What Is His Name
CHAPTER TWO - THE CONCEPTS (What is His Name - by Ahmed Deedat)
In the religious terminology of the world, we will
find that every "son of man" in his own way, in his own dialect has given some
beautiful attributive name for the Lord of the Heavens and the Earth.
THE ZULU CONCEPT
In our own country, South Africa, the Zulus, a very
virile and militant people - a nation akin to the Qureish of pre- Islamic Arabia
- have given a name to God Almighty - uMVELINQANGI. This word when properly
articulated in its own dialect, sounds identical to the Arabic word
Walla-hu-gani, meaning - "And Allah is Rich"
(Bounteous). It also sounds like "Allegany" of the Red Indians
of North America (Remember their ALLEGANY mountain). The origin or real meaning
of the word "Allegany," is not commonly known to the American people. But ask
any Zulu as to who or what this uMvelinqangi is and he will surely explain to
you in Zulu:
HAWU UMNIMZANI! UYENA,
UMOYA OINGCWELE. AKAZALI YENA, FUTHI AKAZALWANGA; FUTHI, AKUKHO LUTMO OLU FANA
Believe me, this is almost a word for
word translation of Sura Ikhlas, Chapter 112 of the Holy Qur'an.
|SAY: HE IS
ALLAH THE ONE AND ONLY;
ALLAH, THE ETERNAL ABSOLUTE;
AND THERE IS NONE LIKE UNTO HIM.
Now, compare the above verses with my free
translation of what the Zulu actually said:
"Oh Sir! He is a pure and Holy Spirit, He
does not beget and He is not begotten, and further there is nothing like Him."
Every African tribe, South of the Zambesi River, that
is, in Southern Africa, have given different names to the Almighty - Tixo,
Modimo, uNkulunkulu, etc., and each and every African language group will take
pains to explain the same pure and holy concept as the Zulu. It is to the glory
of the African nations that though they had no written languages, and hence no
written records, therefore not being able to recount the names of their
respective prophets, yet not a single one of the tribes ever stooped down to
worshipping idols or images of either of men or animals, until the White man
first introduced his religion and gave the African his anthropomorphic concept
of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost, and brought the African
down to bowing before the statues of Jesus, Mary, St. Joseph, St. Christopher
and so on.
Out of the dozens of African tribes inhabiting this
part of the world, not a single one of them ever made
"umfanegisos" (images) of their God. Yet they were capable of
carving out of wood, elephants and lions, and reproducing men and women also, in
clay. Besides, the Zulus also had some knowledge of metallurgy. When questioned
an old Zulu as to the reason, why the Africans did not make umfanegisos of their
Gods, he replied, "How could we make images of Him (God Almighty) when
we know that He is not like a man, He is not like a monkey, or an elephant or a
snake: He is not like anything we can think of or imagine. He is a pure and Holy
LIKE THE ARABS
This term, uMVELINQANGI, though well known to the
Zulus, was not commonly used. Again they were like the pagan Qureish of
Pre-Islamic Arabia who knew the name Allah, but passed Him by, because they felt
that He was too High, too Pure, too
Holy to be approached, so they went for their substitutary and
imaginary gods - their Al- Lats, AI-Uzzas and
Al-Manats and a hundred besides. The Zulus too would not call
upon uMvelinqangi directly, but he was better than the Arab of the
Ayyam-ul-jahiliyya (days of ignorance), because he did not go after false gods;
he only invoked the spirits of his ancestors to intercede with uMvelinqangi on
his behalf, exactly as the Catholics do in invoking the Virgin Mary and the
The more common term used by the Zulus for their God
is uNKULUNKULU which literally means - the Greatest of the Great or the
Mightiest of the Mighty (Almighty). More colloquially when taking oath, they
would exclaim "iNkosi phe-Zulu" meaning - the Lord Above
(knows), or the God in Heaven (knows), or Heaven knows, that I am speaking the
truth. The word "zulu" in the language of the Zulu literally means High Heaven,
and they consider themselves to be superior to the numerous other tribes of
Southern Africa, being in this respect like the Querish among the dwellers of
the desert before Islam.
