The King of Islam
THE ISLAMIC PERCEPTIONS of Allah and the system controlling life may have its roots deep in the structure of the Arabs' lives and minds. Although many Arabs would like to think that the wordAllah means God, this is far from true. Allah is the generic name given by the Arabs to their God long before Islam and Mohammed. In this sense it is like Venus or Cupid or other names given by the Greek or other civilizations to their gods.
Ascribing a name to God is in itself an absurdity-why should God have a name? Names are invented and used by humans to distinguish one person from another. So, the pertinent question is: If there is only one God why does he need a name? Amazingly, today's Muslims accept this absurdity without any question, just as they accepts far worse absurdities, only because, to the Muslims, these are part of the Islamic doctrine.
God vs. Allah
God - the creator
When we believe in God as the creator of life and universe then we must also believe that God is beyond any imaginable description of a human mind. In other words: we cannot describe God simply by using our system of measurements, such as: shape, length, colour, time and material. It is a mistake to assume that God is a living material object that exists somewhere, starts somewhere and ends somewhere. Indeed, none of our measurements could be applied to God, who is therefore beyond our description and understanding. How can a human mind understand something that is without shape, mass, matter, the beginning or the end?
Using the same logic, we cannot apply human characters to God. These characteristics include human feelings, such as: happiness, anger, kindness and cruelty. Doing so would mean that God is a human. This defies human logic. A human God would probably create a different kind of life where everybody is good, healthy, rich and kind. A human God would not create disease, death or natural disasters, and would not let humans kill humans or animals eat animals.
Allah - the king of Islam
Muslims claim that God has chosen the name Allah for himself, and this is made clear repeatedly in the Quran "Q.112:1 Say he (the God) is Allah and he is one" . And this is what Muslims say when they pronounce the first part of Shahada, "there is no God but Allah".
Although Muslims do not think of Allah to have a physical shape of a human or any other creature, the fact is once you mention the word Allah to Muslims it will generate some form of an image in their minds. Quran does not describe Allah in physical form although it gives many descriptions to his characters. Quran goes even further and describes Allah as a god who gets happy when obeyed and gets angry when disobeyed. When Allah is happy of humans he rewards them, when angry he punishes them.
The characters of Allah are described to us in some detail through the ninety-nine noble names of Allah mentioned in the Quran. Among those noble names that describe Allah's characters are the most merciful, powerful, generous -to the end of the list, which also includes the title 'the king'.
We will see later how Allah, according to the Quran, actually behaves like a king, and more precisely like an Arab king.
The image of the king in the Arab mind
The life-style of the Arabs of Mecca in the 7th century was mainly tribal-too primitive to develop proper kingdoms. However, the Arabs of Mecca were well aware of the many neighbouring kingdoms in Syria, Persia and Abyssinia. Nevertheless, a few Arab tribes did have their own kingdoms in Arabia, like the ones ruled by Bani Ghassan and Bani Munthir in the north, both of which were allied to the Romans and the Persians.
To the Arabs, a king is an icon of ultimate authority. He is usually a man with wisdom, power and wealth. His inner circle of trusted advisers and deputies help to control the various parts of the kingdom. When the king issues a decree he would send a messenger with the authenticated ruling, duly authenticated with the royal seal. A king expects that his subjects' obedience is solely to him and that this allegiance is total and complete, that all his subjects know about his fairness, generosity and kindness. On the other hand, a king does not tolerate opposition or rebellion in his kingdom, and he would use brutal force to crush them.
Today's Arab kings too expect total and complete submission from their subjects. But you don't have to be a king to enjoy such an authority. Any head of a government department will expect the same treatment from his staff; so does any company director from his employees. Even a father in a traditional Arab family will expect such total submission from the members of his own family.
The Arabs call a man who heads a family rab, which means god. And make no mistake-he does get treated like one! In a traditional Arab family no one is allowed to show any sign of disobedience to this god and that includes all his children and wives. Even the eldest son, who is second in line in this hierarchy, will show every possible sign of submission to his father. He will greet him by kissing his hands as a mark of respect, will not speak in front of him until he is told to and to avoid being seen as an equivalent, will look at the ground when he talks with his father. Around the dining table, no one is allowed to take the father's seat or touch the food before the father does. Even family relations and marriages must be approved and arranged by this family god. The first grand child will probably be named after him.
