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The Use of the Word "We" When Quoting God in the Qur'an

Al-Jumuah
6/7/2011
656 views

 

The Qur'an uses the word ‘We’ when quoting God. Does that mean that Muslims believe in more than one God?

 

Islam adheres to uncompromising monotheism. It teaches that God is One and indivisible. In the Qur'an, God often refers to Himself as "We". But it does not mean that there is more than one God. The reference of God to Himself as "We" in many Qur'anic verses is necessarily understood in the Arabic language to denote power and grandeur, as opposed to the more intimate singular form, "I", used in specific instances.

 

In some languages there are two types of plural form. One is related to quantity and used to refer to two or more persons, places or things. The other kind of plural is one of majesty, power and distinction. For example, in proper English, the Queen of England refers to herself as ‘we’. This is known as the ‘royal plural’. Rajeev Gandhi, the ex-Prime Minister of India used to say in Hindi, "Hum dekhna chahte hain". "We want to see." ‘Hum’ means ‘we’, which is again a royal plural in Hindi language. Similarly, when God refers to Himself in the Qur'an, He sometimes uses the Arabic word 'nahnu', meaning ‘We’. It does not indicate a plurality of number but the plurality of power and majesty.

 

The oneness of God is stressed throughout the Qur'an. A clear example is in this short chapter: “Say: He is Allah [who is] One; Allah is He on Whom all depend. He neither begets nor is born, nor is there to Him any equivalent.” [112:1-4]

 






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