CONCEPT FROM THE EAST
The Hindi word for God Almighty is PRAMATMA. In
Sanskrit, the language of ancient India, "Atma" meant the soul,
and "Pram-atma" meant the Great and Holy Soul, or the Holy
Spirit, which is really a beautiful description of the "Father" in Heaven. The
Bible says, "God is Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him
in spirit and truth" (John 4:24). Not in form, shape or size, but in
Despite his pantheistic1
interpretation of the Divinity, the name the Hindu gives the Supreme Being, in
his classical language, is OM (Aum), which means Guardian or
Protector. A very suitable attribute about which the Muslim can have no
"Pantheism:" a doctrine in which people believe that God is everything,
and everything is God. The Muslim puts the right emphasis when he says -
"EVERYTHING IS GOD'S!" Do you realise the stupendous difference this
apostrophe 's makes to the concept of God?
CONCEPT FROM THE WEST FROM
The Anglo/Saxon and the Teuton in their own and other allied European
languages call their object of worship "GOD" or words of similar sound and
Got in Afrikaans (the language of the descendants of the Hollandse
people in South
Gott in German;
Gudd in Danish, Swedish and Norwegian languages.
Phoenicians called their God - ALLON - (not far from Allah if we could only hear
it articulated), and the Canaanites ADO. The Israelites not only shared the word
EL with the original people of Palestine, but borrowed the name of their chief
deity - ADO and turned it into ADONAI, and everywhere the four-letter word YHWH
occured in their Holy Scriptures, they read "Adonai" instead of
"Yahuwa." You will not fail to notice the resemblance between the Jewish Adonai
and the heathen Adonis. ADONIS was a "beautiful godling loved by Venus" in the
1. The word
"God" together with its ramification in contrast with the word Allah will
be dealt with in Chapter 4
THE LATIN CONCEPT
In the Latin-dominated languages of Western Europe,
where Latin had remained dominant in learning and diplomacy for centuries, the
chief term used for God is
Dia in Scotch and Irish;
Duw in Welsh.
Surprisingly in all the languages above, Deus and all
the similar sounding words mean heaven.
Moulana Vidyarthi, in his monumental work -
"Muhammad in World Scriptures,"1
devotes a hundred pages to the names of God in the different languages. And out
of a list of 155 attributive names, over 40 of them use the word
"Heaven" or the "Above," in their language in describing God.
Though the Muslim chants the Asma-ul-husna (the most beautiful
names), 99 as derived from the Holy Qur'an with the crowning name, ALLAH;
"Heaven" is not one of those ninety-nine attributes.
Symbolically, heaven may be described as the abode of God, and in the words of
Wordsworth in Tintern Abbey:
1. No student of
Comparative Religion can afford to be without this book. It may become your
WHOSE DWELLING IS THE LIGHT OF
SETTING SUNS, AND THE ROUND OCEAN AND THE LIVING AIR, AND IN THE BLUE SKY, AND
IN THE MIND OF MAN: A MOTION AND A SPIRIT THAT IMPELS ALL THINKING THINGS, ALL
OBJECTS OF ALL THOUGHTS, AND ROLLS THROUGH ALL THINGS.
CONCEPT FROM BEYOND THE FAR EAST
Among all the 155 tantalising names of God in the
various tongues, the one that tickled me most was -
"A-T-N-A-T-U!" - and this I have adopted as a title of my book,
instead of the original title promised - "What is His Name!"
for this present publication.
WHAT IS SO FUNNY OR SO NOVEL ABOUT
The aborgine of South Australia calls his God
"Atnatu" because some philosopher, poet or prophet had
programmed him, that the Father in Heaven is absolutely free from all needs; He
is independant; He needs no food nor drink. This quality, in his primitive,
un-inhibited language, he conversely named ATNATU, which literally meant "the
One without an anus - the One without any flaw" - i.e. the One from Whom no
impurity flows or emanates. When I started sharing this novel idea with Hindu,
Muslim and Christian friends, without exception, their immediate reaction was
one of mirth, they giggled and laughed. Most of them not realising that the joke
was on them. The boot was on the other foot. Though the word "anus"
is a very small word, only four letters in English, most people have
not heard it. One is forced to use the colloquial substitute which I hesitate to
reproduce here, nor will I use the same in public meetings because of people's
hypersensitivity - because in the words of Abdullah Yusuf All, people
"HAD PERVERTED THEIR LANGUAGE ONCE BEAUTIFUL, INTO JARGONS OF EMPTY
ELEGANCE AND UNMEANING FUTILITY."