In such a traditional family, a father will have high expectations from his children that even the slightest sign of disobedience would seem to be a major sin. Such sins will almost always happen in every family, especially after the children get married and it becomes difficult for them to keep this delicate balance of responsibilities to their parents on one hand and to their own families on the other hand. A classic example is when a father senses that his son is giving too much attention to his wife and her family and interprets that as a sign of disobedience from his son. Typically, such a traditional father would go through a long list of favours he had done to his son in the past, saying: "It is I who looked after you when you were a child and provided you with food and clothes and arranged for you to have education-.. so how do you turn your back to me in favour of your wife ?"
Power struggle in the seventh heaven
Mohammed tells us through the Quran (Q.2:30-38, Q.18:50) how all our problems started. According to the Quran, the trouble happened some time ago, when Allah was sitting there in histhrone somewhere in the seventh heaven, at a place called sidrat almuntaha, which seems to be a top-secret area where very few angels are allowed to congregate. Allah has already finished creating the skies and the earth with its mountains and resources, a creation that went perfectly well. Allah, who is kind, caring, wise and merciful, discussed with the angels his plans of a new creation project called man. This project was met with many question-marks from the angels. It was particularly unpopular with another creature, Iblis, who also resided in heaven. It appears to us, according to the Quran, that Iblis was an upright peaceful creature until he heard about this new project of the creation of man. Iblis, who was aware of Allah's rules and powers decided to do something really mad-- he decided to refuse Allah's order to prostrate to the newly-created man!
The Quran gives only a brief explanation of what made Iblis behave in such a bizarre way. The Quran explains iblis's own reason, which is: he felt humiliated to prostrate to a creature made of earth, while he himself was created from fire, which he considers to be a superior material. Quran, however doesn't give a reason as to why Allah wanted everybody to prostrate to the first man. I never came across a man who thought it was really important for him to be treated so nicely by the angels and Iblis. They all preferred to enjoy heaven, rather than being prostrated to. However, in other places the Quran says about Allah: " He is not asked about his actions while they are asked about their actions." So we have to shut up and leave it there.
The story goes on to tell us that Iblis, who of course, knew he is due for punishment, asked Allah to do him one last favour which is to delay his punishment to the judgment day. Iblis makes it clear that he only wanted to use this time to tempt man to sin and worship him instead of worshiping Allah. What is surprising, however, is that Allah agrees to that request, and He sets the rules that those of us who follow Iblis will end in hell fire. Considering human history, it looks like most of humanity will suffer that sad fate! The Quranic story brings up the legitimate question:"why Allah wants man to say NO to Iblis while he himself said YES to him when he accepted to postpone his punishment to the judgement day?"
That was how it all started, according to the Quran. It appears that we are caught in the middle of some kind of power struggle between Allah and Iblis, each wants us to worship him. Now we have to make our choices:
On one hand Allah wants us to pray five times every day with many extras during Ramadan, fast one month every year with extras all year round, perform hajj and omra, adhere to a strict and uncompromising code of Islamic conduct that affects all aspects of life, including eating, talking, appearance, and avoiding all aspects of life pleasures, like music, dancing and other arts. In addition we are asked to fight hard and kill those who do not believe in Allah, even if we do not like fighting. On the other hand, Iblis requires from his followers to feel happy and free to do whatever they like, no other requirements. Now make your choice!
Recognition of Allah
The Quran keeps reminding its readers of the importance of recognising Allah and His authority.Recognising Allah as the only God is the first and the most important part of the Islamic doctrine and this constitutes the first part of the shahada, which a person has to pronounce to become a Muslim. The message is clear to man: recognise only Allah as a God and denounce all others (are there any others?). Failure to denounce all other gods is a sin that Allah will never forgive, while he might consider forgiving any other sin, including murder. Also high on the list comes the demand of worshiping Allah, which, according to theQuran, is the reason for our creation. "And we created jinn and mankind only to worship (me)"
The Quran doesn't let you forget the virtues of Allah and the favours he has done to man, and wants man to show his gratefulness because of that. Man must show his gratefulness only to Allah, never to another man. A true Muslim will never say the Arabic word shukran (meaning thank you) to another man, as it has to be reserved for Allah. A true Muslim will express his gratitude to another man by saying something like, "jazaka allahu khayran" meaning may Allah reward you. Quran goes repeatedly through long lists of those favours such as: the creation of man in perfect shape with vision and hearing (Q.9: 32), providing him with food and drinks, then creating the seas and the skies to be at his disposal (Q.45: 12,13) and the stars as a decoration for the sky and to be useful during navigation. In other words the Quran wants to say, "How can somebody turn his back and worship Iblis instead of Allah?"(Q.36:60,61)
It looks like we are talking about a god who is so self-conscious about his image and authority that he demands constant recognition from his creatures-a god who is so sensitive to competition (by Iblis) that it makes you wonder why he allowed it in the first place.
