Sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ: A Brief Christian Commentary


Christians who dialogue with orthodox Muslims will often encounter appeals to the 112th chapter of the Qur’ān, sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ (also known as sūrat at-Tawḥīd). The Muslim participants in those dialogues will often present the relevant Qur’ānic text as an unambiguous reference to a unipersonal conception of God, and thus at odds with the doctrine of the Trinity.

It will be the contention of the author of this blog entry that the relevant chapter does not obviously contradict classical Christian doctrine, or more generally a multipersonal conception of God. However, it is important to be careful to note, here, that stating that the text does not contradict a multipersonal conception of God is not the same as stating that it therefore affirms a multipersonal conception of God. It is the contention of the author of this blog entry that the text simply leaves the question open, which is to say the text is very clear that there is only one God, but it does not explicitly provide finer details regarding the one God’s ontology.

So what follows below is one lay Christian’s sincere amateur attempt to explore the question of whether the text of sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ contradicts a multipersonal conception of God. This blog entry will cover the entirety of the chapter, while attempting to focus on the features which are popularly understood to be at odds with the classical Christian faith.


بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
“In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate”

Here there is no objection. A Christian has no problem with referring to God as merciful and compassionate. However, some Christians, at least those with a mind more towards the possibility of an esoteric reading of the text, might, at the very least, find it interesting that a specifically triadic collection of terms was employed to refer to God.[1]


قل هو اللّه احد
“Say: He is God, One”

Before getting to the word aḥad (احد), which is at the center of most discussion on this chapter, some attention should be paid to the third person singular pronoun, huwa (هو).

Some argue that a singular pronoun implies a unipersonal ontology. However, the reality is that a masculine singular pronoun merely refers to a grammatically masculine singular entity, and such an entity, in reality, can be impersonal, unipersonal or multipersonal.

For an example of the relevant pronoun being employed to refer to an impersonal entity, one can turn to sūrat Al ᶜImrān 3:37, where huwa is used in reference to the sustenance which was provided to Mary.

For an example of said pronoun being employed to refer to a multipersonal entity, consider this ᶜArabic language interview with a professional football/soccer player, who is quoted as stating the following:

مانشستر يونايتد هو النادي المفضل بالنسبة لي وسألعب له حتى نهاية عقدي
“Manchester United is my favorite team, and I will play for it until the end of my contract”

Note that huwa is employed in reference to the team (and, relevant to verse 4, which will be discussed below, so too lahu [له] is employed to refer to the team). There is nothing improper about such, as these constructions are merely employed to refer to entities which are grammatically masculine singular, without requiring that said entities are unipersonal. In short, huwa does not preclude an entity it refers to from possessing multipersonal ontology.[2]

Moving on, one can now turn to the word aḥad (احد), which is central to discussions on this chapter. The popular belief among many is that this word necessitates a unipersonal ontology. However, if one, for example, Googles the phrase aḥad al-qabā’il (احد القبائل), one will get tens of thousands of hits in which aḥad is employed to refer to a particular tribe (and that tribe no doubt comprises multiple persons). Therefore the word can be employed to refer to a multipersonal entity, and thus its use does not by itself preclude an entity it refers to from possessing a multipersonal ontology.[3]

It is worth noting that when Ethiopian Tewaḥedo Orthodox Christians recite the triadic formula, “in the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, one God,” they say the following in Geᶜez:

በስመ አብ ወወልድ ወመንፈስ ቅዱስ አሐዱ አምላክ
be-sime Ab, we-Weld, we-Menfes Qidus, aḥadu Amlak

The Geᶜez word aḥadu (አሐዱ) is identical to the ᶜArabic word aḥad[4] (احد). Some might find interesting the parallel between that Geᶜez phrase and the opening of sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ (i.e. the basmala together with the opening verse), insofar that both begin with a triadic formula and then declare that the God so described is A7D[5] (አሐዱ=احد).

This blog entry will return to the subject of the word aḥad (احد) in the discussion on the last verse of the chapter, below.


اللّه الصمد
“God, the Eternal”

The meaning of the word ṣamad (صمد) is a point of some uncertainty. Many translations render it “eternal,” while others render it “self-sufficient”. Still others have argued that it means “the highest authority”. Those would not be problematic interpretations, as Trinitarians (and proponents of other multipersonal conceptions of God) would happily declare that the one God is indeed eternal, self-sufficient, and/or the highest authority.

However, there are others who have argued that, early on, the term meant “solid,” perhaps with the intention of meaning not comprising divisible parts.[6] While a proponent of a classical Christian conception of God might be uncomfortable describing God as “solid,” they could still agree with the notion of God is indivisible or inseparable.[7]

While there are a myriad of speculations as to what the term might mean[8], perhaps one can find more insight by making recourse to related terms in other Semitic languages. For example, the Geᶜez zamada (ዘመደ) and ḍamada (ፀመደ)[9], which gave rise to Tigrigna ṣamada (ጸመደ)[10], corresponding to Hebrew and Aramaic ṣamad (צמד). All of these terms have a notion of yoking, joining, binding together. Biblical Hebrew has a noun form which is spelled the same way, which refers to a team (a yoke, a union) of animals. Targum Yonatan to Ezekiel 34:16 employs a verb from that root to refer to the repairing (or binding up) of that which is broken.[11] Though it is not the intention of this blog entry to insist that the relevant Qur’ānic term must be understood along those lines, the aforementioned Christian with an eye towards something more esoteric might wonder if this verse could be understood along the lines of “God, the united”.[12]

Perhaps in closing this section, it is best to say that while the precise meaning of ṣamad is open to speculation, many of the possible meanings are quite compatible with a multipersonal conception of God. Therefore, keeping in mind the formal logical definition of “contradiction,” this would entail that the term does not contradict a multipersonal conception of God (even if some try to insist on specific interpretations which are at odds with such).


لم يلد ولم يولد
“He does not beget and He is not begotten”

While many see this as a particularly explicit jab at classical Christian doctrine, it is arguably not germane to a discussion on whether the chapter is compatible with a multipersonal conception of God. That is to say, while classical Christian doctrine contains references to “begetting,” that need not be an essential part of a multipersonal conception of God in general (i.e. it is at least conceivable to imagine a conception of God which posits that the one God comprises multiple Persons, without insisting that any of those Persons engage in, or were subject to, any sort of “begetting”).

Nonetheless, if the question of whether this contradicts specifically Christian doctrine is to be explored, it will require raising a question about in what sense these verbs are meant.

For example, consider this preliminary question: did the historical Jesus use the word “Father” in reference to God? It seems difficult to deny that the historical Jesus did in fact employ that term, which would entail that God, in some sense, has a “son” or multiple “children”. Many —not all, but many— Muslims have seemed willing to accept that it can be permissible to employ such terminology in some benign, metaphorical sense (consider, for example, the famous line of Ahmed Deedat and many inspired by him, that “in the Bible, God has sons by the tons”). If it is possible for sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ 1:3 to be true and for it to also be the case that certain monotheists in good standing from the past referred to God as Father (or referred to certain believers as sons of God), that would open the door to the possibility that the Qur’ānic objection is intended in a limited sense, which does not encompass those earlier references.[13]

An interesting Biblical passage to consider is Psalm 90:2, which, when referring to the creation of mountains, reads “harīm yuladū” (הרים ילדו). That is often translated “the mountains were brought forth,” but it is from precisely the same root which gives rise to the verb “beget”. In fact, the ᶜArabic yūlad (يولد) and the Hebrew yuladū (ילדו) are basically the same verb, in so far that, in each case, it is the common YLD root (ילד=يلد), in the first verb stem (called faᶜala in ᶜArabic and paᶜal in Hebrew [פעל=فعل]), rendered in the third person passive. The only major difference beyond that is that the term in the Psalm is plural while the term in sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ is singular. In short, the creation of the mountains (presumably an act of God) is described as the mountains being ‘begotten’. This raises a question: if the semantic range of the relevant verb can extend to acts like that, is the intention of the Qur’ānic verse to preclude even acts like that? If the answer is no, then that could be grounds to think the Qur’ānin use of the verb is intended within a limited scope.

Moving away from those perhaps more benign notions of ‘begetting,’ and focusing more specifically on the idea of Jesus being a unique Son of God, it may be helpful to begin with an analogy, which considers the question of whether God has a hand. A believer in the Qur’ān might deny that God has any hands in the sense of the physical hands typically found on human bodies, and yet that same person might infer from the Qur’ān that the text therein does affirm the idea of God having a “yad,” which might be translated “hand,” though it could still be unlike any hand found in creation.

With that sort of approach to terminology in mind, it is likewise possible that the concept of the Son being “begotten before all ages” is referring to a unique sort of “begetting” which is unlike any form of begetting found within creation. That in turn moves one to ask the question: is that necessarily the sort of begetting the Qur’ān is polemicizing against? If the Qur’ānic terms were intended within a limited scope, then it would seem there are no textual indicators in the chapter necessitating the conclusion that this verse must encompass such a unique concept as “begotten before all ages”.

On a more controversial note, it might be worthwhile to consider the nuance that can be possible with a multipersonal conception of God: to say that one or more of the Persons “within” the one God engaged in an action need not necessarily entail affirming that the one God (in the sense of the “entirety” of the Persons “therein”) engaged in that action. For example, one might think of the term “God” (or Allah) as referring to a “union” of Persons, and borrow the Biblical Hebrew term ṣemed (צמד) to refer to that “union” [or “team,” or “yoke”]. Within such a conceptual paradigm, a declaration that God the Ṣemed neither begets nor was begotten need not necessarily entail that this must mean no person “within” God the Ṣemed has or was begotten. For a soft analogy, as was noted earlier, the Hebrew Bible uses the word ṣemed to refer to a yoked together team of animals, but the individual animals engaging in or having been the result of procreative begetting need not force us to say the ṣemed as a whole begets or was begotten.

To summarize, it is possible for the relevant Qur’ānic text to be limited in scope. Moreover, if it is limited in scope, it is unclear that it includes the relevant Christian notions of ‘begetting’. Therefore the relevant Qur’ānic text and Christian concepts are potentially reconcilable, which means they do not constitute a formal contradiction. In short, it is many readers’ interpretations of sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ which are at odds with the relevant Christian concepts, not necessarily sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ itself.


ولم يكن له كفوا احد
“And there is nothing equal to Him”

When looking at this final part of the chapter, a Christian can simply say they agree: nothing is equal to God.

However, similar to the discussion on huwa (هو), above, here too one might to wish to note that the combination of preposition and pronomial suffix, lahu (له) is masculine singular, and thus allege that it must entail a unipersonal ontology. The reality, however, is that a pronomial suffix works basically the same as a pronoun: just as the latter does not necessitate that which it refers to be unipersonal, neither does the former. And this has already been illustrated with the quote from the football/soccer player, which appeared above. Both huwa (هو) and lahu (له) were employed to refer to the team.

Now, attention can return to the scope of the word aḥad (احد), and whether or not it can be employed in reference to multipersonal entities. It is interesting that while many claim that aḥad at the start of sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ must mean unipersonal, an objection to that assertion might be found at the end of the very same chapter.

To understand why, consider this question: what does the last verse of the chapter encompass? The verse is stating that there is no single thing which is equal to God, but who would claim the verse is limiting itself only to unipersonal entities? For example, can we agree that the verse means that neither the U.S. military, nor the Chinese government, nor the entire unified Germany[14] is equal to God? If so, then that would mean that the verse can include entities which comprise multiple persons, which would mean the use of aḥad there is not limited to unipersonal entities.


Conclusion and Closing Remarks

In formal logic, the definition of a contradiction is that two (or more) propositions contradict if, and only if, it is impossible for them to be true simultaneously. To explore whether a contradiction is present, one can draw up a truth table, to explore the different scenarios. Such a table explores logical space, which is to say it maps out what is possible. The different possibilities referred to therein do not have to be actual. If it is possible for two propositions being conjoined on a truth table to be true simultaneously (i.e. if there is some possible line on the truth table in which both are true), then they do not actually contradict each other.

With that in mind, this blog entry has discussed possible ways to understand the text of sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ. It seems clear that there are plausible ways to understand the text in which it would be possible for the both the text and Christian doctrine to be true simultaneously. That would mean sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ does not formally contradict classical Christian doctrine, despite very popular assumptions to the contrary.

That said, it may be worthwhile to repeat a disclaimer made towards the beginning of this blog entry: saying that the text does not contradict Christian doctrine is not the same as saying it therefore affirms Christian doctrine. If one attempts to critique this blog entry by accusing it of arguing that, for example, sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ affirms the Trinity, they will be attacking a straw man. While the blog entry did make passing references to triadic groupings of terms, that was within the scope of discussing possibilities, and was not intended as a positive declaration regarding what the text intended to affirm.


NOTES

(1) The idea is not unheard of among professed believers in the Qu’rān. Meir M. Bar-Asher and Arieh Kofsky, The Nuṣayrī-ʻAlawī Religion: An Enquiry Into Its Theology and Liturgy, (Leiden: Brill, 2002), p. 38, n. 146, states the following: “The application of the Nuṣayrī trinity to the basmala formula is a recurrent motif in Nuṣayrī literature, both early and late.” Another line from the same book (p. 172, n. 38) reads similarly: “Interpretation of the basmala formula as referring to the three persons of the trinity is common in Nuṣayrī writings.”

(2) For those interested, a longer discussion on pronouns in Semitic languages can be found here.

(3) The same is the case with the Hebrew word eḥad (אחד), which is spelled the same (in the corresponding Hebrew characters) as the ᶜArabic word aḥad (احد). Some readers may find the author’s previous blog entry, Cosmic Tefillin and the Oneness of God, of interest, as it touches on Rabbinic texts which state that while Israel declares that God is eḥad (אחד), so too God declares that Israel is eḥad (אחד).

(4) Some may find it interesting to employ the South ᶜArabian script as a sort of bridge between the Geᶜez and ᶜArabic scripts, as if one transcribes the Geᶜez word aḥadu (አሐዱ) and the ᶜArabic word aḥad (احد) into the corresponding characters of the South ᶜArabian script, in both cases one arrives at the same string of characters (𐩱𐩢𐩵).

(5) Some might find interesting that the Sh’maᶜ, the Jewish creed of faith at Deuteronomy 6:4, likewise employs a triad of terms and then declares the God so described to be eḥad (אחד). Within more esoteric parts of the Rabbinic corpora, the three terms are treated as referring to three distinct entities.

(6) A very interesting discussion on some of the early understanding of the term can be found in Christos Simelidis, “The Byzantine Understanding of the Qur’anic Term ‘al-Șamad’ and the Greek Translation of the Qur’an,” Speculum, Vol. 86, No. 4 (October, 2011), pp. 887-913.

(7) It is interesting that even William Lane Craig, who openly flirted with heterodox (or non-classical) understandings of the Trinity which explicitly referred to a part-whole relationship, felt the need to declare that “obviously the persons are not parts of God in the sense in which a skeleton is part of a cat”. He also declared that the Trinity “does not involve separable parts.” Moreover, he conceded that “the church fathers frequently insisted that the expression ‘from the substance of the Father’ should not be understood to imply that the Son is formed by division or separation of the Father’s substance” and that “the concern here was clearly to avoid imagining the divine substance as a sort of ‘stuff’ which could be parceled out into smaller pieces.” All quotes in this end note can be found in James Porter Moreland & William Lane Craig, Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview, (Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press, 2003), p. 591.

(8) Perhaps the most curious instance being the suggestion of a connection with ṣald (صلد), in Michael B. Schub, “True Belief – a New Translation and Commentary on Sūra 112,” Zeitschrift für Arabische Linguistik, No. 22 (1990), p. 82.

(9) Christian Friedrich August Dillmann, Lexicon Linguae Aethiopicae, (Leipzig: T.O. Weigel, 1865) p. 1043. Anticipating that one might wish to reflexively object that Geez ḍamada (ፀመደ) can only be related to Arabic ḍamada (ضمد), it is important to note the subsequent Tigrigna term, as well as the Hebrew and Aramaic terms.

(10) Wolf Leslau, Comparative Dictionary of Geᶜez, (Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz, 1991), p. 149.

(11) Much of this may sound quite different from the popular understanding of the ᶜArabic root, but perhaps a connection is retained (or hinted at) in the root giving rise to a verb meaning repair. Cf. J. Milton Cowan (ed.), A Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic, (Ithaca NY: Spoken Language Services, 1971), p. 525.

(12) Perhaps it is worth musing on the alternative name for the chapter, mentioned at the start of this blog entry: sūrat at-Tawḥīd. It turns out that the word tawḥīd (توحيد) can itself refer to a sort of unification. It also corresponds to the Geᶜez term tewaḥedo (ተዋሕዶ), which means union, and, interestingly, the Ethiopian Church which bears that term as part of its name is called Kanisat at-Tawḥīd in ᶜArabic.

(13) If one wishes to object that there can be non-literal sons without begetting, 1 Corinthians 4:15 might be of interest, as there can also be a concept of producing non-literal (or non-biological) sons via a non-literal (or non-biological) mode of “begetting”.

(14) Fun side note: the ᶜArabic Wikipedia entry on German reunification calls such iᶜādatu tawḥīd Almāniyā (إعادة توحيد ألمانيا), “return to [the] unification of Germany,” or more literally return to tawḥīd of Germany, as in that context, tawḥīd means unification (a union which, in that case, not only comprises the two halves of the state, but also persons).



Categories: Arabic, Hebrew, Qur'an, Trinity

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215 replies

  1. Awesome!

    Denis it’s great to have some intelligent, educated Christian writing – rather than Ken’s interminable fundamentalist waffle about liberal scholarship and his (irrelevant) Fasi. 🤓

    Like

  2. Denis, you’re playing with the language. Just because you find the christian language used to describe their god is nonsensical, that does not give you right to play with other languages!
    Yes, in Arabic we say ( Ahad Alqbā’il), but no one says that each member of that particular tribe is the whole tribe itself.
    A7D in Arabic is indeed unique when it is used as adjective as in Surat Al’ikhlās.
    It does not indicate by any to multiple identities. If I wanted to used that word as and adjective for x tribe, I would say Qabīlah Ahadah. But this is not used in Arabic. The common phrase is Qabīlah Wāhidah.
    Moreover, the word (one) in English plays the same role if it is used as an adjective. When you say that you’re one human being, why would I assume that you’re multiple identities? No people talk like that and understand like that!
    You just want to ignore the fact that your language is a post hoc interpretation to the text of the bible, and you want to expand this absurdity and apply on other languages.

    Have you watched what dr.WLC said lately? He said the trinity doctrine is not essential for salvation, and he thinks neither Abraham nor Moses understood it because they had had no idea about it, yet they are in heaven!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Greetings ᶜAbdullah, and thank you for your reply.

        ᶜAbdullah wrote:
        Yes, in Arabic we say ( Ahad Alqbā’il), but no one says that each member of that particular tribe is the whole tribe itself.

      Forgive me, but I’m not sure what the precise objection is, here. Just to be clear, do you, for example, mean to argue that aḥad can be used to refer to an entity which comprises multiple persons, but only provided those persons therein are not referred to by the same term as is used to refer to the entity which encompasses them? If so, what is this proviso based on? Or is it your argument that be used to refer to a tribe, but not to the Trinity? If so, again, on what basis?

      While I await your clarification, I will here attempt to look at this another way, thusly: suppose there is some dimensionless infinite beyond time and space, which in some mysterious sense “comprises” multiple persons. Suppose further there are humans who claim each person “within” that dimensionless infinite is in some sense identical to that dimensionless infinite. Is it your position that we cannot ever use the word aḥad to refer to that dimensionless infinite? If so, on what grounds?

        ᶜAbdullah wrote:
        A7D in Arabic is indeed unique when it is used as adjective as in Surat Al’ikhlās.

      Could you elaborate on what you mean by it being “unique”. Do you mean you do not know of any other instance in ᶜArabic literature of it being used in that way? If so, might not that be grounds to consider interpreting it in light of other Semitic languages?

        ᶜAbdullah wrote:
        It does not indicate by any to multiple identities.

      To be clear (and to be fair), I never claimed the text indicated a multipersonal conception of God, but rather only that it does not preclude such.

        ᶜAbdullah wrote:
        If I wanted to used that word as and adjective for x tribe, I would say Qabīlah Ahadah. But this is not used in Arabic. The common phrase is Qabīlah Wāhidah.

      Understood. However, permit a question: if it were used in that way, such would not entail that the tribe is therefore unipersonal, correct?

        ᶜAbdullah wrote:
        the word (one) in English plays the same role if it is used as an adjective. When you say that you’re one human being, why would I assume that you’re multiple identities? No

      But that is not dependent on how the word “one” works. In other words, yes, there are many instances where the word “one” can refer to something which we would assume is unipersonal or impersonal, but that does not mean use of the word “one” itself therefore precludes an entity so described from being multipersonal. For example, if we have a phrase like “one tribe,” the use of the word “one” does not force us to conclude the tribe must therefore be unipersonal.

        ᶜAbdullah wrote:
        You just want to ignore the fact that your language is a post hoc interpretation to the text of the bible

      I do not agree. From the Biblical text alone we can see, for example, that use of the Hebrew eḥad does not necessitate that an entity so described must be unipersonal (for an easy example, see Genesis 11:6). So the Bible itself supports the notion that the Semitic construction A7D can refer to an entity which comprises multiple persons.

      ***

      That said, permit me to skip over the discussion on William Lane Craig, Abraham and Moses, as such strikes me as a different topic from that of this thread (though I would be happy to discuss such in another thread).

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh God!
        Let’s take the word (one) in English.
        When someone tells that he has one child, you would understand that he has (one) child.
        When someone tells you that he’s loyal to one team of soccer, you would understand that he’s loyal to one team.
        Now why on earth would this normal understanding be a subject of debate that the word (one) could mean multiple persons? And therefore, one God could mean many persons? This is ABSURD! The same thing when christians INVENTED these terms:
        •uniterian monotheism!
        •triniterian monotheism!
        There’s no such a thing. It’s either monotheism or polytheism. Yes, we know that the confusion in your religion has led to you to invent a new language to justify your polytheism, but that is for you only. You cannot apply this absurdity on other languages, and any opponent agaisnt you(christians) does not have to submit to your post hoc language/interpretation.

        For Arabic, we have tow words for the word (one)
        •Wā7id.
        •A7ad.
        Allāh عز وجل has been described by both in Qur’ān. Very clear and simple.
        However, A7ad is unique. Why?
        Because in Arabic we usually use the word wāhid as adj. For example, I teach one student(ţālib wā7id) not (tālib a7ad). It is not common with a7ad. That’s why it’s said it’s used as an adj for Allāh only for emphasizing His Oneness.
        You couldn’t even find an example for that word as an adj. A7ad Alqabāil means (one of the tribes.) It does not mean (one tribe.)
        Scholars of classical Arabic provided many gems about what it means to be described by the word A7ad, and they brilliantly detailed the nuanced differences between A7ad & Wā7id.
        But regardless, your main problem as christians is the fact that you play with the language as you have done with the Hebrew language. I have heard once from a christian -I think it’s Nabeel?- that ‘echad( the hebrew cognate for A7ad) entails multiple persons, and it’s never used to describe one person in the OT! Well, it’s used for Abraham in Isa(51:2)!! Does that mean Abraham was many persons?

