Concept of God in the Qur'an by Dr. Muhammad Sharif Chaudhry Chapter 9



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Concept of God in the Qur’an

By Dr. Muhammad Sharif Chaudhry



  1. Whom God Loves and Whom He Does Not

  2. God Repels One People By Another

  3. God Tries the Man

  4. God Does Not Task Man Beyond His Capacity

  5. All Creatures Worship and Glorify God

  6. God, Adam and Satan

  7. Satan’s Challenge to God

  8. God’s Covenants

  9. God Does Not Change His Grace Unless…

  10. God Produces, Then Reproduces

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1 – Whom God Loves And Whom He Does Not

The Qur’an tells us that Almighty God loves those who are the beneficent, who care for cleanliness, who are steadfast in His way, who put their trust in Him, who are just and equitable, who fear Him and keep their duty.

1.       Spend your wealth for the cause of Allah, and be not cast by your own hands to ruin; and do good. Lo! Allah loveth the beneficent.  ––2: Al–Baqarah: 195

2.       …… And when they have purified themselves, then go in unto them as Allah hath enjoined upon you. Truly Allah loveth those who turn unto Him, and loveth those who have a care for cleanness.   ––2: Al–Baqarah: 222

3.       And with how many a prophet have there been a number of devoted men who fought (beside him). They quailed not aught that befell them in the way of Allah, nor did they weaken, nor were they brought low. Allah loveth the steadfast.    ––3: Al–Imran: 146

4.       ……Allah loveth those who put their trust (in Him).  ––3: Al–Imran: 159

5.       But if thou judgest, judge between them with justice and with equity. Lo! Allah loveth the equitable. ––5: Al–Ma’idah: 42

6.       How can there be a treaty with Allah and with His messenger for the idolaters save those with whom ye made a treaty at the Inviolable Place of Worship? So long as they are true to you, be true to them. Lo! Allah loveth those who keep their duty.       ––9: At–Taubah: 7

7.       Never stand (to pray) there. A place of worship which was founded upon duty (to Allah) from the first day is more worthy that thou shouldst stand (to pray) therein, wherein are men who love to purify themselves. Allah loveth the purifiers.  ––9: At–Taubah: 108

In the following Verses the Qur’an tells of those persons whom Allah does not love. They are those who are aggressors, who are disbelievers, who are wrong-doers, who are proud and boastful, who are treacherous and sinful, who are transgressors of Divine Law, who are prodigal, who are corrupt. The Qur’an Says:

1.       Fight in the way of Allah against those who fight against you, but begin not hostilities. Lo! Allah loveth not aggressors.      —2: Al–Baqarah: 190

2.       Say: Obey Allah and the messenger. But if they turn away lo! Allah loveth not the disbelievers (in His guidance).  —3: Al–Imran: 32

3.       And as for those who believe and do good works, He will pay them their wages in full. Allah loveth not wrong-doers. —3: Al–Imran: 57

4.       Lo! Allah loveth not such as are proud and boastful:   —4: An–Nisa: 36

5.       And plead not on behalf of (people) who deceive themselves. Lo! Allah loveth not one who is treacherous and sinful.  —4:An–Nisa: 107

6.       O ye who believe! Forbid not the good things which Allah hath made lawful for you, and transgress not. Lo! Allah loveth not transgressors.      —5:Al–Ma’idah: 87

7.       ……Eat ye of the fruit thereof when it fruiteth, and pay the due thereof upon the harvest day, and be not prodigal. Lo! Allah loveth not the prodigals.    -6:Al–An'am: 141

8.       And if thou fearest treachery from any folk, then throw back to them (their treaty) fairly. Lo! Allah loveth not the treacherous.       —8: Al–Anfal: 58

9.       ……When his own folk said unto him: Exult not; lo! Allah loveth not the exultant;  —28: Al–Qasas: 76

10.   ……and seek not corruption in the earth; lo! Allah loveth not corrupters.    —28: Al–Qasas: 77

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2 – God Repels One People By Another