The Quranic description of Allah fits a king more than it fits God. More precisely, it fits an Arab king who fears competition and demands his authority to be constantly recognised, his polices constantly appreciated and praised by his subjects. In the 7th century kings had palaces (Allah has Albaytu Alma'mour) and a throne (which Allah has) and are served by loyal staff (like the angels). When a king wants to pass a new law (like a new religion) he sends his messenger (a prophet or Rasul) to his subjects to deliver the message (the new religion orrisala). The message is usually written using the local language (just like the Quran).
This is probably how it all happened, and how many people in the past understood the function of the system of life. A special breed of humans, called clerics, who make the religions to their societies, guard it and spread it must had promoted this understanding. They had to think of prophets because at that early stage of history they only knew that messages can be delivered by messengers. Had they knew about other more sophisticated means, like radio communication or telephones or Internet they would have thought of it.
Islam - the Arabic religion
History tells us that almost every community had its own religion that thrived well in its own community. Those religions had rules, rituals and sacred places more relevant to its respective communities. The pharaohs did not have holy places outside Egypt, the Mayas did not have holy places outside their counties and neither did Islam.
It is beyond the scope of this article to explain the similarities between Islam and other religions that happened to exist in Arabia before Mohammed. However, it is a common knowledge thatmost of Islamic teachings and rituals were preached and practiced by various tribes inArabia. These include nearly all the hajj rituals, the five daily prayers, Ramadan fasting and more. Islamic beliefs in after-life and the descriptions of hill and heavens were common beliefs of other pre-Islamic religions in Persia and some parts of the Arabian Peninsula. In fact, the Quran used the same foreign words to describe them.
Islam addressed issues that were relevant to Mohammed in his time, and failed to address other issues of relevance to other societies of the time. The Quran addressed issues like polygamy, divorce, slavery and the practice of burying female infants alive, because the Arabs commonly practiced them at the time of Mohammed. On the other hand, it failed to make any reference to other important issues that were of relevance to other nations like the Persians or the Romans. For example, the Quran never commented on the stage performances in the Roman amphitheatres or the gladiators. The roman government structure was very impressive in its time as it still is in our time. But this has no mention in the Quran. This is hardly surprising because they were not burning issues to Mohammed and who probably had never heard of them. So he did not waste a verse on them.
A careful reading of the Quran will show that it catered mainly to Mohammed's own needs; it only addressed issues of relevance to the Arabs because they were of relevance to Mohammed as well. Let us look at samples of such Quranic verses, (please note these are only examples):
♦ A sura talks about his uncle whom he hated (Q.111),
♦ Verses demanding his wives to stop asking him to provide earthy luxuries, and concentrate instead on seeking Allah's and his blessings, (Q.33:28-29)
Allah likes the finest names
The Qur’an tells us that the finest names belong to Allah; we must call Him by those names (7:180)
YUSUF ALI: The most beautiful names belong to Allah: so call on him by them; but shun such men as use profanity in his names: for what they do, they will soon be requited. [Q 7.180]
However, the Qur’an does not tell us that Allah also has a few terrible names (Sunaan Ibn Majah, 5.3861). Such as: The Relenting (al–Tawwab), The Strong (al–Qawiyy), The Forceful (al–Shadid), The Distresser (al–Dar), The Destroyer (al–Mumitu), The Witholder (al–Mani’u), The Odd (al–Witr).
We just have to imagine how Allah would look when He does really behave according to those terrible names.
Here are few ahadith which promise paradise just for memorising the ninety–nine names of Allah.
Just learn the ninety-nine names of Allah to go to Paradise…(Sahih Bukhari, 3.50.894)
Allah's Apostle said, "Allah has ninety-nine names, i.e. one-hundred minus one, and whoever knows them will go to Paradise."
