I must express my thanks to Vijay Chandra, missionary to the Fiji Islands, for contributing this article.
THE ATTRIBUTES OF ALLAH ANALYZED, COMPARED WITH THE ATTRIBUTES OF GOD OF THE BIBLE:
Sura 13:13. “The thunder hymneth His praise and (so do) the angels for awe of Him. He launcheth the thunderbolts and smiteth with them whom He will while they dispute (in doubt) concerning Allah, and He is mighty in wrath”.
Sura 19:94 “There is none of all that are in the heaven, and on earth but he shall come unto the Compassionate as a SLAVE”.
Muslims claim that their Allah of the Quran is superior, powerful, merciful, compassionate, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient—but as one reads the Quran there is no indication of his power [no miracles ] or of Allah being Compassionate (Allah takes vengeance) and the Allah of the Quran cannot be compared with the God of the Bible.
The verses referred to above, namely Suras 13:13 and 19:94, are a fitting introduction to the doctrine of Allah’s attributes. They express the effect these attributes are intended to have and do have on His faithful ones and explain in a measure the reason for the usual Muslim classification of Allah’s attributes (His 99 names as seen in the Quran).
Through fear, manipulation, forceful conversion, terror, and lies, every Muslim lives all their lives subject to bondage to Muhammad and his evil intentions and lustful desire. Muslims are forced to submit to Muhammad and not to Allah. Islam is a reign of fear. We want to look at the Attributes of Allah as to whether Allah is the true God:
Islamic theologians divide the attributes of Allah into three classes:
The attributes of wisdom, of power, and of goodness.
But the more common division is divided into two classes:
- Terrible attributes.
- Glorious attributes.
The former [terrible attributes] are more numerous and more emphasized than the latter, not only in the Quran but in the Tradition and in daily life.
If one tries to classify the names given to Allah [99 names of Allah], we find the following.
- Seven names [Suras 66, 67, 72-74, and 86] describe Allah’s unity and His Absolute Being.
- Five names speak of Him as Creator or Originator of all nature [Suras 11, 12, 13, 62, 63]
- There are 24 titles which characterizes Allah as merciful and gracious to his believers [Suras 1, 2, 5, 6, 14, 16, 32, 34, 38, 42, 47, 56, 78, 79, 81, 82, 89, 92, 94, 98, 99].
All are glad to acknowledge that these are indeed wonderful titles or names used in the Quran.
But on the other hand, there are 36 names or titles to describe Muhammad’s uses of Allah’s power, pride, and absolute sovereignty [7, 77, 84]. And in addition to those ‘terrible attributes’, there are five which describes Allah as ‘hurting’ and ‘avenging’. According to these ‘terrible attributes’, He is a God (monotheism). Note the article [a]. The Bible in John 1:1-3 states “…was the Word and [the] Word was with God.” [Notice that the article ‘a’ is not there].
He is a God who ‘abases, leads astray, avenges, withholds His mercies and works harm’. Finally, there are four terms used which may be said in a special sense to refer to the ‘moral or forensic’ in deity [Suras 4, 29, 51 and 85], although we do admit the merciful attributes are in a sense moral attributes.
There are only two occasions in the Quran that reference the moral attributes of Allah and both are doubtful in Islamic theology. We find that the ‘terrible attributes’ of God’s power are repeated many times in the Quran. The net total of the moral attributes is only found in two verses of the Quran which mention that Allah is Holy and Truthful in the Islamic sense of these words. [What a contrast to the Word of God, the Bible].
The Quran shows and traditions illustrate that Muhammad had in a measure a correct idea of ‘the physical attributes’ [used in the theological sense of Deity], but he had a false conception of His moral attributes or no conception at all [Muhammad was not educated at all]. He saw Allah’s power in nature but did not have even a glimpse of His holiness and justice. Romans 1:18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23 describes God, His eternal Godhead, and power as the Creator. His holiness is clearly seen, but man does not see the error of worshipping the creature more than the Creator, worshipping men more instead of worshipping God. The so-called prophet has no conception of the holiness of God, not any idea at all. Why is this? Since he did not have any idea of holiness, hence in the Quran holiness is ignored. Everything in the Quran put forward concerning ‘the purity’ and holiness of Him who is represented Thrice Holy in the Bible can be applied to any unbeliever or a respectable person. The Quran is silent on the nature of sin. Not only is the Quran silent as to sin’s nature, the Quran tells next to nothing about sin’s origin, result, and remedy.