Therefore to ease the situation, in a round-about-way
let us say that where you have an "input," you must allow for an "output." The
one who eats, must have the call of nature - the toilet or the bush - and our
primitive friend smelt the need, which he could never attribute to his Creator.
Therefore, he called his God - ATNATU! 'The one without the excretory
system or its tail end.
GOD EATS NOT!
This novel concept of God by primitive man, is not
really altogether novel. God Almighty conveys the same truth to mankind, as in
His Last and Final Revelation - The Holy Qur'an - but in a language so noble, so
sublime, as befitting its Author. But because of its very finesse, and refined
manner of expression we have overlooked the Message. We are commanded to say to
all those who wish to wean us from the worship of the One True God -
|SAY: "SHALL I TAKE FOR MY
PROTECTOR ANY BUT ALLAHTHE ORIGINATOR OF THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH?
WHEN IT IS HE WHO FEEDS BUT HAS NO NEED TO BE
In other words, we are made to declare that -
"WE WILL NOT TAKE ANYONE AS OUR LORD AND PROTECTOR, OTHER THAN ALLAH,
WHO IS THE WONDERFUL ORIGINATOR OF THE UNIVERSE." And if any have
misgivings about his so called "man-gods" or "god-men," then bring him down to
earth, for our God is the One who feeds but is not
fed.1 He is not, in
need of food. Does your man-god eat? Or doesn't he? If he does, then he MUST
submit to the call of nature - OUR GOD EATS NOT! How simple the
logic, yet how stupendous the argument. Alas! We need primitive man to remind us
of the potency of our weapons. We have lost the art or the knack of propagation,
because for a good many centuries we have stopped preaching Islam to those
The Christians are knocking at our doors. Only the
spiritually blind and the "ostriches" in our midst cannot see. Kuwait had just
one Arab Christian family about fifty years ago. Today there are 35 Churches in
that little country. The Jehovah's Witnesses, a Christian sect which originated
in the U.S.A. a hundred years ago, are claiming that the 2nd largest group of
Jehovah's Witnesses outside their country of origin, is the Muslim country of
In Indonesia, the largest Muslim populated
country in the world, there are over 6000 full-time Christian missionaries
(Muballighs), not priests, parsons or ministers attached to
their respective Churches, but propagators (Crusaders) of their Faith to the
non-Christians - harassing "the heathen," as they call them.
These Christians missionaries have more private air-strips of their own than the
Indonesian Government has. They have mission ships that anchor off the islands,
because Indonesia is a country of over 2000 islands, which have no harbour or
docking facilities. They invite the native for refreshment and entertainment on
board the ship and subtly initiate them into their blasphemy. In their operation
code named "over-kill," they are aiming to make Indonesia a
Christian Nation by the turn of the century. Of the over 60 000 missionaries
raising dust throughout the world, more than half of them occupied in Africa.
Africa the only Muslim continent today, is now being assailed by these modern
day Crusaders who aim at making it a Christian continent, this again, by the
turn of the century. Our armour, sword and sheild in this battle of Faiths are
in the Qur'an, we have been chanting it for centuries to accumulate
sawab (spiritual blessings) only; but now we must bring them
forth into the battle field.
but is not fed: true, both literally and figuratively
DID JESUS EAT
|CHRIST THE SON OF MARY WAS
NO MORE THAN A MESSENGER;MANY WERE THE MESSENERS THAT PASSED AWAY BEFORE HIM.
HIS MOTHER WAS A SAINTLY WOMAN.
THEY BOTH ATE EARTHLY FOOD.
SEE! HOW CLEAR WE MAKE FOR THEM OUR MESSAGES.
YET SEE! HOW THEY ARE DELUDED AWAY FROM THE TRUTH,
The House of Islam acknowledges that Jesus Christ,
the son of Mary was one of the mightiest of Messengers of God. It acknowledges
that he was born miraculously, without any male intervention; that he was the
Messiah; that he gave life to the dead, by God's permission;
and that he healed the blind and the lepers, by God's
permission - BUT DID HE NOT EAT FOOD?