Allah has ninety-nine Names, i.e., one hundred minus one, and whoever believes in their meanings and acts accordingly, will enter Paradise…(Sahih Bukhari, 8.75.419)
Allah has ninety-nine Names, i.e., one hundred minus one, and whoever believes in their meanings and acts accordingly, will enter Paradise; and Allah is Witr (one) and loves 'the Witr' (i.e., odd numbers).
Allah looks like Adam
In part 1 of this essay we read that Allah does really look like Adam. Here is more information on this countenance of Allah.
Allah breathed His spirit (image of Allah?) in His newly created man (Adam) and commanded the angels to prostrate before the newly created man…38:72
Sahih Muslim says that Allah created Adam in His resemblance…(Sahih Muslim, 40.6809)
Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, created Adam in His own image with His length of sixty cubits, and as He created him He told him to greet that group, and that was a party of angels sitting there, and listen to the response that they give him, for it would form his greeting and that of his offspring. He then went away and said: Peace be upon you (Sic)! They (the angels) said: “May there be peace upon you and the Mercy of Allah, and they made an addition of Mercy of Allah". So he who would get into Paradise would get in the form of Adam, his length being sixty cubits, then the people who followed him continued to diminish in size up to this day.
Allah looks like a King
In part 2 of this essay we read that Allah declared that He is (was) a king, mightier than many Arab kings who had ruled Arabia before Muhammad was born. Since Allah is a King His countenance must be like a King.
In verse 114:1–3 Allah truly says that He is the King of mankind:
YUSUF ALI: Say: I seek refuge with the Lord and Cherisher of Mankind, The King (or Ruler) of Mankind, The god (or judge) of Mankind,- [Q 114.001 -003]
Let us read the following hadith from Sahih Bukhari in which Allah declares His Kingship on earth (Sahih Bukhari, 9.93.479)
The Prophet said, "On the Day of Resurrection Allah will hold the whole earth and fold the heaven with His right hand and say, 'I am the King: where are the kings of the earth?" '
Even when Allah is the King of this earth He is scared of a human king like the Shahan Shah of Iran. Allah finds Shahan Shah of Iran His implacable enemy. That is why Allah hates the name Shahan Shah…(Sahih Bukhari, 8.73.225).
Let us read the hadith and try to visualise how Allah looks like as a King.
The Prophet said, "The most awful (meanest) name in Allah's sight." Sufyan said more than once, "The most awful (meanest) name in Allah's sight is (that of) a man calling himself king of kings." Sufyan said, "Somebody else (i.e. other than Abu Az-Zinad, a sub-narrator) says: What is meant by 'The king of kings' is 'Shahan Shah."
Jesus is the word and spirit of Allah; Allah look like Jesus
We already read that Allah admitted that Adam looked like Him (or the other way round, if you do not mind). Now, in verse 15:29, Allah says that He had breathed His spirit into Adam. In verse 4:171 Allah also claims that Jesus Christ was also a spirit from Him (i.e., born out of Allah’s spirit). The natural derivation from all these incredible feats of Allah will be that Allah must look like Jesus Christ (or Jesus must have looked like Allah).
Let us read these two verses.
YUSUF ALI: "When I have fashioned him (in due proportion) and breathed into him of My spirit, fall ye down in obeisance unto him." [Q 15.29]
YUSUF ALI: O People of the Book! Commit no excesses in your religion: Nor say of Allah aught but the truth. Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) a messenger of Allah, and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a spirit proceeding from Him: so believe in Allah and His messengers. Say not "Trinity" : desist: it will be better for you: for Allah is one Allah: Glory be to Him: (far exalted is He) above having a son. To Him belong all things in the heavens and on earth. And enough is Allah as a Disposer of affairs. [Q 4.171]
A hadith in Sahih Muslim tells us that Muhammad had confirmed Jesus Christ was born through the spirit of Allah…(Sahih Muslim 1.43).
It is narrated on the authority of Ubadah b. Samit that the messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) observed: He who said: "There is no god but Allah, He is One and there is no associate with Him, that Muhammad is his servant and His messenger, that Christ is servant and the son of His slave-girl and he (Christ) His word which He communicated to Mary and is His Spirit, that Paradise is a fact and Hell is a fact," Allah would make him (he who affirms these truths enter Paradise through any one of its eight doors which he would like.
