Islam is the only valid monotheistic faith. Monotheism is the doctrine or belief that there is only one God. Many religions claim to be monotheistic.. Islam is exceptional. Islam’s monotheism is radical because it does not only teach that there is only one God. There is only One True God in Islam. All other gods are considered false gods. Belief in the One True God is not sufficient for salvation. Islam is the exclusive devotion to the One True God. It is not simply an abstract belief. In Islam, God does not have any equal or partners, no children or spouse. No messenger or angel is similar to or equal to God. Islam is to submit to the commands of God and to hold onto and follow God’s laws, as revealed to His Messengers and in His divine scriptures.
If we take Christianity as an example of another religion that is often described as monotheistic, we can see major differences between it and Islam. Christianity teaches that God is one and that Jesus is the son of God, one part of the trinity. In Christianity, Jesus is the central figure, as he is considered God, Lord and Savior, who died on the cross for the sins of mankind. Islam rejects the possibility of God having a son or being incarnate in a human. Such beliefs are considered fundamental deviations from the unique concept of the absolute oneness of God.
The rejection of the notion that God has a son is rooted in several key principles within Islam:
- Oneness of God: Islam emphasizes the absolute oneness of God without any partners, equals, or offspring. The concept of God having a son is seen as a violation of this core principle, as it implies a division within the divine unity.
- Uncreated and Eternal Nature of God: Islam asserts that God is eternal, self-sufficient, and uncreated. The idea of having a son implies a process of reproduction, which contradicts the concept of God’s eternal and uncreated nature.
- Rejection of Humanization of God: Islam firmly rejects any anthropomorphic representations of God. The notion of God having a son or incarnate is perceived as a humanization of the divine, attributing human qualities and relationships to the Creator, which is inconsistent with God’s transcendence.
The concept of a sacrificial death for the sins of others is closer to pagan rituals than a teaching of the One True God. God is just and fair. He does not oppress or wrong anyone. God does not hold people to account for the sins of others, let alone punish them for it. To punish His own son, or Himself, as is claimed would be worse, notwithstanding that a god being able to die shows inherent weakness in that god, and is therefore also problematic.
God created all of us as equals. He did not make some above others or grant some special status by virtue of their bloodline or the religion of their ancestors as held by other so called monotheistic faiths like Judaism. Islam teaches that the only virtue attained is that which a person gains through personal faith, piety and good conduct. It is based upon this that God will judge a person, and then either reward or punish accordingly.
Islam teaches the belief in all of God’s chosen messengers and revealed scriptures. They all called to God’s exclusive worship and commanded people to follow God’s instructions and laws by adhering to the teachings and lived examples of the messengers.
God says, “Remember that God will address Jesus son of Mary on the Day of Rising and ask him whether he told people to worship him and his mother besides God. Jesus will reply, declaring God’s purity, ‘It was not right for me to tell them anything but the truth. If I had said that You would know it, because nothing is hidden from You. You know what I keep hidden within myself, but I do not know what is with You. You are the only one who knows everything that is hidden and everything that is apparent’. Jesus will say to His Lord, ‘I only told people what you instructed me to tell them: to worship You alone. For as long as I remained amongst them I watched over what they were saying and doing. When my term ended and I was raised to the sky alive, You, O Lord, were watching their actions. You are a witness to everything and nothing is hidden from You; so You know what I said to them and what they said after me’.” [5:116-117]
In conclusion, the monotheistic doctrine of Islam stands out as a distinct and complete affirmation of the absolute oneness of God. Unlike other faiths that claim monotheism, Islam goes beyond acknowledging a singular deity; it proclaims the exclusive devotion to the One True God, rejecting the notion of any equals, partners, or offspring. The rejection of anthropomorphic representations of God, the insistence on God’s uncreated and eternal nature, and the firm denial of the concept of God having a son are pivotal principles within Islam. A sharp contrast is drawn with Christianity, where the idea of the trinity and the sacrificial death of Jesus for the sins of mankind diverge fundamentally from Islamic teachings. Islam emphasizes equality among all individuals, refuting any notion of special status based on lineage or ancestral religion. Islam recognizes and respects all of God’s chosen messengers and revealed scriptures, emphasizing the unified message of worshiping God alone according to His terms and conditions exclusively.