Questions on Allah

Questions on Allah

The following answers are primarily directed to parents – as well as teachers, mentors and others – who are requested to provide answers fit to their child’s age level and cognitive ability. There is no answer that fits all age levels and cognitive abilities. Therefore, what concerns us is the content and practicality of the answer rather than the exact words used to deliver it.

Faith-Based Questions on Allah

The most frequent questions children wonder about at a young age revolve around Allah. Here are some of the children’s most asked questions:

Question Who Is Allah?

The Answer (to children 4-10)

First, we should not wait until the child asks about Allah; we should rather initiate discussion about Allah whenever possible. The correct answer to children’s question about Allah and His Traits establish Monotheism in children’s minds and hearts early. The best way to teach children about Allah is to direct their minds from thinking about the nature of Allah to thinking about His signs and wonders of creation that illustrate His greatness (e.g. the sky, the clouds, the stars, the sun, the moon, the sea, the trees, etc.). Therefore, when a child asks: “who’s Allah?!”, we should simply respond that and provide examples for this. Children will then know Allah through evidence. In order to draw children’s attention to the sky and the vast land with mysterious and intricate system, we should ask them: “You see this system? The creator and organizer of its laws is Allah the Almighty.” Teaching children the short chapters at the end of the Quran is useful because they contain the best information about Allah’s and His Traits. He is Allah who “Neither begets nor is born, nor is there to Him any equivalent”.

Allah is our Creator and Sustainer. He is the One who created everything and everyone around us. He created us including our organs (e.g. eyes, ears, mouth, tongue, hands, feet, and our whole body). He created the sky, land and all the trees. Allah is the One who created everything, and nothing is like Him. He is the Most Merciful, the Sustainer, and the Generous. He has Names and Traits that are all beautiful. That is why He – Alone – without any companions – deserves devotion. He commands adults to take care of children, help them and provide for them and for everyone. He notices, rewards, and punishes us for good and bad deeds, respectively. He is the One who rewards the generous for their generosity and punishes the offenders for their offence. As a result, we thank Allah for His blessing by worshipping Him and doing good things. He created the trees, the rivers, the seas, and everything in this life; He is the source of power. Whenever He wants something, He just says “be” and it becomes.

Possible conversation model:

Who bought you those beautiful clothes?
Dad

Who takes you to school?
Dad

When you get sick, who takes you to the doctor?
Dad

Who takes you out for a picnic?
Dad

So, your father takes care of all your stuff?
Yes

Likewise, Allah bestows mercy upon us; He is the One who takes care of all of us. Allah is the Creator of everything. Everything you see is Allah’s creation: the sun, the moon, the clouds, the seas, the mountains, humans, animals, birds, angels, and jinn. Allah is the Creator of the whole universe; He is Generous and Merciful. He takes care of us and always provides us with abundance

Question How does Allah look like? How Come Nothing is Like Him?

The Answer

In order to answer this question, we must draw the child’s attention to our limited abilities to conceptualize things and fully understand everything. The rationale here is that we cannot conceptualize all of Allah’s creation. If we cannot conceptualize all of Allah’s creation, then ultimately we cannot conceptualize Him. This answer might disappoint the child. However, we can ensure him or her that we will eventually see Allah when we meet Him in the Hereafter. Furthermore, we should explain to the child that Allah did say something about Himself in the Quran. Therefore, we do know a little bit about Him but we should not Fantasize about His appearance. Only religion and the Quran can tell us about Allah. The Quran says: “There is nothing like Him, and He is the Hearing, the Seeing.” Accordingly, Allah is not like us or anything else. This indicates the greatness of Allah who we should love, hope for, and fear. We know that Allah is great through his creation (e.g. Heaven) and we will see him in Heaven.

We do not know. There is nothing like Allah. He is the One who created me, you, and everyone. Allah is different from man. Man cannot create man, while Allah can; He can do anything He wants. And since nobody can see Allah in this life, then nobody can describe how he looks like. We cannot see Him in His full beauty and grace because our abilities are limited. No matter how far our minds grow and understand, they are still limited to know only what Allah allows them to know and nothing else. It is impossible to know everything because we are humans. If Allah was a human like us, He would get sick like us, eat and drink like us, and die like us. However, Allah does not get sick, he does not eat, drink, or die. He always exists. He is the Creator of the skies.

