The Quran does not imply that Allaah could have taken a child by the use of “if”

November 23, 2010

Ibn Kathiir states: “Aļļaah made it clear that He does not have a child, unlike what the ignorant idolaters claimed with regards to the angels, and the obstinate among the Jews and the Christians claimed with regards to Al-^Uzayr and Jesus, and said (what might be literally translated as): “If Aļļaah had willed to take a child for Himself, then He would have selected from what He creates whatever He wills.” That is, it would have been different from what they claim. And this condition (of “If Aļļaah had willed”) is not necessary to happen, or even be possible (in the mind’s eye). Actually, it is completely impossible that it could be. It is only meant to show their ignorance in their claim.”

Then Ibn Kathiir gave a couple of similar uses of “if” for impossibilities, and said, “it is allowed to make a statement conditional upon something impossible for some purpose of the speaker.”[1]

Accordingly, the meaning is: ” if it was possible, and it is not, then it still would not be the angels, Jesus, or Al-^Uzayr.” In other words, the purpose is to show that their claim about them is wrong from several viewpoints, not only in the sense that it is impossible that Aļļaah should have a child.

[1] تفسير ابن كثير (7 / 85) : ثم بين تعالى أنه لا ولد له كما يزعمه جهلة المشركين في الملائكة، والمعاندون (6) من اليهود والنصارى في العزير، وعيسى فقال: { لَوْ أَرَادَ اللَّهُ أَنْ يَتَّخِذَ وَلَدًا لاصْطَفَى مِمَّا يَخْلُقُ مَا يَشَاءُ } أي: لكان الأمر على خلاف ما يزعمون (7) . وهذا شرط لا يلزم وقوعه ولا جوازه، بل هو محال، وإنما قصد تجهيلهم (8) فيما ادعوه وزعموه، كما قال: { لَوْ أَرَدْنَا أَنْ نَتَّخِذَ لَهْوًا لاتَّخَذْنَاهُ مِنْ لَدُنَّا إِنْ كُنَّا فَاعِلِينَ } [الأنبياء:17]{ قُلْ إِنْ كَانَ لِلرَّحْمَنِ وَلَدٌ فَأَنَا أَوَّلُ الْعَابِدِينَ } [الزخرف:81]، كل هذا من باب الشرط، ويجوز تعليق الشرط على المستحيل لقصد المتكلم. وقوله: { سُبْحَانَهُ هُوَ اللَّهُ الْوَاحِدُ الْقَهَّارُ } أي: تعالى وتنزه وتقدس عن أن يكون له ولد، فإنه الواحد الأحد، الفرد الصمد، الذي كل شيء عبد لديه، فقير إليه، وهو الغني عما سواه الذي قد قهر الأشياء فدانت له وذلت وخضعت.

Important note on the evidences of the prophethood of Muĥammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم)

August 25, 2010

In addition to his miracles, we get supporting evidences from the human perfection of the person of the Prophet himself; from both the perspective of insight and that of action. The greatest kind of insight is that of knowing Aļļaah, while the greatest kind of action is that of obeying Aļļaah. The greater one’s knowledge of Aļļaah and one’s obedience to Him, the more perfect one will be as a human being. We can also consider the level of strength of these two perspectives of human perfection. The first level would be to apply them to oneself. The higher level would be the strength to help others achieve high levels of insight and action.

Now, consider that at the time of the Prophet’s appearance, the world was full of blasphemy and vice of great varieties. As for the Jews, they had drowned in anthropomorphic beliefs, perverting the books brought by prophets, and even showing enmity towards some of them, like Jesus. The Christians, on the other hand, were fumbling in the fog of self contradictory superstitions, such as their beliefs in the trinity, the father and the son, along with the belief that creator and created are united. Others, like the Magians, were allowing men to marry their mothers, while the Arabs were busy with robbery, kidnapping and worshipping idols.

After the Prophet’s appearance (صلى الله عليه وسلم) these blasphemies and vices were replaced by the belief in the Oneneness of Aļļaah and obedience to Him at an unprecedented scale. This reversal from blasphemy and vice is the greatest achieved by any prophet in history, much greater than that of previous prophets, such as Moses or Jesus.

