure among those who came after him, that they may turn back (to God.)”(43:20-28)


If one analyzes the meaning of these verses, it is clear that the traditions which the Arabs presented as proof of shirk were completely without basis and rationality. The compiled biography of Abraham (sws) that could be considered certified knowledge and that was present within the books of the Israelites was enough to refute the false claims of the Arabs; specifically, the story of his migration was a memorable deed in support of monotheism and sincerity. But alas, none of the two branches of Abraham’s progeny recognized the spirit of this testimony. The Jews went astray many times in spite of this light and at last, went so far away from the correct path that it became impossible for them to return to it and God placed a curse upon them. The Arabs completely erased this biography from their history and, instead, built false traditions that supported idol worship.

In refuting these superstitions of the Arabs, the Qur’an has referred to events of Abraham’s (sws) life, construction of the House of God and the shared purpose of the invitation of all prophets at various places. It has stated that there was nothing in any of these instances that supported their claim of God having instructed humans to be polytheists. Prophets were the instruments for recognizing God and their invitations were given in earlier books. None of their preaching could be given in support of polytheism. The compiled history of all prophets was evidence of the Qur’an’s claim and the latter includes refutation of anything that was false.


2. Arguments from requisites

The second aspect of the specific arguments of the Qur’an is that it demanded the Arabs to believe in the requisites of the attributes of God which they believed in already. These requisites are of two types: those that branch out from the attributes that have been accepted; further, negation of attributes that necessitate negation of those that are accepted. The second type is the rights and obligations of such attributes that become liable upon people who believe in the latter. Also, negation of practices and beliefs that negate the established rights of God becomes imperative.

It is known that the Arabs not only believed in the existence of God but also believed that He was the Creator of the earth and skies; Giver of strength and abilities; Lord of life and death and Wisdom behind all divine actions. But they also considered others to be their master and lord, in addition to God. The Qur’an demanded that they should believe only in God as their Lord if they believed in all His attributes.


فَذٰلِكُمُ اللّٰهُ رَبُّكُمُ الْحَقُّ فَمَا ذَا بَعْدَ الْحَقِّ اِلَّا الضَّلٰلُ فَاَنّٰي تُصْرَفُوْنَ. (32:10)

Such is God, your real Cherisher and Sustainer: apart from truth, what (remains) but error? How then are you turned away? (10:32)


That is, after accepting all of this, it becomes essential that one should believe in God as the Protector, the Master and the Lord. After this truth, which is a proven one, belief in any other whose existence is not proven would be perdition and depravity. Hence, it is stated in Surah A‘raf that it was essential for people who believed in God being the Creator of the earth and skies, to also believe that He was their Lord. No one else is to be made their master and lord. Only the Creator has the right to command and give orders.


اِنَّ رَبَّكُمُ اللّٰهُ الَّذِيْ خَلَقَ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَالْاَرْضَ اَلَا لَهُ الْخَلْقُ وَالْاَمْر(54:7)

Your Guardian-Lord is Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth …….Is it not His to create and to govern? (7:54)


Believe that the same Being in Whom you believe as the Creator of the earth and skies is also your Lord. It cannot be that the Creator is one Being and another becomes the Lord. He Who has created is also in command. When a person who discovers an island and another who invents something possesses the right to own and use it on account of his discovery or invention, why should you deny the right of God in spite of the fact that His right is far greater than that of human discovery and invention?

Similarly, the Qur’an deemed the attribute of complete knowledge for the Creator. That is, if one believes that God is the Creator of the earth and skies, one must also believe that He has total knowledge. اَلَا يَعْلَمُ مَنْ خَلَقَ “Should He not know, He that created?” (67:14)

And it is also essential that one believes that if God has control over all creation and planning, He also controls all benefit and harm. وَ اِنۡ یَّمۡسَسۡكَ اللّٰهُ بِضُرٍّ فَلَا کَاشِفَ لَهُ اِلَّا هُوَ وَ اِنۡ یَّمۡسَسۡكَ بِخَیۡرٍ فَهُوَ عَلٰی کُلِّ شَیۡءٍ قَدِیۡرٌ “If God touch you with affliction, none can remove it but He; if He touch you with happiness, He has power over all things.” (6:17)

The Qur’an further acquitted God from all attributes that either denied divinity or that would negate the qualities which the Arabs connected with God. This discussion requires much detail and has been dealt with to some extent in the section on “Essence of Polytheism”. Here we shall touch on it briefly.

The main principle identified in this regard is that God possesses only good attributes. Any bad quality is against the concept of divinity. The puzzle of this universe can only be solved by belief in a Being who is the composite of all beauty and perfection. If any quality that is the opposite of this beauty and perfection is attached to Him, this puzzle reverts to its original state and the universe is immersed again in the darkness which had been removed by the true concept of God.


وَ لِلّٰهِ الۡاَسۡمَآءُ الۡحُسۡنٰی فَادۡعُوۡهُ بِهَا وَ ذَرُوا الَّذِیۡنَ یُلۡحِدُوۡنَ فِیۡ اَسۡمَآئِهِ سَیُجۡزَوۡنَ مَا کَانُوۡا یَعۡمَلُوۡنَ. (180:7)

The most beautiful names belong to Allah. so call on him by them; but shun such men as use profanity in his names: for what they do, they will soon be requited. (7:180)

The belief in associates and benefactors is most significant in this connection. Such a belief negates all principal attributes of God. The Qur’an has explained in detail all such incompatibilities. For example, belief in associates being the route to attaining proximity to God means that His knowledge is incomplete. If His knowledge is all encompassing, what would these associates add to His knowledge? And if He declares people good or bad merely on the basis of their recommendation and against His own knowledge, His justice and wisdom are negated. If one thinks that obedience and deeds are not sufficient to gain His mercy and that someone else’s favour is also necessary, then His nearness to every one of His servants, His compassion for all and His mercy and kindness are negated. This is the worst kind of doubt which a servant of God can possess about His Creator.