        Finally, let me ask you this; what does the word (only) mean? Does it still mean (only) as you we understand it normally? If I said you’re the only teacher in this school, what do you really understand?
        What about Jesus ‘ saying that the father is (only) true God?

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      • Greetings ᶜAbdullah, and thank you for your reply.

          ᶜAbdullah wrote:
          When someone tells that he has one child, you would understand that he has (one) child.
          When someone tells you that he’s loyal to one team of soccer, you would understand that he’s loyal to one team.
          Now why on earth would this normal understanding be a subject of debate that the word (one) could mean multiple persons? And therefore, one God could mean many persons?

        With all due respect, I feel your own analogies hint at my point. In addition to your two examples, permit me to add a third:

        • One child.
        • One sports team.
        • One rock.

        Now we would assume that a child is unipersonal, a sports team is multipersonal, and a rock is impersonal. This seems to make it obvious that the word “one” itself does not determine whether an entity is unipersonal or not, as the word “one” can refer to entities which are unipersonal, multipersonal, or impersonal.

        So, with that in mind, suppose rather than a child, sports team, or rock, we are discussing an entity for which we either do not know or do not agree whether it is unipersonal or impersonal. In such an instance, declaring “it is called one, therefore it must be unipersonal” would be fallacious, precisely because the word “one” is not employed only to refer to unipersonal entities. You cannot establish the alleged unipersonal ontology of an entity simply by pointing to the word “one”. Your own examples demonstrate that.

          ᶜAbdullah wrote:
          For Arabic, we have tow words for the word (one)
          •Wā7id.
          •A7ad.
          Allāh عز وجل has been described by both in Qur’ān. Very clear and simple.
          However, A7ad is unique. Why?
          Because in Arabic we usually use the word wāhid as adj. For example, I teach one student(ţālib wā7id) not (tālib a7ad). It is not common with a7ad.

        I am aware of this. We discussed this in our previous exchange, above. However, this does not strike me as necessitating the conclusion that aḥad therefore must mean unipersonal, nor that we cannot make recourse to other Semitic languages to get a sense of how the Semitic construction A7D can be used.

          ᶜAbdullah wrote:
          A7ad Alqabāil means (one of the tribes.) It does not mean (one tribe.)

        I’m aware of what it means. The point was that the use of aḥad does not necessitate that the entity so described is therefore unipersonal.

        I also discussed the use of aḥad at the end of sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ, asking if the scope of it there is only limited to unipersonal entities or whether it can also encompass entities which comprise multipersonal persons. I’d be curious about your thoughts on that. For example, using only sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ 112:4 as our guide, answer this question: is the unified Germany equal to God?

        You have two possible ways of answering that question:

        • on the one hand, you can say the verse obviously would lead us conclude that the unified Germany is not equal to God, or,
        • on the other hand, you can say that if we are only going by that verse, it leaves the question open.
        • Now, if you go the first route, it would mean the scope of the use of aḥad in that verse can include multipersonal entities.

          ᶜAbdullah wrote:
          I have heard once from a christian -I think it’s Nabeel?- that ‘echad( the hebrew cognate for A7ad) entails multiple persons, and it’s never used to describe one person in the OT!

        But that is not an argument that I have made. I would ask that you focus on my arguments, as attacking the arguments of others strikes me as akin to striking away at straw men. My position on the Hebrew word eḥad, alluded to in the blog entry above, but stated more clearly, here, for your convenience, is that it can be used to refer to impersonal objects, unipersonal entities, and multipersonal entities, therefore mere recourse to use of the Hebrew word eḥad does not establish whether a thing under discussion is unipersonal or not.

          ᶜAbdullah wrote:
          let me ask you this; what does the word (only) mean? Does it still mean (only) as you we understand it normally? If I said you’re the only teacher in this school, what do you really understand?
          What about Jesus ‘ saying that the father is (only) true God?

        Only would mean unique in some regard. As for your example of “the only teacher in the school,” I would compare it to the similarly structured phrase “the only army on the battlefield”. We come to these phrases already assuming teachers are typically unipersonal and armies are typically multipersonal. But it should be obvious from these examples that if we were discussing something for which we did not know or agree whether it is unipersonal, pointing to the word “only” by itself would not settle the matter.

        As for John 17:3, I discuss that in the following post:

        Thank you for your reply. Have a great day, and God bless.

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  3. Good reply, Br. Abdullah. I was thinking the same thing about his analogy with a football team didn’t fit the proper definition of the Trinity, which is that each member is fully divine and 1/3 of a team.

    I also like the point that you made that Trinitarian language is post-hoc when it comes to them reading and exegesis the Biblical authors.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Gosh even Nazam has turned up 😎

      Like

    • Greetings Nazam, and thank you for your reply.

        Nazam wrote:
        I was thinking the same thing about his analogy with a football team didn’t fit the proper definition of the Trinity, which is that each member is fully divine and 1/3 of a team.

      The point of the analogy was only to show that certain terms which some assume must only refer to a unipersonal entity can in fact be used to refer to entities which comprise multiple persons (and thus use of those terms does not automatically necessitate that what they refer to must be unipersonal).

      Of course there are profound differences between a football team and the Trinity, but I do not see how that is an issue for the blog entry. For example, is it your position that the relevant terms can be employed to refer to a football team, but cannot be employed to refer to the Trinity? If so, on what grounds?

        Nazam wrote:
        I also like the point that you made that Trinitarian language is post-hoc when it comes to them reading and exegesis the Biblical authors.

      As far as what is argued in the blog entry, I don’t see what precisely is “post hoc” about the points made. For example, if I were to argue that the Biblical Hebrew term eḥad can refer to an entity which comprises multiple persons (and thus use of the term does not by itself necessitate that its use automatically requires that which it describes to be unipersonal), in what sense is that “post hoc”?

      Liked by 1 person

    • Peace to all,

      Yes I find Abdullah’s response to be both coherent and cogent.

      The uniqueness of Ahad in context of Allah (Allah literally is the contraction of Al ilah which means “The God” and “The” entails uniqueness.

      I think combining the first verse regarding God’s uniqueness and the last verse saying nothing is like God also point to how God is only real in the sense that if other things are as real as God, then they are like God in that sense or reality.

      Also, the verse 42:11 not only says that Nothing is like God but it literally says “Nothing is like the likeness of God” making everything even more apart from God than one would normally posit.

      So I find that the first verse and last verse also pointing to God’s name of Al-Haq which means “The Real” thus only God is fully real…we are not only contingently real which is not any issue for monotheists but even beyond that our reality is not like God’s reality

      Do anyone have any thoughts on the thoughts in my comments?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Greetings Omer, and thank you for your reply.

          Omer wrote:
          The uniqueness of Ahad in context of Allah (Allah literally is the contraction of Al ilah which means “The God” and “The” entails uniqueness.

        However, recall that the main focus of the blog entry was the question of whether the text contradicts a multipersonal conception of God. I would submit that neither use of the definite article nor the uniqueness of an entity necessitates the conclusion that the entity under discussion is unipersonal.

        For example, consider this UN document (a discussion of the organization’s committee on decolonization, from back in 2002):

        Click to access A_C.4_57_SR.22-AR.pdf

        Towards the beginning of the document (i.e. second page, paragraph 2), the representative of Libya is quoted as declaring the following:

        إسرائيل هي البلد الوحيد في العـالم الـذي ينظـر إليـه مجلـس الأمـن باعتبـاره دولـة احـتلال
        “Israel is the only country in the wolrd that is viewed by the Security Council as an occupying state.”

        I would like to focus on the phrase al-balad al-waḥīd (البلد الوحيد), “the only country” [also, for other readers who feel singular pronouns are significant, note that Israel is referred to by the feminine singular pronoun hiya (هي)]. Here we see the definite article employed, and we see a declaration of uniqueness, yet none of that entails that Israel is therefore unipersonal.

          Omer wrote:
          I think combining the first verse regarding God’s uniqueness and the last verse saying nothing is like God also point to how God is only real in the sense that if other things are as real as God, then they are like God in that sense or reality.

        I imagine many proponents of multipersonal conceptions of God would be receptive to the idea that God is the only truly and uniquely real entity. However, that would not entail that God is therefore unipersonal.

        Regarding the first and last verses of sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ, as I proposed in the blog entry above, I think the last verse actually undercuts attempts to argue that the first verse necessitate a unipersonal ontology for God. The reason why is because the scope of aḥad in the last verse seems to uncontroversially include multipersonal entities (i.e. the last verse is not limiting the universe of discourse to unipersonal entities when it states that no single thing is equal to God). Once that is understood, then it begs the question: if aḥad in the last verse is not limited to the unipersonal, why must aḥad in the first verse be limited t in such a way?

          Omer wrote:
          Also, the verse 42:11 not only says that Nothing is like God but it literally says “Nothing is like the likeness of God” making everything even more apart from God than one would normally posit.

        Proponents of multipersonal conceptions of God would likely agree, but could add that, for example, a dimensionless infinite which transcends time and space and possesses a multipersonal ontology can easily be describable as profoundly different from anything within creation (hence why no analogy from creation can fully capture it).

        Thank you for your reply. Have a wonderful day. God bless.

        Like

      • [Addendum to my reply to Omer]

        It seems the blog attempted to make my link to a UN document into a more visually accessible form, and inadvertently made it inaccessible in the process. So I will post it differently. The relevant document can be found archived here: A/C.4/57/SR.22 (under the files section, the same document is linked to PDFs of it in six different languages; an interested reader can choose the Arabic version).

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    • Mr. Nazam, Denis presented an interesting argument, which I think you should address. Here is the portion of the relevant quote:

      ”I would like to focus on the phrase al-balad al-waḥīd (البلد الوحيد), “the only country” [also, for other readers who feel singular pronouns are significant, note that Israel is referred to by the feminine singular pronoun hiya (هي)]. Here we see the definite article employed, and we see a declaration of uniqueness, yet none of that entails that Israel is therefore unipersonal.”

      Liked by 1 person

      • “Produce your proof, if you should be truthful.”

        SMH lol.. Collin was asked to – “Produce your proof, if you should be truthful.” and in doing so he has illustrated how to provide a “rational evidence based response” and the ‘proof’ Collin has produced is by using a statement from a representative of Libya – a phrase “al-balad al-waḥīd” as ‘evidence’ to support his “deductive argument” and propositions, when in fact it is precisely ‘Al- Ahad’ that is specifically used in the text of sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ not ‘Wahid’ lol….

        dear Collin is this your deliberate strategy to misconstrue the truth, or is it due to unstated but overt ideological bias on your part? …. and to feebly attempt to use a phrase from a UN speech not stipulated within the classical Arabic Quranic Text and then apply your erroneous eisegesis in interpreting sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ in such a way as to introduce your own fallacious presuppositions, agendas or biases, illustrates you are not capable, neither have the competency to respond with “rational evidence based” reasoning and neither know how to “utilize the full spectrum of logical arguments, with clarity and philosophical wisdom” 🙂 sound familiar Collin? lol.. 🙂

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      • Greetings to Dr. Collins and ᶜOmar, and thank you both for your comments.

        ᶜOmar, while you reject the statement from the relevant UN document, I wish to ask: what, precisely, is wrong with the grammatical structure of the statement? That’s not some one off; rather, Googling phrases like al-munaẓamah al-waḥīdah, al-qawm al-waḥīd, al-farīq al-waḥīd, et cetera, shows that constructions like this are quite common in ᶜArabic.

        For example, in a discussion on the Saᶜūdī site Islam Q&A employs the phrase al-umah al-waḥīdah, i.e. “the only nation/community” (as part of the a discussion on how the Muslim community is not the only community to which fasting was enjoined). [And, since we’re on the word umah, permit me to repeat the point, made elsewhere in this comments section, that sūrat al-Baqarah 2:141 employs the preposition and feminine singular pronomial suffix la-hā (لها), literally “to her,” in reference to an umah (note that pronomial suffixes work the same as pronouns).]

        But perhaps this discussion on specifically waḥīd is not a big deal. Note that it was not brought up to divert attention from aḥad; rather, I touched on it because someone in the comments section mentioned it. Whatever the case, the reality is that it only appears once in the Qur’ān, in surat al-Mudathir 74:11, and there it is not obviously in reference to God (fascinatingly, while it can be, and is popularly, read as referring to the person God created, it might be understood as referring to the duo of God and that person, along the lines of “leave us [i.e. me and the person I created] alone” — cf. how that verse is translated in The Study Quran).

        If we switch instead to wāḥid (واحد), the ḥadḥth Tirmidhī about the 73 sects is of interest, as it states kuluhum fī an-nār ilā milat(in) wāḥidat(in), i.e. “all of them are in the fire, except for one sect”. Then those in attendance ask in reference to that sole sect, man hiya, “which is it,” or more literally “what/who is she,” i.e. a feminine singular pronoun is employed to refer to the relevant sect.

        On that note, I’ll close here. Have a good day, and God bless.

        Like

  4. Islam : Say, “He is God, the One
    Jews: …The Lord OUR God, the Lord is ONE
    Christian : Lord is ONE but…
    – day, night, morning, evening is ONE day;
    – Man and his wife become ONE flesh
    – ONE cluster of grapes
    – Lord is ONE but… in three persons

    Come on! Muhammad (pbuh), Moses (pbuh) and Jesus (pbuh) worship God of Abraham. They don’t worship trinity, they worship only ONE GOD alone NOT ONE God in multiple persons. When they say ONE, it’s ONE! NOT multiple persons become ONE.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Premise 1: Singular personal pronouns in the Arabic language does not necessitate a unipersonal ontology

      Premise 2: Huwa is a third person singular pronoun

      Conclusion: Consequently, Huwa does not necessitate a single person ontology.

      P1 is clearly true, as established by numerous examples, including everyday speech. Denis provided a very good example where feminine singular pronoun hiya (هي) is used to Israel, which is a multi-personal entity in the following U.N speech:

      إسرائيل هي البلد الوحيد في العـالم الـذي ينظـر إليـه مجلـس الأمـن باعتبـاره دولـة احـتلال
      “Israel is the only country in the world that is viewed by the Security Council as an occupying state.”

      Furthermore, as Denis pointed out, the phrase al-balad al-wahid (البلد الوحيد), “the only country” employs ”the definite article…and we see a declaration of uniqueness, yet none of that entails that Israel is therefore unipersonal.”

      Also, P2 is obviously true, so in conclusion:

      P1 is true & P2 is true, therefore the conclusion is necessarily true-which makes this a true deductive proof.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Appreciate your effort in the analysis and in writing your arguments

    But There is simply no way to force the Idea of trinity into Islam,
    it’s been very clear through all the Quran and Hadith that Allah is one and that Jesus is not God nor God’s son,

    “Indeed they have already disbelieved, the ones who have said, “Surely Allah is the third of three.” Al Maidah 73

    (5:116) And [beware the Day] when Allah will say, “O Jesus, Son of Mary, did you say to the people, ‘Take me and my mother as deities besides Allah?’” He will say, “Exalted are You! It was not for me to say that to which I have no right. If I had said it, You would have known it. You know what is within myself, and I do not know what is within Yourself. Indeed, it is You who is Knower of the unseen. Al Maidah 116

    and far more…

    Liked by 3 people

    • Greetings Mostafa, and thank you for your reply.

      Before I comment on your post, may I ask what your last name is? Forgive me if that is too personal a question, and of course if it is personal you are under no obligation to answer, but I ask merely because I am curious if you might be a gentleman in the northeastern US (i.e. in the NY/NJ area, like me), or if I might be confusing you with someone else?

      That aside, getting to your post…

        Mostafa wrote:
        There is simply no way to force the Idea of trinity into Islam

      To be fair (and to be clear), I was not attempting to force the Trinity into [orthodox] Islam. I was not even trying to force it into more specifically sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ. Rather, I was merely engaging in a thought experiment, exploring whether the text of sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ contradicts a multipersonal conception of God (and perhaps it is worth noting that the doctrine of the Trinity is not the only possible multipersonal conception of God). I attempted to make clear, both at the beginning and the end of the blog entry, that saying the text does not contradict a concept is not the same as saying the text therefore affirms that concept; rather, it can simply leave the question open.

      With that in mind, permit me to note that your post did not discuss sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ itself, rather it went to texts beyond it (i.e. verses in sūrat al-Mā’ida). That’s fine (I’m not objecting; I will attempt to discuss the verses you appealed to below), but I note such because it strikes me as perhaps tacitly hinting that sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ by itself does not obviously contradict a multipersonal conception of God, but when it is read together with other Qur’ānic suwar, that combination strikes you as collectively being at explicit odds with a multipersonal conception of God. Might that be a fair assessment of your position?

        Mostafa quoted:
        “Indeed they have already disbelieved, the ones who have said, “Surely Allah is the third of three.” Al Maidah 73

      When I discuss this verse, I often feel it is important to ask this question: three what? What units are being quantified in that statement? The verse itself seems to answer that question, as right after that it states: mā min ilah(in) ilā ilah(un) waḥid(un), there is no god except one God. From that, I infer that the units being quantified are gods. The text seem to be stating that it is wrong to declare that God is one among three gods, as really there is only one God. That would be a denial of polytheism, but not a clear denial of the one God possessing a multipersonal ontology. In short, this verse does not strike me as contradicting a multipersonal conception of God.

        Mostafa quoted:
        (5:116) And [beware the Day] when Allah will say, “O Jesus, Son of Mary, did you say to the people, ‘Take me and my mother as deities besides Allah?’” He will say, “Exalted are You! It was not for me to say that to which I have no right. If I had said it, You would have known it. You know what is within myself, and I do not know what is within Yourself. Indeed, it is You who is Knower of the unseen. Al Maidah 116

      My reply here would be roughly the same as my comment on the previous verse. Classical Trinitarians would certainly agree that Jesus and Mary are not other gods, separate from the one God. But that agreement does not entail denying that the one God has a multipersonal ontology. In short, it is possible to believe in a multipersonal conception of God (like, but not necessarily limited to, the doctrine of the Trinity) and reject the idea of Jesus and Mary being distinct gods.

      That said, I’ll close here. I look forward to further comments from you. Have a great day, and God bless.

      ***

      [Quick technical note for readers who might be sticklers regarding transliteration: my non-use of “ā” when transcribing a text that has an alif khanjarīyah is conscious, but not set in stone (i.e. my mode of transliteration may be open to future change).]

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      • Greetings Denis, I’m actually from Egypt so I think it’s different Mostafa,
        Thank you for sharing your thoughts,

        check the verses before and after Ayah 71 :

        “They have certainly disbelieved who say, ” Allah is the Messiah, the son of Mary” while the Messiah has said, “O Children of Israel, worship Allah , my Lord and your Lord.” Indeed, he who associates others with Allah – Allah has forbidden him Paradise, and his refuge is the Fire. And there are not for the wrongdoers any helpers.”

        -A clear statement that Jesus is not Allah/God

        They have certainly disbelieved who say, ” Allah is the third of three.” And there is no god except one God. And if they do not desist from what they are saying, there will surely afflict the disbelievers among them a painful punishment

        -you have already replied to this that surah doesn’t mention what kind of three, so Quran clearly address the Trinity in this Ayah it’s all part of a message to Christians,

        “The Messiah, son of Mary, was not but a messenger; [other] messengers have passed on before him. And his mother was a supporter of truth. They both used to eat food. Look how We make clear to them the signs; then look how they are deluded.”

        -it becomes very clear in this Ayah is Jesus is only a messenger among all the messengers that were sent by God, Nothing more, nothing less.

        It’s just clear in many parts of the Quran and Hadith, it’s actually part of the philosophy of Islam that Allah / God’s Message to humanity is to worship him alone, with no proxies, only direct connection and worship from each individual to Allah, and during human history, people keep distorting this message to add proxies to Allah or partners beside him, sometimes very clearly as in Pagans/ Polytheists or what Muslims call (Al shirk al Asghar) Lesser polytheism when we expect that Allah needs priest/sheik/Holyman for us to be able to communicate to him or to seek his forgiveness and this is what Muslims that have been happening since Adam, when his descendants start to distort the message and make idols for the righteous people/ messengers then generation after generation they actually worshipped these idols and forgot about God and this is what Muslims believe that happened to Christians after Jesus PBUH and raised him from being a messenger to being God walking on earth.

        “They have taken their scholars and monks as lords besides Allah, and [also] the Messiah, the son of Mary. And they were not commanded except to worship one God; there is no deity except Him. Exalted is He above whatever they associate with Him.” Surah at taubah -31

        and Hadith also contains multiple narrations from Muhammed PBUH with the same message where he keeps telling his companions not to do the same with him, on many occasions
        وقال الإمام أحمد : حدثنا هشيم قال : زعم الزهري ، عن عبيد الله بن عبد الله بن عتبة بن مسعود ، عن ابن عباس ، عن عمر : أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال : ” لا تطروني كما أطرت النصارى عيسى ابن مريم ، فإنما أنا عبد الله ورسوله ” .

        Muhammed PBUH said ” Don’t’ Flatter me as the Christians flattered the Messiah, son of Mary, verily I’m Slave of Allah and his slave.”

        I’m not even some kind of scholar I’m just an ordinary Muslim with basic knowledge about Islam but even for me I can think of lots of reasons why Trinity can’t go with Islam, I appreciate the discussion with you though,

        I also apologize for my bad English,
        Have a great day and God bless you and guide us to the truth.

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      • Greetings Mostafa, and thank you for your reply. Also, thank you for clarifying about your name and where you are. Indeed, I had someone else in mind.

        Now, before I attempt to comment on your post, I wish to ask a preliminary question which is relevant to the primary scope of this blog entry. As we turn to sūrat al-Mā’ida, would it be fair to say that such is appropriate because sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ on its own does not obviously contradict a multipersonal conception of God, rather that sūrah in conjunction with other Qur’ānic suwar may present a collective case against a specific kind of multipersonal conception of God (specifically the doctrine of the Trinity)?

        That said, regarding the verse in sūrat al-Mā’ida which denies the proposition Allah huwa al-Masīḥ, I touched on that in my reply to Mr. Alio, below. As I noted there, Nestorian Christians were stating basically the same thing as part of an apparent denial of Modalism.

        Regarding the verse that follows, when it condemns the proposition Allaha thālithu thalathat(in), I just want to clarify that my argument was not that the verse “doesn’t mention what kind of three;” rather my argument was that in light of the rest of the verse, the text seems to intend three gods. A Trinitarian would likewise condemn a declaration that there are three gods.

