A Conversation with Abraham: Exploring the Image of God in the Bible and the Qur’an Part 1
The patriarch Abraham has a special place as a central figure in all three monotheistic religions. Although essentially the "One" God that all monotheistic religions consider as their Lord—the God of Abraham in the Old Testament, Bible, and the Qur'an are arguably very different Gods. In all of the Abrahamic religions, at the most fundamental level, God is 'the maker of heaven and earth'. Despite many other shared elements, the image of God and His characteristics diverge on other points.
As the father of monotheism, Abraham's perception of God in each text serves as an important portal into the image of God. In this part, God's image and characteristics in both the Old Testament and the Qur'an will be compared and contrasted in regards to "seeing" God, His knowledge, His all-hearing quality, and His justice, and how these aspects contribute to an image of Him.
For this paper, I have chosen to focus primarily on the image of God and Abraham in the Old Testament (where the story is located in the Book of Genesis), and various verses from the Qur'an.1 These are the primary texts that concern Abraham. Further, as opposed to considering them in conversation with one another as many traditional Islamic commentaries have done, I would like to consider them juxtaposed to one another in order to highlight the differences that the Bible and the Qur'an portray in their image of God, with a special focus on the stories of their forefather Abraham/Ibrahim.2
I will highlight the differences between these stories with reference to God and how they contribute to an image of Him. This discussion will include the image of God in the stories concerning Abraham, the conversations between God and Abraham, and their relationship. I wanted to avoid the discussion transforming into a biographical sketch of Abraham and have thus chosen instead to focus on his understanding of God (i.e. God's image and characteristics), and then Abraham's relationship with God.
As the primary reason for religion is humanity's relationship with God, it is also pertinent and relevant to focus the discussion on this aspect of Abraham, which is at his very essence, as the forefather of monotheism. In order to avoid confusion, taking inspiration from Sheri Lowin,3 Abraham will refer to Biblical references and Ibrahim will refer to Qur'anic references. God or Allah will always be referred to as God.
Of the many shared stories of the Old Testament and the Qur'an, is the destruction of Lut/Lot's people. Both in Islamic and Christian tradition, Abraham/Ibrahim and Lot/Lut are related to each other. The angels, who have set out to destroy the people of Lot, stop on their way to give the good news of a son to Abraham/Ibrahim and his wife. The laughter of Sarah upon hearing this news is well-known in both Christian and Islamic tradition. The general gist of the story is extremely similar. However, there are key differences with regards to God Himself that can be drawn from looking closer at the narrations of this event.
In the Biblical rendition of events, God manifests Himself to Abraham and appears to him on earth:
The Lord appeared to Abraham by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the entrance of his tent in the heat of the day. He looked up and saw three men standing near him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent entrance to meet them, and bowed down to the ground. He said, "My lord, if I find favour with you, do not pass by your servant. Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree. Let me bring a little bread, that you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on-since you have come to your servant."4
It is not clear whether God eats, since there are three men accompanying him and Abraham only asks for three "measures" of food to be prepared.5 Later, "when he had finished talking with him, God went up from Abraham."6
Although it cannot be said that these quotes limit God's existence to a body (as it is not clear that God actually ends up eating or washing His feet), it is clear that there is some image or appearance of God that manifests itself to Abraham. If we are to take the story at face-value, this seems to be the case.
Further, other cases exist in the Old Testament where God also descends upon mankind and speaks to men, interacting with them on various levels. In fact, He even comes in a physical form and wrestles with Jacob (known in the Islamic tradition as Ya'qub), the descendent of Abraham. After wrestling with God, Jacob says: "For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life is preserved." God's descent to earth is commonplace in the Bible, and further helps to support the idea that Jesus, as one of the components of the Trinity, came to earth in the form of a human.
Thus, it can be rather strongly determined that the God of Abraham in the Old Testament can be seen and communicated directly with on earth, in a manner that resembles normal human interaction. (It is important to note here that this does not mean the God of the Old Testament is limited to a body, it just means that He appears with a body to mankind with a certain image.)
