Allah as the Inheritor of Creation

More Problems with Islamic Monotheism

Sam Shamoun

One of the main criticisms which Muslims raise against the Deity of Christ is that the NT writers teach that God gave Jesus authority over creation and appointed him Heir of all things (cf. Matthew 28:18; Hebrews 1:2). Muslims take this to mean that Jesus cannot be Deity since if he were truly God he wouldn‘t need someone else to give him an inheritance and grant him authority, especially when that someone else who is assigning him all these privileges and functions is said to be God.

Since this objection has already been thoroughly addressed in the following articles:

The focus of this current paper will therefore be to take this very objection and use it against the Muslims. We will attempt to apply this oft-repeated criticism to the Deity of Christ to the teaching of the Quran to see whether Allah passes the Muslim test for Divinity.

Our aim here is to make sure that Muslims are being fair and consistent in their argumentation, and not merely tossing out cheap objections in order to win debates without bothering to see whether such polemics can be used more forcefully against their beliefs.

One way to insure that Muslims are being consistent or not is to see whether they will accept the conclusions that their objections have upon their own view of God, revelation, prophets, scripture etc. If they fail to fully embrace the ramifications of their own views when it has a negative effect upon their own religion then this will only prove that they are using a double standard. It will expose them for being dishonest and inconsistent since it is not truth that they are after.

After all, "inconsistency is a mark of a failed argument", as Christian apologist Dr. James R. White stated quite succinctly in his debate with Muslim polemicist Shabir Ally ("Is the New Testament We Possess Today Inspired?", Biola University, May 7, 2006; cf. this posting). Inconsistent argumentation is bound to fail if the person employing it refuses to apply it to his/her own belief system.

With the foregoing in perspective we can now move on to our discussion of the issue at hand.

According to the Quran Allah has complete dominion over and full possession of all creation:

To Him belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth: It is He who gives life and death; and He has power over all things. S. 57:2

To God belongeth the dominion of the heavens and the earth; And God hath power over all things. S. 3:189

At the same time the Quran further teaches that Allah is an heir who receives an inheritance from others:

And certainly We! We it is Who give life, and cause death, and We are THE HEIRS. S. 15:23

But as for those who are niggardly with the bounty God has given them, let them not suppose it is better for them; nay, it is worse for them; that they were niggardly with they shall have hung about their necks on the Resurrection Day; and to God belongs the inheritance of the heavens and earth; and God is aware of the things you do. S. 3:180 Arberry

Lo! We, only We, inherit the earth and all who are thereon, and unto Us they are returned. S. 19:40

Allah is even called the best of those who inherit!

And Zachariah, when he cried unto his Lord: My Lord! Leave me not childless, though Thou art the Best of inheritors. S. 21:89

The obvious questions to ask at this point are, from whom exactly does Allah inherit and what exactly is he inheriting? More importantly, why is Allah inheriting anything at all if he already possesses all things?

These next texts provide the answer to the first two questions:

Nay, but We shall record that which he saith and prolong for him a span of torment. And We shall inherit from him that whereof he spake, and he will come unto Us, alone (without his wealth and children). S. 19:79-80

And how many a community have We destroyed that was thankless for its means of livelihood! And yonder are their dwellings, which have not been inhabited after them save a little. And We, even We, were the inheritors. S. 28:58

Allah is receiving an inheritance from the people whom he either dispossesses or causes to die! In other words, human beings are giving to Allah what they own thereby proving that Allah doesn’t have or own everything.

Now when we try to interpret both sets of passages in light of one another we are left with one of two conclusions:

Yet either interpretation leads to the same conclusion. Allah cannot be fully God since he inherits from others which means that he is dependant on someone other than God to give him something. This further implies that Allah doesn’t own and have everything, and is therefore incomplete or imperfect.

To put it simply, the Quran is emphatically teaching that Allah is in need of creatures since he inherits from them! Therefore, if the Muslim logic is valid then Allah cannot be fully God, and is nothing more than an imperfect deity at best.

Now watch as Muslims try to scurry with a response such as arguing that the word inherit doesn’t really mean inherit or that Allah is simply inheriting something which was already his to begin with. Watch as they try to come with any explanation to refute the assertion that just because Allah is inheriting from someone doesn’t prove that he is not God, or at least the one sole eternal God, even though these same Muslims have no qualms at all using this same type of argument to attack the absolute Deity of Christ!

Further Reading

A Muslim response and further discussion is found here.

Articles by Sam Shamoun
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