It is general practice (Sunnah) or universal principle of God that He does not let one people or one group hold power permanently in His earth. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Had power been vested permanently in one nation or one class of persons the earth would have been filled with corruption, chaos and oppression. The powerful people would have let loose reign of terror on the weak, subjugating them physically, occupying their lands and resources and destroying their places of worship and basic human rights. Therefore, God repels one people by another and replaces one civilization by another. According to working of this principle of God, the group in power falls on account of its corruption, its luxurious living, oppression and other excesses and it is replaced by another group more vigorous, more enterprising and generally better in conduct. This universal principle set by God, which the secular people call Law of Nature, is functioning from the very beginning of this cosmos and would continue till Doomsday. The rise and fall of civilizations can be explained by this principle. The Holy Qur’an says:

1.       So they routed them by Allah's leave and David slew Goliath; and Allah gave him the kingdom and wisdom, and taught him of that which He willeth. And if Allah had not repelled some men by others the earth would have been corrupted. But Allah is a Lord of Kindness to (His) creatures.     —2: Al–Baqarah: 251

2.       So when the time for the first of the two came, We roused against you slaves of Ours of great might who ravaged (your) country, and it was a threat performed. Then We gave you once again your turn against them, and We aided you with wealth and children and made you more in soldiery. (Saying): If ye do good, ye do good for your own souls, and if ye do evil, it is for them (in like manner). So, when the time for the second (of the judgments) came (We roused against you others of Our slaves) to ravage you, and to enter the Temple even as they entered it the first time, and to lay waste all that they conquered with an utter wasting.      —17: Bani Isra'il: 5-7

3.       Those who have been driven from their homes unjustly only because they said: Our Lord is Allah- For had it not been for Allah's repelling some men by means of others, cloisters and churches and oratories and mosques, wherein the name of Allah is oft mentioned, would assuredly have been pulled down. Verily Allah helpeth one who helpeth Him. Lo! Allah is Strong, Almighty.      —22:Al–Hajj: 40

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3 – God Tries the Man

It is another principle of God that He tries and tests the man sometimes with good fortune and prosperity and sometime with hardship and affliction. He who remains grateful to God in prosperity and generously spends out of that which God has given him is successful in the trial. Similarly he who remains patient and steadfast in hardship and adversity and does not feel jealous of those who are above him in rank, is also successful. Such successful persons qualify Allah’s test and would enter paradise. The Qur’an says:

1.       And surely We shall try you with something of fear and hunger, and loss of wealth and lives and crops; but give glad tidings to the steadfast. Who say, when a misfortune striketh them: Lo! we are Allah's and lo! unto Him we are returning.   —2:Al–Baqarah :155-156

2.       Or think ye that ye will enter Paradise while yet there hath not come unto you the like of (that which came to) those who passed away before you? Affliction and adversity befell them, they were shaken as with earthquake, till the messenger (of Allah) and those who believed along with him said: When cometh Allah's help? Now surely Allah's help is nigh.       —2: Al–Baqarah: 214

3.       Or deemed ye that ye' would enter Paradise while yet Allah knoweth not those of you who really strive, nor knoweth those (of you) who are steadfast?     —3: Al–Imran: 142

4.       He it is Who hath placed you as viceroys of the earth and hath exalted some of you in rank above others, that He may try you by (the test of) that which He hath given you. Lo! thy Lord is swift in prosecution, and lo! He is Forgiving, Merciful.     —6: Al–An'am: 165

5.       And know that your possessions and your children are a test, and that with Allah is immense reward.    —8: Al–Anfal: 28

6.       Every soul must taste of death, and We try you with evil? and with good, for ordeal. And, unto Us ye will be returned.       —21: Al–Anbiya: 35

7.       Who hath created life and death that He may try you, which of you is best in conduct; and He is the Mighty, the Forgiving:      —67: Al–Mulk: 2

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4 – God Does Not Task Man Beyond His Capacity

