UI – Part 217 – Relationship with God/Allah
Is a relationship with the Supernatural possible? As incomprehensible as it might seem the polemic on this concept is either ‘yes’ or ‘no’. When I refer to ‘relationship’ it is as a marriage, a union, where there is a two way communication.
For Christians a relationship with God is important. As a family relationship between a mother and daughter, a father and son, a parent and a child, there is a connection, a love freely given. That such is possible with man and God is made clear through the fellowship established with the incarnate Jesus Christ. It is as a human relationship, loving and caring, accepting and understanding, mindful of the needs of another, and obedient as to authority. God “predestined us to be adopted as his sons (and daughters) through Jesus Christ….” (Ephesians 1:5). Unique unto God is the unconditional nature of His love toward all humans – His creation.
For the Muslim the relationship with god, Allah, is an acknowledgement of his authority and divine nature, accepting the elevation of Muhammad to prophethood as an action of the divine (although self-proclaimed), and obedience to the Laws of Islam (Sharia Laws). Allah’s love is dependent, dependent upon the love of the person for Allah.
Islamic Viewpoint and Counterpoint
From a website article by Amin Ahsan Islahia a fine summary on the Muslim’s possible relationship with Allah is provided.[i] Excerpts are provided (the entirety of the article is available on the website noted):
“Of all the ties that people have, their relationship with God is obviously the first and foremost. It determines their other relationships with their fellow human beings, family, community, and state. It prescribes the whole range of human’s relationships with all that exists in the universe. If humans gain a proper understanding of their sound relationship with God, sever their false ties, and maintain the prescribed relationship, they will grow into obedient servants of his Lord, valuable members of their family, sincere citizens of their state and loving, and caring human beings concerned with the welfare of all humankind. It transforms them into morally trained and pious people. This transformation lies at the heart of self-development….
(Muslims) they learn that they can establish a correct and sound relationship with God (from the Quran) only if they adapt themselves to divine attributes. Each and every divine attribute makes certain demands on people’s heart, soul, and deeds. If we fulfill these demands, it signifies the forging of a perfect relationship with our Lord. These demands are clearly spelled out by the Shari`ah (Islamic law)….
It is obligatory for all Muslims to follow the Shari`ah, and anyone who does not follow it holds a false concept of man’s relationship with God. Regarding people’s relationship with God, the basic Islamic principle is that people should do their best to act in line with divine attributes.”
From the comments provided there is clearly a requirement to meet the Laws of Islam to have a relationship with Allah. The first paragraph is consoling as it emphasizes the value for humanity of a relationship with God. How is such a relationship, as described above, impacted or compromised if even one Law is broken or dishonored? Can this relationship be maintained by people simply doing “their best to act in line”? What are the parameters other than the Law? And which Islamic Laws, by whose definition, outline, or prescription is the correct set of Sharia Laws to be adhered to?
The relationship as describd is one way, the Muslim and Allah, the unconditional love of Allah is not there. If one errs, as would be the case for an infidel, an apostate, (by Islam’s definition), Allah seeks retribution, if not Allah then the men of Islam, encouraged by the scholars, become judge and executioner.
Is Allah’s judgment being superseded when humans justify actions taken as judgment against infidels in the name of Allah? (humans – be they non-believers in Islam or Muslims that do not follow agreed upon principles established by one sect or another.)
Clearly when man acts Allah is being replaced. Terrorists acting as warriors for Islam, the cry of Allahu Akbar making their presence known and their purpose supposedly justified by Allah, are hiding their hatred behind the black flag with the Shahadah in white written. Are they serving god? Is their god Allah, or some self-described personage called Allah they are using because of a connection, a religious fervor demonstrated, that makes what they do right (in their minds)? When a Muslim police officer arrests a Christian minister, once Muslim, as has happened in Iran, is a relationship with God Almighty being honored? Have the arresting officers and the permitting authorities “grow(n) into obedient servants of his (their) Lord, valuable members of their family, sincere citizens of their state and loving, and caring human beings concerned with the welfare of all humankind.” It would seem by doing what they have done, as we read the definition above, those that incarcerated the minister do not have a right relationship with God, their god being Allah.
The Muslim relationship is not a personal relationship. God referred to Abraham as ‘friend,’ emphasizing Abrahams’ love for God was paramount in his life. He spoke with and prayed for God’s intervention, prepared at all times to do His will, that is accepting the outcomes as they occurred. He did not intervene to cause outcomes as he wished. And the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend.
In Exodus (33:11) the Lord spoke with Moses, face-to-face, just as someone speaks with a friend. Muslims do not have conversations with Allah. They recite the first Sura[ii] in daily prayer, obligating themselves to Allah but not seeking his close association.
It is not the Law that dictates a relationship for the Christian. Christ came to demonstrate to all humans that the law is important, a proper guideline, but it is not the requirement to be ‘right’ with God. Two essential elements are emphasized, both involve LOVE. Love God above all else, and secondly love neighbor. It does not limit love of neighbor to Christian neighbor. It embraces all mankind.
God loves us even if we haven’t loved him. “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us.” (1 John 4:10)
When Adam, as humanity’s representative, disobeyed God our relationship with Him ended. We became sinners all. Prove that is not the case by showing me one person, other than Christ (Arabic: Isa) that has not sinned.
From an article on the web[iii] author not mentioned:
WHAT DID GOD DO FOR US? GOD HAs PROVIDED A SOLUTION FOR OUR LOST RELATIONSHIP
Jesus Christ came to do what we could not do for ourselves.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
He came into the world to bring us to his Father.
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’ ” (John 14:6)
He died in our place to pay the penalty for our sin.
“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit.” (1 Peter 3:18)
He rose from the dead to show that his claims were true.
“For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep.” (1 Corinthians 15:3-6). There were so many witnesses to the Resurrection of Christ!
Spiritually dead to God, in denial or respecting other gods, we strayed. It was only by the Grace of God made possible by his sonship are we able to be restored, made righteous in his eyes. That is how our relationship is established. Your personal relation begins by trusting God, acknowledging Christ, admitting to our sin nature, repenting and seeking the forgiveness provided on the cross. He was punished for our crimes against God, as a substitute. Be thankful and live to honor The Lord.
Sin is the breaking of a relationship with God. Christ provided believers the means to re-establish and maintain their relationship with God. It is an intimate reatlionship.
Christian and Islam Differences
“Muslim activists in the West have been using the tactic of claiming that they worship the same god as the Christians in order to gain legitimacy and acceptance. They have been using the name “God” in place of “Allah” in many translations of the Quran.”
“God of Christianity” – Islam Review – Presented by The Pen vs, The Sword by Abdullah Al Araby. “That intimate relationship with God is foreign to Islam and condemned by the Quran.”
It is Possible
You can have a relationship with God. Jesus made that a known fact and the Bible reinforces knowing Him who loves you unconditionally.
Grace and Peace
[ii] Sura 1: “Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds, The Beneficent, the Merciful, Master of the day of Requital, Thee do we serve and Thee do we beseech for help. Guide us on the right path, The path of those upon whom Thou hast bestowed favours, Not those upon whom wrath is brought down, nor those who go astray.”