Monday, 4 August 2014

If there is nothing like him, then why is God/Allah called "he?"

The alleged contradiction by the skeptic is: "In Sura 2:253, Allah is referred to as "He." Yet, there is nothing like God: Sura 112:4. If there is nothing like him, then why is God called "he?"


Surah Baqara 2:253:
"Those apostles We endowed with gifts, some above others: To one of them Allah spoke; others He raised to degrees (of honour); to Jesus the son of Mary We gave clear (Signs), and strengthened him with the holy spirit. If Allah had so willed, succeeding generations would not have fought among each other, after clear (Signs) had come to them, but they (chose) to wrangle, some believing and others rejecting. If God had so willed, they would not have fought each other; but Allah Fulfilleth His plan."
There are other places in Quran where Allah is referred to as "he" and "him," but never as "she." In Arabic, "Huwa" means "he." Now, in the Arabic language, it only has 2 genders: feminine and masculine. In Arabic, there are 2 genders (male and female) in 2 categories/types:

1. Masculine Haqeeqi i.e. Real, which is used to denote the masculine gender in humans, animals.

2. Masculine Majazi i.e. Unreal, wherein it is used as Masculine but in reality it is not so e.g. (Angels) Malak, Layl (Night), Bab (door). The word "Allah," too falls in the second category i.e. Masculine Majazi.

There is no neutral gender in Arabic language, like in the English language. When referring to a male in Arabic, it is "Huwa," and when referring to a female it is "Heya." Since in Arabic, there is no neutral gender, you have to use 1 of the 2. If you translate any English word into Arabic, the term "Huwa," can be translated as: "he" and "it." Similarly, "Heya" can be translated as "he" and "it," because here is no neutral gender in Arabic. In Arabic grammar, there are certain rules which are not present in the English language. One rule is: when it comes to gender, there are certain rules for feminine gender, that if the Arabic word is ending with "tha" or "ta," it becomes a feminine gender. For example, the Arabic term: "mirwahathun" which means: "fan," it becomes a feminine gender. Now, since the word "Allah" does not end with "tha" or "ta," the Arabic grammar rule tells us that we cannot say Allah is a female or feminine.

The 2nd rule of Arabic grammar is: if it is specifically a woman, like a mother. In Arabic, "umu, or "ami" means mother. In Arabic, if it is specifically referring to a woman then it is feminine gender. In contrast, with the term "Allah," there is nothing specific about that Arabic word, which refers it to a female, so Allah cannot be feminine. The 3rd Arabic law is: if the Arabic word is in pairs "eyes," (which in Arabic is "aynun"). If it is in pairs, it becomes a feminine gender, because it's in pairs. In contrast, Allah is not a pairs, because Allah is ONLY 1 (Surah Ikhlas 112:1, Surah Imran 3:2). Lastly, if the Arabic word end with the Arabic letter: "Alif," (big Alif), it becomes feminine. In contrast, the Arabic word "Allah" does not end with the Arabic letter: "Alif," so Allah cannot be referring as feminine (she). Because the Arabic language has got no neutral gender, by default it is "Huwa" which is "he" or/and "it." You have to choose one or the other, and it is called "he" as default and by respect. The word "He" is used when referring to Allah out of respect, dignity and high status. It would be totally inappropriate to use the word "it" and would not convey the proper understanding of Allah being who Allah is; Alive, Compassionate, Forgiving, Patient, Loving, etc. It is not correct to associate the word "He" with gender, as this would be comparing Allah to the creation, something totally against the teaching of Quran.
Surah Ikhlas 112:4:
"And there is none like unto Him."
So, there is nothing like Allah and he has no gender, but by default because of the Arabic grammatical rules, Quran translates it as "He," also by respect and dignity. The Quran refers to Allah using the masculine pronoun "huwa" because the word "Allah" is grammatically masculine, NOT because Allah is naturally masculine so there is no contradiction.

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