God does not task man beyond his capacity. It means God does not lay greater burden of responsibility on man beyond man’s capacity to bear. In financial matters (for example payment of Zakat and Charity), in physical matters (for example fighting in the path of God) and in religions matters (for example fasting and offering of prayers) man is not loaded with heavier burden than he can bear. Who knows better about man’s capacity to bear than God who is the creator of man. Since the man does not know his capacity and furthermore he is hasty, impatient and short-sighted, so he sometimes grumbles and complains that God despises him. But it is not true. God in fact tries him but does not task him beyond his capacity. The Qur’an says:

1.       Allah tasketh not a soul beyond its scope. For it (is only) that which it hath earned, and against it (only) that which it hath deserved. Our Lord! Condemn us not if we forget, or miss the mark! Our Lord! Lay not on us such a burden as Thou didst lay on those before us! Our Lord! Impose not on us that which we have not the strength to bear! Pardon us, absolve us and have mercy on us, Thou, our Protector, and give us victory over the disbelieving folk!     —2: Al–Baqarah: 286

2.       But (as for) those who believe and do good works – We tax not any soul beyond its scope - Such are rightful owners of the Garden. They abide therein.   —7:Al–A’raf: 42

3.       And We task not any soul beyond its scope, and with Us is a Record which speaketh the truth, and they will not be wronged.      —23: Al–Mu'minun: 62

4.       As for man, whenever his Lord trieth him by honouring him, and is gracious unto him, he saith: My Lord honoureth me. But whenever He trieth him by straightening his means of life, he saith: My Lord despiseth me.  —89: Al–Fajr: 15-16

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5 – All Creatures Worship And Glorify God

All worship, praise and glory is for God Alone. No worship or praise from anyone is due to anybody except God. The Holy Qur’an tells us that all creatures of God worship and glorify Him and hymn His praise. Unto God makes prostration whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth of the living creatures and the Angles. The thunder hymns His praise and so do the birds in their flight. The shadows of various things incline to the right and the left, making prostration to Allah. The seven heavens and the earth and all that is therein praise God and there is not a thing but hymns His praise. Indeed whosoever is in the heavens and in the earth, and the sun and the moon, and the stars, and the hills, and the trees, and the beasts, and many of mankind, pay adoration to Allah. Each knows how to glorify and worship Allah and each practically does it in its own way. The Qur’an says:

1.       The thunder hymneth His praise and (so do) the angels for awe of Him. He launcheth the thunder-bolts and smiteth with them whom He will while they dispute (in doubt) concerning Allah, and He is mighty in wrath.       —13: Ar–Ra’d: 13

2.       And unto Allah falleth prostrate whosoever is in the heavens and the earth, willingly or unwillingly, as do their shadows in the morning and the evening hours. —13: Ar–Ra’d: 15

3.       Have they not observed all things that Allah hath created, how their shadows incline to the right and to the left, making prostration unto Allah, and they are lowly? And unto Allah maketh prostration whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth of living creatures, and the angels (also), and they are not proud. They fear their Lord above them, and do what they are bidden.        —16: An–Nahl: 48-50

4.       The seven heavens and the earth and all that is therein praise Him, and there is not a thing but hymneth his praise; but ye understand not their praise. Lo! He is ever Clement, Forgiving.       —17: Bani–Isra’il: 44

5.       Hast thou not seen that unto Allah payeth adoration whosoever is in the heavens and whosoever is in the earth, and the sun, and the moon, and the stars, and the hills, and the trees, and the beasts, and many of mankind, while there are many unto whom the doom is justly due. He whom Allah scorneth, there is none to give him honour. Lo! Allah doeth what He will.  —22: Al–Hajj: 18

6.       Hast thou not seen that Allah, He it is Whom all who are in the heavens and the earth praise, and the birds in their flight? Of each He knoweth verily the worship and the praise; and Allah is Aware of what they do.       —24: An–Nur: 41

7.       Those who bear the Throne, and all who are round about it, hymn the praises of their Lord and believe in Him and ask forgiveness for those who believe……       —40: Al–Mu'min: 7

