Getting to Know Allah
Allah v. Alleged Associates
18:110 Say (O Muhammad): “I am only a mortal like you. It has been revealed to me that your God is One God. Let him who hopes to meet his Lord, do what is good and associate none in the worship of his Lord.”
6:12 Say: “To whom does that which exists in the heavens and on earth belong?” Say: “To Allah. He has prescribed to Himself Mercy. He will certainly gather you on the Day of Resurrection, which is undoubted. Those who lost their souls will not believe.”
6:13 To Him belongs whatever comes to rest in the day and in the night; and He is the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing.
6:14 Say: “Shall I take as guardian anyone other than Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth, and Who feeds and is not fed?” Say: “I have been commanded to be the first to submit and not to be one of the polytheist.”
6:15 Say: “Indeed, if I disobey my Lord, I fear the punishment of a Fateful Day.”
6:16 Whoever is spared on that Day has gained His Mercy, and that is indeed the manifest triumph!
6:17 And if Allah lets you suffer an affliction, no one can lift it except He; and if He accords you any good, He surely has power over everything.
6:18 And He is Sovereign over His servants and He is Wise, Well Acquainted with all things.
6:19 Say: “What has the greatest testimony?” Say: “Allah is Witness between you and me, and He has revealed this Qur’an to me so that I may warn you and whomever it may reach. Do you indeed testify that there are gods besides Allah?” Say: “I do not testify.” Say: “He is indeed One God and I am innocent of the association of idols [with Him].”
The Largest and Heaviest of Gods
In His hundreds of revelations about other gods, which often take the form of rants, Allah recurrently reveals the most about Himself, as He does here about his size. If size does matter, Allah is one huge god indeed, revelation 39:67.
39:62 Allah is the Creator of everything and He is the Guardian of everything.
39:63 His are the keys of the heavens and the earth; and those who have disbelieved in Allah’s Signs are the losers.
39:64 Say: “Do you, then, command me to worship anyone other than Allah, O ignorant ones?”
39:65 He has in fact revealed to you (Muhammad) and those who preceded you: “If you associate any others with Allah, He will frustrate your work and you will certainly be one of the losers.”
39:66 Instead, worship Allah and be one of the thankful.
39:67 They have not recognized Allah’s true measure. The whole earth shall be in His grasp and the heavens shall be rolled up in His Right Hand on the Day of Resurrection. Glory be to Him, and may He be exalted above what they associate with Him.
A (Jewish) Rabbi came to Allah's Apostle and he said, "O Muhammad! We learn that Allah will put all the heavens on one finger, and the earths on one finger, and the trees on one finger, and the water and the dust on one finger, and all the other created beings on one finger. Then He will say, 'I am the King.'
Thereupon the Prophet smiled so that his pre-molar teeth became visible, and that was the confirmation of the Rabbi.
Then Allah's Apostle recited: 'No just estimate have they made of Allah such as due to Him.' (39.67)
From the size of Allah we can extrapolate the size of His throne, and from its size, the size of angels, as eight only will be required to carry it on Judgment Day.
69:17 And the angels shall be ranged around its borders, eight of whom will be carrying above them, on that Day, the Throne of your Lord.
As to the weight of those other gods.
34:22 Say: “Call upon those you allege, apart from Allah. They do not possess the weight of a speck of dust in the heavens or on earth, and they have no partnership in either of them; nor is any of them a helper to him."
And Allah knows this for a fact, as those other gods have never asked for an audience with Him to offer their services.
17:42 Say: “If there were other gods with Him, as they say, then surely they would have sought access to the Lord of the Throne.”
Except for being much bigger, Allah may not be that much different from you and me, revelation 7:195.
7:191 Do they associate with Allah those who can create nothing, while they, themselves, are created?
7:192 And they can neither help them nor help themselves.
7:193 And if you call them to guidance, they do not follow you. It is the same, for you, whether you call them or you remain silent.
7:194 Indeed those you call, apart from Allah, are servants like you; so call them and let them answer you, if you are truthful.
