Polytheism Dualism Trinity
We have learnt that shrik means associating partner with Allah. In the previous chapter we have looked at the practice of attributing divinity to created objects or beings: idols, natural object, heavenly bodies and Homan beings.
We shall now examine the notion that the Godhead is in itself not one but two, three or many.
Ancient religions often featured many gods (a pantheon) each with his or her own characteristics and specializations fertility, war, beauty, fire, the sea and so on. Ancient Greek religion and popular Hinduism follow this pattern.
This idea implies that each god or goddess operate independce in looking after his or her interests, and this inevitably would involve conflict between them. For example the fertility goddess would wish to protect people's crop while the God of war would promote their destruction.
The Qura'an comment on this:
Had there been in heaven or on wary any deities other than Allah, both (those realms) would surely have fallen into ruin!..... (Qura'an 21:22)
Our scientific knowledge moreover leads us to the conclusion that there is cosmic order in the universe, not disorder. This can be seen in the co-ordinated movement of the heavenly bodies, and the ecological balance on earth. All these point to a single sovereign ruler and not a multiplicity of conflicting wills.
Dualism is the idea that there are two powers in the universe, one is usually believed to be the power of God and the other is power of Evil. They are regarded as God's of light and darkness locked in constant struggle again st each other. This view is represented in zoroastrianism, the religion of ancient Persian.
In the Islamic view, this is a form polytheism. The existence of two Gods implies that they are either equal power or that one is more powerful than the other. If one is more powerful than the other, then the weaker one has no claim to be God, since God is by definition all-powerful. If they are of equal power, neither of them can be God, since each of them puts some limitations on the power of the other, while God is by His nature free of limitation.
The Qura'an makes it clear that Allah is a unity and not duality, and is the master of all events, both those we see as God and those we see as bad.
and (know that) of Allah should touch you with misfortune, there's none who could remove it save Him:and if he intends good for you, there's none who could turn away His bounty.