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Verses from Surah al-Mu’minun (91-98)

102. “The Arab polytheists of the time also claimed that their deities were God’s offspring” (Mawdudi).
103. “..implying that in such a hypothetical case (of several gods), each of the gods would have been concerned only with his own sector of creation, thus causing complete confusion in the universe” (Asad).
104. Ibn Rushd discusses the question of Allah’s Oneness in his Faith and Reason in Islam (which is a translation of three of his treatises, “Al-Kashf ‘anManahij al-Adillah fi `Aqa’id al-Milla, Fasl al-Maqaland Al-Damimah). He presents the Ash`ari method of argument, which happens to be the argument forwarded by most Muslim philosophers (mutakallimun) of the past and adopted by quite a few commentators including Ibn al-Qayyim (Badae`). In Ibn Rushd’s words, “(The Ash`arites maintain that] ‘If there were two [gods] or more, it would be possible for them to disagree, and if they disagree, their [disagreement] would involve only three alternatives: (1) either they would all accomplish what they desired, or (2) no one would attain what he desires, or (3) only one of them would accomplish what he desires but not the other.’ They add that it is impossible that none of them could accomplish what he desires, for if this were the case then the world neither be existing nor non-existing. Moreover, it is impossible for what they both want to come to be, for the world would then be existing and non-existing at the same time. Thus, the only alternative left is that what one of them wishes will be accomplished, while what the other desires will be thwarted. Accordingly, the one whose will is not fulfilled is impotent, and the impotent cannot be a god.”

However, Ibn Rushd finds the above method inadequate on philosophical grounds and offers his own argument. He writes: “… As for denying the divinity to any other than He, the religious method in this regard is the one that God Almighty has spoken of in His Precious Book in three verses. The first is the saying of the Almighty: ‘Were there in them both [heaven and earth] other gods than Allah, they would surely have been ruined.’ (21: 22) The second is the saying of the Almighty, ‘Allah did not take to Himself a child and there was never any god with Him; or else each god would have carried off what He created, and some of them would have risen against the others. Exalted be Allah above what they ascribe.’ (23: 91) The third is the saying of the Almighty, ‘Say, “If there were other gods with Him, as they say, then surely they would have sought access to the Lord of the Throne.”’ (17: 42)

“The meaning of the first verse is implanted in the instincts [of man] by nature. It is self-evident that if there are two kings, the actions of each one being the same as those of the other, it would not be possible [for them] to manage the same city, for there cannot result from agents of the same kind one and the same action. It follows necessarily that if they acted together, the city would be ruined, unless one of them acted while the other remained inactive, and this is incompatible with the attributes of divinity. When two actions of the same kind converge on one substratum, that substratum is corrupted necessarily. [This] is the meaning of the saying of the Almighty: ‘Were there in them both [heaven and earth] other gods than Allah, they would have surely been ruined.’” (Faith and Reason in Islam, p.39-41, tr. by Ibrahim Najjar, Oneworld Publications, Oxford, 2001).

Yusuf Ali summarizes the argument, “The multiplicity of gods is intellectually indefensible, considering the unity of Design and Purpose in His wonderful Universe.”

We might add here that apart from theory, the created world itself offers convincing proofs of Allah’s oneness. Two aspects may be noted. First: an amazing phenomenon is that in whatever direction the observatories are turned, they report back that the universe is more or less just the same all around; that is, there is an almost uniform pattern of distribution of stars, galaxies, nebulae and other cosmic material. Technically known as ‘homogeneity’ it has defied explanation. If the ‘Big Bang’ theory, including its Inflationary version, is correct, then how is homogeneity to be explained? The consequence of the Big Bang would have been that matter would be found unevenly distributed in space. Uniform distribution points to a Hand in its making. A second noteworthy phenomenon is that the whole observable universe is run by a single set of physical laws, which in fact can be reduced to the four fundamental Forces of Nature: the weak force, the strong force, the electromagnetic force and the gravitational force. If that had not been the case, we would not have been able to receive data from the cosmos, analyze it and form meaningful conclusions. Thus, the unity of the created world, and unity of laws lead to the unity of the Creator, or His Oneness (Au.).

105. “To suppose that Allah has a son or family or partners or companions is to have a low idea of Allah, Who is high above all such relationships. He is the One True God and there can be none to compare with Him” (Yusuf Ali).

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