Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The Philosophical Incoherence Of The Islamic God

“In Islam, there is no fatherhood of God and no purpose of redemption to soften the doctrine of the decrees.” Samuel Zwemer, The Moslem Doctrine of God, page 100. (see link to Zwemer’s book)

* by “decrees”, Zwemer is meaning Allah’s decrees of Sovereignty and Predestination ( قدر – Qadr = power, sovereignty; جبر – Jabr = force, destiny ) in that Allah causes some to be guided to the true path and paradise and the rest to be guided to hell.

* there is “no purpose of redemption” in Islam – This is why Muslims see no need for the atonement and so in Islam, there is no purpose in God redeeming some from all nations (Rev. 5:9) by His own grace in the incarnation and work on the cross for His own glory. So Muslims don’t see the need for atonement or redemption or the incarnation, because they don’t see that people are sinners by nature and cannot earn their salvation by doing good deeds. They think they can earn paradise by believing in the doctrines of Islam and by doing good deeds.

” The attribute of love is absent from Allah.” Zwemer, ibid, p. 100

Here he means that there is nothing in Islam or the Qur’an like there is in the Bible that God’s nature is love – as in 1 John 4:8-19 – “God is love.”

The Qur’an says “Allah is loving or friendly” or “congenial”. = wadood ودود (other native Arabic speakers have told me that is the difference between wadood – ودود and Mohabbat محبت / محبه . Wadood is more like “friendly” whereas Mohabbat conveys the Greek word “agape”. One of the 99 names of Allah is “wodood” ودود , but not “Mohabat” محبت / محبه or “hobb” حب in essence. The Qur’an says “Allah does not love sinners”, but only loves those who love Allah first. They don’t have anything like Romans 5:8 – “God demonstrates His love toward us even while we were still sinners, that Christ died for us.” Allah is compassionate ( رحمان = Rahmon) (the one who does actions of compassion) and merciful (رحیم = Rahim ) (the one who does actions of mercy); but the Islamic theologicans have debated for centuries over if one can say “Allah is . . . ” It seems that many Muslims theologians have even said, “We cannot say “Allah is ….. (something)”; ” we cannot say what Allah’s nature/substance ( ذات = dhat / zat ) or essence ( جوهر = johar) is.

“The mystic love of the Sufis (widespread and weighty though it be in its influence) is not a characteristic of orthodox Islam, but arose in rebellion to it.

The Fatherhood of God and the repeated declarations of Scripture that God loves the world, loves the sinner, loves mankind – that God is love – all this has had its influence on Christian speculation regarding the problem of God’s decrees. In like manner the character of Allah has been the key to the same problem among Moslems. Islam, as we have seen, reduces God to the category of the will. He is at heart a despot, an Oriental despot. He stands at abysmal heights above humanity. He cares nothing for character, but only for submission. The only affair of men is to obey His decrees.

2. The Moslem doctrine of hell is in accordance with their coarse beliefs regarding Predestination and Mohammed’s utter want of conception of the spiritual. According to the Koran and Tradition, Hell must be filled, and so God creates infidels.2 Of all religions in the world, Islam is the most severe in its conception of the capacity and the torments of hell. “On that day We will say to hell, Art thou full? and it will say, Are there any more?” (Surah 50:30.) The conception of hell is brutal, cruel and to the last degree barbarous. The whole picture, as given in the Koran and commented on by Tradition, is horribly revolting. “Hell shall be a place of snares, the home of transgressors, to abide therein for ages. No coolness shall they taste nor any drink, save boiling water and liquid pus. Meet recompense!” (Surahs 88:1-7; 2:38; 3:197; 14:20, 43:71-78, etc., etc.) The word Jehannum [ جهنم ] occurs thirty times; fire (nar= نار ) – is still more frequently used; there are six other words used for the place of torment. One cannot read the traditions which give what Mohammed said on this subject without feeling how heartless and loveless is the creed of Islam. Yet it is in connection with such ideas of God that the Moslems believe in Predestination.

It is not difficult to surmise whence Mohammed got his ideas of a Predestination after the pattern of fatalism.” (Zwemer, The Moslem Doctrine of God, p. 102-103; with my comments in brackets)


1Theol. Studien, 14 Jahrgang, p. 240.

2 Surahs 32:13; 97:5; 4:11; 9:69. Cf. Commentaries.

Muslims as people have great capacities for loving each other and others, and their culture of hospitality is really great, but this is because they are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-28) and they retain those good qualities because of that. But the doctrines and the religion itself, with its principles of controlling external society in Sharia, the Khaliphate (historically up until 1924; and the desire for the restoration of the Khalifate), Jihad with Qatal (fighting, killing, slaying) and Harb (war) (struggle against the unbelievers and commands to fight and kill the Christians and Jews (Surah 9:5; 9:29; 8:39), Dhimmitude (subjugation of Christians and Jews and not allowing freedom for evangelism and debate and disagreement); no assurance of salvation, and fatalism, and laws of apostasy (death for Muslims who turn from Islam), result in a harsh life and seem to be the reasons for the lack of freedom and harshness and war and violence in Islamic history, and we are seeing the results of this today in many places all over the world.


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