Chapter Two: The Cow (Al Baqara)
Verses 163 & 164
Verses 163 & 164
Your God is the one God: there is no god except Him, the All-Merciful, the All-Compassionate. (Chapter 2: Verse 163)
This verse encompasses the core belief and the basis of faith since the time of Adam (peace be upon him). It is the central message of all prophets and messengers. It is the essence of the message of Noah, Abraham, David, Solomon, Moses, Jesus, Muhammad and all heavenly messengers. “Your God is the one God” is the fact that eternally existed before creation, and before the invention of disbelief. It is the fact that will eternally remain after creation.
Thus when you read the next part that says “there is no god except Him” you understand that this was added later because a new events. “There is no god except Him” was added because there were people who -through negligence or malice- had turned towards associating partners to God, or claiming several Gods. The truth ever remains that “Your God is the one God.” It is the actions of the disbelievers and the polytheist that necessitated that Allah reminds humanity that ‘there is no god except Him.’
The word ‘one’ is translated from the Arabic origin ‘Wahed’. “The One God” means that there is no second to Him, no equal to Him, He is the one and the only. Another term the Almighty uses to describe Himself is ‘Ahad’. We say: ‘Allah is the Wahed, the Ahad.’ ‘Wahed’ means that there is none but him; it means singularity. ‘Ahad’ on the other hand means unity and indivisibility.
Let’s clarify this point further. Something described as 'Wahed' or 'One' can be made out of many parts and components. Take the example of one unique custom car. There is no other car like it. This car is ‘Wahed.’ But this car is formed from many parts. There is the engine; the interior; the transmission and so on. Can you call any of these parts a car? No. A transmission by itself is not a car. An engine is not a car. However, the collective of all these parts together forms this one unique car. This car is ‘Wahed’ because it is unique, but it is not ‘Ahad’ because it is formed from different parts. In other words, ‘Ahad’ means that He has no parts that come together to form him. Allah the All merciful is one, with no other like him. He is whole not formed of any parts, nor can He be divided into components or elements. He is the Exalted, the Infallible; and to Him belongs all creation.
Anything besides God is a blessing from him and a grant from our Lord, the Most Merciful. A blessing has to be granted by someone and thus it cannot be described as a God or a deity. Similarly, the one who is blessed with bounties cannot be described as a God or a deity, because he or she is in need of that bounty.
In the very next verse of the ‘Cow’ God invites you to take a look into the universe and ponder all the blessings He created for you. Allah also wants you to examine how you are in need of each and every one of these favours to survive. Only then you can realize that “Your God is the one God: there is no god except Him, the All-Merciful, the All-Compassionate.” God says:
In the creation of the heavens and earth; in the alternation of night and day; in the ships that sail the seas with goods for the benefit of people; in the water which God sends down from the sky to give life to the earth when it has been barren, scattering all kinds of creatures over it; in the changing of the winds and clouds that run their appointed courses between the sky and earth: there are signs in all these for those who use their minds.
(Chapter 2:Verse 164)
Allah, the all merciful, created you immersed in favours and bounties. When you are born, you find a universe already prepared for your reception. The earth yields crops suitable for you; pure water comes down from the sky ready to drink; livestock subservient to your will and countless more bounties. In this verse, Allah directs your attention to some aspects of the universe that no one can claim that he or she created or invented. Even those who deny God realize that the universe is far greater than themselves and their abilities. God says:
The creation of the heavens and earth is greater by far than the creation of mankind, though most people do not know it. (40:57)
No one, other than God, has claimed that he or she created the universe. Even the disbelievers dare not make such a claim. If you use your mind and ponder these matters, the only conclusion you will reach is that ‘Your God is the one God: there is no god except Him’ Allah has declared loud and clear that He is the creator. It does not make sense that someone other than God had created all creations, yet He or she remains silent. And till the day that someone makes such statement, it remains clear that God is the One and the only. Allah says:
God has never had a child. Nor is there any god beside Him- if there were, each god would have taken his creation aside and tried to overcome the others. May God be exalted above what they describe! (23:91)
God says in a sacred narration:
“I am free from and above any kind of partner and associate. He who associates anyone with Me in his deeds, I shall abandon him with the one whom he associated me with.”
We are the children of earth, our provisions are derived from it, and our survival depends on it. Thus, it is common sense that earth was created first and prepared to receive humanity. No human had witnessed the creation of heavens and earth. Theories about how the heavens, earth, and mankind came into existence come and go, some are confirmed and countless are disproven with time. The most trusted source informing us of the mechanism of creation is the Creator Himself. He says:
I did not make them witnesses to the creation of the heavens and earth, nor to their own creation; I do not take as My supporters those who lead others astray. (18:51)
We are in need of two things to exist: time and place. Earth is the place which houses and protects us. And time is the result of the alteration of the night and day, one following the other. God says:
it is He who made the night and day follow each other- providing a sign for anyone who wishes to be mindful or show gratitude. (25:62)
It is of our Lord’s mercy that neither day nor night last forever. The alteration of the night and the day is a true blessing from God. He says:
Say, ‘Just think, if God were to cast perpetual night over you until the Day of Resurrection, what god other than He could bring you light? Will you not, then, listen?’ Say, ‘Just think, if God were to cast perpetual daylight over you until the Day of Resurrection, what god other than He could give you night in which to rest? Do you not see? (28:71-72)
We need rest and relaxation, thus Allah has divided the day into two parts; daytime in which we move about and night time in which they rest. He says:
It is He who made the night a garment for you, and sleep a rest, and made the day a time of rising to life and going about (25:47)
Allah even recognized those of us who work at night, and are in need of sleep during the day. He refers to those with night jobs in the following verse:
Among His signs is your sleep, by night and by day, and your seeking His bounty. There truly are signs in this for those who can hear. (30:23)
It is a true bounty and blessing from our Lord that He has made time a continuous succession. Allah swears by the day and the night so we may appreciate the enormity of these gifts. He says:
By the morning brightness, and by the night when it grows still, your Lord has not forsaken you, nor does He hate you (93:1-3)
We thank the Lord for all His bounties and we ever remain in His love and remembrance.