Tawhid (tawheed) is what passes for Muslim theology. Its main principles are...
- The absolute indivisible unity of Allah.
- The omniscience of Allah about all events past, present and future.
- The unfettered omnipotence of Allah. He can do anything he wants.
- The incomparable uniqueness of Allah, he is totally unlike anything in his creation.
- The micromanagement of the world . Laws of science are an illusion. Allah recreates the universe moment by moment according to his whim.
- Indivisible sovereignty of Allah - Man has no free will.
- Allah as a necessary rather than contingent being.
It all seems deceptively simple, and indeed this deceptiveness is used to lure the gullible into Islam, especially those Christians who do not have a sound understanding of the Trinity and the reasons why the indivisible unity of Allah leads to logical absurdities.
Of course other aspects of tawheed as well as the indivisible unity are in contradiction with Christianity. We could mention in passing the following list...
- Omniscience about future events and indivisible sovereignty precludes human free-will. We are all Allah's automatons.
- Unfettered omnipotence contradicts the observed laws of nature.
- The incomparable uniqueness of Allah contradicts Christian doctrine that Man is made in God's image.
- Omnipotence contradicts necessary existence. An omnipotent being could do anything, including ceasing to exist. Therefore Allah's existence is contingent upon his not deciding to cease to exist.
However, this post is primarily concerned with the Muslim attacks on the Trinity, which consist of the repetitive mantra 'Allah has no son' (try googling it to see just how repetitive it is) plus accusations that Christians are polytheists, worship three gods, ascribe partners to Allah etc etc.
Let's first of all look at the logical contradictions that appear when we take the indivisibility of God to its absolute conclusion, and then at the history of tawhid.
Indivisible Unity Implies Paralysis
All functioning entities must be composite in order to function. Something that was an absolute indivisible unity could never interact with anything else. For an 'entity' to interact it must either give something of itself, or receive something into itself. Everything that causes a change is itself changed in the process.
An absolutely indivisible entity would be completely inert - an analogy from elementary chemistry would be those inert gases such as helium and neon that can't give up or take up electrons, and so can't form compounds or interact with any other elements. For the same reason an absolutely indivisible Allah would be powerless and unaware of any changes around him. The Jews understood this perfectly well, and referred to God as 'Elohim' - a plural noun. Similarly, the early Christians had the doctrine of the Trinity, which refers to three modes of existence or interaction of God, not to three Gods as Mohammed apparently believed. (Mohammed may even have believed that Mary was one aspect of the Trinity)
History of Tawheed
Unlike most other religions, Islam didn't start off as a coherent body of doctrine. It began as the rantings and ravings of a psychopathic pedophile, which were altered according to the requirements of his debauched lifestyle. The Koran is full of internal contradictions, with the more violent verses 'abrogating' (i.e. cancelling) the more peaceful ones.
Nor was Islam spread by missionary efforts as with other religions. It was imposed by the sword by a thuggish bunch of robbers, rapists and murderers who were attracted by Mohammed's offer of divinely approved raids of rape and pillage. Mohammed bragged that he had been made victorious with terror.
Consequently, the later Muslims had to try to do a retrofit of theology and philosophy on to what was a pig's breakfast of garbled Jewish and Christian beliefs mixed up with Mohammed's ramblings and ravings. They soon gave up on the philosophy, and didn't do much better with the theology.
What they settled for was a God of extremes, who was very much overspecified ('my God is bigger than your God and doesn't need any partners or sons' etc)
One consequence of the attempt to do the retrofit was that some explanation had to be found for the numerous discrepancies between Mohammed's Koranic ravings and the contents of the Judeo-Christian scriptures. The highly imaginative explanation that the Muslim taqiyya artists came up with was that Jews and Christians had systematically altered and corrupted their original scriptures in an attempt to discredit Mohammed!
Allah started life as a meteorite who inhabited a vessel shaped like a lady's thingy, in a cubic building in Mecca. He was a purely local, tribal god who had a definite location on Earth.
That's why Muslims always bow to Mecca. They aren't worshipping the entire city, including car parks, electricity substations, public toilets and all the rest of the urban infrastructure. They are worshipping one specific object in the city - Allah the meteorite. Allah only developed pretensions of being a universal deity later, and his parochial Meccan origins are still very much in evidence to this day!
And strange to relate, although Allah had no sons, he did have three daughters who were venerated in early versions of the Koran. As Islam grew more macho, the verses which referred to Allah's daughters were condemned as Satanic and removed. Muslims really do not like to be reminded of them, and Salman Rushdie was awarded a five-star fatwa for his novel on the subject.
Allah's arse or butt and Bi-la kayf or Bi-la kaifa
Also, in his early days Allah was very much divisible into parts. The Koran says he's got hands, a face and buttocks with which to sit on his throne. Tawhid doesn't cope with Mohammed's anthropomorphism all that well, and this crude Koranic portrayal of Allah is, like his daughters, a great embarassment to Muslim theologians. Raising this subject usually provokes the angrily defensive retort of 'Bi-la kayf' or 'Bi-la kaifa' , which means Mohammedan contradictions and absurdities must be accepted without asking how or why. This anti-rational aspect of Tahwid is another illustration of how Islam produces idiocy, and idiocy produces Islam.
The subsequent Muslim theologians over-specified Allah with power attributes to such an extent that he has become a logically impossible being.
- There is a contradiction in the idea of a supreme being who is omniscient, compassionate and yet creates souls in the knowledge that they are damned to eternal agony burning in hell. This contradiction has never been resolved by the Muslims. If Allah is omniscient then He knows all events past and future, including how people will behave, and their ultimate fate before they are even born. The future is already laid out before him like the frames of a movie.