In a footnote, ‘Abdul Hamid Siddiqi, the translator of Sahih Muslim writes:
The word “spirit” used for Jesus does not carry him a step beyond the limits of humanity, for Adam also it has been said, “I breathed my spirit into him (Qur’an xv. 29). In fact, according to the Holy Qur’an, the spirit of God is breathed into everyman: Then he made him complete and breathed into him of His spirit and gave you hearing and sight and hearts (xxxii. 9). The epithet, ruhum–minhu, “a spirit from Him,” does not imply that the soul of Allah was incarnated in Jesus; it only signifies the eminence of Christ as it has been explained by the famous commentators of the Holy Qur’an , Ibn ‘Abbas, Ibn Jarir, Ibn Kathir (Siddiqi, 2004, p 26, footnote 68).
If we were to believe ‘Abdul Hamid Siddiqi then the Qur’an must be wrong. For, the Qur’an clearly says that Allah sent Gabriel to implant His spirit (read part 2 of this series) into the womb of Mary. Elsewhere, Allah says that His spirit is actually His soul. Therefore, Jesus was surely from the soul of Allah, a special provision which Allah has exclusively reserved for Prophets like Adam, Moses, Jesus, Muhammad,…and so on.
We can, therefore conclude that Allah, most probably, looks like Jesus Christ. Extend this further—and what conclusion could we make about Allah’s countenance during Muhammad’s time? The answer should be obvious to anyone.
Allah wears a hijab, He speaks from behind a veil
In previous part (part 6) of this essay we noted Allah’s fixation with veil (hijab). Not only that He has forced all Muslim women to undergo this torment of being veiled, from head to toe with uncomfortable, ugly and potentially dangerous Bedouin garb, Allah Himself wears veil, even though we very well know that Allah is not a female.
We read in the Qur’an that Allah spoke directly with Moses but did not show His face (Allah hid His face with hijab
); when Moses looked at the mountain where Allah was hiding, the mountain crumbled and Moses fainted; Moses was the first to believe in Islam (7:143
Another verse confirms that Allah, does indeed wear hijab
and He speaks from behind His hijab
. Sometimes Allah prefers to send messengers (like Muhammad) to convey His messages. Allah never speaks directly; that is, face to face, without any hijab
Is it possible then that Allah might look like any of those hijabi women we observe in the streets of some countries in the Middle East, especially in Saudi Arabia?
It is also interesting to note that almighty, all–knowing Allah cannot communicate with His faithful followers—He had to send messengers (like Muhammad) to deliver His messages.
Arabs are the chosen people of Allah; Allah resembles an Arab
It is quite simple to understand this countenance of Allah. Allah dearly loves the Arabs and He chose them over all other races, making them the best pedigree in the human race. The Arabs must be the special creation of Allah. Does Allah look like an Arab, especially an Arab from Saudi Arabia and from the Quraysh stock? Let us read from ibn Sa’d, the famous biographer of Muhammad.
(Note: this narration about the superiority of the Arabs is quite lengthy. I shall quote a small portion.):
…Abu Damarah al–Madani Anas Ibn ‘Iyad al–Laythi informed us; he said: Ja’far Ibn Muhammad Ibn ‘Ali informed us on the authority of his father, Muhammad Ibn ‘Ali ibn Husayn Ibn “Ali Ibn Abi Talib, who said: Verily the Prophet said: God divided the earth in two halves and placed (me) in the better of the two, then He divided the half in three parts, and I was in the best of them, then He chose the Arabs from among the people, then He chose the Quraysh from among the Arabs, then He chose the children of ‘Abd al–Muttalib from among the Banu Hashim, then he chose me from among the children of ‘Abd al–Muttalib (Ibn Sa’d, vol I, p 2).
Allah looks like a deity
Here is a Qur’anic verse which says that Allah is the only deity to be worshipped. This means that Allah’s countenance must be like a deity—just like any supreme idol. The only difference is that Allah is the only idol to be worshipped. We have already seen this idol in nothing but in the stone/s of Ka’ba.
‘Uqbah b. ‘Amir said: We served ourselves in the company of Messenger of Allah (may be peace on him). We tended our camels by turn. One day I had my turn to tend the camels, and I drove them in the afternoon. I found the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) addressing the people. I heard him say: Anyone amongst you who performs ablution, and does it well, then he stands and offers two rak’ahs of prayer, concentrating on it with his heart and body, Paradise will be his lot by all means. I said: Ha–ha! How fine it is! A man in front of me said: The action (mentioned by the Prophet) earlier, O ‘Uqbah, is finer than this one. I looked at him and found him to be ‘Umar b. al-Khattab. I asked him: What is that, O Abu Hafs? He replied: he (the Prophet) had said before you came: If any one of you performs ablution, and does it well, and when he finishes the ablution, he utters the words: I bear witness that there is no deity except Allah; He has no associate, and I bear witness that Muhammad is the servant and His Messenger, all the eight doors of Paradise will be opened for him; he may enter (through) any of them.