"And they gave him (Jesus) a piece of broiled fish, and of an honeycomb.
And he (Jesus) took it, and did eat before them." -
Further, the mother of Jesus was a woman of
truth, a pious and saintly woman - BUT DID SHE NOT EAT FOOD? Can't you see the
implications? Do we need an Australoid (the aborigine of South Africa) to remind
us? Indeed, we do! In this battle for the hearts and minds of people, we need
his "Atnatu." In his simple rustic language, in his childish puerile way,
he is telling the world that his God eats not. That the one who eats can never
be his God, because he would not be ATNATU. Our primitive brother had no
inhibitions. He called a spade a spade.
The Westerner is an adept at concocting names. When
he invented the incandescent lamp, he called his light- bulbs or globes, "MAZDA
LAMPS." Mazda happens to be the "god of light' of the Zoroastrians. In South
Africa today, the European is making a great success with the sale of his "RAMA"
Margarine. Rama happens to be the "man-god" of a substantial number of our
population here. The white man calls himself, Christian, because he is a
worshipper of Christ. He calls the worshipper of Buddha a Buddhist, and with the
same logic he calls the Muslim a "Mohammedan" presuming that he
is a worshipper of Muhummed. But the fact of the matter is, there is no such
creature among the thousand million Muslims of the world.
Let us assume that there were such a lunatic, a
worshipper of Muhummed (May the Blessings of Allah be upon him) who would in his
misguided zeal be called a "Mohammedan." Now if this so-called "Mohammedan," in
his zeal, went among the primitives of South Australia and with all fan-fare
preached his "Mohammedenism," urging this poor, backward nation, and asked them
to accept Muhummed as their god. You could then well imagine this child of
nature asking our deluded brother, "Was Muhummed 'Atnatu'?" The
answer will of course be, "No!;" even from our lunatic. What about the heroes
and heroines of the world who are worshipped today by the millions of civilised
men and women in our own day?
Present your candidates one by one to the native -
Why don't you try with your real or imagined "man-gods" or "goddesses" - and he
will hit you for a "sixer" (over the boundary, as in cricket) everytime with his
"boomerang," with his "ATNATU!" Is he not higher in his concept
of God than the millions in Europe and America, and in Asia and Africa?
PROGRESS IN REGRESSION!
Just picture the American who lands on the moon, and
his tribe who sit at home monitoring happenings on thelunar surface and also in
the world by means of their satellites, like "gods" with a finger on every
pulse. Marvelous, isn't it? Remember the Bay of Bengal Tragedy? The Americans
warned Pakistan about the impending tidal wave. Remember the Ramadaan War in
1973? The Americans warned Israel that the Arabs were on the move. But neither
heeded the warning. These same Americans, despite all their depravity wield a
power greater than all the "man-gods" put together. Yet this mighty nation and
their counterparts in Europe and the world, are worshipping men and monkeys -
Nay! The very devil himselfl ("The Satan Cult") How is, this
(Satan) HAS MADE THEIR DEEDS FAIR SEEMING TO THEM.
AND HE (the Devil) IS THEIR PATRON
Hero and Hero-worshipping is ingrained in man. If he
will not worship God, then he will worship something else. But worship he must.
What can be better than a handsome man or a beautiful woman, who is one of his
own kind? Anthropomorphism, a system in which man conceives of
God after his own likeness is traditional. It is modern as well as ancient.
Mankind thinks of God as one like himself, in his own image. Does not the
Christian Bible say, in the very first chapter of the very first Book?
"And God said, Let us make
man in our own image..." - (Genesis 1:26)
As to the word "image," God is not
talking about a physical, human likeness, which is not far from a certain family
of apes. Little wonder that Darwin claimed that the monkeys are our ancestors!
