Islamic Voice A Monthly English Magazine
Muharram / SAFAR 1424 H
April 2003
Volume 16-04 No : 196
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Religion


Is Allah Masculine In Gender


Zakir Naik

Dr. Zakir Naik

Is Allah Masculine In Gender

(a) Why do we quote Allah (swt) as - Him/His?

Jameela Arif, jameela99@rediffmail.com

A. a) The Arabic word ‘Allah’ has no gender. The Arabic grammar has only two genders, male and female and male gender is of two types:

1.Masculine Haqeeqi i.e. Real, which is used to denote the masculine gender in humans, animals.

2. Masculine Majazi i.e. Unreal, wherein it is used as Masculine but in reality it is not so e.g. (Angels) Malak, Layl (Night), Bab (door). The word Allah (swt), too falls in the second category i.e. Masculine Majazi.

The English language has got three genders; male, female and neutral. So if we translate the Arabic word ‘huwa’ into English, it can be translated as ‘he’ or ‘it’. And the Arabic word ‘hiya’ can be translated as ‘she’ or ‘it’.

Allah (swt) is unique and cannot be referred as ‘it’ in English, since Allah (swt) has no gender, neither male, nor female or neutral.

Some people may argue that the Arabic word ‘huwa’ and ‘hiya’ both can be used for ‘it’ or neutral gender, then why Allah has used ‘huwa’ and not ‘hiya’?

In Arabic grammar there are certain rules and criteria for feminine gender. First, if it is female by nature, like the word mother (ummun), it becomes feminine in gender. Allah is not a female. Second, if it ends with the third Arabic letter ‘ta’ like ‘mirwahtun’ (fan), it becomes feminine. The Arabic word ‘Allah’ doesn’t end with ‘ta’ so it cannot be feminine. Third, if the word ends with ‘Alif Mamduda’ (big Alif), it becomes feminine. But the Arabic word ‘Allah’ doesn’t end with ‘Alif Mamduda’ so, it cannot be feminine. And lastly, if the object occurs in pairs, like pairs of the body, e.g. ‘Ainun’ (eyes), ‘yadun’ (hands), they are considered feminine. But Allah (swt) says in the Glorious Qur’an in Surah Ikhlas, chapter 112, verse 1:

“Say: He is Allah the ONE and Only;”

So Allah (swt) is one and not a pair. Therefore, by default since it cannot be used as ‘Hiya’ i.e. she or it, Allah (swt) uses huwa i.e. He. And Allah (swt) knows the best.

A. b) Many people have a misconception that Islam is a new religion and Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was the founder of Islam. However, Islam has been in existence since time immemorial. Islam was present when the first human Adam (pbuh) first set foot on the earth. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is not the founder of Islam but the last and final messenger of Allah.

It is mentioned in the Glorious Qur’an:

“And there never was a people without a warner having lived among them (in the past).” (Surah Fatir, 35:24)

Narrated Umama that Abu Dhar said:

I asked, “O Messenger of Allah, altogether how many messengers were sent?” The prophet (pbuh) said: One hundred and twenty four thousand.”

(Mishkat-Ul-Masabih, authenticated by Shaikh Nasiruddun Albani, Vol. 3, Pg. No. 1599, Hadith No. 5737)

The religion of all the prophets was ‘total submission to God’s will’ and one word for that in the Arabic language is ‘Islam’.

It is mentioned in the Qur’an that Abraham (pbuh) was a Muslim.

“Abraham was not a Jew nor yet a Christian but he was true in faith and bowed his will to Allah’s (which is Islam) and he joined not gods with Allah.” (Surah Ali Imran, 3:67)

It is mentioned in Surah Ali Imran chapter 3 verse 52 that Jesus (pbuh) was a Muslim

“When Jesus found unbelief on their part he said: “Who will be my helpers to (the work of) Allah?” Said the Disciples: “We are Allah’s helpers we believe in Allah and do thou bear witness that we are Muslims” (Suran Ali Imran, 3:52)

Allah (swt) says in the Glorious Qur’an in Surah Ali Imran, chapter 3, verse 19:

“The Religion before Allah is Islam (submission to His will)”

And further Allah mentions in Surah Ali Imran, chapter 3 verse 85:

“If anyone desires a religion other than Islam (submission to Allah) never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter he will be in the ranks of those who have lost (all spiritual good)”

Thus, Islam is the first religion and hence the oldest of all the religions. It is the only true religion. All the other religions came later.

The Glorious Qur’an is the last and final revelation of Allah (swt), which was revealed to the last and final messenger prophet Muhammad (pbuh). After him no messenger will come to guide humankind. As Allah (swt) says in the Glorious Qur’an in Surah Al-Ahzab, chapter 33 verse 40:

“Muhammad is not the father of any of your men but (he is) the Apostle of Allah and the Seal of the Prophets: and Allah has full knowledge of all things.”

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