Juxtaposed to this, the Qur'anic version reads:
وَلَقَدْ جَاءَتْ رُسُلُنَا إِبْرَاهِيمَ بِالْبُشْرَىٰ قَالُوا سَلَامًا ۖ قَالَ سَلَامٌ ۖ فَمَا لَبِثَ أَنْ جَاءَ بِعِجْلٍ حَنِيذٍ فَلَمَّا رَأَىٰ أَيْدِيَهُمْ لَا تَصِلُ إِلَيْهِ نَكِرَهُمْ وَأَوْجَسَ مِنْهُمْ خِيفَةً ۚ قَالُوا لَا تَخَفْ إِنَّا أُرْسِلْنَا إِلَىٰ قَوْمِ لُوطٍ
Certainly, Our messengers came to Abraham with the good news, and said, "Peace!" "Peace!" He replied. Presently he brought [for them] a roasted calf. But when he saw their hands not reaching for it, he took them amiss and felt a fear of them. They said, "Do not be afraid. We have been sent to the people of Lot."7
In the Qur'anic rendition of events, there is absolutely no mention of God's physical presence or manifestation in front of Ibrahim. In fact, God, as the narrator, clearly omits Himself physically from the scene, saying that His messengers came to Ibrahim (on behalf of Him).
Although the Qur'an does speak of conversations between God and Ibrahim, it never denotes or implies that this conversation takes place in a manner similar to that of human interaction, or that God ever appears in any form to any man. In fact, God's communication with His Prophets is always through some sort of intermediary; never directly. This point has been made clear in several verses of the Qur'an, the most explicit of which says:
وَمَا كَانَ لِبَشَرٍ أَنْ يُكَلِّمَهُ اللَّهُ إِلَّا وَحْيًا أَوْ مِنْ وَرَاءِ حِجَابٍ أَوْ يُرْسِلَ رَسُولًا فَيُوحِيَ بِإِذْنِهِ مَا يَشَاءُ ۚ إِنَّهُ عَلِيٌّ حَكِيمٌ
It is not [possible] for any human that Allah should speak to him except through revelation or from behind a curtain, or send a messenger who reveals by His permission whatever He wishes. Indeed He is all-exalted, all-wise.8
Further, a physical manifestation or image of God that is perceivable goes against the image of God in the Qur'an (i.e. if we are to take the Qur'an literally):
وَلَمَّا جَاءَ مُوسَىٰ لِمِيقَاتِنَا وَكَلَّمَهُ رَبُّهُ قَالَ رَبِّ أَرِنِي أَنْظُرْ إِلَيْكَ ۚ قَالَ لَنْ تَرَانِي وَلَٰكِنِ انْظُرْ إِلَى الْجَبَلِ فَإِنِ اسْتَقَرَّ مَكَانَهُ فَسَوْفَ تَرَانِي ۚ فَلَمَّا تَجَلَّىٰ رَبُّهُ لِلْجَبَلِ جَعَلَهُ دَكًّا وَخَرَّ مُوسَىٰ صَعِقًا ۚ فَلَمَّا أَفَاقَ قَالَ سُبْحَانَكَ تُبْتُ إِلَيْكَ وَأَنَا أَوَّلُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ
When Moses arrived at Our tryst and his Lord spoke to him, he said," My Lord, show [Yourself] to me, that I may look at You " He said, "You shall not see Me. But look at the mountain: if it abides in its place, then you will see Me." So when his Lord disclosed Himself to the mountain, He levelled it, and Moses fell down swooning. And when he recovered, he said, "Immaculate are You I turn to You in penitence, and I am the first of the faithful."9
In another verse, the Qur'an states:
لَا تُدْرِكُهُ الْأَبْصَارُ وَهُوَ يُدْرِكُ الْأَبْصَارَ ۖ وَهُوَ اللَّطِيفُ الْخَبِيرُ
The sights do not apprehend Him, yet He apprehends the sights, and He is the All-attentive, the All-aware.10
God will not physically show himself to any Prophet or person and cannot be seen. Moses (at face-value) requests this and is denied. This can be clearly deduced from several verses of the Qur'an, and is one of the key differences in the story of Abraham in the Bible and the Qur'an.