Allah speaks Hebrew
Allah is a polyglot; there should not be any doubt on this. The Qur’an attests this truth. Allah sent the Qur’an in Arabic because Muhammad was an Arab. Ibn Sa’d writes that Abraham’s son Ismail was the first person to speak Arabic. So Allah started speaking Arabic since this time. Before this, the language of the Arabs was Hebrew. Naturally, Allah spoke Hebrew during that period. If we extend this logic then we might say: during Jesus’ time Allah must had spoken Syriac–Aramaic, because that was the tongue of Jesus’ people. Then when Allah sent Muhammad as His Messenger Allah again started to speak Arabic. Is it then funny that Allah frequently changes His native tongue?
Isma’l Ibn ‘Abd Allah Ibn Abu Uways al–Madani informed us: My father narrated to me on the authority of Abu al–Jarud al-Rabi Ibn Quray’, he on the authority of ‘Uqbah Ibn Bashir that he asked Muhammad Ibn ‘Ali: Who was the first person to talk in Arabic? He said: Isma’il Ibn Ibrahim, may Allah bless them: when he was thirteen years old. He (Uqbah) said: O Abu Ja’far what was the language of the people before that? He said: Hebrew. He (’Uqbah) said: In what language did Allah reveal his message to His apostles in those days? He said: In Hebrew (ibn Sa’d, vol I, p 43).
Dajjal is one-eyed, Allah is not (Allah has two eyes)
Allah is very meticulous about his appearance. When Muhammad learned that Dajjal (anti–Christ) has one eye, he was perturbed as to the number of eyes of Allah. But, as we saw before, that Allah, in all its physical appearances looks just like a human being, Muhammad assured his followers that unlike the Dajjal, Allah has two eyes.
Allah's Apostle said, "Shall I not tell you about the Dajjal a story of which no prophet told his nation? The Dajjall is one-eyed and will bring with him what will resemble Hell and Paradise, and what he will call Paradise will be actually Hell; so I warn you (against him) as Noah warned his nation against him."
Anas b. Malik reported the Prophet (may peace be upon him) as saying: No prophet was sent who had not warned his people about one-eyed liar. Beware! He will be one–eyed, but your Lord the Exalted, is not one–eyed. Between his eyes will be written “Infidel” (Kafir).
Allah’s eyes are not like two floating grapes; Dajjal’s eyes are
The Raja (anti-Christ) is short, hen-toed, woolly-haired, one eyed, an eye-sightless and neither protruding nor deep-seated. Allah is not one eyed…(Sunaan Abu Dawud, 37.4306)
The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: I have told you so much about the Dajjal (Antichrist) that I am afraid you may not understand. The Antichrist is short, hen-toed, woolly-haired, one-eyed, an eye-sightless, and neither protruding nor deep-seated. If you are confused about him, know that your Lord is not one-eyed.
Ad-Dajjal was mentioned in the presence of the Prophet. The Prophet said, "Allah is not hidden from you; He is not one-eyed," and pointed with his hand towards his eye, adding, "While Al-Masih Ad-Dajjal is blind in the right eye and his eye looks like a protruding grape."
Allah is not hidden from us; He is fire; worship Him if you do not want to be touched by fire
We read before that Allah is a fire. In the hadith, quoted below Allah approves fire worshipping, since He is fire.
If you do not want to be touched by fire then: worship Allah, never associate anything with Allah, establish prayer, pay zakat and do good to your kin…(Sahih Muslim, 1.13, 14
It is narrated on the authority of Abu Ayyub that a man came to the Prophet (may peace be upon him) and said: Direct me to a deed which draws me near to Paradise and takes me away from the Fire (of Hell). Upon this he (the Holy Prophet) said: You worship Allah and never associate anything with Him, establish prayer, and pay Zakat, and do good to your kin. When he turned his back, the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) remarked: If he adheres to what he has been ordered to do, he would enter Paradise.