7:195 Do they have feet to walk with; do they have hands to smite with; do they have eyes to see with; or do they have ears to hear with? Say (O Muhammad): “Call your associate-gods, then plot against me and give me no respite.”
7:196 My protector is Allah who sent down the Book and He protects the righteous.
These other gods don't spy and keep notes about those who worship them, something which Allah does, and for which He expects you to give thanks by not setting up associate gods, even if you can name them. But don't insult Him by telling them what He already knows, and what you already know is part of a nefarious plan of His.
13:33 Is he, then, Who watches every soul, noting what it earns [like one who does not]? Yet they set up associates with Allah. Say: “Name them. Are you informing Him about what He does not know on earth, or is it an outward speech only.” Rather the cunning of the unbelievers is embellished to them and they are kept away from the Path. Those whom Allah leads astray will have no one to guide them.
Just because you have not taken the Path, which Allah's cunning has kept you from, does not mean you will not be punished in the here-and-now, and the Hereafter.
13:34 Theirs is punishment in the present life, but the punishment of the Hereafter is much harder; and they will have no one to protect them from Allah.
Allah is a big, powerful, note-taking god who could have stopped these other gods from causing their worshippers to murder their children but didn’t.
6:137 And likewise, their associate-gods have insinuated to them the killing of their children, so as to destroy them and confound them in their religion. Had Allah pleased they would not have done it. So leave them to their fabrications.
Phantasmagorical Creations of God and Man
17:22 Do not set up another god with Allah, lest you be despised and forsaken.
23:116 Glory be to Allah, the True King; there is no God but He. He is indeed the Lord of the Noble Throne.
23:117 He who calls, along with Allah, upon another god of whom he has no proof, his reckoning is with His Lord. Surely, the unbelievers will never prosper.
23:118 Say: “Lord Forgive and have mercy; for You are the Best of the Merciful.”
Those other gods are not able to help themselves, let alone you!
7:197 And those you call, apart from Him, are not able to help you or even to help themselves.
7:198 If you call them to the guidance they do not hear; and you see them look at you, but they do not see.
What you must do, and why, and hope your brethren don’t interfere.
7:199 Hold to forgiveness, enjoin the good and turn away from the ignorant.
7:200 And if a temptation from the Devil troubles you, seek refuge in Allah; He is truly All Hearing, All-Knowing.
7:201 Indeed, those who fear God, when a visitation from the Devil afflicts them, will remember [Allah’s Commands], and behold they will see clearly.
7:202 But their brethren will plunge them further into error, and [then] they will not desist.
What you worship, apart from Allah, are misleading fantasies.
6:56 Say: “I have been forbidden to worship those you call upon apart from Allah.” Say: “I do not follow your fancies, or else I would have gone astray and would not be one of the well-guided.”
Those other gods may be a figment of someone's imagination; but you can't be too careful, Muhammad!
6:108 Do not curse those [deities] whom they call upon besides Allah, lest they wrongfully curse Allah without knowledge. Thus We have made the deeds of every nation seem fair to them; then unto their Lord is their return, and He will tell them what they were doing.
In another surprising revelation, Allah admits to creating the ostensibly non-existent competing and associated deities that He excoriates and demeans at every opportunity.
Before getting to this revelation, Allah will again remind His Messenger about some of the stuff He has created from nothing, and the good He has done for mankind from the goodness of His Heart, and that this should cause people to reflect on how all this did not just happened, and it was not the work of other gods. This is the typical setup: self-aggrandisement followed by an attack on the gods people worship apart from Him.
16:9 It belongs to Allah to show the Straight Path; some, however, deviate from it. Had Allah pleased He would have guided you all.
16:10 It is He who sends down water from the sky; from it you drink, and through it grow the plants on which you feed your cattle.
16:11 From it He brings forth for you vegetation, olives, palms, vines and all kinds of fruit. In that, surely, there is a sign for a people who reflect.
16:12 And He has subjected to you the night and the day, the sun and the moon; and the stars are subjected by His Command. In that there are signs for a people who understand.