As the story progresses in the Bible and delves into the discussion of the punishment of Lot's people, the image of God simultaneously becomes more convoluted. In Genesis, God says:
I must go down and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry that has come to me; and if not, I will know.11
This passage seems to imply that God will not know what the people are doing until He has gone 'down' and seen it for Himself. i.e. He is not all-knowing. This is in contradiction with the idea that God is omniscient, a characteristic held unanimously amongst the Abrahamic faiths. How scholars of the faith bring this into harmony with instances in the text that seem to suggest otherwise (like this), is a topic for elsewhere. Nevertheless, Abraham does not seem able to fully comprehend God's justice, and this becomes apparent when he questions God's punishment of Lot's people:
So the men turned from there, and went toward Sodom, while Abraham remained standing before the Lord. Then Abraham came near and said, "Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city; will you then sweep away the place and not forgive it for the fifty righteous who are in it? Far be it from you to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked Far be that from you Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?" And the Lord said, "If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will forgive the whole place for their sake." Abraham answered, "Let me take it upon myself to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes. Suppose five of the fifty righteous are lacking? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five?"
And he said, "I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there." Again he spoke to him, "Suppose forty are found there." He answered, "For the sake of forty I will not do it." Then he said, "Oh do not let the Lord be angry if I speak. Suppose thirty are found there." He answered, "I will not do it, if I find thirty there." He said, "Let me take it upon myself to speak to the Lord. Suppose twenty are found there." He answered, "For the sake of twenty I will not destroy it." Then he said, "Oh do not let the Lord be angry if I speak just once more. Suppose ten are found there." He answered, "For the sake of ten I will not destroy it." And the Lord went his way, when he had finished speaking to Abraham; and Abraham returned to his place.12
Here, God speaks to Abraham as though He has no knowledge of the people of Sodom, or how many righteous exist amongst them. The entire passage consists of "if" clauses related to what God will find once he enters the city, and within this passage there is no indication that God is omniscient or that He already knows what He will find. Rather, the opposite holds true, and neither in the words or actions of Abraham or God do we understand His omniscience.
The Qur'anic delivery of this conversation reads quite differently:
قَالَ إِنَّ فِيهَا لُوطًا ۚ قَالُوا نَحْنُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَنْ فِيهَا ۖ لَنُنَجِّيَنَّهُ وَأَهْلَهُ إِلَّا امْرَأَتَهُ كَانَتْ مِنَ الْغَابِرِينَ وَلَمَّا أَنْ جَاءَتْ رُسُلُنَا لُوطًا سِيءَ بِهِمْ وَضَاقَ بِهِمْ ذَرْعًا وَقَالُوا لَا تَخَفْ وَلَا تَحْزَنْ ۖ إِنَّا مُنَجُّوكَ وَأَهْلَكَ إِلَّا امْرَأَتَكَ كَانَتْ مِنَ الْغَابِرِينَ
And when Our messengers came to Abraham with the good news, they said," We are indeed going to destroy the people of this town. Its people are indeed wrongdoers." He said," Lot is indeed in it." They said, "We know better those who are in it. We will surely deliver him and his family, except his wife: she shall be one of those who remain behind." And when Our messengers came to Lot, he was distressed on their account and in a predicament for their sake. But they said, 'Do not be afraid, nor grieve We shall deliver you and your family, except your wife: she will be one of those who remain behind.13
فَلَمَّا ذَهَبَ عَنْ إِبْرَاهِيمَ الرَّوْعُ وَجَاءَتْهُ الْبُشْرَىٰ يُجَادِلُنَا فِي قَوْمِ لُوطٍ إِنَّ إِبْرَاهِيمَ لَحَلِيمٌ أَوَّاهٌ مُنِيبٌ يَا إِبْرَاهِيمُ أَعْرِضْ عَنْ هَٰذَا ۖ إِنَّهُ قَدْ جَاءَ أَمْرُ رَبِّكَ ۖ وَإِنَّهُمْ آتِيهِمْ عَذَابٌ غَيْرُ مَرْدُودٍ
So when the awe had left Abraham and the good news had reached him, he pleaded with Us concerning the people of Lot. Abraham was indeed most forbearing, plaintive, [and] penitent. "O Abraham, let this matter alone Your Lord's edict has certainly come, and an irrevocable punishment shall overtake them."14
Thus, in the Qur'anic version, not only is God omniscient but Ibrahim is rebuked by God's messengers when he mentions Lot's safety. There is no room to argue that God did not know who was amongst the people of Lot or that He might not save them. God's knowledge of who exists amongst the people of Lot predates their destruction, and this knowledge does not require his descent into the city.
