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The Antichrist in Muhammad: The Triune God of Love
By Andrew M. Greenwell, Esq.
December 21st, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Nowhere in the Qur'an do we find the sublime evangelical concept that God is Trinity or that "God is love" (1 John 4:16), and this is because, as G. K. Chesterton perceptively stated in his book The Everlasting Man, the Christian "barren dogma" of the Holy Trinity is nothing but the dogmatic expression of the evangelical truth, the "beautiful sentiment," that "God is Love."CORPUS CHRISTI, TX (Catholic Online) - "Go, therefore," Jesus tells his apostles--and through his apostles his whole Church--"and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit." (Matt. 28:19). As this Scripture shows, the doctrine of the Holy Trinity was part of the Christian Gospel from the very beginning.
In prior articles on the antichrist in Muhammad, we have briefly viewed the Scriptural texts that reveal God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Church, during the course of addressing the various Christological and Pneumatological heresies, eventually defined the dogma of the Holy Trinity as the accurate expression of the divine revelation.
As clearly set forth in the Athanasian Creed: "The Catholic Faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity . . . . For there is one person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Spirit . . . . So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God; and yet they are not three Gods, but one God."
We have seen how Muhammad's supposed revelations in the Qur'an rejected God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Implicitly, the Holy Trinity is rejected by these several Muhammadan rejections. Muhammad's Allah crowded out the Holy Trinity, and Muhammad placed upon his followers the obligation of upholding an uncompromising monotheism, tawhid, the strict and severe--even monomaniacal--belief in the oneness and uniqueness of Allah.
Tawhid is a doctrine motivated by fear, not by love, and it leads to a heresy by overemphasis of one truth at the negation of another truth. Just like the Arabs seem to have a horror vacui, a horror of empty spaces, in their art, so Muhammad seems to have developed a horror polytheismi, a horror of polytheism, in his brain. And it colored, or perhaps better tainted, his understanding of the Most High God.
I use the word monomaniacal because the exclusion of Trinity from Allah did not result in a belief of greater unity or uniqueness in God, a belief which Christianity shares with Islam. The truth of God's unity and uniqueness, of His transcendence of all created categories, is not better preserved in Islam than in Christianity (though the Muslim, following from his misunderstanding of the Trinity, naturally disagrees).
What Muhammad's monomaniacal theology did result in, however, was a lonely Allah, an eternally loveless Allah, even an impersonal Allah.
To use the words of the Fides Dasmasi, Christians believe that "God is one," as much as the Muslim believes that Allah is one, but they also believe that this one God is not "solitary." God cannot be solitary, for if he is, then God cannot be Personal, nor can he be Love.
As the young theologian Joseph Ratzinger explained in his Introduction to Christianity (written before he was Pope): "The unrelated, unrelatable, absolutely one," such as Muslims maintain Allah is, "could not be a person."
"There is no such thing as a person in the categorical singular," Ratzinger explains. "This is already apparent in the words in which the concept of person grew up; the Greek word 'prosopon' means literally '(a) look towards'; with the prefix 'pros' (toward) it includes the notion of relatedness as an integral part of itself. To this extent the overstepping of the singular is implicit in the concept of person."
For the Christian faith, God does not become personal upon the creation of the world. God does not need the relatedness of the world to be personal. This means that God must have an eternal relatedness within Him that is independent of creation, that exists eternally in God before creation.
This eternal relatedness within God is what makes it possible not only for God to be personal, but for God to be eternally Love.
Nowhere in the Qur'an do we find the sublime evangelical concept that God is Trinity or that "God is love" (1 John 4:16), and this is because, as G. K. Chesterton perceptively stated in his book The Everlasting Man, the Christian "barren dogma" of the Holy Trinity is nothing but the dogmatic expression of the evangelical truth, the "beautiful sentiment," that "God is Love."
"For if there be a being without beginning, existing before all things, was He loving when there was nothing to be loved? If through that unthinkable eternity He is lonely, what is the meaning of saying He is love?" Chesterton rhetorically asks.
"The only justification of such a mystery" that God is love, continues Chesterton, "is the mystical conception that in His own nature there was something analogous to self-expression; something of what begets and beholds what it has begotten. Without some such idea, it is really illogical to complicate the ultimate essence of deity with an idea like love."