8.       All that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth glorifieth Allah, the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One, the Mighty, the Wise.      —62: Al–Jum’ah: 1

9.       All that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth glorifieth Allah; unto Him belongeth sovereignty and unto Him belongeth praise, and He is Able to do all things.    
      —64: At–Taghabun: 1

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6 – God, Adam And Satan

In the following Verses, the Holy Qur’an tells us the story of Adam and Satan in an interesting manner – how God intended to make Adam viceroy in the earth, how Angels objected to that, how God established superiority of Adam by teaching him names, how God asked Angels to prostrate before Adam, how all did prostrate save Iblis, how Iblis was declared outcast, how Iblis misguided Adam and Eve to eat fruit of forbidden tree and thus got them expelled from Paradise, and so on. Thus speaks the Holy Qur’an:

1.       And when thy Lord said unto the angels: Lo! I am about to place a viceroy in the earth, they said: Wilt Thou place therein one who will do harm therein and will shed blood, while we, we hymn Thy praise and sanctify Thee? He said: Surely I know that which ye know not. And He taught Adam all the names, then showed them to the angels, saying; Inform me of the names of these if ye are truthful. They said: Be glorified! We have no knowledge saving that which Thou hast taught us. Lo! Thou, only Thou, art the Knower, the Wise. He said: O Adam! Inform them of their names, and when he had informed them of their names, He said: Did I not tell you that I know the secret of the heavens and the earth? And I know that which ye disclose and which ye hide. 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. And We said: O Adam! Dwell thou and thy wife in the Garden and eat ye freely (of the fruits) thereof where ye will; but come not nigh this tree lest ye become wrongdoers. But Satan caused them to deflect therefrom and expelled them from the (happy) state in which they were; and We said: Fall down, one of you a foe unto the other! There shall be for you on earth a habitation and provision for a time. Then Adam received from his Lord words (of revelation), and He relented toward him. Lo! He is the Relenting, the Merciful. We said: Go down, all of you, from hence; but verily there cometh unto you from Me a guidance; and whoso followed My guidance, there, shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve. But they who disbelieve, and deny Our revelations, such are rightful owners of the Fire. They will abide therein.   
      ––2:Al–Baqarah: 30-39

2.       And (unto man): 0 Adam! Dwell thou and thy wife in the Garden and eat from whence ye will, but come not nigh this tree lest ye become wrong-doers. Then Satan whispered to them that he might manifest unto them that which was hidden from them of their shame, and he said: Your Lord forbade you from this tree only lest ye should become angels or become of the immortals. And he swore unto them (saying): Lo! I am a sincere adviser unto you. Thus did he lead them on with guile. And when they tasted of the tree their shame was manifest to them and they began to hide (by heaping) on themselves some of the leaves of the Garden. And their Lord called them (saying): Did I not forbid you from that tree and tell you: Lo: Satan is an open enemy to you? They said: Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves. If Thou forgive us not and have not mercy on us, surely we are of the lost!   —7:Al–A’raf: 19-23

3.       And when We said unto the angels: Fall prostrate before Adam, they fell prostrate (all) save Iblis, he refused. Therefore, We said: O Adam! This is an enemy unto thee and unto thy wife, so let him not drive you both out of the Garden so that thou come to toil. It is (vouchsafed) unto thee that thou hungerest not therein nor art naked. And thou thirstest not therein nor art exposed to the sun's heat. But the Devil whispered to him, saying: O Adam! Shall I show thee the tree of immortality and power that wasteth not away? Then they twain ate thereof, so that their shame became apparent unto them, and they began to hide by heaping on themselves some of the leaves of the Garden. And Adam disobeyed his Lord, so went astray. Then his Lord chose him, and relented toward him, and guided him. He said: Go down hence, both of you, one of you a foe unto the other. But if there come unto you from Me a guidance, then whoso followeth My guidance, he will not go astray nor come to grief.     —20:Ta Ha: 116-123