16:13 And what He created for you in the earth is of multifarious colours; in that there is, surely, a sign for people who are mindful.
16:14 And it is He Who subjected the sea, so that you may eat from it tender meat and bring out from it jewelry for you to wear; and you see the ships cruising therein. [He subjected it for you] so that you may also seek His Bounty and give thanks.
16:15 And He laid up in the earth firm mountains, lest it shake under you; as well as rivers and pathways that, perchance, you may be guided.
16:16 And He [laid] landmarks; and by the stars they are guided.
The big question!
16:17 Now, is He Who creates like him who does not create? Do you not take heed?
16:18 Were you to count Allah’s Blessings, you will not exhaust them. Allah is truly All-Forgiving, Merciful.
16:19 And Allah knows what you conceal and what you reveal.
16:20 Those they call upon, apart from Allah, do not create anything, but are themselves created.
16:21 [They are] dead, not alive, and they do not know when they will be raised from the dead.
To be dead they must have once been alive, therefore, isn't Allah admitting to their existence and, whom will He raise from dead if this is not the case? Not to belabor the point, does not this also mean that the forefathers of the Arab pagans were not worshipping figments of their imagination.
Not only will they not be raised from the dead, they cannot, what should be obvious, raise you from the dead; Allah is the only god that can do that!
30:40 It is Allah who created you, then provided for you and Who will cause you to die, then bring you back to life. Is there among your associates any one (sic) who does any of all this? Glory be to Him and may He be exalted above what they associate with Him!
Allah’s favorite ending to any topic; it’s all about the Hereafter, and often the arrogant who would deny His Revelations:
16:22 Your God is One God; those, then, who do not believe in the Hereafter, their hearts deny and they are arrogant.
16:23 Undoubtedly, Allah knows what they conceal and what they reveal. Indeed, He does not like the arrogant.
Many worshipped these lesser or associate gods for the reason some people worship saints, that they might intercede on their behalf with the top god, Allah. Their intent might have been well-meaning, but to Allah they were thankless liars, revelation 39:3.
39:1 The sending down of the Book is from Allah, the All-Mighty, the Wise.
39:2 We have, indeed, sent down the Book to you in truth; so worship Allah professing the religion sincerely to Him.
39:3 Sincere religion truly belongs to Allah. Those who took other protectors, apart from Him, say: “We only worship them so as to bring us closer to Allah in rank.” Allah surely judges between them with respect to what they differ upon. Allah surely does not guide him who is a thankless liar.
Allah makes it clear in the following revelations that the would-be intercessors are clueless and have no power to intercede; and that, if necessary it is assumed, He will intercede with Himself on your behalf, revelation 39:44.
39:43 Or have they taken intercessors, apart from Allah? Say: “Even if they have no power whatever and no understanding.”
39:44 Say: “To Allah belongs all intercession. His is the dominion of the heavens and the earth. Then unto Him you will be returned.”
And they are judges of nothing!
40:20 Allah judges rightly, but those upon whom they call, apart from Him, judge of naught. Allah is the All-hearing, the All-Seeing.
And they are creators of nothing; and unlike Allah, they are not "in possession" of a book containing the proof of what they advance, as revealed in another ubiquitous self-serving disclosure where He instructs His Messenger as to what to say.
35:40 Say: “Have you seen your associates upon whom you call, apart from Allah? Show me what they have created on earth? Do they have any share in the heavens, or have We given them a Book, so that they are in possession of a clear proof therein? In fact, the wrongdoers only promise each other vanity.”
These imaginary other gods also know nothing of the Unseen, including "when they shall be resuscitated". Allah is initially unsure as to what they know about what only He knows, revelation 27:66.
27:65 Say: “No one in the heavens or on earth knows the Unseen, except Allah; and they will have no inkling when they shall be resuscitated.
27:66 Has their knowledge of the Hereafter continued? Nay, they are in doubt regarding it, or rather, they are blind to it.