Look for example at his own people, the Arabs. Before his call they were split into tribes, clans and families with ongoing conflicts and enmity. After their embracement of Islam they became united to defend the Prophet and his teachings, emigrated from their lands, left their families and sacrificed their blood in his cause, making themselves targets for the blows of swords and the strikes of arrows. All this to strengthen the Prophet’s call, and nothing else. For he offered them no ease in this world, no riches as compensation, and no immediate benefits as incentive, no kingdom, no rule, no worldly titles. On the contrary, many spent their riches to support him and embraced poverty and a life of obeying orders.

This tells us, in addition to miracles, that the Prophet Muĥammad is not only a prophet, but the greatest prophet of all. He was supremely successful as a political leader and in his influence on the personalities of his followers. This influence and its intensity is still very evident today for anyone comparing Muslims and non-Muslims in terms of whom they are influenced by and to what extent.

Video for the article for children

November 3, 2009

When teaching children using the article, For children: “How can we know that all other religions than Islam are incorrect when there are so many?” you can show the following video to illustrate:

For children: “How can we know that all other religions than Islam are incorrect when there are so many?”

October 31, 2009

(Note that unless the child asks a question, or is likely to be exposed to a question soon, you don’t have to attract his attention to something that hasn’t come to his mind. You only need to teach him the basic belief, like in the rhyme recently posted. Moreover, when addressing a child you don’t have to be complete all the time, but cover the issues that suit his mind and circumstances. In other words, you don’t have to cover all potential objections of deviants. I have put some extra things in footnotes that some children might need. That being said, the following is the answer:)

We have to look at what they believe and group them, then we can decide what is wrong with these groups.

First let us look at what they believe about God.

If we take all the people in the world, they will either believe that God exists or not.

Some believe that God does not exist. Those people are called atheists. They are the silliest people, because this world needs someone to give it the color and shape it has.

If you showed a drawing to him of a donkey, an atheist would say that someone drew that donkey. He would be sure that someone drew the shape of that donkey, and put color on it. He would laugh at you if you told him that no one drew it, or that the pen and paper got together by themselves and made the drawing. But if the color and shape of a simple drawing cannot happen without someone drawing it, how can they then believe that all the different things around us, with colors and shapes just like the donkey, gave themselves the color and shape they have? This is even more crazy than saying that a drawing was not drawn by anyone, because many of the things around us are much more amazing than a simple drawing. A baby in the mother’s stomach, for example, starts as a simple drop of liquid. Then that liquid becomes a peace of blood, then a piece of meat, and then it starts to get the shape of a human, with skin on the meat, arms, legs, stomach, intestine, blood vessels, a heart that beats to pump blood to all the parts of the body, blood that has in it all the ingredients in its mix that the different parts need, and more. Now if a simple donkey drawing must have a drawer to give it simple shape and color, how can they claim that this human does not need a creator to give it all of these things. This is really silly[1].

So the Creator definitely exists.

Now we are left with the group of people that believe that the Creator exists. We now need to group these to see who is right and who is wrong.

Those people who believe there is a creator, either say that there is only one creator, or that there are more.

There cannot be more than one, because if there were two that wanted to create a human, then they would need to agree on the shape. If they could not agree then this means that the one that did not get what he wanted is weak. This means that he is not god, because god cannot be weak. If they always agreed, then this means that both would be weak, because they would need to agree, and needing is weakness.

So the Creator is definitely One, and not more.

Now we are left with the group of people that say that the Creator exists, and is only One. We now need to group these to see who is right and who is wrong. Those are the Muslims, Christans, Jews, and some liars that claim to be Muslims called wahabis.

Those people who say there is only One Creator, either say that He is something with a shape or not.

Those who say He has a shape are very silly. I think you can understand why. Just remember what we said about the donkey drawing. We said that the donkey needs a drawer to draw its shape. So anything with a shape needs someone to give it shape. When they say that God has a shape, they are saying that He needs a creator. This means that He would be a creation, and not the Creator.

Christians and Jews believe that the creator has a shape, because it says in their book: “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created man; male and female he created them.” As you know, image means shape. Another word they use for shape is limit, which is the word wahabis use – don’t let them fool you. What they are saying then, even if they do not admit it, is that God needs a creator. By saying no to this, they become just like the atheist with the donkey drawing. They will be saying that some simple shape must have someone give it its shape, but that the human shape does not. This is because they believe that god has a human shape, but was not given it.

So the Creator definitely does not have a shape.

Muslims do not believe that Aļļaah has a shape, so He does not need a creator. As you can see, Muslims have the only logical belief about Aļļaah.

