GOD’S ATTRIBUTES

If the Creator is Eternal and Everlasting, then His attributes must also be eternal and everlasting. He should not lose any of His attributes nor acquire new ones. If this is so, then his attributes are absolute. Can there be more than one Creator with such absolute attributes? Can there be, for example, two absolutely powerful Creators? A moment’s thought shows that this is not feasible.

The Qur’an summarizes this argument in the following verses:

GOD HAS NOT TAKEN TO HIMSELF ANY SON, NOR IS THERE ANY GOD WITH HIM: FOR THEN EACH GOD WOULD HAVE TAKEN OF THAT WHICH HE CREATED AND SOME OF THEM WOULD HAVE RISEN UP OVER OTHERS.

The Glorious Qur’an, Chapter 23:91

AND WHY, WERE THERE GODS IN EARTH AND HEAVEN OTHER THAN GOD, THEY (HEAVEN AND EARTH) WOULD SURELY GO TO RUIN.

The Glorious Qur’an, Chapter 21:22

THE ONENESS OF GOD

The Qur’an reminds us of the falsity of all alleged gods. To the worshippers of man-made objects it asks: Do you worship what you have carved yourself? (37:95) Or have you taken unto yourself others beside Him to be your protectos, even such as have no power either for good or for harm to themselves? (13:16)

To the worshippers of heavenly bodies it cites the story of Abraham:

When night outspread over him, he saw a star and said, “This is my Lord.” But when it set, he said, “I love not the setters.” When he saw the moon rising, he said, “This is my Lord.” But when it set, he said, “If my Lord does not guide me, I shall surely be of the people gone astray.A” When he saw the sun rising, he said, “This is my Lord; this is greater.” But when it set, he said, “O my people, surely I quit that which you associate, I have turned my face to Him who originated the heavens and the earth; a man of pure faith, I am not one of the idolators.” (6:76-79)

THE BELIEVER’S ATTITUDE

In order to be a Muslim, that is, to surrender oneself to God, it is necessary to believe in the oneness of God, in the sense of His being the only Creator, Preserver, Nourisher, etc. But this belief, later called Tawhid Ar-Rububiyyah, is not enough. Many of the idolators knew and believed that only the Supreme God could do all this. But this was not enough to make them Muslims. To tawhid ar-rububiyyah, one must add tawhid al-‘uluhiyyah. That is, one acknowledges the fact that it is God alone who deserves to be worshipped, and thus abstains from worshipping any other thing or being.

Having achieved this knowledge of the one true God, man should constantly have faith in Him, and should allow nothing to induce him to deny truth.

When faith enters a person’s heart, it causes certain mental states that result in certain actions. Taken together, these mental states and actions are the proof for the true faith. The Prophet said, “Faith is that which resides firmly in the heart and which is proved by deeds.”

Foremost among those mental stated is the feeling of gratitude towards God, which could be said to be the essence of ibada (worship).

The feeling of gratitude is so important that a non-believer is called ‘kafir’, which means ‘one who denies a truth’ and also ‘one who is ungrateful’.

A believer loves, and is grateful to God for the bounties He bestowed upon him, but being aware of the fact that his good deeds, whether mental or physical, are far from being commensurate with Divine favors, he is always anxious lest God should punish him, here or in the Hereafter. He, therefore, fears Him, surrenders himself to Him and serves Him with great humility. One cannot be in such a mental state without being almost all the time mindful of God. Remembering God is thus the life force of faith, without which it fades and withers away.

The Qur’an tries to promote this feeling of gratitude by repeating the attributes of God very frequently. We find most of these attributes mentioned together in the following verses of the Qur’an:

He is God; there is no god but He. He is the Knower of the unseen and the visible; He is the All-Merciful, the All-Compassionate. He is God; there is no god but He. He is the King, the All-Holy,

the All-Peace, the Guardian of the Faith, the All-Preserver, the All-Mighty, the All-Compeller, the All-Sublime. Glory be to God, above that they associate! He is God, the Creator, the Maker, the Shaper. To Him belong the Names Most Beautiful. All that is in the heavens and the earth magnifies Him; He is the Almighty, the All-Wise. (59:22-24)

There is no god but He, the Living, the Everlasting. Slumber seizes Him not, nor sleep. To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and the earth. Who is there that shall intercede with Him save by His leave? He knows what lies before them, and what is after them, and they comprehend not anything of His knowledge save such as He wills. His throne comprises the heavens and earth. The preserving of them oppresses Him not; He is the All-High, the All-Glorious. (2:255)

People of the Book, go not beyond the bounds in your religion, and say not as to God but the truth.

The Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, was only the Messenger of God, and His Word that He committed to Mary, and a Spirit from Him. So believe in God and His Messengers, and say not “Three.” Refrain; better it is for you. God is only one God. Glory be to Him — (He is) above having a son. (4:171)