Allah ﷻ - Understanding His Existence, Divine Names & Actions
How Islam corrected the world’s perspective about God
The Concept of God is the root of every religion in humankind’s history and once this concept gets corrupted then pretty much everything else as well in that religion becomes prone to corruption. What makes Islam unique in this matter is that the concept of God has always remained free from corruption. Allah ﷻ, as He refers to Himself in the Quran, willed this to remain free of corruption so humankind will always have the authentic way to approach Him and not be lost until the Day of Judgment.
The pagans of Quraysh asked the Prophet ﷺ: “Oh Muhammad, tell us about the ancestry of your Lord” i.e. a demand to explain concept of Allah ﷻ. The reply to them came from Allah ﷻ through revelation of a chapter in the Quran called Surah Ikhlaas (112 Chapter). Ikhlaas means ‘The Purity of Faith’. This Surah consists of only four verses yet within these four it is quite explanatory how important it is to maintain purity of this concept and how no corruption of any sort can come close to it. Prophet Muhammad ﷺ referred to these four verses as “1/3rd of the Quran” because it affirms the concept of Tawhid (Oneness) due to which Muslims believe that worship and obedience is due only to Creator and not the creation. Under the light of this Surah, anyone claiming to be a god or alleged by people to be a god can easily be tested. Only, a true God can fit in the description of these verses as we analyze each:
First verse: (Al Quran 112:1) Say “He is the One God”
Meaning there cannot be a second, because if there is another one then there will occur dispute as in regards to power sharing, as goes a famous saying that ‘two kings cannot occupy one throne’. The example of this saying is also found in the Quran: “Had there been any gods in the heavens and the earth apart from Allah, the order of both the heavens and the earth would have gone to ruins. Glory be to Allah, the Lord of the Throne, Who is far above their false descriptions of Him.”
Second verse says: (Al Quran 112:2) “God the Eternal, the Uncaused Cause of all that Exists.”
If God existed from a particular period, then He cannot be God, because God is someone who is above space and time. He is someone who created space and time, as everything else we observe is transient due to its existence in space and time. Our entire universe with its galaxies and cosmic bodies including the solar systems and planets are transient as they all have a history of existence and non-existence. Therefore, if He existed from a certain point in time then He cannot truly be God as that would bring up the question ‘who created God?’, if no one did then ‘how did He originate Himself?’ Therefore, a true God is one who is not created, one who is Eternal and only He can be considered the Almighty Creator who created everything else. He is the primary cause of all that exists. Since He is the primary cause of everything then He must truly be Uncaused: “All that lives on Earth or in the Heavens is bound to pass away but forever will abide your Sustainer Self, full of majesty and glory.”
Third verse says: (Al Quran 112:3) ”He begets not neither is He Begotten”.
The Arabic term Allah is neither male nor female i.e. gender cannot be assigned to Him. Gender assignments belong only to His creation. If He has a son then He cannot be unique and if He has a father then He is not Eternal, and both do not fit in the Islamic definition of God. God is someone who can neither have likeness nor can He exist from a point in time, He has no beginning and He has no end. Likewise Allah ﷻ warns those misguided who ascribe a gender to Him that He cannot have a gender because there is polarity in all creation except for Himself, the Originator (Al Badi'i): “The Originator of the heavens and the earth! How could it be that He should have a child without there ever having been a mate for Him – since it is He who has created everything, and He alone knows everything?”
The fourth verse says: (Al Quran 112:4) “and there is nothing that could be compared with Him.”
Firstly when referring to Allah ﷻ as ‘Him’ or ‘He’ does not mean that He is masculine. In classical Arabic, the pronoun for genderless inanimate or animate objects is masculine. Secondly the moment we compare anything in the entire universe with God, then He ceases to be God. Creator creates the creation and is above all creation! For God can only be someone unique and cannot resemble anything or anyone. Therefore, with the end of the last verse, this is the concept of God in Islam available in all its purity.
 The tribe of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ that ruled Makkah.
 Surah Al Isra (Chapter 17) - Kathir 2003
 Sunan an-Nasai 996
 Tawhid means the oneness and uniqueness of Allah ﷻ which makes Him worthy of being the only God and the only one worthy of being worshiped.
 Al Quran 21:22
 Al Quran 55:26-27 - Asad Translation.
 The Originator - One of the 99 beautiful names and attributes of Allah ﷻ. Also referred as His qualities or characteristics.
 Al Quran 6:101 – Asad Translation.