You should also understand that the human that draws donkeys is not creating the drawing. This is because the human is weak. He was created by Aļļaah, and after being created, all the movements of his body is a different shape. Even when his little finger moves, this is a different shape from before moving it. He could not have moved it if Aļļaah did not create that new shape. This means that the drawing he did was created by Aļļaah, because Aļļaah created the drawer’s movements. This means it was Aļļaah that created the drawing, and that the drawer was only moving by movements created by Aļļaah. Yes, it is true that you can usually move your finger when you want, but that does not mean you created the movement. If you think about it, you do not know how you made your finger move. You do not know what muscle is working, or how you get your muscles to work. There are many things that happen in the body when you move your finger you do not control, such as millions of little parts of each muscle contracting, electricity coming from your brain to make them move, and many other things. This tells you clearly that it is Aļļaah that controls those things, and not you, so it is Aļļaah that creates your movement, and not you[2].

[1] For kids that have been exposed to atheist arguments, or you fear will be soon, you might add something like this: Sometimes they will say, “but we saw that the donkey has a drawer, and we did not see any creator of humans.” This is a lie, because they did not see the drawer of all donkey drawings. This means they believe that the shape and color of the drawing must have a drawer, even if they did not see him. This means that they should admit that more amazing things, like a human being, must have a creator also.

[2] This paragraph is for kids that need this clarification. It is an important one, if they are ready to understand. Word of note: don’t underestimate your children’s intelligence. I have personally taught children at 3-4 years of age that Aļļaah exists without being in a place. 

For kids with even more mature mind’s, you can further add to the last paragraph: You can understand this, because you know that all shapes need a creator. When a muscle contracts, it means it becomes shorter, so it is a different shape. Even electricity from the brain is like that, because it flows in a path from the brain to the muscle, and a path is a shape. All of these shapes are created by Aļļaah, so it is Aļļaah that creates your movements.

William Lane Craig’s Unreasonable Faith

April 9, 2009

Someone claiming to mend the unmendable is a cause for suspicion. Is he mad? A scoundrel? I do not think William Lane Craig is mad, but here is a man who claims to preach “reasonable faith,” and claims that this faith is actually christianity. A religion that even the priests themselves admit is not compatible with logical reasoning.

Someone sent me a link on Youtube where Craig presented a number of arguments for christianity and against Islam. After several minutes of insufferable boredom from him trying to convince the audience that the biblical version of Jesus is true etc., he ventured to say that he had two objections against Islam. The first was that the history of Jesus is not correct in the Qur’aan, which I am not going to bother with, because it is much quicker and efficient to expose christianity as a severely flawed belief system. By doing that, one has undermined the religion of the book and there is no longer a need to bicker about historical documents. After all, historical documentation alone (without some external support, such as miracles) hardly ever gets you to necessary and unequivocal conclusions.

This gets us to his second point, in which he stated, “Christians and Muslims agree that God is the greatest conceivable being, thus, necessarily, God is the greatest conceivable being.” So this is where we supposedly agree, but then he goes on to say: “So besides being All Powerful, All-Knowing,” which means that he believes that the Creator is All-Powerful and All-Knowing, in agreement with Muslims. Then, based on the idea of “greatest conceivable being,” he says in brief, “He must be All-Loving also because it is better to be loving than unloving, and God is a morally perfect being. The Bible says God is Love, thus sent His son to be the sacrifice for our sins. The Qur’aan says that He does not love sinners or unbelievers. This contradicts “All-Merciful.” It is partial and has to be merited.”

In other words, he is claiming that Aļļaah is not All-Merciful as stated in the Qur’aan, because it is also stated that He does not love sinners, unlike in christianity, where He is claimed to be “All-Loving.”

The answer to this is, first, the translation of Ar-Raĥmaan as “All-Merciful” is misleading, because it implies that Aļļaah will give mercy to all things always, which is clearly not the case. It would be better if it was translated simply as “merciful”, because then all it means is that Aļļaah does show mercy, and does not necessitate that this is always the case. Moreover, his claim that God is a morally perfect being is illogical, because morality requires standards, and no one sets standards for God, as that would imply subjugation and weakness, and this is not compatible with the idea of the greatest conceivable being.

Second, the idea that the “greatest conceivable being must be All-Loving,” is not acceptable. This is because love is an emotion of need, a need to please the beloved, a need to be accepted, and a being with needs is not the greatest conceivable being, but a being flawed by needs. Surely having no needs is greater than having needs.