Allah is a god who gives you all you ask for; and when you do get His blessings, including His lifting of adversity, don’t make an offering to another god, they had nothing to do with it. If you use what Allah has provided you with to honour other gods your good fortune will be short-lived, and “soon you shall know” the punishment i.e. the Fire
16:53 Whatever blessings you have is from Allah. Then, if adversity touches you, unto Him you turn for help.
16:54 Then, once He lifts the adversity from you, behold, some of you associate [other gods] with their Lord;
16:55 So as to deny what We gave them. Enjoy yourselves then, for soon you shall know.
16:56 And they set apart, for what they know not (their idols), a portion of what We have provided for them. By Allah, you will be questioned about what you fabricated.
39:8 If some adversity touches man, he will call upon his Lord, repenting unto Him; then, if He confers on him grace of His, he forget what he was calling for before that and assigns equals to Allah, so as to lead others astray from His Path. Say: “Enjoy your disbelief a little; for you are truly one of the companions of the Fire.”
“Is there, then, another god with Allah?”
27:59 Say: “Praise be to Allah and peace upon those of His servants whom He has chosen. Is Allah better or those they associate with Him?”
27:60 Is He not the One Who created the heavens and the earth and sent down upon you water from the sky; and so We caused to grow thereby delightful gardens. It was not in your power to cause their trees to grow. Is there, then, another god with Allah? Yet, they are a people who assign to Him an equal.
27:61 Is He not the One Who made the earth a stable abode and created rivers flowing through it, created immovable mountains therein and created a barrier between the two seas. Is there, then, another god with Allah? Yet, most of them do not know.
The mythical "barrier" is between salt and fresh water. Allah is probably referring to the Black Sea which is a fresh water sea whose waters flow into the salty Marmara Sea on its way to the Mediterranean.
27:62 It is He who answers the one in trouble when he calls upon Him and lifts the adversity and appoints you as successors on earth. Is there, then, another god with Allah? Little do you recollect.
27:63 He who guides you through the dark shadows of land and sea, and sends forth the wind as good news ahead of His Mercy. Is there, then, another god with Allah? No, He is exalted above what they associate!
27:64 He Who originates the creation, then brings it back, and Who provides for you from the heavens and the earth. Is there, then, another god with Allah? Say: “Produce your proof, if you are truthful.”
Goddesses and the Fathers Who Worshipped Them
43:15 They have attributed to Him part of His servants. Man is indeed manifestly thankless.
43:16 Or has He taken for Himself daughters from what He creates, and favoured you with sons?
43:17 And when one of them is given the news of what he attributes the likes thereof (that is, daughters), to the All-Compassionate, his face becomes darkened and he is filled with gloom.
Here, the folly of the polytheists of Arabia has been fully exposed. They said that the angels were the daughters of Allah. They had carved out their images as females, and these were their goddesses whom they worshipped.
43:18 What, one who is brought up in luxury but in the art of disputation is not well-versed?
You have assigned to Allah the offspring that is by nature delicate, weak and frail, and adopted for yourselves the offspring that is bold, courageous and fearless.
43:19 And they have made the angels, who are servants of the All-Compassionate, females. What, have they witnessed their creation? Surely, their testimony will be written down and they will be questioned.
43:20 They say: “If the All-Compassionate had willed it, we would not have worshipped them.” They have no knowledge of that at all; they are only lying.
43:21 Or have We given them a Book prior to this one (the Qur’an), so that they are clinging to it?
The Arab pagans worshipped what their fathers worshipped, and their fathers displayed none of Allah’s biases against worshipping females.
43:22 No, they say: “We found our fathers upon this course, and we are actually following in their footsteps.”
43:23 Likewise, We never sent forth a warner to any city before you, but its affluent chiefs have said: “We have found our fathers upon a certain course, and we actually following in their footsteps."
43:24 He said: “What if I were to bring you a more certain guidance than what you found your fathers upon?” They said: “We are definitely disbelievers in what you were sent forth with.”
The leaders of these cities apparently preferred the gentle tutelage of female deities, even after Allah sent them Messengers with His Demand that He alone be worshipped and obeyed.