- If Allah is omniscient about the future, then he can never make a decision or choose a course of action, because he knows in advance exactly what his future actions will be for all eternity. He cannot decide to change his mind because he will know in advance when and how he will decide to change his mind, so his mind will already be made up. Such a supreme being would be totally paralysed by his own pre-ordained future - the ultimate in feed-back loops or logical contradictions, which ever way you care to look at it. Allah could have no free will!
This gives a double whammy of paralysis when combined with the inert indivisibility.
Christianity does not suffer from this logical conflict, because God has given Man free will, which removes the inevitability of determinism from the feedback loop. Within the Trinity, the Son clearly also has free will, for example to choose to accept or resist the temptations of Satan.
The Holy Trinity
All Allah's theological and logical absurdities are overcome if we accept the triune nature of the Godhead. The doctrine of the Holy Trinity, avoids the two erroneous extreme views of absolute singularity (Islam) and absolute plurality (polytheism).
The basis of designation of the Christian God is composed of three parts: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This is not to say that there are three Gods, only that the basis of designation of God is composite.
For example a pram consists of a composite basis of designation comprising seven parts - a body, a handle, a hood and four wheels (ignoring the cans and the passengers, even though everyone said they made a lovely couple!).
This is not to say that there are seven prams, just that in order to function as a pram, the vehicle must be composite. A single pram-shaped block of concrete wouldn't function as well.
Another way of visualising the Trinity (apart from St Patrick's famous shamrock leaf) is the medieval figure of the three hares. Each hare is incomplete in itself but achieves completion by dynamic interaction with the other two.
Necessary Being versus co-indwelling Trinity.
The Muslim theologians, in their attempts to make sense of Mohammed's incoherent Koranic ravings, defined Allah as a single indivisible Necessary Being with no contingent dependencies. Given the need to simplify the garbage they were wading through from Mohammed's brain-dump, this must have seemed like a good idea at the time.
A Necessary Being contains the reasons for its existence entirely within itself without the need to reference any other entity. It is completely defined by its own nature. It is therefore uncaused. (The opposite is a Contingent Being, which has at least some of the causes of its existence external to itself, like mother and father, food-supply etc.)
However, as later 'process theologians' were to point out, there are some serious drawbacks to having a God who is a Necessary Being. For instance, he cannot undergo any externally produced change of state, because one of the reasons for the existence of Allah@time2 would be something external to Allah@time1.
This implies that Allah could have no memory of external events, nor could Allah respond to external events. He would not know or care if he was being worshipped, ignored, or even insulted by blasphemous Danish cartoonists. Any change of state would imply that he was a Contingent Being.
In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti
These logical difficulties do not of course apply to the Trinity, where each member is contingent upon the others for some aspect of his existence. This is known as co-indwelling, whereby the persons of the Trinity reciprocally contain one another, so that one permanently envelopes and is permanently enveloped by the other, whom he yet envelopes.
This co-indwelling is not viewed as a static situation (at least not by the process theologians) but as a dynamic process of mutual causality as illustrated by the three hares. The doctrine of the Holy Trinity thus avoids the utter paralysis of the Godhead that is the inevitable logical conclusion of Tawheed theology.
The difference between predatory cults such as Islam and real religions, is that a true religion attempts to bring out the best in people, whereas a predatory cult does the opposite.
Muslims inhabit a different moral universe from the rest of us, where good is evil and evil is good, if it serves the purposes of Islam.
While other religions teach goodwill to mankind, Islam teaches hostility to all non-members of the cult.
Jesus, in the parable of the Good Samaritan, taught his followers to help all people in need, irrespective of their religion. Jews are commanded to be a light unto the nations. The Buddha taught compassion for all suffering beings.
But in Islam, charity applies only to fellow Muslims, and in fact many Islamic charities are money-launderers for jihad.There is no Golden Rule in Islam. There is no place for conscience in Islam. Peel away the thin veneer of religiosity, and all you find is vicious, primitive, predatory tribalism.
Nothing in common
Islam, in the West, is fighting its battle of acceptance and legitimacy. Muslim activists are working fervently trying to improve Islam's image. Their goal is to create an environment in which Islam can be easily propagated. Their tool is as old as Islam itself, but they have just rediscovered it. This tool is telling Christians that Islam and Christianity have a lot in common. They cite Islam's belief in the Bible, God, Jesus, Mary, the prophets, the day of judgment and Paradise.
No moral equivalence
Those people who use the moral equivalence argument to compare Islam with other religions need to examine their own subconscious psychological motives. They are not only attempting to delude others, but are in deep denial and trying to delude themselves.
The conscious part of the argument takes the form "Christians and Jews have committed atrocities such as the McVeigh, Breivik and King David Hotel bombings, so Christianity and Judaism are just the same as Islam. Therefore Islam poses no special threat."
The fallacies are obvious: Christian and Jewish acts of terrorism are rare and infrequent; they are rejected by the majority of followers of the religions, go against the core teachings of the religions, and are committed by a few isolated loonies. In contrast, Islamic acts of terrorism are commonplace, are encouraged by the Koran and are supported, if not actually carried out, by a substantial proportion of Muslims.
The unconscious and self-deluding part of the moral equivalence argument is the refusal to face the fact that Islam is an intrisically violent totalitarian ideology that has infiltrated our civilization, and is bent on our conversion, subjugation or elimination. To acknowlege this would be deeply disturbing and well outside the comfort zone of most people (remember the popular enthusiasm for appeasement of Hitler and 'Peace in Our Time'?) . So we reassure ourselves, by the moral equivalence argument, that Islam is just like other religions.
It's far easier to stay in denial and regard Islam as being no more threat to our lives and culture than the Quakers or Lubavitcher Hasidim. That way we don't have to worry about the looming global clash of civizations, or think about the unpleasant courses of action that may be necessary to reduce the threat. We can leave that for our children to sort out.