        Regarding Jesus being called a messenger, I would offer the following important notes on the Semitic construction R$WL (𐤓𐤔𐤅𐤋=רשול=رسول):

        • — The RSL (رسل) root, in Arabic, is related to the RShL (רשל) root, in Aramaic. The latter gives rise to verbs which can mean to set loose. Similarly, the former gives rise to verbs which can alternatively mean to send (like a messenger) or set loose (liberate, unbind), among other things.
        • — When Exodus 26:13 refers to the part of the curtain which goes forth over (and hangs down) the sides of the tabernacle, the Samaritan Targūm refers to it as “rashūl” (רשול).
        • — Adding to the above, in some Semitic languages, if you have a root XYZ (P3L), one passive participle construction takes the form XaYūZ (Pa3ūL). For example, in Hebrew the KTB (כתב) root gives rise to the verb to write, and katūb (כתוב) can refer to something written.
        • — The above mentioned Samaritan Aramaic word, rashūl (רשול) can be understood along those lines. So too, we can understand the Arabic word rasūl (رسول) —usually translated messenger— the same way (the phrase yursila rasūl(an) in sūrat ash-Shūrā 42:15 provides grounds for thinking of the word as a passive participle). That is to say a rashūl/rasūl (R$WL) is a passive participle of a root giving rise to verbs meaning to send forth; the noun refers to a thing sent forth.

        With those points in mind, it becomes interesting to think of the part of the curtain which goes forth over the side of the tabernacle as a rashūl, as it brings us to a potentially helpful line of thought: describing a thing sent forth as a R$WL does not necessarily entail that it be of a fundamentally different nature from that which it goes forth from (in this case, the rest of the curtain). In short, if you have two entities, X & Y, X can send forth Y, or Y can proceed forth from X, and yet X & Y can still have similar natures (and referring to one via the Semitic construction R$WL does not, in itself, negate that).

        Regarding the phrase in sūrat at-Tawbah 9:31, min dūn Allah wal-Masīḥ, I must confess, I am tempted to read that as meaning aside from the both of them, i.e. “they take their scholars and monks as lords instead of (God and the Messiah),” as if to hint that the latter two are the true Lord(s). [On a technical note, I appreciate that the difference in ḥarakāt at the end of Allahi and al-Masīḥa might arguably be at odds with such a reading, but I also wonder if such might possibly be attributable to the hand of a later interpreter.]

        Now, in the rest of your post, you appealed to ḥadīth and said that the Trinity does not fit with Islām. However, permit me to note that it was never my argument that the doctrine of the Trinity fits with all of Islām, collectively. Of course, orthodox Islām is contrary to the doctrine of the Trinity. But my actual argument in this blog entry was more narrow and nuanced: that more specifically sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ does not contradict a multipersonal conception of God.

        On that note, I’ll close here. Have a good day, and God bless.

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  6. “Say: He is God, One”

    From a Quranic perspective, the single pronouns “”He” & “Him” identify/ denote Allah is one ‘person’ that comprises His one, unique divine being.

    From a Quranic exegesis perspective, singular pronouns that identify Allah as “He” “Him” are not comprised of multiple persons that collectively form one divine being

    There exists no notion of multiples divine persons that collectively form ‘Him’ from a Quranic perspective.

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    • Does ‘the text of sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ contradict a multipersonal conception of God’? Yes it does.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Greetings ᶜOmar, and thank you for your reply.

        ᶜOmar wrote:
        From a Quranic perspective, the single pronouns “”He” & “Him” identify/ denote Allah is one ‘person’ that comprises His one, unique divine being.

      Both the singular pronoun and the singular pronomial suffix are discussed in the blog entry. In ᶜArabic, singular pronouns and pronomial suffixes can be employed to refer to multipersonal entities. For an example from the Qur’an, consider sūrat al-Baqara 2:141, which employs a preposition and feminine singular pronomial suffix la-hā (لها), literally “to her,” in reference to an umah, i.e. a nation or community.

        ᶜOmar wrote:
        Does ‘the text of sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ contradict a multipersonal conception of God’? Yes it does.

      I am left to wonder, on what grounds? How, precisely, did you reach this conclusion?

      I look forward to your further elaboration. Have a great day. God bless.

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      • Thanks for your reply Denis.

        You’ve discussed the notion of singular pronoun and the singular pronomial suffix, however you are yet to provide one precise example within the Quranic text, applying sound Quranic exegesis where Allah Himself is identified contextually with singular pronouns to denote He is comprised of multiple persons that form His one personal divine being?

        The example you provided in reference to 2:141, is not applicable, neither relevant to your postulation, as Allah is not identified, neither the subject of the text, where the literary exegesis of the text illustrates that Allah as the primary referent/ identified with singular pronouns to denote Him as a personal entity comprised of multiple persons that forms His one divine being

        Your hypothesis is to explore, test whether – ‘the text of sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ contradict a multipersonal conception of God’?

        The precise reason why I conclude text of sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ clearly contradicts a multipersonal conception of God, is on the grounds that there is not a single instance within the Quranic text where specifically He, Allah IS IDENTIFIED as the primary referent with singular pronouns who is comprised of multiple persons that collectively form His one divine being.

        To support your postulation, you need to substantiate within the Quranic Text and exegesis, where single pronouns “”He” & “Him” are specifically used to identify Allah in the Quranic text to denote He IS a multipersonal enity that is comprised of persons that form His one personal being, which you have yet to substantiate

        Again, I reiterate, from a Quranic textual exegesis perspective, where Allah is the primary referent with singular pronouns, He is never identified as, or comprised of multiple persons that collectively form His one divine being and therefore ‘the text of sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ is one of many suras that contradict a multipersonal conception of Allah’

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      • Does ‘the text of sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ contradict a multipersonal conception of God’? Yes it does as the literary context of the sura where Allah is the primary referent with singular pronouns does not identified Allah as, or comprised of multiple persons that collectively form His one personal divine being

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      • Greetings ᶜOmar, and thank you for your reply.

        Now, you stated that I have not pointed to a text where God is referred to by singular pronouns to denote a multipersonal ontology. However, I would object that I am not required to do so. My argument in this blog entry was not that sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ affirms a multipersonal conception of God. My argument was only that sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ does not contradict a multipersonal conception of God.

        For an analogy, consider the question of the height of the historical Jesus. Perhaps it is a moot point, but some have pondered the question. I have met people who have argued that, for example, a peasant in the first century might be under 5ft (152cm), while others, based on the Shroud of Turin, who argued that Jesus was over 6ft (183cm). I’m not endorsing any of those arguments, but I bring this up to offer this thought experiment. Suppose we asked the question, does sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ preclude us from entertaining the possibility that the historical Jesus was over 6ft (183cm) tall? I would submit that nothing in the text of sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ contradicts that position. If you were to demand I show where sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ says Jesus was that height, I would respond I never claimed the text says He was that height; rather I only said it does not preclude or contradict that idea.

        The point of the analogy is this: saying “this text does not contradict this concept” is not the same as saying “this text affirms this concept”. So my position that sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ does not contradict a multipersonal conception of God does not obligate me to show where sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ affirms a multipersonal conception of God.

        [And by the way, conversely, saying the text does not affirm a concept does not require us to conclude the text therefore contradicts that concept. For example, sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ never affirms that I was born in New York City, but that does not mean sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ therefore contradicts the claim that I was born in New York City. This is at odds with your argument that the text contradicts a multipersonal conceptio of God because it does not clearly affirm it.]

        You’ve discussed the notion of singular pronoun and the singular pronomial suffix, however you are yet to provide one precise example within the Quranic text, applying sound Quranic exegesis where Allah Himself is identified contextually with singular pronouns to denote He is comprised of multiple persons that form His one personal divine being?

        Now, you stated that my appeal to the singular pronoun in sūrat al-Baqara 2:141 is not relevant, but I disagree. It is quite relevant, for this reason: it shows that a singular pronoun does not entail that the entity it refers to must be unipersonal. Therefore, noting that a singular pronoun is employed to refer to God does not entail God is unipersonal.

        On that note, I’ll close here. Have a good day, and God bless.

        Like

    • Greetings Hi, and thank you for your reply.

      In the comments section of another entry on this blog, when Ken Temple simply posted a link, Paul Williams (the owner and founder of this blog) replied thusly: “Instead of just posting links it might have been better to interact with the post”.

      I do not intend that disrespectfully, but rather to share that I agree with Mr. Williams, as my own time is unfortunately very limited (I churn out these replies when I have brief moments not tending to work or family), and thus it is harder for me to go through videos and figure out what precisely I should reply to (i.e. which parts the person who posted the video felt were pertinent).

      In short, I would prefer that people who comment on this entry grapple with the arguments therein, with text comments. If you insist that I watch the video, I will try to find the time to do so, but it may take a while before I do. In the mean time, I would ask if you could perhaps elaborate on which parts of that video you see as addressing this blog entry?

      On that note, thank you for your reply. Have a great day. God bless.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I agree with you Denis, we should not be posting links, instead of engaging with the clear proof being presented here. I think this article is the best piece of writing I have read on the subject. Unquestionably, I had never thought of this particular angle, which you approached this important theological issue. Are your other papers as impressively formatted? This is my first reading of your writing. I hope you continue to produce more papers on this very foundational issue.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. The reputable scholar Angelica Neuwirth in a brilliant analysis shows how the purpose of Surah Ikhlas may have been as refuting the Nicene Creed.

    Please see from 38:40 and onwards….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Greetings Omer, and thank you for the link. As I alluded to in my reply to Hi, above, it is somewhat more difficult for me to grapple with videos, due to limitations on my time. Nonetheless, I do think this is an interesting video, so I will try to find the time to watch it and then comment, here. However, that may take a short while (as I am about to begin my work day). But I hope to watch it and comment here within the next day or two, or maybe over the weekend (time permitting and God willing).

      Liked by 2 people

      • Greetings again, Omer

        So I finally got around to watching the video. It’s interesting to contrast it with the video Hi shared, immediately above this video, as that video argues instead that the text was introduced as a response to “pagan”/polytheist ᶜArabs (or Jews) asking Muhammad what precisely he believes.

        I found the contrast of the two videos, the two apparently competing views (one apparently old and traditional, the other apprently more modern and scholarly?) striking, as such makes me wonder about the earliest source to make the Nicene connection.

        That said, I at least agree with Neuwirth regarding understanding aḥad in light of eḥad in the Sh’maᶜ. I think that is helpful to my position, as it is one thing to try to treat the Qur’а̄nic term as wholly unique, as if in a vacuum, but it is quite another thing to treat it as understandable as a counterpart to the Biblical Hebrew term. The reason why is because it is easy to show that Biblical Hebrew eḥad requires an entity so described to be unipersonal.

        Where I disagree is on the subject of begetting. While I can appreciate the temptation to reach for the Nicene terminology, I think we can reach for something seemingly closer: an interesting text is sūrat al-Anᶜа̄m 6:101, which seems to ask rhetorically how God could have a walad (i.e. the result of the verb in sūrat al-ikhlāṣ) if God does not have feminine consort. Now, the Qur’а̄n elsewhere seems to understand well that it is possible to produce a child without a companion (e.g. in the stort of the Virgin Mary), so I suspect that the verse from sūrat al-Anᶜа̄m means that in a more narrow sense (i.e. how could God have a sexually conceived biological son if God has no partner for the carnal act?). If that reading is possible, it seems to open the door to the possibility that the verb in sūrat al-ikhlāṣ is intended in a similary narrow sense, and one profoundly differently from what is meant in the Nicene creed.

        In other words, I appreciate how the sūrah and the Creed line up at first glance (wonderfully illustrated in a chart Neuwirth put up during her lecture at the video above), but one is still able to stop and ask if that apparent surface parallel necessitates an actual parallel of intended meanings in the two sources being compared.

        On that note, thank you for sharing the video. Have a great day, and God bless.

        Like

  8. Christians apologists did the same brain gymnastic with the Shema, nothing new here. Maybe you needs to read Quran 5:72-72 as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Greetings Mr. Alio, and thank you for your reply.

      I am guessing (based in part on a tweet I saw), that you mean sūrat al-Mā’ida 5:72-73 (i.e. both verses 72 and 73, not just verse 72). Regarding verse 73, I commented on it in my reply to Mostafa, above.

      As for verse 72, there is a denial of the proposition Allah huwa al-MasīH (literally “God is the Messiah”). I appreciate that the denial of that proposition is widely understood as a denial of Christ’s divinity, but for a bit more nuance, I would recommend turning to the following source: Claus Schedl, Muhammad und Jesus: Die Christologisch Relevanten Texte des Korans, (Vienna: Herder, 1978), pp. 530-531. For those who do not have access to the work, I posted photos of the relevant pages, in this FaceBook post.

      Claus Schedl touches on the fact that there is sixth century Nestorian text, which likewise denying the proposition “God is the Messiah” while still affirming Christ’s divinity. This is a significant point, as it illustrates that a denial of the proposition “God is the Messiah” is not necessarily indicative of a denial of Christ’s divinity, as, historically, some Trinitarians employed precisely that denial (e.g. at least indirectly as a rejection of Sabellianism, now called Modalism).

      That said, as I noted in my aforementioned reply to Mostafa, above, when I encounter a reply to this blog entry which does not touch on sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ at all, I wonder if such means the author of the reply does not feel that sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ, by itself, obviously contradicts a multipersonal conception of God; rather, the author feels that when sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ is read in conjunction with other Qur’ānic texts, then that combination collectively is at odds with a specific multipersonal conception of God (that being the doctrine of the Trinity). Would that be a fair assessment of your position?

      Like

    • Addendum: forgive me, Mr. Alio, but I just now noticed that I missed the reference to the Sh’maᶜ in your post. Could you elaborate on the “brain gymnastic” to which you referred?

      While I await your reply, I would direct your attention to the third and fifth end notes of this blog entry, which share some relevant information, which I will also post here (with some minor elaboration).

      My position would simply be that the Hebrew word eḥad (אחד) can refer to unipersonal entities or multipersonal entities (and even impersonal entities), so mere recourse to that word does not establish whether a thing is unipersonal or not.

      As I touched on in a previous entry on this blog, titled “Cosmic Tefillin and the Oneness of God,” there are Rabbinic Jewish texts which state that while Israel declares that God is eḥad (אחד), so too God declares that Israel is eḥad (אחד). And within more esoteric parts of the Rabbinic corpora, the triadic collection of terms in the Sh’maᶜ is treated as having a layer of meaning which can refer to three distinct personal agents.

      So, at the very least, such a nuanced understanding of the structure of the text is not limited to “Christian apologists”.

      That said, thank you for your reply. Have a great day. God bless.

      Like

  9. Denis, this is an interesting contribution. It seems many of the commentators are struggling to stay on point-others in denial. Are you willing to develop your points even further into a more sustained critique?

    Liked by 2 people

    • What critique Dr. Collin?

      To support Denis’ postulation, he needs to substantiate within the Quranic Text and exegesis, where single pronouns “”He” & “Him” are specifically used to identify Allah in the Quranic text to denote He IS a multipersonal entity that is comprised of multiple other persons that collectively form His one personal being, which he has yet to substantiate

      From a Quranic textual exegesis perspective, where Allah is the primary referent with singular pronouns, He is never identified as, or comprised of multiple persons that collectively form His one divine being. The text of sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ is one of many Suras that directly contradicts a multipersonal conception of Allah

      Liked by 1 person

      • As denis explains at the end of his paper, contradiction, like any term has its technical definition which is that ”two or more propositions contradict if and only if it is impossible for them to be true simultaneously”.

        Because there are possible ways to understand the text of Sur’ah Ikhlas, where both Christian doctrine and that possible understanding be true (hypothetically), therefore it is not a formal contradiction. He is correct about this point:

        Any possible explanation of the text where it does not contradict the Christian understanding is proof in logic (philosophically) that it is not a (formal) contradiction. This is a basic fact in undergraduate studies in logic.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Dr Collins,

        You said “Because there are possible ways to understand the text of Sur’ah Ikhlas…”

        There are NO possible ways to understand surat Al-Ikhlas. The One God in Surat Al-Ikhlas is The God of Abraham. Please explain ‘there are possible ways’ who is The God of Abraham?

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      • Why you people have so much doubts about the fundamentals of Islam? You clearly don’t know Classic Arabic in Quraysh dialect. Yeah right, but when we start to recite Gospel in Hebrew, you start to complain that we don’t know Hebrew, but whenyou to thid to Quran, we have no rights to make any sort of complain but just eat whatever you throw at us!

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      • You’re not paying attention Collin, both you and Denis are incorrect about the point & notion of contradiction in reference to Sur’ah Ikhlas as clearly articulated elsewhere on this thread

        The text of Sur’ah Ikhlas explicitly proclaims He Allah is one single ‘person’ that forms His one personal, unique divine being, The notion of Monotheism declared in Sur’ah Ikhlas directly and formally contradicts classical Christian trinitarian óneness’ doctrine where it postulates God is comprised of 3 distinct ‘persons’ that collectively forms His one divine being. These two conflicting notion of ‘oneness’ can not be true simultaneously, it IS Impossible, according to Quranic exegesis given the singular unipersonal oneness of Allah. It is a formal contradiction. You are incorrect on this point of contradiction

        From a Quranic textual exegesis perspective, where Allah is the primary referent with singular pronouns, “He” “Him” Allah, He is never identified as, or conceptualised as comprised of multiple persons that collectively forms His one personal divine being. The text of Sur’ah Ikhlas directly and formally contradicts the Christian notion of trinitarian ‘oneness’

        As Ibn Kathir beautifully, succinctly and eloquently expressed the exegesis for Sura’ al-Ikhlas:

        (Say: “He is Allah, One.”) meaning, He is the One, the Singular, Who has no peer, no assistant, no rival, no equal and none comparable to Him. This word (Al-Ahad) cannot be used for anyone in affirmation except Allah the Mighty and Majestic, because He is perfect in all of His attributes and actions” Ibn Kathir Tafsir Sura’ al-Ikhlas.

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      • The very first verse of sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ formally and directly contradicts trinitarian ‘oneness’. In conjunction with the other 3 verses, the Sura further reinforces the formal contradiction to illustrate that these two conflicting notion of ‘oneness’ can not be true simultaneously, it IS Impossible, according to Quranic exegesis, when the of whole Sura is analysed given the singular unipersonal oneness of Allah

        Liked by 1 person

      • Very simple Collin, the single pronouns “He” “Him” identify Allah as unipersonal and Ahad denotes His one unique indivisible divine being is comprised of one single ‘person’ 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Omar, you are quoting commentators, this is not proof of anything. All your arguments that attempt to discredit this article, either misrepresent the core thesis of Denis Giron or completely ignore the philosophical method.

        Is this a deliberate strategy, or due to unstated but overt ideological bias?

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      • Linguistically, the usage of personal pronouns is an interesting point of discussion. If a singular personal pronoun is used in reference to an entity, it is possible that the said entity consists of multiple persons. This is not my fault that Denis happens to be correct-you need to realize that truth must be followed wherever it leads.

        The metaphysical issue of numerical values and linguistic features and understanding is actually somewhat complex for most people. What are numbers? Are they empirical realities? Are they axioms? Just because we classify some mathematical ”truths” as ”axioms” does not mean that they are. And so on, the debate rages on, as it does with language.

        At the end of the day, numbers and words are mental concepts, which evolve with time and mean different things in different contexts.

        One can be a complex one, singular personal pronoun can refer to a multi-personal being etc.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Collin Quranic commentators only explicitly substantiate and reiterate what is evidently clear within the Quranic Text when Allah is identified. The text of Sur’ah Ikhlas explicitly proclaims He Allah is one single ‘person’ that forms His one personal, unique divine being. the single personal pronouns “He” “Him” identify Allah as unipersonal and Ahad denotes His one unique indivisible divine being is comprised of one single ‘person’

        Ibn Kathir beautifully, succinctly and eloquently expressed the exegesis for Sura’ al-Ikhlas:

        (Say: “He is Allah, One.”) meaning, He is the One, the Singular, Who has no peer, no assistant, no rival, no equal and none comparable to Him. This word (Al-Ahad) cannot be used for anyone in affirmation except Allah the Mighty and Majestic, because He is perfect in all of His attributes and actions” Ibn Kathir Tafsir Sura’ al-Ikhlas.

        This is not my fault that Denis and you happen to be incorrect- Collin you need to realize this truth that must be followed wherever it leads.

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      • Collin – “Linguistically, the usage of personal pronouns is an interesting point of discussion. If a singular personal pronoun is used in reference to an entity, it is possible that the said entity consists of multiple persons””

        lol… Not according to the Quran & Quranic exegesis when Allah IS IDENTIFED WITH SINGULAR PERSONAL PRONOUNS lol 🙂 Is it sinking in ‘Dr’?

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      • Collin, Denis Giron’s article and his philosophical methods have been rationally and logically dismantled and refuted thoroughly. This discussion has also illustrated your incompetency and your self inflicted denials, which have exposed your deliberate overt ideological biases that inhibits you from accepting the truth proclaimed in sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ. The classical Quranic Arabic text declares the truth – Allah is rationally characterized with singular personal pronouns ‘He’ ‘Him’ to denote/identify Allah as unipersonal necessitating His singularity of His personhood and Allah is Ahad that uniquely describes the singularity of Allah’s sublime indivisible one personal divine being. Lol a statement or rationale from a representative of Libya will not save you from wondering in a maze of error and confusion Collin lol… May Allah cure you and guide you to accept the Truth about Allah Al -Ahad 🙂 Ameen

        Liked by 1 person

      • Greetings to Dr. Collins, ᶜOmar, and Sam. Thank you for all your respective comments in this subthread. I will attempt to respond to multiple points here.

        ***

          Sam wrote:
          There are NO possible ways to understand surat Al-Ikhlas.

        Well, if we include the basmala, then the first ten words of the sūrah form a block of text which begins with specifically a triadic collection of terms in reference to God, then immediately proceeds to use the same Semitic construction Geᶜez Trinitarian formulas use after their triadic references, and then immediately after that it refers to God by the noun form of a Semitic root which, in other Semitic languages, refers to a team or grouping.

        I’ll be the first to admit that does not prove the author of the sūrah intended a Trinitarian reference, but at the very least, you should understand if Trinitarians find such interesting, and don’t see it as being outside the realm of possibility.

        ***

          ᶜOmar wrote:
          The text of Sur’ah Ikhlas explicitly proclaims He Allah is one single ‘person’

        With all due respect, the text most certainly does not state such explicitly.

          ᶜOmar wrote:
          From a Quranic textual exegesis perspective, where Allah is the primary referent with singular pronouns, “He” “Him” Allah, He is never identified as, or conceptualised as comprised of multiple persons that collectively forms His one personal divine being.

        But, as has already been noted, singular personal pronouns do not necessitate that the entities they refer to be unipersonal.

          ᶜOmar wrote:
          Ibn Kathir beautifully, succinctly and eloquently expressed the exegesis for Sura’ al-Ikhlas

        With all due respect to Ibn Kathīr, the quote you shared does not provide textual indicators from the sūrah which necessitate the assertions he made. I will not hold it against Ibn Kathīr that he did not address the points of this blog entry, as this blog entry was written nearly 650 years after he passed away, but if you are going to invoke that quote, I would ask that you grapple with the blog entry’s point about how the last verse of the sūrah serves as a counterweight to those who try to argue that aḥad can only refer to a unipersonal entity. For example, is the universe of discourse of verse four (i.e. the list of things which are not equal to God) only limited to unipersonal entities? Does the last verse leave the question of equality with God open regarding multipersonal entities?