In the same manner, believing that some other entity is a partner to God in managing His affairs is either a negation of His command or His honour. Involving someone else to assist can only be tolerated by a god who finds it difficult to manage the universe. Or else he would be a god without honour, that he has no problem if someone else intervenes in his sovereignty and rights. The concept of divinity is free from all such faults and blemishes. The Qur’an has brought these inconsistencies to the attention of the Arabs and has demanded of them that they not believe in any such attribute of God that is either incompatible with the superior meaning of godliness or negates the qualities which they have already accepted.

These aspects of accusation and purity of God’s attributes are highlighted together and the style of address is usually not one of debate but of narrating reality, because it is a proven fact that when something is accepted, it is necessary to accept its prerequisites and its opposites as well. Only the stubborn would deny this.

The following verses should be pondered upon with the above in mind:


وَ قَالُوا اتَّخَذَ اللّٰهُ وَلَدًا سُبۡحٰنَهُ بَلۡ لَّهُ مَا فِی السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الۡاَرۡضِ کُلٌّ لَّهُ قٰنِتُوۡنَ. بَدِیۡعُ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الۡاَرۡضِ وَ اِذَا قَضٰۤی اَمۡرًا فَاِنَّمَا یَقُوۡلُ لَهُ کُنۡ فَیَکُوۡنُ.(2: 116۔117)

They say: “(God) has begotten a son”: glory be to Him.-No, to Him belongs all that is in the heavens and on earth: everything renders worship to Him. To Him is due the primal origin of the heavens and the earth: When He decrees a matter, He says to it: “be,” and it is. (2:116-117)

Here, the word سُبْحٰنَهُ (He is pure) has come in the form of an argument. It means that the idea of children for God is against the concept of divinity. This concept necessitates that it be free of every sort of dependence and is above connection of every nationhood or community and is perfectly pure and spotless. It would be the Creator of the heavens and earth and would have brought them into existence from non-existence. His power over all is such that He can create anything whenever He wants. Such a Being can only be that of God and you do not deny these attributes of His. But along with these, you also believe in attributes that are totally in opposition to these; that are neither worthy of the meaning of divinity nor are they aligned with the attributes which you believe in.

At another place, the Qur’an says:


قَالُوا اتَّخَذَ اللّٰهُ وَلَدًا سُبۡحٰنَهُ هُوَ الۡغَنِیُّ لَهُ مَا فِی السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ مَا فِی الۡاَرۡضِ اِنۡ عِنۡدَکُمۡ مِّنۡ سُلۡطٰنٍۭ بِهٰذَا. (68:10)

They say: “(God) hath begotten a son!” - Glory be to Him! He is self- sufficient! His are all things in the heavens and on earth! No warrant have you for this! Say you about God what you know not? (10:68)


Referring to the weakness and helplessness of the idols, the Qur’an says that the utmost humiliation of the concept of divinity is that such helpless beings be declared the right hand of God, Who you believe to be the strongest and most respected and evidence of whose strength and repute is this universe itself.



یٰۤاَیُّهَا النَّاسُ ضُرِبَ مَثَلٌ فَاسۡتَمِعُوۡا لَهُ اِنَّ الَّذِیۡنَ تَدۡعُوۡنَ مِنۡ دُوۡنِ اللّٰهِ لَنۡ یَّخۡلُقُوۡا ذُبَابًا وَّ لَوِ اجۡتَمَعُوۡا لَهُ وَ اِنۡ یَّسۡلُبۡهُمُ الذُّبَابُ شَیۡئًا لَّا یَسۡتَنۡقِذُوۡهُ مِنۡهُ ضَعُفَ الطَّالِبُ وَ الۡمَطۡلُوۡبُ. مَا قَدَرُوا اللّٰهَ حَقَّ قَدۡرِهِ اِنَّ اللّٰهَ لَقَوِیٌّ عَزِیۡزٌ. (22: 73۔74)

 O men! Here is a parable set forth! Listen to it! Those on whom, besides God, you call, cannot create (even) a fly, if they all met together for the purpose! And if the fly should snatch away anything from them, they would have no power to release it from the fly. Feeble are those who petition and those whom they petition! No just estimate have they made of God, for God is He Who is strong and able to carry out His Will. (22:73-74)

Consider a comprehensive example in which various arguments including those that are accusatory, those that provide the pure characteristics of God and those that are related to the universe and to the human soul have been included:


