A Clear and Reasonable Concept of God

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Looking for God? Get Reasonable!

Perhaps the most compelling reason why people are converting to Islam in modern times is that they find within the Qur’an descriptions of God that comply with what the mind logically expects Him to be; attributes that are fully acceptable to the intellect. The fact is that God has always been concerned with correcting man’s concept of Him in order to put his questioning mind at rest and facilitate his acceptance of the guidance he needs for his own benefit. It was for this very purpose that He periodically communicated information to mankind through human prophets and messengers.

According to Islam, God is the only true Lord of the universe. He is neither remote nor abstract. Humans can perceive His existence for themselves through visible signs in the cosmos, in the animate and inanimate objects around them and within themselves. Although He cannot be seen in this world by the human eye, He can be known by His qualities, actions and words. God is not similar to any created being, nor does any creation resemble Him. For His attributes are not related to necessity as are those of creation, and they are eternal while those of creation are not.

Intellectual weakness leads some to assume that everything can be measured by their own limited knowledge. They rely on imagination, which is actually only capable of visualizing what has already been experienced and is incapable of perceiving unfamiliar or absolute concepts. While the honest human mind cannot escape acknowledging the existence of a Creator, it is not capable of comprehending many aspects of His existence; these are unlimited since He is absolute, complete and perfect. Awareness of the mind’s limitation is a crucial awareness. We cannot fully understand the Creator because the human mind  is itself created and subject to the limitations of its created nature.

God cannot be understood in terms of material existence. He is not bound by the laws of physics, which are themselves part of the nature of what He created. God is timeless and eternal, without beginning or end. One must of necessity admit the truth of the Prophetic statement, “There was God, and there was nothing other than Him.” That is, He was there from eternity and will be there for eternity. By contrast, all created things have a beginning and an end. Nonexistence and existence are conditions applicable only to created beings. In the words of the Qur’an:

“So is He who creates like he who does not create? Then, will you not be reminded? (16:17)

But What God has revealed in the Qur’an about His attributes is sufficient to portray a perception of His magnificence, majesty, sublimity and perfection. Any similarity between the attributes of God and those of mankind is in name only and not in essence. They should be understood in the absolute sense, free from any human deficiency or imperfection. Concerning His description, the Qur’an has conclusively stated:

“There is nothing like unto Him” (42:11)

“Say, ‘He is Allah [who is] One; Allah, the Eternal. He neither begets nor is born; nor is there to Him any equivalent” (112:1-4)

Author : Syed Iqbal Zaheer

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