        On a side note, it seems to me worth mentioning that the quote you shared, in parenthesis, appeals to al-aḥad, with the definite article, while that precise construction does not appear in our extant text.

        Also worthy of note, it is interesting that when the famous ḥadīth, in Bukhārī’s Ṣaḥīḥ about this sūrah being a third of the Qur’ān, actually references the text, it reads Allahu al-wāḥidu as-samadu (اللّه الواحد الصمد). I won’t say that implies a textual variant, but I will say that it seems to treat aḥad in specifically the opening verse of the sūrah as synonymous with al-wāḥid. If they are synonymous, then it must be noted that al-wāḥid definitely does not necessitate unipersonal ontology for an entity it refers to.

        ***

          Dr. Collins wrote:
          Linguistically, the usage of personal pronouns is an interesting point of discussion. If a singular personal pronoun is used in reference to an entity, it is possible that the said entity consists of multiple persons.

          ᶜOmar replied:
          Not according to the Quran & Quranic exegesis when Allah IS IDENTIFED WITH SINGULAR PERSONAL PRONOUNS

        I would ask what textual indicators in the Qur’ānic text lead to this conclusion? It cannot simply be asserted; rather some support must be furnished. We already know, for example, that the Qur’ān employs singular pronomial suffixes and singular pronouns to refer to multipersonal entities (see, for example, hiya in reference to an umah, in sūrat an-Naḥl 16:92).

        It is interesting that you argue that it is specifically when used in reference to God that singular pronouns entail unipersonal ontology. This seems to tacitly acknowledge that the pronoun by itself does not establish such, rather the reference to God does. But this then begs the question, what is that conclusion based on? It seems to import the assumption that God is unipersonal, where the text does not necessitate such.

        But I look forward to your further elaboration. I’ll close here, and say have a wonderful day. God bless.

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    • Omar, you stated that since God in the Qur’an is referred to with singular personal pronoun, therefore this is proof that the ontology of God is unipersonal.

      Your argument has the following structure:

      P1: Singular Personal Pronouns Necessitate Singularity of Person-Hood
      P2: The Qur’an References God with Singular Personal Pronouns
      Conclusion: Therefore, God of the Qur’an is a singular person.

      P1 is false, therefore this deductive argument falls.

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      • Collin you are wondering in a maze of error, let me help you, again.

        P1: WHEN ALLAH IS IDENTIFIED WITH Singular Personal Pronouns, THIS Necessitates Singularity of Person-Hood
        P2: The Qur’an References God with Singular Personal Pronouns
        Conclusion: Therefore, God of the Qur’an is a singular person.

        P1 is TRUE, therefore this deductive argument dismantles Denis’ thesis.

        There are no instances within the Quranic Text & Quranic exegesis, where singular personal pronoun is used to identify Allah as consisting of multiple persons

        From a Quranic textual exegesis perspective, where Allah is the primary referent with singular pronouns, “He” “Him” Allah, He is never identified as, or conceptualised as comprised of multiple persons that collectively forms His one personal divine being. The text of Sur’ah Ikhlas directly and formally contradicts the Christian notion of trinitarian ‘oneness’

        Collin – “One can be a complex one, singular personal pronoun can refer to a multi-personal being”

        However not according to the Quranic text & exegesis, including sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ where Allah is identified Collin lol…

        The text of Sur’ah Ikhlas explicitly proclaims He Allah is one single ‘person’ that forms His one personal, unique divine being. the single personal pronouns “He” “Him” identify Allah as unipersonal and Ahad denotes His one unique indivisible divine being is comprised of one single ‘person’

        The notion of Monotheism declared in Sur’ah Ikhlas directly and formally contradicts classical Christian trinitarian óneness’ doctrine where it postulates God is comprised of 3 distinct ‘persons’ that collectively forms His one divine being. These two conflicting notion of ‘oneness’ can not be true simultaneously, it IS Impossible, according to Quranic exegesis given the singular unipersonal oneness of Allah.

        This is not my fault that Denis and you happen to be incorrect- Collin you need to realize this truth that must be followed wherever it leads.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Collin: “Omar, you stated that since God in the Qur’an is referred to with singular personal pronoun, therefore this is proof that the ontology of God is unipersonal” –

        Yes! Correct Collin 🙂 , you know why? … because in every single instance with applied Quranic exegesis, with not a single exception within the Quranic Text , is Allah ever identified with singular personal pronoun, where contextually, co-exists other distinct divine ‘persons’ alongside Allah, where they are collectively identified as ‘He’ or ‘Him’ to denote a multipersonal form of His singular personal divine being 🙂

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      • Omar,

        [QI] Do you consider that it is logically possible that a singular entity comprises multiple persons and yet is referred to with singular personal pronouns such as ”he” ”him”? Furthermore, does the Arabic language facilitate such a thing?

        [Q2] Do you know the defining meaning of the term ”person”? How do you define personhood?

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      • Omar, would it not be fair that you write a paper in response to this paper by Denis, so we could formally analyze and make comparative notes on both positions? I want to see you contribute an actual paper, present your points in the same format that Denis did so well.

        I am sure you are capable enough, if indeed you are upon the clear truth.

        Say, “Produce your proof, if you should be truthful.”

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      • [QI] Do you consider that it is logically possible that a singular entity comprises multiple persons and yet is referred to with singular personal pronouns such as ”he” ”him”?

        Where Allah is identified, No it is not logically possible. It is logically impossible In the classical Quranic Arabic text for Allah to be comprised of multiple persons that forms His one personal divine being and yet be referred to with singular personal pronouns such as “He” “Him”. There are no instances within the Quranic Text & Quranic exegesis, where singular personal pronoun is used to identify Allah as consisting of multiple persons to form his one personal divine being.

        Linguistically, it is logically possible for a singular entity to be comprises of multiple persons and yet is referred to with singular personal pronouns such as ”he” ”him”. This is evidently seen linguistically in Arabic, Hebrew literature and many other languages of the world, where singular personal pronouns have been applied as a poetic literary mode of expression, figuratively, metaphorically to identify singular entities like countries, nations, armies, teams with singular pronouns, etc, though I can’t recall right now if the classical Quranic Arabic text linguistically applies these figurative, metaphorical literary modes of expression. However where Allah is identified as the primary referent within classical Quranic Arabic text, there is not a single reference within the Quranic Text , where Allah is ever identified with singular personal pronoun, where contextually, co-exist other distinct divine ‘persons’ alongside Allah, where they are collectively identified as ‘He’ or ‘Him’ to denote a multipersonal form of His singular personal divine being. Linguistically, from a classical Quranic Arabic text, where Allah is the referent, this is logically impossible.

        [Q2] Do you know the defining meaning of the term ”person”? How do you define personhood?

        There are many variations of meanings and definitions of the term ‘person’

        Collin to make it easy for you and Denis lol… refer to any ancient/classical Christian Trinitarian literature written by the Fathers of the Church and trinitarian adherents that followed, whom attempted to define/articulate what is a ‘person’ or ‘hypostasis’ in relation to identifying, describing the members of the Trinity – God The Father, God The Son & God Holy Spirit.

        Which ever definition of ‘person’ you chose amongst the ancient/classical Christian Trinitarian literature, know that the meaning/definition of ‘person’ you have in your mind and where single personal pronouns “”He” & “Him” are specifically used to *** identify Allah*** in the classical Quranic Arabic text Allah is never identified as, or comprised of multiple ‘persons’ that collectively forms His one divine being 🙂

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      • Collin all my posts in response to you and this paper by Denis are on this thread for you to “Produce your proof, if you should be truthful.”, sadly you continued to show you’re incapable to engaging and comprehending the truth about the singularity of Allah’s unique personhood as articulated in the Quranic text of Sur’ah Ikhlas.

        The text of Sur’ah Ikhlas explicitly proclaims He Allah is unipersonal – one single ‘person’ that forms His one personal, unique divine being, The notion of Monotheism declared in Sur’ah Ikhlas directly and formally contradicts classical Christian trinitarian óneness’ doctrine where it postulates God is comprised of 3 distinct ‘persons’ that collectively forms His one divine being. These two conflicting notion of ‘oneness’ can not be true simultaneously, it IS Impossible, according to Quranic exegesis given the singular unipersonal oneness of Allah. It is a formal contradiction.

        From a Quranic textual exegesis perspective, where Allah is the primary referent with singular pronouns, “He” “Him” Allah, He is never identified as, or conceptualised as comprised of multiple persons that collectively forms His one personal divine being. The text of Sur’ah Ikhlas directly and formally contradicts the Christian notion of trinitarian ‘oneness’

        🙂

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      • Omar, I appreciate you taking the time out to engage with my commentary on a somewhat rational basis. I think you gave somewhat satisfying answers, to be fair. However I would add that you did not fully engage with the following argument from Denis, which I present here, I hope you have an answer:

        ”I would like to focus on the phrase al-balad al-waḥīd (البلد الوحيد), “the only country” [also, for other readers who feel singular pronouns are significant, note that Israel is referred to by the feminine singular pronoun hiya (هي)]. Here we see the definite article employed, and we see a declaration of uniqueness, yet none of that entails that Israel is therefore unipersonal.”

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  10. I find the word ahad in the arabic unique in that it is one of the 99 names of Allah described only to Allah himself as opposed to other names of Allah described to humans as well. Hope this benefits

    Liked by 1 person

    • What proof is there that demonstrates that ahad necessitates singularity of personhood?

      Like

      • Stay focused and don’t be confused Collin lol, in the classical Quranic Arabic text & exegesis, it is the singular personal pronouns ‘He’ ‘Him’ that identify Allah as unipersonal that necessitates His singularity of His personhood and ahad describes the singularity of Allah’s unique indivisible one personal divine being.

        (Say: “He is Allah, One.”) meaning, He is the One, the Singular, Who has no peer, no assistant, no rival, no equal and none comparable to Him. This word (Al-Ahad) cannot be used for anyone in affirmation except Allah the Mighty and Majestic, because He is perfect in all of His attributes and actions” Ibn Kathir Tafsir Sura’ al-Ikhlas

        🙂

        Like

      • Hey Dr.Collins, br Omar explained the meaning of ahad for you. If your having philosophical debate withdrawals and a clear verse is not going to get you through the day, take some L,s (losses)

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      • Collin, let me engage you further 🙂 What are your theological beliefs? Are you an atheist? Christian polytheist? Jewish monotheist? Other? State your fundamentals of belief!

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      • Based on Collin’s desperate and feeble attempts to pervert the exegesis of Sur’ah Ikhlas. If i had to guess, I think Collin is either a Mormon or most likely a confused Christian trinitarian polytheist, who adheres to a christology that formally contradicts fundamental Biblical Jewish monotheism.

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    • Denis wrote the following:

      إسرائيل هي البلد الوحيد في العـالم الـذي ينظـر إليـه مجلـس الأمـن باعتبـاره دولـة احـتلال

      Israel is the only country in the world that is viewed by the Security Council as an occupying state.

      I would like to focus on the phrase al-balad al-waḥīd (البلد الوحيد), “the only country” [also, for other readers who feel singular pronouns are significant, note that Israel is referred to by the feminine singular pronoun hiya (هي)]. Here we see the definite article employed, and we see a declaration of uniqueness, yet none of that entails that Israel is therefore unipersonal.

      My response: the usage of feminine singular pronoun ”hiya” is used whilst clearly referencing Israel as ”al-balad al-wahid” meaning ”the only country”, yet as Denis points out Israel is a multi-personal entity. This is proof that from the usage of Arabic language that singular personal pronouns does not necessitate a unipersonal ontology.

      Could you provide an honest rational evidence based well written response?

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      • oh my goodness lol.. Collin, you seriously have not comprehended anything thus far! Please explain in what realm of your fantasy does (1) a statement from a representative of Libya Lol has any relevant connection/association with the classical Quranic Arabic text & Quranic exegesis? lol and (2) is inter-dependently related to the unipersonal identity of Allah that comprises His singular unique indivisible one being as characterized within the classical Quranic Arabic text?

        From a classical Quranic Arabic text & exegesis perspective, Allah is rationally characterized with singular personal pronouns ‘He’ ‘Him’ to denote/identify Allah as unipersonal necessitating His singularity of His personhood and identified as Ahad that exceptionally and sublimely describes the singularity of Allah’s unique indivisible one personal divine being

        Collin, I have evidently and rationally responded to your enquiry about singular pronouns and how they can apply to multi-personal entities. As stated, linguistically, singular entities can be multi-personal and and be referred to with singular pronouns. This is evidently seen linguistically in Arabic, Hebrew literature and many other languages of the world, where singular personal pronouns have been applied as a poetic literary mode of expression, figuratively, metaphorically to identify singular entities like countries, nations, armies, teams with singular pronouns, etc.

        HOWEVER COLLIN – where Allah is identified as the primary referent or ‘entity’ within the classical Quranic Arabic text, there is not a single reference within the Quranic Text , where Allah is ever identified with singular personal pronoun, where *contextually*, co-exist other distinct ‘persons’ alongside Allah, where they ( Allah & ‘other persons’?? lol) are collectively identified as ‘He’ or ‘Him’ to denote a multipersonal form of His singular personal divine being. Linguistically, from a classical Quranic Arabic text, where Allah is the primary referent, this is logically impossible. there is no use of poetic literary mode of expression, figuratively, metaphorically where Allah is characterized as a multi-personal ‘entity’ that forms His one being, who is identified with singular personal pronouns

        I reiterate this fundamental truth with the hope you will grasp and accept this truth and come to the final realization that the text of Sur’ah Ikhlas explicitly, rationally and sublimely proclaims HE Allah is Al- Ahad – who’s singularity of His personhood is unipersonal that comprises His unique indivisible one singular personal divine being.

        so Collin, what exactly is the response your looking for in relation to a statement from a representative of Libya and it’s relevance with the classical Quranic Arabic text & Quranic exegesis, where He Allah is Ahad? 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Very true Sabit cekic, it is amazing where the adjective “ahad” is used to identify Him, Allah as uniquely one.

    Ibn Kathir beautifully, succinctly and eloquently expressed the exegesis for Sura’ al-Ikhlas:

    (Say: “He is Allah, One.”) meaning, He is the One, the Singular, Who has no peer, no assistant, no rival, no equal and none comparable to Him. This word (Al-Ahad) cannot be used for anyone in affirmation except Allah the Mighty and Majestic, because He is perfect in all of His attributes and actions” Ibn Kathir Tafsir Sura’ al-Ikhlas.

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    • Simple and pure – From a Quranic perspective, where single pronouns “”He” & “Him” **identify Allah**, He is one single ‘person’ that forms His one personal. unique divine being, which directly contradicts classical Christian trinitarian doctrine, or more generally a multipersonal conception of God

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      • This form of reflexive fundamentalism stifles research and dialogue. But I understand your passion, it is based on the fundamental concepts of scholarly opinion. Hence, why you have stated numerous assertions, but not a single demonstrated proof.

        Again, I may inquire, if you are upon objective truth, why are you not utilizing the full spectrum of logical arguments, with clarity and philosophical wisdom?

        Why do you ignore the clear proof that Denis has brought out?

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      • Collin what “clear proof” has Denis brought out that substantiates his assertions that ALLAH, according to Quranic texts & exegesis may be conceptualized as multiple divine persons that collective forms His one divine being?

        To support his assertions & postulation, Denis needs to substantiate within the Quranic Text and exegesis, where single personal pronouns “”He” & “Him” are specifically used to *** identify Allah*** in the Quranic text to denote He – Allah IS a multipersonal entity that is comprised of multiple other persons that collectively form His one personal being, which he has yet to substantiate!

        From a Quranic textual exegesis perspective, where ***Allah*** is the primary referent with singular pronouns, He is never identified as, or comprised of multiple persons that collectively form His one divine being. The text of sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ is one of many Suras that directly contradicts a multipersonal conception of Allah

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      • May Allah guide you Collin, be sincere upon objective truth and utilize the full spectrum of logical arguments, with clarity and philosophical wisdom to understand that from a Quranic perspective, where single pronouns “”He” & “Him” **identify Allah**, He is one single ‘person’ that forms His one personal unique divine being, which directly contradicts the classical Christian trinitarian óneness’ doctrine, or more generally a multipersonal conception of Allah, who in truth is uniquely unipersonal 🙂

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  12. Denis is still confusing with the word ONE God.

    Let me take it back to the root:

    The One God revealed by Moses (pbuh), Jesus (pbuh) and Muhammad (pbuh) is The God of Abraham.
    The One God in surat Al-Ikhlas is The God of Abraham.
    – If you think Abraham (pbuh) was worshiping God in multiple persons then you are out of Abraham faith.
    – If you think in Abraham (pbuh) mind his God is in multiple persons then you are out of Abraham faith.
    – if you try to explain that the God of Abraham is (or has possibility) in multiple persons then you are out of Abraham faith.

    Therefore Christian trinity is a man made religion that take Jesus as their God.

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    • True Sam, Trinitarian Christology is in total contradiction to what Jesus adhered to in his day as the most important commandment of All as declared by his God that he Jesus himself worshipped … “it is written and FOREVER REMAINS written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and SERVE HIM ONLY ’” and Jesus also affirmed the Lord Thy God “is One and there is no other but HIM”

      Jesus the Messiah and Prophet worshipped and prayed to his God alone:

      “One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God” Luke 6:12

      “After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone” Matthew 14:23

      “But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray” Luke 5:16

      The Bible does not substantiate trinitarian ‘monotheism’ – i.e The One God, HE is comprised of 3 distinct persons that forms HIS One personal divine Being… until trinitarians can biblically substantiate that HE The One God is comprised of 3 distinct persons that forms HIS one being, i.e trinitarian ‘oneness’ Trinitarian Christology will forever be a form of polytheism that invokes the worship of 3 distinct separate personal gods that share the same essence of divinity.

      Those who profess to a Christology about Jesus must ensure it aligns with fundamental Biblical Jewish monotheism as declared in the pericopes of Jesus and the Biblical Prophet’s before him, like Moses who declared the Sh’ma – When ever ‘Echad’ is used in the bible to declare the Sh’ma and identify God as One, Echad always denotes a singular indivisible one, not a compound unity that is comprised of multiple persons to form His one divine being

      Any Christology that emerged after Jesus left this world that invokes worship to any other person or persons, objects or deities other than Him the God of Jesus is polytheism that contradicts Biblical Jewish Monotheism.

      Jesus declared – “it is written and FOREVER REMAINS written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and SERVE HIM ONLY ’” and Jesus also affirmed the Lord Thy God “is One and there is no other but HIM”

      “HIM” – The Lord God of Jesus is not 3 distinct persons that collectively form His one personal divine being – simple 🙂

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      • Dear Sir

        May I bgin by thanking you for your civilised discource. But I must query your representation of the Catholic and Apostolic faith, particularly regarding the Holy Trinity. We both believe in the one Creator is “of an incomposite and spiritual nature, having neither ears nor organs of speech. A solitary essence and illimitable, he is composed of no numbers and parts” (Didymus the Blind, ‘The Holy Spirit’). This One God is “simple, not composed of parts, without structure” and is “all mind, all spirit, all thought, all intelligence, all reason.” (St Irenaeus, Against Heresies 2:13:3). The Holy Trinity is not an addition of there separate things to create a greater whole, nor is it comprised of three things, since this would repugnant to the holy Fathers, who held that “God is of a simple nature, not conjoined nor composite. Nothing can be added to him” as St Ambrose, of blessed memory, said. As the Blessed Evagrius once said “we confess one God, not in number but in nature. For all that is said to be one numerically is not one absolutely, nor is it simple in nature. It is universally confessed, however, that God is simple and not composite”

        Regarding the position of the infallible Church on the nature of Our Lord being Begotten not Made, will allow one of the Holy Fathers, St Athanasius of Alexandria, of holy and blessed memory, to speak:

        St Athanasius of Alexandria, of holy and Blessed memory:
        As we said above, so now we repeat, that the divine generation must not be compared to the nature of men, nor the Son considered to be part of God, nor the generation to imply any passion whatever; God is not as man; for men beget passibly, having a transitive nature, which waits for periods by reason of its weakness. But with God this cannot be; for He is not composed of parts, but being impassible and simple, He is impassibly and indivisibly Father of the Son.

        This again is strongly evidenced and proved by divine Scripture. For the Word of God is His Son, and the Son is the Father’s Word and Wisdom; and Word and Wisdom is neither creature nor part of Him whose Word He is, nor an offspring passibly begotten. Uniting then the two titles, Scripture speaks of ‘Son,’ in order to herald the natural and true offspring of His essence; and, on the other hand, that none may think of the Offspring humanly, while signifying His essence, it also calls Him Word, Wisdom, and Radiance; to teach us that the generation was impassible, and eternal, and worthy of God. What affection then, or what part of the Father is the Word and the Wisdom and the Radiance? So much may be impressed even on these men of folly; for as they asked women concerning God’s Son, so let them inquire of men concerning the Word, and they will find that the word which they put forth is neither an affection of them nor a part of their mind.

        Additionally it is through the Son, and only through the Son, that the Heavenly Father has eternally revealed himself. It is Christ’s choice to reveal his Father in himself, choice implies equality since no slave can choose whether or not to do his masters will. In addition to this Christ describes the Father as the Lord of heaven and earth, yet later describes himself as the one who has all authority in heaven and on earth. Does this mean that the Father ceased be the Lord of heaven and earth, since the Son has all authority over both, certainly not. The only true interpretation of this is the eternal divine nature of the Son of God, one in essence with the Father.

        Christ says that his authority over heaven and earth is complete, unassailable and utter. He has authority over all things in heaven, the turning of all universes past present and future, the majestic terror of stars collapsing, thereby creating black holes, the mouvemts of all celestial angels and the choirs of the holy saints, of holy and blessed memory. He has authority over all things on earth is equally complete, unassailable and utter, with every living human soul and all species of animal, every city, town and people, including Mecca and Medina, under his kingship as he rules from the throne of his Father in Heaven. How can this be the rule of a merely created being, or a merely metaphorical Son of God ?

        God Love You

        Liked by 1 person

      • Dear Toby,

        We are talking about The God of Abraham. Surat Al-Ikhlas is talking about HIM.
        Who do you think The God of Abraham?

        Liked by 1 person

    • Sam … “Christian trinity is a man made religion that take Jesus as their God”

      True Sam, those who profess to a Christology about Jesus, must ensure it aligns with fundamental Biblical monotheism that Jesus himself adhered to. Any Christology that emerged after Jesus left this world that falsely invokes worship to any other ‘person’ or ‘persons’, objects or deities along with the God of Jesus, is polytheism that formally contradicts Biblical Jewish Monotheism.

