Refutation to Pantheism - 'All is God and God is All'
Pantheism is a belief that 'All is God, and God is All'. So basically, God and the creation are 'one'.
It's also known as 'Wahdat-ul-Wujud
' in arabic, and subhanAllah even some subsects of the sufis have attributed themselves to this belief (based on some works of Ibn 'Arabi - not to be confused with Ibn Al
-'Arabi who was a Maliki scholar in Spain/Andalus.).
The proof from the Qur'an to refute this concept are many. For example, Allah says (translation of the meaning.):
Proofs against it in Qur'an & Sunnah
Surah Mulk 67:16. Do you feel secure that He, Who is over the heaven (Allâh) [fi*-samaa'], will not cause the earth to sink with you, then behold it shakes (as in an earthquake)?
17. Or do you feel secure that He, Who is over the heaven [fi-samaa'] (Allâh), will not send against you a violent whirlwind? Then you shall know how (terrible) has been My Warning?
in arabic means 'in' and also 'on'. i.e. fil ard (in the earth/on the earth)
Surah Al Qasas 28: 38.
Fir'aun (Pharaoh) said: "O chiefs! I know not that you have an ilâh
(a god) other than me, so kindle for me (a fire), O Hâmân, to bake (bricks out of) clay, and set up for me a Sarhan (a lofty tower, or palace, etc.) in order that I may look at (or look for) the Ilâh (God) of Mûsa (Moses)
; and verily, I think that he [Mûsa (Moses)] is one of the liars."
Imam al-Tabari (d 310 AH) said, in his Tafseer of these verses:
“Meaning: That perhaps I (pharaoh) may reach the gates of heavens, the gates that would allow me to see the God of Moses; for I believe Moses to be a liar with respect to what he says and claims; that he has a Lord in the heavens who sent him” Tafseer al-Tabari 24/64
It becomes clear from this verse that Pharoah was informed by Moses that Allah is above the heavens. Otherwise, why would he argue to look there?
It's been said that using the argument of Wahdat ul Wujud
[unity of existence] - Ibn 'Arabi claimed that Pharoah was true in his statement that he is 'God' because 'God is everywhere' - and therefore even in Pharoah.
On Jabir (radhiallahu ‘an) in the long hadeeth about the Prophet’s (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam) Hajj, from the speech on Arafah he said, “And indeed I left for you something of which you will not be misguided if you held to it, the Book of Allah, and you ask from me, so what will you do?” They said, “We bear witness that you gave us the message and advised us.” So he said while pointing his index finger to the sky, “Oh Allah bear witness, Oh Allah bear witness.” three times.
(Sahih Muslim Book 7 [kitab al hajj] no. 2803)
This hadeeth proves that Allah is above the heavens with the pointing of the Prophet towards the sky. (And when we make dua', we face our palms upwards, showing that it is in our fitrah to call upon Allah while believing He is above His creation.)
There are also many other aayaat and ahadith to prove that Allah is above the heavens.
However, Allah is everywhere in His knowledge.
The logical arguments against Pantheism
Anyway, here's a few points which may explain why Pantheism can't be correct:
- This topic was of huge debate in the past about whether the world & universe was existant forever, but now it has been discovered scientifically that the earth, and the universe had a starting point (i.e. Big Bang.) The Ka'bah - an idol?
Since Allah is eternal, He did not have a beginning - and since the universe had a beginning, it cannot be the Perfect God.
- God is not everywhere, otherwise the person is saying that even the most evil and disgusting of things [of existence] are 'God'.
In Islam, evil is not attributed to Allah since He is free from any imperfection.
- The claim that everything is God implies that there is no morality, since all evil that has been done is a 'part of god' anyway - hence it is 'pure', so it can be justified.
- The people who believe in this concept will worship existence, whether that is 'holy' stone idols, humans, trees etc. (usually provided or sold by the high class for money/services) and this will usually lead to the oppression of those underneath them.
There are a great deal of examples of this in history, a clear example which is a common pattern is a hierarchical system in society - in which a certain group will claim to be the highest of status [who will usually oppress others], and then others will be placed in order until there is a lowest level who is oppressed the most. Read about any polytheistic society and you will see this recurring pattern
[2 clear examples are of the historical Quraysh polytheists*, or the hindu caste system [i.e. from the highest caste of Brahmins (priests), to the untouchables (lowest caste) - who can't even eat from the same plate as other castes.].)
*they would say that people can only buy idols from the 'holy' stones of Makkah, and that people can only do tawaaf (circumambulate) around Al Ka'bah naked, or by buying/wearing the clothes of the people of Quraysh [since they were 'holy' people]
There is a claim by pantheist groups that they don't worship stones and idols, but that they only turn towards certain stones or idols for direction in worship - the same way we do for Al Ka'bah.
If we claim they are worshipping the idol, then they will claim that we worship the Ka'bah.
The response to this is that Bilal ibn Ribah (the Ethiopian companion of Allah's Messenger) stood on the Ka'bah
to do the call for prayer [adhan] (at the opening/fath of Makkah.) So if we are really worshipping an idol, is it really valid in ones faith to stand on the 'god'/deity that you worship? Ofcourse not.
So the Ka'bah is not an idol which we worship and nor do we believe that there is blessing of the stones of the Ka'bah since they are continuously replaced/changed (but we believe the whole surrounding of Masjid Al Haram is blessed.) And i'm sure that pantheist religious followers would not stand on their stone gods for any reason whatsoever.
And 'Umar ibn Al Khataab said:Sahih Al Bukhari Volume 2, Book 26, Number 675:
Narrated Zaid bin Aslam from his father who said: "Umar bin Al-Khattab addressed the Corner (Black Stone) saying, 'BY ALLAH! I KNOW THAT YOU ARE A STONE AND CAN NEITHER BENEFIT NOR HARM.
Had I not seen the Prophet touching (and kissing) you, I would never have touched (and kissed) you.' Then he kissed it and said, 'There is no reason for us to do Ramal (in Tawaf) except that we wanted to show off before the pagans, and now Allah has destroyed them.' 'Umar added, '(Nevertheless), the Prophet did that and we do not want to leave it (i.e. Ramal).'"