No! We are made in the spiritual image of the Beneficent. We are one with Him in
attributes. The Holy Prophet Muhummed (p.b.u.h.) said, 'IMBUE THYSELF WITH
DIVINE ATTRIBUTES." As Allah is Holy, we must be holy. As He is just, justice
being his attribute, we must imbibe justice. As He is Merciful, we must portray
mercy, and so on with each of the 99 attributes of God from the Book of Allah -
The Holy Qur'an. None can be one with God physically, because He is not a
THE THREE HYPOSTASES OF THE TRINITY
The poor1 benighted
Christians misunderstood the word "image" as well as the word "us" in the
preceding quotation at the very beginning of the Bible. Christians interpret the
word "us" to imply the existence of a combination of "Father, Son and Holy
Ghost" of their Holy Trinity. They fail to realise that in Hebrew as well as in
Arabic there are two types of plurals. There is a plural of numbers as well as
that of respect and honour. Here is a plural of honour which you might not have
noticed: - the quotation from the Holy Qur'an about Jesus and his mother,
observe the words - "SEE! HOW CLEAR WE MAKE FOR THEM
OUR MESSAGES." No Muslim ever understood by these plurals, a
plurality in the Godhead, neither did any Christian Arab or Jew. Ask any Jew who
knows Hebrew as to the number of gods in his Hebrew "US" from the first chapter
of his Torah, and he will confirm without any hesitation what I am telling you.
1. Poor? Yes,
spiritually. Because materially they are the most affluent people on
THE GODS OF
The deluded souls among mankind not only imagined God
in their own likeness physically, but they also gave him a racial bias and
"ETHIOP GODS HAVE ETHIOP LIPS
BRONZE CHEEKS AND WOOLLY HAIR;
GRECIAN GODS ARE LIKE THE GREEKS
AS KEEN-EYED, OLD AND
FAIR." - (Anonymous)
The Greeks and the Romans jettisoned their Minervas,
Appolos and Hercules' and opted for the newest of "man-gods"
two thousand years ago, namely, Jesus Christ. These Romans became the pioneers
of their mythology couched in a fresh garb to the nations of Western Europe who
were tiring of their Thors and Wodenses and so took on the new creed with
In turn the Europeans inflicted their tri-theology on
their colonies. They gave a man-god, more handsome than the "gods" of the
natives. And look how they have transformed him in pictures, sculptures and in
the movies. He has blond hair, blue eyes, handsome angular features like those
of Jeffrey Hunter in the film "King of Kings." But no! He does
not look anything like the Jew with his proverbial polly-nose. The new "god" is
more English/German/Scandinavian, in his bone structure. A white, "man-god," as
against a blue2 "man-god."
(Rama and Krishna are usually painted blue in Hindu religious pictures). Compare
the portraittures and you will pity the subjected people for falling
"out of the frying pan into the fire."
A political philosophy of keeping races apart in South
2. Rama and
Krishna are usually painted blue in Hindu religious pictures.
We Muslims really have done nothing for the benighted
millions of the world. We should rescue them from their
shirk1, or else they will take us down with them to perdition,
here as well as in the hereafter. There are many millions more worshiping
man-gods today on Allah's good earth, than those worshipping the one true God -
Allah subha-nahu-wa-ta aala. The miseries in the Muslim world
exist because of our utter neglect in sharing the Din-ul-lah
(The Religion of God) with the nations of the world. Propagation of the Faith is
the Awwal (the first) Fard (obligation) of the Muslim. Discount this Pillar of
Islam at your own peril. You know that Allah's whip makes no noise. How can you
play your part! Simply by memorising a single verse of the Holy Qur'an. The one
from page 15 of this booklet. Write it down on a piece of cardboard, together
with its meaning, and memorize the words of Allah with the meaning - phrase by
phrase - as you see it, and do not let the card go out of your pocket or your
handbag until you have transferred it into your God-given computer, the brain.
With just this one verse, and with the aborgine's boomerang (his
"Atnatu") you are set to rout every breed of anthropomorphism
inflicting Allah's creatures. This is your privilege and the destiny of Islam.
MAY MAKE IT (ISLAM) PREVAIL OVER ALL (FALSE) RELIGION,HOWEVER HATEFUL THIS MAY BE TO THOSE WHO
ASCRIBE DIVINITY TO OTHER THAN
Do you really believe Allah's
...THE PROMISE OF ALLAH IS
Holy Qur'an 4:122
Shirk: A theological Arabic term implying the association of other
beings with Allah. A most heinous sin in Islam