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      • Once again sir none of the Church Fathers, of blessed memory, ever stated that the Holy Trinity introduced other, lesser deities to the One God, because as St Gregory of Nyssa said “there is neither nor ever shall be such a dogma in the Church of God that would prove the simple and incomposite [God] to be not only manifold and variegated,but even constructed from opposites”. The Holy Trinity, in the words of the great biblical theologian St John of Damascus, is “neither divided up nor alienated, with respect to glory, eternity and kingship.Therefore there is nothing created or servile in the Trinity, nor anything form a foreign source,whether existing in the first place or introduced later”.
        We do not add further dieites to God, since the Holy Trinity has always been and always shall be, perfect and simple in divinity. It was the Arian heretics who added other Gods to the Father, since they believed that the Father was the God of his created Son, and this created Son was the God of all creation, as found in the Creeds of Ulfilas and Auxentius of Durostorum.
        The Christian faith rests in a belief, once again in the words of the blessed Damascene, in “the blessed and life-giving and undivided holy Trinity. Father, Son and holy Spirit,three persons, one image; three imprints, one form; three hypostases, one godhead; three properties, one essence; three energies, one grace; three existences, one identity; three who are known, one who is glorified; three names, one confession; three confessions, one faith. [The Holy Trinity] is God, eternal and unchanging essence, fashioner of being things. [The Trinity] is God,highest light unapproachable, neither comprehended by intellect nor expressed by word”

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      • Thank you Toby,

        Toby, when God commanded Moses to proclaimed the Shema – “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One”

        Did Moses proclaim his belief in one God to be conceptualized as a “Trinity. Father, Son and holy Spirit,three persons, one image; three imprints, one form; three hypostases, one godhead”?

        And furthermore, In GMark, when Jesus presumably quotes and affirms Moses’ proclamation of the Shema:

        The Greatest Commandment

        28 One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

        29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

        32 “Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but Him.

        Did Jesus also affirm, like Moses before and the Prophets, – proclaim his one God to be a “Trinity. Father, Son and holy Spirit,three persons, one image; three imprints, one form; three hypostases, one godhead”?

        Jesus, who worshipped his God alone also proclaimed – ““it is written and FOREVER REMAINS written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and SERVE HIM ONLY”

        Did Jesus declare, pray and worship his God as a “Trinity. Father, Son and holy Spirit,three persons, one image; three imprints, one form; three hypostases, one godhead”?

        and the teacher, who affirmed that Jesus proclaimed the truth about God, did he also believe in the Triune godhead, when the teacher said: ” You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but Him”?

        “One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God” Luke 6:12

        “After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone” Matthew 14:23

        “But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray” Luke 5:16

        Liked by 1 person

      • Father, Son and holy Spirit, three gods become one god

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  13. Salam Denis! Hope you are all fine.

    With all due respect, Sir, your case has no foundation to stand upon. The fundamental point you’ve completely ignored was, that, it was your own “Biblical passages” that give the reason to Christian theologians to derive “multi-personal concept of God” from it (although same Bible can be use to argue against this very multi-personal concept of God). Christian theologians didn’t pull out multi-personal God from thin air. Bible is your base and evidence for your claim and belief. Do you agree with me? If yes, then please be consistent in your approach and read the whole of Qur’an and identify us any other divine person beside Allah in the Qur’an just like you do with your Bible. No, you can’t find in the Qur’an what you can find in your Bible. Not even remotely.

    So, in absence of any other divine persons beside Allah in Qur’an, don’t you think Muslims justify their understanding and claim that the God of Qur’an must be a “unipersonal God”?

    As for the word ‘Ahad’, I fully agree with you that word Ahad can be used for both uni and multi personal entity but this proves NOTHING. Context is important. Don’t we Muslims and Christians use word ” God” in a different way? Yes we do. So, what’s the BIG FIND?
    The problem I find in your thesis is that you pointed out something “insignificant” without substantiate it with any scriptural evidence. If you have any, kindly present to make your thesis worth considering.

    YOU WROTE: //// It seems clear that there are plausible ways to understand the text in which it would be possible for the both the text and Christian doctrine to be true simultaneously.\\\\

    No, there is NO POSSIBLE ways (within the Qur’an) of understanding the word احد. What you are forgetting is, that, your Christian doctrine is based upon the Bible, and the Qur’an is not the Bible, nor it can be read and interpret through biblical doctrines. Both, the Bible and the Qur’an demands independent study.

    Dr COLLIN WROTE: /// Why do you ignore the clear proof that Denis has brought out?\\\\

    Sir, I think I have pointed out the “basic missing” in Denis’s thesis. I also hope he will realize his mistake and stand correct after reading this.

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    • Proposition 1: Singular personal pronouns in the Arabic language does not necessitate a unipersonal ontology

      Proposition 2: Huwa is a third person singular pronoun

      Conclusion: Therefore, Huwa does not necessitate a single person ontology by itself.

      P1 is clearly true, as established by numerous examples, including everyday speech. Denis provided a very good example where feminine singular pronoun hiya (هي) is used to Israel, which is a multi-personal entity in the following U.N speech:

      إسرائيل هي البلد الوحيد في العـالم الـذي ينظـر إليـه مجلـس الأمـن باعتبـاره دولـة احـتلال
      “Israel is the only country in the world that is viewed by the Security Council as an occupying state.”

      Furthermore, as Denis pointed out, the phrase al-balad al-wahid (البلد الوحيد), “the only country” employs ”the definite article…and we see a declaration of uniqueness, yet none of that entails that Israel is therefore unipersonal.”

      Also, P2 is obviously true, so to sum up:

      P1 is true & P2 is true, therefore the conclusion is necessarily true-which makes this a true deductive proof.

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    • Jaseem Siddiqui you are totally right!

      Al-Ahad is one of the perfect names of Allah, which profoundly and sublimely is only used once in the Quranic Text to solely identify Allah’s singular indivisible uniqueness. Allah is unipersonal who is identified with singular personal pronouns and is forever One and has never and will never have another person (s) alongside Him to form his one personal divine being. Allah is Unique in His Oneness, in being One in His essence and attributes. Al-Ahad is one of His names which belongs uniquely to Him alone, there is nothing like unto Him.

      From a Quranic textual exegesis perspective, where Allah is the primary referent or ‘entity’ with singular pronouns, “He” “Him” Allah is never identified as, or conceptualised as comprised of multiple ‘persons’ that collectively forms His one personal divine being.

      The proclamation of Monotheism declared in Sur’ah Ikhlas directly and formally contradicts classical Christian trinitarian óneness’ doctrine where it postulates God is comprised of 3 distinct ‘persons’ that collectively forms His one divine being. These two conflicting notion of ‘oneness’ are a formal contradiction and can not be true simultaneously, it IS Impossible, according to Quranic exegesis given the singular unipersonal oneness of Allah, The Glorious, The Majestic!

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    • Salām yā Jaseem. Good to see you here.

      As you know, we have discussed the Bible and a multipersonal conception of God quite a few times on FaceBook. That topic has also been explored various times in this blog, as wel as the blog owner’s <a href=http://www.bloggingtheology.netprevious blog. So I don’t think we need to go over that topic in the comments section of this blog entry, and I fear it will only distract from the actual subject of this entry.

      Now, I would like to recall that the topic of this blog entry is not whether sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ affirms a multipersonal conception of God. Rather, the topic is whether sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ contradicts a multipersonal conception of God (for a quick analogy to illustrate this distinction, sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ never affirms the proposition “Denis was born in New York city,” but it does not contradict that proposition). With that in mind, I do not believe I am under any obligation to show a multipersonal conception of God in the Qur’а̄n; rather, it is sufficient just to cover whether this specific sūrah under discussion precludes the possibility of such.

        Jaseem replied:
        As for the word ‘Ahad’, I fully agree with you that word Ahad can be used for both uni and multi personal entity but this proves NOTHING.

      Thank you. I appreciate this bit of agreement. As for what it “proves,” permit me to note again that I was not attempting to prove a multipersonal conception of God from the relevant sūrah. That aside, what the relevance of this point about aḥad being used to refer to unipersonal, multipersonal, or impersonal entities, is that one cannot sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ precludes a multipersonal ontology for God simply by pointing to the word aḥad (as the word itself does not necessitate a unipersonal ontology for what it refers to).

      That said, thank you for posting here. Have a great day, and God bless!

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      • Salam again Denis. hope you are having a wonderful time. 🙂

        First, I’d like to apolgize for being late. I was busy, could not get time to check my e-mail notifications that costs this response coming too late.

        Anyway, let me address few points from your first response to my first comment on your this article.

        YOU SAID; /// I do not believe i am under any obligation to show a multipersonal conception of God in the Qur’ān; rather it is sufficient just to cover whether this specific sūrah under discussion precludes the possibility of such.\\\\

        Yes you are! Sir, you have to show a multipersonal conception of God in the Qur’an. And asking such is “NOT attacking a straw man” BECAUSE the relevant سورة اخلاص is a part of the Qur’an. It is NOT sufficient to conveniently “isolate” سورة اخلاص and then speculate on God’s ontology based on nuance of its some words. You have to harmonize its message with the Qur’an basic theme of توحيد (absolute Oneness of God) to get a correct understanding of the said sūrah. Qur’an is the context of this sūrah. When you contextualize the surah you’d only find a Single Divine Being/Person without any notion of plurality within.

        YOU SAID: //// I would like to recall that the topic of this blog entry is not whether sūrat al-Ikhlās affirms a multipersonal conception of God. Rather, the topic is whether sūrat al-Ikhlās contradicts a multipersonal conception of God.\\\

        Of course, if you “isolate” this sūrah from the rest of the Quran, the text of sūrah per se is not contradicting any notion of multipersonal ontology of God.

        YOU SAID: //// simply by pointing to the word ahad (as the word itself does not necessitate a unipersonal ontology what it refers to).\\\\

        Agreed! In fact, no one even denying this. All we (Muslims) are saying is, that the word احد in reference to God in سورة اخلاص does not denote any sort of plurality within God

        How can we claim such?

        By simply reading the whole Qur’an. The ABSENCE OF ANY MENTIONING of any other divine being/person along with Allah throughout the Quran, logically entails only UNIPERSONAL ontology of Allah.

        Take care and w.salam!

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      • Precise, succinct point Jaseem – “By simply reading the whole Qur’an. The ABSENCE OF ANY MENTIONING of any other divine being/person along with Allah throughout the Quran, logically entails only UNIPERSONAL ontology of Allah”

        Denis has failed to support his dubious assertions, propositions and flawed mode of argumentation

        He needs to (1) deduce his “proof” from within the classical Quranic Arabic text, using Quranic exegesis to expound where singular personal pronouns ‘He’ ‘Him’ and the term ‘Ahad’ are used to identify an ‘entity’ that is multi-personal that is comprised of ‘persons’ where they collectively form the entity’s one single being?, moreover, AND THEN, to substantiate his assertions & propositions;

        Denis needs to (2) also apply his “Proof” rationale & consistent Quranic exegesis & reasoning; to draw a logical conclusion from the text of Sur’ah Ikhlas that Allah therefore can be identified with singular personal pronouns, where *contextually*, co-exist other distinct ‘persons’ alongside Allah, where they ( Allah & ‘other distinct ‘persons’?? lol) are *collectively* identified as ‘He’ or ‘Him’ to denote ‘Ahad’ a multipersonal form of His singular personal divine being.

        Denis has erroneously attempted to use a statements from a soccer player & a UN speech to conjecture his false eisegesis to interpret the classical Arabic Quranic text of Sur’ah Ikhlas in such a way as to force his own fallacious presuppositions, agendas or biases to substantiate that Allah therefore can be identified as a multi-personal entity who is comprised of multiple ‘persons’ that form’s his one divine being is absolutely ludicrous lol

        It has been clearly illustrated here that the text of sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ with sound and consistent Quranic exegesis explicitly and formally contradicts the classical Christian doctrine, or more generally a multipersonal conception of god. It is impossible for the notion of monotheism as proclaimed in sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ and the notion of a multi-personal theology of god to be true simultaneously as they are actually in direct contradiction to each other, when a plausible approach is applied to understand the text of sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ with consistent Quranic exegesis as discussed here.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Salam and thank you for appreciation br. Omar. I believe, there would have been no confusion whatsoever for br. Denis if he had “literally counted” divine beings/persons mentioned in the Qur’an.

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  14. hello,

    I think here is what you have missed.

    We Muslims understand our religion according to the Quran and sunnah upon the understanding of the salaf al-salih, however what you have brought here is an understanding of the Quran based upon your own views and opinions.

    With regards to your comments on the Arabic, the question we now ask is, which of the companions had this understanding of this Surah? Or is this something that you have come with yourself?
    Many groups have come before and have deviated with regards to the Arabic language and it is upon us to return all of our affairs to the sahaba as they are the best generation of Muslims as the Nabi(prophet) said.

    Why are they the best generation? This is because they had the best understanding of Allaah and the best understanding of Islam; this is due to their great understanding of Arabic, they were there when the Quran was revealed so they understand it’s context and reason for revelation and to add on to this the Nabi taught them directly, so is the one who hears, sees and learns directly from the prophet like those who come after and have never done so?

    The answer is no, this is why al-Imam al-Zuhari said that all of the scholars of the tabieen combined (and they had the greatest and most preponderant scholars of islam better than the imams of the 4 madhabs) do not have the same knowledge as the mother of the believers Aaisha May Allaah have mercy upon her.

    So with this, this is how your understanding of this Surah is incorrect as it is your own interpretation and we do not have more knowledge of islam than the Nabi himself and the companions who were upon the same manhaj (methodology) and (aqeedah) creed

    i hope you will take this in to account and reply with your thoughts, Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

    • Proposition 1: Singular personal pronouns in the Arabic language does not necessitate a unipersonal ontology

      Proposition 2: Huwa is a third person singular pronoun

      Conclusion: Therefore, Huwa does not necessitate a single person ontology by itself.

      P1 is clearly true, as established by numerous examples, including everyday speech. Denis provided a very good example where feminine singular pronoun hiya (هي) is used to Israel, which is a multi-personal entity in the following U.N speech:

      إسرائيل هي البلد الوحيد في العـالم الـذي ينظـر إليـه مجلـس الأمـن باعتبـاره دولـة احـتلال
      “Israel is the only country in the world that is viewed by the Security Council as an occupying state.”

      Furthermore, as Denis pointed out, the phrase al-balad al-wahid (البلد الوحيد), “the only country” employs ”the definite article…and we see a declaration of uniqueness, yet none of that entails that Israel is therefore unipersonal.”

      Also, P2 is obviously true, so to sum up:

      P1 is true & P2 is true, therefore the conclusion is necessarily true-which makes this a true deductive proof.

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      • Collin – Proposition 1: Singular personal pronouns in the Arabic language does not necessitate a unipersonal ontology.

        When Singular personal pronouns in the classical Quranic Arabic Text are used to Identify Allah this necessitate a unipersonal ontology.

        Collin – Proposition 2: Huwa is a third person singular pronoun

        Correct 🙂

        Conclusion: Therefore, Huwa when used to identify Allah this does necessitate He is a single person ontology.

        Collin – P1 is clearly true, as established by numerous examples, including everyday speech. Denis provided a very good example where feminine singular pronoun hiya (هي) is used to Israel, which is a multi-personal entity in the following U.N speech:

        إسرائيل هي البلد الوحيد في العـالم الـذي ينظـر إليـه مجلـس الأمـن باعتبـاره دولـة احـتلال
        “Israel is the only country in the world that is viewed by the Security Council as an occupying state.”

        Your Proposition1 is completely false and irrational/irrelevant as the statement from the representative of Libya you mention is not contained within the classical Arabic Quranic Text. Your feeble erroneous attempt to use a statement from a UN speech is a dubious attempted to force your hilarious false Eisegesis in interpreting the classical Arabic Quranic Text in such a way as to introduce your own fallacious presuppositions, agendas or biases lol… using a statement from the representative of Libya Lol hahahahah lol…. you have absolutely no credibility to participate in a rational or philosophical discussion Collin, seriously a statement from the representative of Libya to support your dubious propositions to interpret text of Sur’ah Ikhlas ? lol May Allah cure you, Ameen 🙂

        Collin – Furthermore, as Denis pointed out, the phrase al-balad al-wahid (البلد الوحيد), “the only country” employs ”the definite article…and we see a declaration of uniqueness, yet none of that entails that Israel is therefore unipersonal.”

        And I refuted this dubious irrational and irrelevant point many times.

        As stated, linguistically, singular entities can be multi-personal and and be referred to with singular pronouns. This is evidently seen linguistically in Arabic, Hebrew literature and many other languages of the world, where singular personal pronouns have been applied as a poetic literary mode of expression, figuratively, metaphorically to identify singular entities like countries, nations, armies, teams with singular pronouns, etc.

        HOWEVER COLLIN – where Allah is identified as the primary referent or ‘entity’ within the classical Quranic Arabic text, there is not a single reference within the Quranic Text , where Allah is ever identified with singular personal pronoun, where *contextually*, co-exist other distinct ‘persons’ alongside Allah, where they ( Allah & ‘other persons’?? lol) are collectively identified as ‘He’ or ‘Him’ to denote a multipersonal form of His singular personal divine being.

        So to sum up:

        Linguistically, from a classical Quranic Arabic text, where Allah is the primary referent, this is logically impossible. there is no use of poetic literary mode of expression, figuratively, metaphorically where Allah is characterized as a multi-personal ‘entity’ that forms His one being, who is identified with singular personal pronouns. The text of Sur’ah Ikhlas explicitly, rationally and sublimely proclaims HE Allah is Al- Ahad – who’s singularity of His personhood is unipersonal that comprises His unique indivisible one singular personal divine being.

        Ibn Kathir beautifully, succinctly and eloquently expressed the exegesis for Sura’ al-Ikhlas:

        (Say: “He is Allah, One.”) meaning, He is the One, the Singular, Who has no peer, no assistant, no rival, no equal and none comparable to Him. This word (Al-Ahad) cannot be used for anyone in affirmation except Allah the Mighty and Majestic, because He is perfect in all of His attributes and actions” Ibn Kathir Tafsir Sura’ al-Ikhlas.

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      • Interesting reply thank you for taking the time out.

        As Imam al-Dhabi said, anyone who speaks the Quran and Sunnah is serious and anyone who speaks any other than that is not. What the author has brought is his own words and understanding, proof and evidence itself is Qal Allah wa Qala Rasool (the Quran and Sunnah) and not what the people bring from themselves, his argument is to say that surah Ikhlas is not an evidence for tawheed and is not at odds with the Trinity which is incorrect.

        The prophet passed by a person reciting surah al-kafirun and remarked, “He has been saved from shirk” He passed by another reciting al-Ikhlas and remarked, “paradise has become obligatory for him”

        Recorded by Imam Ahmed, #16605-16617-23194

        If paradise is obligatory for the one who recites surah al-ikhlas then how can it not be at odds with the Trinity? Allaah has mentioned that belief that the Christians have in the trinity is disbelief & shirk which Allaah will not forgive!

        The reason why paradise has become obligatory for the one who recites surah ikhlas is because this person recited and understood it which caused them to worship Allaah upon Tawheed and reject Kufur and shirk which includes Christianity and the trinity.

        As is reported in the sunnah

        عن أبي هريرة -رضي الله عنه- مرفوعًا: «والذي نفسُ مُحمَّد بيدِه، لا يسمعُ بي أحدٌ من هذه الأمة يهوديٌّ، ولا نصرانيٌّ، ثم يموتُ ولم يؤمن بالذي أُرْسِلتُ به، إلَّا كان مِن أصحاب النار».

        Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said: “By the One in Whose Hand Muhammad’s soul is! There is nobody of this Ummah, be they Jewish or Christian, who hears of me and then dies without believing in what I was sent with except that he will be among the people of Hellfire.”

        sahih, recorded in Muslim

        لَّقَدْ كَفَرَ الَّذِينَ قَالُوا إِنَّ اللَّهَ ثَالِثُ ثَلَاثَةٍ وَمَا مِنْ إِلَٰهٍ إِلَّا إِلَٰهٌ وَاحِدٌ وَإِن لَّمْ يَنتَهُوا عَمَّا يَقُولُونَ لَيَمَسَّنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا مِنْهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيم
        They have certainly disbelieved who say, ” Allah is the third of three.” And there is no diety except one diety. And if they do not desist from what they are saying, there will surely afflict the disbelievers among them a painful punishment.

        Surah Maidah ayah:73

        And Allaah also says:

        إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَغْفِرُ أَن يُشْرَكَ بِهِ وَيَغْفِرُ مَا دُونَ ذَٰلِكَ لِمَن يَشَاءُ وَمَن يُشْرِكْ بِاللَّهِ فَقَدِ افْتَرَىٰ إِثْمًا عَظِيمً
        Indeed, Allah does not forgive Shirk, but He forgives what is less than that for whom He wills. And he who associates others with Allah has certainly fabricated a tremendous sin.

        Surah Nisa Ayah: 48

        This is an evidence that this surah is indeed at odds to the trinity as a person reciting it will enter paradise due to it and its rejection of shirk.

        In fact the beautiful and majestic name Allaah which is mentioned in this Ayah is infact a rejection of the trinity if we look at it’s definition and the sifat al-Ahad in this surah confirms this with more detail!

        The reality is that not only this surah with these ayaat but the who Quran and every Ayah in the Quran is a confirmation of Tawheed (and by default a negation of all types of kufur as this is it’s opposite) and all Ayaat in the Quran have it’s roots in Surah al-fatiha which is why the Prophet called in Umm al-Kitab(mother of the book) as like a mother is the foundation and the origin of her children surah Fatiha is the origin of all of the Ayaat in the Quran.
        And with this the Perl and the focal point on surah Fatiha is “You alone do we worship and you alone do we ask for help” which is an affirmation of Taweed and rejection of shirk

        I would be willing to expand if you wish.

        Thank you

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      • Collin this form of reflexive fundamentalism stifles research and dialogue on your part. But I understand your passion, it is based on overt ideological biases and dubious presumptions. Hence, why you have stated propositions & assertions, but not a single demonstrated proof to support you nonsense postulations. The classical Arabic Quranic text & exegesis of sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ declares Allah is Al-Ahad, who is characterized with singular personal pronouns ‘He’ ‘Him’ identifying Allah as unipersonal that necessitates His singularity of His personhood and ahad describes the singularity of Allah’s unique indivisible one personal divine being. 🙂

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      • Br Madeedah al-Athariyyah SubhanAllah! Collin is quoting a statement from a Libyan representative as ‘proof’ to do tafsir on the text of Sur’ah Ikhlas lol…. hahahahah lol….

        You and brother Jaseem have decimated all his arguments, assertions and propositions and his flawed philosophical methods that represent the core of Denis annihilated thesis.

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    • Madeedah al-Athariyyah you are absolutely right!

      You stated in response to Collin – With regards to your comments on the Arabic, the question we now ask is, which of the companions had this understanding of this Surah? Or is this something that you have come with yourself?

