5.1 A Biblical picture of
A Muslim believes that God is unlike anything we can
imagine. No one can look at him and live. He never tires. He
is All-Knowing, All-Seeing, All-Powerful, Perfect. All he
needs do is decree a matter and it will be. Yet the language
of the current Bible never fails to picture even God himself
in undignified terms:
God goes for a stroll:
Genesis 3:8 "And they heard the voice of the LORD God
walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and
his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God
amongst the trees of the garden."
God can not find Adam (not all-knowing):
Genesis 3:9-10 "And the LORD God called unto Adam, and
said unto him, Where are you? And he said, I heard your
voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked;
and I hid myself."(from God?)
God does not know if Adam ate from the tree or not
Genesis 3:11 "And he (God) said, Who told thee that
thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I
commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?"
Before looking for hidden meanings for the above verses,
we should consider the following:
1) Read section 2.3.
2) If you were to give your child total, unconstrained
freedom to do whatever he wants in your house, you only ask
him "don't play with my stereo." If he then goes ahead
anyway and proceeds to dismantle it into fifty different
pieces. If you know for a fact that he did it and you
know exactly where he has hidden himself (maybe you
had a hidden camera somewhere), would you walk all over the
house calling out "Where are you my son?," "come out, come
out wherever you are"?, or would you storm up to the place
where he was hiding, pull him out by his ears, and punish
3) If you did not know where he was hiding, but
knew what he had done without a doubt, would you,
once you had found him, ask him: "why are you hiding? Did
you break my stereo?" It is important to first attempt to
think logically before looking for abstract meanings.
Note: For the Islamic version of this incident please
read chapter 15.
God becomes tired and needs to be refreshed:
Exodus 31:17 "It is a sign between me and the children
of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and
earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed."
Notice that the verse does not claim that God Almighty
"abstained from work," but rather that He "rested."
This implies that it is possible for God Almighty to
experience fatigue and that He is not All-Mighty and
All-Powerful since He sometimes needs to be "refreshed."
God is not cognizant and/or is not eternally aware
(not all knowing, all seeing, attentive and aware):
Psalms 44:23 "Awake, why sleepest thou, O Lord? arise,
cast us not off for ever."
When God finally becomes cognizant attentive and
aware, He acts like a drunkard:
Psalms 78:65 "Then the LORD awaked as one out of
sleep, and like a mighty man that shouteth by reason of
The above verses are responded to by the Almighty in the
noble Qur'an as follows:
"And verily We (God) did create the heavens and the
earth in six days and no fatigue touched Us."
The noble Qur'an, Qaf(50):38
"Allah! there is no god but He, the Living, the
Sustainer and Protector. Neither slumber nor sleep overtake
Him. His are all things in the heavens and the earth. Who
can intercede in His presence except as He permits? He knows
what is before and behind them. Nor do they encompass aught
of His knowledge except as He wills. His throne does extend
over the heavens and the earth and He feels no fatigue in
preserving them. For He is the Most High, the Supreme."
The noble Qur'an, Al-Baqarah(2):255
Jacob wrestles with God. God can not win against
Jacob. Jacob sees God face to face:
"And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man
with him until the breaking of the day. And when he saw that
he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his
thigh; and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint, as
he wrestled with him. And he said, Let me go, for the day
breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou
bless me. And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he
said, Jacob. And he said, Thy name shall be called no more
Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God
and with men, and hast prevailed. And Jacob asked him, and
said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore
is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him
there. And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I
have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved."
Many people claim the Jacob wrestled with an angel. Does
this sound like he wrestled with an angel? Did Jacob (pbuh)
say "I have seen the angel of God"? Did he say "I have seen
the light of God" or some other statement that might have
had an abstract meaning? No! He said "I have seen
God" and just so that there would be no doubt in
anyone's mind he added the words "face to face." If
Jacob (pbuh) had wrestled with an angel, then why would he
need to say "my life is preserved"? Do people who see
angels die? (Numbers 22:31, 2 Samuel 24:17, 1 Chronicles
21:16, ...etc.). If Jacob had seen the face of an angel then
why would he name the place "the face of God"(peni-el), and
not "the face of the angel"(peni-malak)? Indeed, this is how
the great St. Augustine and many others understood this
verse. This brings up another question. How do we reconcile
this with point 25 in the table of section 2.2 (regarding
We are beaten over the head four times with the fact that
a human (Jacob, peace be upon him) managed to out-wrestle
God Almighty, but the translators realizing
the fallacy of this concoction continually try to
reinterpret this verse and make excuses for it. Notice how
we are beaten over the head not once, but four
times with the fact that this was GOD who was beaten by
- "I have seen GOD."
- "FACE to FACE."
- "And my life is preserved."
- They called the place "Peniel" ("FACE OF GOD").
Are we now to believe that God wrestled with Jacob all
night, He resorted to hitting Jacob (pbuh) below the
belt, and in the end was still bested by Jacob ("I
will not let thee go, except thou bless me")? When
someone has you in a headlock and tells you: "do as I tell
you," is he victorious or not?
God forbid! High exalted is He! Illustrious! Mighty!
Magnificent! All-Powerful! Neither Moses nor Jacob would
ever make such a claim. Nor would the other prophets of God.
The great and noble prophets would never dare to claim that
God had been reduced to a punching bag to further their own
egos. Notice how we are encouraged to believe that it is not
sufficient to humbly prostrate oneself before God, bowing
down and beseeching Him for His favors in earnest prayer and
in all submission. Rather it is necessary to slap Him silly
and beat Him into the ground then force Him to
bless the victor. Is this not preposterous? Does this not
reek of tampering fingers? May God Almighty forgive me for
even repeating these words.
God regrets his actions, God can not see the future,
God can not change the past:
Genesis 6:6 "And it repented the LORD that he had made
man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart."
It is not possible to regret doing something
unless the result of this action was something bad that had
not been foreseen and can not be changed. In
Webster's New Dictionary (1990), the word "repent" is
defined as follows: to regret, sorrow for, to wish to have
been otherwise what one has done or left undone.
Thus, God is claimed to be:
1) Unable to see the future: If I know for a
certainty that performing "action" will result in
"result," then when "result" comes about I will not regret
it unless I was forced in the first place to perform
"action." There is a difference between "disliking"
something and "regretting" something.
2) Unable to change the past if he wanted to: As
per the above Webster's definition, to repent is to "wish to
have been otherwise what one has done or left undone." But
if God is capable of doing all things, as a Muslim believes,
then he does not need to "wish." He simply decrees it and it
Also notice that God is not merely claimed to have
regretted this action, but to have "grieved at His heart."
Webster's defines grief as: Deep sorrow
caused by loss, distress. So according to this passage, God
felt the deepest sorrow from the bottom of his heart. If one
of us felt this kind of torment and was given the means to
change matters, would we hesitate? God is not this
For the Islamic perspective on God Almighty, read the
God Almighty: Al-Ikhlas(112):1-4, Kaaf(50):38,
Al-Aaraf(7):143, Al-Shurah(24):11-12, Al-Anaam(6):3,
Saba(34):27, Al-Zumar(39):1-7, Al-Hashir(59):21-24,