4.       And when 1 have fashioned him and breathed into him of My spirit, then fall down before him prostrate, The angels fell down prostrate, every one. Saving Iblis; he was scornful and became one of the disbelievers. He said: O Iblis! What hindereth thee from falling prostrate before that which I have created with both My hands? Art thou too proud or art thou of the high exalted? He said; I am better than him. Thou createdst me of fire, whilst him Thou didst create of clay. He said: Go forth from hence, for lo! thou art outcast, And lo! My curse is on thee till the Day of Judgment. He said! My Lord! Reprieve me till the day when they are raised. He said: Lo! thou art of those reprieved. Until the day of the time appointed. He said! Then, by Thy might, I surely will beguile them every one, Save Thy single-minded slaves among them. He said: The Truth is, and the Truth I speak, That I shall fill hell with thee and with such of them as follow thee, together.    —38: Sad: 72-85

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7 – Satan’s Challenge To God

The Qur’an, the revealed book of Islam, tells us that when Satan refused to prostrate before Adam at God’s orders, God declared him outcast and expelled him from heaven. Satan then asked reprieve from God and challenged that he would beguile mankind from God’s right path. God accepted the challenge and gave him reprieve till the Day of Resurrection. From here starts the war between good and evil. God guides the mankind to right path and to Paradise through his Prophets; while Satan lures the mankind to evil path and Hell. Thus says the Qur’an.

1.       He said: Reprieve me till the day when they are raised (from the dead). He said: Lo! thou art of those reprieved. He said- Now, because Thou hast sent me astray, verity I shall lurk in ambush for them on Thy Right Path. Then I shall come upon them from before them and from behind them and from their right hand and from their left hand, and Thou wilt not find most of them beholden (unto Thee). He said: Go forth from hence, degraded, banished. As for such of them as follow thee, surely I will fill Hell with all of you.        —7: Al A'raf: 14-18

2.       He said: O Iblis! What aileth thee that thou art not among the prostrate? He said: Why should I prostrate myself unto a mortal whom Thou hast created out of potter's clay of black mud altered? He said: Then go thou forth from hence, for verily thou art outcast. And lo! the curse shall be upon thee till the Day of Judgment. He said: My Lord! Reprieve me till the day when they are raised. He said: Then lo! thou art of those reprieved. Till an appointed Time, He said; My Lord! Because Thou hast sent me astray, I verily shall adorn the path of error for them in the earth and shall mislead them every one; Save such of them as are Thy perfectly devoted slaves. He said: This is a right course incumbent upon Me: Lo! as for My slaves, thou hast no power over any of them save such of the froward as follow thee. And lo! for all such, Hell will be the promised place. —15: Al–Hijr: 32-43

3.       And when We said unto the angels: Fall down prostrate before Adam and they fell prostrate all save Iblis, he said: Shall I fall prostrate before that which Thou hast created of clay? He said: Seest Thou this (creature) whom Thou hast honoured above me, if Thou give me grace until the Day of Resurrection I verily will seize his seed, save but a few. He said: Go, and whosoever of them followeth thee - lo! Hell will be your payment, ample payment. And excite any, of them whom thou canst with thy voice, and urge thy horse and foot against them, and be a partner, in their wealth and children, and promise them. Satan promiseth them only to deceive. Lo! my (faithful) bondmen – over them thou hast no power, and thy Lord sufficeth as (their) guardian.  —17: Bani Isra'il: 61-65

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8 – God’s Covenants

In the following verses, the Qur’an highlights the covenants which the Almighty Allah has made with mankind, with the Prophets, with the children of Israel and with the followers of Jesus. These covenants bind the parties to fulfill their terms – the latter to worship God alone and obey His teachings, while the former to forgive His slaves and reward them with Paradise.