      The futile, dismal ‘evidence’ Collin has used to support his Proposition1 is null and void and completely absurd. He has used a statement from a representative of Libya which as nothing to do with the classical Arabic Quranic Text of which the text of Sur’ah Ikhlas is contained. Collin has erroneously attempted to use a statement from a UN speech to force his hilarious false eisegesis to interpret the classical Arabic Quranic Text in such a way as to introduce his own fallacious presuppositions, agendas or biases to substantiate that Allah therefore can be identified as a multi-personal entity who is comprised of multiple persons that form’s his one divine being hahahah lol… absolutely ludicrous lol

      What Collin continuously has failed to comprehend and who evidently possesses no logic or rationale to grasp consistent and sound classical Quranic Arabic exegesis when interpreting the text in discussion – Collin dismally fails to understand that where Allah is identified as the primary referent or ‘entity’ within the classical Quranic Arabic text, there is not a single reference within the Quranic Text , where Allah is ever identified with singular personal pronoun, where *contextually*, co-exist other distinct ‘persons’ alongside Allah, where they ( Allah & ‘other distinct persons’?? lol) are *collectively* identified as ‘He’ or ‘Him’ to denote a multipersonal form of His singular personal divine being.

      Collin fails to comprehend that linguistically, from a classical Quranic Arabic text, where Allah is the primary referent, this is logically impossible. there is no use of poetic literary mode of expression, figuratively, metaphorically in the likeness used at a UN speech lol…. where Allah is characterized as a multi-personal ‘entity’ that forms His one being, who is identified with singular personal pronouns.

      The text of Sur’ah Ikhlas explicitly proclaims He Allah is unipersonal – one single ‘person’ that forms His one personal, unique divine being, The notion of Monotheism declared in Sur’ah Ikhlas directly and formally contradicts classical Christian trinitarian óneness’ doctrine where it postulates God is comprised of 3 distinct ‘persons’ that collectively forms His one divine being. These two conflicting notion of ‘oneness’ can not be true simultaneously, it IS Impossible, according to Quranic exegesis given the singular unipersonal oneness of Allah. It is a formal contradiction.

      From a Quranic textual exegesis perspective, where Allah is the primary referent with singular pronouns, “He” “Him” Allah, He is never identified as, or conceptualised as comprised of multiple persons that collectively forms His one personal divine being. The text of Sur’ah Ikhlas directly and formally contradicts the Christian notion of trinitarian ‘oneness’

      The text of Sur’ah Ikhlas explicitly, rationally and sublimely proclaims HE Allah is Al- Ahad – who’s singularity of His personhood is unipersonal that comprises His unique indivisible one singular personal divine being.The text of Sur’ah Ikhlas directly and formally contradicts the Christian notion of trinitarian ‘oneness’ or a notion of Allah comprised of multiple persons to form his one divine being

      The truth has been hurled against Collin’s falsehood and misguidance

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      • To Omar

        ‘He has used a statement from a representative of Libya which as nothing to do with the classical Arabic Quranic Text of which the text of Sur’ah Ikhlas is contained’

        This is a true statement,

        As Imam Ibn Taymiyyah said in al Lamiyatu al-ibn al-Taymiyyah,

        ‘And when asked to provide evidence, (they)say, “al-Akhtal [the Christian] said!” ‘

        This shows how deviated people do not go back to the Quran and sunnah upon the understanding of the salaf but instead go back to sources which are not an evidence for the Muslims, they will used misguided people as an evidence, there battered understanding of Arabic ect to prove there deviated points.

        Guidance is with the salaf

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      • I’ve had many conversation and dialogues with Christians about the text of Sur’ah Ikhlas in regards to Allah’s unique oneness and conversation with Collin by far has been the most hilarious experience to date. He’s feeble attempt to provide a ‘rational’, ‘logical’ argument with ‘evidence’ to support his Proposition1 was completely preposterous. He’s hilarious attempt use a statement from a representative of Libya to apply his false eisegesis to interpret the text of Sur’ah Ikhlas in such a way as to introduce his own fallacious presuppositions, agendas or biases to conjecture that Allah therefore can be identified as a multi-personal entity comprised of multiple persons that form’s his one divine being SHM … absolutely ludicrous lol

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    • Greetings Madeedah, and thank you for your comment.

        Madeedah replied:
        We Muslims understand our religion according to the Quran and sunnah upon the understanding of the salaf al-salih

      Understood. And when sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ is read in light of those interpretations, as recorded in various extra-Qurа̄nic corpora, one concludes it must be referring to a unipersonal conception of God, correct?

      I would certainly agree that sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ combined together with extra-Qurа̄nic orthodox Islа̄mic traditions collectively contradict a multipersonal conception of God. But that is rather different from saying sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ by itself contradicts a multipersonal conception of God (which was the focus of this blog entry).

      Permit me to note that I did not insist on a specific interpretation of the sūrah. I think multiple different interpretations are possible, and I do not claim any particular insight into what the author intended. My position is only that the text itself seems to leave the question of God’s ontology open, hence why those who wish to argue that it refers to a unipersonal conception of God must combine it with material external to the sūrah.

      That said, I’ll close here. I hope you have a wonderful day. God bless.

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  15. Great enlightening response br. Omar.

    Br. Denis and Collins, you friends are proposing something which you have not yet substantiate with any Quranic evidence despite been repeatedly asked for. Show us “other divine persons” beside Allah in the Quran to qualify your assertion. Just saying that word Ahad in Arabic language or in Surah Ikhlas can also be refers to”multipersonal entity” proves nothing. In fact nobody is even denying it. The only point of contention is the Quranic usage of Ahad. Does word Ahad in surah Ikhlas denote some sort of plurality or not. And you got to show evidence from the Quran because your are making a case against muslims’s almost 1,500 years of Unipersonal understanding of God in Surah Ikhlas. So far your attempts are like me proposing that Bible teaches “Tetrad” God NOT “Triune” God because “Us” in Genesis 1:26 doesn’t put any numerical limit to only 3, without giving you any biblical evidence for the fourth divine person. Would you then accept my understanding?

    Denis, with all due respect, this article is half-done and fallacious. It’s like arguing that color of school bus is yellow therefore all the yellow buses must be school buses.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lol… Exactly right Jaseem! Both Denis & Collin have together failed dismally to substantiate their bogus postulations and assertions that the declaration of Surat-al Ikhlas formally accords with Trinitarian multi-personal theology of Allah

      In support of their dubious assertions, propositions and flaws mode of argumentation, not only are ‘logician’ Denis and his adherent Collin, required to:

      (1) deduce from within the classical Quranic Arabic text, using Quranic exegesis to expound where singular personal pronouns ‘He’ ‘Him’ and the term ‘Ahad’ are used to identify an entity that is multi-personal that is comprised of ‘person’ where they collectively form the entity’s one single being, but moreover to support their assertions & propositions;

      (2) Denis & Collin also need to apply rationale & consistent Quranic exegesis & reasoning; to draw a logical conclusion from the text of Sur’ah Ikhlas that Allah therefore can be identified with singular personal pronoun, where *contextually*, co-exist other distinct ‘persons’ alongside Allah, where they ( Allah & ‘other distinct persons’?? lol) are *collectively* identified as ‘He’ or ‘Him’ to denote a multipersonal form of His singular personal divine being. 🙂

      Let’s pray this that both Denis & Collin accept the truth that In the classical Quranic Arabic text & Quranic exegesis, the singular personal pronouns ‘He’ ‘Him’ identify Allah as unipersonal that necessitates His singularity of His personhood and ahad describes the singularity of Allah’s unique indivisible one personal divine being, regardless of whichever philosophical, classical trinitarian definition of ‘person’ you conjecture in your mind – ultimately formally contradicts the Trinitarian multi-personal theology of Allah

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  16. Lets hope Collin shares his fundamental beliefs here to be scrutinized and see how he feels when I reference phrases from the musician Prince to interpret his faith for him lol…

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    • Collin, which god or gods do you worship? 🙂

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      • I’m still waiting for the answer..

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      • If I may briefly interrupt, here, to be fair, Dr. Collins’ beliefs are irrelevant to the topic of the blog entry.

        For example, while in actuality I am a Christian, I could have been an atheist, or an orthodox Jew, or a Hindu, et cetera, and still affirm the precise argument of this blog entry. Therefore, if my precise ideology is irrelevant to the blog entry (and I’m the author!), then surely so too Dr. Collins’ worldview is irrelevant as well.

        It’s not as if there is a situation where we can argue “Dr. Collins is a Christian, therefore singular pronouns can refer to multipersonal entities,” or “Dr. Collins is an orthodox Jew, therefore singular pronouns can only refer to unipersonal entities,” or “Dr. Collins is an atheist, therefore singular pronouns can only refer to impersonal entities, like rocks,” et cetera. The rules of grammar in Semitic languages will remain the same no matter what religion Dr. Collins holds to, and even if he has no religion at all!

        I understand if others are curious about what correspondents believe, but let us at least be clear that said beliefs are irrelevant to the argument of the blog entry.

        That’s my brief comment for now. I will have a lot more to share relevant to the arguments in this comments section, soon.

        God bless.

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  17. I think Collins is rightfully taking advantage of the free public bus transportation and doesn’t plan on ever getting off, bon voyage!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Your main assertion, as I understand it, is that singular personal pronouns i.e. he/him, when used to refer to God in the Qur’an must be understood to be references to a uni-personal deity by default. Even if the issue of ‘’person-hood’’ is not explained or mentioned, the normal understanding must be that singular pronouns mean singularity of personhood.

    For the singular personal pronouns to mean a multi-personal deity, that would have to be expounded explicitly in the Qur’an or else we are sticking with the main assertion, which I referred to as P1 (meaning Proposition 1).

    Proposition 1: the usage of singular personal pronouns in the Qur’an refer to a singularity of person-hood

    Proposition 2: Though it is possible for the Arabic language to refer to a multi-personal entity i.e a nation or tribe with singular personal pronouns, this convention is explicitly forbidden to use with reference to Allah i.e God in the Qur’an, who is entirely uni-personal.

    Conclusion: Therefore, Allah in the Qur’an is absolutely one being, one person, without any division into persons or any abstract conception of multiplicity of persons.

    With reference to the issue of contradictions, why do you believe that the message of Surat-al Ikhlas formally contradicts Trinitarian and any multi-personal theology of God/Allah? Give me a specific proof that is recognized by logicians.

    How would a formal contradiction by demonstrated that satisfies the obsessive logician like Denis?

    With your rationale, the doctrine of the Trinity is contradicted by the biblical passages such as Deuteronomy 6:4, Mark 12: 29; Deuteronomy 4: 35, Isaiah 45: 5, where singular personal pronouns are used in third person ‘’Him’’ ‘’He’’.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Collin – “Your main assertion, as I understand it, is that singular personal pronouns i.e. he/him, when used to refer to God in the Qur’an must be understood to be references to a uni-personal deity by default. Even if the issue of ‘’person-hood’’ is not explained or mentioned, the normal understanding must be that singular pronouns mean singularity of personhood”

      Correct Collin – In the classical Quranic Arabic text & Quranic exegesis, the singular personal pronouns ‘He’ ‘Him’ identify Allah as unipersonal that necessitates His singularity of His personhood and ahad describes the singularity of Allah’s unique indivisible one personal divine being, regardless of whichever philosophical, classical trinitarian definition of ‘person’ you conjecture in your mind.

      Collin you need to explain what your meaning of ‘person’ is in reference to any ancient/classical Christian Trinitarian literature to support your assertions and how your definition of ‘personhood’ applies to Allah within the classical Quranic Arabic text of Sur’ah Ikhlas & Quranic exegesis.

      And whichever definition of ‘person’ you chose amongst the ancient/classical Christian Trinitarian literature, I’ll expose your falsehood to explicitly show that the meaning/definition of ‘person’ you have conjectured in your mind and where Allah is identified as the primary referent or ‘entity’ within the classical Quranic Arabic text, there is not a single reference within the Quranic Text from a from a Quranic exegesis and contextual perspective, where Allah is ever identified with singular personal pronoun, to denote the co-existence of other distinct ‘persons’ alongside Allah, where they ( Allah & ‘other ‘persons’’?? lol) are collectively identified as ‘He’ or ‘Him’ to denote a multipersonal form of His singular one personal divine being.

      So Collin, in support of your assertions and propositions, state your definition of the trinity and which definition of ‘person’ you have in mind in reference to classical trinitarian literature and let’s have some fun 😊

      Collin – “For the singular personal pronouns to mean a multi-personal deity, that would have to be expounded explicitly in the Qur’an or else we are sticking with the main assertion, which I referred to as P1 (meaning Proposition 1)” – Proposition 1: the usage of singular personal pronouns in the Qur’an refer to a singularity of person-hood

      Yes, to be expounded explicitly in the classical Quranic Arabic text & Quranic exegesis to show this applies to Allah as the primary referent or deity identified in the text of Sur’ah Ikhlas.

      Collin – “Proposition 2: Though it is possible for the Arabic language to refer to a multi-personal entity i.e a nation or tribe with singular personal pronouns, this convention is explicitly forbidden to use with reference to Allah i.e God in the Qur’an, who is entirely uni-personal.”

      Wrong Collin, it’s not only an issue of this convention is explicitly forbidden. Explicitly from a classical Quranic Arabic text & Quranic exegesis perspective, it is linguistically, grammatically and logically impossible from a *classical Quranic Arabic text & Quranic exegesis perspective*, where Allah is identified as the primary referent in the text with singular personal pronouns, he is characterized as a multi-personal ‘entity’ comprised of distinct ‘persons’ to collectively form His one personal divine being.

      Your hilarious, feeble dismal attempt to apply your dubious eisegesis by using ‘evidence’ outside the classical Quranic Arabic text & Quranic exegesis to support your assertions and propositions is completely and utterly absurd and shows you intellectually you posses little logic and philosophical credibility and intelligence and cannot be taken seriously Collin.

      To erroneously attempted to use a statement from a UN speech to conjecture your false eisegesis to interpret the classical Arabic Quranic text of Sur’ah Ikhlas in such a way as to force your own fallacious presuppositions, agendas or biases to substantiate that Allah therefore can be identified as a multi-personal entity who is comprised of multiple persons that form’s his one divine being hahahah lol… absolutely ludicrous Collin lol and BTW, I’ve saved our conversation here to be posted on another Islamic Blog for the world to see and be entertained and amused lol

      Yes Collin your conclusion is therefore true: Allah in the Qur’an is absolutely one being, one person, without any division into persons or any abstract conception of multiplicity of persons.

      From a classical Quranic Arabic text & Quranic exegesis perspective there is no conventional use of poetic literary modes of expression, figuratively, metaphorically where Allah is characterized with singular personal pronouns to identify Him as a multi-personal ‘entity’ that forms His one and unique personal being. Lol a statement and convention used by a representative of Libya is not an example of classical Quranic Arabic text & exegesis to support your assertions Collin lol…

      The classical Quranic Arabic text & exegesis of Sur’ah Ikhlas explicitly, rationally and formally contradicts the multi-personal trinitarian theology of God. The text & exegesis of Sur’ah Ikhlas sublimely proclaims HE Allah is unipersonal – Where the singular personal pronouns ‘He’ ‘Him’ necessitates His singularity of His personhood and ahad describes the singularity of Allah’s unique indivisible one personal divine being.

      Collin – “With your rationale, the doctrine of the Trinity is contradicted by the biblical passages such as Deuteronomy 6:4, Mark 12: 29; Deuteronomy 4: 35, Isaiah 45: 5, where singular personal pronouns are used in third person ‘’Him’’ ‘’He’’

      You’re procrastinating and diverting Collin – Clearly state your definition of the trinity and which definition of ‘person’ you have in mind in reference to classical trinitarian literature and allow me to annihilate your assertions and proposition about the doctrine of the Trinity with my rationale 🙂

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    • Collin, in your realm of fantasy if you think its ‘logical’ and ‘rational’ to use a statement from a UN speech to support your propositions to erroneous apply your dubious eisegesis to interpret the classical Arabic Quranic text of Sur’ah Ikhlas then surely you will be okay with me using phases from the Musician Prince, a JW, to support and interpret my propositions and assertions about the doctrine of the trinity Lol ? lol 🙂

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  19. As a point of further elaboration, in the Torah, it states that:

    “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One”

    This is a famous verse, that is considered the foundational principle of the religion of the Israelite tribes. In essence, this is the statement of monotheism.

    In surat-al-ikhlas, it says : “Say: He is God, One”

    Any objective observer can find a striking resemblance between the two statements, in terms of the message as well as the linguistic features such as concision and the inversion of the command in the beginning-”Hear” for Israel and ”Say” for the Arabs.

    Interestingly, one can hear only that which is said.

    If the Qur’anic methodology necessitates that we must understand the oneness of God to be literal, general and absolute, then there is no reason to think we should not do the same for the Shema, since they both utilize the same statement. But the argument is that though a clear literal understanding of Deuteronomy 6:4 necessitates that God is one in all aspects-being and personhood, since the threeness is not defined but the oneness is-other statements constrain the absoluteness of the command, which the NT elaborates upon.

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    • You’re procrastinating and diverting Collin – Clearly state your definition of the trinity and which definition of ‘person’ you have in mind in reference to classical trinitarian literature and allow me to annihilate your assertions and proposition about the doctrine of the Trinity with my rationale 🙂

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    • In surat-al-ikhlas, it says : “Say: He is God, Ahad”

      Collin, you obviously are not an objective observer and continue to exposed yourself as a person who lacks attention to detail, logic and reason

      To be precise, in surat-al-ikhlas Allah is uniquely and distinctively identified with the sublimely profound ‘Ahad’, not ‘Wahid’

      ‘Wahid’ is linguistically and from a biblical exegesis perspective is more equivalent to the Hebrew term ‘échad’ as declared in the Shema – “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is echad” 🙂

      Collin you’re procrastinating and diverting – Clearly state your definition of the trinity and which definition of ‘person’ you have in mind in reference to classical trinitarian literature and allow me to annihilate your assertions and proposition about the doctrine of the Trinity by testing your propositions against Biblical Jewish Monotheism using my rationale 🙂

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      • Mr Omar
        Dr Collins defines the term ‘oneness’ correctly. You are using your deficient islamic logic over his assertions. Echad and Ahad are same in meaning. Man or Omar accept and move forward

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      • Ade Ola, You are using your deficient Ade Ola logic lol… Echad and Ahad share commonality in meaning however are also distinctively unique in their meanings, especially as it applies to Allah uniquely in surat-al-ikhlas . Man or Ade Ola state your theological beliefs or move forward you coward lol… are you a trinitarian polytheist ? ☺

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      • Collin & Ade Ola no ” deficient islamic logic” or bias here lol….

        Check out a fascinating, informative Christian perspective on ‘Échad’ and the Trinity for your consideration

        “The scriptural evidence proves that “echad” means “one” in the same way that our English word means one. One can mean more than one thing or person if the context of scripture shows that more than one thing or person is intended. Since Trinitarians cannot demonstrate that “echad” means more than One Divine Individual in the Godhead, it is ridiculous to speculate that One (Echad) means more than One Divine Person for God. The same is true for the Hebrew word Elohim. Trinitarians cannot provide a single scripture where “Elohim” has ever been translated as “gods” for the one true God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Therefore it is ridiculous to assert that Elohim or Echad means more than One God Person in the Hebrew Bible”

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rSmLOcVE2Wc 🙂

        Like

      • The Hebrew term אֶחָד is linguistically equivalent to أَحَدٌ. Furthermore, the semantic and syntactic equivalency is self-evident. The Hebrew scholar, Rabbi Mort has the following to say:

        ”The words “أَحَدٌ” in Arabic is identical to the word “אֶחָד” in Hebrew.

        Arabic: قُلْ هُوَ اللَّهُ أَحَدٌ‎‎ – Qul Huwa ‘Llāhu ʾAḥad (“Say, He is the One”) ”

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      • Thanks Collin, again the point being, to be precise, in surat-al-ikhlas Allah is uniquely and distinctively identified with the sublimely profound ‘Ahad’, not ‘Wahid’ as per the dubious ‘proof’ used to support your flimsy propositions & assertions – a phrase from a rep from Libya lol… 🙂

        Like

    • Collin do you suffer from trinitarian Dissociative Identity Disorder and see ‘échad’, *one witness* is comprised of the existence of multiple distinct ‘persons’ that forms *his* one human being?; in the following verses in Deuteronomy, where the Shema is also found? 🙂

      “At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of *one* witness *he* shall not be put to death” – Deut 17:6

      “*One* witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established” Deut 19:15

      Like

  20. Mr Omar
    Your definition of truth is:

    1) When it verifes Islamist ‘deficient’ claims about it’s definition
    2) When echad isn’t equal to Ahad despite having the same origins
    Conclusion
    1) Islamist do have a fanatical truth in view of propagandistic agenda.
    2) Islamists don’t believe in empirical truth.
    3) Islamist will never accept their holy book contradiction despite the Quran showing the humanity of Allah: i.e a god having literal human figure like hands, faces and shins.

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    • Ade Ola
      Your definition of truth is:

      1) When it verifes Ade Ola ‘deficient’ claims about it’s definition
      2) When echad isn’t equal to Ahad having different origins
      Conclusion
      1) Ade Ola does have a fanatical truth in view of propagandistic agenda.
      2) Ade Ola doesnt believe in empirical truth.
      3) Ade Ola will never accept his contradictions despite
      4) Ade Ola is an imbecile who wonders in a maze of error and confusion who is a coward that won’t reveal his theological beliefs and be subjected to objective scrutiny lolol ☺

      Like

    • Swallow this truth Ade Ola the polytheist coward lol. Stay focused and don’t be confused lol, in the classical Quranic Arabic text & exegesis, it is the singular personal pronouns ‘He’ ‘Him’ that identify Allah as unipersonal that necessitates His singularity of His personhood and ahad uniquely describes the singularity of Allah’s unique indivisible one personal divine being. ☺

      (Say: “He is Allah, One.”) meaning, He is the One, the Singular, Who has no peer, no assistant, no rival, no equal and none comparable to Him. This word (Al-Ahad) cannot be used for anyone in affirmation except Allah the Mighty and Majestic, because He is perfect in all of His attributes and actions” Ibn Kathir Tafsir Sura’ al-Ikhlas

      Like

    • Ade Ola, both your friends Denis & Collin have together failed dismally to substantiate their bogus postulations and assertions that the declaration of Surat-al Ikhlas formally accords with Trinitarian multi-personal theology of Allah .. maybe you can assist lol…

      Ade Ola you polytheist coward to support their dubious assertions, propositions and flaws mode of argumentation, can you please

      (1) deduce from within the classical Quranic Arabic text, using Quranic exegesis to expound where singular personal pronouns ‘He’ ‘Him’ and the term ‘Ahad’ are used to identify an entity that is multi-personal that is comprised of ‘person’ where they collectively form the entity’s one single being?, and then to support their assertions & propositions;

      (2) can you also apply your rationale & consistent Quranic exegesis & reasoning; to draw a logical conclusion from the text of Sur’ah Ikhlas that Allah therefore can be identified with singular personal pronoun, where *contextually*, co-exist other distinct ‘persons’ alongside Allah, where they ( Allah & ‘other distinct persons’?? lol) are *collectively* identified as ‘He’ or ‘Him’ to denote ‘Ahad’ a multipersonal form of His singular personal divine being. 🙂

      Ade Ola Allah cure you from your fanatical truth in view of propagandistic agenda to accept the truth that In the classical Quranic Arabic text & Quranic exegesis, the singular personal pronouns ‘He’ ‘Him’ identify Allah as unipersonal that necessitates His singularity of His personhood and Ahad describes the singularity of Allah’s unique indivisible one personal divine being, regardless of whichever philosophical, classical trinitarian definition of ‘person’ you conjecture in your mind Ade Ola – ultimately formally contradicts the Trinitarian multi-personal theology of Allah

      Like

    • Ade Ola, thank you for sharing your comments here, your posts will also be collected and shared on another Islamic blog for the world to witness lol…. Now you coward, share your fundamental theological beliefs here to be scrutinized and let’s see your logic to support your assertions 🙂

      Like

    • Mr Ade Ola

      Are you a trinitarian?

