The Islamic Bulletin
The Islamic Bulletin
Could you explain some of
what Islam teaches in relation
Reading some Islamic books did
not resolve my thoughts. I have
inquired of some Muslims in my
local area but they interpreted
these questions as an attack on
their faith, so they refused to re-
spond. Another Muslim I asked
was not knowledgeable enough
to voice his opinion.
1) Both Muslims and Christians
agree that God is all powerful
and too ‘majestic’ for the human
mind to understand completely.
There is nothing that God can’t do. Moreover, both agree that God is
eternal and that God’sWord is eternal. By this they do not suggest that
there are two eternals, for God is one. Likewise, God also possesses
some eternal attributes:love, anger, power, wisdom, speech, mercy,
etc. Some Muslims agree with Christians on the plurality of God.
Both know and value the confession that God is one. At the same
time both also understand that God is greater than the figure “one”.
Christians believe that God exists as Creator, Word (who became
flesh), and Spirit. Since some Muslims believe that God’s eternal
Word became a book, why can’t they believe that His eternal Word
became a man? Why do they limit what God can do?
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Thank you for taking the time to write this detailed letter. Due to
the fact that the response to your first question took much more
space than I imagined, I can only answer the first of the five stated
in your letter. The other questions that you asked, God-willing, will
be answered in future issues.
I hope the answer set out in this response will enable you to resolve
some of the thoughts that you have. I wish to make it quite clear that
these are very important questions and I have not the slightest intention
nor desire to hurt the religious feelings of Christian friends, so please
do not interpret this response as an attack on your faith. However, to
answer a question like this I have to be honest and straight-forward.
I love Christ (PBUH), Moses (PBUH), and Abraham (PBUH), as I do
Muhammed (PBUH) and all other holy prophets of God.
“We believe in Allah, and what has been revealed to us and
what was revealed to Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes,
and in (the Books) given to Moses, Jesus, and the Prophets, from
their Lord:Wemake nodistinctionbetweenone and another among
them, and to Allah do we bow our will (in Islam).” (Quran 3:84)
The attributes of God are not to be considered as distinct and divine
entities or personalities, otherwise we shall have, not one trinity of
persons in the Godhead, but several dozen of trinities. An attribute
until it actually emanates from its subject has no existence. We can-
not qualify the subject by a particular attribute before that attribute
has actually proceeded from it and is seen. Hence we say “God is
Good” when we enjoy His good and kind action; but we cannot
describe Him--properly speaking--as “God is Goodness,” because
goodness is not God, but His action and work. It is for this reason
that the Quran always attributes to Allah the adjectival appellations,
such as the Wise, the Knowing, the Merciful, but never with such
descriptions as “God is love, knowledge, word,” and so forth; for love
is the action of the lover and not the lover himself, just as knowledge
or word is the action of the knowing person and not himself.
I particularly insist on this point because of the error into which have
fallen thosewhomaintain the eternity and distinct personality of certain
attributes of God. The Verb or the Word of God has been held to be a
distinct personof theDeity; whereas thewordof God canhave noother
signification than an expression of His Knowledge andWill. TheQuran,
too, is called “the word of God,” and some early Muslimdoctors of law
asserted that it was eternal and uncreated. The same appellation is also
given to Jesus Christ in theQuran--Kalimatunminho, i.e. “theWord from
Him” (Quran 3: 45). But it would be very unreligious to assert that the
Word of God is a distinct person, and that it assumed flesh and became
incarnate in the shape of a man of Nazareth or in the form of a book,
the former called “the Christ” and the latter “the Quran”.
To sum up this subject, I insistently declare that the Word or any
other imaginable attribute of God, not only is it not a distinct divine
entity or individuality, but also it could have no actual existence
prior to the beginning of time and creation.
The first verse with which St. Johns Gospel commences was often
refuted by the early Unitarian writers, who rendered its true reading
as follows: “In the beginning was the Word; and the Word was
with God; and the Word was God’s.”
It will be noticed that the Greek form of the genitive case “Theou,”
i.e. “God’s” was corrupted into “Theos”; that is, “God,” in the
nominative form of the name!