اَلَا لِلّٰهِ الدِّیۡنُ الۡخَالِصُ  وَ الَّذِیۡنَ اتَّخَذُوۡا مِنۡ دُوۡنِهِ اَوۡلِیَآءَ مَا نَعۡبُدُهُمۡ اِلَّا لِیُقَرِّبُوۡنَاۤ اِلَی اللّٰهِ زُلۡفٰی اِنَّ اللّٰهَ یَحۡکُمُ بَیۡنَهُمۡ فِیۡ مَا هُمۡ فِیۡهِ یَخۡتَلِفُوۡنَ ۬ اِنَّ اللّٰهَ لَا یَهۡدِیۡ مَنۡ هُوَ كٰذِبٌ کَفَّارٌ. لَوۡ اَرَادَ اللّٰهُ اَنۡ یَّتَّخِذَ وَلَدًا لَّاصۡطَفٰی مِمَّا یَخۡلُقُ مَا یَشَآءُ ۙ سُبۡحٰنَهُ هُوَ اللّٰهُ الۡوَاحِدُ الۡقَهَّارُ. خَلَقَ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الۡاَرۡضَ بِالۡحَقِّ یُکَوِّرُ الَّیۡلَ عَلَی النَّهَارِ وَ یُکَوِّرُ النَّهَارَ عَلَی الَّیۡلِ وَ سَخَّرَ الشَّمۡسَ وَ الۡقَمَرَ کُلٌّ یَّجۡرِیۡ لِاَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّی اَلَا هُوَ الۡعَزِیۡزُ الۡغَفَّارُ . خَلَقَکُمۡ مِّنۡ نَّفۡسٍ وَّاحِدَهٍ ثُمَّ جَعَلَ مِنۡهَا زَوۡجَهَا وَ اَنۡزَلَ لَکُمۡ مِّنَ الۡاَنۡعَامِ ثَمٰنِیَةَ اَزۡوَاجٍ یَخۡلُقُکُمۡ فِیۡ بُطُوۡنِ اُمَّهٰتِکُمۡ خَلۡقًا مِّنۡۢ بَعۡدِ خَلۡقٍ فِیۡ ظُلُمٰتٍ ثَلٰثٍ ذٰلِکُمُ اللّٰهُ رَبُّکُمۡ لَهُ الۡمُلۡكُ لَاۤ اِلٰهَ اِلَّا هُوَ فَاَنّٰی تُصۡرَفُوۡنَ . اِنۡ تَکۡفُرُوۡا فَاِنَّ اللّٰهَ غَنِیٌّ عَنۡکُمۡ وَ لَا یَرۡضٰی لِعِبَادِهِ الۡکُفۡرَ وَ اِنۡ تَشۡکُرُوۡا یَرۡضَهُ لَکُمۡ وَ لَا تَزِرُ وَازِرَةٌ وِّزۡرَ اُخۡرٰی ثُمَّ اِلٰی رَبِّکُمۡ مَّرۡجِعُکُمۡ فَیُنَبِّئُکُمۡ بِمَا کُنۡتُمۡ تَعۡمَلُوۡنَ اِنَّهُ عَلِیۡمٌ بِذَاتِ الصُّدُوۡرِ. وَ اِذَا مَسَّ الۡاِنۡسَانَ ضُرٌّ دَعَا رَبَّهُ مُنِیۡبًا اِلَیۡهِ ثُمَّ اِذَا خَوَّلَهُ نِعۡمَةً مِّنۡهُ نَسِیَ مَا کَانَ یَدۡعُوۡۤا اِلَیۡهِ مِنۡ قَبۡلُ وَ جَعَلَ لِلّٰهِ اَنۡدَادًا لِّیُضِلَّ عَنۡ سَبِیۡلِهِ قُلۡ تَمَتَّعۡ بِکُفۡرِكَ قَلِیۡلًا اِنَّكَ مِنۡ اَصۡحٰبِ النَّارِ. (39: 3۔8)

Is it not to God that sincere devotion is due? But those who take for protectors other than God (say): “We only serve them in order that they may bring us nearer to God.” Truly God will judge between them in that wherein they differ. But God guides not such as are false and ungrateful. Had God wished to take to Himself a son, He could have chosen whom He pleased out of those whom He does create: but glory be to Him! (He is above such things.) He is God, the One, the Irresistible. He created the heavens and the earth in true (proportions): He makes the night overlap the day, and the Day overlap the Night: He has subjected the sun and the moon (to His law): each one follows a course for a time appointed. Is not He the Exalted in Power - He Who forgives again and again? He created you (all) from a single person: then created, of like nature, his mate; and he sent down for you eight head of cattle in pairs: He makes you, in the wombs of your mothers, in stages, one after another, in three veils of darkness. Such is God, your Lord and Cherisher: to Him belongs (all) dominion. There is no god but He: then how are you turned away (from your true Centre)? If you reject ((God)), Truly God has no need of you; but He likes not ingratitude from His servants: if you are grateful, He is pleased with you. No bearer of burdens can bear the burden of another. In the end, to your Lord is your return, when He will tell you the truth of all that you did (in this life). For He knows well all that is in (men’s) hearts. When some trouble touches man, he cries unto his Lord, turning to Him in repentance: but when He bestows a favour upon him as from Himself, (man) does forget what he cried and prayed for before, and he does set up rivals unto God, thus misleading others from God’s path. Say, “Enjoy your blasphemy for a little while: verily you are (one) of the companions of the Fire!” (39:3-8)


The person who ponders and deliberates upon these verses will find that the following aspects of affirmation of monotheism and negation of polytheism will become evident:

a) Those who associate anyone with God are liars and ungrateful. They have no proof of the belief that God has made anyone His partner. If there is such a proof, they should present it. Details of this argument have been presented in the beginning of this chapter. There is no need to repeat it here.

b) The belief that God has daughters who will plead the case of people in front of God on the Day of Judgement is a complete falsehood. The concept of children of God is wrong to begin with. God has to be single and in control, and above all limitations. Why would He need sons and daughters? To add fuel to the fire, the Arabs believed that God had daughters but they hated daughters. Thus, they were doubly wrong. One, that they believed that God had progeny and second, that they gave those children to God which they hated for themselves.

c) Creations in the universe are not useless but have been brought into existence with a certain purpose. This means that a day for recompense is bound to come and total justice is certain to be dispensed. The concept of pleading for mercy cannot accompany this belief, because the concept of entreaty for someone else negates the purpose of the universe. Entreaty is the negation of justice.

d) After this, the argument of harmony and of subjugation as explained above shows that the Creator of this universe is powerful and merciful. Powerful in terms of being dominant over everything else and beyond everyone’s reach: there is no one who can speak a single word without His will. He is merciful, in that He is the Forgiver and the One who hides sins of His servants. That is why there is no need of anyone to plead anyone’s case before Him. A person is his own pleader.

e) Subsequently, arguments of creation and divinity were used to develop evidence of the boundaries of knowledge. It was deduced that the One Who created, Who provided sustenance, Who showed miracles of reproduction, as demonstrated by layers upon layers of veils within mother’s wombs that only He is worthy of being believed in as the Lord. He is the One Who possesses the sky in His Hand and His Kingdom is on earth. He does not have any partner; He should not have one.

f) Then, the law of justice was narrated, thereby destroying the foundation of all expectations of pleading. God neither likes denial of the truth by His servants, nor does He dislike gratitude. So, any person who wishes to achieve the goodwill of God and to be close to Him can do so by becoming His grateful servant and whoever wants can be overcome with His anger and wrath by being ungrateful. Both are dependent upon a person’s own actions. No other person can convert gratitude into denial and denial into gratitude.


وَ لَا تَزِرُ وَازِرَةٌ وِّزۡرَ اُخۡرٰی. (164:6)

No bearer of burdens can bear the burden of another. (6:164)


g) After this, God narrates the extent of His knowledge and negates the need for recommending mercy by others since He is well aware of all secrets within the heart; what can anyone contribute to His knowledge?

h) At the end, the argument which we have described as the argument of frailty under arguments of the soul has been explained. There is no need to repeat this here.

