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Monday, September 24, 2007

GOD's Attributes

If the creator is eternal and everlasting, then His attributes must also be eternal and everlasting. He should not lose any of his attributes nor acquire new ones. But if this is so, then his attributes are absolute. Can there be more than one Creator with absolute attributes? Can there be for example two absolute powerful creators? A moment's thought shows that this is not feasible.

If a maker is absolutely powerful, it follows that he is absolutely free to do whatever he likes. But if another maker with similar powers exists and they differ over the making of something, then one of two things can occur. Either, one will overcome the other, in which case the latter cannot be absolutely powerful, or they will neutralize each other, in which case the powers of both are limited. Even if we assume that they agree on everything, they cannot both be absolutely powerful because, for one at least, the execution of his intention will not depend solely on his own power, but on the condition, though a passive one, that the other does not interfere.

The Quran summarises this argument in the following verses:

'Allah has not taken to Himself any son, nor is there any god with Him. For then each god would have taken off that which he created and some of them would have risen up over others'.

And 'Why, were there gods in earth and heaven other than Allah, they (heaven and earth) would surely go to ruin'. (The Quran 23:91 also 21:22)

The Power Of GOD

Causes produce their effects in one of two ways: either naturally or by intention. A maker with the attributes mentioned above cannot be naturally and spontaneously, they would, of necessity, be of the same nature as it is. and if, like all natural causes, it causes only under certain conditions, then its power is limited. It follows therefore that it must cause by intention. But intention implies knowledge and both imply life. So, that the maker must be a living, all-knowing agent with a will that is absolutely free. Thus God, according to the Quran, does everything with intention and for a purpose:

'Surely we have created everything in (due) measure' (The Quran 56:49)

'Did you think that we created you only for sport?' (The Quran 23:115)

And He is absolutely free to do whatever he wills:

'Surely thy Lord accomplishes what He desires.' (The Quran 11:107)

He is aware of every detail of His creation

'He knows what is in the land and the sea; not a leaf falls, but He knows it. Not a grain in the earth's shadows, not a thing fresh or withered, but it is in a Book manifest. It is He who recalls you by night, and He knows what you work by day.' (The Quran 6: 59: 60)

God is a living person with all that this implies:

'There is no god but He, The Living, The Everlasting. Slumber seizes Him not, neither sleep: to Him belongs all that is in the heavens and the earth. Who is there that shall intercede with Him save by His leave? He knows what lies before them and what is after them, and they comprehend not anything of His knowledge save such as He wills. His Throne comprises the heavens and earth: the preserving of them oppresses Him not; He is the All-High, the All-glorious' (The Quran 2: 255)

God is not only powerful, He is also just in that He does not punish a sinner for more than his crime. He is Merciful and His mercy, in the word of the Prophet, 'overcomes His punishment.' So He does not punish us for whatever we do, but forgives and erases our sins, and magnifies and multiplies our good deeds.

These, and many other conclusions which can be arrived at in a similar way, are the attributes which is true creator must possess. Any other being or object which lacks at least some of them cannot be what it is believed to be.

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