      Let me tell you and repeat again in this blog:
      The One God in Surat Al-Ikhlas is The God of Abraham.
      – Do you think Abraham believe in trinity ?
      – Who do you think The God of Abraham?

      Denis, Dr.Collins, and Toby can’t answer those questions, they only focus on the word “One” but they don’t aware that The One God in Surat Al-Ikhlas is The God of Abraham. That’s why they can’t answers my questions.

      Can you answer those questions?

      Otherwise you’re the same like bunch of Christians here who don’t understand The God of Abraham.

      Like

      • True Sam, I’m hoping both Collin & Ade Ola the coward will formally state their theological beliefs to be subjected to objective scrutiny 🙂

        They have failed dismally to substantiate their bogus postulations and assertions that the declaration of Surat-al Ikhlas formally accords with Trinitarian multi-personal theology of Allah

        In support of their hilarious, dubious assertions, propositions and flawed mode of argumentation regarding text of Sur’ah Ikhlas, they have foolishly produced/relied upon the dismal external ‘evidence’ to deduce exegesis by way of resorting to (1) a comment from a soccer player and (2) a statement from a Libyan representative to interpret the singular personal pronouns ‘He’ ‘Him’ and the anarthrous term ‘Ahad’ within the classical Quranic Arabic text to conjecture the notion that an entity can be multi-personal and comprised of many ‘persons’ where they are collectively identified as ‘He’ ‘Him’ to form the entity’s Ahad single being lol…

        Hopefully inshaAllah, both Collin & Ade Ola will accept the truth that in the classical Quranic Arabic text & Quranic exegesis of text Sur’ah Ikhlas, the singular personal pronouns ‘He’ ‘Him’ identify Allah as unipersonal that necessitates His singularity of His personhood and ahad describes the singularity of Allah’s unique indivisible one personal divine being, regardless of whichever philosophical, classical trinitarian definition of ‘person’ they conjecture in their minds – which ultimately, formally contradicts the Trinitarian multi-personal theology of a Triune god 🙂

        Like

      • Ade Ola, in support of their – Denis & Collins – assertions & propositions, using their external ‘evidence’ by way of resorting to (1) a comment from a soccer player and (2) a statement from a Libyan representative – can you apply your “definition of truth”; to draw a logical conclusion from the classical Quranic Arabic text of Sur’ah Ikhlas that Allah therefore can be identified with singular personal pronoun, where *contextually*, and from a Quranic exegesis perspective there co-exist other distinct ‘persons’ alongside Allah, where they ( Allah & ‘other distinct ‘persons’?? lol) are *collectively* identified as ‘He’ or ‘Him’ to denote a multipersonal form of His Ahad singular personal divine being? 🙂

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  21. Non trinitarian: 2 + 2 = 4

    Christian trinitarian: 2 + 2 = possibility equal to 12.

    Non trinitarian: Why?

    Christian trinitarian:

    2 + 2 = (1 + 1) + (1 + 1)
    1 = possibility equal to 3

    Therefore:
    2 + 2 = (1 + 1) + (1 + 1)
    = possibility equal to (3 + 3) + (3 + 3)
    = possibility equal to 12

    Denis, Dr. Collins, Toby and Ade Ola should agree with those above.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Lol….

    ‘Echad’ witness is multiple ‘persons’ that forms his one human being lol…..

    “At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness *he* shall not be put to death” – Deut 17:6

    “One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established” Deut 19:15

    Like

    • Collin & Ade Ola suffer from Dissociative Identity Disorder see one witness comprised of multiple distinct ‘persons’ personalities that forms his one human being lol 🙂

      Like

      • Dr.Collins

        Why on Earth you attack Islam? Will you stop criticizing Islam? I would be grateful as Sunni Muslim if you could do this and please, stick to your Scripture and leave other Scripture alone, will ya?

        Like

      • alexanderabood, where did I criticize Islam? Is lying your trait or part of your personal value system? Do tell!

        Like

      • Wow

        The prophecy of Muhammad ibn Abdullah al Muttalib have already come true! Because, he said that in End of times the liars which is of course you, you’ll be considered as truthful and the truthful which is us will be deemed as liars. I can’t believe that I’m living in End of Times which clearly means we are heading towards the Day of Judgment.

        Collins, stop playin’ innocent of lying… you were criticizing Chapter the Sincerity and criticism here means fault finding…. and there’s absolutely no fault in Islam. You are just soo focused on finding so called “faults” in Islam….. stop doing this man.

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  23. Dr.Collins

    perhaps I have missed it, but have you disclosed what your own faith perspective is?

    Like

      • oh and Collin, in addition to declaring your faith perspective, don’t forget to include what your meaning of ‘person’ is in reference to any ancient/classical Christian Trinitarian literature ….. and then in support of your propositions & assertions substantiate how your definition of ‘personhood’ contextually applies to Allah within the classical Quranic Arabic text of Sur’ah Ikhlas & Quranic exegesis 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  24. From a cursory analysis of the theological deviation of the numerous commentators here and the general content of the apologetics world specifically with reference to monotheism, it is very clear that the Shema is considered to be a central foundation of discussion. With this in mind and the above article’s scope (which I believe is very much associated with the similarity of the Shema and surat-al-Ikhlas), I ask the following relevant questions:

    Q1: In your view, is the Shema, contradictory to the doctrine of the Trinity? Furthermore, on what basis, is there a lack of compatibility, i.e semantical, syntactical and logical?

    Q2: Does the Shema necessitate the absolute singularity of being and personhood of God?

    Q3: Why can it not be envisioned that the Shema was further elaborated and clarified in it’s complete scope, with a multi-personal ontology? Why does monotheism should be limited to a uni-personal ontology?

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    • Hi Dr.Collins

      perhaps I have still missed it, but have you disclosed what your own faith perspective is?

      Like

      • I hope you are well, Mr. Williams, I give you permission to infer your own conclusions about my personal beliefs from my comments, I think my beliefs are similar to yours, but not identical.

        I hope you seriously consider my questions about the Shema and reply, when you are fully ready.

        Like

      • Dr Collins

        a disappointingly evasive reply. Why the coyness?

        Since leaving Islam I have not disclosed what my beliefs are so you cannot judge if they are similar to yours (or not).

        So be a sport and gives us an outline of where you’re coming from. Would you call yourself a Christian?

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      • As I understand it, are you stating that you are no longer a member of the Islamic faith? Have you formally received a certificate of apostasy from a recognized Islamic Mosque?

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      • No, I have yet to receive my official certificate. Doubtless it is in the post.

        Now back to my question to you..

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      • Paul, I thank you for the clarity, I am not ignoring your request, just unsure on how to respond, still thinking of my intent to state the fundamentals of my belief-system. If I may, what caused your apostasy? Monotheism not your thing?

        Like

    • Lol.. Collin your flimsy propositions and assertions based on your hilarious bogus ‘Proofs’ have been completely annihilated here, and you know this fact and now you seek to run and divert away from substantiating your proposition by now diverting your attention to discuss the Shema, which is a secondary matter that is not the central foundation of discussion thus far, neither is it the central argument of your propositions. During our contentious points of discussion the Shema was not a factor at all lol….

      Now you coward, before we do discuss the Shema, you need to re-divert your attention and focus at the critical, fundamental point of contention thus far that directly relates to substantiating your assertions and propositions, which you are running away from and the world is a witness to 🙂 .

      Collin, before we discuss the Shema, either you need to declare that the proclamation of Monotheism declared in Sur’ah Ikhlas directly and formally contradicts classical Christian trinitarian óneness’ doctrine. You are to acknowledge these two conflicting notion of ‘oneness’ are a formal contradiction and can not be true simultaneously, it IS Impossible, according to classical Quranic Arabic text where Allah is the primary referent or ‘entity’ identified with singular pronouns, “He” “Him” Allah is never identified as, or conceptualised as comprised of multiple ‘persons’ that collectively forms His one personal divine being.

      Before we discuss the Shema, declare the truth that In the classical Quranic Arabic text & Quranic exegesis, the singular personal pronouns ‘He’ ‘Him’ identify Allah as unipersonal that necessitates His singularity of His personhood and Ahad describes the singularity of Allah’s unique indivisible one personal divine being, regardless of whichever philosophical, classical trinitarian definition of ‘person’ you conjecture in your mind Ade Ola – ultimately formally contradicts the Trinitarian multi-personal theology of a triune god.

      Now, If you do not acknowledge this truth of a formal contradiction, you will respond to the central foundation of discussion that you continue to run from thus far, which is you to substantiate that the declaration of Surat-al Ikhlas formally accords with Trinitarian multi-personal theology of god

      That is, to support your dubious assertions, propositions and flawed mode of argumentation, you must

      “Produce your proof, if you should be truthful.”

      (1) and deduce your “proof” from within the classical Quranic Arabic text, using Quranic exegesis to expound where singular personal pronouns ‘He’ ‘Him’ and the term ‘Ahad’ are used to identify an ‘entity’ that is multi-personal that is comprised of ‘persons’ where they collectively form the entity’s one single being?, moreover, AND THEN, to support your assertions & propositions;

      (2) also apply your “Proof” rationale & consistent Quranic exegesis & reasoning; to draw a logical conclusion from the text of Sur’ah Ikhlas that Allah therefore can be identified with singular personal pronouns, where *contextually*, co-exist other distinct ‘persons’ alongside Allah, where they ( Allah & ‘other distinct ‘persons’?? lol) are *collectively* identified as ‘He’ or ‘Him’ to denote ‘Ahad’ a multipersonal form of His singular personal divine being. 🙂

      Furthermore Collin, you need to explain what your meaning of ‘person’ is in reference to any ancient/classical Christian Trinitarian literature to support your assertions and propositions and how your definition of ‘personhood’ applies to Allah within the classical Quranic Arabic text of Sur’ah Ikhlas consistent with Quranic exegesis.

      Collin, after you have “Produce your proof, if you should be truthful.” to support your assertions & propositions that are completely unfounded so far, I’ll be delighted and more than happy to engage you on your questions related to the Shema and it’s association with surat-al-Ikhlas

      Now stop procrastinating and diverting away from the critical point of our discussion Collin 🙂

      Like

      • oh and also Collin, AFTER you have either, acknowledged Sur’ah Ikhlas directly and formally contradicts classical Christian trinitarian ‘oneness’ doctrine, or produce proof to substantiate your unfounded assertions & propositions, and BEFORE we discussion the Shema and Trinity, STATE your definition of the trinity and which definition of ‘person’ you have in mind in reference to classical trinitarian literature?

        WHAT DO YOU UNDERSTAND OR MEAN BY THE DOCTRINE OF THE TRINITY? I don’t want to misrepresent the trinity as you understand it during our conversation 🙂

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      • Collin, AFTER you have clearly stated your definition of the trinity and which definition of ‘person’ you have in mind in reference to classical trinitarian literature, we will THEN analyze the classical Quranic Arabic text of Sur’ah Ikhlas, using Quranic exegesis and compare it to the declaration of the Shema using Biblical exegesis in relation to how they define the ‘óneness’ of God and furthermore also explore whether the doctrine of the Trinity accords with text of Sur’ah Ikhlas and/or the Shema accordingly 🙂

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      • Omar, I meant that the message of the Shema (Abrahamic Monotheism) is a central principle under discussion and a point of contention because the modern day Jewish people interpret it under a unipersonal ontology and the Christians under a multi-personal ontology, whilst the Muslims do not specifically speak of the Shema per say, but consider the (true) message as closer in line to their conception of Allah as a monadic unity.

        I think I am correct that monotheism is the focal point of discussion in this article as well as in general apologetics.

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      • Omar, I am not ignoring you, just thinking of what to write, have a think on my questions, I do think my beliefs are relevant to the discussion at hand, as I certainly have beliefs that I consider sacred.

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      • Stay focused, you are diverting away from the critical point of contention and Collin. The message of the Shema is a broad theme of our discussion. However, the specific, critical point of contention relates to your unfounded propositions that postulate the proclamation of Monotheism declared in the classical Quranic Arabic text of Sur’ah Ikhlas accords with Trinitarian multi-personal theology of god, and therefore is not a formal contradiction. Your stated assertions and propositions been exposed to be completely flawed and your dubious attempts to produce ‘proof’ in support of your propositions have proven to be preposterous to say the least.

        Instead of directly counter responding to my discussion points, you cowardly divert away from supporting your unfounded propositions by deflecting to another secondary, interrelated subject regarding whether the Shema accords with Trinitarian multi-personal theology of god according to Biblical exegesis.

        We will discussion the Shema and Trinity 🙂 , however the specific, critical point of contention here relates to your unfounded propositions that postulate the proclamation of Monotheism declared in the classical Quranic Arabic text of Sur’ah Ikhlas accords with Trinitarian multi-personal theology of god, and therefore is not a formal contradiction

        Your hilarious, feeble dismal attempt to apply your dubious eisegesis by using ‘evidence’ external to the classical Quranic Arabic text & Quranic exegesis to support your assertions and propositions is completely and utterly absurd and shows you intellectually you posses little logic and philosophical credibility and intelligence and cannot be taken seriously Collin.

        To erroneously attempted to use a statements from a soccer player & a UN speech to conjecture your false eisegesis to interpret the classical Arabic Quranic text of Sur’ah Ikhlas in such a way as to force your own fallacious presuppositions, agendas or biases to substantiate that Allah therefore can be identified as a multi-personal entity who is comprised of multiple ‘persons’ that form’s his one divine being is absolutely ludicrous Collin lol

        Again, explicitly from a classical Quranic Arabic text & Quranic exegesis perspective, it is linguistically, grammatically and logically impossible from a *classical Quranic Arabic text & Quranic exegesis perspective* for the conventional use of poetic literary modes of expression, figuratively, metaphorically to characterized Allah with singular personal pronouns to identify Him as a multi-personal ‘entity’ that forms His ‘Ahad’ unique personal being. To use statements and conventions used by a representative and a soccer player is not credible ‘proof’ from the classical Quranic Arabic text & exegesis that supports your preposition that the text of Sur’ah Ikhlas accords with Trinitarian multi-personal theology of god lol..

        So Collin, to support your dubious assertions, propositions and flawed mode of argumentation, you must – “Produce your proof, if you should be truthful.”

        (1) and deduce your “proof” from within the classical Quranic Arabic text, using Quranic exegesis to expound where singular personal pronouns ‘He’ ‘Him’ and the term ‘Ahad’ are used to identify an ‘entity’ that is multi-personal that is comprised of ‘persons’ where they collectively form the entity’s one single being?, moreover, AND THEN, to support your assertions & propositions;

        (2) also apply your “Proof” rationale & consistent Quranic exegesis & reasoning; to draw a logical conclusion from the text of Sur’ah Ikhlas that Allah therefore can be identified with singular personal pronouns, where *contextually*, co-exist other distinct ‘persons’ alongside Allah, where they ( Allah & ‘other distinct ‘persons’?? lol) are *collectively* identified as ‘He’ or ‘Him’ to denote ‘Ahad’ a multipersonal form of His singular personal divine being. 🙂

        Furthermore Collin, you need to explain what your meaning of ‘person’ is in reference to any ancient/classical Christian Trinitarian literature to support your assertions and propositions and how your definition of ‘personhood’ applies to Allah within the classical Quranic Arabic text of Sur’ah Ikhlas consistent with Quranic exegesis.

        Collin, after you have “Produce your proof, if you should be truthful.” to support your assertions & propositions that are completely unfounded so far, I’ll be delighted and more than happy to engage you on your questions related to the Shema and the Trinity according to Biblical exegesis 🙂

        Now stop procrastinating and diverting away from the critical point of our discussion Collin

        Like

  25. Denis, would you mind popping in from time to time? I mean it is, after all an article you wrote.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Greetings Dr. Collins.

      My apologies for my being away (and/or silent). I will certainly be returning to the thread, very soon (I hope within the next day or so). However, there is quite a bit to respond to (quite a bit to write), and it is currently the busiest time of year at my job. On top of that, there is currently a Grand Sumo tournament going on (I am a huge Sumo fan, so what little time I have away from work and family duties, I spend trying to keep up with the developments of the tournament [e.g. the best time for me to write is in the wee hours of the morning, when my family is asleep, but that is also when the live matches are playing]).

      That said, I have been browsing the comments, Dr. Collins, and I really appreciate what you have been contributing. I will be responding to the replies you have received. In the mean time, if you ever want to correspond off-blog, I can be reached on FaceBook or Twitter.

      On that note, have a great day, and God bless.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I appreciate your response, Denis, I think you are a excellent writer, I enjoyed your article here very much! I do think, this post has received an above-average attention, it probably has received more comments than any other post on Blogging Theology to date, especially under your name.

        Take care, and yes God Bless.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Denis, could you help me comprehend your seemingly paradoxical “disclaimer” at the end of your this blog entry, which reads “saying that the text does not contradict Christian doctrine is not the same as saying it therefore affirms Christian doctrine. If one attempts to critique this blog entry by accusing it of arguing that, for example, sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ affirms the Trinity, they will be attacking a straw man.”?

        Are you seeing all the refutations against your this article as “attacking a straw man”? If so, then are you expecting from Muslims to a) either agree with you or b) remain silent? Because if we attempted to refute, you’d see such as “attacking a straw man” – right?

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      • Denis are you Collin in disguise? lol… i think you and Collin are one and the same person here lol…. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks Denis, look forward to your direct counter responses at a time that is convenient for you. Enjoy your “me’ time away from work and family duties 🙂

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      • Omar, here is my technique for those wishing to get a proper orthodox creed on the issue of the Trinity:

        Think of THREE entirely SEPERATE GODS. Then think of them as entirely ONE GOD. In this method, you do not deny the separate distinctions-by thinking three separate ones, whilst affirming the one God.

        It is like a tide, if too strong, it destroys the beach, if too weak, then there are no tides.

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      • Exactly Jaseem! Both Denis & ‘Collin’ have produced a feeble, amateur attempt to postulate that within the classical Arabic Quranic text of sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ, it simply leaves the question open that the proclamation of Monotheism declared in the classical Quranic Arabic text of Sur’ah Ikhlas accords with Trinitarian multi-personal theology of god. They have not substantiated their contention with any plausible way or credible ‘proof’ & exegesis deduced from the classical Quranic Arabic text to support their propositions, furthermore, neither have they directly counter responded to the arguments here. It has been clearly illustrated here that the text of sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ with sound and consistent Quranic exegesis explicitly and formally contradicts the classical Christian doctrine, or more generally a multipersonal conception of god. It is impossible for the notion of monotheism as proclaimed in sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ and the notion of a multi-personal theology of god to be true simultaneously as they are actually in direct contradiction to each other, when a plausible approach is applied to understand the text of sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ with consistent Quranic exegesis as discussed here.

        I look forward for Denis along with Çollin’ lol.. to directly counter respond to the arguments here that have thoroughly eroded the foundation of his implausible contentions and propositions lacking credible evidence as presented in his article 🙂

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      • Collin – “Think of THREE entirely SEPERATE GODS. Then think of them as entirely ONE GOD. In this method, you do not deny the separate distinctions-by thinking three separate ones, whilst affirming the one God”

        SMH lol.. Is that your definition of the trinity Collin??? 🙂 now respond to your own set of questions about the Shema, in conjunction with your stated beliefs, which you believe is relevant to the discussion at hand, to be included along with your understanding of the trinity and definition of ‘person’ you have in mind in reference to classical trinitarian literature.

        After you and Denis have directly counter responded to the specific critical point of contention here thus far – The proposition that the proclamation of Monotheism declared in the classical Quranic Arabic text of Sur’ah Ikhlas accords with Trinitarian multi-personal theology of god – We can move on to the separate, interrelated discussion about whether the Shema accords with the Trinitarian multi-personal theology of god according to Biblical exegesis 🙂

        Like

      • Let’s just be outright and plainly say this blog entry is an attempt to deconstruct the islamic concept of god. A failed attempt that comes at an intellectual cost. If the concept of god in surah 112 was ambiguous or in the form of a parable atleast then I could reconcile another view. This just isn’t the case. The only thing I learned from all this is philosophy can kill brain cells when playing games with language

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      • Collin – “Think of THREE entirely SEPERATE GODS. Then think of them as entirely ONE GOD. In this method, you do not deny the separate distinctions-by thinking three separate ones, whilst affirming the one God”

        Okay Collin, got it! .. lol 3 x 1 = 1 🙂 or 1+1+1= 1 🙂

        Look forward to seeing your answers to your own set of questions about the Shema, in conjunction with your stated beliefs and your understanding of the trinity and definition of ‘person’ you have in mind in reference to classical trinitarian literature 🙂

        Like

      • Greetings Jaseem, and thank you for your question

          Jaseem wrote:
          could you help me comprehend your seemingly paradoxical “disclaimer” at the end of your this blog entry, which reads “saying that the text does not contradict Christian doctrine is not the same as saying it therefore affirms Christian doctrine. If one attempts to critique this blog entry by accusing it of arguing that, for example, sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ affirms the Trinity, they will be attacking a straw man.”?

        I mean precisely that: the proposition…

        “Text T does not contradict belief B”

        …is not the same as the proposition…

        “Text T affirms belief B”.

        For example consider this: I believe Jaseem Siddiqui knows Urdu. Now, does sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ contradict that belief? I would propose the relevant sūrah does not contradict my belief that Jaseem Siddiqui knows Urdu. However, if someone attempts to rebut that proposition by angrily demanding “show me where sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ says Jaseem Siddiqui knows Urdu,” they will be attacking a straw man, as I never claimed that the sūrah affirms such.

        With that example in mind, yes, I do believe people are attacking a straw man if they argue that I have to show that sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ affirms specifically the doctrine of the Trinity, when I never claimed that it did. I only argued that it does not contradict (or preclude) a multipersonal conception of God. The nuance is an important one.

        ***

        To the rest of the gentlemen posting in this subthread: with all due respect, simply declaring that the blog entry is “feeble” or “failed” is fine, but I would request actually grappling with the arument. The central question, again, is whether sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ contradicts a multipersonal conception of God. If you affirm that it does, on what textual grounds do you assert such? Merely pointing to singular pronouns or singular pronomial suffixes is not sufficient. Simply pointing to the word aḥad is likewise not sufficient. For reasons already presented in the blog entry itself as well as in several replies to comments.

        On that note, may all here have a great day. God bless.

        Like

      • Sabit cekic, your comment about ”philosophy killing brain cells” is absolutely a proof that you need emergency philosophy classes write now!

