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Allah in Islam - What are the essential attributes?

Discussion in 'Religions Q&A' started by adrian009, Nov 28, 2019.

  1. adrian009

    adrian009 Veteran Member
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    I was exploring with another member recently the different theological concepts when comparing Islam and Judaism. We compiled a preliminary list. I would be very interested to hear from adherents of Islam or anyone with knowledge in this area to provide constructive feedback on the list. What do you see as the most important attributes of Allah and why? Any thoughts about key similarities or differences with Islam? Remember this thread is for respectful discussion and not for debate.

    Allah:
    1. Unknowable
    2. One
    3. Transcendent
    4. Omnipotent
    5. Omniscient
    6. Creator of all
    7. Sustainer of all
    8. Generous Giver
    9. Incomparable
    10. Sent Messengers including Adam, Noah, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad
    11. Attributes: Mercy, Compassionate, Bestower of peace, Wise and Loving
    12. Requires exclusive worship but has endowed us with freewill
     
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  2. stvdv

    stvdv Veteran Member

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    "Surrender" + "Unknowable"

    Knowing and accepting this, I gave up my search. That really gave Peace.
     
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  3. Limo

    Limo Active Member

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    I'm a little bit hesitant about "Unknowable". As We know
    about Allah that he has told us about himself. And thus is enough for us to know and worship him.

    But "Unknowable" means we can't know and imagine everything about Allah, I agree
     
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  4. dybmh

    dybmh Terminal Optimist
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    +1 on surrender... good one @stvdv
     
  5. dybmh

    dybmh Terminal Optimist
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    So this is weird, apologies if it doesn't translate well.

    Also, we are talking about God, so, I hope you'll understand if I have a little trouble expressing my thoughts clearly about it?

    I feel like Allah is both close and far. Because it is the ultimate reality, but, it is also not encompassed by reality.

    Assuming that I got this remotely correct; it reminds me of what you are saying about knowing and unknowable. It's both. God can be known but not completely. God is close, but also completely not close, purely by the nature of Gods infinity?

    I'm not sure how to describe the idea easily for Adrian's list. Maybe: "Allah overwhelms reality"? And because of that the will of God is revealed which renders knowledge, but not complete knowledge. And because of this revelation, God is close, but also far?

    I don't know if any of this is making sense :)
     
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  6. Limo

    Limo Active Member

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    In Islam, when we're talking about Allah, we use his own words that Allah has used to describe himself.
    Allah is not under natural laws. Natural laws are for created things including universe with all what it has.
    But no puzzles or paradoxes in Islam.

    .
    Allah is The Biggest، the Highest, the Greatest.... No place or time contains him. He's greater and powerful than what we ever think.

    Allah told us where he's. There is 7 skys we're living under first one, then something big like a big tree "Sedrat Almontha" then Allah is there.
    In the same time, he's is very close (he told us) by listening, caring, watching, taking care of everything in universe and outside in the same time.
    So, he's up there far from us but knows our thoughts, what's going on in our minds.
    Allah told us in Quran about some new Moslems asked Prophet "is Allah so far, so we raise our voices? Or so close to low our voices?". Allah answered in Quran " I'm close, hear everything thing and respond to your prayers"


    I hope I've explained it well.
    Regards
     
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  7. dybmh

    dybmh Terminal Optimist
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    Thank you.
     
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  8. mojtaba

    mojtaba Active Member

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    We as Shi'a Muslims don't believe that Allah is after 7 skies and Sidratul Muntaha. He is indeed everywhere and with everyone.

    Also we don't believe that Allah is completely unknowable. We believe that Allah can be known by His sayings in Quran and His creation. All the creations are the signs of Him. But, the Essence of God Itself is unknownable for us. Because we can not study the Essence of Allah Itself as the Essence. We can know Him through His sayings and His creation.
     
    #8 mojtaba, Nov 28, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2019
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  9. adrian009

    adrian009 Veteran Member
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    Doing a google search is always a useful place to start. In regards the words surrender or submission, I would consider that to be a quality Allah would desire for us humans rather than a quality of Allah Himself.

    Peace is something that Allah might bestow on humans who surrender to His Will and Teachings through the Quran.
     
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  10. adrian009

    adrian009 Veteran Member
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    Thank you. I agree through the Holy Qur'an we can know some of Allah but what we can know of Allah is miniscule compared to what we can't know of Allah. Here are some verses from the Quran that speak of the transcendent, unknowable quality of Allah:

    Glory be to your Lord, the Lord of inaccessibility, above what they describe. (Qur'an 37: 180)

    So coin not similitudes for Allah. Lo Allah knows; you know not. (Qur'an 16:74)

    Say: Who is Lord (Rabb) of the heavens and the earth? Say: Allah! Say: Take you then (others) beside Him for protectors, which, even for themselves, have neither benefit nor hurt? Say: Is one whose sight is blacked out on an equal footing to one with clear vision, or is darkness equal to light? Or assign they unto Allah partners who created the like of His creation so that the creation (which they made and His creation) seemed alike to them? Say: Allah is the creator of all things, and He is the One, the Almighty.(Qur'an 13:16)


    Peace
     
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  11. adrian009

    adrian009 Veteran Member
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    I really like the 99 names of Allah that are based on Allah's Word in the Qur'an.