In this respect, the sacred book of the East stands in marked contrast with all other sacred books of the pagans and the Word of God in the Old and New Testaments. According to Melanchthon [the German reformer in the days of Martin Luther], in his introduction to a Latin Quran, Melanchthon thinks Muhammad “was inspired by Satan, because he does not explain what ‘sin’ is and shows not the reason of human misery.”
The verses of the Quran that treat sin are following [Suras 4:30, 2:80, 4:46, 14:39, 2:284-286, 9:116, 69:35, 86:9, 70:19-25, 47:2,3].
[Sura 47:2] And those who believe and do good works and believe in that which is revealed unto Muhammad – and it is the truth from their Lord – He riddeth them of their ill-deeds and improveth their state. Pickthall, M. M. (Ed.). (n.d.). The Quran. Medford, MA: Perseus Digital Library.
The nearest approach to a definition that can be seen from these verses is that sin is a ‘willful violation of known law’, sin according to most Islamic theologians ‘is a conscious act committed against known law’, wherefore sins of ignorance are not numbered in the catalog of crimes. This idea of sins gives rise to the later Judaic distinction of sins small and great [Matt 22:36, “Master, which is the great commandment in the law?” The Scribes divided them all up: 248 affirmative ones (the number of the members of the body); 365 negative (the number of days in the year): 248 + 365 = 613 = the number of letters in the Decalogue. Some were great and some were small (or heavy and light). The question was as to great and small (as in Mat 22:38); not the greatest and least (CB). cf. Sura 4:30-31, “ Whoso doeth that through aggression and injustice, we shall cast him into Fire, and that is ever easy for Allah.  If ye avoid the great (things) which ye are forbidden, We will remit from you your evil deeds and make you enter at a noble gate.”] on which are based endless speculations of Muslim commentators. Some say there are seven great sins; idolatry, murder, false charge of adultery, wasting substance of orphans, usury, etc. Others say there are seventeen, still, others catalog seven hundred, without entering into the fruitless discussion as to just what constitutes a ‘great sin’ or ‘small sins’.
It is noted that to the Muslim ‘all sins expect the Kebira’, ‘great sins’ are regarded with carelessness and no qualm of conscience. Lying, deception, anger, lust and such like are all smaller and lighter offenses, all these will be ‘forgiven easily if men keep clear from great sins’. Muslims have a very poor view of sin. It may be that Muhammad must have got all these kinds of sins from the everyday lives in Arabia. The Quran has a defective view of sin while the Bible gives the description of sin in a proper way—and explains the result of sin—death [Rom 3:23].
Another important distinction between the scriptural doctrine of sin and Muslim teaching which has a direct bearing on our interpretation of Allah’s attributes are the terms used for sin.
- The most common word used in Quran for sin is ‘thanib’, although other terms are used [haram], forbidden.
- The words ‘permitted’ and ‘forbidden’ have superseded the use of ‘guilt’ and ‘transgression’. The reason is found in the Quran: nothing is right or wrong by nature but becomes so by the fiat of the Almighty [Muslims believe in ‘the fiat’]. What Allah forbids is sin, even should he forbid what seems to the human conscience right and lawful. What Allah allows is not sin and cannot be sin at the same time he allows it, though it may have been sin before or become sin after.
- There is no distinction between the moral and ceremonial law. While the Bible speaks about moral and ceremonial laws this distinction is not even implied in the Quran. The lack of distinction between moral and ceremonial is to be seen most of all in the traditional sayings of the prophet [the question is this: ‘is his word inspired or he is simply giving his own thoughts on these ceremonial and moral laws’]. These traditions to a Muslim have equal authority as the Quran. Two examples:
- The prophet, upon whom be prayers and peace, said, one dishes of ‘usury which a man eats, knowing it is sin, is more gracious than 36 fornications and whatsoever has been so nourished is worthy of hell fire’.