        Like

    • Denis, I really do think you should seriously consider writing another article on the Shema. Let me state my set of questions about the Shema to you:

      Q1: [Part A] In your view, is the Shema, contradictory to the doctrine of the Trinity? Furthermore, on what basis, is there a lack of compatibility, i.e semantical, syntactical and logical?

      Q1: [Part B] In your view, if the Shema is not contradictory to a multi-personal ontology, surely it is fair to state, that there is not a positive affirmation of a multi-personal theology, nor a reason to think that. With that in mind, could a strong case be built for a unipersonal theology on the Shema?

      Q2: [Part A] Does the Shema necessitate the absolute singularity of being and personhood of God?

      Q2: [Part B] Though the standard response is that the Shema is generic monotheism, without explicitly affirming multi-personal or uni-personal ontology of God,[progressive revelation] surely the mention of אֶחָד weakens the case for a שלוש?

      Q3: [Part A] Why can it not be envisioned that the Shema was further elaborated and clarified in it’s complete scope, with a multi-personal ontology? Why should monotheism should be limited to a uni-personal ontology?

      Q4: [Part B] Why should it be envisioned that the Shema was elaborated and completed with a Trinity doctrine?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Greetings again, Dr. Collins.

        Thank you for the suggestion (and thank you for your kind words). I may well compose a blog entry exploring this subject (I actually have been thinking of one more generally on the subject of various texts in the Masoretic text which some claim necessitate a unipersonal conception of God, of which the Sh’maᶜ would be part of the discussion.

        The next blog entry I intend to post will be somewhat different, but still related to the subject of whether the Bible or the Qur’an can be reconciled with a multipersonal conception of God (and it will have direct relevance to some of the comments made in this blog entry).

        In the mean time, have a great day. God bless!

        Like

      • Collin, i have thought about your questions, however in you responding to your own set of questions about the Shema, STATE your beliefs, which you believe is relevant to the discussion at hand, along with the definition of the trinity and which definition of ‘person’ you have in mind in reference to classical trinitarian literature?

        Look forward to you responding to your set of question, which will also include your relevant declaration of belief and understanding of the trinity. I don’t want to misrepresent the trinity as you understand it during our conversation 🙂

        Like

    • ‘Collin’, you are Denis right? lol…. 🙂

      Like

  26. In the Torah : “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One”
    In surat-Al-Ikhlas : “Say: He is God, One”

    The One God in Torah and surat Al-Ikhlas is The God of Abraham, The God of Adam, and The God of all prophets sent by God.

    Question for Denis and Dr.Collins:

    Do you think Abraham and Adam worshiping/believing in trinity?

    Like

  27. In summation, I think it is clear, beyond a reasonable doubt, that if the statement of monotheism in Deuteronomy 6: 4 can accommodate the doctrine of the Trinity, a question can be raised, as to why the Shahadah cannot accommodate a multi-personal ontology?

    This leads to the conclusion raised in the above article: surat-al-Ikhlas does not present a formal contradiction to the doctrine of the Trinity, if the premises of Denis are accepted.

    Like

    • Again, The One God in surat Al-Ikhlas is The God of Adam, The God of Abraham, and The God of all prophets sent by God.

      Do you think Adam & Abraham worship/believe in trinity?

      Liked by 1 person

      • demonstrable
        /dɪˈmɒnstrəb(ə)l/
        Learn to pronounce
        adjective
        clearly apparent or capable of being logically proved.
        “the demonstrable injustices of racism”

        proof
        /pruːf/

        noun
        1.
        evidence or argument establishing a fact or the truth of a statement.
        “you will be asked to give proof of your identity”

        LAW
        the spoken or written evidence in a trial.

        Do you have demonstrable proof, that Abraham explicitly rejected a multi-personal conception of God as a form of polytheism? Please, do not run away, Sam.

        Like

      • Do you have demonstrable proof, that Abraham explicitly believe in a multi-personal conception of God as a form of polytheism? Please, do not run away, Dr.Collins.

        Like

      • Do you understand the methodology of establishing a formal contradiction?
        Furthermore, have you demonstrated, through rigorous logical deduction, that surat-al-Ikhlas formally contradicts a multi-personal ontology?

        Like

    • What is the demonstrable proof, that they did not worship a multi-personal deity?

      Liked by 1 person

      • What is the demonstrable proof, that they did worship a multi-personal deity?

        Liked by 1 person

      • I must say, Sam, your decision (or impulse?) to answer Dr. Collins’ question with a counter-question leaves me wonder if perhaps that reflects the reality is that one cannot say for certain what Abraham believed about God’s ontology. One can guess, and assume, and speculate, and even feign confidence, but there is little in the way of textual support in favor of a particular position either way.

        Like

      • How many The God of Adam?

        Like

      • Denis, whom counter question whom? Look, Dr.Collins answered my question with a question, did he answered my question?

        He should answer my question first and then ask a question.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Okay, fine. Let’s give an answer now. The Bible is unclear whether Abraham and other Old Testament figures believed in the Trinity. As the Old Testament is not very explicit regarding the Trinity, rather it only seems to allude to it, it is possible that Abraham and others were not aware of it (i.e. that aspect of the doctrine may have been reveled afterwards). However, it is also possible that Abraham was part of a select core of people who know the doctrine while it was in an esoteric stage.

        In short, the answer is it is an open question what Abraham believed during his life on earth. But if you wish to declare unequivocally that he could only have been a unitarian, you are invited to present a case for that position. In the absence of an argument for that position, it should be understandable if others consider the question open.

        Like

      • Denis or Dr,Collins, whatever i don’t care:

        Look at carefully my comment:
        The One God in surat Al-Ikhlas is The God of Adam, The God of Abraham, and The God of all prophets sent by God.

        Do you think Adam not aware that God is one or three in one?

        Adam was the first human and he had conversation with God in heaven, he knew exactly God because he was in heaven, do you think he was not aware of God was like?

        Liked by 1 person

      • The answer is essentially the same for Adam. It is possible he was a Trinitarian and it is possible he was not. The question seems an open one, as there is no definitive evidence either way.

        I do think it is quite plausible he was a Trinitarian, in light of interest in triadic allusions being found in the theological speculations of various human groups around the globe (a subject my next blog entry may be on), but I don’t think that actually demonstrates such.

        ***

        Now I fear we are continuing to stray ever farther away from the actual topic of the blog entry. Do you have any thoughts on what, if anything, in sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ might be at odds with a multipersonal conception of God?

        Like

      • Please, stay focus, this is still about surat Al-Ikhlas.
        So do you think it is possible that Adam also worshiping Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit?

        Like

      • Sam wrote:
        Please, stay focus, this is still about surat Al-Ikhlas.
        So do you think it is possible that Adam also worshiping Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit?

        I must confess, I sense a bit of irony in these two sentences. Indeed, the topic of this blog entry is sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ. Adam is mentioned nowhere in that sūrah. Therefore it seems this invitation to speculate about how Adam understood God’s ontology is off topic. If we are to “stay focused,” let us return to the actual subject: whether specifically sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ precludes a multipersonal conception of God.

        So far, through more than a hundred and eighty comments, I have seen no reason to conclude sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ contradicts a multipersonal conception of God.

        Like

      • The issue of the specific form of monotheism that Abraham believed is not directly addressed by the above article. However, since the theological belief of the illustrious patriarch is being constantly invoked, I put the following question:

        If we assume that our theological understanding of monotheism, is the most important issue, which Jews, Muslims and Christians agree that it is, then surely the question of whether Abraham was a Unitarian or a Trinitarian is best settled with evidence and proof and not popular speculation. So, here it goes:

        If you assume that Abraham rejected a multi-personal conception of monotheism as ”the worst sin” i.e Shituf or Shirk, then can you follow the Qur’anic injunction of Surah Al-Baqarah [2:111] “Produce your proof, if you should be truthful.”

        The required condition is a demonstration [with proof], not an assertion [of slogans and faith].

        Like

      • I didn’t assume but 1000% sure Abraham rejected a multi-personal conception (Shirk) because Quran said so:
        Quran 6:79: Indeed, I have turned my face toward He who created the heavens and the earth, inclining toward truth, and I am not of those who associate others with Allah .”

        Like

      • Denis, you have to understand that if Quran talking about Allah (God) that’s mean He is also The God of Adam, because The God in Islam is only One God and never change forever.

        If you try to explain that Allah is multi-personal you are wrong because you see Allah from the Christian trinitarian perspective. Even you also believe Jesus is God that very clear in Quran that Jesus is not God. Even in the Bible Jesus never say “I am God”.
        According to Muslim and Quran you are wrong.

        Do you think God lie about Himself?

        Like

      • Greetings again, Sam, and thank you for your comments.

        Sam wrote:
        I didn’t assume but 1000% sure Abraham rejected a multi-personal conception (Shirk) because Quran said so:
        Quran 6:79: Indeed, I have turned my face toward He who created the heavens and the earth, inclining toward truth, and I am not of those who associate others with Allah.”

        With all due respect, even that text does not strike me as necessitating that Abraham was unitarian. If you’d like, we can go through the perceived textual indicators you might have in mind (e.g. the singular relative pronoun, or the implications of the word mushrik). In the mean time, you might find this post mildly relevant and interesting:

        Sam wrote:
        If you try to explain that Allah is multi-personal you are wrong

        Which brings us back to the central question: does the text entail this sort of position?

        Like

      • From your response, I have inferred that you are familiar with the Biblical texts, since you stated that you do not consider Jesus to have proclaimed that he is God. I have my own set of questions for you:

        Q1 {A}: Do you consider the OT to be in contradiction to the doctrine of the Trinity?

        Q1 {B}: Do you consider the Shema to be in contradiction to the doctrine of the Trinity?

        For Q1 {A,B} bring forth textual evidence, logical argument and commentary as supplementary to actual proof.

        Q2 {A}: Do you consider monotheism to be limited to the unipersonal form as presented by Salafists in all aspects? If so, why should other sects accept this definition as the only one that is objectively and absolutely true?

        Q2 {B}: Why should monotheism be strictly defined in terms that is antithetical to the doctrine of the Trinity? Does it not seem discriminatory?

        Like

      • Denis, Dr.Collins,

        Do you think God lie about Himself?

        Like

      • Denis,

        You said: Which brings us back to the central question: does the text entail this sort of position?

        Off course you are not going to believe that even I already give a proof Quran 6:79 because you are a trinitarian. We already have different position about Jesus and it’s not going to surprise me if you also don’t believe everything in Quran.

        Ok, now I want to know what is in you mind:

        Let’s say Allah is a multi-personal God (from me: ‘Nauzubillahiminzalik’). Who are they? (i.e Father, Jesus, The Holy Spirit become One)

        Like

      • Greetings Sam

        Sam wrote:
        Off course you are not going to believe that even I already give a proof Quran 6:79 because you are a trinitarian.

        My being a Trinitarian are irrlevant to the grammatical questions. I could be an atheist, and still affirm the fact that, in Semitic languages, singular constructions (e.g. pronouns, pronomial suffixes) can be employed to refer to unipersonal and multipersonal entities alike.

        Sam wrote:
        Let’s say Allah is a multi-personal God (from me: ‘Nauzubillahiminzalik’). Who are they? (i.e Father, Jesus, The Holy Spirit become One)

        The text does not explicitly say who the multiple Persons might be.

        Like

      • Greeting Denis,

        God already say “I am One, Don’t associate Me with others, No others god beside Me, Nothing compares to Me”.
        Even many times He uses plural words “we”, “us”, “our” to refer to Himself but He never say “I am One in a multiple person” or something like that.

        So do you think God lie about Himself?

        Like

      • Greetings Sam

        One does not necessarily mean unipersonal.

        And not having any other gods does not tell us the ontology of the one God.

        I’m haven’t accused anyone of lying.

        Like

      • Greetings Denis,

        You said: “And not having any other gods does not tell us the ontology of the one God.”

        If there is no any others gods beside Allah then how come you think there is another gods? If Allah plural that’s mean there is another god beside Him.

        If I say there is no other people in my house but me then how come you think there is other people in my house?

        Like

      • Greetings Sam

        I have never claimed there are other gods (or that the text affirms the existence of other gods).

        As for God being plural, if we were reading that in a vacuum, we might consider multiple gods a possibility, but the text also insists on there being only one God. So, when reading that collectively, a literal approach to the divine plurals would not establish multiple gods; rather it would lead to the one and only God being plural in some sense. But a plurality of what? Presumably persons who are not distinct individual gods.

        Hence my position: while one is not required to take a literalist approach to the Qur’ān, if one does take a literalist approach to the Qur’ān, they are likely to lean towards a multipersonal conception of God to reconcile the different points.

        Now, you offered the analogy of saying there are no other persons in your house aside from you. However, we already assume you are unipersonal. So too, if we looked at the alternative phrase “there are no other teams on the field aside from Manchester United,” we already assume a team is multipersonal.

        So a proposition “there is only one X” does not, by its mere structure, entail that X must be unipersonal. Rather it leaves the question open.

        Have a great day and God bless.

        Like

      • Greetings Denis,

        You are comparing me as ONE PERSON in the house with ONE TEAM in the field. No one argue that one team is a multiple person, but me in the house just one person not a multiple person.

        Ok lets say Manchester United is not a team but a person’s name.

        “There is no other person on the field but Manchester United”

        Is there any other person on the field except Manchester United?

        Like

      • Greetings Sam

        With all due respect, you seemed to have missed the point I was making.

        The proposition…

        “there is only one person in the house”

        …and the proposition…

        “there is only one team on the field”

        …have the same basic logical structure:

        “there is only one X within universe of discourse U.”

        The structure of the proposition does not tell us whether X is unipersonal or multipersonal (or even impersonal, e.g. “there is only one cookie in the jar”); rather such is inferred from premises or assumptions which are external to the proposition (i.e. what we already believe about X).

        So yes, you can reach for analogies involving things we agree are unipersonal, just as I can reach for analogies involving things we agree are multipersonal. But neither sort of analogy results in the conclusion that the structure of the proposition tells us about the subject’s ontology.

        When we come to an entity for which we do not know (or do not agree) about its ontology, merely appealing to the structure “there is only one X” will not tell us if it is unipersonal or multipersonal.

        Like

      • Denis, I hope you are in excellent health. In the final analysis, where we consider the key factors, I would conclude that your two articles have been resoundingly successful, in starting an important conversation. Furthermore, your responses have been theologically, rationally, linguistically and philosophically instructive.

        Could I expect another powerful set of blogposts on the issue of Tawḥīd and Monotheism?

        Like

      • Greetings Denis,

        You said: “When we come to an entity for which we do not know (or do not agree) about its ontology, merely appealing to the structure “there is only one X” will not tell us if it is unipersonal or multipersonal.”

        Sorry Denis, we do know that “X” already tells us: I am “X”, One, No other “X” beside me, nothing compares to me.
        “X” never says I am “X”, One but in multiple person”

        I believe “X” is one (unipersonal). And you believe “X” could be one (unipersonal) or plural (multipersonal). That’s why we disagree.

        Or maybe do you think “X” as a “container” ?

        Like

      • Oh Denis, a UN speech that is external to the classical Quranic Arabic text is “proof” and/or an example of your perceived ‘textual indicators’ to support your conjecture that the proclamation of Monotheism declared in the classical Quranic Arabic text of Sur’ah Ikhlas accords with Trinitarian multi-personal theology of god, and therefore is not a formal contradiction?

        Your hilarious, feeble dismal attempt to apply your dubious eisegesis by using ‘evidence’ external to the classical Quranic Arabic text & Quranic exegesis to support your assertions and propositions is completely and utterly absurd and shows you intellectually posses little logic and philosophical credibility and intelligence and cannot be taken seriously Denis

        To erroneously attempted to use a statements from a soccer player & a UN speech to conjecture your false eisegesis to interpret the classical Arabic Quranic text of Sur’ah Ikhlas in such a way as to force your own fallacious presuppositions, agendas or biases to substantiate that Allah therefore can be identified as a multi-personal entity who is comprised of multiple ‘persons’ that form’s his one divine being is absolutely ludicrous lol

        Again, explicitly from a classical Quranic Arabic text & Quranic exegesis perspective, it is linguistically, grammatically and logically impossible from a *classical Quranic Arabic text & Quranic exegesis perspective* for the conventional use of poetic literary modes of expression, figuratively, metaphorically to characterized Allah with singular personal pronouns to identify Him as a multi-personal ‘entity’ that forms His ‘Ahad’ unique personal being. To use statements and conventions used by a UN representative and a soccer player is not credible ‘proof’ from the classical Quranic Arabic text & exegesis that supports your preposition that the text of Sur’ah Ikhlas accords with multi-personal theology of god lol..

        So Denis, to support your dubious assertions, propositions and flawed mode of argumentation, you must – “Produce your proof, if you should be truthful.”

        (1) and deduce your “proof” from within the classical Quranic Arabic text, using Quranic exegesis to expound where singular personal pronouns ‘He’ ‘Him’ and the term ‘Ahad’ are used to identify an ‘entity’ that is multi-personal that is comprised of ‘persons’ where they collectively form the entity’s one single being?, moreover, AND THEN, to substantiate your assertions & propositions;

        (2) also apply your “Proof” rationale & consistent Quranic exegesis & reasoning; to draw a logical conclusion from the text of Sur’ah Ikhlas that Allah therefore can be identified with singular personal pronouns, where *contextually*, co-exist other distinct ‘persons’ alongside Allah, where they ( Allah & ‘other distinct ‘persons’?? lol) are *collectively* identified as ‘He’ or ‘Him’ to denote ‘Ahad’ a multipersonal form of His singular personal divine being.

        Look forward to your direct respond Denis 🙂

        Like

  28. Please, stay focus, this is still about surat Al-Ikhlas.
    So do you think it is possible that Adam also worshiping Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Why is it rationally impossible to believe, that Adam worshipped God with an understanding that transcends the monotheistic framework of Salafi Islam?

      Like

    • In your precise questioning, you asked (mockingly):

      ”So do you think it is possible that Adam also worshiping Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit?”

      In reality, the simple response is: if you consider the Shema to be the definitive statement of monotheism in the Torah, which accommodates the multi-personal conception of ontology with numerical value אֶחָד {Echad} a complex one, then it becomes easy to understand why the NT is seen to elaborate the doctrine of the Trinity, without contradicting the Shema.

      Furthermore, if it is accepted that the NT is holy scripture, in conjunction to the reality that the Shema does not contradict the Trinity doctrine and that the NT teaches the multi-personal ontology, why does it become to difficult to accept that the previous generations who received revelations, also were aware of these realities?

      Please be honest and accept the truth, especially after it has been made clear!

      Like

    • In your syntactic and semantic analysis, what evidence convinces you that the numerical value in the Shema אֶחָד {Echad} does not a accommodate a plurality of persons within a singularity of nature? This question becomes even more important, given the inherent complexity of the term אֶחָד {Echad}

      Like

      • Stay on topic and reply to the blog entry. Surah al-ikhlas doesn’t mention Jewish words.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Collin, in your syntactic and semantic analysis, what evidence convinces you that the numerical value in the Shema אֶחָד {Echad} does Biblically accommodate a plurality of distinct divine ‘persons’ within a singularity of the Lord God’s personal being?

        Moreover, intertextually in connection to the related verses within Deuteronomy where the Shema is contained therein, contextually, what evidence convinces you that when the singular personal pronouns in Deuteronomy are used to specifically identify and characterize the Lord God as “HIM” & “HIS” that these singular personal pronouns accommodate a multi-personal entity – plurality of distinct divine ‘persons’ that collectively form the one single personal being of God?

        “Fear the LORD your God, serve HIM ONLY and take your oaths in HIS name” Deuteronomy 6:13

        “And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to HIM, to love HIM, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul” Deuteronomy 10:12

        “Fear the LORD your God and serve HIM. Hold fast to HIM and take your oaths in HIM name” Deuteronomy 10:20

        “So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today—to love the LORD your God and to serve HIM with all your heart and with all your soul” Deuteronomy 11:13

        According to pericopes by Jesus, he worshipped his God alone … “it is written and FOREVER REMAINS written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and SERVE HIM ONLY ’” and Jesus also affirmed the Lord Thy God “is One and there is no other but HIM”

        Collin, in reference to the Shema, what evidence convinces you when Moses & Jesus declared to serve the Lord God Him alone that they were worshipping a plurality of distinct divine ‘persons’ that collectively formed the Lord God’s one personal divine being?

        Biblically substantiate your assertions, using sound biblical exegesis within Deuteronomy to demonstrate where the singular personal pronouns “HIM” “HE” “HIS” & ‘Echad’ are used to identify the Lord God in the Shema, denotes a multi-personal entity – plurality of distinct divine ‘persons’ that collectively form’s His one single personal divine being? 🙂 Please

        Like

      • and also Collin, just curious, in your mind and according to your syntactic and semantic analysis, when ‘Élohim’ is used to specifically identify and characterize the Lord God of Moses, does ‘Élohim’ Biblically accommodate a plurality of distinct divine ‘persons’ that collectively forms the singularity of God’s being?

        Liked by 1 person

    • Why do you think I mock?

      I’m seriously asking if Adam also worshiping Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit? Because you try to explain Allah is a multi-personal and at the end of the day you are going to justify your trinity concept.

      I already explained that in Quran The God of Adam is the same God as The God of Abraham and The God all prophets sent by God.
      If you say Allah is multi-personal/trinity that’s mean Adam, Abraham and all the prophets also worshiping multi-personal/trinity God. Did you get it?

      I already give the proof that Abraham rejected a multi-personal conception (Shirk).

      Now your turn: Can you give a proof that Abraham worshiping trinity God?

      Like Quran said: “Produce your proof, if you should be truthful.”
      The required condition is a demonstration [with proof], not an assertion [of slogans and faith].

      Like

      • In your syntactic and semantic analysis, what evidence convinces you that the numerical value in the Shema אֶחָד {Echad} does not accommodate a plurality of persons within a singularity of nature? This question becomes even more important, given the inherent complexity of the term אֶחָד {Echad}

        Like

      • Dr.Collins said:

        If we assume that our theological understanding of monotheism, is the most important issue, which Jews, Muslims and Christians agree that it is, then surely the question of whether Abraham was a Unitarian or a Trinitarian is best settled with evidence and proof and not popular speculation. So, here it goes:

        If you assume that Abraham worshiping a multi-personal conception of monotheism, can you give a proof that Abraham worshiping trinity God?

        Like Quran said: “Produce your proof, if you should be truthful.”

        The required condition is a demonstration [with proof], not an assertion [of slogans and faith].

        Like

      • In your syntactic and semantic analysis, what evidence convinces you that the numerical value in the Shema אֶחָד {Echad} does not accommodate a plurality of persons within a singularity of nature? This question becomes even more important, given the inherent complexity of the term אֶחָד {Echad}

        Like

      • Dr.Collins, if you don’t have an answer for my question just say I don’t know, don’t be a dumb. You are just proofing that trinitarian have no foundation, it’s just a man made religion, and it’s not lineage from Abraham faith.

        Why are you spamming the same comments everywhere?

        Paul, we don’t need spammer this!

        Like

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