Not to be denied, Allah reduced their cities to rubble, and, except for the Messengers and a few who accepted their ultimatum, killed every man, women and child.
43:25 So, We wrecked vengeance upon them. Behold, then, what was the fate then of those who deny.
A few more revelations about the fathers who dared to worship females, the father of Abraham being the most noteworthy.
43:26 When Abraham said to his father and his people: “I am certainly quit of what you worship;
43:27 “Except for Him Who created me. He will certainly guide me well.”
43:28 And he made it an enduring word in his progeny, that perchance they might repent.
Allah made an exception for the fathers of the Arabs of Muhammad’s time in the hope that they might repent.
43:29 Yet, I gave these and their fathers some enjoyment, till the Truth and manifest a Messenger came to them.
43:30 But when the Truth came to them, they said: “That is sorcery, and we are definitely disbelieving therein.”
43:31 They also said: “If only this Qur’an had been sent down upon some outstanding man from the two cities (Mecca and Ta’if).”
It does not matter what a revelation, or groups of revelations are ostensibly about, Allah will repeatedly find a way to make His deceptive alleged rivals the center of attention and those who worship them the object of His Wrath.
42:20 He who wishes the tillage of the Hereafter, We will increase his tillage, and he who wishes the tillage of the present life, We will give him thereof; but in the Hereafter, he will have no share.
42:21 Or do they have associates who enacted for them as a religion that for which Allah did not give leave? But for the Word of Decision (the final judgement), judgement would have been pronounced upon them. Surely, the wrongdoers will suffer a painful punishment.
Children! Do Not Obey Parents Who Worship Other Gods
Luqmân is a legendary figure in Islamic lore. He is regarded as a paragon of wisdom. Luqmân had some advice for his son concerning Allah, advice which included a warning about "a mighty evil".
31:12 We have, indeed, imparted wisdom to Luqmân: “Give thanks to Allah.” Whoever gives thanks, gives thanks only for his own good and whoever disbelieves will find Allah All-Sufficient, Praiseworthy.”
31:13 And when Luqmân said to his son exhorting him: “My son, do not associate others with Allah; associating others [with Allah] is a mighty evil.”
Allah will interrupt Luqmân with some advice of his own.
31:14 We have admonished man regarding his parents; as his mother bore him in weakness upon weakness, weaning him in two years: “Give thanks to Me and to your parents. Unto Me is the ultimate return.
31:15 “If they strive with you so as to associate with Me that of which you have no knowledge, do not obey them; but keep them company in the present world honourably. Follow the path of those who turn to Me. Then unto Me is your return, whereupon I will tell you what you used to do.
31:16 “O my son, if there be the weight of a mustard seed, whether in a rock, in the heavens or in the earth, Allah will bring it forth. Surely, Allah is Subtle, Well-Informed.
31:17 “Oh my son, perform the prayer, command the honourable and forbid the dishonourable and bear patiently what has befallen you. That is an instance of constancy in one’s affairs.
31:18 “Do not turn your face away from people and do not walk in the land haughtily. Allah does not love any arrogant or boastful person.
31:19 “Be modest in your stride and lower your voice; for the most hideous voices is that of asses.”
Gog and Magog
The story of Gog and Magog in the Koran bears a striking similarity to the tale told in the Alexander Romance, a collection of legends about the life of Alexander the Great. The chief source of all Alexander Romance, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica is “a folk epic written by a Hellenized Egyptian in Alexandria during the 2nd century A.D.”
Alexander and the Wall
Alexander, in the Romance “came to a northern land devastated by incursions from barbarian peoples, including Gog and Magog. Alexander defends the land by constructing the Gates of Alexander, an immense wall between two mountains that will stop the invaders until the end times" Wiki.
In the Romance, these gates are built between two mountains in the Caucasus known as the Breasts of the World. This has been taken as a reference to the historical "Caspian Gates" in Derbent, Russia. Another suggested candidate is the wall at the Darial Gorge in Georgia, also in the Caucasus.”