Our hearing is limited; we can only hear from a certain distance. If we hear everything, we would become exhausted. Our vision is limited, too. We can only see to a certain distance. We cannot see what is behind a wall, for example. Our mind is limited just like our hearing and sight; it cannot conceive everything. The human mind is limited and cannot understand everything. From the day Allah created humanity until now, what we do not know is more than what we know. The human soul – for example – is so close to us, yet we cannot conceive it. If we cannot conceive what is inside us, how can we know what is outside us? Accordingly, if our mind is limited, it cannot understand Allah’s form.

Possible Model Conversation (age 8-10):

We can (theoretically) ask a child to stare at the sun without blinking and ask: “Can you keep staring at the sun”? No

Same thing for Allah, We cannot stand the light that radiates from Allah’s veil. But when we go to heaven, we will see Him – may Allah permit.

Question Who Created Allah?

The Answer

Here we should note the prophetic advice: Seeking refuge in Allah and subtly directing the child’s thoughts towards another issue so the he or she does not carry on with these questions is the key here. We redirect the child’s thought away not because we lack an answer. We rather do it to eliminate suspicion.

No one. Allah is the creator of everything. That is why we worship Him alone. We do not worship anything that is created. Allah is not created; the process of creation applies only for the creature. No one can ever bring Allah from nonexistence. Otherwise, He would be a creature, too. Allah has neither a beginning nor an end. If we assumed that there is a creator of Allah the Almighty, the same question remains unanswered: “Who created the creator of the creator?” Then, “Who created the creator of the creator of the creator?” and so on. Abu Huraira narrates that the prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Satan comes to one of you and says, ‘Who created so-and-so?’ ‘till he says, ‘Who has created your Lord?’ So, when he inspires such a question, one should seek refuge with Allah and give up such thoughts”.

Possible scenario (for 10 years old):

If someone asked you about the length of the fourth side of a triangle… you will not have an answer because the triangle only has three sides.

Another scenario:

Let us take the ‘soldier and bullet’ example. A soldier wants to fire a gun, but in order to do so, he must take permission from the soldier behind him. That soldier – in order to give permission – must take permission from the soldier behind him… and like that to a no-end. The question is: “Will the first soldier ever fire the gun.”? No, because no one can reach the soldier who can give the order to fire. Exactly ! The soldier can only fire the gun if there is a last soldier who can give orders without consulting with the one behind. Without that soldier, no matter how many soldiers there are, the gun will never fire. All other soldiers are like zeros; they are beside each other but no matter how many they are – even if they are infinite – they will always be nothing except if we put before them a number: 1 or more.

Same thing for Allah, We cannot stand the light that radiates from Allah’s veil. But when we go to heaven, we will see Him – may Allah permit.

Question Where Did Allah Come From? How Old Is He? Who was there before Allah?

The answer to these types of questions requires explaining the idea that time and space are creations of Allah. Allah created everything and by everything we mean everything, whether physical, mental, or conceptual. If we get children to understand that, then answering these questions can become easy. Here we should note the prophetic advice: Seeking refuge in Allah and subtly directing the child’s thoughts towards another issue so the he or she does not carry on with these questions is the key here. We redirect the child’s thought away not because we lack an answer. We rather do it to eliminate suspicion. Furthermore, like the question about creation, we should note the prophetic advice: Seeking refuge in Allah and subtly directing the child’s thoughts towards another issue so the he or she does not carry on with these questions is the key here. We redirect the child’s thought away not because we lack an answer. We rather do it to eliminate suspicion.

Since Allah was not created and that He neither begets nor was born, then He has no beginning or an end. He does not have an age like humans, because He is the Creator. Allah Almighty is the First ever. Nothing is before him and He is the Last. Nothing is after Him. He said: “He is the First and the Last, the Ascendant and the Intimate, and He is, of all things, Knowing.” Time is like space; it does not limit Allah. Time is one of Allah’s creations; creatures cannot limit or contain their creator. Allah owns all the traits of perfection and beauty.”

Question Is Allah Male or Female?

imilar to the question about how Allah looks like, we should briefly answer this question and shift the child’s thoughts away from thinking too much about Allah’s appearance. Here, we better clarify to the child that gender is a necessity to differentiate between types of creatures and that Allah has actually the creator of creatures.