It is also to be observed that the clause “In the beginning was theword”
expressly indicates the origin of the word which was not before the
beginning! By the “word of God: is not meant a separate and distinct
substance, coeval and coexistent with the Almighty, but an expression
and proclamation of His knowledge and will when He uttered the
word Kun, namely, “Be.” When God said Kun, for the first time, the
worlds became; whenHe said Kun, theQuranwas created andwritten
on the “Lowh” or “Table”; and when He pronounced the word “Be,”
Jesus was created in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary; and so on-
whenever He wills to create, His order “Be” is sufficient.
The Christian auspicatory formula: In the name of the Father, and of
the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, does not even mention the name of
God! And this is the Christian God! The Quranic formula, on the oth-
er hand, which expresses the foundation of the Islamic truth, is a great
contrast to the Trintarians’ formula: Bismillahi’ r-Rahmani’r- Rahim;
that is: In the name of the Most Merciful and Compassionate Allah.
The Christian Trinity- inasmuch as it admits a plurality of persons
in the Deity, attributes distinct personal properties to each per-
son; and makes use of family names similar to those in the pagan
mythology-cannot be accepted as a true conception of the Deity.
Allah is neither the father of a son nor the son of a father. He has
no mother, nor is He selfmade.
The belief in “God the Father andGod the Son andGod theHolyGhost”
is a flagrant denial of the unity of God, and an audacious confession in
three imperfect beingswho, unitedlyor separately, cannot be the trueGod.
Mathematics as a positive science teaches us that a unit is no more
nor less than one; that 1 is never equal to 1 plus 1 plus 1; in other
Editor, Islamic Bulletin
P.O. Box 410186
San Francisco, CA 94141-0186, USA
words, 1 cannot be equal to 3, because 1 is the third of the 3. In the
same way, 1 is not equal to a third. And vice versa, 3 are not equal to 1,
nor can a third be equal to a unit. The unit is the basis of all numbers,
and a standard for the measurements and weights of all dimensions,
distances, quantities and time. In fact, all numbers are aggregates of
the unit 1. Ten is an aggregate of so many equal units of the same kind.
Thosewhomaintain the unity of God in the trinity of persons tell us that
“Each person is omnipotent, omnipresent, eternal and perfect God; yet
there are not 3 omnipotent, omnipresent, eternal and perfect Gods, but
1 omnipotent... God!” If there is no sophistry in the above reasoning
then we shall present this “mystery” of the churches by an equation:
1 God=1 God + 1 God + 1 God; therefore: 1 God= 3 Gods. In the
first place, 1 god cannot equal 3 gods, but only 1 of them. Secondly,
since you admit each person to be a perfect God like His 2 associates,
your conclusion that 1+1+1=1 is not mathematical, but an absurdity!
It is either arrogance when it is attempted to prove that 3 units equal
1 unit; or cowardness to admit that three ones equal three ones.
In the former case it is never possible to prove a wrong solution
of a problem by a false process; and in the second case a lack of
courage to confess your belief in three gods.
Besides, we all -Muslim and Christians- believe that God is Omni-
present, that He fills and encompassed every space and particle. Is it
conceivable that all the three persons of the Deity at the same time
and separately encompass the universe, or is it only one of them at
the time? To say “the Deity does this” would be no answer at all.
For Deity is not God, but the state of being God, and therefore a
quality. Godhead is the quality of one God; it is not susceptible of
plurality nor of diminution. There are no godheads but one God-
head, which is the attribute of one God alone.
Then we are told that each person of the trinity has some particular
attributes which are not proper to the other two. And these attributes
indicate -according to human reasoning and language -priority and
posteriority among them. The Father always holds the first rank,
and is prior to the Son.
The Holy Ghost is not only posterior as the third in the order of
counting but even inferior to those fromwhom he proceeds. Would
it not be considered a sin of heresy if the names of three persons
were conversely repeated? Will not the signing of the cross upon the
countenance or over the elements of the Eucharist be considered
impious by the Churches if the formula be reversed thus: “In the
name of the Holy Ghost, and of the Son, and of the Father? For if
they are absolutely equal and coeval, the order of precedence need
not be so scrupulously observed.