It is true that Allah is called the "loving one" (al-Wadud), but only twice in the entire Qur'an, in Sura 11:90 and in Sura 85:14. This love of Allah is nothing like the love of the Christian Trinity. This love of Allah is all love ad extra, to the outside of Allah, and, moreover, it is limited only to those who do good, and, indeed, to Muslims alone. "Allah does not love the unbelievers." Qur'an 3:31:32 (see also Qur'an 3:45) The love of Allah is conditional, and does not extend out to the sinner or to mankind in general.
Moreover, this love is not love ad intra; it does not define the substance of Allah; there is no love within Allah. Allah could only love after creation, so Allah's love is dependent upon creation. Before creation, Allah could not be eternally love, since there was no "other" to love. There is no other to love for the simple reason that there were no eternal personal relations within Muhammad's God.
Allah is, perhaps since creation, loving to those who abide by his iron and arbitrary will, but Love Allah is not. Love is entirely verbal, not nounal in Allah. To the contrary, God as revealed by Jesus, is both loving and Love. The Trinity is love both verbally and nounally.
The personal nature of God and the doctrine that "God is love"--two of the most precious of revelations of the New Testament-both cry out for, and are protected by, the doctrine of the Trinity. And while Muhammad saw the singular in the one God, he never saw the plural in the one God. In this he thought too much like a man, and not enough like God.
"God stands above singular and plural. He bursts both categories," wrote Joseph Ratzinger. God also bursts human vocabulary. We must not forget that the very word Trinity--trinitas in Latin--was a neologism, a brand new word coined by Tertullian and given to the world to express the threeness of persons in oneness of nature of God.
So long as the Muslim follows the teachings of Muhammad, he will never understand the mystery of the Trinitarian God who is eternally Love. So at least the Qur'an--which rejects a "God is love" theology--is consistent when it expressly attacks the Holy Trinity directly, although in so doing it betrays some confusion.
For example, in Qur'an 4:171, the Trinity is seen as a Christian "excess":
"O People of the Book [meaning the Christians]! Commit no excesses in your religion: . . . . Say not "Trinity" [literally, three, thalathatun]: desist: it will be better for you: for Allah is one Allah: Glory be to Him: (far exalted is He) above having a son. To Him belong all things in the heavens and on earth. And enough is Allah as a Disposer of affairs"
Another express condemnation of any threeness in God is found in Qur'an 5:73:
"They do blaspheme who say: Allah is one of three in a Trinity [literally, 'Allah is the third of three,' Allaha thalithu thalathatin]: for there is no god except One Allah. If they desist not from their word (of blasphemy), verily a grievous penalty will befall the blasphemers among them."
In his condemnation of the Trinity, Muhammad seems to have operated under some misapprehension--or intellectual blunder--that the Trinity was God the Father, Mary, and Jesus. This is the upshot of Qur'an 5:116: "And behold! Allah will say: "O Jesus the son of Mary! Didst thou say unto men, worship me and my mother as gods in derogation of Allah'?"
Muhammad's monomaniacal horror polytheismi and his intellectual blunder regarding the Trinity as Father, Son, and Mary, may have affected him alone but for the unfortunate reality that his convinced followers have, through this alleged prophet's erroneous teaching, also foreclosed themselves from an interpersonal God, a God who is, in his innermost eternal substance, Love.
As Pope Benedict XVI stated at a short address before the midday Angelus on June 7, 2009, regarding Jesus' revelation of God as Trinity:
"[There are] Three Persons who are one God because the Father is love, the Son is love, the Spirit is love. God is love and only love, most pure, infinite and eternal love. The Trinity does not live in a splendid solitude, but is rather inexhaustible font of life that unceasingly gives itself and communicates itself."
It is a truth to which the Muslim has been blinded by the antichrist in Muhammad.
"May Mary, mirror of the Most Holy Trinity, help us to grow in the faith of the Trinitarian mystery," ended Pope Benedict XVI in his reflections on the Trinity.
Indeed, may Mary, pray for us and for our human brothers who follow the errors of Muhammad, that they may be introduced, through her intercession and the grace of the very Holy Trinity that they spurn but who still loves them, to the Trinitarian mystery which beckons them.
Andrew M. Greenwell is an attorney licensed to practice law in Texas, practicing in Corpus Christi, Texas. He is married with three children. He maintains a blog entirely devoted to the natural law called Lex Christianorum. You can contact Andrew at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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