According to Allah, Alexander the Great built the wall between Gog and Magog and the rest of the world out of iron and brass.
18:94 They said: “O Dhul-Qarnayn (Alexander the Great), surely Gog and Magog are making mischief in the land. Shall we pay you a tribute so that you may build a barrier between us and them?”
18:95 He said: “What my Lord has empowered me to do is better. So help me forcefully and I will build a barrier between you and them.
18:96 “Bring me large pieces of iron.” So that when he had levelled up [the gap] between the two sides, he said: “Blow.” And having turned it (the iron) into fire, he said: “Bring me molten brass to poor on it.”
18:97 Then, they (Gog and Magog) could neither scale it or make a hole through it.
Like in the Alexander Romance, Allah expects His wall to last until the end-of-times when He will destroy it, thereby allowing the warring factions to fight one another until the trumpet is blown signaling the coming of Judgement Day, when all the unbelievers will be herded into Hell.
18:98 He said: “This is a mercy from my Lord; but when my Lord’s Promise comes to pass, He will turn it into rubble, and the Promise of my Lord is ever true.”
18:99 And on that day we shall make them surge upon one another, and the trumpet shall be blown, and we shall gather them together.
18:100 On that Day We shall boldly set Hell before the unbelievers.
18:101 Those whose eyes were closed to My Reminder (the Qur’an) and they could not hear [it].
Alexander's Gates, for God's Messenger, were real, and visions of a breach in the barrier freaked him out, for it was a sign that Judgement Day was imminent!
Narrated Zainab bint Jahsh:
That the Prophet once came to her in a state of fear and said, "None has the right to be worshipped but Allah. Woe unto the Arabs from a danger that has come near. An opening has been made in the wall of Gog and Magog like this," making a circle with his thumb and index finger. Zainab bint Jahsh said, "O Allah's Apostle! Shall we be destroyed even though there are pious persons among us?" He said, "Yes, when the evil person will increase."
Is Alexander the servant who the unbelievers thought they could take as protector in the following revelation?
18:102 Have the unbelievers, then, supposed that they can take My servants besides Me, as protectors? We have indeed prepared Hell for the unbelievers as an abode.
The True Promise
Allah’s Gog and Magog are not a people, as in the Alexander Romance, but false gods who will join their followers in Hell if the phrase “Had those been real gods” in verse 21:99 is a reference to the infamous twosome as deities, not tribes.
21:95 And it is forbidden that any city We have destroyed should come back.
21:96 Until Gog and Magog are let loose, and they slink away from every quarter.
21:97 Then the true promise will draw near; and, behold, the eyes of the unbelievers are staring [and they will say]: “Woe to us! We were heedless of this; no, we were wrongdoers.”
21:98 You and what you worship, besides Allah, are the fuel of Hell, and into it you shall all descend.
21:99 Had those been real gods, they would not have gone into it; yet they will all dwell in it forever.
The true promise is, of course, Judgement Day when imaginary gods and goddesses, and real gods like Gog and Magog will be mustered by the Compassionate, and one and all will deny they were ever worshipped by those they now consider their enemies.
In the Name of Allah,
the Compassionate, the Merciful
46:1 Ha – Mim.
46:2 This is the revelation of the Book from Allah, the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.
46:3 We have not created the heavens and the earth and what is in between them except in truth and for an appointed term. Yet the unbelievers do not heed what they were warned against.
46:4 Say: “Have you considered what you call upon, apart from Allah? Show me what they have created of the earth, or whether they have a share of the heavens? Bring me a Book before this one or some vestige of knowledge, if you are truthful?”
46:5 Who is farther astray than he who calls, apart from Allah, upon him who does not answer his call till the Day of Resurrection? They are even heedless of their calling.
46:6 And when people are mustered, they will be their enemies, and even their worship they will disclaim.
Judgement Day is when Allah's anger and pathological obsession with these other gods find it's fullest expression. For more about their fate and that of the people who worshiped them, read The Islamic Hereafter, Boreal Books, 2012.