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Allah’s Mutability and Imperfection Revisited

In this post, I am going to provide further evidence that the Islamic sources depict Allah as an imperfect, mutable being bound to time and space https://answeringallah.com/muhammad-bears-witness-allah-is-an-imperfect-and-mutable-deity/

  1. Allah ascends and descends.

The Quran claims that Allah mounted the throne after creating the cosmos:

Lo! your Lord is Allah Who created the heavens and the earth in six Days, then mounted He the Throne. He covereth the night with the day, which is in haste to follow it, and hath made the sun and the moon and the stars subservient by His command. His verily is all creation and commandment. Blessed be Allah, the Lord of the Worlds! S. 7:54 Pickthall

This assumes that he was in some other place besides the throne before creation and then changed his position afterward.

The so-called sound hadiths confirm that Allah moves from one location to another since he is said to ascend and descend:

Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah’s Apostle said, “Every night when it is the last third of the night, our Lord, the Superior, the Blessed, descends to the nearest heaven and says: Is there anyone to invoke Me that I may respond to his invocation? Is there anyone to ask Me so that I may grant him his request? Is there anyone asking My forgiveness so that I may forgive him? (See Hadith No. 246,Vol. 2). (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 93, Number 586 https://www.searchtruth.com/book_display.php?book=93&translator=1&start=0&number=586)

The narration raises another problem, namely, Allah descends to discover whether there is anyone praying to him. The fact that he descends for that specific reason proves that Allah didn’t know, and therefore cannot be omniscient or omnipresent!

These citations pose major problems for Muhammadans since the only way for the Muslim god to literally ascend or descend is if he is bound by space and time. Allah must be experiencing time and actual changes in location since there is no other way for him to shift from one place to another. After all, it is not possible for someone to actually move from one point to another unless s/he is a being that is limited by time, space and matter. No wonder the Salafi sect of Islam believe that Muhammad’s god has a body with actual limbs!

This leads me to the next point.

  1. Allah appears in various shapes, sizes and forms.

According to the Islamic sources, Allah is a shape-shifter since he changes from one form to another:

When he saw a fire, and said to his family, ‘Tarry you here; I observe a fire. Perhaps I shall bring you a brand from it, or I shall find at the fire guidance.’ When he came to IT, a voice cried, ‘Moses, I am thy Lord; put off thy shoes; thou art in the holy valley, Towa. I Myself have chosen thee; therefore give thou ear to this revelation. S. 20:10-13 Arberry

When Moses said to his people ‘I observe a fire, and will bring you news of it, or I will bring you a flaming brand, that haply you shall warm yourselves.’ So, when he came to IT, he was called: ‘Blessed is he who is IN the fire, and he who is ABOUT it. Glory be to God, the Lord of all Being! Moses, behold, it is I, God, the All-mighty, the All-wise. S. 27:7-9 Arberry

Then, when Musa (Moses) had fulfilled the term, and was travelling with his family, he saw a fire in the direction of Tur (Mount). He said to his family: “Wait, I have seen a fire; perhaps I may bring to you from there some information, or a burning fire-brand that you may warm yourselves.” So when he reached IT (the fire), he was called from the right side of the valley, in the blessed place FROM the tree: “O Musa (Moses)! Verily! I am Allah, the Lord of the ‘Alamin (mankind, jinns and all that exists)!” S. 28:29-30 Hilali-Khan

These passages clearly state that Allah appeared in the fire from the tree.

In these next reports Allah appears in different shapes, including the shape of a man, and has a shin which he will unveil on the day of judgment:

The next set of hadiths clearly say that Allah appeared visibly and literally touched Muhammad:

Narrated AbdurRahman ibn A’ish
Allah’s Messenger said: I saw my Lord, the Exalted and Glorious in the most beautiful form. He said: What do the Angels in the presence of Allah contend about? I said: Thou art the most aware of it. He then placed HIS PALM between my shoulders and I felt its coldness in my chest and I came to know what was in the Heavens and the Earth. He recited: ‘Thus did we show Ibrahim the kingdom of the Heavens and the Earth and it was so that he might have certainty.’ (6:75)

Darimi reported it in a mursal form and Tirmidhi also reported. (Al-Tirmidhi Hadith – 237 http://www.alim.org/library/hadith/TIR/237; bold and capital emphasis mine)

Narrated Mu’adh ibn Jabal
Allah’s Messenger was detained one morning from observing the dawn prayer (in congregation) along with us till the sun had almost appeared on the horizon. He then came out hurriedly and Iqamah for prayer was observed and he conducted it (prayer) in brief form. When he had concluded the prayer by saying As-salamu alaykum wa Rahmatullah, he called out to us saying: Remain in your places as you were. Then turning to us he said: I am going to tell you what detained me from you (on account of which I could not join you in the prayer) in the morning. I got up in the night and performed ablution and observed the prayer as had been ordained for me. I dozed in my prayer till I was overcome by (sleep) and lo, I found myself in the presence of my Lord, the Blessed and the Glorious, in the best form. He said: Muhammad! I said: At Thy service, my Lord. He said: What these highest angels contend about? I said: I do not know. He repeated it thrice. He said: Then I saw Him put HIS PALMS between my shoulder blades till I felt the coldness of His fingers between the two sides of my chest. Then everything was illuminated for me and I could recognize everything. He said: Muhammad! I said: At Thy service, my Lord. He said: What do these high angels contend about? I said: In regard to expiations. He said: What are these? I said: Going on foot to join congregational prayers, sitting in the mosques after the prayers, performing ablution well despite difficulties. He again said: Then what do they contend? I said: In regard to the ranks. He said: What are these? I said: Providing of food, speaking gently, observing the prayer when the people are asleep. He again said to me: Beg (Your Lord) and say: O Allah, I beg of Thee (power) to do good deeds, and abandon abominable deeds, to love the poor, that Thou forgive me and show mercy to me and when Thou intendst to put people to trial Thou causes me to die unblemished and I beg of Thee Thy love and the love of one who loves Thee and the love for the deed which brings me near to Thy love. Allah’s Messenger said: It is a truth, so learn it and teach it.