1.       And (remember) when We made a covenant with the Children of Israel, (saying); Worship none save Allah (only), and be good to parents and to kindred and to orphans and the needy, and speak kindly to mankind; and establish worship and pay the poor due. Then, after that, ye slid back, save a few of you, being averse. And when We made with you a covenant (saying): Shed not the blood of your people nor turn (a party of) your people out of your dwellings. Then ye ratified (Our covenant) and ye were witnesses (there-to).   
      —2: Al–Baqarah: 83-84

2.       When Allah made (His) covenant with the Prophets, (He said): Behold that which I have given you of the Scripture and knowledge. And afterward there will come unto you a messenger, confirming that which ye possess. Ye shall believe in him and ye shall help him. He said: Do ye agree, and will ye take up My burden (which I lay upon you) in this (matter)? They answered: We agree. He said: Then bear ye witness. I will be a witness with you. Then whosoever after this shall turn away: they will be miscreants.  —3: Al–Imran: 81-82

3.       And with those who say: "Lo! we are Christians," We made a covenant. But they forgot a part of that whereof they were admonished. Therefore We have stirred up enmity and hatred among them till the Day of Resurrection, when Allah will inform them of their handiwork.       —5: Al – Ma'idah: 14

4.       And (remember) when thy Lord brought forth from the children of Adam, from their reins, their seed, and made them testify of themselves, (saying): Am I not your Lord? They said: Yea, verily. We testify. (That was) lest ye should say at the Day of Resurrection: Lo! of this we were unaware; Or lest ye should say: (It is) only (that) our fathers ascribed partners to Allah of old and we were (their) seed after them. Wilt Thou destroy us on account of that which those who follow falsehood did? —7: Al–A'raf: 172-173

5.       And when We exacted a covenant from the Prophets, and from thee, (O Muhammad) and from Noah and Abraham and Moses and Jesus son of Mary. We took from them a solemn covenant; That He may ask the loyal of their loyalty. And He hath prepared a painful doom for the unfaithful.      
      —33: Al–Ahzab: 7-8

9 – God Does Not Change His Grace Unless

In the following verses, the Holy Qur’an throws light on another basic principle or tradition of God which He generally follows in dealing with the mankind. God does not change His grace with which He has blessed a people and deprive them of His favours unless they change their hearts and act against His commands. Similarly God does not change the destiny of a people towards better position unless they work hard to change it themselves.

1.       That is because Allah never changes the grace He hath bestowed on any people until they first change that which is in their hearts, and (that is) because Allah is Hearer, Knower.  
      —8: Al–Anfal: 53

2.       For him are angels ranged before him and behind him, who guard him by Allah’s command. Lo! Allah changeth not the condition of a folk until they (first) change that which is in their hearts; and if Allah willeth misfortune for a folk there is none that can repel it, nor have they a defender beside Him.
      —13: Al–Ra’d: 11

According to Muhammad Asad: “In this wider sense, this is an illustration of the divine law of cause and effect (sunnat Allah) which dominates the lives of both individuals and communities, and makes the rise and fall of civilizations dependent on people’s moral qualities and the changes in “their inner selves”.

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10 – God Produces, Then Reproduces

The Qur’an tells us in the following verses that God produces creation and then reproduces it. None can do this thing except Him.

1.       Unto Him is the return of all of you; it is a promise of Allah in truth. Lo! He produceth creation, then reproduceth it, that He may reward those who believe and do good works with equity; while, as for those who disbelieve, theirs will be a boiling drink and painful doom because they disbelieved.   
      —10: Yunus: 4

2.       Say: Is there of your partners (whom ye ascribe unto Allah) one that produceth creation and then reproduceth it? Say Allah produceth creation, then reproduceth it. How then, are ye misled! —10: Yunus: 34

3.       Is not He (best) who produceth creation, then reproduceth it, and Who provideth for you from the heaven and the earth? Is there any God beside Allah? Say: Bring your proof, if ye are truthful!   —27: An–Naml: 64

4.       See they not how Allah produceth creation, then reproduceth it? Lo! for Allah that is easy. Say (O Muhammad): Travel in the land and see how He originated creation, then Allah bringeth forth the later growth. Lo! Allah is able to do all things.    —29: Al–‘Ankabut: 19-20

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