Nonexistence of any deity besides Allah

Published: Friday, 13 June, 2008, 01:18 AM Doha Time
By Shaykh Abu Bakr Al-Jazaairy
Allah has not taken on a son nor is there any deity along with Him. If this were so, each deity would take away that which it had created and one would have overpowered the other. Exalted is Allah and free of that which they attribute to Him!* Knower of the unseen and the apparent, and High is He above that which they associate with Him. [Al-Mu’minoon (23) 91-92]

In these verses:
Allah negates from Himself the possibility of His having any “son” or associate in His dominion, in His acting and decreeing and in the worship of Him. Then, after informing us of the nonexistence of any deity besides Himself, Allah makes this very clear with an easily understood argument: {If this were so, each deity would take away that which it had created…}, i.e., each one would have taken control over its share of the creation and would not accept that any portion of its creation or of its beneficence be attributed to the other. Further, each would strive to prevent the other from gaining any control over its portion of the creation. This is clearly impossible since it means opposition, separation and disharmony between portions of the creation.

However, it is visibly apparent that the universe is systematic, organised and in harmony. All of the upper and lower realms are bound together in the ultimate manifestation of perfection and harmony and “You cannot see in the creation of Allah any discrepancy.” Then, Allah says {…and one would have overpowered the other}, i.e., the stronger of the two would have overcome the weaker and dominated him, taking away his dominion as is the custom of kings in this world. Clearly, they cannot both be the “stronger”, and so this one who dominated and overcame the other is the only one who could rightfully be a deity. The philosophers mentioned this argument and referred to it as the proof of mutual impossibility: Let us posit two or more creators. Then one of them wished for a certain object to move but the other wished for it to remain still. It is clearly impossible for both of them to accomplish their wish. This impossibility only arises because of the imagined multiplicity of deities. If on the other hand, one is able to accomplish his wish, then the other of necessity has been overcome. In this case, the first one is clearly the deity, since the deity cannot be defeated or overcome.
Ibn Taymiyyah said (elsewhere): Whatever you choose to contemplate in creation, you will find it to be dependent on something else. This shows clearly that all that we can see in this world is strictly dependent and does not have any attributes of the Deity. Rather, each is in need of the creator of the other things it needs in this world. This chain continues all the way to the ultimate dependence of all creation on Allah, the Creator of all things. It is not possible for there to be two deities independent of each other, with their respective creations independent of the creation of the other, since as we have seen, this demands the joining of mutually exclusive opposites. It is also impossible that they could be in cooperation as partners as is the case with the creation, since this implies weakness and need. Allah closes the first verse saying: {Exalted is Allah and free of that which they attribute to Him!}, declaring His freedom of any “son” or associate and from all the other things with which the enemies of the prophets described Him.
Next, Allah says {Knower of the unseen and the apparent, and High is He above that which they associate with Him.}. In this verse, Allah draws our attention to the greatness of His divine attributes with some examples of His perfection, informing us that He is the Knower of that which is hidden from His creation and of that which they see. His knowledge encompasses all things: which must be, which may be, the impossible, the past, the present and the future. The implication of this verse applies to those who attributed to Allah a “son” or associate. They are mistaken and have spoken without knowledge. He (Allah) is the one who knows all things, both the apparent and the hidden, nothing whatsoever is hidden from Him, and He is the one who has rejected this allegations. His word is the truth and not theirs. {High is He above that which they associate with Him.}!

The “unseen” is divided into two categories. The first is the unseen which no one knows except Allah ta’aalaa and which is hidden entirely from His creation. Allah said: {Say: No one in the heavens and the earth knows the unseen except Allah}. The second is that which is unseen with respect to some of Allah’s creation such as men and jinns but not to others. Such things are part of the unseen for those from which they are hidden, but not for those who see or witness it.
Knowledge contained in these verses
* Rejection of any son ascribed to Allah ta’aalaa and a rejection of all claims to the contrary (Christians, Jews and Arab Associationists)
* Affirmation of the tawheed of Lordship (Ruboobiyyah) of Allah Most High.
* Rejection of all claims of the existence of another deity.
* Affirmation of Allah’s attribute of knowledge.
* Allah alone possesses knowledge of the unseen.
* Allah alone creates and provides all sustenance.

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