Allah is not male or female. He is the creator of these two concepts. He said: “And that He created the two mates – the male and female.” Allah the Almighty is above classification. In fact, there are other creatures that are not under such classification (e.g. the angels). Even the sky, clouds, air, and water are not male or female. Therefore, if some creatures do not fall within gender classification, then Allah primarily does not, too: “There is nothing like Him, and He is the Hearing, the Seeing.”

Question How do we know that Allah Exists?

The Answer

Belief in Allah is an undeniable human instinct and evidence of Allah’s existence is plenty. Every day, people in every field discover evidence of Allah’s existence. The nature in human soul proves Allah’s existence; Allah says: “The innate nature (fitrah) of Allah upon which He has created all people” (Quran 30:30). Every single one of us has an inner voice that tells him about Allah’s greatness, power, and care. Key to the answer to this question is to illustrate the complexity of this world and its system.

There are two types of evidence that proof Allah’s existence: Logical and tangible. As we can see. This world is very intricate. Either it happened by chance, created itself, or it is created by a Creator. The first two options are impossible; therefore, only the third one possible and the Creator is Allah. In the Quran, Allah says: “Were they created by nothing, or were they the creators [of themselves]? Or did they create the heavens and the earth? Rather, they are not certain”. He has control over the sky and Earth; Allah says: “Indeed, in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of the night and the day are signs for those of understanding.” In addition, Allah perfected human creation; He says: “And in yourselves. Don’t you see?” He also created the stars, mountains, animals, etc. All these point to the Creator’s mastery. Signs of Allah’s existence are spread across the World. Moreover, Creatures have a purpose: they all worship Allah who has no associate, whatsoever.

Possible Scenario for a logical evidence (age 9-12)

Abu Haneefa was once asked to prove Allah’s existence. He replied: “First, tell me about a ship from Degla that sails – to carry food and goods – by itself, returns by itself, docks by itself, empties itself by itself, and does the same thing all over again by itself.”

“That is impossible!”, people said. Abu Haneefa replied, “If it is impossible for a ship to do this, then how can the world function on its own?!” It is impossible that a perfect world happens without an All-Capable, All-Knowing Creator.

Another Scenario for tangible evidence (age 9-12)

A parent can also ask the child: when you get hungry, you automatically look for food to satisfy your hunger. When you get thirsty, you look for something to quench your thirst; when you smell something beautiful, you feel happy and the opposite happens when you smell something foul. When you look at the flowers, the roses, the sky, and the nature around us you feel ecstatic. Similarly, we feel the need for Allah for refuge to feel safe and calm. When we feel sad and depressed, we return immediately to Allah and call Him and when we feel happy, we praise Him and thank Him.

Question Does Allah Hear, See, and Talk Like Us?

The Answer

The answer to this question provides an opportunity to teach children self-control: “If Allah is All-Hearing and All-Seeing, is it appropriate that He hears or sees us doing something unacceptable to Him?”

Yes. Allah talks, hears, and sees. He says: “Certainly Allah has heard the speech of the one who argues with you, [O Muhammad], concerning her husband”, “[Allah] said, “Do not be scared. Indeed, I am with you both; I hear and see”, and “Indeed, He is aware of what you do.” However, He does not do it like us. Allah is different from His creation. He hears sounds no matter how low they are; He sees things no matter how far they are. He hears and sees everything; yet, His hearing and vision do not resemble those of the deficient and weak creatures. Allah is unmatched. He says: “There is nothing like Him, and He is the Hearing, the Seeing.”

Question Does Allah Get Hungry and Thirsty Like Us?

Note to Parent:

Key to answering this question is the explanation that hunger and thirst are aspects of weakness and Allah Almighty is perfect and flawless.

The Answer

No, Allah does not get hungry or thirsty. He does not need food or drink because He is the Creator of everything and does not need anything. If He ever needs anything, He would not be Allah. Creatures are the ones that need food and drink and Allah provides it for them. There is no comparison between the creature and the Creator. Not everything we make needs what we need. The same thing goes with Allah.

Possible Scenario (age 10-12):

Let me ask you a question… Who made the bike? The bike manufacturer.

