Concept of God in Islam:
It is a known fact that every language has one or more terms that are used in reference to God and sometimes to lesser deities. This is not the case with Allah. Allah is the personal name of the One true God. Nothing else can be called Allah. The term has no plural or gender. This shows its uniqueness when compared with the word god which can be made plural, gods or feminine, goddess. It is interesting to notice that Allah is the personal name of God in Aramaic, the language of Jesus and a sister language of Arabic.
The One true God is a reflection of the unique concept that Islam associates with God. To a Muslim Allah is the Almighty, Creator and Sustainer of the universe, Who is similar to nothing and nothing is comparable to Him.
Some non-Muslims allege that God in Islam is a stern and cruel God who demands to be obeyed fully and that He is not loving and kind. Nothing can be farther from truth. It is enough to know that, with the exception of one, each of the 114 chapters of the Qur’an begins with the verse: "In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate." In one of the sayings of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) we are told that "God is more loving and kinder than a mother to her dear child."
But God is also Just. Hence evildoers and sinners must have their share of punishment and the virtuous His bounties and favors. Actually God's attribute of Mercy has full manifestation in His attribute of Justice. People suffering throughout their life for His sake and people oppressing and exploiting others all their life should not receive similar treatment from their Lord. Expecting similar treatment for both groups of people will amount to negating the very belief in the accountability of man in the Hereafter and thereby negating all the incentives for a moral and virtuous life in this world. The following Qur’anic verses are very clear and straightforward in this respect:
Verily, for the Righteous are gardens of Delight in the Presence of their Lord. Shall We then treat the people of Faith like the People of Sin? What is the matter with you? How judge you? (68:34-36)
Islam rejects characterizing God in any human form or depicting Him as favoring certain individuals or nations on the basis of wealth, power or race. He created the human-beings as equals. They may distinguish themselves and get His favor through virtue and piety only.
The concept that God rested in the seventh day of creation, that God wrestled with one of His soldiers, that God is an envious plotter against mankind, or that God is incarnate in any human being are considered blasphemy from the Islamic point of view.
The unique usage of Allah as a personal name of God is a reflection of Islam's emphasis on the belief in oneness of God which is the essence of the message of all God's messengers. Because of this, Islam considers associating any deity or personality with God as a deadly sin which God will never forgive, despite the fact that He may forgive all other sins.
The Creator must be of a different nature from the things created because if He is of the same nature as they are, He will be temporal and will therefore need a maker. It follows that nothing is like Him. If the maker is not temporal, then He must be eternal. But if He is eternal, He cannot be caused, and if nothing caused Him to come into existence, nothing outside Him causes him to continue to exist, which means that He must be self-sufficient. And if He does not depend on anything for the continuance of his own existence, then this existence can have no end. The Creator is therefore eternal and everlasting: “He is the first and the last.”
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. If this is so, then His attributes are absolute. Can there be more than one Creator with such absolute attributes? Can there be, for example, two absolutely powerful Creators? A moment's thought shows that this is not feasible.
The Qur’an summarizes this argument in the following verses:
God 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 God, they (heaven and earth) would surely go to ruin.
Islam enjoins faith in the Oneness and Sovereignty of Allah, which makes man aware of the meaningfulness of the Universe and of his place in it.
This belief frees him from all fears and superstitions by making him conscious of the presence of the Almighty Allah and of man's obligations towards Him. This faith must be expressed and tested in action. Faith alone is not enough. Belief in one God requires that we look upon all humanity as one family under the universal Omnipotence of God the Creator and Nourisher of all. Islam rejects the idea of a chosen people, making faith in God and good action the only way to heaven. Thus, a direct relationship is established with God, without any intercessor.