Allah has a sleepless-face, he does not sleep; He likes insomniacs
The Qur’an recommends Muslims to sleep as little as possible, and to devote the major part of the night in prayer and supplicating to Allah. Allah is not at all concerned that His slaves might be afflicted with insomnia which will lead to ill health. The early morning cacophony of prayer call even exhorts that prayer is better than a sound sleep. Here are two verses from the Qur’an which encourages Muslims to forgo sound sleep at night.
Why Allah does not encourage His slaves to have a sound sleep at night? The answer is quite simple: Allah does not sleep at night, so He does not want the Muslims to sleep at night—or sleep as little as possible.
Here is a hadith from Sahih Muslim which tells us that one of the five attributes of Allah is that He does not sleep either at night or during the day. Naturally, this means that Allah has a sleepless face.
Another hadith in Sunaan ibn Majah reveals that Allah does not sleep.
Let us read these two interesting ahadith.
Abu Musa reported: The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) was standing amongst us and he told us five things. He said: Verily the Exalted and Mighty God does not sleep, and it does not befit Him to sleep. He lowers the scale and lifts it. The deeds in the night are taken up to Him before the deeds of the day and the deeds of the day before the deeds of the night. His veil is the light. In the hadith narrated by Abu Bakr (instead of the word" light") it is fire. If he withdraws it (the veil), the splendour of His countenance would consume His creation so far as His sight reaches.
Abu Musa (Allah be pleased with him) is reported to have said, “Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) got up amongst us (to address us) regarding four things. He said, “Verily, Allah sleeps not; nor does it behove Him to sleep. He lowers the scales and raises them. The deed (done during) the night is presented to him before the deed of the day and (so is presented) a deed of the day before the deed of night. His veil is the Light. If He would remove it, the august splendour of Allah’s Countenance would burn everything of His creation to which His Glance reaches.
Modern-day Islamic scholars, such as Drs Hilali and Muhsin Khan quotingFath al–Bari states that Allah neither sleeps nor eats (Hilali and Khan, 1996, p. 142).
Imam Ghazali, the most respected and trusted Islamic scholar wrote Ihya Ulum Ed-Din to propagate the glory of Allah and the methods by which a devoted Muslim could be close to Allah. Many Muslims even consider this book as second only to the Qur’an. Imam Ghazali postulated that a true believer must get used to sleepless nights. He said that the surest approach to reach the nearness of Allah is not to sleep at night or to sleep very little. Here are a few excerpts from this celebrity of Islam. (Ghazali, Tr. Fazl-ul-Karim, 1993, vols. ii, iii and iv).
If anyone seeks Paradise, he should not sleep at night; he who fears God takes rest at dawn. (Ghazali, vol. iv, p353)
Ali said, “The signs of religious men are the following: their color turn yellow as an effect of passing sleepless nights, their eyes turn yellow as an effect of shedding tears, their lips become dry as an effect of fasting and the signs of God-fearing people appear on them.” (Ghazali, vol. iv, 354)
Imam Ghazali even describes how a believer should lie down to sleep to reach Allah.
Imam Ghazali is completely correct on the virtues of sleepless nights for the Muslims. His idea is in full conformity with the Qur’an as explicated above.
Allah’s countenance will be visible as clearly as the sun or the moon
Here are a few ahadith where Muhammad guarantees that people will see Allah’s countenance just like they see the moon on a cloudless sky.
People will see Allah in His own form on the resurrection day just the way they see the sun and the moon on a clear day; the Christians and the Jews will be sent to hell (long hadith)…(Sahih Muslim, 1.0349
You will see Allah like you see the full moon…(Sahih Muslim, 4.1322
Allah will show His face only after your death
Challenged by the pagans, Muhammad was quick to realise his folly in attempting to describe his version of Allah which he could never let them see or observe. So, his ruse was very simple. Exasperated, dispirited, Allah ruefully told the pagan Meccans that people will see Allah after their death. Mind you, Muhammad had already confirmed that Allah will not meet the non-Muslims, He will show His face only to those who convert to Islam or born into it.
Here is a hadith which says none will be able to see Allah until one dies (very long hadith)…(Sahih Muslim, 41.7000
YUSUF ALI: By no means! but on their hearts is the stain of the (ill) which they do! [Q 83.14]
YUSUF ALI: Verily, from (the Light of) their Lord, that Day, will they be veiled. [Q 83.15]