The image of God that is developed as the result of all of these prerequisites and clarifications presents an excellent example through the verse of the throne:


اَللّٰهُ لَاۤ اِلٰهَ اِلَّا هُوَ اَلۡحَیُّ الۡقَیُّوۡمُ ۬ لَا تَاۡخُذُهُ سِنَةٌ وَّ لَا نَوۡمٌ لَهُ مَا فِی السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ مَا فِی الۡاَرۡضِ  مَنۡ ذَا الَّذِیۡ یَشۡفَعُ عِنۡدَهُ اِلَّا بِاِذۡنِهِ یَعۡلَمُ مَا بَیۡنَ اَیۡدِیۡهِمۡ وَ مَا خَلۡفَهُمۡ وَ لَا یُحِیۡطُوۡنَ بِشَیۡءٍ مِّنۡ عِلۡمِهِ اِلَّا بِمَا شَآءَ ۚ وَسِعَ کُرۡسِیُّهُ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الۡاَرۡضَ وَ لَا یَـُٔوۡدُهُ حِفۡظُهُمَا  وَ هُوَ الۡعَلِیُّ الۡعَظِیۡمُ. (255:2)

God! There is no god but He,-the Living, the Self-subsisting, Eternal. No slumber can seize Him nor sleep. His are all things in the heavens and on earth. Who is there can intercede in His presence except as He permits? He knows what (appears to His creatures as) before or after or behind them. Nor shall they compass aught of His knowledge except as He wills. His throne does extend over the heavens and the earth, and He feels no fatigue in guarding and preserving them for He is the Most High, the Supreme (in glory). (2:255)


A second, beautiful and very comprehensive example is in Surah Hashr. In it, the aspect of positivity is more prominent instead of negation:


هُوَ اللّٰهُ الَّذِیۡ لَاۤ اِلٰهَ اِلَّا هُوَ عٰلِمُ الۡغَیۡبِ وَ الشَّهَادَةِ هُوَ الرَّحۡمٰنُ الرَّحِیۡمُ. هُوَ اللّٰهُ الَّذِیۡ لَاۤ اِلٰهَ اِلَّا هُوَ اَلۡمَلِكُ الۡقُدُّوۡسُ السَّلٰمُ الۡمُؤۡمِنُ الۡمُهَیۡمِنُ الۡعَزِیۡزُ الۡجَبَّارُ الۡمُتَکَبِّرُ سُبۡحٰنَ اللّٰهِ عَمَّا یُشۡرِکُوۡنَ. هُوَ اللّٰهُ الۡخَالِقُ الۡبَارِئُ الۡمُصَوِّرُ لَهُ الۡاَسۡمَآءُ الۡحُسۡنٰی یُسَبِّحُ لَهُ مَا فِی السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الۡاَرۡضِ وَ هُوَ الۡعَزِیۡزُ الۡحَکِیۡمُ. (59: 22۔24)

God is He, than Whom there is no other god; Who knows (all things) both secret and open; He, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. God is He, than Whom there is no other god; the Sovereign, the Holy One, the Source of Peace (and Perfection), the Guardian of Faith, the Preserver of Safety, the Exalted in Might, the Irresistible, the Supreme: Glory to God. (High is He) above the partners they attribute to Him. He is God, the Creator, the Evolver, the Bestower of Forms (or Colours). To Him belong the Most beautiful names: whatever is in the heavens and on earth, does declare His Praises and Glory: and He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise. (59:22-24)

In the same vein, Surah Ikhlas should also be kept in mind.


قُلۡ هُوَ اللّٰهُ اَحَدٌ. اَللّٰهُ الصَّمَدُ. لَمۡ یَلِدۡ ۬ وَ لَمۡ یُوۡلَدۡ. وَ لَمۡ یَکُنۡ لَّهُ کُفُوًا اَحَدٌ. (112: 1۔4)

Say: He is God, the One and Only; God, the Eternal, Absolute; He begets not, or is He begotten; And there is none like unto Him. (112:1-4)


This concept of God was based on principles accepted by the Arabs. The Qur’an placed the requirements of these attributes in front of them and asked them to believe in these too. Similarly, it asked them to give up things that negated these principles or their requirements. Further, it demanded of those who believe in these attributes that they accept the rights that would be claimed by God as a result without any reservations.

In Surah A‘r’af, after proving that He Who has created is also the Lord and has the right to control and command, it was deduced that He should be called upon in all situations, whether openly or in secret, in hope or despair. He is the One Who eases difficulties, wards off problems and dangers and realizes hopes and dreams. اُدۡعُوۡا رَبَّکُمۡ تَضَرُّعًا وَّ خُفۡیَةً (Call on your Lord with humility and in private (7:55)).

In Surah Baqarah, it is said that you should obey and serve He Who you believe to be the Creator. Do not associate anyone else in this obedience.


یٰۤاَیُّهَا النَّاسُ اعۡبُدُوۡا رَبَّکُمُ الَّذِیۡ خَلَقَکُمۡ وَ الَّذِیۡنَ مِنۡ قَبۡلِکُمۡ لَعَلَّکُمۡ تَتَّقُوۡنَ. (21:2)

O you people! Adore your Guardian-Lord, who created you and those who came before you, that you may have the chance to learn righteousness. (2:21)


With this adoration, the condition was that God should be served with complete obedience: مُخْلِصِيْنَ لَهُ الدِّيْنَ. This means that it is not allowed that one should worship someone and obey someone else. لَاۤ اِلٰهَ اِلَّا هُوَ فَادۡعُوۡهُ مُخۡلِصِیۡنَ لَهُ الدِّیۡنَ There is no god but He: Call upon Him, giving Him sincere devotion. (40:65)

Similarly, it is said that for the Lord for Whom His kingdom of heaven and earth is proven, He is the One Who deserves praise and gratitude. لَهُ الْمُلْكُ وَلَهُ الْحَمْدُ Whatever is in the heavens and on earth, doth declare the Praises and Glory of Allah (64:1)

In Surah Baqarah, after proving God to be the real Beneficent, it is said that He should be the centre of true love. وَالَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡۤا اَشَدُّ حُبًّا لِّلّٰهِ But those of Faith are overflowing in their love for Allah (2:165). In the same vein, it is said that when everything has been bestowed by God, then only He has the power to declare anything haram or halal. To accept another’s right to do so or to declare anything thus is polytheism.


