Presentation on theme: "Islam The Doctrine of God. Oneness of God Islam emphasizes the oneness (tawhid) of God. “There is no god but God” (la ilaha illa-llah) (Shahada) – essential."— Presentation transcript:
Oneness of God Islam emphasizes the oneness (tawhid) of God. “There is no god but God” (la ilaha illa-llah) (Shahada) – essential part of the “creed” that is one of the five pillars of Islam. Two Aspects to the Tawhid of God God is one (wahid) God is unique (ahad)
“God said, “ ‘Do not take two gods’ − for He is the One God − ‘I alone am the One that you should hold in awe.’ ” Sura 16:53 “He is God: there is no god other than Him...He is God: there is no god other than Him.” Sura 59:22
Attributes of God The attributes or qualities of God are designated by different names (asma) given to God in the Qur’an. Traditionally 99 names are ascribed to God. The attributes of God in the Qur’an indicate that God is a personal being in Islam, but they are also utilized in a way that indicates that God is absolutely transcendent and therefore beyond personhood.
Names of Majesty (Jalal) One class of names signifies attributes of majesty (jalal): e.g., all powerful (omnipotence), all knowing (omniscience), the Just, the giver of death, the victorious. These attributes, which indicate the great difference between God and created beings, induce awe and reverence for God. These terms are often masculine in gender and link one aspect of human nature to the personal nature of God.
“God is not to be frustrated by anything in the heavens or on the earth: He is all knowing and all powerful.” Sura 35:44 “Everything in the heavens and earth glorifies God − He is the almighty, the Wise, Control of the heavens and earth belongs to Him; He gives life and death; Has has power over all things. He is the first and the last.” Sura 57:1-3 “God creates whatever He will; God has power over everything.” Sura 24:45
Names of Beauty (Jamal) A second class of names signifies attributes of beauty (jamal): the merciful, the forgiver, the lover, the gentle, the generous, the beautiful. These attributes, which indicate a similarity between God and created beings, induce a sense of closeness or intimacy between God and humans. The names of beauty are often in the feminine gender and link the other dimension to human nature to God’s personal nature.
Forgiver and Lover: “He is the most forgiving, the most loving.” Sura 85:14. “My Lord is merciful and most loving.” Sura 11:90 Provider: “It is God who has given you the earth for a dwelling place and the heavens a canopy. He shaped you, formed you well, and provided you with good things.” Sura 40:64 (cf. 51:58) Protector: “He is the Protector, worthy of all praise.” Sura 42:28 Benefactor: “Do they not see that God gives abundantly to whoever He will...” Sura 30:37
Sura 1:1: “In the Name of God, the Lord of Mercy, the Giver of Mercy (Bismillah al-Rahman, al- Rahim) rahman, unconditional loving compassion or free mercy (derives from rahem, a womb, and is used to designate familial compassion). rahim, divine loving response to human actions, and hence specifically relevant to believers. “Lord” is a “majestic” term. Its use here suggests a union of majesty and beauty, or something majestic about the beauty itself. This statement is the beginning of every sura, except sura 9.
Allah and Krishna: Comparison I. The jalal (majestic) and jamal (beautiful) classification of terms designating Allah are structurally identical to the aishvarya (opulence) and madhurya (sweetness) classification of qualities designating Krishna in Vaishnaivism. II. Vaishnavism communicates this consciousness of God with two-fold qualities through an avatar narrative designed to reveal God to us in a way that will intensify devotion. III. Islam communicates this consciousness of God with two-fold qualities through the use of words designed to reveal God to us in a way that will intensify devotion.
“The most excellent Names belong to God: use them to call on Him.” Sura 7:180 The names of God are designed to mediate our relationship with God, who is in Himself (Itself) wholly transcendent.
Names of Perfection A third and final class of names are names of perfection (kamal). These names include those that signify God’s oneness (Sura 2:163), self-sufficiency (Sura 22:64), all-pervading and limitless nature (Sura 2:115, 268), eternality (Sura 112:2), and all superlative designations, e.g., all knowing, all powerful, etc. “He is God: the creator, the originator, the shaper. The best names belong to Him.” Sura 59:24, cf. 17:110. God’s hidden essence is called al-dhat.
Allah as the Personal Absolute Islam exhibits a consciousness of God as that which is revealed in the masculine and feminine, while simultaneously being that which is wholly beyond the duality of masculine and feminine. We can relate to God because aspects of the transcendent are present in the masculine and feminine, though in a finite mode.
Majesty, Beauty, and Perfection “He is God: there is no god other than Him...He is the Lord or mercy, the giver of mercy. He is God: there is no god other than Him, the controller, the Holy One, source of peace, granter of security, guardian over all, the almighty, the compeller, the truly great; God is far above anything else they consider to be his partner. He is God: the creator, originator, the shaper. The best names belong to Him. Everything in the heavens and earth glorifies him: he is almighty, the wise.” Sura 59:22-24
Grounds of Islamic Monotheism Qur’an presents its monotheistic teachings not as something new but as rooted in the Abrahamic tradition. Sura 21 provides an account of the revelations God gave to the prophets of the Jewish Scriptures. The account includes Abraham’s opposition to the idolatry of his day. “We wrote in the Psalms, as we did in [earlier] Scriptures: ‘My righteous servants will inherit the earth.’” Sura 21:105
Monotheism of Islam Qur’an presents its monotheistic teachings as evident from “signs” in the natural world. These signs typically concern God’s providential control of the world, which is linked with God’s mercy and goodness to the world. “It is God who sends water down from the sky and with it revives the earth when it is dead. There truly is a sign in this for those people listen.” Sura 16:65
“Your God is the one God: there is no god except Him, the Lord of Mercy, the Giver of mercy. In the creation of the heavens and the earth; in the alternation of night and day; in the ships that sail the seas with goods for people; in the water which God sends down from the sky to give life to the earth when it is barren, scattering all kinds of creatures over it; in the changing of the winds and clouds that run their appointed courses between the sky and earth: there are signs in all these for those who use their minds.” Sura 2:163-164
Like Judaism and Christianity, Islam teaches that God is the creator of the universe. Like their western counterparts, Islamic theologians have disagreed about the relationship between God and creation: I.God freely created the universe and the universe has a beginning. I.The universe has eternally emanated from the very being of God.
Why Must There be a Beginning to the Universe? It provides a way of distinguishing God from the universe. God is eternal. The universe is not eternal. Also underscores God’s power. Why Must the Universe Be Eternal? God is essentially a creative being, and so God cannot exist without the universe existing.
Avicenna’s Neoplatonist Metaphysics (1) God is essentially goodness. (2) Goodness is essentially diffusive of itself. (Neoplatonist Principle) So (3) God is necessarily creator. So (4) The universe is eternal. Avicenna (980-1037) made the following argument:
How did Avicenna distinguish God from the universe? Created things = composition of wujud (existence) and mahiat (essence). What they are is distinct from their existence. Their whatness does not guarantee thatness. Created things => Necessary Being A necessary being = a being in whom wujud (existence) and mahiat (essence) are one and the same. God is distinguished from the universe by virtue of being a wholly simple (wahid ahad), intrinsically necessary being.