Dr William Craig is clearly one of the most prominent Christian philosophers today. He appears extensively in public and on Youtube. He has argued with famous atheists in public places such as in prestigious universities, and he is very sharp and convincing in his arguments in favour of theism.
However, I saw a brief video of him on YouTube where he argues against the Islamic conception of God regarding love. He says:
“Islam seems to have a morally inadequate conception of God. Muslims and Christians agree that God is the greatest conceivable being, by definition. Now, besides being All-Knowing, All-Present, All-Seeing e.t.c, the greatest conceivable being must also be All-Loving.”
Dr Craig goes on to show proof from the Bible that Christianity affirms that God is All-Loving, but in contrast, using Ayaat from the Quran, he affirms that God is not All-Loving according to Islam e.g. God does not love sinners, God loves not the proud, God loves not the evil-doers e.t.c.
The conclusion that he makes is that: “as the absolute, perfect being, God’s love must be unconditional (and not just for the good-doers and God-fearing people for instance), thus the Islamic conception of God seems to be morally inadequate, and philosophically unacceptable.”
Can you comment on this please?
It’s very surprising to hear the above argument from a ‘philosopher’!
1) Divine love and hatred are not like human ones that stem from our emotions, and hence is often completely blind and unfair. God’s love means His mercy, just as His hatred means His Wrath. According to the Holy Qur’an, God is All-Merciful to all sinners and saints. “Say (O Muhammad to mankind): O My slaves who wronged themselves, do not despair of the mercy of Allah; verily Allah forgives the sins altogether; verily, He is All-Forgiving, All-Merciful.” (The Holy Qur’an, 39:53).
2) Love in the realm of divinity is of two types:
a) Initial Love (Al-Rahmān): God in this sense is All-Loving. He loves all His creation sinner or saint unconditionally. It is due to this love that He creates all, bestows His bounty upon all, shares His blessings with all, and sends His message and messengers to all.
b) Reciprocal Love (Al-Raheem): God has a special mercy and love for those who love Him too and follow His Commands. He reciprocates their love with further benevolence and eternal bliss in Paradise. The Almighty Allah revealed to Prophet Muhammad (P): “Say (to mankind): If you love Allah, then follow me, Allah will love you and forgive you your sins, and Allah is All-Forgiving, All-Merciful.” (The Holy Qur’an, 3:31)
God -in His perfect righteousness- does not love sinners, the proud, evil-doers, and the like; because the All-Benevolent God will never love sins, arrogance, evil and the like. But God- in His perfect mercy- loves sinners, arrogant people, and evil-doers; because they are His creation, and He does not want them to suffer the consequences of their evil-deeds. Thus, He invites them all to repentance.
It is narrated in a Holy Hadith that the Almighty Allah says: “My slave! By My right for Me (for being My creation) I love you, so by My right on you (for being your Creator) you shall love Me too.” (Ershadul-Qoloob, vol. p. 171).
Imam Ali (a.s) quoting Prophet Muhammad (P) says: “Verily, Allah loves His slave but hates his (evil) deeds and loves a (good) deed but hates its doer (for his evil intention).” (Nahjul-Balagha, Sermon 154)In one of our Prophetic narrations, it is narrated from Prophet David (P) that God tells him: “O David! Only if those who have turned away from Me would know how eagerly I am awaiting them, and how earnestly I am yearning for them to abandon their sins, they would die eager of returning to Me and their joints would be disconnected out of My love.” (Al-Mahajjatul-Baydha, vol. 9p. 62)
A god who loves killing, stealing, lying, etc. is the most evil god! An unconditional love for criminals is an endorsement of their criminal acts. This would indeed be a wicked god! Glory be to Him and highly exalted is He above what Dr. Craig ascribes to Him. Surely, this is not the God of the Bible either. Psalms 5:4-6 reads: “For You are not a God who is pleased with wickedness; with You, evil people are not welcome. The arrogant cannot stand in Your presence. You hate all who do wrong; You destroy those who tell lies. The bloodthirsty and deceitful You, Lord, detest.” (NIV)
Answered by: Sheikh Mansour Leghaei