وَ اِلٰـهُکُمۡ اِلٰهٌ وَّاحِدٌ لَاۤ اِلٰهَ اِلَّا هُوَ الرَّحۡمٰنُ الرَّحِیۡمُ. اِنَّ فِیۡ خَلۡقِ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الۡاَرۡضِ وَ اخۡتِلَافِ الَّیۡلِ وَ النَّهَارِ وَ الۡفُلۡكِ الَّتِیۡ تَجۡرِیۡ فِی الۡبَحۡرِ بِمَا یَنۡفَعُ النَّاسَ وَ مَاۤ اَنۡزَلَ اللّٰهُ مِنَ السَّمَآءِ مِنۡ مَّآءٍ فَاَحۡیَا بِهِ الۡاَرۡضَ بَعۡدَ مَوۡتِهَا وَ بَثَّ فِیۡهَا مِنۡ کُلِّ دَآبَّةٍ وَّ تَصۡرِیۡفِ الرِّیٰحِ وَ السَّحَابِ الۡمُسَخَّرِ بَیۡنَ السَّمَآءِ وَ الۡاَرۡضِ لَاٰیٰتٍ لِّقَوۡمٍ یَّعۡقِلُوۡنَ. وَ مِنَ النَّاسِ مَنۡ یَّتَّخِذُ مِنۡ دُوۡنِ اللّٰهِ اَنۡدَادًا یُّحِبُّوۡنَهُمۡ كَحُبِّ اللّٰهِ وَ الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡۤا اَشَدُّ حُبًّا لِّلّٰهِ وَ لَوۡ یَرَی الَّذِیۡنَ ظَلَمُوۡۤا اِذۡ یَرَوۡنَ الۡعَذَابَ اَنَّ الۡقُوَّةَ لِلّٰهِ جَمِیۡعًا وَّ اَنَّ اللّٰهَ شَدِیۡدُ الۡعَذَابِ. اِذۡ تَبَرَّاَ الَّذِیۡنَ اتُّبِعُوۡا مِنَ الَّذِیۡنَ اتَّبَعُوۡا وَ رَاَوُا الۡعَذَابَ وَ تَقَطَّعَتۡ بِهِمُ الۡاَسۡبَابُ. وَ قَالَ الَّذِیۡنَ اتَّبَعُوۡا لَوۡ اَنَّ لَنَا کَرَّةً فَنَتَبَرَّاَ مِنۡهُمۡ کَمَا تَبَرَّءُوۡا مِنَّا کَذٰلِكَ یُرِیۡهِمُ اللّٰهُ اَعۡمَالَهُمۡ حَسَرٰتٍ عَلَیۡهِمۡ وَ مَا هُمۡ بِخٰرِجِیۡنَ مِنَ النَّارِ. یٰۤاَیُّهَا النَّاسُ کُلُوۡا مِمَّا فِی الۡاَرۡضِ حَلٰلًا طَیِّبًا وَّ لَا تَتَّبِعُوۡا خُطُوٰتِ الشَّیۡطٰنِ اِنَّهٗ لَکُمۡ عَدُوٌّ مُّبِیۡنٌ. اِنَّمَا یَاۡمُرُکُمۡ بِالسُّوۡٓءِ وَ الۡفَحۡشَآءِ وَ اَنۡ تَقُوۡلُوۡا عَلَی اللّٰهِ مَا لَا تَعۡلَمُوۡنَ. (2: 163۔169)

And your God is One God. There is no god but He, most Gracious, most Merciful. Behold! in the creation of the heavens and the earth; in the alternation of the night and the day; in the sailing of the ships through the ocean for the profit of mankind; in the rain which God sends down from the skies, and the life which He gives therewith to an earth that is dead; in the beasts of all kinds that He scatters through the earth; in the change of the winds, and the clouds which they trail like their slaves between the sky and the earth;- (Here) indeed are Signs for a people that are wise. Yet there are men who take (for worship) others besides God, as equal (with God: they love them as they should love God. But those of faith are overflowing in their love for God. If only the unrighteous could see, behold, they would see the penalty: that to God belongs all power, and God will strongly enforce the penalty. Then would those who are followed clear themselves of those who follow (them): They would see the penalty, and all relations between them would be cut off. And those who followed would say: “If only we had one more chance, we would clear ourselves of them, as they have cleared themselves of us.” Thus will God show them (the fruits of) their deeds as (nothing but) regrets. Nor will there be a way for them out of the Fire. O you people! Eat of what is on earth, lawful and good; and do not follow the footsteps of the evil one, for he is to you an avowed enemy. For he commands you what is evil and shameful, and that you should say of Allah that of which ye have no knowledge. (2:163-169)


In Surah Nahl, after proving the dominion of one God, a natural consequence was stated: فَاِيَّايَ فَارْهَبُوْنِ

So, fear only Me! (16:51), and amazement was expressed at being afraid of beings who were not gods: اَفَغَيْرَ اللّٰهِ تَتَّقُوْنَ So, are you afraid of other than God. (16:52) .

