Wilson: You have previously stated that the oneness of God (Inquiry 2) is the most emphasized theme in the Holy Qur'an; that Islam, for this reason, is called “Deen Al-Tawhid” (the religion of the belief in the oneness of God); and that professing His oneness is the first phrase in the Declaration of the Faith:
“I bear witness that there is no god but the Almighty God and that Muhammad is a messenger of God.”
Does Islam offer any evidence on this important principle?
Chirri: The Holy Qur'an cites the relationship among the sections of the universe as evidence on the unity of its Creator. It advises us to look at the order which exists in the universe, and the fact that such an order could not exist if there were more than One Creator. More than one administration for the universe is like more than one administration for one city, state, or country. It produces confusion and disorder .
In the Holy Qur’an:
“If there were in them (the heavens and the Earth) gods besides the Almighty God, they would have been in a state of disorder. Glory be to Him. He is above what they describe. ” 21 :22
“And know, my son,” the Imam Ali, son of Abu Talib, said to his son Al-Hasan, “that if your Lord has a partner, the messengers of His partner would have come to you. But He is only One God, alone without partner. ”1
Wilson: What is the view of Islam on the doctrine of the Trinity?
Chirri: Islam emphatically denies this doctrine. The Holy Qur'an declares:
“Say: God is One on Whom all depend. He did not beget, nor was He begotten, and none is equal to Him.” 112:1-4
“And they say the Beneficent has taken to Himself a son. Certainly you make an abominable assertion. The heavens may almost burst, and the Earth cleave asunder, and the mountains fall down in pieces, that they ascribe a son to the Beneficent. And it is not worthy of the Beneficent that He should take to Himself a son.” 19:88-92
Wilson: Why does Islam deny so emphatically the doctrine of the Trinity?
Chirri: Islam denies Trinity because parenthood of God to any living or non-living being is inconceivable in bodily terms and degrading to the concept of God. He is neither limited nor a body, and He encompasses the whole universe. He does not have a mate in order to have a child as any other living being does.
His spiritual parenthood to any soul or spirit is also inconceivable if it means other than being the Creator of that soul or spirit. There is no conceivable relation between God and any other being other than the relation between the Creator and His creature. Otherwise, the other being will be independent from God, and he will be His partner.
Now, if the ascribed son is united with God, the case will be as if I state that my son and I are one. If such a statement were true, I would be the father of myself, because I am my own son. And my son would be the son of himself, because he is I. Thus, God would be the father of Himself, and His son would be the son of himself.
God is not, and cannot be, the father of any living or non-living being if fatherhood is used for its true meaning. If the word is used in its figurative sense, to mean that God is as compassionate to His living creature as a father, then He will not only be the father of one person but the father of all mankind. And this is what can be understood from the Christian prayer, “Our father, Thou art in Heaven…” But even this figurative usage of the word is repugnant to Islam because it is misleading and confusing to the people. Muslims, therefore, do not use it.
Wilson: Your statement indicates that the Muslims do not believe in the divinity of Jesus. Do you have any clear evidence against his divinity?
Chirri: You do not need to disprove the divinity of Jesus or Muhammad or any other human being. But if you claim the divinity of anyone besides God, you need to prove your claim. If someone claims that you are an angel, he has to prove it. I do not need to prove that you are a man because you appear as a man and have all the attributes of a man. The one who claims that you are an angel is supposed to prove what he claims, because his claim is contrary to the common sense and to what appears as the actual fact.
When a person says that Jesus or Muhammad is a man, and not a God, he agrees with the accepted definition. Jesus lived like a man, looked like a man, slept as a man, ate as a man, and was persecuted like one. None of these facts need proof. This is not the case with the one who claims his divinity. His claim is opposed to the common knowledge. Therefore, he, and no one else, has to provide the evidence for his claim.
Although the Muslims are not supposed to provide any evidence for the denial of the divinity of Jesus, they can present more than one evidence:
1. Jesus was a worshipper. Of course, he worshipped God, not himself. This proves that he was not a god but a very humble servant of God.
2. According to three of the gospels, the last words Jesus uttered were: “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?” A person who has a God is not a God.
3. God is Ever-Living, but Jesus is mortal; God is the Almighty, but Jesus was persecuted.
Wilson: Why cannot we view Jesus as a god from his spiritual side and a mortal human from his bodily side?
Chirri: Having two sides, spirit and body, is not the exclusive property of Jesus, because every human being has these two sides. You have both spirit and body, and so do I. And neither of our spirits is mortal, since our spirits will continue to live after our death. But this does not make either of us a god, and so is the case with Jesus.
Wilson: But Jesus is not like us. He, according to the Qur'an and the Bible, was born from a virgin mother without a father. Does not this mean that he is more than a human being?
Chirri: Being born from a mother without a father does not make Jesus more than a human being. Adam was created without father and mother, and that did not make him more than a human. From the Holy Qur'an:
“Certainly the status of Jesus in the eyes of God is like the status of Adam. He created him from dust. He said to him: ‘Be’, and so he was.” 3:59
Neither Jesus nor Adam is a god because neither of them is the Creator of the universe.
Wilson: How do we know that he was not the Creator of the universe?
Chirri: The scientists say that the stars are more than four billion years old, and Jesus was born less than two thousand years ago. How can such an old universe be created by such a young creator?
Wilson: You are entirely right, and I think you have made the fact clear enough to convince any fair-minded person. Actually, the facts which you have mentioned are well known to everyone. It is amazing how people lose sight of them. I think that they do so because they are taught the divinity of Jesus since childhood. This teaching is repeated so much at home and in church that it remains in the children's minds; and when they grow up, it grows as a part of their thinking. They do not question it because it is taken for granted.
From what has been advanced, it has become clear to me that the uncompromising view of Islam on the oneness of God is the most reasonable. Therefore, I bear witness that there is no God but the Almighty God, alone without a partner, associate, or son.
- 1. Nahjul Balagha, Part 3, p. 44