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Sunday, September 19, 2021

Islam’s strict monotheism

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A very popular chapter of the Qur’an is titled, “Al-Ikhlas (The Purity).” Muslim American leader, the late Imam W. Deen Mohammed, translated Al-Ikhlas as “The Conclusion” or “The Unity.” Imam Mohammed further explained, “It tells us that for Islam, ‘Unity is the conclusion.’ The word (Al-Ikhlas) plainly says ‘conclusion,’ but the language of the chapter also says ‘unity.’” Imam Mohammed summarized, “It begins with the Unity or Oneness of G_d: ‘Say, G_d is only One, Alone.’ It means that He has no g_ds with Him. And that is what the Old Testament says: ‘Make no g_ds with Me.’”

Al-Ikhlas is the 112th chapter of the Qur’an. It contains four verses that read: 1. “Say! He Allah is only One, Alone! 2. Allah, the uncaused Cause of all causes. 3. He never fathered a baby; nor was He ever a baby. 4. There is nothing comparable like unto Him.”

All of the Abrahamic religions — Judaism, Christianity and Al-Islam — profess and promote there is only one G_d, the Creator of the heavens and the Earth, who created everything and every human person. With Al-Islam there is no room for any negotiation on that belief of the oneness of G_d; NONE! This is where the concept of purity is so important; the purity of our worshipping our Creator without giving Him any partners — in any fashion, thought or imagination. Our complete worship, whether demonstrated in words, deeds or thoughts, is solely for our Creator, whose name in Arabic is Allah and Dios in Spanish.

In Al-Islam there is no equal with Allah (G-d). We find a similar message in the Bible, John 14:28, “…my Father is greater than I.” Prophet Muhammed, prayers and peace be upon him taught his followers the phrase “Allah-U-Akbar” — translated: “G_d is Greater!” Both Qur’an and Bible, in both the Old and New Testaments, all are very clear that there is no equal to our Creator. None of the prophets, from Adam to Muhammed, ever claimed to be equal with G_d; yet all they emphatically declared that they were but servants of a Mighty G_d.

The human being is a creature of submission. By nature we submit and give praise and allegiance to that which is superior in our lives. G_d is un-authoritatively superior in our lives. He doesn’t demand anything of us. As believers, we come to Him willingly. As sinners we eventually come, but unwillingly; nonetheless, we all are on a constant journey back to the One who created us the first time.

No one can serve multiple “g-ds” and remain holistic. Trying to serve more than one G_d will erode the integrity of our submission. It will splinter our allegiance and our worship resulting in indecisive acts that can’t focus on the One true G_d. Appealing to our logical common sense, Allah revealed in the Qur’an, “If there were, in the heavens and the earth, other gods besides Allah, there would have been confusion in both! but glory to Allah, the Lord of the Throne: (High is He) above what they attribute to Him!” (Yusuf Ali translation)

The Jewish Bible (Old Testament) speaks clearly about the Oneness of G_d. “You shall not make for yourself a carved image — any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth…”

Al-Islam has been given the task of calling the world back to the pure worship of G_d while following this guideline: “Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things.”

We all are to avoid the slightest form of adding anything or anyone into our worship of G_d. Prophet Muhammed, describing how subtle false worship can be, said, “False worship is more difficult to detect than (seeing) a black ant on a black rock on the blackest part of the night”.

This is one of many reasons why in Al-Islam Muslims are very strict when it comes to keeping pure the worship of only one G_d. The first words one declares in order to become Muslim is “I bear witness there is only One G_d”. This declaration is then followed by saying, “And I bear witness that Muhammed is the Messenger of G_d.” 

Michael “Mikal” Saahir is the resident Imam of Nur-Allah Islamic Center. He can be reached at nur-allah@att.net or at 317 753-3754.

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