    99 Names of Allah (Al Asma Ul Husna) - with Meaning and Explanation
     
  12. dybmh

    dybmh Terminal Optimist
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    Yes. That's what I was thinking. Allah desires submission. Respectfully I think that should be on the list.
     
  13. mojtaba

    mojtaba Active Member

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    I think that there is a misunderstanding about the verses.

    The true translations of the verses are as the following:
    Exalted is your Lord, the Lord of might, above what they [i.e., Polytheists] describe.

    I can not understand that how can this verse support your saying?
    Quran, 16:74, 75, The Quran A New Interpretation By M B Behbudi:
    74. [O polytheists] Do not coin similitudes for God, saying:"God is like a great landowner with vast estates who parcels out land to his tenants and sets overseers to look after his concerns"; or "God is like the owner of a treasury who leaves the running of the business to his accountants"; or "God is like a sultan who leaves the administration of his empire to his ministers." Say nothing of the kind, for only God knows His similitude, you do not.
    75. And God has set forth this analogy for you: there are two men: one, a powerless slave, is in the service of another and owns nothing of his own; the other is a free man, spending on others as he wills, in private and in public, from that which We have bestowed on him from Ourselves. Are these two men equal? Praise be to God, for this analogy is quite clear and easy to understand. Yet most of the polytheists fail to grasp this point and place those who are owned on an equal footing with the One Who owns the entire cosmos!

    ?
    Dear adrian009, which part of this verse support your saying?
     
  14. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    I don't personally see Allah as described by the Qur'an as an internally coherent concept, but I think that the second attribute ("One") deserves a bit of discussion.

    It seems to be very significant for most Muslims, but it is not very clear quite why. To some extent it must involve an intent to discourage taking non-Islaamic doctrines as equally valid, but I feel that there must more to it. The emphasis is just too strong, for no particularly clear reason.

    Then again, what does it mean to say that God is One? How could one tell a God that is One from a hypothetical God that is not One?

    It seems to me that the only way for a human being to meaningfully answer such a question is by giving himself or herself the authority to decide what should be called a God and what should not.

    Even then it would not, IMO, be an attribute of God itself but either:

    1. A doctrinary claim with no clear meaning of its own.

    2. A directive or appeal for believers to perceive their deity as One, however they might conceive that attribute.

    3. Some combination of the above.



    The end result is that to the best of my ability, the only clear meaning to be derived from that attribute is that Islaam is not interested in syncretism.

    There may or may not be other common interpretations, but they are not obvious to me.
     
    #14 LuisDantas, Nov 29, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2019
  15. CriticalThinking

    CriticalThinking Quranist

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    These are some verses from the Quran that provides some "arguments" of why God is one

    Surah Al-Anbiya :
    Or have they taken (for worship) gods from the earth who can raise (the dead)? (21) If there were in the heavens and the earth, other gods besides Allah, there would have been ruin in both! But glory to Allah the Lord of the Throne: (High is He) above what they attribute to Him! (22)

    Surah Al-Mumenoon :
    No son did Allah beget, nor is there any god along with Him: (if there were many gods), behold, each god would have taken away what he had created, and some would have lorded it over others! Glory to Allah (He is free) from the (sort of) things they attribute to Him! (91)
     
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  16. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    Thanks.

    Those are indeed interesting verses. @paarsurrey mentioned the later recently.

    What I can make from it is that it disagrees with the currently mainstream position that Jesus was the Son of God. That is significant and restricts the valid interpretations, but it is not as direct a challenge to the legitimacy Christianity as it may appear at first.

    The part about being free from things attributed to Him is, alas, just too obfuscated to be parseable. We would have to decide, almost arbitrarily, who would be attributing things to Him and that itself would be attributing something to him, even if it is just absence of other things.

    But what I find most interesting in both verses is the claim that God does not play well with its own hypothetical equals.

    There are very significant and IMO rather clear implications about the nature, purpose and role of Allah, as well as to what is meant in the Qur'an by the word "god", although it will be most difficult to reach a consensus on just what they are.
     
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  17. Jesuslightoftheworld

    Jesuslightoftheworld The world has nothing to offer us!

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    One significant difference of Allah of Islam and the God of the Bible is that God of the Bible first loved us and loves us unconditionally, no matter what we do He always loves us. Allah of Islam requires obedience and then he loves. It is completely conditional, “Allah loveth not the disobedient.”
     
  18. adrian009

    adrian009 Veteran Member
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    HaShem of the Tanakh, God of the New Testament and Allah of the Quran all like very similar as far as I can see.

    According to some Christians if we do not believe in Jesus when we die then we are not saved. Does that sound unconditional to you? It sounds very conditional to me.
     
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