Leaving Islam





Anthropomorphism And Islam

By Mohd Sageer

Religious principles and  tenets  , as we understand today  have always  been  confined within   the realm of  human knowledge and experience. Read the holy books,  and you will see nothing   in there that is  beyond our intellectual comprehension .  The common notion that  God's words and actions are transcendental to human knowledge    does not hold  true as you go   through these  scriptures which do nothing but command compliance of certain rules applicable to  day to day  human  life including meaningless rituals .

Accordingly, the implication what  the Holy Books give us is that   without the existence of human beings   in this temporal  world ,   the entire concept of God , Good deeds ,  Sin, Paradise and Hell  becomes meaningless.  For some hither to  unknown reason ,  almighty God still  needs the  existence of  mortal human beings  for His own meaningful existence  since  venerating and worshipping Him as the supreme authority are  of utmost importance as prescribed by  the Books that have been sent down to us through various Sages and prophets.  So that  He  could reward good  people  with Paradise or cast  the defaulters  into   Hell- fire as  punishment .

Except few  religious doctrines  such as  Buddhism which  remains agnostic , most of the Holy scriptures since ancient times contain certain features  that  holds them in common bonds .  It is their   graphic depiction of war, violence, punishment ,  bloodshed even sex  while communicating  the message to people.  Whether   it is a    Hindu Mahabharata, or Ramayana,  Old testament , Bible or  Quran , their narrative form  one way or the other have the  same characteristics and  ingredients of  what we could describe as something  that can only be  originating from  human intelligence  .  Apart from their literary qualities  and  the  moral - ethical  concerns  aimed at  human beings with suitable advises and warnings  ,   we still have to find in these  Holy scriptures  what is attributed as    miraculous or transcendental.  

Instead we have scriptures depicting God as someone with supreme  command  or God himself speaking to us  as being the sole authority.  

The ability to experience emotions ,  feelings  and senses by humans , animals and plants   is considered a unique characteristic attached to  living things. At the same time these sensations   are also the  signs  of our weaknesses  for they are  being the sources of pervasive outbursts such as anger,  vengeance,  lust, etc. 

The question is,  does God too experience  the  destructive or pervasive feelings such as vehemence or wrath,   just the way  human beings and animals do?

Look at these versus.  ( My  familiarity with Holy Quran made me to  chose these verses ) 

YUSUFALI: Such are the men whom Allah has cursed for He has made them deaf and blinded their sight.

Humans as imperfect   beings may  choose to  curse someone    as a result of extreme anger. And that  is  thoroughly understandable .  A curse is an act of   utter frustration stemmed from extreme helplessness. To state  that God is having to go  through such  an  unpleasant situation thus  resorting    to  cursing people is synonymous with  equating  God with man.  It is  nothing but  blasphemy.


YUSUFALI: Allah has decreed: "It is I and My messengers who must prevail": For Allah is One full of strength, able to enforce His Will.

Prevailing over whom ? The mortal people ?  " I and the messengers".  Do you honestly believe an omnipotent God needs to  verbally air such a statement.  Does an almighty God needs the advocacy of   his messengers ? 

 [2.61] And when you said: O Musa! we cannot bear with one food, therefore pray Lord on our behalf to bring forth for us out of what the earth grows, of its herbs and its cucumbers and its garlic and its lentils and its onions. He said: Will you exchange that which is better for that which is worse? Enter a city, so you will have what you ask for. And abasement and humiliation were brought down upon them, and they became deserving of Allah's wrath; this was so because they disbelieved in the communications of Allah and killed the prophets unjustly; this was so because they disobeyed and exceeded the limits.

[2.90] Evil is that for which they have sold their souls-- that they should deny what Allah has revealed, out of envy that Allah should send down of His grace on whomsoever of His servants He pleases; so they have made themselves deserving of wrath upon wrath, and there is a disgraceful punishment for the unbelievers.

 The feeling of wrath  or vehemence is not a sublime emotion.  But then whoever feeling pleased or happy for  certain  people    are also liable to experience  these negative emotions  on others whom  they dislike  . You,  being a living creature thus at times  loosing your temper or  being happy on other occasions  is perfectly normal.  But the moment you start thinking  even the almighty God is  not free from experiencing these temporal bouts of emotional disturbances  ,  then it clearly is a case  of  confirming  our limitations to objectively perceiving  an almighty  God who should eternally  stand beyond all these emotional  constraints such as anger and happiness.