The fact is that the Popes and the General Councils have always
condemned the Sabelian doctrine which maintained that God is one
but that He manifested Himself as the Father or as the Son or as the
Holy Spirit, being always one and the same person. Of course, the
religion of Islam does not endorse or sanction the Sabelian views.
God manifested His Jamal or beauty in Christ, His jelal or glory and
majesty in Muhammad, and His wisdom in Solomon, and so on in
many other objects of Nature, but none of those prophets is any
more God than the vast ocean or the majestic sky.
The truth is that there is no mathematical exactitude, no absolute
equality between the three persons of the Trinity. If the Father were
in every respect equal to the Son or the Holy Spirit, as the unit I is
positively equal to another figure I, then there would necessarily
be only one person of God and not three, because a unit is not a
fragment or fraction nor a multiple of itself. The very difference and
relationship that is admitted to exist between the persons of the Trinity
leaves no shadow of doubt that they are neither equal to each other
nor are they to be identified with one another. The Father begets and
is not begotten; the Son is begotten and not a father; the Holy Ghost
is the issue of the other two persons; the first person is described as
creator and destroyer; the second as savior or redeemer, and the third
as life- giver. Consequently none of the three is alone the Creator,
the Redeemer and the Life- giver. Then we are told that the second
person is the Word of the first Person, becomes man and is sacrificed
on the cross to satisfy the justice of his father, and that his incarnation
and resurrection are operated and accomplished by the third person.
Strictly speaking, that the gods of the heathen are false and imaginary,
whereas the 3 gods of the Churches have a distinct character, of whom
the Father-as another epithet for Creator- is the 1 true God, but the son
is only a prophet and servant of God, and the 3rd person one of the
innumerable holy spirits in the service of the Almighty God. In the Old
Testament, God is called Father because of His being a loving creator and
protector, but as the Churches abused this name, the Quran has justly
refrained fromusing it. TheOld Testament and theQuran condemn the
doctrine of three persons inGod; theNewTestament does not expressly
hold or defend it, but even if it contains hints and traces concerning the
Trinity, it is no authority at all, because it was neither seen nor written by
Christ himself, nor in the language he spoke, nor did it exist in its present
form and contents for-at least- the first two centuries after him.
Inconclusion, theback-boneof Islamis thebelief in the1Godand tobring
Himina formofman is to limitHis power. Islamholds that humanworship
reaches without need for intermediaries. No aspect of God’s power or
divinity is channeled anywhere without threat to divine transcendence.
God’s power and sanctity are solely God’s. They are not dispensed to any
creature because Creator and creature are two absolutely different kinds
of being which never fuse into each other. God is the Forgiver, Punisher,
Judge, and Master. He does not delegate these functions to any creature
because that would violate His transcendence and role as sole Governor
and Judge of humanity. He is fully responsive to every person’s prayer in
ever language. His mercy and care for humankind, along with His Om-
nipotence, demand that all people address themselves directly to Him.
God needs no bureaucracy. He is in direct control of human affairs;
and worshippers, thanksgivers, confessors, and supplicators can all
address themselves directly to Him.
Let me begin by wishing you Ramadan Mubarak and a very huge
thank you for sending The Islamic Bulletin I requested. May Allah
bless you and the members involved in making the Bulletin possible.
During a century when Muslims have been portrayed as barbarians
by the media, you are ensuring that the Muslim flag remains high.
I have during my lifetime read many newsletters and I would sin-
cerely like to say that none compares to yours. It is simple but yet
of high quality. May Allah grant you paradise for your good work.
I once again thank you for your kindness.
We have read your Islamic Bulletin Vol. II, No. 10-93, we are deeply
impressed with it’s contents, would you kindly send us your peri-
odical regularly to our foundation, so that it will be useful to our
Islamic propagation and Guidance.
We pray to Allah SWT to grant you His Blessings. With best wishes.
Sayyed K. Hegrani/Director
The Public Islamic Institution Propagation
Don’t be alarmed! You have not missed any issues of the news-
letter. Please accept our sincere apologies in that it has taken
an unusual amount of time to produce this issue.
- The Editor