- The taking of interest has seventy parts of guilt, the least of which is as if a man commits incest with his mother: ‘the trousers of a man must be to the middle of his leg—but whatever is below that is in hell-fire’. [Allah of the Quran does not understand the degrees of sin].
According to the Quran, it is the repetition of the creed that counts more and not the reformation of the character; and all other considerations are of less importance. For Muslims, repeating the creed is the door into the religion of Muhammad:
The Quran teaches that the first sinner was Adam [Sura 2:35], and yet the belief of Muslims today is that all the prophets, including Adam, were without sin [another contradiction]. The portion of unrepentant sinners is eternal [Sura 43:74-78] and there is no repentance possible [Sura 26:91-105]. But the Word of God says much about repentance and forgiveness [Christ preached repentance in the Gospel of Mark 1:15, Matthew 3:2, Luke 13:3, Acts 2:38, 3:19. 17:30, 2 Peter 3:9], while the Quran provides no provision for ‘repentance or forgiveness’ by Allah. All the wealth of Arabic vocabulary is exhausted in Muhammad’s fearful descriptions of the awful torments of the doom.
The conclusion one comes to from the study of the Quran is that Allah does not appear bound by any standard of justice. For Muslims, the worship of the creature is heinous to the mind and yet Allah punished Satan for not being willing to worship Adam [Sura 2:28-34, “ And when We said unto the angels: Prostrate yourselves before Adam, they fell prostrate, all save Iblis. He demurred through pride, and so became a disbeliever.”]. Why is this? It is because Allah is merciful in winking at the sins of His favorites such as the prophets and those who fight in His battles, but is the quick avenger of all the infidels. He reveals the truth to his prophets, but also abrogates it, changes the message or makes them forget [Sura 2:105, 106, “ Whatever communications We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We bring one better than it or like it. Do you not know that Allah has power over all things?”]. The whole teaching of Muslim exegetes on the subject of Nasilch and Manoolch, or the Abrogated verses of the Quran, is opposed to the idea of God’s immutability and truth. According to this teaching, Allah can change, while the God of the Bible does not change [Mal. 3:6, Ps. 102:27, Num 23:19, Lam 3:22]. Muslims should call upon the Lord God and repent of their sins. This is the Gospel, the good news. There are at least 20 cases given in which one revelation superseded, contradicted, or abrogated previous revelation to Muhammad. Allah’s moral law changes, like his ceremonial laws, according to times and circumstances. Allah can do what he pleases whether right or wrong. The Quran says he is the best plotter, he mocks and deceives, he is easy upon those who accept the prophet’s message [Suras 8:29, 3:53, 27:51, 16:4, 14:15, 9:51].
Yet He [Allah] rewards those who worship Him for their obedience on account of His promise and beneficence, not on their merit or of necessity, since there is nothing which He can be tied to perform, nor can any justice be supposed in Him nor can He be under any obligation to any person whatsoever. According to the Tradition, the seven attributes of the Deity are life, knowledge, purpose, power, hearing, sight, and speech. Even granted they are used in a superlative sense they would still describe only an Intelligent Giant.
What must have been Muhammad’s Idea of the character of Allah when he named Him the Proud, The All-compelling, The Slayer, the Deferrer, The Indulgent and The Harmful. Nor can the mind reconcile such attributes with those of goodness and compassion without violence to the text of the Quran itself. According to these attributes, Allah is two-faced. The attributes of Allah can no more be made to agree than can the Suras which he sent down to Muhammad. But in neither case does this lack of agreement, according to Muslims, reflect on Allah’s character.