Transmitted by Ahmad, Tirmidhi who said: This is a hasan sahih hadith and I asked Muhammad ibn Isma’il about this hadith and he said: It is a sahih hadith. (Al-Tirmidhi Hadith – Number 245 http://www.alim.org/library/hadith/TIR/245; bold and capital emphasis mine)

Narrated Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri:
When there remain only those who used to worship Allah (Alone), both the obedient ones and the mischievous ones, it will be said to them, ‘What keeps you here when all the people have gone?’ They will say, ‘We parted with them (in the world) when we were in greater need of them than we are today, we heard the call of one proclaiming, ‘Let every nation follow what they used to worship,’ and now we are waiting for our Lord.’ Then the Almighty will come to them in a shape other than the one which they saw the first time, and He will say, ‘I am your Lord,’ and they will say, ‘You are not our Lord.’ And none will speak: to Him then but the Prophets, and then it will be said to them, ‘Do you know any sign by which you can recognize Him?’ They will say. ‘The Shin,’ and so Allah will then uncover His Shin whereupon every believer will prostrate before Him and there will remain those who used to prostrate before Him just for showing off and for gaining good reputation. These people will try to prostrate but their backs will be rigid like one piece of a wood (and they will not be able to prostrate). Then the bridge will be laid across Hell.” We, the companions of the Prophet said, “O Allah’s Apostle! What is the bridge?” … (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 93, Number 532s https://www.searchtruth.com/book_display.php?book=93&translator=1&start=0&number=532s)

Finally:

Narrated Abu Huraira:
Some people said, “O Allah’s Apostle! Shall we see our Lord on the Day of Resurrection?” He said, “Do you crowd and squeeze each other on looking at the sun when it is not hidden by clouds?” They replied, “No, Allah’s Apostle.” He said, “Do you crowd and squeeze each other on looking at the moon when it is full and not hidden by clouds?” They replied, “No, O Allah’s Apostle!” He said, “So you will see Him (your Lord) on the Day of Resurrection similarly Allah will gather all the people and say, ‘Whoever used to worship anything should follow that thing.’ So, he who used to worship the sun, will follow it, and he who used to worship the moon will follow it, and he who used to worship false deities will follow them; and then only this nation (i.e., Muslims) will remain, including their hypocrites. Allah will come to them in a shape other than they know and will say, ‘I am your Lord.’ They will say, ‘We seek refuge with Allah from you. This is our place; (we will not follow you) till our Lord comes to us, and when our Lord comes to us, we will recognize Him.’

Then Allah will come to then in a shape they know and will say, ‘I am your Lord.’ They will say, ‘(No doubt) You are our Lord,’ and they will follow Him. Then a bridge will be laid over the (Hell) Fire.” Allah’s Apostle added, “I will be the first to cross it. And the invocation of the Apostles on that Day, will be ‘Allahukka Sallim, Sallim (O Allah, save us, save us!),’ and over that bridge there will be hooks similar to the thorns of As Sa’dan (a thorny tree). Didn’t you see the thorns of As-Sa’dan?” The companions said, “Yes, O Allah’s Apostle.” He added, “So the hooks over that bridge will be like the thorns of As-Sa’dan except that their greatness in size is only known to Allah. These hooks will snatch the people according to their deeds. Some people will be ruined because of their evil deeds, and some will be cut into pieces and fall down in Hell, but will be saved afterwards, when Allah has finished the judgments among His slaves, and intends to take out of the Fire whoever He wishes to take out from among those who used to testify that none had the right to be worshipped but Allah…” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 76, Number 577 https://www.searchtruth.com/book_display.php?book=76&translator=1&start=0&number=577)

In light of the foregoing, a Muslim needs to explain how Muhammad’s lord can change shapes without this affecting a change to his nature. How can Allah appear as fire one moment and then change into another form the next moment without this causing a change in some of his attributes or without having his essence mix in with the nature of the objects whose shape he assumes?

  1. Allah created one of his essential attributes

This last one is the most problematic for Muslims since it proves that the Islamic god is imperfect and whose essence underwent a major change at a specific point in time:

Narrated Abu Huraira:
I heard Allah’s Apostle saying, Verily Allah CREATED Mercy. The day He created it, He made it into one hundred parts. He withheld with Him ninety-nine parts, and sent its one part to all His creatures. Had the non-believer known of all the Mercy which is in the Hands of Allah, he would not lose hope of entering Paradise, and had the believer known of all the punishment which is present with Allah, he would not consider himself safe from the Hell-Fire.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 76, Number 476 https://www.searchtruth.com/book_display.php?book=76&translator=1&start=0&number=476)

Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: When Allah created the creation, He ordained for Himself and this document is with HimVerily, My mercy predominates My wrath. (Sahih Muslim, Book 037, Number 6628 https://www.searchtruth.com/book_display.php?book=037&translator=2&start=0&number=6628)

These narratives emphatically, unambiguously teach that Allah created mercy, which means that Allah didn’t always exist with this specific attribute. And yet by adding this particular trait to his own being, Allah must have undergone an actual change in his essence since he went from not having a specific characteristic to then acquiring it. This further implies that Allah was imperfect since he lacked something essential which he then had to acquire by creating it.

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