YUSUFALI: The similitude of those who were charged with the (obligations of the) Mosaic Law,
but who subsequently failed in those (obligations), is that of a donkey which carries huge tomes (but understands them not). Evil is the similitude of people who falsify the Signs of Allah: and Allah guides not people who do wrong.

What is the criterion that  God   applying  to a harmless and silent   creature like donkey to be considered  as worthless. ?  After all who created donkey   ?  What standard does God use to measure the intellectual  ability of an animal  ? And  even if a donkey  does not qualify to earn the respect of God , who is at fault here ?   The Creator or the creature ?

Do you  honestly believe this comparison made between  Jews and donkey  really must have come from a universal  God  ?   Is that why God created donkey ? To make comparison with Jews. ? What was the sin  committed by  donkeys to be insulted like this  ?  Can a donkey get offended for being degraded  like this by his Creator with insinuations of his being inferior in terms of  intelligence ?

In each verse of the Holy Quran  , there are  myriads  of ethical issues that casts doubts on the source of  its origin.

Strange are the ways of God .. Every verse quoted in the Quran or for that matter in other  Holy book are indeed thought provoking.

For one thing,  these Holy Books were  all written in a language  that were indigenous to the people for whom it was meant to be .  Thus we have Mahabharata and Ramayana in Sanskrit, an ancient language of India.  By the same token we have Old Testament in Hebrew with some Aramaic influence of the Assyrian world.  We have the New Testament   originally written in ancient Greek.

The Holy Quran, originally written in  Arabic thus were primarily addressed to the Arabic speaking tribal  groups who  lived  across the present day Saudi Arabia.  

Given  the points discussed so far ,  we should be able to draw  two things as conclusion.   Firstly,  the Holy books are written in a manner and style  treating God with human qualities. They are addressing   people  belonging to a particular sect or tribe of a particular time.    Secondly they were all written in  the tongue of the  people who had   spoken the same language .


God's   Act Of  Rectification

In the first instance God created  man. At a later point  He realized there is something wrong with his subject.    He then decided to  issue  warnings to man   persuading him to move in the right path.  First of all our common intelligence makes us question the very purpose of  this duplication.  Objectively speaking these are  in utter contrast   with  the notion of a universal God.  And the  question is very simple ; why we were not programmed to behave in a way the God wanted us to behave !  And with thought err to human.

To this,  our religious leaders always had the clichéd answers. " Oh ! this is  a ploy of God. This is a  game of God.  We are  being put to test by God.

And still we have to believe that our God is most merciful and  most compassionate.  

Using  our contemporary  parlance  this whole situation can be drawn to a single comparison.   Since time immemorial inventions whether Scientific, Medical or  technological  caused by men have always been subject to inherent  flaws  that testify something  atypical of human nature  Each time something is invented  by  man had to be  rectified for error or find ways to improve in order  to create a  better one.    Unfortunately,  as far as human beings are  concerned this forms part   of a never- ending,  continuous  improvement process  . And that is where the irony lies  .  For us,  finding ways to continuously improve the features  of  our inventions cannot be considered  an attribute   !! .  Rather they  simply indicate  our inability to reach perfection, because  we are bound by  innumerable natural   limitations as  being mere  humans .

As mortal creatures with inherent  and  innumerable physical , mental and intellectual limitations we are  unable to create or invent something  that is  timelessly perfect.    Hence sadly,   each time we end  up creating  new  tools  to modify  the shortcoming of  a previous invention.

By  implicating  the   almighty God   falling into a similar  trap of helplessness and limitations we throw insult to our  basic understanding of an omnipotent God    !!

God had  created  the first man.   So far so good .   But it is  blasphemously disrespectful to argue that  it was only at a later point that  the omnipotent, omniscient almighty God realized the flaw in His creation.  The  very concept of God being  omnipotent  and Omniscient is questionable  here. 

Or was  it  an ingredient that the God had   omitted to insert in the moral ethical  settings of human beings that caused them to behave immorally ?.   Or was it a purposeful act of God, so that when the man  goes  errand He can throw him into hell. ?

In either cases,  who is at  fault  here ? The God or  man. ?

As for God there was no going back.  Apparently God could not recreate man as a role model as He wished.  Instead He had to write an  anti -virus ( to be more precisely revelations ) program to  rectify the  moral -flaws  in humans.

Attributing the inherent limitations   and  qualities of human beings   to God is an issue that needs further discussion .  A case of anthropomorphism.







Articles Op-ed Authors Debates Leaving Islam FAQ
Comments Library Gallery Video Clips Books Sina's Challenge

  ©  copyright You may translate and publish the articles in this site only if you provide a link to the original page.