Third, it is not possible that the Creator would be All-Knowing and All-Powerful as well as All-Loving, because that would mean there would be no suffering in the world. We clearly witness suffering, and since the Creator is All-Knowing He does know about this suffering before it happens, when it happens and after it happens. Moreover, since He is All-Powerful, He could surely prevent it based on the fact that He knows about it. Clearly then, you cannot believe in all of these attributes at the same time, as this contradicts observable reality. If one was to believe in all-lovingness, then this would only agree with the observable suffering of the world, if one denied the Creator’s knowledge or power or both.

Muslims choose to deny all-lovingness, because this is a flaw in the first place, and they affirm the Creator’s absolute knowledge and power.

Sorry William Lane
But your talk is vain

You’re a sitting duck
or a hen to pluck

Whichever you choose
you’re going to lose

Your claim to reason
is an open season

For a rational mind
of Muhammadan kind

Refuting a Christian Argument Against an Ayah of the Quran

July 1, 2008

Someone wrote: I had a question on this ayah from the Qur’an, when it says how can Allah have a son when He has no consort. From a philosophical point of view, the existence of a spouse is not logically necessary for reproduction nor is it necessary from even a biological standpoint (eg. asexual reproduction). How do we refute that?

Answer: The arguments against heretics in the Qur’aan are often according to their premises. This statement in the aayah addresses the Christians and pagans that say Allaah has children, whether male or female. These heretics think of Allaah in human terms and of Him as being of male gender, none of them have asexuality in mind, that is why the christians say “son” and “father,” and the Arab pagans said “daughters.” Muslims believe, of course, that Allaah is not attributed with gender, so He is neither male, nor female, nor neuter. That being said, a male cannot have offspring without a female partner, so the argument is complete. Note that this is according to the anthropomorphist premises of the heretics, it shows them that according to the normal rules of created beings, a male cannot have a child without a femal partner. Accordingly, it is even more absurd to claim that Allah, who is not a creature and does not have gender, to have a child. As for the philosophical point of view, I have no idea what having a child from a philosophical point of view is supposed to mean.

Note that the aayah in question offers several arguments against those who claim that Allaah has a child:

بَدِيعُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ أَنَّى يَكُونُ لَهُ وَلَدٌ وَلَمْ تَكُنْ لَهُ صَاحِبَةٌ وَخَلَقَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ وَهُوَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ

Meaning: “Allah is the one that created the skies and the Earth without a precedent. How could it be that He has a child when He has no female partner??? He created everything, and He knows everything.” (Al-‘An`aam, 101)

First, regarding the first part of the aayah, which means, “Allah is the one that created the skies and the Earth without a precedent.”  Note that Allah affirms the Christians’ claim that Jesus was created without a father or semen. Rather he became existent without a father. So the first part of the aayah tells them, if you mean by Allah being a father that He brought Jesus into existence without precedence, i.e. innovated him without sperm or a father, that is, without the normal cause, then the same is true for the skies and the Earth, and since you do not say that the skies and the Earth are His children, then you should not say that Jesus is His child.

This statement also contains the argument that a child is like its parent, and Allaah is the one that created the skies and the Earth without a precedent, so how can anything or anyone be like Him?

The second part of the aayah, “How could it be that He has a child when He has no female partner???” is an argument against those of them who might argue that Allah had a child in the customary manner, and it was discussed above.

The third statement, “He created everything,” argues with those who say that He had a child in the customary manner, through having a bodypart (such as semen) transferred to a female parter, or having a part becoming a separate entity (asexuality). It tells them that Allaah has the power to create anything, so if He wills for something to exist, He will create it, and it is only for those that do not have this power to work on customary causes if they want something to be. This also contains a refutation of the idea that a child was adopted by Him, because adoption is another customary legal cause.

This statement also has the meaning that since Allah is the only creator, and everything else is His creation, Jesus is merely a creation.

Moreover, since Allah is the creator, and does not have a beginning, then He does not resemble what has a beginning, such as Jesus. Accordingly, how could it be true that Jesus is His son, when Jesus is a human being, with created attributes. After all, offspring are of the same kind as their parent(s). This again contains another refutation of the idea that a child was adopted by Him, because adoption is between things of similar kind.

Moreover, since Allah is the creator, and the Creator cannot be like creation (since He is not created) then He is not a body. Accordingly, He does not have a child because having a child in the customary manner only happens to bodies.

The fourth statement, “He knows everything,” emphasizes the argument contained in “He created everything,” namely that Allah has no like.