In other instances, Ibrahim even affirms and acknowledges God's omniscience verbatim. For example, in one instance, whilst Ibrahim and Ismail are building the house of God (albeit after the destruction of Sodom), the Qur'an quotes Ibrahim's acknowledgement and belief in God's omniscience:
وَإِذْ يَرْفَعُ إِبْرَاهِيمُ الْقَوَاعِدَ مِنَ الْبَيْتِ وَإِسْمَاعِيلُ رَبَّنَا تَقَبَّلْ مِنَّا ۖ إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ
As Abraham raised the foundations of the House with Ishmael, [they prayed]: 'Our Lord, accept it from us Indeed You are the All-hearing, the All-knowing." 15
While describing God to the polytheists, he says:
وَحَاجَّهُ قَوْمُهُ ۚ قَالَ أَتُحَاجُّونِّي فِي اللَّهِ وَقَدْ هَدَانِ ۚ وَلَا أَخَافُ مَا تُشْرِكُونَ بِهِ إِلَّا أَنْ يَشَاءَ رَبِّي شَيْئًا ۗ وَسِعَ رَبِّي كُلَّ شَيْءٍ عِلْمًا ۗ أَفَلَا تَتَذَكَّرُونَ
His people argued with him. He said, 'Do you argue with me concerning Allah, while He has guided me for certain? I do not fear what you ascribe to Him as [His] partners, excepting anything that my Lord may wish. My Lord embraces all things in [His] knowledge. Will you not then take admonition?'16
In another prayer to God for children, Abraham says:
رَبَّنَا إِنَّكَ تَعْلَمُ مَا نُخْفِي وَمَا نُعْلِنُ ۗ وَمَا يَخْفَىٰ عَلَى اللَّهِ مِنْ شَيْءٍ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلَا فِي السَّمَاءِ
Our Lord Indeed You know whatever we hide and whatever we disclose, and nothing is hidden from Allah on the earth or in the sky.17
This is consistent with the overall message of the Qur'an where God is consistently seen as an actor who is knowledgeable over His creation and everything related to them i.e. He is all-knowing. In fact, God's omniscience is a theme and characteristic mentioned hundreds of times in the Qur'an.18
وَعِنْدَهُ مَفَاتِحُ الْغَيْبِ لَا يَعْلَمُهَا إِلَّا هُوَ ۚ وَيَعْلَمُ مَا فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ ۚ وَمَا تَسْقُطُ مِنْ وَرَقَةٍ إِلَّا يَعْلَمُهَا وَلَا حَبَّةٍ فِي ظُلُمَاتِ الْأَرْضِ وَلَا رَطْبٍ وَلَا يَابِسٍ إِلَّا فِي كِتَابٍ مُبِينٍ
With Him are the treasures of the Unseen; no one knows them except Him. He knows whatever there is in land and sea. No leaf falls without His knowing it, nor is there a grain in the darkness of the earth, nor anything fresh or withered but it is in a manifest Book.19
Related to God's knowledge and omniscience is His ability to hear everything. Interestingly enough, this seems to be a characteristic of God that is accepted throughout both the Qur'an and the Old Testament, especially in scenarios related to Abraham/Ibrahim. Referring back to the passages quoted, although God apparently wants to go down to see if the people of Sodom have indeed transgressed, His knowledge of what has occurred seems to be according to the "outcry that has come to [Him]"20 indicating that He can hear those who call to Him, no matter where they might be (even if He supposedly cannot confirm the veracity of these cries). In the story of Hagar's pursuit for water for her and Abraham's son Ishmael, the Old Testament says:
And God heard the voice of the boy; and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven, and said to her, "What troubles you, Hagar? Do not be afraid; for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is."21
This is similar to the Qur'anic image of God, where, complementing His knowledge, is His ability to be all-Hearing. As mentioned, Ibrahim also refers to Allah as the "all-Hearing". In fact, God is described as all- Hearing in the Qur'an 46 times.22 In one particularly strong passage, the Qur'an says:
أَلَمْ تَرَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ يَعْلَمُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ ۖ مَا يَكُونُ مِنْ نَجْوَىٰ ثَلَاثَةٍ إِلَّا هُوَ رَابِعُهُمْ وَلَا خَمْسَةٍ إِلَّا هُوَ سَادِسُهُمْ وَلَا أَدْنَىٰ مِنْ ذَٰلِكَ وَلَا أَكْثَرَ إِلَّا هُوَ مَعَهُمْ أَيْنَ مَا كَانُوا ۖ ثُمَّ يُنَبِّئُهُمْ بِمَا عَمِلُوا يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ
Have you not regarded that Allah knows whatever there is in the heavens and whatever there is in the earth? There is no secret talk among three, but He is their fourth] companion [, nor among five but He is their sixth, nor less than that, nor more, but He is with them wherever they may be. Then He will inform them about what they have done on the Day of Resurrection. Indeed Allah has knowledge of all things.23
The question of God's justice is often a question of controversy, especially when it is related to His destruction of a nation that may include innocent people. Justice is an ideal that the righteous do not compromise on, and an ideal explored in both the Bible and the Qur'an, especially with regards to Abraham/Ibrahim. There is no room for God to be unjust, in both the Biblical and Qur'anic tradition.