اَوَ لَمۡ یَرَوۡا اِلٰی مَا خَلَقَ اللّٰهُ مِنۡ شَیۡءٍ یَّتَفَیَّؤُا ظِلٰلُهُ عَنِ الۡیَمِیۡنِ وَ الشَّمَآئِلِ سُجَّدًا لِّلّٰهِ وَ هُمۡ دٰخِرُوۡنَ. وَ لِلّٰهِ یَسۡجُدُ مَا فِی السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ مَا فِی الۡاَرۡضِ مِنۡ دَآبَّةٍ وَّ الۡمَلٰٓئِکَةُ وَ هُمۡ لَا یَسۡتَکۡبِرُوۡنَ. یَخَافُوۡنَ رَبَّهُمۡ مِّنۡ فَوۡقِهِمۡ وَ یَفۡعَلُوۡنَ مَا یُؤۡمَرُوۡنَ. وَ قَالَ اللّٰهُ لَا تَتَّخِذُوۡۤا اِلٰـهَیۡنِ اثۡنَیۡنِ اِنَّمَا هُوَ اِلٰهٌ وَّاحِدٌ فَاِیَّایَ فَارۡهَبُوۡنِ. وَ لَهُ مَا فِی السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الۡاَرۡضِ وَ لَهُ الدِّیۡنُ وَاصِبًا اَفَغَیۡرَ اللّٰهِ تَتَّقُوۡنَ. وَ مَا بِکُمۡ مِّنۡ نِّعۡمَةٍ فَمِنَ اللّٰهِ ثُمَّ اِذَا مَسَّکُمُ الضُّرُّ فَاِلَیۡهِ تَجۡـَٔرُوۡنَ. ثُمَّ اِذَا کَشَفَ الضُّرَّ عَنۡکُمۡ اِذَا فَرِیۡقٌ مِّنۡکُمۡ بِرَبِّهِمۡ یُشۡرِکُوۡنَ. لِیَکۡفُرُوۡا بِمَاۤ اٰتَیۡنٰهُمۡ فَتَمَتَّعُوۡا فَسَوۡفَ تَعۡلَمُوۡنَ. وَ یَجۡعَلُوۡنَ لِمَا لَا یَعۡلَمُوۡنَ نَصِیۡبًا مِّمَّا رَزَقۡنٰهُمۡ تَاللّٰهِ لَتُسۡـَٔلُنَّ عَمَّا کُنۡتُمۡ تَفۡتَرُوۡنَ. وَ یَجۡعَلُوۡنَ لِلّٰهِ الۡبَنٰتِ سُبۡحٰنَهُ وَ لَهُمۡ مَّا یَشۡتَهُوۡنَ. وَ اِذَا بُشِّرَ اَحَدُهُمۡ بِالۡاُنۡثٰی ظَلَّ وَجۡهُهُ مُسۡوَدًّا وَّ هُوَ کَظِیۡمٌ. یَتَوَارٰی مِنَ الۡقَوۡمِ مِنۡ سُوۡٓءِ مَا بُشِّرَ بِهِ اَیُمۡسِكُهُ عَلٰی هُوۡنٍ اَمۡ یَدُسُّهُ فِی التُّرَابِ اَلَا سَآءَ مَا یَحۡکُمُوۡنَ. (16: 48۔59)

Do they not look at God’s creation, (even) among (inanimate) things - How their (very) shadows turn round, from the right and the left, prostrating themselves to God, and that in the humblest manner? And to God does obeisance all that is in the heavens and on earth, whether moving (living) creatures or the angels: for none are arrogant (before their Lord). They all revere their Lord, high above them, and they do all that they are commanded. God has said: “Take not (for worship) two gods: for He is just One God. Then fear Me (and Me alone).” To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and on earth, and to Him is duty due always: then will ye fear other than God. And you have no good thing but is from God. and moreover, when you are touched by distress, unto Him you cry with groans; yet, when He removes the distress from you, behold! Some of you turn to other gods to join with their Lord- (as if) to show their ingratitude for the favours we have bestowed on them! Then enjoy (your brief day): but soon will you know (your folly)! And they (even) assign, to things they do not know, a portion out of that which We have bestowed for their sustenance! By God, you shall certainly be called to account for your false inventions. And they assign daughters for God. Glory be to Him! - And for themselves (sons - the issue) they desire! When news is brought to one of them, of (the birth of) a female (child), his face darkens, and he is filled with inward grief! With shame does he hide himself from his people, because of the bad news he has had! Shall he retain it on (sufferance and) contempt, or bury it in the dust? Ah! What an evil (choice) they decide on? (16:48-59)


It is stated in Surah An‘am that He Who is the Creator of the earth and skies must necessarily be also the Helper and Supporter to Whom one must submit oneself completely:


قُلۡ اَغَیۡرَ اللّٰهِ اَتَّخِذُ وَلِیًّا فَاطِرِ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الۡاَرۡضِ وَ هُوَ یُطۡعِمُ وَ لَا یُطۡعَمُ قُلۡ اِنِّیۡ اُمِرۡتُ اَنۡ اَکُوۡنَ اَوَّلَ مَنۡ اَسۡلَمَ. (14:6)

Say: “Shall I take for my protector any other than God, the Maker of the heavens and the earth? And He it is that feeds but is not fed.” Say: “No! But I am commanded to be the first of those who bow to God (in Islam)” (6:14)


In Surah Yunus, it is stated after proving God to be the Mentor that He is the One Who must be followed:


قُلۡ هَلۡ مِنۡ شُرَکَآئِکُمۡ مَّنۡ یَّبۡدَؤُا الۡخَلۡقَ ثُمَّ یُعِیۡدُهُ قُلِ اللّٰهُ یَبۡدَؤُا الۡخَلۡقَ ثُمَّ یُعِیۡدُهُ فَاَنّٰی تُؤۡفَکُوۡنَ. قُلۡ هَلۡ مِنۡ شُرَکَآئِکُمۡ مَّنۡ یَّهۡدِیۡۤ اِلَی الۡحَقِّ قُلِ اللّٰهُ یَهۡدِیۡ لِلۡحَقِّ اَفَمَنۡ یَّهۡدِیۡۤ اِلَی الۡحَقِّ اَحَقُّ اَنۡ یُّتَّبَعَ اَمَّنۡ لَّا یَهِدِّیۡۤ اِلَّاۤ اَنۡ یُّهۡدٰی فَمَا لَکُمۡ کَیۡفَ تَحۡکُمُوۡنَ. (35:10)

Say: “Of your ‘partners’ is there any that can give any guidance towards truth?” Say: “It is God Who gives guidance towards truth, is then He Who gives guidance to truth more worthy to be followed, or he who finds not guidance (himself) unless he is guided?” (10:35)


