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Understand Islam

If the Creator is One, How Come There are So Many Gods?

The Scriptures and the human intellect acknowledge that God is the infinite and endless superpower who creates and maintains all things. Then how come there are so many gods?

There is no god except one, the Almighty Creator! The rest all are man-made. That is why among human beings there are new gods besides the old ones and such ‘gods’ are not there among other creations. There are many reasons why humans made different gods.

One reason is the misunderstanding of divinity and divine attributes. Divinity is inseparable. It belongs to the Almighty Creator alone. But some of the divine qualities are separable. They are divided and given to the creations. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) taught that one of the main attributes of God is mercy, which is divided into hundred parts and one part of it is given to the entire creations.

The concept of ‘gods’ arise when divinity is attributed to those who possess some of good (divine) qualities such as mercy, kindness, and love. That is how the Prophet Jesus (PBUH) was raised as the Son of God. There have been gods in the past, great prophets and great good men, when people claimed divinity after their time.

Gods have evolved even when the different attributes of God are embodied. The concept of gods of creation-sustainer-destruction is an example. The Holy Qur’an mentions that humans even attributed divinity to some Angels as well.

Gandhiji said: ‘I oppose the explanation that Hindus believe in many gods. Although they speak of many gods, they actually speak of only one God; They consider Ishwar (Almighty) to be the only God of the gods… All issues came since we gave the meaning ‘God’ for the word ‘Deva’ (MK Gandhi, All Religions are true, Page 25)

The word ‘Deva’ is derived from the word ‘Div’ which means to shine. According to the teachings of the Qur’an, Angels are created by light. Therefore, the scholars have said that the ‘Devas’ mentioned in the Hindu scriptures might be the Angels mentioned in the Holy Qur’an.

Almighty Allah asks a question in the Qur’an, “Have you seen those who make their desires their gods?” (45:23). When the lustful man sees his desires as the greatest, the desire itself becomes God. There can even be concepts of gods in the name of desires. The concept of Cupid (Kamadeva) is the embodiment of lust and the concept of Goddess of wealth is the embodiment of desire. Thus, it can be seen that the concepts of God have come into being in the name of many desires. There are many other reasons for the evolvement of gods among human beings.

Footnote:

The fact that there are temples named after Rama Swami Naicker, a staunch atheist who said there is no God, Khushboo, a film actress, and Veerappan, a brutal thief, points to other aspects for the evolvement of gods.

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Originally posted on February 18, 2022 @ 8:17 pm

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