Through these arguments, all the normal meanings of having a “child” have been refuted. There are even more arguments contained in these few statements, but this should suffice to show that the Qur’aan did not present a weak argument.

Some might still argue that the word “child” is a metaphor meaning a loving relationship. The reason why Islam does not accept the word child as a metaphor with this meaning is that the word “child” contradicts the concept of ownership; it would be absurd to say that someone “owns” his “son”. Something is not said to be someone’s child and personal property at the same time. In other words, to say that Allaah has a son is to imply a flaw in His absolute ownership. Allaah said in the Qur’aan:

“وَقَالُوا اتَّخَذَ اللَّهُ وَلَدًا سُبْحَانَهُ بَلْ لَهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ”

Meaning: “They said: “Allaah has taken a son.” This saying is a lie, Allah is greatly clear of such non-befitting attributes! Rather, He is the absolute owner of all that is in the skies and on Earth!” (Al-Baqarah, 116) This statement tells us that having a child does not befit Allaah, because He is the absolute owner of everything, and because all things in the skies and Earth are created kind, and Allaah does not resemble it. Since He does not resemble any of it, none of it is His child, because a parent-child relationships are only for similar things.

The concept of having a son then, is incompatible with the concept of believing in one Creator that has absolute ownership of His creation. Moreover, the word “son” implies similarity in kind, which is another reason why it is blasphemy to say that Allaah has a son, even as a figure of speech.

Authored by Shaykh Abu Adam

Q & A: Christians say that Muslims limit the Creator

June 15, 2008

Someone asked: I have a question that I was hoping Shaykh Abu Adam could answer: How do we (the Ash’aris and Maturidis) respond to Christians who say that when Muslims state that the Creator cannot become human (as the Christians claim about Isa (alayhis salam)), they are limiting God and, therefore, this makes the Creator not all powerful. They claim that if the Creator is all poweful, then He would have to power and ability to become human, if Allah wills. How do the ‘ulema of Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama’a respond to this?

Answer: First of all, one must be careful of how they frame their questions. You had stated, “Question: Muslims Limit the Creator.” The correct way of saying this would be to say, “Christians say that Muslims limit the Creator.” Whenever you say something that is kufr, and you want to attribute that statement to a kafir, then make sure you mention the attribution as well. So whenever you want to mention a kufr statement, always say, “So and so said such and such,” and then mention the statement. The “so and so” is important.

Now, to your actual question.

Let’s begin by considering a simple example. If I say, “Can you draw a square circle?” you would respond, “That’s an absurd question.” This is known as a contradiction in terms.

Let’s take a more subtle example. Can you contain infinity? Again, the obvious response is, “What in the world does this mean?” The answer to this question is obvious. Something can only be contained in some space (for example water in a bottle) if it is limited (say 3 liters of water). How can you “contain” infinity if “containment” requires finiteness?

A similar reasoning will apply to the Christian argument. The Christians state that, “Since Allah can do anything, that Allah has complete control over everything, He can turn Himself into a man, or can contain Himself in a man, or is a man.” Now think about the two examples I gave you above. Don’t they look the same? To be a man, is to be part of creation. Sayyiduna Isa alaihissalam is a man, therefore he is part of creation. To be created is to have come into existence. To have come into existence is to have a beginning. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is Al-Awwal which means that He is attributed with Beginninglessness. Christians accept the Beginninglessness of Allah, which means that Allah is not subject to sequential moments of time like His creation is. Thus how can one say that “God became man,” or “God turned Himself into a man,” or “God contained Himself in a man,” without accepting that such a proposition would lead to an absurdity? Saying that “God became man,” is like saying, “God ended His Beginninglessness,” and this is clear kufr, as well as being logically absurd. The Christians accept the Beginninglessness while believing in the false idea of “God becoming man.” However, the two are mutually contradictory. You cannot believe in one while believing in the other.

To make matters clear, if one says that, “God became man,” and at the same time one says that “God is Al Awwal,” such a person is holding two mutually contradictory beliefs. If one believes that Allah is Al Awwal, then one must also necessarily accept that Allah has absolutely no resemblance whatsoever to His creation. When one says that, “God became man,” such a person has automatically violated His belief in Allah’s Begininnglessness. Now either such a person believes in on or the other. If he believes in both, he needs to get his head checked.

Off course the Christians have more sophisticated arguments than this, but since this is the way you have presented your question, I think the above answer should suffice.

Authored by Ibn Mazhar

Checked, revised and approved by Shaykh Abu Adam al Nauiji