In Surah Fatihah, the right of God is explained thus:


اِیَّاكَ نَعۡبُدُ وَ اِیَّاكَ نَسۡتَعِیۡنُ. (4:1)

You do we worship, and Your aid we seek. (1:4)


In other words, whosoever believes in one God must also ensure that he does not include anyone else in any right of God because so doing will negate His attributes or refute His rights. For example, anyone who believes that God has knowledge of all that is visible and invisible does not believe in any being as a patron and as one who could recommend a favour, for this would refute the all-pervasive knowledge of God. Anyone who believes in the mercy and compassion of God would not believe that there is anyone else who would plead on his behalf, for this would be akin to being suspicious of God.1 The person who believes that God is King will not obey anyone else in His Kingdom. The one who considers God to be pure and pristine would wish to make his own purification the path to reach Him, rather than do so through others. He who believes that God is peace, i.e. solace and comfort, will seek happiness and peace only from Him. He who believes that God is the one to provide protection will hide only in His refuge. He who believes that He is to be believed in will trust only Him and will seek help from Him only. He who considers God to be dominant and the greatest will believe that everyone else is equally humble in His court. If anyone considers Him to be proud should know that if he prostrates in front of anyone else, he will be the cause of bringing down His wrath. He who considers God to be the Creator, Giver of life and Sculptor must necessarily believe in His all-encompassing knowledge and completeness of His command.


3. Argument of Justice

We have proved in relation to heavenly arguments for monotheism that justice is in the nature of humans and that this same justice forces them to be grateful to God and pay homage to Him. The Qur’an has named this knowledge of justice to the covenant of human nature and placed its responsibility upon every human being. In the Qur’an, this argument has been explained in the form of a common argument and it held the same relevance for all Arabs as well as all progeny of Adam. From this original source, the Qur’an then extracted some very specific arguments that are based upon both human nature and principles of Arab belief. For example, Arabs considered God to be the Creator of the entire universe and the Provider of sustenance. But they also made others their lords and masters. They elevated the status of these gods to such an extent that they were placed alongside God. In fact, at times, their status became even higher than that of God in their eyes. Using this belief and the fact that human nature also believed in justice, the Qur’an asked them that if they did not like to consider their slaves to be equal to them in status and income, why did they include those whom they believed to be His creations and servants in the rights and authorities of God? Why would the very fact which their nature refused for themselves be acceptable to them for God? They should actually have hated this idea in relation to God instead. Keeping this original point in mind, the following verses need to be deliberated upon. This argument has been stated in various ways here.


وَ اللّٰهُ فَضَّلَ بَعۡضَکُمۡ عَلٰی بَعۡضٍ فِی الرِّزۡقِ فَمَا الَّذِیۡنَ فُضِّلُوۡا بِرَآدِّیۡ رِزۡقِهِمۡ عَلٰی مَا مَلَكَتۡ اَیۡمَانُهُمۡ فَهُمۡ فِیۡهِ سَوَآءٌ اَفَبِنِعۡمَةِ اللّٰهِ یَجۡحَدُوۡنَ. وَ اللّٰهُ جَعَلَ لَکُمۡ مِّنۡ اَنۡفُسِکُمۡ اَزۡوَاجًا وَّ جَعَلَ لَکُمۡ مِّنۡ اَزۡوَاجِکُمۡ بَنِیۡنَ وَ حَفَدَةً وَّ رَزَقَکُمۡ مِّنَ الطَّیِّبٰتِ اَفَبِالۡبَاطِلِ یُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ وَ بِنِعۡمَتِ اللّٰهِ هُمۡ یَکۡفُرُوۡنَ. وَ یَعۡبُدُوۡنَ مِنۡ دُوۡنِ اللّٰهِ مَا لَا یَمۡلِكُ لَهُمۡ رِزۡقًا مِّنَ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الۡاَرۡضِ شَیۡئًا وَّ لَا یَسۡتَطِیۡعُوۡنَ. فَلَا تَضۡرِبُوۡا لِلّٰهِ الۡاَمۡثَالَ اِنَّ اللّٰهَ یَعۡلَمُ وَ اَنۡتُمۡ لَا تَعۡلَمُوۡنَ. ضَرَبَ اللّٰهُ مَثَلًا عَبۡدًا مَّمۡلُوۡکًا لَّا یَقۡدِرُ عَلٰی شَیۡءٍ وَّ مَنۡ رَّزَقۡنٰهُ مِنَّا رِزۡقًا حَسَنًا فَهُوَ یُنۡفِقُ مِنۡهُ سِرًّا وَّ جَهۡرًا هَلۡ یَسۡتَونَ اَلۡحَمۡدُ لِلّٰهِ بَلۡ اَکۡثَرُهُمۡ لَا یَعۡلَمُوۡنَ. وَ ضَرَبَ اللّٰهُ مَثَلًا رَّجُلَیۡنِ اَحَدُهُمَاۤ اَبۡکَمُ لَا یَقۡدِرُ عَلٰی شَیۡءٍ وَّ هُوَ کَلٌّ عَلٰی مَوۡلٰىهُ اَیۡنَمَا یُوَجِّهۡهُّ لَایَاۡتِ بِخَیۡرٍ هَلۡ یَسۡتَوِیۡ هُوَ وَ مَنۡ یَّاۡمُرُ بِالۡعَدۡلِ وَ هُوَ عَلٰی صِرَاطٍ مُّسۡتَقِیۡمٍ. (16: 71۔76)

God has bestowed His gifts of sustenance more freely on some of you than on others: those more favoured are not going to throw back their gifts to those whom their right hands possess, so as to be equal in that respect. Will they then deny the favours of God. And God has made for you mates (and companions) of your own nature, and made for you, out of them, sons and daughters and grandchildren, and provided for you sustenance of the best: will they then believe in vain things, and be ungrateful for God’s favours? And worship others than God- such as have no power of providing them, for sustenance, with anything in heavens or earth, and cannot possibly have such power? Invent not similitudes for God. For God knows, and you know not. God sets forth the parable (of two men: one) a slave under the dominion of another; he has no power of any sort; and (the other) a man on whom We have bestowed goodly favours from Ourselves, and he spends thereof (freely), privately and publicly: are the two equal? (By no means) praise be to God. But most of them understand not. God sets forth (another) parable of two men: one of them dumb, with no power of any sort; a wearisome burden is he to his master; whichever way be directs him, he brings no good: is such a man equal with one who commands Justice, and is on a Straight Way? (16:71-76)