When God is once called The Holy in the Quran [Sura 59:23],
 He is Allah, besides Whom there is no god; the King, the Holy, the Giver of peace, the Granter of security, Guardian over all, the Mighty, the Supreme, the Possessor of every greatness Glory be to Allah from what they set up (with Him). Shakir, M. H. (Ed.). (n.d.). The Quran. Medford, MA: Perseus Digital Library.
the term does not signify moral purity or perfection. One Muslim commentator on the word ‘holy’ states it means “the complete absence of anything that would make Him less than He is.” This leaves out the idea of moral purity and uses at the most the word [tahir] as a synonym, a word which means ceremonially clean, circumcised etc. In the Muslim dictionaries too, the idea of holiness [for kuddus] in the Old Testament sense is absent. If one studies the word [tahir] it simply means an ‘outward purity of the body’. Muslims, when they go to their prayers, wash their ears, eyes, hands, and feet: they are more focused on the external than internal.
It is a hopeless case to look for the doctrine of the holiness of God and the necessity of purity. The whole idea of moral purity and utter separation from sin is unknown to the Quran’s vocabulary. One further thought we get from the study of Muslim ideas of God’s attributes: “it is the key to the ‘Pantheism of Force’”.
The seventy-second, third, fourth and fifth names on the list of attributes are called ‘mother’s of the attributes’: i.e. they are fundamental ideas in the conception of God’s ‘Essence and Substance, the First and the Last’. This is to Muslim’s “the verse which all the names of Allah holds, As in one sky the silver stars all sit”. Whether Muhammad himself intended to teach the ideas of pantheism or had any idea of the import of these terms does not alter the fact that they spell pantheism to many of his followers. If pantheism is the doctrine of one substance, it is taught here. God is inside and outside of everything. He is the phenomena [Dhahir] and the power behind the phenomena [Batin]. Sufis delight in this verse. On this revelation of God, they built their philosophy after the Vedanta school of the Hindus.
Looking at the Attributes of Allah, one does not find consistency in what the Quran says about Allah—is he really a god or created by the distorted mind of Muhammad.
When one looks at the Attributes of God as he is revealed in the Bible, we find a vast difference as compared to what is seen in the Quran.
- The Attributes of God may be classified into two categories
- His infinite power.
- His Personality attributes, like Holiness and Love.
- Aseity—it means God is so independent that He does not need us [Acts 17:25, “Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things”]. This verse is often related to God’s self-existence and His self-sufficiency.
- Eternity. He has no beginning and no ending, in contrast to Allah, The eternity of God concerning his existence beyond time [Ps 90:2, “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.”]. God has no beginning, no ending or succession of moments in his own being and he sees all time equally yet God sees events in time and acts in time. He is not confined to time because He is the creator of time. Time does not rule Him but he rules the time.
The graciousness of God is a key tenet of Christianity [Ex 34:5-6, it is one of his attributes: “Yahweh, Yahweh, The Compassionate and gracious God” [1 Peter 2:2-4].
The Holiness of God is that He is separate from sin and incorruptible [Isa 6:3, Rev 4:8].
- Immutability—it means God cannot change [James 1:17, Mal 3:6], while the Quran says Allah changes. Love is another attribute of our God [1 John 4:16, John 3:16] while in the Quran love is not mentioned.
- Omnipotent—which means God is all powerful [Matt 19:26]. The God of the Bible is Omniscient: He is the all-knowing God [Acts 15:18, Romans 16:27]. The God of the Bible is Omnipresent: He is everywhere at the same time [Jeremiah 23:24].
- Oneness. The oneness or unity of God refers to his Being One and only. Christianity is monotheistic [Deut 6:4, Mark 12:29]. The Trinity of God refers to Him being three in One. God is understood to be a unity of Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit [Matt 28:19, 1 John 5:7]. He is sovereign [Isa 46:10] while Allah is the god of Muslims only.
The word God has different meaning with Allah’s. God means to ‘invoke’ or call upon. While Allah means deity or god. God promises salvation for those who believe on Him while Allah wants followers to do good work, even to kill others, lie, use deceptions—then they will be in Allah’s paradise.
God has three representations: the Father, Son, Holy Spirit while Allah is the lone god of every Muslim. God preaches the forgiveness and removal of sin while Allah wants his followers who sin to be punished.