Most often, a simple assertion about the existence of God suffices for a man with an unbiased mentality to believe in God. One cannot afford to deny God, as that would be tantamount to a denial of one’s own nature. At the same time, in the external world man sees clear evidence of God in nature all around him, day in and day out. God is so evident that any denial of God becomes artificial. That is why those who apparently reject God, also come to believe in God, when confronted with their own utter helplessness. (31:32;10:22) The concept of God handed down to man by the Prophet is one of pure monotheism, that is “There is no god but one God.” This Prophetic concept has been briefly set forth in a short chapter of the Qur’an: Say: He is God, the One God. The Eternal, Absolute. He does not beget nor was He begotten. And there is none equal to Him (Chapter 112) However, in every age, all sorts of concepts have been prevalent. These may be divided into two categories.
- One God versus many gods
- A Personal God versus an impersonal God
There are again several kinds of beliefs about God. Some believe in two gods, one of good and the other of evil. Some believe in three, as in the form of the trinity, a construct of the Christians. There are others who believe in multitudes of gods, as in Hinduism. Now, of these concepts which should be held right and which wrong? The Qur’an gives us a clear assertion on this subject: There are only two forms of credible knowledge, that is, revealed knowledge and scientific knowledge. (46:4) Let us first take revealed knowledge. When we make a survey of revealed scriptures, the first question that arises is which one of them is to be regarded as authentic? Apparently, in the world of today, there are many religious books that are said by their adherents to enshrine God’s revelations. But when these books are judged on the basis of history, we find that none of them can sustain their credibility on purely historical grounds. We have no way of knowing, as a matter of historical record, precisely when and how these books came into existence, what their original language was, how they were preserved after the First Giver, how they reached later generations of followers —all these questions remain unanswered. These books are thus believed by their adherents to be holy scriptures, without their having any historical proof of this.
In this non-historical museum of “revealed” scriptures, the Qur’an is the only divine book that comes up to the standard of history in every respect. The Qur’an has every kind of historical credibility and authenticity, so that one may believe in it with full confidence. This means that if an individual wants to find out the concept of God according to revealed knowledge, he can trust only the Qur’an to be the authentic source. It is a fact that the Qur’an is the only existing divine scripture that provides a reliable source of learning the true concept of God. When we refer to the Qur’an on this subject, we find that, according to revealed knowledge, there is only one true concept of God, and that is pure monotheism. That is, God is the only one. He has no partner, no equal. He is eternal and beyond time and space. He alone is the Creator and Sustainer of all things. (2:255) So far as the concept of three gods, or the trinity, is concerned, it is highly illogical in every respect. It is not proved by any revealed source. Even today it is merely a creed of the Christian Church. In neither the Old Testament nor the New Testament, held sacred by Christians, is there any clear mention of the concept of the trinity? In their own sacred scriptures, the trinity is an alien creed.
So far as the reason then is concerned, the concept of the trinity is not rationally understandable. In terms of the trinity, God is at the same time three in one and one in three. This is an inconceivable mathematical riddle, which none of the greatest mathematicians can solve. The truth is that the concept of the trinity is wholly unproven so far religious scriptures are concerned. It is likewise entirely baseless judging by the criteria of knowledge and reason. Keeping this reality in view, it will not be wrong to say that this concept is so unfounded that, prima facie, it stands rejected. Now let us talk of scientific knowledge. Scientific knowledge provides an academic verification of this concept of the one God. It affirms that God cannot be more than one, the concept of many gods not being understandable to a scientist. The world discovered by science is a wholly unified world. All the parts of the present world are so interlinked with each other that it is impossible to separate them from one another. In such a world the concept of more than one God is quite alien. For instance, if the sun, the air, water, human beings, and the earth had not been governed by one and the same Creator, a world of the present kind would never have come into existence. For instance, if the sunshine reached the earth unhampered, without there being the atmosphere to neutralize its harmful rays, the sun would be a killer instead of a source of life. If the gases in water were not in their present proportions, no living organisms could ever have come into being on the earth. If the size of the earth were half or double the present size, in either case, civilization on earth would have been well nigh impossible. There are countless things in the world. But everything exists in such proportions as will give the maximum benefit to life on earth. None of the things on this earth are out of proportion. This shows that there is only one God—the Creator and Sustainer of this world. If there were different gods for different things, then, this perfect balance could never have been possible. In ancient times people believed that there were numerous forces controlling the universe. Newton reduced these forces to the following four: gravitational force, electromagnetic force, strong nuclear force, weak nuclear force. However, the extraordinary unity that scientists found in the world was incompatible with the notion that it was being controlled by four forces.
That is why scientists have been trying to reduce the four forces to one. Their efforts were crowned with success in the second half of the twentieth century. It is now generally believed that there cannot be four forces controlling nature, but only one. This has led to the formulation of the Single String Theory by scientists. This goes to prove that the concept called Tawheed (oneness of God) in revealed knowledge is fully borne out by scientific knowledge as well—that there is only one God, not many gods controlling this world.