Let us imagine that the bike talks and asks its maker: ‘What do you eat? What do you drink?’ How will you respond? I will say: “It is none of your business. What will you gain from knowing such a thing; your main purpose is to travel fast without any defects?”

Excellent. Same thing when it comes to Allah. Allah created us to worship Him: “And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.” These questions are not going to benefit or help us achieve this task. On the contrary, it will distract us from completing our tasks. When can bikes ask questions? When they are broken; they go to their manufacturer to get fixed. That is why we seek refuge in Allah through prayers and supplications when we find ourselves weak in worshipping Him or when something bad happens to us.

Question How Powerful Is Allah?

The Answer

Key to answering this question is that if we were talking about limited power or ability, then we are talking about a trait of weakness; the end of power means the beginning of weakness, and weakness is not a trait of Allah the Almighty. This question is also beneficial to explaining the importance of worshipping Allah alone. He is the only one capable of providing our needs and sustenance.

Allah’s power is infinite. Nothing stands in His way; He said: “Allah is competent over all things.” Whenever He wants something, He says: “be”, and it becomes. Allah is capable of everything because He is the Creator of everything. Nothing in land or sky defeats Him. Only creatures have limited powers because they are created with limited abilities. The Creator’s ability, however, has no boundary or weaknesses. He is the One who crushes the mountains, moves the oceans, orders the water to sink into earth. Nothing in the universe occurs without His order and will. The Creator does not need any creature. The sky is one of His creations, and His existence is not dependent upon any creature. He does not need them; He does not need anything.

Question Where Is Allah? How Big Is He?

The Answer

Once children understand that Allah is the One who created us and blessed us, we then explain that Allah is in heaven. He said: “Do you feel secure that He [who holds authority] who’s in the heaven…”. It is false to say that Allah is everywhere, though, because this means that He is present inside everything, which is not true. We are committed to what is mentioned in the Sunnah. The prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) asked a maid servant: “Where is Allah?”, she said: “He is in the heaven”. He said: “who am I?” She said: “You are the messenger of Allah”. He said: “Grant her freedom; she is a believing woman”. Even though Allah is in the heaven, He can see and hear us everywhere. Constantly stressing that Allah sees and hears us increases the child’s self-control. Allah the Almighty is in heaven, but His knowledge encompasses everything; He said: “He is with you wherever you are.”

Allah Almighty is in Heaven. He is not compared to anyone of His creatures. He is greater than everything; Allah is bigger than all of His creatures. If His creatures are great, their Creator is greater.

Question How Come Allah Sees Us but We Do Not See Him?

Tip to parent:

We can utilize the answer to this question to explain to them that we cannot see Him, yet we believe in Him. We believe that He is Merciful, that He loves believers, that He is powerful, and that he is capable of everything and knows everything. He knows we are talking about Him right now.

The Answer

Our vision is limited; we cannot see most things. That is why we use microscopes and magnifying tools. If we cannot see created objects, then – logically – we cannot see Allah the Almighty. Human’s capabilities in life prevent them from seeing Allah. Allah is high above us; therefore, He sees us all at the same time like someone who climbs a roof and sees those walking in the street while they do not see him. Allah sees us while we do not see Him. There are many things that exist that we cannot see.

Possible scenario (6-10):

We tell the child: “Our eyes cannot detect everything. We cannot see voices, yet we hear them. We cannot see air, yet we feel it. Our eyes cannot see Allah Almighty in this life; however – may Allah permit – we will be given better eyes in the Hereafter that will allows us to see Allah. That is why, “Vision doesn’t perceive Him, but He perceives [all] vision; and He is the Subtle, the Acquainted.”

Question How Can Allah See too Many People?

The Answer

This question is related to the previous question. The answer is similar and it can also be used to raise the child’s ability to self-control.

Because Allah Almighty is above us all. Allah is the Competent over everything.

Possible Scenario (age 5-10):

To practically answer this question, we can take the child to the street and ask him or her to count the people he or she sees. Then, we go to a second floor and count again. Then we go to the roof and ask the child to count the people he or she sees for a third time. Then we give the child a binocular and ask for a more accurate count. From this example, we explain to the child that we should not measure things with our limited human capabilities. Allah’s ability is greater than that of His creatures altogether. And we must stress that: “Allah is competent over all things.”