In the case of the destruction of Lot's people in the Bible, even Abraham questions God's justice (as read above), and although he is usually so submissive that he does not press for an explanation, he finds the issue so grave that He would risk angering the wrath of God. However, this God is also one that voices concern about Abraham's reaction, and contemplates keeping the news of the destruction from Abraham.
The Lord said, "Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, seeing that Abraham shall become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? No, for I have chosen him, that he may charge his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice; so that the Lord may bring about for Abraham what he has promised him."24
What is so interesting about this specific quote is that God decides to tell Abraham about the destruction of Lot's people so that Abraham can charge his own children "to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice". It is because Abraham must charge his own children to the way of the Lord that God must tell him of the destruction of the people of Lot. Righteousness and justice are God's way. However, Abraham does not seem to understand this, and questions God about his destruction of the people of Lot, asking if He would "sweep away the righteous with the wicked?"
However, in both the Biblical and Qur'anic narratives, the righteous of the people of Lot (i.e. his family save his wife) are saved, and in the end, God's justice prevails. Although some commentators suggest that it is God complying with Abraham's request to save the righteous, it could also be suggested that regardless of His conversation with Abraham, God would have acted in the same way, and that he was simply allowing Abraham to voice his thoughts in order to emphasize the fact that God is just and that God would not do anything against justice.
Perhaps it indicates a misunderstanding of God on the part of Abraham as opposed to God's pending injustice. Or, it could indicate Abraham's misunderstanding of justice itself. Perhaps God wanted to ensure that Abraham understood and believed that God is not one to act unjustly.
Therefore, He chose to have a conversation with Abraham about the destruction in order to remove any doubts that could have possibly come to Abraham's mind. Justice is not an ideal to be reckoned with and its importance, especially with relation to God, shows itself in this narrative: Justice befits God and is His way. Anything less than justice from God would be a problem. Although at first glance, the passage may seem to indicate that God is not just, looking closer, this claim can be negated as we do not know what God would have done had Abraham not voiced his concern.
Interestingly enough, the issue of justice is not brought up by Abraham in the narrative concerning the sacrifice of his son (which at face-value seems to be an oppressive command from God). In that case, Abraham submits whole-heartedly to God, doing as He commands. Some have commented on this seeming inconsistency,25 however, both the Qur'an and Bible do not consider this unjust. After all, the outcome was that his son was not killed; rather, it was just a test to see whether Abraham/Ibrahim would submit to the will of God (which, God knew he would). However, in the case of the destruction of Lot's people, Abraham seems to question God's justice explicitly only if there are innocent people amongst them.
In the Qur'anic narrative, we also see a vague mention of Abraham pleading to God with regards to the people of Lot. As we saw earlier, the angels tell Abraham that they know better who is amongst the people of Lot than Abraham knows himself.
