Who is the True God to Be Worshipped?`
The expansive universe, all the beauty of nature, all animate and inanimate things, human beings and civilization, and the relationships of these things to each other bear witness to the existence of a wise creator and a powerful ruler of this universe that exerts His power with justice and wisdom.
We can know that there must be only one supreme being because, if there were two or more, they would inevitably challenge each other and have conflicts whenever the will of one opposes the other. The loser of these two beings could never be regarded as a lord of the universe, because a lord does not lose. Therefore, there must be only one.
Allah says in the Quran,
“And if there were a god other than The God (Allah) in the heavens and the earth, they would surely degenerate, Allah, the Lord of the Throne, is exalted from what they ascribe to him” (21:22)
“And there is no other lord that exists in addition to Him for, if there was, each lord would be aligned with what he created and some of them would dominate others. Allah is Exalted above all that they ascribe to Him” (23:91)
Any person or thing that claims to be a god to be worshipped must put forth some type of proof of his claim. Only the supreme being that created us and has the power to benefit us, heal us, give us wisdom, and test us with trials and tribulations has the right to be worshipped. Otherwise, we would be devoting precious time and energy from our lives to please a being that has no power to help or harm us, and may not even know that we are devoted to it.
“And the ones that you pray to instead of Him are not able to help you nor even help themselves” (7:197).
Some people worship fire as a symbol of purity and righteousness because fire burns upwards and cannot itself be polluted. However, fire is temporary and will cease to burn in the absence of fuel and oxygen, and the Lord of the Universe is timeless.
Allah says in the Quran,
“Do you see the fire which you kindle? Is it you who made its tree grow, or are We the Grower? We have made it (the fire) a reminder (of the Hell-fire) and a tool to be used”. (56:71)
Some people worship idols and statues, either as a deity themselves or as representations of their god or gods. The Arabs used to fashion idols out of dates or stones. When travelling, if supplies ran low, they would eat from the idol of dates or use the stones to cook upon. After that they would continue worshipping what remains of their idols!
Abraham, the father of the prophets is quoted in the Quran as saying to the leaders of his people,
“And, I swear by Allah that I will surely plan something for your idols after you have turned and gone away. Then he made them into fragments, except a large one among them, that they might return to it. They said, "Who has done this to our gods? Indeed, he is of the wrongdoers." They said, "We heard a young man mention them who is called Abraham. "They said, "Then bring him before the eyes of the people that they may testify." They said, "Have you done this to our gods, O Abraham?" He said, "Rather, the biggest one of them did it, so ask them, if they can speak. "So, they gathered amongst themselves and said, "Indeed, you are the wrongdoers." Then they turned around and said, "You already knew that they can’t speak!" He said, "So, do you worship instead of Allah that which does not benefit you at all nor harm you? I’m fed up with you and what you worship instead of Allah. Will you not use reason?"
Some people worship the sun even though it is a star that disappears from the observable horizon at night and moves in its own orbit among the other stars of the galaxy. Prophet Abraham’s messenger reported to him in the Quran about what he saw the Queen of Sheba and her followers doing,
“I found her and her people prostrating in worship to the sun instead of to (the only God) Allah and the Satan has beautified their actions to them and, in this way, he has led them away from the path of Allah so that they are not guided. Why don’t they just prostrate in worship to Allah, the one that brings forth what is hidden in the heavens and earth and knows what you conceal and what you display?”
Some people worship other people for various reasons – either because they were prophets, righteous, powerful, beautiful, or for other superstitious reasons.
Allah says in the Quran,
“Were they created from nothing or are they the creators?” (52:25)
During the time of the Prophet Abraham, there was a king who claimed divinity. The following is an account of a public argument between the two,
“Have you not considered the one who argued with Abraham about his Lord [merely] because Allah had given him kingship? When Abraham said, "My Lord is the one who gives life and causes death," he said, "I give life and cause death." Abraham said, "Indeed, Allah brings up the sun from the east, so bring it up from the west." So, the disbeliever was overwhelmed, and Allah does not guide the wrongdoers.”
“And when Allah said: “O Jesus, son of Mary! Did you say to the people: ‘Take me and my mother for two gods besides Allah’, he said: ‘Glory be to You, it did not befit me that I should say what I had no right. If I had said it, You would indeed have known it, as You know what is in my soul and I do not know what is with You; Surely, You, only You, are the All-Knowing of all that is hidden’. I only told them that which You commanded me: ‘Devote yourselves to Allah, My Lord and your Lord’. I was a witness over them while I was among them. And when you took me away from them, You were the Watcher over them. And You are Witness over all things”. (5:117)
No matter what a person may worship from the observable universe, nature, and human race, it is certainly finite in time and space and subject to the same laws of cause, effect, action and reaction. Because of this, it can never be the ultimate source of benefit or harm. Pondering these truths can lead us to the realization of the ultimate truth – that there is only one Primary Cause, Sustainer, and Everlasting Power, so there is really only One worthy of worship.
Allah says in the Quran, “And they have taken besides Him gods, who cannot create anything while they are themselves created, and they possess themselves neither harm nor benefit, nor do they possess power of death nor of life nor of bringing back to life?”
Ultimate power over everything is with Allah. He gives relative power and ability to who and what he wishes from his creation.
“Say: O Allah, Owner of Authority, You give authority to whom You will and You take away the sovereignty from whom You will and You exalt whom You will and abase whom You will; In Your Hand is the Good; surely You have Power over all things”. (3:26)
“Say: Who is the Lord of the heavens and the earth? Say: “Allah.” Do you depend on others than Him who do not even possess for themselves any benefit or any harm? Say: Are the blind and the seeing equal, or are the darkness and the glorious light? Or, do they assign to Allah partners who “created” the like of His Creation, because their creation seemed the same to them? Say: “Allah is the Creator of all things and he is the Only Power”. (13:16)
Although we cannot perceive the Allah, the Creator and Master of the Universe, with our five senses, we can come to know Him through his descriptions of Himself in the revelation that He sent to His prophet, peace be upon him.
Say: He is Allah, the One.
Allah is “AlSamad” (the Self-Sufficient Master Whom all creatures need, and He is not in need of them”
He did not beget, nor was He begotten
And none can ever equal to Him”. (112:1-4)
“Allah! there is no god but Him, the Ever-living, the Self-subsisting by Whom all subsist. Slumber does not overtake Him nor does sleep; whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth is His; who can intercede with Him except with His Permission? He knows what is before them and what is after them, and they cannot comprehend anything out of His knowledge except what He wills. His “Kursî” extends over the heavens and the earth, and the preservation of them does not tire Him, and He is the Most High, the Most Tremendous.” (2:255)