How Can Isa Be Divine? How Can Allah, Who Is One, Be a “Trinity”? (Part One)
Experience has shown that, until a person acknowledges their need for a savior, they seldom are ready to consider the possibility, let alone be convinced, that Isa is God or that Allah is a trinity. On the other hand, once a person sees the enormity of their own sin and understands the holiness and justice of the almighty God, they not only understand that they need a savior, but that the savior must be divine. At that point, people seldom if ever have trouble with the doctrine of the trinity as taught in all the ancient manuscripts of the Holy Scriptures. So, read this article with these thoughts in mind!
If Isa were God, wouldn't it mean there is more than one God? Isn't that shirk and the worst kind of blasphemy? (As for Isa being both human and divine, see the discussion about what the Injil really means when it calls Isa the Son of the Most High.)
To answer these important questions, let's back up and look at ourselves. In addition to our bodies, we have invisible elements that include a soul and a spirit. Our spirit makes us alive yet differs from that of animals. We also have a mind, will, emotions and conscience, all parts of our soul. With that come memory, wishes, desires, and more. Removing any aspect will severely damage or even destroy a person.
If we are complicated beings, how much more so Allah ta'ala who made us?
Imagine you are at your daughter's wedding. You are sad that you'll see less of her, but happy for her new life. You are satisfied that you raised her to be a good wife and mother. You trust that your son-in-law will be a good provider, but you still worry about the new couple's finances, so you make plans to help them. You expect them to have children of their own. You anticipate the joy of becoming a grandparent. You wonder how things will go with the other set of grandparents.
If, in such a situation, we can discern within ourselves more than one set of reactions, thoughts or emotions, might that reflect something of the nature of God? Surely he's not less complex than we are. The Holy Scriptures teach that Allah is all-powerful (omnipotent), all-knowing (omniscient), and everywhere at once (omnipresent). He is kind and compassionate, yet also a stern judge of evil. In fact, Allah's characteristics, and thus his “names,” are inexhaustible. Ninety-nine names, even nine hundred and ninety-nine, do not suffice to describe him.
In Genesis, the first book of the Holy Scriptures, we read that Allah made people in his own “likeness.”
So Allah created man like himself, in the likeness of God he created them. Male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27)
Of course this cannot mean Allah has a body, but that we are like him in important ways. He doesn't have a mouth or ears as we do, but he can communicate. He never does what is wrong, but like us he knows the difference between the two. And because he loves and cares for us weak and sinful creatures, he is compassionate. That means that Allah has emotions. Allah is complex.
Let's look at things from another direction. Before Allah created anything, with whom did he communicate? What was there to choose from which could be either right or wrong? How could Allah show love and care? If, before anything else existed, Allah was a one-in-one, solitary being—like a single person on a desert island in a vast ocean—then he could make noise but not communicate, he could act but do no right or wrong, and though he might feel love, there would be no one upon whom to bestow it. If that were the situation, Allah would need beings like us in order to express himself. He would need to create in order to be fulfilled. Now that is blasphemous.
Allah is self-existent. He is happy and fulfilled in and by himself. He needs no one and nothing. But how could that be when he was alone, surrounded by an ocean of nothingness? That's where the hint of our own nature, above, comes in. We consist of interacting spiritual parts which reflect, somehow, the essence of Allah. This points to a deep mystery we dare not miss. To get a glimpse of it, let's look further at Isa.