Another possible scenario:

We can ask the child: “Do you think an ant can see us with full details, or does it just see a ghost or a shadow?” The child will respond that the ant can see only a very small part of the toe, and it might consider the toe a huge mountain.

We can ask the child: “Do you think an ant can see us with full details, or does it just see a ghost or a shadow?” The child will respond that the ant can see only a very small part of the toe, and it might consider the toe a huge mountain. “Alright. Do you think the ant can ask: “How do you see us all at the same time?” Your answer will be: “It is natural”. It suits your abilities that Allah gave you. The ant’s abilities are limited. While it is easy for you to see many ant-shelters in the room all at the same time, an ant – with its limited abilities – can only see one. Since we agree that nothing is like Allah the Almighty, and that He is capable of everything, therefore, our limited abilities cannot comprehend what is “natural” for Allah. Allah’s ability is greater than the ability of all the creatures because “Allah is competent over all things.”

Question Does Allah See People in the Dark?
How Does Allah Sees Us When at Home with the Doors and Windows Shut?
How Does Allah Know About All Our Actions?
How Can He Watch All People?

The Answer

Key to answering these questions is that Children must learn that Allah has all the traits of beauty and perfection. They must know that Allah’s abilities are limitless; He is the Omnipotent and the Almighty. He says: “Allah is competent over all things.” Because His ability is limitless, nothing on earth or sky can defeat Him. We cannot compare Allah’s ability with that of creatures, no matter how great the creatures are. Allah is greater. Like previous answers, the answer to this question is suitable to link to the importance of self-control and religious devotion.

Yes, Allah can see All people in the Dark and behind doors and walls.

Possible Scenario 01:

First, we should show the child a movie scene with military soldiers using night-goggles, animals and birds that see in the dark, first-person video games with tools players use, such as x-rays gadgets, to detect objects behind walls or in the dark. After that, we ask: “If a weak human sees in the dark, can’t Allah who created humans see in the dark, too? If Allah is the One who gave us the ability to create gadgets, can’t He – the All-Capable and Overseer – do that? Allah is greater and more capable, and His ability has no boundary”.

Possible Scenario 02

We should show the child a picture of a medical scan and tell him that a technician – who is created by Allah – can see the bones inside us with an X-ray. Allah who created people, sees us while at home with all the doors shut. Nothing is like Allah; He is not like humans whose vision are blocked by buildings. Allah is unlike any creature because He is capable of doing anything

Possible Scenario 03

The example of surveillance camera recording clarifies this. A camera records and detects every minor and major detail in front of it. Allah’s ability is greater than the camera; He can watch everyone at the same time because His ability is boundless. Allah’s knowledge is absolute and inclusive of everything. Surveillance cameras help children grasp the omnipresence of Allah. A company can survey its employees with a camera that records and displays everything in monitoring screens, spontaneously. If people can invent this surveillance method, then Allah, the Creator Himself, can survey his creatures all the time.

Question Why Doesn’t Allah Die Like us?

The Answer

Key to answering this question is that children understand that Allah created death and the circle of life. He is beyond His creation and the rules of His creation do not appl to him. Also, it is important to understand that Death is a sign of weakness. Allah is never weak. He was not created and will not die. Furthermore, key to this is explaining that death is part of Allah’s plans for people. Death is the first stage of After Life.

Because Allah created everything and he created the circle of life. Everything he created dies. He says: “Every soul will taste death. Then to Us will you be returned.” A person’s death is the beginning of his or her Hereafter, the most important part after life. People, however, are creatures that die. Allah’s life is not like ours; our lives end with death. Every creature vanishes, and nothing remains except Allah the Almighty. Allah is perfect, infinite life is a trait of perfection. This is why one of the names of Allah is the All-Living who never dies.

Question Does Allah Love Me?

The Answer

Allah Almighty is forgiving and merciful; He loves the benevolent, the pious, and the truthful. He says: “He loves them, and they love Him.” The signs of Allah’s love for His worshippers include honoring them, nurturing them, handling their issues, sustaining them, and forgiving them. Everyone feels Allah’s kindness and generosity. Allah loves the person who obeys Him, endeavors to get closer to Him and seeks His love by praying, honoring parents, giving charity, generosity, honesty, reciting the Quran, supplications and other good deeds. Allah loves whoever believes in him and commits to these actions.

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