Question about the Ayah: ‘Surely Allah has power over all things’.


I have summed up a wide discussion on Omnipotence of God below.

In Islam, when referring to God’s Omnipotence, is it right to say the following statements:

“God can do anything that is logically possible” or “God possesses every power which it is logically possible to possess”.

The problem is that when trying to define what Omnipotence (All Powerful) actually means for God, some thinkers (e.g. Descartes) have said that absolutely NOTHING can limit God’s power (including the laws of logic or mathematics for example).

If we believe in the above, then for instance, we have to believe that God can create square circles, or He can make someone exist and not exist at the same time. Even further, if one accepts that God can do logically contradictory actions, then one would have to believe that God can possibly lie – or sin even.

Is it perfectly in line with Islamic thinking to say that God CANNOT perform certain actions (e.g. immoral ones and/or logically impossible ones)?

If yes, then this seems paradoxical. It seems to contradict theIslamic belief that: إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ  (surely Allah has power over all things).

Because I understand that a ‘square triangle’ is laa shay (nothing), so there is no problem there, but what about lying for example, that is indeed an action (shay)? Because God cannot lie, and lying is indeed something (shay), then isn’t God limited in that sense?

Finally, is it better to explain God’s attribute of Omnipotence to mean perfect power rather than absolute power (meaning that mere power is not praiseworthy, but perfect power is)?


What Muslim philosphers usually say in internpretation of such Ayaat as إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ  is that:

God is All-Powerful and Omnipotent meaning that His power is unlimited and hence perfect (any unlimited power means that there is no deficiency in it and thus perfect).But what about making a triangle square? They say such things are not really شيء as they can’t exist. similarily, lying for God can’t exist, not because His power is limited, but because such things are in fact self-destructive statements, and therefore, there is no reality for them to exist.

Sheikh Mansour Leghaei