Why humans can’t be gods – Tarawih reflections 29

Why humans can't be gods - Tarawih reflections 29

مَّا ٱلۡمَسِیحُ ٱبۡنُ مَرۡیَمَ إِلَّا رَسُولࣱ قَدۡ خَلَتۡ مِن قَبۡلِهِ ٱلرُّسُلُ وَأُمُّهُۥ صِدِّیقَةٌ كَانَا یَأۡكُلَانِ ٱلطَّعَامَۗ ٱنظُرۡ كَیۡفَ نُبَیِّنُ لَهُمُ ٱلۡـَٔایَـٰتِ ثُمَّ ٱنظُرۡ أَنَّىٰ یُؤۡفَكُونَ

The Messiah, son of Mary, was not but a messenger; [other] messengers have passed on before him. And his mother was a supporter of truth. They both used to eat food. Look how We make clear to them the signs; then look how they are deluded. (5:75)

In a very unique verse, Allah describes the Masih, the son of Maryam (peace be upon them), as being no more than a messenger. There were messengers before him, and he is just like them. His mother was very truthful, a Siddiqa. Allah is talking about the nature of Al Masih because a delegation had come from Najran to discuss the nature of Eesa with the Prophet (peace be upon him). He mentions that both the Masih and his mother used to eat food – which conveys a deep meaning in a very simple way.

It is a fact that in order to survive we need to eat. Without food we die. May Allah give relief to people of Gaza who have no food, which is the basic need of every living creature.

Allah is addressing the Christian community, who claim that Eesa and his mother have special nature as gods. Allah refutes this with a simple statement, saying they eat food. The nature of God is that He doesn’t eat, drink, or sleep – He needs nothing. Yet, there is a simple correlation between eating and needing to go to the toilet. The Quran is polite and doesn’t mention this, but whoever eats food goes to the toilet. God doesn’t go to the toilet. If God is in the toilet, who is running the universe?

God has no needs. In Surat Ikhlas Allah says He is As Samad – He needs no one, and He is needed by everyone.

The whole concept that Eesa can be a God is thus destroyed in two words, yakulani atta’am. Allah is saying this is their nature. Nevertheless Eesa is the messenger of Allah, and Maryam is truthful. Some scholars say this attribute is only given to prophets in the Quran, and is therefore used as evidence by those who say Maryam is a prophet, but this is not the majority opinion. Allah says He never sent messengers, who were not men. ‘We never sent messengers before you but men we revealed to them.’ (12:109). Some say Maryam is a prophet, not a messenger. Allah saying Maryam is a siddiqa, which is how he described Ibrahim (peace be upon him) as well (19:41). The core discussion of the ayah is the nature of the Masih and his mother – they were human. Humans are not qualified to be gods. Some of our leaders in today’s world like to see themselves as gods, like Pharaohs, but in reality, they are human at the end of the day.

In Surat al Jumuah, it says, you will return to the knower of the Unseen and the seen and He will tell everyone what they used to do (62:8). Their book will be open and they will read it. They will have to explain what they did. Why did they starve people to death? Why did they kill innocent people? Or show off their salah in the mosque or give zakat so they could be called generous. If you do ibadah in the proper manner, Allah will reward you. He will tell you what was done with pure intention and the right etiquettes, as Allah will accept these. Otherwise they will be rejected, no matter how big they are, if they did not fulfil the conditions of acceptance.

In the hadith, Thawban (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

On the Day of Judgment people from my Ummah will come with good deeds like mountains and Allah will make them perish. (Ibn Majah).

Their deeds are like mountains, which will turn to dust. We should be afraid of our intentions. An intention can flip or change in a second or fraction of a second. We need to have the right intention and keep reminding ourselves why we are doing it.

We ask Allah to enable us to be among the sincere and the mukhliseen. Ameen

Based on the reflections of Shaykh Haytham Tamim

Transcribed by Hana Khan


Shaykh Haytham Tamim is the founder and main teacher of the Utrujj Foundation. He has provided a leading vision for Islamic learning in the UK, which has influenced the way Islamic knowledge is disseminated. He has orchestrated the design and delivery of over 200 unique courses since Utrujj started in 2001. His extensive expertise spans over 30 years across the main Islamic jurisprudence schools of thought. He has studied with some of the foremost scholars in their expertise; he holds some of the highest Ijazahs (certificates) in Quran, Hadith (the Prophetic traditions) and Fiqh (Islamic rulings). His own gift for teaching was evident when he gave his first sermon to a large audience at the age of 17 and went on to serve as a senior lecturer of Islamic transactions and comparative jurisprudence at the Islamic University of Beirut (Shariah College). He has continued to teach; travelling around the UK, Europe and wider afield, and won the 2015 BISCA award (British Imams & Scholars Contributions & Achievements Awards) for Outstanding Contribution to Education and Teaching.