The same content is in the verse of Surah Najm:


اَلَکُمُ الذَّکَرُ وَ لَهُ الۡاُنۡثٰی . تِلۡكَ اِذًا قِسۡمَةٌ ضِیۡزٰی . (53: 21۔22)

What! For you the male sex, and for Him, the female? Behold, such would be indeed a division most unfair! (53:21-22)


4. People of the Book and Hypocrites

The Jews and Christians, as discussed earlier in “Essence of Polytheism” had mostly gone astray in the true concept of God’s attributes, or believed in things that were contrary to them or hesitated to believe in the necessary corollaries of these attributes. That is why they are addressees of specific arguments instead of general ones. The Qur’an places their principles in front of them and demands of them that they give up the beliefs that are inconsistent with these principles. They should believe in the things that emerge necessarily from these principles. We have narrated in detail the explanation related to monotheism that was given to them in “Essence of Polytheism.” It is not necessary to repeat that here. However, it would be enough to point out a few facts to clarify the type of arguments and their foundation.

For instance, it was established among the People of the Book that there is no Lord except God. The Qur’an asked them that if they believed this, they should not deign Jesus and his disciples their Lord. At the same time, the Qur’an also clarified the fact that if one believes that a certain entity has total power over good or bad, it is enough, regardless of whether one says it. In the same way, the Jews were under the misperception that they were the loves ones and favourites of God and possessed a status beyond servitude. The Qur’an, by relating the history in which they believed, proved to them that they were wrong. Their history is clear that whenever they stepped out of obedience and submission to God, God gave them terrible punishments. This is clear evidence of the fact that their status is no higher than that of humans. In addition, the entire story of Hazrat Ibrahim (asm) was narrated to them, thus clarifying the reality to them that the status and closeness to God that he had achieved was the reward of his obedience and submission: how was it possible that his own progeny would achieve the position of godliness?

In the same way, when Christians presented the unusual manner of the birth of Jesus as proof of his divinity, The Qur’an argued on the basis of their own accepted principles. If they believed in the abnormal manner of births of Abraham (sws), Adam (sws) and John (sws), why were they not proponents of their divinity? Further, the fact that both Jesus and his mother ate just as normal humans did was presented as proof of their humanity, because eating was taken to be proof of being human among Jews and Christians. Jesus had used the same argument to remove a misunderstanding of his disciples. This has been explained in “Essence of Polytheism”. The Qur’an also corrected some of the sayings of Jesus that had been wrongly translated. For example, Bibles often quote Jesus as saying “My father and your father.” The Qur’an interpreted this as “my Lord and your Lord”. This interpretation is in line with much of the content of Bibles, and is according to the original language of the Bibles, i.e. Hebrew.

The perdition of the hypocrites lay in their understanding of the requirements and rights of God that are levied upon humans once they believe in Him and His attributes. The reason for this perdition was not that there was any doubt in recognition of these requirements. All these matters were very clear. Even if there was any doubt, it had been removed by repeated explanations in the Qur’an. But the disease within the hypocrites was not one in their minds: it was in their hearts. They did not possess the strength in their hearts to support the requirements that were necessary for monotheism. That is why if they entered God’s religion from one route, they would be ready to run away from other routes. To eliminate these weaknesses, the Qur’an, on the one hand, narrated the miracles of God’s power that had resulted in success of Muslims despite their smaller numbers and other weaknesses and, on the other, clarified each and every aspect of monotheism. Hence, all the surahs in which the hypocrites have been addressed state that all things in the universe are prostrate in front of God and are busy in praising Him. This was done so that hearts were strengthened by observing this unity within the universe and were not disheartened to see that people who walk this path were a few only. Instead, they would take courage by the fact that, except for some ungrateful individuals, the entire universe is participating in this journey through life and the path that is seemingly desolate is actually full of caravans. Those who have understood the meaning of “musabbihat”2 would not find it difficult to understand our point.










1. The belief that polytheists possessed about those who would plead on their behalf and that necessarily involved association with God’s attributes and negated His knowledge, justice and wisdom is polytheism and disbelief. It is not at all legitimate that such a belief be entertained about angels and prophets and pious people. The Qur’an has said very clearly that no one shall have the status of pleading to God on anyone else’s behalf. Everyone will be standing in front of Him with humility and bowed heads. Further, no person will be able to speak without His permission. No one will be able to say a word against the truth and there shall be no pleading that transforms truth into falsehood and vice versa. Thus, the advocacy that has been proven for angels, prophets and pious persons is totally different from the one believed by polytheistic pleading. We shall discuss this in detail in our book “Essence of the Hereafter” and will also discuss a few significant points in “Essence of Prophethood.”

2. By musabbihat, we mean those surahs that open with sabbaha and yusabbihu. In these surahs, the addressees are usually those hypocrites who had accepted monotheism verbally but were hesitant to fulfil its responsibilities. They were also afraid of the grouping of polytheists and Jews in case Muslims were forced to withdraw due to the organised strength of the former. They believed that if that were to happen, it was better that they remained in contact with the Prophet (sws) and also did not break off relations with the Jews and polytheists. The Qur’an clarified many times to these hypocrites that all things in the heavens and earth praise God. The reality of praise lies within prostration, which means that they are all submitting to God’s laws and that they do not defy His instructions. They call upon other creations by their actions to obey only Him. Also, no one should be under the misunderstanding that those who obey God are a few only. The situation, in reality, is the opposite. In other words, the entire universe is under the command of God and is in obedience to Him. If there are any who disobey Him, they exist within humans. Hence, if any person puts a foot forward in the path of God, he must not think that he is alone. He should understand that apart from a few reprehensible human beings, who have made their own desires or others their idols, every particle in the skies and earth is his companion.


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