Monthly Archives: September 2012

Why do we address God as “He”?


Introduction

Many are intrigued to know why we address God as “He”. This article aims to explain the reasons behind the use of “He” when addressing God, providing proofs and explanations for it.

Does God have a gender?

According to the Islamic concept of God, God has no gender. God is not like His creation and neither does He resemble His creations. He is utterly unique and to compare Him to His creations, including giving Him a gender is completely incorrect.

Why “He”?

The word “Allah” is an Arabic word and hence it is important to have an understanding about the Arabic language in order to understand the reason we use “He”. The word “He”, which is used to refer to God, is a translation of the Arabic word “Huwa”, used in the Quran.

In English, we have three genders namely; Masculine, Feminine and Neutral (He, She and It). In the Arabic language, we have just two genders namely; Masculine and Feminine. There is no explicit neutral gender. This means that even the neutral gender is either represented as Masculine or Feminine. To really comprehend this fact, let us now have a closer look at this part of the Arabic grammatical system.

The Arabic word for Masculine gender is: Huwa. Huwa is used for both male and neutral. So Huwa = He / It.

The Arabic word for Feminine gender is: Hiya. Hiya is used for both female and neutral. So Hiya = She / It

Since the word Allah would fall under neutral gender, the word Allah has to be either addressed as Huwa (He / It) or Hiya (She / It).

Grammatical rules for feminine gender in Arabic

The grammatical rules to use a feminine gender in Arabic are:

  1. The word has to be feminine by nature. Example: Ummun (Mother)
  2. The word should end with “Tha”. Example: Mirwathun (Fan).
  3. The words that are dual (Arabic has singular, dual and plural). Example: Yadain (2 hands).
  4. The word should end with Badaa Alif (Big Alif).

So grammatically speaking, where would the word Allah fit in?

Now if you carefully observe the word “Allah”, we can conclude the following.

  1. Allah by nature is not feminine.
  2. The word Allah does not end with “Tha”.
  3. The word Allah is singular and NOT dual.
  4. The word Allah does not end with bada alif (big Alif).

Since the word Allah does not meet any criteria of the Arabic grammar to use it in a feminine form, Allah is never addressed as a Feminine gender (Hiya / It). This means that we are left with the only option, which is: Huwa (He / It).

Furthermore, Allah Himself uses Huwa when He refers to Himself. Example: Chapter 112: Verse 1

“Qul huwa Allahu Ahad” (translation: Say, “He is Allah, [who is] One,)

Summary:

  1. The term “He” is not used to identify the gender of Allah.
  2. The Arabic language does not have a separate neutral gender in its grammatical system. It only has the combination of Masculine/Neutral and Feminine/Neutral.
  3. The word “Allah” does not meet the grammatical criteria to be referred in a Feminine/Neutral form.
  4. The word Huwa (He / It) is used for Allah in the Quran and when translated to English it becomes “He”.

Saudi Grand Mufti slams anti-Islam film, calls attacks on foreign embassies un-Islamic


 Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al al-Sheikh also called on governments and international bodies to criminalize insults against prophets. (Photo courtesy of Arab News)


Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al al-Sheikh also called on governments and international bodies to criminalize insults against prophets. (Photo courtesy of Arab News)

Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti, the highest religious authority in the birthplace of Islam, on Saturday denounced attacks on diplomats and embassies as un-Islamic after deadly protests against a U.S.-made film mocking Islam’s founder.

Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al al-Sheikh also called on governments and international bodies to criminalize insults against prophets and excoriated the film that has prompted a wave of fury across the Middle East.

“It is forbidden to punish the innocent for the wicked crimes of the guilty, or to attack those who have been granted protection of their lives and property, or to expose public buildings to fire or destruction,” he said in a speech carried by state news agency SPA.

Describing the release of the crudely made short film as “miserable” and “criminal”, he added that attacks on the innocent and diplomats “are also a distortion of the Islamic religion and are not accepted by God.”

At least nine people were killed after noon prayers on Friday in demonstrations across the Middle East.

Washington sent extra troops to guard its embassies after the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans were killed in an attack on a U.S. mission in Libya on Tuesday. The violence spread to Egypt, Lebanon, Tunisia, Sudan, Yemen and elsewhere.

There have been no reports of anti-American demonstrations in Saudi Arabia, a key Arab ally of the United States and country that holds significant influence over the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims via its guardianship of Mecca and Medina.

Al al-Sheikh’s statement echoed the official position taken by Saudi Arabia on Thursday, condemning both the film and attacks on U.S. embassies.

Earlier on Saturday, al-Qaeda’s regional wing based in Yemen called on Muslims to kill American diplomats in Islamic countries and step up protests against the film.

Source: http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/09/15/238217.html

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