Allah can do anything versus Allah has power over all things?

“To Allah is your return, and He has power over all things.’” (Qur’an 11:4)

“Verily, His Command, when He intends a thing (shayan), is only that He says to it, “Be!” and it is! So Glorified is He and Exalted above all that they associate with Him, and in Whose Hands is the dominion of all things (shayin), and to Him you shall be returned.” (Qur’an 36: 82-84)

“Say, Allah is the absolutely one. All is dependent upon Allah but Allah is independent of all. Allah is not generated from like-kind and like-kind is not generated from Allah. There is no equivalent to this absolute oneness.” (Qur’an 112:1-4)

There is a very important theological point that we as Muslims must understand. That theological point is the difference between saying that Allah (swt) can do anything and saying that Allah (swt) has power over all things.

There is no-thing and there is something. A no-thing is non-existent. It has no existence to begin with. It has no reality. Where as a ‘shay’ or thing has existence. It has a reality.

If you were to ask any Muslim does Allah (swt) have power over nothing? We will respond, of course not! Allah (swt) has power over everything.

So the three questions are thus:

  1. Allah has power over nothing.
  2. Allah has power over somethings.
  3. Allah has power over all things.

“To Allah is your return, and He has power over all things.’” (Qur’an 11:4)

One of the issues seems to be the question on what makes God, God.

Allah is all Powerful. Allah is all Knowledgeable. Allah is eternally self existent. Allah is The Truth and the Ever Living. These are not some attributes of Allah (swt) it is what Allah (swt) IS!

These only appear to be multiple attributes due to our own limited perception and understanding and usage of language.

There is nothing (shayon) like unto Him, and He is the Hearing, the Seeing.” (Qur’an 42:11)

So unfortunately, many Muslims in the field of Daw’ah will often get caught up in the trick question posed by Christian missionaries. “Can God become a man?” The answer to that is no God cannot become a man because it a no-thing. It is a non-shay.

You could ask Christians for example: “Can God Sin?” “Can God Lie?” “Can darkness dwell in God?”
“Can the Trinity exist without the Son?”

This reminds one of the atheists.

The Atheist who poses the following paradoxical question.

If Allah is Infinite and Unlimited in Power can He create a rock he cannot lift?

Which is a non-question. It is a non-shay, a no-thing.

It is like asking if Allah (swt) can make a squared circle. It is a no-thing. A non-shay.

Such a rock can’t exist not because Allah (swt) is not All-Powerful but because He is!

Allah (swt) has Unlimited, Infinite Powers. This theoretical rock would also have to have MORE than infinite and unlimited powers so that Allah (swt) could not move it.
There’s no such thing as beyond infinite and unlimited so the question is flawed.

Infinity +1.  There is no such thing, there is simply infinity.

Based on logic there are things that can not exist if another thing exists.

As Allah (swt) is Infinite and Unlimited in Power,  a thing he can not do cannot exist because it violates the very principle of being Infinite and Unlimited in Power. 

I have answered that in detail here: https://primaquran.com/2020/07/16/answering-the-atheist-and-paradoxical-questions/

Allah (swt) cannot act contrary to his being. Allah acts consistently within his own essence, his own being. 

Allah can do anything versus Allah has power over all things?

The reason people fall into this trap is because of very poor training in theology and/or philosophy. They do not have a very solid foundation concerning the divine being.

Please reflect on this dear reader. Do tafakkur (reflection).

After all, the people who ask if Allah (swt) can do anything obviously must accept power as a basis for Allah (swt) being God or they would not ask the questions to begin with. That is the whole point there are certain qualities that make Allah, God.

Allah cannot for example Not-Be Allah. Allah (swt) cannot be a sinner or be unholy. Allah (swt) cannot commit shirk. Allah (swt) cannot be ignorant. Allah (swt) cannot be dead or die. Allah (swt) cannot be contained by space/time.

All these examples are no things. They are non-shay.

All the aforementioned examples are contrary to the divine logic that is Allah (swt).

Allah doesn’t have power over nothing. Allah has power over all-things.


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