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1.1 CONCEPT OF GOD IN ISLAM

General Concept

Man seems to have alwa, s sought to know his Creator sake of obeying Him. The best religious leaders of every epoch and civilization have established certain rules of conduct for this purpose. The primitive people worshipped the manifestations of the power an:1 benefience of God, hoping thus to please Him. Some others believed in two separate gods, one of the good and other of the evil yet they overlooked the logical consequences of such a distinction, which implies a civil war between go is. Yet others have enshrouded God with mysteries which mystify sometimes the persons of God. And some others have felt the need of such symbols, formulas or gestures, which hardly distinguish their theological conceptions from idolatry or polytheism.

Many and strange are the forms in which man has entertained the idea since the dawn of civilization. Human gods of Greeks, the omnipotent Yahweh of the Jews. the Christian Trinity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, pantheon of popular Hinduism. the highly abstract Brahma of the Upanishads. the ineffable Tao of the Chinese and the uncompromisingly monotheistic concept of Allah in Islam are just a few of these myriad concepts.

As far as Greeks” conception of God is concerned. Thales considered water as supreme god. Plato considered god any living thing endowed with all the attributes of an idea and Aristotle considered god, not as one who created the world but moves it. Jews are monotheists and later philosophers in Jewish though! have discussed God as King, as Father and a Creator. The Christian ontology revolves round the: conception of Trinity or compound Deity or Triune God, consisting of three persons; the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, while Islam totally negates the very idea of Trinity.

The Quran aptly remarks:

O people of the Book! Do not transgress the bounds in your religion, and attribute nothing but the truth to Allah, the Messiah. Eesa (AS) son of Mary, was no more than a Messenger of a spirit from Allah (And His word, which he bestowed on Mary, and spirit proceeding from Him: So believe in Allah and His Messengers and do not say. There are Three”, Forbear from this; this will be better for you. Allah is only One Deity: He is far above this that He should have a son; all things that are in the heavens and in the earth belong to F fim, and He alone suffices for their sustenance and protection.

In this verse, the Christians have been rebuked for their erroneous belief in he doctrine of Trinity and advised to refrain from transgression. Strange though t may appear, it is a fact that the Christians believe in the Oneness of God and in he Trinity at one and the same time: for no Christian can deny that according to he sayings of Jesus in the Bible, God is One Bei ng and there is no god other than He.

Some Christian philosophers also considered God as a person. Luther, Calvin, Wisely and most other great theologians spoke of God in a fashion that makes it legitimate to conclude that they were thinking of God as a person. According to the philosophy of Spinoza, a firm believer of political democracy, God is a substance constituted by an infinity of attributes of which we know only wo thought and extension. Skeptics, like Hume arid Carneades, do not consider God as the infinite being. Modern philosophers of the West, like Whitehead. Berdyayev, Schweitzer. Martin Buber, Paul Weiss and Alan Watts, are the protagonists of pantheism.

Islam is altogether monotheistic and believes firmly in the Oneness of Godor Divine unity (tawhid).

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