With this divine knowledge, it is implied that they know very well what they are doing, and there is no question of them erroneously destroying anybody whom they are not supposed to or knowingly acting in an unjust manner. In fact, we do not see a questioning of God's justice in any way. Rather, we only see an affirmation of it. In another interesting exchange in the Qur'an, God clearly indicates the importance of justice and says that His covenant does not extend to those in Ibrahim's progeny who are of the unjust:
وَإِذِ ابْتَلَىٰ إِبْرَاهِيمَ رَبُّهُ بِكَلِمَاتٍ فَأَتَمَّهُنَّ ۖ قَالَ إِنِّي جَاعِلُكَ لِلنَّاسِ إِمَامًا ۖ قَالَ وَمِنْ ذُرِّيَّتِي ۖ قَالَ لَا يَنَالُ عَهْدِي الظَّالِمِينَ
And when his Lord tested Abraham with certain words, and he fulfilled them, He said, 'I am making you the Imam of mankind.' Said he, 'And from among my descendants?' He said, 'My pledge does not extend to the unjust.'26
Other instances in the Qur'an also emphasize God's justice and that he does not oppress or do anything that is unjust. This is also discussed in "The Image of God in the Qur'an".27 Thus, in both the Bible and the Qur'an, God's justice is one of His fundamental characteristics.
- 1. I have specifically chosen to consider Biblical canonical texts only so as to limit the discussion. In The Oxford Handbook of Biblical Studies, the canon has been described as: "The literature that survived in the religious communities of both Judaism and early Christianity, and was recognized as sacred scripture, was that which was believed by those communities to have continuing validity for their faith, identity, conduct, and mission."
The Book of Genesis (from the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament) is unanimously considered reliable by both Jews and Christians. However, being that Judaism also has the Oral Torah, the Hebrew Bible is not the only primary text that contributes to its discussion on Abraham. Thus, we have chosen to focus only on the shared element, i.e. the Old Testament. The Qur'an is the primary text of Islam that has unanimous validity amongst Muslims. While the ahadith literature could also be argued to be a primary text, there is no consensus as to which hadith can be considered reliable. Thus, we have also omitted discussions primarily related to the hadith literature.
- 2. Two pieces of pseudepigrapha relevant to this discussion that have not been considered, are the Testament of Abraham and the Apocalypse of Abraham, both of which give very interesting accounts of Abraham, his perception of, and his relationship with God.
For a brief discussion on Abraham in one specific midrash (part of the Oral Torah), please see: "The Call of Abraham: A Midrash Revisited" by Paul Mandel (Indiana University Press, Proof texts, Vol. 14, No. 3 (September 1994), pp. 267-284)
- 3. Sheri Lowin, "Making of a forefather: Abraham in Islamic and Jewish Exegetical Narratives", Adobe Digital Editions.
- 4. Genesis NRSV, 18:1-6.
- 5. In the Qur'anic rendition of events, Ibrahim prepares food for the three men, who are angels in the Qur'anic version, but they do not eat of it. This causes Ibrahim to fear them and realize that they are not human, but rather angels, and then a conversation with regards to his future child and the destruction of the people of Lot ensues.
- 6. Genesis NRSV, 17:22.
- 7. The Qur'an, 11:69-70 trans. Ali Quli Qara'i, (London: ICAS Press, 2004), www.tanzil.net.
- 8. The Qur'an, 42:51
- 9. The Qur'an, 7:143.
- 10. The Qur'an, 6:103.
- 11. Genesis NRSV, 18:21.
- 12. Genesis NRSV, 18:22-33.
- 13. The Qur'an, 29:32-33.
- 14. The Qur'an, 11:74-76.
- 15. The Qur'an, 2:127.
- 16. The Qur'an, 6:80.
- 17. The Qur'an, 14:38.
- 18. For a full overview of the characteristics and names of God in the Qur'an, related to his knowledge, see p. 14-18 of "The Image of God in the Qur'an" in the book: God: Existence & Attributes by H.I. Mohammad Ali Shomali. Or online at: https://www.al-islam.org/image-god-quran-mohammad-ali-shomali-mahnaz-hey...
- 19. The Qur'an, 6:59
- 20. Genesis NSRV, 18:20
- 21. Genesis NSRV, 21:17
- 22. See: The Image of God in the Qur'an, p. 16. Or online at: https://www.al-islam.org/image-god-quran-mohammad-ali-shomali-mahnaz-hey...
- 23. The Qur'an, 58:7
- 24. Genesis NRSV, 18:17-19.
- 25. See Mordecai Roshwald's "Two Dialogues of Abraham with God" in Modern Age.
- 26. The Qur'an, 2:124.
- 27. "The Image of God in the Qur'an", God: Existence and Attributes, P.45. Online at: https://www.al-islam.org/image-god-quran-mohammad-ali-shomali-mahnaz-hey...